Sunday, July 17, 2016

Posts from hell week Part IV

Just in the past couple of weeks Pat told me how he loved this song & identified with it and he felt it was his message to me.
I am insensitive, I have a tendency
To pay more attention to the things that I need
Sometimes I drink to much, sometimes I test your trust,
Sometimes I don't know why you're staying with me
I'm hard to love, hard to love,
Oh I don't make it easy,
I couldn't do it if I stood where you stood
I'm hard to love, hard to love,
You say that you need me,
I don't deserve it but I love that you love me good
I am a short fuse, I am a wrecking ball
Crashing into your heart like I do
You're like a Sunday morning full of grace and full of Jesus
And I wish that I could be more like you
(Except for the first sentence or so about drinking, lol, he rarely ever even has a glass of wine).
Played this for Pat & got a good physical response. His favorite version ever was Claude Frye at Tabernacle of Praise singing this acoustic. I think Ed & Luke need to sing it for him...and Nick if he sings.

A plea: If you smoke, stop. If you eat crap all the time, stop. If you have people in your life cajoling, urging, nagging, and pleading with you to take care of yourself and give up this junk, LISTEN. You are not immortal, you will not get a free pass. A cigarette is not worth the pain that comes as its end result. Provolone, Taylor Ham and pepperoni pizzas are not worth the horror I am seeing: A place filled with people who wouldn't listen, hooked up to machines, wires and needles all over their bodies. This attitude that you "have to die from something" is ludicrous - unless you are some kind of masochist and love torture, or you are a sadist who enjoys causing your family pain. Heart disease is the leading PREVENTABLE cause of death

h for the next step. They removed several liters of built up fluids. He will be going to the OR today at some point to have the Ecmo switched to lung only support (although it is getting late & the nurse expressed the OR was busy so it could possibly be tomorrow). The Impella is down now to a really low setting. If he does well on lung-only & improves. The next step is respirator only. And so forth. Very positive progress. Slow but steady.
The nephrologist also came in & explained the kidney situation & how what is happening is common to this extensive heart injury. He said kidneys are very good about healing, again, it will just take time.
I see 21 staples on one opening. I don't think I can even count the other needles, tubes and ports that are all over him. Down the nose & throat. Both sides of the neck, the groin, it is just wildly terrifying and yet it is giving us a chance to keep him here with us. People are taking about how the Republican convention  will be right downtown very soon. 
Can I dare hope for a miraculous healing to get out of here before then? The traffic will be insane.
Psalm 41:2-3
The Lord protects and preserves them—
they are counted among the blessed in the land—
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness.

Next to Pat's room is another man in terrible condition. Yesterday Erin & I listened to his daughter singing this to him. It was one of the myriads of small blessings during this trial. If you do not have this hope, this surety in your life, talk to me...
I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk, by your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When you face is before me
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
Surrounded by you glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
I can only imagine when that day comes
When I find myself standing in the son
I can only imagine when all I would do is forever
Forever worship you
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall
Will I…

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.~ Dorothy Bernard

This is what Pat looked like on day 3 (Tuesday) with the addition of things up his nose, down his throat and stuck in his neck. Even his nose was swollen. If you don't know, this is a Vogon (from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). Vogons recite long, long, long dull poetry. With the tube down his throat, Pat was prevented from any poetry recitation. (Picture of Vogon)
I'm sitting here waiting while Pat is in the operating room getting switched from one Ecmo to the lung only Ecmo support (which is good thing). I thought I'd just share some random stuff that has filled the days lately:
-Kindred spirits are everywhere. Yesterday I spent the better part of 10 hours with Felicity, Pat's nurse for the day. She & I discovered quickly we were the same age with much in common. Pat was shivering so the assistant turned up the Ecmo adjustment that heats the blood. After a while she told us that it said, "the blood is getting too hot, it wants me to turn it down." I said, "Then you mean he is hot-blooded?" Felicity & I looked at each other and burst into Foreigner's "I'm hot-blooded, check it and see. I got a fever of a 103. C'mon baby, can you do more than dance..." You can't buy that kind of instant mind-meld with someone. Look around you - kindred spirits are everywhere.
-Felicity was having neck pain. I wound up teaching a group of nurses and other specialists yoga asanas to loosen things up. It ws fun seeing people across the way showing other people what to do. Surgical cardiac ICU is a very stressful place, lots of tense muscles on these wonderful, beautiful people.
-I ran into a woman here who I substitute for & we have always just hit it off. Sadly, she was here for a problem she has been sharing with me as the reason I needed to come in for her. We were able to pray together for her surgery & all that might follow. Please remember her, Mrs. McP with young kids & a husband who need her to be okay.
-I was able to talk to my neighbor about Jesus & we both cried. He is going through a very difficult & terrifying time. Please lift him up. He needs divine intervention.
-My daughter, Jenna, has helped me with some semblance of normalcy by walking the dogs with me twice late, late late. It was such a blessing to walk & talk as if the world were still turning as usual.
-My daughters are all under extreme stress with this and God has been blessing them with helpers. As Mr. Rogers said, in times of tragedy, there are still helpers.
-My dogs; Sasha is a collie, that said she has her own mind & her own agenda. She has a system where she guards the upstairs, stationing herself either on our bed or on the top of the stairs. Charlie is required to guard the downstairs & to come tell her if she needs to come down (this is an elaborate display, involving up & down the stairs at least twice, a series of barks that say what is going on). WELL, Sasha has begun to force Charlie to do the upstairs (easier) job while she guards the downstairs. He is not thrilled with the change but she is calling the shots. I watched her command him, it's just amazing the level of communication.
-A crazy snobby woman in an Audi SUV nearly broad-sided me in the parking garage. When i honked & stopped in horror, she didn't even acknowledge me - while my heart was beating wildly she...maneuvered herself to continue cutting me off. Lest I seem too holy, I followed her, scaring the tar out of her, all the way past perfectly good parking spaces to the upper deck where I parked far so she'd think it safe...then went to her & yelled at her through her window and took very dramatic pictures of her license plate. There are people with little children in this parking garage, there are people all stressed, all scared, coming to see family, to go to cancer doctors, etc, no one needs the hassle, frustration and nightmare of a parking garage accident especially when they are already under stress. DRIVE SLOWLY and be courteous in parking garages!!! (And everywhere, please).
-Pat always liked to watching mushy movies with me and he always got all sappy and said that he & I were like the Notebook - as well as Wesley & Buttercup in the Princess Bride. Over & over I think of Wesley being "mostly dead" but true love brings him through. 
-What does it matter if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul? There is nothing so important here that cannot be taken away from you - there are no people, possessions, dreams that cannot be forever changed in the blink of an eye. But there is assurance and there is hope. There is a hiding place, a shelter from the storm, there is a Mighty King who doesn't just want to be your Savior, He wants to be your Lord.

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