"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Friday, January 13, 2012

By Far, the Absolute Worst Day Ever....

This is just about all I can say.....

Well, last night was relatively uneventful with Bethany receiving pain medication every hour, on the hour. Again, Thank God, for our nurse, Brianna. This was her second time taking care of Bethany, so she knew just what she would need, and generally, before she actually needed it. There weren't as many IV monitor issues, and we basically slept.

Bonnie went to my house and showered early so that I could leave by 10:00 am for a mandatory doctor appt at UTMC. When I returned, Bonnie and Joy left to go to lunch and the UT Main Campus for a bit. Joy needed to go to work by 3:00 pm. Around 1:00 pm, Bethany wanted to shift positions in her bed; she was laying on one side, and wanted to switch to the other side. It usually takes three people to assist her with all of her cords and medical paraphernalia. After adjusting her cords and such, Bethany had a miserable headache. Dr. Healy's nurse, Chris, happened to stop in; she said she had spoken with Dr. Healy, and he suggested that her regular drain be put beside her, on her sheet. This may relieve some of her headaches.

It was very shortly after that that Bethany began moaning and screaming in pain. She could not seem to get comfortable. We adjusted her mattress, bedding, cords, IVs, put compresses on her head, back, etc., and nothing seemed to work. She couldn't stop screaming. Around 2:30 pm, I texted Bonnie to return and she was already downstairs in the hospital. She came up and held Bethany's hand. Bethany had been crying about 90 minutes already.

Dr. Healy's resident, Dr. Glick, came and said that this wasn't normal; something was wrong. So, he ordered 2mg of Valium to be put into her IV. When that didn't work, he ordered another 2 mg of Valium. And when that didn't work, he ordered an additional 5 mg of Valium. Yikes. She had already been receiving morphine, dilatin and fentinol. They were keeping a close watch on her vitals; her heart rate was up to 160, whereas it should have been around 50-60. Thus, there was great concern.

Bethany continued to scream and moan, without any apparent relief. She said that she felt stabbing pain in her back and spine. They then ordered a doppler of her legs. It was excruciating for her to have to shift her legs or to move absolutely at all, but she complied. She cried and screamed and moaned; it was so so sad. The doppler results were negative.

So, Dr. Glick called Dr. Healy again and it was determined that it may be the Hepa Vac Drain may be the cause of her pain. It's purpose is to suck up the excess CSF in her spinal column around the incision, thus allowing the incision to heal. This is to actually suck up the excess that the first drain let through. The thought was that it may have actually been slightly vacuuming her exposed spinal cord nerves. So, Dr. Glick gently and carefully removed the top of her bandage and removed the drain. We were sure that this would totally alleviate her spinal spasms immediately. Well, we were wrong. We waited 20 minutes, with her screaming and moaning the entire time.

After, another telephone call to Dr. Healy, it was decided to give Bethany and MRI. Bethany screamed at the thought of laying on her back and lying still. She just couldn't do it; her body was physically exhausted and about to give out. So, they gave her nebutol through her IV. This was supposed to totally knock her out enough so that she could have an MRI without much pain. Well, that didn't work either. So they gave her another dose--enough for a horse was the comment I overhead. That didn't work either.

After another consultation with Dr. Healy, it was decided that they were going to intubate her. What? In our opinion, this is quickly becoming the worst case scenario. Bethany was fine with it because they told her it would alleviate her pain. That is only partially true. So, they gave her a drug through her IV (I can't remember the name of it), and that knocked her out. We all rushed to ICU where they intubated her. Wow. She looked awful. I then followed everyone to the MRI center. Joe, Joy, Bonnie and Heather waited in the Neuro lobby. We had been asked to clean out her other room, so Bonnie and Joe undertook that challenge.

I was led to the waiting room after the MRI while they got Bethany settled in ICU. Then, I went it. She looked waaaaaaaaaaaaaay worse than I could have ever imagined. After holding her unresponsive hand, I returned to the waiting room for Joe, Joy and Heather to go and say goodbye for the evening. They all return crying. The Bonnie and I entered the room for the night.

Then Bonnie and I entered the room for the night. She can hear everything we say, so Bonnie is holding her hand and whispering to her while I am typing. The nurse is attempting to keep her pain to a minimum, however, we don't really know her pain level because she can't speak. Every so often, she reaches for the tube. Her heart rate is still extremely elevated, thus indicating that she is pain. That breaks our hearts. Bethany Rose, one who wouldn't hurt a flea, even if it repeatedly bit her is in total, abstract pain.

Dr. Glick just came in and asked if my family had any history of blood clots. I said, 'not that I'm aware of,' and we reminded him that Bethany has been complaining alot of chest and heart pain. She said that it was a stabbing pain that felt like it was pinching her. So...he said he would have a CT scan done within 1-2 hours. Thank God. I wouldn't want anything to happen.

The only good thing out of all of this (and I am stretching to see this positively), is that when Bethany wakes up, she won't remember any of this. Thank God. The doctor did say that he really is striving to minimize her pain, as he doesn't want a case like in the movie, 'Awake.' Don't ever watch that movie if you are ever having surgery.

Chris and I recently went to the Matthew West/Mandissa Holiday of Hope tour, and it was totally awesome. Mandissa sang this song, and I am totally claiming and believing this for Bethany.

Urgent Prayer Requests:
1. That Bethany is completely PAIN FREE
2. That the Lord miraculously heals her
3. That the the doctors are able to find out what is causing her so much pain
4. That she is able to sleep all weekend
5. That she doesn't or hasn't developed a pulmonary embolism
6. That there is NO permanent damage to her perfection.

Thank you.


  1. Oh Shari,
    My heart is breaking for Bethany, I am praying for her!! I am standing with you and your family in prayer.

  2. I still don't know what the medical issue is that started all of this.

    I am praying for healing for Bethany!

  3. Aunt Shari I cannot even imagine what you all are going through.... Now that I have Ashlyn/Ryder it breaks my heart to know what it must be like to watch your little girl go through this and not be able to do anything.... We love you all and are keeping you in our prayers. My heart breaks for you and Bethany. I wish we could be there for you all. Lots of love and prayers.