Sunday, May 14, 2006
Happy Mother's Day
Sorry to have not had much up here over the last few days. There has not been and more then likely will not be much "new" to put here for a while.
Many well meaning people tell us that everything is going to be OK. Medically speaking Olivia will never be OK. The trauma that she went through at birth severely damaged her brain stem. This is the area of the brain that control the eyes and mouth and is why she is not sucking or swallowing. The damage is also what is causing her spells. The cortex, or top part, of her brain shows to be normal in scans, but where her brain stem is damaged and the signals going from the cortex to the rest of the body pass through there, her abilities will be significantly hindered. She will have cerebral palsy and more than likely have it quite significantly.
We basically have two options, neither of which are good. The first is to bring her home and make her comfortable and let nature take its course. There is no idea how long that could be. It could be a day or 2 weeks. This means someone would be up with her all the time to respond to the alarms of her monitors.
The second is to have her get a trachiotomy and live on a ventilator. The ventilator would breath for her when she is having one of her spells. She would also have to have a feeding tube surgically inserted into her stomach. Both of these would be life-long things and not something that she would outgrow. As the doctor said the other day, she would be alive only due to technology/machines. Even now she is alive only because we intervene and keep her alive. If left alone her spells would kill her. Having the trachiotomy means that she would never be able to speak and the cerebral palsy and unknown cognitive ability likely mean she couldn't communicate with sign language either.
This is where the tough decisions come in. Obviously we want her to live and value life, but in light of all of her severe limitations, is this really what is best for her. We are trusting God to guide us through this time as there are many ways of looking at things. In the end we have to do what is in her best interest and be able to live with it for the rest of our lives.
We want thank all of you for your concern and prayers. It amazes us the 1,000 or so people who have viewed this sight and care about us. We ask you to continue to hold us up over the next little while.
Posted by Amy Ritchie at 10:10 PM