June 07, 2013

Fragility


We had the scare of our lives on Tuesday.

Mr. Fix-It was prepping for a colonoscopy.

He drank his first glass of the PEG solution and within 90 seconds he said he knew something wasn't right.

Luckily our younger daughter was here and called to tell me he had broken out in hives.

I told her what to look for and said if he went south to quickly call an ambulance.



In a short amount of time Tom's chest started to tighten, his lips and hands swelled, and he went into anaphylactic shock. 

His blood pressure began to plummet and he blacked out. 

Our daughter called 911, and while the paramedics were en route, he was able to make it from the rec room up to the first floor. 

When they arrived they gave him a EpiPen shot and he fainted.

In the ambulance the paramedics where saying "Tom stay with us buddy!" and things like that. He wasn't responding to questions.


I arrived at the hospital after the ambulance had arrived, as did our older daughter.


We ran into the emergency room but they said he was out in the ambulance because they were still working on him  (low blood pressure).



This is when I knew he was really in trouble.



The weird thing is that 5-6 hours later, after being stabilized, he was back on his feet like nothing had happened.

He feels fine now but is on a steroid to counteract the PEG solution in his system.

Tom has said more than once how amazingly calm and helpful our daughter remained.


He was able to remain calm as well.

She saved his life.



Left untreated anaphylaxus is deadly, because eventual swelling of the throat will cause suffocation.

It has taken time to put my arms around what happened, and didn't happen.

Even now I can't stop thinking about it. The reverberations are still washing over me. 

Still putting the pieces together.

Life is so fragile.

What happened was life altering for all of us, I think.

I'm just so happy to still have my sweetheart, who I married 25 years ago this month.

I hesitated posting this because I don't want to ever dissuade people from having a colonoscopy. The reaction that Tom had from PEG is HIGHLY unlikely- in fact, nearly impossible to find statistics of on the web.

The lesson we learned however is take the signs of allergic reaction seriously, and get help, immediately. 

Don't wait. 

As soon as the hives broke out he should have been on his way to the hospital.

We know this now. 

With love to all my readers,
Louise

9 comments:

  1. Love your heartfelt posts. Glad all is well.

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    1. Thank you Ronnie for your comment. I just want to add that Tom is seeing an allergist this week. His doctors are thinking that he might have reacted to the sweetener in the PEG solution but this is certainly not yet confirmed. I have found only a handful of people on the web who have had a similar reaction to PEG and neither of his doctors have ever heard of it. Tom has also said that while our daughter may very have saved his life that because he had read the warning signs on the PEG solution before taking it he would have sought help on his own. This is IF he was able to successfully call on his own before passing out or hitting his head etc! Either way- always call an ambulance for allergic reactions. He would haven't have made it most likely if they had gotten stuck in rush hour traffic.

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  2. Thank you for posting this, life is so fragile. I miss you friend! xoxo

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  3. What a scary experience! I am sure it is hard to shake the "what ifs". But I know that you are all grateful that your daughter was there. I would have freaked out knowing he was still in the ambulance because I'll never forget when my neighbor died....they didn't drive away for the longest time and his poor wife pounding on the door trying to find out what was going on.

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  4. Oh Louise,!
    So glad Tom is ok!
    Sending you all my love!
    Maria
    XOXO!

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  5. I've been thinking about this ever since I received your email, Lou. Life is so very fragile and this is one more reminder that we need to live it in the NOW. To take in those we love with our eyes and soul. To show our love...now. By writing this heartfelt post you very likely saved many lives yourself, lovie. Much love to you, Tom & the girls ~ Always ~ xoxoxo

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  6. Wow-what a crazy thing! So glad he's OK.

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