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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Looking Into The Abyss

We've been working hard at J. Strom Thurmond Project Corps of Engineers getting everything ready for the upcoming summer.  Even though we're required to put in a certain amount of hours each week in exchange for a fantastic FHU site right on the lake, we've happily put in extra time to move everything forward.

That came to a screeching halt last Tuesday night.

Back during my Coast Guard career, I was lucky enough to attend and graduate from the Coast Guard's prestigious National  Search and Rescue School.  One thing that was pounding into my head was it's human nature not to recognize the trouble you can be in, or if you realize something is wrong, you go into denial about it and often it can turn into a life threating disaster.

It started off simply enough, we went out to dinner (pizza) with some fellow workampers.  When we arrived home, I started having some abdominal pain and felt nauseous.  In what seemed an instant, I started full blown vomiting and extreme pain in the abdomen which left me not doubled but tripled up on the Journey's floor in agony.

Marti was really worried and said I needed to go to the emergency room, but through clenched teeth and tears, I said I didn't need any help and it would pass.  When it didn't pass after a few minutes and got even worse, Marti called 911 for a ambulance.

Shortly the ambulance arrived with EMT's and several local firemen.  They evaluated me and loaded me in the ambulance and headed for the hospital.  On the way there, I passed out.  I may have refused to recognize the life threatening situation I was in, but thankfully Marti did.

In the ER, I was given some pain meds and sent for a CT scan.  The scan revealed I had (until now) asymptomatic diverticulitis causing the bowel to finally rupture and make my abdomen septic.  The result was I was rushed into a several hour surgery which resulted in a large section of intestine removed, the cavity flushed and an colostomy fitted.

If Marti hadn't called 911 when she did, I'd have plunged into the abyss and not be here now.

I've been in the hospital for a week now, with the potential of staying another 5-7 days.  It's been extremely painful and has laid me lower than I've ever been before.  Thankfully, I have Marti and her sister Gail, (a nurse) and our daughter Heather helping me in the hospital.

The long term prognosis is good, a couple of month for my system to rest and then surgery to the removal of the colostomy and reattachment of the intestine.  I've been informed that the healing process is going to be a long, slow process.  I'll eventually be able to do some normal light things, but for now and the foreseeable future, I'm pretty much disabled.

The outpouring of concerns and visits from friends and fellow workampers and good wishes had prayers from people around the country have been very helpful to me, especially in dark times when I despair over the whole situation.

I won't be writing too much in the blog for a while, I'll be resting and healing.  But be assured I'll be back and reading up on ya'lls adventures while looking forward to ours. 

33 comments:

  1. Our thoughts and prayers are with you for a quick recovery and Marti to be able to put up with you throughout it.

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  2. I'm so sorry that this happened. Wishing for a speedy recovery.

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  3. Thought and prayers with you. Luckily looks like things were caught in time.
    Wishing you a soeedy and complete recovery.

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  4. Thoughts and prayers with you during this recovery and recuperation. Glad you were in an area with good medical care and looks as if have great care givers.

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  5. Wow, hope you feel better soon. That must have been very scarey!

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  6. Oh my gosh!! Our prayers are with you and Marti too. What an awful thing to go through! Take care and heal. You have lots of friends thinking of you.

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  7. Prayers coming your way and hopes for a speedy recovery.

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  8. I thought last night that I hadn't heard from you in a while and should write to you. Boy does that sound scary. We know all about shocking health problems showing up with no warning. So glad you have such good caregivers. Now be a good patient and rest and follow their orders. We send you our very best wishes and are keeping you in our hearts. Keep in touch so we don't worry.

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  9. I thought last night that I hadn't heard from you in a while and should write to you. Boy does that sound scary. We know all about shocking health problems showing up with no warning. So glad you have such good caregivers. Now be a good patient and rest and follow their orders. We send you our very best wishes and are keeping you in our hearts. Keep in touch so we don't worry.

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  10. Well, you certainly gave us a real scare last Tuesday night when we saw the ambulance lights flashing outside our windows. Of course we went outside right away to find out what was wrong and were very surprised you were ill. You seemed fine when we were with you earlier that evening. Thankfully Marti called 911 when she did.

    We were glad to see you doing so well the next day after surgery when we came to visit you in the hospital. We know the healing process is going to be a long, slow process with good days and bad days. Our thoughts and prayers continue for you and Marti and the rest of the family.

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  11. Sure was a good thing Marti called 911 ... wishing you a speedy (being relative) recovery.

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  12. Oh, Paul, what a revolting predicament this turned out to be! Best wishes for a very speedy recovery!

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  13. OMG Paul. We're praying for a complete and speedy (ok, not too speedy) recovery. Way to go Marti on the calling of 911. Men can be stubborn sometimes. Rest and get well Paul.

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  14. Get well soon young man. Life is full of surprises but this is one you don't want. Speedy recovery my friend.

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  15. You and Marti are a WONDERFUL team...thankfully Marti recognized you were in need of emergency help!!! You both have given so much of your time and abilities to make things better for others. NOW, it is time to focus on yourselves. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers for a full recovery. We need you two back out here!!!

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  16. Our thoughts and prayers to you. Keep us posted on your progress, even if it's only a line or two.

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  17. My Gosh you were lucky that Marti called 911. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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  18. One terrifying night...you're so, so lucky! May you both find strength to pass over this hump and back onto recovery. Especially hope you're in your own bed with a view very, very soon! Need ANYTHING, we're here! Hang in there....know it ain't easy!!! Hugs!!! Carla & Jerry "the new neighbors"

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  19. Paul, so sorry this happen to you. Prayers going up for you and your family.

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  20. I was wondering over the gap in blog entries but damn Paul!..

    Fair winds and following seas for the recovery mate.

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  21. Add this as another wish for a speedy recovery and we'll be keeping you in our prayers.

    It's about time.

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  22. Paul and Marti,we're very sorry to hear of this setback. Our thoughts and prayers are with and for you.

    Selene & Hank

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  23. Wishing you a full recovery, rest and let your body heal.

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  24. Whoa Horsey! I had a feeling something wasn't right. I'm a lurker for the most part, our RV travels only on occasion, but I love you full timers. Anyway, just had a family friend for different issues get her colon removed and rebuilt. But, like you it was a long process. Her husband was very upset at how early they sent her home from the hospital after the colon was removed so very glad they still have you! (he had to send her back in ambulance it was so bad) Take care and take it easy and HIGH FIVE to Marti. Wive's are the best when it comes to overriding their husband's "no, no I'm really fine" crap :) :)

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  25. Oh no! How awful for you and so thankful that Marti was there when you really needed her. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue to improve.

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  26. Yikes! Good thing Marti was there when it happened. We will be thinking about you and trusting in a speedy recovery!

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  27. Yikes is right...we've been traveling and not had time to do much blog reading. Wishing you an uneventful recovery!

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  28. I have gotten behind on blogs and I'm so sorry I missed this post. Men are stubborn so they had better be grateful for the women who ignore them.

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  29. I have gotten behind on blogs and I'm so sorry I missed this post. Men are stubborn so they had better be grateful for the women who ignore them.

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  30. Wishing you a speedy recovery!!!..thank goodness Marti has the sense to call 911!!

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  31. Good grief, Charlie Brown. I decided to catch up on reading blogs and this is the first thing I read from you! How terrible for both you and Marti. I'll continue reading hoping you have had a miraculous recovery!

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