After almost a year of no posts I am back! I would like to catch you up on the crazy we have been through.. if you are just here for my receipe recaps, you are welcome to skip. This is going to be a raw, emotion filled post. Here goes..
I tell you, we have been through some serious life this year. I have been very hesitant to share everthing, but here goes nothing. Objective to take away from this post.. Trust the Lord with all of your heart! He will put you in the exact place you are meant to be at exactly the right time.
Let me set the scene for you…. I am currently sitting in my living room floor under blanket, very close to the fire place while Drake watches Despicible Me wayy too loud. Our heat went out at 2am this morning and the high this week is not above 32.. this is pretty much par for the past year.
From the beginning..
March 7th (Our sweet Drake’s 2nd birthday) I took a positive pregnancy test. We were over the moon. On my birthday (March 20th) we were told it was a blighted ovum. Basically I was pregnant with a sack and no baby. It was 100% a pregnancy, but for whatever reason my body rejected it and that sweet little one was not meant to walk this earth. We were crushed. About a week later I was scheduled for D&C. The doctor said I was fine, but later Chris told me he looked like a kicked puppy and he had to scrape a little more than he was comfortable with.. (we will get more into that later) The following day Chris came home from work around 11:30. Sat in the floor and hugged Drake really tight. I was high on pain meds, but could still tell something was wrong. When I asked why he was home early his response was, “I was just let go.” I can’t really explain how I felt in that moment. I was already so full of emotion from our very recent loss. This is a man who works his rear off and moved to this job less than a year before simply because the pay was higher. It was a sales position and I truly believe my husband was not built for sales. BUT it did help us to build our savings and get into a more stable place financially. For that I am grateful. So in two days we had lost our baby and our only source of income.
I encouraged Chris to take a week off and think about our next move. I wanted him to recover emotionally and I was still recovering physically. We had put our home on the market about 2 weeks before. Well about 3 weeks later, it sold. We were super excited…..until we realized we still didnt know where we were going or where he would be working. This is where God truly moved mountains. Chris has a friend from college that I knew, but didnt really know (if you know what I mean). He had come back into Chris’s life in a big way. They had talked, but not often and all of the sudden Cheyenne was all he talked about. Cheyenne is a bachelor and I later learned one of the best human beings to walk this planet. Chris had been looking for a job with no success, we were even considering moving out of the Tulsa area. He applied for a job back home(SCentral OK), but (Thankfully) that did not work out. We have a long time dream from before were were even introduced to live in the mountains, Missoula, MT to be exact. In the mean time we were drawing near our closing date and still had no where to go. Cheyenne (who I had met once) mentioned he lived alone, traveled a lot and had a whole house that was unused. “Move in with me!” Now… we are a pretty crazy family, I am very weird about my home and little Drake is a lot to take in at times. Cheyenne literally helped us pack, move and unpack, even decorate his home. I think as long as I cooked, he didn’t mind a bit. He treated me like we had known each other our entire lives and Drake like he was truly his own. We spent 4 months at Cheyenne’s house. His home became ours and we loved living back in the country again. Drake and Chris checked cattle, fed calves, drove tractors, trucks and lived like we did growing up. God put us exactly there because we were all going through so much, I like to think he needed us just as much as we needed him. I now call him my step-husband and he will forever hold a very special place in my heart.
Back to the job hunt, Chris was having very little success. Not only was his ego hurt we just could not decide what he wanted to do or even where. We got 2 offers in Montana. We were so excited!!! Until they told us the pay. We worked out that we could live in a 2 bedroom apartment and afford to live in Missoula, but there would be none left over to actually “live”. If I am going to live in paradise, I want to live in the middle of it, not just see it from my window. The second offer – very northern- tundra- wife veto! We have a high maintenance medical kiddo in our house, we cannot live too far from an awesome hospital. We both trusted the Lord and knew we would end up where we were meant to be… keeping positive at this time was NOT easy. At this point it was just weird that Chris did not have a job. He is a good employee, hard worker, college educated and great resume. It was super discouraging to say the least. Then… he got a call from a staffing company in NW Arkansas. This guy was super nice and said Chris was just what he was looking for. Chris went for an interview and said, “I won’t get it.. I don’t have the experience they need”. Well another intervew and they offered him the job with great pay, benefits.. the whole enchilada. If you have not been, NW Arkansas is absolutely beautiful. The hills and trees… don’t even get me started on fall views.. Love!
So..He had a job.. Now what?? Still living at Cheyenne’s he was able to commute (a little over an hour each way) Let the house hunting begin. We had a realtor reccommended to us by a family member also in NW Arkansas. We knew we didnt want to live in a big neighborhood and we wanted the slow quiet lifestyle we love so much. We found our little retirement community and knew it was perfect. The hills, trees with spacious lots and neighborhoods are just what we wanted. 22 viewings, lots of tears and stress later we found our new home. It is perfect for us in everyway. We love our new neighbors and have settled in very nicely. Now to the crazy part…
We moved in mid-September. It was just after Thanksgiving festivities and we had just gotten home and back to normal, getting ready for our crazy Christmas schedule. Chris had been battling a little head cold. Tuesday November 28th I was putting Drake down for bed… really laying in the floor with all of the blood rushing out of my arm because it is awkwardly holding his hand for hours because he is not a fan of sleep.. I had fallen asleep too. Chris was in the garage doing Chris things (tinkering) like normal. He started to feel a little yuck so he came inside to get a drink of water. When he reached up in the cabinet he suddenly got really dizzy and tried to sit down. We still don’t know whether his head or hip hit the oven door, but regardless it shattered. Thinking back now I can hear the cups hit the counter, the glass shatter, then his body hit the floor. I immediately jumped up and ran to the kitchen. I found him in the kitchen floor, unconscious, not breathing and glass everywhere. His head had slid down the oven door so it was propped up (chin to chest) and when I grabbed him to move him he was limp, I couldnt move his head. My first thought was he is dead. He has been impaled. I have tears running down my cheeks just thinking about it all. I managed to pick him up, shoulders and head, his head was stuck on the lip of the oven door where the glass had broken. I got him on his side, opened his mouth and he immediately vomited and began breathing. He was in a position after passing out that was not allowing air and was chocking on his vomit. I shudder at the thought of what would have happened if I had not found him in time. I would not be sitting here watching him snuggle with our kiddo, that is for sure. SO.. once I had him on his side and breathing he immediately opened his eyes and first thing out of his mouth, “I am fine. It’s okay.” My response.. “Shut up. Don’t move”. I ran to Drake’s room, grabbed my phone (he was not asleep and as Im running out he is cracking up telling me Mommy is silly) call 911 and put it on speaker next to Chris’s head (all while sitting in a mess of glass – barefoot) I have to tell him to shut up a few more times until he gets that judging by the look on my face, he is not okay. I checked him all over looking for cuts and somehow there is one tiny spot on his head. Sweet sweet firefighters are here within 3 mins (that has to be a record) He was talking to all of us, knew what was going on, he was mentally fine. I go tend to Drake and wait for the paramedics to get there and meanwhile tell the neighbor quickly that Chris passed out, thats all I know. Paramedics arrive, he is hooked up to heart monitors and crash pads.. yes, crash pads on his super hairy chest. I must have seemed like the worlds worst wife This is what I told paramedics… “So we have a super expensive unicorn kid that comes with a ton of medical bills. If you are just going to Bella Vista ER would you mind if I drove him?” They then told me in a very nice way that they thought that was the worst decision ever. Mind you, he passed out and is sitting in a chair talking like normal.. he is fine! NOT! lol I go tend to Drake and change my clothes because it looks like we are in for a long night. After changing I walk back into the kitchen holding Drake to see a man holding paddles, waiting for the other 5 to get Chris flat so they can shock him. You can imagine my horror. The very nice (youre a horrible wife guy) tells me.. We are taking him in the ambulance and we are taking him NOW and just like that Chris was wheeled out and gone. I didnt get to talk to him, say bye anything. I think i actually studdered and said.. o-o-okay. Then a very nice older fire fighter who had already swept up my kitchen grabbed my arms, faced me to him and said very calmly “What do we need to do to get you on your way? He put the dog in the pen and held Drake while I ran around my house packing things I definitely did not need. I was so flustered I put on macara, jeans and a real bra. Come on Cace…. Walk out to my car and after Drake is strapped in (we have no family or friends close so where we go, Drake goes) the driver paramedic causually tells me, very slowly.. and I quote, “so Mrs. Richardson………. Mr. Richardson’s heart stopped so we are going to take him to the ER in the ambulance… (No Shit Sherlock! He is already loaded) Now I know you are worried and are going to try to follow us, but ambulances have a tendency to go at excessive speeds and I would like to warn you to not try to keep up with us…… (Insert: other paramedic saying Dude! We have to go!!) and he keeps talking like the sloth at the DMV in the movie Zootopia. I inteterupted him and said. I know the rules, I am a responsible driver. GO!! I know I know Go Go Go!!!!!!! I look up.. here comes my 92 year old neighbor. Nope.. cant even. I get in the car and head out. Here we go….
I call Chris’s mom.. “Chris is fine, we are headed to the ER.. I need you to come now”. I can see now that the way I worded that could cause panic… Sorry Stacy! Tell her I have no clue other than his heart stopped… again, probably not the best thing to tell her on the phone when she is about to drive 2 and a half hours. End that call and immediately call my mom.. no answer. Dad answers and I fill him in all the while trying to be happy and talk to Drake because he is Flipping out over the ambulance lights. He thinks it was the greatest ride ever. I talked to my sister for a while too, anything to calm me down. I may lose my husband tonight, but I still have to be happy and not cry because my kid watches every single thing I do. Chris and I have been through a lot of medical scares with Drake, but I never had to do it alone. This night.. it was all on me and I knew that my attitude would directly efffect Drake and Chris and how they reacted to the situation.
Get to the ER and they make me go through the flipping front ER entrance. They wont let me back to see him. “He isn’t in the system.. it could take a while. Why don’t you sit down and make yourself comfortable.” Literally very loud, mama bear, crazy wife, country self came out. I will let you use your imagination…15 mins (a lifetime) later I am headed back to see Chris. Paramedics are still there. I have to elbow my way through and they are talking hunting. Ummm.. no! I want to know what the hell happened!! and I am guessing you do too… let me fill you in. When I was with Drake at the house they had Chris sit, then stand. After standing for about 2 minutes he became very light headed again and told them he was going down. They managed to get him into the chair as he passed out. He remembers coming to and all 7 men in complete panic/business mode. He had thrown up again and *gross* was holding it in his mouth. He “swished it to one side” he said and asked for a cup. The second they heard him talking they literally all froze, including the one holding defibulator paddles and were white as a sheet. They handed him a cup and from there they lifted him onto gurney and were gone. Why did he pass out? So thankfully the firefighters put the heart rate moitor on him the second they got there. This recorded his second “episode”. Had this not been recorded we may never have known what happened. Chris’s sinus node (spark) in his heart stopped. For 20 seconds…. 20 Seconds, then started on his own. The monitor captured it all. For your heart to stop and start itself after 2-3 seconds is rare. 20 seconds doesnt happen. Basically Chris died twice in our kitchen. My explanation, God is not done with him on this Earth. We need him too much. After a couple of hours in the ER they tell us they are admitting us then drop the word pace maker. We didnt think that much about it. There were still so many tests to be done. About the time we get to our room Chris’s parents are there and after filling them in and letting Stacy mother her son (She was calmer than I would have been) they decide to head to our house and stay there while we are in the hospital. Drake is still awake. It is 2am and he was literally running in circles to keep himself awake. The next 3 days are a total blur. Thursday November 30th my 32 year old, healthy. backpacking, no previous medical conditions husband got a pace maker. Our lives are forever changed. There is no reason he cant eventually do Almost everything he would have done previously but he will have certain limitations. That is the very least of our worries. The Mercy team is fantastic and our cardiologist is a double of Chris. They are so similar I think they will be great friends.
We were able to travel for Christmas and I am very happy to say we are back to our almost normal lives. Chris had his first “pace check” this week and everything is perfect. If we can just stay away from the pandemic flu that is taking over the country..
Looking back now I can truly see the mountains that have been moved just for us. From Chris’s job, our home, doctors, paramedics, neighbors… the list goes on and on. We see nothing but a very bright future for our family here! If you are ever in NW Arkansas, we are always down for a good time! I cannot wait for our first spring and summer here. Lakes, trails and outdoor fun fun fun!
Now to just get through this freeze.. like I said earlier…….. our heater went out last night. Just another mess, but if we have learned anything it is to roll with the punches and be grateful you have a life to live. It can always be worse, just trust that all you are going through will lead you to where you are meant to be. Hug your babies tight (that includes husband babies) and don’t sweat the smalll stuff!
Mom out. I need to go start dinner.. I will post that next. Delicious!