Saturday, January 30, 2010


I wrote that last entry a few hours before I found Danny laying on his sofa, shaking, coughing, and scared.  I felt his head and put a thermometer in his mouth.  Called Emory and then told him to put his feet in his slippers we were heading to Emory.  He had been sick for a few hours but didn't wake me.  Says he thought he would get over it.  His phone was too far away to call me.  It only takes a few hours to go from feeling fine to deathly sick for him.  We found this out almost exactly 2 years ago when the same thing happened, different illness, stronger heart.  

Last time we were both scared.  He had never been sick like this in his life, before or after transplant.  The attack was so fast it was mind boggling. It happened on a Monday night, this time was early Tuesday morning.  The ER was awesome.  There were doctors, nurses, needles, blankets, and machines all flying in and out of his room.  Within an hour and a half they had him in CICU hooked up to wires and tubes, taking more blood each hour for more tests.  The lesson I learned this time around is - coughing stresses your heart.  The lesson that was reinforced was - there's nothing you can do for a virus.  You just watch what it does and fight the fires.  

For 36 hours they didn't know what was wrong.  They pumped him full of various antibiotics, just in case...  Gave him Tamiflu... just in case...  (Found out that Tamiflu doesn't really do much for the flu.)  Once they found the virus they concentrated on his heart more.  Fightin' the fires...

My biggest fear was that if a heart "came in" (sounds so disassociated from real life) they would not give it to him because he had an infection.  But the doctor reassured me that a heart for him would be a one in a million and they would not pass it by, sick or not.  It sounds reassuring from one stand point but terrifying from another.  Later I had to ask the other obvious question - if a heart doesn't come fast enough what machines are available to keep him alive?  Emory does have machines to do this but have never been used on a transplanted heart.  Not sure what that means but I was not in the mood to question that.  

I said in my last entry that if something happened to Danny I would just go away.  If someone up there is playing with me, please stop. It's has pissed me off royally.  I do not need a rehearsal for life.  I do not need my words to be thrown in my face.  I do not need reminders of what waits around the corner ready to strike when you least expect.  Neither does Danny.  He gets scared and tries not to show it.  We just sit and hold hands and rub fingers together.  I must have kissed his forehead and cheeks a hundred times.  When they told me to put on a mask to protect me from the virus he had, it was way too late for that.  We were coming or going together.  

Kerry kept working to keep his mind from wandering. I came home each night, leaving Julie or Amanda to stay with him, but got little good sleep.  I wanted to be there but I have to be ready and able to be awake for a long time when they call with a heart.  

Two years ago I called Mary while waiting in the ER.  This time I called Tony.  Danny's brother from another mother.... I like that saying.  And my son-in-law.  That keeps him together with Mary.  You're only as strong as your weakest link.  Mary is/was my strong link.  I have too many weak ones, they may all pop at one time.  Julie has her babies to worry about.  Anna will be her strong link.     

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