Blessings, Trials, and New Perspectives

I know I haven’t kept up with regular updates lately, but the past two months have been nothing short of crazy! Some good and some bad, but everything Steven and I have experienced has truly humbled us and given us a better perspective on life.

In October my internship at a prominent internet marketing company transitioned into a full-time job. My first career-oriented job to be exact! The blessings seemed to just pour all around as our life came together. We were finally settled into being married, careers were taking off, and God was at the center of it all. I absolutely love my job—the work is challenging, the people are amazing, the future is bright, and the location unbeatable!

Towards the end of October, Steven and I started to talk more seriously about investing into our first home. We have both been very responsible and future-oriented with our finances, and always knew that the 4 years of being together before getting married was the perfect time to prepare for buying our first home together. So on Halloween night, after a lot of prayer and careful consideration for weeks, we gathered all the paperwork and signed the papers to get pre-approved for a home loan. I can’t tell you how excited we were!!!

The next three to four weeks were completely consumed with house hunting. Constantly talking with our (amazing) real estate agent, viewing houses, and dreaming of where we would end up. Our initial goal was to find a nice little 2 bedroom condo or townhome in the 92056 area. We were hoping to simply invest into something in the $150-180k range that needed a little work, fix it up, and resell once the market picked up and we were ready for a bigger place. At the time there were a lot of options on the market, but they quite literally vanished within hours of finding. Cash buyers swoop in and grab everything up. It was okay in our minds though, as like most home shoppers we started raising the bar… and the budget. Before we knew it our budget went from the $150k range to just below $300k!!! It was just soo easy to justify spending more. The difference in what you could purchase in the $250k ranges compared to $300k was unbelievable! It just didn’t make sense to settle on a house when we could wait a little longer and be able to afford a home with everything we want. But soon enough none of this mattered.

In mid November, Steven came down with a severe case of what we thought was the flu. After more than a week of staying home from work and school with classic flu symptoms, we realized that something really serious was happening to Steven. The flu symptoms went away and he started coughing and complaining about a pain in his side. I suggested we look online what the symptoms of appendicitis were, and sure enough everything matched up.

I immediately took Steven to the TriCity ER. Within 5 minutes of arriving, the staff had Steven in a bed, hooked up to morphine and vital monitors, and surrounded by doctors. Steven’s mom and I sat in the little room with him for the next 5 hours before the doctors finally figured out what was wrong. The CAT scan results finally came back and revealed that Steven’s abdomen was completely filled with infection due to a ruptured appendix that they think ruptured a full week earlier. We were horrified when the doctors admitted that they were baffled by how he made it, but we were just relieved to know he was now in the right hands.

We arrived at the ER around noon that day, and Steven went into surgery around 8pm. Two and a half hours later, Dr. Jamshidi (Steven’s surgeon) finally came out and gave us the good news—surgery went well and he was able to do everything laparoscopic. He said he couldn’t allow any visitors that night, but he allowed me to visit in the recovery room for just a few minutes to put Steven’s wedding ring back on. It was soo horrible. He was in soo much pain and I couldn’t do anything to help. Thankfully it was a slow night so he had all the attention of the recovery room nurse, but seeing him just after surgery was heartbreaking. I was soo thankful to see him that night, but I can’t tell you how horrible it was going home alone knowing how much pain he was in.

I arrived at the hospital early the next morning and thankfully the nurses were nice enough to let me in before visiting hours. My work was incredibly understanding of the situation and allowed me to take time off to be with Steven until he came home. For the next 4 days, Steven was surrounded by his loved ones visiting all hours of the day. While Steven’s surgery was scary, I think the time spent at the hospital to recover was far worse for both of us. Before Steven got sick, he was a healthy 190 lbs. at 6’4’’. But from the Sunday of his surgery through the following Sunday, Steven probably ate less than one small serving size of food. He was in soo much pain and on soo much medicine that he just couldn’t eat. And anyone that knows Steven knows he can out-eat anyone! It didn’t get any better when he came home.

Driving Steven home was horrible because every little bump made him tighten up and cause pain. He did okay once we got him home, but the worst was yet to come. The doctor prescribed him double strength Percocet which turned out to be a huge mistake. Steven’s parents let us stay at their house and sleep in their bed so Steven didn’t have to go up stairs (he couldn’t). He literally couldn’t not move, sit, stand, walk, or do anything on his own—he just didn’t have the strength and was in too much pain.

In the middle of the night, Steven woke up at his worst. The Percocet was reeking havoc on his body and he thought he was going to throw up. I quickly helped him to the bathroom and he immediately starting violently vomiting uncontrollably—the worst possible thing he could do since he just had a serious surgery on his abdomen. Steven’s parents came in to me yelling for help. I guess it was a combination of exhaustion and being traumatized by watching the person I love most in such pain, but I just remember feeling dizzy and falling to the floor. I won’t go into all the details, but I will never forget this night as the worse night of my life.

That next day was Thanksgiving and there’s nothing more I’ll ever be thankful for than having my husband healthy and by my side. Some wonderful family friends knew what we were all going through and created an entire Thanksgiving dinner for us, but it was really difficult not having Steven with us (we couldn’t eat around him because it would make him feel sick). Throughout the experience—being sick with the “flu,” having an emergency appendectomy, to returning home from his parents house—Steven dropped 15 pounds! I know, most would think he’s lucky, but at 190 pounds he really didn’t have anything to lose but muscle.

Each day Steven is regaining his strength, appetite, and overall health. He had an additional week off of work and school once he returned home, but that was filled with catching up in school, making up assignments, and preparing for finals. Now, the week of finals, Steven is caught up in school (all his professors were really helpful), back at work, and we are finally settled back in to the life we love living together.

Steven and I spent some time talking and processing everything that had happened. We realized how fragile our lives are, we were reminded of how great our God is and that he’s the only thing that matters, and we have truly become even closer than we ever thought possible. We realized how much we rely on each other, how much we really need each other, and how nothing should ever come before God and our marriage. When you have God in your life, He shows you the light and his purpose in everything—He definitely changed our hearts, humbled us, and gave us a new perspective and understanding about His purpose for our lives.

Now, we are excited to celebrate our first Christmas as husband and wife and the true reason for the season! We even got settled in time to do a little Christmas tree shopping. Meet… the one! 🙂

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4 Comments

Filed under Our Life

4 responses to “Blessings, Trials, and New Perspectives

  1. Hi! Saw your post at YHL and thought I would just drop by! You’re a great writer, cant wait to read more. My goodness, what a trial for such a young, newly married couple to go through.! My husband and I had already been together about 10 or 12 years when we had our first experience like that. He had shingles and first it was misdiagnosed and then it got bad and the meds mad him sick and it got worse. He was in the hospital about a week and I was just a wreck. Then in 2007 he had a knee replacement surgery. Everything went so well, he was an incredible patient, never complained. Long story a little shorter…after experiencing shortness of breath about a week after surgery they discovered he had a pulmonary emolism. I was so scared I didnt even want him to move. Poor guy…he would fall asleep and I would watch his stomach go up and down but the minute I even thought it didnt move I would wake him up. Horrible, I know! He finally said he was gonna have to send me home if I didnt let him get some sleep. lol. Anyway, with MUCH thanks to God, all is well and we are happy and well. Praying your hubby feels 200% better with each passing day and sending up thanks that you all are finally getting back to settled. Merry Christmas! Sorry for the chatty “comment”.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience Jennifer! I know exactly what you mean about watching him to make sure he’s breathing.. it’s so scary!!! We have soo, soo much to be thankful for this year. It’s hard to believe how much has happened in 2010- graduating, new jobs, marriage/honeymoon, new home, new kitties, house hunting, medical emergency, and now my husband graduating! But God definitely takes care of his children! 🙂

  3. I saw your post on PW — I’m JohnsGirl0310 =)
    I love finding new blogs!!
    I am so glad to hear that Steven is getting better each day. I am sure he is equally thankful for you and your support/love/care throughout this ordeal. Stay strong — God is good =)

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