Below is the recounting of the discovery, removal, rehabilitation, and survival of an arteriovenus malformation. To read from the beginning of the story, click here.
A Very Long Night: Tuesday, November 17-Wednesday, November 18
I should back up a minute and point out another way God looked out for me.
Needles and blood are probably my two least favorite things. When I have to get blood work, I make them lay me down and use a child size needle. Get the picture?
When you are in the hospital, you have to have a working IV port at all times, and it has to be changed every 3 days. For safety and health reasons, I’m sure you can see this is a reasonable rule.
Tuesday night, I tried to get them to take my IV port out because I was going home the next day.
In less than 12 hours, come on!
They refused, citing above hospital policy.
I was quite put out, if you can imagine. However, if I had not had that IV port, not only would I could not have gotten the pain taken care of as quickly, I would have had to let them put the IV in when I was already in excruciating pain.
I believe God protect us through other people and their rules.
While I lay waiting in the ICU for the ok to get pain meds, I found that if I slightly raised my head off the pillow then set it back down, it offered a brief second of relief. Now, I didn’t talk too much because it hurt to do so. I didn’t explain what I was doing or why. So naturally, Dan kinda freaked out when I started this slow-motion head bobbing.
“What are you doing? Is something wrong??”
Nope, it just gives me a little relief.
Isn’t it odd the things I remember?
Relief from Pain
Ok, so now the nurses have the go ahead from the doctor to give me meds. The drug they give me is Fentanyl. It’s quite strong, one hundred times stronger than morphine. True fact! They started me on a half dose.
Wikipedia says it has “a short duration of action and rapid onset.”
Um, yes, totally.
I’ve never had the need for such strong pain medication before, but this is what I want with me when I need it!
I don’t know the actually amount of time it took to start working, but I’d say 1 minute. Maybe less. It goes directly into the bloodstream and starts a’ working!
Now about the short duration: the dose lasted one hour. Not even that at times. As time went on, I increased to a full dose and was asking for more before the hour was up.
Support from Family and Friends
That night Dan emailed everyone to let them know what was happening. His best friend/brother J, assuming that Dan and I needed him (which we did!), got in his car, drove the 50 minutes to Grand Rapids, and found our ICU room in one hour. J is a true friend.
J stayed up with me all night. Dan was a wreck and badly needed sleep. Once J got there, Dan felt like he could relax. I don’t know what Dan would have done without him there. J was sent by God to help us that night.
I remember trying to say hi to J in the middle of the night, but I couldn’t make the words come out. It hurt too much. I was comforted to know he was there.
I remember my nurses from that night: Erin and Jen. They were awesome. They were in my room all night administering the medication.
Parents are called, mass email sent out for prayer support, doctors awakened, and it looks like I won’t be going home for Thanksgiving.
A 6% chance of a second hemorrhage in the next 6 months. I had one 5 days later.
You never think you’ll be in that 6% do you?
Next: My AVM Story – Part 9