As I sit here thinking about this day. SOOOO many emotions come to mind. The one thing that stands out is that I know we aren't promised tomorrow. Many times in my life I have taken things for granted. I look at life a little different now, but why did I have to go through something so traumatic to learn that life is precious.
At the time, Bob and I were going through many struggles in life. I didn't know how much longer our marriage was going to last. We had hit a bumpy road in life and things weren't looking good. Many times I wonder if God put us through this to show that we could make it through the toughest of times if we just believed. So many times I was ready to throw in the towel and walk away. Many don't know about the struggles we faced on a daily basis. But we had so many. Struggles of being an alcoholic, struggles of sneaking cigarettes, struggles of ex-wives, struggles of Bob's childhood that he had gone through and many things that come with joining a family that does things different. We had Lex two month prior to Bob's actual surgery. I thought for sure that she would bring the light that needed to be shined. Now looking back, I can't believe that I thought a child would change a marriage.
When I found out Bob was sick, my heart sank and all these thoughts came to mind. How will I do this on my own? How do I raise three kids who really won't remember their father? How do I give up everything in my life? Is this the life I chose to live? What will I do? Where do I even begin?
The doctor told us Bob would die. There was NOTHING they could do to save him. Those were the words that flooded my thoughts. I remember calling my Sister on my way home and asking her to keep my kids a little longer as I wasn't sure I was ready to face the reality of telling them or crying in front of them. My kids were 5, 3 and a newborn at the time. They were young and here I was about to flip their worlds upside down.
The month of testing was exhausting. I spent every single day minus the weekend either in a hospital or on the phone with insurance or the hospital or doctors or whoever. My life revolved around trying to figure out how to save my Husband. The week we found out his surgery would be that Friday, I felt sick. We were told the surgery would be 6 hrs at the most. I could handle that. Or I thought I could.
My Dad came home the Sunday before Bob's surgery. They had plans to take the kids to Island Park minus Lexi as she was only 2 months old. I needed my kids to NOT be here to see the mess that we were about to face.
The night before, Bob was given a blessing by our neighbor and that's when it all hit me. I couldn't believe it was really my life I was living, it all felt like a nightmare. We woke up at 4am, dropped Lex off at my parents and headed to Salt Lake. I felt peace during that drive. This would be the last time my Husband would drive us for 4-6 weeks and that was if he made it through surgery. I remember saying a prayer and asking God to please save him. I wasn't much the praying type at this time. I have always believed in a higher power, but at this time I knew I needed him more than ever in my life.
Everything happened so quickly. We got checked in, headed to this room and that room, signed papers, talked with doctors and Bob and I had a few moments together before he was taken off.
I looked at him and left. I walked out in to the waiting room where there was one other person waiting. I hated hospitals, I always have, but that day I hated them even more. I thought time would go quickly. I was to be updated every hour. So I ran to McDonalds to grab me some breakfast as I knew the day would be long.
The first update came around 10am. They don't tell you much and its kind of frustrating, because it was another 4 hrs until I got another update and I was suppose to have one every other hour.
At 3pm, I met with the liaison nurse who advised that I needed to come have someone be with me. I didn't really know why at that time, but now looking back I think she thought the worse was going to happen.
My Sister Miranda left work and came to be beside me. By this time I was frustrated and I wasn't really being told much. I can still remember the feeling, the sick feeling of not knowing if he was going to be okay. A little around 5:40 pm his doctor came out and told me that Bob was in horrible condition and that it was a severe case and worse than they thought and that he had a long road to recovery and gave me the official diagnosis. Bob has Tetrology of Fallot with 4 holes in his heart. I couldn't believe he had made it 36 years and neither could the doctors. His doctor said that if he made it through the night, it would be a miracle. I guess at that time I didn't understand that he was telling me that there was a good chance my Husband would die through the night. The doc said it would be a bit before I could see him and told me that it would be a hard thing to see, so to be prepared.
My Sister convinced me around 6:30pm, almost 12 hours after being in surgery that I needed to go get some dinner. By this time, I was the only one in the waiting room waiting for someone. We left and headed downstairs, I was only gone 15 mins at the most and I received a phone call while gone. I couldn't understand them because my phone didn't have good reception. I headed back upstairs and met with the nurse again, who advised me that I had missed a call from the OR. I thought for sure I would be heading to SICU to see him, but little did I know that my world was about to crash.
Bob had died on the table and was bleeding severely and they were trying to stop it and things were not looking good. I remember falling to my knees and screaming. HOW COULD THIS BE? He was suppose to be okay?
I immediately called my Mom and told her they might have to come home. I called Bob's best friend and told him to come to the hospital. I tried to call his parents, but ended up leaving a message with his Aunt. I called Bob's Ex Wife to tell her so that her kids could come if we had to say good-bye. And I cried so many tears. I get emotional thinking about that moment of my life. Here we were, Bob has always been the strong one and held me up when I was weak and my entire world was falling apart. I begged and pleaded with God. I sent out a message for prayers. Because I firmly believe in the power of prayer. My Sister was so strong for me. She held me up and let me cry even though it was hard for her to watch. She was my rock.
They ended up getting Bob stable 2 hrs later. Biggest relief, but I knew we weren't out of the woods. They said I could see him between 10 and 10:30.
I got really antsy waiting to see him. Time moved so slow and I was sick to my stomach. And finally I was allowed. I remember walking into that room and hitting the floor immediately. All those tubes and machines and IV's and he looked HORRIBLE. Words can't even explain. A part of me wishes I had a picture of how horrible he looked. He was swollen and bruised and rough looking. The nurse on duty was amazing. She advised me it was normal and that he had a rough road ahead of him, but that he would be good. I couldn't stop the tears though. I couldn't believe that he looked the way he did.
Bob's best friend showed up shortly after we were able to see him and it was the biggest sigh of relief on earth. I knew he would be able to pick me up and tell me everything would be okay and he did just that.
His Best Friend advised me to go home and rest because Bob would need me and that he would stay with him.
That drive home was horrible. I remember screaming and crying and the tears wouldn't stop. I remember not wanting anyone more than my Mom at that moment. I needed her shoulder to cry on more now than ever. I needed her to tell me that it would be okay. I regretted sending my kids and parents away, because OH HOW I NEEDED THEM!
That day was hard. July 17th, 2009 was THE hardest day of my life. Tears still fall down my face thinking about it. I'm so thankful for those doctors that saved my Husbands life. So thankful for The Lord who I believe never left his side and carried those doctors and surgeons and nurses every step of the way. So thankful that here I am writing a post FIVE years later of the many blessings in my life. Sometimes we all have to go through something so hard to pick us back up and make us see how beautiful and precious life is.
THE LORD HAS DONE GREAT THINGS FOR US.
I AM NOT AFRAID OF TOMORROW FOR I HAVE SEEN YESTERDAY.