The Bitter Pill

We rushed Jordan to the emergency room at CHLA today. She tripped, fell and hit her head while she was at summer camp. She seemed fine at first, but then the staff noticed a change in her behavior. She became agitated. Her speech slurred together. When Jeanette arrived to pick her up, Jordan was clearly frightened. She knew what was happening. Her brain was letting her down again.

I arrived at the hospital before the girls did. I sat in the lobby staring out of the giant windows shaking my head. Not again. Please, don’t let it be happening again.

The first time Jordan suffered from seizures was on August 20th, 2005 – her seventh birthday. It was nearly a year ago today that she tripped over a light post in Old Town and bumped her head on the pavement. Within hours she was in and out of consciousness and seemingly possessed. Now, here she was, back again.

What made it worse was the knowledge of the past. From the moment Jordan arrived at CHLA today, she was pleading to go home. In fact, we brought her back tonight even though she’s still not well. She was so anxious at the hospital that she was doing herself more harm there than good. Her CT scan was clean – no hemhoraging, no shunt occlusion, no changes in tumor size or shape. But she has lost some control of her left hand. Her words are barely recognizable. Her eyes are slightly dialated and scan anxiously.

For me, the worst part is watching her fight her body. She leaps out of bed onto wobbly legs, whimpering, headed nowhere. It seems she’s trying to prove to herself that she can still walk. When she tries to talk and the words don’t come out right, her eyes reveal how troubled she must feel inside. She vacilates between wanting to be held and pushing away.

The doctor believes she will gradually improve in the next few days. We believe she will be acting like her old self soon enough. She’s resting now.