My Little Darlin, PT day 7
Sunday, 1:25 am The past few hours have been some of the worst of my life, approaching last Sunday when I got the call " David, it's Kim, Jan has been hit by a car and it is bad". That is what started the nightmare. My heart has been bleeding ever since. Over the past week some moments have been light, momentarily not having a prolonged sad thought about my beautiful Little Darlin lying in that CCU fighting for her life. Those light moments never lasted long, how could they? Although she had a good night last night I felt uneasy all day. Could not explain it but the anxiety had my heart rate up and tears kept welling up in my eyes. Went in at 6 this evening for a visit and immediately was aware things were off. She had suddenly started breathing more than the ventilator was set for. Her blood oxygen saturation was decreasing requiring an increase to 100% concentration of the oxygen being given to her. My anxiety was increasing logarithmically. The pulmonologist was there. All week, in addition to the despair of what had happened to and what my precious baby darling was going through, I had the constant fear of what potential complications could develop while trying to get her through this. The pulmonologist, Derek (Jan's oldest son, my stepson and also a radiologist) and I talked about what could be causing this. We know by her CT done yesterday that the left lung is working very poorly due to pneumonia, filled with blood or both. The right one also has some of this. When someone is on the ventilator the bronchi can plug up and cause some of this. This was one consideration but that usually does not happen quickly. What I have been fearing for days now is pulmonary thromboembolism (blood clot to the lungs). If I recall correctly this kills 8% the first time it happens which could have been yesterday when she had a similar problem. It goes up to 30% death rate the second time. It is usually treated with blood thinners but she can not have this because of her risk of bleeding from the trauma. If she could have blood thinners she would already be on it to prevent blood clot. This potential problem has been a worry from day 1. The pulmonologist bronchoscoped her in the room and found some bronchial plugging and washed it out but her oxygen saturation did not improve significantly. We looked at her legs with an ultrasound to see if any clot were there. There was none. This is where they form, break away and flow to the lungs blocking blood flow through the lungs. If the clot is big enough to block significant blood flow the patient dies immediately. If not that big their heart rate goes up and oxygen concentration in the blood goes down. Sound familiar? The best test for this is a CT scan but this meant taking her back down to CT. The treatment for someone who can not have blood thinner is called a vena cave filter. It catches any clot flowing from the legs to the lungs. She needed the filter no matter what. It was put in her tonight and now she is as safe as can be from this potential problem. One thing to not worry about and can get the filter out when she is better. From the time I walked into that room at 6 until the time I was told I could come back to see her after the filter was placed at 10:30 I sobbed. I thought i was about to lose her. I am still so scared of that and have been for a week. I do not know when that fear will lessen. We still are not sure what caused her change but when I could see her and kiss her and know she had not left me I felt some relief. I love her more than anything in this world and I am so afraid. God I pray that you get her through this and back to me. I also pray that this never again happens to anyone else. The pain is virtually unbearable.
Sunday, 2:05 am Let me tell you a little about My Little Darlin Jan. She has a personality. Oh does she. She does not mind telling you what she thinks. She has a heart as big as gold. We were recently in Mumbi, India. We encountered a little girl on the street who was a beggar. Her hand had been amputated. Saturday night before the day of her trauma, before we went to bed I found her standing outside crying. She was thinking about that child She was so upset because she had learned that the parents will amputate their childrens limb to improve their worth at begging. She wanted to do something about it. We currently have 4 dogs. They are all strays and all sleep in the bed. We have had as many as 6. If she sees a stray she will bring it home if it will come to her. If it will not come to her she comes home fretting. Those dogs love her. Wish she was in the bed with them right now. Oh how I miss her. I am writing this on her computer. She has it set up so that every time her browser is opened www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive comes up. You click on it and the sponsors donate food for rescued dogs. She is always trying to get others to do the same for the animals. Her motto is "Life is For Doing Stuff" and she did. We travel. We have traveled a lot because of her. She always said all I have to do is show up. She was right, she took care of it all. She has been caving in New Zealand, trekked mountain gorillas in Ughanda, cruise the Amazon and Nile Rivers. Done photographic safari in Africa. Camped a week in Alaska. Camped and white water rafted in Idaho along with many other adventures. I do not know how many cruises we have been on. There are not many places in this world we have not seen. There are a whole lot more that I want to see with her though. I will settle for open eyes and recognition right now. God how I love her. She loves Disney. She has completed 6 marathons (26.2 mile run) Most of these were with Leukemia and Lymphoma Team in Training, raising money for this charity. She is a dynamic self starter that will tackle any job. She was one of the founders of a large anesthesia group and practiced in Jackson. She retired from anesthesia. After about two weeks she was bored so she became a residential real-estate investor. She did this until we moved to Starkville about 5 years ago. About 3 years ago we were at a mountain bike race in the area. She did not ride bikes at the time. Several of us were talking about how it would be good if somebody would open another bicycle shop in Starkville. She said ok lets do it. No retail experience, does not ride a bike, no bike mechanic I say to her. We / she opened Boardtown Bikes 4 months later. Oh yea, she and I went to Barnettes Bicycle Mechanic School about 2 weeks after opening. She is a certified bicycle mechanic. Don't ask her to work on your bike though. She can change a tube. Keep the wrench out of her hand. She does talk the lingo. Sure do want to see her smiling face back in the shop. We did a few triathlons about 25 years ago. She had not done one since but in the fall of 2009 she decided she wanted to do an Ironman Triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run ). We worked the medical tent that year which allowed us to get a spot for the Panama City Ironman in 2010. I have mentioned that she completed a total of 130 miles of this. She was disappointed in herself for not completing tithes the training ride last Sunday. Oh God how I wish she had completed that ironman.
She was taken down to the CT department at 3:00 this morning for a CT head. No change(TIGT). When I saw her this morning she was doing well relatively. I can not explain the relief I felt when I walked in her room. Her blood and intracranial pressures were good. She was not breathing over the ventilator. Most encouraging her blood oxygen saturation was greater than 90% and the oxygen concentration she was being given was 50% (TIGT). Still do not know what happened to her last night but her risk of dying from a PTE has been drastically reduced (TIGT) . I have to keep reminding myself (and be reminded by my friends and family) to be patient. Did not sleep at all last night and I know I should but was feeling panic about my Little Darlin all night and could not. I am better now, for the moment. Got to spend a good 30 minutes with her during this mornings visit. Loved on her as much as I could. God I love that little women. This is so hard. I am so scared.
Please tell everyone you know about Jan, nobody or their family deserves to have this happen