Our Insane Week

by Crystal Carder
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It’s been kind of quiet here at Crystal Carder this week. No, I’m not quitting the world of blogging, but it has been an INSANE week!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have caught a little of my family’s fiasco last week, but there is so much more to what’s been going on that what I shared on social media. I hate to say it, but it feels like the Devil is literally attacking my family right now… you ever feel that way?

It Was Supposed to Just Be a Routine Eye Exam…

So, a few weeks ago, the family made eye appointments. Since Michael is a type 1 diabetic, it’s extremely important Michael has diabetic eye exams every year. Unfortunately, we had been dealing with so much life these past few years and financially, we skipped his diabetic eye exam these last few years. I guess, I personally didn’t realize how diabetes can damage the eyes and I personally thought Michael was too young to have issues with his eyes. Well, fast forward to a few weeks ago.

Michael came out of the eye appointment with a referral to a retina specialist. Totally scary, but I really didn’t think we had too much to worry about. Well, the day of Michael’s appointment with the retina specialist finally comes and the doctor diagnoses him with Diabetic Macular Edema. Basically, Michael’s retina is bleeding and a puddle of blood is just lying behind his left eye. The doctor is adamant that his eye can be fixed, but says the only treatment for Michael is to have shots in his eyes for the next 2 1/2 years. But here’s the kicker, with each injection into the eye, it can cause infection. Michael could lose his left eye because of the treatment.

By this time, we’re thinking this sucks. I mean Michael is only 32 years old and he tries to take care of his diabetes, why was he having these problems already.

So the news stings for a little while. Michael doesn’t want shots in his eye and, seriously, who could blame him? The thought of a needle going in the eye is absolutely terrifying.  We let things go for a while and wait for an appointment, but before the doctor calls us, we begin to do some research about this Diabetic Macular Edema that the doctor said Michael had. 

After some research, we find out laser treatment is sometimes used to treat the eye. A little irritated that the doctor didn’t mention this, we finally talk it over and decide to get one second opinion. We both figured, although it may be pointless, if there was just one possibility of Michael not having to get eye injections, it would be worth knowing.

Onto Last Week…

Since there aren’t too many retina specialist in our area, we decided to call WVU Eye Specialist at WVU Hospital and check on getting an appointment with them. Well, they have an opening almost immediately to see Michael, so we set up an appointment for last Wednesday. Well, this is where life really gets fun.

We don’t tell the eye doctor about what the previous retina specialist said and, instead, let her do an exam on her own. Well, this doctor and her resident were extremely thorough. They ran Michael’s eye through numerous pictures and test before telling us what they thought Michael had. Turns out it was much worst than we even imagined.

Not only does Michael have bleeding behind his left eye that was causing some blurred vision, but his right eye is also bleeding. Apparently, since Mike has been diabetic for 30 years, it’s a common problem with diabetics. So, they decide the best treatment option, for right now would be laser treatment. They give him treatment on his left eye since it was worse and they send us home with a follow up appointment in one month.

Unfortunately, his story doesn’t end here because pretty soon, the Lord steps in and provides a blessing in a way that only He can… just keep reading.

A Follow Up Appointment

A few weeks ago, my middle son had his tonsils and adenoids removed. Things went pretty well, but we had to go back on Wednesday evening for his follow up appointment with the ENT to make sure everything was healing properly.

We get to the doctor’s office and I’m a little concerned Brantley still has a runny nose and a bad cough, so I mention it to the doctor. He suggest Flonase up his nose for a month and then come back. No big deal, but his cough sounds pretty bad and he just looks sick.

Thinking it was just a little cold, I decide to have Michael stop at Dollar General and we grab some children’s cough and cold medicine and cough drops. While I’m normally not one to give OTC cold medicines to my children, they are getting to that age where I felt comfortable giving it to him.

So, he takes the medicine and he’s just acting sick, but he only has a small fever of 99.2, so I think nothing of it. Well, I head downstairs to sit on the couch and I tell him to come down with me.

We start sitting on the couch and he’s on my lap and all of a sudden, he’s just breathing weird. I don’t know how to explain it, but it freaked me out. I jump up off the couch and I tell Michael, we need to get him to an urgent care, something is up. By now it’s like 6:30 and the closest urgent care that is open is about 25 minutes away.

So we get him in the car and I make him sit in the middle so I can keep an eye on him. As I google belly breathing, which is what I assume he was doing, the first thing that pops up is pneumonia. I look at Michael and I say, I bet he has pneumonia

A few minutes later, we get to the urgent care and his fever is still only 99.3. When the doctor comes in to see him, he hears wheezing and decides to administer a breathing treatment in the office. I ask him about whether or not it could be pneumonia and he assures me, it couldn’t be. So he gives the treatment and sends us home with an Albuterol inhaler and a steroid medicine and tells us if he gets worse got to the emergency room. 

By the time we get home, its almost 9 o’clock and he seems to be doing a bit better.

The Next Morning

The next morning comes and Brantley still sounded horrible and his breathing wasn’t much better. So we decide to put the kids on the bus and take him to Morgantown to the hospital, just to be safe. As were heading to the hospital, Brantley almost seems fine again. We second guess ourselves and debate whether or not we should still take him to the hospital.

After some back and forth, we finally decide that we’re 45 minutes from any hospital and we’re probably better safe than sorry. So we take him to the hospital and I am so glad we did. Once they got Brantley back into a room, he starts belly breathing again. I show the nurse and she tells the doctor. The doctor decides to give him another breathing treatment and to do a chest x-ray, just in cases.

They do the treatment and he gets the x-ray and we finally get some news. Brantley has pneumonia. By this time, I start crying and I’m terrified. I try to pull myself together as the doctor tells us, they want to keep him in the hospital, but they have transfer him across the street to WVU Children’s hospital. It would be 4-6 hours before a bed would be ready, so we just would have to wait it out there.

An Ambulance Ride

By 5 o’clock we finally get word that a room has opened up and an ambulance crew would be soon be there to take him across the road to WVU Hospital. By this time, we all more than ready to get settled for the night and find out what the next steps will be.

When we finally get to the hospital, they redo all the test, including the chest x-ray. Since Brantley is still having trouble breathing, they even give another breathing treatment. By now, we all miss home and I’m missing Cayden and Zoey but since its late and we didn’t pack extra clothes, I send Michael home to spend the night, knowing he would probably be more comfortable in our bed and it would help Zoey and Cayden.

The night is long! Nurses are in the room almost every hour and Brantley and I got absolutely no sleep. At about 1 in the morning, Brantley’s woken up and having trouble falling asleep, so we talk and he decides to pray for himself to feel better. I think it’s a great idea, so he prays and he soon falls back to sleep.

The next morning comes and I tell Michael to get there as soon as he can because the doctors would be in soon to update us. Michael gets to the hospital around 8 am and it wasn’t but 10 minutes later, his phone rings…

Even More Bad News

On the phone its the WVU Eye Specialist. The doctor he saw a few days prior was looking over his eye photos and she saw a hole in Michael’s right eye that they missed the other day. She wants Michael to come in Monday morning, but since we were already at the hospital, I have him tell her that. She insist Mike comes down as soon as possible, so after he hangs up the phone, I tell him to just go.

About this time, I am feeling a mix of emotions. I want to be with Mike, I know he’s terrified, but I also don’t want to leave my son. Knowing, I had to stay with Brantley, I text Mike and I tell him to please keep me updated. A little while later Michael returns and he had yet another laser treatment, this time on his right eye.

While we’re not sure his eyes are healed yet, he has to follow up with the doctor in one month. Although its not the news we wanted that day, how lucky were we that God put us at the hospital, at the right time, just went Michael needed it the most?

Finally, Good News!

After a little wait, the doctors finally come in and tell us a bit of good news, Brantley could go home! By then his breathing had gotten better and they felt comfortable sending him home with just a script for amoxicillin that he only had to take if he got worst – which we haven’t had to fill yet, thankfully!

SO, that’s been our crazy week in a nutshell, so if it’s seemed quiet on here, that’s why.

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