We got married Friday, March 24th… then pretty much relaxed for the weekend until Sunday. We weren’t actually planning on doing a “honeymoon.” No money and no need. The closest we got was that we had decided to go to my mother’s for a family dinner… and to celebrate my sister Lara’s birthday (which we had missed due to hospital visits) and also Katy’s birthday. Their birthdays are 4 days apart and we normally do them together but …. yeah it didn’t happen what with Marc in ICU and all after the March 3rd coma….Marc and Katy and Lily and I left to head to Hamilton for dinner etc and Marc said he wasn’t feeling well. Nauseated. Just not great.
When we got to my Mother’s he relaxed in the recliner while everyone visited… we all ate except Marc. The family did a birthday cake/”wedding” cake for us. We also celebrated Marc’s birthday (March 28th)
He really wasn’t feeling great and asked to lay down. I gave him a Gravol and he rested on the spare bed while we got ready to leave.
On the way home, my mother texted Katy to say that Marc left his phone there, but he didn’t want to go back to get it. Should have been a sign… but he just said he felt unwell and was anxious to get home.
Once we got home, he got ready for bed and climbed in. Usually he’s very cold as he’s lost a lot of weight and muscle mass but that night he was “hot”. I checked his head for fever (seemed normal) but he didn’t want me to take his temperature. Katy and I stayed up for a while to watch shows.
I could hear Marc moving around and checked on him a few times and he just kept saying “I’m fine. I’m fine”. He was wandering about and behaving oddly as he has before (hepatic encephalopathy) … confusion… acting somewhat belligerent. I asked MY name and he said “Marc Graham”. I asked again and he said “Marc Lynn Graham.” Ummmm. No. I asked if he’d go to hospital. He said no. My choices were to let him sleep and stay up all night keeping an eye on him or get him to the hospital.
I called 9-11.
There was no way I was letting him go to sleep this way. I couldn’t risk another coma.
The ambulance got there in a timely manner and I explained that Marc has cirrhosis and has had raised levels in his ammonia and when he gets that way he develops confusion, etc. The EMT’s were lovely and tried to get Marc to come down the stairs and get toward the door and into the ambulance. He would sort of go along with it for a bit… but then would just go back to “I’m fine… I’m fine…” and climb back into bed and mumble things and just say he was going to sleep.
Katy had her kitten and Lily shut in the spare room and you could hear Lily getting very upset…. after all – potential new petters in the house and she was missing out!!
*sigh*. The only way to get him to get into the ambulance was going to be to sedate him. The EMT’s had to call the police as Marc was “uncooperative” and “resisting”. I understood and completely agreed.
An officer showed up a short time later… we had still been trying to get Marc to come down the stairs but the answer was always “I’m fine.”
The officer was there for safety, etc. Marc was by no means violent or verbally abusive. However he can be somewhat belligerent when he gets in this state. Or argumentative is more like it. He just wants to go to sleep and in a way doesn’t really know what’s going on and doesn’t want to cooperate.
He’s “fine”. I even threatened to call his mother. He did not care. THAT’S how you know there’s something wrong FOR SURE.
The EMT’s gave him a sedative. Which did not knock him out. They gave him another shot.. .that did it.
The EMT supervisor showed up and between the lot of them they got Marc into the “chair stretcher” thingy and carried him down the stairs to the regular stretcher and put him into the ambulance. Ambulance, police car and EMT supervisor car out front… hopefully my friend Shelley is wrong and we’re not going to continue to be the house where the ambulance shows up all the time…..
They took Marc out and as they were I said “wait a minute! I need to get a picture!”
I’m pretty sure they think I am a very strange, heartless, uncaring woman. “Hey yes, this is my husband who I just married on Friday but let me get a picture of him being loaded into an ambulance unconscious and all while I crack jokes and remain dry eyed…” Nope. I am just very logical in certain situations. I am great in a crisis, to tell the truth. I’ve actually literally put out fires. No point in losing your shit in these situations as it solves nothing. I deal with things through humour and break down later when no one is around. That’s how I deal.
HOWEVER, last time Marc was taken by ambulance he said after the fact “did you get a picture of me in the ambulance?” I said no and he seemed disappointed. Pics or it didn’t happen, peeps!
Truth be told, I did not follow along to the hospital. Unlike TV, you cannot go in the ambulance with someone. You will get in the way. I knew that Marc was in the best hands all things considered and he was sedated and really wasn’t aware of his surroundings. I thought it best to get some sleep as it was likely going to be a rough few days… and sleeping in a bed is preferable to sleeping in hospital chairs. Trust me and my coccyx. We know.
The ambulance took Marc to Grand River Hospital and checked him into emergency… hooked him up to various monitors and put in a gastric tube so that they could administer his lactulose as he wouldn’t take it by mouth. Annnnndd… that didn’t work as he promptly removed his own tubing. See? Uncooperative.
I called after he’d been there for a while as I couldn’t sleep and they told me about the tube. He’d been sedated and the emergency nurse suggested I sleep as there really wasn’t anything I could do. He was being cared for. I took a clonazepam and got some sleep.
In the morning I called again and they updated me. He was conscious and seemed to be better. When I got to the hospital he was strapped to the bed. The “prison bed” Katy and I have called it. He was restrained so he wouldn’t take out any more tubes. However, since they had been treating him and he was cooperating, he was doing much better. He knew who I was, who he was, where he was etc. He was released from his bondage (sounds sexier than that is…) and he said “this isn’t exactly how I wanted to be spending our honeymoon”….
I explained to him what had happened. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the March 3rd episode as he didn’t ever hit coma stage. But… still suckage. He had said he had taken all his meds when he was supposed to on Saturday and Sunday. But in retrospect, he wasn’t 100%. After speaking with the doctors, however, it was determined that his dosage needed to be upped.
Marc got better throughout the course of the day and that evening was moved into a room upstairs on the 8th floor. Because he’s a carrier of MRSA infection, they had him in a private room and I’d have to gown up before going in.
I had called Marc’s mom on Monday while he was still in emergency. On Tuesday it was Marc’s birthday. When I go to the hospital, I took him a big birthday cupcake (and some cupcakes to share with the nurses.) Marc’s mom Lynn called once she knew I was with him (his phone was still in Hamilton.) He was CONSIDERABLY better. Sounded better… coherent, alert. A marked improvement indeed.
For his birthday I ordered him a hospital TV and the lovely woman who takes care of that (Lynda) was just a doll – hooked his up first as it was his birthday AND she made him a cute birthday card. Marc’s treatment was working.. he was feeling much better. His friend Mike came to visit after he was done work.. not the most exciting birthday he’s ever had but hey, he was conscious for it!
In the meantime, my sister Lara got hold of the living transplant coordinator at University hospital in London to see about next steps. She has a lot going for her – very good health, vegetarian marathon runner and all… however she is a little “small” to be a donor for Marc (she’s 5’4″ and he’s 6′) but she’s started the paperwork and we will cross our fingers that if she isn’t a good match, someone will be.
On Wednesday March 29th, Marc was deemed well enough to go home! The doctor felt he was in good enough shape that he’d recover more comfortably at home. So no “issues” since then… Just have to keep a close eye and make sure he’s taking everything he’s supposed to and that a donor is found ASAP.
For information on Liver Transplant click here.
**While Marc was in the hospital the lovely Rachel Hammell started a GoFundMe for Marc. He can’t work any longer and it’s tough for me to be outside of the house – doctor’s appointments, making sure he’s okay and taking his meds, etc. Now that we don’t have benefits, it’s going to be expensive. If you can help, we thank you very much.**