Sunday, May 15, 2011

april 17, 2011

I was glad when Alif was moved to a regular room because I knew he'd be a lot more comfortable in a regular bed than in a gurney. As long as we kept current on his pain and anti-nausea medications, he was very comfortable. As opposed to the emergency room, I had to ask for his medications "on the floor" (nurse-speak for being in a regular room). When I asked for them the first time they gave him the pain medication before the anti-nausea and that made him a little miserable. The second time I insisted he get the anti-nausea first and he said, "you are the woman."

By this point I had been awake for goodness knows how long. Let's see - I'd slept on Friday night, but was up all of Saturday night and now we were at Sunday night. I was tired. At one point Alif said, "you must be exhausted." He was also concerned about making sure I was eating something. It was so ironic that he was lying there suffering with who-knew-what and concerned that *I* might be tired or hungry. My husband is a caring man.

Meanwhile, I was getting very frustrated that something was obviously wrong and no one seemed to know what. I asked the nurse, "So do we basically have no idea what's wrong and we're just treating symptoms?" She said gravely, "yes." I asked when the doctor would be back and she said either that evening or in the morning.

Somewhere in here the prayer chain at church had gotten word that Alif was being admitted to the hospital. Our friend Jan got this request, e-mailed me asking "what hospital??" and the next thing I knew, she was there with us. When she came in she looked Alif over, talked to him and then turned to me, saying nothing. I asked her what she thought and she said, "I don't want to alarm you, but I don't like the looks of this. He looks septic." Pit - in - stomach. Jan knows what she's talking about. She's been a nurse for a long time. She works with the most critically ill patients.

Alif's sister Rabae pointed out to Jan that Alif wasn't moving his right hand. I asked Jan why his oxygen was only showing at 84%.

Next thing I knew Jan was whirling about, making things happen. Talking to the floor nurses, asking questions, wondering aloud if this and that testing had been done. A nurse brought in a nasal cannula and put him on oxygen. It didn't help. They moved up to the next step, some other oxygen machine, and that didn't help either. Repeat several times. The last machine I saw him on was some sort of forced pressure oxygen thing. It was completely covering his mouth and nose and all I could see was his eyes. They were wild, terrified. It was horrifying. I started to be really afraid. What is happening to my man?? Jan started to talk about the possibility of moving him to the ICU, sedating and intubating him. After seeing those terrified eyes, it sounded like a reprieve. ICU sounded like a safe cocoon and I was thankful they were moving him there.

Jan joked, "You're going to my house now, Alif!" He asked, "do I need directions?"

My journal entry that night read, "Oh God, help my husband! Please heal him, and quickly!"


  1. Emily, I've been following your facebook (and lately, blog) since you first posted that Alif had the flu, and my heart aches for your family. I am overjoyed that he is improving, and asked God to take all of my strength and give it to you. You are a brave, loving woman, and I pray for the best for you and your family.

  2. I am still praying. I don't know what else to say and there is little I can do from this far away but I do know that prayer is powerful and I will continue to lift your family up in prayer. hugs.