Calm is NOT boring!

Life around here has been a little too exciting.  After the last few weeks, I am  now a firm believer that calm is NOT boring.  Our family was thrown a major curve ball about 2 weeks ago and it has made me reflect on the things that are most important in life.  I”ll just let Brian tell it in his own words!

“In a bizarre  set of events, I lost over half the blood volume in my body, received four blood transfusions, and spent four days in the hospital in intensive care.  Let’s just say I’m happy to be here to type these words.

To be quite honest, I’m about as health-oriented as they come.  I run three or four days a week, play competitive tennis a few days a week, practice yoga regularly, and do more pushups, pullups, and situps than I can count.  I’m a young, healthy guy and this kind of thing is supposed to happen to someone else, right?

Well, last Friday, I woke up early and ran six miles.  I had been sick with the flu earlier in the week, yet the run seemed to go fine.  Woke up tired Saturday morning, rolled out the yoga mat for a while, and then went to play tennis as usual.   Pretty normal routine, but almost immediately as I hit a few balls against the backboard I could tell something was wrong.   My heart was pounding, I gasped for breath, and seriously just wanted to lay down on the court and die.  Seriously.  Something is definitely not right.  Of course, dude that I am, I played for another hour until I could barely walk (we usually play for two or three hours), wisely bowed out of a few more sets, and went home wondering what the heck was going on with my body. I just figured I was still recovering from the flu and spent the rest of the day dragging myself around at the beach with the family searching for seashells.

It wasn’t until I passed out later that night, smashing my head on the bathroom sink, laying sprawled out on the floor that it occurred to me that something was really wrong.  Of course, as soon as my lovely wife found me on the floor (she thought one of the kids fell out of bed) she was like let’s go to the ER right now, and of course, I was like just let me call the doctor on Monday to schedule an appointment.  As my heart continued to pound and the disorientation and spinning head persisted, I ultimately agreed to go to the ER.  According to the docs we got there just in the nick of time.

*** I will interject here that I was terrified he was having a heart attack or stroke. When I found him passed out, I finally got him to wake up, and his speech was all slurred.  He had no idea what had happened.  I took his pulse and it was 150!!!  I got him back to bed and he was gasping for air, had numbness in his arms….all these weird things!  However, I did find it hilarious that he would ask me to start recording the BYU basketball game for him in the middle of all of this!  Not what I would personally be concerned with in that situation, but that’s my Bri!  In the morning, Bri Was elated that BYU won their game, and he kept telling me that there was still sunshine in his soul because of the win!

The initial blood-work led the doctors to conduct a scope of my GI tract to see if that was the culprit.  ***Me again! That was only after x-rays, a CAT scan, and a handful of other pokes and prods to rule out other things.  🙂 We spent hours in the ER trying to pin point the problem! Needless to say, what the docs said would be anywhere from a five minute to 45 minute scope procedure turned into two and a half hours of cauterizing small tears in my esophagus that were bleeding out into my stomach.  Turns out I was trying to bleed to death.  Not sure I’d have even made it to the doctor’s office on Monday if I’d gone the normal stubborn route.

Well, the aftermath of the procedure, the massive loss of blood, the transfusions, and the ICU treatment (catheters, IVs, no food then liquid diet, etc) has made this a week to remember.  The doctor’s notes said I should expect to be “profoundly fatigued” for the next several weeks  as my body recovers from the blood loss.  Now there’s an understatement.  Since my discharge from the hospital on Wednesday, life has moved at a dramatically slower pace.  Despite my continued stubbornness, including trying to go to work on Friday (I made it about two hours before my hands wouldn’t stop shaking on the keyboard), I’m slowly regaining strength.

***We’ve hit the 2 week mark since Brian was discharged from the ICU, and he is looking dramatically better.  He’s gained the nickname of “Ghost” at work because he is so pale.  However, compared to 2 weeks ago, he looks downright rosy to me!  I count my many blessing with a little more thought and intent each day now!  I am so thankful that Heavenly Father let him stay with us!  It brought back a lot of the same fears and emotions as when Nathan decided to pull his stunts at 6 weeks old!  Seriously, what am I going to do with my boys!!   Thank you everyone that  was thinking of us and praying for us!  We still have a ways to go for a full recovery, but we are well on our way!

These are the pictures from our adventures to Ikea Island and Hamahiga Island. We checked out the parks and beaches all over the islands!  It’s amazing to me that Brian did all this while slowly bleeding out internally! It’s a miracle he didn’t pass out while we were out and about!  That would have complicated things!!!


These are the STOP taking pictures Mom looks!!  I couldn’t resist!

15 comments… add one
  • Angie

    That is super scary!! Did it make it scarier being over there by yourself? BTW Brian’s routine sounds a little intense! Is that normally how much he works out? I’m glad everything is okay!

    • Yes, that’s his normal workout. That’s the military for you! He has group PT several mornings a week where they run, do sit ups, push ups, and that sort of thing. Bri does the yoga to help with his flexibility and to help his back. Well, tennis that’s his love, and he does that for fun! I made him pull out of a tennis tournament the end of this month! I wanted to make sure he was feeling much better before he exerted himself that much! Although he’s very good and competitive at it! Yes, it was scary, but it would have been anywhere. We had tons of friends here that we willing to help out! It’s kind of our family away from home! Between church and the military community, we had tons of support here in Japan!

  • Grandmama

    Love you Bri – glad you are feeling so much better! You got to get in top playing shape – not as in tennis, but as in playing with us!! That was one huge scare you gave us – Yikes!!! No more eacitement PLEASE!!!

  • Ashley Olsen

    We can’t believe this. How crazy! Glad you are getting better.

  • Ashley Olsen

    P.S. Natalie your pictures look awesome!

  • Suzy

    Yes, I agree, calm is good!! We’re SO greatful for this miracle, what tender mercies!! We can’t even imagine how scary that was to go through, it was scary hearing about it! We sure love you guys!! The pictures are phenomenal, as usual!

  • colleen call

    Just reading about that experience brought tears to my eyes again as I recalled our fervent prayers for Brian, all of you actually. The Lord has a great work for him to do. I knew that from the day he was born. Thanks for taking the time to share with us. We love you all. We pray for calmer seas in Okinawa and Japan too for that matter.l

  • katie

    We are so glad you are safe and healthy Bri. That was so scary! I don’t even want to think about what could have happened! Take care of yourself! And btw – those pictures are beautiful! What a cute little family!

  • WOW_ I can’t imagine what you have gone through! I am so happy to hear that he is doing well now! Boys can be so stubborn!!! Hopefully he learned his lesson and is taking it easy for a while! P.S- Your children are beautiful!

  • Shanna

    What a scarey time you guys have been through! I’m so glad to hear that Brian is on his way to recovery. You have all been in our thoughts and prayers. Thanks for sharing the story. Glad it is a happy ending!

  • roberta

    Oh my gosh, this was so scary. Do they know what caused all this?? It looks like he is trying to go overboard with his exercise program. The Lord says “Moderation in all things.” Ok, Brian, SLOW DOWN, you don’t have to conquer the world on all levels. You are amazing, and we want you to stay around and prove that to us, hahaha.

    Seriously, you are a special man, and I know you are here for a reason. I hope Natalie, you are ok. You are having some special challenges. We pray for all of you.

  • Marie

    That is so scary! I’m glad that Brian is okay! What happened with Nathan when he was 6 weeks? I hope things slow down for you guys and that Brian’s recovery goes well! Your pictures are so cute. I cannot believe that he did all that when he was bleeding internally!

  • Tara

    We are so thankful Brian is doing better and that you caught it in time. We are still praying for y’all. That is pretty funny that in the midst of everything he was still worrying about BYU basketball! That’s one die hard fan! We love y’all!

  • Julie

    That was a great blog, it was like you guys were sitting here with me telling me a scary story, but, with a happy ending! I also loved your pictures, those kids are so cute, but, I want to see more Natalie!!!!! BTW Bri, I thought your exercise regimen sounded awesome (guess it’s a Call thing:) Love you guys, glad you are all hanging in there okay! Jules

  • Julie

    Boring is a swearword at our house, we like calm! Lol!

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