When you will someone to get better with all your heart and mind and prayer... when they progress and start to feel confident in their recovery... when you see them take bigger steps and bigger breaths... when you see them laugh and smile... when you know in your heart they're getting better... that's when another crisis seems to tear your heart into, leaving you nothing but an overwhelming sense of defeat and helplessness.
Dad woke up early Wednesday morning feeling short of breath, sweating and panicking. He had had panic attacks during his previous stay in the hospital and we thought that's what was happening. We called the doctors and set up an appointment for that afternoon. I left with Abby Kate to go back home to MS as planned around noon.
As I was driving down I-65 South, Mom was getting ready to take Dad to the doctor. She was helping him to the door to the garage and opened the car door as Dad felt he was going to have trouble walking even a few steps. He stepped down the two stairs to get into the garage and then passed out. My dad is 6'1 and 230 lbs. My mom is 5'1 and 100 pounds. You can imagine the effort it took for her to keep him from hitting his newly constructed face on the concrete or the open car door. Mom ran to the neighbor. He wasn't home, so she called my uncle who lives nearby. By the time he got there, Dad was conscious again. Uncle Dennis and Mom got Dad into the car and Mom drove him to the hospital. By this time he was very, very pale and really struggling to breathe. The doctors tended to him immediately and ran several tests. The doctor's initial thought was a blood clot.
Mom called with the news of his distress as I was approaching the suburbs of Nashville. I didn't know what to do so I stopped at a Shell station and was going to wait to hear the test results. But I couldn't stand waiting there not knowing what was happening, so I jumped on I-65 North and headed back.
I arrived two hours later to find out the doctors had discovered two massive blood clots that had passed through his heart. They now reside in each of his lungs. Unbelieving that he could have survived such large clots, the docs put him on oxygen and gave him blood thinner. They did a scan to see if he had any more blood clots in his leg. He had many. He had surgery this morning to have a filter inserted in a main artery in his stomach in effort to block those clots from going to his heart.
He's looking and feeling better now, but we are in a waiting period of 72 hours before he's no longer critical. Then it'll be two weeks before the doctors will feel like he's in the clear. He will have to be in the hospital for at least five days and will then have to go to rehab all over again.
He was doing so, so well and now this. It is so frustrating and heartbreaking to watch him progress so far only to fall so much farther back.
Please, please pray for him, my mom and my family. We are again optimistic, but scared.