This is Eloise. I came home tonight to try to get a good night's sleep and instead I'm on the computer.
I wanted to post a quick update here. So many of you have been so supportive and encouraging about Vivian, and I truly appreciate every kind comment left here and every prayer uttered on her behalf.
As you might guess, my heart is breaking right now and I am exhausted, both mentally and physically. I need to go to bed so I am going to paste the contents of an email that I just sent to family and friends.
This has been such a crazy week. I apologize to those of you for whom this is the first you've heard about Vivian as well as to those for whom this is repeat information. This experience has been more than a bit overwhelming, and not being able to use my cell phone in the ICU has limited my ability to communicate, not to mention I can hardly keep a thought straight. Additional apologies to those in the medical field for any errors in my explanations.
A quick recap: On Tuesday, Vivian's 16th birthday, she fell during the night, likely in an off-balance episode following a seizure, and broke her upper left arm pretty badly. She had surgery Wednesday afternoon where it took seven screws and a plate to put her little arm back together again. The surgery went well and we came home Thursday. Friday around 5 a.m. Robert and I awoke to the sound of Vivian falling in her room. We rushed in and found her stumbling around and quite agitated. We were able to get her back to sleep, but when she awakened later in the morning, she was even more agitated and violent and required constant restraint to keep her from injuring herself. We gave her more pain medicine and several Tranxene (a medication similar to Valium that we use to relax her when she has cluster seizures), but we were unable to calm her down. At some point she spiked a fever and we decided to call an ambulance because I didn't see any way we were going to be able to calm her down enough to get her into the car and take her to the doctor (we even had two wonderful neighbors helping at this point). When we got to the hospital, Vivian's fever was over 107 and she was having trouble breathing. They very quickly sent Robert and me to the waiting room and put Vivian on a ventilator and wrapped her in some sort of cooling blanket. Soon afterward they transferred her to the Pediatric ICU. We hope to get some lab work back in the next day or two that shows what is making Vivian septic so that her doctors can target it with a specific antibiotic. Her spinal tap was clear so they have ruled out meningitis. She does have pneumonia in both lungs.
The doctor told us in her update today that she expects Vivian to be in the hospital no less than two weeks. Vivian is still on the ventilator and is resting peacefully. Their main concern right now is something called rhabdomyolysis. Vivian's high fever evidently caused muscle breakdown, and it is very stressful for the kidneys to filter all of the damaged muscle cells out of her body. They are giving Vivian lots of IV fluids to try to help her kidneys flush everything out and they are monitoring her kidney function very closely for signs of renal failure. Vivian's blood pressure was very low yesterday, but that seems to be better today. Her lungs are also showing improvement, though she still has pneumonia.
We are very pleased with the fabulous level of care that Vivian has received at the hospital. Her nurses and doctors are very loving and professional and patiently explain things to Robert and me.
We have a wonderful circle of family and friends who have been tending to us in the hospital and to Will and Dorothy at home. We would sincerely appreciate everyone's prayers for healing and comfort for Vivian and for a sense of peace for Robert and me.
Robert and I have been greatly buoyed by your many prayers and kind expressions of support. My sister Marian is trying to keep my Facebook status and blog (www.weaselsjourney.com) updated. I will also try to email updates as I can. Please feel free to forward my emails to anyone who might be interested. We believe in the power of prayer and think the more prayers being sent up on Vivian's behalf the better.
Married for 27 years to Robert, three kids: Will (23), Vivian (20) and Dots (17) ~~~~
Majored in mathematics at SMU, taught elementary school for six years before Will was born, currently tutoring math ~~~~
Things I enjoy: playing duplicate bridge, working NY Times crossword puzzles, reading good books, entertaining, visiting with friends, planning trips, traveling, playing board games, spending time with family, cooking, keeping up with old friends ~~~ happy to correspond with other parents about raising a child with special needs
I unintentionally contaminated all of the pictures on my blog when I changed my privacy settings on Flickr. I am working backwards to correct them all, but it is quite a tedious procedure! If you encounter a post with error messages from Flickr where the pictures should be, then I haven't gotten to that post yet. Please let me know and I will update it immediately. Thanks for your patience!