September 26, 2009

The Full Truth

In Bertrand's new room on a wall there is a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"When it is darkest, men see the stars."

Over the years it has grown in significance for me. It is about how we often see the greatest side of human nature (charity, heroism, love) only when it is evoked by human nature is at it's darkest (poverty, war, hate). It's about having to face challenges in order to finally realize how precious something truly is. And, at its core, it is about optimism and always holding onto hope.

Well, sometimes I may be a bit too optimistic and don't always convey the most accurate picture of what life with Bertrand is really like. For many, yesterday's emergency room visit came out of no where, when for us an emergency room visit wasn't a matter of if. It was a matter of when.

For maybe the second time in his life, Bertrand had a fever this week. On Tuesday, after coming home from his EEG, Bertrand was very sedate--very quiet and still. He went to sleep early. On Wednesday he "woke up" with a fever (ranged from 99 - 101 degrees), so I gave him Motrin.

I say "woke-up" because he was barely there. :( I have never been so scared in my life. He wasn't moving at all! He would just stare with no blinks. You could snap in his face, shake him, pinch him, touch his hands, hair, eyes... no one was home. It was like holding a baby doll. He spent about 80% of his eyes-open-time like this and then he took three very long naps (he takes one nap normally).

The Motrin worked at controlling his temperature, but he was clearly having severe, prolonged absence seizures. Unfortunately, Valium rarely works on absence seizures, and such was the case with Bertrand. I left (somewhat hysterical) messages with our neurologist's office. Thursday came and Bertrand was improved. I got some eye contact and a few smiles, but he was still not himself--no babbling, no interest in toys, and even more telling, no interest in spinning. I left another message at B's neurologist's office and sent an email.

By Friday I was a wreck because, while Bertrand's fever was gone, he was still not my baby--he was a Bertrand shell. Not the Bertrand I know and love. He had an appointment with his fabulous rehabilitation doctor, Judy Gooch. She took one look at Bertrand and paged the neurologist on call (Dr. Denise Morita) to report his "near constant seizures" and "severe functional impairment". Dr. Morita recommended we take Bertrand to the emergency room.

So we did, and the rest is history. I'll admit, a small (okay, a BIG) part of me was hoping that the Keppra would be a miracle drug. Bertrand would take it and suddenly I'd have a near normal, if delayed, baby. Well, so far, all it has done is get Bertrand back to his version of normal. He has all of his tiny seizures, movements, and irritability back. But, he also has his babbling, smiles and giggles back, and I feel like the luckiest woman alive. My baby is home. :)

Bertrand passed out, seizing on the exam table at the emergency room.

Bertrand receiving his Keppra transfusion while being comforted by his worried Daddy.

Bertrand at home with his doggies, feeling much better!

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