Monday, July 20, 2015

Doing Battle, Week 43

After 13 days in the hospital in New York City, I came home last Tuesday evening. The surgeon had set our hospital stay expectations at the average of 5-7 days and we went ahead and knocked a day off since I'm young and healthy and had been faithfully working out to make sure my body was strong and ready to recover. So in our heads, we were going to be there for 4 days. Never, not in a million years could we have anticipated 13 days! Its ALL just kind of crazy.

Everyday it was well...maybe tomorrow. But when I woke up on Tuesday morning everything felt different and I really sensed that it was going to be the day. As time started to slip away we weren't sure we'd get the necessary authorizations in time, but finally in the early evening we were cleared to go!

The kids were still up when we got home around 9 PM so I got to give them hugs before heading off to bed. I was unsure about how I'd do without a hospital bed but its actually been almost a non-issue. Even though we put a safety barrier of pillows between us, it was so good to fall asleep with Shaun next to me.

I have a visiting nurse coming to see me three days a week. On Wednesday she was here for 2.5 hours and on Friday there were two of them here for nearly two hours. So far I've been really happy with my experience and haven't resented them like I thought I might.

The biggest issue they are dealing with is my wound vac. It has to be changed every couple days which entails taking the entire dressing off and applying a brand new one. The process is considerably painful so I try to get my meds timed with their visit.

The vac runs continuously 24/7 and looks very much like my old chemo pump. The chemo pump inflicts sickness, the wound vac inflicts pain. One hundred times out of one hundred, I would choose the wound vac, but its still no fun. Much like Amanda used to call me Pump Girl, Aiden calls me Vacuum Girl. :)

The kids do NOT like the sight of either the pump or the vacuum and they don't like that nurses are coming to the house. They've had lots of questions for me since I've been home and we've had many discussions about the surgery and what it means to us. Its a lot for their little hearts to grapple with and it hurts me to see them have to walk this road.

But God has a beautiful way of redeeming...of using things that were intended for bad, for good. And I know he will do that for us. We've all grown in compassion and empathy and awareness and he will use those things to reach others.

My energy is spent fighting through the pain and renewing my hope and I try to save a little bit so I can hang with the kids for bits and pieces of the day. I also get out and do a couple small walks a day, something the doctors and nurses all really encourage.

The other day on one such walk (pacing back and forth on the flat part of the street in front of my house) I saw a mother across the street. She was holding a swaddled infant, bouncing and pacing and shh-ing. It brought me back to those very early days when we first brought Avery home. The world was small and it revolved around a very few things. Though most of it was blissful, to some degree we were in survival mode, trying to figure out her eating and sleeping habits and learning to discern one cry from another. She was a good sleeper but Shaun and I were still under slept. Those first few weeks were challenging and it felt like we might never get a full night's sleep again, but it was a season.

As I watched that young mother pacing outside, I was reminded that what I am doing now...this too is a season. It is hard and challenging and my world is very small right now, but it IS just for a time.

So, as the unbidden tears fall I am reminded: Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Before I know it, the pain will have subsided, lingering issues will be cleared up and I'll be comfortable in a new normal...we'll be in a new season. Until then, I'll get up and fight another day and give thanks that I've been allowed the gift of another day of living.

Here are just a few pictures from this last week...more on the hospital stay to doubt it will be riveting. ;)

Street clothes! And ready to leave the hospital!
Waiting for Shaun to pull the car up in front of the hospital. I can't describe how strange it was to be out of my bubble, amongst the hustle and bustle of LIFE. People going here and there, seemingly with a purpose. Flabbergasting.

I know we are on the hearts of so many and you can't know how much it means to be held in your prayers STILL all these months later. May you be blessed for your faithfulness in standing with us.


The Bug said...

I smiled when I heard your name read in church yesterday, knowing that you were home.

Ashley Beth said...

Home is certainly a place of healing and rest and I'm happy that you can at least be in your comfort zone as far as that goes. God really prepared you a long time in advance to be a marathoner probably partly because He knew you'd need the attitude and endurance of one. I'm sure there are so many other marathons you'd rather be pacing yourself for, but you are doing such an inspiring job at the current one He's allowed you to endure. Prayers for a speedy recovery!

sara said...

It is so good to SEE you home! I agree with Ashley. It's amazing how God prepares us for our future without us even realizing it at the time. But I am ever so grateful He does! Praying for you as you recover and find your new normal!!

Laura said...

Our God is glorious and certainly reveals Himself through you - will hook up with Am to try and meet some practical needs - and the kids are welcome any time to hang, swim, sleepover

Laura said...

Whatever you need