Thursday, August 5, 2010

Near Death of a ......

I can't sleep. I'm using this post as my therapy. So, as dramatic as I write this, it's how I'm feeling. I'm putting my husband in the middle because I believe that's my way of sneaking the cause of my insomnia into the post. So, I'm actually avoiding but putting it out there all at the same time.

Near Death of a Stay at Home Mom

Since having the kids I have not wanted to go back to work. Thankfully Scott and I have been blessed with being able to save and make our bills on his salary. But when we found out he needed his hip replaced sooner than later we both felt it would be wise for me to find something.

Some how, just like a snap of a finger, I found a job. Life isn't supposed to be that easy but it was. Now, don't misunderstand me. It's not like I went skipping down the street picking daisies I was so happy I had a job. I was grateful but not happy cause my life was changing. And I don't do change very well. But surprisingly. I handled it. Scott only felt my wrath, anger, immaturity, childish stomping up the steps, for a couple of days.

I was able to start working gradually. Yes, you are reading this correctly. Gradually. Short days at 1st. 4 hours, then home in time to get the kids from school. After the surgery when Scott was home, I started working full time. Oh, and while Scott was in the hospital both times, I was off, with him, 24 7. Please don't think for a second that I don't know how good I have it. Cause I do know. It was still difficult for me to let go of a life that I loved so much. But change is good. No matter how much I hate it.

Near Death of ......

I can't write his name. I don't want to but like I said at the beginning of this post, I'm not sleeping. And as light as I'm trying to keep this post what happened those during the 24 hours on March 1st and the next couple of days, well, I think it's affecting me now.

I found Scott in the front room early March 1st. He was leaning on his cane, gasping for air. I knew what it was. I also knew that time was not longer my friend. All I could think about was getting him to the hospital. And when I asked him if he wanted to go and he responded yes, well, I moved as quickly as I could.

My sister came and to watch the kids. This is so hard to write. It was dark out. We got to the hospital and no one was there. Scott walked in, registered, walked to the waiting area, was called right away, walked to his bay in the ER. All this walking. I didn't like it. When the ER nurse, who by the way turned into Scott's angel, started taking his history, her face completely changed the minute she found out about the hip surgery. Everything stopped. The "nice nurse" went out and the "Houston we have a problem nurse" checked in.

After a chest x-ray was taken the ER doc came in and got right in Scott's face to tell him he had several blood clots in his lungs and that he was very sick. He went on to tell him that his doctor had been paged to find out what needed to be done next. WHAT! Ok, someone still needs to explain this to me ..... what the hell was that doc waiting for?

At this point I paced. Then I called Scott's mom. I didn't want to but what could have happened to Scott, well, she needed to be there. Then I paced some more. I walked from one end of Scott's bay to the other. The alarms on his monitors wouldn't shut up. His blood pressure was playing pinball. One minute up then down then up, up, up then way down. The beeping was starting to drive me insane.

The angel nurse finally came and gave Scott some pain medication. I think it worked the second it went into his IV. The medicine was working but I felt helpless, useless and any other word you can think of to describe what you feel when you can't help the one you love most. Ok, God forgive me but I think at one point I did go to his side and say "see, I told you this would happen - see - you should have gone to see the doctor as soon as this started 2 days ago". But Scott didn't hear me. Why I thought saying that would make me feel better I don't know. Cause it didn't. I still felt helpless.

Shortly after Scott's mom arrived, with his niece, Scott was moved to a room. His pain meds were starting to wear off and we no longer had his angel with us. There was shift change at the hospital. If any nurse is reading this, completely respect your profession but the run around I got trying to get him some more pain meds was unexcuseable behavior. I understand paper work needs to be done and nobody wants to have to fill out a couple more pieces of paper when they are leaving BUT don't blow people off. Don't tell a family member someone is coming when no one is. Don't say so and so is taking care of it when so and so said you would take care of it.

The Scott's doc finally came in around 5 hours after we got to the hospital. His doc is a no holds barred kind of, tell it like it is, no time for bedside manner, doc. Which is why Scott respects him. We were sitting at the end of the bed and he walks to Scott immediately and adjusts the position of the bed. Then he starts talking about what is happening. He just blurts out that this could have killed him and as long as there is no blood clot in the leg, which he didn't think there was, then he was going to be fine. I looked at Scott's mom. Then I looked at the doc and thought "you fucking idiot. That's your patient's mother. Did you hear what you just said? What the hell is the matter with you?" I will never forget the look on her face. She sat silent for a long time after that. She just sat. It was almost as painful seeing her sit than it was seeing Scott laying there.

Scott's mom left when they took Scott for the doppler of his legs. Things looked like they were going to be fine. The doppler did show he had a clot in the left calf. It was small though and the drugs should break it up.

I didn't want to leave that night. The nurse came in and told me I could stay but she said I would probably be better off going home. They had my number and would call me if anything changed.

I cried on the way to my car.

The kids slept with me. I didn't tell them how sick their dad was. After all, the doc told me he was going to get better now. For some reason I set my alarm. 5:30, it goes off to John Mayer's Heart Break Warfare. That song can sound so haunting. It is still very hard for me to listen to.

I stopped setting my alarm after that. I still don't set it.

I wake up without an alarm. I don't sleep past 4:30 but I won't get out of bed until 5. I think I can stop writing about this now.

Near Death of a Triathlete ....

After the Graves disease I thought I was done with running and triathlons. The heart rate thing took a long time to get under control. Eventually it did get under control. Then the psychological irrational heart rate started. I signed on for the Palos half and was so excited and so ready to do it. The morning of the race the HR average was 108. I wasn't even running yet. The average during the run 177, my maximum during the race didn't even register, it was that high. Some say 177 - heck that's my average. Well, for a 9:30 minute mile pace 177 average, for me that S U C K S! It wasn't like that when I trained. It was the fact I was in a race that was making it go crazy. I couldn't run like this. I was going to give myself a heart attack for no other reason than I was overly excited about running in a race again.

Dennis talked me into doing a triathlon at the beginning of June. I was hesitant but decided to try and see what happened. I wasn't swimming because I had no time, because of work but I was getting in some running and some bike time.

The HR stayed in check until I got the water to start. Then, it went crazy. My friend Kristin was dancing and singing and preparing for the swim and I stood there with my hands folded at my chest, praying.

The start was a disaster. All I could think was what the hell was I doing here. Again, time was not my friend. I picked my head up from the water and found a kayak. I was going to swim to the kayak, quit, get out the water, throw my wetsuit away and never ever try to race again. Yes, DRAMA. Just getting to the kayak was difficult. Then, that damn kayak moved while I was trying to swim to it. Thankfully, during that time, I was able to find a rhythm. The drama left and the desire to quit faded, slowly, as slowly as it took to finish the swim. But I did finish the swim.

Saw Kristin in bike transition. She could have gone but for some reason she didn't. She waited for me. Then she stayed with me the entire ride. She was so ready to just blow away from me There were times she would pull ahead, about a 1/2 block but then she would wait for me. While riding she was cheering athletes on as we passed them. So I joined her cheering.

Strangely I started having a good time. I stopped trying to race so I stopped beating myself up, I was now participating and enjoying it. My desire to quit was like a memory from years ago. The run was dare I say it ..... fun :). We managed to trot out about 9:30 min. miles and finished together.

I will forever be grateful to Kristin for sharing that day with me. She didn't have to but she did. My heart rate was beautiful. It averaged 154 bpm. The trick to returning to triathlons and running events - participate, don't race.

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