Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The last two weeks

Well, I definitely did not plan on taking a two week break, but unfortunately you cannot control what life throws at you. I'll warn you now, this is going to be kind of long!

I've been trying to think of how to put everything into words, but it's hard to know what and how much to say. But basically, the last two weeks have been hard.

My mom, sister, and I were out on a walk when my dad calls. It's not normal for him to call in the middle of the day (or 3 in the afternoon to be exact.) since he is working at that time. My dad was calling from the hospital in Anchorage. He'd been airlifted there from his job site. (Which is a big deal considering where in Alaska he works.) His appendix had ruptured and he was about to go into surgery. 

His appendix had ruptured 10 1/2 hours prior to this phone call. His job never bothered to call and tell us anything!
And also the fact that he is still alive 10 1/2 hours after his appendix ruptured is a miracle in and of itself and considering how bad it really was. 

My dad was in so much pain and could barely talk so we didn't quite know what was going on; we just knew it wasn't good. And the doctor had also found another problem. One we later found out was an abdominal aneurysm. We hurried home and two hours later I was on a flight to Anchorage to be with my dad. My mom had been sick all that week so she was not able to go. I was pretty fortunate to be able to fly up there at such short notice. Thankfully Alaska Airlines was able to get me on a almost completely full flight (with a window seat!) so that was nice.

I talked to my mom during my layover in Seattle and she said that my dad was out of surgery and was in the ICU.

The flight from Seattle to Anchorage felt like the longest flight ever. I was so nervous not knowing what I was going to hear when I turned my phone on again. I spent a lot of time praying on that flight!

It was after 11pm when I finally left the airport in Anchorage in my rental car. I hurried to the hospital and I got a little lost (my directions were wrong so I had to turn around but I figured out where I was supposed to go.) But anyways, I arrived at the hospital and saw my dad. 

As soon as I got into the ICU the nurse came over and took me into my dad's room. It's scary seeing your dad in the ICU; hooked up to machines and unresponsive. The nurse said he was doing really well despite everything. He was on a ventilator because during surgery he went into what's called ARDS (or Acute respiratory distress syndrome) from the sepsis during surgery. The nurse was really helpful and explained everything to me really well. She said a few times that he was doing really good. My mom and the nurse had been talking over the phone about what was going on so my mom was well informed. 

Once the nurse left, I sat with my dad for a while. I can't even explain what it was like sitting there, except that it felt very surreal. My dad is pretty active and always making jokes so it was just so unnatural to see him like that. 

My dad spent two days in the ICU before they moved him to a regular hospital room, where he spent another three days. He was released on a Wednesday, and then had a follow-up appointment on Friday with a doctor. After the appointment the doctor sent us straight down to the ER because she was concerned about the aneurysm and wanted it checked again since she knew we were flying out the next day. So we spent most of Friday in the ER. Everything was okay as far as they could tell.

I'm still worried about the aneurysm. I'm trying not to worry about it but it's hard. My dad has absolutely no reason to even have an aneurysm. He's not even at risk for one. The doctors don't even know why. They said they don't even start checking for aneurysm until you turn 65 but considering my dad has none of the risk factors they wouldn't even have looked. So had my dad's appendix not ruptured, we never would have known about the aneurysm and that is scary to think about. I guess doctors don't like to operate unless they absolutely have to (which I don't get because aneurysms don't just go away, so why not do the surgery and just get rid of it since they are going to have to operate eventually?) My dad has a follow-up appointment on the aneurysm in August, so we just have to keep praying that it will be okay until then.

This was definitely a scary experience and not something I ever want to go through again! My family is all extremely close and we are so thankful for all the people who were praying for us. I'm glad I was able to be there with my dad and I am also now glad I do not have an appendix!

Here are a few pictures from my flight from Boise to Seattle.
If only the propeller wasn't in the way! I tried getting rid of it in Photoshop but it didn't look right :/
The mountain was out! The plane made a turn and I looked out the window and Rainier was right there! It's always nice to see Mt. Rainier!

I'll be sharing some pictures from my trip next week. Once my dad was released from the hospital, we did a little sight-seeing. So I have some nice pictures to share.

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