These words are running through my head tonight. All the way, for many years, the Savior has led me (and my family) and He will continue to do so. He simply can't stop leading us, being good to us, being faithful to us, loving us.
Today was a very difficult day. Dad has pneumonia. For the past few days, we've noticed that he coughs when he drinks anything. More than likely, he's aspirated something into his lungs and now...pneumonia. This coughing/choking might or might not be neurological. Tonight or tomorrow, he'll have a brain MRI to check for changes since his last MRI. He's now on honey-thick liquids so that he doesn't choke. We've decided to discontinue the plasmapheresis treatments (there was to be one more, tomorrow) as that could put him at more risk with regards to the pneumonia. He's on broad-spectrum IV antibiotics. He's weak. He's confused. He wants to go home.
As of this evening, unless he improves significantly with the antibiotics, inpatient rehab is out of the question. He could barely do anything in physical therapy today. It took everything he had to get out of a chair and into the bed with the help of 2 nurses. He did sit up in the chair for quite awhile and he ate a great dinner. He wanted a fountain Pepsi so I went and got him one and, once thickened, he had a few spoonfulls. All in all, everything took alot of effort for him today.
At one point, Mom asked him if he wanted to talk. He said no. He said we should talk to Dr. Reddy, who was out in the hallway. Mom asked if he wanted to talk to Dr. Reddy and he said yes. "What do you want to talk to him about?", Mom asked. "When I'm going to die", was Dad's reply. "What do you think about that, Dad?", I asked him. "About a week", he said. Mom told him that only God knows and that Dr. Reddy had already said about 6 months. "That would be great", he said...and then he drifted off to sleep. When Dr. Reddy came in, Mom and I asked a few questions, talked to him about how Dad was doing, talked about the future a little. Dad opened his eyes and smiled at Dr. Reddy. I asked him if he wanted to talk to him about anything and he said no and just smiled at me. I simply smiled back, not wanting him to know that right then, right there next to him, my heart was breaking into a million pieces.
Tomorrow afternoon, we'll be meeting with the hospice team to talk about what the plan will be when we take Dad home. They'll start gathering orders for all of the medicines & equipment he'll need at home. If he doesn't improve with the antibiotics, enough to go to rehab, then we'll take him home.
Please pray for my Mom. This is a hard road to travel. She'll be 63 on Thursday. I kinda think she's too young for this. (I think my Dad's too young, too). Pray for her safety, for peace, for deep & restful sleep. Pray that she won't be overwhelmed when decisions need to be made, that she'll lean on Lura, Melissa & I to help her...and that she'd lean on Jesus even harder than she does on us. Pray for Lura, Melissa & I to be good daughters to her & to Dad...that our time with them would be a blessing to them. Pray that in all things, in all circumstances, we would honor God with our speech, our thoughts, our actions. Pray for the nursing staff and the doctors, the hospice team, the PCA's...that the way we care for our father/husband would cause them to wonder what is different about our family...when compared to the people who have no one sitting by their side. Pray that God, through us, might reveal himself to them. Pray that we'd be reminded to read scripture to Dad and to turn the TV off more often. Pray for our children. They love their dear Papa. Pray that we'd answer their questions gently and honestly. Pray that our time with Dad would be sweet...I mean really, really sweet.
Thank you for all you have done for us. Thank you for your cards (Dad has more than any other patient on 8 Lime). Thank you for your visits, too. I've written down all your names (at Dad's request) and I'm pretty sure that there are nearly 90 names on my list. Thank you for lifting us before the throne of grace. Like Aaron and Hur did for Moses, you're holding up our hands.
Exodus 17:12 When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset.