Wednesday, June 3, 2009

possible seizures

Dad and I have been at the hospital since about 8:50AM today. Mom's been getting visits from various doctors and nurses. At 11:40AM, Dr. Kerr, one of Mom's neurosurgeons, stepped into the ICU to talk about Mom's situation. His suspicion-- to be confirmed by an EEG (done earlier in the morning; results pending) and an MRI (bumped from this morning to this evening)-- is that Mom's "in-and-out" mental state, in which she sometimes seems lucid, then seems to go quietly off the rails, may be indicative of seizure. This isn't particularly surprising news; glioblastoma multiforme is a cancer that tends to produce seizures.

Dad and I hung around until Mom had received her lunch (she was eating breakfast when I came up from the parking lot); Sean had come by in the morning, then left for a rehearsal. He's back with Mom in the ICU now, with Dad. I'm in a quiet waiting room, writing all this down. David told us that he wouldn't be able to make it today.

Bizarrely enough, Mom's vital signs are fantastic. Her heart rate, which had been in the 80s for days, has been down to the 60s for the past two days. Her blood pressure, which is usually below the "classic" 120/80, partly thanks to meds, seems about normal. Her respiration is also calmer-- in the teens instead of the 20s. But those vitals belie the situation: we still don't know what, exactly, is causing the altered state, and I haven't heard a straight story about what's causing the rash (you'll recall that there are three competing theories), nor do I know how all these things relate to each other.

Mom might be moved out of the ICU because of her good vitals. As mentioned, she's had the EEG, and is awaiting an MRI. We're all curious and anxious about the results of both: the EEG might give us a clue as to whether Mom's current problems are indeed seizure-related, and the MRI can tell us more about what's happening inside Mom's already-wounded brain.

We probably won't have more news until later this evening, after the MRI is done. I suspect we'll be hanging out here until we have concrete news, which might take us until after midnight, like last night.


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