Friday, 4 October 2013

I found love in a hopeless place

Hey everyone. First of all I have to apologise as to why I haven't been about the past couple of weeks. I haven't forgotten blogging - in fact it's been on my mind alot. But family circumstances came up and i had to take a step back.

I am not going to go into the details of how and why but 3 weeks ago come Saturday I got a call to say my baby brother was being airlifted to addenbrookes hospital as both of his lungs had collapsed in an incident. I was 4 hours drive away and news was sparse as it took a long time to stabilise my brother at the scene and they nearly ended up operating on him on the ground outside my mums house.

After packing clothes, the essentials and bundling ourselves into the car my amazing husband mike drive me straight to the hospital. The whole car journey i was living in fear believing my brother was in surgery and not knowing if he was alive or dead. When we arrived just before midnight it was hard to locate my brother. Addenbrookes is a huge huge hospital but I found a very helpful nurse who had heard about a patient being flown in by air ambulance so she took me to meet my family. This is when I learnt my brother was on life support as he couldn't breathe for himself. He was fighting for his life and I felt so helpless from the moment I arrived. My mum was refusing to eat (this went on for 5 days), one brother was trying to hold everything together and another was away giving a statement to the police that seemed to take hours when we needed him there in the relatives room with us.
I'm not sure how many of you have seen a loved one on life support but I can safely say that nothing prepares you for it. My 6ft strapping, loud and boisterous 23 year old brother was in a room surrounded by machines and motionless. I soon learnt he had been medically paralysed and sedated to give his body the best chance to heal but he didn't look like the micheal i knew. The life support was a mechanical breathing mechanism that was terrifying to say the least. It seemed inhuman swing a machine breathing for micheal, watching his chest rise and drop in a regular pattern yet knowing that it wasn't him taking those breathes. Modern medical advancements are amazing but they are very scary too. The room was silent barring that mechanical breathing noise and it wasn't comforting at all.

My family and I stayed in the relatives room of the neurocritical ward all night. It was a bleak ward with very ill patients on it but the staff were amazing. Micheal had one on one support from a nurse and he received the best possible care. That night we slept in the relatives room, only popping out to check on him or grab a coffee from the Costa in the main area to keep us going. Nobody slept that night.

Sunday morning my brother deteriorated. His heart rate accelerated and at the same time his blood pressure dropped. We are called into a room by a top consultant who told us he was worse that morning than he had been when they brought him in. Essentially we were to prepare for the worst and take it hour by hour. It was incomprehensible to me - my brother is a strapping, energetic and loud man. He was strong, a fighter and I couldnt and wouldn't accept that he couldn't beat this. If anyone could then he could.

They gave him meds to bring his blood pressure down and we all sat and waited. It was a very long day. But he improved - I told you he was a fighter and fighting he was. He had 2 collapsed lungs but he was young and had his health going for him. After knowing that he was stable we finally went home to my mums so that we could shower and sleep ready for the long days ahead. I made calls to mike to see how he and the kids were as they had all gone back home Saturday night. We thought it was best the children weren't in the hospital and that the less they knew the better. Ibby knew what had happened as he heard the initial phone calls but we minimised information after that other than to say uncle micheal was doing better.

Monday we were hoping that micheal might be brought off life support to see how he would react but drs decided he wasn't well enough and to give him another day with the strong antibiotics they had given him. Unfortunately micheal had a chest infection which is not at all good when you have two collapsed lungs. Micheal had drains in both of his lungs clearing out any blood and fluid and giving his lungs the support they needed. The more rest that he got the better it was for his lungs. So yet again late Monday night we went home to recoup.

Tuesday morning was a magical morning - my brother was taken off life support! Little fighter yes he was. He was very disorientated but then who wouldn't be after waking up in a hospital
Surrounded by all that machinery and being told you missed 4 days of your life and nearly died? The main thing was that micheal was on the mend. He had come as close to death as you could get but he looked death in the face and said hell no. He had far too much going for him to leave us at 23 years of age.

Micheal was moved from neurocritical to an intermediate dependency ward and they are great there. He started taking a few steps, they helped with his pain relief and organised a blood transfusion for him which really helped him as the medication mixed with his body beyond so wrecked was effecting his vision and making him feel anxious and all over the place.

I had to go home late that evening to return to Wiltshire but I left my brother in very capable hands. The nurses and drs at addenbrookes are amazing and we can't praise then enough for all that they did for micheal and us. They were the whole package and they do the nhs proud.

Micheal is now thankfully home and recovering. He is having to get used to the fact that he had to not overdo it and instead ready alot but try telling a 23 year old man to take a nap is a battle before you even say the words. But he is trying his best and treating this as a fresh start for himself and a second chance to do all the things he has always wanted to do. Some people are trying to drag him back and cause trouble but we as a family are stronger than that and we stand together through thick and thin. Micheal is a man to be proud of and he can ignore all that ppl throw at him as he had purpose and strength. Our family went through hell and back that week but we have all come back strong - every single one of us.

So that is why I have been away but I am back now and ready to blog my little heart out. Please keep sharing my blog with your friends and who knows what is next. Thanks for your support X x x