Tuesday, May 12, 2015

As the dust settles...

We are making progress. Ronnie's bleeds have slowed, and so has talk of intubation, lobectomies and transplant. Ronnie went from having between 1000 and 1500ml of blood in a 24 hour period, to around 300ml, to now 50ml for the last 2 days. He has gone from being heavily sedated (barely talking or moving) and remembering nothing beyond the last 10 minutes, to sitting up in bed and reasoning through what relationship his nurse's great aunt's dad would be to said nurse. We are feeling so blessed by the progress. But we are still concerned. There is one more area they know will cause him trouble, and the question now becomes do you go in and fix it or see if it will fix itself for a time. Ronnie is concerned he will leave feeling like a ticking time bomb. I am concerned I will be faced with an emergent situation at home, alone, with two kids. But for now, we are thankful that we didn't have to throw him onto an OR table like it sounded we would have to as of just a few days ago. Our God is so good and has been holding Ronnie close. Decisions are still there, needing to be made, but thankfully they can be made slowly and thoughtfully.

Ronnie did receive a blood transfusion of one unit of blood. His hemoglobin levels dropped to a point (levels were 5.5) that there was no choice, it was something that had to be done. This may end up having implications in the future when/if he needs a lung transplant, but it was the right and necessary decision for today, and we trust that God's plan already has it factored into the future in a way that is best for Ronnie.

That's the health side of things.

As for the rest...I'll be honest...Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were nerve-wracking days. There were some tears and a lot of fear. There was also a lot of thankfulness mixed in. We felt thankful for our families and support system. Every time Ronnie would have a moment of lucidness, he would say how thankful he was for his mom and my parents, who have stepped in in a huge way! As for me, I was so thankful to have our kiddos with my parents, and the strength of Ronnie's mom by my side (I will right a whole blog on this later).

But above all, though there was a lot of uncertainty and fear (watching a bleed of 400+ ml an hour after a 200ml bleed can rattle even the most seasoned docs), I think this may be one of the sweetest times in our marriage and as a family. Ronnie is always the rock. Ronnie is always the steady eddy. Ronnie always takes care of everyone else. And for the first time in our marriage, I got to be that for him. As many know, pain meds can really skew a person's mental state (hallucinations, weird/vivid dreams, anxiety, you name it). And Ronnie was himself in some ways, but in others, he wasn't Ronnie at all. He couldn't remember enough or piece together enough to put together the big picture. He woke up Friday having no idea that things had settled and that no one was listing him for transplant. He likes to feel like he is in control when it comes to his health and specifically his health care decisions. So having to turn that over to his mom and I was a place that made him feel vulnerable. But I think it also was a good reminder that none of us are really in control in some situations. That sometimes you have to trust that God is in control at that very second. As he was in the middle of his biggest bleed Wednesday night I could tell he was frustrated and scared. He was barely able to keep up with the rate the blood was coming with his coughs to clear it. The suction certainly couldn't keep up with the rate it exited his mouth. We sat catching the excess in anything we could grab: towels, wash cloths, bed sheets. We were all scared. Doctors and nurses didn't even try to mask it on their faces. And in that moment Ronnie and I just locked eyes, between coughs. I just calmly told him "God is in control and this is his plan;" "We are walking His plan;" "It is ok;" "You're doing a good job;" "No big deal." His fearful eyes would agree as he would give a tiny head nod. Over and over I would repeat the words. When I would see the anxiety build in his eyes I would say, "close your eyes. Quiet and calm. No problem. Quiet and calm. Quiet your mind. Calm your body." And as much fear as I know I felt then, now I simply feel grateful for that sweet time. Not many things we will experience as a couple will bring us closer than that moment. For all the stress, I now look back on those 3 days as one of the sweetest periods in our marriage. I am so thankful for the growth that can come in hard situations. And I know in years to come, we will look back on this week as one of the highlights of our marriage!