I finally went home to sleep. Jan made me promise I would get at least 2 hours of sleep but preferably 3. The night before I'd put the kids to bed only to yank them out at 11pm and take them to Lynette's house when I got word that they were moving him to the ICU, so now I had someone spending the night every night just in case.
I laid my head down in my bed that night and to say my mind was swirling would be a huge understatement. The thought of lying there while my husband was so sick in the hospital felt ludicrous. The LEAST I could do was to be there with him - but I knew that if I didn't sleep I would crash, and that was certainly not a good plan. I knew at that moment there were saints praying for Alif and for me and it felt almost like a physical covering. My Dad was at the hospital and staying all night - that helped too. I finally slept.
When I awoke I called my Dad to see how things were going. He said there was a doctor in and I said I would go take a shower and head over. Not more than two or three minutes passed and my Dad called back and said, "Hon, the doctor said there's no time for a shower. You need to come now."
It makes me quiver inside just remembering that moment - the fear, the FEAR. I prayed the whole way to the hospital, if it can be called praying to cry out over and over, "Oh, Jesus. Oh, Jesus."
I rushed up to the ICU and the pulmonologist was sitting in front of a computer screen. He showed me a scan of Alif's lungs, slice by slice, as if looking down on each section. The lungs should have looked black, open. Instead they were almost completely white. In a thick accent the doctor said, "Everywhere should be black. All of the white is infection filling the lungs. We are pushing oxygen in but there is nowhere for it to go." I stared at him, arms wrapped around myself. He said, "mortality rate is very high in cases such as this." I responded, "my God is bigger than that infection."
Then I walked away and cried. I donned the gown, face mask and gloves we were required to wear every time we went in to be with Alif and I sat by his side, holding his hand, praying scriptures over him, crying.
At some point during the day it was determined that Alif did indeed have a staph infection. Not only that, but his mitral valve was infected. This is a day we had worried about all of the time I have known Alif. We knew this day might come. We knew he should have his mitral valve replaced. We knew every little cut was a potential breeding ground for staph. We KNEW this. Why didn't we every take care of it?? Why had we waited until now, when he was at death's door? It was a major struggle on this day to forgive myself for not having been proactive YEARS before.
During these very early days, we were absolutely surrounded by our family and friends. Alif's parents were in Egypt, of all places, and we struggled to get ahold of them and let them know what was happening. People stepped up to take care of my kids, my house, my meals, and I basically lived at the hospital. I wanted nothing to eat as I constantly had a pit in my stomach, but those around me made sure I did anyway. We were - and are - so well loved.