Thursday, June 30, 2011
I am pleased to report that Daddy was moved from ICU around noon today into a regular room. I am at home today but Sybil was there to get him settled in. I will return tomorrow morning and Sybil will then go for a short break.
He is taking "baby steps" towards recovery. Little things like moving and flexing his feet, moving his fingers, flexing his wrists, and he even stood for a few seconds with Physical Therapy Assistance. Folks, this is HUGE! His arms and legs have been like jello, so we are so excited! Sybil said that his voice seemed a bit stronger today as well. His voice is barely above a whisper and he tires so easily trying to hold a conversation. This seems to be improving.
The Drs. said that Dad will be transferred to a Skilled Rehabilitation Facility in the coming days. We do not know if that means two days or another week. I feel like we may have a little more knowledge about that tomorrow. Meanwhile, we are beginning the process of making that happen. It's paperwork, paperwork and arranging and arranging on this type of transfer. Thank goodness there are case workers that handle all of that for the families. We just have to answer the necessary questions.
We cannot thank you enough for your prayers. We know beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are being answered. I would urge those of you that are friends of Dad's to send him a word of encouragement. If you would like to email him, please just send it to me (Lea@LeaCulp.com) and I will take it to him. (He will not be using a computer anytime soon) If you would like to send it via regular mail, the address is: 1905 Cooper Lake Road, Bastrop, LA 71220. It is going to take a lot of encouraging to keep his spirits lifted as he continues on this journey.
I will update again sometime this weekend and in between will be posting on FaceBook. Blessings to each of you!
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Yes, it has been a long and winding road these past 19 days and it will likely only get longer and more winding in the days ahead. Yesterday was a tough, tough day for me, but today I've been able to "go forth" and face the day. For those of you who know me, you know that I can face whatever is thrown my way, but I do have "meltdowns" during the course. Those "meltdown" usually consist of a whole lot of crying. I have found that, for me, crying is like therapy and medication. It is so purifying to my soul and it is at that time that I know the Lord is hearing the groaning of my heart.
Yesterday morning the Drs. made the decision to move Daddy to ICU. They felt that he needed to be monitored very closely due to a decrease in his respiratory functions. At that time the Drs. said it was not a critical situation, but they were being very cautious. Dad's team of Drs. have more than impressed me. LSU is a state facility and is a teaching hospital and is known to have some of the best Drs. in the state. We are grateful to be here where we feel that Dad is receiving great care. It is about 100 miles from our home, but that is okay. We are making it work and we will continue to for as long as is necessary.
Sybil and I were able to go in and visit Dad for the first time in ICU at 4:00 yesterday afternoon. I had prepared myself for the worst and I was pleasantly surprised when we saw him. He was very alert, aware of where he was and so glad to see us. He tried to have conversation but his voice is so very weak and it takes every ounce of his energy to talk. He has his own nurse and she was a "jewel." I have such respect and admiration for the truly "called" nurses. They have such compassion and it is apparent that they are in the profession because of their "calling" and not just the pay.
When I went back for the 8:00PM visit last night, he was very weak and weary, but so glad to see me. I left there with mixed emotions about weather or not he is going to be able to beat this GBS. It is such a devastating condition and the recovery, even for the younger person, is so, so difficult and can take months and even years. I am trying hard not to question God but I would be lying if I said that I had not. Why would He allow such to happen to a man who has served Him faithfully throughout his life? That is not for me to know at this time, and perhaps I will never know. But I do know that even during this time Daddy is being a testimony to Him and I praise Him for that. And, I know that just when I think I cannot go on, He pulls me up and under girds me with His never failing strength.
I was encouraged when I visited Dad this morning. He did not seem as weak and he asked me if I would shave him. I took that to be a very positive sign and he even wanted me to put some aftershave on him. ~grin~ Throughout this entire ordeal he has not lost his sense of pride and vanity. He also wanted me to make sure that his hair looked presentable.
The Dr. came in while I was there and he said that Daddy had improved since yesterday, ever so slightly, but has improved. We are grateful for any sign of improvement at this point. He said that he would probably be in ICU a couple more days and then back to a regular room. But, they always say, "that is if things stay as they are now." And, things have had a tendency to change from day to day up to this point. Another positive thing, Daddy had a good night last night. That is the first night since he went in the hospital 16 days ago, so that was great news. He even told me that he felt rested this morning.
It is almost time for me to go back for the 4:00PM visit and I hope that he has had a good day. I thank all of you for your prayers and sweet words of encouragement. Those of you that I have never personally met, you have become even more dear to me through this time. I feel a special kinship with you and thank the Lord our paths have crossed in the "blogging world." Those of you that are visiting my blog just as a means to stay updated on Daddy, I thank you. It is the easiest way I have to keep everyone updated and it's therapeutic for me. ~smile~
It is indeed my faith in HIM that is carrying me down this long and winding road.
I will plan to update again on Thursday and in between will be posting snippets on FaceBook.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
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!
Friday, June 24, 2011
We arrived at LSU Medical Center yesterday afternoon (Thursday, June 23) around 3:30PM. Dad came by ambulance and Tommy, Sybil and I all came in individual cars. Dad was met by a Neurological team when he arrived and within in two hours they felt 100% confident that they had him diagnosed. It was totally amazing that we have been in two other hospitals, have seen at least 10 other Drs. for the past two weeks and none have been able to diagnose the condition. But, we now know and he has Guillain Barre
Syndrome. The conclusive diagnosis came after a Nerve Conduction Test that was done this morning. One of the Neurologist was actually with Daddy throughout most of the test.
The Doctors feel that Dad will make a near complete recovery within 3-6 months. He will be transferred back to Bastrop Rehab (the facility he was in before being transferred here to LSU) by the middle part of next week. Of course, we are hoping sooner than later. The Drs. here are doing some medication adjustments as well and they want that completely straightened out before he leaves.
There is no treatment for the JBS other than Physical Therapy and, I assure you, he will be their "star patient" in the days ahead. ~grin~ We know that Daddy will have "peaks and valleys" throughout this recovery and we covet your prayers that he will be encouraged with every bit of progress that he makes. As many of you know, he is a most independent man and is use to being very active. This JBS has definitely "cramped his style." ~wink~
Another issue has been his restlessness. He has not been able to sleep but the Drs. here said that once they get his medications adjusted, he should begin sleeping good. We certainly hope so, as that would aide in his recovery.
Sybil , my husband and I are taking turns staying with Dad and let me assure you that it is a full time job. He has to be assisted with absolutely everything that he does and there's hardly a 5 minute period that he doesn't need assisting in some way. Of course, it frustrates the "daylites" out of him, but he tries to be a good patient. It wears on him at times and I can certainly understand his
frustration. This is not a place that anyone wants to find themselves in but we never know what each new day holds. But, thankfully, we know WHO holds each day and that is what keeps us going at times such as this.
Dad and all of us so appreciate your prayers and concern for his well being. Please specifically pray that he will regain full use of his hands. As you know, his woodworking and computer are both great past times for him and they both require agility of the hands.
It has taken me 5 hours to do this post and I apologize for it being so late in the day. But, I have been interrupted countless times while assisting Daddy. I will do my best to update again on Sunday, but if that is not possible, I will definitely be making FaceBook updates.
Meanwhile, please remember this sweet man in your prayers as he makes this journey.
Monday, June 20, 2011
|Clancy decided to ride on the cart with our luggage|
Friday, June 17, 2011
Good Morning Ladies, I am hoping the "two Rachels" will not mind my using their memes to "check in and update" with you dear folks. Thanks Rachels, I should be back on a regular schedule next Friday, but who knows, life happens sometimes and all we can do is just "keep it between the ditches." That's where I am right now. ~smile~
As a result of working out in his flower bed last Thursday morning with a tiller, weed eater and then using a blower, my Dad bruised his spinal cord. It was not until after he had gone to bed that night that he realized he had been injured. About an hour after he went to bed he was awaken with what he described as terrible pain surrounding the area of the back of the neck where it attaches to the spine. The next day he began losing the use of his limbs and everything went "south" from there.
We carried him to the ER on Saturday evening and he was admitted to the hospital and then had a "bazillion" tests ran. They called in a Neurologist and he is the one that finally put the pieces together to come up with the diagnosis of a bruised spinal cord. He said the vibration of the yard tools that he used caused it. He says he will recover, but can't say how long it will take. Dad can hardly walk, even with a walker, and certainly can't walk unassisted. He cannot use his hands very well either. Some of the feeling has come back but not nearly all of it. It is very scary and very discouraging to Daddy and to all of us.
He was moved to the rehab facility at our local hospital yesterday afternoon where he will hopefully make great strides in his recovery. He is still is a great deal of pain and it's hard to think about rehab when you are still in a lot of pain.
I do covet your prayers for him and most specially that he will see some "glimmers of hope" in his rehab in the next few days.
Tommy and I did come on to Dodge City today and my baby brother is flying in to assist with his care on Sat. My step Mom has been such a trooper throughout the entire ordeal but I know she is very tired.
|Dad and Sybil - March 2011|
It's great therapy for us to be here in Dodge City with our Clancy man and his Dad and Mom. It is a nice diversion and I'll have lots to share with you when we get home next Tuesday.
Again, your prayers for my Dad's recovery would be much appreciated and I will keep you posted. And, I'll get back to my regular blog posts soon. Also, prayers that I can relax and enjoy our time here without allowing the concern of my Dad's condition to "overtake" me.
Love you my blogging buddies and my world's a better place since I've met up with each of you!
Monday, June 13, 2011
My days are very full and busy right now with my Dad, so if I do not get by to visit, you'll know why. He is most important right now and again, I so appreciate your prayers for him. We are hoping for a more conclusive diagnosis today. I'm thankful that I serve a God that gives me peace in the midst of the storm.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
|This is my idea of camping|
*How will my life end: illness, accident or just up and die one day or the rapture
*If I had had a profession, other than or in addition to, Domestic Engineer, what would it have been.
I would choose either Mt. Everest or Victoria Falls. Both are so majestic and breath-taking.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Yes, 40 years ago today I became Mrs. Tommy Culp. If you missed my blog entry on Friday, you might want to click here. It's a "blast from the past" for sure!
We had a good time celebrating Friday evening with dear friends and Diane made sure the table was "decked out" for the occasion.
I'm not sure what we will do today, but all I can say, "what a ride" these past 40 years have been!
Friday, June 3, 2011
Good Morning! I have been looking forward to this post for a few weeks. On Monday, June 6th, Hubby and I will celebrate 40 years of marriage. Oh, my goodness, that is really a l-o-n-g time isn't it? And, hey, I'm not even old enough to have been married that long. Do you hear me? ~smile~
We met in the summer of 1965, right here in Bastrop, LA. and I told my parents after I met him, that one day I would marry him. Now, that comment didn't give them much thought as I was a mere 12 year old. Yep, that's right! Tommy was 18 at the time and that was a hep of age difference at the time, but that gap seemed to narrow as I got older. ~wink~
Tommy would tell you that he waited for me to grow up and for him to get a college education and then he came all the way to Virginia to ask me to marry him. (My Dad's ministry had taken us to Virginia by this time.) I was 18 at this time (Tommy was 24) and, with my parents blessing, I said, yes. Did I have any idea what I was doing? Did we have any idea what we were doing? The answer would be NO, didn't have a clue. But, we did as most other couples do, we figured it out as we went along. And, apparently we figured it out pretty good since we are here to tell about it 40 years later.
I have left out all the details of our courtship, because it's just wayyyyyyyy too much to tell. Well, truth be known, there really wasn't much of a courtship. It's really quite scary when I think back about the whole situation. But, we both knew that we were God's choice for each other and nothing else really mattered.
Some of my favorite things about these past 40 years of marriage are:
1- Being married to a man with the patience of Job - other wise he would not have ever survived being married to me. ~giggle~
2- Sharing my life with a man who knows Jesus as his Savior and always desires that we live our lives accordingly
3- Having a husband that took being a Daddy very seriously and always had time for his children and always looked for opportunities to make memories with them
4 -Knowing that we took the vow of "till death do us part" with utmost seriousness
5 - Watching Tommy with our Grans and knowing that he is in "his moment" whenever he is with them
6 - Seeing how our very, very different personalities have meshed over the years
Life has been good to us these past 40 years. No, it hasn't always been easy, but most things in life aren't. Marriage takes a whole lot of work and we have definitely worked as we have journeyed along. And, we'll keep on working and making wonderful memories for the next 40 years ~grin~
I thought you gals would get a "kick" out of seeing how we have evolved over the years. I had such fun digging through the photos and seeing all of our "various looks" these past 40 years. Our children even looked at our wedding pictures one time and said, "what did you two see in each other?" Wow! they must have thought we were pretty pitiful looking. ~chuckle~ And, hey, they were right, but I'm certain that we both thought each other was the best looking "thing" we'd ever laid our eyes on. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ~smile~
Here's to 40 more..............
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
It's Wednesday and time for Hodgepodge with Joyce. And, I want to tell Joyce how much I appreciate her posting the questions a whole day ahead of time. It allows us plenty of time to get our entry ready and since I usually prepare my entries in the afternoons or evenings, it works very well with me. Thanks Joyce!
Believe it or not, I am not crazy about strawberries, but if I do eat them, I want them neatly sliced or whole. I DO NOT want them "mushed up." Yuck!
8. Insert your own random thought here. My sweet Dad was hospitalized again this past Monday with a recurrence of the C-Diff that he was hospitalized with 3 weeks ago. My dear friends if you are not familiar with this condition, you need to click on the link and be informed. It is very scary and is becoming more and more prevalent. My Dad's was caused by antibiotics that he took for something else. He is doing better, but will be a while completely recovering after this second bout. I would appreciate your prayers for his recovery. He is scheduled to get out of the hospital tomorrow.
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!
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