Wednesday, February 2, 2011


most everyone who knows brad considers him a tuff, rugged, man's man. he comes to the house at the end of the day with battle scars and wounds from working with the chickens and pigs that literally make my stomach turn. on more than one occasion, i have suggested stitches only to have brad guffaw and show the injury to his sons who stand in awe of the brave man that is their father. most recently, brad had a tooth pulled with only a little laughing gas, no other pain meds needed.

so, when he called on thurs to report a sore back and request vicadin, i knew it must really hurt him. he stopped home for meds and was on his way back to work. as i had been up with a sicky ayla jo since 5 am that morning, i snuck into bed for a nap once all the babes were resting. no sooner had i laid down that i heard brad at the door. i thought, wow, what a nap that was. but really, it was way early for him to be home. i pretended to still be asleep until he came into the room pleading for assistance in getting dressed. i grudgingly got out of bed and helped him out, ensuring he was as comfy as possible on the floor of the living room with ice. as time went on, the pain progressed. finally brad told me to start calling any and every chiropractor, this pain was unbearable. i did, a little anxiously as brad began groaning and sweating profusely. securing an appt with barry mcalpine in 1/2 an hour, i ascertained brad was in no condition to drive.

i started waking and carrying crying kids to the van, glancing worriedly at brad with each pass. while max shed tears in the van screaming that he was sleeping, and i was strapping a still sleeping bear into his seat, i heard a thud. there was brad, on the floor by the backdoor. i knelt beside him in an effort to help him into the veen, but he was not conscious. he came to quickly and i panically asked him if we should just go to the er. he said he was fine, just needed assistance. we tried to get him to stand, only to have him crash down with tears streaming down his face. this is not typical. i am terrified. i let brad rest while i loaded ayla into the veen and finally was able to maneuver brad into the passenger side.

we made it about a mile down the road before brad lost consciousness again. this time, i could not wake him and his eyes were all rolled back in his head and his mouth was slack. it was terrifying. i was screaming at him, gently slapping him, then downright smacking him to get a response. i pulled into the chicken coops and called the chiropractor as i knew a hospital really could not fix the prob, and he could. i was in complete panic mode. brad came to just as i heard the chiropractor reassure me brad's body was in shock with pain.

we made it the rest of the trip without further incident and the doc was waiting with crutches. we got brad in the office and they started to do their thing while i unloaded the still crying and sleepy children. maxer began immediately exploring the waiting room and tearing it apart. baby ayla cried in hunger. bear took off most every article of clothing he could. while i attempted to fill out paperwork, i finally noticed i was wearing a MATERNITY shirt, some men's workout pants, a hat, and no makeup. i tried to keep my coat on but was sweating with adrenaline and fear and embarrassment.

brad hobbled out of the examination/adjustment room and we made a plan of treatment. dr mcalpine assured us the night would be a difficult one for brad. we made it home, tried to get brad comfy, took more vicadin, and i unloaded the veen of kids. before long, brad had to pee. in an effort to get off the couch, his legs spasmed and he fell to the ground. the bathroom was only a dream at this point. everyone was hungry, so i reloaded the veen for taco bell and redbox and left brad a cup. upon returning, this were worse. brad could no longer roll and was stuck on his stomach. i fed the kids, set them up with a movie, and tried to help brad roll. not happening. he would cry out in pain and black out.

bedtime arrived and i tucked the kids in, seriously running on fumes. no help and lots of anxiety. a miracle all were resting. i went to check and brad and found him in dire circumstances. he was sweating, his tongue was swelling, the pain mounting, and panic setting in. i had no answers and lots of worry. so i called the zoets.

john and beth ann rescued us with their cool, calm, and collect thinking. they offered assistance in every way, and affirmed my decision to call an ambulance as moving brad on our own to get him to a hospital was impossible. as i called 911, john and beth ann drove on over to find brad in severe pain and me in intense worry.

brent deweerdt, neighbor and friend, was the first on the scene. he took control and brad tried not to be humiliated. brad kept cracking jokes to lighten the mood as more of the overisel fire dept arrived and finally the ambulance. the secured brad on a stretcher face down and away he went. john and beth ann generously offered to go along so i could stay home with my sick baby ayla and bear. i had no milk ready for my adorable ayla, and knew bear would panic upon awaking to anyone other than me. but my heart was broken to be abandoning my husband in his time of need. trusting in the zoet's, i stayed home and watched the ambulance carry my love to zeeland community hospital.

then i broke down. so overwhelmed, sleep deprived, and lonely feeling. kerri, brent's wife, called with comfort and consolation. i sat rigidly awaiting new on brad. john and beth ann kept me posted, and advocated for brad at the hospital. his blood pressure was worrisome, but the large doses of pain meds were alleviating the worst of the pain.

at about 3:30, brad returned, on his own volition with perscriptions in hand. his harrowing tale included an emotional discussion with the ambulance attendant about brad's dad, pictures of adam's (the ambulance dude) hunting success this year, two shots of some drug 10x stronger than morphine, seven pricks altogether with iv and all, passing out at the hospital when they tried to get him to leave, and a nurse that reminded him strinkingly of john and beth ann's daughter jana.

brad slept in drug induced coma until i woke him to prepare for the next visit to the chiro. this time, i showered and had on real clothes and makeup to show the peeps at barry mcalpine's office that brad's wife was more of a catch than they may have previously figured due to the hot mess that showed up there the afternoon before.

thanks to a delish meal from steph habers and beth klingenberg , as well as prayers sent from such far off places as kalamazoo and florida, brad is on the road to recovery and rehabilitation with his bulging disc.

that, however, was not the only visit to zeeland community hospital from the meiste's this week...

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