I wish I had better news. I actually talked to Kari on the phone around 2:30 yesterday, and she seemed groggy, but she was fairly normal and able to carry on a short conversation. When I returned to the hospital around 3:30, she was sleeping and I expected that woke up she would be back to normal. Around 4:30, the techs came in to take her vitals, and she woke up and started panicking again. Her spasms at that point got worse, and she started screaming and “help me” along with a mix of syllables and sounds that did not make any sense. She eventually did relax though, and Kari slept through most of the evening last night, from about 7:30pm till 11:00pm. After that she slept on and off until 6:00am, waking up when they needed to turn her or take her vitals. Since about 7:00 this morning, Kari has withdrawn even further. Her spasms are incredibly strong, about as strong as I could clench my arm, and she has started biting down and locking her jaw. She bit her lip so hard this morning that it bled. Luckily, Jan Yessa from our old church in St. Charles, IL, was here and she stayed the night with Kari. I got my first real sleep since Tuesday night. When I got to the hospital around 9:30, Kari did not totally recognize me. A few times, she asked me to help her, but she did not respond at all to me speaking to her. She is becoming very frustrated with her collar and even pushed it off with her jaw. Technically, she is allowed to have her collar off, but she is shaking her head and neck back and forth so violently that it would be unsafe to leave it off.
As for the plan of attack, Dr. Balazy was in to see her this morning and I spoke with him about half an hour ago. The plan to use a combination of muscle relaxers, anti-anxiety and anti-spasticity drugs to try to calm her down and get some rest. If that doesn’t work soon, which it looks like it isn’t, they will try anti-psychotic drugs. The hope is that by allowing her brain to relax, they can gradually bring her back to normal. Dr. Balazy said that he expects her to come out of this, but it could be a couple of weeks. The anti-psychotic drugs have some possible side effects of making it difficult to control her movements. I asked him how he thought she got like this, and he believes that she simply reached a breaking point on both a physical and emotional level. The intense pain for the past two weeks and really for the past month has just been too much for her and she has withdrawn from reality. Having your muscles being continuously contracted never really allows you to get any good sleep. Combined with not sleeping at all Wednesday night and the increased spasms, it made Kari feel that she had even less control and raised her anxiety. By Thursday evening, she just couldn’t take it anymore.
Well, I got interrupted while writing this entry and by now I have a little bit better news. Kari can now recognize me and at one point was able to name everybody in the room. She even asked to give everybody a kiss!! Even though she’s still not all there, she’s still a sweetie. Anyways, she’s asleep now and looking very peaceful. I’m hoping and praying that when she wakes up this time it won’t be like yesterday. She usually gets scared when she gets woken up suddenly, so we’ve told all the nurses and techs to try to wake her up gently. They usually try to do their thing without waking her up, but if she does wake up, she’ll probably freak our again, so we’ll see how this works. I know that many of you have been praying, and we need it now more than ever. Thanks.