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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

4 years ago

In 2009, we decided that 5 3/4 years in Florida was long enough. When you enter the military, you're told that 3-4 years on station is normal- be prepared to move. However, what we didn't realize is every time he deployed, that time clock restarted. He deployed 3 times (6.5 months or more gone each time) from 2005-2008. Every military member makes a "dream sheet". A list of 8 bases they would like to go to or be near. We had just had our second child, Lauren, and desperately wanted to be closer to his family who were just starting to get married and have children. So he volunteered for a year to Korea, in return they would send us somewhere else after. We packed up and moved to Arizona for the year. The girls and I stayed with his parents.
Christmas 2009, right before he left for Korea
He left January 11th, 2010, with a 3 week leave from Korea to come home for my brothers wedding and R & R in September. That was the longest we've ever been apart by far to date. It was easier yet hard this deployment. Easier because I was with family. Harder because Lauren at 2 years old was a #dowhateveriwantdontcareaboutpottytrainingNOnapactlikearottenegg24/7toddler. AT LEAST 3 nights a week, it ended with a 2-3 finger glass of wild turkey. It was his dad's bottle, and it was 90% full if not brand new. By the time CJ came home I had it down to 1/4 full maybe less.. Soooo many stories that year that I fully intend to use it against her in the future when need be :o) 

That April, CJ and a few friends went in the DMZ tour (demilitarized zone located on the border (ish) of North and South Korea). You take a bus up there, and he said on the way he didn't drink a lot of fluids. Restrooms were..less than desirable. He came back from that, he had had a good time, and then had flu like symptoms within a day or two. I knew he wasn't feeling good, he had gone to the clinic on base and was seen. He went back a second time, not getting any better- more intense really. By the third time, the DR had gone on leave and left a note "If this guy comes back- send him downtown immediately. I don't know what's wrong."

He was sweaty, delirious, feverish, not right..way off for a normal flu or cold.  Last I had heard, he was at work feeling crappy, going home early. Within an hour of that communication, his health took a dive. The clinic had the ambulance come and take him to the local hospital. From that point it was about 2-2.5 days before I heard from him. Not our routine at all. I got a call from him at 2 am Arizona time. 

First thing I said was "Where the hell have you been?! Freaking out over here." 

"I'm in the hospital, they're not sure what's wrong." 


Information was hard to get from him. He was still incoherent, so I talked to whoever the Air Force assigned to stay with him at all times. Tests were being run, at that time they weren't sure what he had. The Doctor's were foreign and barely spoke English. A day later we got a call from the Chief over there. He was being prepped for a spinal tap, they thought it could be meningitis. My poor baby... Here he is across the world, lying in a bed made for a short Korean person (CJ is 6'4"), being poked and proded- and I can't get to him (no passport). From what I understand, there was some hours there where..it was REALLY bad. We just stayed by the phone 24/7. I held it together until I found out he would live, they had figured it out- started to treat him and was all ready getting better. I thank God for that trait. Otherwise I'd have be sedated. This isn't his first time putting the family through a life threatening ordeal (because it's all his fault lol!). 
September, on our way to my brother's wedding, look! He's alive!!
When he was around 11-12, he contracted strep throat 9 times in a year. He'd get better for a 1-2 weeks, then sick again. The meds just wouldn't kill it. The Doctor argued with his mom as to what it was half the time and neglecting to do a strep culture, wasting time. He became septic, and organ failure started. He was medi-vac'd to Phoenix Children's Hospital. They were told the next day after it was figured out and he was being treated, that last night if they asked- he had a slim chance of survival. 

So you see, God had plans for this man's life. I think he's pretty special myself, and we have a lot to be thankful for. 

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