Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Horrible Hiccups

I am listening to a wonderful sound - Jimmie sleeping peacefully.  There has been very little of that in the past 5 nights.  Just after my last post about hating hiccups they hit Jimmie again with a vengeance . . . and kept on going.  Remembering how devastating the aggravation, sleep deprivation and sheer agony became last fall, I have to admit to becoming a bit frantic.  I quickly searched for the medicine that helped Jimmie with the hiccups the last time, checked with the doctor to be sure it was safe for him to take with his current prescriptions, and was thankful when he got some relief on Friday.

Unfortunately, the celebrations were short-lived.  On Saturday suddenly the magic pills lost their magic and did not phase those nasty spasms.  Zip.  Nothing.  On Sunday it got worse.  Jimmie started having episodes where the diaphram would suddenly freeze.  He did not hiccup.  He also did not breathe.  Just watching it was absolutely terrifying.  I don't want to even imagine how bad it must have felt. 

On Monday the PA at the doctor's office noticed that Jimmie's calcium level was extremely low and suggested that might be the cause.  Low?  Jimmie has been plagued with high calcium for months due to the cancer and just took the treatment to bring it down again a few weeks ago.  Apparently the shot zapped it too much this time.  The PA told us that if it was the low calcium causing the problem then no prescription drug was going to have any affect on the hiccups.  Okay - that rang a bell.  He suggested I get some calcium supplements when I went to our pharmacy for the new prescription he was calling in.  But Jimmie had another freezing bout hit while he was having an IV of fluids there.  As soon as he could gasp some air again I grabbed my purse and scurried to the tiny drug store downstairs.  Jimmie started on the calcium pills before he even left the building.

And I think they are helping.  He continued to hiccup today but said that they were not as severe.  He also had several good breaks from them that allowed him to get some badly needed sleep.  Even more important, he did not have any freezing episodes.  So to borrow a phrase Jimmie's doctor likes to use - I am "cautiously optimistic" that we are going to beat the hiccups.

But other kinds of optimism are actually in short supply at the moment.  Last week the doctor said that he did not believe Jimmie had much longer to live.  When pressed he replied that if everything continues to go as it is presently, perhaps two months.  Those were very difficult words to hear.  They were impossible to write so I chose to ignore them for a while.  But that is not the kind of thing you can ignore for long.

Many of you have told me often that Jimmie and I are constantly in your prayers and I truly appreciate that.  I do not know how anyone deals with such events without the blessing of prayer.  And we continue to need those prayers – prayers that Jimmie’s health will improve if it is God’s will and if it is not, prayers that his passing will be easy.  

Jimmie said a few days ago that he really does not like being sick, but that he would rather be sick in Christ than without Christ.   I really do not want to lose Jimmie, not in two months or two decades.  I can't even remember a life when he wasn't my best friend and husband, the one who urged me on to better things and made me laugh in even the toughest times.  But I know that Jimmie is prepared for eternity.  I know that the joys of heaven are greater than anything we can even attempt to imagine.  And I know that God has a plan.  We must always put our trust in Him.

- Linda


Kristen said...

Even with reading this and even when my mom and dad have kept me updated on Mr. Jimmie, I still cannot fathom all that you are going through and I admire the courage it takes to be able to write these words, knowing that they must be some of the hardest words to write. I have always looked up to you and Mr. Jimmie, and you both frequently cross my mind every day. I want you to know that we are praying. I know that there is a measure of peace knowing that this world is not the end. I know we all long for that place with no sickness and suffering, and where we don't have to watch our loved ones suffer so. I love you both very much, and just wanted to let you know.

Anonymous said...

Praying diligently here. We love you all. --Janice Horne