Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ellie Sue had quite a week!

Alrighty, I think sufficient time has passed for me to tell you a little bit about one of the scariest days of my life.  Being a mama isn't for the faint of heart!! 

The girls, Ellie and a big kid, took the golf cart around the neighborhood, like they do on a daily basis in the summer!!  Todd was outside weedeating when the golfcart drove back up from the two girls riding in the neighborhood.   When they got back,  Ellie was unconscious in the floorboard of the golfcart, with her head near the gas pedal.  The friend had to pick her up off the road and put her in the cart to get her home.  That is about the extent of the details of the accident.  When we got brief moments of Ellie waking up, she had no recollection of anything that had happened to her. We now only know that she hit the asphalt hard enough to fracture her skull. 
I was at work, still, with a dead phone.  I had swung out by the garden to check on how things were doing, when one of my PTs came RUNNING from the clinic to me, waving his phone and saying, "It's Todd.  Ellie has been in an accident!".  Talk about the blood draining from my face!!
He knew very few details.  He said, "She's lying on the front seat of the truck, and I can't keep her awake.  She isn't talking.  We are on our way to the emergency room.  Meet us there."

Ellie was in and out with complaints of a headache.  She had nausea and felt dizzy.  She just kept saying, "I don't feel good"  and couldn't stop crying.  She was, at times, WHITE as a ghost!!  And her eyes were rolling around in her head, like she couldn't focus on her.... WHEN we MADE her wake up!!
You can believe I was in GO mode.  I beat them to the hospital and got everything set up so when she arrived, we could get right back and get some scans going to see what was going on in her brain.  Ha.  That just SOUNDED like a plan.  When they got there, we still had to wait in the waiting room, with psycho mama trying to rouse up some action, indicating that my baby could be bleeding in her brain, and we needed some ACTION, cause my baby girl was NOT alert.
We finally got into a room, and FINALLY got monitored for basic vital signs.  She had a HUGE knot on her head and a HUGE ankle with scratches up her legs as well.  One of my therapists, who does a lot of the neurological signs at work came by, and she tested Ellie for basic neurological integrity.  (For anyone who knows, she had a positive Babinski sign and had clonus in her right ankle... these are NOT good signs with regards to brain integrity!!)  WE were getting mixed messages on whether or not we should let her sleep or keep her up.  So... we tried constantly to keep her up. This mama also knew just enough to know that we were dealing with a very serious situation.  She was sent for CT scan of the brain, and xray came to check the rest of her body, including checking for internal injuries.  Did I mention she was also wearing a cervical collar in the chance of a spinal cord injury to her neck?!
When the ER doc came around, he used his little pinlight and didn't get a response (no pupilary light reflex!), so he said, "I think we should transfer her to another hospital where there is a pediatric neurosurgeon and a pediatric intensive care unit."  Ok.  I'm officially freaking out.  Internally.  Externally, I think I was maintaining my cool.  Todd would disagree.  He kept looking at me and mouthing, "Stop.  Just relax."  I was needing things to move along a little more speedily than they actually were!!  By now, we know she has a non-displaced (good thing) skull fracture.  And we knew she had no internal injuries.  The C spine was cleared as well.
We rode in an ambulance to the neighboring hospital, and I had to ride in the front.  I asked the paramedic riding in the back with Ellie to please engage her constantly to try and keep her up.  She did.  For about the first 10 minutes.  The last 5 minutes, I looked back, and Ellie was out again.  I was a nervous wreck.
Once at the other hospital, I pretty much immediately felt better.  I LIKED it, actually, when the experienced nurse said, "I need everyone out of the room until we get her settled."  YES!!  Take charge!!  Get my baby cared for.  Do what needs to be done!!

As for the hospitalist in PICU, he was FAB.U.LOUS!!  He maintained a nice calm demeanor, was thorough in his explanation, and assured us that actually, Ellie NEEDED to sleep, so her brain could rest.  And with that, and vital signs being monitored, I could let her sleep, and rest my brain a little too.
Ellie didn't wake up again until the next day.  Now, remember, my phone was dead!  And Becky, the therapist who had first visited us, asked if it was ok for her to post on Facebook.  I said, yes, because the more people praying at that time the better, I thought.  And then the texts started POURING into Todd's hone.  Yep... from his mom, my mom, my dad, etc.  Holy COW... had we failed to tell them?!  Todd initially wanted to hold off on calling them, because we weren't sure what was actually going on, and he wanted to wait until we could tell them something more definitive.  I hope, by now, they've forgiven us for finding out about it from their friends who read it on Facebook!
The next day, Ellie woke up mid morning, and was able to talk and do simple math facts (YES... psycho mom was testing the various lobes of her brain!!).  She was not very perky, needless to say, but she WAS alert and seemed to have all of her faculties.  The night before, she was also showing signs of increased muscle tone in her hand, with her thumb tucked inside her palm, and every time another therapist friend of mine, who graciously came by to help me "work on" my baby girl, would straighten out her fingers, they'd pull back into flexion.  (You with me here, Maggie?!  TONE!!  Scary!)  But on day two... NOTHING!
I can think, well, you know...  once the acuity of the initial brain damage subsided, the neurological signs went away.  OR.. I can just say, as I have been, SHE WAS HEALED!
God touched my baby's brain and body, as He heard His children cry out on her behalf.

I asked, on Facebook, for anyone who had prayed for my girl to let me know where they were from, as we would be "homebound" (sorta) for the next two weeks, and would need some "chill" things to do.  I wanted to pin a map with all the prayer warriors.  Well, once I saw various COUNTRIES represented, and the count got over 700, I wasn't so sure we could pin that many!!  Any takers on that project?!  ha

The neurosurgeon thought we should stay one more night.  And so we did.
All of the pictures in tonight's blog post are from the following day when we got to go home.  Ellie had NUMEROUS cards made for her, from her classmates at school, her peers at art class, and friends she'd made who do therapy at my office.  She was a very loved little girl!
As we were walking out of the hospital, I glanced down and saw this.  I KNOW we were being attended to.  Angels were standing guard!!  We were all surrounded by God's grace!  And right in the vein of what I've been claiming all year, ELLIE LIVES IN HIGH FAVOR!!
Thank you to everyone who prayed for us.  Thank you to everyone who took care of her.  Thank you to all who came by or called.  And thank you, LORD, for sparing my girl's brain from injury!  We are just so, so grateful!!



Phyllis Lines said...

Wow! So glad to hear Ellie is doing better. I was one of those 700 people praying.

Holly said...

I cannot even imagine how terrified you were! I was praying hard for that sweet baby girl and you and Todd! So very relieved! Giving thanks! The a Groves family do indeed Live in High Favor! Of course it never hurts to have your own personal angel standing strong for you!

Love you guys!
Holly & JakeDog

Unknown said...

Amen. I could not imagine being in that situation!

Renee said...

So scary. I am so happy to see that your baby is back to the Ole Ellie Sue we have all come to love.

Unknown said...

Mo- when I read on facebook, my heart dropped as I began to pray. I have never met you but feel like I "know" you and yours as I "met" you through Jake who "knew" Maddie Paguyo (who just celebrated 10 years in Heaven)... Your pure faith and true spirit speaks to mine. I love that you acknowledge that God did indeed heal Ellie- as He has some big plans for her still on this earth. I read often, rarely comment (sorry!) but had to tonight- this is too significant a post to not. My 3 year old little girl has also been praying for Ellie's "head ouchie" and asks to see pictures of the "little big girl" as she so accurately calls her! As one mama of 2 little girls to another- thanks be to God! My heart to you.

Susantwilhelm said...

I never wanted to ask the details. I just KNEW God would take care of Ellie. I sit here now with tears streaming knowing I was right and that Jake was there as well. Blessed!

Lou Ellen Rhodes Russell said...

I am also just so thankful, thankful that God had her hemmed in before and behind, that He healed her by His own hand. God bless Ellie and your family, Melanie.

Shannon said...

High favor - you better believe it!!

breanna said...

We are all so grateful and happy that she was healed!!! We love Ellie Sue!!

Mama J said...

Talking about a sucker punch to the gut...I know that is what it felt like to me when I read Becky's post. You better bet many prayer warriors got busy storming the heavens for this baby girl and her family and docs. So happy to see her on the road to recovery. Happy Mother's Day Melanie from Mama J!

Amy K said...

Praising God for his healing touch on your sweet Ellie!
Have a blessed Mother's Day, I know you will!

Lisa said...

So sorry for the terrifying episode. So glad she recovered quickly and well. She is a fighter and blessed in so many ways. Hope you have a relaxing and happy Mother's Day!

Theresa Shirley said...

So, So glad that Ellie is better! I couldn't sleep much at all that night. Kept waking up to see if there were any updates on FB. Was praying constantly for her & you & Todd. So glad you are back on the blog. Have missed you :) You are a wonderful Mama--Happy Mother's Day by the way! Much love from Dallas, GA.

Unknown said...

I thank God for His healing hands on sweet Ellie. Such a terrible experience for all of you. To have seen neurological damage and it to be gone.... Hallelujah! You are all specisl people, I too kept checking back and talking to my daughter. Also, called you several times, I finally left a message. Love snd hugs to you and by the way, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

simplykristi said...

Glad that Ellie is OK! :) That is truly a scary moment! I have witnessed scary moments like that.

Mbeaty19 said...

As I read this tears came to my eyes. I can't even imagine the emotions you must of experienced. Thankful for all the prayer warriors that lifted Ellie up to God. Thankful God heard the prayers and healed Ellie with his loving hands. Thankful Jake was there and reminded you he's always watching over you all. Many positive thoughts and prayers continuing to come your way. May God be able to calm your soul and remind you of the blessings from that little girl with such a big spirit. No one wants to face such scary experiences, but then to share the experience with all of us is amazing. Thank you for letting us be a part of you & your families lives. So many of us may not personally 'know' all you we all do love you and your amazing family.

kimybeee said...


Martha from NC said...

Having "been there, done that" with my daughter many years ago, I can so relate to your post. Like Ellie, God healed my daughter too. Highly favored indeed is Miss Ellie Sue.
Thanks for sharing the story. She will remain in my prayers for complete healing.

Martha from North Carolina

Beth E. said...

Such a scary time for your family! So thankful to God that Ellie is okay!

Cassie12 said...

Mo….Said lots of prayers for Ellie Sue and all of your family. So thankful she is doing good. Praise God!!! Thanks for always sharing your family with all of us….we feel like we are a part of your family after all of these years!! Wishing you a very Happy Mother's Day!!!
Redwood City, CA

Becky said...

Oh my gosh... Thank God she is OK! I am not on facebook, so didn't know this had happened. I just knew from some of the other comments and the lack of posts from you, that something had happened! So thankful she has recovered. How scary for you and Todd; and the friends with her. Thankful to them for helping get her back home!
Happy Mother's Day to you. Praying for your family!

Sarah said...

Commenting... I know!! I usually can't from my reader!

What a scary scary time for you... and I have no doubt that Jake was high fiving Ellie's guardian angel when you looked down at your phone to see him say hi!

So grateful that your Ellie girl is ok!! She sure had an army of prayer warriors for sure!!

I am almost certain that Todd has now placed protective plexiglass panels and seatbelts and airbags into your golf cart by now! Accidents are just that... and I hope you two are breathing again!! (((HUGS)))


PS... You know that Sophie and I are going to try our best to come visit!!! This is my only summer off that I have ever had... and I am going to make the most of it!!

Maggie said...

Oh Mo. I just, I can't even ... The only thing that got me through this post was knowing that because you had written you were "finally ready" meant there was some sigh of relief if I could just make it to the end. But when I read Babinski and clonus I had to turn away from the computer and gather myself, because I wasn't sure I was prepared to read any more. The plasticity of the brain is amazing and powerful. Prayer and love and family are powerful and awe inspiring. All of that was surrounding Ellie, I'm sure of it.
I've wondered before if people with similar backgrounds as ours aren't at a disadvantage sometimes ... knowing juuuust enough to TOTALLY FREAK OUT, but not have the access to imaging to rule things out as quickly as we'd like. It says a lot how much you were able to take off your assessment/diagnosis/intervention hat and completely focus on your most important job once you knew there were smart, calm people in charge.
Not that you've ever shied away on praising your friends, so I know you know it, but you are also so blessed to be surrounded by amazing and smart people (I have no idea how I would react seeing UE tone in my friend's child).
As always, thank you so much for allowing all of in to support, cheer, laugh, cry, worry, and grow right along with you.
The happiest of Mother's Days to you, my friend, this one being especially meaningful.

melanie, aka Mo said...

Bring it on!!

MLP said...

Amazing and miraculous, Mo. Absolutely amazing. I am so thankful for you. We have all come to love you and your girls and Todd so much. Praising God with and for you!!!

Tami and Bobby Sisemore Family said...

Thank you for sharing! And prise God!!

Rachel said...

Oh wow. I was wondering where you went the past week. That is a crazy ride but I'm so thankful Ellie is okay. Jake was looking out for her that is for sure. Oh I hope her poor friend that was with her is doing okay too. How scary for her to witness that and have to drive her home.


Shannon said...

My 16 year old youngest son (6 y/o at the time) suffered almost the same exact thing. I knew EXACTLY what you were going through. Except for the fact that you knew way more medically than I did. Had no idea really how the accident (bike wreck) happened (he was with a friend). He was also transported by ambulance to another hospital. One nurse told us that they really weren't sure what he'd be like when he woke up. What?
I read your post aloud to my husband last night. All too familiar in SO many aspects. We were to go home and keep quiet as well. We weren't home a few hours and I looked out my back door - he was walking on the railing of our deck! Impossible.
He was healed as well! Praise God!
Though sometimes I wonder if there's not some lasting side affects up in that teenaged brain - know what I mean, Vern?

Lisa said...

I've been praying!! so glad that she is better. What a scare!!!

Mary said...

Reading this just gives me chills. So glad that she's doing great. It is such a joy to see her looking so happy and healthy!!