Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Our ICU Christmas to Remember

Life is full of surprises and mysteries. My family had our fill of both this Christmas season, but let me back track to the week of December 11. My dad had just returned with my youngest brother, McKinley, from a road trip to Louisiana. Dad played piano at two church services that Sunday and did a little Christmas shopping with my mom. Nothing to see here, folks.

On Monday, Dad began complaining of some back pain and headed off to the chiropractor to see if an adjustment would do the trick. On day two of no back pain relief, Mom was convinced a trip to the doctor was in order. That visit on Wednesday, December 14 resulted in an immediate admission to the hospital due to elevated kidney levels. Certainly concerning, but kidney stones seemed to be the logical diagnosis and fit for the symptoms. As it turns out, kidney stones would have been ideal. Instead, an aggressive blood infection was discovered. Mysteriously, no entry point for the infection was found, but it took hold in a real scary way regardless.

On Saturday, breathing became difficult as other levels peaked and dipped which led to a move to the Critical Care (ICU) area. It was at this point, I could no longer be convinced to stay in NY and wait for my previously arranged Tuesday flight. Of course, in true NY fashion we had a snow storm that day which significantly delayed flights. I was able to get on an 11pm flight that landed me in Louisville (still two hours away) around 1am. My best friend from high school graciously volunteered to pick me up and drive me to the hospital once I arrived.

When I finally made it to the ICU at 3:30am on Sunday, December 18, Dad was wide awake. He hadn't slept for quite some time (over 24 hours) and was clearly in distress based on the screens displaying his stats, but he knew me and we were able to talk a bit though most of the conversation revolved around helping him escape.

The next day, Dad was intubated to assist with getting his breathing under control and allow his body to rest while the antibiotics for the infection began to work. It was easily the most difficult and scary period of time I've experience in my life. God revealed to me a totally new meaning to the verse in 1 Thessalonians instructing us to pray without ceasing. During this trying time, I felt the Holy Spirit wash over me and provide a peace that gave me strength to continue to petition God on behalf of my dad. My brother, Jordan, provided frequent Facebook updates to family and friends requesting prayer and a number of churches were also lifting up Dad. God heard our cry. I have absolutely no doubt.

After three days of intubation, the tube was removed. Dad could talk again, but he was incredibly weak and tired. Other issues surfaced over the next few days and a number of blood transfusions were necessary, but by Christmas Day stats were normalized, his feeding tube was removed, and he was even able to sit in a chair.

We experienced our own Christmas miracle this year. Dad will continue to receive the antibiotic for several weeks and will need extensive rehabilitation services to regain his strength and full independence, but God has performed a remarkable work in healing my Dad. As 2016 closes and 2017 begins, our family is incredibly grateful for all of the support, prayers, and concern shown for our family. Most of all, we are thankful for the miracle God performed for us.

Andrea :)

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