It's Our Turn: Our family received an extra ThanksgivingMy family recently celebrated Thanksgiving. I know, traditionally Thanksgiving is in November, but after the wild February and March my family just experienced, we decided another celebration was in order. My husband of 34 years, who’s almost never seen the inside of a hospital except for visits to family or friends, found himself in serious trouble on Valentine’s Day.
By: Lori Mork, Alexandria Echo Press
My family recently celebrated Thanksgiving.
I know, traditionally Thanksgiving is in November, but after the wild February and March my family just experienced, we decided another celebration was in order.
My husband of 34 years, who’s almost never seen the inside of a hospital except for visits to family or friends, found himself in serious trouble on Valentine’s Day.
A ridiculously healthy person, he collapsed during a Gopher basketball game and was taken by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. There, after a night in the intensive care unit, he was at first diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer.
Now, of all the people in the world, Bob is probably on the top of the list of those who would never have an ulcer. Seriously, this is the person who calms everyone else down and in times of stress, sleeps like a baby.
What a simple diagnosis. At least that’s what everyone thought. Just cauterize the bleeding ulcer and stay away from aspirin and other NSAIDS, send him back home and everything would be fine.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t fine. The ulcers were a result of an underlying problem – a diagnosis hard to confirm in the form of a Dieulafoy’s lesion.
It’s a very strange thing, this lesion. Simply put, it’s an artery to the stomach that’s not formed correctly, and when it works its way to the surface, bleeds like crazy.
We’re talking big-time, life-threatening bleeding here, and what adds to the problem is that it’s nearly impossible to find when it’s not bleeding.
The doctors, both here at the Douglas County Hospital and Hennepin County Medical Center, tried nearly everything in the book to find that little stinker, but no matter what they did, it simply wouldn’t bleed when they needed it to.
Of course, it did bleed when we didn’t want it to, causing two more serious and a few more less serious, but still troubling, bleeds, forcing my husband to spend nearly two weeks in intensive care between DCH and HCMC, and another week in a regular hospital bed as he worked on recuperating.
In the midst of all this drama, another life-changing event was happening to the north as our first grandchild made her way into this world in Fargo nine days early, but gorgeous and perfect in every way.
I was able to get away from Minneapolis for a few days here and there throughout those three weeks, and was able to make a quick trip to Fargo to hold my new granddaughter, Brielle, for a few hours when she was 2 days old.
After that, it was back to HCMC until three weeks after my husband’s first trip there, when he was able to come home, hopefully for good.
It’s amazing how, in the midst of your humdrum life, fate can throw you a curveball or two.
But what’s even more amazing is how deeply these curveballs can reinforce just how wonderful a person’s life really is.
And that’s the reason for our extra Thanksgiving, complete with a celebration of all the good things in our life: My husband’s return to normalcy, slow and steady though it may be; our beautiful new grandbaby with a face as sweet as the sun; our family and friends who jumped to our aid in whatever ways we needed; our coworkers who took over our responsibilities and were only concerned over our welfare; the first responders and EMTs whose swift actions gave us such a positive outcome; and most of all, the doctors and staffs at both the Douglas County Hospital and the Hennepin County Medical Center, who were professionally efficient and yet caring and thoughtful.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.