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!!!