The phone call came at 9:15 last night.
Rebecca apparently suffered brain damage that was undetected last Friday when they did her neurology work up. As time has passed, we have discovered she is not so fortunate.
She is now blind in both eyes and has coordination and cognitive issues.
What happened is this: When she coded, her brain was robbed of oxygen. The cells in her brain were killed. It would be like if the circulation to your feet was stopped. Your feet would die, but not all at once. You wouldn't even notice right away. That's what happened with her brain. Parts of it died last Wednesday, but the damage was slow to be noticed.
In typical Rebecca fashion, she was texting and doing work on her phone the second she was moved from ICU to the special care unit on Monday morning. She tried not to take note of her fumbling fingers, which wouldn't type what she wanted (the texts she sent were jumbled), the headaches, and her increasingly fuzzy vision.
But by mid-afternoon, she described her vision as "what the t.v. screen looks like right after you turn off the set". She can sense light, but she has no ability to see anything beyond that. This type of injury is very rare, and it can be reversible, but the more complete the blindness (and in her case, it is 100% loss of vision), the less likely it is to reverse. Brain tissue just does not regenerate. They can help her with the motor skills, cognitive function can be regained, but vision. . . it is likely not to return. The MRI shows damage to the areas of her brain that control vision and cognitive/motor function. There is nothing wrong with her eyes. But her brain simply cannot process the images that are being sent to it. While partial blindness and spatial recognition are common after brain injuries and likely to improve with time, this type of vision loss is. . . usually permanent.
My friend is a stubborn woman who has always prided herself on being self-sufficient and a career woman. When motherhood wasn't easy to acheive, her work brought her a lot of happiness and satisfaction. She is a pharmaceutical sales rep like me. This is not a job you can do without eyesight due to the requirement of driving. She has been with her company for a long time and it is the leader in the pharmaceutical industry. I know they will do what they can to accommodate her, but . . .
She was stoic, but scared, and very deflated.
I just don't know what to say, how to say it, what to do. I just sit there, hold her hand, and tell her that I am there for whatever comes next. It seems like, lately, whatever comes next is just a harder blow.
I know God has a plan for my dear friend, but that plan is so unclear right now. I thank you for your continued prayers and love. She needs every single bit of it right now.