Friday, March 24, 2006


Life at 86 has its ups and downs. One day you are feeling pretty good, getting around fairly well, and life is pretty good. The next day one part of your anatomy begins to scream for attention, you can barely walk, and you get to make a run to the emergency room.

We have been so blessed that my father in law has done so well since his hospitalizations in October and November. I truly believe that all of the prayers that have been offered up on his behalf have made a big difference. In November we were told that his kidneys were only functioning at 32%. At the time, the doctors did not seem to think that it was likely to get better. The kidney function test run in the last couple of weeks showed functioning at 60% - almost normal for his age! "Mona" (our nickname), the amazing medical machine that allows Evelyn and Gene to check his vitals every morning and send the data to the doctors via the phone lines, has been showing fairly stable life signs and an oxygen reading that is within the target range.

Last night, Gene's leg got very painful. The prescribed pain med did not dull the pain enough for him to get comfortable. The inevitable "panic" that pain often brings creates its own cycle - you feel excruciating pain, your body tenses up, your anxiety level increases, you move to get more comfortable, feel more pain, your body increases the tense muscles, the anxiety level increases . . . . . you get the picture. So after trying to get the feet up, a gentle massage of the painful areas, attempts to get him to sleep, a call to the doctor on call, the application of moist heat - when none of these worked - we managed painfully to get him into the car, out of the car, and into the emergency room.

Thankfully, the emergency room is relatively quiet after midnight. They got him into one of the rooms fairly quickly. A sonogram, blood work, and a cat scan did not reveal anything helpful to the doctors. While the morphine did not work immediately, by morning, I am thankful to say he is resting peacefully again. We have some theories from the doctor as to what is going on. For now, the hope is that after being observed until in the morning, we will be able to get him back home tomorrow.

I found that I got my best "rest" meditating on familiar Christian songs - those thankful ones. "For all that you've done I will thank you . . . . ." "This is the day, this is the day that the Lord hath made . . . I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad in it," etc. As I tried to dose in upright chairs, these words and tunes kept my mind occupied and somewhat free of anxiety. Henry found a more comfortable waiting area - and when it was my turn, I lay down on the sofa and once again began my song mantras. I feel pretty deeply asleep even though the sofa was a little short. When we finally got Gene to a regular hospital room, the reclining chair allowed me to finish my "night's" sleep. At 11:30 today, I feel much more rested than I deserve.

And the good news, both Gene and Evelyn are sleeping pretty soundly in the room next to me! Thank you, God!

1 comment:

Karen said...

So glad to hear that things went okay.

Debi had her baby last night while I was sleeping, so that's all I know right now... :-)