Saturday, June 2, 2012

Worst. Week. Ever. (Part part, I promise)

So, here it finally is, the third and final part of my long-winded report on the Bell family's worst week ever.

When last we left our blog, Chris (the hubs) and I were patiently (well, kinda patiently) waiting for him to be taken down to the cath lab. Finally, a nurse came in to do the little shave thing that he was so looking forward to. (I have to say, she was wonderful and very good at keeping things modest for the hubs. She moved the blankets around as needed, and nothing "private" was every exposed to her even. Great job.) Once she got the area shaved, she then brought in the bed to take him downstairs. This woman was not only great at the shaving thing, but at the bed moving thing as well. When I had to wheel Chris into the ER on Tuesday morning, I was hitting the doorjambs and such. She wheeled that bed out of the small room through the small door, down the hallway, into the elevator, etc. without so much as a bump. Awesome.

Once we got downstairs, there was a bit of a wait there before they finally took him back for the procedure. I sat in the small waiting room with these tiny windows that looked out over a rooftop and a wall (with a small patch of sky if you leaned in and looked straight up), and sat down to wait. I tried to read, then I got on Facebook for a bit, then I just sat. It of course seemed like I sat there forever, but it really wasn't too terribly long.

{Side note: It started storming like crazy while I was waiting. I could hear the thunder, see a bit of the flashes of lightning through the little windows, hear the rain pounding. I thought how it kinda figured a storm would hit then as the windows in the hubby's room upstairs had this great view of the mountains that I just knew would make for some great pictures if it stormed while we were there (almost always have my camera with me). No way to get any good pictures in the waiting room, and of course the storm was over by the time we got back upstairs, and though we had rain off and on, we never did have another storm.}

OK, back to my story. I guess about 30 minutes had gone by when someone came in (the PA maybe, or something, so many professionals and I was having trouble keeping everyone straight in my head), and he told me that they had found a 70% blockage in one of the arteries of Chris' heart. They were going to put in a stent to open up the blockage, which would take about 30 minutes. Modern medicine is an amazing thing. I think start to finish, the whole procedure (cath and stent) took about an hour, maybe a bit more.

After all was done, Chris had to lay perfectly still in the recovery area for about 30 minutes or so with the pressure dressing on his groin area where they had cut into the artery. That was no problem of course, since with all the drugs and stuff in him, he was pretty much passed out cold. He'd jolt awake for a second, then go right back out again. Then they took off the dressing and put the new one on (I had to head on up to his room for that as I wasn't allowed to be in there) and he was brought back to his room. The moved him over to his bed and he had to lie still again for about 4 hours. He could move his arms a bit, and could raise up some (no more than about 30 degrees they said), but nothing else. He was awake enough for a bit to eat supper, which I had to feed him (a fact he's going to be thrilled to know I shared) and then he was pretty much out for the rest of the night. Well, not counting the times he would jerk awake when someone would come in the room to check vitals, take blood, etc.

The next morning, the nurse had him sit up and they checked his BP, then checked it with him standing. Then the nurse had him get up and walk around with her for a bit. We were at the hospital until that afternoon while they got paperwork on him done (had the wrong GP listed and we had to correct that or they would have sent his records to someone who's never even seen him), gave us prescriptions for some new meds, etc. Follow-up appointments were made and we packed up and were sent on our way.

About 60 hours after the hubs first  hit the floor on Tuesday morning, maybe 59 hours after we'd first walked into the local ER, we were on our way home. Less than three days. It amazes me how fast modern medicine can sometimes work.

So, that's pretty much what happened last week. We now have new meds added to the ever-growing list that the hubs has to take. We're also trying to keep more healthy food around, which is hard when you have pretty  much no money and the healthy stuff seems to cost so much more than the bad stuff. I've also gotten a bit paranoid and every little ache and pain that the hubs gets, I worry about what's causing it. I have put my AFLAC training on hold at least until his first follow-up appointment which takes place next week. I don't mind being out and about near home, where he can get hold of me if needed, but I'm NOT going to be off in Hickory or Hendersonville, a good hour or two away, and have something happen. I'm sticking close to home.

Now I reckon the dance with meds and treatments gets going big time. We're still dealing with the Fibromyalgia, Hemachromatosis, and Type II Diabetes (although the Diabetes fight has been going pretty well). Now we have to deal with the heart stuff. He does have a family history which I got clarified through his dad recently (his dad had a heart attack and triple bypass at 47, his granddad had a heart attack at 36 or 37 then died from one at 41). That all just means we need to be even more vigilant.

I am also going to try and get past the paranoia thing, but it may take a while. Until then, I'm just taking deep breaths whenever I can, tending to my garden, and researching like crazy. Always new stuff going on in the medical world.


Vicki Lane said...

Oh, Susan. Blessings to both of you and I hope there's never a worse week.

Rose from Oz is Back! said...

I so hope your Chris is doing great, no doubt this was a worrying and tense time. Good thoughts to you both.