Exactly one week ago we were at the hospital for Christopher to have ACL surgery.
There have been three scary moments in the past week:
1. The first was just before his surgery when they asked him if he had a living will and/or DNR. It’s just standard protocol to ask that if a patient is going under anesthesia, but it doesn’t feel very “standard” when you’re about to send your husband back behind closed doors. I made a light hearted joke about how unexpected it was to have them ask my 29 year old husband about a DNR and the nurse was really sweet about it. She explained it was just a box they have to check off on a form and then she promised that they would keep him alive. So I said another prayer and then just refused to think about it again until I heard that he was awake and waiting for me.
2. I already shared a little bit about this one, but the second scary moment was when I went back to see him after he’d woken up (he’d been awake about 5 minutes when they let me back there). He was in pain, he was shaking uncontrollably, he was freezing, and he was panicky. It broke my heart seeing him like that. I held him as best I could without getting close to his leg and just waited it out. He ended up staying in recovery longer than expected because he had such a hard time coming out of the anesthesia, but thankfully he doesn’t remember much of it.
3. And finally, on Sunday night Christopher had been doing really well and we decided to watch a movie together. It wasn’t long into the movie when suddenly he half sat up, gasping, clutching his chest, and in panic mode. I asked him what was wrong and he couldn’t get words out at first. He finally said “I think I might faint” and I told him to lie back. And then he said “no, I think I might have a blood clot. Call Heather” (she’s a nurse friend of ours). You guys, my husband is not one to be dramatic so I took this very seriously. So at nearly midnight I called our sweet friend Heather. She asked a series of questions and every single one pointed toward him not having a blood clot (his initial symptoms pointed to a possible blood clot, but he had none of the risk factors and had done all the things he needed to do to avoid them). Heather told us that she couldn’t say 100%, but that he most likely had a reaction to a drug that caused a sudden drop in blood pressure and that as long as his shortness of breath doesn’t return that he should be fine. So there was no midnight trip to the ER.
It took Christopher a while to calm down after that, but he said what helped even more than talking to Heather was that I remained calm the whole time which helped him feel like everything was going to be okay. It’s funny because I tend to be an emotional person. When I’m excited about something, I get REALLY excited about it. And if I’m sad about something, I’ll cry. But if there is a crisis or something serious happening, I stay totally level headed. Neither of my parents are the dramatic sort so I suppose I get the level headedness in times of crisis from them. Where I get the bouncing happiness over little things & crying at every emotional commercial? That I don’t know. 😉
And now for the best moments:
1. All the time at home together. Our lives are in a constant state of flurried activity. And we love it. But this time home together for 24/7 has been such a silver lining to his surgery. 🙂
2. The day I got the okay from the doctor to stretch out the time between Christopher’s night & morning pain pills. I had been staying up until 1am so that I could give him a pill and then set another alarm for 7 to wake up to give him his next pill. I normally go to bed around 10/11ish and I am definitely an 8-9 hours of sleep kinda girl. 7 minimum. But I took that whole “every six hours thing” very seriously. I only did that for 3 nights, but I was exhausted by the end of it. It gave me a new respect for care takers who do that constantly.
3. Hearing the PT say this week that Christopher is 3 weeks ahead in recovery of where he should be. He continues to excel. He is still MONTHS away from a total recovery (minimum of 6), but today he actually went to work without the crutches (way ahead of schedule). 🙂
4. As sad as I was to see Christopher go back to work yesterday, I was happy for him. He is in super busy season at work right now and he has felt bad leaving his team to pick up his share. So while I was sad for him to be gone, I was glad that he had such a great first day back (and that the swelling was fairly manageable). Plus since I’m still driving him to and from work, I liked that I got to bring him lunch midday and eat with him. 🙂