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Change of plans...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I won't be going to Pittsburgh or JASR this weekend.

Around 8:15 last night, I came in from taking the dogs out back, to find Bill in the kitchen saying something was wrong. His right arm was limp and he couldn't move it, his speech was slurred, he couldn't think of words when he was talking, and the right side of his face didn't look right. I told him he had the option of calling 911 or me driving him to the ER. He opted to be driven.

On the way, his leg started being affected as well. By the time we got to the hospital - Providence about 5-7 minutes away (and yes, should there be a next time, we're calling 911!) - he was feeling some better and could mostly walk alright. We got into the ER, explained what had happened, and they put him in a wheelchair IMMEDIATELY and took him back to the treatment area. That was scary. Good, but scary.

They did a series of physical and neurological tests, and finally took him for a CT scan. Turns out, he had what is called a TIA - transient ischemic attack, caused by a left internal carotid stenosis - a blocked artery. Because it was on the left side of his brain, it affected his right side.

They gave him the option of spending the night in the hospital and seeing a surgeon in the morning, or coming home and then going to see a surgeon in the morning. The ER doc said the condition didn't require emergency surgery but he did need to have the blockage cleared as soon as it can be planned and carried out, and referred us to Dr. Morrow.

Courtney, Bill's oldest, came to the hospital with her SO, and they stayed with us until Bill was released. We got home around 11 pm, so that wasn't too bad. I sat up until 12, Googling of course, and emailing work to let them know I wouldn't be in today.

I went to bed and spent a quiet hour reading and listening to Bill breathe. I drifted off at some point, only to wake again and listen, very quietly, for his breaths. We made a deal, see. If promised not to croak in our bed last night if I let him come home. He held up his end of the bargain!

Dr. Morrow's office hours are 8:30 to 4. I found this out by calling the office number at 6:30 just to see. I probably should have talked to his answering service, but for whatever reason, waited until 8:30 to call again. When I explained why I was calling, without giving our name, the nurse asked if I was Mrs. Bailey. Seems they had been trying to reach us, but the hospital records (which we updated the night before) had not been updated across the system, so they were calling Bill's old cell number that we no longer have.

They got us in at 9:45, and Dr. Morrow was very encouraging. Bill's carotid is 90-95% blocked on the left side. Perhaps the bloodflow slowed to a standstill last evening, or a bit of plaque debris broke free and cruised through Bill's brain, causing the TIA. Whatever it was, in a way, it was a good thing. The TIA cleared up on its own, and Bill feels relatively normal (or at least what passes for normal for him. Heh). So, while this is terrifying on its face, it's a good thing because they can go in and clear out the plaque and clean up his artery.

It was a mini stroke, and it could have been much MUCH worse. The bad part is, the surgery is scheduled for Friday at 6 am. That's great that they're not in a huge rush to get him on the table. I was flying out for Pittsburgh, though, midnight Friday. I won't be making that plane, or running for the first time with my sister, or meeting my extended Spark family, or running JASR, or spending the next week in W.Va. with my daughter and mom.

Don't get me wrong. I'm so glad and grateful that I still have Bill and that we can get him fixed up right as rain. I am so happy that I still have him with me. I'm bummed about the rest of it though, even though he keeps telling me I should go to JASR anyway.

"Would you go if our roles were reversed and I was having surgery?" I asked him.
"Well, no. But that's different," he explained.

What the..???!?!?!!

He also tried to pull the ole "It's not that big a deal" on me, to which I replied "You had a STROKE. It IS a big deal!"
Needless to say, I won that round, too!

My sister is still traveling from Texas to Pittsburgh, as she has a dear friend who lives nearby who was going to come see us anyway. She'll spend the weekend with her. I don't think.. but I could be completely wrong.. that she'll be doing JASR. She might surprise me though. I keep apologizing to her, and she keeps telling me to stop. I understand, and I know she understands. I'm the big sister though, and feel like I'm responsible for getting her excited and committed to the run and meeting all you wacky folks and .. well, all of it.

So there you have it. Bill is currently snoozing on the couch with our lhasa princess Maggie. The other lhasa princess Millie is snoozing here in the office with me, and lil lhasa prince Bubbie is sprawled out all over the loveseat LOL The sleep of the innocents at ease. They were very happy to have their daddy come home last night, and wake up this morning. Nearly as happy as I was.

Keep a few good thoughts, positive mojo and juju for Bill over the coming days, please. Oh, and if you would, throw in a good word for me and my battle against stress/emotional eating right now. I'm winning at this point, but I could use all the backup I can get.
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  • CH0718
    How terrifying! Hang in here!!!
    3349 days ago
    What a bummer on the timing, but it sounds like you were in good hands with all those medical professionals. I see that you haven't updated recently, so I hope everything went smoothly on Friday and Bill is on the road to recovery.
    3355 days ago
    Good thoughts/juju, positive energy, hugs and lots of wishes for speedy and full recovery. So glad you all caught it and were able to get BIll fixed up! So scary.

    Take care of him and take care of you too!
    3359 days ago
    Aww honey....good juju and hugs/support coming your way from Chicago. Glad you know what's really important; Bill got a wake up call that not too many people are lucky enough to get before "the big one". He is so lucky to have you and there must be a plan for you to not be at your race today.
    Think positive thoughts, know that taking care of yourself is just as important (if not more) as taking care of others. You have lots of support from many spots and I hope you feel the love coming your way!
    emoticon Laura
    3359 days ago
    Sending my prayers and hugs to both of you. Glad he's on the mend. Hang in there friend.

    3361 days ago
    praying for you all C.
    3361 days ago
  • ROXIT22222
    I just saw this. I'm so sorry for what you are going thru, I know it's very hard. Hard choices to make and I would be making the same one you are... and being bummed about it at the same time. I will keep you guys in my thoughts this week.
    3362 days ago
    What a scary night. I'm so glad that things seem to be turning out OK. You, Bill and the rest of the fam are in my thoughts and prayers. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
    3362 days ago
    Good thoughts coming your way! I hope the surgery goes smoothly Friday.
    3362 days ago
    Yikes! That's very scary. I'm glad it turned into a "you need to look into this" situation and nothing worse. I'm glad you are staying with him. That would be scary on both sides; the surgery and the waiting. I wish I could wait there with you. I'll be thinking of you here. With the time difference, I'll be here at my desk but I will be whispering a prayer for our western branch of the family tree.

    Hang in there and don't forget to take care of yourself. I hope you get to reschedule your trip at a later date when all is well.

    3362 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/29/2012 10:24:16 AM
    That must have been terrifying! You and your husband are in my thoughts!
    3362 days ago
    Thank God that your husband is going to be all right. You were both very calm in the face of an emergency!

    My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

    Take care and take it easy!

    3362 days ago
    What a scary experience - thank God this was caught in time to fix the problem. I'm sorry you will miss your travel plans, and I had to chuckle at your husband's suggestion that you should go anyway (but he wouldn't if the situation was reversed!!

    Good luck with the surgery =)
    3363 days ago
    Wow gal,

    Scary to be sure. I'm sorry about the change in plans, but obviously you have to be with Bill (duhh... umm Bill? when you get better Candy is soooo gonna kick yer behind for even suggesting that she leave you home and go on her trip! Just sayin...)

    And under the "ounce of prevention" category - find those healthy snacks NOW and prep/stock up for any unplanned stress eating (of course it goes without saying to rid the house of the crap...but I digress here)

    The important thing is that you and Bill will weather this together. Good thoughts, prayers, juju, and all the other stuff are being assembled and sent your way...

    Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you... it's a bona fide offer!

    3363 days ago
    I'm sending thoughts and prayers your way for Bill's health and for your strength!!!
    3363 days ago
    So sorry to hear about Bill! Im praying for his fast recovery, sending you guys love and hugs emoticon
    3363 days ago
    So sorry to hear about this, but oh so glad that bill is doing well. This is a scary thing, and it's so good that things turned out as well as they did. I know it's a bummer that your trips needed to be canceled, but I would have made the same decision in your shoes. You and your family are in my thoughts, and I'm wishing you the best.
    3363 days ago
    So sorry to hear this. I'll definitely have you in my thoughts. Sometimes the best laid plans have a way of replanning themselves. Be thankful that it happened while you were there and not while you were away. Stress eat away - but make sure it's with healthy things. I can't imagine sitting down and binging on more than three oranges or three bananas or three cups of Greek yogurt :)
    3363 days ago
    I am sorry you will miss out on JASR, but I am also so thankful that this was caught now so Bill can be around a long time for you. I will be thinking of you and praying for you both; that is a scary thing to go through!
    3363 days ago
  • TIGGER622
    you and bill are in our thoughts honey!!! sooooooo glad that you all caught this and he can get it all taken care of! we'll miss you, but we're all running for ya! HUGS girl! hang in there and keep us posted!
    3364 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5770485
    Sending prayers your way for a successful surgery and speedy recovery for Bill. Thank goodness you were there for him when that happened. You are doing the right thing...It's too bad your plans were interrupted, but you will have a new goal! That is, to get to the next one!

    Best Wishes!

    3364 days ago
    You will just have to plan for the last weekend in March '13!
    Glad you gave Bill's name - I much prefer to pray by name - although God knows - I feel better that way - and don't you worry - Thursday I will pray for his doctor's to get the rest they need to be on the top of their game - and for Bills surgery to be successful with NO complications - you will be in my caregiver's department !

    All WILL be well! See ya next year,
    3364 days ago
  • GAYLEP67
    Oh Candy...what a horrible experience. I'm so thankful that Bill (and you) made it through okay and that the situation isn't as bad as it could have been. Someone is watching over you both! While I'm thankful that things are a little more positive at home, I'm disappointed for you not being able to go to Pittsburgh or JASR - I know you were really looking forward to both.

    Hang in there my friend. It's a stressful time but you have a whole community of friends here to support you. I'm sending both of you all of my "good thoughts, positive mojo and juju!"

    Take care,
    3364 days ago
    I'm so sorry to hear about this scare but so glad that it is working out so well. There will always be other runs to run, but only one Bill.
    3364 days ago
    Oh my goodness. I am so sorry to hear this and also sorry that I won't get to meet you at JASR this year. You have your priorities in the right place for sure. Best wishes for the surgery.

    3364 days ago
  • BOBBYD31
    so so sorry to hear about this but glad they are taking care of it right away. i will get back to you next week about the shirts, so don't be thinking about that right now. a big JASR hug for you!
    3364 days ago
    How so very, very, SCARY!!!!!

    Please keep us up to date! emoticon
    3364 days ago
    Candy, I'm so glad you were there for Bill. I'm afraid I would have been just like Bill and said something like "oh, I probably pinched a nerve" even though your description sounded just like a stroke. I bet you are thoroughly exhausted and I hope you get some good "Candy time" once everything is over and ok. And then you can make new plans soon to see your family, run with your sister and all!

    Sending you thoughts, positive mojo and juju along with many virtual hugs to Bill and to you and the pups and all of your family and friends. Can't wait to hear everything is ok!
    3364 days ago
    Oh, Candy! You must be exhausted. You did soooo well knowing that you had to get him seen immediately. I'm very glad that you each held up your end of the bargain. And for all that you'll be up in the middle of the night to get him to the hospital for that Friday procedure, the sooner he's in, the sooner it's over and he can be tucked cozily in bed to recover at which point you will then have room to freak some from all this (the freaking timing is obviously flexible just not optional, yaknow.)

    And yeah, something came up with Frank awhile ago, and he was the same as Bill of saying that his thing wasn't a big deal, but that if it had been me of course he'd be there for me, that was different. MEN!

    I'm very sorry you're missing out on JASR. I know you've been anticipating this for many months.

    3364 days ago
  • LISA01605
    That is so scary!! I am so glad to hear Bill's situation is under control. Very sorry to hear you will be missing your trip. I will be thinking of you on Friday and sending all my positive thoughts your way. emoticon
    3364 days ago
    OH MY!! I'm so happy to hear that it will be alright but how scared you must have been!! I totally understand you not coming as I would do the same if I was in your shoes!!

    However, I will miss seeing you!!

    You and Bill are in my prayers!!
    And let us know asap that the surgery went well (as I know it will but confirmation is always a good thing!!)

    3364 days ago
  • 4MY2KIDZ
    You would never have been able to leave on the trip. If he had talked you into it you would have worried yourself into a snit! Its all going to be ok...he was very lucky. Stop worrying about work. Focus on family and let the rest go because you can't change it. Like I said earlier, he will get well, then you can kick his butt for scaring the bujeezus out of you! emoticon
    3364 days ago
    Oh Candy, how scarry! I am so glad Bill is out of the hospital as that indeed is a good sign and good that you showed up in time to help him get to ER. My SIL had TIA's and the same surgery and is usually pretty easy to clean out so I have no doubt that Bill will be back to normal in no time. But I know you will have a hard time breathing until it's over. As for eating, if that's what you need to do, go ahead. Just see if you can stick to the healthier side of stuff. Popcorn, baked potato chips, veggies and humus.

    I know how you were looking forward to your trip back east this weekend and I'm sorry it won't work out. But I also know how important Bill is to ou and JARS will still be here next year.

    Take care my friend and keep us updated on how Bill is doing. And give him a big hug from me.
    3364 days ago
  • no profile photo CD318156
    Many HUGS sweet Candy! That must have been very frightening. I will have you both in my prayers on Friday. Take care and know that your SparkFamily is with you and Bill!

    3364 days ago
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