Day 13 – November 6th … My ICU Experience
Kelly and I parted ways and this is where my beloved hubby Josh and my twinner Brenda, became my two nurses. They were going to get me through the night in ICU. I think I can say that it was a good thing both of them were ready for this because they were a great team. There was certainly too much for just one of them to handle. They both have such individual strengths and God used them each so perfectly for the way I needed them during this crazy night.
Now I’m going to spare you a lot of the details because you just don’t need to know how terrible some of it was … and a lot of it was just so intimate that I wouldn’t dare take it and share. It is something that only we will have experienced together and kinda one of those “You just had to be there moments!” But it was hard and we learned a lot and cried a lot and talked almost the whole time… I just wouldn’t stop talking! I will tell you that being in ICU is very stressful, lots of commotion and noises and raucous! After all… their job is to make you stable and that can be a big job after brain surgery! My room had this big window across it so light was streaming in, very bright and painful to look at, the phone that rang at the desk was loud, I called it the Super Mario Brothers phone, I was not a fan! Beeps from all the things connected to me were constantly going off that had to be checked … Everything was just so loud! I was being given Morphine every hour for pain but that came with all this nausea, Brenda and I had to figure out how to overcome it. This is where Bren was just a rock star, this was her shift! She could stomach this part of ICU, be the strong woman I needed her to be. So we had this cycle of morphine, nausea, breathing deep, cooling down, and then relaxing to get through each episode of each morphine bag. It was a hard night but we made it and we had this incredible gift together, me depending on her strength and her never letting me feel as though I was alone.
So I was attempting to remember all these names and as I’m home writing this…yes I do get home, you will just have to keep reading… Some of the nurses names don’t matter really, I felt like they did because they all helped me so much but this is my experience so I am going to share from what I remember not what I took notes on. Some names I will remember and some I may not but I really want this blog to be real… not me acting like I remembered everything to impress you.
So we get to ICU and there are several nurses helping us through the night I remember Maggie and Devin… My brain is thinking “Maggie like the Weatherby’s dog and Devin from Josh’s soccer team!” And then there’s Lorraine, the kinda gruff tough girl… I think of Lorraine Halderman to remember this name… my church youth choir director from when I was a kid. After a few hours with Lorraine we had softened her up, won her over what a great nurse! She was with us most of the night, and then there was Jordan… who reminded me of Jordan Cunningham, a guy I went to high school with, he sat behind me in Math class my junior year. My morning nurses were Rebecca and Caroline, funny because this was easy… Rebecca Snavely one of my BFF’s from college… We played volleyball together and she was in my wedding. Rebecca has this friend named Caroline, who I haven’t ever met but that I hear her talk about, so it just worked.
So halfway through the night Brenda’s shift was over and it was Josh’s turn to get me out of ICU. Brenda showed him the ropes of the cycle… Morphine, nausea, breathing, cooling down and relaxing …How we coped so that I wouldn’t have to vomit, that just seemed like it would take way too much energy. I don’t know how we made it but we did and all the sudden I was being prepped to leave ICU. My precious soulmate, my one-flesh husband was so incredible. We talked and processed the whole remainder of the night, remembering movies and special times to make the time go as fast as possible. Morning could not come quick enough! Really I just needed to be declared stable. I guess I was ready… I hadn’t slept even a moment since waking up from surgery!