What do you do after having a severely intense relapse in ICU the night before Thanksgiving?
You stay up with your sister and color pages while listening to the Footloose Soundtrack, duh!?!
But more importantly, you
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!
Last night’s walk was not much different from every other one I’ve been on since being in the ICU. Every walk I’ve taken, I’ve set a new goal. The first day I was only able to get two doors down. The other day, I made it past 4 doors and into the lobby. However, last night, I only made it 3 doors down before my night nurse, Gaia, noticed a change in my energy level and insisted we turn around and I be wheeled back to the room. I had become more weak and was yawning a whole lot. She put me back in bed and I pretty much fell asleep then, instead of my typical drifting into sleep. When I woke up, I turned to Nicki and asked her if she had gotten any sleep—she laughed and said, “Honey, I’ve only been in bed for 15 minutes. I haven’t even gone to bed yet.” It was then I realized I just had a relapse. 😦
From what Nicki and the nurse have told me, I fell asleep and shortly thereafter, Gaia came in to check on me because she knew I was so exhausted from the walk. She tried to talk to me and I was non-responsive. Even though I looked like I was just sleeping, she thought something felt wrong about the situation and said to Nicki, “Something’s not right. Is this normal” and Nicki said, “Yeah, this is not normal! Usually she’ll at least talk back to you when you ask for her arm, even when she’s asleep.” The nurse tried to wake me up, to no avail and said, “I’m going to give her a push (a direct extra injection of the antidote from a syringe into the IV site into my arm),” and Nicki said, “Yes, go for it!” The nurse gave me the push and less than a minute later, I was up in bed, alert, back to my normal self and asking Nicki if she had gotten any sleep. Had my nurse not gone with her gut and given me the push, I may not have made it through the night. After that, the nurse called the doctor, who then ordered that my antidote drip dosage be increased and that I be watched more closely and checked on every hour instead of just time to time and when called in. My incredible nurse, Gaia, and Nicki saved my life last night and I woke up this morning more thankful to be alive than ever before!
Since I had gotten the push, I was wide awake and wasn’t going to be able to go back to bed any time soon. Nicki stayed up with me and we talked about the value of life, how to embrace more structure in our lives as creatives, and took time to let our inner kid artist come out to play with the help of some coloring books that friends had given me/left for me to borrow. We cranked up the 80’s Radio Station on Spotify and just shared our dreams, fears, and hopes for each of our futures. We talked about the plot lines to the various screenplays we’ve been writing and had a sing-a-long to the Footloose Soundtrack and I reveled in the moment reciting to myself in my mind: You. Are. Alive. After finishing up our coloring pages, I fell asleep and Gaia came in to wake me up a bit later because my heart rate had dropped below 28. She had me stay up for a bit for observation and then I fell back asleep again and slept a few more hours hanging out at a heart rate of 38. Though I’m starting out today at a low heart rate of 39, I’m looking forward to a day of fun and excitement that will hopefully help stimulate my heart rate to pick up and I can be that much closer to 60! 😀
I’ve never been so thankful in my life!
Today, as I celebrate FRIENDSgiving in my ICU hospital room, I’m more thankful than ever to be alive. I’m thankful for doctors who are diligently working to find out what’s going on with my body in this situation. I’m thankful for medication that keeps me alive while my body works hard to fight against a deadly drug. I’m thankful for a hospital staff that nurtures and cares for me with the highest level of excellence. I’m thankful for nurses that talk with me when I’m feeling down. I’m thankful for my Seattle Sister, Nicki, who has watched over me from day one of being in here and has helped to make sure that I am treated with utmost respect, love and care. I’m thankful for family and friends that remind me every day just how much I’m loved and being prayed for across the miles. I’m thankful for my Seattle Family of Friends that have stopped by each and every day to spend time with me, share life with me, bring me treats and treasures, and MOST IMPORTANTLY have blessed me with their prayers and words of affirmation. BUT ABOVE ALL, I’m thankful for a merciful God that rescues me—physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally! The lessons that I’ve learned from my stay here have all been a major part of me reclaiming my whole health. EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of my time here has been marked by the hand and glory of God. Every relapse. Every rescue/push. Every laugh. Every tear. Every visit from friends and co-workers. Every conversation with the hospital staff. Every. Single. Solitary. Moment. I have been covered by the love, grace, and provision of God. And because of His great love and rescue, today I AM ALIVE!
Today I will be celebrating Thanksgiving in my hospital room with my friends Nicki, Becky, Jessica, and Michelle! We’re calling it FRIENDSgiving!! We’ll be doing arts & crafts, playing games, watching the Macy’s Day Parade and TV show Thanksgiving episodes, coloring in books + puzzles + felt art, jamming out to music, and making Star Trek LIVE LONG AND PROSPER turkey hands! We’re going to have a delicious pumpkin oatmeal breakfast, nutritious hospital lunch, and a full-on turkey dinner in my room, complete with mashed sweet potatoes, puréed garlic brussel sprouts (for me, since my wisdom teeth are still healing), apple pie and sugar-free crustless pumpkin pie!!! We’re even going to ask if the nurse will wheel me out in a wheelchair to the lobby to look out at the city! I cannot wait to share a day of life and love with my Family of Friends!!
No matter what you have going on today, it is my prayer that you take time out to be thankful for being alive!