Sunday, October 26, 2008
The Journey - post op
With all the Marathon talk around here, I've been thinking more about the surgery and how I really just need to suck it up and write it down. It has been cathartic, but also a memoir of the event. Things like this are important. It's important for me to get it somewhere other than inside my head and I think it's important for Mr. Snob to hear my version, just as it is for me to hear his. Someday, Booger will be old enough to really understand how rough that time was for us. She remembers, but not really, you know?

So. I think I left off after seeing him in the cardiac recovery room. He was still sleeping, on a ventilator, naked as a jailbird and covered in iodine. I left at approximately 8:30 with instructions to call around 1:30 - he should be off the ventilator by then. My mom dropped me off (everyone decided I shouldn't drive) and I took a shower immediately. The next few days I remember showering the second I got home, that way I would always be ready to leave at a moment's notice. Showered and somewhat rejuvenated, I fed the Wonderdog and tried to watch TV. After a few minutes, I realized I really should try to sleep, I set my alarm for 1:30 and fell asleep. It was a fitful sleep and I awoke every few minutes (at least it felt like I did.) I checked my phone every time I awoke, terrified I missed a call. At 1:30, I called the nurse's station and talked to his nurse. He was still sleeping, still on the ventilator. She explained that due to the extra time required in know....because his heart wouldn't beat....they had to use more anesthesia than expected and it just takes a little more time. She assured me this was all normal and his vital signs were excellent. I could call back at 3:30 and check on him if I'd like. She was so nice as I explained I would really like to call back then, but didn't want to bother her, or take time that she didn't have. She was so kind...told me I could call as often as I wanted to, but there would likely be no change for at least 2 hours. I hung up and cried. This was just so hard and I was emotionally exhausted. I was so tired from putting on a strong face for everyone else, when I felt so defeated. The times I was alone were the worst, for sure. I did sleep some more and woke up in time to call at 3:30.

When she answered my call at 3:30, she said he was awake!!! Still on the ventilator, but he was responsive and they just had to go through some formalities in order to remove the vent. Things like following directions (move your toes, squeeze my hand....that sort of thing). She said he had been cleaned up and they would be removing the breathing machine soon. If I called back at 5:30, she should have excellent news by then. Well, I was so happy to hear that he was waking up, I couldn't sleep. I turned the TV on and watched some news, I sorted some clothes for the week and put them all in one location in case someone had to come home for me, I could tell them exactly where to find something. The phone rang at 5:15 and my heart dropped. I answered and it was the nurse saying he was off the ventilator and the very first thing he said was "Please call my wife, I'm sure she's worried." Does he know me or what?!

There are very strict visiting hours in the Cardiac Recovery Room and I wasn't allowed to go until 10:30. I slept, I cleaned, I snuggled with Wonderdog. And I watched the clock.

I arrived at the hospital, meeting my in-laws in the lobby. We were allowed in a few at a time. I stayed and everyone else took turns. I stepped out so his parents could come in together, but otherwise I was there. Visiting hours were only 30 minutes. I wasn't leaving! Mr. Snob....14 hours post op was sitting up in a chair! He wasn't happy about it, though. :-) His sister, a nurse, came in and we talked clinical for a bit with the nurses. He was doing well, except he wasn't handling the pain meds. This became a theme of his recovery. He was up in the chair, but couldn't speak really well because of the ventilator. He said later he appreciated the way I seemed to anticipate his needs and read his gestures so he didn't have to speak.

The next visiting hour wasn't until 6:30 - this is pure torture for the family, by the way. I certainly understand the medical need for it, but holy crap. Luckily they called me about 3:30 and said he would be moving up to a room - where I could stay all day - shortly. I rushed to the hospital and met him just as he was arriving in the room. Our pre-admission request for a private room was granted and we moved on in.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

search bib 7066

No, that's not me in many of those photos...that's our new friend K, also a first time marathoner, who ran the entire race with Mr. Snob. They met as part of the pace group to finish in 6:30. Mr. Snob's official time: 6:15:13. I'm trying to put my thoughts into words.

Race day was amazing. I can't even put it into words! Also amazing was Tuesday when Mr. Snob went to visit Dr. M to show off his medal. Dr. M, you'll remember, was our surgeon, and he was THRILLED to see Mr. Snob and they were both overwhelmed with excitement. I can't talk about it any more because I will cry again :-) Pride, elation, overwhelming relief. Thank you for helping me on Sunday. Your texts, energy, pin-wearing, and emails kept me afloat and I'm eternally blessed to have you all in my life.

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Monday, October 13, 2008
The Race
The marathon is in six days. Mr. Snob is ready. The hotel room is booked. The sitter for Wonderdog confirmed. I’m trying to be ready. I have a list of things I need to bring (camera, video camera, cash, extra whatevers just in case….that sort of thing.) I am going to really try to enjoy myself. I’m terrified, though, and many people in my daily life are doing a poor job of understanding that. Some of them are pretty much saying I’m being silly or whatever with my worry. I don’t think they mean to be so condescending, but that’s how it feels. It makes me feel like I’m the only one who remembers. Race day will be 15 months to the day since they opened his chest with a chainsaw, cut open his heart, and replaced his aortic valve. Pardon me for remembering that day. Pardon me for remembering how I thought it would have hurt less if they would have cut me open instead of him. Pardon me for not wanting to risk that again. I get it. He’s healthier than ever. He’s ready. He’s been released from every single doctor we have. He’s trained…slow and steady….and done everything right.

Still. It’s hard for me. That may make me the bad guy. That may make me selfish. But that’s just too effing bad. I’m so proud of him. What he’s doing is amazing and a true inspiration. But as his wife, this sucks and I’ll feel so much better when it’s over.

You can track Mr. Snob on race day, this Sunday, October 19 at I won’t have his bib number until Saturday and might not have access to the internet, but you can search by name. If any of you are in Detroit and have suggestions on how to occupy approximately 6 hours of my time, any thoughts are appreciated. I am likely going to be a nervous wreck the whole day. Text messages will be welcome distractions!


Tuesday, October 07, 2008
The Journey
This is what we've been up to. The race is approaching. School is taking a whole lot of time I don't have and I'm sort of curled up in a ball in the corner rocking trying to find a little bit of sanity. I'm struggling a bit right now, but the race is approaching and I'm focusing on helping Mr. Snob any way I can....

Go here, please. Read our story. The next chapter of The Journey should be coming in a few days.