Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Now That Was a Fun Weekend......

How was your weekend?  Mine, you ask.  I'm so glad you want to know.  It was very hectic, scary, fun and crazy.

 Grab a drink and some munchies, cuz it is going to be an exciting ride.

Last Thursday, I get a call from my sister with the ever fateful words, "I need to tell you something, but I need you to stay calm".  Alrighty then, those words, along with the  other ones I've heard, "I don't want you to freak out, but", always get my heart racing.

I am all of the sudden thinking of my dad.  He just turned 80 and his health is fading fast.   When I told her I was calm, she said it was my brother Jeff.  Him and his wife were on a vacation to "de-stress" in Yellowstone, but he had just been life flighted to the nearest hospital that was in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  OMG, calm I wasn't.  He has varices in his esophagus from another medical issue.  One of them had burst and was draining down into his stomach.  They were waiting to check in to the Hotel there in Yellowstone, when he told his wife he didn't feel good, then proceeded to throw up his bicuits and gravy, plus blood.  EMT's were called.  They wanted to ambulance him in to Rexburg Idaho, but being "a man", he said, we will drive.  I will give him credit.  His insurance only covers him in Utah and Idaho.  They told him ok, but he had to go to the nearest hospital once they got there.

They had just entered into Idaho, when he looked at his wife and said that he felt like he was going to pass out.  Which he did, and as soon as he did, he started throwing up, in their words, buckets of blood.  Frantic call to 911, who just happened to have EMT's 2 minutes away.  They loaded him into an ambulance, drove a few more miles to where the medical helicopter just happened to be and he was flown out of there.

His wife was to drive the 3 hours to idaho Falls by herself.  But because the front of the car was covered in blood, dashboard, floor, seats, she had to clean it up, or she just couldn't have done it.   Here is the bag that rags and blood, and more blood, and rags were thrown in to.

My brother didn't think he was in much danger.  Once they got him to the hospital, he was saying, I'm glad I'm here, get me cleaned up, and send me home tomorrow.  Yeah, uh huh Jeff.  That might work when having a baby, but nothing else.  mmmmkay.

I called my sister-in-law Jodi the next morning to see how it was going and how his surgery went.  I have to tell you, Jodi is one of the strongest women I know.  She has had a lot of hard times in her life, and I have never seen her cry.  They had just made her leave ICU so they could take the tube out of his throat, and she broke down.  I told her I would be there as soon as I could.  It's a 3-1/2 to 4 hour drive to get to Idaho Falls from where I live.  My older sister Kathy wanted to go with me.  It was fun being able to spend time with her.

When we finally got to the hospital that night, this is how Jeff looked.  My poor brother.  He is always so happy and to see him like this was heartbreaking.  We spent the rest of the evening there, and decided we needed to get Jodi out of there.  She hadn't had much sleep and neither had he.  She left begrudgingly, but it did them both a world of good to not worry about each other that night.

The next day we were back in ICU, when the doctor came in and said that his blood levels were still too low.  They had given him 2 units of blood the day before.  He needed another unit, but then they would send him to a "regular" room.  I called him Dracula while he was getting his blood.

His nurse in ICU was a guy named Mike.  He was the best nurse I have ever witnessed.  He let all three of us stay in the ICU room, instead of the 2 that was allowed.  He wanted to see how Jeff was doing, so when he graduated to the regular room, he had him walk.

Look at that smile.  I love him so much.

When we got from ICU on the 2nd floor, to his regular room on the 5th floor, this sign was hanging on the door.  Honestly, after walking, he deserved to arrive with the first place ribbon.  (we did take the elevator, I mean, Mike was nice and didn't make him take the stairs)

Here is a photo of Mike and the girl that helped get him moved.  Notice the orb around her face.  That is the biggest orb I have ever captured on film.  The photo's right before and after this, which were of them, did not have it.   Jeff was so grateful to Mike, that he took his hand and wouldn't let go.  It was then that Mike told us that it was a pleasure seeing him graduate because they had almost lost him the day he got to ICU.

Once the new nurse took his vitals and stuff, he was told that his diet would change from broth clear liquids, to mechanical soft.  I had noticed a Dairy Queen on the way to the hospital.  They have the BEST TWIST CONES ever.  We asked him what he wanted.  Chocolate ice cream and french fries was his reply.  We got it ok'd with the nurse and off we went.   Oh, he was a happy camper when he had that first spoonful.

The doctor also informed him that he would be able to go home the next day, which was Sunday.  You should have seen the happy dance.
Side Note:  The dietitian called after he got transferred to see what he wanted for his meals the next day.  One of the breakfast items offered was BISCUITS AND GRAVY.  Umm, thanks but no thanks)

Sunday, when we were waiting for the discharge papers, Jeff called his house where Kathy's husband was babysitting their dogs.  This is the picture of Jeff talking to Max and Roxie.  It was so cute listening to him talk to them, and they just barked, barked, barked back.  Check out the smile on his face.

Since emergency rooms are notorious for cutting off your clothes, Jodi bought him a Captain America shirt to leave the hospital.  His hands were so puffy.  Poor guy.

Being wheelchaired out of the hospital.  He hated that part.  But then, rules and regulations and all that.

His first steps outside of the hospital.  The day was blue, not a cloud in the sky, and cool.  I really don't think he was too excited about leaving.  :)

Jeff finally admitted to me, when it was just me and him in the room, that if he hadn't have passed out and Jodi hadn't stopped to call 911, he would have died before they made it to Rexburg.

There were some funny moments during the time up there that I will post about later.  I mean, really, you can't expect me not to be a goonball, can you?


  1. I am so glad he is okay and safe now. I cannot imagine how scared you were or them. Of course you had to giggle, laughter is the best medicine for anything that ails ya..

  2. There is nothing like a lot of Dazee to make everything better. I'm so happy he's home and doing well.

  3. Jeff sounds so awesome. You are lucky to have him. Sounds like you dealt with the situation ok. Blessings to all of you!

  4. It's great that you were able to visit and help in his recovery. If I ever end up on the mechanical soft diet, I'd want someone to bring me ice cream too.

    I'm glad that things turned out so well!

  5. I am so glad this had such a wonderful ending. It was pretty scary watching your posts there for a bit. Now, I want to hear the WALMART story...

  6. I am so glad he's doing better!! How scary!!

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