Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Of Cabbages and Kings and Hospital Things

Okay, you all know Mac and how into his gardening he is, right?  You know we're early risers and out and about checking on the collards, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages.  We even pulled  a collard on Sunday and ate him right up with squash and field peas and cornbread.  Unless you're from the South you probably don't know collards from succotash, but it's very similar to kale.  Just better.  So Mac planted these lovely plants from seed in August and babied and pampered them and we've watched them grow into these lovely huge leafy beasties.  I was out there wandering amongst the beasties and choosing the one to "kill" for Thanksgiving.  Mac, who is King of the garden, caught me fondling the large leafy beauty that was going to grace my cook pot.  I had told him that since we'd had two frosts, I saw no reason to wait for Thanksgiving to have our first taste of heaven.  I'd cook this lovely right up and we'd freeze what was left for Thanksgiving dinner.  He fell for it hook line and garden shears. 

Yesterday Mac did nothing of his normal routine.  He got up early, sure.  But he didn't go out to check the garden or the trees, he didn't shuck corn for the guinea hens.  He said he didn't feel all that well and wrapped up in fleece blanket, lay back in his chair.  I took his temperature, it was 97.4.  He didn't have much of an appetite, in fact ate nothing all day, just nibbled.  He had one cup of coffee and the rest of the day drank lemonade.  I was concerned about him but whenever I asked how he was, he would only say that he felt some better.  At 9:30 he announced he thought he would go to bed.  At 10, I followed.  At 2 a.m. I felt him get up and sit on the edge of the bed.  I asked him if he was okay.  He asked for his nitro spray and I got it for him.  By 2:30 a.m. I had called 911 and gotten an ambulance on the way.  When he had gotten up to get a drink, he collapsed into unconsciousness on the living room floor.  I could not bring him around as hard as I tried.  After 911 I called for my son Wallace to come help me.  He finally came around but had no idea what had happened to him.  Wallace let the squad members in and within a few minutes they were on the way to the hospital with him.  Wallace, seeing I was in no shape to drive took over those duties. We made it to the ER seconds behind the ambulance.  While on the road he had been given two medications to bring his heart rate down from the 200+ beats per minute.  Having gotten him converted, he was awake and fully responsive by the time they let us back with him.  But suddenly, while the nurse was checking his vitals, he went into a full blown seizure that I knew was serious because she lost her calm and began yelling "I need help in here guys, send me a Doctor stat".  His face was grey, his eyes were wide open with pleading and his entire body was stretched out as if some unseen forces were trying to pull him apart.  To say that Wallace and I were now in a state of panic is an understatement.  I was  begging God to help and telling Mac at the same time, we're here we're here. 

Okay, this is where we were on November 18th,  2010.  Funny, it doesn't seem to have been that long ago.  I was sitting by his hospital bed after several harrowing hours in the ER and found I couldn't concentrate enough on anything but him.  Wallace  had brought me my laptop after he made a flying visit to the house to bring me clothes other than my night clothes.  I sat in the world's most uncomfortable recliner, laptop in front of me and determined to make some sense of the past few hours.  I failed miserably.  He moved, I stopped.  He groaned, I stopped.  He called my name, I froze.  So, putting the usually comforting laptop away and any idea of expressing my feelings about what was going on, I concentrated on his condition.  The Cardiologist came in and expressed complete puzzlement over what might have occurred but offered any manner of tests that might offer an answer.  By this time the children and grandchild and minister had arrived and Mac was converting to his John Wayne persona.  "I'm fine, nothing going on here, I have work to get back to, leave me alone blah blah blah".  The blah blah blah is where I quit listening to him and turned to the doctor and asked about the importance of having yet another catherazation even when he had passed a stress test with flying colors not three months previously.  "If he were a family member of mine, he wouldn't leave here without it" pretty much sewed it up for me.  Meanwhile, Mac was busy pulling the stitches out of my resolve.  Finally I looked at the drawn faces around me, my older son in particular (he had been in the ER with me at the time of the unexplained seizure and near death experience, after all.  "I need some help here, guys, " I demanded of them.  Wallace looked at his father, his face pale his voice determined.  "Dad, you don't understand, I thought we were watching you die."  That did it.  Mac simply laid back and gave in to our demands.

Where we stand now.  The catherazion found a previously thought closed graft wide open and flowing blood like a champ.  Why his heart rate went to over 200 we may never know, but he has had one episode of rapid heart rate since we returned home.  He will have to wear a heart monitor for several weeks to keep track of any episodes we aren't aware of.  The mystery may never be solved.  But here's the thing...I have been hesitant to write of this episode because so many of my friends have experienced some devastating events that make mine pale in comparison.  I have said so many prayers for them and their loved ones in the past few months, that I had put God on speed dial.  I think in particular of Anya who recently lost a similar battle for her dear husband's life.  I think I was suffering from survivor's guilt.  I didn't want to share and yet I needed to share.  I didn't want my friends who have been through such similar things and had a quite different outcome to think I was insensitive to their recent losses.  But, here I am, 2011 and making another resolve to get out there and visit my friends and continue to keep on keeping on.  After all, that's what life is all about, isn't it?

46 comments:

Jules~ said...

Oh my goodness Sandi, I have been so worried about you and feared there was was something going on. I am so sorry for the stress and trauma of recent events. Yes Praise God indeed that Mac is doing well. The things you have been through are not any less that anyone elses' hardships.

I pray now for peace and rest for you and your whole family. I remember so well all my time with my dad and how I was constantly waiting, even when things were good, for the next event and kept trying to second guess things. I pray for you to be able to truly enjoy each day and not feel the emotional exhaustion of trying to brace yourself all the time.

lailani said...

Wow Sandi! What a road you traveled this holiday season. Glad you shared to today - prayers to be said for your husband, you and the doctors as you continue forward.

Please keep us posted!

Smiles!

Akelamalu said...

Oh my Sandi, whilst I was celebrating my birthday poor Mac was fighting to see another one - I'm so sorry!

What a frightening experience for all of you. I'm sending positive thoughts and oodles of Reiki to Mac. Here's to a full recovery for him. x

Finding Pam said...

Sandie, I can't imagine what you and Mac have been through. I pray that he will make a full recovery.

I think posting is a good idea because you have more folks praying for him.

Please keep us updated.

Blessings,
Pam

Love Bears All Things said...

My gracious you have been through it....I heard on the radio yesterday that the number one lie mean tell is, "I'm Fine" when they are clearly not...once Honey Bear asked, after being with his Dad, Are all old men grumpy or is it just him? Well, they are certainly stubborn...I'm thankful Mac is doing better and I know you are too...I wish you an uneventful 2011.
Mama Bear

Brian Miller said...

oh my...thank you for writing it...i am so sorry you and your fam had to go through this...scary...will be praying for you...

Suldog said...

Geez, Sandi, if you can't let yourself vent here, where can you? I'll say a prayer as soon as this posts, and I hope all goes well going forward.

Donna said...

Oh Sandi....Will travel this road with you in spirit! Sending prayers and lotsa love to you both!!!
Hang in there!!!
hughugs

Vee said...

Darling Sandi, survivors guilt? Please, please give that one up. I've wondered about you so often, but in my stupid wish not to be intrusive, didn't intrude. I'm probably going to intrude the next time you disappear. I'm so glad that Mac is doing better and will pray that the reason for these episodes is discovered. You described the events so well that I'm feeling a little panicky myself. Ha! Love you guys...

Jeni said...

Reading this post really had me frightened as to what the final outcome was going to be for me to read. I was so thankful when I saw that Mac is home, doing, well at least semi-okay, with a lot of watching going on. Prayers for both of you that things smooth out, go much better now. And I hope you don't disappear again like that too! Hopefully 2011 will turn out to be a very Happy New Year for you and Mac.

Lee said...

Dear, dear Sandi!

Prayers continue to ascend for Mac and you every time I talk to God. I hope that Mac is continuing to follow the doctor's instructions and be watchful so that he can alert you all early to any problems. Please feel my arms around you and a shoulder to lean on if you need them. Sending you peace and calm assurance that God is there looking out for you and Mac.

Peace, hope, and love,
Lee

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

Some people can write at the time... Others need to make sense of it all first. I tend to be more lke you... Need to recover a bit before blogging, then tnelps with recovering.
Just so pleased you are both ok. Such a terrifying experience.

Lib said...

Hope htings are better your way SOON!
Blessins',Lib

Pam said...

Oh my word Sandi! Many many hugs to you for going through this ordeal. How frightening. You all are in my prayers and I hope Mac makes a speedy recovery.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I wondered where you were. So sorry you had such a harrowing holiday, but I am glad things are looking up.
I sometimes feel that my problems are so small in comparison to those of my friends and I understand your reluctance to write. I am sure your friends would not think you to be insensitive. The mere fact that you thought this shows just how sensitive you are!

Maggie May said...

That must have been a terrible shock.
My husband has done that type of thing on me too and a mini stroke was the reason one time and a couple of other times he collapsed on me was when he suffered heat stroke and another time food poisoning. On all three occasions we were on holiday and I had no back up.
Hoping this will never happen again to Mac and you and also that you will get to the bottom of the problem.
((Hugs))
Maggie X

Nuts in May

merry weather said...

Hi Sandi

You have had one hell of a time - now we know why you've been gone so long - I am so sorry to read of your troubles and fears - and so sorry for your Mac.

He must be one tough guy.

I'm smiling (faintly) to think of him doing his John Wayne thing - even as all hell's broken loose around him -
God bless both of you. And keep you strong.

And don't stop blogging it like it is. You're damn good here woman. We need you - :-)
Big Hug X

D said...

SAndi,
Thanks for stopping by! Especially with everything on your plate. You most certainly may add me to your list of reads! I'm adding you to my 'follow' list as well.

I thought for sure when I started reading your post today that I would be reliving my husband's aneurysm and stroke event. I'm telling you, I got chills reading how your night progressed.

Thankfully, with many prayers and God's intervention, he lives today. It's an incredible story and Drs. tell him he's a walking miracle.

We'll have to compare stories one day.

Glad your world is right again, take it easy and may you both feel on top of the world again soon!

D

bj said...

OMYLORD....How scary this all was for you. I can't even imagine going thru something like that.
Thankfully, God pulled him thru.
My prayers for all of you.
xo bj

Pastor Sharon said...

Dear sweet Sandi,
Each of us have a story of pain and sadness and grief and scary near losses, etc. Each story varies in one degree or another.

We all need each other. We need to talk about it. We NEED to tell "OUR STORY". It's what weaves the most beautiful quilt our lives are wrapped in.

Thank you for sharing your story. I cannot even imagine how scary that must have been for all of you!!!!

You ALL are in our prayers starting now. We may not be any closer than a website away. But God is always there and here and where ever He is needed.

Hugs,
Sharon

Gill - That British Woman said...

oh dear me what a frightening thing to happen to your hubby and the rest of your family.

Here's hoping 2011 will be a healthy year for you all.

Gill in Canada

SandyCarlson said...

How frightening. I am glad you have good people around you, and I am glad you and Mac came through it. I hope he and you will be will.

Jeanne said...

What a scare for you Sandi! So glad Mac's doing better. And good to 'tell your story'! It's all part of who we are and why we do this.

Pondside said...

I could just say 'ditto' to what's been said before. I'm glad that your dear husband is doing better - and I'm glad you're feeling up to taking your laptop out again.

Shadow said...

...it brought home a wonderful message, and that's what's important. i'm happy for you all!

Zuzana said...

This must have been such avery difficult time for you, to go through such trying events must be taking everything out of ones mind, body and soul. I am glad to learn that there was a happy ending and I can understand your dilemma when it comes to sharing your story.
Nevertheless I would like to wish you and yours a lovely and prosperous 2011 and may it spare you of any more anxious moments.
xoxo

Deb said...

Hi Sandi ~ I could truly relate to this post. I had left the blogging world in late 2010 because of the many bumps in the road that I kept hitting. My dad passed away in Nov,2010 after being ill for many months. I thought I was prepared but alas, I was not. Getting back together with my blogging friends has truly helped me ! Sending many prayers to you and Mac. Take care.

Mary said...

Dear Sandi
Oh I do hope all is going to be well Its such a shock when these things happen. My thoughts are with you both. Mary

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

OMG!! I am so keeping you guys in my prayers. I know how scared you were.

Hilary said...

Oh Sandy.. this is so distressing. I'm so sorry that your family is going through this. You and Mac are in my very best thoughts. I wish him a quick and complete recovery. Hugs to you.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Sandi: I'm so glad you shared this time with us. I do hope Mac listens to the doctors advice and gets through this problem.

Sally said...

I have wondered about you guys SO much, and kept looking at the reader to see if you had posted.

Please know I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. An illness that strikes one of our beloved's affects everyone. God bless and thanks so much for posting!

ancient one said...

So sorry you had to go through this scare. I do hope all goes well forever more.... similar stuff for us in Aug...I will be adding you, Mac, and your family to my prayer list. ((((hugs)))

imbeingheldhostage said...

OMGosh, Sandi!! Did you just apologize for feeling like this was something you should be stressed out and writing about? You had me holding my breath and nearly going into full anxiety mode and I wasn't even there to see it!
I am so sorry he scared you like that. Someone needs to teach Mac how to do Man-Flu, because it seems to me that he should've said something wasn't right when he first got up that morning.
Stay tough Sandi. I'm sending you the warmest wishes for a very uneventful 2011.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

Sandi, I can't even imgagine how scray that was! I am so glad that Mac is doing better.

Makes my little shoulder surgery seem silly....
Sending you both Hugs,
Penny

Kat said...

Good Golly Miss Molly!!! How scary! I'm so glad all is better.

That being said...can I fuss now? Bad girl, don't you know all of us who love you needed to be praying for Mac...and YOU?!

Okay, enough fussing. I'll stop and be nice because isn't it your birthday today? I think so. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweet friend!

Hugs,
Kat

Lynne said...

I had no idea where this post was headed as I kept reading along. How very stressful for you all. I do hope he makes a good recovery.
And is it your birthday?
Happy Birthday!

SandyCarlson said...

You are in my heart.

Sandy said...

Oh dear Sandi, I am sitting here crying for you and Mac. I pray that there will be no more episodes. You and the family are always in my prayers. ♥

Denise said...

Sandi,,,,, You just made me cry.. You have touched my heart and wanted to tell you so.... Yes we pray for others when they are going through tough times and there are times that we feel that God has answered us and not others.... BUT it is from the prayers that we are strengthened.. Had it not been for the prayers of my blog friends the past few months I would have crumpled onto the floor in a heap!

Losing Mom and Dad just 72 days apart and after caring for them for 8 years I did not know if I would make it through..... The grief is still so very great that there are days that I do not think I can function...... YET we pray..... I read other blogs and hear of such heartache and I cry and pray........

How wonderful that HE has given us the gift of prayer so that in blessing we are blessed.....

I am thankful that your sweet husband is well......I will continue to pray for him and his complete healing.......

Sending blessing for the week before you.........

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Sandi, Living with my DH and his health problems I know that horrible sinking feeling when something is very wrong. And later, when things are better, it's hard to describe to others how you felt. The emotions can't be explained. I am so glad Mac is better now! And I hope 2011 is the best ever and may your garden grow the biggest head of cabbages ever. xo

i beati said...

understood--

Brit Gal Sarah said...

Oh Sandi what a terrible fright for all of you, I am so glad Mac came through it and is now being monitored. I hope he continues to improve and you should never feel guilty about sharing, we all have stress and who is to say one persons is less than anothers. Best wishes to you all.

Jay said...

Oh, my goodness! I had no idea ... you poor things. To say that must have been terrifying is the understatement of the century, I should think. Thank God that he agreed to stay in hospital and have the tests done!

And thank heavens he is being taken care of with the heart monitor and all - and you. Big hugs to all of you. *Hugs*

Merisi said...

You have been in thoughts all along.
Wishing you and Mac all the best,
big hug,
Merisi

NitWit1 said...

Apologies for not getting around much lately, but I am also battling a mild heart problem (A-Fib) so I won't, I hope, evolve into anything like Mac's.

However, I am also battleing the fact the busy and overworked Arkansas cardiologists, simply don't return your calls. I need an ablation. I am to the point that if I don't get a response by next week I am going to Texas where Baylor Heart Institiute as an outstanding record. Arkansas is a poor and mostly rural state, not as poor as Mississippi, but we usual appear at the bottom of many kinds of list as a desirable place to live, unless you enjoy a rugged lifestyle.

My prayers Mac problem is under control.
My husband is insurance double covered where he can use VA or civilian facilities. I am adequately covered with Medicare and TriCare for Life if they accept assignment. Many physicians are already rejecting Medicare patients.

Glad your son spoke up. sometimes you gotta have backups and sounds like he is a great one!!!