I’ve come to the conclusion that the human body just can’t sustain any heightened emotion for an extended period of time without trying to return to its normal state. Fear, anger, pain, grief – these all fade with time because they have to. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to continue to live.
We entered the hospital on Sunday June 20th, 10 days and a lifetime ago. I’ve seen the delerious heights of renewed hope, only to plummet back to rock-bottom the next day as yet another piece of bad news is delivered. Gavin’s recovery was off to a great start, he had an MRI the next day which showed no sign of remaining tumour, he woke right up from sedation, was extubated, and breathed on his own. Then he talked to us and held our hands. Hearing him say “mama” again repaired some broken bits in my heart.
But. Then we realized that his swallow reflex had been effected by the surgery, we hope still that it will return to him in time, it just may take quite awhile and some intensive therapy. This means that he cannot eat or drink except through an NG tube in his nose.
Then. He started exhibiting strange behaviour and was clearly in pain. An emergency trip to CT showed hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid in his brain. His EVD, which drains excess fluid from his brain, and that we had hoped to remove already, was not working well enough. His oxygen levels were low, and he needed to sleep with an O2 hood on for a couple of nights. The danger of hydrocephalus has passed as long as his drain continues to work, but he spent two sleepless nights before recovering.
And then another CT scan showed us the next nightmare – a blood clot in the middle of his brain. “We are on the knife’s edge right now,” said one of the neuro team. As I’ve said before, no sugar-coating this stuff. Our only recourse is to give him blood thinners, a bloody dangerous thing to do six days post-op. Then the neuro team felt that he would benefit from having a PICC line put in, a kind of permanent IV in his arm. Yet another dangerous and invasive procedure for him to go through, but he survived it, and is on his medication, and we will this clot to go away.
And now we watch, and wait, and hope, and hope to get through another night and another day.