Friday started out perfect enough... we were all packed and ready to go. Everyone was excited about our weekend retreat and our plans; tubing, checking out the snow sculptures, spending time with each other and let's not forget, the outlet mall! So, off we went. It was snowing at Georgetown and continued all the way up. It was snowing, icy and of course people were driving like they had lost their damn minds. But we made it! And it was beautiful.... everything was covered in snow; crisp, clean, and just stunning. TJ (my love) was experiencing some pain, and just thought it was some residual from the stomach flu he had earlier in the week. He had some 7up and we got some late (and I mean late...11pm late) dinner started. Throughout the evening, his pain grew increasingly worse. We tried to sleep but it was impossible; I could have slept just fine if it wasn't for the "ohhhh", "eeeyouch", "owwwww" and "yeowwww" coming from the body lying next to me! ;) My the early early morning, it was decided that this wasn't the normal pain that "people" experience (his description is as follows: "it feels like someone beat the shit out of me all up and down the left side of my body.... from ribs to hips") and we jumped on our "sleds" (ok, our suv) and headed to the closest hospital. Now let me just interject here; if this had been me? I would have been at the hospital at the first twinge of pain but... that's me. I have no tolerance for pain and make no excuse for my "wussiness"; I embrace it! We arrived at the hospital after many, many more "owww's" and after we got my love registered and in a room, he decides this whole issue has got to be nothing more than "really bad gas" (he doesn't want to look like an idiot when they come back and tell him this is the issue so he'll just "throw" it out there). Seriously? Really bad gas? At this point I had to ask what kind of really bad gas has he EVER had, that occurs on one side only and feels like someone has beat you with a baseball bat? He then decided at this point, that it was important that he also mention this to the Dr; I personally feel that he got the same WTF response but in a much kinder, gentler way! The doctor brought up some scenarios.... kidney stones or bacterial infection. Then he asked a strange question (and acknowledged the odd question prior to asking it) "do you have a family history of sickle cell" to which TJ advised maybe? Not that he was aware of but maybe there was a conversation about sickle cell when he was a child. He just couldn't remember. The Dr went on to explain that sometimes (in the mountains, at that elevation) they (hospital in Breckenridge) have experienced African American patients that have never known of a history of sickle cell but come up the mountain and the "trait" is triggered". He then advised, this is likely not the issue but just thought he would ask. A series of tests followed; although his elevated blood sugar (he's also a diabetic but controlled so this was alarming) everything was looking good.... kidneys were fine, urine was fine, ct scan of his belly was fine.... so that left the sickle cell test. It would be back in an hour. Let me break in here and just say, this hospital was beautiful. Great little cafeteria, great sitting area with a fireplace and leather chairs/couches, books and magazines to read (for kids too). It was cozy, if not for the worry and anxiety. So, in the time we needed to wait for the results, we decided (the kid and I) that we would go back to the condo and grab our camera since the hospital was so close to the Breckenridge snow sculptures (if it was going to be much longer, we would head up to see them). We were just getting ready to leave the condo to head back to the hospital when we got "the call"; Sickle Cell Anemia test came back positive, spleen and liver are enlarged. Spleen could rupture if we don't get off the mountain immediately. Ok. Stop. Breath. Ok. Stop. Breath. Ok. Breath. Ok. Ummm. What? The kid and I packed up as quickly as we could, and cleaned up the condo to it's "initial" state and busted ass over to the hospital. The Breckenridge hospital arranged for a transfer to our local hospital, and sent us on our way. It was a tense ride back down the mountain due to the road conditions and my loves condition.... although watching him fade in and out on morphine was kind of interesting (especially since he swears he was just resting his eyes... and the snoring was just)? Although this was a big scare, the process went smoothly. We got my love checked in, back on his morphine drip and relaxing comfortably. He had a wonderful nurse; not to stressful and very kind. She even made sure that we were able to get his dinner before they closed for the evening, and got our Dr in quickly to visit so I could get the kid home to bed. By this afternoon, my love was feeling much much better and was able to be released to his home nurse (that's me, of course). Tomorrow morning, we have to call first thing and make an appointment with the specialist so we can learn more about this new found visitor to our home; apparently it's here to stay so it's time to work out a comfortable living arrangement. So, I must say.... yes, it was very scary but I'm so glad that we were able to find this out the way we did, and as quickly as we did (the Dr's have all explained how lucky he was that we got him to the hospital as fast as we did and that they caught it before it did any real damage to his organs). I love this man more than life and this experience is just that; life. What do they say? Life; It's what happens when you aren't paying attention? Well, I am. I'm paying attention like a son of a.... and I'm holding on to this man.
On a side note, the pictures above are in Breckenridge after we packed up the car and Amiri and I had our own mini breakdowns.... we stopped the car so Amiri (the kid) could run up the side of that hill, see how deep the snowpack was, then jump off. TJ (my love) was safe at the hospital still waiting to get released. We just needed a quick release ourselves.