Wednesday, December 7, 2016

He Seems Comfortable

He seemed comfortable through the night. 
He is still sedated and they also has a paralytic on board. 
Today at about 11:00 they will begin to rewarm him. About 1/2 degree per hour. It will take about 12 hours. 
Then they will take away the paralytic and sedation. 
And hopefully he will open his eyes and ask where am I? How did I get here? And I gotta get to Crossfit.
This was posted on Facebook the day after his arrest.
It was a long exhausting day. I had been up for about 30 hours.
My kids were all able to come and be with me.
My phone call that morning was to Matt. I was still in the ER at Madison and they were getting him ready to fly.
One of my co-workers told me that I needed to let my kids know.
I knew that I wouldn't be able to call them all and maintain any composure. I was terrified and trying to hold it together.
I thought of each of the kids...
Lynsey....she would just be starting her shift in the OR. She lives in Denver and I knew this would devastate her. Utah...probably awake. Twin Falls....I was worried he had worked his night shift at the Police department and I didn't want to wake him up.
Cameron...Blackfoot...was at work and no phone access.
Candice...Idaho Falls...minutes away from EIRMC where we would be taken to. I knew she would still be asleep, she doesn't typically get off work until 2-3 in the morning. And she's my baby. I couldn't make THAT phone call to her.
So I called Matt.
He was very calm. Wanted details, "where will you be, what are they saying, I'm on my way."
I told him that his dad had been at Crossfit and had just finished working out. He was apparently helping one of the other crossfitters put away some weights when he suddenly collapsed. The other crossfitters there realized he wasn't breathing, nor was his heart beating.
They started CPR.
When the ambulance arrived, they found his heart rhythm to be in V-fib. They shocked his heart twice. After the second shock they got ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation).
When the ambulance arrived at the hospital Howie was breathing on his own, but he wasn't conscious.
He was quickly intubated by the ER physician.

I gave Matt the burden of making the phone calls to his siblings.
He called Candice and he called Rob my bishop (Ecclesiastical leader) Both of them came as quickly as they could. 
Lifeflight allowed me to fly in the helicopter with Howie.
It is only about a 10 minute flight, but it felt like forever.
They took Howard straight to the Cath Lab and the flight crew walked me to the ICU waiting room.
And I sat.
My mind was just racing. I knew what was going on in the Cath Lab.
As an ER nurse I have dealt with this very scenario numerous times.
I also worked at EIRMC years ago on the cardiac floor. I'm familiar with hearts.
Knowledge in this case would be my enemy and friend.
It seemed like he was in the Cath Lab forever, but Candice was with me when the doctors came out.
Dr. Krell (I worked with him years ago and LOVED him) and Dr. Lassiter the cardiologist.
They informed us that they were unable to do the heart cath, he had too much diffuse blockage. They weren't sure when, but he would need bypass surgery.
How could this be?
He has exercised rigorously for the last 3+ years. Last year he did three Spartan Races. He is lean.
For was genetics. His father, an older brother and his grandfather were all dead by age 61. Howard is 61. We thought we were doing all the right things, statins, blood pressure meds, healthy living...
However, I'm convinced that because he was exercising and was so healthy that he was able to survive the initial insult to his heart. His muscles, lungs and heart is strong.
This has been a long and rambling post.
I am hardly able to make it though a thought without being tearful. I can't think of a time I have ever been so scared.
I'll try to post more tomorrow.

1 comment:

Debby@Just Breathe said...

You made the right move with calling Matt. This moment in your life is something I believe we all fear will happen at some point and time. Here you are living it and no matter how much you have been involved with these kinds of emergencies it can never prepare you for family emergencies. Thank you for sharing these moments here on your blog. I am praying that things are better now. My heart hurts for you. ((Hugs))