Monday, March 3, 2008

The Call

Last Sunday morning we were startled awake by the sound of the phone. You know how when there's a sound that wakes you from a deep sleep and it takes a few seconds for your brain to catch up with you and identify what object is making the noise? That's how I felt. [Don't even ask about TOIAW, he's virtually useless when it comes to sounds in the middle of the night. I will be very nervous to leave a child alone with him if it involves a period of time when he might be sleeping.]

Well the call was from my uncle informing me my grandmother was taken to the hospital and that I should call my dad (my dad has a business cell phone and a personal one; only the personal one can make international calls and, of course, that's not the one he grabbed while walking out the door). I was so afraid of what he might tell me that I had TOIAW make the call. At that point, she wasn't doing very well at all and I don't think anyone thought she would live much longer. It was excruciating to sit here, so far away, and just pray and wait for news.

Well, the good news is she did survive. The bad news is she isn't doing very well, currently. After an intial (mis)diagnosis of congestive heart failure, it was discovered she has pneumonia. Receiving accurate updates is a problem at this point so I'm not really clear on what problems/complications she is having but she is having some. I know they had to intibate her early last week but she has been cleared to be removed from the ventilator. Grandma, however, panicks every time they try. This, in turn, causes her heart rate to sky rocket which carries it's own set of risks. She seems to have it in her mind that she cannot breathe without the ventilator although there is no way of knowing exactly what she thinks or feels since she cannot talk while on the machine. She writes notes but they're very brief and fragmented. If you remember, she did have a tumor in her lung in September and even though no further treatment was required, she did have part of her lung removed. Since then she has had a difficult time with her breathing. I love her to death, and we're a lot alike so I can say this, but she wasn't patient enough to slow down and take deep breaths through her nose like they taught her to do. Instead, she would take short gasps as if she is hyperventilating which make it even more difficult. I have a feeling that not properly learning how to breathe again is severely impeding her progress in getting off the ventilator. And, as I said, it's also psychological. I just don't know what to think or do.

I will be able to get a better feel for it all when I get there Thursday. I already had a trip scheduled for a wedding (hi, Krista!) and even though we looked into me leaving last week, I didn't (obviously). That was a tough decision but I think it was for the best since it looks like she will be in the hospital for quite some time and if I had gone earlier, I would have returned earlier.

Oh, and my grandfather (on the other side of the family) is having surgery on the 13th and I want to be there to help my other grandmother as well. My Papa's surgery is the same one I mentioned in this post but he's just now getting around to deciding he wants to have the procedure. He's a little stubborn like that. My grandma told me he wanted to have it in December while I was home and since that wasn't possible, he scheduled it for my March trip. I'm kind of his favorite but don't tell my brothers.

Wow. I was doing pretty well until I typed all this out and now I feel rather overwhelmed! I'm going to busy myself with housework to take my mind of it. I keep telling myself that worrying cannot and will not change anything. Paul said it best in his letter to the Philippians (4:6-7), "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I also love The Message version, "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." Hallelujah!

I know I still owe you all a post on Barcelona which I promise to provide before I leave. It was amazing, by the way! And, on an unrelated but happy note, when my period begins (which is soon, TMI?), it will mark the cycle before the IVF cycle which is the cycle in which you begin the treatment and preparation so that's least it is to me!

New life. Old life. It's all a cycle. A beautifully orchestrated cycle and a brilliant adventure.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Rachel - so sorry to hear about your grandma. I'll be keeping you all in my prayers...

I know how hard it is to see somebody that's been such a big part of your life struggle. You wish you could do something, but you feel so helpless.

Hang in there...