Many have been asking how this all started.  And, since we were so focused on getting through the next second, minute, hour – it was hard to go back and share all of this because we were focused & praying on getting that next second, minute, hour…

Here is what we know:

  • Late last week – Wednesday – Friday (2/11-13), Paul felt like he might be coming down with something.  He wasn’t bad, just a cold or something.
  • Saturday (2/14) – Paul played basketball in the morning and came home with significant pain in his back – upper left side.  When he lifted his shirt, it looked like someone slapped him or elbowed him – red & a little swollen. That said, he felt good enough to go to dinner that night.
  • Sunday (2/15) – Toward the end of the evening, Paul started to get the sweats / chills.  He was also starting to get an all-over pain.
  • Monday (2/16) – The pain was getting worse.  We saw the doctor at 2pm who diagnosed him with shingles.  They started him on steroids, anti-virals, and pain meds.  They said it would take 2-3 days to truly feel better.
  • Tuesday – Wednesday (2/17-18) – Paul would have bouts of feeling better & feeling worse.  It was tough for him to sleep – he was still feeling hot flashes / cold chills.  Based on the side effects of all the medicines he was on, we believed that to be the cause.
  • Thursday (2/19) – Paul said he was feeling better that morning.  I had a meeting away from the home, and this was suppose to be the 48-72 hours where he would feel better from the shingles.  He told me to go to my meeting & he would be fine.  That was 9am.
    • At 12pm, I received a call / text from both Paul & his mom.  Paul was throwing up, light headed, and a rash had now started in other parts of his body.  I rushed home & called the doctors office on the way.
    • Upon arriving home, I saw the rash and put Paul in the car and went to the Urgent Care.  On the phone, they said it was likely a reaction to the steroid, but this didn’t look like a reaction.  Paul’s fingers & toes were cold and blue, his breathing was labored and his heart rate was low.
      • It was there they called the ambulance, and took him to the ER.

I had the two little ones with me and needed to get Paulie off of the bus, so Paul was sent – alone – to the ER.  He had his phone and was texting me the entire time:

  • What meds was I on?
  • BP 66/40
  • ICU – asked if I want to be intubated if lungs fail

I am so sad he had to deal with this on his own.  He was hearing words that he hasn’t heard before.  And, neither of us knew how sick he was.  I never wanted him to ever deal with any of this – especially not alone!

When I got to the ER, they wouldn’t let me see him.  They were putting in a central line for antibiotics and a line in each arm.  He was terrified.  We got him up to the ICU and were talking for a short time before shift change – and they don’t allow family during shift change.

Just before they kicked me out, the pulmonologist said he wanted Paul to get a vent.  Paul was scared, but based on the doctor’s tone & facial expression, I knew it was the right thing to do.  I told Paul that was what he needed – Praise God for that decision!

Before I left, Paul told me that he was scared and that he would be waiting for me in Heaven…


When I got back with Paul’s parents, Paul was in a fight for his life, but we really didn’t quite know it yet.  His body was toxic all over, but no one had much to say to us.  So much that I sent his parents home and said I would be here and see them in the morning.

Just before 2am, the doctors were making some additional changes so I needed to leave the room again.  When they came to get me, they told me it was time to call in the family.  Paul was decompensating fast.  They had done all they could medically – now it was up to Paul’s body to fight this.

At that time, I sent a text & a message on FaceBook for everyone to pray.  What is amazing to me is how many people were up and sending prayers! 

And, I had told the rest of our family to stay home because I didn’t think it was going to be that bad.  No one listened, and right when I needed strength the most, God provided through family and friends.  We had a priest and a minister in the room with all of us praying for him right when he needed it the most.

Then – we needed to wait.  We watched numbers and prayed for improvement.  Every minute / hour was important.  We saw small improvements, praised God, and asked for more.  He provided!


Heavenly Father,

I know You did not give this infection to Paul.  I know this was not part of Your plan.  And, I know You will see us through this.

While we do not know Your plan, I am PRAYING BOLDLY that Your plan is to have Paul and I walking hand in hand out of this hospital together.  Paul will be healthy and home with our family. 

You have moved mountains.  You have parted seas.  You have healed the sick – and have gotten Paul to this point.  He is still so very sick, and I pray for Your healing!

Please be with the doctors.  Help them see what is invisible to others.  Help them to ask the right questions, draw the right labs, and make the right decisions.  Help them to do what is medically necessary to allow Your Great Work to be seen by all.

In Jesus’ Name,


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Hello! My Name is Jennifer Muszik

I am a blogger, business consultant and executive coach

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