the past few days have been hard
it started wednesday. PKS complained of pain in his arm in the middle of the night - like sore muscles. i dismissed it (like the good new wife i am) he’s 27 and 27-year-olds don’t have heart attacks
while i was at work on thursday morning it was announced that my brother was taking PKS to the emergency room. i, on the other hand, was too busy. a deadline for friday. to me, this was much ado about nothing.
all day, texts back and forth. tests. doctors. don’t see anything. nothing as of now. (of course, i thought. see?) by afternoon, my brother had left and PKS was alone. he called me at 5:00PM
“it’s blood clots in my lungs.”
“i’ll be right there.”
tears streamed, as quietly as i could let them, in the office. grabbed my coat, my bag, drawings and files still wide open on the screen. ran to the car. sped to northwestern. ran to the room.
(i remember this feeling, by the way. it’s when my mother called to say that my grandmother was in the hospital, again. i think this is it, she said. i think you and your brother need to get in the car and get down here. i didn’t go. i had a deadline. i had to work. well, it was it. and i carry that with me everyday. guilt is a heavy companion.)
i arrive and he’s hooked up in every which way. the doctor is about to come in with the full story. guilt isn’t even remotely a strong enough word. grateful, though, that he’s in a hospital. and that we have an answer:
many blood clots throughout his lungs. too many to assign a number. it starts deep in the system, in the legs. travels up, through the heart, through the lungs… and in this story, that’s where it stops. lodged in tiny vessels in both lungs, oxygen is deprived in the surrounding tissue. it dies. it begins to breakdown, then all the processes that the body conducts to deal with the dead tissue causes pain. exquisite pain in the lungs, the arm, etc. all the places where PKS hurt and i dismissed.
we spent the night there. i couldn’t fall asleep because i needed to watch his chest rise and fall. well, of course, i didn’t need to. he was hooked up to monitors but still. periodic interruptions for vitals check and pain medicine. blood thinners.
all that swam through my mind was, this isn’t real. over and over. i can’t believe this is happening.
the next day, my brother returned. our friends came to distract us. the doctors scheduled more tests. some i wasn’t allowed in that part of the hospital so i just lay down in his bed and stared at the ceiling. i never lost it. just calm.
by 7PM friday they let us go home. PKS had learned how to give himself shots and the schedule for his pills. we were set up with a follow up this week with a specialist. lab results will be here eventually to say whether this was a fluke or something more.
until then, there will be much rest. a lot of quiet. we took a slow and short walk yesterday – on our 2-week wedding anniversary
i’m still saying, i can’t believe this is happening. but it’s in a lower voice and less frequent. i’d rather spend time saying, i’m sorry. and, i love you.