Happy Birthday to me!

Today is my birthday, and I got a pretty good gift; my husband is improving, and best of all, his renal function tests are now NORMAL!  This is what I was most worried about, and it’s such a relief.  He’s still sick, still in ICU, and breathing is still an effort, but everything is progressing at a pace that made his  doctor marvel.  He’s talking about possible release on Wed!  (Maybe Thursday…) A very, very  happy day indeed.

I was thinking about how all year I’ve been obsessing about turning fifty, whine, whine.  Nothing like a little crisis to throw things into perspective.  I had no party, hardly any gifts (thank you, Mom & Dad, and Eric), no friends to celebrate with, no accomplishments to look over with pride; but all that didn’t matter at all.  I had the loveliest birthday dinner eating salad out of a bag (literally!) sitting on the end of my husband’s bed, in a shabby sterile hospital room.  He almost died this weekend, and he’s going to be okay, and he loves me and wants me around, bad times and good, and I have two wonderful kids that I’m so proud of.  My best friend made it through surgery and is doing ok.  I even got a chocolate soy pudding for a treat!  What else could I possibly want?

It’s not that I took those things for granted before, or didn’t appreciate them; my family has always been my greatest love and greatest joy.  Having always been the breadwinner though, I became focused on career as my measure of success, which is really truly hysterical, since I never wanted anything more than to be a good wife and mother.  I never had any drive to be anything else.  And I think I am a good wife and mother, for the most part.  It is enough. Hanging on to my “boys,” keeping them healthy and happy and balanced; that’s really my success.

I am exhausted though.  I ran on fear for several days, and it’s catching up on me; I’m starting to feel like I did after Thanksgiving.  Well, maybe not quite that bad.  It’s bedtime for bonzo, so I can get up and figure out how to celebrate a birthday in the ICU.  Good Night, Stars.

Update on the Beloved

While he is not out of the woods yet, he is improving.  His breathing is not labored noticeably, his fever, heart rate and respiratory rate (all previously seriously elevated) have dropped, his O2 sats, previously low, are now close to normal.  His kidney function numbers show improvement as well.   He looks more comfortable rather than agitated, and is getting some rest at last.  He even had a welcome treat,  a can of Glucerna nutritional supplement, which is the first thing he’s taken by mouth (except ice chips) since he was admitted.  I got a chance to speak with his doctor, and I was a bit reassured.   It is clear that there will likely be long term fallout from this episode.  I’m not sure Bob quite understands how sick he is, though he’s starting too.  That’s understandable; when you can’t breathe you don’t really pay much attention to anything else.  We are both very grateful for all the love, prayers and support people have given us.  Friends are a major blessing.

Today was Eric’s birthday. The poor kid had very little celebration, but was a good sport about it.  He had asked for bacon (BACON? says his vegan mom…) for a present, which I left for him in the fridge, along with a bonus of a pound of fresh chorizo from his favorite market.  He made a BMT (bacon, mushroom, tomato) sandwich, and shared with his little brother.  He spent the rest of the day being a good big brother. His grandmothers sent much appreciated gifts of phone minutes and cash.  I came home from the hospital so he could spend a little birthday time with his friends.

So how am I doing?  Mostly ok.  I’m exhausted; neither of us had slept for two nights before he went to the hospital, and haven’t got much since.  Maybe tonight, I hope, since it’s likely he’ll be a bit more alert tomorrow, so it’d be nice if I were functional.  Adrenaline helps; I managed for about two days with not a huge amount of pain; now that he’s improving my body is starting to hurt again.  When I left the hospital tonight, I was sorely tempted to hit Wendy’s for a big bag of fast food, but I managed to talk myself out of it, and went home to a veggie noodle bowl instead.  It really is rather amazing how stress affects my diet.

I was very touched by my sister in law’s offer to drop everything and come help if I needed her.  I know it’s trite, but it’s true, that when the shit hits the fan you find out where you stand with people.  I don’t have a huge number of friends and family, but the ones I do have are truly amazing, and I am so grateful.


This is one of those times

that you just have to ask “Why?”  Today, both my best friend and my husband are in Intensive Care Units, on opposite coasts.  Barbara is having a small piece of intestine removed, which we hope will alleviate the pain she’s had for the longest time.  Her daughter tells me there were complications in the surgery, but that she is out now, overnighting in ICU.  My husband has been having trouble breathing for a while, but it got really bad over the last two days.  I finally talked him into going to the hospital, and they found he has right sided pneumonia.  They’re still deliberating putting him on a ventilator to give him some rest.  Right now, his sats are good on 100% O2, but his breathing is still very, very labored.  He’s been given IV antibiotics, aminophylline, and fluids, and a little pain med, because his right side hurt so much he didn’t want to expand the ribcage to breathe.  He looks ragged and exhausted, though he does look better than when we first got there, when his sats were 83 and lower on 100% O2.  He is not having fun.

I was doing fine until I came home for the evening, leaving him there.  I wish I could split myself down the center, leave half at the hospital and half to come home for the kids.  Now, Murphy is in bed and I’m lost; I don’t know what to do with myself and I can’t stop thinking of What Might Be.  So I’m blogging to distract myself, and I’ll start a new knitting project I can bring to the hospital and do while he naps.  I won’t be able to go to the Alpaca Festival tomorrow at Alpacas and Beyond, where I was planning to vendor.

Tomorrow is Eric’s birthday.  I’m afraid he won’t get much of a celebration, but I’ll remember to tell him how much we love him, at least.

Time to go pack a bag with yarn and munchies and comforting things.