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I’m still here….. But almost wasn’t

In my ICU Bed

In ICU

Since Sam was born, I developed quite a sedentary lifestyle for a variety of reasons. Being paranoid over taking Sam out around other people; It being cold and flu season; Back bothering me; And pure laziness. Part of taking care of Sam involves alot of sitting and being there “just in case.” At my size that isn’t healthy and this past Friday night/early Saturday morning that caught up to me.

The day was no different than any other. Carlene and Wyatt had started back to school and I went back to my normal role as Samantha’s primary care giver. Went to bed at a normal hour and thought there would be another day tomorrow. There almost wasn’t.

I woke up about 2am with a weird feeling in my chest. Almost like heartburn that sneaks up on you. No big deal, it happens to the best of it. The problem is, my next memory is my wife shaking me, asking me if I’m ok and telling me that the EMT’s were on the way. I felt EXTREMELY sleepy and remember thinking, “Why? What for.” Before my thoughts could go anywhere else, she said I had two seizures. Things went downhill from there. I have vague memories of the EMT’s helping me but I have a VIVID memory of not being able to breathe. The best I could do was quick shallow breaths. My wife tells me I fought with the paramedics while screaming I couldn’t breathe. My next memory is being transferred from a stair walker onto a gurney, and a few fleeting visions while in the ambulance. I remember hearing the EMT talking to the hospital and the word that stuck out was “Cardiac.” Immediately I thought I was having a heart attack.

Once in the ER memories are still very vague. I remember what had to be 6 people trying to help me, and asking me questions. I remember being very frustrated because I didn’t want to talk, instead I wanted to rest. Then I remember, thinking I’m dying and looking around at the corners of the room for the “Light” coming to take me away. Yes I know that last part is corny but it’s what I went through.

I have a vague memory of someone telling me I had a massive blood clot in my lungs and to take deep breaths, it would subside soon. Turns out I had been given a super clot busting drug that can kill you as easy as it can save you. Wasn’t given a choice, but then again, what choice was there? My next memory is being much calmer having the ER doctor explain to me that I was within five minutes of cardiac arrest, which likely couldn’t have been reversed. I remember calling my wife and trying to explain as best I could and then my wife being there and walking me to my room in the ICU.

The official diagnosis is a Massive Bilateral Pulmonary Embolism affecting both sides. The main thing that was driven home is how close I was to not surviving.

I’ve been home a little more than 24 hours. The doctors explained to me that I have a “new normal” when it comes to physical activity and to not try and do too much or I could run out of breath very easily and possibly pass out. I’m finding it isn’t as bad as they described but it is still VERY different than before the event. My kidneys briefly went into failure, and my liver took a hit. Over the next few days that corrected itself. The doctors explained that when you are dying that the body diverts blood to the brain leaving other organs starved. During the event my body from the chest up turned grey and purple from the chest down.

Other than the new normal I have to get used to and overcome, the only ill effects I have is massive bruises from the clot busting drug. I’m writing this update to give everyone who supported the film. I’m not announcing a delay because I just don’t know. I just want to be upfront with everyone. If this was going to happen to me I just thank the good Lord upstairs that it happened when my wife was home and not while at work. If not, I wouldn’t be here.

The bruise on my left arm before it spread.

The bruise on my left arm before it spread.

arm2

Home again, home again with a really nasty bruise.

Home again, home again with a really nasty bruise.

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