Thursday, September 29, 2005

Update

My husband is sitting downstairs in a recliner, talking with his parents, and they are all giving as good as they get [joshing, joking, teasing, telling family stories on each other]. This would be neither here nor there except that since the middle of the month David was dying in front of my eyes, day by day, sometimes hour by hour, even minute by minute. And nothing the doctor tried seemed to work, and some of it even backfired. Then our regular doctor went out of town and we dragged our weary, discouraged, frightened selves to his young, go-getting partner - in fairness I should mention that the new guy had the benefit of just-released test results, including a CT scan done earlier in the day, plus the advice of out-of-town cardiologists he called for fast advice, plus all the information about what hadn't worked - and the new doctor declared that the intensive care unit was in order. As in do not go home, do not pass go, get thee up there, we must get the fluid out of your lungs, etc. And so began a wild ride of pushing chemicals in and fluids out. Scary, definitely. But wonderful, because it worked.

We're not out of the woods, necessarily. We may never be. We're dealing with heart failure and damaged lungs on top of MS and scoliosis. He's got tubes here and there and I've become accustomed to the constant, unevenly-cycling sound of the oxygen concentrator he has to have with him at all times. He's still quite sick and weak, and we're told he's permanently disabled. The hospital has lined us up with home nursing services; they'll be here Monday. I've been thrown into a world of acronyms and odd phrases and government workers and pills and forms to sign and sometimes-scary vigils. We've got to find a home better suited to handicapped living, and soon. We've shut down our Internet bookstore business for a while, simply because something had to give and I don't know how to run that particular business by myself. I've been handling basic bookkeeping for the gas station this week, in between vigils - gas stations are almost as bad as dairies as far as needing daily care and feeding. With the gas station though, I have help. The employees have done what they could. The head office has led prayers as well as been patient with the rookie (me). One of the main guys chatted with me by phone just to offer some encouragement and share his grief that my husband was ill.

The emotions are beyond describing.

I'd like to thank everybody who has been praying for us and everybody who has offered help. I'd especially like to thank the people who showed up when I was too shell-shocked to deal with the situation, and simply dug in and did whatever needed to be done. I should have been writing down who has offered or done what. The last two weeks or so are smudgy, if I might put it that way.

I still have the bookkeeping to do tonight, and David wants to teach me how to cut payroll checks (eek!) and then we've got to get him situated for the night. (Me, too. I'm on a borrowed cot I haven't used before. It squeaks. This should be interesting...). We didn't find out he couldn't use a bed but needed a recliner (until we can get a hospital bed) until about an hour or so before he was discharged this morning. In hindsight, all us crazy people running around getting a recliner and getting it down outside stairs must have looked mighty funny. If you'd been inside while we decided that best place for it required the moving of about twenty letter-legal boxes full of used books, well...

So I'm off for now. But I wanted to let you know that things are still upside down and not so good, but on the other hand they don't seem so bad as they were.

8 comments:

jquinby said...

I will remember you and your family in my devotions today. God bless you all.

Suzi said...

I am so glad he's doing better. I know that you're in this for the long haul and it is a long haul, but at least you're not watching him "die before your eyes." God be with you both.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

We've been praying, too. I understand precisely what you mean about the days being smudgy. We had a medical crisis of our own with my husband two years ago, and so many people were so kind, and it wasn't til the crisis was just beyond the worst point and starting to get better that I looked around and realized I'd never even learned who some of those kind people were.

Thank-you for the update. I am glad things are a little better.

Dave said...

We will be praying for you and David.

Amanda Witt said...

Thanks for the update, Kathryn. We have been praying and wondering.

Kathryn Judson said...

Thanks everybody! He's doing even better today. Much joy and relief in Casa Judson, I can tell you.

Bookworm said...

What a dreadful rollercoaster you've been on -- and what dramatic life changes you're facing. My thoughts and wishes are with you both. Your manifest courage, creativity and intelligence should get you a long way on this daunting trip.

coffeemamma said...

We know all about those 'smudgy' days, too. Praying for strength for you and your family, as you continue on your journey.