• This is just a test…

    Date: 2013.09.24 | Category: Thoughts to ponder | Tags:


    mom 2

    This is my mama on a much better day.  She is the one standing behind the couch.  She always refuses to get in pictures.  It also shows my mother-in-law and four of the seven granddaughters.

    I’ve been meaning to write an update on my mom for some time now, but finding the time to sit down and type it out was almost impossible.  On September 11th, my mom underwent open heart surgery (OHS).  She ended up needing four bypass grafts.  She came through the surgery remarkably well.  She had some issues with her blood pressure, but otherwise was doing remarkably well.  She spent her time in the ICU and went to the floor.  She had been doing really well and was told she would be released Tuesday morning, the 18th.

    Last Monday afternoon (the 17th) I stopped with my crew to visit with Nana.  She wasn’t looking very good and had just had an issue with low blood pressure again.  I took the kids home, picked up Dan, and by the time we got back she was white as a sheet.  They called the Rapid Response team and started i.v. fluids.  They needed to start her on drugs that couldn’t be given on the floor so they started the calls to admit her back to the ICU.  We headed down with her.  They went through the ICU doors and into her room.  They asked us to wait outside in the waiting area until they got her settled.  No more than two minutes had passed when the floor nurse came out and said they had started chest compressions.  What?!?! Was my only response. Well, truth be told, I might have said WTH.  Not proud of that, but I was just so upset.  She had just been talking to me and now they were doing compressions?  They got her heart rate back and let us go see her.  She started having rhythm issues again and they asked us to step out.  By the time we got to the hallway, they had called a code blue to room 31, ICU.  Life can change in a moment.

    Her kidneys and liver went into failure.  They thought her gall bladder was infected and took her to CT to put in a drain.  Her blood pressure wouldn’t stay up.  Her heart went from v-tach to a-fib.  She went from 66 kilos (145 pounds) to 89.6 kilos (197 pounds) from fluid retention.  She had a pulmonary effusion where they pulled off 1800 mls of fluid off her chest (60 oz. for us metric challenged folks).  Her temp dropped to 34.4.  Tim and I have been spending our time seeing who could figure out her temp the quickest.  34.4 x 9/5 + 32 or google it. Google works pretty darn quick.  He has yet to beat me.  Yes, you find many unique ways to entertain yourself in the ICU.  She is on dialysis.  She is still on the ventilator.  She is very, very sick.


    But today there is a glimmer of Hope, maybe even a ray of hope.  Today her blood pressure is staying up without medication.  Today her rhythm issues are being controlled by medication and not the external pacemaker.  She is able to breath on her own with minimal help from the ventilator so hopefully she can get extubated in the next day or two.  She lost 8 kilos yesterday alone.  She is still on dialysis, but since her blood pressure is okay they are able to pull of fluid through the dialysis machine.  She is moving her arms and responding appropriately when asked questions.

    Life is complicated to say the least.  I love when the devotionals you read say just what you need them to and Max Lucado’s has done just that the past two days.

    Each day has a pop quiz!  And some seasons are like final exams. Brutal, sudden pitfalls of stress, sickness, or sadness. What’s the purpose of the test?  James 1:3-4 says, “For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.”

    Test, test, test! This chapter in your life may look like rehab, smell like unemployment, sound like a hospital, but you’re in training. God hasn’t forgotten you, just the opposite. He has chosen to train you. Forget the notion that God doesn’t see your struggle. Quite the contrary. God is fully engaged. He is the Potter, we are the clay.  He’s the Shepherd, we’re the sheep.  He’s the Teacher, we’re the students. Trust His training. You’ll get through this!

    And todays….

    God can make something good out of your mess! The test you’re experiencing will become your testimony.  2nd Corinthians 1:4-5 says, “God comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone who’s going through hard times so we can be there for that person, just as God was there for us.”

    You didn’t sign up for this crash course in single parenting? No, God enrolled you. He’s taken the intended evil and rewoven it into this curriculum. Why?  So you can teach others what He’s taught you. Rather than say, “God, why?” ask “God, what?” What can I learn from this experience? Rather than ask God to change your circumstances, ask Him to use your circumstances to change you.

    Life is a required course.  Might as well do your best to pass it!  You will get through this!

    Thank you for the prayers and encouragement.  She has a long, long road ahead of her, but she is a fighter and I believe she will get through this!