It started Sunday night. The all too familiar pains that has been the precursor to the living nightmare to come. I was worried the whole night. But on Monday morning he seemed fine. Good in fact. Felt like a normal day. I was still scared. This felt all too familiar. I wanted to believe that maybe he was ducking around so he wouldn’t have to be on the machine. That’s what I have told myself because it’s easier to be annoyed at him than it is to feel the fear that is now in my heart with every passing minute.
Monday and Tuesday were pain-free. Thank God. But Wednesday night he barely ate a few bites at dinner and he was feeling it. By 12:37am I got The Shout. LISA! I rub his belly to help sooth the pain. 2:47, 4:45, 6, 7…it’s a blur of his pain, vomiting, and Baby waking up twice. Every time I say we should go down to the hospital, he tells me it will pass. And I want to believe. The other reason I want to believe is because who should I wake in the dead of night to watch my kids? By 7am I take action.
I call my parents to ask to take them. They thankfully say yes. and even call back when I hadn’t arrived in the 15 minutes I said I would be there. They offer to drive up to get the kids. I want to cry at their unconditional love and kindness. I call his mom and leave a message. I’m taking your son to T.O. Gen. You can call me on my cell.
I manage to get Franklin into the car which wasn’t easy. Between his weakness and pain, I got him dressed and into the car. It is 8:14am and the peak of rush hour. I bring plastic bags just in case. Thank goodness I did. But it’s getting so painful for him he’s telling me to drive on the shoulder. I do. But with on-ramps and off-ramps and morning rush hour it’s still not fast enough to get him relief from the pain. “Lisa, pull over. I need to lie down.” We’re on the DVP. “Pull over now. It HURTS! I’ll jump!” He said to call 911 for the ambulance to meet us so he can get some morphine. I do. I am at the Bloor exit pulled over. He gets out of the car to throw up. All the while screaming IT HURTS! Help me Liiiiisa. He’s now lying on the road between the sidewalk and the open of the car. withering in pain. I get some honks. I get out of the car and release my wrath of helplessness. ARE YOU FUCKING HONKING AT ME?!?
One lady pulls over and asks if we need any help. She advises that she’s first aid and CPR certified. Thank you for your help, but I’ve called 911 and he is breathing. LISA!!! Aaaaahh! Would you like me to stay? Uuummm…it’s up to you. I’ve called 911 and hopefully the ambulance will be here soon. HELP ME! IT HURTS!! I feel helpless. I feel afraid. Where the fuck is that ambulance. I call 911 again. They’re here! Hang up with 911. The woman asks if I’ll be alright. I put my confidant mask on and tell it’s not the first time and I’m going to demand satisfaction this time. I will get him his morphine, a nephrologist, and NG tube STAT.
I had written out his meds list on Sunday. Perhaps it is the piece of foreshadowing or is it fate that I sealed us to. They are fast, kind, calm, and caring. The first ray of light in this dungeon. I will need it because the next gantlet that is the arena of hell is the hospital.
He has been sedated with 2 doses of morphine on the ambulance ride. But by the time we are triaged in and registered it has worn off. I resolved that this time Now the death of my soul begins. I buzz the nurse. Twice. I go out to the nurses hub only to be met with avoidance of eye contact. I can hear him screaming from the room. NURSE!! Nuuuurse!! Please help me! It hurts so much! NURSE! I buzz again. I go back in the hall to “demand satisfaction”. An orderly tries to help, but when I ask if he is a nurse and he says no, I plead with him to get the nurse. It hurts! It feels like I am going to explode. Help!! He is withering in pain, sitting up, red-faced, and now crying. I am crying now too. I join in the despair and say to anyone who is listening. Please help us! I am going to die, Lisa and suddenly goes quiet and still. Franklin! Franklin!!
Finally a nurse comes. It’s that cocksucker dred from the last time. Faaack. He put the blood pressure cuff on, presses the button, then never comes back. The machine doesn’t give a reading, but craps out and gives code C06. Whatever that means. We actually believed he was getting his stats so they could start the roller coaster that is getting pain relief. I hate him. Franklin is yelling from the excruciating pain. Another nurse comes and gives 4 mg of morphine. It’s not helping. He’s begging to be knocked out. I ask if she could escalate and get a doctor here to order the NG tube and x-ray. He says he feels like he’s going to explode!! Thank God again we get a nurse who is relatively new because instead of the hardened indifference of the seasoned bitter nurses, she pages the doctor to come see him. The doctor comes and gets things happening. NG tube ordered. Another 4 mg dose can be given.
This young nurse Adrian knows she needs assistance. Thank God again. Because Nurse Bert is an angel. Franklin calls out for the nurse. In a soft gentle voice….I’m here. Nurse! I’m here sir. We’re going to help you. He is obviously seasoned and has the demeanour of a guardian angel. Bless him.
8mg of morphine, NG tube, and x-ray done, I wait while he sleeps. I text his brothers. I call work. I call my parents. I write. I am exhausted, but am so grateful that I can be here for him. To be his advocate, his voice, a comfort, a loving wife. My mind’s eye and soul seared with his pain.
We’ve seen Nephrology. Thankfully they are involved and aware. Unlike the last time where he was so overloaded with fluids he had difficulty breathing! We await the surgery team so he can get admitted.
I have now been awake for 40-hrs. I cannot think straight.
Updates to come….