A year ago today, January 16, we almost lost Joanne. Her inter-cranial pressure was through the roof and her brain wash literally "smooshing" itself. I have been up most of the night flashing back to that day, what we talked about as a family, about our prayers and the hours we sat at Joanne's bedside willing her ICP numbers to come down. I know I have never been so afraid in all my life. And for some reason that fear visited me again last night. I was gripped by it.
I have not spent a lot of time looking backwards. Nor do I spend a lot of time looking very far forwards. I do pretty well at staying in the moment, focusing on "today" and what we need to do to make it through. That is enough. But for whatever reason this day has taken me back a year.
I want to think ahead. I remember one of the things that Joanne and I used to do a lot was dream for the future. We would talk about what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go. We talked about the girl's future and what we hoped for them. And it was always good, encouraging and exciting to have these talks. We don't really have them any more. Our hope is that we make it successfully through another day.
However on the drive back from Winter Park yesterday we did a little dreaming. Joanne wants a vacation. We talked about where we might go and what we might do and how we would pull it off. At this point Joanne can't spend too much time in the car before she really starts to feel a lot of pain and traveling on a plane would be a nightmare--I just have visions of TSA patting down Joanne! Besides that, sitting on a plane wouldn't be much better than sitting in the car. And Joanne hates to fly anyhow.
But that's not the point. The point is that it was really fun to look forward a little ways, to dream a little. I think we need to do more of that.
As far as looking back goes, it is all divided into two groups for me: hospital and home. Joanne was in the hospital from January 11 to May 15. So those are the "hospital days." Then there is after-hospital. The hospital days were the hardest for us. I remember snapshots from each of the three facilities that Joanne was in. I will not go into that much, but I have distinct mental picture's from each one; an image or two that are burned into me.
Being home is always better. There have still been plenty of challenges, lots of hurdles and lots of hard work on Joanne's part. But at least we are under our own roof and life has become a new kind of normal.
Last thing: We couldn't have survived this last year with our friends and family. There is not enough space to express the gratitude that I have. I will single out Gran and Papa for a minute here: their presence, support and hard work has saved the day. Without them we would be up a creek without a paddle. And there are my folks and the love that they have poured out on us. And there are special friends (I won't name names but you know who you are) who have been with us from that first day in the hospital and continue to walk with us. And then there are the countless other friends who have been the source of so much prayer and encouragement. The cards, calls, text messages, emails, and facebook posts have been overwhelming.
So here is hoping that the daylight will dissipate the fear and that I will focus on the fact that Joanne is still here (!) and not the fact that she almost wasn't.
1. Joanne has a cold. We have worked very hard to keep her germ free since she has been home and we have done a pretty good job of it. But somehow she picked up a bug. She has literally gone through two boxes of tissues in the last 24 hours. Please pray that she will start to feel better.
2. We are waiting to hear from insurance on what OT and PT will be available for us in the coming weeks. We are at the end of our time with the current team (who we love) and are waiting to hear from Kaiser as to whether or not we can continue on. Please pray that they would show favor.
3. Strength, strength, strength!