Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reliving the Heartache

The holiday season has been a tough one for me.  Each day seems to be a reminder of what happened last year at this time and so much of that time was heart wrenching for me.  When everybody is celebrating the holidays with their families, I am reminded anew of the loss of Tyler and the giant space he filled in my life.

For me, New Year's Day was the start of the end.  Tyler had been getting daily transfusions of platelets since we got home from Houston, but couldn't seem to hold on to them at all.  They finally determined that he might be bleeding some internally (after seeing his hand swollen to 3 times its normal size) and prescribed a medication that he could take to slow down any internal leakage.  It actually seemed to be making a difference.

The doctors had already mentioned hospice to us and we were moving in the direction.  Tyler was very firm that he did not want to die in the hospital.  He'd already spent too much of his life there.  So when he spiked a fever on New Year's Day, he begged me not to call the doctors and report it.  We both knew that if I did, they would tell us that he needed to come into the hospital.

I did the best that I could to keep an eye on his fever overnight and urge him to drink water, but I didn't know that the reason they admitted him to the hospital at any sign of a fever was to get IV fluids into him and watch his blood pressure.  By morning, Tyler's blood pressure had fallen so low that he could barely walk and wasn't really cognizant of what was happening.  I was bustling around downstairs, packing a bag of stuff to get through the day, and waiting for him to come downstairs.  I finally ran upstairs to check on him and he was sitting on the bed in the dark, confused about what he was supposed to be doing.

The nurses were very concerned with his condition when I got him into SCCA.  They immediately started IV fluids at as high a rate as they could.  I called his dad and his mom and suggested that they come.  I was worried that he was going to die that very day and they wouldn't get a chance to say goodbye.

The doctors and nurses were urging Tyler to go to the hospital.  Based on his wishes, I kept saying no that Tyler did not want to go to the hospital.  Eventually though, I think they wore him down with their arguments and he agreed to go.  An ambulance took him from SCCA to UW and we moved into the ICU so that he could be closely monitored.

I'm thankful that he was awake for about a day and a half in the hospital and a couple of people did get to see him before he fell into his coma, but it was sure hard to not to have him there and awake for the last few days.  I have missed him greatly this year, but hope that he continues to watch over me and care for me.

With great sadness, I bid farewell to 2011.  In so many ways, it has been the most difficult year of my life.  People occasionally tell me that think I am strong from what they have observed of my walk in grief.  Please don't be misled by the fact that I am often private with my hurts and loneliness.  I would give absolutely everything I own or could hope to own to have Tyler back beside me and healthy.  I suspect, from the generous contributions my LLS fundraising has received, that many of you would chip in to help me if we could.

The best that I can do at this point is try to honor Tyler in the life I lead going forward, to put forth efforts to fight against the cancer that stole him away from us, and to remember that I was dearly loved by a great man.  I hope that some of you will take a fond memory into 2012 and think of Tyler in his "Love Life" t-shirt, quoting stats for any sport we wanted.  He would want each of us to make the most of our time together.

Live Every Moment!

No comments:

Post a Comment