Saturday, August 11, 2012

The story of the slowest mad dash to Zion, ever.

Hi friends,

I realize that some of you are pretty sketchy on details of what went down with Ryan yesterday.  Of course, most of you know that we got amazing news this week about his cancer.  What you may NOT know is that we also met Chris Tomlin this past Thursday after his Unity Fest concer, which was super exciting!  I'm planning on writing a post about that soon. (I was going to write it yesterday afternoon, but yesterday fell apart...more about that right now.)

So after a phenomenal week, Friday morning started out kind of sluggish.  Because Ryan and I were out whooping it up late Thursday night (my parents watched Colton that night, so we were certainly footloose and fancy free!), I slept in kind of late.  Ryan woke me up around 9 a.m. to tell me that he had not slept well the night before and felt like he was coming down with some sort of cold or something. I got up and made him breakfast and sent him to work late with a mug of green tea and a kiss on the cheek.  I was mildly concerned because he was developing a "cold" and had had such low white blood cell counts this week, but didn't think much of it.

I went and retrieved Colton from my parents and went to a farmers market to get vegetables for a soup that I was planning on making Friday evening.  As I was chopping veggies and Colton was busy making total chaos of the house with his toys, Ryan texted me and asked him to come get him.  I texted back that I would come get him as soon as I got the soup going, which would only take a few more minutes.  Five minutes later, he called me and asked me again to come get him.  I told him, "Sure.  You just texted me a few minutes ago, though.  I was already planning to come."  He told me that he had no recollection of texting me and that he had just thrown up.  So I dropped the veggies, grabbed rain boots as it was super soggy outside, and Colton and I loaded up quickly. 

On my way to get Ryan, he called me two more times (it's not THAT far of a distance).  Each time he sounded more and more distant and "out of it".  I was beginning to get really scared because he wasn't acting completely conscious and he was talking very strangely.  When I arrived at Grace to pick him up, I found him laying down on the couch at his parents' house next door to camp, with his summer media specialist Brian sitting by him.  Brian told me that he had been in a meeting with Ryan when Ry suddenly started to act...not lucid.  Ryan abruptly got up and left the room, and Brian heard him throw up and try calling me from the bathroom.  Brian, if you're reading this, know that I'm really thankful for the way that you took care of him and didn't leave his side while I was coming to get him!  You are a gem. (Even if you DO go to U of M.) ;)

Ryan's dad arrived at his house and we decided that Ryan should get to an ER ASAP.  We decided that I would take Ryan to the ER and Steve would stay with Colton for the afternoon.  So I loaded up my groggy husband and we took off for Muskegon.  Mercy Hospital's ER turned out to be an exercise of patience, futility, and frustration.  Essentially, we were there for four hours, Ryan did not get any fluids or meds, and he started to get belligerent when I tried to give him gentle suggestions.  This belligerent side of Ryan is NOT something that I've ever seen before.  Plus, he started to get some seriously strange GI symptoms.  Muskegon and CTCA corresponded on the phone and it was decided that Ryan needed to get to Zion that day.  Unfortunately, we could not go by ambulance (still trying to figure that one out), so we went in Steve's car.

This is when things got really dicey.  Ryan was still fairly disoriented, and was asking Steve and I the same 10 questions every five minutes: he inquired about his horses, our dog, our son, his brothers, he asked if Brian the media specialist was okay, he had no recollection of anything that had happened to him that week, and he wanted to stop and use the restroom every fifteen minutes.  We made three stops between Muskegon and the Michigan/Indiana border.  Then, as we crossed into Indiana, Steve's car started to act weird.  We pulled off at a gas station in Lake Station, Indiana and decided that it was not wise to risk going any further.  After checking several nearby car rental agencies and discovering that no one in northern Indiana rents a car past 6 pm, we called Ryan's younger brother Corey who goes to school in Deerfield, Illinois to come get us (this was an hour and a half from where we were).  As we were waiting, Ryan's demeanor started to return to normal and he was starting to feel better.  We were relieved that his symptoms were not nearly as intense, as waiting was hard enough on us already.

Finally, Corey arrived and took us the rest of the way to Zion.  We FINALLY arrived around 11 pm Central time and he was processed and admitted within the hour.  All in all, the mad dash to Zion took seven and a half hours.  Steve got a hotel room across the street and I stayed in the room with Ryan.  When we woke up this morning, Ryan was definitely beginning to recall some things that happened this week (he remembered the previous trip to Zion, and the Chris Tomlin concert), but he remembered almost nothing from Friday.

So far, he has had an Xray, a CAT scan, an MRI, blood cultures, urine samples, and several physical exams.  The doctors have ruled out high ammonia levels, there is no metastasis of any kind on his brain, his white blood cell count is normal, but his platelets are low and they won't entirely rule out some sort of infection until the cultures come back.  We thought that we would probably go home tomorrow (Sunday), but the on call doctor told me that she doesn't think that we will probably go home until Monday at the earliest, when Ryan's primary oncologist can visit him and evaluate him.  If Ryan does have some sort of infection, we might have to rule out treatment this week AGAIN.

Sooo...that is the long story of what has transpired.  We are doing okay.  My heart was in my throat the entire afternoon and evening yesterday when I had no idea what was wrong with my husband and he was acting so unlike himself, but today it is reassuring to see him at his normal self, eating food, being a polite, sweet man again, and able to recall things that have happened.  His GI symptoms are lessening, too, so that is an excellent sign.

We covet your prayers for wisdom for the doctors, peace as we continue to try to get answers about what's happening, for grace and strength to get through these long days of waiting and cooling our heels, for continued healing...and for this mama's heart as she so sorely misses her little boy.  I have only seen Colton for about an hour in the last forty-eight, and likely will not see him again for at least forty-eight more. :(

We will continue to update Facebook and our blog...especially now that I know where they hide the computer lab in this huge hospital. ;)


Exodus 14:14 "The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."


Susan said...

Praying for all things!! Thank you for taking the time to keep us updated!

Carol said...

Grateful for your sharing, Kendra! We're keeping the prayers going up.

Totten Family said...

The Totten family are lifting all of you up in prayer.

beth said...

Lifting you all up in prayers!

Thandi said...

Wow, that's scary. I hope it doesn't happen again.

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