A caregiver truly needs to take care of herself. Since May 2018 my focus was not so much on healthy eating.   Every bit of my energy was focused around John and his needs. I didn’t put my physical needs ahead of my husband’s for obvious reasons. I traveled three hours a day (nearly 1000 miles per week), every day while he was at UVA. At this point, I was losing my hair and both my hands developed eczema.  It’s amazing how our bodies react during stressful times in our lives, isn’t it? It’s so important to take time to rest our bodies and take care of them.

Because it was winter, I would leave the hospital around 3:30 and try to get home before 5:30 because I don’t like to drive in the dark.  Too tired to cook dinner for myself, I would often order out. Healthy nutrition was definitely not the goal at this time. Not only did I have to take care of John’s chores, but all of mine as well. I was not able to catch up and get things done on the weekends because John wanted me there with him.  Each night, I would finally crash in my recliner around 9:00 and promptly fall asleep. John was not the type of patient to understand about all that I had on my plate. He was in a strange place and wanted me there no later than 8:30 every morning. I would stay all day and there were times when I was unable to leave by 3:30 because we would be waiting to talk with his physician. Those days were especially long.  I had absolutely no time to myself and in hindsight, I can now understand why my body was exhibiting physical signs of distress. 

John had responded very well to the nutritious IV’s and was now healthy enough to undergo surgery. On January 15th the doctors performed an ileostomy.  Procedure began at 3:00 pm and it required two surgeons to work on him at the same time. I prayed with both doctors and asked God’s blessings upon them and that He would guide their hands as they worked on my beloved. We were told that the operation would take anywhere from four to six hours.  His surgeons expected it to take every bit of six hours because of all the scar tissue from John’s previous hernia surgeries. My dear friend, Sandy, and my son Adam, sat with me as we waited for the results. Countless prayers were being laid at the Throne of Grace by friends and family. Psalm 77:14; “Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.” 

We all prayed that the Lord would show up in a mighty way and display His power and grace…and that He did!  Surgery took only three hours! The surgeon called at 6:00 p.m. to notify me that all went better than expected and without any complications!   Oh, how we rejoiced!!!  We were all relieved and in tears! The Lord had answered our prayers!  Sandy knew we’d be there late waiting to see him so she had reserved a hotel room so we wouldn’t have to drive all the way back home that night. 

We got to see John around 9:00 p.m. He was awake but still very groggy – they had him on some pretty strong painkillers. Despite all that, he was in good spirits and resting comfortably!!  Thank you, Lord Jesus!!!  

Needless to say, I didn’t have any trouble falling asleep that night!   

Click here for Day 16 – The Blessings Begin to Flow.

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