Saturday, September 24, 2011

of Dinner and Crashes and Hospitals and Wheelchairs

Life can change so quickly! It seems like much longer than 10 days since we were posting about our first egg. (We've gathered eight now, by the way. We haven't figured out if we still just have one hen laying, or if a second friend has joined in egg production quite yet.)

Thursday the 15th, I had the joy and honor of attending the 7th annual I Hope You Dance benefit for Whittemore Peterson Institute. This is the 3rd year I've been blessed to attend and the first time I was able to go without my wheel chair. I have a few pictures to post (though I may have to "borrow" some from Lilly as most of mine turned out really blurry) and need to dedicate an entire post just to that event, so hopefully I will get back here soon to tell about that wonderful evening.

Due to some recent medication adjustments, my body did go into a "crash" after the excitement of Thursday night, so I spent most of Friday quietly in bed and in a fair amount of pain. It was a recovery day I hadn't mentally budgeted for, but it was doable. The kids were content to enjoy the spoils of my evening out and were great self-starters to get some school work accomplished on their own prompting.

Late Friday afternoon we received shocking news that there had been a tragic accident at our local air races, the third major disaster our community has faced since June. My Dad, who is a Chaplin for the Civil Air Patrol, was activated to go out and minister with the first responders. In the end, 11 people were confirmed dead and over 50 were hospitalized, many with injuries including amputations and other critical issues.

My sweet Daddy got a scattered 6 or so hours sleep in about 48 hours. On Sunday afternoon (while I was still home in bed in my own recovery phase) I receive a phone call from local EMTs that they had responded to a 911 call from his home and that he was himself in an ambulance on his way to the hospital. As the story was reconstructed, we learned that, though he had been intentionally conscious of drinking well, Dad had become severely dehydrated.

Between lack of sleep, the emotional strain of all he had witnessed over the weekend, and dehydration, he passed out, woke up and managed to call 911, then became totally paralyzed, unable to feel or move. Had God not provided the ability for him to make that phone call, and REMSA hadn't responded quickly, breaking down his door to get to him, he would have died on Sunday afternoon! He will be 69 in November and we are SO thankful that God still has more days planned for him here on earth.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I was running on adrenaline myself, spending many hours at the hospital and trying to care for homeowner's insurance claims (for the broken door) and care for other issues while my mom is out of state for her own medical treatment. (Mom's due home in just one more week now!!! She has seen dramatic improvement through FibroInnovations, another topic that will warrant its own post once she is back home and I can toughly interview her. :) ) I cannot thank my wonderful husband enough for all he's done to support and encourage me this past week.

Dad was released from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon and Rick brought him to our home for continued TLC. I was his transportation for the first few days, including getting him up to homeschool co-op to teach his Hermeneutics on Thursday (where the class met outside so that I could stay with them without triggering another latex reaction to the building that sent me to the ER a few months back), but he drove himself to his doctor's appointment yesterday morning.

Other than the need for later follow up on a blood sugar spike noted upon hospital admission (that was probably tied to the severity of his dehydration), Dad received a clean bill of health yesterday. He spent his first night back in his own bed last night. I talked to him on the phone this morning and he's going to take things very easy today. I'll probably ask him to join us for dinner again tonight if I have the energy to make anything.

In the meantime, both of our boys came down with nasty colds this week and our 11-year-old spent most of the week in bed. Even around all the craziness, we did manage to get most of a full week of school in and have studied world events outside the U.S. during the Civil War era this past week. We also read the entire Addy (American Girls) series in 5 days and started on our next Laura Ingalls Wilder book, On the Shores of Silver Lake.

In science we have looked at motion and velocity, acceleration, deceleration, momentum and force. Unfortunately most of the suggested science experiments called for the use a balloons, so we didn't do any hands on science activities this week as I find breathing preferable to latex reactions.

Surprisingly, while I am tired and have no doubt that my body has been pushed through both physical and emotional exertion over the past week and a half, I am doing better than I would typically have anticipated right now. I'm in bed this morning, but more by choice (wanting to give myself some down time to recover) than by utter necessity. I'm sore and not thinking as clearly as I would like, but I do have some reserves left to give if I need to use them, something I am not used to being able to draw on after so much upheaval from a week like this.

I'm doing well enough that Rick took our daughter away on an overnight trip this morning (the whole family had planned to go before the boys got sick), and I'm OK on my own to care for not only my own needs but for two sick boys and to be on call for my Dad too. This is so encouraging to me and helps me objectively see how far I've come over the past year. Doesn't this EMPTY wheelchair look wonderful?


Kristi said...

Jenni, what an overwhelming time you have had! I'm so glad your dad is doing well and that you have been feeling better! Your perseverance in times of difficulty is an encouragement to me!

Anonymous said...

Please pass on hugs from me to both of your parents! They are such precious people.

TMHJR said...

Dear Jenni, you have the patience of Job! one of my closest friends from high school in Japan is a retiring Northwest Airlines pilot and he and his wife were visiting Reno for the air races. he was RIGHT there. several of his friends were among the wounded! so scary! i pray that you recover soon! God Bless you for your positive attitude through all these earthly tribulations! ox TMH

Wildaisy said...

Jenni, thank you for sharing a bit of your evening at "I Hope You Dance" and also your experience this week with your father. No wonder you crashed! I admire your optimism in the midst of all these challenges.


Tink said...

Jen, now that I am down I finally had the chance to read your blog. What a terrible scare you had with your dad! Is he still doing ok? I'm so looking forward to your mom's story. I've looked at the website and it looks most interesting. It would be something I would like to do. I have always said that to get good results we would need an in-clinic treatment. Can't wait to hear how your mom experienced it!