It’s been a full three weeks since I last wrote. In that time Jenney was
- in the hospital for a total of 10 days,
- returned home on the 21st,
- spent time recovering at home,
- developed insomnia; and
- had an alergic reaction to one of her medications resulting in hives.
Directly after I published my last blog post about Jenney, I went to visit her at the hospital. As you might guess I was slightly dreading that she would be even worse and during the car ride went from dread to acceptance. By the time I arrived at the hospital peace had settled in on me and I went through the covid checkpoint calmly. As I walked down the hallway of the hospital, I suddenly had a clear vision of Jenney sitting up in bed, eating breakfast, and smiling at me as I walked through the door. Encouraged, I rode the elevator up to her floor. When I arrived at her room, this exact vision is what greeted me, and I broke down and wept as I held her hand, putting it to my face and thanking God. She was confused by my reaction and asked me what was the matter.
“Couldn’t you find me?” she asked.
“No, no dear. I couldn’t find you at all,” I finally replied after trying to explain just how bad she had been. She didn’t remember it at all. But she was eating a good breakfast, and smiling at me.
The next week brought more IV’s of anitbiotics, antivirals, and some good days, some bad. Jenney went up and down in terms of lucidity and responsiveness, but throughout it all I held on to that premonition. God had shown me that even in my darkest hours He is there, working to heal Jenney, to encourage us, and it reminds me to not doubt.
That day I we also met a neurologist who wanted to do a bedside LP to get more spinal fluid. Long story-short: he botched it and Jenney has multiple puncture wounds and bruises from his botched attempts. He eventually gave up and ordered it done on Monday under xray.
In talking to the medical doctor the next day, she reported that Jenney was anemic, iron deficient, and was still on antibiotics and antivirals even though they had determined that the infection was not bacterial in nature.
8/17/2020 Not a great day. Jenney’s speech aphasia was worse this day, she had a headache, and while she was very hot, did not have a fever. Tylenol seemed to help and we saw some more doctors. But mostly at this poitn we were just waiting for Monday to get the spinal tap.
The next day we did at least have a report that it was not HSV… but they kept her on antibiotics and antivirals still…
8/19/2020 Jenney’s oxygen was low. The doctor mentioned that her bed stay had resulted in her having partially collapsed lungs so they put her on oxygen and told her to practice filling her lungs consciously which she was mostly able to remember to do on her own.
I gave her a shower that day, and tried my best to brush out the tangled mess her hair had become. I should have remembered that her hair would get like that and put it up when we first entered the hospital… but I did not.
A physical therapist came that day to do an eval, and we walked around the floor with a walker and an oxygen tank in tow. Jenney did well and half way through stopped using the walker. She was unsteady, but did not fall on the way back to her room. She was still in pretty good spirits, but very tired. I’d leave when she needed a nap to go home and be with the kids.
8/20/2020 They took her back off of oxygen, but were monitoring her heart rate now more closely. It had gotten very high for no apparent reason a few times and they put her on a beta blocker for that. So many meds…
8/21/2020 They decided that she was recovering fairly well and decided to allow her to come home, knowing she had help. She still needed help to the bathroom, walking, and remembering, but was very ready to get home and be with the kids. I went into the hospital that day with clothes, watched them pull out the tube they had run to her heart that her IV’s go into (holy cow that was a long tube), cleaned her up after she didn’t make it to the toilet, helped her dress, and went to get the van while they wheeled her down in a chair to go home.
We celebrated that night with steak, shrinmp, corn on the cob, and grilled zuccini from our garden. Jenney fell asleep before dinner, but we saved her some.
It’s now two weeks later, and Jenney’s recovery from this episode has taken longer than the first two surgeries. We’re trying to be patient, and we’re seeing progress with her energy levels, her aphasia, and her strength. ANd just when she was really starting to feel like herself again, the hives started. We’ve since discontinued the medication that the doctor thinks caused it, but it’s still itchy.
Jenney still get’s confused, especially at night and in the morning, mostly not trusting her memories, not knowing if they actually happened. One night in particular during a bout with insomnia she started thinking she was Korra, from a cartoon we watch with the kids. I convinced her the next morning she was in fact Jenney by asking her about our family, their names, their birthdays, etc.
The hives and insomnia are the biggest challenges right now, because of the confusion the insomnia causes, the irritability of the iteching, and in general, feeling like getting kicked when you’re down. It’s demoralizing and we’re doing our best to keep her spirits up. She exercises, we go for walks with the kids, have dinner on the lawn in this wonderful weather we’re having. We find moments of joy, and continue to have faith and thank God for healing her.
We still have a road ahead of us, and we’ll have good days and bad, but overall we try to remain hopeful and patient.
As if that all isn’t enough, we’ve also decided to homeschool the children this year. 3+ hours of Zoom per day for kids simply isn’t something I want to subject them to. I think I can handle the schooling after work with help from many folks who have given us guidance and advice. I have ordered curriculum for Vincent and Viola and am going over that and teacher guides for the material with some anticipation of starting next week. Jenney will take on teaching Sebastian his numbers, letters, shapes, colors, and learning how to read. Wish us luck!