Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hospital Rooms and TRUST

Hello once again blogger friends!  I know that I have been absent for quite some time, and just maybe you missed me;)  The past two weeks I’ve been living in the mixer (or that’s at least what it felt like at times).

On Good Friday, my mother and I took my father into the emergency room because he had been experiencing dizziness, vomiting, numbness, and headaches since that Wednesday.  We all thought that it was the flu or a sinus/ear infection, but a MRI showed that he had actually suffered a pretty major stroke.  I felt as if the wind had been knocked out of me.  Strokes are for elderly people that I don’t know, not for my forty-nine year old father.  My mind raced- would he ever be able to walk again? would this keep recurring? how long would he have to be in the hospital? how could we run the business without him? what would happen to the bills? would he ever be “normal” again?  I tried to be optimistic and cheerful for Mom and Dad’s sake, but the sobs lodged in my throat threatened to suffocate me.

Four or five hours later, we moved from the emergency room to a second-story hospital room.  I notified Dad’s family that we would not be attending the early Easter dinner that was scheduled for that afternoon and then tried to get some rest while waiting to hear from the doctors.  The nap didn’t go well, and neither did hearing from the doctors.  Finally the neurologist stopped in at 8:30 that evening, but he still couldn’t tell from the cat-scans, MRI, and ultrasound what had caused the stroke.  He did say that Dad was very lucky that his symptoms were mild for the damage that had been done.  I call it the Hand of God.

I left Dad for the night and headed home quite worried yet, but very thankful that Dad’s speech and thinking had not been affected.  I hurried through my work Saturday morning so that I could be with Dad again for the rest of the day.  When Mom and I came in to the hospital, Dad just held onto Mom and wept.  I stood back, feeling helpless.  I rarely every saw my strong father cry.  He was always there when I needed someone to lean upon; and now here he was, lying in a hospital bed, weeping, and unable to control his balance and use of his left leg.  Gradually the sunshine, the beautiful country scenery outside the hospital room window, and Mom and I cheered him up and gave him some hope again.

Easter dawned bright and beautiful.  I couldn’t sleep so I got up early and baked some cupcakes to take in for the hospital staff on Dad’s floor.  This time our arrival was met by a much cheerier father, who was quite proud of the walker that therapists had given him.  He was also relieved to have some of the feeling and use of his left leg back.  We had our own little Easter service in that hospital room surrounded by beeping noises and medicinal smells, but it was more special than ever because we were together.

The hospital finally released Dad on Monday, and we proudly took him home.  Things were different.  Dad had always worked before the sunrise and after the sunset, but now he tired quickly and rested often.  I noticed a good change though, somehow being helpless in that hospital room had given him time to think about how precious each moment is…and he became more relaxed and able to enjoy everything more fully.  Meanwhile my brother had stepped up and taken charge of the business, making important decisions and working incredibly hard to do both his and Dad’s work.

That was almost a week ago that Dad came home, and a lot has happened between then and now.  Dad started attending therapy and doing as much work as he could to build himself up little by little.  He now has moved from the walker to the cane, and doesn’t tire nearly as quickly as before.  He still has trouble with his balance, but God has done amazing works of healing so far so I will keep praying for full recovery.  The doctors still aren’t sure of the cause of the stroke, but Dad will be going in for more testing in two weeks. 

There have been friends and family that blessed us with visits, cards, help, support, prayers, phone calls, and emails during the past two weeks.  There’s a song that says “You find out who your friends are” (Tracy Lawrence), and that really is true.  God has put His arms around my family and I through the people beside us.

The whole experience mixed my comfy little world up pretty well, even though it really wasn’t nearly as major as what some people go through; but I had life going the way that I wanted.  I had the year scheduled out for what I would be doing, where I would be going, and what dreams I would be accomplishing.  God looked at me and said that I really wasn’t trusting and relying upon Him; so He mixed things up a bit.  The family and business need me for right now, and I really have no major future plans anymore except to go day by day with God leading the way.  I realize now that I was putting far too much importance on some very trivial things, when the most valuable things in my life are right around me- like a caring and sacrificing mother, a loving and creative father, a brave and wise brother, friends who are strong for me when I am weak, and most of all a Savior Who died on my behalf and then is willing to walk step by step with me through whatever happens if I trust Him. 

My word that I picked back in January for the year is TRUST- kinda appropriate don’t ya think? 

Anyways, just thought I’d explain my absence=)  You’all have a wonderful evening!