Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bible in 90 Days: Check in 7 and LOTS of other stuff

This has been one of the worst weeks of my life. Truly.

My Dad had an open heart procedure done on Tuesday morning. It was done to help correct problems he has had with atrial fib (when your heart gets out of rhythm) since he was 27. The procedure went fine, and the surgeon was just counting instruments before they closed all the incisions when my Dad had a massive heart attack on the operating table. It took the doctor a minute to figure out what was going on, but while he was trying to work through possibilities, he shocked my Dad's heart to try and restart it. Nothing. He tried massaging the heart with his hands. Nothing. So they put him on a heart lung machine, and did an emergency double bypass surgery. Unfortunately, since he didn't have time to discover where the blockage was located, he had to guess while performing the bypass. That night, we were SO THANKFUL that he was still alive. A nurse called my sister from the hospital right after the heart attack to tell her to get to the hospital right away because our dad wasn't going to make it. The doctor didn't think he would make it through the surgery. I felt so bad for my sister that she had to pass that message on to the rest of our siblings. My Mom was in such shock in the waiting room, she couldn't make the call herself.

The bypass only treated one of the two blockages my Dad had, so that first night he struggled mightily to keep his blood pressure up, and his heart still had to work so hard. They couldn't sedate him or give him much pain meds that night because it would make his blood pressure fall further, so he was aware. He had a vent in, so couldn't communicate with his voice, but at about 2:00 in the morning, my Mom figure out he was writing letters on his bed sheet trying to communicate with us. He spelled out HOT, THIRSTY, and also I WAS AWAKE. "What do you mean you were awake?" my Mom asked. "During surgery?" He spelled out SHOCK. We figured out he was aware of it when the tried to defibrillate his heart with the shock paddles. My Mom asked him if it hurt. He shook his head no. When we have told medical professionals about this, they are amazed. It would/should not have been possible for him to be aware of anything then between sedation and having no blood pressure and low oxygen. We are pretty sure he had a near death experience, especially since he did not feel pain when they shocked him.

The surgeon discovered the next day that another blockage was still making his heart work too hard, so they did an immediate angioplasty and put in a stint. Thankfully that took care of the blockage. His heart was so shocked after everything though, his blood pressure was still low, so they put him on a machine new to the US called an Impella machine to help his heart beat. He was the first patient in the hospital to ever use it! He also had a balloon pump located under the heart to help it pump.

As of today, he still has the vent, and the balloon pump, and he has been sedated since Wednesday morning. He has a temp this morning, so they are checking to see where/what kind of infection may be forming. His kidneys aren't quite up to par either, so they are keeping a close eye on that as well. We have been praying incessantly for the past 5 days. I have truly felt God's presence in every moment.

Needless to say my Bible reading got off track for a few days during all of this, but with the exception of today's reading, I am all caught up. I am reading Jeremiah, which has not been terribly comforting. To be honest, I really struggle with the Old Testament. It is hard to see the loving God I feel everyday with the God who was constantly wiping out the Israelites. I wish I was reading the New Testament through all of this trial in our lives. I am going to keep on track as much as I can this week.

Please pray for my Dad.

You can read more about the Bible in 90 Days program by visiting Mom's Toolbox.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Bible in 90 Days: Check in 6

Thank you to all who said a prayer for me last week that a new TA be hired for my classroom! God was listening, and has blessed my room with a TA who has been a teacher for 40 years, 23 of them in 1st grade! I can't wait to get to know her.

I am still on track with my reading. I am reading Day 52 today. Over the summer, I read the Bible in the mornings. Since I am back to work today, I will be switching to a evening, after the kids are in bed reading time. I am going to miss starting my day off with God time, but I just can't pry my eyes open any earlier than 5:30, which is my school day wake up time. This is going to be the critical week for me! I feel that if I can make it through this first week back at work and stay current on my reading, I will be able to finish the program on track! Only 36 more days to go, and I know I can do this for a month.

The New Testament is coming up in less than 200 pages, and I can't wait! Please visit Amy at Mom's Toolbox if you would like to learn more about the Bible in 90 Days program.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Bible in 90 Days: Check in 5

I am still up to date in my reading this week. I just finished Day 45 today, which means that I am now half way through the Bible. I am so proud to have made it this far!

With the news last week about not having a TA to start the school year with, I am really nervous about my reading once school starts. My work load has doubled, and most of that will be taking place at home. We shall see how everything works out! Please pray that God sends a wonderful TA to my classroom this year.

Today I finished Psalms. I loved reading this book, and it was amazing to me to discover how many songs we sing at church that take their lyrics directly from the Bible. There is so much wisdom packed into the pages of Psalms it was a little easy to get bogged down in the reading. I had to try not to ponder every line too hard, or my reading took forever!

I am really looking forward to reading Proverbs next! As always, you can check out Amy's blog at Mom's Toolbox for more information on the Bible in 90 Days program.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Pine Beach

In July we drove up to northern Minnesota to Lake Belle Taine. This is our family's favorite vacation spot. We stay at a family lake resort called Pine Beach. I am so lucky that my kids feel the way that I do about sun, sand, and water. These are the only things we need on vacation to have a wonderful time!

We stayed in this cute yellow cabin...



My parents, brother, and aunt rented the cabin next door to us. The boys all loved running back and forth from Grandma and Poppo's cabin, and having the freedom to get a treat and a hug from them whenever they wanted. You can see in the picture that the beach and the lake are literally right outside the cabin, just off the deck. This makes the deck an amazing place to drink your morning coffee, read the Bible, and appreciate the beauty God created for us...



I loved it in the morning when the water was as still as glass, there were beautiful colors reflected from the sunrise, and a cool mist was hanging over the lake. It was breath taking.

We spent every second possible in the water swimming. The swim lessons Charlie and Sammy took every day for a month before we left were so worthwhile. They were like fishes.



When we weren't swimming, we were lounging in the warm sunshine on the beach. The weather in Minnesota in the summer is perfect. It never got above 83, and there was no humidity. Ever. This is so different from Omaha!



The resort also offers lots of other activities. Sammy and Charlie loved the playhouse, feeding the goats that wander the resort, and the swingset. My Dad and I loved having some fierce shuffle board competitions in the evenings after dinner.







Evan loved the fishing. He is the only one in our family who enjoys this, so often he fished off the dock. My Dad took him in the boat a couple of times, and ended up having to get the fish Evan caught off the hook, which is another notch for him in his quest for most awesome Grandpa award. My Dad is a great lover of fish, and it pains him to trap and kill them.

I am in love with this picture of Evan. I had it enlarged to a 16x20, and I am going to hang it somewhere in the house. So peaceful and innocent.



My Dad took the boat out almost everyday. I love this picture of him...



My Dad? He is the best. I love him to pieces.

And with beauty like this...



Is it any wonder that we are already planning our trip for next year? I am already counting the days until I am back, relaxing on this beach.

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