Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

From a Code Blue to a Pink Poster {One Thing Our Marriages Desperately Need Today ~~ A Husband's Heartfelt Words as His Wife's Heart was Weak for #HeartMonth.}

{To read Part 1, the beginning of the series:
click here first.}

God knows our suffering. He puts each of our tears in a bottle and is familiar with our sorrows. He sees and knows. He is compassionate and the God of all comfort.

One of the scariest times during the months I lived in CVICU was when I was the patient for whom a Code Blue was called. A Code Blue is to alert medical staff of an emergency situation that involves a cardiac or respiratory arrest.

I had been walking around the halls of the hospital for some weeks—with a walker, the IV pole strung with bags of feed and saline water, and a portable ventilation machine—to change my perspective from the closed in ICU room and to get some exercise for my weakened body. On one occasion when I had shuffled my way to the atrium, my tracheotomy tube (the only way I had to breathe) blocked up with mucous secretions. One moment I was breathing, the next split second I could not get any oxygen into my body. One blocked entry meant no entry at all.

My nurse realized something was not right as I flailed my arms indicating I was not getting any air. I was not anywhere near a suction machine and moving a patient with IV poles and machines is no quick and easy task. My nurse that day, Sally, was a runner—she runs to and from work everyday and was extremely fit and fast!

I was in respiratory distress. I was far from my room, but Sally sprang to action and ran as though she was competing in a 100 metre dash with me and all my accompanying medical trappings. In a flash Sally had me in the closest ward screaming for a Code Blue to be called and scrambling for a suction machine. Medical help came rushing in by the time she had suctioned and cleared my tube. I could "breathe" again as the emergency team stirred around me like a whirlwind.

When we returned to CVICU, the staff there had known in their hearts that I was the patient who was in distress and for whom the Code had been called and they exclaimed how glad they were to see me back and sent me straight to bed. 

My emotions took off on a crazy ride following that rush of adrenaline. We realized, once again, how frail and dependant my body was.

As I look back over my journal from those days I am reminded that I forced myself to put a smile on my face. Those were days I cried out to God in my distress and all I seemed to hear was silence, but I firmly believed that God was with me and had me in that place. He was teaching me to be content in whatever circumstance I was in.

I ached so deeply from missing my children. The separation from them was heartbreaking.

We were so thrilled to be able to gather in the hospital for a day of Thanks-giving. My four year old could not understand why I could not talk and thought I would be able to if she taught me how. She scrambled up on my bed and started to teach me. I replied to her by writing on my clipboard that God would help me talk again one day. She was pleased with that explanation and took my pencil and clipboard and began to draw pictures. She never doubted that God was able.

Seeing my children for that day gave me the determination to wean completely off the ventilation machine that night. I had been struggling through the night and had to set my mind to complete that goal. It was as much a matter of the mind as well as the body.

We were all hurting in so many ways and yet, God in His faithfulness, reminded us that this temporal suffering was preparing us for an eternal weight of glory, joy unspeakable, hope beyond hope.

On October 15th, many received these words of encouragement from Jon:
The days stretch out long—one into the next. But these soon become weeks and now over a month and a half has gone by and we certainly long to go home. 
We walk around the unit here seeing the empty rooms fill up—then become empty again—many have come and gone making us realize that the progress and process is different for everyone. We don't compare, but it often reminds us of where we've been. We know that Rebekah's condition has been and still is fragile. We know that the journey won't end here in the ICU but will come home with us too.

We still can't put a date to when that will happen yet as we continue in this time of waiting, healing, recovering and strengthening. Dr. David and others tell us we've overcome much and have come through the worst of it. I certainly want to believe that is true. But while we really can have no medical guarantee of these things—we continue to rest in the One who cannot fail and who knows where this all ends.
"The Lord is my Rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in Whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my Saviour. The Lord is my strength and my shield, in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped. My heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him." 
"For Your name's sake you lead me and guide me." 
(Psalm 59:9, 2 Sam. 22:2-3, Psalm 28:7, Psalm 31:3)
Rebekah has been off the ventilator for over 72 hours now. This is a huge step forward that now, at this point, makes the consideration for Toronto East General's ventilator weaning program not applicable. 
Rebekah's lung is strengthening, but with some fluid occasionally and shallow breathing at night that threatens her gasses to rise, and with limited diaphragm support yet, the approach to pushing for progress remains gentle. We are now discussing with doctors and respiratory therapy team about downsizing Rebekah's tracheostomy hardware to a smaller fenestrated style and size so she will be able to breathe more normally through her upper airways, start talking again, an also begin introducing regular foods again. This may happen in the next few days. We will also meet with the speech and swallow team later this week and next to have a video fluoroscopic barium exam done at some point, once the trach is downsized, to make sure all airways and esophagus are functioning properly while swallowing.

These are all steps that progress us along the path and move us closer to getting out of here.

I admit that I came down here very naive to the magnitude of this adventure. Packing my suitcase for a week and initially only booking a few days off work, I understand more now how God only gives us enough of the trial at a time so we can handle it. Then once we are in it, He simply says: now trust Me!

Each morning Rebekah opens her eyes to the bright pink poster our kids made and put on her wall that gives her purpose to rise and fight to win for yet another day. We all cheer her on, but nothing is as precious and says it quite the same as:

"Go Mom Go" - We love you!!

This is part 16 of the series:
One Thing Our Marriages Desperately Need Today ~~ A Husband's Heartfelt Words as His Wife's Heart was Weak
{for #HeartMonth.}

You can read Part 1, the beginning of the series here.

Read Part 17 here.

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1 comment:

  1. An amazing story; you've been through so much! Love the Psalms quoted and the way the Lord rescued you.


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