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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Dec. 16th 2012: Sunday - The Day of Rest??

If I had to describe that particular Sunday there would certainly be no reference to a 'Day of rest'. The day was, in fact, a blur of activity.... paramedics, doctors, oxygen cylinders, nurses, needles, x-rays, CT scans, ultrasound scans etc. not to mention the marathon of going all over the hospital from one department to the next. In the times between each of these activities, while we were waiting for the doctor to return or the next test to be done, I was busily sending texts to a few close friends and family, keeping them informed, whilst frantically trying to respond to other texts and missed calls from various other friends who had heard the news about Suzie. It wasn't until about 4 o'clock in the afternoon that it suddenly occurred to me that neither of us had eaten anything since tea time the previous day! As soon as it had been ascertained that Suzie wouldn't be needing to have any treatment that would require a general anaesthetic the staff brought us some sandwiches, not that either of us actually 'felt' hungry, but I'd realised by then that the day still had a long way to go, and common sense dictated that I really ought to eat something.
Suzie's tests had revealed exactly what the 'out of hours' doctor had suspected. A substantial build up of fluid in her chest cavity was compressing her lungs, one of which wasn't functioning at all. It took 45 minutes for a chest drain to be inserted and we were told that it might take a few hours for the fluid to drain away completely. Even the experts couldn't have realised just how serious the situation was…. The drain had only been in 15 minutes when I happened to notice that the 2 litre container the fluid was draining into was full and in danger of overflowing! I alerted the nurse who immediately stopped the drain and called for assistance. It seemed there was significantly more fluid than anyone had thought. They told us that Suzie's lungs were in danger of collapsing and that this process was going to need to be done very slowly over a far longer period than they had anticipated. Another x-ray was required, after which Suzie was finally admitted to the ward and settled into bed, exhausted, but already feeling some degree of improvement in her breathing.
Tests over the coming days would provide some clues regarding what had caused this fluid to build up and whether it had any sinister implications. Ironically, it seemed that this latest situation had absolutely no connection at all with her underlying (and, as yet, undiagnosed) condition.
It was 10pm when I finally had to leave her and come home. Saying 'goodnight' and walking away was heartbreaking, but I was just so thankful to God that Suzie was in safe hands and getting the medical care she needed. We had no idea what the future had in store for us but we knew that we were surrounded by the love and heartfelt prayers of many dear friends and family. That was a blessing for which we were immensely grateful.