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Friday, February 1, 2013

"Renewed Hope"

Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord; be strong, let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!"

My day began with a trip back to West Texas.  My dad has been in the hospital for 3 weeks now.  What began as a simple out patient surgery for him, has now turned into "struggling for life".  My mom and siblings that have seen him everyday are very concerned with his digression.  My step-sister's comment "he looked better in ICU and looks like death warmed over now".  Tomorrow will be his 82nd birthday.  My dad loves his birthdays but with his confusion of not even knowing anyone and not eating, I'm not sure his special day will even register. 

As I'm writing my thoughts on the plane, I'm not sure what to expect when I see my dad.  I am grateful that a family provided a way for me to go back so soon to see him and trust God's sovereignty in the timing of everything.  I don't want to live with any regrets of not seeing my parents while I have a chance.

It has been a very difficult week for me.  Satan has tried to defeat me in many ways with my health and my mental state of mind.  On Tuesday I was worn out and felt defeated.  I was having continuous stomach pain.  It felt like I had done 1,000 sit ups, when I hadn't.  Later that evening I took an antibiotic for other issues I was having and immediately I felt "different".  I decided to Google side effects of this Rx (I'm not usually a fan of knowing side effects).  What I found out was tiredness/weakness, loss of appetite and stomach pain were all a part of the side effects of that particular antibiotic.  I decided to throw away the remaining medication that was left in the bottle.

Random thing happened while writing down my thoughts on the plane.  I tried talking to the man next to me, but he quickly put up a "wall" and went to sleep.  I took my iPad out and began writing this blog post.  Half way into the flight he woke up and I could tell he was reading everything I was writing.  I felt weird and violated so I quickly closed up my iPad and closed my eyes.  The funny thing is, he became talkative and was nice to me before we landed.

I arrived to the hospital before lunch and walked in to see my dad in a lot of pain and my mom crying.  I was afraid he wouldn't know me.  I hugged my mom then walked to my dad's side and said "hi Daddy" he said "hello sweetheart".  I asked him what my name was and he said "Janet" I asked if he knew where I lived and he said "Bentonville, Arkansas".  I asked if he knew what tomorrow was and he said "my birthday".  They had given him pain medication but it wasn't helping the pain.  I prayed over my daddy with faith believing the Great Physician could bring relief to him.  There was nothing magical about my prayer, I just knew my dad needed relief and at that moment Jesus could intercede on his behalf. 

My mom and I left to go eat lunch, then I took her home and went back up to the hospital.  My dad was pain free for the whole afternoon and we were able to visit.  Well the visiting part was me asking him a lot of questions and he was able to get most of them right.  I met his doctor and a neurologist and the plan is to move him next week to a "skilled" nursing facility to begin rehab.  The doctor said he had to start showing signs of eating or a feeding tube would have to be placed back in him.  They believe it could take a couple of months before he can go home, but everyday is a new day and I know my dad is strong willed and can do anything he sets his mind to.  He ate several bites of his dinner tonight and drank half of his Ensure and that was progress from what he has been doing. 

I am thankful to be back with my mom and dad.  Yesterday he didn't know who my mom was.  He thought she was a guy that use to live across the street and today he and I were able to communicate together.  My heart has been encouraged today and I am thankful for a God that can hold me and make me strong and courageous in Him.

"Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."

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