Very bad day for hubby & me

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    Oct 25, 2009 5:26 AM GMT
    Just got back from the hospital emergency room after midnight, totally frazzled but unable to sleep yet, partially from the strong coffee the nurse gave me so I could drive home, partially from the emotional stress. Too late to phone up friends to just talk, so forgive me if I unload with typing.

    Early Saturday morning my partner started having very bad pains in one calf. Around 5:30 AM he woke me up, asking for help. I gave him some strong prescription pains meds we have for this purpose, and began the procedures outlined for us following his October 12th hip replacement surgery. At first we both assumed he was getting blood clots in his veins, as we'd been warned was possible following his surgery, and for which I'd been giving him daily injections of blood thinner.

    When nothing made him better, I phoned his doctor's weekend service, and was advised to take him to the hospital ER. Fortunately I'm already on file there as his legal Health Surrogate (and he's mine), so even in Florida I was allowed to stay with him at all times, and consult with his doctors.

    A precaution all partners should take, especially in states without legal gay marriage. We were in the ER the rest of the day, not getting him admitted into a hospital room until 11 PM.

    In between he took a number of tests, which have ruled out the blood clots in his veins we were expecting, but that instead found some kind of arterial blockage that's potentially much more serious. He's now in a telemetry-equipped room with continuous monitoring, until more tests are done tomorrow.

    While we were in the ER, a helicopter arrived with a road accident victim, from what I could later learn a young bicyclist hit by a car. I saw him wheeled in on a gurney, CPR being applied, his bloody condition too terrible to describe here. He went into a trauma room, while the hospital intercom called for one specialist after another to report to the ER STAT.

    The trauma room door was open as people rushed in & out, and I could see at least 15 people working over him frantically. They apparently restarted his heart twice, and almost all the ER room staff not inside were in the hall hovering around. After 30 minutes they began to lose him, and started frantic CPR again. He didn't make it.

    I would have thought ER staff were used to this, but afterwards I saw a lot of crying and hugging as they slowly filed out and took off their gowns. The staff were prohibited from telling us any details, but from what I overheard the deceased was a teenager.

    Some 30 minutes later a couple of distraught men were brought in, the trauma room door where the body lie closed after them, apparently some close relatives, possibly one the father. They stayed inside the room for about a half hour.

    Meanwhile my partner mostly slept on his gurney, and I didn't want to distress him with what I was witnessing, lest it upset him. But it upset me very much, though I've seen death often enough.

    Afterwards he asked me to get him some hospital socks for his cold feet while he waited in the ER. And as I was putting them on I had a seizure (I'm an epileptic).

    The ER people suddenly wanted to make me a patient, too, but when I started to come around in a room, I refused further treatment. Seizures are frequent enough with me that they're hardly of concern, though the staff got a bit difficult, and made me sign a release form to refuse treatment, that let me get back to my partner.

    One nurse kept insisting I couldn't later drive home, and that I phone someone to come and get me. But I put her off, and later, when I had to exit through the ER, because all other hospital doors were locked near midnight, I literally crouched down as I passed the nurses station so I wouldn't be seen

    I also post this for some of the RJers who have met us in person, and knew my partner was having hip surgery, and would want to know how he's doing. I'd already emailed them how great he was doing -- until now.

    South Floridians may see the bike fatality story tomorrow (actually Sunday already), I think the accident in northern Broward County, since the helicopter pilots wore BSO markings. I'm still shaken from witnessing that, and of course from concern for my partner.

    And now maybe I'll try to get some sleep, if I've made myself tired enough, because I need to be back at the hospital early tomorrow. I've already had one partner die in my arms -- I won't allow a second.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Oct 25, 2009 6:30 AM GMT
    This is obviously a trying time for you (AND, for your partner). I'm wondering why you are having seizures and why you are not on some type of medication that would prevent them. What help would you have been to your partner if you had a seizure while driving home ? I sincerely hope that all goes well for both of you.
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    Oct 25, 2009 6:35 AM GMT
    . . . this is just horrible . . . is there anyone nearby who can help you and your partner? . . . please take care of yourself as much as you can . . . in the meantime there are those who care . . .
  • Crucializer

    Posts: 389

    Oct 25, 2009 6:37 AM GMT
    Vespa, I cannot imagine how shaken you must be right now. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your partner that both he - and you - may return to full health both physically and mentally very soon!
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    Oct 25, 2009 6:44 AM GMT
    RED?!
    What a HORRIBLE day! OMG!
    How can we help you?
    My condolences to the family of the deceased cycleist...this always chills me, since I LOVE to ride my bike so much! And a teenager...how sad!

    Please take care of yourself and make sure you are eating, drinking and getting your meds right for you!
    If you are sick, you are of no use or support to your partner!
    My dad had both of his hips replaced and both knees, twice! I can appreciate the tension and nerves....but he is in the best place to handle his problem right now...please take care of yourself, for both of you.
    We always replay back to the worst events of our lives when a string of things start to cascade...please just relax, breath and be calm...this too shall pass.
    Be well and take care...Get some rest!
    Gary
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    Oct 25, 2009 6:48 AM GMT
    Hope you manage to get some sleep and that tomorrow is a better day.

    (I used to spend time in the ER of a large Michigan hospital in Detroit - we wrote their Patient Tracking software - and from what I can tell ER room TV shows are as close to reality as cop shows are, which is to say, not at all. I recall a criticism of "Miami Vice" saying that in one episode more people died than during an entire year.)
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Oct 25, 2009 7:06 AM GMT
    noren said. . . this is just horrible . . . is there anyone nearby who can help you and your partner? . . . please take care of yourself as much as you can . . . in the meantime there are those who care . . .
    He speaks for me perfectly.
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    Oct 25, 2009 7:19 AM GMT
    17062.gif
    Don't look at it too long, Vespa!


    Sorry, trying to lighten the mood. icon_cry.gif I really do mean what it says, though. And I hope for a fast recovery and continued good health for him and you!
  • baldone

    Posts: 826

    Oct 25, 2009 7:53 AM GMT
    vespa...you and your hubby are in my thoughts and prayers..what an aweful night you both have gone through...hope they get to the bottom of what is going on and he gets better soon
    hugs from cleveland
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    Oct 25, 2009 11:17 AM GMT
    hey buddy, I hope you are doing good and that you're partner is home soon. I remember last year when I was in the hospital for a botched surgery something similar happened and it was pretty hard. It puts things in perspective. Take care.. both of you.
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    Oct 25, 2009 11:37 AM GMT
    I'm so sorry that you and your partner are going through this frightening and exhausting episode. You are both in my thoughts. I have no doubt that your partner couldn't have a better advocate looking out for him or a better person to provide the love, reassurance and support he needs. Please do all you can to keep it that way by doing everything you can to stay well during your partner's treatment and recovery. No doubt anxiety and wanting to be at your partner's side may make it hard for you to rest, but please try to catch sleep and rest when you can. Also eat the healthiest food you can get your hands on (even if it has to be in tiny, frequent meals or even healthy smoothies if your appetite is diminished either by stress or lack of sleep, etc. I don't know if your seizures are made more likely by factors like sleep deprivation, emotional stress and/or hunger or dehydration. (My son has a seizure disorder and all of those things lower his seizure threshold.)

    It sounds like you have a good network of friends near you. Don't be afraid to lean on them for support through this. If you can, try to get some light exercise and time out of the hospital every day. (If it's available to you, and you haven't done so you may want to get a seasonal flu shot and an H1N1 shot a.s.a.p. - as there may be flu patients (or their viral particles) around the hospital.

    As others have said: it is essential for you to look after yourself so that you can look after your partner. Please keep us updated when you can to let us know how you and your husband are doing. I know that many, many people on this site are wishing all the best for both of you.

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    Oct 25, 2009 11:40 AM GMT
    I'm keeping you and your hubby in my thoughts and prayers, buddy.
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    Oct 25, 2009 11:40 AM GMT
    I'm so sorry that you & your partner are having such a hard time right now. Here's to a better today, and even better tomorrows for both of you.
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    Oct 25, 2009 11:48 AM GMT
    Yikes! Quite a bit of excitement I dare say!
    I hope, with all of my heart, that your partner's surgery goes well and that the recovery time is minimal.
    Thank you so much for offering adivce to the rest of us about being the legal Health Surrogate for our partners during this traumatic time.
    Please keep us all posted on how everything is progressing. I wish you and your partner well. Thank you for sharing this with Us.
    Warmest Regards,
    Keith
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    Oct 25, 2009 11:56 AM GMT
    My heart goes out to you and your partner and I can't stop thinking about the teenagers family. icon_sad.gif


    You're in my prayers.
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    Oct 25, 2009 12:06 PM GMT
    Vespa,

    It sounds like you did all the right things for your husband. Those of us who wish for a partner should be so lucky as to find a person as dedicated as you.

    Distressing as your day was, considering the metal your made of, I'm sure you will bear up and be fine.

    Let us know how things are going for your husband, thoughts are with you guys.
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    Oct 25, 2009 1:01 PM GMT
    wow, i know this response is a later late but I hope things get better for you.

    Also have more trust in your nurses next time, though seizures are something you're very use to, maybe call for a ride. It would have been terrible if you had another one on the road after all that exhaustion and anxiety.
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    Oct 25, 2009 1:23 PM GMT
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    Oct 25, 2009 1:34 PM GMT
    Even though I don't know you personally, I have read much of your thoughts on various topics and don't feel a complete stranger. I hope you and your guy are feeling better very soon. We all tend to take so much for granted, at least, i know I do. Several years ago, I received a call at 2 am. from my sister Ellen, who lives in Los Angeles. Her daughter, and of course, my niece, who was 12 years old at the time, had been skateboarding beside a street and was hit by a speeding car. The impact threw her to the hood of the car. According to bystanders, the driver of the car swerved from left to right to knock Misty off his/her car. Eventually they succeeded. My 12-year old niece remained in a coma for the last year of her life. The driver of the car that hit her was never found. We all take so much for granted...life hands us these wake-up calls from time to time ...it reminds us of how fragile we are and how tenuous our hold to this earth. I try to let those I care about know how I feel about them. There are no guarantees... Your guy is in good hands, now you better remember to take care of you !
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    Oct 25, 2009 1:48 PM GMT

    Hey Red Vespa, we're here, whenever you need us, and we can always call each other on the telephone again (remember that time? lol!).

    Thanks for sharing. This is Doug. I think that the open expressions of grief you saw in the staff when the cyclist passed on is coping, and acknowledgment of their caring natures. Pretty indicative of a good staff and good hospital. Their grief tells me your man is in good care.


    ...we'll keep you both front and forward in our thoughts and concern, - Doug and Bill
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    Oct 25, 2009 2:08 PM GMT
    My goodness! Reading your story has brought me to tears. I will certainly keep you both in my thoughts and prayers and do hope that a speedy recovery will come for your partner, and peace of mind for good health be with each of you in your near future.
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    Oct 25, 2009 2:11 PM GMT
    RED Vespa.......you HAVE to have your good friends and people who love you, near you. You can not do this alone. You need friends so you can cry on their shoulder.

    My god....sorry about all of this.
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    Oct 25, 2009 2:21 PM GMT
    So sorry to read of your partners health problem, I wish him and you the best break possible in solving his ailment. Tell him we are rooting for him !!! The teenagers loss I'm sure was a terrible addition to what you guys were dealing with, I lost two friends in their early teens like this and my heart goes out to the boys family. I hope you have a much better day today !!
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    Oct 25, 2009 2:24 PM GMT
    Thanks for the kinds word guys. Just spoke with my partner on the phone, he says they put him on morphine during the night for his pain. But he sounded OK, and in fact it was he who phoned me with his cell. We had agreed I shouldn't go back up there before 10 or 11 AM, so I can collect some of his stuff from home to bring, get some rest so I can drive safely without another seizure, and also phone our friends from here at a decent hour on a Sunday morning.

    I'll be taking his laptop with me, in case that part of the hospital has WiFi like there was in the wing he had for his hip replacement 2 weeks ago. He loves to email, which will keep his mind occupied, and mine, too, when they take him for the many tests he's having today. If they can resolve the blockage without surgery he may be home by Tuesday, but if they have to operate it will be longer.

    As for the comments about my epileptic seizure, I don't have them too often anymore, but I later realized I'd forgotten to take yesterday morning's Tegretol dose because of all the excitement with him. And I didn't take my afternoon and evening ones along with me to the hospital, either, making me very susceptible to having an episode.

    Stress can also be a factor for me in bringing on a seizure, and what with concern for my partner, and that terrible death I witnessed in the ER, it was almost inevitable I would have one within an hour of what I saw. This is the reason I no longer own a car or drive very often, hubby normally drives us both, while I just use the scooter. Interestingly I've never had a seizure on a cycle, though lately I haven't even been riding the Vespa.

    Incidentally, I fell asleep last night (this morning) wearing yesterday's shirt. When I went to shower I found I still had the round pickups glued to my chest from the seizure incident, when they hooked me up to monitor my heart. Removing them after several hours makes me look like I had a battle with an octopus! LOL! And I see I broke a blood vessel in the left eye, probably from when I fell and hit the floor, which has happened to me before.

    In any case, I've had my license suspended by doctors in the past for seizures, which I why I won't invest in a car anymore, just the inexpensive scooter, not even a bigger motorcycle like I've always previously owned. My driving right now may be a gray area, because of yesterday's seizure, but unless the hospital reports me to the State for a mandatory 6 months medical suspension I'm not technically illegal behind the wheel yet. I've already taken my morning Tegretol, bringing my pill box with me, since I'll staying there until sometime tonight.

    BTW, I can't find anything in the online news so far about the ER death I saw Saturday night a little after 9. Naturally I want to know the facts, having only overheard things that may be misleading. If any South Floridians find anything about it, please send me the links. I'll also get a Sunday paper at the hospital.

    And now it's time to drive the 10 miles to the hospital. Thanks again for your concern & support.
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    Oct 25, 2009 2:30 PM GMT
    RV: What a day! C's lucky to have you. Best wishes, and keep us posted.