but I can't say I want to do that again.
Today was my first full day at home since Wednesday. My dad has been in and out of the hospital since the Saturday before last, with his daughters and wife tagging along to check on him. He has had a pacemaker or a defibrillator since I was around 11. He is pacemaker dependent yet is still working his bum off. He is great at his job and travels where he needs to. Thank goodness he had an appointment and was in town when all of this started. His doctors are here and so is the only hospital we trust with my dad, Methodist Hospital in Houston.
He had an ablation surgery on Friday, where the doctors were tirelessly for 8 hours and we waited outside for any news. He doesn't have blockage or problems that a lot of people do with their heart at his age, his problems are all electrical. He went straight back to the ICU after his surgery and was doing well. The next morning, he seemed to be doing excellent, chatting with my sister who had taken 1st shift of visiting hours. After visiting hours were over, he was having his breakfast when his pacemaker shot off....numerous times. I can't imagine how painful this is. A major setback in our eyes. From that point on, he was given some medicine to take care of the arrhythmia and also the anxiety along with everything else. He was pretty out of it for a few days. I stayed there as much as I could....my sister and I bunking together in her apartment in the city that she is staying in while she is working in Houston. We made the early shift, 4am and we all would take rotating shifts at visiting hours but mostly all of us, stayed until visiting hours were over and sometimes a bit later.
While in the ICU, I found a world I didn't know existed. When I walked in for the first time I was a bit intimidated by it all. There were a lot of people, a lot of emotions in the air and a lot of stuff piled into every corner. I felt like a squatter with all of my necessities that I would pack with me daily "just in case". You know I had to have some snacks packed and I usually had 2 Cokes at the ready in my bag. We had magazines for days and I finished a complete book on my Nook (Emily Griffin-Heart of the Matter, pretty good!) while we sat draped in chairs. At first we sat politely, taking up the chairs we only needed for our bums. After being there a few hours, you take on the "when in Rome" notion and start hoarding an extra chair so you can kick up your feet or maybe spread your things out just a bit. At our last early shift, my sister and I both created a makeshift bed out of 2 chairs and slept curled in a fetal position for a good bit before the background noise became too much for me.
During our journey in the ICU, I noticed a sense of camaraderie among the families that were going through something. I felt honestly blessed because I knew that my dad's problems, although horrifying and scary for us, was not as tragic as some.
There was the 21 year old pre-med student that just graduated from Texas A&M. Her proud mother showed us pictures of "before"; long blond hair and an infectious smile. She had been sick and then eventually it turned into pneumonia....she is now on a ventilator and her mother sits at her bedside each visiting hour. She would relentlessly update her Facebook page in between. Her mother had a friend there with her everyday, if not family. Seeing the dedication they had was truly amazing.
Another story was the mother from Oklahoma who told us about her son, Jason, a 28 year old coach. He has been at MD Anderson for a year, and when they told him they could do no more for him, chemo did nothing to the tumors. Methodist doctors heard his story and they are now trying to get him an artificial heart. He has no white blood cell count....and he had a fever when we left last night at 10:30....which worries me. Someone in his family created a Facebook page, JT Keeping the Faith, to keep his family and friends updated and let them know the specifics to pray about. I am glad that I asked his mom about it before we left, because I would have been forever curious about this family. I pray that they are able to get him an artificial heart and get rid of the cancer riddled heart he has now.
While we were in the ICU, we saw many intimate family moments that you shouldn't have to see. Last night a family lost a father. They had been there for 2 months, the wife never leaving the hospital. It was heart wrenching to see his family go through that, especially knowing that his wife was about to have to explain it their 7 year old son.
On a much lighter note, my dad is feeling a lot better. He was moved from the ICU late this morning into a regular room. They will do one more procedure on Wednesday with his pacemaker and then hopefully he will be coming home that same day if not the next. I am a firm believer in prayer and I prayed more this past week than I have in a long time. I will be headed back to the hospital on Wednesday to be with my dad again....and will be paying just as hard. If you get a chance, check out the Facebook page I mentioned and if you are the praying type, you might just find some inspiration.
I hope you guys have a fabulous week.
Here's my inspiration for prayer!
While you're here check out the giveaway for Little Green Books I am hosting!! It is super, super low entry and I'm giving away 8 books in all!!! I grand prize winner wins 4! Check it out and enter!!
Little Green Books Super Sized Giveaway and Review!!!