Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Typing One Handed

I never saw it coming. I was sitting beside Spike's bed in ICU with my left hand firmly grasping his right wrist and my right hand holding down his right leg. The next thing I know, I'm seeing stars. Sucker punched in the face with a left leg roundhouse. Before I could recover, the left leg landed a jab on my nose.

"So much for temporary paralysis of the left side," I told the nurse who, minutes earlier, had been trying to coax some reaction out of Spike's left leg.

The doctors had told us that removing the supplementary motor area would likely result in significant but temporary loss of function on the left side. Rehab would probably be needed for six weeks. The good news is that function is fully recovered as the body relearns coordination.

I think Spike is a little ahead of the curve in his rehab program.

I was holding him down because he was trying to tear off all the probes and tubes attached all over him. He slipped out of my grasp for an instant and ripped three EKG electrodes off in one move. He nearly tore out his arterial line which would have made my earlier blood donation of a pint look rather paltry in comparison to blood spraying all over the room.

A few days ago, Spike impressed the doctors by eating tortilla chips with his toes. Tonight he used that dexterity to grab an IV line and give it a good yank even though I had a hand firmly pinning his leg down. He got socks taped to his feet for that antic.

So I hold him down. I thought I could rely on a little left side weakness. My throbbing face provides evidence to the contrary. Now, I am holding his arm down with my right hand while I type with my left. He's almost asleep which means he's as safe as having his arterial line almost in which means he's not safe at all. It's going to be a long night.

But a good night. A spectacularly good night. I can say that I have never been happier than I was today when I came in, sat down next to him and asked him to squeeze my hand and felt that life force flowing through him. Of course, several hours earlier I was more worried than ever before as he lay on the operating table.

It's been an up and down kind of day.

Tomorrow, the serious waiting begins as we see, only through the passage of time, whether the operation was successful at eliminating his seizures. His surgeon said that the right frontal lobe showed clear signs of dysplasia. I asked if he could actually see that and therefore know if he got all of the damaged area out. He said he could not see it but could tell by feel. The malformed area was squishy. Well, ewwww. Remind me not to ask such questions again. In any case, he removed as much as planned but cannot tell if it was enough to create seizure freedom.

The affected tissue - ok, let's call it what is. Spike's brain will be sent to pathology for thorough analysis. We may finally receive some answers about the cause of the seizures. Or not. I'd place my bet on the or not. What does appear clear is that Spike would not have outgrown his epilepsy as many kids do.

The resection was necessary. That knowledge provides more comfort than you can imagine.


  1. Sounds like you had a TREMENDOUS day!

  2. Rejoicing with you, my Friend! Too bad about the collateral damage, but opposite the alternative, I'm sure it's the best your face has ever felt!!

  3. I'll wager that's the best feeling you ever got from being smacked! Good news!

  4. How joyful to be smacked about by what could have been a motionless left leg! Keep up with the over achieving, spike!