What happened to the summer?

Or otherwise titled, why haven't I posted anything since May?

Well, as we were preparing for a season of adventures and family fun, we got a bit of a wake-up call.

On Wednesday, May 29, I got a message from my mom that dad wasn't doing well and they called a squad. I met them at the emergency center in time to see dad and learn that the doctors there suspected the issue was his aorta and he needed to get to a hospital and surgery.

He got another ride in a squad, lights and sirens, and I drove mom on an incredibly indirect route to the downtown hospital.  *I haven't spent much time downtown and my navigator was busy communicating with the rest of the family.

Anyway, we made it, eventually. We went to the surgery area of the hospital, they sent us to the ER. And we waited. And waited. And finally decided that I would go back to the surgery center to check there. I found out he had already had the surgery and the doctor would be coming out to talk to us. So, I called mom to get there. Then the chaplain brought everyone - my brother, sister, grandparents (dad's parents).

The surgeon came in and explained that dad had a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurism and was lucky to be alive, but that he was still in bad shape. The statistics seem to be changing, but the general thought at the time is that 50% of people don't make it to the hospital and of those that do, only 50% make it out of the hospital.

We spent the next 24 hours sitting in the ICU waiting room and meeting with doctors. He needed another surgery during the night to open his belly and relieve the pressure from "compartment syndrome." Then he needed another surgery later on to open up the incision even more.

We spent the next 2 weeks in and out of the ICU waiting room as our schedules allowed while dad was taken in to surgery every other day to address the incision and wound vac. He was gradually brought out of sedation and we were able to communicate with him.

Then we got word he was moving out of ICU. He got a private room and within a few days, developed a stress ulcer, had a code blue and promptly went back tot he ICU and had a procedure to repair the ulcer.

A few more days in the ICU and then back to the step-down room. And then to another step-down room from that.

And then, on July 3 (my birthday), he was discharged and walked out of the hospital to go home. He recovered so well, he didn't even need a stay at a rehab center.

It is now the end of October and he has finished therapy, been cleared to drive, and is overall recovering well. In fact, he started back to work today.

This one event threw the whole summer into a bit of chaos. But it was a not-so-gentle reminder to a) take care of yourself and b) take care of your people. Cherish the moments together and don't take anything for granted.

We were lucky, but not everyone is. Take a minute to send out thoughts, prayers and good vibes to everyone who is sitting in an ICU waiting room and all of the wonderful doctors, nurses and hospital staff who are working around the clock in stressful situations.


Popular Posts