I am using this long, neglected blog to write to you about Cord's Heart while he sleeps. This is not a book or a story, this is happening in real time. We need love on the wind. Please send your love, prayers, thoughts, strength, hope, joy and goodness on the wind to Parkview Hospital in Pueblo, Colorado. The in-pouring of love we can already feel is stunning. Thank you all many times over and please keep it coming - it is helping so much.
Please see how you can Rally For Cord at the bottom of this post...
Here's the report.
I am writing from the hospital where Cord is battling congestive heart failure. It's pretty bad friends, his heart is seriously in the danger zone. A healthy heart's Ejection Fraction, (it's ability to squeeze), is around 55-70 - I guess you say %. Cord's is 10. It has a long way to go to recover. We don't know why - yet. There seems to be other things happening at the same time which are confusing the issue. Lungs first - then heart or heart first and then lungs? Don't know. Difficulty breathing, pressure, and pain on his right side when he walks or moves too much are a few symptoms.
So - today they ordered up another check of the gallbladder - they cleared it once but it it is worth another look. They are also ordering him a sleep test to check for apnea. These are other complications we need to address - they are all related but also mysterious.
He needs to go home with oxygen because having it at night allows him to finally sleep for more than an hour or two at a time. He must have it at 8.000 ft. So we must have a reason and a test so he can go home with it. If they find a problem with the gall bladder - he's out of luck for a while as his heart is too weak for any surgery right now but knowing would help him deal with the pain when he walks.
They will treat him with gradually increasing heart medicine and they say it is highly successful and more times than not, brings the heart all the way back to awesome function.
It could be Cardiomyopathy, basically where alcohol is poison to the heart. If you stop drinking - your heart gets better. It could have been blockages but Cord's arteries are squeaky clean so they ruled that out. It could be a viral infection, in which case, it will run it's course and his heart will get better over time with medication.
We're talking about 6 months of heart medicine and each recovery process is unique.
Today they fitted him for a Life Vest. Holy Crap I love smart things. Cord's greenhouses are smart but this is just bad-ass. The Life Vest is a wearable defibrillator and will save his life on the mountain if he experiences cardiac arrest. He will wear it for months under his clothes and against his skin. It was 1 1/2 hours of instruction but the more we learned - the more impressed I was - I'm a big fan. The device can send all info to headquarters in PA in real time where someone is monitoring him all the time. If it goes off and gets ready to shock him back to life during cardiac arrest - they will know about it.
We are 20-30 minutes from town and getting an ambulance out where we live could take even longer. This thing is genius. It talks to him and tells him what to do if his heart starts to act up. It tells everyone around him to get back before it shocks. It warns him for plenty of time in case its a false alarm so he can turn it off. If he's passed out and doesn't respond - it gives warnings and then 'gives him a treatment'.
Whew, busy day today. Max stayed with him last night - he came home from school in Scotland to tend to his family. His brothers and friends will be rebuilding our bedroom which is under construction. We've been sleeping in our wall tent until the bedroom was ready but no more. We have a lovely guest room nearby from our dear neighbors where he can sleep and there are plans in the works for some new furniture as our house is partially gutted and furniture-less. So much is happening so fast now that we are in the hospital. Before so little was happening so slow it was maddening. There is progress. Oh and our wonderful primary care doc is all over this. We have been with him for 25 years - we started with him when he started his practice. He feels like family.
Note to self:
When your loved one swells up and bloats in front of your eyes - especially in the feet and legs, take them to the hospital - as soon as you can - this symptom ain't playin' around - it is serious.
Please send love on the wind.
Rally For Cord!!
Our dear friend Buffy has started a fund to help us with expenses while Cord can't work - we are so grateful!! Here is the link - she said I have to spread it around!
Check him out!!