Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Fairytale Wedding + A Crohn's Update & Prayer Request

I've struggled for awhile with what to blog about, so that's why my posts have been scarce since Brandon's hospitalization. It feels like every time I want to sit down and start a new post, I can't quite seem to come up with the words.

I guess I'll just dive right in this time so I won't have time to think about it.

This past Saturday, Brandon's brother Brad got married. Last week was an exciting week because it was spent...

Putting last minute touches on Jessica's garters that I was making:

Finishing up sewing the boys' bowties:

Completing the burlap ring bearer pillow I made for Paxton to carry (picture to come later), getting pedicures with the bridal party...

Going to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner:

And of course anticipating the big day on Saturday. Brandon was going to play golf with the groom and other groomsmen Saturday morning and I was going to spend my *birthday* morning (yep! My birthday was on Saturday, the day of the wedding!) with the boys and waiting for my mom and Deryl to arrive.

All was going great (wedding crafts completed - check! pedicure - check! rehearsal - check! golfing - check!) and the boys decided they wanted to treat mommy to a pancake breakfast :)

Around lunchtime, Mom and Deryl arrived and took the boys and I out for lunch and when we got back home, the plan was for me to change into my dress, doublecheck we had everything we needed for the wedding, and leave in time to get pictures with the bride and bridal party before the wedding.

Here's my opportunity to use that creepy line in suspense novels...

Then the phone rang...

Yeah, I did it. I said the creepy suspense novel line. Whatever. But seriously, the phone rang.

Anyway, Brandon called and I immediately knew something was wrong. He, in a very strained voice, asked if I had left yet because if I hadn't, I needed to come pick him up ASAP. He was having severe pain - hospital level pain - and wasn't sure he was going to be able to get out of the bathroom without help, let alone stand alongside his brother at the wedding later.

This wasn't the plan. The plan was to meet at the wedding, have a glorious time celebrating 2 people we love so dearly and for everything to go smoothly. The plan was to dance the night away, eat wedding/birthday cake, and cry happy tears at how great mushy-gushy love stories are.

The plan was for life to be normal after surgery... The plan was to have a bit of a BREAK after mountains of medical debt, months of turmoil, and years of pain...

But instead, I found myself throwing clothes in a hospital bag in my floor-length dress I had already changed into, grabbing phone chargers and socks for just in case, and barreling down I-40 to get to my husband as quickly as possible.

In the span of less than an hour, I had made arrangements for Paxton to get to the wedding (you know, just in case Brandon and I were stuck in the ER somewhere), packed a hospital bag, and talked with him several times to check on him before I got there. On the way to drop Paxton off with Cole (thanks Uncle Cole!!!), Paxton sensed something was wrong and immediately told me that we should pray for daddy's tummy:

"Dear God, can you please help my daddy's tummy feel better? He's real sick and me and mommy are worried about him. If you could help his tummy feel better and help us get a great night's sleep, thanks! Amen!" (He always prays that we'll get a great night's sleep... guess we pray about that a lot!)

Brandon was weak. Really, really weak, and in lots of pain. Luckily, he had pain medication leftover from after surgery and he took some. And then took some more. (And maybe a little bit more.) He was literally sucking on pain pills because he couldn't swallow anything and keep it down. My poor, sweet husband was determined to make it to that wedding. I know that all he could think about in that moment was not letting his little brother down. He thinks so much of Brad, of what a strong young man he's grown into, and wanted so desperately to be able to stand beside him on such an important day.

We called on prayer warriors to get us through the evening and pretty much expected to be heading to the hospital after the wedding ceremony. Our church was asked to begin praying, and we had tons of family and close friends on the job as well. Brandon was a little loopy from the pain meds, but made it through the ceremony and we were able to stay for the reception too, only by God's grace! Brandon was hungry (and nauseous from having pain medication on an empty stomach) but wanted to just go home and see if he could sleep. He spent much of the next day in bed or in the recliner and tried eating small portions at a time to see how his body would react.

See, he had been in a Crohn's flare for the past week and a half but was able to control it by limiting what he ate and trying not to overdo it. He kept saying that he knew something was different and that it didn't feel right. He had been using essential oils before each meal and that seemed to really help but he knew something was off. The pain the day of the wedding was "blockage" kind of pain and to be quite honest, that terrifies me.

Why? Because there's no way we could possibly have to go through what we went through last year so soon, right? He wouldn't have to have surgery... again... would he? We couldn't possibly have more medical bills and more pain and more time out of work, right?


This week has been spent trying to arrange doctor's visits so we can avoid an ER visit and of course UNC doesn't have an appointment until July, and this integrative natural doctor's office we're trying to get in with doesn't have anything until August. OK... really?!

But today, the nurse for Brandon's doctor at UNC called him and said that they are moving appointments around in the morning because he needs to be seen ASAP. He was immediately put on the schedule to have an MRI at 9:00am tomorrow and to see the doctor in clinic right afterwards. If you know anything about big hospital systems like UNC, you know that the doctor must be concerned, because things just don't move that quickly.

We are worried. When the doctor moves patients around just to see you, you get a little nervous. I've caught Brandon several times tonight, eyebrows furrowed, with eyes lost deep in thought. He's worried about taking the time away from his job to have the appointment, he's worried about the appointment, and he's worried about his health.

I'm worried, because my husband is worried. The good news in all of this is that we don't have to worry.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself, Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, in prayer and supplication, present your requests to the Lord." Phillipians 4:6

"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you, he will never let the righteous fall." Psalm 55:22

We are asking that you, our friends and family, join us in prayer tonight, and tomorrow as Brandon spends the morning in testing (they mentioned possibly needing to do a scope too!) and with the doctor. We are specifically praying for peace, wisdom for the doctors, positive results, and a simple longterm solution.

There is much more to our story I'd like to share but it seems as though I've written a book. Maybe, if you'll let me, I'll share bits and pieces in the weeks to come.

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