>Wow, it’s nice to be home, on my couch, and using my computer again.
I’ve been trying to decide where to start writing, because I certainly have enough to write about it to last a few posts. I think I’ve decided to start with what happened/how I ended up in ICU, and from there I’ll write some of the other posts that you all have to hear about.
Know this, there is a reason for hope, Christ died for us, loves us, lives in and through us, and God created us with a purpose, and my very life is a miracle from God, the very answer to many prayers!
I got the flu. We got back from Christmas in Colorado on Sunday, and by Wednesday I felt like crud. Run of the mill, my muscles ache, great I got the flu, crud. Thursday morning rolled around, Boo got dropped off, and an hour later her dad picked her up cause I felt icky and they are great people. I laid on the couch, feeling the ache, nursing a sinus headache and being bummed. No going out Friday if I felt like this still. No babysitting for friends, nothing but laying around, feeling bad for myself.
Around 1am Thursday night/friday morning I knew things were getting worse. I was really starting to feel the tightness in my chest and I was short of breath. I was hitting it hard with my nebulizer treatments, even took a steroid and was at Urgent care at 8:30am, feeling so cruddy I didn’t even wait for them to open, I had Stacy take me to the ER.
We got to the Community Hospital at Fountain Park, and they got me back right away. They administered a breathing treatment, and my O2 sats were 70-ish. This is bad. Means I don’t have enough oxygen in my blood. That number should be above 95 on room air. I was 70-ish – with an oxygen mask on. They drew an arterial blood gas test – OUCH. That is a painful blood draw, it’s awful. I was also retaining carbon dioxide, so not enough oxygen in my blood, and not getting rid of the bad gases, means my lungs were not working right. My little airways were closed down, and the bigger ones were next.
At this point things are a bit disoriented for me, I know I rode in an ambulance, on CPAP, lights and sirens, to St. Anthony’s. I also remember they were talking to me about intubating, and what that meant, and that the hospital BIPAP, which is stronger than ambulance CPAP, was not producing any improvement. I was declining, on pressurized breathing. They couldn’t force air in enough to get my oxygen up. I know I agreed to the intubation, and I signed medical proxy over to Stacy so someone could make decisions about my care. They were going to be sedating me for this, and someone would have to make decisions about how to proceed medically.
I thought I was going to die. It wasn’t scary, I felt a little sad for my boys and asked God to make sure they knew I had loved them with my whole heart, I knew the lives of friends and family would be affected, but it wasn’t scary. I knew I was going to heaven to worship God and that was okay. I just prayed that everyone would have the strength they needed to get through all of this.
My whole world gets very black at this point and there is just nothing. I was very heavily sedated, with a machine doing all of the breathing for me, and I have a few little fuzzy memories, but not anything super clear. I know I felt loved. I know the first time I got scared was when I woke up, felt like I was on Star Trek, was trying to rationalize that that wasn’t possible, and realized that I wasn’t breathing for myself. I didn’t want to lay there for a long time living on a ventilator.
I was working very hard to communicate (thank God for sign language!!) My mom had come down from Colorado, and her and Stacy worked very hard to understand all my signs. I remember realizing what day it was – which was Tuesday – and it was really hard for me to understand that I’d really been on a ventilator for 4 days. It certainly didn’t feel like that much time had gone by. As they turned down the sedation, they also made adjustments to the ventilator to test if I was going to keep breathing when they took me off of it.
They pulled the tube out on Tuesday afternoon, and let all of the sedation drugs wear off. Talk about feeling weird. I was breathing, my oxygen sat levels were holding. I was on a face mask, receiving 10 liters of oxygen, but I was improving…..
I’ll write again probably in the morning about getting to eat for the first time in 5 days, getting transferred out of CCU, and some of the things God spoke to my heart, the heart He’s holding, caring for, loving, and making to beat still….