Update on Bill

I truly appreciate so many of you praying for my husband, Bill, after I posted on my Facebook wall about him earlier this afternoon.  Since this explanation is going to be so long, I figured it’d be easier to write it in a blog post than as a 15 page status update on Facebook.  🙂

Almost seven years ago Bill went on a business trip for several days to Cincinnati.  Weston was just a baby and the other kids were very small so things were a bit chaotic around here (as you can imagine!)  One night I was putting the kids to bed rather late.  Bill called while I was upstairs and I didn’t hear the phone.  I then completely missed the blinking light on the answering machine when I crashed and went to bed myself.

Halfway through the next day I listened to the messages and heard one that said something like “Ang…we were at a restaurant tonight and I choked on a piece of food.  I’m back at the hotel room but the food is still stuck in my throat.  I’m either going to drive home early or go to the hospital.”

By the time I heard the message, he should have been home a long time ago so I went into complete panic mode.  My sisters and I began calling the state highway patrol to see if they had noticed someone along side the road and hospitals in our area to see if he had driven here and just gone straight to the hospital instead of home.  I called the main office of his work in tears trying to see if anyone in his department knew where he was.  (This was all back in the days when it wasn’t as common to have a cell phone and Bill was one of those that didn’t have one.)

He showed up a few minutes later after driving four hours home with a piece of food lodged (he thought) in his throat (it was actually in his esophagus) and then left directly for our local hospital. Long story short…he ended in a bigger hospital where they did an emergency endoscopy to remove the piece of food.  After he was awake for a bit, he began having the worst pain I have ever seen someone go through.  Unfortunately, the ER was understaffed that night and they refused to give him any pain medication until the doctor could see him.

Bill and I then went through one of the worst hours of our lives.  He is not one to overreact when he is sick and he rarely (if ever) goes to a doctor…and yet he laid in the bed writhing in pain and groaning horribly while I tried unsuccessfully to comfort him.  He also continuously begged me to please, please help him somehow.

It was one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced to not be able to help a loved one when they were hurting so badly.

When the doctor was finally able to come see him, he was taken back again for more tests and they realized that his esophagus had been punctured during the procedure which was allowing all of the stuff from his stomach, esophagus and wherever else (the gases, particles, oxygen, etc.) to leak into other parts of his body where it was not meant to be.  It was excruciatingly painful for him to experience.

After a three day stay in the hospital to watch him and to keep him on a liquid diet, he was finally sent home.

Flash forward seven years later to last night when Bill suddenly left the table coughing.  Weslea had a friend over and I was getting supper for each of the kids so I sent Will in to make sure he was okay and he came back saying that “Dad says he’s fine.”

After a busy night we fell asleep at different times and I didn’t see him again until he walked out of the shower, got dressed and said “Okay, I’m going to go to the hospital.”

?!  {Insert me wanting to wring his neck here.}

We ended up back at the big hospital with him heading back for the exact same procedure.  And there was a very concerned doctor who came out to talk to me and made it very clear that there was a pretty big possibility that Bill’s esophagus would be punctured again since the food had been down there so long and that it was going to be a fairly difficult procedure due to that.  The doctor would take his time, go slow and do his best not to have that happen, but…Bill might have to go through the same experience again.

As you can imagine, I was really upset.  At that time I posted on Facebook asking for prayers and I could feel them come pouring down over us.

The good news it that the procedure went as good as it possibly could have.  We are home, Bill is sleeping off the drugs that he was given and I am watching him closely to make sure he doesn’t end up with a spontaneous rupture tonight.

The bad news is that they suspect that he has Eosinophilic Esophagitis and possibly a host of other things I don’t understand very well.  It is not anything life-or-death but we will be going to the Cleveland Clinic in four weeks to begin follow up work to find out exactly what the problem is and what needs to be done after that.

At this time I just want to express my heartfelt thanks for the prayers, kind thoughts and scriptures that were sent to me during the half hour time period that had me so tremendously worried.  Those things truly helped calm my soul and took a lot of my worry away.  They were appreciated more than I can say.