Saturday, March 24, 2007

Life has been quite different for us the past week and a half. My mom has been living here in our apartment with us (in our spare bedroom...poor lady). I wish we had better quarters to offer her. =) We've been enjoying her presence so much. I'm not sure if it's mutual, but she is definitely enjoying her grandson.
Things with dad are quite different as well from the time of our last update. He is now in Select Specialty Hospital on the fifth floor of Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill, PA. It is about 25 minutes from our house. Mom visits, of course, every day, and Samuel and I try to go in at least every other day. He was transferred here on Tuesday, March 13. That afternoon when we went to see him and welcome him to his new hospital mom leaned down over the bed and said, "Hello, honey! I told you I would be here to welcome you when you arrived." Dad responded by immediately, yet VERY slowly nodding his head "Yes." This was the FIRST response we had received since his cardiac arrest almost 3 weeks prior, so it thrilled us! For several days there were just a few responses here and there and mostly just some times of dad's eyes being open and looking at us, but beginning last Sunday afternoon he has responded in even greater ways. When Andy (my brother) and his family came to visit, Dad smiled at the grandson named after him (William) after Will greeted him.
This past Tuesday was a very special night for us. Mom and I were visiting with him and when she leaned over to kiss him, he actually puckered up and kissed her cheek!! What a gift from the Lord! Since that day he has done the same for my mom, not frequently, but just about once each day. This has encouraged us so much. Praise the Lord for these small steps that show at least some understanding in Dad's mind! He has also, on occasion, squeezed our hands when asked and even said "Hi" two different times! We don't want to bore you with ALL of the details, but we want you all to know that the Lord is encouraging our hearts by these improvements. For the most part we have noticed that Dad is in one of three different states: completely asleep and unable to be roused, eyes open but not with any kind of understanding, or eyes open and looking very intently at us (with understanding, not just a blank stare).
One of our biggest prayer requests to share with you at this time is that he will do these purposeful movements for the right people (doctors, nurses, medical people). These are the people who determine if my dad will be able to stay here. They inform the insurance company of the improvement they have seen. If he is improving, then he is allowed to stay, but if they see him as leveling out, then they will send him on. We would like to get him into a brain/cognitive rehabilitation center, and this is dependent upon his charted improvement. We've been asking the nurses to document these things that we see him do, but it would be even more impressive if he did them for the medical staff as well. We understand that he doesn't even know these people, so for them to get him to respond is a matter of prayer. He is much more likely to respond to those who love him (his family). On the medical side of things, it looks as if his staph infection (which began this whole hospital stay) is fairly clear. Also, we are praising the Lord for the improvement of Dad's kidneys (his creatnine levels are the best since his initial hospitalization...down from 11 to 2.8). This is still not a normal level, but it is a drastic improvement! Praise the Lord. We know it is His doing! They have also completely removed his trach tube. He no longer needs it to protect his airway. He is clearing out his airway on his own!
Well, this message is turning into a book, so I will close. What a blessing you are to us. Your prayers have carried us along. We bless the Lord and want His name to be lifted high and His glory to be shown to all those who come in contact with our family.
One more great blessing...there is a young wife (early 30s) who I was able to spend some time with in Dad's first hospital (State College, PA). Her husband was in the ICU with Dad and had suffered a stroke. He was taken off of life support a few days after Dad's transfer to Hershey (about a month ago). She was grieving so greatly and cried constantly. I was able to develop a friendship with her and even called Pastor Rick Gilbaugh (a family friend of ours) to come and pray with her one day and with her husband. After her husband's death, I learned that she attended Calvary Bible Church (Pastor Gilbaugh's church) and received Christ! WOW!! May the Lord be praised. His ways are perfect! =) Please pray for Melissa's growth in Christ since her decision. She will face some very dark days as a young widow. Thank you for the love and concern you have shown to our family.


Don & Katrina Hines said...

Hey Beck,

We are praying for you and the family! Praise the Lord for what He is doing with your dad. Thank you for the more specific requests. We will be praying that way. Also, praise the Lord for using you and this seemingly awful situation for His glory! Praise the Lord for the one soul already saved because of His grace in your lives! Thanks for the update!

We love you guys!

jeileenbaylor said...

Hey Becky,
Thanks for the update. We were so glad to hear the good news from the fam. We are still praying for you all and for your dad. God is so good, isn't he?

Love you!

Travis and Becky said...

hey treenie and jules,
thanks for taking time to write and tell us of your prayers. it means so much to us that you are still praying and haven't forgotten about us. i definitely miss all of the rides to school together. boy, life just sure isn't the same without carissa's crazy driving on an icy winter morning with coffee in one hand and a cup of cereal in the other and pretty much no hands on the steering wheel! remember that day? i'm surprised we're all stil alive!

Travis and Becky said...

oh yeah, and do you remember the black angus steakhouse sign in williamsburg??? we were such nerds!