Happy Valentine’s Day! The call this morning was good. Maria had cared for David all night during his confusion and being awake most of the evening. One can only imagine the confusion after a week of sedation and being out of touch. She also said that many who come out of the sedation are confused, have their days and nights mixed up and are up all night the first few nights.
Today is Valentine’s Day. I was excited to see David again today and Wilson and I had planned to go back again in the evening after my lunchtime visit with David. I was excited that he was off the vent tube and that today he would be talking a little better and be more awake!
I am so glad I celebrated yesterday afternoon with my flowers and strawberries because today soon became a ride! I started early planning to go see David in the morning and then return later with Wilson to see David, wish him a Happy Valentine’s Day and then Wilson and I would grab a bite to eat and get home at a decent hour.
The plan was going great and my friend accompanied me to the hospital. I was eager to see David, though I knew he may be resting after his long night of no sleep. As I arrived, I noticed the breathing treatment cart outside David’s room. I decided to allow David to continue resting during his breathing treatment while I awaited his nurse to come out so I could speak with her.
Being in another room with a patient, I decided to check on him as he stirred from his treatment. He was visibly aggravated and upset about some mess with Wilson and he kept talking the mess as I watched his blood pressure rise. I decided to tell him I would be back to see him later, as it was apparent he needed to regroup and settle down. I slipped out of the room shaken and upset at what I had found. This was not the David I know and his attitude and aggitation was very concerning.
David’s nurse approached and began telling me how they would be preparing him for the Cardiac Step Down Unit so he could get his stents in since we hasn’t having surgery. Now you can imagine, all along I have been sharing that we were praying for healing in preparation for surgery. Where did this come from? As I asked when this decision was made and what was going on, the nurse began to speak argumentatively with me. Thank goodness my friend intervened on my behalf, as the situation was heated at best. I mention this because it is very important that first of all, you know what is being done. Second I mention this because the doctor had never shared this with me and it certainly was not the nurse’s position to share this information. Beyond this, I will leave the situation to itself and it eventually resolved in the doctor calling me later in the day.
I went back to see David at my friend and the nurse’s urging. David was calmer, but his blood pressure rose as we spoke. I kept our conversation brief and explained that he needed to rest. He said he hadn’t slept much the night before. I agreed, explaining that his night nurse had said as much. “Why didn’t you sleep well?” David said he was scared. Scared of what? I had been praying the Angels were watching over him and how could anything be frightening? He said he didn’t know what it was but he knows he was scared.
Hospitals aren’t the best place to spend a night and I can’t think of anyone I know who wants to do this without being sick. I am sure all of the hoses, beeps, noises and light, nurses in and out. Coming off sedatives off and on for two weeks can’t help but contribute to the fear. As I prepared to leave, David was rolled away from me and I took a minute to stand in the doorway again, looking up into the ceiling and around the room. I envisioned those Angels standing guard still and suspended in the ceiling, watching over him, I prayed “God thank you for these Angels! Let them continue to breath healing into his body that he may return to us whole and well soon.”
The visit felt like a nightmare. The nurse told me things I hadn’t yet heard, the first of which was that David would NOT be getting surgery and that they would be preparing him to go home after stents. The floor doctor avoided me and I was told a doctor would call later. Later? Needless to say, I was a mess, it was a long ride back to the county and by the time I hit the office door, I was speechless. 0 to Joyous and then to Reboot today.
By 5:00 PM no doctor had called and I was getting anxious as I had left the hospital at lunchtime. A call to the hospital and a long wait gave me the floor doctor who informed me that my husband was not a candidate for surgery. He would have stents put in and after rehabilitation be sent home. Surgery was not an option as he was too sick for surgery, after all he had a major heart attack and he had been sedated and on a ventilator for almost two weeks. There was nothing more they could do for him.
You can imagine my horror! What am I going to do with him? Let him have a cardiac arrest at home and die, again? Would I be on pins and needles the rest of my life watching and waiting for that moment to happen again? It was my worst nightmare watching David code in the Emergency Room bed the night I took him in. How could I possible ever sleep again? What would our lives be like day to day with his fragile state? Millions of unanswered questions kept rolling through my mind as I tried to keep hearing the unbelievable things this doctor was telling me as I tried desperately to multi-task my mind.
I wearily hung up the phone as one of my staff entered my office. Almost collapsing to my knees, I wept and prayed. God has more for this man, I just know it! I had planned to go see David later in the evening at the onset of the day to celebrate Valentine’s Day with he and Wilson, that plan was shot between David’s blood pressure rise and this latest information.
On my drive home the phone rang and it was the doctor covering for his cardiologist who was out of town. Doctor reassured me that he was under the understanding that I was spoken to the day before when the ventilator came out and that until now he did not know I was uninformed. He assured me he would call most regularly to update me on next steps. As he explained the situation, I was more comfortable with the plan, but not fully comfortable with where David’s life was going.
David was malnourished, anemic, could not swallow water without coughing and therefore would need some kind of feeding tube. Speech therapy would come in the morning to check his swallowing and a determination would be made then. We discussed his pulling at tubes and hoses and that another tube in his mouth or nose after the continuous bleeding nose over the last two weeks may be detrimental. We talked about his blood pressure rise and my visiting. Broke my heart but the doctor suggested the family take turns visiting and that I take a few days off to get rest and also to give David rest as his wild attitude was not good for him or me.
We talked pacemakers, life vests, rehabilitation and eventual potential for surgery. All things so ominous, I did not think I could bear one more word. As we hung up, I kept thinking about my David, full of life on the farm and in our business. What would we now have? What would he have more importantly. I thanked God for saving him and asked God to save us all. To heal David and have those Angels standing guard to work overtime!
I quickly called a dear friend whose husband has sustained many days and nights like David. I knew she would know my unrest and shattered world. God provides us Angels in our midst by our experiences and love for one another. This sweet couple has shared their ordeal; the good, the bad and the terribly ugly. Without judgement Lynn gave me the hugs I needed and the grace to go on. Her sweet husband prayed in the other room over David and I as Lynn and I spoke. I took a deep breath as I hung up, reassured and strengthened in God’s unfailing love and prepared to tell Wilson the news.
Wilson and I had lost our Valentine’s visit zest and appetite and sunk into an evening of a slice or artisan bread from our Sunday Shopping trip after our visit. Not the evening we planned by any sense of the word. I prepared and gathered my thought as to what to text the family members in our text loop (I have several loops just to save my fingers). Simple, I will call. I spoke with each nephew individually and together we came up with a visitation plan for the coming days as the doctor had suggested. Each nephew was reassuring, one nephew having pneumonia would have to wait until he was healed himself, and together as a family we would continue to see David through this ordeal. After speaking with the medically trained nephew, I felt some better, understanding a bit more of what was going on.
Valentine’s Day was a bomb, a reboot of sorts. Hopes dashed and dreams unsure. As the evening pressed on, all I could do was pray. David’s nurse reported the same crazy mess as I called before bedtime and again, all I could do was pray. Angels and God are watching over him, maybe some miracle would happen. After all, our God is amazing!
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