sharing my life experiences, reflections and insights as a mother, a writer, an Occupational Therapist and and a spiritual being having a human experience

Archive for May, 2011

Reflections: May 4, cardiac arrest; May 16 home from hospital

Today is Sunday, May 22, 2011.  It is 6:20am.  I have not written a blog since the 10th despite my desire to do so more often.  I have many Facebook posts and notes and emails that I will turn into blog posts…all in good time.

Everyone is asleep right now and so I am taking this moment to post here and now. Where do I start and what do I say?

My life has been turned upside down since May 4 yet I have so much gratitude for all of it.  Grateful for the medics who were here just in time before my husband went into cardiac arrest, grateful I called 911 when I did, grateful for Dr. Iwaoka, the wonderful cardiologist who saved his life and all those involved, from the ambulance medics to the ER at Presbyterian and everyone in the cath lab and all who helped in his care those 12 days in the hospital, including housekeeping, who were all so friendly and helpful!!!!!!

My husband has lived to tell the tale, and yet, it is I who tell the tell.  He has no memory of anything that happened after the medic arrived and was kneeling next to him (around 6pm) until he woke up CCU about 10:30pm.  I believe we forget all of that for a good reason.  Sometimes, I wish I could forget and yet the memory serves me and reminds me of how precious life is and how wonderful it is that he is here with me now.

When we first talked in the CCU that night after he was “brought back to life”. He was shocked to know he not only had a heart attack, but a massive one.  He joked about being bummed that he did not “see the light”.  I told him he came very close.  As time unfolded and we looked back on the experience, I see that he did likely see the light as he came so close. The image of his dark blue face as the medics wheeled him out of our house, still in Vtach, after shocking him 3 times, reminds me how close to death he came.

I do believe the accounts of those who have had near death experiences.  And I know that Don came very close and he choose to stay here on earth.  Looking back on it, I even believe that he was by my side and the reason I was so calm with the kids after the medics moved us out of the living room and we sat on our stairwell quietly tapping (EFT) as I occasionally peeked in to see what was happening.  How else could I have been so calm?

I have so much to share from this experience. I am not sure what to say next.

I am grateful every day for this second chance.  Despite how crazy busy life seems right now as we adjust to an altered life with medications and helping Don to heal and recover while caring for my three children and myself, I can be thankful every minute of my life.

Life has new meaning.

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Scaring the #*% out of me

I sleep maybe 2 or 3 hours and then lay there with so many things going through my mind so I get up to get something done because there are many things to do.

Wednesday, less than one week ago, May 4,2011, my 52 year old husband of almost 17 years had a sudden unexpected major heart attack. 911, cardiac arrest at home, with Thank God, the medics at our house before he arrested.

Just thinking about it again puts my stomach in knots and my body’s anxiety response is to send everything out the other end!  This was not helpful when I arrived at the ER, having left about 15 minutes after the ambulance did as I waited on a friend to take me and my three children, ages 2, 9 and 13, and I had to run to the bathroom before I even asked about my husband at the front desk.  Not a time to be regular.

It is May 10 as I write this very early in am. and after he barely survived and then had 2 stints placed in fully blocked cornary arteries and finally getting out of CCU the other day, he will be going to the Cath Lab again this morning sometime to have one more stint placed in an artery that is about 75% blocked. And once again I am scared #%$#…. less.

It feels so good to write about this.  I am making myself write this blog and continue to keep blogging because I know I need that.  I always need to write about my life, journal or blog and have been “wanting to” blog more but now I am doing it.  Just have to.

It has been a whirlwind experience that began with shock that left me in a funky adrenaline hyped up state of crazy calm.  I look back on those first hours and wonder why I wasn’t crying my eyes out, I didn’t even cry at all…I think until I was driving back to the CCU the next morning at 5:45am alone in the car with my kids asleep at home with my parents.  Seams crazy every time I think about it.

My husband is my best friend and soul mate and has been since we met over 18 years ago, March of 1993 at a Catholic Singles dinner and night club outing.  We got engaged in November of 1993 and married May 14, 1994.  Almost exactly 17 years ago.  Which is the last time he was in the hospital and only time other than when he was born.  He had some kind of food reaction on our honeymoon while we were on one of the San Juan Islands off the coast of Seattle and because there is no hospital on the island, they helicoptered him to the hospital, leaving me on the island to take the first ferry the next morning to see him.

His brothers had all gotten sick on their wedding, honeymoons and we joked he was just trying to out due them.  His 3 older brothers.

There is so much I need to write about and say and I tremble writing this, wondering if my kids will wake up and nervous because I want them to all be asleep when I have to leave at 6am to drive the 30 minutes to the hospital where he is to be there before he goes back into the Cath Lab.  I know the Cath Lab saved his life and his wonderful Cardiologist (he never had one until this) yet, thinking about going back up to the Cath Lab waiting area makes me cringe.  It’s like bringing it all back again.  And once again,  my body’s anxiety response is to send the %$&* flying out of me.

Journaling because it is no longer an option

Perspective.  Having your 51 year old healthy husband have a sudden heart attack and go in to cardiac arrest in your living room with 3 kids, age 2, 9 and 13 standing by (and thank God, the medics who had gotten there before he arrested) is a life altering experience to say the least.

I have been filled with so much gratitude for his life since this experience. I know I need to write about it and there is no more time for”him hawing” about not having enough time.  The past is behind me, keep moving forward is my new mantra.  I will make time and find a way.

we survived that, we can survive anything (don’t take that too personally universe) but I now now my strength and things that were difficult for me, I can push forward cause I got through the 911 experience at home and waiting 2 plus hours in the hospital to know if he was alive… the rest is easy compared to that.

we are blessed and as I keep telling my husband, we can get through anything and we will more than survive but thrive and we don’t need to worry or stress about little things or even money or any of that worldly stuff…we are spiritual beings first, having a human experience.  I told Don, you survived the nearly fatal MI, it is not your time, you are going to be here for a while. We have soul work to do.

The best mother’s day gift ever.  My husband is alive and my kids are doing amazingly well despite all of this and I am so grateful and blessed!!!!!!!!!!