Friday, July 28, 2006
A Rough Week....
Hi friends. As many of you know, we had a bad week last week. Sunday July 16th began as many Sundays do in our house. We were putting off getting up, so Kynsie was in bed with us. We might as well have had a cat in the bed as she had no interest in sleeping. Shortly after 8am the phone rang, which is never good. Brandon's mom had taken a turn for the worse over night. Within 30 minutes brandon had decided to head to Mississippi. I initially planned to stay home with the babies but Barbara, our nanny and dear friend said she and Patty would keep the babies so I could be with Brandon. We packed quickly and drove the 8 hour journey as quickly as we could safely. Brandon's mom was in a coma, we later found out, and was being kept alive for us to get there, but would be removed from life support (per her wishes. She was ADAMANT about this) once we got down there and he had a chance to say 'Goodbye'. We arrived at the hospital and were welcomed by a crowd of tearful family members. We spent some time with Marie, and after an hour or so, she was taken off life support. She died 10 minutes later as Brother Neal, a lifelong friend prayed. It was a sweet and yet heartbreaking moment.
How could 12 hours hold such emotion and change? Marie had suffered for a long time, and the mind knows that she suffers no more, but for those who loved her most this brings little comfort. Brandon misses his mom. He looks at our babies and hopes he is able to keep her memory alive for them.
Jonathan has to figure what to do next. He has been a great caregiver, and now he has to think about what HE wants to do with himself. Steve must feel a bit lost. How can a man so devoted, so loving just turn it off after 20 plus years? Of course we know he can't, but I know that it must seem cruel that he has this gaping wound and the rest of the world marches right on as though nothing has happened. Everything has happened. His world exploded in his face. And while he knew her death was eminent, no one is ever ready to say goodbye to the love of his life. A this time in his life he wanted to be traveling with Marie back forth between his sons' homes visiting grandkids, hunting and fishing; going to her craft shows and looking forward to retirement and well earned rest with his wife. He didn't bargain for hospitals and pain; the silence of an empty house; meals for one; and a ticking clock. BUT...He is strong and life goes on. He will find a new "normal". He will see Marie in the smiles of their grandbabies and meet her in his dreams. She is not gone. She is still here in the hearts of those who love her, and some how I hope that gives him peace.
Switching subjects a bit...while we were at the "receiving Friends" or "visitation" (depending on what part of the country you are in) for Marie, I got a call from Barbara saying that Kynsie was in the ER with a UTI (urinary tract Infection) but that she was 'stable'. She was to be hospitalized for a few days to find out what happened. To say this was alarming is a bit of an understatement. We began trying to find a commercial flight out of 3 cities each an hour away, but I couldn't get on any flights. So, I began to make plans to drive the 8 hours home. Fortunately a friends of Brandon's family offered to fly me back to Knoxville that night on his plane. So within 2 hours of getting that call, I was in the air on a 4 seater plane, --the inside was the size of a Honda Civic--with 2 strangers flying back to Knoxville. The flight was smoother than most commercial flights I've taken, but it was still unnerving. I am no longer a fan of flying, and I didn't know these men, but I figured I would take my chances with terrorists if it got me to Kynsie, so I took my Xanax and hoped for the best. I arrived at 12am and Ben, a church friend and father of triplets picked me up and took me to Children's Hospital. I found Kynsie hooked to an IV and a bit pale, but asleep and in the arms of Barbara. Once I got her in my arms and regrouped, I found out the truth of her incident. She did have a UTI, but it was much worse than I had known. She went from no symptoms to trembling to turning blue to septic shock in 45 mins. Barbara had noticed the trembling, and scooped her up thinking it was a seizure and took her to the doctor's office 5 minutes away. By the time she got her out of the carseat, Kynsie's arms and legs were blue. The doctors acted quickly and brought out a crash cart and called 911. They got her on oxygen and tried to get an IV to no avail. The paramedics rushed her to the ER at children's and she was stabilized there. They tried to get an IV in the ER but her veins kept collapsing due to the sepsis and shock and they couldn't get one. Finally some one from the lab, their 'best guy' came up and got an IV in. The poor thing had close to 25 sticks. She had track marks everywhere. They began pumping her full of antibiotics and continuing to stabilize her. They did a spinal tap b/c they feared she had menengitis. It was clear--thank God! The urine sample showed the infection, so they went from there. The hospital stay was pretty uneventful once she was stable. She bounced back quickly and looked great by Wednesday. We were sent home on meds Thursday and went for a recheck 3 days ago. We had been given some conflicting info about her actual diagnosis which was cleared up Tuesday. She had urosepsis due to an Ecoli infection. They said that we could not have prevented it, "So lose the guilt". I said "OK". We don't know why her infection got so bad so quickly but once it did, her kidneys couldn't hold it, and it seeped into the blood vessels surrounding the kidneys, hence the sepsis. The doctors believe she might have a condition called Kidney reflux, that causes urine to flow back into the kidneys instead of completely emptying out of the bladder, setting up infection. She will be tested for this next month. In addition, the doctor told us how fortunate we are b/c during the emergency, Kynsie had a 2 minute window, and things could have turned out a lot differently. *UGGHHH* That thought makes me physically ill.
I can't imagine life without her. I stood in the babies' room last night and watched them sleep thinking what would I do with just 2? I'm glad I don't know the answer to that.
If anything, I have a new appreciation for life and how precious it is. I've seen it end, and I have seen it be restored. It seems that God has a huge birthday cake full of candles of all different shapes, sizes, and types. Some are tall and elegant--tapers; some are short and chubby, some are stately, others droopy, some are dripless; others are messy and haphazard...but they all burn at least for a little while. There are tiny ones that are a whisper of a glow. They are snuffed out before they even got to a full burn. We may never see them, but God's watchful eye doesn't miss a breath. Some burn hot and fast and leave a mark. Others slink away softly in silence. And there are those, my new favorites, that are a little bit sneaky. They are trick candles from childhood birthday cakes. Just when you are certain they are down for the count, they erupt with life one more time. One thing I know, I will never look at candles the same. And every time one is blown out, I'm grateful it's not one of mine.