August 11, 2010
I had such high hopes for Ativan easing Tanner through the LP today, but it did not turn out the way I had hoped at all.
The day started at about 2 am when Tanner woke with a nasty headache. I gave her some painkiller and she went back to sleep, but woke at 6 am screaming and clutching her head. I had a moment when I was right back to the night of her bactrim reaction; screaming and clutching her head was the last thing she did before going unconscious. I had to fight the impulse to throw her in the car and race to the hospital. But, then I remembered Cari saying something about headache being a possible side effect of the IVig transfusion. The on-call doctor confirmed my suspicions and told us to give her a full dose of oxycodone. If that wasn’t enough, they could give her morphine in the clinic.
Poor Tanner spent all morning with a horrible headache and nauseated. She slept in the car on the way to clinic with a trash can in her lap, and I carried her into the hospital. But, she started to feel a little better… until we gave her the ativan. Oh my.
So, ativan is an anti-anxiety med that has the added benefit of easing nausea as well. It seemed like the perfect choice to use for the LP. We have given it to Tanner before in a pill form and she did great on it. Just knocked the edge off of her. Apparently, the IV version works a little too well on her.
First, I noticed slurring and stumbling. Then, the silliness started. And, finally, the agitation and complete lack of impulse control set in.
By the time we got to the pre-op waiting area, she was just as silly as she could be. When I went up to register her, I noticed someone running… fast… out of the corner of my eye. I turned and it was… Tanner. She was bolting, running from a surgery she desperately did not want to have. She looked crazily gleeful, but turned panic-stricken and terrified when I caught her and tried to get her to let the nice lady put an armband on her. I knew when I heard the woman calling for help for the “child having an anxiety attack” in the lobby, that we were in trouble.
Usually, John and I do LP together. We both like to be there. But, today, John stayed home with Jake and I was solo, which made running down my little runaway, bogged down with a computer bag, purse and a bum neck, darn near impossible. We ended up putting me in a wheelchair with a vice grip around Tanner in my lap as the nurse pushed us to the pre-op area. She was totally disconnected from reality.
Sadly, being disconnected from reality didn’t change the way it all came down in the end. It happened the way it always does, no matter what we do. At the very end, she yelled, “Is that the sleepy milk?” and begged me to hold onto her and not leave her. So pitiful.
The doctors and nurses and I convened afterwards and just decided to give up on the anti-anxiety approach and just go straight at it from now on. If we have to hold her down, so be it; it’s what we end up doing anyway despite all efforts otherwise. They said she is smart enough to figure out every way we try to disguise it.
After she fell asleep in my arms on the table, I laid her down and kissed her and reminded myself that we just have four more of these before August 6, 2011. Just four more.
All the agitation was gone after she woke up from surgery. In fact, when I went to recovery she had the nurses totally cracking up because she was talking a mile-a-minute and being really funny. It took that damn ativan until about 4 pm to really wear off. Never again.
The good news is that she didn’t get sick from the methotrexate injected into her spine this time. She still has the headache though; it hasn’t gone away yet.
Tomorrow is the first day of school. Earlier today, it seemed impossible to think she would make it, but as always, Tanner’s will astounds me. We spent the last half hour before bed packing up her backpack, sharpening pencils and painting her fingernails. She’s ready.
In the retelling, today’s story seemed somewhat funny, but as is most often the case, it didn’t seem that way at the time. It occurred to me this afternoon, that the only difference between today and every other day Tanner has had an LP is that she didn’t have any impulse control today. The impulse to run away must be there every single time for her. Today, she was able to indulge herself and run wildly through the lobby, trying to escape a disease she never asked to get and a fate I would never wish upon anyone, much less a seven-year-old.