Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mariela's meningitis story

I want to post this story also. I am going to write a blog tomorrow that ties all of these posts together, so stay with me :)
One Sunday afternoon in October 2009, Mariela told me that she had a headache and I didn't think much of it. Later that evening she said that her head hurt really, really bad. I gave her some Tylenol and told her to go to bed and hopefully when she woke up she would feel better.
 The next morning Makayla came in my room and woke me up saying that Mariela was crying because her head hurt. I gave her some more Tylenol and she laid on the couch all day. I gave her Tylenol 2 more times throughout the day/evening. Before bed she was really crying so I asked her if she wanted me to take her to the hospital. She said yes, so off we went at midnight to the hospital. When we got there we signed in and were told that there were 16 people in front of us and there would be about a 4 hour wait to be seen. So her and I discussed if we should stay or not. We decided to go home and go to bed and go to her Dr first thing in the morning so we didn't catch something waiting there sitting in the waiting room.
Tuesday morning came and she still had a bad headache. We went to see her Dr and they looked at her and couldn't see anything wrong except maybe some congestion so they sprayed some nasal spray up her nose and told me to give her Tylenol/Motrin every 3 hours. She went all day Tuesday after the apt feeling fine. We went over to my best friends house for dinner and she played and goofed off like she always does.
Then again about 10pm she started saying her head hurt again. So I gave her some Motrin and she went to sleep. At 4am she woke me up crying that her head hurt again. She also started vomiting a little bit. I called the Dr because they said if the headache actually woke her up from sleep then I needed to call immediately. Dr said for me to take her to the ER so they could do more testing like a CT to make sure nothing else was going on. We got to hospital about 5:30am (not one person in waiting room this time!!)
First, they tested her for strep and flu. When both of those came back negative they did blood work. When everything was normal with that they ordered a CT. After the results from that showed nothing was wrong he said the only other thing he could think to do was a spinal tap to check for meningitis. I did not really want to do this because I knew it would be very painful for her. The Dr said since she was little they would put her
to sleep in order to do the procedure so I agreed. At noon on Wednesday they did the spinal tap. At 2pm he came in and said that the spinal tap showed she did have meningitis.  
They gave her morphine for the pain and Zofran for the nausea and went ahead and admitted her so she could be monitored. All night she was in excruciating pain. It honestly seemed like the morphine was not working AT ALL! She was also vomiting from being in so much pain. On Thursday, around 1:30pm I got her out of bed to try to get her to go to the bathroom. The nurse was getting worried because she had not gone since the night before.
When I got her out of bed and took her into the bathroom she seemed really out of it. She kept playing with her gown and pulling at her IV. When she was sitting on the toilet she just looked at me and seemed very confused. I asked her "Mariela, do you know who I am?" She shook her head no. I pointed to the baby and Michael and asked if she knew them and she shook her head no. Then, I asked her her name and she couldn't say it. I immediately called the nurse and she said that she was going to call the Dr because something was terribly wrong.
The Dr came in and had some blood work done and decided to put a catheter in her. She said it was possible that the morphine was backing up in her system and causing her to act this way. They finally got the catheter in after a LOT of fighting (and me laying on her and 2 other nurses holding down her legs) and nothing really came out. Then she really got worried and decided to have her transferred to a children's hospital where she could be monitored better.

 In the midst of getting ready to transport her the blood work came back showing that her sodium levels dropped dangerously low. They started her on a sodium IV. The ambulance came and I rode with her over to Central Dupage hospital. When we got here there were 2 Dr's and 6 nurses running around her trying to get her stable and get her up to CT. Honestly, all of this had me a nervous wreck.

What was discovered was that her brain was swelling and the combination of the swelling and the low sodium was causing all sorts of new problems. It was causing her brain to tell her kidneys not to release urine and the swelling was causing the brain to be squished and caused the confusion. They put her on a breathing machine with a tube down her throat to help her breathe. They also put in a central line and an arterial port, one in each groin.

They were talking about needing to drill a hole into her skull to release the pressure on her brain. They decided to hold off a little longer to see how she handled what they were doing. They kept her sedated and on antibiotics until they could see major improvement. But my little sweet petite girl was fighting the sedative and would sit up in bed and it would take anywhere from 3 to 5 nurses to hold her down! She seemed not to be getting worse so they stopped discussing the drilling into the skull. We just had to sit and wait for the swelling to go down.

Michael and I never left the hospital. They let us sleep in a room that they had their for parents. Family and friends came to visit and showed their support to us everyday! People would bring us meals and sit with us to keep us company. People would go in her room and pray over her. The support that we received was amazing and I knew that God was using these people to help bring me His peace through this whole situation.

On Sat morning they did another CT. The swelling seemed to be going down and they decided to take her off the ventilator. She was very sore and looked pretty miserable. It was so hard to see her still in pain, but it was 100x worse seeing my baby girl with all of the tubes and and on a breathing machine. I was so happy and relieved to see her off of them!! Even if she still wasn't feeling 100% better, this was a huge step forward!!

She stayed for a couple of more days and made a full recovery and we got to go home!! It is amazing what can happen in your life in just a matter of days.........

I can look back at this and I know that God's hand was on us during this whole experience. He has always been there when I have needed Him and I know that He always will be, no matter what life may throw at us!!

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