Most of the time we are so caught up in our daily events that we fail to stop and appreciate those around us. Last weekend, Nathan and I got that moment to stop a treasure our family and friends.
Nathan flew to OKC last week for one of his quartely visits and their holiday party. Things were going good throughout the week (despite the small leak from our water heater). He was suppose to attend the party Friday night and fly home Saturday morning (with a JR puppy for my parents).
On Friday at noon, Nathan calls me and says "I'm sick". I expelled everything in my system at midnight and I have been vomiting every couple hours. My tummy hurts. (at this point he was laying in his hotel room). I insist he calls a co-worker and goes to the ER for fluids. After minimal balking I offer to call his doctor in Edmond (even though they were closed on Friday). While I was making these calls, he calls a co-worker, who promtly takes him to the hopital where he proceeds to wait for 4 hours. At the end of these four hours he makes a trip to the bathroom to vomit. On the way out, a murse says...."You don't look so good man, let's bring you back and hook you up to fluids". (insert sarcastic comment here -- well duh, he hasn't been waiting for 4 hours b/c he feels peachy keen). At this point they run a blood test, ask him a bunch of questions. The blood tests come back and they hurry him up for a CAT scan.
At this point they come in and say they think he has appendicitis and they are going to take him to surgery. ......Let's recap.... he is now by himself, in Oklahoma, about to have surgery to remove his appendix. Nathan calls me around 6:30pm (as I am finishing up my day at work) and says I have appendicitis. I get emotional at this point, he is all by himself and who knows how good of a hospital he is at (in Oklahoma some of them can be pretty scetchy). I tell him I will get there as soon as I can. While I finish my last appointment, my boss runs upstairs and starts searching flights for that evening. I soon go up to see what he has found. At his point Nathan calls again and says his boss will pay for my ticket. There is one direct flight out of O'Hare that I could possible make if I could make if I was dropped off right at the terminal. A co-worker immediately offers to drive me. Another co-worker offers to take care of Mason, Oscar, and the tortoises for the weekend. With that said, I grabbed my coat and my purse and we were off.
We get to O'Hare 30 minutes before the plane was suppose to take off, all was good. I get the gate and it is delays...what the &$%^!!! I decide to call a friend from vet school who lives in OKC. She assures me, it is a good hospital. She knows the head nurse there and has had family members who have had proceedures there. She says it is a teaching hospital though. Then she offers to pick me up from the airport and take me to the hospital. After we talk,I sit impatiently and start talking to an older gentlman next to me, who says it will be ok and tells me about what happen when he got his appendix and everything he remembers about it (which actually made me feel better). I then talk to Nathan's mom. Apprentely, he called and said he is having his appendix out in Oklahoma and hangs up. She is very stressed, as am I after hearing another delay (due to a broken part on the airplane). I just want to get there before he wakes up. It is now almost 1 1/2 hours later (I should be about arriving in OKC by now). Another lady next to me says to call a speciall 411 number to get the number of the hospital to see how he is doing. I get in touch with the hospital and after being routed to 4 different departments i talk to the recovery nurse who says he is just waking up. (damn, I wanted to be there by now, he must be scared). I tell the nurse to tell him I am at the airpot (although I failed to tell her what airport) and I would be there as quick as I can.
Shortely after this, AA decides to give us a new plane but we have to talk to another terminal. By the time we all get there, the check-in people are told there are people and weight retrictions (plus they have to fit on 6 AA employeed on this flight). They says the need 13!!! volunteers. They get 10. So they are going to boot off the last 3 people to check in (that would be me). I go to the desk....and i freak out....I start crying and I say I have to get on this flight....my husband is in emergency surgery and there is NO ONE there with him. Of course the AA employee doesn't care. But the kind people around me do. One guy says I heard you on the phone...you need to get to your husband. He says, please take my seat. Another couple guys also offer their seats. I am so grateful.... a random act of kindness from complete strangers. I get on the plane and arrive in OKC at 1am. Due to the long delay, I told my vet school friend I would take a shuttle. I get off the plane and run towards the pick-up doors. When I get outside (at 1am in the morning), I see this randome pitbull running around outside (welcome to Oklahoma). I see him sniff a tree and I run over to an airport shuttle. I ask the driver, do you take credit cards. He says yes, but you have to wait a few minutes to see if there is anyone else. But it was only me. As we are driving out of the airport he says we need to stop by an ATM so I can get cash....WHAT!?!?! You said you take credit cards. No, only cash. Great. So we drive over to a 7 eleven and at 1:15 in the morning (not the greatest part of town) and i run in to use the ATM. I come back and get in the car and I relaize he isn't there. Five minutes later he gets back in. (the only thing that gave me the slightest amount of comfort is when I heard him say he was making a stop at St. Anothony's Hospital on his walkie talkie. We sat in silence until I got the hospital. I threw him the $20 and ran inside.
I get to Nathan's room at 2am and he is resting quietly. I am so relieved to see him. He shows me his incisions. We talk for a little while, I check the dosing on his IV antibiotics and fluid rate. A very friendly nurse comes in and helps me make up a bed to sleep in. And we fall asleep. The student nurses come in every 2 hours to do a TPR. A respiratory nurse comes in to show him to use this breathing toy thing. Before meeting the doctors I got a call in the morning from my boss to see how everything was. I was so tired that I was just talking and after a while I realized i had no idea who I was talking to. Shortly after Nathan gets a visit from his boss and another co-worker. In the morning, he orders some food from the hospital menu and we get to meet the student doctor and the surgeon. Both are really helpful and take their time to explain everything to nathan. They use the came critera for discharge as we do in vet medicine. If you can eat, not vomit, urinate, and defecate, you can go home. We around 1pm he is release from the hospital, with instructions not to lift/pull/push more than 5 lbs for 5 weeks and to walk alot to encourge the gas to work it way out.
My friend picks us up and drops us back at the hotel. After a brief shower, we walk to an Italian restaurant so Nathan can get some bland pasta. After lunch we realize the nurse was mistaken and there was no pharmacy in walking distance of the hotel. So Nathan contacts a co-worker to drive us to CVS. After getting back we take a nap and then get up to go have dinner with my vet school friend. That night we some much needed sleep.
The next morning (my birthday). I help Nathan pack up his stuff and I drag it downstairs. Throughout most of that day, we get strange looks as I lug his heavy laptop/PS2 bag and his suitcase around while he walks behind me. After some lunc he see Happy Feet before heading to the airport. At the airport we meet the JR breeder who gives us "Samson", an 8 week old JR puppy. He is all calm in the breeders arms. At security, we had to take him out of the bag and all the security people took turns hold him. When we got to the gate, he decided it was time to play and started squirming (nothing a little Benedryl for the flight doesn't help :-D ) . So anyway, we made it home safe and sound. Nathan is feeling much better! :-D
PS Pics of Samson to follow soon