Our Christmas Miracle
It just occurred to me that a blog that started out as a breezy, humorous, decorating missive, has become anything but that. In retrospect, the last 4+ years have been as much about battling health issues as it has been about choosing paint colors and remodeling living spaces.
Most recently, our biggest struggle has been my 88-year old Dad’s illness. From November 25-December 28, he spent a total of 22 days in a major downtown Atlanta hospital, where a team of infectious disease specialists worked to save the life of an elderly man with stage 4 kidney disease (which severely limited treatment options), who was suffering from excruciating pain due to a bacterial infection in his spine, and abscesses in his back.
Atlanta is, under the best of conditions, a 90-minute car ride from Ellijay. Add in unpredictable traffic patterns & adverse weather conditions, and that commute time can double. Somehow, we were there to visit Dad 90% of the days that he was there. Greg did all of the driving, and tried to manage his workload, in between trips to and fro. He is so exhausted.
The worst part of the ordeal was visiting Dad, seeing him in pain, and being unable to help him. The pain management people were over-medicating him to the point that he was hallucinating, but the pain never abated. I cried a lot, and begged them to re-think his medication regimen.
The day before Christmas Eve, I sat and held his hand, praying that God would use our hands as a mechanism to allow healing to enter Dad’s body. Earlier that week I had started spraying Colloidal Silver into his mouth (an element that contains anti-bacterial & anti-viral properties); I continued spraying as he slept. I believe hat God blessed my actions that day.
On Christmas Eve, as I continued to wrap gifts, the phone rang. It was the palliative nurse from the hospital calling. She wanted me to know that it was time to arrange hospice care for Dad. The opinion of his care team was that Dad was tired…too tired to make a full recovery, and we needed ongoing care now that he was in “that state”. I asked her what state that was, and when she said, “well…”, it hit me like a brick. My Dad was going to die very soon! I completely lost it, and spent the hours before our trip to the hospital sobbing at the thought of him dying, still in pain.
When we arrived at the hospital, Dad was sleeping. The nurse said she couldn’t wake him up. I leaned over and said “hey, Dad”. He immediately woke up and said, “good, you found me!” He then proceeded to tell us that his pain was completely gone. He was totally lucid, and we had a great visit!
On Christmas Day, we had similar experience. Dad ate the home-cooked meal we brought him (he noted that his appetite was coming back!), and ate an entire piece of cheesecake for dessert. Sitting up in bed without any pain, he was even able to open his Christmas gifts. Jen and family came and visited Dad, before we all left for dinner at Benihana’s.
Yes, our daughter can now cross off a bucket list item, although we did not sing “Deck the Halls” during our meal. Riley, who is learning to sound out words, asked me how to pronounce our Japanese chef’s name, which was embroidered on his shirt. I looked and started laughing. My response? “Juan”! ;>}
Below is a pic of our hibachi chefs in training:
So, our Christmas came. It was very different, but we were able to find humor in our new “traditions”, and mostly, we all felt so blessed by Dad’s miraculous recovery.
The man who was pronounced nearly dead, was released from the hospital on Monday, 12/28. He had not been out of bed for over 2 weeks. When we arrived home, Dad was unable to walk. Greg had him lay on the floor just inside the door to the house. From there, he grabbed him under the armpits and literally dragged him into to his bedroom. Luckily, the path was all hardwood flooring, and there were no bumps or obstacles in the way. Yesterday (1/1/16), with the aid of a walker, he was able to walk from his bedroom to the living room, where he sat in a normal chair, and watched the first half of the UT-Northwestern Outback Bowl game. My Dad is amazing!
Thank you God! This was our best Christmas EVER!