Monthly Archives: April 2017

A Song in the Night

Linda is doing BETTER! And even though there have been some terribly difficult times in these last two days, and even though I’m so very sad that Linda had to go back to the hospital, yet I’m very grateful for some of the good things that have happened, and that she is doing better.

Sometimes I feel that I must be the kind of person in times like this that speaks only of what is frustrating me — and then people feel like the care that Linda is getting is sub par, or that I’m upset with the hospital, or that I don’t trust the doctors.

No, it isn’t that at all.

A long time ago, I realized that ultimately, everything is in the hands of The Father. And I will advocate where I can, and I will do all in my power to get what anyone I love needs. In fact, I will do more than that.  I will take to The Higher Power the things that I seemingly cannot move or effectively change. But when I fret and stew over stuff that I cannot change, it sours my attitude and sometimes alienates the people who could help me most.

To quote Old Gertrude, “I’m not that kind of girl!” At least, I don’t want to be that kind of girl. And so, we will wait, as recommended, and pray, as always, and believe yet once again that God Loves our Linda Girl as much as he loves any of us, and He is here!

Last night in the Emergency Room, I spent long hours by my Linda-Girl’s bed.  I shed a lot of tears out of sorrow, out of frustration, out of a deep, deep sadness, and out of a desperate sense that something was so wrong with a person who could not verbalize, and nothing made sense.  I stood beside her bed and nurses and techs and doctors came and went, procedures were done, and Linda made her pain noise and sweated cold beads of sweat and endured (again) repetitious efforts at blood getting and IV starting and NG tube inserts and monitor placements and warning bells (which she HATES) and palpitations of her distended, painful stomach, and unceremonious transfers from stretcher to CT Scan table, back to stretcher and back to a cramped little room on the side hall of the hospital’s ER.  There were many moments when it was just her and me, and I seized those time to talk out loud to both Linda and Jesus and to ask for a sense of His Presence there, in that room where it felt like the air was thick with disappointment and sickness.

And He came.  In those desperate prayers and in the longing of my soul for some tangible evidence of His Presence, HE CAME!

HE CAME! in the gentle hands and reassuring words of a tired nurse, almost at the end of her shift, who worked very hard to do for Linda what needed doing.

HE CAME! in the listening ear, understanding heart, and the thorough reporting of a red haired nurse, new at the job, but intent on doing things right.

HE CAME! in the skilled hands of an ER Tech who got a really good vein for everything that was necessary all night and was still working this afternoon when I left.

HE CAME! in the rapid reversal of the most alarming symptoms and in the choices made by the professionals.

HE CAME! in the caring of Eldest Daughter who arranged for her Daddy to bring me food and drink when the day stretched on and on.

HE CAME! in the quiet of the midnight, when it felt the night would never end, and brought peace and strength and quiet calm to this anxious, troubled heart.

“He is here, Hallelujah!  He is here.  Amen!  He is here, Holy, Holy,  I will Bless His Name again!  He is here!  Listen closely.  Hear Him calling out your name.  He is here, you can touch Him.  You will never be the same.”

So powerfully the words came into my mind as I waited there, and I sang them softly to Linda while the machines pumped a vile looking liquid from her stomach and the fluids and antibiotics dripped silently, and yet another IV infiltrated into a rock hard grapefruit under the sleeve of her gown.  He was there when the labs and CT Scan came back with the reports of a dangerously high white blood count. He was there in the reports of an obstructed bowel, and a possible pinhole-sized perforation. He was there when the decisions were made for a bed on Intermediate Care, and He was there when the hospitalist gently touched my shoulder, said reassuring words and promised to do all he could for our very sick girlie through the night and sent me home to rest.

We have an uncertain course ahead of us, but He is here!

Hallelujah! 

 

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Suppers and Scarves

Last night, Daniel and I took our local family out to supper in honor of Christina‘s “Glad I Got’cha Day!”   We slipped it in after a day that was hectic and hard on many fronts, but I’m so glad we did.  I needed it desperately, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one.

Yesterday afternoon, in the hospital gift shop, I had bought a new scarf that had the color teal on it. This was to honor Youngest Daughter, Rachel Jane‘s request that we take note that the month of April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Yesterday was specifically designated as #everybodyknowssomebody day. People were asked to wear something with the color teal to indicate that they cared/knew/supported victims. I had forgotten until I was out of the house yesterday morning. Besides, I didn’t think I had a single thing that was teal, either in accessories or apparel. So I decided to check at the Milford Hospital Gift Shop where I have made some friends, and where I often find unusual things. The only thing I found was a scarf with butterfiles that had teal accents. It was pretty, and it would do.

So last night I wore my usual black skirt, a simple white top and with the assistance of Deborah dressed it up with the pretty scarf. The evening was pleasant, We ate on the patio at The Palace, and the six of us (Christina, Jesse, Charis, Deborah, Daniel and I) enjoyed our time together immensely.

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We got home, and I was getting ready to run into the hospital to see Linda. I was absentmindedly running the ends of my scarf through my fingers when I hit something crackly. Oh, dear! The price tag from the gift shop was dangling from the end of my scarf with one of those plastic string things that establishments use to keep garment price tags in place.

I hadn’t seen it! Deborah hadn’t seen it. I wonder who did!

Maybe as many who noticed the teal in the scarf and knew what it was for. And in River Town. Art Town. Home Town. We are Milford,” that just might have been nobody.  But they should have.  In researching my home town, I was saddened to discover that, for all we have going for us, this is also (allegedly) true:

Crime

The city of Milford has a crime rate higher than the national average in some categories, much higher in rape, assault, and theft, and lower in others.

Milford Nation
Murder 0.0 6.9
Forcible Rape 97.22 32.2
Robbery 166.7 195.4
Aggravated Assault 1333.3 340.1
Burglary 1027.8 814.5
Larceny Theft 5500.0 2734.7
Vehicle Theft 291.7 526.5

Formula used for chart: ((Crimes Reported) / (Population)) X 100,000)[12]

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Days of Uncertainty

I sat beside her bed last night, and sang to her.  A week ago this morning, she had surgery for a mass in her colon, and I knew that we had a rough road ahead.  Blind Linda either does a whole lot better than expected or she breaks all the rules for everything that are in place for a speedy and relatively healthy comeback.

There are so many limitations.  She will not blow into the incentive inhalation spirometer to prevent pneumonia following surgery.   She will not cough.  She has an ability to hold an incredible amount of urine and she will not go unless she decides to.  (1,000 cc on a straight cath?  Really???  Why don’t you just go???  And for those of you who don’t think in cc’s — that’s over a quart!)  She doesn’t like to walk.  Her veins are so incredibly inadequate for all the medications and tests that they need to do.  And she is non-verbal.  She cannot tell you anything she wants, needs,  or feels. And she is blind.  So she cannot see what’s happening or communicate with her eyes.

So we went into surgery last Tuesday morning, and things went so well that there was talk in recovery of discharge in two or three days.  It really did go extremely well.  But things have gone steadily downhill from there.

Pneumonia, a UTI, fever, IV after IV line blown and multiple attempts to restart. Foley Catheter removed, then replaced.  Then removed.  Success for a day.  Then a bowel obstruction.  A straight catheter in hopes of not having to replace the Foley.  Then a replacement of the Foley because of the misery of the bowel obstruction and difficulty with any kind of procedure that involves getting her up and down. Spiking fever, and through it all, pain, pain, pain.  I’ve watched this Linda girl through so many things, and she doesn’t acknowledge pain until it is unbearable.  Then she has this noise that she makes in her throat — (not the squeal that she reserves for needle sticks, and believe me, there has been PLENTY of THAT noise) but another, “hooking her breath” then a guttural, breathy moan noise that is  not what the nurses are looking for.  And since she is NPO (Nothing By Mouth) she has to have her pain medications by IV.  But the rules are, “No IV pain meds are allowed to be scheduled.”  She has to ask.  (REALLY???) Or the nurse has to deem her “uncomfortable.”  Most of the time they try to stay on top of it, but if no one is in there to observe her who knows her and knows the signs, it’s easy for her to get really uncomfortable before anyone gives her anything.

Her Mom and one of her sisters have been there parts of every day except one.  It’s a long ride from Wilmington for her 87 year old mother.  Linda’s two sisters alternate in bringing her, but it’s hard for them, too.  They worry about their mother.  Her health isn’t the best.  And Linda’s Mom worries, too.  About Linda, of course.  Wants to make the right decisions for Linda, but doesn’t want her to suffer unduly.  Wants to KNOW about everything that is done and why it has to be done.  Wants to make sure that Linda is given the attentions she needs and isn’t left without being checked on.  Whew!  It’s a hard thing to manage from so far away.  This whole thing has her in such a torque, not only for the present, anxious and heart wrenching situation, but also as she looks to the future and treatment for what brought Linda into the hospital in the first place.

Sunday night, after coming home from the hospital around ten o’clock, and feeling like Linda’s room had become a place of anxiety and tension and sadness and even chaotic hurrying because of the busy nurses and the completely full floor, I thought long and hard about what we could do to make the room a place of tranquility and calm.  A place where doctors and nurses and family come and feel peace.  Where professionals and commoners alike could find affirmation and co-operation and would know that, no matter what the outcome of this whole thing would be — whether Linda lives, or (Oh, Lord Jesus, please!) whether she doesn’t, that Jesus is in This Place!  That people would know Linda is loved, and that she matters, but that she ultimately belongs to the Father, and that we trust HIM to hold her tenderly and to give them wisdom for the decisions that need to be made, and the procedures that need to be done.  I know that they cannot always find the vein, know the pain, understand the needs or even feel compassionate towards this patient who cannot respond to them in hardly any way.  But if Jesus is there, and His presence is felt, we will all be far better off and much more able to do the right thing, free of guilt, pride, fear, or even that anxious sorrow that can sometimes drive our thoughts, actions, reactions, and decisions.

To that end, will you please pray for us?  Pray that it will be a good day in room 235 in Bayhealth Milford?  Pray that Linda would be calm, and that the tests that are needed today could be done with a minimal amount of pain for her.  Pray for peace for us all, and that the decisions made today would be under the careful direction of the Heavenly Father.

For the very presence of Jesus, a Heavenly Father who knows our Linda-girl and each of us, and for friends who pray —

My heart gives grateful praise.

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