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Archive for January, 2013

Scary times

This next post is big. I’m not sure how to start it, so I’m going to copy some emails I sent to my friends over the past week.

Thursday, Jan. 24
So you’d never believe how I’ve spent the past 24 hours that happen to also be our wedding anniversary. My husband had been feeling sick for a week but we thought it was bronchitis since almost everyone has it right now. On Tuesday we went to urgent care and they agreed it was bronchitis. But Tuesday night was bad and my husband was worse on Wednesday. I was ready to take him to the ER but he couldn’t make it to the car and I had to call an ambulance. In the ER they diagnosed it as a blood clot in his lung. The hospital we were at doesn’t have an ICU so they had to transfer him to another hospital. During the transfer they also started an IV “clot buster” and continued it in the ICU. After the clot buster drip finished, he started coughing up blood, and then started shaking. We spent the night in the ICU and around 1:30 am the nurse told me that they hadn’t wanted to scare me, but things were really bad when we arrived and he could have died. But he made it through the critical hours and now we just have to get through 24 hours. At that point we’ll be released from ICU into the regular part of the hospital for 2 or 3 days while they monitor his clotting levels on heparin. Right now I’m just glad things are calm and that we have so much family in town.

Friday, Jan. 25
We made it thru 24 hours without any problems and he was able to sit up in a chair after they were over. We’re still in ICU but I think we’re just waiting for a bed in intermediate care to open.

Honestly everything happened so slowly and calmly on that first day that I never really freaked out. And info was coming at me so fast and sounded so horrible that I was too overwhelmed to freak out. The first ambulance ride even wasn’t bad. I followed behind it in the car and was waving at my husband through the window in the back.

My sister-in-law spent both nights with me in the ICU. I didn’t really freak out until she went home after the first night and I finished updating his family. Then I started to reach out to my friends for support and I think that let me digest what had happened.

Saturday, Jan. 26
We’re on track to be released today. My husband was having a hard time keeping his oxygen levels up while he was asleep so I think we’re going home with oxygen. And he has to give himself blood thinner injections for several days while the pills start to take effect. Kind of ironic that he’s the one who ended up with injections. And he’s going to have to see some doctors to figure out why he had blood clots. No one knows why yet.

We’re still in ICU because a bed in intermediate care never opened for us. The ICU hasn’t been bad. But I’m looking forward to being home. Although I’m also really nervous about it. Every time we see any doctor or nurse they look at us very seriously and say that we’re really lucky that he made it. We both then do this laugh thing to try to brush it off but they just keep looking so serious. I guess most people with a clot of the size of his don’t make it.

 

The diagnosis was a massive pulmonary embolism. It was treated with a TPA “clot buster” that also carries lots of risks by itself. But without the clot buster his heart was under lots of stress and I think cardiac arrest was next. When I called the ambulance I think he only had a few hours left.

We’ve had lots of perspective this week. A very difficult realization is that if anything happened to my husband, I would also lose my stepsons. It’s so scary that my entire family could be wiped out in a few minutes.

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Last weekend we told my stepsons about our decision to adopt. We hadn’t told them anything about our journey to become parents yet because they’re a bit young (5 and 7) to understand all of the waiting, and because we were trying to keep the process private from their mother for as long as possible. But, our paperwork requires a physical exam for the older one (the younger one had a physical recently), as well as a letter from his teacher verifying his school enrollment and general characteristics. So, of course, we needed to let their mom know, and they’ll need to know about adoption when it’s time for the homestudy interviews.

It was so much fun to tell them about adoption, and it made it feel even more real for me! We started by asking the older one if he knew what adoption was. He said it was when “someone doesn’t know their parents.” Of course this isn’t really the case, and we’re hoping for an open adoption, but I think he understood the idea. We also expect that he’ll learn alot along the way. So, we said, “your dad and I are planning to adopt a baby. Which means that both of you will be big brothers!” They were so excited! It was wonderful to see and be part of the conversation. First of all, they wanted to know how old the baby would be (newborn). Then, they wanted to know how many (just one). We talked about girls vs. boys (the little one wanted a baby sister because baby girls are cute), and the older one tried to convince us that we should get a child that was 3 or older so that he could play with it. The little one asked “will it be delivered in a truck?” I said, “No, we’ll have to go pick it up at a hospital.” He asked if it would be the hospital he was born in, so I said, “no, we’re working with a place in Texas that will help us find a baby, so we’ll probably have to pick it up at a hospital in Texas.” He also wanted to come over to our house every morning to help wake it up. We ended up talking a lot about babies, what they eat (no suckers), what they drink (no water), and they types of toys they can play with (the little one wanted us to know that babies can’t play with marble sets). We also talked about names (suggestions were Bobby, Brittany, and Norbert). Overall, I was surprised that there weren’t any more questions about adoption, but they seemed to understand that it wasn’t coming from my tummy. I also realized that they needed to be excited about being big brothers and a new baby, and more information about adoption concepts can be talked about along the way.

The next morning I took them to a park. The older one told a 4 year old that they were playing with that his “stepmom and dad are adopting a baby.” Later, the little one told an even younger girl that “we’re going to Texas to pick up a real baby.” Later that day, the little one looked in the future nursery and said that if the baby messed with anything in there (right now it houses our wireless modem and router), they’ll need to go into timeout. Overall, this was incredibly fun, and I loved how excited they were. It made it feel even more real to me, and I’ve been dreaming about babies for the past several nights.

The paperwork chase is going well. We still have to get the form to the older stepson’s teacher, and take him to the doctor next week. We also both have doctor’s appointments (early Feb. for me, early March for my husband). We have to fill out 12 pages about ourselves, and provide a sketch of the floorplan of the house. And schedule our interviews. I’m planning on turning in our paperwork (minus the medical exam records) late next week. I’ve been breaking the paperwork down into manageable chunks, and giving my husband individual specific tasks to do each day. But it’s getting old. I feel like I’m nagging, even though I try hard not to. He’s had such a great attitude about everything though, and has done all of the tasks without any complaints, but I really want this part to be over!

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