Thursday, October 11, 2012

Alaska- Update 1

FYI: This may be the longest post ever!! 

Many of you may already know the details of everything that has transpired this last week. (I can't believe it has only been one week!)

My dad had a surgery to remove some polyps that were found during a routine colonoscopy. The surgery went really well, he was discharged from the hospital, went in the next day for a post op before heading back home and readmitted him after finding out that the largest polyp was actually not removed during the surgery.  He went in for surgery around 11:30 Alaska time. I talked to him before he went in and then with my mom several times while he was in surgery. I got a text at 4:15 Alaska time that said that he had gone into cardiac arrest for 2 minutes. She said that there was a possible blood clot and that they were doing a CT. He was in the ICU.

Joe was at the church in a meeting. I called him and let him know that he needed to come home immediately. I called my grandma and got her the message. I called my mom and all my siblings and talked/cried with them for a little bit. It had been about an hour and she still hadn't seen him or gotten any news.

The rest of the night is kind of a blur. There were TONS of phone calls, texts, chat messages and emails flying all night. I was in touch with my mom and she was giving me things to pass on to family. 
I got a message from her at 6:15 Alaska time saying that they were going to cool his body down to preserve his brain function... I lost it again. At 8:30 Alaska time I got news that he was in the ICU, on a ventilator and was going to be sedated all night. The CT of his head showed no bleeding. They also decided that they believed that he aspirated and went into respiratory arrest. His vitals were all stable but still in very critical condition. I talked to someone there in the hospital and they told me that there was a possibility that he wouldn't make it through the night. After a LOT of prayer, tears and just sitting there in total shock, Joe and I decided that it would be best for me to fly out. Esther was able to get me on a Friday afternoon flight. I did some laundry, packed and attempted to sleep a little.

I went to work to wrap up a few things in the morning. We picked up the kids from school after lunch and headed to Des Moines to catch my flight out. It felt like it took an eternity to get there but I finally did. I arrived at 11:15 pm Alaska time. Esther, Johnny and Dan picked me up at the airport and we headed straight to the hospital. 

There are no words to describe what it was like to walk into that room. 

He was laying there, totally still and white. He had lines and tubes coming out of everywhere. His skin was cold. I literally felt like my heart was breaking. 

I couldn't even fathom sleeping at that point so I sent my mom to the home that she was staying in so that she could get some rest while Johnny and I stayed. We talked to him, we talked to each other. We read. We walked to vending machines during his "bath". We made a million treks to the bathroom as a result of the gallons of coffee.  We shivered since it was frigid in the room. The nurse working was amazing. He was so kind and so helpful. He explained things really clearly for us in regular people English. 


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