Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A BIG Birthday in the Little RV

I turned 50 today.  Specifically, I turned 50 at 3:10 am in the emergency room of a downtown Hartford, CT hospital.  

It's been a very long day.  It's 10 pm and I am sitting in my bed with my laptop and my dog.  See the doggie feet in the upper left corner?

Rob is not here currently.  I'll explain and if it doesn't make perfect sense, forgive me.  I'm a bit tired.  

If you read my last post you know Rob has been sick with some sort of upper respiratory bug which conveniently settled in his chest.  Over the last few days he was started on a short course of antibiotics, had lots of rest, fluids, etc.  We really did everything right, but by yesterday he was having trouble breathing.  Both Meg and Alex came over at different times and took a listen to his lungs but he was still doing OK at those points. I finally fell asleep at about 11:30.  When I woke up a short while later, it was my birthday.

This year, my birthday gifts were many and very interesting.  The first one came at 1:30am in the form of a request from my dear husband to call for an ambulance because he was having so much trouble breathing.  

That taken care of, my next gift arrived within minutes.  What was this gift you ask?  MANY men in uniform pouring into the little RV.   They worked Rob over and determined he was headed to the ER. When we all poured out of the RV it looked like half the emergency vehicles in this neck of the woods where lined up in the driveway with lots of lights going.

My third gift was an ambulance ride (in the front seat) to a downtown Hartford emergency room.  Lights going and some siren action at intersections.  Apparently they feel that it is rude to wake people up in the middle of the night.  

Now, we are no strangers to emergency rooms.  Rob has some pretty serious and scary conditions and we spend a fair amount of time in hospitals.  One of Rob's conditions in angina which they cannot fix.  The only way to treat it is to use nitro.  We have multiple forms of nitro and we use it regularly.  The breathing problems were causing some pretty severe chest pain for him as well.  He also has congestive heart failure which seems to be at least part of the diagnosis this round. 

Around 7am  Rob was admitted and sent upstairs to a room.  At that point, Alex had gotten off work and came by to pick me up and take me home for a bit.  I needed to let Grant out, feed him and try to sleep for a bit.  Also the guy who pumps our black tank comes every Tuesday morning like clockwork and I had to be home to meet him.  I got all of those fun chores done and crashed at about 10am.  At exactly noon I woke up, showered.  Today I took the longest, hottest shower I've had in 4 months.  After all, it is my birthday.  

The hospital Rob is currently residing at is in a highly populated area so it uses a parking garage for visitors and patients.  The beast does not fit in parking garages.  Alex, to the rescue again, has loaned me his car so I can get back and forth to see Rob while he is recovering.  He will be driving the beast.  I know it's tough but someone has to do it.  

I gathered up all the things Rob needed and my carefully prepared stack of Christmas cards (which I dumped in the mailbox on the way out of the driveway) and headed to the hospital.  I am not in any way familiar with Hartford and even though Alex gave me great directions while he was driving me home this morning I could not remember the name of the exit I needed.  I managed to get there in spite of myself, parked the car and actually took note of where I parked it.  

I could make this story go on forever but I'll spare you all and leave out the events of the afternoon.  I sat with Rob for several hours and tried to help make him more comfortable.  At about 7:30 I left to go home and spend a bit of time with Grant, feed him, have some dinner myself and get some sleep. (You'll note I am still not sleeping.)  On the way home I grabbed some dinner and got lost briefly while attempting to find my way back to the freeway.  I got home, parked the car and carried my stuff into the RV.  I ran over to let Meg and Alex know I was home and update them.  Back in the RV, Grant greeted me as though I had been gone for months.  You have to love a dogs greeting!  We talked and hugged and were so excited.  

I'm going to digress here for a minute.  About 11 years ago, I had weight loss surgery.  I have a small plastic ring just about my new stomach (pouch) that is the size of a dime and is meant to constrict the opening of my stomach.   

So Grant and I were having some quality time and I was bustling around the RV.  I was so hungry and not paying attention and ate my dinner way to fast.  It got stuck.  When that happens I can feel it and it is very uncomfortable and usually means I'm going to throw it up.  Sometimes it take a while and sometimes I have to drink a gulp of water to make it happen because it's so miserable.  I have to say, this one was one of the two worst throw ups I've had since surgery.  My neck, jaws and throat are so sore!

Now I bet you think this story is all gloom and sadness.  WRONG!  When I got home to the Little RV there were several birthday cards from family and friends, a box from my daughter and her family and a cupcake from Meg and Alex.  How great is that?  But the frosting on the (cup)cake was being told that I get a do-over!  We've got big plans.  We just have to get Rob feeling better and well enough to come home.  Thanks to everyone who played a role in my 50th birthday story!  You can't make this stuff up.  Come home soon Rob!



  1. Juley - I loved hearing about your birthday adventure even if it wasn't all glamor and glitz. I see a happy ending in site for this story - and those are the best of all. Hugs and prayers to you and Rob. Happy birthday and enjoy the CT. Hugs!


  2. Howdy Shy,
    I didn't know you were following the blog. That's very exciting. My life is far from glamor or glitz. It's a good life though. I am told I get a do-over on my birthday so I'll write when it happens.