This morning Adam was throwing up blood.
He had a doctor's appointment at 12:00 and when I called to cancel, the nurse asked what was wrong. I told her that he had been throwing up blood. She asked if I was taking him to the ER. I said no. I said no because we had been down that route before, that this happens once in awhile and all he has is a tear in his esophagus from throwing up too much. All they can do at the hospital is give him fluids and anti-nausea medication, all things that I can give him here at home now. But, I assured her that if it got worse I would take him in. Thankfully, that didn't happen and I have been keeping a close watch on him and making sure he has had enough fluids all day.
Throwing up blood from a tear in the esophagus caused by throwing up too much. This has become our normal and Adam is the bravest person I know for facing it with such courage and dignity.
We went to the Mayo Clinic in December with such high hopes. We were so positive we would be able to turn a corner.We squared our shoulders and took a leap of faith. After days of him be tested, poked, prodded and scanned all they could find was some abnormal blood work and MRI's, but still have no idea what it all means. At the last appointment when the neurologist was telling us there was nothing more he could do, I broke down. I could not hold it in, and the tears fell so fast. We stepped into the waiting room and that's when we sat down and cried together for a long while. At first we cried separately and then I ended up holding him and crying on his shoulder. After we pulled ourselves together, I knew we could not leave on that note. We went back to his gastroenterologist and asked to see him. He kindly fit us in right away and when he walked into the room, he gave me a hug. He said that he wanted us to know that nobody was giving up on us. Second, there were still paths that he wanted to try. While this was reassuring, our hearts were broken.
Having a broken heart at the same time as your loved one is a sacred experience. As I look back on that day, and the days that followed, I realize that as we were both in pain, we were drawing closer together. We sat down in the waiting area, waiting for the hotel shuttle to come pick us up. I wanted to run away, I wanted to just cry, I even wanted to scream, which is not like me at all. My head was buzzing and I am sure I was near a panic attack. I couldn't sit still, and as I was pacing some saving grace came to us in the form of a text from Adam's father. It said:
"Hold on to each other."
This calmed my heart. When I read it, the world stopped around me and I went and sat next to Adam, pulled his head out of his hands and held on to him tightly. This became my mantra for the next couple of months. Adam says that it calmed him as well as our hopes and expectations had been completely dashed. We began saying it to each other every so often to remind us. The best thing you can do when it is all falling apart is to hold on to the one you love the most. Hold on so tight. That is where healing came for us at this time.
"Hold on to each other."
Saving grace also came in the form of my parents driving 5 hours to come rescue us from that ordeal and taking us home to a safe place where no one could hurt us.
As Adam's health continues to struggle and as he suffers each and every day and night, he keeps his hope. This is what makes him brave. He still has hope that things will get better even though he literally spends his days unable to get out of bed completely nauseous or with a migraine, or throwing up, fighting with all his strength to not throw up, or just having enough strength to see his family for a little bit. He sees the good in the world around him and he loves others without hesitation or judgement. Even though we still have a journey ahead of us and still have tears to cry, I know that something good will come from all of this.
She Became Herself With Tears by, Caitlin Connolly
It is thanks to our God for giving us everything that we need to be at peace when everything else is chaos. It is thanks to my angel parents and siblings, Adam's angel parents and siblings and our dear friends that we know we are loved and cared for. It is thanks to our dear family members and church family that our immediate needs are taken care of. Adam and I would never be able to fully express our gratitude for these blessings.
We will never give up, and we will always hold on to each other. I hope that we all will hold on to our loved ones a little tighter as well.