Remembering Ed’s Recent Hospital Stay…

This week, we passed the two-week anniversary of Ed’s heart attack, and things seem to be going well.  Ed’s been dealing with a ridiculously large bruise, beginning in the groin area (where the heart catheter was inserted) and extending all the way down his thigh to just above the knee.  The soreness of the bruised area and being tired are the only two complains I’ve heard from Ed.  His outlook and disposition have been very positive, I’m happy to say.  I’m also happy to say, the large bruised area is finally fading.

I wrote the story of the night of Ed’s heart attack, but never really got into the two days we spent at the hospital.  Today, I’ll be hitting the highlights of those two days, following Ed’s ordeal, before I forget any more of the details!  By the way, this was Ed’s first experience as the patient, he’s always been the care giver.

I previously mentioned my daughter and I “camping out” in one of the CCU waiting rooms, on the night Ed was admitted to the hospital.  Due to sick parents, over the years, this wasn’t my first time spending the night in a hospital waiting room, but it was a first for Brandy, and she handled it like a trooper.  We took the cushions off of the ‘L-shaped’ sofa, and split them between us, so we’d each have a place to stretch out.  We used the spare clothes in my tote bag for our covers. (Why are hospital waiting rooms so cold?)  We didn’t do a lot of sleeping, but we managed to survive the night, even managing a giggle or two, at times.  It was strange and unsettling, knowing Ed was just around the corner, but not knowing what was going on with him.  Then, there was my problem of having to go to the bathroom every few minutes!  I guess a case of ‘nerves’ had my bladder working overtime.  The bathroom was located around the corner, in between the doors to CCU and another waiting room. Somebody was sleeping in the waiting room located right next to the bathroom.  I kept wondering if I was keeping the sleeping person awake by flushing the [very loud] toilet every few minutes.

The next morning, when visiting hours finally came for CCU, Brandy and I entered and found Ed sitting up in a chair!  What a difference a few hours had made!  Ed had been eating breakfast, but was now speaking with a cardiac specialist about his heart attack when we entered the room.  She explained to him where his blockage had been located in his heart, and told him he’d just experienced what is commonly known as “the widow maker”.  My heart quickened, and it was at that exact moment, I realized what a gift Ed had been given the night before–a second chance at life. In fact, Ed was actually doing so well, they moved him out of CCU, a couple of hours later.

We left room 123, and moved into room 303.  When it comes to directions, and finding my way around strange places, I’m challenged.  I panicked at the thought of having to learn my way around another hospital floor! I’d just learned my way to CCU, now I had to start all over again. I needn’t have worried.

On the day following Ed’s heart attack, all of our children came to the hospital to spend time with us.  Thanks to their help, by the time the last of them went home, I had a pretty good idea of how to find my way around the hospital, as well as the hospital parking lot. I’m so grateful to each one of them for taking the time to help me find my way around.  I made a lot of trips to the cafeteria and to my car in the parking lot during the two days we were there!

After the last of Ed’s company left, on Monday, Ed invited me to share his hospital bed for a while.  It felt so good to have the opportunity to be next to him again, even with the wires and ivs still in place!  It also felt good to be able to stretch out!  It had only been 6 weeks since I’d had back surgery, and those hospital chairs are killers under the best of circumstances.

Being the ‘support person’ was a new role for me.  Over the years, I’ve been the one who’s had all of the health issues, while Ed’s always been the healthy one. It wasn’t an easy thing for me to suddenly see Ed in a vulnerable situation.  Apparently, it wasn’t easy for him, either, because he spent very little time in the bed after that first day. Before long, he was walking the halls, too!

I can’t say enough good things about Ed’s care-givers during his stay in the hospital, from the first night to the last morning. Many went above and beyond their call of duty, with some nurses even stopping by to say hello, when they didn’t have Ed for a patient that day.

It didn’t seem like it at the time, but in looking back, the two days in the hospital passed quickly. We made the best of the situation.  I brought my cafeteria meals back to Ed’s hospital room, and we ate our meals together, like always. Ed had the neatest little bed tray that expanded to make a “table for two”.  One nurse commented how “romantic” we looked, sharing our meals together.  She said all we needed was a rose on the table, and we all laughed.

Another nurse always liked to tease us about doing the “hanky panky” behind our closed  hospital door.  She let out a laugh when she came in, on our last morning in the hospital, and discovered both of us in Ed’s hospital bed!  I told her she’d finally caught us, and we all laughed.

I can’t end this story without mentioning Ed’s nurse on the day he was finally released.  She was about Ed’s age, and she dressed like nurses used to dress, back in our younger days–very professional and ‘old school’.  She even wore a nursing cap, something you don’t see much anymore.  She introduced herself as “Hot Lips”, explaining she’d earned that nickname, many years ago, from some army lieutenants who swore she looked just like actress, Loretta Swit, who played “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the old 1970’s movie MASH.  They were right, she [still] looked exactly like Loretta Swit!

“Hot Lips” was very good to Ed, before he left.  When he didn’t get any milk to go along with his cereal, she went and found him some.  She offered to reheat my breakfast which grew cold while we were waiting for her to find some milk for Ed’s cereal.  When Ed finally got released, “Hot Lips” personally rolled Ed down to the car, so he wouldn’t have to wait an extra hour for patient transport. It’s rare to find service like that, these days, and even rarer to have a nurse known as “Hot Lips”.  Lucky Ed!

By 10:00 am, Wednesday, October 28th, Ed and I were packed, in the car, and headed home from the hospital. We were both anxious to go home and enjoy Ed’s second chance at life, together…and that’s exactly what we’re doing.



The birthday boy!

Today is Ed’s birthday!  He’s celebrating his 66th year, today, praise the Lord!  We’ll be having a quiet celebration, at home, with a ‘scaled down’, mini version of his favorite, German Chocolate cake. Happy Birthday to Ed!  May he enjoy this birthday, and many more birthdays, as well.



Published in: on November 13, 2015 at 10:30 am  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Happy Birthday to Ed. I’m so glad God protected and healed him so you all can celebrate this birthday, and hopefully many more.

  2. So thankful to God that Ed is celebrating his birthday today. What a huge blessing for him, you and your family. We must love each other to the fullest each day!

  3. So thankful for God’s mercy to Ed and you. Wishing Ed a particularly blessed birthday.

  4. I can’t help but noting that your had a horrific 2015 and Ed’s birthday happened to fall on Friday the 13th. Hmm!

  5. Praise God!! Happy birthday to your sweet Ed. Loved the story about Hot Lips!

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