Sunday, April 10, 2011

laughter IS the best medicine...

Let's be honest here... I've been having a rough few days.

At most points during my day I just want off this emotional roller-coaster.

How much longer am I going to have sit by and watch my husband go through all of this?

How much longer am I going to have to argue with some insurance claims employee who gets paid a dollar three eighty an hour? (that's right... dollar three eighty is from my dictionary...well, actually my dad's dictionary and well, enough said)

Does anyone out there (other than fellow caregivers & LVAD patients) really get what we're going through?

Kevin is not your typical LVAD patient. Only hours after his LVAD implant he was bleeding out of control...I get the call 2:30 am for consent to take him back into the OR. I say yes. I get a call at 5:30 am for consent from a plastic surgeon who tells me Kevin has compartment syndrome in his left arm between his wrist & his elbow and that this surgeon needed my consent to go & oxygenate the muscles to try and preserve the function in his left arm. WTF? (for those not familiar that means WHAT THE FUCK) I say yes, you have to save his arm. You HAVE TO save his arm, he's a fucking know, like in music..he plays the guitar, the piano, trumpet, cello, and his hands are his LIFE. His life.  HIS LIFE.

It was thought after many surgeries on his left arm that he would never get function back. They also thought my husband was going to die that first night. Kevin is indeed a fighter. With occupational therapy he has more mobility/function back in his left hand than the plastic surgeon thought he would ever have. Now, having said this and having talked with his plastic surgeon...there is HOPE. With tendon reconstruction and possible muscle transplant...he could get almost 80% (possibly more) function back in his left hand. Aaaaaah, there is always a catch. No plastic surgeon or hand surgeon will touch his  left arm until his heart is fixed. So in order to get his "life" back... he needs to get his "life" back first.  Following me?

And I'm still oh so not ready to discuss the matter of health insurance and why we're not on the heart transplant list yet. It's one of the reasons why I'm having a bad few days. BUT I will tell you that Kevin was approved to be on the transplant list pending insurance. Insert scream here.

So, everyone reading this knows I'm not just an LVAD caregiver. I'm a mother, wife, friend, employee, chauffeur, volunteer, now blogger..... a jack of all trades, master of none so to speak. Most days wearing all of these hats can be quite challenging. I absolutely cannot be perfect at all of them and clearly one of these hats won't be worn to perfection. It's a balancing act of sorts that I personally struggle with every day. Lucky for me I have friends I can lean on...friends who remind me that anything is possible.

Anyone ever watch Bill Cosby's stand up? The one where he's wearing a brown suit. It's from years ago. Puts me into a laughing fit every time. We're talking hysterics. So much that I actually forget the rest of the world. When I was pregnant (and on bed rest) with the boys I would watch this particular Bill Cosby stand up act all the time. It was the only thing to get my mind off of worrying about these little people growing inside me. It was the only thing that kept me from thinking "how the hell am I going to raise twins?" Well, I asked Kevin to go onto Netflix last night to see if we could rent Bill Cosby's stand up act. He agreed. I was giddy thinking about all the laughter in my future. He goes on and wouldn't you know it... only a DVD rental...can't just click a button on the tv to watch it.

Laughter certainly IS the best medicine and I'm in need of some good laughing... 


  1. My dearest Tracy - I looked up heart transplant on ebay and, damn it all anyway, I couldn't buy one for Kevin - but I can send you a present - please message me your address and I will get it on it's way - Big virtual hugs - I am so sorry you're having such a hard time - Jenny

  2. You're one of the strongest women I know, Tracey. I can't imagine the strength it takes to handle everything you do in a day. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of the world.

    And please lick Kevin's left ear for me.