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Sue to Mark 10, part 1

April 27

Hi Again:

         It is evening and things have calmed a little. We had even more excitement after the car got jumped. As I was gassing up, I noticed a rear tire low - 5 lbs. Not 5 lbs low . . . 5 lbs of pressure, period! I limped on in to Discount Tire and they informed me I'd need a new tire as there was a gash in the sidewall. At that point I was beginning to feel like Job-ette! But every time I tried to tell somebody about my nightmare day, we would just start laughing! So, anyway, it is mostly over.

        The girls are still rustling around a little. Sometimes, instead of formally putting them to bed, I just let them sort of run out of steam and sleep where they drop. Inferior mothering, I know! But I was a pretty organized, consistent mother (the Routine Queen) in former days, so I know somewhere those reassuring routines are imprinted on them. I am listening to Enya's "The Memory of Trees" on my headset as I type and I am feeling a centered calm which I needed very much.

         About Dad: After the first close call Tuesday afternoon (at one point, the doc told Mom that Dad had a 25% chance), he developed some bleeding in the chest cavity. They decided not to re-suture as they had opened him twice in one day. The next day (Wednesday) was committed to getting the hemorrhaging under control with medication. But about 2 p.m., he developed some scary erratic heartbeat patterns and they worked feverishly for about 2 hours to bring him out of it and it didn't look good. We prayed nonstop and he stabilized, somewhat precariously, about 7 p.m. Thursday was a quieter day, but some arrhythmias continued which scared us to our knees again. Thursday night he was stronger, and Friday the doc decided to close him up. He spent nearly 72 hours with his chest open! But the doc didn't want to close him back up as his heart was still too swollen. Thursday morning, they brought his sedative level down a little and they came and got us. We all surrounded his bed, loving him with our words, and his eyebrows twitched! Oh, he was working so hard to say hi! The rest of Friday was a watch-and-wait game. This morning they took the balloon pump (an assist which pumped every third beat) out of his leg, and his heart just jumped right in there. So, as of this moment, he's doing ok. Just gaining strength and working hard to repair all that trauma. He'll probably be in ICU another 10 days, however, and then in a regular room for about 3 weeks. The only remaining issue will be addressed when he comes out of sedation, which should be sometime Monday. We're worried about possible neurological damage that could have occurred during the 17 minutes the doctors CPRed his heart as they worked to get him hooked up to a machine during that first awful incident.

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