Logan's suffering continued throughout the night. First, he moaned unintelligibly. Then he moved on to making random comments, including 'I have to pee' and 'my tummy hurts'. Then he settled into a routine of just crying out for Adam, moaning 'Daddy, daddy' over and over and over again. He was completely out of touch and largely non-responsive to us when we tried to get his attention. Aware that we weren't able to help him and with concern growing in our hearts, we dropped Abby, Isaac and Brady with Adam's parents and drove him on to CHO as quickly as we could.
Logan has been to the ED many times before, but this time it felt different. I'd called ahead and spoken with Annie, one of the residents, and she'd phoned down so they were expecting us. Ordinarily we go into an exam room, have vitals taken by a nurse, and then wait. Not this time. When we arrived, we were immediately ushered into a large room, where the ER doctor began barking orders at her co-workers. He was hooked up to monitors and quickly intubated while Adam and I waited in a nearby room. Logan hates being intubated and we couldn't bear to watch him undergo yet another horror. His blood pressure was absolutely out of control, at 150/120, and they worked to get it down as quickly as possible. They noted that his eyes weren't dilating properly -- not equal or particularly reactive -- and that he wasn't particularly focused on anything at all.
We felt a sense of hopelessness as we watched it all unfold; as Annie shared that he'd have a CT to check for disease, bleeding or a malfuction in his shunt. We cried -- a lot. We prayed that God would help him, would ease his suffering. We again surrendered him to God's protective arms.
After the CT, the ER doc came back and shared that the radiologist was 'confused' by the image. They didn't see rampant disease, nor did they see bleeding or a shunt problem. However, a significant portion of his brain was swollen and inflamed, which baffled all who looked at the image. (But it didn't baffle me; evil is evil is evil.)
Dr. S (the neurosurgeon) was called in to look at his scan, and he drew some CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) from his shunt for culture. He shared with us that it looked a little bloody, but he did just have surgery last week so it wasn't entirely unexpected. He also shared that his brain showed some 'changes', which could be the result of being on decadron for so long. He didn't elaborate, but said that neurology was involved, since another condition, called press --which is induced by high blood pressure and presents like Logan presented-- was a possible diagnosis. Dr. M --one of the oncology team members we like most-- was on call. She came in and shared her thoughts. I asked about meningitis or encephalitis, and she said that the scan didn't look consistent with either of them, but that since Logan is Logan and he presents with bizarre conditions, they'd go ahead and start him on aggressive antibiotics.
Eventually, with Logan heavily sedated and on painkillers, we were taken to a private room in the PICU. We weren't there long when the nurse got a call that his CSF sample stain had shown bacteria cells -- those that cause bacterial meningitis. Dr. M was quick to say that they don't officially diagnose it unless the culture *grows* the bacteria, but the symptomology fits.
Meningitis. I can honestly say that I'd felt little fear until I heard that word. It's a scary one. But I know we're doing everything we can do. Dr. M repeated several times that they're doing all they can do. That they're being proactive. That they're fighting for him. And I believe they are, because they know Logan and they love him. Maybe not like we do, but they do love him.
Neurology requested an MRI this evening, so he went down to radiology for that. I stayed behind and met with our pastor. And from that meeting, I emerged feeling encouraged in faith, and encouraged in belief. And I ask all of you who Believe to claim authority over sickness and cast it out of Logan's body in Jesus' name. Because friends, we DO have that authority. I know it's not popular and I know a lot of perfectly good people don't think that sort of power by the Holy Spirit is available to us in this age, but the Good news is that it IS. The Word is alive. We need to use it. We ARE NOT powerless if we Believe. Say it to yourself until you believe it: We are NOT powerless if we Believe. God gave us the power via the Holy Spirit to cast out demons and command authority over all the earth. It's up to US to use it.
Thank you for praying for Logan.