In case you haven’t heard, we did manage to finally get Kathryn home on Tuesday night. She was softly and peacefully glowing as her siblings surrounded her and poured their love over her all evening.
We are incredibly thankful that we are home, but the road is hard, and we are beginning to see how long it’s going to be.
“When God wants to move a mountain, He does not take a bar of iron, but He takes a little worm. The fact is, we have too much strength. We are not weak enough. It is not our strength that we want. One drop of God’s strength is worth more than all the world.”
Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899)
“Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.” Isaiah 41:10
This quote from a year ago popped up in my Facebook memories. (I did some quick research, and worms can pretty much totally change the habitat of an area; not sure they could take down an entire mountain, but the point is pretty clear.)
It’s a fitting quote for this day, and I’m feeling it deeply in my worm-like self this morning. The fatigue is absolutely life-sucking as we try to keep caring for Kathryn. Her post-op care is one of the hardest things we’ve ever done (especially right in the middle of on-going-but-stalled construction in the house), and I really can’t describe how tired we are.
The wound cleanings/dressing changes are so painful for her on her open incision, and my heart is tired of watching her hurt.
Yesterday morning, she slept until about 7am. By 7:30, Scott and I were working on cleaning her up and preparing her for her first shower since her surgery. It took five to six of us working almost constantly until after 1pm to get her cleaned, her hair washed, her abdominal wound dressing changed, feed her, etc.
Here is a precious picture of Kathryn surrounded by several of her sisters during her difficult shower yesterday. I watched them doting on her and encouraging her and saw her respond to their love with smiles, and with courage to push herself through the pain. And it brought tears to my eyes as I compared this amazing picture to what her life would be like now if she had gone to the institution she was in the process of being moved to when we adopted her. It’s more than I can bear to think about.
After we finally got her ready for the day, one of these sisters gave her a manicure. She was thrilled by this.
We passed through her first day in kind of a haze of diaper and dressing changes, doling out medications, and comforting her when she was in pain. Thankfully, she is sleeping well once we get her in bed at night.
This morning, she was awake by 6am, and we started the whole process over again. As we were cleaning her wound this morning, she was whimpering and trying hard not to cry. We are dog sitting long-term for our son and daughter-in-law, and in the middle of this process, their sweet dog, Silke, positioned herself so that her face was resting against Kathryn’s face. Kathryn reached up and held onto Silke’s soft fur. What is it about schnauzers that make them such great comfort dogs? We have seen this behavior toward Kathryn in Silke before and in our own schnauzer, Godfrey.
Anyway, this quote reminded me that it’s not only okay to be weak and exhausted, but that it’s even good because it drives me back to my Father for the strength needed to get through the day. I will strive to embrace my lack of strength today and drink in great gulps of God’s.
Ways you can pray:
- healing of Kathryn’s abdominal wound
- our ability to lean on God for the strength we need
- that the roadblocks preventing the completion of this construction project would miraculously be removed so that this can be finished before we have to go back into the hospital with Roslyn on September 19. I need to get the kids’ schooling started, but I can’t even access my materials because they are all packed away until this construction can be completed and we have a place to organize them.
- patience as we care for our other children’s needs in the midst of fatigue-induced brain fog
- rest; we are very tired and need some calm days and some good stretches of sleep at night
Thanks so much for continuing to walk alongside us.
Continuing to pray for your sweet family.
Those pictures of your girls doting on their sisters bring tears to my eyes. I can only imagine your exhaustion is at an all time high. I remember all the dressing changes for Violet when she was hospitalized with 3rd degree burns at age seven. They were so painful to do knowing how much pain we were inflicting on her. I am praying, aching, crying with you and remaining hopeful that our God will heal Kathyrn and strengthen you and Scott.
Thank you so much, Laurel. I have never heard about Violet’s burns. 😥 But we have cared for a child after those surgeries for burns, and we were commenting just this morning that cleaning this wound reminds us so much of that. It’s terrible. Love you!