Life Changes in an Instance!

Last Tuesday life as we knew it changed.  Many of you have followed the story of my Prince on Facebook over the last week.  I  wanted to update all my readers on what's been going on.  


I'll just start from the beginning-


Tuesday, November 19th started like any other day.  Russ always gets Alexis up and ready for school and then he takes off to work.  I had Brandon home from school due to Pneumonia.  We were lounging around the house since we had no other big plans.  


About 11am I received a call from Russ telling me he was at the clinic because he didn't feel well.  He told me nothing more, not even his symptoms and was speaking very quietly.  He said he would call me right back once he knew more.  


I waited about 40 minutes and the call came.  When I picked up the phone I knew right away something was very wrong.  He was speaking very quietly again, using words I didn't quite understand and said his legs were not working right.  He said the base clinic was transferring him to Sacred Heart Hospital by ambulance.  I told him I would meet him there.


My heart sank.  Russ is never sick.  NEVER.  I started putting everything together like a puzzle.  He wasn't using the right words.  His legs were numb.  While "stroke" came to mind at first, I couldn't imagine that being the case at 43 years old.  I also knew it was very serious since they were not sending him to the Navy Hospital.  


When I arrived at the Emergency room they put me in a special room by myself.  I could see Russ across the hall with 6 medical professionals surrounding him on the stretcher.  My heart sank.  Finally the Doctor came to talk to me and tell me what was happening.  I still can't believe what I'm about to write… Russ had a stroke.  


How did my 43 year old healthy husband have a stroke? He is never sick.  He is low key.  He just had his physical with the flight surgeon.  He just passed his Physical Readiness Test with an outstanding.  He just finished a swim physiology course where they learn to get free from a plane underwater and survive.  These just happened in the last two weeks.  He did great.  


The Neurologist said the CT showed Russ had a clot in his brain and they needed to give him a clot busting drug ASAP for it work.  They had a 3 hour window to get this done from the onset of the stroke.  


When I was finally able to see Russ I could feel my own legs get weak.  He could speak but none of his words made sense.  He couldn't move his right side at all.  He would look at me and try to speak and even giggle because he knew the words were not coming out correctly.  


In a matter of 5 minutes Russ looked at me and was talking normal again.  He could even move his right side.  It was weak, but he could move it.  His words were not jumbled anymore.  It was so bizzare.  


Russ stayed in the ER for a long time while we waited for him to get an ICU bed.  They came into his room to do a Carotid Ultrasound and it was there I could see more puzzle pieces coming together.  The left carotid artery was clearly not working correctly.  There was a blockage or what was later determined as a clot.  The Dr was wonderful explaining each step of the way and said he would transfer Russ to ICU and he would start another blood thinner to dissolve the clot in his carotid artery.  


I was right by his bedside all night long.  During the night he did quite well.  The next morning he was doing well.  He had some weakness but I thought he was doing fantastic everything considered.  The Dr. thought so too and decided to transfer him out of ICU.  


Prior to the transfer I noticed that Russ' speech was becoming a little garbled again.  The nurses reassured me this is very normal.  It's a roller coaster.  


Once he was settled into the new room I could see something was not right with Russ.  In that short period of time he had another HUGE neuro change.  He had another stroke.  


This one was much more devasting.  He wasn't talking.  He couldn't move his right side at all.  It was a quick turn around to the ICU again.  


He has now been in the ICU for 6 days and there hasn't been much change.  He can move his right leg a little bit but there is no movement in his Right arm.


It continues to be a roller coaster.  On Thursday Russ wanted to see the kids.  I really prayed about bringing them in.  I didn't want to scare the kids but I wanted to give them a little reassurance.  There wasn't a dry eye.  I was really concerned about Alexis.  She is my emotional child.  It was the opposite.  Brandon just sobbed.  Russ talked to the kids and explained this was just a bump in the road.  He was going to get better.  Brandon finally looked at Russ and said "Daddy, will you always talk like this?"  Believe it or not, Russ giggled then the kids starting giggling and I felt the tension in the room ease.  


The kids have a lot of questions I can't answer right now.  We know that Russ has a long road ahead but I know for sure we will get through this.  No doubts.  


We are trying to take one day at a time.  This is not easy for Russ.  His mind is going 100 miles an hour.  I keep telling him we need to get through each day and everything will be just fine.  Of course telling a man with a Type A personality is not easy.  He worries about work, me taking on the house, the kids…. you get it.   He is the provider so he worries.   As many deployments as we've done, I'm not worried.  We got this.   


Please continue to pray for Russ.  Pray that the clot continues to dissolve.  That he continues to ease his mind and just get better.  I can't thank you enough.  


You may be wondering about the new look of my site.  Amy Celona (one Ahhhmaaaazing lady!!!) has been working on this for awhile.  She surprised me this week getting it all finished. I am grateful for her work but most of all her friendship.  



Love to each of you!!


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91 thoughts on “Life Changes in an Instance!”

  1. Wow! What a lot to handle! Your family will be iin my prayers. How is your fatigue? I'm sure you are tired now with taking care of everyone but don't ignore your symptoms! I pray you will feel God's peace and strength.

  2. Love the new look!! And you guys HAVE got this … The hardest part is always being patient (I know it is for most of us!)! Prayers, family, friends and God have your backs. Thanks for your continued inspiration … Not only in the crafty universe, but in the way you are such a great example in all you do! Keep on keepin' on!!! Continued hugs and prayers for all of you …

  3. Kimberly, I have no words! I’m sorry for what your family is going through right now. You are an amazing woman, mother and wife. You are strong and WILL get through this…one day at a time. Thinking of you, sending you strength!

  4. My heart goes out to you and your family.  So pleased that you are now near your parents so that you can "lean on them" for support.  You are right, things will get better and you can all look back on this later as a "bump in the road".

    Hugs to both Alexis and Brandon as they help their Dad get better too!

    Thinking of you and please keep us updated!

  5. Hello Kimberly,  Thank you for sharing your story of events.  I am sorry that you have to go through this.  As you said in your post you have been through many deployments before and you got this.  This is a deployment for Russ and the fight to regain his life with his family.  He will need a lot of encouragement and I know he will get it.  He must not worry and learn to hold his thoughts captive.  He will get better !  Hang in there, with prayer all things are possible.  Take care and keep us posted.  Hugs, Sherrie

  6. what a devastating thing to happen to a young man, I hope you and your family find the strength to get past this bump in the road.

  7. Thank you so much for taking the time to post Kimberly!  As soon as I heard this, I have been praying unceasingly! I am so grateful for your faith and trust in God in this, that is where you will draw strength to get through this. God bless you and your family!! Hugs and prayers to your whole family from Dan and Lorri Heiling

  8. Kimberly,

    I don't know if you remember me…Lisa Martz from Control Freak Swappers.  I have been thinking of you and praying for Russ since I first read about his stroke.  I will continue to hold him up in prayer.   You stay strong!  

  9. Hi Kimberly – I have been following your blog for a long time, but never comment (love your work!) – just wanted to say that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  10. Christie Daugherty

    Recite each day, "this is the day that The Lord hath made and I will rejoice and be glad in it". Take each day at a time. God is in control as u know. My mom-in-law has a similar stroke last year. It takes time to heal. Praying for your family:)



  11. Kimberly I'm so so sorry to read this ๐Ÿ™ I hope each day brings improvement for Russ, be thinking of you and your family.. Hugs Laura xxx

  12. Oh Kimberly,

    Wishing only the best for you and Russ and the kids. You have handled this with such courage and support it's not wonder he loves you so.

    Continuing to pray….

  13. Prayers for all of you.  I suffered a massive stroke in 2007 and  thank the lord have recovered.  I was on a vent for over 2 months and needed long periods of rehab, but noone gave up on me and prayers do work.

  14. Prayers your way. I have been checking your blog every day for updates on Alexis' illness never expecting this. I am sure you have this but community will assist with thoughts and prayers.


  15. Oooooh Kimberly, you are one strong woman. Continued prayer for healing for Russ. Much love and strength to you. Im sure you have a strong support system of family and friends.

  16. When you said that life can change in a instant, you were so right.  Surround yourself with positive people, accept help & take care of yourself…your family needs you.  My prayers, thoughts & love go out to you & Russ as you overcome this hurdle in your "young" lives.  God will keep you in his watchful eye.


  17. Kimberly,  Keeping you, Russ and your children in my prayers.  I know that it helps you to know that God is in control and He has this.

    Karen Culler

  18. I have followed your blog for a while now, I send prayers your way.  Please seek a support group – they can help provide answers for your questions and support for you and your kids.

  19. I am sending healing thoughts and lots and lots of prayers your way. Also huge (((((HUGS))))) I am sorry all this is happening to you and your sweet family. I have not kept up with FB much in the last few weeks.

  20. You've been in my prayers since this happened.  Our son is 43 also and I can't even imagine him and his family having to go through this.  Thank you for updating us and I hope you can continue to share as we will all support you. Sending lots of thoughts, prayers, and strength to all of you!

    Karen Tenney 

  21. Kimberley, I have been following you since Russ was in Iraq (I think).  WOW – what a shock, but I know how strong you are and now with your family close, it must be reassuring for you.  Thoughts & prayers are with you – I know you will get through this together!

  22. Kimberly, you and your family are in my thoughts and in my heart. God will give you the strength to get through this roller coaster ride. Keep the positivity going and know that you have so many friends praying for you.

  23. There should be no doubt about the impact your family has made in so many lives.  I hope that our continued prayers will bring healing and comfort to you all.  Beautiful look to the new blog too!

  24. Prayers coming your way.  Russ being in the hospital so quickly will have a positive impact on outcome.

  25. How scary! Prayers of health and strength for your family. Be sure to take care of you, too. It's so easy to get caught up with taking care of everything else for everyone else in stressful situations like this. Big hugs to you and your family!

  26. Kimberly, my mouth dropped open when I read this. I am so very sorry. You are a very close knit and strong family. You will get through this (like you said). I am so glad that you are home and have your mom to lean on. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Please keep us posted as to how Russ is doing. With the holidays around the corner, I'm sure it's even harder but as long as you all have each other, that is all that matters. My heart goes out to you all and know that you are all being thought of and prayed for. HUGS XO

  27. Kimberly,

    Wow!  My mouth dropped and continued to drop as I read your post.  I am SO sorry about this turn of events but I know that you guys have got this!  Your family is very strong and I know you have a great support system.  I will continue to pray for a speedy and full recovery for Russ and will pray for you and the kids so that you have the strength that you will need on this difficult road.  

    Hang in there,


    P.S.  I definitely LOVE your new blog design!

  28. I'm so very sorry to hear this news and will keep your family in my thoughts.  I hope some comfort can be found in the fact that if this did have to happen at least it happened when Russ was at home and not deployed.

  29. Kimberly,  I had only just read this on Facebook and haven't had a chance to comment there.  I was totally shocked as I think everyone is.  Know that so many are praying for you.  Take each day and each step at a time.  Sending you lots of love and prayers from Australia.


    Jenny xxoo

  30. You and Russ and the kids are all in my prayers.  Praying for healing for Russ, and comfort for you and the kids.

  31. Praying for you and your family – I've loved reading your blog over the past couple of years and I'm so sorry to hear about your newest challenge.

  32. Hi Kimberly!  I am so sorry to hear of this!  Please know that you ALL are in my thoughts and prayers!

  33. I am so sorry to hear about your sad news.    I'm a caregiver to my husband for the past 8 years who suffered a major left brain stroke caused from A Fib. Prayers for all of you.


  34. Hi Kimberly.  So sorry to hear about Russ.  What a shock. Your family has had one wild year!  (One of those years you probably can't wait to be over!!)  That's great that Russ has such a positive attitude.  You guys will definitely get through this!!  Prayers to you and your family, and for Russ to have a full, speedy recovery!

  35. I was shocked to read this and am praying for all of you. The one thing I love most about your blog is your stories of your family. You can feel the love you have for one another. Everything happens for a reason, why else would you have been transferred when you were, and so near your family. Lean on them and let them help you. This is one more story that will only bring you and Russ even closer. Keep the faith, it won't let you down.

  36. Kimberly, Alexis, Brandon & dear Russ ~ you are all in my thoughts & prayers.  Take it minute by minute and day by day.  Lots of hard work ahead but I know you can all do this.  My heart just sunk when I read; I went through this with my own Dad when he was only 52.   Just keep strong like you've always been.  Please keep us updated.  I'd love to send a card if you'd be willing to share an address?  

  37. Hi Kimberly, Oh my goodness, you are not kidding about how life can change in the blink of an eye! I can not even believe this has happened to your sweet family. Isn't it amazing that you are living so close to your parents just when you need them the most? I hope Russ continues to improve and knowing you, your positive outlook will have you counting all of your blessing this Thanksgiving despite this huge hurdle. I hope all of this is behind you as quickly as possible and Russ makes a full recovery! God bless you, Russ, and the kids. Thank you so much for sharing your story! xox Laura

  38. My gosh, Kimberly; my thought and prayers are with you during thi very scary time. Your husband sure is an amazing Prince Charming, and a very strong one, to; he will pull through this – I just know it! xo

  39. Kimberly, words cannot express my shock and sorrow in hearing the news.  My heart goes out to you.  We'll keep up the prayers and good thoughts!  XXXOOO

  40. Angie Jozefowicz

    Sending you, Russ and the kids prayers and hugs to get you through this bump in the road.  "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."  1 Peter 5:7

  41. Kimberly – I have been following your Facebook posts and praying for you, Russ and your children.  Stay strong … this too shall pass.

  42. Kimberly, praying God will spare Russ to be well again soon, and for the doctors to all the right procedures. Also for you and your children to stay strong through all of this, so many are praying. 

  43. Kimberly,

    Sending you all prayers and hugs.  It will be a long road back but it is so possible.  It took me five years but with faith and lots of love and help from family and friends, (and alot of patience) I am doing great. Russ can and will too.

  44. Oh Kimberly, Life is so prescious…. every second of it…  and in a blink of an eye, as we all know, it can change so dramatically. Lifting you and your family up in prayer for all the Strength each of you need to get through this. Wisdom for the Doctors…and that you and your family feel all the Love from your friends to get you through this…. You are all Loved….

    In my Heart and Prayers,



  45. Georgia Mansfield

    I am praying for your husband and your family. You have been through a lot of stress lately! Please keep us posted on how things are going. May you reach to God for your strength and wisdom thru this trying time.  God bless you and your family. 


  46. Hugs and prayers to you, your Prince and kids –  as a nurse myself know how tough it can be to be a nurse and family member at the same time.  May all the wonderful medical technology  be available to you and with it a good outcome.  Keeping all of you in my prayers

  47. Praying for you and your family as you walk through this difficult time. Good to know the Lord is always with you in good times and bad and never leaves us. He will give you strength, comfort and peace. I will pray for Russ's continued healing!

  48. I'm just an anonymous blog reader/stamper and have never commented before but just wanted you to know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Love from across the pond x

  49. I saw this on my friend, Tami Dale's, facebook page.  My husband was 46 when he had 2 relatively minor strokes in 2010.  We were very fortunate that he did not suffer paralysis of any kind, but did mix up his words some.  But, my husband lost the ability to swallow – could not eat, could not even swallow his own spit.  He was in the hospital just under 3 weeks and in therapy for several months after his release.  With the help of some wonderful therapists, he has fully recovered – and regained all the weight he lost while he was on a tube feed.  We had a rough few months, but made it through.  Attitude is a huge part of it – and it sounds like he has a good attitude.  That will help both of you a lot.  It won't be easy, but it can be done.   Good luck to you and I will watch for updates.

  50. Pingback: Teneale Williams » Blog Archive » The Prince and I

  51. Barbara Dykhouse

    Kimberly, I will be praying for you and your family, for strength, patience and progress.  How providential that God has placed you in your new home, close to your family, at a time when you will need their strength and support.  No matter how bad things may seem, you will find that God has hidden blessings for you as well.

    Grace and peace,


  52. Kimberly – My goodness.  I am praying for Russ, you, your family and the guidance of the medical professionals.  I know God's has been with you the whole way, and we pray for Russ' full recovery.  Hugs to you all – Lisa

  53. Thank you for sharing.  My heart aches for you all.  I will pray for your Prince and for all of you.  You are in my heart and mind. God Bless you all.

  54. You have an amazing family that has weathered many storms – TOGETHER!  Praying that this storm soon passes with little after effect.  Please take care of yourself, too!  Hugs to you all.

  55. We don't know each other at all — but are both demonstrators.  I will pray for healing, comfort, encouragement for all of you!  So thankful that you know to look for God to provide.

    Debby Bockman

  56. You and your family are in my prayers. May the Lord give you the strength you need to see this through.

  57. Oh my goodness Kimberly. You are a strong woman. You've been put through a lot the past few months. I pray for you and your family and wish you all well. I hope your prince makes a quick recovery. Thank god you have your family near by. Happy Thanksgiving.

  58. Amie Lee-Boggeman

    I'm so sorry Russ and you're family are going through this. I had a stroke at 37, so I can understand a little of what you're going through. Mine wasn't as severe as what Russ is dealing with, though. I will pray for him and for you and your kids to have Russ home and well again ASAP. May God bless you and especially Russ and bring his health back to normal again.

  59. Amie Lee-Boggeman

    I am so sorry to hear about your husband's stroke. I had a stroke at 37, though not as severe as the one Russ had. I will pray for him and your family and hope he comes home very soon. May God bless him and bring him back to your family as good as new ASAP!

  60. Prayers are with your family during this time. My 33 yr old dtr suffered a stroke 2 yrs ago, 9 days after giving birth to her 1st child. The road has been slow and sometimes difficult but she is making progress and we have learned to adjust to our new life.  You and your family knows how to adjust to changes in your lives with love and determination and my prayer for you is to be able to go with the flow and encourage Russ to move forward and not let stroke define your days! I know your pain and fears and know the prayers of you friends &family will keep you strong!

  61. Oh Kimberley!  My mom (who is 57) suffered a stroke 8 weeks ago. It felt devastating but with lots of rest rest and more rest she has regained her speech and mobility. She still has a long way to go but he's young and strong. He will recover. My thoughts and prayers are will you!

  62. Your news is stunning and I had to give myself time to leave a comment.  I will pray for your husband and for you and your kids.  His strength and your strength and the love of you and your kids will heal him quickly!  Hugs from one of your My Digital Studio students, Jenni

  63. To Kimberly & her family, I hope that Russ is showing steady improvement & that he is getting the best in medical attention.  Each day will be better.  I'm keeping you in my thoughts & my prayers.  Be strong & know that we, your friends, are pulling for all of you.

  64. Sending lots of good wishes and prayers your way…. Can't stop thinking of your family….All my best to all of you.

  65. Kimberly & family…I already left a post a few days ago, but just wanted to say that all of you continue to be in my thoughts & prayers.  Everytime I see a new post in my in-box "stampinbythesea" I think it is an update from you, on how your Prince, Russ, is doing.  I'm sure you update on Facebook, but I don't have that.  I do know when you have time, you will let us know.  I'd still love to send a card your way if you share your address (you could send a private message through Stampin'Connection so it wasn't posted here).  I hope you all were able to celebrate this Thanksgiving the improvement that Russ is making each day.  God bless you all.

  66. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers coming your way!!! I live with blood clots in my lungs daily..not kidding..and have for past 20 years, so I understand the fear you and Russ will share in coming months!!  The clot blocker/exploder (in layman terms) is a miracle in itself.  It will be a battle for some time…but I know you, thru years of your moves/blogs, you are a tough cookie (99% of the time) and I know the love and strength in your faith, family, friends and home are great – YOU GOT IT!!!  So very glad you still have your Prince, truly all that matters. Stay strong and know that support from your friends is just a keyboard away.!!!!  Love from Minnesnowta,  Tree SU! demonstrator

  67. Kimberly, I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. We are praying for you and your family here on the West coast. The Lord loves you and your family and He knows what you are going through. When things get too tough, lean on Him and He promises to give you rest and strength. God’s healing on your husband and His comfort and blessings on you and your family.

  68. Kimberly, we are still thinking about and praying for you and your family.  We are worriedly awaiting an update as soon as you get the time and energy.  (Some of us don't have access to your personal facebook page, so we are just hoping and praying things are going better for you and your husband.)  Please know that we are sending many good thoughts and well wishes your way!    God Bless from Oklahoma  

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