Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A New Normal

Now that Dad is home again, we are continuing to put one foot in front of the other, and take his recovery day by day. It is agonizingly slow, but we are praying that clot is shrinking daily. I am so proud of my Dad for working so hard, for trying to so hard to be positive, and for keeping up the fight. I think this is one of the hardest things he's ever done.

There are a thousand times a week I still think, "I should call Dad and we can..." or "I bet Dad would like to..." and then it all settles over me again. It's hard to get used to his limitations, but I am thankful they aren't permanent . I am trying to think of ways to bring his favorite things to him until he can do them himself again.

One thing I don't want to return to normal, is this new awareness I have of every moment with him, with my family, with friends. I am hyper aware of how easily someone can leave you, and how quickly life can change. I have been so much more thankful for small moments and every day things. I don't want to loose that-instead I want to soak up EVERYTHING.

On Monday, it was my Dad's 58th birthday. I stopped by my parent's house just for a few minutes so the boys and I could give him birthday hugs. It was so nice to see him smile, watch him watch my kids, and tell him I love him. I am never going to see my Dad and not tell him I love him ever again. You never know when it might be your last chance, and I want him to know he is LOVED.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Home and Birthdays

My Dad is back home from the hospital. Again.

And I am so, so, so glad. I know probably every kid thinks their parents are the best, but I truly know that my Dad is one of the BEST Dads ever. He was such an awesome example growing up of how to be an honorable, trustworthy, loving person. He taught me integrity and how to serve others with a joyful heart. In the hospital, he continued these lessons by treating every nurse, tech, doctor, and therapist with respect and cheerfulness, calling each one by name, even when he felt at his lowest. I love him for all of these things, and for his spunky personality. I am so happy he is my Daddy, and that he is home again. I want to have many more years to laugh and learn with him. I am SO lucky to be his daughter. SO lucky.

It is my Dad's birthday on Monday. The best of birthdays is a birthday that you almost didn't get to have, and we are rejoicing that we get to celebrate this day with him.

It is my handsome Jeff's birthday tomorrow. We are going to welcome him into middle age with white cake with white frosting (his favorite), some very inspired presents, and his favorite foods for dinner. I haven't mentioned on this blog lately how adorable he is, and how great of a Dad he is, and how much I love him, but he is and I do.

I am beyond blessed to have these two men in my life. How did I get so lucky as to have two of the best men on the planet in my life? I can't wait to spend their special days with each of them.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Depressing

The doctors found a large clot in the left ventricle of my Dad's heart today, which made it impossible for them to complete any of the other procedures they had planned for today. He will now need to take blood thinners for 2-3 weeks to try and dissolve the clot, and then they will try again.

He is so depressed about this development. I wish there was more I could do to lift his spirits. I wish that I could take away his frustration, and go through this for him. It is the worst thing in the world to have to watch a loved one struggle.

I just want my Daddy back. I want him to be healthy and happy. I am willing to do anything to get that back.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Back in the Hospital

My Dad had to go back in to the hospital last night.

After many tests today, the doctors have discovered that as a result of the damage done by the heart attack, he has developed an arrhythmia that people typically display during a heart attack. It can be fatal, as it can cause cardiac arrest with a heart attack. They are going to do a procedure tomorrow morning to try and convert him to a normal heart rhythm. They will also remove a small section of the heart that can sometimes send irregular electrical impulses to the heart.

The doctors think the original open heart surgery he went in for in the first place was not successful, and that now he needs an internal pace maker. Unfortunately, they can't do that for another 2 months so that his heart can heal. Even if they convert him tomorrow, he could at any time go back into this arrhythmia again, so he will have to wear something called a Life Vest for the next two months. The vest senses when the heart goes into the arrhythmia and it shocks the heart to get it back into normal rhythm.

It looks like he will be back in the hospital again for awhile. I am really nervous about the procedure tomorrow. His heart is already so weak, and it makes me anxious to have them messing around in there again.

Prayers for my Dad are greatly appreciated right now. I know that all things are possible through our Lord Jesus, and I am putting Dad in His hands.

Monday, September 06, 2010

I FINISHED!

I did it!


I read the Bible, cover to cover, in 80 days. I pushed through to the end today, and read the last 6 day sections in one day. The writings of Paul, Timothy, and the other disciples at the end of the New Testament were riveting for me. It was easy to keep going until the end.

This may sound cliche, but it really was life changing for me. In June, when I started, I felt God calling me strongly to do this. Looking back on the events of the past month, I really feel he wanted me to be immersed in the scriptures as my family and I went through this challenge with my Dad. It was so comforting to feel God next to me every day, and to hear him talking to me through my daily time in the Word.

I learned SO MUCH. Before I read the Bible, I knew bits and pieces of scripture, and didn't know much of the "big picture". So much makes sense to me now, and I have a clearer idea of what I need to do to be a follower of Jesus. I learned so much about my roles as wife, mother, and teacher. I feel closer to Jesus. And also? I feel JOY.

Thanks so much to Amy at Moms Toolbox, for leading this challenge. I am so thankful for your leadership and guidance, and for providing us with this opportunity.

I would love for all of you to join me this winter at Moms Toolbox in reading the Bible in 90 Days. That's right! I'm going to do it again! I know there is so much more God wants to say to me, and I am going to be able to study more deeply on my second time through. I am also going to serve as a mentor to other readers. I am passionate about sharing this experience with others! Pray about it...I would be so excited to read with you!

Life Update

Oh my poor little blog! How I've missed you! Life has been like a freight train lately though, and it has been a struggle just to keep my family fed and clothed. Thank goodness for Labor Day weekend, because I finally had the chance to deep clean my house. I won't describe how badly it needed it, because you would probably throw up.

Another reason that I had some extra time this weekend is because MY DAD CAME HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL ON FRIDAY!!!! After a LONG 24 day stay in the hospital, he is home. Friday was my day for hospital duty, so I had the absolute honor and privilege of getting to drive him home and help him walk into the house. I cannot put into words how emotional that experience was for both of us. After going through a time when we thought we would never get to see him alive again, tell him we love him, joke around with him, or enjoy family gatherings with him at my parents home, helping him walk through the door was amazing. My heart wanted to burst with thankfulness. My Dad looked around and could just say, "This is wonderful. Just wonderful."

He still has a long way to go in his recovery. He is using a walker to get around, and just a trip to the bathroom wears him out, but we are seeing gradual improvements to his strength every day. He is having trouble retaining fluid as his heart heals, but the doctors tell us this will slowly get better. He has nurses checking in on him at home regularly, and we take his vital signs twice a day and send them in via computer to the nurses station. It's nice to know we have a medical team behind us while he is at home.

Remember over the summer when we were agonizing over whether their new house was the right choice? After all of this, we all recognize that it was God's choice, and He provided it because it is absolutely perfect for my Dad. The layout and size is perfect for his mobility issues. There is no way he could have gone home to their other house filled with stairs. The fact that the house is two seconds away from mine have allowed me to easily take care of things around the house for them, and to help out if Mom and Dad need anything. There have been so many things, large and small, that took place before all of this happened that have made all of this easier on our family. It has been so awe inspiring to see all of the ways that the Lord is taking care of things. It has been the ultimate lesson in trusting His plan, not ours. He truly does know what is best, and will handle things how they should be.

This weekend, I am thankful. For so very many things. Even through trying times, the Lord blesses us, and I am just so thankful for His love and care. We're going to make it through this, and I think we will all be better for it.

Bible in 90 Days: Check in 10

I am almost to the finish line! There have been several times during the last few weeks when my Dad has been in the hospital that I have been behind, but God has always provided a time to catch up. Sometimes it has been hard to use that extra time for reading instead of sleeping or just vegging on the couch, but the blessings I have received from reading have helped to keep me focused.

Today, I just finished Day 83, in 2 Corinthians and Galatians. On Thursday evening, I really felt God calling me to push ahead in my reading this weekend. I have been reading 2-3 days worth every day since. My goal is to read Days 84 and 85 today as well.

I love Paul's writings. I am learning SO.MUCH. I have been using my highlighter to mark down things that jump out at me while I read so I can go back and study them further later, and I have definitely used a lot of ink in these sections!

I am going to finish this week! I will write out more of my thoughts on what an amazing journey this has been when I do. This is the best thing I have ever done for my relationship with God. I sincerely encourage each of you to read the entire Bible, cover to cover, as well. God will work amazing things in your life when you do! To check out the Bible in 90 Days program, visit Amy at Mom's Toolbox.com

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