*blows dust off site*
(In the interests of keeping things easy to follow, I’m going to use my blog for updating everyone on Caroline’s condition. There may be some duplicate information from emails and Facebook, so keep that in mind.)
Caroline has been getting treatment for Lyme disease for about a week. She’s had headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, body aches, and a general sense of malaise, but no fever or respiratory problems. She’s also been experiencing what I’ve taken to describing them as “Flowers for Algernon” periods. Her headache will intensify, she’ll start to experience trouble speaking, moving, or thinking, and she’ll get very easily confused. That will last for about 1-3 hours, and then it’ll just go away. Those have been intensifying, and on Monday afternoon (10/15/2012) her speech started to slur during the episodes and she got confused to the point of having trouble opening a car door. We called her primary care physician, and they told us to go to the ER.
We went to the ER at UW hospital, where they did a CT scan and a lumbar puncture, as well as some other lab work. The doctors were not able to diagnose her, so they decided to admit her. After they admitted her, they did an MRI and a series of chest x-rays.
Right now, they suspect either encephalitis as a result of Lyme disease, or viral meningitis. They won’t know for a few days until the cultures on the lumbar puncture come back, so she’ll be in the hospital for a few days. They started her on IV anti-viral medication in case her symptoms are caused by viral meningitis, and they’ve continued to treat her for Lyme disease with doxycycline.
Right now she’s fine, considering her circumstances. She hadn’t eaten much last night before we got here, but then she devoured a BLT and a piece of cheesecake from the hospital cafeteria. She’s in good spirits, but worried and slightly perturbed when the residents do rounds. I spent the night at the hospital last night, and I’ll head home in a bit to take a shower, gather some of her things, and catch a few more hours of sleep.
Caroline has her tablet, and the hospital has WiFi, so she’ll be able to do Facebook and some email. I’m also going to bring her laptop to her, so that she’ll be able to watch movies or do more interesting stuff. She’s also just insisted that she would be happy to have visitors and phone calls. Her room number is F6/570 and her phone number is 608-267-8566.
Stay tuned to this blog for more information. I’ll try to post again this evening after more lab work comes back.