We got the MRI results and the only word I have to describe it is ‘ambiguous.’ I don’t know why this is affecting me so acutely, but this news in particular is hitting me hard. It may have been that I was hoping for too much.
The MRI revealed that there is damage to the Basal Ganglia in her brain. This area of the brain is a deep portion of the brain and disorders in this area can lead manifestations like Cerebral Palsy. The neurologist used ‘mild’ to describe the damage but it is a nuanced use of the word: while the current MRI looks mild, there is potential that the damage could still be devastating. This is where the ambiguity comes in. We were told on the first night that the extent of damage on functions could be between 0 and 100%; that appraisal remains the same.
While the doctor and neurologist who conferred on the scan have been practicing for decades, they could only describe what they were seeing as different: this is a new case to a neurologist that has seen much in 25+ years. This ‘different-ness’ doesn’t leave things open to interpretation: there’s just nothing to interpret. The MRI results are a data point that gave just confirmed that our uncertainty was warranted. Things are still very uncertain.
So where does that leave us? The only person that can answer that question is Claire. The damage to her brain is done. Nobody knows to what extent. So we are now getting ready for an exercise in ‘Show us what you can do.’ While we were wrapping up our MRI results meeting, the doctor turned off the remaining sedatives. We’ve started the process of removing whatever roadblocks she would have to directing her own recovery. No more sedation meds. No more paralytics. And as soon as she’s able, no more assisted breathing.
We’re going to be looking for progress. We don’t know how deep the injury goes so we will be anxiously waiting, praying and hoping to be shocked. Because that’s what it’s going to take.
Tiffany, Autumn, Heidi and I are missing our daughter. My heart is hurting for her and I am frustrated that I can’t fight for her. As a father I have always been aware of what I can protect her from and I have endeavored to keep those things at bay: it’s so difficult that I can’t see those things that are standing in front of her right now. It’s harder that I don’t know which obstacles she’ll be able to lift on her own and which will be permanent. I want to move those mountains for her. I can’t.
I am sorry we don’t have more news to report. The next seven days will tell us much. And as a skeptic, I’m asking for a miracle.