Sunday, December 19, 2010
I got home at 12:30 and found Abby in the bed napping. I work her up, told her I was home and she asked me to wake her up when I finished eating lunch. I ate lunch, finished and went to wake Abby up. She acknowledged that it was time to get up and get ready for the doctor and I went back into the living room to get my dishes. Within seconds I heard the loudest snoring I have ever heard. Our living room is two rooms over from our bedroom and our TV was on, but I could still hear it clearly. I went back to the bedroom, somewhat amused that Abby had fallen back asleep and was snoring. I got to the bedroom and started calling Abby’s name. She didn’t wake up. I saw a pool of saliva and blood on her pillow. I started shaking her and calling her name louder. She didn’t wake up. I started shaking her very hard and screaming. No response. She was having a seizure (though I didn’t know that at the time. I thought people shook a lot during seizures and Abby wasn’t doing that.) I grabbed my phone and called 911. A lady answered, I told her what was happening, she told me an ambulance was on its way and that she would stay on the phone with me until the ambulance arrived. Her main concern was Abby’s breathing, telling me that if she stopped breathing I would have to do CPR. For the next 11 minutes I waited for the ambulance. Abby’s seizure stopped about three minutes after I found her. Mainly I knew that because she stopped snoring and was somewhat responsive to me. She would look at me when I called her name but did not know who I was. This terrified me. Mainly what I did for those 11 minutes was keep her awake. She wanted to close her eyes and I kept calling her name and telling her to keep her eyes open. Thank God that she listened. I also spent a part of those 11 minutes running back and forth from our bedroom to our front door, trying to see where the ambulance was and asking a student in our building to grab friends and go outside to direct the ambulance.
Finally, the ambulance arrived. The EMTs were completely clam, which helped calm me. They took her blood pressure, did the flashlight/eye thing, etc. When they started asking her questions she responsed, which was great. None of her answers were right, which scared me.
EMT: Do you know where you are?
Abby: Central Baptist (Wrong).
EMT: Do you what today is.
EMT: Do you know what year it is?
EMT: Have you eaten anything
Abby: I don’t remember.
EMT: Have you felt the baby move today?
Abby: I don’t know.
EMT: When is the baby most active
Abby: Girls. Girls. No, Boys. (This is the one that really scared me and almost pushed me over the edge.)
While the EMTs were there I texted our friend Paul Niswander, who is also an RD at Asbury. Here are our texts:
Aaron: Taking Abby to hospital. Might have had a seizure. Riding in an ambulance. Pray.
Paul: Praying hard. What hospital? Should Lisa, Brad, Casey, me, Joe come?
Aaron: Central Baptist. You will need to come later to pick us up
Aaron: I need you to come here right now. I am at Kresge.
Paul: On my way.
This all happened in about a minute. While texting I was talking to the EMTs and realized the situation was serious and I wanted someone with me. The EMTs took Abby to the ambulance and told me I had to ride up front, so I got in the passenger seat. Paul was there about the time we got outside and I gave him my keys and asked him to follow us. We rode to the hospital with the lights and horn blaring. The EMT tried to reassure me that all was fine and that they were only running the lights because she was pregnant, that she had high blood pressure and that is why she had a seizure but that it was under control.
I was shocked at how hard it was for the ambulance driver. For over a mile we followed a semi truck that would not get over. Later we were continually honking at a car to get over and it was obliviously. The driver handled it all calmly. On the ride I prayed simple, desperate prayers: “Jesus, please let Abby be okay. Please let the baby be okay. Please Jesus.” Over and over. I also sent a few texts while riding. One to my mom and one to Abby’s mom letting them know what had happened. My mom immediately called but I didn’t answer. I was too emotional. I didn’t want to talk. When we arrived at the hospital and the EMTs rolled Abby out on the stretcher, she was fine. She knew who I was again and could answer questions. Frustratingly, the people at the hospital were not expecting us. They looked confused to see us though the EMT called our situation in. We were directed to an elevator that opened on both sides. We started to get in but on the other side was a nurse with an old man. He was clearly fine and Abby clearly was not but the damn nurse decided to try and share the elevator with us rather than let us get in alone. This took time. Precious time. So we finally get to the 2nd floor and I am directed to the business office to sign Abby in and give them our insurance card. (Side note: Paul did an amazing job following us and arrived only a minute or two after we did. By the time I got to the business office Paul was there.) I do the quick paper work and then go find Abby.
I am in a hospital room with Abby and one nurse. It seems that everything will be fine. I am sitting in a chair, trying to recover. Suddenly there is a commotion and the nurse is struggling to keep Abby on the bed. Abby is having another seizure. I leap up and ask if I can help. The nurse says yes but does not tell me what to do. The nurse has Abby on the bed but starts yelling for me to hit the code button. I do not know what a code button is or where it is. The nurse yells for magnesium. An EMT is in the room but doesn’t help the nurse. She stands still, almost frozen, crying. The nurse gets Abby on the bed and runs and hits a button on the wall and screams for magnesium. I sit back down in the chair. I grab my hair with my hands and feel totally helpless. The ambulance driver asks me to come outside with him. I look back at Abby as I leave and she is gray. I see Paul. I walk straight to him, grab him and break down for the first time all day. I wail. No words. Just sobs.
My mind races.
Is Abby going to die? Abby can’t die. I can’t live without her. Where will I live? I live in a girl’s dorm. Will the baby be okay? What if they both die? What is they ask me to choose which one lives and which one dies. Abby can’t die. I don’t want Abby to die.
Paul takes me to another room where, surprisingly, Abby’s old boss (and still current friend) Lisa Harper is waiting. I sit down. I think, “I need to call Abby’s mom. I need to call my mom. There is no way I can talk to either of them. I will just wail. I will ask Paul to call them.” Without me saying a word Paul asks, “Is there anyone you want me to call?” I say yes, dial my mom’s number, she answers, I get out one word, “Mom” and then hand the phone to Paul. (Later, my mom told me that when I called and only got out that single word, it broke her heart. She could feel all my pain in that one word.) Paul explains the situation to mom and then asks if he should call Abby’s mom. I say yes but don’t know the number, that someone needed to go back into the room Abby was in and get her purse. The chaplain (who showed up at some point) did this for us. Paul calls Abby’s mom.
I decide I am stable enough to go back to the room Abby is in. There are about 15 people in the room. The guy is charge is a doctor named O’Brian. He explains to me what has happened, that Abby has eclampsia, something about the placenta not attaching right and creating toxins and high blood pressure resulting in seizures and that the only way to stop this is to deliver. Abby’s OBGYN is there with the “Oh sh*t I really screwed up this time” look on her face. I think, “If Abby dies, I am coming at you with all my anger and pain lady.” I am standing next to Abby. She is unconscious. The OBGYN tells me they need to prep for an emergency c-section and that Abby has to have an epidural. I don’t want her talking to me about this so close to Abby. I am afraid she will hear what we are saying and it will upset her. I am right. The word “epidural” brings Abby conscious. The doctor tells Abby they have to do an emergency c-section. She weeps as she says, “Its too early.” This kills me. It is hard enough watching her go through this physical pain. The emotional pain she starts to feel is like a knife in my heart. I look at her and tell her everything will be okay. She just sobs. At some point she becomes unconscious again. I go out of the room to tell Paul and Lisa what is about to happen. Now Joe Bruner, Abby’s current boss, and Abby’s co-worker Paul Stephens are in the room. Lisa asks if we can pray. Paul wisely asks the chaplain to pray, knowing full well no one in the room will make it through a prayer. I go back to the room Abby is in. They take her away to prep her for the c-section. I am alone. I text Paul, asking him to come sit with me. He comes. We sit.
Eventually I am taken down to the room Abby is having the c-section in. I am not allowed in due to the amount of people but sit outside the room. They leave the door open so I can see in. The chaplain sits with me. I wait. At 3:51 I hear my baby boy let out two small cries. This is music to my ears because I know that for baby’s born premature, their lungs are the biggest concern. I am let in to take pictures. I talk to Abby. I tell her he has her nose. They wheel Eli so Abby can see him and then take him to NICU. I follow him out. A nurse who has been with me since we arrived (she is the emergency nurse or something, but was not needed and was assigned to follow me around and make sure I am okay) takes my phone into the NICU to take pictures. She comes out to tell us that he is 1 lbs and 15 oz and there is a chance he may go to UK due to his small size. It was about an hour before I could see Abby or Eli. I stood in a hallway with Paul and Lisa just waiting. At some point I went to the waiting room to thank all the people who came. I don’t really remember the next part in order, but I know I got to see Eli, I know that Mark Troyer, the VP of Student Development at Asbury, and Katie Blair were waiting outside the NICU for me at some point and I know that Abby was moved to a new room. At this point Abby’s family was close (they were driving down from Indiana) and Paul finally left the hospital after being my HERO for about 6 hours. Some very sweet girls brought some clothes and toiletries for us from our apartment. I slept at the hospital in a chair that folds into a small bed, spending all night watching and checking on Abby to make sure she was okay.
*The t-shirt Abby was wearing was cut off of her as was her bra.
*The doctor explained that when someone codes (which is what the code button is for), it means they are dying but that Abby never really coded because there was not point when the baby was not getting all the of the nutrients/air/blood he needed. I don’t know if this is true.
*When I was deciding whether or not to propose to Abby, I fasted and prayed over the decision. A big part of that story is that I felt like God said to me, “I saved you for each other. I saved you from other relationships so that you could be together.” On December 2 God saved Abby for me again.
*December 2 is Abby’s brother’s birthday.
*December 2, 2001 is the day I gave my life to Christ.
Friday, October 22, 2010
I did not read this book. I listened to it on CD while I drove long distances. It is a book that philosophizes through the narrative and thus requires more reflection than can be given while driving and listening to it constantly. It is a character driven novel, definitely not plot driven. In fact, the plot is so meandering that at times it is maddening. I did not really enjoy the plot. I didn't really love the book as a whole. I liked certain characters, such as the main character's friend Razumikhin, and the character that pulls at your heart strings like no other, Sonya. But the main character, Raskolnikov, drove me crazy. And that, in retrospect, is fitting as he was driving himself crazy throughout the book. The most interesting thing about the book is that it is A. not predictable and constantly making you wonder what this mad man will do and B. is a fascinating study of a deranged mind. Raskolnikov never does what you want him to. He is frustratingly odd. However, all his oddities stem from basic human nature and the truth is I could easily see myself becoming as mad as he.
Was I bored at times? Yes. Was the plot incredible? No. I can't even say I would recommend it. However, Dostoevsky does do an amazing job at reveling the human psyche. I enjoy talking about this book with others who enjoy Dostoevsky more than I enjoyed listening to it.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Driving down the road the other day I passed this little beauty (don't worry, I was driving and my passenger took the picture):
That's right. Those are amusement park ride cars being transported. Monkeys and bears. It was so funny to see this.
Just two minutes later Joey and I pass a certain semi truck. This truck's trailer had a large piece of art on it. Since we were passing it, we naturally saw it from back to front and slowly had the whole piece of art reveled to us as we passed the truck. This is what we saw: a large, Sams club sized parking lot with cars in it. At the end of the parking lot is a massive store. Somewhere it said the name of the store. I don't remember the name but it was a furniture store. #1 If you are a furniture store, why not have pictures of furniture on the truck instead of a large parking lot. I guess the idea was to show how large the store was. Anyway, the kicker is this: at the front of the trailer is an image of a lion laying on a grassy hill which over looks the furniture store. WHAT! How do these two things relate? Joey and I immediately start to mock this, creating fake ad slogans that might explain the trailer's art. "Do you like lions? Do you like furniture. Us too!" & "Have you ever been on safari? Do you use furniture? Us too!" & "Buy our furniture or this lion will eat you!"
We were tired. It was insane. I laughed until I cried. It still makes me laugh.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
When I am on the road I listen to books on tape. They help pass the time, keep me mentally engaged, help me become more well read, etc. (So far this travel season I have finished Crime and Punishment, Grace Eventually, and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. My thoughts on each coming soon.) Yesterday I started listening to Moby Dick. This is a book that has always been presented to me as long and boring, the death toll of high school English that I somehow avoided. This, so far, has not been true. It has been quite good. The only negative is that the reader at times sounds like Will Ferrell's professor character that is always in a hot tub.
Anyway, what this post is about is the weird coincidence that happened. Not long after I got on the road, I saw this:
Whalin! What are the odds of seeing a truck like this while listening to a book about whaling? Slim. I just love the little surprises life gives.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The Freebie Vulture is the man or woman who walks through the fair and takes every freebie they can. It might be a squishy car from Enterprise. It might be a Frisbee from Waffle House. It might be chap-stick. ANYTHING. They will take it. I don't do give-aways so they usually ask me if they can have one of my pens. The one thing they DON'T take is your materials. They do not care who you are, what you are their for. They unabashedly are there for the free stuff.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
So enough prologue. My travel season started Sept 28. This is what I have been up to:
On Oct 28 I left Wilmore, KY and drove to Waynesburg, PA. At Waynesburg I met Chyrul, a middle age African American lady whose table was set up to mine. She happened to also be in social work and we made small talk about jobs, family, etc. It is always nice to have these types of encounters on the road. The fairs I recruit at can be long and tiresome and it is nice to have a kind person set up next to you who can help pass the time when the fair is slow. The next day I did West Liberty University and Bethany College. These schools are either in West Virginia or Ohio, I don’t remember which. There I met a guy who recruited for the Kaplan testing system. I think his name was Brian. We mainly chatted about marriage as Brian was 21 and getting married in 9 weeks. Again, nice to make a friend. Brian actually ended up charging my TomTom for me the next day.
Day 3 was Wheeling Jesuit University and Franciscan University of Steubenville. Franciscan was beautiful! We (recruiters) were placed in an art gallery and the art was awesome. While there I met a woman who has her Ph.D in library sciences and has a specialty in children’s libraries and literature. I asked her about how to get published (I have written a children’s book) and she gave me some wonderful advice. It is these chance encounters that really liven up the road experience.
A stone barn chapel at Wheeling.
So, if you are counting, that is 5 schools and 3 states in 3 days. I got to be at home for 3 nights and then headed out to Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC. I love Asheville. I went to college and hour away from Asheville and just love the whole hippy vibe they have. The College served beef from cows they raised and vegetables from their own garden. When you put away your tray in the cafeteria there was a section for food waste they used for compost. I love it. Sadly I didn’t get to spend any time in the city and had to hurry home. The next day I did a Career Fair at Morehead State University in KY and that evening left with Joey Styron, the Asbury Seminary recruiter, for Malone University in Canton, OH. The fair at Malone was a total bust but I did see a professor friend there who had me come speak in his class, which made the trip worth it. When that ended Joey and I got in the van and drove to Chicago. Yep. From Ohio to Chicago. Over 6 hours. (In case you are wondering I have logged right around 56 hours driving in the last three weeks). Chicago was a neat experience. We got dinner at a great Italian restaurant (Maggiano's Little Italy: 516 N Clark St.) that gave you both your in house meal and a to-go meal for $12.95. Crazy right?
The next day we were at Moody Bible Institute. I didn’t know how this would go for me and I was extremely surprised. Many students were extremely interested. I met a professor there who is a social worker and pushes his students to get an MSW. A great connection for sure. I left Moody to go to a huge Chicago area fair. It had hundreds of recruiters, boasted 30 co-sponsor colleges, and had 1200 people come through. Surely I would make come good contacts here right? Nope. I only talked to 1 student and he was from a school I was planning to visit in a few weeks anyway. It is weird to think that out of a pool of 1200 I only got 1 but at Moody I got 8 or so from a pool of maybe 200.
I hit the road again Monday to go to Kentucky Christian University, about 2 hours from where I live. KCU is a great connection for us and two of our current students are from there. The next day I drove to Ashland, KY (2.5 hours away) to speak to a group of students. That night I had to leave for Murray, KY (4.5 hours away). That means that on Tuesday, Oct 12th, I was in the car for 9.5 hours. Ridiculous. Yesterday I went to Transylvania University in Lexington, KY which is a short drive away. Their Director of Career and Calling is this VERY energetic lady named Susie who hugs everyone and just loves everyone. Her assistant’s husband went to Asbury Seminary and thus was pretty excited about us being there. Another great connection.
So that is what I have been up to so far. Maybe a boring post but it gives you the gist of what my life has been like. Next post: Stories from the road (including a very strange picture, I promise).
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I added in the chord progression above the first stanza. I also added the Bible verses that inspired each line. (I think this was part of the original assignment and it naturally carried over into the rest of the writing process.) Some of the lines are direct quotes from the verses and some simply served as inspiration. You will see 2 lines have no Bible verse attached. Though I could probably find some verse that was related to these 2 lines, these lines were not actually inspired by a specific verse but by my experience. I hope to do a little video blog recording of it (with Abby singing perhaps, hopefully?) and post it so you can hear the melody.
G C G
Behold, He is coming (Rev 22:7)
C G C D
He whose voice is like the sea (Rev 1:15)
Em C Em C
His eyes, they blaze like a consuming fire (Rev 1:14)
Em C D G
And from this fount doth spring the tree (Rev 22:2)
This world is full of darkness
But he will make all things new (Rev 21:5)
In His hand He holds every star (Rev 1:16)
And with this hand, He holds mine too
We hear every nation (Rev 7:9)
Cry holy, holy thrice to thee (Rev 4:8)
He is who was, and He is to come (Rev 4:8)
The one and only Almighty (Rev 4:8)
His leaves will bring all healing (Rev 22:2)
and in the swaying join the tune (Romans 8:22)
as the Spirit and Bride cry, "JESUS COME!" (Rev 22:17)
He replies, "I'm coming soon." (Rev 22:20)
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
You read the above and it makes you laugh! 40GB of hard drive? Today 250GB is the standard and 500GB isn't even blinked at. 512MB of RAM? Ha! 2GB is the standard and 4GB isn't even a problem.
Now consider this: When my parents bought that laptop, it probably cost around $900. It might have been $600, it might have been $1,200, I don't remember. Today, I sold that computer for $50. That might make you laugh. I sort of teeter between laughing and sadness. Think about the swift decease in value this piece of technology experienced. I used it hardcore for 6 years before I bought a new one. It worked fine. The thing that doomed it was that it had become slow and I was tired of putting up with it. Had the computer changed? Not really. It might have lost a step but it wasn't much slower than the day I bought it. It was just slower by comparison to what is out now.
Anyway, that's what I am thinking about this morning. Bought a comp for $900 in 2003, sold it for $50 in 2010.
Friday, September 17, 2010
I got such a huge kick out of that. I am an ESPN nut and loved that they were poking fun of how many channels ESPN had. I mean, seriously, do we need this much sports TV?
Then last night I realized that ESPN almost has 8 regular TV channels!
4. ESPN U
5. ESPN Classic
6. ESPN Deportes
Those are 6 normal channels you can get on cable. If you include ESPN3.com, which is an online site where you can stream live video (and they are pushing really hard right now) they are up to 7! Please, please let them make one more channel and actually call it "The Ocho."
I just did a little wikipedia research. ESPN has tons of channels I didn't know about. ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Plus, ESPN Brasil, ESPN International, ESPN Australia. Then there are all their HD channels. You can technically count ESPN2 and ESPN2HD as two separate channels. Wikipedia actually lists 22 different ESPN channels. Wow.