Monday, September 29, 2014

Hits and Misses (September 21-27)

Here's my weekly glimpse back at the week that was.

  • It's always great fun to hear from friends that they are actually reading my blog posts. I just enjoy knowing that something I have written brought a smile.
  • After missing my chiropractor appointment at the end of last week, it was great to get back to see the doctor and continue dealing with my pain. What a blessing!
  • For several years, I have been driving to Collierville to get my hair cut. I loved the stylists there, but now that I'm not working in the area, I rarely find myself headed to that part of the city. This week, I tried a new salon much closer to home and was very pleased with the outcome. So I guess I've officially become a client of Joseph's Salon and Day Spa in Marion, Arkansas
  • This week saw the first of the semester's recital hearings that I will be involved in at Union. After experiencing some vocal issues late last week, the student sang beautifully on the departmental recital and was clearly prepared for the hearing. Two pieces were selected by the faculty, and they immediately commented that they were looking forward to hearing the entire program. That was truly the easiest recital hearing I've ever been involved with!
  • Even though I love making music, sometimes I hate long rehearsals. I especially struggle with them at the end of the week. I made it through without showing my bad attitude TOO clearly.
  • My brother and sister-in-law were staying with us this week to help with Dad's transition home from the hospital. It was a comfort to have them around, but it also made for a very crowded living space. I'm not fond of being in tight spaces at all, but we make the best of it for the common good sometimes.
  • I have had my fill of divas this week. It's hard enough to deal with a diva who also has the professional chops to support her demanding tone. When a student who has limited experience takes on the diva attitude though, that's when my claws come out too! Don't whine to me about how busy you are or that you can't simply get everything done......just do it! And then realize that you are only a diva in your own mind; the rest of us know that you are merely annoying. Can I get an Amen? Yeah, that's what I though.
There you have it. Have a great beginning to Pumpkin Month, y'all!

Friday, September 26, 2014


The church I am attending (Marion First Baptist) is in the process of being transformed. Through a series of eight sermons, the congregation is exploring how God wants to transform our health spiritually, physically, financially, relationally, emotionally, and vocationally. (There is another area that I am not recalling at the moment.) The sermon series uses Romans 12:1-2 as its key verse.

In the sermon on spiritual health, the following statement was made: "What we think influences how we feel. What we feel influences how we act." What a powerful concept! If we want change in our lives, it is not an issue of will-power or an emotional event. True change begins in the mind. We first have to change the way we think.

To illustrate this point, Dr. Hallmark had us look at the story of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15. In this familiar story we see a great change in the son's thinking. In verse 12, the son is most concerned about what is due him. His first words are "Give me!" By verse 19, the proof of his transformation is clear. "Give me" has been replaced with "make me." Rather than focusing on what he can get, the son seeks to find out how he can serve his father as an act of love for the forgiveness he had received.

This was the first time I had ever considered this parable in this light. I have to admit that it brought some conviction. I've enjoyed sitting in congregations for nearly a year with a "give me" attitude. I wanted to enjoy the services without making any type of commitment. I was being a free-loader.

That's no way to live a spiritually healthy life. For a season, I was experiencing some much needed healing and restoration. That season has passed, but I had gotten comfortable in my "give me" mentality. I wasn't necessarily saying "no"; I just wasn't permitting anyone to be aware of the abilities I had to offer.

Now I'm finding myself praying "make me" again. Show me how I can serve. Place me in the body as it pleases You, Lord. The proverbial pew has become too comfortable, so it's time to get up and get my hands involved in ministry again.

There has already been a little guilt to deal with. I've been unable to assist with some projects due to schedule conflicts, previous commitments, and Dad's health issues. Saying "no" is never easy for me. I immediately heard the accusing voice declaring that people are going to think I'm all talk and no commitment. I refuse to believe that to be the case. I won't allow unfounded guilt to steal my "make me" attitude. After all, I'm pursuing transformation one step at a time. It's past time for this caterpillar to break out of his cocoon and fly!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Summer of Doctor's Appointments

Summer is always a great time to fit in doctor's visits for the Geriatric Patients because my work schedule is less hectic. This summer, my focus was entirely on Dad. When he made the initial appointment to have his hearing evaluated after having avoided family encouragement to do so for nearly 5 years, I jumped while I had the chance. Little did we know then that this single visit would result in triple bypass surgery -- a surgery which quite possibly saved his life.

How in the world did we go from hearing issues to heart surgery? That's a lengthy story. Let me take you blow by blow through the past several months. (For all of you health professionals reading this, I am not claiming to be completely accurate in my statements; these are a layman's recollection of our experiences this summer.)

June 10, 2014 - Dad has his first appointment with Dr. Long at ENT Midsouth. We were referred to Dr. Long due to an extremely narrow ear canal that made it impossible to achieve a proper seal during his initial hearing evaluation. After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Long scheduled an auditory scan and referred us to Methodist Sleep Center for a re-evaluation of Dad's CPAP.

June 23, 2014 - Dad returns to ENT Midsouth for the auditory scan. Hearing loss is classified as moderately severe. Before fitting for hearing aids, Dr. Long wants to have an MRI completed to rule out any sort of tumor that might be causing his hearing loss.

June 30, 2014 - Our visit with Methodist Sleep Center is quite possibly the most important doctor's visit of the summer. While speaking with the doctor, Dad reveals that he has experienced mild chest pains and some shortness of breath after carrying groceries into the kitchen from the car. (This was the first that I had ever heard of these complaints.) Dad estimates that this condition has existed for nearly 2 years. As the doctor listens to Dad's chest, he notices what seems to be a heart murmur. Dad is referred to a cardiologist and is to have an echo cardiogram performed; the test is scheduled for late July.

July 10, 2014 - MRI ordered by Dr. Long is completed. Test returns with normal results. We will proceed with fitting of hearing aids.

July 31, 2014 - Echo cardiogram at Methodist University Hospital. Results suggest no problems with heart.

August 4, 2014 - Dad and I meet with Dr. Aven of Memphis Hearing Aid for initial consult. Devices are selected and ordered.

August 8, 2014 - Initial appointment with Dr. Kraus of Stern Cardiovascular Clinic. Dr. Kraus identifies the heart murmur, but isn't concerned by it. Nothing in the exam suggests a problem, but the complaints are not to be ignored. A calcium score and stress test are scheduled and prescription for nitroglycerine is given.

August 11, 2014 - Return visit to Memphis Hearing Aid to pick up devices and have them calibrated for Dad's initial use. We are to return at the end of August for follow up and fine tuning of the hearing aids. (As you will see, this return visit is still pending Dad's recovery.)

August 18, 2014 - Calcium score and stress test at Stern Cardiovascular. Dad completes 3:00 of slow walking on the treadmill before the test is stopped. The phone call I received that afternoon was what I most feared. Dad had completely failed the stress test, the EKG was off the charts, and there was significant lack of oxygen to the heart. A heart cath was scheduled for the following week. We were told to arrive at the hospital prepared to be admitted if the issue could not be resolved by the heart cath alone.

August 21, 2014 - I receive a frantic call from Mom that Dad had to be rushed to Stern Cardiovascular to have some blood work done to ensure that his liver and kidneys were healthy enough to undergo the procedure. If the labs were not completed on that day, the cath would be rescheduled.

August 26, 2014 - Heart cath at Baptist East. Dr. Kraus informs us that stints could not be placed to correct the heart issues. Four significant blockages existed and bypass surgery was necessary as soon as possible. Dad was admitted to the hospital immediately and began the process of allowing his blood to thicken so surgery could be performed.

August 28, 2014 - Dad undergoes triple bypass surgery that afternoon. Surgery goes smoothly from all reports.

Dad spent four days in cardiac ICU before transitioning to a step down unit. While recovering, Dad experienced a post-operative GI blockage, AFIB, and blood clots which lengthened his hospital stay. Mom was by his side during his entire stay with the exception of two nights that we convinced her to leave in order to get some rest until he was finally discharged.

September 19, 2014 - Dad is discharged from the hospital and returned home.

So the journey that Dad and I began in June is finally winding down some 15 weeks after it all began with a simple trip to the ENT for hearing aids! Neither of us expected it to take this turn in a million years. Even though we're both tired from running to see all of these doctor's, I don't think either of us regret any of it. Not only has it brought Dad the opportunity to enjoy many more years of healthy life, it also created a bond between the two of us that no one else shares. We've been through it together this summer.....and I'm thrilled to know that we will have many more years to continue making memories together!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hits and Misses (September 14-20)

Another week has come and gone. Here's a look back at the week that was...

  • DAD FINALLY CAME HOME!!! It's been a long summer and ended with a long hospital stay. On Wednesday, I'll share this summer's timeline that led to our recent hospital stay. We're just happy to have Dad home again where we can take care of his needs, ensure he gets the rest he needs, and enjoy time with him in the comfort of our home.
  • I love the Fall for many reasons, one of which is all of the new books that are released. I post release dates on my calendar to make sure I get the latest works by my favorite authors as soon as they are available. This week I picked up Ken Follett's novel, Edge of Eternity. This is the final installment in his Century Trilogy that I have thoroughly enjoyed so far. I'm hoping to finish my current book early this week so I can dive into Follett's depiction of the 1960s and 1970s.
  • On Friday, the first recital of the semester was a success. I assisted Dr. Stanley Warren, vocal professor at Union University, in a community recital featuring American songs. It was a fun program to play, a pleasure to prepare with Stan, and the subsequent luncheon was wonderful! It was definitely the way I like to get things started. Now I shift my focus to the three recitals scheduled for October.
  • This week saw three sessions of unsuccessful auditions for a high school cabaret that I have volunteered to do music for. We saw a grand total of four students. It's discouraging to have such a poor turn out. It's also poor timing since my mind is elsewhere with Dad's care right now. I'm following through because I made a verbal commitment, not because I'm actually interested in the production. Oh well....such is the life of the musician at times.
  • With all of the busyness of the past few weeks, I am finding that I have very little time to read at the moment. That really is a tragedy for me. I sense my stress level rising because I'm not devoting time to my favorite method of escapism. I'm hoping that things will turn around this week in this area, but I also know that I have to devote time to other things that have been neglected in recent weeks. We'll just have to watch and see how soon my reading life returns to a normal routine.
  • Prepping for Dad's return home was a challenge. There was so much uncertainty about when he would be coming home and what would be needed that it was impossible to do much advance preparation. I'm all about advance preparation; I don't handle flying by the seat of my pants very well. Now that he's home, the continued prep is even slower because his care is my primary concern and responsibility.
  • On Saturday, I got sent out to do the grocery shopping while Mom stayed home to rest. (As a side note, the geriatric patient went on a FIELD TRIP for ice cream with the grands while I was at the grocery. Yeah, I'm not gonna let that one go for a while....) I love to cook when I have a recipe to follow. I HATE shopping for fresh produce though. I don't feel as though I know what I'm looking for. With Dad's new diet restrictions, I was quickly frustrated as I compared labels without another set of eyes along to help think through the information with me. Not being able to find things in the grocery didn't help my mood very much either. Thankfully, a wonderful friend saw my frustration and came to my aid (even though we STILL haven't found purple hull peas in the supermarket!). 
There you have it! We're definitely expecting a good week here in the Geriatric Ward and wish you a blessed week as well.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Wearing the Wrong Pants

Despite my offers to handle things, Mom insisted on coming home for an afternoon while Dad was in the hospital to take care of the laundry. (I seem to have a vague recollection of pink t-shirts and underwear when I was in college that may explain her feelings about my laundry skills. The specifics seem to be fading from memory now....) Imagine my surprise when I discovered that my Mom is also susceptible to laundry mistakes.

It had been another long week filled with teaching, rehearsals, and daily trips to the hospital. When Friday finally rolled around, I was a bit perturbed that I had to conduct a student conference on a day I was scheduled to be off work. Heaven forbid that faculty appear on campus wearing anything less than business casual! On this particular Friday, I was impressed that I had managed to pull clothes from the closet that actually matched and got them on my body successfully. I barely remember getting dressed at all.

As the day progressed, I began to notice that I was having issues with my slacks. My heel was getting caught in the cuff. My belt was singed tightly against my waist, but the pants did not feel normal. I began to think that all of the busyness of the last few weeks had equated to some weight loss. When visiting the men's room, I had to check that the clasp was still in tact. My pants were entirely too loose.

As I was driving home, I decided it was time to check the tags and figure out what was going on. Upon inspection, I realized that I had been wearing my dad's pants all day long. Dad's waistband is four inches larger than mine! How in the world had this happened? Then it dawned on me...Mom had dealt with the laundry last weekend while barely able to keep her eyes open. She hung Dad's pants in my closet! After shaking my head at her mistake, I was very thankful that the slacks had stayed around my waist all day. A single tug caused by a missed step could have resulted in a breezy and embarrassing situation with my -- or Dad's -- pants gathered around my ankles.

It's safe to assume that I will be paying closer attention to the tags in all of my clothes for at least the next few weeks. And I'll smile to know that my potential wardrobe malfunction has not had the chance for a repeat performance.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Saying Thanks

The past few weeks have driven home the fact that sometimes words are insufficient. As Dad's recovery in the hospital appeared to begin winding down, my family and I reflected on the many expressions of kindness we had received from friends. We were overwhelmed by the compassionate care we received from the exceptional doctors and nurses. I found myself wanting to express my sincere gratitude to everyone, but somehow the mere words "thank you" seemed so insufficient.

Sending cards seemed to be the best solution I could find to come close to expressing myself. There's just something about the process of selecting a card and taking the few moments needed to put thoughts and emotions on paper that communicate your sincere feelings. Even though the words still fall short, the activity begins to express appreciation. My only regret is that it is simply impossible to contact every single individual that has positively impacted my family.

As I wrote my notes to friends, I found myself wondering why I only send cards when life's "big" events hit. Not only do the messages tell others what's on my heart, but they also become a type of prayer of thankfulness and blessing on the people I'm writing. Can you imagine the effect a card might have on a friend who receives it "just because"? Email is a quicker method of communication. Facebook and Twitter are much easier. Still, there's a special feeling we get when we receive a hand written message by snail mail. It required some effort. It took some time. It says "I am special."

What name just crossed your mind? Stop what you're doing and send them a card today. Tell them you are thinking about them.....I'm sure it will brighten their day!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hits and Misses (September 7-13)

Here's a look back at the week that was....

  • This week has been filled with making music. It's been wonderful to get back to a semi-normal routine and start to prepare for upcoming recitals.
  • It's also been good to live life with less pain. My visits to the chiropractor seem to be making a huge difference in my quality of life.
  • Another week in the hospital has been the pits. Just as it seemed we were overcoming Dad's GI issues, we learned at the end of the week that he has a blood clot in his left leg. I'm starting to wonder if we're ever going to catch a break.
  • Conferences with students who have made false accusations are never fun. What I really want to do is read them the riot act. Instead, I have to smooth things over with them. One of these days I truly hope to be out of this environment that instills an unreasonable sense of entitlement in young people.
  • I hate feeling frustration. As the week wound down, I found my frustration level rising. Things I had warned others about came to pass. People not communicating with each other led to my time being wasted. I have absolute certainty that the resulting issues will ultimately end up on my plate to deal with even though they were not originally my responsibility. When other people aren't interested in planning ahead, I get stressed because I know a crisis looms simply because adequate time wasn't left to deal with things in an appropriate manner.
  • I also despise going into a week facing a responsibility I really am not looking forward to. I tried to back out of this commitment a few weeks ago, but couldn't. Now I'm going into a long project that I have no desire to be involved in and I'm already looking for the escape route before the project has even begun. Sounds like the perfect formula for a really fulfilling experience for everyone involved, huh?
And there you have it! Here's hoping that this week is a much needed improvement.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Taking a Chance

Recently, Mom and I found ourselves having dinner together. We knew we didn't want fast food, but we didn't want to return to any of our regular spots either. I suggested heading to Chili's. Mom conceded and asked for my recommendation; I thought she would enjoy the country fried steak. I was thrilled to hear her comment on how good the food was as she ate!

As we left the restaurant, Mom shared that she had always steered away from Chili's because she assumed the food would be extremely spicy. Now she was pleased to find that her preconceived notions were not entirely true, but she never would have known that if she hadn't been willing to take a chance.

Since that night, Mom's comments have stayed on my mind. What wonderful things have I missed because of a faulty assumption on my part? How different might things be if I had dared to take a risk?

Why do I sometimes avoid making a decision with an uncertain outcome? I don't want to risk failure. I don't want to let others see a perceived weakness in me. I don't like feeling out of control. I like to be certain of the outcome before committing to a new undertaking. (I have a feeling I'm not the only one who feels this way either if we're all honest with ourselves.)

When I finally take the leap of faith, I learn something new about myself. Risk often leads to adventure and personal growth. The joy of fresh discovery only occurs when I dare to step beyond the familiar into the realm of the unknown. My true potential can only be fully realized when I am willing to risk failure. Taking risks is part of what makes life exciting!

What risk is presented to you today? Will you stop being thwarted by your self-perceived limitations and dare to find out what possibilities truly exist for you? Go ahead and take the may just find that the personal rewards are worth all the risk! Besides, you'll never truly know until you try.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Enjoying the Quiet

Since Dad has been in the hospital, I've not spent much time sitting at home. When I wasn't at the hospital, I was on the road or at the piano. I've been very tired as I fell into bed each night, but something else had seemed different, too. I was resting more soundly than normal and waking refreshed. I discovered that the noise in my life has been reduced tremendously because there were significantly fewer hours with a television blaring somewhere in the house!

I love a good television program as much as the next person. I make notations on my calendar so I don't miss the shows that I most enjoy. However, there is something wonderful in clicking off the noise and allowing yourself to be engulfed in the silence. I find that I am at peace in the quietness and can hear myself think.

I know the quiet won't last for long. My family feels that the television must be on whenever someone is home. Still, I have found that the silence has been a welcome haven during the uncertainty of Dad's recuperation. It has been in the silence that I have found assurance that I am not alone.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hits and Misses (August 31 - September 6)

Once again, this week has been dominated by spending time at the hospital as Dad continues to recover from surgery. Here's a brief look back at the week that was.

  • My family continues to be reminded of how loved we are. Friends and colleagues are asking about Dad's progress on a daily basis and offer words of support by phone, text, and email. We've received more offers for meal delivery than we were able to accept. We have been extremely blessed and encouraged by the multiple expressions of kindness.
  • Laughter and family are a tremendous medicine. Even though I hate that Dad is suffering, I am so thankful that I have such a tight-knit  family. This crisis has only strengthened our bond and made us more appreciative of our time together. If you've not experience a belly roll in a hospital room with family, you don't know what you're missing!
  • After a week of eating food from the hospital cafeteria and all manner of take-out, I was definitely looking forward to some quality home cooking. Even though it didn't work out quite as planned, a meal with Mom away from Baptist East was definitely just what the doctor ordered!
  • What blog post would be complete without a little bathroom humor? Without going into too much detail, Dad's recovery was hampered this week by a bowel blockage. There's just something funny (and slightly disturbing) about sending a text message to siblings announcing a significant BM! Their responses (complete with emoticons) just kept the awkwardness going. Ah, the joys of caring for geriatric patients!
  • I'm always amazed when students attempt to blame me for their technological problems. This semester has been full of such issues since my music appreciation class now uses a download card to obtain music instead of traditional CDs. These students struggle with basic literacy. Technological advancements in the classroom tend to be very difficult for them. 
  • I hate when machines begin to break. Earlier this week, the check engine light appeared on my car; I was relieved when it magically went off the next day. On Saturday morning, I sat down to watch a little television in the family room. The set came on and then the screen showed a black light that enveloped on itself. The TV won't come back on at all now. I have a feeling there's a purchase that will need to be made soon.
  • Hospital stays are not conducive to getting work done. With all the running I've been doing, I'm physically and emotionally exhausted as well as feeling like I've gotten behind in all my work. Now that Dad's recovery seems to be progressing again, I'm hoping to return to my normal routine again this week and get some much needed work done before I find myself in the proverbial weeds.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Stressed Out!

Life can be stressful sometimes. Issues pile up, we find ourselves completely unable to change things, and our head feels as though it could explode at any moment. A family member faces illness, problems occur at work, and nothing seems to be going right. Those we love turn into cranky monsters and people that should be helping are nowhere to be found. You feel powerless, deserted, and hopeless. Your stress level has reached it peak and you simply have to find ways to cope.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? While we all experience stress daily, these situations are not as common for most of us. We are totally "stressed out" and can't fathom having to add anything else to our already overloaded plates. As I write this post, I am coming down from the heights of being stressed out. While the experience is so fresh, I want to document some things I'm learning and want to make sure I remember the next time I'm "stressed out."
  • No one is intentionally adding to your stress. In most cases, the people we interact with know very little of what's going on in the other areas of your life. They aren't getting the full picture of what you're dealing with in that moment. It's important to take their cliched "just relax" comments with a grain of salt. Adding anger to the equation is only going to result in an explosive situation.
  • However, it is important to be honest with others. When a co-worker attempts to calm you with promises of a solution, it is perfectly acceptable to truthfully and rationally express your doubt and concerns.
  • Speak frankly with those who can offer support. Your supervisor wants you to perform at maximum capacity and knows you cannot do so if you are overwhelmed. After calming a bit, feel free to communicate your frustrations with your superior, outlining the steps you have taken to solve the problem to this point. By writing it out, you may see the solution yourself. If no solution is clear, ask for advice or support. Remember that your boss only looks good when you look good.
  • Accept situations beyond your control. While dealing with one of my major stresses at the moment, I learned that Dad unexpectedly needed to go to the doctor to have some blood work  done in preparation for an upcoming procedure. My initial response was not good; my day was further interrupted and something else had now landed in my lap. Somehow, sanity prevailed and I just took a deep breath. This issue had to have my immediate attention, so I just began to reschedule things. While my stress level wasn't immediately lowered, at least it wasn't going higher because of the unavoidable interruption.
  • Recognize the power of release. I had held things together (and held my tongue for the most part) while I was in public. Once I was alone in my room, I knew a release was necessary and I allowed myself the opportunity to let it go. Some people may need to throw a ball against the wall for release. Others may cry. Still others need to scream at the top of their lungs! The manner of the release is not the focus; it is simply important to let the emotions escape.
  • Pull away and recharge! I find that one of the most powerful tools I have in managing stress is to just be quiet and take care of myself. Whether you take a quiet walk or just climb into a nest of pillows, find a way to slow your pace and prepare to battle the stress tomorrow. Don't set a time limit for your escape either. If 45 minutes is enough, that's great! But give yourself permission to recharge until the next sunrise if necessary.
  • Slowly return to your work. Rather than diving into the deepest areas of stress, gently reintroduce yourself to the tasks at hand. I find it's helpful to mark off a few of the easy items on my to-do list first. Often the momentum of accomplishment carries over into more challenging tasks.
  • Accept offers to help. When people see our stress, they want to help if they can. Normally you also know whose offer is sincere and competent. Accept those offers when possible and get that task off of your plate so you can focus on another aspect of the job.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


I recently heard an outstanding message about the importance of waiting in the different seasons of our life. Because I seem to be in a perpetual state of waiting right now, the sermon especially spoke to my heart. I wanted to recount some of the points from the sermon here to keep them before my mind.

Firstly, waiting sharpens our focus. It's in the times that we find ourselves waiting that our attention is directed on God. As He draws us to Himself, we diligently seek Him and follow His direction. However, it is also in these times of waiting that our focus can become misdirected. When the waiting extends beyond our expectations, it becomes easy to instead focus on worldly voices. We become tempted to begin fixing things so we finally get a result. The only problem is that when we begin to focus on things other than God for our provision, we begin to be guilty of idolatry. No wonder the Scripture says that "I waited patiently on the Lord, and He turned to me and heard my cry for help." (Psalm 40:1, HCSB)

Our character is also developed during periods of waiting. Waiting rids us of those things that do not reflect Christ's character. Even though we may not like the waiting, this process prepares us for the blessing that God has in store for us. In one of the most meaningful lines from the sermon, the minister explained how God's waiting to act is actually an act of love since a loving Heavenly Father would not give His children a gift before they were prepared to receive it. Waiting makes sure that we are thoroughly prepared for God's plan for our life.

Lastly, waiting leads us to total surrender. As we wait, we realize that we are completely dependent on God. We are powerless to change our circumstances. It's in the times of waiting that we ultimately raise our hands in total surrender as an act of worship. When we realize we are powerless and acknowledge His authority, we finally release His power in our lives. Patiently waiting in contentment becomes an absolute act of worship.

Five years of waiting has been trying. I am so ready for the next chapter of my life to begin. Still, I am praying that God uses this waiting period to prepare me for what He has in store. I am walking in the faith that what He has in store for me is far greater than anything I could have ever hoped or imagined. He will reveal His plan for me in His perfect time. Until then, I'll continue learning to patiently wait.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hits and Misses (August 24-30)

This week has been dominated by our time at Baptist East for Dad's heart cath and subsequent triple bypass surgery. Here's a look at the highs and lows of this stressful week.

  • We were blessed with an incredible nursing staff at the hospital. Not only was their care for Dad exceptional, they were also quick to address the needs of my family. They gave tons of information in a manageable manner and looked for opportunities to lighten the mood for us. We have been most thankful for their kindness throughout our time at Baptist East.
  • The power of prayer was evident throughout the week. I will allow my family to share their individual testimonies, but as we watched Pop's rapid improvement, there was no doubt that the prayers being raised around the world (literally!) on his behalf were heard and answered. As the week came to a close and we experienced some frightening moments, my family once again felt the benefit of prayers lifted to the Heavens on our behalf.
  • We were also blessed to witness a relatively speedy recovery after surgery. We are thrilled that Dad did not spend a lot of time on the respirator this week. Despite a setback at the end of the week, we rejoice at how quickly his color returned after surgery. We are thankful that we have once again heard his wit and sarcasm while he was recovering in the ICU. Although we know that our road to recovery is not over, we are clinging to the hope that the progress we have witnessed will continue in the days and weeks ahead.
  • Waiting is always tough. My family felt so helpless as we sat nervously, waiting for the next update from the operating room on Thursday. It was made more manageable as we made connections with other families in the waiting area and were touched by multiple friends who sat with us through the tough hours and prayed with us as we were updated on Dad's progress. The tough job of waiting continues as Dad regains his strength in the ICU. 
  • To add insult to injury, I managed to catch a cold while visiting the hospital. My throat is sore, my voice is raspy, and my sinuses aren't quite sure what role they are going to take on this time around. As a result, I wasn't able to see Pop for myself until Saturday afternoon....and then only from a distance. I am doing everything I can to ensure that I don't spread my germs to family members caring for Dad.....and more importantly, to Dad himself. At the moment, I'm visiting Dad vicariously through Mom's updates and hope to be feeling better soon.
There you have it! On this Labor Day, we're spending another day in the Cardiac Waiting Room of Baptist East. Hug those you love a little tighter for me today.