Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Not Her

I'm devastated to the point that I don't have words.  My best friend is in ICU tonight.  She's in acute liver failure.  I don't know how things went SO wrong SO fast.  We just played trivia Friday night.  We talked Saturday. We talked Sunday.  I told her I was worried about her ... and she told me worrying was a waste of time.

She hadn't felt well for awhile ... but her doctors had found gallstones and thought that her nausea and jaundice were from the stones.  They set her up with an appointment to see a surgeon Thursday.  But today she was throwing up and asked her husband to come get her from work.  When he picked her up, she looked terrible and he drove her straight to the ER.

By the time I was leaving my cousin's wake, her husband was texting me that she had become confused and was talking incoherently.  I drove straight to the hospital ... and was there until just a few moments ago.   She knew I was there ... I held her hand and stroked her hair and she would look at me and would occasionally nod her head to answer my questions ... but she couldn't talk.

I'm afraid to put into words what the doctors said.  Because if I do ... that makes them real. 

Unless something happens ... unless they can find what is causing her liver to fail ... the only option is a liver transplant.  That requires her to be transferred to Barnes in St. Louis.  I asked the doctor ... I know it can take years to find a compatible kidney ... so how long does it take to find a suitable liver for transplant?  He shook his head at me and said ... a long time.

Then he told us that to even qualify for a transplant, you have to be a healthy, lively person.  You have to be able to move.   Recovering from a transplant is hard and they only want to give them to people who are going to thrive.  The anti-rejection drugs are expensive and cause weight gain ... and people who can't walk, can't take the weight off. 

He said he had been on the transplant team and they don't give transplants to people with immune disorders.  They don't give transplants to people with degenerative diseases.  He basically listed reason after reason after reason why she won't be eligible for the program.   He told us what we're looking at ... that if things don't turn around quickly, she'll have to be intubated and put on a respirator.

Her husband and I sat outside her ICU room while they put a feeding tube down her throat ... and he said, "This doesn't sound good, does it?" and I was honest and said no, but that miracles do happen.  Her liver could start functioning again.  It isn't outside the realm of possibility.   He needed a minute ... so I was sitting by myself outside her room ... and I prayed.  I prayed so hard.  It never works.  It didn't work with Dad.  No one listens.  But if there is a God ... and if he is listening ...

Please don't take her.  Not yet.  I need her.  Please not yet.

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