Well, I have good news when I did not expect to.
I found out that after nearly losing my sister on the operating table a week ago today, the doctors did NOT close the surgical incision – they put her on life support, sedated her heavily, restrained her and sent her to the ICU. They forced fluids in her to keep her blood pressure up and waited. Thursday morning, they felt she had stabilized enough that they could risk another attempt at removing the blockage. They did so successfully, along with nearly half of her intestines and a portion of her colon, all of which had been damaged beyond repair due to lack of blood.
The nerve-wracking part of all this is it took her until this morning to regain consciousness. We’ve all been on pins and needles, asking why it was taking so long – the only explanation the doctors could give is that everyone is different, and they had her so heavily sedated, then she went back under anesthesia for the second surgery, that it just took longer than anyone expected for the drugs to work their way out of her system.
Scary, scary shit.
When I asked if she was going to be able to function normally with so much of her gut gone, I was told the doctors said she will have to take medications and adhere to a special diet for the rest of her life, and she’ll still probably suffer from chronic diarrhea. If, for some reason, the drugs and diet don’t work (or she doesn’t follow the diet which, knowing my headstrong sister, is more likely), she’ll be looking at a colostomy bag.
All better than being dead, if you ask me.
While my youngest sister is facing a challenging recovery, my other sister went home to find her husband in the hospital. When he’d arrived at his dialysis appointment that morning, he was complaining of chest and back pain, and his blood pressure was on the low side, so they shipped him off to the hospital for tests. Turns out it was pancreatitis which, while painful, is not life-threatening (at this point, anyway – it’s always hard to tell with end-stage alcoholics).
Since I didn’t have to go to Oklahoma or Texas and have been here to play hostess to the visiting clients this week attending our bi-annual business conference, my husband is in a good mood – something I’ll take any day of the week. If history repeats itself, this will last until somewhere around mid-January, when he’ll do a complete 180 and make everyone miserable until late summer/early fall of next year.
I don’t plan to be here for that, if I can help it. There is, of course, more family drama associated with my husband’s alcoholism that I simply cannot ignore and does nothing but make me more determined to get out by my self-imposed deadline of next March.
More on that later.