This Christmas you gave me your Heart

Last week it seemed like I posted every day.  The truth is I write a lot of posts in advance and schedule them to come out at different times.  I have no idea why I didn’t spread out the posts last week.

The truth is last week was very difficult.  I have been playing nurse-maid for the hubs.  On the 7th he went in for an out-patient surgery.  We elected to do it this time of  year since he will be on crutches for 6 weeks and this is the slowest time of the year work-wise for him.  And the best part is I get to keep him home for 6 whole weeks.

Surgery day started out as any normal day does around here.  Got up early, got the kids up and off to school, ate breakfast.  Except that the hubs couldn’t eat breakfast.  We got to the hospital at 12:30 and they did all that intake paperwork and stuff.  The nurse thought I was joking when she gave him a Valium and I asked where mine was.  I don’t know why I was so nervous…the hubs had out-patient hernia surgery five or six years ago and I wasn’t this nervous.

The hubs left for surgery about 2:00 and the surgeon told me it would take about 3 hours, but don’t be surprised if it takes longer.  My boss was kind enough to let me attend our staff meeting over speaker phone and that was interesting.  I had to put it on mute every time a nurse or doctor walked in until they wheeled him off to surgery.  Then I ate lunch while on the phone, so I hope no one heard me chewing, and was grateful that the hospital cafeteria sold Mountain Dew.

After the staff meeting call ended and I was done with lunch, I went back to the waiting room where I wasted a few hours playing on Facebook.  It was nice to have some friends distract me with a few funny conversations so I didn’t worry so much about the hubs.  About 5:00 I shut down my laptop thinking that the surgeon would come in at any time to talk to me, and I didn’t dare leave my laptop just sitting in the waiting room.  So I packed up my stuff and started reading my book. About 5:45 the surgeon came out, pulled me into a small consultation room, showed me the pictures from the hubs’s surgery (I still have no idea what I was looking at) and told me he did great.  I asked when I could see him and the surgeon told me about 15 minutes.

So I went back into the waiting room and kept reading my book.  After a while I noticed I was about 100 pages into it (this was a new book I had just started that day) and I looked up at the clock and it was way past 15 minutes.  Then I started getting really anxious.  Finally at about 6:45 a nurse came and got me and took me back to recovery.  That’s when I found out they had given the hubs Demerol at the end of surgery for pain relief and we found out the hard way he’s allergic to it when he stopped breathing and they had to resuscitate him.

He had a hard time in the recovery room for the next 3 hours.  We also discovered he has sleep apnea.  They had him on oxygen, because he stopped breathing, and every time he would fall asleep and hold his breath, all the alarm bells would go off.  We realized about 9:00 that night there was no way he was going home.  So much for out-patient.  They admitted him and once he was safe and secure up in his hospital room and I felt like the nurse was competent enough to take care of him, I left and went home and got there about 10:30.

My wonderful in-laws had taken care of my kids, literally all day.  My MiL brought the kids home so they could go to sleep and she was prepared to spend the night just in case.  She had even started to fold my laundry!  I had 10 baskets of clean laundry that I had planned to fold when I knew I would have so many days off with the hubs.

After she left is when I had my break-down/freak-out about almost losing my husband to a routine procedure.  I didn’t sleep well that night, and it didn’t help that the pre-schooler was practically sleeping on top of me.  When I arrived at the hospital the next morning I was greeted by a much different sight.  The hubs was fully lucid, even joking around, and the physical therapists were teaching him how to walk with crutches, even going up and down stairs.  He was able to be released and back home by lunch time.

It was really difficult the first few days and I didn’t even leave the house for four days.  It’s been 10 days and the hubs is so much more mobile than he was even a week ago.  I can hardly believe it.  The first couple of days it was taking all my strength to help him out of bed just to go to the bathroom.  He’s 9 inches taller than me and out-weighs me by at least 70 lbs.  I was making every single one of his meals, helping him out of bed, waiting on him hand and foot and now he’s able to work from home on his laptop, make his meals, and get around so much better than he was.

Taking care of him on top of 3 kids was hard, but thankfully I have great friends and family that helped me out.  Not only did my in-laws watch kids for me, my sister took the two oldest for the entire weekend.  My ward friends brought us five meals, my bestie, K and her family, came over and hung out with us and brought us ice cream.  K’s husband had at the exact same surgery two months ago and he was so helpful in letting us know what to expect.

That Sunday the hubs stayed home while I took the kids to church.  I had stupidly volunteered to play a piano solo of “Angels we have Heard on High,” in Sacrament meeting (not realizing that the second Sunday would be right after the hubs’s surgery).  People told me they thought I was Wonder Woman to have taken care of the hubs and prepare a piano solo.  The truth is he was high on pain meds a lot of the time and was asleep, and I chose a piece way below my skill level so that I could sight read it if I needed to.

I’ve had so many people help me, give me and the hubs encouraging words, and pray for our family.  It has been really humbling to feel so much love and concern.  I know that those prayers helped me in moments when I was struggling.  It’s not easy to see the person you love the most almost die and then be in immense amounts of pain.  This family doesn’t work without him.  My life doesn’t work without him.

I’m feeling especially thankful this Christmas for my wonderful husband, my very loving family, and all my good friends.  They are all my angels on earth.

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