Friday was our 22nd wedding anniversary. 22 years ago we dreamed of rainbows and unicorns, making babies, making a home, and being in love forever.
Yeah. You know how that goes.
This year we spent our anniversary in ICU.
almost 19 years old, wants to go on a mission but kept having episodes
with her heart picking up an extra beat and short circuiting. A couple
of weeks ago she was having an episode that wouldn't quit so she drove
herself to the emergency room. The medical team was able to hook her up
and catch about 30 seconds of it before it slowed back to normal and the
cardiologist on call determined she had an extra biological pacemaker
in her heart. The way to stop the episodes is to kill a little piece of
her heart by threading some tubes through her vein via her groin area
then zap it.
The procedure was successful and quick.
The part of the heart was between two chambers so it was hiding. Once
the tubes were in her heart, they stimulated an episode and found the
problem area, zapped it, then tried for 30 minutes more to stimulate
another episode. Her regular heartbeat ensued. We followed her upstairs
to ICU where she was just gaining consciousness and complaining that her
heart hurt. Then we were told to wait while they pulled out the sheaths
from her groin. I can't type that last sentence without feeling a
little grossed out and light headed. They were direct veins that went to
her heart which is where I get grossed out. They had to push down hard
so she wouldn't bleed for the first few minutes while the blood clotted
and the healing began. She was instructed that she couldn't move for 4-6
hours. At all. So she freaked out.
Just to clarify,
Alyssa is a golden child. She really is. Thoughtful, kind, easy-going.
She has a touch of OCD like most of the population but it kicks into
high gear when she is coming out of anesthesia. We'd forgotten about her
obsessiveness after getting her wisdom teeth pulled. She got mean and
scary. This time around, she got mean and scary but there were more
people involved. She yelled at the nurses because she couldn't put on
her clothes. They told her before that she could put on her clothes but
now she couldn't. When we arrived and she was yelling at everybody, we
tried to placate her. She yelled at Scott and I to Get. Out. Now. In
her mean and scary voice.
Banished, we stood in the
hall, looked at each other and cracked up. It was the Wisdom Teeth
Episode all over again. We tried, over the next hour and a half to go
and sit with her. She used her mean, scary voice and told us to GET OUT
OF HERE. NOW. RIGHT NOW. GET. OUT. Unfortunately, she said the same
thing to her nurse. She refused food. She refused water. She refused to
use a bed pan. She wanted her underwear.
accepted my company and, in tears, admitted she had a horrible headache.
She knew she had been mean but couldn't seem to stop herself. She took a
little Percocet, ate a little food, drank a tiny bit of water and
apologized to her nurse. They became best friends. She let the nurse
take her to the bathroom. She let her nurse take her for a walk. She let
her nurse check her healing holes.
Eventually I went
home and was relieved that Scott accepted my company. There were no
rainbows or unicorns. There was no hanky panky. There were simply two
exhausted parents that flopped into bed. Together.
Which is the best way
to handle a day like this.