Nine years ago was Nov. 8, 2002. (Why can I hear the smallest saying, "I know, genius..." in my head?!?!)
Chad woke up early to hunt...not my thing, but a new found hobby of his at the time. Seth and I had a list to accomplish. After all, he was about to become a big brother, and we had to get ready for little sister's arrival! Christmas shopping was finished...a goal accomplished to be done by the end of October. Today was grocery shopping and getting fabric to finish the curtain in baby Sarah's room.
At the checkout at Hancocks, with the beautiful pink Laura Ashley fabric in my arms, watching Seth step in the squares of tile on the store floor. As I go to write my check, my phone rings. It's Chad, and I do the "I'm checking out and I'll call you right back." Seth is still busy with the squares. (for those of you who know my firstborn, you know how he loves for things to fit into place...)
Checked out, imagining the beautiful curtain my friend Angie will sew to compliment the bedding mom and I had made for our precious baby girl. Loaded fabric and toddler in car, remember to call Chad back. You could say it took me by surprise when he told me he was driving himself to the hospital. No hunting accident, but shortness of breath and pain. Wait. This man is a fireman, a paramedic...never admits to any pain or even needing to go to the doctor. What is going on?
Let me interrupt with this note: the man drove from Lampassas county, by three hospitals, to central Bell county to come to our hospital in town. Approximately 60 miles. I still don't understand it, but he had his reasons.
To make a very long story short...well, the story is still being written...who am I kidding. Anyway, to sum up that day, Grandma was happy for Seth to come and play at her house while I went to meet Chad at the hospital. Grandpa (my Daddy, who was a tenured ER physician at our hospital) was out of town. The ER was bustling. Chad was in a great deal of pain. We sat. We waited. Hours later, a final diagnosis: bilateral pulmonary emboli. Left lung full of clots. So full that part of his left lung was collapsed. Right lung not so many.
Funny what you remember about significant days like this. I remember...wearing a pink and white check maternity blouse. What brought the person on the other side of the curtain was coming to the ER. (seriously...what some people come up with...) Thinking that Seth didn't have a paci with him and hoping mom had one, because who knows when I'd be home and he needed it at bedtime. Theiss Jones coming to pray with us. Dad calling from Ohio to ask his coworker about Chad's condition. Seeing fear in a fit fireman-husband-daddy's eyes. Most of all, remembering having to leave him in a hospital bed hooked up to lots of monitors and machines. My baby and I got to go to my parent's house and cuddle with my preschooler.
The next day would be full of tests and consults. The next week would be full of tests and consults. After six days he'd get to get out of the room for a walk down the hall. After eight days he'd get to come home.
Life has been different since. Medicines. Specialists. Blood work. Scans. Imaging studies. Multiple hospitalizations. Surgeries. Two more possible life-ending illnesses. Diagnoses. Doctors arguing over diagnoses. Positive prognosis. Negative prognosis. Good nurses. Bad nurses. Increased learning curve. Questions without answers. Frustrations. The list goes on...but one thing is certain. We are thankful for each day.
Nine years ago. Thankful. So thankful that God has left Chad here for some reason and purpose. He's still using Chad's life for good. Longing for the day that Chad is completely healed. No pain. None of the horrible symptoms he lives with every single day...this list is looooong. No meds to take. No doctors visits, scans, labs...
Blessed with beautiful, healthy, precious Sarah Ellen days after Chad's initial hospital stay. He was actually readmitted for three days again at the end of that month. We picked him up Sunday morning to come home again, then checked back in that afternoon and had Sarah the next day. Surprise Ella Grace came 19 months later...sent by God to make us laugh!
Things so personal here in the open for people to read...so unlike my personality.
So if you have made it this far....even if you are mad at your spouse, go hug them and thank God for each day you are given.