Sunday May 6th (continued): Tim and I spent the day getting some running around done for Brayden's party while his parents watched the kids. I showed up late to my son's party, and he didn't even notice. There were several people there already and all the kids were playing. I tried to enjoy watching Brayden "ham it up". His party was over at 6:30, we went home to put the kids to bed and then I drove to the airport to pick Trudy's husband up. His plane arrived at 10:30 (I think) and then we drove to Greenville to be with mom and Trudy.
Tim stayed at home; we had planned on leaving the next day to make the drive to Colorado for a house hunting trip. It was supposed to be a mini "vacation" for us, sort of the last hoorah before we were grandparentless. I wasn't going with him. I was going to stay until dad was stable.
It was at this point that we received on offer on our house. So Tim and I tried to communicate while I was in the ICU waiting room trying to concentrate on my dad, and we ended up settling with this offer. Given the same offer under different circumstances, these people would not be buying my house...we settled merely to get the house off of our plate of things to do.
Monday May 7th: Dad's vitals were rocky all day Sunday and most of Monday. His kidneys were starting to function on their own again, but he was still on the respirator. The only good thing about that is that he was initiating all of his own breathing and the ventilator was only helping to make it easier once he did. His blood pressure was still unstable and his heart was back in afib. It was jumping from 90 bpm one second to 130 bpm next second and then right back down...literally in a matter of 5 seconds the beats were fluctuating that widely.
They were keeping him heavily sedated and on the ventilator until they were sure they didn't need to do another surgery. I went home Monday night so I could see the kids, but didn't get there to see Tim leave. I was told that it was an emotionally charged good-bye. Brayden was sad daddy was leaving, Tim didn't want to leave for numerous reasons and his mother was also there saying good-bye.
Tuesday May 8th: When I got back to the hospital, they had "woken" dad up, or should we say they had decreased some of the medications so that he was conscious. I saw him and he was still on the ventilator and trying to talk around the tube in his mouth.
They started weaning more meds so he was becoming more and more aware. And as they did this, the more anxious he got over the situation. He couldn't communicate with us and you could tell he still didn't understand. He was taken off the ventilator and again decreased pain meds. He tried talking with little success. The infectious disease guys came by ( I can't remember if it was Tuesday or Wednesday) and said that they believed the infection was no longer in his blood stream but they were going to test one more time.
Wednesday May 9th: (mom's birthday) I decided that I would fly out to CO and meet Tim to look at houses for a few days. Dad was stable but completely unaware of anything going on around him. He was hallucinating badly and one moment would look at us and know who we are and ask what happened and where he was; and the next moment looked me in the eye and said "would you please go get my daughters Angela and Trudy?" "Dad, it is me Angela", "No, my daughter Angela and Trudy".
I thought it was better for me to go while he wouldn't recognize that I was gone and then be back in a few days when he was more himself. As I was leaving the hospital, Trudy's husband Chris got a phone call from his relatives in Indiana that his grandfather had been taken to the ER with "heart problems". Chris said it was a common occurrence and his grandfather was in his late 80s.
I got home around 12:30, quickly packed, stashed Gabby in the car and Chris dropped the two of us at the airport. She was a trooper on the flight but when we got there, she was running a fever, not eating and very fussy.
Thursday May 10th (Brayden's real birthday): So Thursday, after looking at houses all morning, we ended up at an Urgent Care to find that Gabby had a virus causing ulcers in her throat. Then Bowden (Tim's dog- for those of you wondering Tim is a die hard FSU fan and the dog's name reflects as much) was peeing blood, so we took him to a vet. Thankfully Bowden only had a scratch in his nether region and it was nothing serious....well you know what I mean. We got back to the apartment where Tim is staying and got on Skype with the boys so we could sing Happy Birthday to Brayden.
Later that night, I got a call from Trudy that Chris's grandfather had passed away and Chris was flying out to Indiana for the funeral...at this point, I'm emotionally exhausted and wanting a "do over" button which would reverse the universe by 8 days where I could tell my dad that I wanted him to stay in town and hang out with me and the kids; so that maybe 90% of this would have ended differently.
Friday May 11th: More house looking in the morning, cranky baby and realizing the real estate market in Colorado is completely opposite of NC. We went into Boulder and surrounding areas just looking around and I had a few hours of excitement of the upcoming move...a few hours of looking at snow capped mountains from every turn and being able to imagine what it's going to be like to live in such a beautiful place.
Nightly call from my sister revealed that dad coming off his medications was not only causing major hallucinations, but was causing him to have some rage and anger. The Dr's were very quick to explain to everyone that everything they were seeing was normal for a person of his age (68 years) and considering the medications (both the strength of and number of) and strain his body had been under the last week.
Trudy also sent me pictures of what his leg looks like. I took gross anatomy in college and was familiar with cadavers and skinning small mammals of all kinds...but when it's your own father, it was a little more unsettling.
Saturday May 12th: Tim and I looked at more houses in the morning and then I was back on a plane with Gabby. I got home at 9:30 Saturday night. The best news I got was that dad was finally downgraded from the ICU, to the intermediate care unit. They had changed his pain medications, so he was starting to be more himself and was asking questions about the accident.
The Brink of 40
4 weeks ago