March 3, 2012

My husband is in critical care.

I'm so sorry for not having a TGIF post this weekend, but there's just no way I can write about happy things right now.

Well, except to say I'm happy my husband is alive.

Thursday morning while at dialysis he experienced a rapid heart rate. His nurse there told him she thought he needed to get checked out. When he came home we called his cardiologist's office and a nurse there said it sounded like atrial fibbrillation and yeah, he should get checked out.

So we made arrangements for the kids and headed to the ER early Thursday afternoon. Mark didn't display any symptoms the entire time in the ER. Labs showed elevated cardiac enzymes, however, so they opted to hold him overnight for obsveration.

Very glad for that because sometime between 2:00 and 3:00 AM his heart rate spiked again and his blood pressure bottomed out. It got so bad that his heart actually stopped.

They restarted it and transferred him to cardiac critical care. Mark has been intubated and sedated since then, on pressors to keep his blood pressure up and another medication for the rapid heart rate. It's Saturday morning as I'm writing this.

The plan for today is to TRY and lesson the pressor meds and give him a long, slow dialysis treatment. I'm not sure about the breathing tube or when they might try to extubate him.

Mark has congestive heart failure. His heart pump is weak and we think it's trying to compensate by going into A-Fib. I see it like his heart is confused as to what it's supposed to be doing.

There's a delicate balance the doctors need to find between dialysis and his blood pressure. Dialysis will help his heart by removing fluid and potassium, yet it can also make his blood pressure drop. This is why they will do a slow and gentle treatment.

I was up from 3:00 AM Friday morning, arriving at the hospital before 5:00. They actually told me I should come in because of how unstable he was at the time. That phone call is THE SCARIEST call you can get. It's horrific to be at home and get a call from the hospital that your husband might be dying. And this wasn't even the first time that's happened to me.

Last night I slept on the couch with the TV on low, with my glasses still on and my cell phone right next to my head. I'm a bit of a wreck. Everything is making me cry.

What I'm trying really hard to do right now is stop my brain from thinking about the thousands of variables and concerns about what this all means. Whether he recovers from this or not...if he does, will he be sicker than he already was? And if the worst happens.....

But like I said, trying so hard not to think about all of that, to focus on TODAY, each minute if I have to.

One of the hardest things about going through medical crisis is that life continues to go on around you. The kids still have school, the house still needs to be cleaned up, laundry still needs to be done and bills have to get paid. I have to worry about all of that.

Thankfully I have an excellent support system. I have fabulous friends and sweet family. Gosh, that is half of what makes me emotional.

Well, my kids are home, so I'll sign off now.

50 comments:

  1. Oh, Jennifer. I know EXACTLY what you're going through. Exactly. I'm here if you need to talk, about anything.

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    1. You do? Yeah, maybe I should talk with you sometime... :-)

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    2. Jennifer,
      You don't know me, but someone in my church congregation, Scotty Schrier, asked for prayers for your husband Mark. We will be praying for his recovery in church tomorrow at 8:30, 9:45 and 11:00. We will pray for God to place his healing touch upon Mark, and to help you feel His presence in the midst of all these trials. God bless you. If you would like, keep me posted so we can continue to know exactly what to pray for.
      Kathi Sheehan, South Shore United Methodist Church, Riverview, FL
      Kathi@southshoreumc.com

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  2. Jenn - I've been thinking about you - I'm not a prayer or I would be praying my ass off. I hope you find the answers you need and that things get better from here. I know you know it doesn't help to think about the what ifs but if you want to talk or scream about it or just cry, I am here too!

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  3. Words fail me Jennifer. If you need a shoulder, I've got two. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Mark.

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    1. Thanks, Paul. It's OK to not know what to say.

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  4. I have been thinking about you so much! My prayers are with you guys! If at any point you need ANYTHING, even physically, let me know...I don't care I will drive over and help where I can. In all honesty, I am not that far. Big hugs to you!!!

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    1. It is so freaking sweet of you to be willing to set aside your dislike for driving far for me. Who knows? I might take you up on it sometime!

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  5. I just want to say thank you to everyone who is reading this, commenting, praying, sending love, or even just taking one moment to think about these sweet wonderful people. Thank you for your love and kindness.

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    1. Well thank YOU for being there for Jen. I talked to your hubs thanks to Xbox and he told me you were with Jen, this made me feel better knowing there was someone with her. YOU are amazing!!

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  6. Just to let you know I'm praying for you all!

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  7. know we are all here for you Jen. your are so amazing. praying for healing, strength that he will come through this well & God's Will for Mark. love you~Kathy xoxo

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  8. oh sweetie.. I send my prayers & strength..

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  9. Thinking of you and your family. You can do this.

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  10. I can't even imagine what you must be going through. Sending you my thoughts and prayers.

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    1. You don't want to imagine it. Thank you.

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  11. Oh I'm so sorry! That is just horrible. I will be thinking about you!

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  12. Sending prayers for healing. I'm sorry Jen. We're here if you need us.

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  13. *hugs* I can't even imagine... sending you and your husband all the positive vibes I can muster!

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  14. Jen, I'm so sorry you're going through this. Just knowing you're loving him and taking care of his children will make Mark's healing easier. You both have so much strength, and my fervent prayers.

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  15. I'm only just catching up with this now. I'm so sorry that things are scary Jen! I will be praying for your family. I totally agree with Dr. G, having you there will be good for Mark's recovery. I'm thankful that you have such a wonderful support system with you. Know that there are a bunch of us out here in the internets that care about you and your family too.

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    1. I just love that you're all out there thinking about us. Warms my heart so much.

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  16. I am so so sorry you are going through this. My heart and thoughts are with you.

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  17. I'm so sorry, I've been catching your tweets here and there and have been thinking of you and hoping things were ok. I'm so glad you have a great family and support system right now and as Sarah said, it looks like you have a great one online here as well. Thank you for this post. Although not in person, you have a lot of people thinking of you, your husband and family right now.

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  18. What a truly awful situation for your family to be in. Sending prayers and good wishes to you all - your husband in particular. x

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  19. So sorry to hear about your husband. I've been there with my own. He pulled through and I'm sending positive energy your way that yours will, too.

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  20. ICU prayer circles are incredibly soothing. I love that Scotty S. sent his church to your blog to let you know you and Mark are in their thoughts.

    You guys are in mine as well.

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  21. Sweetie, I have no idea what this must be like for you but I am sending as many vibes for healing and comfort as I can manage.

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  22. Praying for you and your family, Jennifer!

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  23. Oh my god - just read this. <<>>

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  24. Nothing more I could say that hasn't been said here already but oh my god - sending the best 'healthy vibes' I can your way. I'm moaning about a cough and cold, your post kinda puts things in perspective

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  25. I just found out. I'm so sorry this is happening. Best wishes for a swift and thorough recovery.

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  26. I hope for the best possible results for you and your lovely family. Life does go on around us during times like these, and I'm so glad you have a strong support system to smooth the path for you.

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