I found my sister in her bedroom unresponsive, breathing shallow and foam out her mouth. When paramedics got there, she had a blood sugar of 29. Dr’s think she may have had a seizure in the night and continued low blood sugar or simply low blood sugar and low oxygen thru out the night. However long it was, it put her brain in to shock. She was in a medical coma for three days, then was taken off the sedation but still never regained full consciousness. They had to do a trachiostomy to protect her airway.
Three EEGs have been done over the past 25 days, all are the same with minimal activity. An MRI did not show any specific damage, though the doctors said there could be microscopic damage thru the entire brain.
Four weeks from time of incident: She can open her eyes, but not on command, they just pop open. She is awake most of the day, and asleep most of the night. She will track for 1-4 minutes, but no longer than that. She cannot follow commands, squeeze hands, nothing using any cognitive thinking. She moves her legs constantly, in ways she never has before. Her legs are never still. She moves her arms and hands in repetetive movements. Such as fluffing her hair, scratching her nose, covering when coughing. She can balance herself when she is seated up. Getting to the up position requires 100% assistance. 2 out of 4 doctors state that these are all autonimic responses, all automatic reflexes. There is disagreement with the doctors that these movements are purposeful. At one point diagnosis was metabolic encephalopathy. One day the doctor stated irreversible. Two days later diagnosis changed to reversible. They all say she is in a vegetative state, but the rehab doctor believes she will recover within 2-5 years. Until this week, she had been on a J tube for feeding, but that got pulled out so now she is on NG. She is still on trach as she cannot protect her airway.
Her history before: 15+ years as diabetic, 5 heart attacks (1 major 4 minor), gastroparesis (80% of stomach removed); she was on a dilaudid PCA pump at home with IV zofran also. She is between 60-65.
Are there any tests that can determine the level of brain damage?
Would another EEG do any use at this point?
Is there any way to tell how long this could last or if she can make a full recovery?
Are there any blood tests that can confirm anything at this point?
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