Monday, August 15, 2011

Let's talk turtles

From the last post of the 7th of August to this one today on the 15th much has happened! The next day Tuesday some special friends came to visit and I just didn't get a chance to post.  But that night everything changed anyway and now we are back in Baltimore, back at Johns Hopkins Hospital and I am back to staying in the same hotel we stayed in during radiation but Gene is in the Neurological Critical Care Unit [NCCU].

Two of the tumors we sought to kill with the radiation treatments gave a final hoorah by bleeding as they died putting a lot of pressure on Gene's brain, paralyzing his right arm and causing seizures.  Additionally the sodium levels in his blood crashed and this was crisis stuff.

Today [It is now Monday, day 5 in NCCU] he is post op from removing the one blood clot [the other they are not going to remove] he is very critically ill but on an uphill swing with slow improvements.  I will have my first sit down conference with the doctors this afternoon.  His parents are coming for their first visit since the ER in Salisbury [our local hospital to home]

sooooooooooo.....what can I be thankful for?  Believe it or not, the list is long but I don't always feel thankful. Most of the time I feel numb and then I feel weepy, and then I am irritated that things are not going like "I" want them to go!

BUT......I can CHOOSE to be thankful [it doesn't depend on my feelings just as you do not always feel repentance, our emotions take time to line up with our spiritual decisions]

I am thankful for the Jesus statue in the admin building and that it is something a lot of people want to see.  It is a copy of a Danish sculpture and is of Jesus inviting us to come unto him if we are weary or heavy laden.  Last night some friends came to see Gene and pray for him and we went to see the huge statue.  we joined hands together and then each of the end of our row of people reached up and joined hands with the statue forming a circle.  It was sweet but as Puller [our 25yr old] said the day before, But I prayed to the real Jesus earlier!  The statue is  nice though.

I am thankful for the expertise of the medical team though I am afraid of the meeting today.  Will they ask me to make life decisions for Gene?  Will they disagree about Gene and my fiercely pro-life stand?  Do they have hope that he will wake up completely?

I am thankful for the support of the body of Christ.  I need you all so badly and you are there.  I spoke with a dear friend last night and told her that in the weeks since diagnosis Gene and I have spoken of many very difficult things but only in short conversations of a sentence or two before the emotions would become overwhelming and we would instead need to talk about the turtles sunning themselves on the rocks or about flying pigs or cutting the grass...anything to move the discussion to safer territory.  So turtles seem like a good thing to say just here.

I am thankful for this hostel.  I am in the exact same room that Gene and I shared during radiation so it feels a little like home although he cried here and said "I just want to go home" during the radiation treatments.

I am thankful but I don't feel it just now.......turtles  turtles


Frances said...

Dear Joanie ...

I have been following your postings since the week Cheryl shared at church about Gene's diagnosis. It's been many years since we fellowshipped together, yet the bond of love in Christ is such an enduring thing. I so appreciate your honesty in sharing about the things you and Gene are facing together. Sometimes I feel it's even more deep and meaningful when someone "chooses" thankfulness even when the emotions of thankfulness are not being felt. A sacrifice of thanksgiving. I remember reading about that statue in Joni Eareckson's biography a few years ago. It was one of the first things she saw when she was brought into Hopkins after her diving accident. I pray for strength and wisdom and peace for you as you walk through these next days. I'm thankful you are being supported so strongly by the Body of Christ and that there are friends who are holding your hearts. Your family remains in our prayers ... both mine and Gary's, and those of our fellowship.

Tina Schrider said...

I totally get the comfort of being in view of a statue of Jesus and having that as a comfort when you pray. It's like having a picture of a loved one that is far away and looking at it and remembering how much you love that person and having it inspire you to pray for them.

Know that Jesus is with you, with his arms around you and Gene and your family.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Tina Schrider

Lindy said...

Hi Dear Joanie, We have been following your posts, too, here at our house. I just never figured out how to leave a comment until tonight. Please know that we are constantly praying for you, for Gene, and for your family. Your faith and courage shine through every post, and we thank the Lord for you!!!!