Thursday, July 5, 2012

The LVAD surgery (Cara's Version)

Monday, May 9th, 2011:

I get up to the hospital early in the morning for the surgery. All I want to do is lay next to him and hold him, I just dont want to let him go. No one knows what the out come will be, but all we know is that he has to feel better afterwards, right? My family and Larry's family are there and they are ready to wheel him back to surgery. I tried to stay strong, and as soon as I walked out of his room, I just ran to my brother and started crying. He said " Cara you have to be strong for him, when they take him out of the room and wheel him by us. He needs you to be strong for him." So I dry up my tears and the nurses take him out of the room, wheel him by us, and I get one last kiss before the surgery. As soon as he can't see me anymore I start bawling. If it werent for my family, I dont think I would have made it through that day. They were there for me, and always have and always will be.

We all go in to the waiting room, and wait what seems like forever for the first update. The nurse calls us on the phone in the waiting room, " They have finally started the surgery on your husband. Things didnt get off to the greatest start but he is stable and doing well now." She then said that she would call back with periodic updates. They all seem to be pretty positive updates, and she then calls us to let us know that they were closing him up, and Dr. I-Wen Wang will be out shortly to speak with us. About an hour or so later, Dr. Wang comes in the waiting room to talk to us. It was the scariest moment so far because he then said "Well he is out of surgery and going to the ICU. However, his heart stopped at the beginning of the surgery for 2 1/2 minutes before we could get the heart and lung machine hooked up to him. Once we got his heart started again, and the heart and lung machine hooked up, everything went smoothly. Unfortunately we won't know how that will affect him until he wakes up." I had no idea if I would ever get my Larry back, I didnt even know if he would wake up.

We were able to go back to his room about 30 minutes later, he had a ventilator in and was heavily sedated. I never want to see him that way again. They told us that he would probably only be on the ventilator for 2 days or so. On the 3rd day, he started moving a bit, I squeezed his hand and said "I love you" and he smiled :D I knew that "my Larry" was in there somewhere, I just didnt know much else at that point. A couple days later, They slowly started to wake him up. I finally saw his eyes for the first time and he squeezed my hand and that was all I needed to know that he was going to be ok. On the 6th day of being on the ventilator, they finally said they thought he was ready for them to remove it. They let me stay in the room when they took it out. It was hard to see but I am glad I was in there for him. The first thing he said was that he was hungry, but they had a feeding tube in, so he couldnt eat anything. A day after he got the ventilator out, they took out the feeding tube and moved him to the step down unit. He was able to eat a light liquid diet for a day. And then was able to eat regular food(if you can call hospital food regular)

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