This day began like a spiraling roller coaster ride! Little did I know that this would be the reason why the Lord allowed me to stop working. This night, January 8th, 2019, would mark the beginning of a long and arduous road of caregiving as never before: a period of time when I did not take the necessary steps to look out for my own physical and emotional needs.  My body was completely drained and, unfortunately, I ignored the symptoms and plowed ahead. A mistake that caregivers often do!

My youngest son, Adam, and I drove down to the University of Virginia’s Hospital Center to meet the Medevac unit. At this point, I did not expect my husband to survive. He was ghastly thin and weak – a mere 124 pounds! He had a dangerous blood clot just waiting to cause a pulmonary embolism. What is that? In John’s case, this pulmonary embolism could possibly occur due to a blood clot coming from the veins in his leg and going to the lungs. This condition is known as deep vein thrombosis. It seemed that my beloved husband’s body parts were lined up like dominos and the first domino fell when this whole ordeal began on May 21st, 2018. It seemed each day had another “domino event” and I felt overwhelmed by it all! The caregiver must keep her eyes focused on God’s will and plan and not her own.

We arrived around midnight and John entered UVA in the wee hours of January 9th. He was very close to dying according to the ICU nurse. As everyone knows, tests don’t happen immediately nor do they happen one right after the other.  Much time was spent waiting and waiting by Adam and I… as we prayed for answers. We all knew that it was serious. Finally, we were told to go home around 2:30 a.m. as there would not be any test results until morning. It was such a comfort to have Adam with me. He did the driving and I was able to calm my spirit. I recall that still small voice of the Lord impressing upon my heart. 

Isaiah 41:13 reminded me that He will help me through this storm…..fear not my child! How blessed we are to have a loving Heavenly Father who gives us comfort through His word!!

Isaiah 41:13 reminded me that He will help me through this storm…..fear not my child! How blessed we are to have a loving Heavenly Father who gives us comfort through His word!!

The Commute:

This marked the beginning of my daily treks from Warrenton to Charlottesville. It’s only 69 miles and should only take an hour and 20 minutes.  However, because Charlottesville is a college town, there’s a lot of traffic! It would take me at least an hour and a half, if not more. Doing this twice a day was exhausting; especially the drive back home at night. On occasion, I would stay with Adam since he lives only an hour away from the hospital.  What a blessing! I’m so very thankful to have sons who were right there. Both their wives would reach out to me regularly and encourage me! Family is so important and I thank the good Lord for mine!

I arrived home around 3:30 and was able to get a few hours of sleep … then drove right back down to UVA to be with John. The doctors scheduled another colonoscopy for the 10th so they could have the latest information before surgery which was crucial. 

John was not too happy about having to, once again, drink the prep solution. In fact, he downright refused to do so because he had undergone two previous colonoscopies not too long before. But, the doctor was finally able to convince him that the procedure was absolutely necessary; so John relented and agreed to go through with it.  My day was spent trying to get him to drink the prep. They were giving him pain meds to help him, but being so thin and weak, I spent a great deal of time trying to keep him awake. At this point, John’s weight was critical. In order for surgery to be a success and give him a fighting chance at healing, the Nutrition Doctor would begin a weight gain regimen which would include nutrients and fats. Later in the day, a nutrition line was inserted in his upper arm and he was to be given two bags: a bag of liquid fats and a bag of nutrients daily, along with blood transfusions. The blood transfusions always seemed to perk him up but he was far from being out of the woods. He was still passing blood so his hemoglobin levels were consistently low and because of this, had to be constantly monitored.  Any time they were below 7.0, he would have to be given another transfusion. 

January 11th was a good day! I was glad to have some positive feedback at this point. The colonoscopy was done and we were told that surgery could proceed if John responded favorably to the nutritional treatments. His large intestine was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. This poor man not only had Crohn’s Disease in his small intestine, but now this. With the large intestine soon to be removed in the not-to-distant future, that problem would be alleviated. I pled with the Lord, as David the Psalmist did:

On January 12th, John was moved out of ICU to the progressive care floor!!! Praise the Lord!!  He had heard my prayer and was working on John’s body. Now began the work of getting him healthier and preparing him for surgery.

Click here for Day 15 – Caring for the Caregiver.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.