Hey friends and family! Thank you for visiting the CaringBridge site we’ve created for Vickie (mom). I’m going to do my best to explain how we got to this point...I’m not the best with words or stories, so bear with me! I’m also going to tell the story from my perspective, so Vickie will be referred to as Mom. (This is Joanna.) A few days before Christmas, mom got an upper respiratory infection. In fact, the majority of our family got it (including the kids). Not the best thing to get over Christmas, but everyone made the best of it! Kids seemed to bounce back pretty quickly. Mom’s not so much. Since it was over the holiday, she just took some meds to help with the day to day. We had a wedding in Charleston the weekend after Christmas, so we went and she took it easy and continued the meds. She would feel better during the day, on meds, but once they wore off, she was back to feeling a heavy head, congestion, cough, etc... Once we got home on January 1, she called and made an appointment to see a doctor, thinking it might be the flu. Unfortunately, the only appointment they had available was Thursday. She made the appointment but by Wednesday, she was feeling significantly better. So she cancelled the appointment. Friday, my parents were going down to Charleston for 1 night. The pastor who married them was having a luncheon on Saturday, so my parents had decided to attend. My Dad’s sister lives in Mount Pleasant, so they were going to stay there. On Friday night, Mom mentioned to Dad that she was having weird tingling in her fingers. They didn’t really think anything of it. On Saturday morning, mom woke up and was unable support her body weight. The muscles in her arms and legs were exteremely weak. Dad helped her get to the bathroom, hoping that moving around would help strengthen the muscles. They called Nic and asked what he thought they should do. He thought it would be a good idea to go to the hospital. Mom asked if they could make it back to Greenville, he wasn’t sure but said if it got any worse, they needed to go in immediately. Not long after, they realized that it wasn’t getting any better, so my dad and uncle loaded mom in the car and drove to the ER (or as some say ED) at East Cooper Medical Center in Mount Pleasant. The ED doctor quickly ruled out a stroke, then another doctor mentioned Guillian Barré Syndrome. This is when your own body starts attacking the lining on the nerves that control the muscles. It causes ascending paralysis. It becomes very dangerous if it affects breathing and swallowing, which requires being put on a ventilator. They all hoped that it wouldn’t get to that point. One way to test for GBS is by a lumbar puncture to get spinal fluid to see if there is elevated protein. They did the lumbar puncture and admitted her to ICU to begin a 5 day treatment of IV IG. This is something that is given to help your body fight off the attack. Saturday was full of tests and waiting, hoping the paralysis and weakness would lessen. The results of the lumbar puncture came back negative for elevated protein. The drs were still pretty confident that she had GBS, just thought that maybe the protein wasn’t showing up yet. The weakness and paralysis continued. By Sunday morning around 6am, they decided it would be best to intubate. Mom was no longer able to move her arms and legs and could not swallow, cough or speak above a weak whisper. So they intubated her on Sunday morning. Since then she is on, what they call, “supportive care”. Which just means they are making sure she is comfortable and not in pain. They are making sure she doesn’t get any infections. There are three doctors that are monitoring mom; a hospitalist, pulmonologist and neurologist. Each of them come by everyday to check on her and her progress. The neurologist turns off the sedation and asks mom different questions to gauge how she’s doing. Up to now, Wednesday morning, she has pretty much bottomed out. She can only raise her left eyebrow when asked questions. She’s not able to move her hands or feet (occasionally she’ll move a toe). Every time, it is discouraging to see. All the neurologists have said that this has been the most rapid decline they’ve ever seen. From our research this usually means it’s a more severe case. That being said, they all agree that she should make a full recovery...it just will take a very long time (months and months). Right now, they are expecting her to be on the ventilator for at least 2 weeks.
We are so thankful for all the prayers and messages you have sent! We serve a God of miracles and are praying for that daily! We will continue to post updates as soon as we get them!