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Survivor Story of Christie Klein

Just for my memories in the future and in case you might be curious. In the last 6 months I had three episodes where I thought I had some serious heartburn. The first two where led by drinking pop and burping. The third was not. On a Sunday night I went to bed and I woke up with what I thought was heartburn. I got up but it didn't get better like last time. I took everything I could for heartburn. I gave up and went to wake up my daughter downstairs. She came up and helped me. In about two hours I was better and super tired so we went back to bed.

In the morning, I woke up, I still felt the heartburn but not nearly as bad. I had to go to school, I had meetings all day so off I went. I worked for about 3 hours and then at lunch I was going to the chiropractor to see if he could pop my back. My spinal fusion years back still hurts me. I got it popped but I was so tired driving and from not getting much sleep the night before, I decided to just go home and sleep. I got home and I took a nap.

When I woke up I was not feeling great and nothing was working. I talked to my daughter to see what all worked the night before. She suggested going to her Wesley Woodland ER before she went into work. I said ok. She got her scrubs on and her dinner ready for work and off we went.

At the ER, they were busy, someone was yelling about having to wait. We waited about 45 minutes and I had to pace because it was really hurting. They asked me if I minded doing an EKG in the hall. I said that is fine. EKG normal, blood pressure normal. I just kept walking. The nurse practitioner was bothered with all of this, she asked the nurse to take my blood pressure on all of extremities. Then she came back in and asked if she could do a CT, clearly she had an idea so I said SURE!

They met me at the CT door after the scan. I was standing. They said I needed immediate surgery. My aorta was dissecting and was about to burst. What???Let me just sit down. She was getting everything ready and ambulance was taking me to the main Wesley hospital. I was not to pass go, nor collect my $200. Two paramedics, women, :) showed up to save me. My nurse was sent with me. The nurses there where calling my daughter’s supervisor letting the supervisor know that she wasn't coming in this week. She drove behind the ambulance.

I remember feeling like we were going into the basement. I was met with smiles. I said this isn't how I planned my day. Everyone laughed, but we had some saving to do.

My first memory was the damn breathing tube! I was in a vicious cycle, choking on it but needing to breathe! I wasn't able to see visually at that point but I knew my girl was beside me. I felt her strength and warmth beside me. I could hear her trying to calm me. I think she had to hold me down?

I was in Critical care the next few days. These people ALL need some Elementary Awards!!! They work so hard to save people! My oxygen had to be at the perfect level. It drops if I have too much water. I drink tons of water and ice to avoid that. I was so thirsty. Poor nurses, I couldn't understand why I couldn't have too much water. Then, I breathe thru my mouth not my nose. This created a problem for O2 levels. I also had a low blood count and required blood. I had so many IV'S, a central line. Everything must be absolutely perfect when you are in the business of saving lives! To all of the nurses, CNA's and the many in the medical field. I remember you and I know you fought for me! I remember something about each one of you. The boy, you gotta remember I will be 50 in two months, so to me you are still a sweet boy even though you are a man! You are doing wonderful things, you are saving people, how cool is that? Yes you might not get IV’s in and my arms are a bit worse for the wear, but I AM ALIVE!!! The girl, just beautiful inside and out! You take pride in your hard work and you should. Please don't let times bring you down when it doesn't turn out like you thought it should! I LOVE you all!!!

Next, Wesley Heart floor, too many patients!!! They still had great nurses trying to save and help people. Here I decided my job was to brighten everyone's day and make as many as I could smile. My new special heart group, I feel a privilege to belong here too. Each night an exhausted DR would come in my room at the end of the day to check on me. He let out a "hmph" like teacher's do at the end of the week. Like thank God we survived! I understood. I said I think you need some mental health days, take some days off. He smiled and said yes, he started to get up. I said wait! Who will get me out of this place? He laughed, there is others. I said oh yah right.

I went home the next day. I finally got all those tubes and wires out. Did you know it's someone's job to watch all of those heart leads? Twice mine got moved, once by me, sorry I tried not to mess with things, and once by a nurse. Within seconds a nurse is in checking on your heart leads. They are in the business of saving lives!

I am not sure what day I received it but I was given the gift of a heart pillow. It was one of the heart Dr's and a special heart nurse if I remember right, some things are still blurry to me. But I remember their smiles and signing it. It helped when I coughed, it helped me when I had to be moved and I am so used to helping but I couldn't. I could hug it and let them move me. But it stores so many memories! To everyone in the business of saving lives, I got to hold my new grand baby girl within 7 days of almost losing mine. I got to kiss and talk to my grandson! Love each other and care for each other. It is what matters in life!

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