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Friday, Dec. 11, 2009 03:51 pm

A Second Chance at Life - Part Three

Part three of Tauna and Jim's saga:


The next 24 hours were the most dangerous for Jim and the most stressful for all of us concerned. I spent the time rubbing his feet and legs to keep the blood flowing to avoid blood clots and also he was complaining of them cramping. It was the only thing I could do for him at that time. The next hurdle came about 4:00 am that next morning. I had went to the bathroom and when I came back to the room his mother was standing outside the door with a very concerned look on her face. She said he was having trouble breathing; he was having lung failure. Since the doctors could not yet give him the medication to reduce the amount of liquid that automatically backs up into you lungs as a result of a heart attack, he began to for the most part drown inside. I looked into the room and saw total fear on his face – again a look I will never forget.

Jim was scared to death. “It was the scariest thing I ever felt. I thought I was going to die. I opened my mouth to breath but couldn’t”. That was the second time he was as close to death as one could be. He remembers hearing comments from his doctor regarding his status and prognosis, only bits and pieces, but recalls the seriousness of those involved. He cannot to this day remember a majority of the people who came to see him that first day, although I feel he could sense the support around him.

By the next day, we knew he would be alright and recovery was the next step.” It’s a very humbling feeling to only be able to take 25 steps or walk to the end of the hall and back.” Each minor accomplishment added to his motivation. “It’s easier to keep going when you see immediate results”. One day he was walking to the end of the hall, the next he walked around the entire floor. He thought about his kids and almost everything else in a different way.

Change was not an option; it was his new way of life. This was his wake up sign to do something now in order to stay alive as long as possible. He recalls not having any reservations about quitting smoking, starting to eat healthy and exercising on a daily basis. I decided to make all the same changes not only to support his recovery, but so I would not be a statistic later in my life. Prevention is so important; those little things you do now can make a huge difference later on and even add years to your life. Together we learned to be “food smart”. We not only cooked in a whole new way, but we shopped for our groceries differently - only buying nutritious foods and reading labels on everything.

To be continued...

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