(photo shoot with my friend Jenny, Wednesday night)
and she is alert and on the road to recovery.
We still don't have a conclusive diagnosis as to what virus attacked her body or if it even was a virus. The MRI ruled out any seizure activity or disorder.
But anyway, here is what happened:
Thursday she came home from school and told me she had a little headache and was tired. I told her to rest on the couch and gave her some Tylenol. She had tumbling class at 6 p.m. and she didn't want to miss it. She felt better so I dropped her and a friend off at class.
My friend brought Annie home from tumbling. I wasn't at home. I was out doing some visits with Relief Society. Hannah fed Annie some dinner. Annie said she felt tired and after she ate she rested on the couch for a bit. Then she decided to go upstairs and take a shower. She came back downstairs and rested on the couch again. She was watching "So You Think You Can Dance" with Nico and Haley. Nico started noticing that Annie was kind of out of it but thought she was just tired. Then she remembers Annie saying something out of the blue and weird. Nico told her to go upstairs to bed because she thought she was starting to talk in her sleep. But Annie didn't move. Then Nico tried to talk to her again and Annie just stared at her and wouldn't answer. Nico yelled up the stairs for Michael to come and look at her because she just looked strange to her. Michael came downstairs and tried to get Annie to answer him. Her eyes were open but kind of rolling around. She wouldn't answer him and he could tell something was really wrong. Nico called 911 for help.
The paramedics came in minutes. Haley said she was the one to run outside and flag them down. About this time, Hannah sent me a text message, which I ignored initially. I just let my phone buzz. But then a minute later it was buzzing again and I decided to look and it was Michael calling. I knew right then something was up. Somehow I didn't answer his call but I checked Hannah's text. This is what I read:
"Don't want to freak you out but we think Annie might be having a seizure..ambulance is coming..she is having a hard time breathing and won't talk to us.... "
Would you jump out of your chair and freak out? Because I did. We were visiting with Judy Taylor and her mom and sister and bless their hearts for understanding our quick exit. I started shaking with nerves I couldn't even drive. Amber drove me to our house where sure enough: ambulance and fire truck were in front of our house. I ran in and they had Annie sitting in one of our dining room chairs. They were shining a bright light into her eyes and she made no recognition that anyone was even there. It was the scariest thing I have ever seen. Her head sort of flopped around. They put her on a stretcher and we left for Gilbert Mercy. I rode in the front seat shaking uncontrollably. I was so surprised about that too. I kept telling myself to calm down but I couldn't. I remember turning around in my seat to get a glimpse of Annie laying on the stretcher and all I could see was her left hand clinched up tight. When I saw that I knew something was going on with her brain. When we unloaded and they were pushing her into the e.r. I also saw her left foot do the same thing. Her toes were curled under.
The next part happened so fast I barely remember the order. The doctor explained to me that he needed to put her on a respirator right away to help her breathe and then they were taking her for a cat scan as soon as possible to rule out any stroke or bleeding. They were asking me questions about if she had been sick, or what her day was like. I told them she had been at gymnastics but I didn't pick her up so I didn't know if anything happened. She also had been to the dentist for two shallow fillings but I remembered that the dentist told me he didn't need to use any medicine at all. I told them about her headache and how I gave her Tylenol.
A Social Worker was introduced to me at some point and I remember thinking, "this must be bad if I need a social worker." I know they are there to help but I think it made me more nervous. She was very good to me though. She explained everything so clearly. Sometime through all this, Michael arrived and so did my friends Jenny, Tishia, and Amber and her husband Scott. I needed everyone of them and was so glad they were there. I still was amazed at how bad I was shaking. Michael surprisingly was very calm. Usually we are the other way around! At some point I remember the social worker telling me that I needed to be prepared for Annie to be air lifted to Phoenix Children's or St. Josephs. They were contacting the hospitals to see who had a bed available. That didn't help my nerves either.
The cat scan came back negative for the bleeding so they told me that she would be riding in an ambulance to Phoenix Children's Hospital. I was relieve at that. I was dreading a ride in a helicopter and I felt better that she wasn't having a serious brain injury. We decided that it would be better if Michael rode in the ambulance with Annie and that I could go home and pack up a few things and meet him at the hospital. Amber, Jenny, and Tishia were going to drive with me.
Michael waited at the E.R. with Annie while a special nurse ambulance was called to transport her. Michael rode in the back with her and the nurses and he said it was really hard to watch her. Her body was very restless and out of control. We arrived at the ICU about the same time as them. We were asked more questions about where we had been, what she has done in the past week and if she had been sick at all. I told them about the dentist, the gymnastics, and then I remembered that she was sick for a day before we went out of town for the Whiting Reunion and that a few of us came home sick from the reunion.
They treated her with antibiotics and we settled in to watch and wait. My friends stayed with us til 2:30 in the morning. They were such a great comfort to me. Sometime after they left is when Annie started getting a high fever. She would wake up every half hour or hour and thrash around uncontrollably. We would help the team of nurses hold her down so they could get more meds into her to help her relax. I can't really remember every detail. It was such a blur. At some point I had time to get Michael's Blackberry and get on facebook and put a plea out for prayers. I was so scared for her. She needed more than medical help. The ICU nurse had told us that she was worried because Annie was unresponsive. She could not get her to squeeze her hand or blink her eyes. Annie stayed this way for the next 10 or so hours. The nurse would try every hour to get her to wake up and squeeze her hand. It was around 10:30 a.m or so that Annie finally moved her fingers ever so slightly when the nurse asked her to. She wasn't out of the woods yet but she was making progress. She was still on the respirator and she still needed to have spinal fluid drawn from her back.
The fever kept coming and going and they were concerned with that. They didn't want her off the respirator until she was more responsive and they knew the fever was going to stay down. But everytime the drugs wore off, Annie was combative and trying to pull the respirator out of her mouth. Sometime Friday afternoon? night? the doctor decided to take her off of it. I was so happy. It was making her so miserable. They drew the fluid from her back and then took her off the respirator. She still wasn't awake or talking at all but she would start to follow simple commands like squeeze my hand or wiggle your toes. It was such a comfort to me to see that. I had been so worried.
So gradually she started getting better. Saturday we started noticing that she was asking the same questions over and over. And she really couldn't remember things we had just told her. She would tell us that we had 4 eyes or two heads. She had a nuerologist come in to see her and she couldn't pass some of her tests. She also had severe mood swings. She would be laughing one minute and then crying and upset the next and then confused and tired the next.
And that is where we pretty much are at right now. After every nap, she wakes up better. She is remembering more and not asking as much. We are still at the PCH but out of the ICU. She can get released when the spinal fluid results come in. It takes 72 hours for those results. We hope to be home tomorrow and hope she continues to get better and better.
I still can't believe that this all happened to her.
I can believe that the prayers of all my friends and family are healing her. I am so appreciative of everybody's kind wish and thought for her to get better. We were reading facebook tonight together in her hospital bed and it made her so happy to know so many people care about her. Everytime a text comes on my phone she wants me to read it to her.
I am so grateful that she is getting better and I am so grateful for friends and family.
We are so blessed by you all.