Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Love of My Life

Last night, around 3 in the morning, Rob and I came to MUSC's emergency room because he was having some chest discomfort and shortness of breath. We both honestly thought it was his blood pressure, or maybe anxiety. Little did we know what was in store for us.

Rob was admitted with congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation. I have never been so worried in all of my life. You worry about your kids all the time. You kiss their boo-boos and hate to see them go through anything. They always seem so small. But to see your spouse go through something so serious is just heartbreaking. Tonight he is in the hospital. We will be here for several days for testing and observation. Tonight is his first night on CPAP for what we believe will become a definitive diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. We think years of undiagnosed apnea is the cause of the heart failure along with high blood pressure.

He was very claustrophobic when the respiratory therapist put the CPAP mask on him, but with a lot of encouragement, he is finally falling asleep wearing the mask with no problems. I hope he has the best night sleep ever! Once he has been released from the hospital, he will have a sleep study done to officially diagnose the apnea and he will begin wearing the mask every night.

I'm having such a hard time putting into words exactly how I'm feeling. I am so used to being an advocate for him and the boys. I jump right in with encouragement and I'm not afraid to speak up for him when he can't. It's one thing to finish a sentence for him when he can't remember a particular phrase or word because of his ADHD. It's an entirely different beast to tell the nurses what symptoms he is having because he is too upset to put it into words.

Rob is the father of my children, my best friend. The love of my life. He's stubborn, and moody. He's loving, and full of affection for me and our children. He compliments me in every way. I'm not afraid to fight or argue with him because I know he isn't afraid to step up and work it out. He works so hard for our family. I cannot imagine what I would do without him.

He is the best father in the entire world. From doing the little things like laying on the floor with Tommy after work for a few minutes or playing video games with the boys, to the really important stuff like taking on the responsibility of another man's child or comforting me when we thought we'd lose Tommy. He doesn't back down. He does things in his own way and sometimes I disagree, but I have to remind myself that he is not me and our children need different things from each of us. He gives our kids that Big Kid to rough house with and burp with. He gives them that firm hand when they cross the line and remind them to respect their mother.

He is sunshine, he is air, he is the blood in my veins. My love. I wanted to dedicate a song to him to let him know just what he means to me. I chose LeAnn Rimes' song "I Need You". Tonight, I played the song for him while I held his hand and cried. He is so brave. He's kept his sense of humor. I know in a few weeks when he's back to work and back to wrestling with the boys that he's going to look at me with "that" smile and I will burst into tears of happiness and thank God above for rescuing me from living alone.

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Diagram of Tommy's Heart Defects

Diagram of Tommy's Heart Defects
Double Inlet Left Ventricle with Transpostion of the Great Arteries