Friday, November 21, 2008

a week of ups and downs

Well, on Tuesday the laptop came back feeling much better. Yay!

The down side was that my neighbor and close friend has had a number of heart attacks over the past few weeks, including 4 on Wednesday. Thursday (yesterday) she had a cardiac catheterization where they found 2 serious blockages. One was 99% blocked and the other was 70% with secondary involvement. Dr. Henry decided to send her immediately to Geisinger in Danville for double bypass surgery. I drove her son there, which in and of itself was an ordeal. We drove through a squall that dumped 1 foot of snow, with visability of 4 car lengths or less. I80 was closed behind us. We stayed the night. This morning they took her in for surgery before 6AM. We were finally able to see her around 1, though she was still sedated. By 5:30 this evening, they had taken the trach out and she was breathing on her own. We had a chance to talk to her (she was still very tired and groggy, which I would expect after someone cracked open her rib cage and fiddled around with her heart!). 

Talking to again her did wonders for her son, who had been quite beside himself. I, of course, kept the stoic 'she's going to be fine' face on for the better part of the last two days. It slipped a couple times, but I held up, as best I could.

It was both horrific and enlightening of an experience. To see someone with so many tubes and and on a ventilator was humbling. That was the hardest. To see just how fragile the human condition is. In real life. Up close. Personally. It was wrenching, especially knowing that I am powerless to do anything other than stroke her hand and forehead, just *being* there for her. At the same time, I see just how resilient of beings we are. She's a feisty woman even on her worst day. On her best, she's a power to be reckoned with. 

Simply being able to talk to her after everything she went through today.... It was so hard to leave her side. I wanted to just be there as long as I could. To soak her in  and know how happy I was to be able to talk to her and know that she's going to be even feistier than I had ever known her.

Think kind, healing thoughts for CJ.