Trying to stay SANE

I’m writing this at 3am, Monday morning, the morning of our move out date at the Galen Lofts. Some might think yay, homeward bound! We were almost there……
Almost 4 weeks to the date of surgery Benji is really on the road to being healed. His mom, Loreen, has made it safely home to Dauphin, Manitoba. Lisa was released November 25th but it’s been a rocky road for her. Saturday I remember her shivering before I went to bed. I warmed up some apple juice for her and layed with her while she sipped it. I hugged her firmly to keep her from shivering and she fell asleep. Early morning, 4:00am, I awoke to Lisa being sick to her stomach. This had already been going on for a few hours before I woke up! So here we were on our way back to the hospital except this time it was the ER. Because she was recently transplanted it took no time to get her in and an IV hooked up and blood samples taken. She was severely dehydrated and after determining that her new liver was good and nothing unusual showed up in her blood work, Benji wheeled her back across the street to the apartment. We ate leftovers for supper and it didn’t matter how hard I tried to get them to wear my ugly Christmas sweaters the answer was NO! So they quietly watched hockey on my TV while I cleaned and packed up their little home next door.
Morning was usual, Benji had made an excellent bacon and egg breakfast sandwich and then went off to Timmies for coffee and Booster Juice for Lisa.
As the day progressed Lisa became lethargic and very pale. But we kept her temperature recorded and a couple of times called the transplant coordinator for advice. All was fine until the confusion set in. My sister Cheri and son Justin came in from Edson for a visit. We were sitting at the counter eating supper and having fun with Cheri’s “evil” Elf on the Shelf and we noticed that when Lisa was awake she would say something way off the wall, totally unrelated to what the conversation was about. One more call to the coordinator and Benji was wheeling her back to emergency and Cheri and Justin slipped silently out the door.

Lisa had gone septic. I can’t imagine what Benji went through as every hand was on deck! All he could do was hold her. Her blood pressure dropped, her heart rate increased to compensate and her kidneys were shutting down. She was shaking uncontrollably. Benji was there with her from 7pm until midnight while I kept cleaning and packing my apartment to keep my mind occupied. I finally decided to go to the hospital around 11pm, the cleaning and packing would have to wait! I was lead into the ER and met Benji in the hallway. He was looking a wee bit unravelled. Calmly he said, “Don’t freak out when you go in and see her” but I think I was already there. He explained what was happening and he kept his head straight, something I probably wouldn’t have been able to do. He told me what the nurses and Drs were doing and how they were helping her. I turned the corner towards Lisa’s bed and Benji pointed to a desk full of doctors and nurses and said “See all of them? They’re helping lisa! They are all here for Lisa. She’s in the best hands.”

I looked at her and she was still shivering so bad. And white as a ghost and when her eyes were open she was so wild looking. She couldn’t carry on a conversation and we would try to keep her calm, Benji holding onto her hand, her head in mine. It’s an awful, awful feeling. By midnight Benji needed rest himself. His body was telling him, give me some rest, I’m not completely healed yet! Reluctantly he left while I stayed with his wife, my daughter.

I watched the ICU Drs come in regularly to monitor her and the transplant team also arrived. She went for X-rays and CT scans. It’s the first time for Lisa to have an IV line put into her foot as her arms couldn’t produce a vein, although they did get one in her arm but it could disappear at any time. I could see improvement in Lisa. She had stopped shivering and was a bit more relaxed. They were concerned still with her kidneys as they weren’t producing urine. After about 2 hours it seemed as if a cloud had lifted. Her heart rate slowed, her blood pressure stabilized and all of a sudden there was urine! Lots of it. I was sitting and watching the vitals on the monitor that Lisa was hooked up to. I know the exact moment that everything became “better”. Not that it was perfect but it was better. The vitals made a dramatic up/down, straight, uneven bounce for a minute. It scared the hell out of me! But as I watched the screen and then watched Lisa I knew something happened. At precisely that moment the ICU entered, followed by Jessie. (The very best ER nurse in the world) they looked at the monitor and did a double take. Even her kidneys were functioning! I can tell you I breathed a big sigh of relief. I’m sure her blankets are still damp with my tears.

Because we have to move out of the Galen Lofts this Monday morning I got reassurance from Jessie that things were looking a lot better but she would be hospitalized for a few more days. I kissed Lisa on the forehead and thanked God for helping to make sure she was alright. I turned around and walked back through that hallway and out of the ER doors.

The air was crisp but fresh. I got home and the first thing I did was write a note to Benji stating that Lisa was doing better. I slipped it under his door so that it would hopefully be the first thing to see when he wakes up. I could easily go crazy here!

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