Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Tough Journey Ahead


 It is a beautiful Lord's Day here in Bastrop this morning and just what I needed for a "lift of my spirit."  Seeing the beauty outside reminds me of the awesome power of the God I serve and I know that it is that awesome power that is going to see us through the weeks and months ahead.

Yesterday was a tough day for Daddy and there even seemed to somewhat of a decline in his condition.  He was weaker than the previous day and I had a certain unrest about him.  Three of his Neurologist came by shortly after lunch and picked up on this same thing immediately.  The day before they had felt like he had reached the peak of the condition and that things would begin getting better.  Yesterday, they did not feel that way and even detected some respiratory distress. (that can be another aspect of the GBS and one that can be very serious).  They were not overly alarmed but immediately began with a new plan of action.  They told me that they would be starting what is known as a IVIG treatment on him.  In layman's terms this is Gamma Globulin IV therapy. He would have to be moved to the Telemetry Floor of the hospital where his heart could be monitored 24/7 because the IVIG can cause fluid to accumulate around the heart . Should this happen, they will discontinue the IVIG.  IVIG treatment is used in GB patients as it is known to stop the activity of the disease.  The IVIG is a series of 5 treatments, one daily for 5 days. The treatment can be repeated if the Drs. feel it would be beneficial.


Daddy was moved immediately to the 7th floor and within two hours was receiving his first IVIG.  He tolerated the first round very well and we are so hopeful that will be the case for the next 4 treatments.


Once we filtered through all this new information, we got our heads together to come up with a new  "game plan."  On the 7th floor there are no private rooms, only semi-private (I think they should be against the law) and there is nothing more than one chair for anyone to sit in.  No provisions for anyone to spend the night and be half way comfortable.  I began inquiring about someone to sit with Daddy at night and the Lord directed us to a CNA there at LSU that helped us to secure two.  Sybil, Tommy and I knew that we simply could not hold up to the schedule we have been under for an undetermined amount of time, thus the decision was made to secure night time sitters.  We have secured a gal that works for a Hospice Facility there in S'port (she had to undergo a background check and other checks before being employed by them).  When we met her, we were impressed and she came at 7:00 last evening and stayed until 7:00 this morning. She will return this evening and then the other sitter will begin tomorrow evening.   We were so thankful to be able to secure these ladies!  


Tommy and I came home last evening and I will return tomorrow (Monday) afternoon.  Sybil went to her sisters in Marshall, Texas (30 miles away) and was back to relieve the sitter this morning.  When I go back to tomorrow, Sybil will leave and return to her sisters until Wednesday morning. We will regroup at that time after we hear the Drs. plans following this treatment.  This plan gives us time to "recoup and regroup" and get some much needed rest.


Dad did not rest well last night, but Sybil said that he did, with much difficulty, feed himself his breakfast this morning and we are pleased with that.  He was fine with the sitter and it seemed that they did a lot of talking about the Lord before he tried to go to sleep.  She was so excited that he was a minister and told me she had all kinds of things that she would love to talk to him about.  That brought a smile to my face!  After breakfast Sybil took him strolling in his wheelchair and he enjoyed the change of scenery.  Today seems to be getting off to a more encouraging start.


Now, sharing from my heart.............


It has been a blessing, although extremely difficult at times, to be able to encourage my Dad through this ordeal.  He has always, always been such an encourager to me and his wisdom has seen me through some difficult days.  I was even given the opportunity to pray with him the other day as he was so low and I knew that I had to pray through my tears for him. I held him in my arms, prayed over him and  it was one of those moments that will be forever inscribed upon my heart.  


I am so thankful for my youngest brother Joel, and his willingness to do whatever he needs to do to be available during this time.  He arrived on the 18th from his home in Des Moines and stayed until the 23rd and he was pretty much by Dad's side 24/7. The nights he spent were anything but pleasant but the Lord provided him with the patience and perseverance that he needed to meet Dad's needs.  And, in the words of Joel as he prepared to leave, "I will never be the same man after this experience."  He stands ready to return if and when it is necessary and just knowing that is such a comfort.


My husband, Tommy, has been such a support and help and it makes this time for me so much easier because he is "there" for me and helps as if it were his own Dad.


Sybil, what can I say? She is a most precious woman that loves my Daddy dearly and I marvel as I watch her care and compassion for him.  She and I are a team and I simply could not ask for a sweeter step Mom.

In the quietness of the days my mind begins to wander what the future holds. Will Dad make a full recovery?  No one can answer that question, but in all the information that I have read, there is generally long term side effects and especially in someone Dad's age. Our prayer is that he can make a full enough recovery to be independent as far as his personal care is concerned and also be able to enjoy life, even if on a limited basis.  Please join us in that prayer. We know that the Lord goes before him, preparing the way, and we will rest in that promise.  But, there are days when it is truly difficult to understand what He is up to, but it is at that time that He gently reassures me of his constant presence in all of our lives and reminds me to simply trust Him through it all. 


And, we know that the kind of peace described above comes from one source and once source only - our Lord and Savior


Please know how much your words of encouragement mean to us and we covet your prayers as we "go forth" from day to day.  I will promise an update by Tuesday, but maybe tomorrow.  I do share little snippets on Facebook everyday.


Blessings to you my friends!
Lea
Lea

Hi there! My name is Lea. I've been wife to the best Hubby for 44 years....Mom to a son and daughter....CiCi to 4 precious Grans....lover of family and friends....enjoy laughter and a good time....shopper....picture taking maniac....maker of delicious fudge....organizational enthusiast....memory maker....Southern Belle...and most importantly.....a Child of the King! Welcome to my little corner!

19 comments:

  1. Very moving post. Please know I do join you in prayer.
    How I rmember going through these similar experiences with my parents....
    You will never be the same; but I see you growing and embracing God's plan with such love.
    Love is eternal and, I think, DEEPENS as long as we live and remember and honor our loved ones.
    May God be as close as your breath, as close as your heartbeat.

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  2. My heart goes out to y'all, Lea. We are praying for your whole family and we understand how difficult this is whatever the outcome. Love y'all.

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  3. Lea: Thanks for sharing all of the medical information, as well as your heart, with your friends. All of you are in our prayers in the coming days. I will wait anxiously to see if these treatments move your dad in the right direction. Much love, Jeanne

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  4. Lea, your post brought tears to my eyes. I did not know any of this until you sent the email last Thursday. Please know that my heart truly loves your Dad and all of you will be in my prayers. I'm thankful that you went into such detail about him. It is hard to grasp that he is so ill since he is such an active person. When you can, please give him and Sybil a hug from me. Dottie

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  5. Oh Lea, I join you in praying for your Dad. I am dealing with the decline of my Mom and I understand how disheartening it can be at times. I know you have a strong support system and I thank God with you for them all, but please know if I can help in any way, I would do whatever you need anytime. We missed you last night. Love and Hugs, Beerly

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  6. You family is in our prayers.I know it is very hard going through an experience like that, I have done it twice with both of my parents.
    Just know that all your friends and family are there for you.

    Susan

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  7. I have been thinking of you. I will continue to pray for you and for your sweet Dad.

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  8. Lea, I am standing with you in prayer for your daddy. My heart breaks with everything he is going through physically. Praying that the Lord will comfort you all and give you peace, rest and much, much strength.

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  9. Oh CiCi how my heart aches for you and your family as you go through this difficult time. I know somewhat of how hard it can be as a parent becomes soo ill and dependent as my mother had a stroke last Sept. She was hospitalized for a month and then began months of rehab. All I can say is how much easier it is all made with our Lord. I am glad that there are many with willing hands and hearts, and the sitter at night seems like just a wonderful idea. I will continue to pray for a complete recovery for your dad, and strength for all of you. HUGS, Debbie

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  10. Lea, I'm praying for your dad and the whole family as he heals and as you care for him. God's ways are not our ways, but we can look forward to that day when our bodies will be glorified and made new. What a day that will be! I'm sure your Dad is being a blessing to those around him and God is using this to further his kingdom!

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  11. Lea, my heart goes out to you and your family during this trial. I'm sure your dad appreciates all the help, and is humbled by it at the same time. Love to read what you write from the heart (makes me well up with tears). Praying for you.

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  12. As you already know, only the Lord knows the number of our days. You are such a good and kind daughter to your dad. So glad that the sitter who stayed with your dad is looking forward to speaking with Him about spiritual things. The Lord is still using your dad even during this time. How wonderful!

    I know this is hard but I will be praying for you. May you have His peace and strength for each day.

    blessings and love,
    Debbie

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  13. Praying for your sweet Daddy. Praying for God's healing hand on his body...praying for him to regain strength and willpower. Praying for the doctors and nurses that are taking care of him. And most of all, praying for you, sweet friend. I hope and pray that God gives you strength and patience, even on the roughest days! I'm here for you if you ever need to talk, ever need to vent, or ever need an extra prayer :)

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  14. Praying for you all, and knowing that the God of the universe walks with you. Blessings of peace, and rest for your day!

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  15. What a blessing to have some help at night. I pray that the Lord will bless you during this time with unexpected blessings.

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  16. So thankful you have found some nighttime help. So sorry your dad is having such a rough time...I'll be praying for you and your family.

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  17. i can relate to you right now in a really tangible way... my grandpa (who was like a dad to me, since my dad died when i was 9) is in the hospital and declining by the hour. the docs don't think he has but a mere few days left. the worst part is that he's in california. and i'm in sc. my hubby is in Poland on missions work so there's no way i can fly out there with two kiddos by myself. : ( it's sad. but then it's so good to remember that life on this earth isn't going to last forever, but eternity awaits. praying for you.

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  18. Bless you for sharing your heart with us.....It's so very hard when we see the one who's always cared for us needing us to care for them...I pray God will meet all your needs and to gift your Dad with a full recovery.....

    I join all the many others in praying for you and your family as you go through this very difficult time....

    Hugs and blessings,
    Nancy

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So glad you stopped by and hope you enjoyed your visit. I love your comments and read each and every one of them and I always try to reply to them. Blessings to you this day!