Today is day 3... at least in this hospital... for this particular stay. We were at another hospital for 3 and a half days before we were transferred here, to UNC Hospitals.
Brandon woke up last Friday morning in intense pain (today is Thursday) and tried to get up and go to work. By the time I was supposed to leave for work, I had given Brandon his pain medication and was coaching him through keeping it down. When the pain gets that intense and his intestines are blocked like they were, he starts vomiting violently. Its pretty sad. I talked him through not throwing up the pain medication for about 20 minutes and he was able to get back into bed where he stayed the rest of the day.
We called his doctor and immediately did what he said, hoping we could keep him out of the hospital.
Weeeell, that didn't really work out.
Is this real life? Is my husband in the hospital?! It has been the most surreal experience. I feel like I'm sitting behind a glass window, watching the world go on their merry way, carrying on as usual - going to work, out for a jog, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, eating out, walking the dog, etc - and here I am, sleeping on a "chair/bed" (more like a glorified piece of plywood with a sheet on top) and flat-ironing my hair in my husband's hospital room.
Brandon has probably had Crohn's for years and we just didn't know it. The poor guy thought that was "his normal" and just lived with it. The surgeon told us that after surgery, he wouldn't know what to think, he was probably going to feel that good. He said, "In all actuality, you probably don't know what good feels like." I think he's probably right.
Brandon has lived with stomach pain and discomfort for years and while we tried different things - gluten free diet, cutting out sodas, going to a GI doc - nothing seemed to help. Then in March, when we landed in the hospital, he had a complete small bowel obstruction. From years of scar tissue build up and inflammation. I am overcome with sadness for this man. Years. Have you known anyone who has dealt with pain for years? Now you do - Brandon.
They say that the severity at which he experienced his Crohn's flare up this year was triggered by stress. He might have gone years and years with no obstruction had we not experienced the life change that we did this year. He would have endured years of pain and we wouldn't have known it was Crohn's disease. He would have continued to grin and bear it... and the thought of that chills me.
Earlier this year we questioned the severe turn our lives took and begged God to help us handle our new circumstances with grace. We wanted to ask why. Why were things happening the way they were, but we knew better. Because the God we serve is a good God. One who will never put more on us than in us to bear it up. One who cared enough to name each star, and cares for us that much more.
They say hindsight is 20/20, and boy are things coming into focus now! We are thrilled with where our lives are now - other than being in the hospital! - and know that God was and is knitting things together for our good. This last year hasn't been easy, and things are certainly not the same, but we have been stretched and grown so much and we have seen the mighty hand of our Savior at work, with a front row seat!
We covet your prayers for our family during this time and have been overwhelmed by the love of our family and friends. I will continue to post specific prayer requests, because I believe in "you have not because you ask not!"
Today, please join with us as we pray for the following:
- Complete healing!!
- Clarity and wisdom for his team of doctors
- minimal (or NO) pain and nausea
- a peace about having surgery
- that our boys can maintain some sense of normalcy
- for safety as family and friends travel to and from the hospital
- that our anxiety about other things (finances, work, scheduling etc) would be lessened
- that we can maintain positive attitudes and continue to glorify Christ