Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Uncle Jim

I stopped by the library for a few minutes- I know some of you would like more information on the uncle I've asked for prayers for on Twitter- so here you go!

My great uncle is 73- he's my grandma's youngest brother. I spent time with he and his wife at their house in Squirreltown at the end of May.

While out of state in February Jim was hospitalized with prostate trouble and an infection in his bloodstream- he had an infection in his bloodstream and was given a 50/50 chance of living. He made it through and had surgery related to the prostate in June.

Before I arrived on Monday- Jim woke up and was taken to the hospital by his wife around 4 am Monday with a possible kidney stone. They catheterized him, but not much came out. Later in the day (afternoon) his wife took him to the doctor. Again, he was catheterized, again not much came out- but they did get one kidney stone out, and was told he had another. His doctor told him to move around, go on walks, go golfing, etc. at that point. He was also given a prescription for an antibiotic, which he and his wife dropped off at CVS on their way home.

I headed to Squirreltown with Aniya on Monday- Aniya takes classes there multiple times a week and I like to ride with her when I get a chance b/c it gives us a chance to catch up! Anyway, Aniya dropped me off at Jim's house around 4- what follows is what happened between 4 and 5- the longest hour of my life, I swear!

4 pm- I arrive and introduce Aniya to my relatives. Uncle Jim gets off the couch, walks over and says, "Hi, doll" to me. He starts shaking a little and ends up back on the couch.

4:15ish?- His wife checks his temperature, which is fine. She gets him to eat a PB cracker and drink some Sprite. He's still shaking and when he breathes, he starts wheezing a little. His wife runs to CVS to get his antibiotic.

4:20-4:35 Jim wants to use the bathroom. He is a big guy and couldn't stand up by himself at that point. My grandma and I walk baby steps, supporting him as we head to and then from the bathroom. The wheezing gets much worse and I begin to think an ambulance might need to be called because this is NOT normal and can his wife just come back RIGHT NOW because this is really scaring me!!!!!

4:40 His wife arrives home. She looks at his color which apparently got worse while she was gone. Also, the wheezing has continued, making it hard for him to breathe. She begins asking about his heart (he says it's fine), takes his temp again (fine) but when she asks him whether he wants the squad to come or for her to bring him to the hospital, he doesn't really respond except for a grunt. Around 4:45, she calls 911.

4:45-4:55- The atmosphere in the house is calm...Jim seems about the same. Their kids start to call, wondering why they heard their address on the police scanner. All of them contact each other and begin leaving work to head to the hospital.

4:55 or 5- The ambulance arrives. Within a few minutes, they have monitors galore on him. There is an ambulance, a squad truck, and two or three police cars outside- 7 guys in all. They load him up on the gurney pretty quickly after realizing that he's not talking, even when one of his kids' best friends (a police officer) says hello to him.

Seriously...longest hour of my life.

We were at the hospital from a little after 5 until 7:30ish. When we left, he was still in the ER.

Eventually he was moved to the ICU, but we don't have many answers yet. They've been doing CAT scans, x-rays, blood work, etc. A lot of his symptoms seem the same as his incident in Florida except for two big things 1) he has no temp, common with an infection 2) his white blood count is not high at all, again common with an infection.

So, here's what I know: he's been catheterized three times now (3rd at the hospital). As of last night, hardly anything was STILL coming out, regardless of the fact that he has been given LOTS of liquids since he arrived.

So strange.

Is the kidney stone still in there? I don't know. If I hear anything, I'll try to come again and update...but that's basically the story. Oh yea. When we arrived in the ER, before they did any tests, the ER doctor came over and said to us, "I want you to know that Jim is very sick. You need to be prepared for anything and everything. Buckle your bootstraps in because it's going to be a very long ride." Uh, yea. We all just stood there in shock. How fast did this all happen-- it's crazy! He'd been at the doctor's AND at the same hospital earlier THAT SAME DAY.

I don't know what to think, I really don't. I guess we sit and wait for more news...


  1. Oh Bethany! Saying prayers for your uncle and for you and your whole family. What a scary thing to be going through, not knowing what is going on at all. Keep us updated!


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Comments warmly welcomed! :-)