An update on Sherrin’s progress:
Sherrin is getting healthier each day. A few weeks ago, however, Sherrin was extremely sick and my family and I did not understand how serious her issues were until they each had taken their course. At one point in August Sherrin had 4 infections going on all at once: an upper respiratory infection caused by food going into her lungs, a staph infection in her nose (common in hospitals), another hateful UTI, and was poisoned by too much Baclofen (the muscle relaxer put into the pump in her spine) due to a technical fault. My parents and I knew that Sherrin was sick since she so often said she was in pain, but she could never fully communicate what exactly hurt on her body. After a few days of her continuous complaints, the head doctor at JDT gave Sherrin the permission to go to the emergency room at the local hospital (JDT does not provide for medical issues since it is a rehab hospital). After a few days in the ICU, my parents were told of how serious all of these infections going on at once actually were. The Baclofen was especially dangerous since the point of it is to make her muscle relax, but since she was given too much of the dosage, the Baclofen caused Sherrin so much pain that she tightened her muscles constantly out of stress. By the time we were given this news, the Baclfoen toxins had been eliminated from Sherrin’s body and the other infections were clearing up. Realistically, all of those combined problems should have done devastating damage to Sherrin, probably could have killed her since immune system is so weak. But my big sister trudged through, just like she always does.
As of now, Sherrin is fully recovered from this incident. She now has casts on both of her legs in order to strengthen the muscles to remain in the upright position. She will probably have the casts on for 5-6 weeks depending on her progress.
Her therapists have also seen large steps of progress when it comes to her body. They help her stand during physical therapy by picking Sherrin up and leaning her against the wall for several minutes and stretching her out constantly. Sherrin’s legs are so much more limber now. The right leg has been lagging in strength when compared to the left (this is because she hit the left side of her brain during the accident, which controls the right of the body) but recently, the right left has been to kick nearly as high as the left and can bend just as easily as well.
Thinking about where Sherrin was a year ago gives me the chills. At this point in September, Sherrin was still technically in a coma, in her semi-conscious state. It was this time last year that Sherrin was so sick from a UTI infection that she was in the ICU for about 3 weeks. This was when my parents made the decision to go to New Jersey to get the care that Sherrin needed. This decision has literally saved my sister’s life. On September 24, it will be the one year anniversary of my family moving to New Jersey. My mom has not been back to Virginia since this date in 2012, not even for a day. My dad has been commuting from Virginia 5 days a week (if he is not in the Middle East for business) and being in New Jersey on the weekends for the past year and yet somehow still has so much strength. I’m so proud that come from such wonderfully dedicated parents.
There is no doubt that Sherrin is improving. Comparing pictures from a year ago to now really makes me humble and be able to see the difference in the improvements. I just want it to all go faster, so much faster. I miss my old life so much- a life without doctors, medicine, seizures, UTIs, stress, pain, hysterical phone calls, and depression is all I want in the world.
My 22nd birthday is coming up and I have asked my parents for my present to be to take Sherrin out for the first time since her accident. The hospital is able to rent a wheelchair van for the day for about $150 and we can take Sherrin somewhere like the mall, a park, or something of the sort. I want this SO badly for Sherrin. I want her to see people, to remember that there is a world outside of the medical world. Sherrin just needs to prove herself strong enough that she can withstand being out for a few hours. All I want for my birthday is for Sherrin to feel normal again, even if it is for one day.