Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Looks could be deceiving. My acquaintances might believe (at least I think they do) that I am opinionated, independent, stubborn, obsessive, and tough. BUT, people who REALLY know me, realize that I am actually opinionated, independent, stubborn, obsessive, but not as tough as I look.

Deep down inside, I am a hopeless softy. I am actually very sensitive (حساسة) , despite the impression given by my posts that I am shenshitive (حشاشة) - sorry but this extremely old joke will only be appreciated (I hope) by Arabic speakers.

These past six weeks or so, have really been nerve wrecking. My husband has been to the Emergency Room and in the Intensive Care Unit as frequent as I wash my hands each day, my hubby & I fight each week, or even my mom calls - long distance - as soon as she suspects that one of us is not well. In other words A LOT!!

Although I am not a big fan of medical shows - cause I faint at the sight of blood - I did not mind , even enjoyed, watching patients being zapped with an electric shock to bring them back to life. I though it was cool hearing the doctor go: "CHARGE. ALL CLEAR. ZAP", and then seeing the lifeless electrocuted patient hitting the ceiling of the OR and then falling back into his bed alive.

In real life, and when I received a call at work from an ER nurse telling me not to panic but to come immediately to the ER to sign a consent giving the doctors permission to Cardiovert my husband, I immediately panicked, although I had no idea what the heck she was talking about. During my 10 minutes run from my office to the ER, the tough Nahoul disappeared, and the fragile person inside me, that one I usually manage to hide, took over.

Although my husband has been admitted to the ER several times in the past years, but seeing him there with wires connected to his arms, legs, and body, and the alarms on the monitor flashing and beeping like crazy immediately pushed the hand of the panic sensor in my head to the extreme panic zone. Before I could talk to him, the cardiologist walked in the cubical, told me that he could not wait for me so he already got the consent from my husband, (not sure how cause he was in no condition to sign his name, even if he was told that the consent was actually his marriage contract to Haifaa Wahbi) and asked me to wait behind the curtains cause he was going to do Cardioversion, which is administering an electric shock to his heart, because it was beating at the Speedy Gonzales rate of over 150 beats per minute, which is dangerous to his life!!!

I have no idea what sort of an expression was on my face at that particular moment, but it must have not been a smart one cause without me asking him to elaborate he added that it was like when a computer freezes because it is busy looping in an endless process, sometimes the only solution is to turn it off, then turn it back on again. He added that the shock will stop the heart, and when the heart automatically restarts, hopefully it will start beating at a normal heart rate. This I could understand. My only worry was the heart not responding to the treatment and its rate not going back to normal which is extremely dangerous to my husband,'s life considering his heart condition.

I am grateful that at the time (not sure due to the shock I was in, because of my strong faith in God, or because I am actually not that smart) I never contemplated the fact that there must be a small chance that (God forbid) the heart would not restart, thus the consent. Needless to say, hearing the doctor say "CHARGE. ALL CLEAR. ZAP", then hearing him add: "Normal sinus rhythm" after the first try was music to my ears. Thank God. I am truly grateful. Hubby was monitored in the ICU for a couple of days, and then released to go rest at home. I tried to be strong and supportive to him, but instead I was extremely anxious and must have added to his worries. Tough Nahoul my foot!!!

Not to be any less dramatic than ER or Gray's Anatomy, two weeks later, and after going back to work, he was admitted again to the ICU with the same problem and some additional complcations. After two more weeks of scare, frustration, panic, and contradicting doctors' opinions, he had to go through another Cardioversion (again I was standing steps away and could hear everything going on). This one too was successful, al hamd l Allah, and he is back to normal sinus rhythm.

I am happy to report, especially to my kids, that my husband is currently stable and that he is resting at home. He must have been really scared this time cause for the first time in his life he is actually taking it easy, and is following doctors' orders (touch wood, rock, & fiber glass).

As you must have guessed, he did have numerous adventures with fellow patients during his multiple stays, but I will tell you all about those adventures in another post.

p.s. To all those who provided their support and good wishes in the past difficult weeks, we both thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post Mom. I would argue that you are tougher than you look, and not vice versa.
You are great at sticking by people's side during tough times, especially dad. You are lucky to have each other's support.

George Clooney ;)

Anonymous said...

I was going to write the exact same thing that George Clooney wrote.
Georgette Clooney