Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Our weekend went from Great to Awful

We were on our way home from our daughter's baby shower last Saturday. We were all tired, because it's about an 11 hour trip all total, but it had been a good day. We stopped to eat at Cracker Barrel, yummy & just as we were getting back in the truck, dh got a call. You know how you just know the call wasn't a good one? It took him a few minutes to finally let me know what had happened.
I won't get into details here on my blog, because that's just not right, but his sister was in critical condition, in Iowa about 7 hours from our home. Her daughter lives about an hour from us, on the way & was leaving the next morning at 5:30 to drive up by herself. We decided we should also go, so that our niece would have someone with her during the drive & when she got there. We just didn't know what kind of shape her Mom would be in, when she got there. So, we left our house at 4:30 the next morning & started the trip.
Thankfully, the trip was a good one, without any problems, unless you count our nieces dead battery, at the start of the trip.
We got up there to find sil in the CCU on a vent. Sitting in a critical care unit with a family member on a vent, is sure nothing like they show on tv or in a movie. It's really hard, you just want them to wake up so bad, but there is nothing you can do. She was responding to pain, when they would inject Heparin(sp?) in her belly, she always flinched. Sometimes, if we would take hold of her hand, she would squeeze & at times when we talked to her, her eyebrows would raise, or she would scrunch up her forehead. These were all good signs, we just had to wait. We were told it might be up to 80 hours before she woke up. Over the next couple of days she slowly started showing more signs of waking up. She would open her eyes, slightly & started moving her legs. She would move her hands some, too.
Finally, yesterday morning her nurse told us it was time for her to be taken off the vent. She had to get off of it very soon. He injected some medicine into her, that he said would stop the effects of the drugs & make her start waking up, faster. She just wasn't doing it on her own. That had a pretty good effect on her & when the respiratory therapist would ask her to breath deep, she would. So, they finally got that tube out & she was breathing on her own.
About an hour after that another one of dh's sisters and another niece came, so we could leave. We are finally home & exhausted. The past few days have been very ruff, sitting in a hospital makes you so tired, but this was just so mentally exhausting.
Sil has a long road of recovery ahead for her. I'm sure she would appreciate any prayers sent her way, if not, her family would.
I failed to mention, that on Sunday morning, our niece that we had went up with, had another family emergency. Her grandfather had passed away that morning & then she found out one of her children was sick with strep or the flu, she wasn't sure which. So, she had to head home. Iowa was getting some pretty nasty snow later that day, so she needed to get home before the snow hit. Which was why dh & I decided to stay.
I've never been through anything like this, before. I've never been with a family member or anyone for that matter, that was on a vent. It's awful, they don't just move there eyebrows a little bit & suddenly become wide awake.


Julie K in Taiwan said...


Dawn said...

How is she doing now? If you updated us at Babble, I somehow missed it.