How perfectly that word describes the jumble of days that has been this week… “the period between daylight and darkness.”
Thank you for hanging in there with me this week. I realize now that I dropped off the planet in the middle of conversations, appointments, and even in the middle of uploading a photo to Facebook! I know many of my friends and family members were wondering what on earth was going on and why I wasn’t answering.
This weekend my respiratory drive decided to take a vacation, and my family found me unresponsive. For my medical peeps, I had a GCS of 3 when paramedics arrived. I spent the first part of the week intubated in the ICU.
In the haze between sedation and full consciousness I was so blessed to know that some of my dearest people were there with me praying over me, reading scripture over me, and just holding space for me on some very scary and unsteady ground. Unable to talk, all it took was me scratchily scrawling out a name or two on a piece of paper, and my people came running to be by my side. I am so incredibly thankful.
My medical team worked hard with me, but it was obvious my body was tired. Each time they turned off the ventilator to try to get me off of it, my chest remained silent, and they had to turn it back on. What changed this was overhearing my husband ask what the next step would be, and seeing my doctor motion to his neck that I would get a tracheostomy. I scraped up what fight I had left in me and scribbled out “try breathing again.”
For the next hour I breathed, but it was like trying to come up for air when the pool cover has already been put back on. I fought and fought, but eventually I heard the doctor order the medications be drawn up for rapid sequence intubation; they were getting ready to intubate me again. Somehow in that moment of defeat I sucked in a thin stream of air, and then another. Little by little I was able to take each next breath on my own until I was finally resting back against my pillow, only a bipap mask supporting me.
I made it very clear to my doctors that my daughter was graduating high school on Thursday, and I would be leaving the hospital by then with or without their blessing! Thankfully my team was very supportive and worked hard to get me out of there in time. That seemed an impossible feat at the beginning of the week, so my heart was overjoyed to be able to celebrate with my girl.
I was there to listen to her beautiful singing voice peal across the arena in perfect harmony, and my heart sang. I was there to hear her name announced as she walked forward for her diploma, and my pride thumped swollen in my chest. I was there to giggle at the cute, triumphant face she made as she walked by the cameras with her prize in hand, and my spirit soared. The joy of the Lord is my strength, and he truly has shepherded me through some of the deepest valleys and the highest mountaintops this week.
I also delighted in the fact that my little sister and a few of her littles drove out for the graduation and I was able to spend time loving on them.
Today a nurse and doctor from hospice came out to my house and assessed my condition and the things that have declined for me over the past few months and weeks. We talked in depth about my goals and my family’s needs, and the reality of the days ahead of me. They interjected hard conversations with compassion and kindness and humor, and in the end as they admitted me under home hospice care, I felt as though I had been given a great gift rather than something to grieve.
This will be the way forward for now, and we are grateful for the help to better manage things that have gotten frightening and difficult, like my weakness and breathing. I am grateful for this roll in seasons that brings these beautiful blue skies and warm breezes; ready to soak them all up with my people! And I am thankful for each of you who have faithfully walked us along this journey in so many ways. ♥️