Today I write you from the University of Kentucky Hospital. On Tuesday Asher and I flew out of Haiti where he was directly admitted to the 4th floor. He has had seizures now 3-4 times/day since a week ago Monday. It has been an overwhelming few days to say the least. I’m thoroughly exhausted on every level – as is Asher.
Tuesday evening they took about 6 tubes of blood and did an in-and-out cath. I can’t tell you how hard he screamed for that one. He then went on to have a CT scan. His CT scan showed up abnormal on two sides of his brain. Definitely not something a mother wants to hear.
They made him NPO at midnight so that he could have an MRI the next morning. Instead – it was 1pm before we made it downstairs. Imagine having a little baby and not giving him anything to eat or drink for over 12 hours. He had an EEG which is where they hook up 25 wires to your head and look at brain waves. Trying to do that with a starving baby – it was not a good day.
We knew they were going to sedate him for the MRI through his IV. However I guess he had trouble breathing and they ended up intubating him while he was back there. They came in mid-way through the MRI and asked me to sign consent on doing a lumbar puncture where they could draw fluid from his spinal cord. It was 4pm before I saw Asher. His face and nose were swollen from the tube they put down him and he was groggy, fussy, and hungry. I had pretty much hit my limit. My mom was with me and we just sobbed from how pitiful he looked.
So with all the tests they have two possible conclusions: Viral Encephalitis and/or Petit Mal Seizures. I’m told they will be doing a 48-72 hours continuous EEG with video monitoring starting today.
Last night we had two different neurologists sit and talk with us about Asher and healthcare in Haiti. I told them that I was planning to go back to Haiti on Tuesday. The first one told me that was unacceptable. The medicine they want to give him has a fine line between treatment and overdose. That because we do not know how he will respond to it – we have to worry about him going into cardiac arrest or respiratory failure and would need CPR/etc. She asked me if I could just put off my “mission trip”. I explained to her that it’s not a trip but we live there. Straight up she told me “Well you’ll kill him if you take him back right now”. Seriously? That’s exactly what she told me.
After she left another neurologist came in. We have doctors here about every 2 hours – rarely the same ones. The 2nd neurologist wasn’t quite as blunt but she told me that whenever he is released they want consistent follow-up for a month or so. I again explained I lived in Haiti. She asked me if Haiti has – 911. I told her – not quite! Then she said – “I’m sorry then. You cannot take him back right now. Leave him with family here in the states if you have to go back but it’s not okay to take him back right now unless they have a functioning ER”.
Aww – and again I sobbed. I’m obviously not going to leave my baby here without me which means I’m not going anywhere for the next month or so. I cannot tell you how excited we are about ministering in the Mole and this has just totally caught me off guard.
Janeil reminded me that this isn’t a sprint – but a marathon. It’s not like we were only going to minister this summer but we are committed to ministering there as a family until God tells us otherwise. It’s so easy to get caught up in the immediate drama and feel so defeated. We didn’t make it 10 days without an emergency but I still know beyond a shadow of a doubt we were called there to serve.
Please keep my family in your prayers. Jose and the rest of the family are in Haiti right now and we’re trying to decide what to do – whether they should fly on out or stay. He told me little Levi doesn’t know what to do with himself now that he doesn’t have Asher to beat up on. I think Asher has been missing him too. I know they always say twins have a special connection – I really believe ours do.
We are still in the hospital waiting for them to connect him up to the continuous EEG. Thanks for being the prayer warriors that you are and for all your love, support, and encouragement during this difficult and overwhelming time.