Complications

There have been complications. Complications. That’s what I told everyone on Sunday, as we anticipated her discharge. And then our world crumbled.

Our baby had fought off viral meningitis and a minor chest infection. And now, as her body was starting to recuperate, there were complications. Complications.

On his shift, hubby noticed that she wasn’t using her right arm. She could grip things but she wasn’t able to lift them up. Also, her speech is slurred. I never noticed. I thought the arm issue was due to swelling caused by the first drip. The second drip failed too. She now has a drip on her foot.

My husband is so in tune with his daughter that he just knew something wasn’t right. I arrived at the hospital on Sunday, ready to take my baby home. I was going to spend this week at home with her just to help get her back to normal. We were going home. It was over.

But now there are complications. They feel so far removed from me. I guess I didn’t want to see what my husband saw. It was supposed to be over. She was supposed to be home. Complications.

My husband has not slept since she was admitted last Wednesday. He did the worst thing. He consulted google. On my shift, he would go home and worry. I managed to get sleep. Confident that she had licked this thing and all would be well.

We were transferred to another hospital. Closer to the neurologist. Neurologist. Complications. Hubby finally fell asleep on the bed in our new, more spacious digs. He was supposed to stay over. But I could see the cracks.

Sent him home with my parents. Took his phone away. He was not happy. I said to him “If you continue like this, you will end up getting very sick. And I need you. We need you!”

So now I am on autopilot. Ow pilot! (my favourite Trevor Noah joke). I deal with her diarrhea calmly. Nappy rash? Used to freak me out before. I just dealt with it without a hint of inadequacy. Tummy cramps? Its a cinch.

Blood tests. Second spinal tap. X-rays. Brain screening. Consults with the doctor. Focussing in on the positive. No trace of the viral meningitis. Her body stopped fighting because it caused, what hubby would term, detrimental destruction to the enterovirus.

Test for listeriosis: negative. TB: negative. Herpes: negative (but she is on an anti viral just in case and they restarted the antibiotic). “What else can it be?” the Paed said when I asked if maybe we were missing something. Herpes. That is the thing that causes cold sores! Her body just fought off three bugs and now there may be another one! Brain scan shows no abnormalities. But what is causing the complications?

As I am writing this she is hooked up for an electroencephalogram. Electrodes have been attached to her scalp. They then bandage it all up and have started recording electrical activity of her brain. They also have a video camera trained on her, monitoring her every move. I stare blankly at the screen, watching waves labelled: body movement, eye movement, EMG, waking.

She has an MRI booked for Wednesday morning. Her first ever procedure. This wasn’t what I imagined when I thought of all her firsts! Doc says the MRI will give them a much more detailed picture of her brain. And then we will know?

Complications.

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