I was with Leslie for about 5 hours today. There isn't too much of a change neurologically. She is still attempting to talk, but she is so weak, it's just above a whisper and very mumbled. She is also very confused. It's like she knows what she wants to say, but she says it wrong. For instance, I asked her who I was, and she said Marcia (who is her dog groomer). When I told her I wasn't Marcia, she smiled really big, as if to say "of course you aren't!" I asked her if she knew where she was, and she said "they are going to take care of me." I asked her if she knew why she was in the hospital, and she said "stroke". When I said, no, it was a seizure, she repeated the word seizure. She also says "oh, wow" and "really?" a lot. Like if I tell her a brief story about how she got here, or all the tubes that were going into her, she will respond with one of those phrases. At one point, she told me that I have a cat named Monica. When I started to laugh, she smiled really big. I told her that not only do I not have a cat named Monica, I don't even have a cat! She kept saying over and over that I do. Finally she responded with "liar". She coughed really big and I teasingly told her to cover her mouth. Her response? "I don't have a mouth."
The doctors are confident that she will get her memory back. I am, too. Of course, there are no guarantees, but she has gone through such a traumatic event, it doesn't surprise me that she is so disoriented. We will continue to re-orient her, and pray that she starts to remember.
Leslie will still be having an MRI or CT scan of her brain at some point. I am really pushing for an MRI. If they haven't done one by tomorrow, I am thinking I will insist on it. I just don't think it can hurt at this point. She also is going to be moved to a cardiac unit, since it is confirmed that she has some cardiac damage, and they are pretty certain her heart has an arrhythmia. We have no idea when she will be moved. It all depends on bed availability. There is a chance she will stay in the ICU for several more days.
As far as treatment goes right now, they aren't really sure. There is talk of attempting to medically induce her heart back into an arrhythmia, so they can see exactly what kind it is. Obviously, we have no idea what her heart was doing on Monday at the school, and when she started doing it during the lumbar puncture, the doctor didn't see it. If they can medically induce it, she will probably end up with a defibrillator placed. If they can't induce it, then she will probably be managed with drugs. Nothing is certain right now, though. They still don't have a clear picture of what is even going on.
As far as the pneumonia goes, it has improved greatly. She did spike a temperature today (100.something). Her nurse said her lungs sound a lot better. She was also taken off the venti-mask and placed on a regular nasal cannula (the kind that goes in the nose). Her vital signs are just about perfect. She is still getting breathing treatments every 4 hours.
When she is awake, it only lasts maybe 10 minutes. It wears her out super fast. We try to let her rest as much as possible and not wake her. When she does start to stir, we talk to her for as long as she allows. We noticed that she is starting to favor turning her head to the left, and her left side is quite rigid. Normally this would be a concern, but for those of you that don't know, Leslie has cerebral palsey on her left side, so her left side is always pretty rigid (for instance, when she walks, she doesn't swing her left arm, she keeps it tucked in at her side). We are going to keep moving her arms and legs around to keep them mobile and hopefully when she wakes up more, we can get some physical therapy for her.
Last night was a rough night for me. 90% of the time, I am very strong. I have been so busy juggling being with my sister and my two young kids. But when I break down, I break down hard. Last night I went to Leslie's house to bring her dog over for a little while. When I went to take Aggie back home, I saw Leslie's belongings on her kitchen table. Her work bag was there, and her lunch bag was in it. When I opened it, I found an apple and a spoon that she had used. It just made me so sad. Then I looked at her work notebook and saw her lesson plans. I also saw some doodles she had done where she wrote my name and my kids names. Then I saw the receipt from her bridesmaid dress, and that was where I lost it. I treasure the memories of that day so, so much. We had such an awesome time, and we were literally together from morning until night. I remember on the car ride home, I was helping her take the pins out of her hair. She was sitting in the front seat and I was in the back seat behind her taking out the pins. I joked and said I felt like a monkey, picking bugs out of her hair and we laughed.
I miss those times so much, but deep down, I feel that there are more to come, I just have to be patient.