The month of December began quite normally in our household. We decorated the house; celebrated K's 14th birthday and my 40th; I baked cookies. I was irritated by stepdaughter J's insistence her kids go with her Christmas Eve; I'd wanted her to stay the night so she and the kids could wake up to a 'normal' Christmas. So I packed up A and J's gifts and sent them with her. (We found out later the kids griped and complained the entire day!) They arrived back the next day, and Life resumed....or so we thought.
December 27, 2005 will undoubtedly stay with me for the rest of my life. The stomach flu had emerged the day after Christmas with first K, then me, getting it. So when we were due to go to my aunt's house on the 27th around 2pm, the five kids and I loaded up the car. D announced his stomach was feeling 'weird' and insisted we go without him; he didn't want to spread our illness to anyone else. I offered to take him to the hospital after dropping everyone off at my aunt's house; the family would understand. But he said no; he was quite content with his tea, the couch, and the remote control. K and S kissed him goodbye, since they were off to spend a week at Grandma's, and we left.
J was supposed to meet us there, so I could slip out and go buy dog food, but she never showed up. We ate a delicious meal, the kids opened gifts, and I prepared for a week without extra help with three little ones under the age of 5. I thought I could leave the kids in the van while I ran into Walmart, but when I arrived at the stoplight 5 minutes after we'd left my aunt's, all three little ones were sound asleep. I made the decision to drop them off at home, then run back to town.
Upon arriving home, I found a disturbing site: My hubby on the phone with 911, who thought he was having a heart attack. Ambulance was on the way, so would I please move the van? Shocked, I did, then as the little ones woke up, I told them to stay in the van; we'd be leaving again soon.
D told me he'd gotten up to use the restroom, then blacked out after doing his business, and had crawled back to the couch, where he'd dialed 911 just before I'd walked in. The paramedics arrived; I told them to take him to St. V's and I'd meet them. I then called my aunt's to see if my parents were still there. Fortunately, they were, so I explained the situation, and they agreed to meet me at the hospital.
I took the time to unload the presents, and fielded a few phone calls from friends with scanners, then hopped back in the van and took off for Indianapolis again.
My dad met me at the ER entrance and helped unload the kids, then informed me the paramedics had taken D to Morgan Co Hospital in order to transfer him to another ambulance. I parked the van and we waited. And Waited. And Waited. In the meantime, I contacted J and made arrangements for her kids to go elsewhere, since I didn't know how long D would be in the hospital.
Finally, I asked the nurse what was taking so long; surely the ambulance would have been here, since we'd been waiting for 2 hours. After a phone call, she informed us D had vomited blood upon arriving at Morgan County, and they were keeping him. I sent K out to the van to get W's car seat, then kissed the kids and told them I'd let 'em know what was going on.
Five minutes later, I could not find my keys, and concluded they must still be in K's pocket. A call to my mom's cell revealed it to be off. I called the police and put out an APB on my parents' vehicle, then spent the next hour by myself alternately railing against my mother's refusal to turn on her cell phone and praying, trying to remain calm. The nurse paged me; it was my father, who had just arrived home with the discovery of the keys, and asked me to cancel the APB, which had NOT managed to locate them! Relieved, I spent THAT hour calming down. Dad arrived; handed me $100 and my keys, and told me to call if I needed anything more.
I arrived at the hospital at 2am and discovered a stranger in that hospital bed. He was twitching; moaning; and being uncooperative. I was finally able to give the staff his medication info, and as I watched, D 'came to' enough to acknowledge me. Exhausted, I kissed him and left, for I still had to go to Walmart for the dog food!
When I arrived at Walmart, I discovered they were waxing the floors right in front of the pet area, causing me to walk completely around the damn store in order to get to it! I paid for my purchase and drove home to feed my hungry animals and fall into bed.
My phone began ringing at 8am, and two hours later I was able to hop in the shower and head back to the hospital, where the doctor pulled me aside and told me D had crossed over three times that night.
It says a lot about the state of our marriage at the time, for I didn't know whether to thank him or slap him for bringing him back. In the end, I DID thank him.
Turned out D had a stomach infection, and the lining of his stomach had swelled into his esophagus, causing the pain and vomiting, and maybe even needing surgery. He'd needed 4 pints of blood and 2 units of plasma, plus all the saline solution they'd pumped into him in order to get fluid into his body. At the end of his stay, he would receive 9 units of blood to stop the internal bleeding.
I didn't want to inform his mother by phone, so on New Year's Eve, I met my SIL at the rehab center, where we spent an interesting day, paying Mom's bills and eating dinner at Charlie's Buffet. Mom took the news well, especially since I'd reported he was going to be okay. I drove home in time to see D for a half an hour, then home to watch the ball drop, drink a While Russian, then go to bed.
Next Month: Aftermath of hospital stay
Merry Christmas everyone!
I Won't Last A Day W/O You- Carpenters
If You Asked Me To-Celine Dion
Isn't It Time-Babys
It Must've Been Love-Roxette