Friday's update

This is from an email from Merci.....

Friday's update ...

The doctor told us to expect some setbacks and minor complications and we've seen some of those and are seeing more. I got a phone call just before 4 this morning and had to rush up to the hospital. Dad had been transferred from ICU into an Intermediate Care Unit (IMCU) - similar to ICU but there are 3 patients to one nurse instead of 2 patients to 1 nurse. It's a step down from ICU but still a step above the regular patient floor.

Apparently, he became very disoriented and confused in the night and pulled out his feeding tube three times. They finally had to restrain him, even more so than they did the night he came out of surgery. He detests restraints and will always fight against them. That's what was going on when they called mom and she called me. He told the nurse he needed her and they let him call her which scared mom to death because he wasn't making much sense. So we rushed to the hospital shortly after 4 am and got to his room about 420. He's in a chest restraint and wrist restraints with mittens so he can't use his fingers to unhook things or pull out tubes but can still freely move his fingers. He was resting some but still quite confused, but he did know who we were.

We talked at length with both the ICU nurse who'd had him in the night and the new nurse in the IMCU who both assured us that this come and go disorientation is normal and will improve with time, although we may expect it to continue to come and go, possibly for months. One nurse explained that the brain is a very "unforgiving organ" and if you hurt it, it will "hurt you back" as it tries to sort itself out and put all the memories and thoughts back into their right places and perspective. She also explained that it's pretty common for them to be fine through the day, like Daddy was yesterday, and get confused at night because their body rhythms still tell them it's day or night, but there is so much stimulation in ICU that their senses confuse them because it's "all day" there. She said that oftentimes, THAT is when they know it's time to move them out of ICU into the IMCU so they can actually get more rest, have less stimulation without sacrificing care or supervision and start to recognize day and night and help them start making more sense of their surroundings.

This unit has the same rules as ICU, no visitors from 630 to 800, am and pm, so we both came home for a quick shower and a cup of real coffee (hospital coffee is lethal) and I'm going back this morning and she'll take the afternoon watch, if everything is still ok by 8 am.

Current most/urgent prayer requests:

* That this confusion will lessen and they'll be able to remove the restraints he hates so much

* That they will be able to replace the feeding tube without difficulty

* That the swallow study they will do today will show some improvement so we can start moving toward getting off off the feeding tube and onto liquids without the risk of aspiration.

Yesterday, I asked for prayer for three things - and I want to share how God answered. It's amazing!

I asked for prayer for:

* Dad's pain to become tolerable.
By noon yesterday, he didn't even have a headache!

* That he would be able to get some sleep because he hadn't had more than 3 hours since surgery.
By 3 pm yesterday, he had slept in the recliner for HOURS.

* That he wouldn't get pneumonia.
By last night, he was coughing up yuck and clearing the phlegm out of his lungs.

God is so very very faithful. The scripture that I've most been holding onto during this time is Isaiah 41:10 which says, "Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." And God has done exactly what He promised he would.

Thank you for your prayers. Last night as I went to sleep, counting my blessings and remembering all the answered prayers throughout this week, I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that God IS love. God isn't miracles, God isn't the things He does, God IS love and because of his indescribable love for me, He has strengthened me and upheld me with His righteous right hand through this most difficult journey. I think the greatest miracle of all is that God loves us that much. It leaves me awestruck.

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