Psalm 30:11-12 describes exactly how I felt when I woke up on Tuesday, February 5th, knowing I didn’t have to drive four hours that day! This allowed me time to do my morning devotions and Bible reading before actually going to see John!  It’s those little things in life that help to encourage the heart!

The Lake Manassas Rehabilitation facility is absolutely beautiful! They opened just three years ago and so everything is impeccably clean and kept up. John had a private room which was spacious. I tried to make it as homey as possible. I knew that would help him in his recovery. The big window in his hospital room overlooked a courtyard so I brought some of his favorite stained glass creations to hang. The sun would shine through them and cast beautiful colors on the walls. Our son and his wife brought him four family pictures and we put them on the window sill so he would be able to see his children and grandchildren. 🙂 Proverbs 31:27  “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”  It’s too bad that his stay was during the winter months. He could not take advantage of sitting in that courtyard to enjoy some fresh air.

Because John was still unable to sit, regular physical therapy was delayed.  They did more basic PT in order to get him moving. Because of the daily regimen, the foggy brain and hallucinations were a thing of the past. The day by day structure helped him to regain focus. He was not getting the stronger pain medications which also made a difference. It’s these little blessings that uplifted my heart. As a caregiver, you’re deep in the thick of each event, good or bad. The difficult events are the ones that take their toll on the weary mind. 

The healing process was very slow although therapy was going quite well.  Just as I thought we were plowing forward with positive gain, something would happen to set us back. I would later remember that his surgeon told us that it could take up to a year for John to feel like his old self. At this point, he was not gaining as much weight as when he was in the hospital on the super energized IV feedings. Gaining had leveled off and he had plateaued around 127-130 pounds. Also, he was now again passing excessive amounts of blood in his urine! In order to prevent further blood clot, the blood thinners were still being administered. Just as it happened at UVA, the rehab doctor stopped the blood thinners for a few days in order to give John’s body a break. I prayed over his body every day, several times a day, asking the Lord to give my poor beloved relief.  Each time the blood thinners were stopped, his bottom had time to heal a bit and it would give him a reprieve from the pain. 

I don’t know what happened in my body, but at this point, I was totally exhausted. I would wake up in the mornings feeling as though I had been up all night. My dear friend reminded me that in over a month I had only missed two days of going to see John in Charlottesville – those misses were due to snow, I might add. When I was younger, I had all kinds of energy but that certainly was not the case now. I needed support and needed it badly.  I reached out to my sons who both volunteered to visit their Dad more frequently so I could take a break. They also advised me to reach out to John’s friends to help. It’s so hard to ask for help, especially when you know the lives of those impacted by your requests are busy, if not busier than you. Each person I reached out to was ready and willing to give a helping hand! 

Because John was now residing locally, visits from these friends and family were now much more frequent. This was wonderful! They all worked with me so that someone would be visiting John every day! What a blessing this was. It allowed me to take two days a week off (Tuesdays and Fridays) so I could finally take care of the house during the day instead of late at night when my energy was spent! I felt so much closer to those who helped me – they became like family. 


Day 21 – Yet Another Hurdle

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