Friday, February 20, 2015

Silver Linings ~ An Update

Yesterday, they removed my husband's large breathing tube and inserted two smaller ones. They also removed the sedative that kept him unconscious. When I came into his room yesterday, his eyes were open. He appeared to be in extreme discomfort, however, and was soon given more morphine after which he dozed off. But he saw me and I saw his eyes. 

You may wonder about these not very good and weird looking pictures. I don't seem to take pictures any more. Thinking about this, one day at sunset, I went outside. The clouds were pretty, but I have so many cloud pictures. Then I looked at my juniper trees, picked one and went underneath its branches. Without paying attention to what I was doing, I began to take pictures. The pictures didn't come out well for the most part, but the process stirred my creativity. A very good thing. I will go back some day soon and pay more attention. Junipers are very interesting, and still alive, in this horrific drought.

My husband arrived in the ER in septic shock, a life-threatening condition. The infection that caused this was diagnosed as E. coli bacteria in his blood. Both his liver and kidneys were failing. His kidneys are doing better and dialysis is not needed. But his blood pressure is not working correctly without medicines and he had another episode of irregular and very, very fast heartbeat the night before yesterday. And of course his liver is all messed up. He is now in critical, but stable, condition. Sadly, being more aware, he will suffer more. 

As I was driving through the desert yesterday on my way to UCLA, several people called me to ask if I had watched the news coverage about the super bug at UCLA Ronald Reagan Hospital, where my hubby is. Where he too had a scope inserted, where he too developed a life-threatening infection afterwards. I told them all that I am already extremely angry with the attending physician who released him too early the week before. I feel like I can't add to my anger, I need to keep my anger in check, so as not to waste energy. I need energy to be there for my husband, for whatever may come. 

Because of the super bug, the road to UCLA Ronald Reagan Hospital was saturated with media trucks when I arrived. I asked the doctor in charge at the ICU about the scopes and the super bug. He said my husband didn't have the super bug, he had sepsis, as if that would be an improvement. Then he added, "who knows why your husband got so ill, with his already compromised health and all." So I guess that will be the hospital's take on what happened. 

So how am I, and where are the silver linings here, you may ask. Well, if I were healthy to begin with, I would be doing very well. But I have type 1, insulin dependent, diabetes and after 25 years of keeping it under good control, it is now messing with me, taking over my life, my mind, my body and my general health. For the first time, I'm scared. Stress is the reason I can't manage it right now. 

I understand how my body works, but it is so difficult to administer the correct, not too little, not too much, insulin amounts with a bunch of stress hormones being released at the same time. My insulin pump and test strips are the silver linings here. I check my sugars all the time. I plan to add the results into a spreadsheet I have and then analyze it and hope I can reprogram my pump to better respond to the stress factor. I must work on that today.

You know, all I ever wanted was to have a fun blog, full of pretty nature pictures, silly dogs, hiking in the hills, vegetable garden, and so on. And here I am with all this.

There's a time to live and a time to die, that I know. In between there may, for some of us, be a time of suffering. My husband will really suffer now. I don't feel prepared for the days to come, but I feel my strength, that old Viking woman is alive in me, ready to take on whatever comes.

OK, Silver Linings: Our niece and her husband who live within 50 miles from us (a short distance here) both social workers who know a lot, will drive me to UCLA when they can, and are providing all kinds of love and support. A 50 mile drive through the desert to their house is sooo much better than those last 50 miles in Los Angles freeway traffic and general craziness.

Wednesday, I went to town, to see a friend at her office, just to let her know what happened. A client of hers comes in, hears what I say and comes up and gives me a big hug. So does my friend. Then the other woman tells me I have a big nail in my front tire. 

The tire shop is just down the road. A huge and friendly guy there tells me to wait a minute, arrives with something to remove the nail and check if air is escaping. Well, the nail was super short, not really a nail at all. And the tire was fine. 

Went to Save-on for my test strips and got another big hug from a woman I know there, who knows how sick my husband is.

Then everyone in my husband's very large circle of family and friends are calling. I talked to so many people, I lost my voice. Silver linings: Every single person, including his guy friends, ask me how I am holding up. They ask if I need anything (meaning money, visits, anything), one friend says I can let him know anytime and he will fly in from Denver. About 12 - 15 relatives from the greater Los Angeles area visited him last Sunday and prayed for him, left a card with all their names for him to see when he woke up. 

I still can't believe they let them all into the ICU at the same time. Thinking of germs and bugs being carried in there.......

Then there's Samson who has been an exemplary dog. You could not ask for a more helpful, loving, good and patient dog. My silver-tipped fluff monster, the best silver lining ever.

While Puppy Faith has been a total bad ass. She's like a bad teenager, taking advantage of an absent mommy. She'll be OK given some time, training, and attention. When I cried in bed the other day, she crept up onto my shoulder and licked my tears away. Silver linings.....

My good friends, those I can touch, those I have known for years, and the new ones here in the canyon.

And, finally, all of you my blogger friends, who I can't touch, but whose loving thoughts and prayers reach me through this virtual landscape, touch my heart and help me so much. On the days I am home, I have little time to visit blogs, but I will try. I wonder how you are when I don't visit. So I will try. Until then, stay well.....


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