Thursday, January 22, 2009

One Year Ago Today

On this date last year I came home and found my husband conscious, but unresponsive. In retrospect, that was the single worst day I have had thus far. At the time, I didn't have time to process any thoughts. I immediately went into disaster avoidance mode. Here's our story, in my words. Chad's would probably be a little different(not very much though), but since it's my blog I'm telling it my way.

I was 8/9 months pregnant. Clayton was born around 3 weeks later, so you do the math. I'm not good at it, and it's not really relative anyway. Chad had experienced 2 episodes of hypoglycemic coma in the past 3 days. A hypoglycemic coma is the term that used to refer to a critical low blood sugar level, and generally the person experiencing the low blood sugar does not know what is happening. It's like the blood sugar drops, and the brain goes in to survival mode only. I don't know if this is actually the case, but it almost seems like the brain stem that controls rudamentary function(breathing and heart function) is the only thing that works. Now, before you get all smart on me, and think something like "if he's been a diabetic for 10 years, and his blood sugar is getting low, then why doesn't he just eat some food?" I really wish it worked that way, but sometimes for Chad it doesn't. As a conjunction to his diabetes, Chad has a condition called Hypoglycemic Unawaredness. It's 2 big words that basically mean he can't tell when his blood sugar is getting low.

Anyway, Chad had already had 2 of these episodes over the weekend, and the Monday before. They completly drain your body, and he says they feel like you have a severe hangover(never drank alcohol, so I wouldn't know). Chad had stayed home from school that day, because he felt so poorly. I had called him around 10am to check in with him and see how he was feeling. At 10am he was fine. I had an errand to run at lunch(I think that's what I do every day at lunch time) so I had not planned to go home. I also wasn't going to call because Chad hates to be babied. But, really who likes to be babied besides babies. I ran my errand and was heading back to work, and just thought to call home. I didn't get an answer, but that's not incredibly unusual either. I didn't think much about it. But the closer I got to the office the more I felt: Rephrase: God told me that I needed to call again. I didn't get an answer a second time, or third, or fourth, or tenth for that matter(yes, I called 10 times in a matter of about 10 minutes). I decided I needed to get home and find out what was going on. Thank the Lord that He speaks directly to His children, and tells us what to do. Thank the Lord that I listened, because I don't always do that either.

I made my way home, very unsafely, and entirely too quickly. The Lord kept me safe though. I ran(or more like jiggled/bounced) into the house and found Chad. He couldn't respond to me, look at me, squeeze my hand. He could do nothing. He was breathing, and he did have a pulse. I breathed a sigh of relief. Because this had happened before, I knew exactly what was happening. I immediately began to give him apple juice. Not easy for someone who's unresponsive. There's a 15 minute protocol for hypoglycemia. I followed that as closely as I could. After nearly 15 minutes, the situation had not changed. I began to give him more apple juice. Slowly, very slowly, he started to have eye movement. Not regular eye movement, very rapid eye movement. I thought at the time that he was having a seizure. I'm still inclined to believe that's what was happening. Seizures can occur with a hypoglycemic episode.

At this point I was worried about not getting his blood sugar up to a decent level before Chad lost consciousness, so I called 911. I ahve never in my life called 911, and hope I never have to again. Meanwhile, I kept pushing the apple juice and praying. The only cure for a low blood sugar is to introduce sugar back into the body and wait. I was honestly anticipating a trip to the hospital. Because of the amount of time that Chad had been down, I didn't expect things to go well at all.

The Lord had a different plan though. Almost as soon as the EMS pulled into our driveway, Chad's eyes opened and he was responsive. I was amazed that he came back(that's what we call it anyway) so quickly. Of course, he had to deal with all of the side effects of the hypoglycemic coma, and believe me they are not pleasant. But, they beat permanent coma, or death, which looked at the time to be very close.

I did not realize at the time, how close I came to losing Chad. I know that he would go to Heaven when dies, but I don't want that day to be anytime soon. I need him too much. And yes I know the Lord provides strength, but I still want the husby here with me. Selfish yes, but he's my husband I can be selfish over him. He's my best friend, the best daddy to Clayton, the only person that can deal with my neurocies on a daily basis(for they are many), the only person I want to sleep beside at night, the only one that I want to come home too, and so very much more.

The rest of 2008 was very eventful, but we came out in 2009 better people. We love, value, and cherish each other so much more after facing the possible loss of a part of our whole. We have a deeper dependence on each other, and most definitely on our God. He is merciful, and graceful. He could and can take either one of us home to Heaven at any time, but for now, He has chosen to let us be together and work for Him. I enjoy my life immensely. Wouldn't change a thing.

I am glad to have experienced all of the heartache and hurt that we have. It makes the sunny days brighter, and God's love even bigger.

Chad, I Love You, I'm glad you stuck around for me and Clayton. I don't tell you enough(or ever because that would mean I had to admit I can't do everything myself) how much I need you. You are the brightest day, and the best night.


Amber G said...

Wow I remember Jamie telling me about this, but never in that much detail, I can imagine how scared you were I've seen my aunt go through the same things! Im glad everything is doing fine now!

And I also wanted to thank you for the comment, It really meant a lot to me =)

Simply Donna...... said...

Ok, although I know this story, it stills brings tears to my eyes. However, I have to admit the added addition of jiggled / bounced has also brought tears to my eyes but in a whole different way.

chadandnikki said...

What can I say. I was very pregnant. I don't think anyone that pregnant actually walks anywhere.

Joan Carr said...

Even though you are 26, you are still my baby and now that you are a mother I know that you understand.I hate the thought of you ever hurting in anything but I must step back and let God do with your life as HE sees fit. And this to is for HIS purpose to make you and Chad more like HIM.I sure am glad that God can go where I can't, and HE and HE alone can take care of us ALL. I will have to say the jiggles/bounced also helped to dry up my tears. Girlfriend/Daughter of mine you ain't got any sense.

jamielynn said...

:( this story is sad. because i remember coming and seeing him. and i cried ahahah because i love my brother so very much.

the jiggled/bounced part made me laugh out loud.

my favorite part was this quote: "you are the brightest day and the best night" AWH!

i love you both so much.. you will never be able to understand what you guys really mean to me.

Phil said...

you know we have these low blood sugar spells for attention :) hehe. :) Being a diabetec myself I know what Chad went through. I pray for you guys daily and that God will keep you both safe and use your work. We love you guys!! PS Tell the dr. you want a glucogon shot to keep around the house. If he goes out, give him this and he'll be back to normal in no time {with a busting headache} but it's better than choking on juce!! Love you guys!!

chadandnikki said...

Thanks Phil! After this episode, we now have Glucagon. I have entirely too many of them actually. It's amazing what you learn after the fact.