Monday, September 12, 2016

The day my dad died.

Sept. 2nd.
It started Tues. Aug. 23rd.
He woke up and had a pain, it went from his the left side of his heart, to his right leg. Chris was on the phone talking to him and my dad said he couldn't talk anymore. Chris said we should go check on him. By the time we got to the house, my mom had already taken him to the Emergency Room. We went to the Hospital and found my mom in the parking lot. She had been trying to call me. (5times starting at 8:14)We went in and saw dad. He was feeling pretty good because he was on Morphine. We didn't think much of it and Chris went to work. I had to go get my phone and charger because my mom's phone wasn't working. I put the message on facebook for my family and within 3 minutes my brother Jared called. I was telling him what the Dr. was saying and finally I gave the phone to the Dr. and let him talk to Jared. I knew things were bad when Jared said he was coming immediately.
They decided to send him to Utah Valley so that  he would be close to his Dr.  They told us that he had a dissected aneurysm and that it went through his previous stent in his abdomen. Mom wanted him to have a blessing before they transferred him to Provo. The paramedic that was moving him gave my mom a very strange look. Joe Prior came and gave him a blessing.
Linette needed a car so mom and I decided that we would both drive to meet Linette and then I would drive her to the rest of the way to the hospital. When I saw Linette, I totally and completely lost it. I started crying and telling her that it was really bad.
We get to the hospital (about 10:00) and the ambulance is unloading dad. So I let mom out and go park the car. I have to find out where mom is, and someone helps me. We get to their room and there are a lot of Drs. and nurses buzzing around. They don't leave him. There is one sitting and monitoring him the whole time. We later find out that this nurses name is Mindy and she becomes a good friend to mom. I am trying to update the family and comfort mom. She goes in and out of waves of sadness. Dad is getting medicine to lower his blood pressure. They are really worried that he will bleed out. His renal artery is also affected and it is causing problems for his kidney as well.  They were also checking his legs a lot to see if he still has feeling in his toes...I later find out that they are worried about paralysis. They get his PICC line in and ART line after a bit of trouble. It's about 12:00 and he is finally resting. The Dr. comes in at about 12:30 and explains all the problems dad is having right now. It is so much to take in and I don't know what much of it means. I wish Jared was there already.
I tease my mom about being in her house dress. I tell her that she is going to be so embarrassed later when she remembers how she looks. Jared gets to the hospital and I am so happy to see him. I know things are not good because he came so fast, but I am grateful for his company and knowledge. My dad is going to have surgery on Thurs. He needs a stent on his thoracic aorta. We are kind of freaking out a little bit. My dad starts throwing up and he is cold. :(  Linette gets to the hospital and I decide to go home and see my children. (About 4:15pm) Dad gets more visitors that night and he is awake and eating ice chips. My mom heads home at about 10.

Wed. Aug. 24th Two of my sisters are coming into town and so is another brother. The Drs. do another CT scan on my dad and there isn't much change. A lot of medical terms and decisions. He is very swollen because they are pumping lots of fluids into him. I am trying to get numbers and messages out for mom and I am also trying to keep his siblings updated. Marlin gives dad a blessing for his upcoming surgery.  I head home to get my kids so they can see Grandpa before he has surgery. I have a very sweet experience with Christopher. I am looking for clean clothes for Andrew and I open the door to the boys room. I find Christopher kneeling at his bed. I tell him sorry and start to shut the door. He sits up, puts his face into his pillow and starts to cry. On the way to the hospital he says that Grandpa is going to be ok. I ask him how he knows and he says, "I don't know, but I'm not sad." I love that so much. It brought me so much comfort and his sweet, simple expression amazed me.
He had lots of visitors again. He really appreciated that.
Thurs. Aug 25th.  He had surgery in the morning. I got to the hospital at about 9:00. No one was there yet. I called my mom and they were on their way. My dad's surgery started at about 8:30. He was done at about 10:30.  It took him a long time to recover. He hated his breathing tube and wanted it out. We didn't even get to see him until about 2. He was so stressed out.  He was trying to talk to us but we couldn't figure out what he wanted to tell us. We kept trying to reassure him that we would take care of whatever the problem was. He would write on paper, but it was chicken scratch. We finally decided that he didn't like his breathing tube, and that there was a problem with at work. My mom called his boss Randall. We went back into his room and this time he was much more clear. He was really struggling on the breathing tube and if we didn't take it out he would die. He was so upset. He was writing in all caps and very big and clear this time. He said, "Believe Me!"  I went out of his room to get Marlin and Jared. They were able to get the Dr to agree to take the tube out. My dad improved after that. He was still swollen from all the fluid and was pretty miserable that day.
Thursday, Sept. 1st   Was a really good day for my dad. I got to spend some time with him all by myself. I got there at about 2:30 and no one was there. I sat with him and talked with him. He looked so good and was so calm and peaceful.  He talked a lot about how great his life is and that he was happy. His eyes were so clear and blue. He was just peaceful. He said it was his best day yet since being in the hospital. He told me to be sure to take the time to smell the roses on my way throughout this life. I told him that I fed calves that morning. He laughed, and said well that sure is taking time to smell the roses.  He would look off and contemplate a lot. I kept asking him what he was thinking about, but he never did tell me. I can only describe him as peaceful. Mom, Danette and Chris got there. He was talking about how much he loves his family. He said that his family was his greatest blessing. He talked about how all of his children are happy and married in the temple. He said that we have our problems, but nothing really big and that all of his grandkids were doing so well. He  was very grateful for that and for the love that he felt from everyone. He said from those near and far. He would cry every time he mentioned all the love and support he was feeling. Not just at this time, but he mentioned it several times throughout his hospital stay.  Chris and I had ward temple night at 6:30 so we had to go. I squeezed my dad's hand and told him that I loved him and we left.
At the temple, I just couldn't stop the tears. They would just fall from my eyes every now and then. When I got to the end of the ceremony and as I stepped into the Celestial room I was bawling uncontrollably. I was so embarrassed. Chris found a corner for us to "hid" in and members of our ward kept coming and hugging me. I was just crying and crying. I felt like I knew that my dad wasn't going to make it. I didn't want to say it out loud and I didn't want to be negative about it, but I feel like sitting through that session was a witness to me that he wouldn't. We were heading home when my mom called and said that they were going to give dad a blessing before his surgery in the morning. And that they  would just ask a nurse to help Kelly give it. I told Chris that I wanted to go and that I wanted them to wait for us. We got there and he was given a blessing. He mentioned his family again. As we were leaving I squeezed his hand again and tried to leave. He held onto my hand and pulled me in for a hug.  I kissed his forehead and told him that I love him. He told me he loved me too. I wanted to say, See you tomorrow, but I couldn't and squeezed his hand again. We left ICU and were standing in the hall saying our goodbyes to each other and I said, we didn't get a picture of grandpa tonight to put on facebook for all the grandkids. I have to get a picture. I didn't have my phone so I used Chris'. I went back into his room and the nurses were already getting him comfortable for the night. I said dad, I need to get a picture of  you to send out tonight. He smiled and immediately took off his oxygen mask and his monitor off his finger and got ready for his picture. I also found out that the Dr was more worried about getting him to Friday to perform the surgery than the surgery itself.
Friday, Sept. 2nd   He was to have another surgery to repair the stent in his  stomach. His surgery was scheduled from about 8:30-12:30. I was at the store when I got the message that there were complications.  Brianne drove me to the hospital. I got there and found mom and everyone else waiting in a conference room. She said  the Dr. said it didn't look good. It was a hard time for all of us. Chris got there as well. The Dr. came in at about 12:00 and said things were not going well. That he wasn't going to make it. They were still doing CPR and my mom told them to stop. The Dr was teary. My mom hugged him and told him she knows he did all he could and left. We all just sat there, and then cried. My mom was sitting and crying and then screamed out, "He's gone, oh, he's gone." and then cried again.  Then she asked us to sing, I Stand All amazed."  We started calling family and telling them that he had passed away. We didn't ever get a final word, but we all knew. After a time, we called to find out what was going on and we were able to go see him. That was hard. really hard. There was a tinge of hope until then, hope of a miracle. Mom hugged him. We all told him goodbye. There were a lot of people that came to the hospital. Kage, Dustin and Kalli and Clara. Anne Marie and Briche, Andrea and JoJean, Maddi and Brock.
Emily was on her way and got the news while she was driving. :( Chris went home to tell the kids face to face. He came back, Brianne and Derrick were there. Em and Ty were there later.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Update on Camille

Camille has had a total of 5 seizures. The last one she had was yesterday.
 It's very difficult to explain what is going on around here now...we are all on edge...all the time. We are always watching her and if she makes a funny move, or pauses for a second we all jump and react. If she is resting on me and slouches just a little, I check on her, if her fingers flinch, I check on her. She can't go anywhere alone. She is rather sick of us watching her every move, but what other choice do we have? So far we have been able to catch her when she goes unconscious and we've been able to prevent injury.
Her seizures:
The first one was already blogged in great detail. Dec. 28th.
The second one was Feb. 12th. Chris and I were not home so the kids called us. They also called 911. We took her to the hospital, but ended up going home because she was back to normal before they could get us in. Sam witnessed her first one, she freaked a little at first. Then realized she was the oldest one home and had to go help.
The 3rd one was on Feb. 18th. We were at the church playing basketball. She started looking at the lights on the ceiling as if she had never seen them before and she was spinning around slowly. I was watching her, it was odd so I walked over to her to see what she was doing, but she was not there...she was already unconscious. I grabbed her and laid her down and she started convulsing. She was hitting her head on the ground so I cradled it in my arms. It always seems so long, but really it's about 30 seconds. Then she is unconscious without the convulsing for another 20 seconds. They have all been different from the first one in that she is breathing during her seizure and you can hear her. The first one she was choking and turning blue-gray. The boys ran out of the gym, scared and crying. She is really out of it when she comes around. We wait about 20 minutes and then we sit her up so she can breath better. After about an hour we move her and we get her home. She is still not 100% yet. We ask her a lot of questions, and try to figure out what she remembers last. We always ask her what her favorite color She has a lot of her little absence seizures during this time. 1 every 3 to 4 minutes. Sometimes more. She also cries a lot when she first comes out of one and she moves her legs a lot and moans. She also puts her hands around her face, especially her mouth. She holds her lips funny and her tongue doesn't work very well. Then she complains about her stomach and she feels like she is going to puke, if we move her to fast, she does. When we get home, she sleeps for about 3 hours.
Her 4th one was on our Anniversary in Vegas. Again, Chris and I weren't there, (Chris hasn't had to see one yet) so the kids call us. (we were at a stupid timeshare meeting)  She was in the bathroom curling her hair, but Nico was watching her and he said she was looking at the lights again. He went out to tell the bigger girls and when they all came in she was slumped over the tub. Both hands were in the tub but she didn't hit her head which is a major blessing. Sam got her out of the tub and laid her on the ground. She does the same stuff...convulses, moans, moves her legs, cries, wants to puke. It's awful. It takes her about an hour to recover and she is very tired. It's hard to watch. It's hard to feel helpless.
The 5th one was yesterday, the 28th. She was getting ready to go to GG's house. Some of us were in the van already. She had gotten a strawberry, walked outside to the front step and started her slow spinning. I started screaming, "she's spinning." and Christopher and Lindsey took off running. I was parked way down the driveway. I yelled, "catch her." Lindsey gets to her right as she is starting to fall. We all get there and Lindsey is like, where do I put her. So she lays her on the ground and she starts convulsing. And making a really weird noise, the noise while convulsing...ugh   I am just so thankful that Lindsey got to her she was on the cement steps. I am also amazed that while she was spinning (it's very slow) she didn't step off the top step and fall. She has her seizure and we are trying to talk to her. We ask her what day it is and she says Tues. We tell her that it is Sunday and then ask her again. She says she knows, but can't think of it. We tell her again that it is Sunday. We ask her again and she can't tell us. It's awful. I cry every time. I tell Lindsey that I can't believe she made it to her in time. I am just so thankful. Lindsey says she doesn't know how she did it and that she doesn't feel winded. We decided that Grand-dad pushed her along. Nico starts crying and he says that he knows angels are watching over her every time she has a seizure. We decide it's Grand-dad again.  We turn her around so that her head is higher than the rest of her. We sit her up. After about 30 mins we bring her inside. She is so tired. She rests for another 30 mins. I ask her if she is ready to go to GG's for dinner. She says yes, but we shouldn't have moved her yet, she pukes in the car on the way over (I had a chip bag in the car thankfully) and then sleeps for about an hour at GG's house. The strawberry is still on the front step where she dropped it. :(
Nico, Christopher and Andrew are all in, I don't know, distress. They can't sleep at night, they cry about things, question things. Christopher has major anxiety right now. But my sweet Lindsey is struggling too. She is always by my side. She is quiet but observant. She is so quiet. She is really struggling in her own way. It was just her and I on the way home from GG's and we both just cried. We didn't talk, we didn't have to. I am surprised at how much this affects all of us.  I am always on edge. We all are.