Heart of a Teen-ager
Yesterday was another good day for Tony. He has been moved to the general floor (room 5214 in 5NE) and is a lot more free to move around, eat, etc., He saw the phsical therapist today and she was very encouraging. The big news today was that he had his Catheterization test where they run a tube from an artery in your leg up to your heart and then inject dye and watch it travel around. He passed his cath test with flying colors- the dr. said he had the "heart of teen-ager" (at least from a plumbing perspective). This means that he had no narrowing of the arteries, blockages, etc., which is great news for the long term health of his heart but it does mean that the mystery of what caused his cardiac arrest remains. He had what they call a v-fib (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ventricular_fibrillation) and now they will continue to investigate the possibilities on the "electrical" side of things. It may remain a mystery and could be a genetic mutation (for example) that hasn’t yet been identified. This just worries me because of our girls, but I am sure we will continue to learn more as the days and months go by. As for me, I prefer to think of his heart as the heart of Lion- courageous, strong, and steady.
Ready for Action
This morning I arrived to find Tony showered and shaved, looking around the room for his laptop, and giving me the latest updates on the election! Now, if that doesn’t sound like Tony- then I don’t know what does! His progress has been absolutely incredible and I’m so amazed by his improvement. Since I am so close to the progress, I sometimes get a little hyper focused on small details but when you stand back and realize that Tony had his cardiac arrest just 1 week ago and that he’s only been back to consciousness for about 3 days and that part of that time was cooled to the temperature of a "Tony-sicle" (as our friend Wayne coined it) it is absolutely phenomenal. I feel so, so grateful for the incredible work that the paramedic team did in working on him and not giving up. He was a little tough to get restarted but they stuck with it and put all of their sweat and passion and hearts into it. I’m really looking forward to eventually heading down to their station and helping Tony serve up some of his famous manicotti to them. It will be a feast to remember (no pun intended).
Best words in the English Language
Tony just finished his first memory assessment and he was amazing. His long term memory seems to be unaffected and his short & working memory areas are only mildly affected. He’s doing so well he doesn’t even qualify for in-hospital rehab- which is awesome. The therapist did say there will probably need to be several weeks of intensive outpatient therapy to help him get his memory/skills up to BCA (before cardiac arrest) but today I heard the therapist say the most beautiful words in the English language (excluding stuff that Tony says to me, which I won’t share)- "full recovery". Wow, talk about music to my ears.
Did we mention that we’re grateful?
Tony, the girls, and I have gotten such incredible, incredible support from our friends and family that I am at a loss to know how to repay the incredible kindness, generosity and support. We will be putting on our thinking caps and trying to figure it out over the next several weeks. As I mentioned, the fire station will be top of our list for visits once Tony blows this joint. Our friend Stacey last night said she would be giving everyone CPR classes for Christmas (sorry if I just blew the surprise) but if she hadn’t thought of it, I would do the same!
The Road Ahead
So, the next milestones are the ICD implant (scheduled for sometime next week, hopefully before 10/30) and then discharge, out patient therapy for a bit, and then back to our regular routine. I think the moment that I am looking forward to the most is when we are back to our old routine of taking the girls in to daycare together before work. I’m not sure why, but that has become a symbol in my mind of having not only weathered the storm but being ready for whatever challenges lie ahead.
Tony would love visitors at the hospital, so feel free to stop by- the direct line to his room is 206-598-6753 and his cell is 206-949-4228.