Jenney fell again while I was helping her to the bathroom, and I caught her. She had been having a headache and thought she needed to pee, but once it subsided realized she in fact did not. I took her back to bed and didn’t give her the option this time. We were going to the ER.
I told my neighbor what was going on through worried tears, and asked if he could watch the kids while I took her. Steve was extremely supportive. I’ll forever be grateful. I got Jenney dressed, got her into the van, and we headed to St. Anthony’s ER in Gig Harbor. They saw the symptoms and the Dr. ordered an MRI.
The wind was very strong that day and the power blinked at the hospital a couple of times. The order was lost, and we waited for what seemed like an eternity. Each time Jenney got another migraine, almost passing out, and she started saying nonsensical things. “Is Mary downstairs?” “I don’t know what’s real.” My heart was breaking.
They finally got the MRI and when the Dr. came back after examining it, he laid it out plainly. I gripped the side of Jenney’s bed tightly as I struggled to keep it together, gritting my teeth while he told us they had clearly found a mass in the left front of her brain and they were transferring us to St Joseph’s in Tacoma where a neurologist had already accepted the case.
Up until this point we had no idea what was going on. There was relief in finally knowing, but also devastation. They mentioned the neurologist would likely want to operate as soon as possible.
We waited again until the ambulance team came to take her to St. Joseph’s. I stopped at home, crying, blaming myself for not taking her sooner, for having her fly. “What the fuck you dick head?” I remember thinking. And also, “You couldn’t have known.” Steve was there waiting to hug me, to assure me the kids were taken care of, and to go be with my wife. I simply can’t imagine what I would have done without him at that moment.
I grabbed a quick shower, and packed an overnight bag (way more things than I needed) and headed to the hospital. Part way there I realized I had forgotten my wallet and had to turn back. When I finally got to Jenney’s room we hugged, and kissed, and cried some more.
They had ordered some meds. A steroid known to reduce swelling in the brain, and another for anti-nausea. Each infusion seemed to trigger another migraine and the episodes were intense. Jenney would get flushed, speak nonsense again, get hot, take her clothes off, ask if we could just go home over and over again. The migraines were still coming every half hour, but each dose of steroid started to lengthen that timeline, and to reduce the amount of pain by morning. We got maybe 3 hours of sleep total that night.