Monday, January 3, 2011

How fast it all happened

Several of my friends have expressed shock at how quickly this all happened. For me the days passed with agonizing slowness.
Randy got what we thought was the flu on the 14th of December. On the 20th, I took him to a clinic. They called an ambulance. After a day in the ER at the Naval Hospital, Randy was transferred and admitted to a civilian hospital where they could monitor his blood oxygen levels with the latest equipment in a private room. That lasted but one day before he began to have hypoxia from lack of oxygen and they put him in ICU and ventillated him. At first, they sedated him for his own comfort, but it soon became clear he was comatose without the chemical assistance.
For days, throughout the holidays, they fought for his life. Some seemed to help temporarily, some failed miserably. I'll spare you some gory details. I was heartily grateful Randy remained blissfully unaware of the indignities his body suffered. I was there every day, and often winced inwardly. This was Randy's first (and only) hospital stay.
Then they realized he didn't have pneumonia but a horrible mold infection in his lungs called Aspergillosis. By the time they discovered this horrible fact, the mold had not only clogged his lungs but also several of his systems including digestive. He went into renal failure because the kidneys clog on the huge mold spores. (They look like giant fuzzy caterpillars.) Every treatment caused another system to fail or develop a problem. One by one, each failure led to another until his body simply quit without warning.
At 9 PM on the 2nd, the nurse called me to say the last ditch effort had failed, and would I like to come say my goodbyes. Before I could even put my tennis shoes on and make a few phone calls, they called back. Randy was dead. 

Lena Austin



luscious-words said...

*HUGE HUGS* Lena, I am so sorry for your loss. I am aware of how bad aspergillosis can be since my stepdad has the allergic bronchopulmonary form and is on chronic medication for it. I'm stunned by the speed with which this unfolded.

Again, all of you are in my thoughts and prayers. Please know you all are loved.

Lena Austin said...

Thank you. It's been a jolt, to say the least.

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