If you are a Facebook friend of mine, then you're up to speed on the turn my life has taken this past week. Mom called on Saturday and said, "Your dad might want Eric to take him the ER tomorrow." Huh? Tomorrow? Um. Okay. We waited it out, and, sure enough, we had just walked in the door from church when Mom called and asked Eric to take Dad to the ER in Zanesville (better hospital). Mom rode along, and I was stuck at home w/the kids waiting to hear news all day.
Dad was admitted. It took until Tuesday to really start getting some answers. Pneumonia. Debilitating sleep apnea. Spinal tap to rule out meningitis because he had the most monstrous headache he has ever had in his life as well as other meningitis symptoms. We're still waiting for a culture from an abscess. We may not have that result until some time on Friday from what the hospital staff is telling us. They speak in vague statements. I know they have to do that because they can't really know for sure, but I'd like to hear something definitive, you know? Tell me my Dad's going to be okay and when!!! I've never seen him so weak and in so much pain.
Mom has been unable to visit with Dad at all because he is in isolation until the abscess culture comes back. I've been able to spend some time with him each day, but I've had to wear a mask and gown. I've been glad to be able to be there. I'm thankful to friends, the Bonars, for keeping the kids yesterday. Today, the kids stayed with Mom. This made it possible for me to be able to be where I needed to be. I can't express how grateful I am for friends who are willing to help at times like this. Others have said they would help as well, but we've been okay so far.
God has truly blessed us to be able to be here. Moving was the best decision we could possibly have made. We have chosen this, and I am glad. Even so, I don't think anyone can imagine what this path is like unless they travel it. I love the time I'm spending with my parents in recent days, weeks and months, but it is a new addition to our lifestyle that we still need to figure out, you know? And it isn't as if I can really chat with anyone about it because no one I know has ever done this day in and day out. But...I chose this, and I am so glad that I did. I guess I can't really explain in words what I'm feeling because this stress of helping to care for my parents is so shadowed by gratitude that the Lord allowed us to come here to be able to be there for them. Walking this road is one I will never regret.
This week I have come home with tension in my entire body every single day. I've cried tears every single day. Before that spinal tap? Gosh. Terrible thoughts were in my head. I awoke yesterday knowing Mom was on her way to a chemo treatment while I headed to Zanesville to visit with Dad and await the spinal tap results. Talk about stress. Both of their lives were on the line, you know? That's not something you can prepare yourself for.
It was a day of good news. Mom's oncologist said that she's in remission, something we only imagined in our wildest dreams and that we only believe possible because she was annointed. So many people have prayed, and Mom was healed! The doctor didn't expect this great of a result. It's a miracle.
And later in the day? Sigh. NO meningitis. Hallelujah!!!!
I still came home with tension in my body thinking about everything. I cried. Again. And again.
This evening I arrived at Mom's to have dinner. She watched the kids all afternoon and evening. Eric headed that way after his work day, and I got there about 7:30 after spending time with Dad. Dinner was later than planned, and I knew that, so I quietly got out of my van and gently closed the door. I sat on Mom's porch listening to the birds and the hum of law mowers and fell asleep. I wasn't asleep very long, but it was so peaceful. I could sit on Mom's porch for hours and hours.
Eric discovered that I was there and then it was time for dinner. Since everything was running behind, Mom and I ended up not getting groceries again. That's the third day in a row, but that's the way things work out at times like this. Today I cried because I had nothing in the house to feed my family for lunch. Silly, right? When this much stress is on your plate, I guess anything can trigger tears, silly or not.
My kids have been wonderful this week even though they have seen very little of me and haven't had any kind of routine this week. They're being troopers even though I know they are feeling the tension. This afternoon before we left the house, Ava came to me and gave me a hug and then just stayed there. I held her for 20 minutes. We didn't talk much. We just sat still and quiet in each other's arms. I know she needed that. She's so concerned for her Papa, and she is watching me trying to manage all this (and too often, I don't handle it well). She is a fixer, a feeler, a sweet, sweet girl. I needed that 20 minutes as much as she did. Probably more.
The kids made cards for Dad today using oil pastels. They did a great job. I wish I had taken photos. Ava wrote her first poem, and she did it completely and totally without my knowledge until it was done. She asked me how to spell yellow, but that was it. Her poem, written just for Papa was this:
The sun is yellow,
I love you.
The sky is blue,
Get well soon.
How completely adorable is THAT??? Papa was THRILLED as he is a poet himself and has written poetry his entire life. The cards made his day. It was the next best thing to having the kids there. Tomorrow, I think I'll have the kids call him. That will help to ease their minds and will bless him as well!
Please pray for Dad, Mom and the rest of our family as we go through these next days, weeks and months. Dad also has some eye surgeries coming up (supposed to have a consultation on Monday. I guess we'll see if that happens!). Dad's birthday is this Sunday. I know that I would really like to be able to celebrate that day with him AT HOME. Please join us in praying for complete and total healing!