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Celebrating our Miracle Man

I haven’t written yet about what I did this summer, but we had an “I’m glad I made it to 40” birthday party for my son-in-law this weekend.

There is nothing much funny about what went down in June, but you might find it interesting and even educational. I certainly did. Son-in-law complained of a migraine Wednesday, felt worse Thursday morning and was waiting for my daughter to drive him to the doctor. When she stepped out of the shower, she found him in full seizure on the bed.

He seized five more times by the end of the day. They soon discovered he had a small brain-bleed. The cause of the cerebral vasoconstriction remains a mystery, maybe from depression meds, maybe just his genetic makeup. Tough to prove either way.

But the fun had just started. Multiple seizures cause muscle damage creating creatinine, which promptly clogs up your kidneys. For two long weeks, he was unconscious, occasionally seizing, getting dialysis, hooked to an IV, ventilator tube and feeding tube. After two weeks, they removed the breathing tube and reattached it with a tracheostomy. 

Once that happened, he woke up — angry. With no recollection of what had happened, where he was, why he couldn’t talk or why he had a tube forcing him to breath, he was not a happy boy. I think that sped up his recovery, first nodding yes and no, then drawing pictures, then finally, once the ventilator was out, talking within days. To our astonishment and bottomless relief, he was the same fellow my daughter had married. He was pretty cranky for a while, but showed none of the predicted permanent damage.

He is recovering from some small loss of arm movement, blood clots and neuropathy pain, but all in all, this story has a happy ending. We got our boy back. The doctors did not know if we would. My daughter scarcely left his side throughout the madness, and made me proud with her strength and courage. We have dubbed him the “Miracle Man” and we’re not joking.

My moment of laughter came as I watched one of my doctor shows and recognized every drug they used and every procedure they called for, having seen it, gotten results from it or monitored it for three weeks. My medical degree is in the mail, for sure.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who is just grateful. Contact her at [email protected].