Tuesday, December 31, 2013
There is an old Welsh new year tradition called First Footing. It calls for the first person to enter your home in the new year to be a dark-haired man, to whom you immediately offer a drink. It is supposed to ensure good luck for the coming year.
I have been First Footing the house every year for a decade. What I do, immediately after midnight, is to collar a dark-haired guest and send him out the back door of the house. He walks around to the front door, knocks, and I let him in, drink to offer in hand, while the rest of the guests laugh and cheer.
Except last year. Right after midnight on Jan. 1, 2013, a female couple arrived and entered the house before I could get my dark-haired man out the back door.
"Oh, well," I thought. "It's just a silly superstition. It doesn't really mean anything."
And then, we had 2013. A year filled with health crises and deaths. It was terrible.
So tonight, you can be certain that I will have a dark-haired guest's shirt clutched in my grasp as we count down the last 10 seconds. He will be *flung* out that back door, and greeted with great gusto when he reaches the front.
Between that and burning 2013 in effigy, I'm hoping to bring in a much better year!
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Yesterday afternoon Brianna's eyes were locked to the right and unresponsive to light. She had no reflex reactions. The signs were all incredibly bad. We were beginning to discuss what to do if the EEG showed that she was in a persistent vegetative state, a situation no family, and most certainly no parent of a 6-year-old, should have to face.
Then yesterday evening Brianna opened her eyes and started voices. She was still really sleepy, but when she could open her eyes she was looking around and didn't look "hollow." When her mom said "I love you," B puckered up and made little kisses!
They tested B's urine and said the seizure meds that they used the first night are still in her system and that is what's keeping her so sleepy. They didn't look at that initially because it should have worn off long ago, but if any family is going to have a weird reaction to drugs, it's my sister's.
It should keep wearing off. She hasn't spoken yet, but she is responsive to light, voices and movement, and is moving her limbs and even grasping things.
I am weak with relief, and convinced that the massive, international prayer chain that has gone out from here, from Facebook, doubling and redoubling as friends of friends asked their friends to pray, has brought us a Christmas miracle.
Thank you all, each and every one, for your prayers.
Friday, December 27, 2013
This is Brianna, dressed for her Christmas concert on December 16. She was so excited for the concert; just look at that grin.
Now she is lying in a hospital bed, still intubated, still unresponsive. She is scheduled for an EEG today, but my doctor friends here have warned me that, because of her last of reflex responses and other symptoms, there is a possibility that she may be brain dead.
Miracles do happen, and children do sometimes have unexpected reactions. But I am barely able to breathe, waiting to hear the results. I have tried to gently brace my sister and niece for the possibility, but I really there is no point is stealing hope.
And perhaps she will be fine. Perhaps it will all be fine. I just keep praying.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Brianna spent all of Christmas day intubated and unconscious. They attempted to bring her up out of the sedation in the afternoon, but she didn't wake up. They resedated her for the night so that her mom--who is still recovering from her recent hospital stay--could get some sleep. They are starting to try and wake her up again today. This day is when we find out if she's going to be okay.
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