Friday, March 13, 2009

Some of the Toughest Words I've Ever Written

Tonight was tough. Jenni's oxygen level dropped suddenly again (the third time today) and they sent a doctor in to talk to us. He explained the pros and cons of starting Jenni on a ventilator, and Jenni told him to do it. I'm only going to explain the pros because I don't want to write about the cons.

  • Jenni's lungs and muscles will get a much needed rest. They have been working overtime for a couple weeks now trying to keep oxygen flowing and the machine will take over for her.
  • Jenni will be asleep most or all of the time until she recovers and she won't experience any pain.
  • She will get closer supervision in the ICU.
The doctor told us that the medicines she is receiving usually work, but for her they are taking unusually long to make a difference. He said that if things continue at the rate they are going now, that she would be on a ventilator in the next day or two anyway and that it is always better to do the procedure under controlled conditions instead of in an emergency situation (such as if her oxygen level dropped and they couldn't get it back up). This was the first doctor I heard say that there was a possibility she wouldn't make it. He said that he still thought she would, but that she should keep it in mind when she made the decision about the ventilator. Jenni just kept saying, "I'll do anything to get better. Just do it. Do whatever you need to do to make me better."

So the doctor put things in motion, getting an ICU room ready and whatever else needed to be prepared. I made a few phone calls and we spent two hours talking about the ACC tournament and how I'm going to take her to Sticky Fingers and The Loft as soon as she wakes up. She also made me promise to make sure the doctors keep trying to get her better because she doesn't want to be on it for long, and to stay with her until the doctors made me leave because she was scared. Those of your who know Jenni know that she doesn't get scared. I was worried... but the severity of the situation still did not hit me until Jenni admitted that she was scared.

Then the nurses came to get her and asked me to leave for a few moments while they unhooked all of the machinery and got her ready to move to the ICU. I did, and when they pulled her out of the room they even let me walk with her down to the waiting room of the ICU (which the nurses wouldn't let me do last time). I waited in the waiting room until they got her settled and they allowed me to come back for a few minutes before they sedated her.

She gave me that look, like she was worried more about me than about herself, but I don't think she noticed when my voice cracked. I didn't do as I promised. I told her that I was going to hurry and get out of the doctors' way so they could get her better quicker. I squeezed her hand, kissed her on the forehead several times, told her I loved her, walked away, and held myself together. If I had stayed and kept talking, I think I would have lost it, and I didn't want her going to sleep with that on her mind.

As far as holding myself together, I think I did quite well until I got back to the hotel and started writing this...

I'll post an update as soon as I know something tomorrow. If I don't answer phone calls, I apologize ahead of time. I would rather not do a whole lot of talking right now. Goodnight, all.

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Anonymous said...

Hi Jenni and Josh-I am a distant cousin of Jenni. Her grandma Ruth (I think that is right) and my grandmother Myrtle were sisters. I have not seen you in years. Probably since we were little and had Blake reunions. I have been hearing about you through Beth Park's facebook and Kay Lynch's blog. I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. --Dana (Dawkins) Gathigi

Anonymous said...

You are in our prayers. Carla Dotson for the Temple Christian School Staff

Anonymous said...

We are praying Josh! We have been calling Jenni's name out loud before God this very morning! We are also praying for you, Judi, Jim, and the whole family!

~Beth & Nic Hall

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