Almost Home!

February 25, 2014

by Ken Summers

As I write tonight this title has some double meaning. I hope to return home later tomorrow after passing a cardio test on my heart to verify that the irregular heartbeat is infection related and not due any blocked arteries. The other perspective is that I was “almost home”  (Heaven that is) on Saturday morning.

This time around I have more memory of what took place. I was peaceful and not in pain, just felt a little irritated because I couldn’t understand why Debbie was shaking me, call my name and asking if I could hear her. Soon I realized someone else was there to help Debbie and then I realized they were there to help me! As we arrived at the hospital Poudre Valley Hospital (in Fort Collins) instead of McKee (in Loveland), I was wondering what the process would be like. I was immediately taken to a large emergency room and from the vantage point of my back, I could see the large surgery room lights and had several doctors and nurses introducing themselves and asking me questions. At that point my thoughts went from “this is good” to “this must be bad.”

I was soon taken to an ICU room to begin tests and observation. When I was in the emergency room, I thought it was strange they were talking about having a hard time finding a vein in my arm for a peripheral line. I have always had good veins in my arms but my blood pressure was so low, my veins had collapsed.

I am pleased that after three days in the hospital, my blood pressure has bounced back, along with my oxygen saturation rate. (So I’m off supplemental oxygen).  The doctors are getting a handle on the infections and how to treat them. The challenge remains to determine the source of the infections, which the infectious disease doctors are saying is the critical issue because “we are running out of treatment options.”

The additional issue that arose this time around was some marginalized heart function. The second EKG showed some slight improvement but there are still some concerns. As a result, a cardiologist was brought in for consultation and recommendation on any follow up tests. So, today that test was able to be scheduled for tomorrow morning, the PICC line has been inserted to assist in antibiotics administration, the catheter is out, the central line (close to a PICC line) is out, I am off blood pressure medication and am feeling more alert.

The disconcerting part is the sense of loss of strength and independence that I had gained. I need to review my list from Friday’s post but it may be too discouraging to realize the gains that I have lost with this one setback. However, I do like the idea of viewing this as a “bump” in the road instead of a major “setback.”

What I had learned in the process and doing some additional reading on MG is that physical symptoms that may be “normal” for others are “abnormal” for me. I really should have followed Debbie’s urging me to head to the hospital on Friday night!  Putting myself in these life threatening medical crisis is not fair to my family. It certainly created stress for Debbie for her to feel like she was “losing me.” Christian adjusted his schedule to be with me and give critical support to Debbie. Stephanie being at a long distance from home has a hard time understanding what is going on and I am sure brings back memories from last August when she had to find Debbie to tell her, “dad is crashing, we may be losing him.”

My brother, sister, mom, sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws, have similar concerns and questions about what is happening and why.

Once again I was overwhelmed by friends and circle of friends of family members who provided much need prayer support and the friendship and the pastoral concern of the Timberline Church staff.In the midst of struggles, we find an awesome God who answers prayers. This afternoon we were eager to have a visit and update from the hospitalist doctor. Debbie was at the hospital for a time with me between her own patient calls. Pastor Bob Strauch was here for a visit and prayed specifically that the doctor would soon arrive and be here before Debbie had to leave. About 60 seconds after he left the doctor showed up, Debbie was able to be here for that report, and then within a short time, the infectious disease doctor showed up and as he was wrapping up the cardiologist showed up (who were not expecting until late in the day or in the morning). He was able to get the cardiology test scheduled for the morning, which made the whole possibility of me returning home tomorrow to come into the picture. Wow, some great and encouraging news in short amount of time!


“He sent out his Word and healed them, and delivered them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind.   Psalm107:20 ,21