Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Oh, That OG! by Alison Henderson

This post is not about writing. I haven't thought much about writing for the past week, because last Monday morning, OG gave me a little surprise.



First, let me say, OG is a tough guy. He has driven himself to the hospital with an asthma attack so severe he could barely breathe and a massively bleeding cut that required numerous stitches because he didn't want to bother me. He also kept perfectly quiet when he had severe chest pains all through the night, which an EKG later showed to have been a heart attack. So you know it was darn serious when he woke me at 5:18 a.m. to say we needed to go to the hospital. It was even more serious ten minutes later, after I'd thrown on some clothes, when he said I'd better call an ambulance. 

He'd been having severe abdominal pain that radiated through to his back. This had been going on since midnight, but of course, he didn't want to wake me. My first thought--and his--was dissecting abdominal aortic aneurysm. When that happens, you can bleed out in minutes. Since he's going to be sixty-nine in a couple of weeks and has a history of cardiovascular disease, this was a very real possibility. (Sometimes, too much medical knowledge is not a good thing.) 

I called 911, and five burly firemen showed up within a few minutes. They rolled the gurney into my living room and went to work. When OG suddenly lost consciousness, they kicked into high gear, and took off for the hospital with me right behind. A whole team was waiting for him, and happily, within a half hour they determined he had a small bowel obstruction, not an aneurysm. We were all relieved, and they decided to admit him and see if the obstruction would resolve itself, since 75% do.

OG, being OG, turned out to be in the remaining 25%. His pain increased steadily until he was put on a self-administered pain-relief pump. Over the course of that night, he hit the button thirty-two times. When I arrived the next morning expecting to see him much improved, he was pale, clammy, and in terrible pain. We had to wait all day until the surgery was finally performed at 5:00 p.m. Because he had never had general anesthesia before,  we were doubly anxious. However, he did great and woke up feeling vastly improved.

It turned out he had a band of tissue similar to scar tissue that had wrapped around the small intestine and closed it off. The surgeon snipped the band, and the condition resolved instantly. I thought I'd be able to bring him home the next day, but he developed significant swelling in his abdomen, ankles, and feet, so they kept him another day. He's still pain-free and the swelling is slowly resolving, but he's on a soft-food diet and doesn't have much stamina. It will probably take another week to ten days before he's fully recovered. 

As if that wasn't enough drama, my 88-year-old mother arrived Tuesday afternoon for a pre-planned visit. I barely had enough time to drive to the airport, pick her up, and drop her off at the house before racing back to the hospital. I barely made it in time to see OG for a couple of minutes before they took him into the operating room. Mom's visit wasn't what she'd expected, but it turned out to be a blessing for me not to have to come home to an empty house each night with nothing to do but worry.

His comment on all this? "Old husbands are a lot of trouble." LOL .That's OG for you. He might be moving a little more slowly, but otherwise, he's pretty much back to normal.

So, how was your week?

Alison
www.alisonhenderson.com


16 comments:

Vonnie Davis said...

I know all too well how rushed and scared and frantic you were. There are days I don't even remember. I was allowed to sleep every night in Calvin's room and did. One in bed with him and the rest on a cot or a recliner, depending on the room he was in. I'm relieved OG is doing better and you're happy to have him home. He might be moving a little slow right now, but I have a feeling he'll be back to your OG in no time. Hug him for me.

Jannine Gallant said...

What a scare! I'm so glad to hear he's doing better. It's too bad you didn't have the visit you anticipated with your mom, but I'm glad she was there for you. Over the last few days we've had issues, but with the house not people, thank heavens! A faucet that won't stop dripping. The heat in our bedroom that won't turn off. Irritating but a lot less stressful and easier to repair!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Oh, Alison, what a scare! Ambulances in the night, losing consciousness, unremitting pain...these are horror scenes. I'm so glad OG is healing and giving you some sass...good sign. Take some time for yourself, now, would you? You've been under a huge amount of stress...and need a break. I'd go shopping, have nails done, a facial...something to help you breath deeply and show you are in control again. Hugs for both of you!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Oh, forgot. You asked about my week. I'm prepping for the ding-dang panel on 'promoting yourself,' more on those results coming soon. And planning landscaping for the back yard. Whew!

Alison Henderson said...

I thought of you the whole time, Vonnie. OG's room had a daybed sofa I could have used if I spent the night there, but I couldn't leave my mom alone. He's doing better every day, thank goodness.

Alison Henderson said...

Jannine, I wouldn't have done well with heat that wouldn't turn off in the bedroom. That sounds like a permanent hot flash!

Alison Henderson said...

Rolynn, I'm going to meet a writer friend for coffee this morning, and I don't have to tell you how much I'm looking forward to it. Good luck with your landscaping--can't wait to see the pictures!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Been there, done that with my OG more than a few times. You don’t think when those things happen, you just do. So glad things have turned out well for both of you. Guess your mother was ‘supposed’ to be there all along. The others are right. Take time for YOU TWO now. And breathe!

Alison Henderson said...

Margo, my mom joked this event was "in the stars" since she made her plane reservation to come see us. At any rate, I was glad to have her here. In terms of taking time, that may have to wait. I've got so much to do to release my book on the 25th, and another writer friend asked me to proof her new book in the next few days, too.

Diane Burton said...

Alison, my heart dropped when I read the beginning of your post. I'd kept up with your Facebook posts on OG's condition until yesterday. I'm so glad he's better and home again. As others said, what a scare. For both of you. He was right to tell you to get the ambulance. You did well. Thank goodness your mom was there, too. I wouldn't have wanted to come home to an empty house, either. Take care of yourself now.

Leah St. James said...

Oh my gosh...I'll just ditto that "what a scare!" sentiment. I'm also thankful that he is on the road to recovery. What a relief! I love his comment about old husbands! Please do make sure you're taking some time to care for yourself in all this.

Andrea Downing said...

OH, Alison, I do feel for you and am so glad it all resolved. I HATE when the doctors give you percentages because I always know damn well I'm going to be in the losing group. Glad your story had a happy ending.

Alison Henderson said...

Thanks, Diane. It was no fun at all, and he's under strict orders not to repeat it!

Alison Henderson said...

Leah, as I'm sure you know, OG is full of pithy sayings. LOL. As for me, I've got a book to publish in the next ten days, with all the attendant fol-de-rol, as well as a friend's book to final-copy-edit. AND my daughter is in the throes of trying to buy a new condo. No rest for the weary (or wicked--your choice!)

Alison Henderson said...

Andi, OG always says he'll be the one odd-ball in any situation, and he always is. However, he really started feeling better yesterday and better yet this morning. Whew!

RE Mullins said...

So glad he's feeling better. It had to be so hard for you to be torn between the needs of hubby and Mom. Hang in there.