Saturday, April 29, 2006

Brush with Death - Part 5

More from Evie:

Mom stayed at the hospital, and I don’t remember if your husband did too. Adam and I started looking for a hotel and the first one was full. We found one a few miles away, within view of the major highway. We checked into the cheesy place at 4am. My head continued to hurt. The sheets hurt my head. Adam seemed to sleep. I didn’t.

Light came and we got up and had breakfast. I think we got to the hospital Neuro Intensive Care Unit around 9 or 10, and I think you were still intubated and on the respirator. We could only go in two at a time to your room. You were still heavily sedated I think, so that you would tolerate the tube. I remember seeing the front of your head was bleeding under the bandages and how I was thinking how savage this surgery must’ve been, even worse than open heart surgery because your personality could be damaged.

I looked at all the monitors around you and everything was booping like it should, reassuringly so. At some point they asked us to leave so that they could extubate you.

The waiting room was really a bad trip. Everyone there had a loved one who’d had a car accident or worse. Not that day, but others, people died in your ward and their relatives grieved and called their friends with the bad news. Whole families were there, black and white, all upset. I really don’t remember much that day, as I’d had no sleep and was wondering who you would be when you awoke.

They called us in and you continued to sleep peacefully. At some point you were coming around and they tried to talk to you. “Who are you?” they asked. Without hesitation, “Sue Fairview” you said, just like you say when at work, but a little slower. My heart jumped. I knew I could hear that you were still in there, whole as ever! For the first time, I had hope, and I realized that was only because of the emergency surgery to remove the clot, that you were able to be lucid and better than when your husband last saw you at home. He was so pleased also. But we were reluctant to be ecstatic, because we knew there was a long road ahead.

The nurses, ever the drill sergeants, also asked you to move your fingers and toes and were met with partial success, because you had weakness on your right side and couldn’t move your right hand at all and toes I don’t remember.

The LOML has since told me that he brought me my bronze statuette of the Hindu Deity Ganesh, the destroyer of obstacles, as part of his wish to connect me to the outside world in a constructive and personal way. When he held it up to me I touched it gently with my left hand even though I was semiconscious. (I collect Hindu and Buddhist articles as part of Asian and religious study, decoration and spirituality.)

I guess I was better the next Saturday morning, seeming lucid and able to move my right hand and toes on my right foot. I am told that I recognized my mother and the LOML. My family was encouraged by this result. At this time I told the LOML that I wanted a divorce, which I do not remember doing. He was quite upset that his wife almost died and then told him she wanted a divorce. He was so upset that he told my sister and my surgeon about it. Much later he recounted my request to me. All I could do by way of explanation was tell him of a dream that I had where something very serious was wrong with my brain and I worried that he would no longer want me. I decided to beat him to it by requesting a divorce. This made sense to my sister, Evie. My nursing notes from that day indicate that I was oriented to person and place, but not time, and was generally confused.


Ryan said...

gosh everytime i read about what happen i just want 2 hug u! i am so glad god left u here with us all your family and your blogging family. your story makes us see how great u r!

Sue said...

Thanks Ryan. I could use a hug and I'd hug you back because I am so glad to be here too!

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