Monday, January 31, 2011

Tessa Past and Present

Many people have asked what is Tessa's story. We didn't really know she had one until recently when the patterns started repeating and the symptoms got more intense.

This last time we all believe her safety was in other hands, supernatural ones. She was not functioning normally.  Her drive from the Boise airport to her place was a miracle. The first 5 days she was gravely ill. It was terrifying to watch a limp, lethargic daughter laying there for days.

This is a brief medical history as we remember it:

Chief Complaint: Progressively increasing intensity of debilitating symptoms associated with flying as demonstrated by the following history.  (related from most current to present) These symptoms have not appeared during a flight. They usually start the day after a flight and linger.  

January, 2011
Flight: Boise to Seattle
Utilized pressure equalization with no ear pain.
Post flight day 2:  fatigue, eye pressure, minimal nausea
Day 3:  Space Needle Trip (650 ft in 43 seconds, 10 MPH).  Symptoms following were extreme fatigue, slow gait, no appetite, lightheadedness, blurry vision, pressure in eyes, inability to focus, disorientation, gait disturbance by that evening.  She asked if her eyes were bleeding? Eyes kept rolling around in a strange way.
Day 4:  Woke up gagging, diarrhea, vomiting (dry heaves), felt disoriented. Flight scheduled that night to return to Boise. 

Flight: Seattle to Boise 1/19/11
Inability to focus to find car/follow signs to exit.  Eye pain, Heart pain, and difficulty breathing.  Extremely blurry vision, felt like she was in a tunnel.  By the time she made it to the home of relatives, her skin was white and she was disoriented, pupils dilated, shaking uncontrollably.
1/20/11:  Following day:  extremely lethargic, slowed speech, difficulty responding to questions.  Aware of her surroundings but inability to respond.  Emotional lability, crying hysterically.  (This is contrary to her natural character). 
Progressively non responsive.  Inability to eat or drink.
Admitted to ER. 
Treatment:  monitored her vitals, IV for hydration, anti-inflammatory meds and benedryl. Migraine RX recommended which we did not fill.
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Treatment administered:
Tylenol PM : 2 capsules on 1/20
Gaba  4 times/day, Adrenal support: 2 capsules 2x/day.
Vit. C: 1000mg. TID
Hydrated with water as able. 

Response:  different pattern of healing this time:  This time her mind is clearing but bodily symptoms are slower. 1/23/11:  Still slow and sluggish motor coordination, decreased ability to coordinate vision, disconnect from her body. Update today, January 31. She went to work for 4 hours. Able to drive. She is connecting and coordinating
better. Her tongue feels tight and clumsy when she tries to talk. Since she started to talk again, it has gotten more noticeable. Her left eye has continued to be scratchy, irritated, bruised, achy with pressure behind it. 

Fall, 2008  Seattle to Hawaii
Nausea, blurred vision, eye pressure, lightheadedness, disorientation, slow motor movement and speech.  Slow recovery upon return to home but kept working.

Summer, 2007  Seattle to Mississippi
No notable symptoms following this flight.

Summer, 2007  Seattle to Austria (3 month stay)
Day 2 post flight:  sick, lightheadedness, disorientation, blurred vision, inability to visually or mentally focus, body/brain disconnect, fatigue, needed to lie still and stay in quiet environment. 
Saw a german MD but translation issues were difficult. Given antibiotics thinking it was an inner ear infection. Required 3 weeks to get back to normal.

Flight home from Austria: 
Similar symptoms occurred as described above.  Saw primary MD who suggested anti depressants.  Saw a psychologist for 6 weeks who determined it was not a mental health issue. Anti depressants meds were declined.
Went to see a vision specialist:  negative results
Short MRI performed:  Negative relults
ENT:  Negative.  “He felt is was due to an over active imagination, too much salt?  and panic attacks.

2006, Seattle to Israel (2 week trip)
Symptoms following:  extreme fatigue, nausea and vomiting, inability to participate in tour requiring bedrest. Lightheadedness, slowed movement and speech. Eye pain and blurred vision, confusion.  Tried Dramamine: seemed to accentuate her symptoms.

2005  Seattle to Austria (3 month stay)
No significant symptoms noted other than fatigue.

2004 Seattle to Israel
Symptoms:  Sick the 2nd day after arrival with lightheadedness, disorientation, lethargy and fatigue.

2003, age 14 Seattle to North Dakota
Symptoms:  sick following flight with fatigue, ear pain and inability to depressurize ears. 

Other PMH:  fractured clavicle at age 12

She isn't motion sick. She doesn't have vertigo. We have followed trails for possible altitude sickness/decompression sickness, or aerotoxic syndrome. Both were negative. 

Tomorrow she has an appointment with an opthamologist - not to see if she needs new glasses....... 

 I'm staying with her this week until she is completely stable or we know something more. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, please. :) 


Brazilla said...

Kathleen, thank you thank you for taking the time to post this. I have been praying, thinking and sending love. I am so thankful to know. Tessa is a strong woman. She learned it from her mommy.

Love you both!

Joules Evans said...

prayers and love from cincy

M.L. Gallagher said...

Oh Kathleen -- my prayers and well wishes are with you both.

Nancy said...

You're both in my heart and prayers.
Love you, Kathleen. Thank you for posting this.

Rhonda said...

The Great Physician already has the answer...sending up prayers that it will be revealed in his time & way, and you & Tessa will be sustained & guided by his hand. There is nothing scarier than something out of our control happening with one of our offspring. But God CAN be trusted. Love you both!

Maureen said...

Tessa and you and Craig and all the family are in my prayers. I hope someone in the medical profession is able to find soon the cause of Tessa's illness.

A Simple Country Girl said...

Praying here too.

love & blessings

Glynn said...

We're praying, Kathleen.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen, I had somehow missed that your daughter was so ill. Sending prayers up for her-- and for you.

S. Etole said...

Keeping you and yours and especially Tessa in my heart in prayer.

Laura said...

Praying, Kathleen. I have missed you, friend. Be where you are needed. Our love is with you.

Joyceann Wycoff said...

Oh my Kathleen, you are all in our hearts. How confusing and distressing this must be.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen - Keep us posted. It is so difficult when we don't know the exact daignosis. I will be praying for her and you and the family. Hang in there, girl. said...

Are you certain this is not aerotoxic syndrome? I have a neighbor who is researching this and they sound exactly like the symptoms he describes. It sounds terrifying; please know you and Tessa are in my prayers. Know also that my daughter is driving (enroute as I write) to Vermont this week so as to avoid flying...

Thinking of you --

L.L. Barkat said...

That hug you wanted to give me? Oh... how I want to give it back to you. And just hold on for a long time.

So sorry to hear of her pain, and yours.

Love you...