The Worst Night...and then Week....of my Life

It's hard to even write about anymore. I have replayed it over and over and over in my head.  How did I hold it together?  How could we have missed all the warning signs --- sure, hindsight is 20/20 but could we have done something different?  What if I hadn't insisted on stopping at the ER? 

What happened you ask?  Here is the email I sent to family and friends just after I got home the first night.

Here is what I can tell you know --- its 4AM and I just got home. First let me thank all of you for the sprinkle today -- it was so great to see everyone and, even though I was very distracted, celebrate Baby #2.  Our baby and family is so blessed to have so many great friends around us.

Hubby spent the day in the ER complaining of immense pain.  He was cold to the touch and very pale.  I took him to the ER and they sent him via helicopter to FH (another hospital) mid-afternoon.  There was clearly internal bleeding from somewhere but no one could find the source of the bleed.  He never improved with all the tests and fluids and non-invasive things we tried.  He had interventional radiology -- using a probe and camera to go through your veins/arteries looking for leaks -- but nothing was found.  It took us a long time to find out where it was coming from.  He went into emergency exploratory surgery at midnight and 2 hours later, they found it.  The hernia screen that was put in a week ago had to be re-done and there was a tear and bleeding in his abdominal wall around that site.  He came through the surgery fine.  His aorta was checked and looks great (the best news of the entire day!).

He is still in Trauma ICU and will remain there, on the breathing tubes and ventilator, for at least the next few days.. 

To quote the surgeon, he is still very sick.  Still needing blood pressure support to keep the blood pressure up (which is a total reversal of what we are normally trying to do with him!).  His oxygen levels aren't staying up either which was the reason for the breathing tube in the first place.  We are doing a wait and see; trying to slowly wean him off these supports so his body can take over the functions as normal post-surgery. Once he is stable, they have to start his blood thinners again and get them balanced so that the heart valve is still safe.

At this point, there is nothing anyone, including me, can do but wait for Hubby to get through this phase.  Surgeon is taking things hour by hour still so we are very much in the initial phase of what could be a rough recovery.

What we know now is that Hubby had an internal bleed from a hernia screen that was placed in his abdominal wall only a week prior to this incident.  At the end of the day, he bled out a significant amount of his blood volume. 

That happened on March 27 and into the morning of March 28.  Hubby finally came home on April 4.  He has a long recovery ahead - weeks of just resting and letting his body recover from the trauma and to get his body to make more blood.  We are starting the blood thinner game again as well -- it's always hard to keep those balanced and now we just have to be extra cautious. 

I am doing my best to keep the house together, get the final things ready for Baby #2, and to keep Grace's schedule and life as normal as possible.  Somewhere in there I find time to sleep too! 

1 comment:

laura said...

you are the picture of strength, my dear! the very picture of strength! xoxo to you, your sweet hubs and your TWO awesome kids!