Saturday, 14 October 2017

So far so good ...

My husband is in intensive care, and I am shortly leaving the house to see him again. Yesterday was a bit rocky from a nursing perspective, as B.A. was totally delirious and tried to take out his breathing and feeding tubes. When he got so agitated that the surgeon gave permission for the nurses to take out his breathing tube a little early, he started yelling.

 In a way this was great, for it showed the operation hadn't left him with a speech impediment. In fact, despite all the solemn faces and list of potential horrors B.A. had to sign off on, yesterday he didn't seem to have any nerve damage at all. No strokes, no paralysed face, no motor problems, no death. 

I was so relieved when I saw him conscious and mouthing "I love you" to me, I had to stop myself from weeping. My big dread (for myself) was that he wouldn't recognise me or that he would have a big personality change in which he didn't love me anymore. 

I couldn't make out what else he was trying to say, which was fine, as he sure let me know when they took out his breathing tube. It probably isn't fair or kind to publish one's husband's delirious rantings, so I won't go into detail. The poor man was very, very frightened much of the time. But the edifying thing about B.A.'s rantings was that, instead of cursing like a sailor, as apparently people usually do when they recover from such surgery, he told me over and over again that Our Lady's "Immaculate Heart will triumph." 

It was the 100th anniversary of the last apparition at Fatima, of course, and I think I told him that when I arrived. In fact, on the way to the hospital, I prayed the traditional 15 decades and asked Our Lady not to mark the day with terrors but with a gift, a special gift for me that B.A. would be made totally well. 

So far--God willing--it looks like this may actually happen, at least for now. And Benedict Ambrose, totally addled from surgery and anaesthetics and heaven knows what else, informed me dozens of times that "her Immaculate Heart will triumph." 

I feel weirdly proud that my husband was/is the Terror of the ICU. It's both sad and funny, laugh or cry. It's just so unlike him to disturb people, and it was awful that he was scared. But it was good for me in that the nurses decided that I should be allowed to sit with him all day to keep him relatively calm--and his feeding tube where it belonged. Every time they sent me out so they could do something important, they had to fetch me back to stop B.A. from shouting down the ceiling. 

Meanwhile, in a hospital where a nurse had asked me what she should do with Mark's "necklace", meaning his rosary, it was quite something to have him yell that I must call Father AT ONCE to have a Mass said for him and HER IMMACULATE HEART WILL TRIUMPH!!!!

About 16 more hours, and I'll feel ready to order the Te Deums! Keep praying, and thank you!


  1. So pleased that the news is better now. May Our Lady bless and preserve you both.


  2. Oh, I am SO glad to hear that so far!! And wow, what a beautiful testimony to your husband that that's what he yells when delirious. We'll keep praying for you both!

  3. What a beautiful report! God bless you and B.A., and we will keep praying!

  4. Praying for BA to make a complete recovery!

  5. Prayers continue, but I am thrilled to hear this news. So funny and dear about him shouting that Our Lady's Immaculate Heart will triumph. Serious illness does bring amusing moments, which serve as a little comic relief for the difficult times, and which become treasured memories when the difficulty has passed.

  6. Delighted to hear that he's well enough to give them grief and I imagine you are the most popular woman in ICU! Heading to Fatima tomorrow, will pray for ye all. What a good man he is, I expect they're all looking up Immaculate Heart on the interwebs to figure out what he's yelling. Good on 'im.


    1. Thank you! And to my surprise, I am popular! The ICU nurses are really nice and have told me that I am a real help, which I guess I was on Friday, when B.A. was hard to handle. When I went home, they had to sedate him. I'm not happy about that. If I could, I would have sat there all night. I guess, though, that they did what was best for him.

      I think--hard to see how great my rational faculties are right now--I am learning a lot about how wards run, and how to best help the nurses, and how to ensure, as well as you can, the best care for your family member. Some nurses are very talented, some are competent, and some aren't. Thank heavens, everyone I've met at the ICU is talented and competent. Mark's first "day nurse" was Polish, so I think she knows all about the Immaculate Heart! Apparently she thought I was Polish and the word got around to other Polish nurses that I speak Polish. More evidence that Polish is an eminently practical language in the UK.

      But as for the Immaculate Heart--no wonder some Protestants think Catholics worship Mary. I found myself wishing Mark would take a break and shout "Jesus Christ is King over all the Earth" for a bit instead.