Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Rough morning... A better night

This morning within minutes of waking, Forrest had a grand mal seizure lasting approximately 7 minutes. 

Terrifying. I cradle your head and call for help.  Toliver rushes to your side. The rapid response team and a herd of specialists storm into your room. Your whole body contorts, your oxygen level plummets and you lose consciousness. 

I hold your hand Forrest and command you to stay with me. My own heart races matching yours. The number of doctors and nurses in the room swells and spills out into the hall. Orders fly around the room.  A resident lifts your chin to open your airway applies a mask to your face and begins positive pressure ventilation.  Someone slides a board under your back preparing for CPR. Another places a catheter in your arm draws blood and administers meds.  This can't be happening. Look at me Forrest. Find my eyes.  Squeeze my hand. I can't loose you now.

An eternity passes.  Finally finally your eyes find my eyes and you squeeze my hand. Your heart steadies and then so does mine.  The entire room begins to breathe again.

We transition from crisis mode to what happened? Why? After the seizure, for hours you can't use the left side of your body, lift your left arm, wiggle the toes on your left foot, no left thumbs up.  You don't speak.

A stroke? The shunt?  Neurologists,  neurosurgeons, internists confer. Cat scans blood work exams more residents more questions. Mostly you sleep. By Late afternoon most of the worst possibilities have been ruled out.

You wake, lift your head, look over at me and smile. My heart breaks all over again. So precious so fragile is this life.  In an instant the world shifts and then shifts again.

Gradually through the day you resurface. Your eyes are clouded, your balance off.  Endless neuro exams get the date right but think you're in Mercersburg. Or you nail the location but think it's March.  

The best medicine comes in the form of face time with your friends and calls from Austin. You find your voice for them.  They believe in you without question and that belief sustains us. They joke with you.  You joke back. The connection is made. You are here with us, alive, still moving forward, rebuilding your life. 

Tonight with all the tests in, your team of specialists decide the most likely cause of your seizure is related to complications with your medications. Adjustments are made and the decision is to move forward with surgery tomorrow. 

You are strong Forrest. You are loved.  You have much yet to accomplish in your life. You can do this. And we will be there to cheer you on.  

As your uncle John said the weekend you were injured, "Failure is not an option." Sweet dreams, Forrest.   Tomorrow belongs to you. 


Rattled but still Forrest.  Determined  Unsinkable. 


  1. Oh my....I had not heard any of this. What a hard day...and again a hard fight back. In our prayers again tonight...

  2. Bless you all!! Our thoughts and prayers will be with you big hugs from the Treptow family!!

  3. Forrest; You are constantly in our thoughts and we are amazed at your courage and strength with each and every hurdle you overcome. Keep it up... Your team is there for you. Hugs

  4. I just hate hearing of more hardships for Forrest to overcome. I know he will as he is the strongest young man I know! He's so lucky to have such a loving family and so many friends. God be with you all!

    Patti Brantley

  5. Forrest - that you could smile, give thumbs up, joke with your friends is all the proof I need that you are invincible. You'll be back at Brightwood in no time, continuing to amaze us all every step of the way.

    Abby Laughlin

  6. Our prayers are with you Forrest--and your family. Glenda and Ray Bond--friends of your Aunt Lynn and family.

  7. Thinking and praying for you guys.
    xo Michelle

  8. How very, very scary! So glad he has improved! My prayers continue for him and your whole family. God bless.

  9. I can not imagine the fear........... I am amazed at Forrest's accomplishments and perhaps more than equally the support system he has and the never give up program !!!! Remember please...Mom,Dad,and total team...take really good care of each other and yourselves so you can be strong for Forrest !!!!!! Tolliver can not do it all himself !!!!!!! Nothing but prayers and positive thoughts heading to all of you!!!!!! Much love to all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I had completely missed this, as I hadn't been on the Blog I guess since Monday night. You have all gone through SO MUCH these past 4 years! Forrest, I'm so glad you came out of this seizure. God was also by your side right along with your Mum. He can pull you through. I know that you are now home, and I'm so happy for all of you. Keep up the good work!!

    Love and Prayers, Wilbur and Joyce Ellis