Friday, October 31, 2008

Miracles and Musings

We're baaaaaack!

This has been one crazy, chaotic, incredibly stressful, insanely wild week!

First things first. Pat is going to be okay. Thank you all for your earnest prayers. The Lord heard them and answered them in the best possible way. Pat is still in the hospital and will likely be there for several more days, but she is going to survive. Praise God!

She was rushed to the Critical Care Unit in the Murray hospital when she arrived at the ER on Saturday night, and the nurses and doctors who cared for her there told us that they did not think she was going to make it. She was close to death on the way to the hospital in Paducah and it was touch-and-go for the next day or two. When she arrived in Paducah, she was suffering from severe respiratory distress, kidney failure, and sepsis something something...??? (I don't know how to spell it or what the correct terminology is, but her body had an extremely high level of toxins in it, and with her kidneys shutting down, her body was poisoning itself. One of her lungs also completely shut down and would not work at all, so she was in a big mess. Poor thing.

The doctors in Paducah worked tirelessly to keep her alive and breathing. They scheduled for her to go on dialysis treatment to flush her body of the toxins that were poisoning her and to be put on a ventilator to help her breathe. But before they were able to do any of those things, her kidneys all of a sudden started working again (praise God!) and, even though they had her on oxygen and was struggling as she took each breath, she was improving just enough to keep from going on the ventilator (praise God!). They moved her to the ICU, where she stayed Monday and Tuesday. When Jay and I went in to see her in that room, we were so scared. She was so pale and hooked up to so many tubes, and her eyes were rolled back in her head and she couldn't speak, and every single breath she took required every ounce of her strength. She very nearly died.

But, with all of her children surrounding her, it is like she had a renewed ambition and had a little fight left in her to struggle to stay alive. You have to know Pat to understand her spunky personality. But it was almost like, even as sick as she was, she was trying to defy all of us who were thinking she was going to die, and thought, "I'll show YOU!" And, boy did she! She surprised all of her doctors and nurses with her rapid improvement. By Wednesday afternoon, she was taken out of the ICU and placed in a regular room. It was completely astonishing.

There was one little catch, though. They ran some tests on the fluid that had taken residence in her lungs and discovered that it was caused by some extremely aggressive and dangerous bacteria that can kill people rather quickly. It is also highly contagious. So they had to put her in an isolation room. It had it's plus sides. She got the room all to herself, and we were all still allowed to visit with her. But it also had a catch. Each person who entered her room had to take safety precautions first.

Even the kids were allowed to go see Grandma Pat, as long as they wore the protective coverings. I sooooo wish I had brought my camera with me so you could have seen all of us. But we had to put on a protective gown, rubber gloves (they even had latex-free ones for me!), shoe covers, and masks to cover our faces. Boy, were we all a sight to see! Ha ha. The kids were super excited to get decked out in their "costumes". All the nurses were laughing at how much the kids enjoyed getting dressed up (because to everyone else it was quite frustrating and time consuming).

We all looked like we belonged in the movie E.T. when everyone is wearing all those radiation suits. It was quite funny. Ben went around to everyone and "performed surgery" on them as though he was a surgeon, and little Hannah followed his lead by running around the room to each person and proudly announcing, "Look uh me! I a doctor!" She was so cute.

Rebekah had a little different reaction. She is my "grown up" girl. She takes things very seriously, and was busy being "mother hen" to all of us, making sure we all kept the masks on, stayed 3 feet away from Grandma, etc. She was genuinely concerned about Grandma's welfare and wanted to keep everyone else safe. It was her idea to go to the gift shop and buy Grandma Pat some flowers, and even addressed the card all by herself. She was very sweet and behaved very responsibly and maturely. I was proud of her. She even performed for Grandma Pat. She had been learning sign language at our homeschool co-op, so she did The Pledge of Allegiance in sign language. Pat was able to speak a little bit (very weakly), but was able to tell Rebekah how it made Grandma very happy and proud of her. She did a great job.

With Pat doing so much better, and the doctors saying that she would make a miraculously full recovery, Jay and I decided to travel back home on Thursday. We had Jay's sister, Melissa, with us, since she lives only 5 miles from our house. I am so glad we have a minivan with plenty of room for everyone! And, by God's providence, we had just gotten new brakes put on the van on Saturday, so we were ready to tackle those mountains in Chattanooga! Plus, we were extremely pleasantly surprised to find gas for sale at $2.08. Yes, that is a zero. And no, it is not in the wrong place. It was two dollars and eight cents a gallon. What a blessing to fill our tank for significantly less than the usual $65.00!

The kids did amazingly well, considering we got on the road at 5AM (CST) and were stuck in the car for over 14 long hours! But we arrived safe and sound at home, with our cat and our two dogs overjoyed to see us, and our warm cozy beds waiting to give us some much-needed rest.

Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts, phone calls, and prayers during this time that could have been so much worse than it turned out to be. It is a miracle that Pat is alive today, and I know I can thank our Father in Heaven, who heard the prayers of our wonderful friends and loved ones.

In Christ Alone,


The growing Adkinson family said...

Praise God that she is going to be ok. Im glad to hear. So glad u guys made it back safely as well. Get some rest girl. :)

Misty Burns said...

so good to hear that she is going to be ok! yeah too bad u did not get pics of the e.t. outfits!hahaha.