2007-04-28 - 9:12 p.m.
This afternoon, they got him out of bed and into a chair. I'm not sure who it was more painful for....him or me! He is in a ton of pain which is made worse by any movement....especially laughing or coughing. It's pretty intense seeing him like this. There's nothing I can do. They tell me that the first three days are the hardest, and after that it starts to get better. If everything goes well today, they'll move him from the ICU to a transitional room tomorrow.
All of this is sort of complicated because he has Type 1 diabetes. They keep saying that everything will be easier because he's so young (52) compared to most bypass patients, but the diabetes adds years to your life. Everyone was shocked that he would even need bypass surgery at his age. But again and again, things come up that are not expected at his age...so it is actually a more difficult recovery. It's harder, it takes longer, everything has to be monitored extremely closely.
And I am exhausted. I haven't really been doing much at all, but the stress takes its toll. Today it took me almost two hours to get to the hospital due to traffic.....even though we live only about 20 or so miles away. Yesterday was even worse. In San Francisco, once a month there is a protest called Critical Mass. Hundreds of bicyclists congregate and block the roads at rush hour on a Friday to protest the use of cars. Traffic here is bad enough already, but when Critical Mass comes out, they really make their point....much to the dismay of anyone who is trying to get somewhere.....especially if you're trying to get to the hospital before visiting hours are over. Oy.
But I do want to thank you all who have sent good thoughts, vibes, and prayers. It really means a lot to me. I love you guys. It's great to have your support, and it's really helpful that I can come here and just ramble on about the whole thing. Anyway....stay tuned. I'm sure there will be plenty to ramble on about as we make our way through the next few months. And before all this happened, I actually had some fun things I was going to post....and lots of photos from our last trip. So maybe I'll put those up in between times so this whole blog isn't all bypass surgery all the time. But goodnight for now....my wine glass is empty......comments??? (0 so far...) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2007-04-26 - 11:10 p.m.
On Tuesday, he had a heart attack. This is how it went:
At 4:00am he woke up feeling like his heart was pounding. He felt tightness in his chest and fullness in his stomach. (Of course, he didn't tell me how severe this was until much later.) He got up and took his blood pressure and it was Ok, so he went back to bed. He thought he was just having indigestion.
Later, he took the kids to school and ran some errands, but when he came home he went back to bed because he was feeling weak and nauseous.....and still had tightness in his chest. I told him he should call the consulting nurse, because something wasn't right, but he shrugged it off and said he still felt that it was some sort of indigestion and that it would pass.
In the afternoon, I suggested that we go for a walk because we've been trying to get more exercise lately. He barely made it to the end of the block before we had to turn back due to his increasing nausea. Still, he would not call the nurse.
Finally, I Googled the symptoms of a heart attack, and he basically had most of them. So he called the nurse, then spoke with his doctor....and they basically said: GET TO THE ER! So we did.
(Now I wrote all that out because I want you all to know that if you EVER have these symptoms, DO NOT WAIT to get it checked out. Sure, it might just be indigestion.....but if it's not, the longer you wait, the quicker you die.)
So at the hospital, they first thought it was nothing serious, but as they did test after test, the diagnosis got more and more severe. Finally it was decided that he would need to have angioplasty, which is a fairly simple, common procedure. They'd put in some stents and he'd be able to go home. But that was not to be. Once they went in, they saw that he had major blockages in three arteries. He would need open heart surgery....a triple bypass.
This is no small thing. He'll be in the hospital for at least another week. Recovery time is expected to be about THREE MONTHS. After reading the booklet about what to expect about the procedure, I nearly had to puke. This is super intense. It's an extremely invasive surgery with a long and painful recovery.
He is being very calm about it, but I'm having a hard time keeping it together. In a way, this is happening to both of us. From this day on, nothing will be the same. We've got three hard months ahead of us. From what all they've told us, the first 5 weeks will not be fun at all. And I know how this goes. I've been with him though a couple of major surgeries....not to mention, I've had seven major surgeries myself. But I have a feeling that we've only experienced the tip of the iceburg so far.
And on top of all that, he just landed a job that he really really wanted and needed, and had prospects for another job that would take him to China. But now, that is not to be. The recovery time has cancelled all that out.
I know this has been long and rambly, and doesn't even really convey the emotion I'm feeling right now, but I needed to at least write out something. I'm still in shock....can this really be happening?! I'm scared. This is life and death. This is pain and trauma. I want to just crawl in a hole and cry and pray that this thing is all just one bad dream. But I can't.
So please, keep us in your thoughts. I will update when I can.comments??? (11 so far...) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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