“The happiest, sweetest, tenderest homes are not those where there has been no sorrow, but those which have been overshadowed with grief, and where Christ’s comfort was received. There is a blessing sent from God in every burden of sorrow.”
~ J. R. Miller
I am home! I made it home Friday night, but I have been so tired, and my care is so time-consuming, that I haven’t managed to update everyone.
This is how our day starts and how it ends — Scott infusing my medications. It takes two hours each morning and two hours again in the evening. Add in a shower, which takes forever with the abdominal drain in place and a PICC site to protect from water (and zero energy in my body), and that pretty much defines our life right now.
I have worried a lot about how so much hard, sad, and stressful stuff might be affecting our children’s joy and feelings of safeness and stability. Especially because it’s been going on for almost two full years now without much of a break.
I worry in a way that proves to my heart that I’m not trusting God as he writes our story. The quote from Miller above is such a good reminder. He is a good and faithful author and father, and he alone knows what’s best for the shaping of my children’s character and the preparation for whatever he has ahead for each of them. It doesn’t matter that I don’t understand. It doesn’t even matter that I often think he is wrong. I want to learn better to look at him with the trusting innocence of a child who is cared for and loved more dearly than hearts or minds could ever even imagine. I fail daily. But he never gives up on me.
Another CT was done on Friday, and it showed still more infection in the large abscess that the abdominal drain was not taking care of. So they irrigated with tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. This is also referred to as a “clot buster.” The drain has been working well since then, and that, combined with all of the antibiotics, are finally making a noticeable difference.
I’m fighting with nausea now from the one oral antibiotic I’m taking, but it has mostly stayed mild, so far. My pain is much better today, and I have slept deeply here at home for the past two nights. We are on the right track. It’s a long and slow process, I’m just completely shocked at how weak I am (it’s like even just breathing burns up energy I can’t spare), and I won’t be back to normal for quite awhile, but we are moving forward every day now. It has taken a very long time and lots of rest breaks to get this update written, and I think I’m just now beginning to fully realize how sick I’ve been. I’m thankful for the teams who are caring for me at West Chester Hospital. For the most part, they’re great listeners who value our input, and each team is working well with each of the other teams. And my surgeon is wonderful. I really love her.
The children are mostly doing well. Kathryn was so, so happy to have me home, and so were all of the others. Even as a mostly useless blob on the sofa, I’m still a stabilizing factor for all of them, and it has filled my heart to overflowing just to be here with them all again.
As Scott left the house Friday morning to head back to the hospital, Kathryn was teary-eyed, and her sweet mouth was turning upside down. Her sisters, so well-trained in heading off dangerous emotional meltdowns for her, came to the rescue immediately. One of them had been searching for ideas for just such a time as this.
Kathryn loves Princess Leia from Star Wars, so Raiza had a kitchen activity all ready. She and Kathryn made these adorable Princess Leia cupcakes. Kathryn loved this and calmed right down when they told her the plan for the day. They even made these pretzel light sabers. (Please ignore the pantry door in the background that still hasn’t been painted white; those kinds of projects don’t even make it onto our very long to-do lists!)
Once again, the older kids were available to give this kind of attention to all of the younger ones because of the meals that were provided. I am at such a loss as I try to find a way to express how huge this gift was and how deeply grateful we are. But there really are just no words to express it accurately.
Scott and I spent several hours on Saturday, talking through some behavioral issues that had occurred toward the end of my hospital stay. It was clear that these all stemmed from worry and stress about my safety, my absence, and the uncertainty of how long I would be gone. It was a long, twisty, and exhausting talk, but while resting in our family room and hearing my babies open up their hearts, I was fully aware that this was exactly what my own heart had been longing for. It was good and healthy, and I breathed in the beauty of my life in those moments.
We continue to pray for big answers to prayers for some big needs. But God also continues to provide only what is needed a bit at a time. We reached a very critical place financially this week and weren’t sure we would be able to buy groceries. A gift that showed up yesterday will carry us about another week and a half now. We are praising him. Thank you for all of your prayers for our family.
It’s so great to be home.