Day 1, the beginning

(Written Mar 28 from memory of the day)

I awoke out of sleep about 2:30 AM Thursday morning to Ryan calling out in his monitor. “Amber!!!”. “Amber!!!”. (Now, for those that don’t know, Ryan’s room is right across from Amber and their rooms are on the other side of the house from our room.). So as Ryan yells out his final “Amber!!!”, I roll over, am about to grab his two-way monitor to tell him to go back to sleep, when I notice Amber’s monitor’s red lights were going haywire, but no volume (sometimes her monitor acts up). I go to her and see what’s wrong. She is calling out and crying a bit saying that she had a headache, grabbing the right side of her head. So I go and grab a cold face cloth and have her lay back down. I then go to grab the children’s Advil out of our overnight bag in my bathroom, go fix her monitor and tell Matt what’s going on.

We give her a dose of the medicine and a few minutes later, she throws it up. So now we’re thinking, oh boy…is it a virus, the flu maybe? I wanted to sleep with Amber in her bed which I’m glad I did because every hour on the hour she threw up. By 6:50 AM I got up to go get ready for the day and get the other kids ready. Around 7:20 AM, I went to go check on her, and she’s on the floor. My heart skips a beat…I go over and and try to get her up, she doesn’t. So I have to pick her up off the floor, like a sack of potatoes and put her back in her bed. She looks like she’s sleeping…like it’s been an exhausting night and just sound asleep. I go and get Matt. We don’t know what to do at this point because we don’t know if she’s just really tired or what. We try waking her, no real response. Matt tells me to go re-wet the face cloth. He puts it on her and she moves, slightly…and then goes back to “sleep”. We try this a few times but no real change. My heart skips another beat. I grab her water and go put some juice in it thinking maybe she’d be up for that, we hold her up and try to get her to drink… still nothing. Matt tries yelling loudly …nothing…

Matt looks at me, I look at him, and we know. My stomach drops. We know something is very wrong. We throw out scenarios like should we or shouldn’t we…but ultimately, we choose correct. We throw pants and a coat on her, grab the garbage can in case she throws up again. Matt picks her up and tries loudly saying to her “Amber, you gotta wake up… otherwise we have to bring you to the hospital…”. She doesn’t react.

Remember that 4th Nor’easter we were supposed to get with a predicted 10 inches…I can only Thank God that that did not happen because getting to Backus could of been treacherous… And later on, the Life Star Helicopter wasn’t available because of the weather, so trying getting to the CT Children’s Medical Center by ambulance, could of been life-threatening.

While Matt’s at Backus with Amber, they immediately take her in and begin tests. After seeing something unexpected with her eyes (different size pupils), they decide to run a CT Scan. During this, Matt calls me on my cell and tells me to come down. We already know this is not going to be something simple.

Dr. Adams tells us they see a mass on the brain, and that Amber needs to be taken immediately to the CT Children’s Hospital in Hartford. This is devastating news but we don’t have time to let it sink in as we have to move fast.

As I said earlier, the Life Star Helicopter was not flying because of the potential weather, so I jumped into the ambulance with the Life Star crew. They put the flashers and sirens on. Although we made it there in top speed, it was the longest ride ever.

We arrive at CCMC’s ER where Amber and I were immediatly whisked into one of the ER rooms. I was intoduced to Dr. Martin, Director of Neurology, he gave me the run down of the situation, had me sign papers and off they brought her for a CT Scan, and then to the OR around 10AM. I was brought upstairs to the 3rd floor waiting room. Matt was on his way.