To say this has been a difficult year so far might just be an understatement. In November of last year, Larry and I celebrated our 36th anniversary. An accomplishment on its own for a couple that would appear mismatched to the world.
Three days after his 83rd birthday in December, Larry had a heart attack. I now know why it is called the silent killer. Larry has COPD, his only symptom…shortness of breath. This wasn’t really a symptom of a heart attack for him, just an indication of a COPD episode. Of course, he refused to let me take him to an ER, and toughed it out until we went to see his pulmonary doctor the next morning. One look and the doctor called an ambulance which drove him literally across the street to the hospital. By mid-afternoon he was diagnosed with a heart attack and steps were being taken to get him stable. What was hoped to be a short stay, ended up as a month in ICU, three stents, a pacemaker and a tracheotomy so he could breathe with a ventilator. Not to mention the two incidents where he almost bled out and a midnight call to come back to the hospital immediately not knowing if he was alive or dead. The man is a fighter. He is tough and determined.
On to the LTAC (long term acute care facility) where he was weaned off the ventilator during his three months stay but about three weeks ago something happened and he was put back on the ventilator. No one knows exactly what caused it but he did seem to have some mild “seizure” like fit, shaking every morning for 3 to 4 days. A step back indeed. He developed another infection which is resistant to many different antibiotics and they are still trying to find the one(s) that will work.
The battle has been uphill with good days, bad days and horrible days. But there are still days, and that’s what counts. We had to move Larry to a skilled nursing facility this week because he had used all his days at the LTAC Facility. My goal (and I know it’s his) is to get him to the level he was before he had his heart attack. Will we make it? God willing. But the one thing that I do know is that I’ve been humbled by the love of my friends, by the support of strangers and by the power of Prayer.
No matter where this journey leads us, I wouldn’t be able to handle it without all of the hugs, calls, email and prayers. I am truly blessed.