I just wanted to pop on a give a quick update of what’s been going on around here. I haven’t had any time to blog because we’ve pretty much been living at the hospital these days. But my dad has always loved reading my blog (and forwarding the link to his friends) so I know he’d want me to continue documenting and recording.
(As an aside, in the last email I got from him, before his surgery on December 12th, he asked me to start using my good camera and quit taking pictures with my cell phone because they’re “too grainy.” I started to reply back that that’s the point of Instagram…but then deleted it because OH NEVERMIND.)
Today is the 29th day that my dad has been in ICU in critical condition.
We’ve been given a grim outlook, but we are still very much hopeful and praying for restoration of his health. We are fully aware that there’s only a sliver of a chance that will happen on this earth, but we know that when he wakes in Heaven, he will be restored to health.
He’s been unresponsive to us, or any kind of stimulus for the last four days or so.
We’ve lost count of how many phone calls we’ve gotten from the hospital in the middle of the night, saying that he’s taken a turn for the worst and to come quickly.
Now we’ve been told that for the next 24 to 48 hours, they are going to be aggressive, but if he continues to decline, modern medicine needs to back off.
We are comfortable with this direction. It’s what we know our dad would want.
For the last 29 days, my sister and I have learned more about this machine than we ever wanted. In fact, we’re practically experts. Go ahead, ask us anything. They may be giving us honorary medical diplomas soon.
On several occasions, my sister has been asked if she’s a nurse. (She’s not.) But she did give a Gastroenterologist some information that changed the route of my dad’s treatment. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that you MUST advocate for your ill family members in a crisis situation like this.
In the meantime, Shawn has left to return to Luxembourg but Hannah and I are staying here in the US for the time being. We are well aware that Shawn may need to turn right back around and come home, but he has to get back to work. It’s just the way it is.
I’ve just hit 30 weeks in this pregnancy, and while I hate the idea of being on a different continent from my husband, I know it is what we must do right now.
And I’m surrounded by friends and family that are taking such good care of me.
I’ve seen my OB here in the US and he is comfortable with me flying until 35 weeks. That gives me some reassurance because we know that by then, my dad will either be defying odds and on the way to recovery, or in heaven with the Lord. We also know that the timing of all of this is not up to us, so we must prepare for every scenario.
And since we don’t know when we’ll be returning to Luxembourg, we’ve enrolled Hannah in a Pre-K class here in the US. She starts tomorrow. The director of the school has been so kind and flexible with us – knowing that she may only be here a week, or it could be until the end of the school year, depending on how my dad does and what happens before I hit the 35 week mark.
There’s a lot that’s up in the air right now.
And it’s exhausting and overwhelming, but we are managing.
We have so, so many people looking out for us – nearly every single day, there has been a meal left for us on my parents’ front porch. Neighbors have shoveled the driveway. Cards and flowers have been sent. Our cell phones, emails and Facebook messages have been bombarded daily with offers to babysit, bring food to the hospital, take care of things around the house, or just to check in on us.
My friends in Luxembourg have been simply wonderful – offers to bring meals to Shawn when he returns, emails and texts to check in on us, and even making phone calls for me because quite honestly, I just don’t have the energy to speak French right now.
While all of this sounds so depressing and grim, please know that there have also been some really good times.
Last week, Shawn and I retrieved all of our baby gear out of storage and his company picked it up and shipped it to Lux for us. We didn’t bring any of it with us when we originally moved because, you know, WE WEREN’T GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER BABY. Ha ha ha ha.
Anyway, I came across this little outfit that Hannah wore home from the hospital and packed it up for our next baby to wear home from the hospital. I can’t believe that will be in about 10 weeks or less.
I don’t know if it’s the exhaustion, the emotions or what…but for some reason when we’ve been at the hospital for long hours, we get to acting goofy or start laughing at really inappropriate things. And then we take pictures like this:
And finally, because my husband ALWAYS makes me laugh…
The night before we left Luxembourg for the US, he came home with a bag of groceries.
”Hey, I got some snacks for the plane tomorrow. Will you carry this sausage in your purse?”
”Uh, no. It smells awful and it’s disgusting.”
”Come on. I’ll eat it before we get to the US. The Europeans won’t even notice the smell.”