This post is a little different from my normal posts. A bit more personal and more a reflection of what I’ve been through these past few weeks. (Sorry if you were hoping for another tip, test or experiment…not this week) 😉
My testing, tip trying and experiments have slowed down a bit this past week. No matter what my best intentions have been…life and the stresses associated, get in the way. (You know what they say about the best laid plans) This past week’s set-backs are due to my husband having to have heart surgery. (He had to have a valve repair on his heart) Which they were able to accomplish through what they refer to as “Non-invasive” surgery, rather than open heart surgery. (Happy for that) The fact that it is referred to as “Non-invasive” tends to let your mind automatically relax and think of it as “less risky”. (Or at least MY brain anyway.)
My mind never really contemplated what COULD go wrong. I knew it was heart surgery, I knew it was SERIOUS and I knew it was MAJOR surgery…but for some reason the “Bad” stuff never once went through my mind. (Maybe I didn’t WANT to think of the “bad” stuff?)
The day of the surgery, I drove my husband to the hospital…we had to be there at 5:30 am. (Which to me, is damn early!! lol) My husband’s younger brother and sister met us there. (His family is WONDERFUL, helpful and supportive. I have to take a moment and thank the good Lord for blessing me and my husband with them, through the rough times and good times in life)
We waited ’til around 6:30 am (I believe) then, his siblings and I were ushered out of the room as they wheeled my husband out and into surgery. We headed to the waiting cubical area for hourly update phone calls, and a monitor that kept us informed as to where they were in the process, with my husband.
The phone calls came in, letting us know…they wheeled him into the operating room, the surgery was going well, they had repaired the valve all went well, they were monitoring his heart to make sure it would beat on its own and have no more leaks, they had to do a bit more repair as it was still leaking a bit, they were now closing and finally the call saying the surgery was over, they were taking him into recovery, he was already breathing on his own and we would probably get to see him in the next 30 minutes or so. All GREAT news. They were really impressed on how well he was doing. The surgery had only taken about 4 hours, which was great…not TOO long waiting, but we were prepared to wait longer if we needed to. My husband’s bother kept in-touch with their folks to update them.
The next “30 minutes” were where everything suddenly became REAL! 30 minutes passed….an hour passed, no news and no one coming to get us to go visit my husband. But still no negative thoughts crossing my mind. Finally, a call comes from the nurse’s station asking us if we’d like to see and talk with the surgeon. My sister-in-law and I head to the ICU waiting room and wait to talk with the surgeon. When the surgeon arrives, he tells us they ran into some complications. They had to put my husband back on the breathing tubes as his breathing became too shallow and sent his heart into an arrhythmia, and they had to shock his heart to get it to stabilize. (OH S*#T!! SERIOUSLY?!? That CAN’T be good…is what raced through my mind, now for the first time) WHY hadn’t I thought of this? Why didn’t I see the possible problems? WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?! The surgeon assured us he was fine now, they had sedated him, he was calm, his heart beat was now stabilized, the breathing tubes had him breathing just fine and that this was all fairly normal. Then he left, I went back to the previous waiting room to get my brother-in-law, who was watching all our stuff. Brought him back, along with our stuff to the ICU waiting room and there we waited, for what seemed like FOREVER!! Even though the surgeon had said this was normal and no need to worry, I couldn’t HELP but worry.
When we were able to go back to see my husband, I was shocked. I had not prepared myself for what I was about to see. Yes, I knew there would be a lot of hoses and equipment he would be hooked up to, but it was still a shock. For someone who doesn’t usually handle hospitals well, I think I did very well considering. There was my husband laying there, motionless, with tubes and wires coming in and going out…hooked up to 5 or more machines. Totally unconscious, looking pale, breathing robotically. It was awful.
The ICU nurse was SO SWEET and nice, she assured my sister-in-law and I that, although it looked horrible he was doing well. She said “I know it’s really hard to see a loved one like this.” My sister-in-law stepped out and let my brother-in-law come in so he could visit. With his great sense of humor he attempted to cheer me up and cracked a joke or two. Back to the waiting room we went. Wanting to hear if there would be any changes before we left for the evening.
We went back into ICU just before they closed for shift change and luckily saw the surgeon. Again he assured me that it looked worse than it was and that my husband was doing very well. Of course, I was past the point of believing him, my mind was now thinking nothing but the worst. The surgeon said they were now going to work on taking out the breathing tubes and getting him to breathe on his own.
That night I went home thinking nothing but the worst. I prayed, I cried, it was one of the worst nights of my life. My sister-in-law called up to ICU to check on my husband and then called me to let me know what they said. They were “Working on getting the tubes out.” So I decided I would wait and call in another hour and check. From that point on, all I wanted to hear was that they had gotten the tubes out and he was breathing on his own. In my mind, it was the only thing that would make me believe he would be alright. I called the next hour…”Still working on getting the tubes out” As sad as I was to hear this, I knew I needed to get some sleep so I could be up at the hospital as early as possible in the morning to check on how my husband was doing.
It was a rough night’s sleep. But I DID manage to get some. ICU visiting didn’t start till 9am, I woke up and emailed/called everyone to update them on my husband. By the time I got ready and headed to the hospital it was after 9. When I arrived at the hospital and FINALLY found a place to park I texted my brother-in-law. He was already there. I made it to the ICU waiting room, my brother-in-law wasn’t there. Then I received a text from him saying “I’m in with him, he’s up but in a lot of pain.” The relief I felt at that moment is indescribable!! He was up?! That meant he was awake and off the breathing tubes.
I immediately headed to the ICU…and was ecstatic when I came around the corner to see my husband sitting up in a chair, eyes open, talking and coherent…still hooked up to some machines, but nowhere near what he had been. If I could have, I would have hugged him and squeezed the life out of him!!! From that point on he did nothing but improve. They released him 3 days later from the hospital, and I have been helping him recover.
He is doing AMAZING!! He almost has his lung capacity back to what it was before surgery, he’s walking 4 times a day like he’s supposed to, he’s taking a couple naps during the day, due to not sleeping well through the night, but his appetite is better and he continues to amaze me everyday! 🙂 It’s going to be a long road to complete recovery, but we are well on our way. I am SO proud of him. I am also thankful we have an amazing community of support through this and am blessed everyday.
If you enjoyed this post, please take a moment and subscribe to my blog so you can stay up-to-date with new posts! 🙂 (I promise not to hassle you with non-stop emails…who LIKES that?) Or you can like my page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Tips2theTest?ref=hl and follow me on Twitter @TipsTest