Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Week Later

It's certainly not a bowl of cherries to spend eight days in the hospital, but there are always blessings to consider in light of the alternatives. Apart from the obvious great medical care available in the U.S. of A. that so many other countries would die for (oops --- that didn't come out quite right), I'm so grateful that we have insurance to cover the whopping costs that Gerry's many tests and procedures were piling up.

Even that uncomfortable, sagging child-size roll-away bed I slept in every evening was a blessing because I really wanted to stay by his side as his team of doctors tried to diagnose the problem. (Can you find me in the picture?) He was wheeled out at 10:00 pm on Friday night for an MRI which uncovered a major problem, 80% blockage in his left carotid artery. This was NOT the cause of his "event" last Wednesday but was indeed a dangerous situation --- a stroke just waiting to happen. A vascular surgeon came in on Saturday night to explain the recommended surgery and to schedule it for Monday, his first available opening.

With each new day came a visit from several different nurses or the occasional case worker, student intern, and the all-important hospital specialist to check on him and to give us a report on his CT scans, blood work, EEG's, EKG's, etc. All negative, thank the Lord, but perplexing since the cause of his previous troubles was still a mystery. Hearing these scores of visitors was challenging for me because the majority of them were non-American with heavy accents.

Now here's a pretty picture! A day and a half after carotid endarterectomy and a few hours before discharge. Gerry's voice is at least one octave lower, sounding like Louis Armstrong, and his swollen tongue makes eating and speaking a bit of an effort. Time should allow these nerves to heal.


Denise Portis said...

Bless his "pea pickin' heart" (was the first Southern phrase that came to mind), but I'll that up with a sympathetic "Poor Gerry"!

Praise God that this problem was caught! Although I know it is frustrating and worrisome to not find the cause of the other episode, I at times wonder if God allows things like this if not for any other reason, than to catch a very serious problem not yet on the "radar"?

Regardless, I am so thankful you are "home" now (both of you). I will be praying for you both!

Jennifer said...

Oh, Sheila!! Ugh! I am so sorry! I'm with Denise...I hate that you still don't know the cause of his trouble but am relieved that you caught a BIG problem before it got worse. I hope he's feeling better and that he will be himself soon!! ((hugs)) to you both!

greenchickadee said...

I'll probably come across as a freaky internet stalker, but I happened across your blog because I had done an image search for a photo and this popped up. I read your post and I must say, as a nurse, working in a hospital in the US of A, I so appreciate your gratitude towards the "system". Too often, people don't think of what medical care would be like in most other places, but with all our flaws, it really is a great land to get the best of care. I hope your husband is feeling strong and healthy by now and doing beautifully. Thank you (as an uninvolved healthcare person) for your upbeat attitude and your outlook. It means so much that you were grateful for the uncomfortable rollaway bed, the call lights, and all the other "joys" that come with modern medicine. Blessings to you as you heal and enjoy healthy life this year!