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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

As Promised... (recap #2)


 Since I can't sleep, I thought this would be a great time to continue where I left off.

3) As I stated before in the previous post, Daddy was removed from the rehab facility that Friday morning. The night before, my mom and I visited him and he was sleep...again. But this time, when I touched him he seemed kind of warm. I asked my mom to feel him and she agreed. Not only was he warm his right arm and hand seemed swollen. I went to the nurses station to make someone aware that he didn't feel right. He felt as if he had a fever. Someone returned to his room and handed me a towel with a plastic bag of ice cubes. :-/ "Hummmm? What is this for??" I asked. She then took the bag and towel from me and propped it on Daddy's forehead. Now, to be honest, I don't remember if I said, "You're kidding, right?" out loud or just to my mom. But she propped it on his head and left out of the room. Oooo-kaaay? (not okay)

His nurse finally came in and checked his temperature..104. I then asked about how he was feeling earlier that day? I was not really getting a straight answer. Unfortunately, this often was the case. I believe she left out to get Daddy medication for his fever and I headed back to the nurses station to have them pull his chart. I wanted to know what is temperature was like earlier. Ugh...104! No one called the family and no one called the doctor assigned to him. Which were specific instructions on his chart, per his doctor.

Yes, we prayed. But my mom whipped out her cell phone and called the doctor immediately. All I know is right after she hung up, the doctor called the nurses station. Enough said. I could tell the staff was nervous and very upset after speaking with the doctor. Not good. Ooops...someone dropped a very BIG ball somewhere!

We prayed over Daddy again. My mom and I were very upset. The fever started to break. I think they were instructed to call the doctor every 2 hours throughout the night with a report. We also called.

That evening we rode the bus home silent. Other than, me sarcastically confirming that I was handed a bag of ice for Daddy's forehead. Once home, I told my mom that I wanted to speak to the case manager. Mommy gave me the number and I left a message. Mommy didn't want to talk to anybody. She didn't want to return any phone calls or anything. This whole thing was not okay. Not at all. That night, I cried. Oh boy, did I cry. I was so distressed and uneasy. I remember texting one of my spiritual mothers, "I WANT MY DADDY!!!!" I cried to the Lord, that none of this is okay. I told Him that my daddy took VERY good care of us and we lacked nothing and this is not right for him to be in a position that he is not cared for properly. That is not the seed he has sown all these years. If the things he was encountering were happening to us while in his position, HEADS WOULD ROLL! Then I cried and cried and finally cried myself to sleep. 

I think I woke up later to use the bathroom. I remember looking in the mirror seeing my eyes so puffy, they were almost swollen shut. I didn't care! I didn't care if I looked a mess going in the work that morning or not! Who cares! Once returning to bed to get back to sleep, I just looked up at the ceiling, "Lord?!? What? Tell me what to do?!? Do we wait? What do we do? I want Daddy out of there, now. I don't feel comfortable with him there. Is it just me? Am I over reacting? Give me a sign? Do you still have this?? God where are you? What if we make the wrong decision? What if we are too hasty? Why won't you answer me? I'm afraid. God, I am so afraid..."

That morning, I abruptly awoke from a dream:
Everyone, I can recall, coming to each hospital to visit Daddy since having the heart attack, was there. We were all in a very large crowd coming to visit him. When we all arrived, we asked if we could see James Armstead.
Then the staff came out to greet us and said, "Oh I'm so sorry. Mr. Armstead passed away." The crowd was in an uproar, "WHAT!!!!! OH MY GOD! NO!" 

I asked, "What are you talking about?! What do you mean, he died? How did this happen?! Why didn't you call?! How?! Why!? What?!" We were all so devastated and confused. We couldn't believe it. The feeling walking away was hopelessness and betrayal. But there was nothing anyone could do. He was already gone and the only replies we received from the staff were, "Oh, I don't know." or "Umm, I just got here." or "Let me check his chart." or "I am sorry." No one really knew anything. These are similar answers we received to questions we asked about his care (in real life) while visiting Daddy at this rehab facility during his brief stay.
 My first thoughts were, "Awww-Nawww! (as the young people would say, "Heck-Naw!!") Lord, I hear you LOUD and CLEAR! I don't know where Daddy is gonna go, but he finsta (that is home talk for "about to") come up out of there!!" I was on a mission. I got up, got dressed and headed to work. On my way, the case manager returned my call. I told her everything that had happened the night before and some other incidents that took place that my mom only shared with me the night before. I told all! The case manager was livid! She told them she wanted Daddy's blood test results ASAP and she better get a call from them before noon. Wow! I think that was about 7:30 am that Friday morning.
After I hung the phone up with the case manager,  I received a call. A lady asking for, "Rose." I informed her that there was no one here by that name and was she aware she had called a salon? She said, she knew it was a salon, but someone told her that Rose had transferred or moved to our location. She just said thank you and that it was okay and we hung up. Not that calling the wrong number does no occur, but this was rather strange. Only because it was so early in the morning and right after speaking with the case manager about Daddy "moving" or "being transferred."

I went ahead and continued to prepare for my first client. Then a "eureka" moment: "Wait, let me look up the word ROSE!" I've been asking for signs, right?
ROSE: Move to a better position; Rise up; Get up and out of bed; Return from the dead; Exert oneself to meet a challenge
Don't you just love, God? Lol! Even in the seriousness of all this, He always jokes and plays these type of "Trust Me" games. At least with me, I know He does. God, now you knew I would look this up in the dictionary! Hahahaha!

By 11:30 am, I received a call from Marna stating Daddy had been taken to the ER up the block from the rehab facility. It was only the next day we found out Daddy not only had an infection, that was septic, they also found a blood clot in the right arm that ranged from his shoulder to his elbow. He was very, very sick. And yes, I do believe that under these circumstances, Daddy would have just "passed away" like in my dream if he would have stayed at that rehab facility. Although, I do know for a fact, that his brief stay there was for a reason. My God wastes nothing. Absolutely, nothing.
There is still more, I have to write about that happened previously to bring you to where we are today. But for now, I have to jump to what is going on this week.

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Now, to bring you up to speed with what is currently happening. Daddy is still in the Critical Care Unit. They are monitoring everything very carefully. About two days ago, they did have to insert a tube down into his stomach, through his nose. Sigh. He is very upset about all of this and quite fussy. We can't make out all that he is saying, but we are very clear, that he is not happy and everybody knows it. They are trying to drain the fluid of bacteria from the infection out of his stomach and they don't want to contaminate the feeding tube already in his stomach. So it has to go through his nose.

I'm glad none of that happened on my visit. Ugh! I know I wouldn't have been able to handle all of that and how he dealt with it. So that was on Marna's and my mom's watch. Marna said, he was very, very, highly upset when they returned to his room. He was talking, but fussing too. When they finally came home, they were a little distressed. My mom said that it always feels like two steps forward and one step back during this whole ordeal with Daddy. I know what she means. It is like we still trust God, but the longer this goes on the harder it becomes emotionally. It's like an up and down, up and down roller coaster ride that has not ended.

That was the night they not only told my mom that during the scan they saw the fluid in his stomach, but they were concerned about the start of pneumonia and an area in his head that appears as if he had a stroke. 
  Good Grief!

 You know, I figure we can always get down in the dumps every time we hear a bad report or a negative comment, or we can take what was said and place it at God's feet. "Here Lord, they said this or that. You take it, 'cause I don't know what to do with it. Other than, use it as a prayer target." I am understanding what it means to place your burdens at His feet and continue to praise Him. Because we sure can't do a thing about it!

The next day, we arrived at the hospital only to find a nurse re-positioning Daddy's tube. I had to leave the room. My mom stayed in there to hold his hand, up to a certain point. From the waiting room I heard him moaning, groaning and yelling at the nurse, "Stop it, Stop it, Stop it!" When I returned, the nurse said that he pulled the tube out with his BAD hand--the one they didn't bother to restrain because they didn't think he could move it--he had not been moving it all this time. Daddy was mumbling and grumbling about this being too much stuff. At least that is some of what we were able to make out. I had to tell the nurse that he is very sneaky and they have to really watch him. My mom told her that he will lay there plotting and planning how to do something. At that, Daddy started to smirk, smile and sort of laugh. It was good to finally see him do that. But that also meant he had something else up his sleeve. ;-) Unfortunately, they had to restrain both arms. The nurse started laughing and said that was good Daddy was a fighter and also displaying cogitative thinking. But they can't have him doing that any more. 

So he is just lying there, both arms restrained, with a tube in his nose, port in his stomach, a direct line in his neck, catheter in the front...and the back, poop bag hanging on one side of the bed and urine bag on the other, being repositioned every two hours, poked in the finger to check blood sugar more than just a couple of times a day, not able to communicate fully, clot in his arm, bacteria fluid in his stomach, infection in his blood, swollen legs and feet, with caution tape draped about his bed. Have I forgotten anything? Oh yeah, and wanting breakfast. God we need a miracle. Only you can do what is impossible.

The next morning this is the bible text that arrived on my cell phone: 
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."- Mark 10:27
Lord, I believe You do the impossible. 
And we will continue to praise you while we wait.




Praise You In This Storm

I was sure by now
God, You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with You"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with You"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth
 
I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
Though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm


Casting Crowns
Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms
2005 Club Zoo Music (BMI) /
SWECS Music (BMI) (adm. by EMI CMG Publishing) /
Word Music, LLC (ASCAP) /
Banahama Tunes (ASCAP) (adm. by Word Music, LLC)



And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28 (New International Version)
So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever. - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (The Message)


Why am I discouraged? Why am I restless? I trust you! And I will praise you again because you help me, and you are my God. - Psalm 42:5-6a (Contemporary English Version)
The LORD Will Protect His People I look to the hills! Where will I find help? It will come from the LORD, who created the heavens and the earth. - Psalm 121:1-2 (Contemporary English Version)
Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said: “ Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” - Job 1:20-21 (New King James Version)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, "Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if he doesn't, it wouldn't make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn't serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up." - Daniel 3:16-18 (The Message)

Until next time,
June

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