Thursday, October 2, 2008

Four years ago today...

Most of you that actually read this blog already know parts, if not most of this story, but since it's been 4 years, I think its about time to document it... for posterity's sake. Four years ago today, We had lived in Maryland for a little over a year and Chad was a couple months into his 2nd year of dental school. On this particular Saturday morning there was a fun, and "harmless" intramural flag football game. Chad played on a team with some other guys in his class, and this day they were playing the 1st year dental school team (i.e. very important game). During one of the plays, Chad was on defense and was rushing the quarterback from the corner. Another guy on his team was doing the same from the other side. The quarterback stepped forward just as Chad and the other defender were diving, full speed for the quarterback's flag. Their heads hit with full force, and after a loud "crack", both were on the ground. I ran over to find Chad, a little out of it, with what looked like it was going to be a pretty big black eye, a little cut above his eye, a concussion, and a broken tooth (which all the dental students were, of course the most worried about). Chad blacked out one more time after that, so we decided to drive both guys to the hospital which was just down the street. Upon examination, and xrays, the doctors started to seem a little more nervous since they could not get any pupil reaction or movement out of Chad's left eye. The xrays showed that Chad had fractured the whole orbit of his eye (bones all around the eyeball), with some fractures going further back into his scull. They decided to rush us to Shock Trauma, at the University of Maryland since things were a little more complicated than originally assumed. Some of Chad's friends came and gave him a blessing before we were transferred, and I had to make the horrendous phone calls to both of our parents. It was a rough night at shock trauma. Chad's cut was stitched up and then they started tests and more tests. They were concerned about a little brain hemorrhage, nerve function, fractures, etc. etc. We were in the trauma center for 5 days. I slept on a cot right next to Chad, and we had visitors and phone calls constantly, which was great. Chad's dad flew in during our last day at the hospital which was so so wonderful. All in all, they called Chad's condition "superior orbital fissure syndrome". When the bones broke in his face, something hit the nerve bundle and damaged most of the nerves near his eye. He could still see out of it, but due to nerve damage, he couldn't open his eye, or move it at all. The eye was fixed and dilated. Some how the bones were all enough in place though, that they couldn't warrant going in surgically to do anything else. So we went home with some hopes, but hearing from the doctors that it would never be back 100%, if it even improves at all. Nerves are funny, its just a waiting game. Chad was seeing a specialist at Johns Hopkins, and finishing up the semester of dental school, trying to see if that was going to be do-able. 2 months later, Chad randomly could open his eye, and about a month after that, we started to see a little movement from the eye. Little by little things were starting to come back, but the double vision was a huge problem for being a dentist. Chad was given the option to transfer over to Pharmacy school to get his PharmD. After looking into this option, we felt that this was going to be best for Chad, as he would have to struggle with his eye every day of being a dentist. So, the following fall, Chad started Pharmacy school, and our 4 years in Maryland turned to 6. Now, with only a few months left, the time has really gone by fast. If you look at Chad today, you can't tell that anything is wrong. He still has some double vision, but he drives, plays sports, reads, etc. just fine. Chad loves Pharmacy and wonders why he didn't look further into doing this as a profession years ago. This whole experience really made us realize that things aren't always in our hands or our control. Sometimes the Lord has funny ways of paving the road before you, but in the end it's all for our growth and progression. I learned so much from Chad through the long healing process... he was always so optimistic and positive. I love you and look up to you so much babe. And, by the way, flag football is more brutal than you would think :)

That picture was taken when we were home from the hospital, about a week after it all happened.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy 17th Birthday Ashley!!!

My little sister Ashley turned 17 a couple of days ago. Ashley is such a great person. She #6 of the 7 kids, but probably the most mature of any of us. Ashley is the most kind, and caring person you will ever meet. She loves to seek out people who are having a bad day and just sit and talk with them. She is the sibling we all say is the exact mix between my Mom and Dad. Ashley is so much fun and it was so great to be able to hang out with her so much a few weeks ago. Ashley never complains and has been so optimistic and understanding about the move to Henderson (not your typical High school Junior). Her great personality shines for everyone she meets, and she already has so many friends even though she is the "new girl in town". She has been winning all of her tennis matches on the high school varsity team, is the soloist in the school choir, and got asked to homecoming by the hottie of the school. We are so proud of you Ashley. Keep it up! Happy Birthday, we love you!!!

Trip Installment 3: Henderson

The last part of the trip was going back to Henderson to try to help everyone get settled in. Henderson is great! I really loved being there. The city is WAY bigger than I imagined it. It is gorgeous, with every street beautifully landscaped with palm trees. There seems to be a new beautiful park, upscale shopping center or golf course on every other corner. Parker loved being able to spend time with his Zwick side cousins, Spencer and Ellie, and of course his Grandma, Papa, and aunts and uncles. One of my favorite places in Henderson was the "District" at night. It is a fancy outdoor mall that lights up at night, has an old fashion carousel, and live music and outdoor movies on Friday and Saturday nights. It was fun to go there at night to eat and walk around. By the time Parker and I flew home, everyone seemed to be in the swing of things, and fitting right in with all the Henderson natives.

Parker had a blast watching Ashley's tennis matches. Here is a picture of that, plus a few others of Andrea's kids and us at the district.