Tuesday, September 27, 2016

exhale during the ordinary

Aug 22 - September 27

Five weeks, one day. I've been in the hospital. Yes, I was out for three days at some point in there, but it all seems a blur. I am grateful to be physically better, but I am more excited to go home and start some emotional healing. It is hard being away. It is hard on a marriage. It is hard on a child. It is hard on my mental well being. I can't wait to go back to "ordinary".

"Life is amazing. And then its awful.
And then it's amazing again.
And inbetween the amazing and the awful, it's ordinary and mundane and routine.
Breathe in the amazing,
hold on through the awful,
and relax and exhale during the ordinary.
That's just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful ordinary life.
And it's breathtakingly beautiful.
-L.R. Knost

I was readmitted three days after my last hospital stay to the Intensive Care Unit at the U of U hospital. I had taken a quick turn for the worst and presented with new symptoms. Severe body pain - muscle pain, joint pain, bone pain. Nausea, 103.9 fever, chills - so intense my sister had to physically wrap herself around me and hold me so they could draw blood. I've been poked 21 times in the last 18 days, one arterial line, two IV's, one midline, and one Internal Jugular line. It turns out the Epstein-Barr Virus attacked and jumped to my bone marrow (que the bone pain). It dropped my blood pressure to 95/35 (120/80 normal blood pressure) & my white blood cell count to 0.49 (10,000 normal count). Yes, 0.49 it completely and utterly wiped out my entire immune system.
I've used a bed pan, been bathed by strangers, gained and lost 23 pounds of fluid weight and atrophy of my muscles. I've been so scared, so exhausted, and so grateful.

My family and I have been completely blessed throughout this entire process. Our Arizona friends and family taking care of my husband. Inviting him over to play with their babies and making him a "sack lunch" on his first day back to school - they took direct instructions on how I would prepare his sandwich, just so it might feel like we were there with him. Keeping his fridge/pantry stocked so he didn't feel lost without food.

To our neighbors, ward and family members who babysat and cared for Hawke as I would, the last 37 days. Making sure he felt complete love and happiness. Oh, how I can't thank you enough! These generous people also cared for my siblings, and I. 30+ meals were delivered to them or I, and 10 special acts of service (besides watching Hawke) were provided to lighten the load and burden on their shoulders. Oh, how I am grateful.

This post wouldn't be complete without thanking my Uncle who came and cared for me many days and nights as I was struggling with fear and worry. And my dear Mother-in-Law who has been in Utah the same amount of days as I have been in the hospital. Hurrying here to care for me and be by my side each and every day (multiple nights as well). I have felt tremendous love. There's just something about having a mother figure around that brings peace and calming feelings. She deserves a paycheck just as big as the nurses and aides combined for all the work she did and help she provided me instead of pressing the "call light" for their assistance. 

'shampoo cap' hair wash

I graduated from Physical Therapy this last week (meaning I can walk on my own without oxygen and a stable blood pressure/hear rate). Yesterday the girl that came in to see me exclaimed, "Wow! look at you! You are doing so much better, you look so great!" "You may not remember me (I don't). I was your PT when you were in the ICU. That first day when we were able to get you to sit on the side of the bed and then stand, for just a few moments. I am so glad I got to see you again and how well you are doing!" Hearing these words gave me much hope. Hearing her gratitude reminded me that I needed to have more gratitude in how much my body has healed in really a quick amount of time.

 I still have the EBV virus running through my body, I am still tired, I am scared to go home and resume the responsibilities that come with a house and a baby. I have doubts about myself. I know I need patience as my body continues to heal, but being reminded by that PT about truly how far I've come, helped me to gain perspective and confidence that I can do hard things. 


  1. You inspire me. I'm sorry you have had these things happen to you. Your story is always full of gratitude and reminds me that I have a lot to be grateful for. I love you.

  2. You are my hero and we're all still so blessed to have you here with us still and now home ❤️❤️❤️ Love you sissy!!