Letter 47: The 2 days I don't remember continued . . .Was I nice to people?

Brian's side of the story continued . . .
            My wife needed me, more than ever, and all I could do was pace back and forth in the waiting room.  I was talking to God and asking for 2 things:  I asked him to spare my wife, and to give me the faith to trust Him with whatever He did do.
            And for me to be patient in the meantime.
            Surprisingly, a nurse came out and told me I could go back.  They don’t normally do that, but it had sounded like with my wife’s condition, I had information that may be helpful.
            I don’t remember a lot of the details, but I do remember I was trying to be helpful, but was more getting in the way.  They did order a stress dose of Hydrocortisone.  I was impressed and relieved.
            Kim had become conscious again, but once again looked at me with those eyes full of fear, not recognizing anyone or anything. 
            Make me think of someone with Alzheimer’s looking at their lifetime friend as a complete stranger.  More than that, was afraid of them and wanted to avoid them. 
            But this time I knew it was temporary and was just waiting for it to pass.
            She went out of consciousness, and then came back as herself again.
            My Aunt Cindy had been there for awhile and had been with me for some of this.  And then my Mom and sister, Jennifer, arrived from Norwalk, about an hour and a half away.  My Uncle Dwight had called them when we left in the ambulance.
            I left Aunt Cindy with Kim, and came out to say hi to them. 
            Everything had been so high-intensity, and after hours of overwhelming emotion and fear and trying to think straight, I finally got to step back and take a breath.
            That’s when I finally broke down.  With a flood of emotions as my mom hugged me, I cried for several minutes, and admitted, “I thought I was going to lose her.  What would I do without her?”

           Dear Elizabeth,
            He stopped here and got choked up. I didn't have the heart to ask him to continue. So I will instead. During those two days Brian says people came to visit me in the hospital. I asked him nervously if I was nice to people. He says I was very polite and had conversations with this, which just feels so weird to me, not being able to remember any of it. The things I do remember are pain, doctors not sure what to do, and Brian's love. He's not generally an openly emotional kind of guy, but that day after I came around he was. Despite it being an awful time, it was also a very special time, which sometimes happen when everything falls apart and you are reminded what is most important in life (See blog post, My Last Day).

My unhappy veins--and this was after several sections had gotten better!

           God saved my life once again by having the doctors choose the right life-risking treatment for my fluid on the brain and eeclampsia. Eventually, I even got released from the hospital. They wanted to keep me longer; in fact, they were planning to put in a Central IV because my veins were so bad. (I'd had one of those before and knew that meant they wouldn't let me out for several more days because that's a big deal and they wouldn't want to take it out if there was a chance I'd be coming back.) So I cried and pleaded and begged to be released. I don't sleep well at all in hospitals and after about 14 days of that, it's hard to do any kind of recovery because you're just so exhausted. Thank the Lord, they let me go.
             We came home with our new little miracle baby. The house was ready, mold problem taken care of, but I wasn't feeling too great and dreaded the 20+ loads of laundry waiting for me (everything in the house would need to be washed because of the mold). But we came home to a clean house with the laundry all done. Brian's sister Jenny had organized a group from the church and they all had taken care of everything. I couldn't believe it. Then the cards started coming in and flowers and baby gifts.
              I don't know when we'd ever felt more loved. Elizabeth, you'll find that crisis times are terrible things that God often uses for good. He uses them to remind us of what is most important, of who is most important, of our complete dependence on God, and of how important it is to show love to those you love, because one day you will no longer have that chance.
            And in this particular crisis, we found out how much we were loved by so many people, which was a wonderful thing. If you ever love someone who is going through a crisis, Elizabeth, even if you are far away you can do a little something, and all those little somethings add up. They really do. Every little thing that people did, every prayer, every note, ever act of service, was such a blessing to us.
           But I have to say, the two most special gifts from the whole ordeal were having my beautiful baby girl and the love shown by my husband and best friend. I'm very glad God has let me stay with him and with my children. I do not take for granted that I am still here with those I love. Life is a gift.

My man and my little girl--yes, this is Hope, who now has blond curls!

          For you, Elizabeth, here are my life lessons from this story:
1. If you love someone, let them know. I have no memory of any warnings that a seizure was coming. I could have died and would never have had the chance to say goodbye to anyone I loved.
2. If someone is in need, your help and love, from the practical ways to the very impractical ways, are a blessing.
3. Don't take life or love for granted.
4. God can take anything, no matter how difficult, and turn it into something good.
         So look for God's hand even in the terrible times. He's there. And He's working out a future and a hope.
         For me it was a future and a baby named Hope. =)

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