Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Last Few Weeks

My last few weeks have been a whirlwind!  The weekend before May 20th, sorry I have lost track of time, my sister in law called me saying that my brother was having brain surgery for a hematoma on the left side of the brain.  She was concerned, but said that my brother said that he didn't think it was serious enough to warrant me coming to Texas.  The procedure was to be relatively minor, and the neurosurgeon stated that he would be home in 3 to 4 days and could continue to live as usual.
A few days later, she called and things looked pretty grim.  So, I decided to take off for Texas.  I packed quickly, (forgetting some stuff, naturally) and made a mad dash for the Lone Star State.  When I arrived late in the pm of 5/22, I was really "shook" by what I saw.  My usually strong and vibrant bother was on a breathing machine, was semi comatose, medically induced, and was ashen and lying perfectly still.  It seems that before surgery, he was being given plasma to thicken his blood, due to the fact that he takes blood thinner for his artificial heart valve (now 14 years+ old).  The neurosurgeon's people called and said that Bro's surgery could be moved up a couple hours than originally scheduled, so in an attempt to get him ready sooner, the nurse on duty took it upon herself, without any orders from either the surgeon, or Bro's heart doctor, to speed up the plasma IV.  When she did so, Bro had a heart attack!  Sis in law (now on called Sis) said that it happened almost immediately.  Bro's lungs began to fill with fluid and he couldn't breath.  A pulmonologist was called in immediately and gave to order to intubate Bro.
Well, he was on the breathing machine and kept in a semi comatose state for 5 days until the doctor's all agreed that his lungs were clear, and the heart strong enough for surgery on the brain.  That surgery he came thru with flying colors.  The surgeon said that when they drained the fluid away from the brain, the brain went back right where it was supposed to be.
Bro spent another week and a half in the hospital then had to be moved to a rehab facility.  We were assured that none of that would have been necessary if the heart attack hadn't occurred, causing the delay, and the damage to his heart.  He had to have physical therapy because he laid so long.  The occupational therapy he received was to help with he minor results of the pressure on the brain.  Those things, fortunately, are relatively minor.
In addition, because of the heart attack, when he is strong enough, he will have to undergo some tests,and possible corrective procedures depending on the damage to the heart muscle.
So, I was there for basic support, both for him and Sis, and to help out any way I could.  There wasn't anything I could do buy pray and believe me, pray I did.  And it paid off, too.  I can see God's miracles at work in my Bro.  Medical science is God's work, too. There were many friends and relatives from all over the USA praying for Bro's recovery.
I am happy to say that when I left, Bro was home, and walking with a cane, and on his way to a full recovery.  My hope is that the damage to his heart is minimal when they run the tests.  He came a long way in a short amount of time. 
If anything, this has taught me to live each day fully, tell your family and friends how much they mean to you, and when you go to bed at night, kick those slippers under the bed far enough so that when you want them the next morning, you have to go down on your knees to find them, and while you are there, just thank God that you are alive and given another day!



Curley said...

So happy that all the prayers were answered and that your brother continues his speedy recovery.

Anvilcloud said...

Thanks for the update. It must have been a scarey and exhausting time.