Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More Hospitals and Doctors

Wow! Tonight, I'm tired. My husband is tired.
Saturday we had a trip to the ER (30 miles away) to check out the swelling near the heart-cath insertion site. ER doc said: Most likely a lymph node.
It was larger yesterday and today, so called back to the Doctor's office (the one who performed the hearth-cath) to report in. His Physicians Assistant said "come now" for an ultra-sound of the site. That hospital/out-patient center is 80 miles from home. When we go there and the ultra-sound tech first saw everything, she was afraid she was going to be viewing a pseudo-aneurysm. Not a good thing, I learned, but treatable.
Since my husband was feeling all kinds of "weird" things in his chest, etc., we asked about seeing the cardiologist. The answer from the heart-cath doctor's nurse: you should probably go home and call the other cardiologist about making an appointment.
Well, we were hungry so we called our daughter who lives close by and went for lunch. Then, after, at her apartment, we called the other cardiologist to see about getting worked in today--since we live 80 miles away and didn't want to have to do the 160 mile round trip later. AND we'll be traveling down again on Sunday for the study on Monday.
They were very kind to work us in.
This doctor, excellent reviews from the first doctor and other people we know who've been treated by him, scared the begeebers out of us . . . as he commented on what could have happened to my husband 9 days ago.
With the way your heart was doing, you had three different morphologies going on, a heart rate of 280/minute . . . if your heart weren't in as good a shape as it is, you'd be dead now.
Nothing like that to put the frosting on the cake and give you a huge sigh of relief! Or more likely the anxiety-city my husband is feeling. Not to mention the definite realization of the serious fragility of one's mortality!
Then, as this doctor answered our questions about what will happen next Monday when he does the "EP" study--I believe the EP stands for "Electrical Pathways", he's going to try to get my dearly beloved husband's heart to repeat the bizarre behavior of 9 days ago. The very A-typical heart behavior this doctor has never seen before. So my husband asked, in blatant curiosity of his chances for survival, Won't I then be at risk for my heart stopping all together?
Well, quite frankly, yes.
But I don't want that to happen, you know!
But you need to understand, there's not a better place on the planet for your heart to stop than in that hospital EP study room. There will be staff and equipment to fix that situation.
So, you'll have to zap me?
If your heart stops, yeah.
Won't that hurt?
You probably won't be totally awake, so it shouldn't bother you.
That's when I ante up and mention: Better than the alternative, I think!
So, I'll be sedated?
Well, a light sedation. We don't want you too deep because we won't be able to get your heart to repeat what it did the other day if you're too sedated.
Then the discussion went into the defibrillator/pace-maker implant he will much more than likely have to insert into my husband's chest with electrical leads into his various heart chambers.
My husband is taking this all so calmly. Kind of like we did when we learned he had prostate cancer two years ago and all that implied. I'm so impressed with his ability to be so calm through the whole thing, even when he was in the hospital with the horribly fast racing heart, talking to me a thousand miles away--literally--and telling me he's fine and doesn't want me to worry about him.
Then, the whole thing really kicked me in the teeth today, when after leaving the Doctor's office, and getting him another medicine we were driving close to where our son was at work. Since it's a retail store, I asked, Do you want to go by and see Andrew?
He said, Yeah, let's do that. I would like to see him.
And we did. Andrew was glad to see his Dad, too. Somewhere in there I said something about I thought he'd want to hurry back home--we'd been gone most of the day by then--and this was the part that really caught in my throat--he said,
You know, thoughts keep going through my mind, if I don't see him now, this might be the last time I get to see him.
You can't see the tears in my eyes right this minute, nor feel the wrench in my heart, but I, too, have considered how close he's come to that point of leaving mortality. And, I'm not ready for that. I'm not sure any of us are ready to give up a spouse--or other dearly loved family member or friend.
I believe that it wasn't his time to go. And, perhaps the prayers of his family and friends and his little grandchildren (who at 4 and 5 are earnestly praying each day for their Grandpa without being prompted to do so) have found place in the Lord's heart to lend him to us for more time here in mortality. I know for sure that God hears and answers our prayers, but He still has a plan that may not include all that we desire and pray for and He expects us to prepare for whatever may come our way.
I'm just grateful He's blessing my husband now, and each of the rest of us as well, to have more time together. I pray it's many years, if it is His will.
And I'll keep praying and trying to get my life in order.


Bush Babe said...

Oh you poor things... how traumatic. Hang tight and stay positive. It makes (excuse the language) one hell of a difference. When Dash had all his heart dramas, the most successful thing was for the person feeling down to let themselves be lifted up by the others. It works.

Pray and do whatever you have to. But keep in mind that love is here and now - revel in it. Enjoy it. Enjoy each other.
PS Pleased I could make you laugh at my place today.

jeanie said...

Oh PencilWriter - it obviously wasn't his time last week, and it seems a whole new perspective on what is important may come through - seeeing your son was very important.

I think we all need to do that more even without health scares.

Good luck on it all.

Mary Paddock said...

PW--You and your husband are in my prayers. I too am in awe of his matter of fact "look it straight in the eye" attitude. Yours too.

The other day my fourteen year old began to make a joke (something about time being a present, etc) that quickly became profound. He said, "There really isn't any such thing as a present or future, just what we've already been given and what we did with it." I don't doubt that you guys are already making every minute count.

Please update us when you have a chance.

Debby said...

Gees. It's been so long since I've been able to sit down and read blogs. PW, I'll be praying for you both.

Pencil Writer said...

BB, Jeanie, Mary and Debby--thank you all for your comments and prayers. I KNOW prayers work and the kindnesses of others are a tremendous boon to the spirit, too! Thank you all. We--HE--is doing better. Hey! He's walking, talking and even driving himself to work now! So, all's good!