Notes from the Farm #1 "Trick or Treat"
I am so impressed with all the work Mike and associates have been getting done on the boat! It will be nearly as awesome as Cleopatra's Barge, only faster. That suits me just fine. A bit of time away and I almost missed it. The warm walks in the morning and afternoon, the sandy streets and many intersections cluttered with pop-up Marisco's (add your name), the hot hours of fairing and "oh, glorious sanding". We've turned the weather corner now ~ it's divine! low-light mornings with daily gentle breeze and no need to run the AC all night for comfort. But I was away for a bit and there's a story in there.
Channing has been on a two year journey to get an accurate doctor's diagnosis and medical assistance for a bum hip (shout out to her PT who diagnosed it 2 years ago!). Looking back, she might have been a Senior navigating Medicare to get a hip-replacement, though we've discovered that it is far more direct A to B. Again, thank you PT's everywhere, she came into company with a great crew who knew the best doctors in town plus the insurance navigation hazards. And so early this year, she was able to schedule surgery with a specialist in PHX. I show up in Tucson as chauffeur, sherpa and shopper for the surgery/post-op recovery period. All went well ..until it didn't.
The hip surgery in north Phoenix for a labral tear went swimmingly. Immediately post-op she was kicked around a bit from the anesthesia but everyone involved was extremely professional and kind. Drove her back to Tucson same day and started the recovery protocols pronto. We wrote things down to keep track, set timers to be accurate and felt a certain pride in our stick-to-itiveness. We were rocking this thing ..until we didn't.
About ten days out from surgery, she complained of acid-reflux symptoms. Tightness in her chest, some pain...not too bad... so I go get some stuff from the drug store. She is stir crazy and has been a very good patient so we agree that she will join friends at an evening get-together event downtown. I chauffeur. She's really smooth on crutches. She gets dropped off at home and tells me she's feeling out of breath, some tightness in her chest. Go to urgent care? No, she wants to talk with her PT in the morning, she's feeling better. When we get to PT Friday morning, we don't stay. Next stop ER.
Things start moving VERY quickly now at TMC emergency room. I am blessedly calm for not knowing what is transpiring until the doctor who visits us is a vascular surgeon and tells us Channing is going to get CT with contrast for lungs and ultrasound pics of legs for surgery STAT. Now we're IN IT, no getting off until the ride is over. Channing is curious and clear headed, I'm starting to wonder how this will go if I don't stay present AND in the moment. Everyone involved was extremely professional and kind. Within a few hours we are in pre-op where she's getting a few more IVs implanted. To boot, because her situation is so critical, she will be awake through the surgery and will only get a hand-holding for the initial surgical catheter. A concerned but confident cadre of doctors wheel her away.
Thank heaven for sisters! So many friends of Channing's and mine were ready to jump into action for whatever we needed. This was generously demonstrated after the first surgery, the planned surgery. Full disclosure: I'm not the one you would call first in a medical emergency. Never have been, never will be. And my sisters showed up to remind me that's okay. It takes a village. One sister, Alison, stayed the course and took care of our mom in her recovering state and the other, Hillary, came to the hospital to keep my mind from spiraling out of control into black holes. Distraction, story telling, laughter worked some hospital magic as we waited (WAY TOO LONG) for Channing's color to change -- there's a digital board , color coded to tell those waiting what the status is: pre-op, in surgery, out of surgery, post-op recovery. Hillary watched the board for me, especially after we heard an announcement "Unit 900: Code Blue. Code Blue: Unit 900" and my brain stopped.
The story ends well as you can imagine. She survived emergency surgery for multiple pulmonary embolism: that's lots of clots in both sides of her lungs. Good reason the surgery went longer with a great outcome! The surgeon had photos on her cell phone that she shared and we were speechless. It was still an eternity before we had eyes on Channing and saw her set up in her room for overnight with a Heparin drip. She was in good care and under vigilant eyes... we left her to try to sleep.