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)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Grace That is Greater {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.}

Typically a patient who has had open-heart surgery is in cardiovascular ICU for a day or two and then transferred to the cardiovascular surgery unit for 3-4 days and then discharged home. A week after surgery I was still in ICU and although the doctors and nurses assured us they were seeing progress they were concerned that I was not stable enough to be transferred.

By this point, all the medication, ICU psychosis, and elevated CO2 was not only causing me to see things, I was also constantly "hearing" music. I begged and begged Jon to turn the music off, but he assured me there was no music playing. As clearly as I could, I explained to him how to turn it off on my computer as I believed that was from where it was coming. He insisted my laptop was not in the room. I mentally tried to stop the music, but it just kept blaring.

Jon slipped out to the hotel to get a few hours sleep while my Dad stayed by my side.

In the wee hours of the night, I could not handle the confusion and confinement any longer and started screaming, in my weak and feeble state: I just want out of here! I accused my nurse and the rest of the staff that had rushed into my room—to check on the crazy lady, I'm sure—that they were all trying to kill me and that I hated them all and that I wanted to go home. My nurse persuaded me to calm down.

I finally broke and my Dad encouraged me to allow the tears that I had been holding back to fall down my cheek and onto my blue one-size-fits-all—except for my size—hospital gown.

As I calmed down I attempted to find a position on my bed so I could try to rest. Shortly after I had settled, Jon returned to give my Dad a break and then I was able to rest.

Later, when I realized what I had done and said in my confused, agitated state, I was horrified and utterly ashamed of myself and days later when I saw that nurse again, I apologized to him. 

Jon had also assured him that this was not how I normally behaved and expressed how sorry I was to him. Jon was not really sure who his wife had become.

I don't know how I managed to yell as breathing was very difficult. The breathing exercise with an Incentive Spirometer—to help keep the lungs healthy after open-heart surgery—that I had been given instructions to do regularly was almost impossible for me.

Again, it was clear that this was a new and unfamiliar territory and all we could do was take it moment by moment, and only by resting in the Lord, believing that His grace is greater than anything we were to endure. 

Jon sent an update that day, Friday, September 5th, hopeful that he had seen a glimmer of progress:
Walking behind Rebekah slowly down the hall this evening. It was a week ago now at this time when she arrived here straight from the operating room.

Many nurses here recall seeing the breathing tube coming out the next morning [following surgery] and as Rebekah, through the heavy narcotics, realizes she is still alive—yells: "Thank You - God!" 
Being here at the hospital since 1:00 am this morning I've seen progress today. The staff here seem to be pleased with Rebekah's heart progress overall. Just seeing fewer and fewer bags of liquids hanging there each day, fewer lines attached, removal of IV inputs in her neck and arm, removal of heart pacer wires in her chest— it all tells me we're moving forward. 
As her sleeping, eating and exercise habits improve this will affect her breathing positively too. This is the current struggle sometimes, to calm her so she has good sleep—keeping numbers low and not have her gasping for air in panic and confusion. She has enough oxygen but gets agitated and frustrated at times. So her breathing gets harder. 
Let's pray that the mask [bi-pap] machine keeps working for her tonight in this regard because if not, they will seriously look into intubating again with a breathing tube and narcotics and back on antibiotics. We don't want to go back there again.

With aid of the breathing mask last night Rebekah got 3-4 hrs of sleep and has had productive naps today too. 
Physiotherapy did some movement with her this morning and I got some jello, some juice, a few spoons of porridge and a breakfast replacement shake into her. 
Her voice is weak—she can barely talk or visit yet but tomorrow will be another new day to celebrate positive change.
"The LORD is





my GOD of MERCY."

~~Psalm 59:17~~


This is part 4 of a 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 5 here.

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1 comment:

  1. I love how your husband reminded himself in the midst of such heartache:
    "The LORD is

    my STRENGTH,

    my DEFENSE,

    my REFUGE,


    my GOD of MERCY."
    It reminds me that no matter what changes in our lives, God remains the same.
    I also smiled when you yelled, "Thank You, God!" When things are taken from us, God gives us a greater appreciation.
    Thank you both for sharing your "story" of God's endless love and grace.


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