Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Story About a Spine: Part 7

The night I brought Elisabeth home (for the second time) was difficult. While I understood that she would be experiencing severe post operative pain, this seemed different...this was something more.

I watched as she thrashed about and sweat poured from her head.

Then I prayed.

And afterwards, the answer came as clear as day. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced. The words just popped into my head:

Side effects.

I looked at Elisabeth and observed. I noticed her hand reach up and rub her nose. All week in the hospital we had assumed she had been trying to get the oxygen off...but there was no oxygen now...  Wait! It was never the oxygen, she was itchy! And the thrashing - like a person trying to escape their body - suddenly I realized her entire body was itchy!

I googled Oxycodone.

Itchy. Sweating. Elevated heart rate. Restlessness. And a million other side effects that she was probably feeling but couldn't express.

I just KNEW I was right and made the decision right then and there to give her strictly Tylenol. Oxycodone only stays in the body for four hours, so I knew I'd know by morning if I was right.

And here she was the next morning:

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I was overjoyed. 

Elisabeth was back!  

The torment she had endured the previous 10 days was lifted!

Of course I was a little frustrated, too. It was so obvious looking back on it. Then again, she had spent a week and a half in the hospital and not one nurse or doctor had thought it could be side effects. 

In reality, all the symptoms were being misinterpreted as signs of pain (the sweating, the elevated heart rate, etc.). So we would immediately give her more of the oxycodone, which unknowingly was making the situation ever worse! Oh, what a vicious cycle it was!

But in the end, a tender mercy
a direct answer to the prayer of a very tired and distraught mother.

How grateful I am. That moment was one I will never forget for as long as I live.

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[Comfort at last.]

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