It’s just shy of 21 years since I walked down the aisle 9 weeks pregnant wondering what life had in store for Kevin and I. Getting pregnant the summer before our last year of college was not in the plans, but we knew we were meant to be together and were excited about the baby. Little did we know that just our world would get rocked yet again when I had a miscarriage and lost our baby. That summer in 1996 was where finding the blessings in everything really started for me.
When I lost our baby just one month after being married I was so mad. I was mad at God. Why would He do this to us? Why would He let us get pregnant, get excited about being pregnant only to take our baby away. I had to do a lot of praying and talking with God. In the end I found the blessing. We weren’t ready to be parents, but we did need to grow up. During that first year of marriage/last year of college we went from college kids having fun to responsible adults. He was preparing us! Just 2 weeks after graduating from college we found out we were pregnant with Baily and before the summer was over Kevin was offered his first job and we were moving to Owensboro, KY.
Throughout life things have happened that have not been planned or expected and it seems in each of those things I have found the blessing.
Over the past year my husband has not been feeling 100%. When it first started I didn’t think much about it. His father was sick in the nursing home and that can take a toll on a person, but his health issues continued. He kept going to the doctor and they kept checking things, but really not getting any answers. He was diagnosed with a mild case of sleep apnea so we got him a machine and that seemed to help, but still not 100%. His blood pressure was shooting up really high so the doctor played around with different BP medicines until that was under control, yet he still didn’t feel like himself. Finally back in May she did some fasting labs and one of the test concerned her so she sent him to a hematologist. Three weeks ago he met with the hematologist and they took 7 tubes of blood and told him it is probably one of 2 things. we got our results and I went right to the World Wide Web to scare myself to death with all the what ifs of his diagnosis.
Hemochromatosis is what my husband has. It a genetic disease where the body doesn’t know to get rid of iron. It’s a disease that over million people have, but might not know it. Sign’s usually don’t start till late 20’s or early 30’s and if not caught it can lead to organ damage (liver and heart especially), arthritis, cancers, Alzheimer's, depression and early death.
Yesterday we had our first appointment to start getting his iron levels down to where they are supposed to be. Yesterday was a scary day for us. We didn’t know what to expect, we had lots of questions and we were not prepared for what we walked into.
Kevin's doctor is located in Huntsville Hospital's Cancer Center. We get checked in and called back to a small room so the nurse can draw some blood. The nurse then directs us to the next room and tells us to sign in. I grab my bag and am looking down at my phone following Kevin and as I look up to see where the sign in sheet is my whole world stops. We are in a room full of cancer patients getting chemo treatments. My heart stops as I look around the room at each person. I see people of all ages, some with no hair, some are asleep, some have someone with them, some are alone...
I want to hug them. I want to pray for them. I am holding back tears, because I see the look on my husband's face and how this is effecting him. I am so glad I am here with him. The nurse tells us to pick an open recliner and someone will be with us shortly.
During our time there we find our sense of humor because laughter can get you through anything, right? The nurse explains this is basically like donating blood, but his blood is bad blood (insert me singing Taylor Swift's Bad Blood to him as he sitting there) so it gets thrown away. I also found out I am married to my very own Iron Man since his body is full of it and can't figure out how to get rid of it.
"cause baby you got Bad Blood"
This is a genetic disease so we had to call his mom and tell her to get tested. If she is a carrier there is a possibility all her brothers and sisters could be as well. Our boys are getting tested in August. The doctor told us we could wait until the boys were in there late 20's to find out, but we would rather know now. Knowing now means they can avoid taking any form of iron supplement and what signs to watch for as they get older.
I am thankful my husband continued to go to the doctor looking for answers and for our wonderful family doctor who kept trying until she figured out what was going on. Now we can get his iron under control before he has organ damage or other issues. Our boys will know from the get go and be able to keep this from becoming an issue. If his mom is a carrier she can inform her brothers and sisters and the can inform their kids and grandchildren so that everyone has a fighting chance against this disease. So many blessings!
My biggest blessing is that we found out! Had Kevin given up and accepted this is just how I am going to feel the iron would of continued to grow in his body causing heart and liver damage and eventually killing him before his time. When we got married we made a promise to grow old together. That when we are very old and ready to go we would get comfy in our backyard and watch the sun go down and slip away together.
Thanks for stopping by and please say a prayer for Kevin as he adjust to everything.