We’ve missed you all! We are still at Christiana but I ran back to the rehab today to get my car, clothes and computer. I missed my computer the most! Primarily because I miss reading all your notes to us! Let me try to summarize Corey’s latest adventure.
Saturday, Corey had a session with PT. She was on the tilt table and the mat. She held her head for 30 seconds independently! Each day she increases the length of time for this skill. The therapists were very encouraged and are pleased with the progress she’s making. She was unusually sleepy for the rest of the day. At 4pm she exhibited signs of what the nurse called a focal seizure. It wasn’t the typical violent physical seizure you might be thinking of. She tightened her right arm forcing a hand tremor and was moving her left arm as she retreated into what looked like a deep sleep. We tried calling her name; however she was unresponsive to our calls or noxious stimulation. After a few minutes she came around. Corey was scheduled to have her cranioplasty on Friday, December 10th. This is the surgery to put the bone flap back on. The staff at Bryn Mawr thought it prudent to send her to Christiana ER for the neurologist to assess her and the unconfirmed seizure.
We arrived at Christiana ER close to 6:30pm. A new CT scan (for the head and neck fracture), x-ray (for the shunt), EEG (for the seizure) and a full blood work analysis were ordered. The CT, x-rays and blood work were completed quickly, but as the evening hours progressed the EEG was not going to happen. They decided to admit her to the ICU for observation. By 3:30am, they had a bed for her.
While we were waiting in the ER for our room, the nurse that made “the phone call” came to see us. This woman not only had the responsibility of making the worst phone call a person would ever have to dial to a parent, she was also the person that sat with me as the ER Doctor reported the details of Corey’s accident and walked me into see my daughter.
I recognized her right away and called her by name as she entered the room. She was surprised I remembered her. (How could I forget her?) She was delighted to see Corey, eyes open and alert. She began to cry as she held Corey’s hand. We talked about that night. She told me that she has not stopped thinking of Corey or our family since. She was thankful to have the chance to see her again looking so much better. We hugged and I thanked her for taking care of Corey and for staying with me thru that experience.
Sunday was uneventful. Corey was relaxed and alert all day. Unfortunately, the EEG tech is not on call on Sundays and the test wasn’t ordered stat. Corey had to wait until Monday. The neurosurgeon came in to speak with us about the CT results. They did notice a change in the CT. The shunt is doing its job…in fact, it’s doing too well! The Neurosurgeon decided to set the shunt to a near closed position. Their reasoning; they feel that Corey might be managing her cervical fluids on her own now! They are going to watch her over the next few days and take a follow up CT before the cranioplasty. If the ventricles remain the same size, it’s evidence that she is managing the fluid and they will remove the shunt when they put the bone flap on. This would be wonderful! Another positive change is from the CT of the Neck; the C1 fracture is healing beautifully. The cervical collar should be removed very soon!
This brings us to Monday. Many of our favorite doctors and nurses from the original ICU team were on today. They all came in to see Corey. What a great reunion! It was very encouraging for us to see their positive reactions at how wonderful she looks! They were thrilled to see her progress.
The EEG was completed this afternoon and this evening we have a preliminary report that there was no epileptic seizure activity noted! Tonight, the neurosurgeon decided to have Corey stay until her scheduled surgery. They have approved Corey to move to the step down unit and we are waiting for confirmation that the surgery will be moved from Friday to Thursday. While Corey is here, the orthopedic surgeon is going to come in and examine her as well. He has ordered x-rays of the clavicle, pelvis and femur to check on the HO we described a month ago. An update on that will be noted shortly.
It’s been a very long three days but the news is encouraging. Corey is healing. Each day she is progressing. One of the ICU nurses had a daughter on this floor, her floor. Her daughter was in a car accident 4 years ago. She was here for 5 weeks and transferred to Bryn Mawr for 5 months. Today this nurse came in on her day off to drop off some paperwork to the unit. We were reunited. As we talked she reminded me of her daughter’s story. She also reminded me that the day we left the ICU, her daughter left their home using her walker not her wheelchair. And today, her daughter went to the mall by her self for the first time since her accident. It’s been 4 years for them, but new things keep happening for that young woman. Her advise, “Don’t give up” “It’s a long process but new things keep happening”. I have said before, your notes keep us renewed. Not having a computer for 3 days, at times I have felt alone and discouraged. Tonight, I felt re-energized by the ICU team and reading the notes you’ve posted while we’ve been off line. Thank you for being there for us. Calling, texting, posting notes and sending emails to let us know you’re all still with us.
This new life of ours requires patience, determination on Corey’s part and encouragement from us. Keep fighting Corey girl. Together, we’re going to celebrate each day and each achievement. God Bless you, xoxo