By Thursday, after she took the new medicine, she became a real mess. We realized she was not sleeping much at all. I heard her playing music at 2:00am. What was going on? She was WIDE AWAKE, as if it was mid-day. What was this all about? This trip wasn’t across a number of time zones, so it was not like her body clock could be that confused.
We called her roommates from the Guatemala trip looking for some clues. One of them said toward the end of the trip – she had noticed Kelsey would be up in the night wandering around the room. She just couldn’t settle down. Kelsey had told her she was worried about her Grandma, who had been in poor health, near death. Kelsey also had told her, she was having dreams about her Grandpa who had died before Kelsey was born. It was like her mind was on overload.
We started to wonder if the Mefloquine might be the problem. She still had two pills left to finish. We were told to just stop them. Wayne looked up the medication and saw all the side effects and was shocked. Kelsey seemed to be having almost all of them: sleep deprivation, hallucinations, and brain fog. One of the scariest side effects was humming and doing repetitive hand movements over and over again. WHAT WAS GOING ON?
To add to Kelsey’s stress, her Grandma passed away that week. As people were coming over to give their condolences, she pulled me aside and said, “Mom, my heart is beating too fast.” We went to the back bedroom, she was right it was beating really fast. I had never watched someone with an anxiety attack, but I was convinced that’s what this was. We worked at calming her down and it seemed to help.
The next couple of days seemed a blur with funeral preparations and family arriving, but Kelsey remained in such a daze. Was this shock or anxiety? Was this a complication of all the medication? Was this stress of not being at school? She wanted so badly to get through a semester on campus. THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT HAD NEVER CROSSED OUR PATH BEFORE. IT WAS UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY.
The next BIG BLOW came when she had been home for one week. A neighbor was taking care of Kelsey because we were out of town, making preparations for the funeral. I just didn’t feel good about leaving her alone. She was not okay. As we were in the pastor’s office we got a call from our neighbor telling us she had taken Kelsey to the hospital. NOW WHAT? By the time we got there the doctors had determined her blood pressure and heart rate were erratic. This was like being slammed against a cement wall. WHY WAS THIS HAPPENING???
When we arrived at the hospital, no one was able to quite explain what was happening. We were bewildered. The doctors tried calming her down by giving her medication, but instead it revved her up. Kelsey got really frustrated and tried to pull off the monitoring leads. After four days in the hospital her vital signs stabilized and we were sent home with another group of new medications.