April 28, 2016
Den had his breathing treatment and dressings changed at 4:30AM. His blood sugar seems to be getting more stable, but they are still watching it closely. Den ate a good breakfast, 2 eggs with butter and apple juice. Den has decided to call his LVAD controller, Fred. Fred Jones was a good friend of the family. Fred was an umpire of the softball in the area. He died from cancer a while ago and this way Fred would always be with Den.
Den seems to be getting some strength back in his hands. He tried to write in the log book for the first time. It is almost legible. The last of the IV pain meds was finally stopped at 9AM.
Physical Therapy was in at 10:15AM. They had Den warm up with some sit/stands from his chair. Then they had him walk…with assistance…to the room door and back. He was exhausted by the time he sat down again. As Den was doing all this, I got a text from work. They needed me to come in. I told them I was an hour away and would leave as soon as I could. I really hated to leave Den alone, but it had to happen sometime. So I packed up what I needed, made sure that Den had everything within reach from his bed and let the nurses know that I had to be gone for a few days, but would be calling to check in. The nurses had my cell phone number if any problems developed, so I tried not to worry but I knew that I would worry anyway.
I got to work just before noon. I worked at a florist and it was Prom season and we were incredibly busy. I had eaten breakfast with Den at 7AM and didn’t stop on my way from the hospital. I remember being asked if I had brought any lunch…which I didn’t…and everyone chipping in something for me to munch on. I was so grateful, but could not put it into words at the time. Den and I still felt so alone in this journey that something as small as a bag of chips seems huge to me at the time. The day went by and I tried to check in with Den throughout the day. I tried calling him at 3PM and he didn’t answer. I figured that he was either sleeping or had gone for a test. I had called my sister to let her know that I was home for a few days, so she went home to spend time with her husband and dogs.
When I talked to Den later that night, when Em and I got home, he told me that he had not eaten any lunch and was not going to order any dinner. So much for eating 3 meals a day. I cooked dinner for Em and myself and checked in with Den at 8:30PM. He said that he was going to try to sleep. So we said good night and I tried to get Em and myself ready for bed. Den called me at 10PM. He was very annoyed that he couldn’t seem to get to the urinal fast enough. He felt bad that the staff had to keep changing the sheets. He told me that it had happened 5 times since I had left that morning. I felt sorry for him and guilty that I wasn’t there to help him, but he told me that I was where I needed to be right now and he would figure it out. We said good night again and we both tried to sleep.