Upon arriving home I was so exhausted that I left a trail of clothing behind me as I made my way to bed. I crawled into bed feeling like I had not slept for days…it sure felt that way! Here it was 3:30 a.m. and I knew I had to be back at the hospital for 9:00. I got some sleep, a few minutes at a time – praying I would not hear the phone ring. I knew that once I crawled out of bed there would be no rest and this made me more anxious to sleep. As it turned out, the hospital didn’t call with bad news – what a relief! As a caregiver, I found myself more concerned about what was going on at the hospital than what my needs were. I couldn’t help but think that the Lord had “shown” up in a major way this past 48 hours! I would later joke around with my dear friends Vicky and Sandy and say, “Now God is just showing off!” I did not mean that disrespectfully in the least. I truly meant it to bring glory to Him and to share just how capable He is! To God be the glory!!!

I work for an accountant and, as everyone knows, April 15th is a very busy day for taxes. I truly hated calling to tell her that I would not be in that day. I felt absolutely awful leaving her with all this by herself! She was so understanding and compassionate about the whole ordeal. It was a comfort knowing that I could be off work for a few days until John was alert and getting better. The Lord answered yet another prayer! How many does that make during this trial? I wondered. He is ever so faithful! Each morning I found His mercies new! Lam 3:22-23 22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. I began this day by reading my Bible and the Lord did not fail me – He encouraged my spirit and brought me that inward strength – this is what has pulled me through all these months. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t know how people make it through life without the Lord!!!

When I arrived at the hospital, John was stable but not out of the woods yet. He was extremely drowsy and not alert enough to have a conversation. I met with the ICU doctor and was told they still had not found the source of bleeding! Oh my! No wonder that poor husband of mine was so weak! My heavenly Father always has His door open and His ear is ever at my lips. I prayed, Father, You are the Creator of John’s body and all of its intricacies. Please, Lord, work through the doctors and the rest of the faithful staff.  I know that You could simply heal John’s body by simply saying the word. However, I believe that You allow us these times so that we can trust in You and rely on through strength to carry us through. Lord, surely You have allowed John to pull through the night for a reason so I leave my beloved in Your care, Father.

The doctor said he had scheduled an endoscopy with hopes of finding the source of bleeding. The morning was spent waiting on the day’s blood work and even more test results. I wondered to myself how many minutes/hours I had spent waiting for test results in the past 11 months. I sat in John’s room praying that all these procedures and blood tests would reveal what was causing this ongoing bleeding.  I put that waiting time to good use though.  I kept track of all the tests, medications,  and days’ events in a notebook. This would prove useful when I decided to do a devotional for caregivers. It helped me to remember what doctors’ said, appointments needed, and test results. I recommend this to any caregiver. You’d be amazed what details you forget. When you are alone with a sick loved one, you are the only set of ears and eyes that truly comprehends what is being said at those appointments. When a person is sick, they can’t possibly be 100% attentive. Write everything down, caregiver, no matter how minute the detail is. I found my notes especially helpful when we saw a new doctor on this journey. They always asked what had been going on and I was able to give them detailed information to help them with their diagnosis.

So back to John. Later that morning, he was taken to have the endoscopy. Those results showed that he had several tiny ulcers in his esophagus as well as his stomach. They biopsied the ulcers and results would take a couple of days to come in.  The doctor said that there could be several causes for these ulcers: Crohns could be in his esophagus and stomach; stress; hormone imbalance; or a few other things which he did not share. Oh how I prayed that it was not due to Crohns in other parts of his digestive tract! That would be a lifelong illness that would not quit. The endoscopy also showed there was no active bleeding, which was wonderful news! Thank You, Lord! The course of treatment would depend on what the biopsies revealed. Because John spent his time asleep, I left instructions to the ICU nurse to please tell the night nurse to call me with any changes. I crawled into my bed and every cell in my body screamed for sleep! Fatigue draped over me like a heavy blanket and my spirit was weary. Lord, please watch over John tonight and keep in the palm of Your hand. He answered my prayers because the phone never rang, for which I was ever so grateful. Oh how lovely it was to have actually slept for six straight hours! What a blessing that was! Thank You, Father! 

That morning, I arrived at the hospital to find John not only awake, but alert and talking! Hallelujah! \o/ 2 Sam 7:22 “Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears. I was told that my poor husband had pneumonia but now that he was awake, he was able to do the breathing exercises which helped him to cough up phlegm and he was progressing nicely. The antibiotics were started early and beginning to work in his body. This surprised me because no mention of pneumonia was made during my last visit. It just goes to show you how quickly a compromised immune system can cause complications! More tests would be done to determine if the pain in John’s neck was only due to MRSA and not some other issue. The previous MRI showed a dark spot at the base of the skull so they wanted to rule out the possibilities of a cancerous growth, etc. They scheduled another MRI to be done at noon. Did I mention that I spent a lot of time waiting on test results? 🙂 This MRI, however, showed no dark spot at the base of his skull! Yet another praise! My heart could not stop exploding with joy … the Father was handing out blessings as though they were candy today! 🙂

Later in the day, we received more good news! John was going to be downgraded to Intermediate Care as soon as a bed became available. This was such a big deal! This meant he was out of the woods!!! Praise the Lord!! \o/ Two short days before John was on his deathbed and we were planning a funeral! How great is our God!!!

Jeremiah 17:7-8

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