To start this off- we want to give an enormous thank you to everyone who has supported us in our absence over the last few months. Not only did my sister suffer a life changing medical emergency, but with several other health adventures in our family and stressful situations– 2019 has been a zinger. I have a lot to say about this season, but we feel like we need to start from the beginning. We don’t ever want to “complain,” because God has answered some serious prayers for us in the last few months– but it has definitely been a trying and anxiety filled season. If you haven’t read our first post back– please check it out here. My sister, Amberly, bravely describes a terrifying and unexpected event in our lives. Here is my (Whitney) perspective of February 1, 2019…
On Friday, February 1, 2019, Duane and I were headed to Jackson, MS to spend the weekend with my sister, brother in law and nieces/nephews. We were SO excited (and crazy nervous) because we were scheduled to have our first appointment with our new fertility doctor on Monday, February 4. He wasn’t really a “new” doctor, because Dr. Isaacs was the doctor that my sister and brother in law have worked with for many years. He is very important to our family because we have all our sweet nephews and nieces, Wil Franklin first, then Henry and Sarah Cate/Callie Rose from treatments done with him. Obviously we know that God breathes life, but Dr. Isaacs has been an integral part of helping my sister build her family through IUIs and IVF.
Duane and I have known IVF was most likely in our future, but up until this point– it was financially “out of the question.” Even making the appointment on February 4 was a step of faith, because we had NO idea how we would pay for it, but we knew the time was right. (More on this later! Exciting news to come!)
So off we went on our trip after work that day. Nervous. Excited. But only thinking of one thing: IVF appointment.
I spent the trip texting my sister and updating her on our whereabouts, talking about the weekend, and with no idea that she had been feeling so bad all day.
At 9:15pm, my sister texted me: “Where are y’all?” And I responded with, “Almost there.”
When we pulled into the driveway at my sister’s house at about 9:30pm, my brother in law Matt ran out to the driveway. He was wild eyed and his face was white as a ghost.
He said, “Amber’s just had a seizure, I’ve called the ambulance, it’s on its way.”
What? I made him repeat himself.
My sister doesn’t have seizures.
I dropped my bags and ran into the house yelling, “WHERE IS SHE??” Only to find my sister completely incoherent, labored breathing, and slumped in her bed with blood down both sides of her mouth. (Later to find out it was because she had bitten through her tongue.) It was absolutely the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.
I grabbed her face and tried to wake her. She was completely incoherent and glassy eyed. She kept trying to lay down and sleep. I’ve never experienced a seizure before, and we weren’t quite sure what had happened, so I just felt like it was my responsibility to keep her alert until the paramedics got there. It was the most terrifying 10 minutes of my life. It was packed with begging her to breathe, stay awake, to respond to me, and desperate prayer. I will never forget those moments as long as I live.
In those terrifying minutes, I did the only thing I knew how and that was to call out loudly and boldly to the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our great Healer and Redeemer. There was a mixture of sheer panic in keeping her awake, and calling out in prayer. I guarantee you, He and only He, is the reason an overwhelming calm came over me in the midst of pure chaos.
When the paramedics got there, she was starting to “come to” but she was completely disoriented and very upset. She woke up confused with about 8 strange men in her bedroom. She was very ornery, ripped the needle out of her arm when they tried to start an IV, and literally almost body slammed me in an attempt to get away from everyone. On a lighter note, I did think, “When she comes to, I’m gonna knock her out for this!” 🙂
Thankfully Duane and I had pulled up to the house just minutes after the seizure, and Duane was able to stay at the house with the sleeping babies while Matt and I went to the hospital.
Sidenote: My sweet husband stayed by the staircase the whole time the ordeal was happening: from the time we got to the house, to the moments Amber was very upset being taken out on a gurney– just in case in any of the kids woke up. He made sure to be there to make sure none of them came downstairs and saw anything. I have never been more grateful for this man!
Matt and I followed the ambulance to the hospital. It was at this point I called my parents and let them know what was going on. The only 2 times I broke down was when I called my parents, and when they got there the next day. Its amazing how much we need and appreciate “mama and daddy” in moments like this. I’m forever grateful to still have them and have their support in hard times like this.
When we got to the hospital they immediately started EKG, blood work, samples, and CT. By this time she was speaking clearly and understanding where she was and why. She was still shocked this happened, but much more calm. I could see the “determined Amber” I always knew coming back into her eyes. We’re a lot alike in this sense. We can get upset in fragile moments, but ultimately we both find that inner strength to move forward. I am so proud of my sister- and I saw that fierceness that I love and respect that night.
So so so gratefully, everything came back clear. At that point, I sent Matt home to get some rest because I knew he would need to be back the next day to see the neurologist and any other doctors that would come after that.
On a personal note, I have always had a “manageable” level of anxiety. But as you can imagine, seeing someone you love so much be in a traumatic situation, can definitely heighten that anxiety. I didn’t sleep at all that night (or much since), and definitely put a ditch in those ER halls from all my pacing. At one point (after several hours of nervous walking), the ER nurse said, “Are you sure we can’t get you anything?” And when I answered “no thank you,” I asked, “Am I making you nervous?” She responded with a resounding, “Yeah kinda!” LOL.
I am who I am girlfriend. 🙂
In those moments of panic and fear, in the middle of the night– I reached out to friends and family that I knew had our backs. I know– without a shadow of a doubt, that the prayers of those precious friends and family were the only reason we made it through. You know who you are. Thank you.
So… here we are almost 3 months later and if you read Amber’s post a few days ago, you know that we are so thankful for the diagnosis and the reasoning behind this event. It very well could have been a brain tumor or something else as terrible. Even though it was traumatic, and they are still dealing with the “no driving” repercussions, we are so so thankful.
God’s word says in Psalm 50:15, “Call upon ME in your day of trouble, I will deliver you, and you will HONOR me.
So let me honor the God who orchestrated every event that happened that night:
-Amberly is safe and everything is clear. She is continually improving everyday and we trust that God is going to heal her completely!
-Her kids were all asleep and did not experience the trauma that night! It also happened when Matt (who travels a lot for work) was right beside her. Can you imagine if this had happened with her alone? With 4 kids at home? Praise God it didn’t.
-Duane and I literally PULLED IN THE DRIVEWAY, 3-5 minutes after it happened. I could stay with her while Matt got the ambulance in the neighborhood, and Duane could stay with the kids while we went to the hospital. We live 6 hours away and haven’t been to Jackson since last summer. What are the chances?
As we’re wrapping up the Easter weekend, I just want to ask you– Do you know the Great Physician? Do you know the God who conquered the grave? If you don’t, we’d love to have you reach out to us. Even if you’re skeptical or just curious. We’d love to know your story, and we’d love to share ours. It’s worth it. We’re so thankful for our community, for our health, and for answered prayer.
Thank you for being patient. We’re so thankful to be back!
Love, Whit <3