Two years ago, on this day, I experienced one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through. Some of you may remember this, some of you don't. So I will give a "brief" recap of the events from February 2006.
It started with Chris developing a stomachache during the evening of February 8th. He thought he ate something bad. We went to bed around 11 or so that night. I awoke around 2 or 2:30 AM to feed Laura Anne, who was then only 7 weeks old. Chris was still up and feeling a lot worse. I asked him if we needed to go to the hospital and when he had to think about it first, I started to panic. He said yes, so we got dressed, got some things together for Laura Anne and left for the ER. Once we were there, I decided to call our pastor to let him know what was going on. He showed up by 4 AM, and by that time we were in a "room" in the ER waiting to see a doctor. The doctor that was on call did not know what was wrong with Chris. He thought it might be his appendix. They did an x-ray that showed blockage in his small intestine. Then they put an NG tube through his nose, down his throat and into his stomach (I think it went to his stomach). That was a horrible ordeal even for me and I was down the hall. When I saw Chris his eyes were bloodshot and he looked terrible. He could barely talk to me because of the tube. He was on morphine by now, so he could rest a little. Now we had to wait for a different doctor to determine what to do next.
I'm so thankful for the friends we have in our church. The pastor's wife brought diapers and wipes for Laura Anne, and offered to take her for the afternoon so I could sit with Chris. Another friend bought formula for Laura Anne to eat while she wasn't with me. It was her first time drinking formula. I am thankful she did well. Other friends just came to the hospital to sit with me during the awful waiting period. By around 3 PM or so on the 9th the doctor decided surgery was necessary to remove the blockage, even though he wasn't positive what the blockage was. I was scared to death. I walked alongside Chris as far as they would let me before he was wheeled into surgery around 4:00 that afternoon.
Then began the longest 2 hours of my life, in the waiting room just waiting and waiting. I was able to get a little sleep. When I woke up at around 6 I wasn't sure where I was at first. Then it dawned on me, and I just started crying. What surprised me was the room full of people I recognized, all from our church. They were there for me, and that moved me so much. Laura Anne was back from her afternoon away from me, and while I was so relieved to see her and hold her, I felt so empty.
Not much later, the doctor came in to tell us how surgery went. What he found out was that Chris had Meckels Diverticulitis. I'm sure you know exactly what that is. I'm not even positive what it is, but basically it has something to do with the way Chris' belly button healed after he was born. Typically, doctors see this in young kids, so why Chris' waited until he was 26, I don't know. Anyway, they had to cut out 4 inches of his small intestine and he was to stay in the hospital for at least 4 days with the NG tube still in.
I was able to see Chris briefly before I left to sleep at a friend's house. He was still drugged, but when he saw me, his eyes lit up and he said "hey baby!" I'm getting teary eyed now, just remembering that. It was the hardest thing I could do to leave him there that night. Thankfully, two of our friends from church, one of whom is a nurse, offered to stay overnight with him and take care of him for me. Of course, I don't really have to mention that I had a hard time sleeping that night without Chris by side, knowing he was in the hospital.
The next couple days went by slowly, and painfully. I had many friends come by to comfort us, and some babysat Laura Anne when I just needed some uninterrupted time with Chris. I believe it was Sunday the 12th when Chris' NG tube could finally come out. We both were so relieved. We thought he would get to go home Monday, but for whatever reason that didn't happen. He wasn't able to go home Tuesday either.
We were able to have a "date" Tuesday night, though, just the 3 of us at the hospital. It was Valentine's Day and we asked that no one come by for a couple hours that evening. We ordered hospital food and ate dinner together. Well, I ate. He tried but couldn't eat much at all. It was definitely a Valentine's Day to remember.
To try to finish this story, Chris was released on Wednesday afternoon, the 15th of February. He had spent almost a whole week in the hospital. We were relieved to come home, but we still had a long road ahead of us. Chris' bandages had to be replaced twice a day, and his incision had to be cleaned to prevent infection. I got nauseous at the mention of the word "incision" so we were very thankful that 2 of our nurse friends from church went out of their way to come to our house twice a day to take care his bandaging. The incision did end up getting a little infected, which was no fun at all, but slowly he was healing and he finally was able to go back to work and play with Laura Anne and do normal things.
Looking back now, it is still hard to think about all that happened. It came so unexpectedly, and we were so unsure of what was to come, we really had to rely on God to get us through. He provided us with the best friends we could ask for in the absence of our families. We were so blessed by all that everyone did for us, our words of thanks hardly seemed appropriate. God was faithful to us and we grew closer as a family during that trying time.
I would like to end this by saying something to my husband: Chris, I love you so much and I'm so glad that you are here with me and we are about to celebrate a new addition to our family. You mean so much to me, I don't know what I would do without you. Every time I see your scar I'm reminded of all that we've been through together and am so thankful that God chose to keep you here with me for a while longer. I love you. I love you. I love you! No tricks after this baby is born, though, okay?! :o)