We flew up to PCMC as fast as you can in a Chevy Suburban. We didn’t beat LifeFlight, however. When we arrived at Brenna’s bedside in the PICU, she had about 12 tubes and lines hooking into her including a ventilator to help her breathe. We had never seen a picture quite like this before and especially on our child. We were astounded. We were led to a consultation room (which we grew to hate) where the docs all come in and ask questions and tell us things we never thought we’d hear.
They did an MRI and told us she was like a drowning victim who suffered an ‘hypoxic injury’ (went without oxygen for a bit.) She had some brain damage-but it was correctable. They determined that the tumor had nothing to do with this incident and would worry about that at a much later date. OK. When you hear ‘cancer,’ don’t you picture immediate action? It was kind of strange to put cancer on the back burner for 4 months.
I guess the Lord knows what he is doing because, what we went through the next 6 weeks, my soul could not take on dealing with both situations. But, Gordon’s strength in his priesthood and faith in God helped me be strong and have pure hope for Brenna’s future. We just dove in and did what needed to be done. I remember a mom of another PICU child whom I talked and laughed with for a bit. A little later she brought Brenna a balloon and shared with me that I helped her deal with her situation because I could laugh.
She spent 10 days in PICU on roughly 9 meds at one time, on a ventilator, and a feeding tube. Gordon’s twin brother, Karl, who lived in NY at the time, caught the next flight to SLC and was there with Gordon and Brenna constantly. He was a welcome strong shoulder for Gordon. Those who know my husband know he is a very quiet private person. He is a problem solver (computer programmer) and he was very vexed that he couldn’t solve this one. Having Karl there for him was so heart touching. He brought Brenna a stuffed Tigger and laid it in bed next to her. She loved that Tigger.
The frustrating thing was that the meds were supposed to sedate and calm her. But, her eyes would suddenly open and she would thrash in her bed like a recovering drug addict. It was not good for all the tubes and needles poking into her, so they tied her wrists and ankles to the bed so she wouldn’t move around so much. It was heart breaking. I remember one time, we had this FABULOUS nurse named Kory. He was a tall, dark, and hand…oops, big guy. Ute was sitting with Brenna while I ran an errand. And, upon my return, I came upon one of Brenna’s thrashing episodes and both she and Kory were trying to hold Brenna down. When it ended, they were both sweating. Brenna is a very strong girl!
Gordon and I went to the temple about 4 days into this whole thing. We got to be the token couple and participate in the prayer circle. Never had the words, “give a blessing to those in this company who are searching,” meant so much to us. We sat and cried and prayed in the celestial room. When we returned to Brenna’s bed, our nurse, Elsebet, said she had been inspired to lower the dose of Versed Brenna was receiving. Miraculously, Brenna calmed down and her episodes were few and far between. Amazingly, the head doc got upset @ Elsebet for doing it. But that was the first of many miracles for us.
Oh, the power of the temple and of prayer and inspiration. We were grateful our nurse was in tune to be the Lord’s tool for our Sweet Angel.