Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses Part 15

Part 1

I've always been good in a crisis. I'm a type A personality and an over achiever who functions best under stress. These traits really came in handy with the situation with Lindsay.

That, coupled with the fact I've had tons of therapy that has helped me put life into perspective, really helped me to sort through this difficult situation and figure out what I needed to do to get our family ready for this new test.

As I worked on the preparations, I struggled to find as much time as possible with the horses. Arabian horses help me get through the day even under normal circumstances. With these incredible events time with the horses was even more important to me. As long as I could find some time to run my fingers through Scandalous's mane and scratch her on the neck I could keep going.

That mare was remarkable. She would hang her head over my shoulder and sigh this big deep sigh commiserating with me. While she may not have been able to know what specifically was causing me pain, the mare definitely was doing her best to comfort me. That time with her was food for my soul.

With the help of the neurosurgeon arrangements were made to move me into Ronald McDonald House so I could be with Lindsay after her surgery. How long the stay would be was not determined. It would depend on how the surgery went.

Fourteen days after move in day for the Daffodil Arabian Spring Show, my youngest daughter went under the knife of one of the most talented pediatric neurosurgeons in the world. The surgery lasted thirteen plus hours.

The good news was while the tumor had grown to the brain stem, it had not attached itself yet. They had been able to remove all of the tumor which is not the norm for this particular tumor. The bad news was it looked like a class 4 tumor. We would have to wait for test results to confirm.

No one prepared us for what we were to see when we went into recovery to see Lindsay. Her head was shaved except for two clumps of long hair the surgeon had drawn up and tied with ribbons on each side of her head. (He tried to save what hair he could for Lindsay because she so loved her long hair.) There was a tube coming out of the top of her head preventing more fluid from building up on her brain.

When Lindsay tried to move, she flailed around like a fish out of water with her limps flopping hopelessly.Her eyes wandered separately also hopelessly out of control. Her body temperature was fluctuating erratically so she was naked. The quilt I had made for her as a baby was thrown across her covering her privates.

That first evening Lindsay could speak. She was terrified not understanding what was happening with her eyes her body. She was also miserable because of how hot she was. By morning she had lost her speech as well.

Lindsay was suffering from posterior fossa syndrome. In layman's terms that's excessive swelling of the brain. The portion of the brain that affects balance in children was affected. Lindsay lost all function that included balance except she could still swallow and she was still continent.

Lindsay could not walk or talk or even focus her eyes. All of her fine motor skills were destroyed in one fell swoop. The swelling would continue for at least three more days so there was the possibility that even more function could be lost. Again only time would tell.

To be continued...........

Part 16


  1. That had to have been one of the hardest things to go through. As a mother myself, I really can't imagine how tough it really must have been.

    I hope you still kept finding time for horsey hugs. Animals are so good at relieving stress.

  2. had to be sooo hard to be a part of! I really hope this story has a happy ending. Keeping my fingers crossed. ((HUGS!!)) Thank goodness for those special animals in our lives. It's amazing how therapuetic they are!!

  3. MiKaela, I think I'm going to not come back here for a week so that I can just sit and read the entire story all at once. You're driving me mad with all these cliff hangers of your's...

    So glad you had Scandalous to help bring balance into your life.

  4. Horses are awesome! They know that we need them more than they need us!! To bad it wouldn't work out for Scandalous to give some of her hugs to your daughter right there in the hospital. I know, I know keeping sanitary is an issue...but what Scandalous has to offer is very special too!!!

  5. redmustangwoman1July 29, 2007 at 4:18 PM

    Wow MiKael...I am going to light a candle every day for Lindsey and for you too...May God and His angels watch over the both of you...Gentle hugs

  6. Animals are incredible. As a mother I can only imagine how you are feeling. I get sense you are a very brave and strong person. I just came across your blog and I am shocked at what I am reading. I hope and wish your angel the very best. My prayers will be with your family.


  7. Eeek, I know Lindsay came through her ordeal, because that was quite a few years ago, but, well... you are quite good at letting us relive it with you!