On January 28th, around 10:30am, I got a call from my husband. I sincerely thought from the tone of his voice that he had lost his job. That was not the case. Andy said he was having severe, sharp pains in his lower right abdomen. It came on suddenly while in a meeting, and felt as if someone stabbed him with a 4-inch knife.
Andy works in the city. It is a city that I won’t even drive to unless I HAVE to. He works in a pretty unsafe part of it, so I’m always a bit worried about him. He talked about going to a hospital just a few doors down from his office, so I KNEW the pain was REALLY bad. I told him that there was no way he was going to that hospital…what if they admitted him? The kids and I would have to drive there to see him, and that wouldn’t be good. I offered to get someone to come with me, and bring him home myself. That was our plan when we hung up. Andy called me back a few minutes later, said he couldn’t wait, and he was driving home then. :(
God protected him, and brought him home safely. When he arrived, I was outside to meet him. His face was a gray color, and I had to help him into the house. I lay him on our bed, and started palpating his abdomen. I was looking to see if the pain was surface, or deep. It was deep. Here is where I should have called 911. He would have been seen immediately at the hospital. Instead, I drove him, and we waited for 30-45 minutes in the waiting room :(
Once seen, things moved very quickly. Tests were ordered, blood was drawn. A few hours after we got there, Andy got sick to his stomach. Some of the worst wretching I have ever heard. I thought he was going to throw up his lung or something. He spiked a fever, and his WBC count started to go up signifying an infection. Doctors suspected appendicitis, but he had more symptoms.
They admitted Andy to observation, and there we remained for the next two days while they did tests to try and figure out what was wrong with Andy. On the second night, a CT scan with dye was ordered, and we found the culprit. Andy had suffered a kidney infarction, or “heart attack of the kidney” as the kidney specialist explained it to us. It killed 2/3 of the tissue in Andy’s right kidney.
The next 10 days were spent doing tests to figure out where the infarct started from, why it happened, and treating the damage it did to Andy’s body. He suffered extreme fatigue, relentless fevers, severe pain requiring many doses of dilaudid, and headaches. Several specialists were called in. He saw a urologist, kidney specialist, infectious disease doctor, a hematologist, a cardiologist, and a vascular surgeon. The last doctor told us that if this had happened in Andy’s heart, brain, main aorta, or carotid artery it would have killed him. It is very rare to happen in the kidney, but this time it did. Thanks be to God!
Andy was put on coumadin, which is a blood thinner, and had to remain in the hospital until it was at a therapeutic level. He has it checked every week, and they lower/raise the dose based on the blood work results.
After 10 days inpatient, Andy was released, and came home to recover. He was released on February 6th, and is still home 2 weeks later. He has just this week started to be up most of the day. Up until then, he was still extremely tired and fighting fevers, so he spent most days in bed. He is seeing his doctor tomorrow, and is hoping to return to work on Monday.
What a month! Andy will remain on the coumadin for 6 months. If he makes it through that time with no more incidents, he can go off of it. If there are anymore incidents, and he lives through them, he will be on the medication for life.
Phew! Please pray for Andy, that God will continue to restore him to health, and protect his body from anymore infarctions. Please pray for me…I’m a nervous WRECK about him going back to work on Monday. He is 45-60 minutes away, and that is causing me great worry. He’ll have to change his job a little (no more lifting, or working with sharp objects). We have to watch every little scrape, cut, bruise, bump, wall, whatever. It may look like nothing, but Andy could bleed internally. Our ENT doctor even told us that he would be treated in her office as an emergency if he gets a nosebleed. She’s worked with coumadin patients, and would know what to do. That was comforting…
Here’s my boy when he started to feel a bit better…
One of my favorites with his sweet girl…she was so worried about him…