Saturday, May 19, 2012

Please Pray!

This has easily been the worst week of my life. Nothing has ever compared. It started the day before Mother's Day.

Before I explain, let me just ask that you pray for my husband that he recovers completely. Please.

Last Saturday he mowed the yard in the morning and then cleaned up and ate lunch. It was dance recital day for our daughter. We left for recital and he was not feeling well. His hands were shaking too.

During recital he felt worse and started to throw up directly after recital. He then developed severe abdominal pain. At this point I took him to the ER.

He continued to throw up and was given many pain meds. Chest X-ray was good even though white count was 20,000. However kidney function was bad and showing near failure.

Soon he wasn't oxygenating well and he was put on a little oxygen. Then it wasn't enough and he got a non-rebreather. Then a bi-pap. Then new chest X-ray showed his lungs filling. He was intubated and put on a respirator.

By this time my friend had arrived to wait with me. She is such a true friend when you realize how long she stayed and what she gave up. Remember this is the evening before Mother's Day.

Actually, it was now about 3 am of Mothers Day. After leaving the room for the intubation we were just never called back to see my husband
and this was worrisome. Eventually, we went to see what was going on.

It was bad. He went into respiratory failure after being intubated. It was rapid and I was told to get his parents and my daughter to the hospital. My friend actually left to fetch them because my inlaws were so tired.

After several hours he was barely stable and they were transporting him to a nearby hospital that was better equipped. Silly me took him to the newish hospital 10 mins away because he was "only throwing up". They couldn't handle his rapidly failing condition. We live in the St. Louis metro area and have some of the best hospitals you could wish for. I chose a close ER instead of the renown hospitals, but he was also seen immediately and didn't wait for his lungs to fill in a waiting room.

At 6:30 am on Mother's Day he was transported 20 minutes to a renown hospital and we all followed.

He was no longer stable at arrival but an echocardiogram was desperately needed. They started the test and he coded - his heart stopped. CPR and meds were needed to revive him.

At this point I had to quickly approve a procedure to put a balloon pump in his heart. He was dying, but also wasn't expected to survive the balloon insertion. He did survive. And it helped stabilize him.

He was now in kidney, lung, heart and liver failure. Not expected to survive the day.

We still didn't know what happened to him. An CT scan from the first hospital revealed an adrenal gland mass. Most of the many doctors involved were not sure it was part of this issue. The endocrinologist thought it was. She pursued it with the Mayo Clinic even. Can I just say I love this doctor.

My husband did survive the day and the week. He is still under sedation and on a ventilator. He is off all other assistance. Kidney function is nearly normal. Liver is mostly recovered. Lungs are weak as he has double pneumonia. Heart is recovering. Balloon pump came out Tuesday.

Negatives though are that his brain is still sleeping. He had lost decent oxygen and blood flow for a while. He had several tiny strokes on the top of his brain. He had a massive MI (heart attack). They scoped him and there is no blockage, and no visible damage. The MI was from the catastrophic failure he experienced.

Source of the event turns out to be the mass on the adrenal gland. Tests at Mayo confirm it is a pheochromocytoma. Very rare tumor that is often fatal, and I see why.

He will have surgery very soon to remove it. Awake or not he gets it out so this won't happen again.

We are no where near the end of this journey, but we have survived week 1. He is alive and appears to be responding to us during his sedation vacations. That's good. Now to just wake up all of his brain. It is still in protect mode.

Please pray for my husband, Fred, to have a full recovery and for our very brave daughter to have the strength no 10 year old should need.

I also must say the outpouring of support, prayer, love, and help have been a miracle as well. It overwhelms me at times.

I won't post for a while, but our school was technically over for the summer anyway.


  1. Oh no - I can't imagine what you must be going through! Sending as much positive energy as I can your way, plus all my best wishes. I'll be watching for updates.

  2. Please know that I will be praying fervently for your husband and also for strength for you during this trying time. I can't imagine how scary this has all been. God is in control and He loves your family, and I have no doubt that He will restore Fred to perfect health.