Tag Archives: hospital

In Pieces

As I sit holding his hand, my heart is shattering into small pieces. The anguish and worry etched into his face cut me so deeply, I’m sure I’ll perish.

But I must remain strong for him.

I tear my gaze from my love’s face to look at the man lying in the bed before us. Even in sleep, his face is grimaced in pain. There are wires and tubes criss-crossing over his body and the machine above his bed is spitting out numbers that mean little to me- they don’t tell me what is wrong with him.

The room is chilly but there is a trickle of sweat down my back. Anxiety pays no mind to the temperature around me.

It seems like ages before they come to tell us what our hearts already knew. He is really sick and they will be admitting him. My love and I follow closely behind as they wheel this man upstairs to the ICU.

This man is my future father-in-law, my fiance’s sole remaining parent. While I come from a large family with multiple tangents, Scotty’s family is small and few. In fact, it’s just him and this man who looks far too fragile right now.

So my heart is in pieces for him, for them, as I watch Scotty try to hold it together and not show his fear.

His father’s health has not been great for a number of years, but he’s always fought back. In fact, this is not the first time we’ve sat at his bedside like this, with our hearts in our throats. But each new time is a reminder that he cannot fight this fight forever, and we mourn the gradual loss of a great man, as his body continues to fail him.

This time we are lucky, his father will heal.

But my heart is still in pieces, already broken for the day when we won’t be so lucky.

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Gratitude Heals

Life has been a whirlwind this past week. After a holiday weekend spent working on projects and playing games with a good friend, our lives were upturned when my fiance’s father was hospitalized Tuesday.

Pops is still in the hospital today, and likely will be for at least another week, though we don’t know for sure yet. So while I wait for a call back from his doctor, I’ll share my gratitudes here, and send some positive energy into the universe on his behalf.

GratefulMondays

*I’m grateful for friends, framily, and loved ones who have been sending prayers and good thoughts for Scotty’s dad.

*I’m grateful for the nurses and staff who have been taking such good care of Pops, and who have answered all our worried calls with calm reassurances.

*I’m grateful for a dear friend who’s come back into our lives, who has been my strength this last week. I’m thankful she was able to spend Saturday with us, and provide some smiles when we needed them the most.

*I’m grateful for our doggy and his snuggles. They might not cure what ails us, but they come pretty darn close.

*I’m grateful for an afternoon at the dog park, watching our doggy play and run. That little bit of fresh air cleared our minds and temporarily eased our hearts. It’s the simple things, sometimes.

*I’m grateful for the Dutch Bros. gift card we received for Christmas which means we’ve been able to treat ourselves to hot tea and coffee while we’ve been driving back and forth from the hospital. The little pick-me-ups have been heavenly.

*I’m grateful for the long-burning holiday candle Cathy gave us for Christmas. The scents of cinnamon and pine are extremely soothing while I sit and wait for the phone to ring.

*I’m grateful we were able to make changes to our phone plans last month, so that we now have the unlimited minutes and texts for all the necessary phone calls and messages. We’d make the calls anyway, but it’s nice to know our bill won’t be astronomical when it comes.

*I’m grateful our car has been able to make the repeated trips to the hospital (it’s a 40 minute trip to where Pops is), despite it desperately needing an oil change and transmission flush, which we can’t exactly afford right now. I’m also thankful for lower gas prices which make it not so damaging to the budget to have to fill up the tank over and over again this month.

*I’m grateful for Scotty’s boss, who understands family comes first. Who made sure Scotty had time off to be at the hospital while Pops was admitted, and even paid him for those hours.

*I’m grateful for all the compassion, love, and strength we’ve received from friends far and wide. For the phone calls, text messages, emails, and tweets. For the smiles and hugs. For the prayers that keep coming, and all the positive energy that is flowing from everyone. It is all felt, and very much appreciated.

*And I’m grateful for my own treatment and doctors, who’ve made it possible for me to be able to be by Scotty’s side through all this. I’m grateful my body has cooperated this past week, and hasn’t punished me too badly for the excess stress and worry. I’m grateful that tomorrow is infusion day, and that I will be receiving some blessed relief so that I can continue to stand by his side and be strong for him.

Not A Flare, But Chemical Poisoning

I had to go to the ER last week.

For the record, I despise having to go to the hospital. I hate when my symptoms get to the point where they are so out of control, I can no longer cope. I hate fearing I will be judged by the staff when they see my chart, I hate those uncomfortable beds, I hate worrying Scotty.

But I had to go.

Thursday afternoon I took my dog out for a walk and saw a notice had been posted to our door. The property managers were going to be coming Friday to spray for the ants we asked them to deal with back in April. Fantastic. I called our onsite lady to see if we could reschedule as I had a lab appointment and hadn’t had time to make arrangements. She informed me that they had already sprayed outside that afternoon, and no we couldn’t reschedule.

At the time I didn’t think much about it. I had dinner and tried to figure out how to rearrange my Friday as I enjoyed the cool breeze coming in through my front window. After dinner, I went to walk my dog again. I thought it smelled funny outside our door, but didn’t pay it much mind. Halfway through our walk, I started feeling dizzy and lightheaded. My chest constricted and I gasped for breath. My little wonder dog looked up at me and took off for home, getting me back just in time to collapse on my couch. I cursed what I thought was a flare coming, and tried to take it easy. When I started feeling queasy, I knew I needed to check in with my doctor.

I called our answering service, and the on call doctor called me right back. We talked about my symptoms and thought maybe I was coming down with the flu and it had triggered a flare. We agreed I would check in with the nurse the next morning when I went in for labs. As we hung up, she urged me to go to the ER if anything got worse. We didn’t want to risk pleurisy or pneumonia if my breathing got too labored for too long.

Scotty came home from band practice and we talked about how I was feeling. Since I wasn’t feeling any better, we called it an early night and off to bed I went. I awoke around 2:oo am sick to my stomach, gasping for breath, and with a metallic taste in my mouth. I tried drinking some Gatorade, but it tasted terrible. After much trepidation, I woke up Scotty and told him something was wrong.

While we don’t normally turn to Dr. Google, he did look up the metallic taste thing, as it was something I’ve never experienced before. One of the first items listed was chemical poisoning.

And then it all clicked.

The only thing I had been exposed to that day, was whatever they had sprayed outside our apartment. We followed what Dr. Google suggested and called Poison Control. Who promptly ordered us off to the hospital.

Fortunately, my exposure was minimal and the damage was minimal. I’m slowly feeling better each day (though now I think I’m getting a cold, drat!), and there were no sores in my mouth or throat from inhaling the fumes. We got orders from the doctor to definitely NOT let them to spray inside the apartment, and so any further exposure was averted.

I’m telling you all about this because it was something that completely caught us unawares. Neither Scotty or our dog were affected. None of the neighbors had any issues. A few years ago, I probably wouldn’t have had any response beyond wrinkling my nose at the smell.

We spoonies are often warned about germs and viruses and all the ways we can lower our exposure to ensure our compromised immune systems have the best chance. In the last three years of walking this path, not once has anyone warned me that I may be more sensitive to things like insecticides or cleaners. I had no idea that it was something I needed to watch out for.

Now I know. And hopefully you do, too.