Is There Anybody Home?: The Initial CT Scans of My Brain After Injury
A full body CAT scan was done the day that I was admitted so that they could begin assessing my injuries. The first CAT scan showed that I had no signs of brain injury except a concussion. It showed that I had a fractured hip, broken tailbone, 3 broken ribs, a broken nose, concussion, lacerations on my kidney and severely bruised lungs. They tied me down and sedated me. They were mostly worried about my lungs at that point. They were suctioning the fluid (blood and vomit) from my lungs when they could.
The next day, I still was not conscious. They attempted to wake me by several means. They didn’t understand why I wouldn’t wake up because the CAT scans didn’t show the extent of my brain injury. I had another CAT scan done which now showed bruising of the left frontal cortex of my brain and some bleeding that created a lot of pressure on my brain and skull. They thought that they may have to relieve pressure by opening the skull (boring a hole into my skull or removing a section of skull), but thankfully did not.
This bruised left frontal cortex should not have prevented me from waking either. So they attempted to wake me again, this time by forcing me to breathe on my own (ween from oxygen). My mother wrote this early the morning after that attempt (May 11th):
Date: Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 5:54 AM email@example.com wrote:
Update on Cavin:
Still is not conscious… they don’t understand why. CAT scan yesterday showed bruising of left frontal cortex… some bleeding… nothing alarming where they have to relieve pressure by opening the skull. Will repeat CAT scan this morning. Also, hip fracture will be x rayed today…He keeps spiking a fever and it seems to be caused mainly by an infection in his lungs… they had hoped to have the breathing tube out by now as that increased chance of infection.
He is moving more but doesn’t respond to sound and eyes won’t open.
Ammon (my father) arrived late last night.
Thanks for your prayers and concern. We’ve passed the 72 hour mark… I guess that’s got some significance but I’m not sure what….
The head and the lungs are the crisis….
Will keep you posted as I get info.
My mom says that on May 10th (the day before she wrote this), the hospital staff wouldn’t let her in until after they tried weaning me off of oxygen. They didn’t make a big deal of it at all afterward. They just said that they couldn’t extubate me because I wasn’t ready. My mother and I read the medical reports later to see what had happened.
On May 10th they decided to try weaning me off of oxygen, because they saw no reason why I wouldn’t breathe on my own, but they still didn’t know the extent of my brain injury. This was about 48 hours after the injury. I became extremely agitated when they turned down the amount of oxygen which was evident by me biting down on the tube in my mouth that provided oxygen. It was a soft plastic tube, and they should have used a rigid tube or a bite guard because my involuntary reaction blocked ALL oxygen to my lungs. My oxygen level dropped to 60% (95-100% is normal). I was quickly sedated and resaturated to 98% within a minute (1). I was moving all 4 extremities prior to this. Now I was no longer moving the left side of my body. I must have had a hypoxic stroke (stroke due to a lack of oxygen).