It seems like a good time to update. I am nearly 72 hours home…. I believe that calculation is correct. Today is what…. Thursday? I believe that makes three days. But I could be wrong. Time feels fuzzy at the moment.
My transition to home has aligned with the trend of this whole process. It has been pretty darn miraculous. My antibiotics are not causing any issues in my body. That alone is cause for celebration. This response to antibiotics is unprecedented in my body, so we celebrate once again the mighty hand of God protecting me as we move forward. I have not passed out once since being home. Once again, this is amazing, considering that at my healthiest I tend to hit the floor at least three times a week. My heart rate has been elevated, but I am for the most part, not uncomfortable. I have been able to sit outside and watch the kids play, take pictures of them, cuddle, read, and enjoy some meals with my family. Honestly, considering my recovery curve last time I experienced lung collapse three years ago, this is day versus night. Three years ago, when I came home from the hospital, I couldn’t stand, bathe, or eat, and I was absolutely miserable. Honestly, it seems to me that I feel better than I did before the sepsis hit. Another praise is that in my absence, Jordan and Nancy (his mom) set up a beautiful routine in our household, so coming home has been peaceful and fluid.
As I reflect on my time in the hospital, I feel compelled to share one story, as it points straight to Jesus. On my last day in the hospital, they transferred me to a regular room (I could stand up and go to the bathroom on my own—-WHAT?!?!? So much freedom). The afternoon nurse was wonderful. She was attuned, compassionate, and helpful in my transition. The evening nurse was a little bit more difficult. He was in his early twenties, came in, mumbling an introduction and clearly miserable. He was not happy to be there, and he made it crystal clear. He wrapped my IV site so that I could get a shower, which was long awaited and delightful, by the way. I was to shower, and he would change my sheets and clean up my room. I felt the urge of the spirit to sing in the shower.
It seemed risky—using precious oxygen to sing while doing something that involved much shaking, heart-racing, and discomfort. Anyone who has had an extended stay in ICU knows what I am talking about. The simplest tasks become nearly impossible when one’s body has been unmoving in a bed for nearly two weeks and still fights a near-deadly infection. But it felt urgent. I sang confidently and loudly “Reign Above it All” and “Waymaker”. I also prayed for my downtrodden nurse. After I emerged from the shower, the nurse gave me a genuine smile, finally looked me in the eyes, and very kindly showed me how to reconnect my leads for the EKG machine. He kindly told me a simple mnemonic device to know which lead to attach to which sticker. I could see a shift in his heart, just from before my shower. Hurting people are everywhere. When we lay down expectations and offense, we are free to overflow with compassion, and this happens when we practice abiding in Christ, as Jesus shares in John 15.
Look at what God did!
In regards to prayer requests, please pray for the kids. While they are thrilled that I am home, they are seizing this opportunity to push limits and try to shift the schedule that Jordan so diligently established. While we understand that this is completely normal and are seeking to show compassion and patience, we also want to present a united front with firmness and appropriate discipline so that the kids can have this very necessary structure during this strange season. Pray for Lily’s sweet little heart. My first night home, I curled up into her bed next to her, and she poured out all her anxieties on me. My six-year-old asked, “Mommy, what if something like this (the COVID-19 social distancing rule) happens when I am in high school? What will we do then? My work will be so much harder. What if I can’t keep up?” We spoke about why I named her Lily, about Matthew’s words in chapter six regarding how God clothes and adorns the Lilies of the field, that they don’t have to labor or spin, and how much more God will take care of us moment by moment? So we talked about God giving us just enough for this moment, and trusting Him with the moments that come later. We can be obedient now, but we can’t control the outcome. This concept is difficult for adults, and my insightful six-year-old is grappling with it right now. Pray that Lily’s heart is filled with peace, and that Jesus comforts her anxious thoughts. My mid-line is doing okay. It is incredibly itchy, but that is my biggest complaint, so I’m doing great. Jordan has quite a bit on his plate, so pray for his stress level as he continues to care for us all. Also, Nancy is home with a headache today. Pray for her, as she has poured out herself so selflessly for our family.
You all have blessed us so much—With your prayers, with your gifts financially and materially, with your kind words and support, with food, and with your presence. Thank you for being the Body of Christ for us in our time of need. There are no words for our gratitude.
For those who are looking for ways to give, I need a haircut. Doing my hair might be the most difficult task of the day. I have unbelievably thick, naturally curly/wavy that also needs to be thinned so that my arms don’t fall off while I try to dry it. If you or someone you know cuts hair and is willing to come by, I would be so grateful! Lily also needs some new spring clothing. She literally grew an entire inch in the last week, and all of her shorts are booty-shorts! I would say she is a girl’s size 7 or 8 (I’m not sure how sizing works). With that said, Elijah is also busting out of his clothes. I would put him at a boy’s size 7 or 8 as well. Financially, as things are shifting every day, we are not entirely sure exactly what we need as medical bills come in. If you have ideas, please feel free to contact us as well. We have been richly blessed by the drop-and-runs of those who have given in the moment as we have expressed need.
We pray that you are as blessed by this experience as we have been. Since arriving home, I feel as if scales have fallen from my eyes. The world is bright, the Spirit is close, and God is on the move in fresh, new ways. If it is possible to be thankful for a 12-day ICU stay, I would say that I am indeed grateful for how God has manifested Himself through this season. I don’t recommend spiritual retreats in the ICU, traveling through the valley of the shadow of death, but it has been that for me.
I pray that you are holding to hope, wrapped in peace, and experiencing the shelter of His wings today.