So, I’ve got this ‘list’ of people I meant to call back today, and just haven’t got to it.  Not so much that I couldn’t as much as I chose to do other stuff.  I worked in the morning, and in the evening played some video games with Ty, and watched a movie with Minnie before bed.  I’m sorry I’m not real chatty on the phone or otherwise, I know I should be, but… Well, I’ll add it to the list of things that this family is working on.

Minnie is working on ‘being tough’ even though she’s kind of fed up with going into the O.R.   We talked tonight about how its necessary, and also that these next couple trips in are not nearly as invasive as before.  Last time she went in, they didn’t close (sew) her up.  Instead, they installed a wound vac which involves placing some special dressings in an open wound and connecting a vacuum, which allows them to remove the petri dish that was there before. It also means that the incision can’t dehis.  Sort of a preemptive move.  The idea, is we can continue with antibiotics, and clean out and irrigate the wound and around the spine every 3-4 days to eradicate the infection.  Once the infection is cleared, she can be closed back up.   She has several catch-22’s going on.  It seems very likely that her gut somehow seeded (bacteria moved from the intestines to the blood) this infection.  So, the possibility for recurrence seems likely, which means she may have to have the rods removed one day, since they could become a colonization stronghold.  This means more immediately that her intestinal health is pretty important.  Having general anesthesia every 3-4 days is pretty much the opposite of what you want for intestinal health.  Her Iron levels are low which would explain why peripheral blood flow seems poor (cold hands/feed/legs), and blood flow is what takes that IV antibiotic to get to the infection, but…  iron supplements will cause more trouble with motility in the gut.  Anesthesia causes everything to sort of ‘fall asleep’, which is no bueno, but also means her appetite is diminished (although she did get hungry today) which also doesn’t jive well with immune response.  It didn’t help that the g-tube feed she got earlier today all came back up.

There is also symptoms from the wound, infection, and lack of bowel movement.  Fever, bloating , pain, etc.  We’re trying to find a balance between comfort and protecting her liver/kidneys, and keeping in mind that it seems that with several of these things if we treat one thing, we raise risk/problems with another thing.

I was tempted to post pictures of Minnie’s back, but after some thought on it, I don’t think I will.  If you’re interested in seeing how the wound vac works, take a look at this video showing how to apply/change a wound vac.  Keep in mind that this is not Minnie, that Minnie’s wound is the length of her back, and also that if your squeamish, you should pass on the video.

So, I mentioned that we’re working on some things…  Minnie is being tough.  Tyler, today learned how to ‘put on a good face’ now, and cry in the hall later (critical parenting skill).  He’s doing a really great job so far of keeping upbeat, and showing loving kindness to his sister.  Rachel is working on maintaining a good attitude and sanity (most women would be quackers in half the time in the hospital.)  She’s doing a great job too.  I can tell she’s really tired, but she is keeping it together really well.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to relieve her long enough to give her the recharge she needs.  I’m working on making sure my words are uplifting to my wife.  Its all to easy for me to point out what could be done different/better, and never say anything about the successes, and its something I know I need to do better on.  I’m also working on talking with friends and family better.  I know I tend to be terse and keep to myself, as part of my ‘no drama’ policy, but…  Life has a way of undermining our little ‘policies’, and we have to learn to improvise, adapt and overcome.

Let me share with you what God has been showing me today.  I’ve been faced with some scary stuff, had a miniature breakdown at work, I’m tired and miss my family, miss ‘normal,’ and what I see and hear all around me is that I need, and can, know joy in the middle of it.  Now, its important to understand that Joy is not the same as happiness.  Happiness is great, but never lasts.  Joy on the other hand, may not have that spiking high, but like a wellspring is a sustaining flow.  I listened to an aspiring Opera singer at the hospital today, with a simply beautiful instrument, I looked outside and awed at His creation, and realized that God is good (all the time.)  Its tough, because Minnie is usually our wellspring of joy, but she’s starting to get a bit discouraged.  Her expectation was to be done with this by now, and she wants to feel better.  God is reminding me that Minnie has a source for this joy (and if you know her at all, you know the joy I’m talking about), and that He wants to give me the very same joy, not just for my enjoyment (pun?), but also as a responsibility.  There are so many people that need His joy in their lives.  Right now, my girl needs that joy again, and I’ll do my very best to reflect it for her, but also the so many people we’ve met here and will meet.  People in your life need that joy too.  Folks are facing financial hardships as they look for new work, they are facing relationship catastrophes with family and loved ones, they face addiction and disappointment.  The world offers so much sadness…  They need His joy.  If you’ve met Minnie, you know her joy.  That very same joy is yours to have too, and its also your responsibility to show it to others.  Don’t forget to.  Make sure you go to the Original Wellspring, and get a daily dose.  You’ll run out of gas if you try to do it on your own.

Please continue to pray.  We’re at a point where we need a lot of things to align simultaneously.  We’re seeing some of the staff here feeling a bit discouraged.  We’re ready for a big shot of joy, preferably with a big change of health.  Please ask boldly for Minnie to recover soon.

Nehemiah 8:10

10Nehemiah told the people, ” Enjoy your good food and wine and share some with those who didn’t have anything to bring. Don’t be sad! This is a special day for the LORD, and he will make you happy and strong.”

It Is Well with My Soul

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.