The date and time will permanently be etched in my mind.
Please pray for Max, he is at Children’s Hospital in DC. We are awaiting test results (and may not get them back for a few days) but the likely reason is menigoencephalitis. This is serious and we on our knees praying for God to give to give him a complete recovery.
This day has been very abnormal and as strange as it may seem to some, I think it’s “normalizing” for me to write. I guess it’s a way that I can connect the dots in my mind and understand some of my own thinking.
I woke up startled by Mike running out of our room down the hall toward Max’s room. My eyes looked straight up at the clock, 6:02 a.m. I heard an alarming sound I didn’t recognize. Max was having a seizure, making choking sounds as his body shook on his bed, where he lie asleep.
He told me to call 911 and I did, trembling as my right thumb punched the numbers and I ran back to sit on Max’s bed with him. In the time that I was talking to the dispatcher, Max stopped seizing and laid perfectly still and out-of-it with his eyes open in a daze. By the time the ambulance arrived, Mini had woken up and come in to see what we were all doing in there. We were calm and assured her that everything would be okay. Max was sick so he had to go to the hospital to get better.
The ambulance left, one of my neighbors came and gave me a hug and said she would be praying and she said she would put his name on her church’s prayer chain.*
At the hospital they ordered a CT scan and I stood over him scared to death by the blank stare he gave. He was also groaning a little bit and moving around, so I just started talking to him. He often asks me in the car, “hey Mom? wanna talk about something? wanna talk about Angry Birds?” He has always loved having conversations, from the time he was little. So I began talking about Angry Birds. Lo and behold, even after having a seizure and laying unconscious, having a “conversation” is what calmed him down. He was perfectly still during the cat scan.
The scan showed no abnormalities so it was time for the next step in trying to make a diagnosis. Max had to have a lumbar puncture and those are scary words to hear.
Beautiful words to hear, on the other hand, were said a minute later. The ER personnel asked me what the name of our pediatrician was, and as soon as I told her she bounded out of the exam room. Max’s pediatrician had just walked out of the back door!
Within 30 seconds she came back and took over the exam, almost elbowing the ER doctor out of the way when she saw her patient lying on the table. I think she actually took the time to hug both Mike and me first, but my memory wants to create the scene differently, like she came in with a red cape flapping in the wind. She began calling out orders for meds and looking Max over head to toe. Then she briskly walked us into a private room where we cold talk.
“Okay. This is serious.”
The rest of the conversation was a brief description of what meningitis and encephalitis were and she told us the difference between bacterial infections and viral infections. She said he needed Max to be in an ICU unit at Children’s Hospital. They went ahead and did the lumbar puncture before he was transferred and the initial findings were normal, but they went ahead and gave him antibiotics, because you don’t mess around and wait.
Right away, we knew from other signs and the normal tests that he had some kind of infection, and it was most likely viral.
They flew him to Children’s in a helicopter and Mike went with him. Nana was already there at the hospital (along with our pastor and two friends) and she drove me downtown. Once we got in Max’s room, we gave a full history and walked over the details of the last 24 hours with a team of neurologists.
Max had not been feeling himself the day before this happened. I didn’t think much of it, as far as being really sick, but I knew something was off. He had been going to VBS so I just figured he was tired or simply under the weather, that’s all. But he took a nap that afternoon and that night he had a low grade fever so I gave him Tylenol and decided to miss VBS the next day and call for an appointment. Something just wasn’t right.
So, here we are. He had a seizure, most likely caused by a virus but we’re waiting to hear about the lab results. They’re testing him for everything under the sun. He’s still not awake, only “coming to” every hour or so for a brief 3-5 minutes. He’s agitated and confused and hasn’t spoken any words yet. The infection in and around his brain is affecting his speech, eyesight, hearing, etc. etc.
I am now finishing this post at 6:03 on Friday June 29th. I had about an hour of sleep tonight, I think.
The good news, and this is great news actually, is that he’s beginning to stir more and wake up. He has called out for me and is very uncomfortable with all the wires and other stuff around him. He’s in a lot of pain, too, which is heart breaking to his first full sentence was “I want to go!!!” and has said a number of other sentences in the middle of the night before going back to sleep.
It looks like today we’ll see a lot of improvement. Prayers are being answered*.
*through Facebook, an email or two, and a few calls, people all over the country and world knew about Max and believers everywhere started praying. Words can not adequately express how those prayers have kept us going. Our God is great and awesome in power.
Will write more as soon as I can.