Friday, June 24, 2011

Counting our Blessings


Friday, June 24, 2011

Written by Emily

Thank you so much for all of the wonderful comments on last week’s blog post. As a family, we had so much fun walking down memory lane and pouring over old family photos. In the midst of this difficult journey, we are so thankful for many blessings.


This week dad received the gift of a hospital bed for our home. He is resting much more comfortably, and we hope that the incline will allow him to breathe more easily at night.


I am home visiting for several days. I am so thankful for the help with my newborn, and I think my mom is enjoying the newborn snuggles. Jenny and Adam have also been able to come over daily and we are all enjoying this precious family time together. The two oldest grandchildren (Andrew and Austin) have been attending Vacation Bible School together this week. Tonight as Austin recited John 3:16 to mom and I, we were so thankful for the influence of VBS on children’s lives.


As Austin recited the words, I treasured their meaning, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son. That whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”


Because of this verse we continue to have great hope. Eternal life! This week dad reminded me that he is not afraid of death. He is tired from his illness. His body is weak and worn. He struggles with confusion and mixes up his words. Dad does not want to suffer… but he is not afraid of death. He knows what is in store – Eternal life.

While eternal life is our ultimate hope, we find hope in dad’s daily condition as well. He seems to be healing from his recent hospitalization and was even able to sit at the dinner table tonight. There are moments when his medications wear off and he is more alert. Sometimes dad is not too tired for a conversation and we hear his wisdom about a situation. And perhaps my favorite current blessings are the moments when he smiles just looking at one of his grandchildren.


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I love being home with mom and dad. I love the way they continue to care for one another even in the hardest of times. I learn so much from them about love, marriage, and sacrifice. I am proud of the legacy they have left for their children and grandchildren. So today, our old photos are some of my favorite pictures of mom and dad.


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Mom and Dad at their college graduation


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Mom and Dad at a Sunday School costume party


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Mom and Dad going out with friends to play tennis


Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day
June 17, 2011

from Jenny

After a couple of weeks in the hospital, Dad is finally home again! He impressed his doctors during this recent stay by beating pneumonia, a collapsed lung, pericarditis (infection & extra fluid in the sac around his heart), surgery to insert two drainage tubes in his chest, an electric shock procedure to get his heart back into a normal rhythm, AND painful shingles.

Thank you for your fervent prayers - we know God heard and answered all our prayers, and we're once again so grateful for your continued encouragement and support!

Since he's been home from the hospital, my dad has been enjoying some time with the family. And our big news is that Baby Anderson finally got to meet his Grandpa!! This week was also the first time Grandma and Grandpa got to spend time with all six of their grandchildren together.



As you can imagine, there is no better medicine than arms filled with grandchildren!

It is a Father's Day week our family will always remember. We feel very blessed.

P.S. We also wanted to share some pictures of Dad from when we (Jenny, Emily, & Adam) were growing up.

(Dad with Jenny)

(Dad with Emily)

(Dad with Adam)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pneumonia

"Pneumonia"
(From Adam)
June 10, 2011

Sorry for the delay in posting this blog. We know many of you try to check it first thing on Friday mornings, so delays can cause concern.

We don’t have much information to post since there has not been much of a change in Dad’s condition. I am also not the story-teller that Dad, Jenny, or Emily is, so I was pretty happy when told that I only have to do a “factual update.”

Dad was diagnosed with pneumonia this week and spent the majority of the week in CCU (Cardiac Care Unit) undergoing breathing treatments. On Wednesday night, he was moved into a regular room and I was able to spend some time visiting with him there yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.

Dad is still having chest pain so he is being given pain killers to try to manage that pain. The side effect of the medication is that it makes Dad a little “foggy” and confused at times. Since he is unable to get out of bed, he has wraps around his legs that constrict and massage his legs to circulate the blood into his lower legs. He told me that because of his confusion, he was giving Mom a lot of credit because he thought she was massaging his legs. When he was in dialysis later that day (where Mom is not allowed to be with him), Dad became very concerned because he could not figure out who was crawling into his bed with him to massage his legs. He was very relieved to discover that no one was massaging his legs, although Mom lost a little credit by his discovery.

The highlight of the week was that Emily was able to come down to visit with Austin and Anderson. Unfortunately, even though Emily was able to visit with Dad, she was not allowed to bring the kids up to see him because the CCU floor does not allow children under 10 years old to visit. Jenny, Emily, and I were able to get all the grandchildren together and we enjoyed seeing them play in pairs (Andrew & Austin (1 year apart), Megan and Avery (6 days apart), & Riley and Anderson (7 weeks apart)). I know that Mom also enjoyed getting to see all of her grandchildren at some point this week.

At this point, we don’t know when Dad will be released from the hospital. He is still very weak and unable to stand or sit on his own. Thank you for your continued prayers.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Complications

"Complications"
June 3, 2011

My dad always begins a weekend hopeful that he can make it to Monday's dialysis treatment without another ambulance ride. So, Sunday evening when he began experiencing difficulty breathing, he kept saying, "Don't call (911) yet... I think I can make it." But by 10 pm, he was being taken on an all-too-familiar trip back to the hospital.

Once at the hospital, the dialysis nurse quickly noticed that things were just not going right. Dad was sent to the CCU (Cardiac Care Unit), where they found that the fluid around his heart was so excessive, it was making it difficult for his heart to beat. A quick decision was made to do a surgical procedure to remove the fluid. So, on Tuesday, they made a "window" in the pericardial cavity with a tube to help drain the fluid.

While performing this surgical procedure, they discovered that my dad has a viral infection around his heart. And because of the infection, he experienced pretty significant complications from the surgery twice on Tuesday night. The surgeon was called into his room for extra stitches and readjustments of the tubes. It was an intense couple of hours for both my parents (and probably that medical team as well). Currently, he has 2 tubes removing fluids from his chest and a new PICC line for administering meds, etc.

Thursday, they decided to remove the larger tube from his chest. It was supposed to be a relatively simple procedure, but it ended up causing his right lung to partially collapse. He was in great pain and had much difficulty breathing. It was a frightening afternoon for both my mom and dad, to say the least.

As of today (Friday) my dad is still in the CCU with no idea how long he will remain there. They are still waiting on test results to confirm or rule out pneumonia, and he has been diagnosed with pericarditis. The pain medicine helps with the chest pain as well as the shingles, so he is resting fairly comfortably now.

And knowing that my dad is, quite literally, breathing a little easier... my mom is starting to, figuratively, breathe a bit easier, too.
 

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