|On our way to ALR!|
Well, very late Friday night Michael started having what he thought were bad heartburn pains, and then coughing up blood. He called me at 3am saying, "I think I have an emergency." I tried to calm him down and figure out what was going on, but I'm not good at anything medical, so I didn't know. When I hung up with Michael after that call, I didn't know what he was going to do... and since I didn't hear back from him, I figured it must have passed and he went back to sleep. I didn't sleep much myself wondering and worrying, but got a text from him about 7am saying "I'm not dead yet, but at the ER. Running tests!" I didn't realize he had driven himself and the boys to the ER (and apparently Callen put up a big mean fuss about being woken up, yikes!) Thankfully, Michael's parents are down for a two-month long visit and staying relatively near by, so Steve came and got the boys from the ER and brought them back to our house and they went back to bed. I called my mom and asked her to go to the house and take over for Steve so he could go back up to the hospital to be with Michael.
After going back and forth through text with Michael and Steve, turns out the tests pointed to Michael's gallbladder and it needed to be removed ASAP. SURGERY! I was so upset that I wasn't there and was having a really hard time deciding between staying where I was and rushing back to Texas by myself. Everyone told me to stay where I was, so I listened. Michael was in good hands at the hospital, his dad was there, my kids were with my mom... there wasn't much I could do. I tried to continue with a full-day of sitting through training, but I had a difficult time concentrating. The word spread quickly and everyone was coming up asking questions and offering prayers and and nice words. I even got a hug and a few words of encouragement from Randall White, our President/CEO. I remember crying a lot, praying a lot and blowing up my phone with texts and calls all day long. Michael's surgery kept getting pushed back, till finally about 5pm, he went in. I could have been there had I left that morning. The surgery went well, and this gallbladder was full of stones, according to the doctor. He had 4 holes poked into him. He stayed over night and was released on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday morning was the day we were supposed to leave Big Cedar Lodge and the girls riding with me agreed we could leave at 6am, so we jumped up and got in the car (in our PJs and all!), intending to miss a storm that was coming in from the Northeast. Well, turns out we ran smack dab into the middle of one that was in Arkansas. The main freeway was shut down and there was about a 2 hours standstill reported, so the GPS offered an alternate route, which LOOKED like it bypassed the mountains completely. That seemed like a good idea at the time. Well, we soon found out it steadily went right up a mountain and was far less traveled, which is NOT a good combination. We passed many cars spun off on to the sides of the road and kept going. Then we got to a part with a sign that read "Steep Slope Ahead." Uh oh. Indeed. The entire highway was a giant sheet of ice, and there was absolutely nothing I could do anymore.... there was no way to accelerate so we just kind of came to a slow stop, and then the car started sliding sideways. We slid, almost in slow motion, into a guard rail on the side of the road. It was pretty much a straight drop down the other side of it, but luckily we just struck the guard rail a little. We tried to get out, but the highway was, as I said, one giant sheet of ice, it was impossible to cross or walk around on. We didn't see any other civilization, no real houses or businesses. So, we sat there for a while, charging up our phones, calling 911 to let them know where we were exactly, letting our loved ones know we had a bit of delay, lol.
|Just slowly slid and stopped there.|
|Solid sheet of ice!|
These sweet older couple let us into their home and we used their bathroom, they offered us coffee and cookies and said we could stay there as long as we needed. Stephanie asked if they were football fans and they turned on the Cowboy game for us, lol. They served us lunch and everything. We had a wonderful time getting to know these people who saved our lives. At this point I hadn't told Michael what had happened because I didn't want him worrying about me, so when I found out he was finally home with his mom, I called and told him the story. We tried so hard to get up early and get home as fast as we could, we ended up with an extra 5-hour delay. Finally, it rained a bit and warmed up a little, so the sand truck was able to drive backwards, sanding himself up the mountain. We jump started the car and got it off the guard rail and everything looked fine. The sweet couple escorted us all the way back down to the mountain and over to the main freeway again. And we were on our way home at last. I got home about 9pm on Sunday.
Whew. What a weekend to remember! Thankfully, Michael is doing much better now, he is healing very well and back to moving around and working and all that. The dent in the car popped itself out pretty much, which is awesome. And good grief, I learned my lesson about Arkansas back roads!