Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A shock

Hey everyone,

For those of you that haven't heard, I had to fly out to TX yesterday because Patrick was put into the critical care unit at MD Anderson. He came out here for just a routunie follow up with his surgeons, and about 4:30pm he called me and said that he thought he had pulled a muscle in his neck and wanted me to email his doctor about calling in something for him. I told him to lay down and rest, and I would take care of it. I called him about 5:00, and he sounded like he was really hurting so I told him that I would figure out who & how to get his doctor paged. Once I got that taken care of, I called him back to tell him to be expecting his call, and I couldn't get him on the phone. I called and called for about two hours on his cell and in his hotel room. I thought "Well maybe he went to grab something to eat and forgot his cell," but after two hours, I called the hotel, and asked them to send someone up and go into his room and check on him. They called me back and said that there wasn't anyone in the room. I got pretty scared, so I called the ER and there he was. They had given him some pain meds and a muscle relaxer for his neck, but within a few hours they couldn't keep him awake, and he was not responding. At about 12:30am yesterday they moved him to a room to watch him, and by 4:00 he was in the CCU in a breathing tube. They don't know what is wrong. I immediately got a plane ticket, and flew out. Patrick's mom and dad came with me. Our flight from Florence to Charlotte was delayed and we missed our connector to Houston. I RAN across the airport (it was at least a mile from the terminal we landed to the terminal we needed to board). By the time I got there I was pouring sweat and panting like a dog. We missed our plane, and the girl at the counter said that there were no more flights to Houston. I burst into tears and told her that my husband was in ICU and I had to get to TX. She started to crunch away on her computer and found a flight from Newark, NJ to Houston. The flight to NJ was boarding RIGHT BESIDE US! Then the computer system crashed, and they couldn't get us in the system. Michelle, the precious girl at the counter we on the phone with one hand, clicking away with the other. Her boss was over her shoulder saying "We are not going to hold this plane for stand-by passengers." She looked at me and said "I will get you to TX honey." We watched the people boarding the plane, and they were like little grains of sand in an hour glass. I knew when that line ran out, we were out of luck. She got Mr. Bill on first, and then Mrs. Noonie. I told them to get on the plane and go. If I had to catch up I would. Michelle got my ticket from NJ to Houston printed, but couldn't get me in the system for the flight from Charlotte to Newark. She finally said "14E is your seat. Get on the plane, and I'll work out the details." I don't know if I ever was officially on that flight, but I didn't care. Take that TSA. I started to cry, gave her a huge hug and a kiss on the cheek. She got choked up and told me she would be praying for us.

We got to NJ and I realized that all I had eaten all day was half of a sandwich (thanks Ellis. It was great). We grabbed a quick bite, and boarded the plane. The flight was 4 hours or so. I was sitting beside this really interesting man, and we talked for about an hour or so. He asked about my trip, and we talked about Patrick. It was nice to unload a little after the insane course of the day. We exchanged cards, and he asked that I keep in touch.

We got to Houston at midnight (so 1:00am South Carolina time) and I felt like a wrung out dish rag. Krista picked us up, and took us to the hotel. I was worried that they wouldn't let us get the room keys since I didn't check in, but fortunately they were very nice. I sent Mr. Bill and Mrs. Noonie up to the room, and I headed off to see Patrick.

I got to his room about 1:00am. He was still very sedated, and intubated. They said that there hasn't been any changes. He looked OK. He was had a central line, an IV, and the breathing tubes. He was in restraints to keep his hands down. When he wakes up some he gets very agitated and tries to pull out his tubes. He doesn't respond to commands well, but he is aware enough to know he doesn't like having lots of tubing running here, there and everywhere. His white counts are way up which is a sign of infection (they are between the high 30s to mid 40s and normal is around 10). His CT and MRI didn't show any masses or bleeding in his brain. When they said "Mrs. Stone, his test results show that he hasn't had a stroke." I thought I would puke. His EKG showed that his heart was doing fine. They did an LP to test his spinal fluid, and those results are not in yet. They tried to take him off the sedation earlier in the day, but he kept trying to pull the tubes out, so they had to put him back to sleep. You could tell when the meds were starting to wear off because he would squirm all over the bed and furrow his brow like he was in a lot of pain. I pulled a chair up to his bedside, held his hand, laid my head down on his bed, and did my best to get a little sleep. When he would get upset I would sing to him, and his heart rate seemed to settle. Around 4:45am I moved over to the cot and laid down until they kicked me out a little before 7:00. I was sleeping so hard I think they forgot I was in there. As I was leaving his room this morning, they had taken him down some off of his sedation meds, and he opened his eyes a little and starting getting pretty upset. I told him that I was there. I don't know if he knew it or not, but I hope so. He looked over at me. He was drunk as a skunk, but I'll take "no change" over "deteriorating" any day of the week. I am trying my best to keep it together. I had a great little nurse last night, and she gave me a big hug when I got there and I cried some. The chaplain came by, and we chatted for a while. Patrick's mom and dad haven't come over from the hotel yet, but I am expecting them anytime. I am so overwhelmed with emotions I can hardly stand it. At one point last night, I had this wash of the overwhelming urge to just run. Don't know where, but that flight or fight hit me I guess. I hope to have more information in a few hours. I wish I had more info. The not knowing is gut wrenching. It is just so bizzar. I mean he went from fine to on a ventilator with no idea why in 6(ish) hours. I can't use my cell phone in the waiting room, so if you need me shoot me an email. Please keep the prayers coming.


  1. You've been on my mind since your FB shout out. thinking of you and praying for you all.

  2. Erin, My folks have their whole prayer group and church praying for you and Patrick. You're in our thoughts.

    Stephanie H.