Today, we’re having a good day! I cherish those days so much. They have been few and far between and so whenever a good day comes along, I try to cling to it as long as possible. It reminds me of Paul’s exhortation in 1 Thess. 5:18a; “In every thing give thanks…” 

Here we are, 12 days after surgery and the first month of the new year is nearly finished. It has been eight months since this journey began. Oh what a whirlwind of emotions! A caregiver never knows what the day will have in store!  But, through it all, the child of God knows that he/she must give thanks in everything!  Did you ever stop to think about that for a moment?  It is one thing to give thanks when things are going well, but we must also give thanks even when times are hard.  Why would I do that?  Because I know that my Heavenly Father has things under control. Whether things are good for us, or not – whatever our situation – God is still God, and He is worthy of our praise.  Even in times of trial and distress, we can count our blessings and see the Lord working in and through the circumstances!   

John is doing much better and the consultation with the surgeon went well.  He is so good at converting complicated medical gibberish into layman’s terms. He compared bowel obstruction to a kinked water hose. The best thing for John was to get moving.  He had been on painkillers which had slowed his whole body, including his intestines. It also slowed down his mobility. Now that John’s ostomy was showing output again, the doctor said the more walking he did, the more stimulation to the bowel.  Each time he walked, he had to carry along his IV’s and feeding tube which had been placed through his nose. It was difficult and arduous but John was walking the halls often. 

The poor man was down to 124 pounds. 🙁  This was just breaking my heart. He began this journey at 187 pounds!  My strong, virile husband was now very frail and weak. He also wasn’t thinking clearly – he was an entirely different man.  John was so sensitive that he cried at the drop of a hat. I remember telling my friend, “Who is this man and what have they done with my husband?”  You may not know this, but my husband is a retired police officer. He spent nearly thirty years serving his community and was never this thin. He was a strong, well built man with much strength!  I would look at his body and tears would flow. He literally looked like a Holocaust survivor. 

On January 29th, the feeding tube came out and the liquid diet began. Although this was good news, I noticed John was acting strange and he seemed confused at times. A good example was when he called me at 2:00 in the morning and asked me why I wasn’t there to pick him up. He was also hallucinating. He said I was standing by his bedside talking to him but I was actually sitting across from him. I spoke with Bob, the Nurse Practitioner, and he explained to me that this is normal. The brain plays tricks when one is deprived of normal day to day activities. I had never heard of this before. I was assured that he would return to his normal self once he got home. I have to say that this was extremely disturbing for me. Each day brought a new set of circumstances and something else to be concerned with. But on the flip side, each day was another day closer to full recovery so there was always a little something that would encourage me along the way. 

In just a couple of days, John had put on eight pounds since the feeding tube came out! We weren’t quite sure how he could manage to do so – maybe it was the good food despite it being a liquid diet!  But, we were thankful that he was having better days. Another ray of hope to encourage me in my weariness. This is where being a Christian is essential – the caregiver needs a close walk with the Lord Jesus in order to be able to provide support and reassurance to the patient, even on the days that are overwhelming! One cannot do that without totally trusting God to take care of each and every part of their life!

Day 19 – The Road to Recovery

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