Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our Little Prayer Warrior

Well, the past ten days have drug on and on since I left Atlanta. I kept busy with work and preparing for Christmas. I have been able to speak with Tim almost daily and perhaps saved myself from posting a lot of gloom and doom over the holidays because his frame of mind was not the usual positive mindset. Medically speaking from what I am told his incision is healing nicely. Two of the three drains have been removed, with the third one coming out on Friday. Staples are scheduled to come out over the weekend, and I believe as of today he can spend 2 hours at a time on his back a couple of times a day. Being face down has taken its toll on him because it is very uncomfortable and painful for him, so that has definately impacted his overall mood.

Two nights ago, God woke me at about midnight and kept me up until about five a.m. At first I became afraid and grabbed my phone expecting a call from the hospital, but after two hours passed with me in prayer and deep thought, a peace came over me and I realized He was trying to speak to me but I was not listening. Over the following three hours God encouraged me and gave me the words I have been searching for to encourage Tim. I honestly have not been able to speak words to him that he can process enough to give him any peace. That night when he called me, I was able to repeat everything God laid on my heart and I could tell he was very receptive to it. This morning he called, and his frame of mind was wonderful. He slept well lastnight, and had a song in his voice that I have not heard in a couple of months. We are both looking forward to our time together beginning Saturday.

Lastnight Landon and I had to run into Lifeway Christian bookstore after I picked him up in the evening. We took our time and that phone call from Tim came just as I got ready to check out so I let Landon speak with him for a while. As I finished up, I looked over and saw the phone wedged in between his cheek and shoulder trying to balance it and he had a pencil writing on a small sheet of paper with a look of intensity on his face. At first I thought Tim was telling him to write something but as he handed the phone to me he continued to write. I watched as he read what he had written and crammed it into a small plexiglass box mounted on the end of one of the aisles. Curious, I strolled over (making sure he had not signed me up for anything crazy)and his small sheet of paper sat alone in the box. I saw a label above it that read, "Prayer Requests." The words printed so neatly in my boy's handwriting said,"Please pray for my daddy. He had sergery and is in the hopspital."
I thanked God right then for such amazing children...and for the amazing spiritual leader that Tim is as their father and my husband. I wish everyone could hear Landon's prayers at night and each morning before he gets out of the van or on the bus. (He will not leave for school or go to sleep until someone prays for him.) He prays for so many...his teacher stricken with Cancer this year, his karate instructor with Leukemia who has had two bone marrow transplants this year, Eminem..that he will change his ways because he just knows he is a good person inside, and for each person that comes to mind. The only thing he asks for is forgiveness for his sins and that he will not have bad dreams. lol

Wishing you all the greatest holiday ever this year as we continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ every day, and not just Christmas day. Merry Christmas from The Evatt family.

Monday, December 13, 2010

When You Least Expect It.....Expect It

We have had a decent weekend. I have not been able to stay at night and that seems to be the time when Tim needs me the most. He sleeps face down (called proning) and because of the wires that were used in his initial injury to fuse his spinal cord together, his head doesn't turn to the side very easily. By the time I am here his face is swollen, he is exausted and my heart breaks. He is doubt. He simply says, "Darling, I gotta do what I gotta do." He is my hero.

Yesterday morning I decided to do damage control from my initial 72 hours as an exhausted, terrified, detail oriented (where Tim's care is concerned), wife with 20 years of healthcare experience. I am sure you can all imagine. We had to iron some things out in the first two days that gave me a very familiar name at shift SOOOOOO-I know the way to the nurses hearts...I stopped at Publix to bring donuts and Christmas cookies as a peace offering. It worked ;) It was there, in the checkout line that I met Mobwan. Yes..Mobwan.

Sleepy eyed I checked out as the middle eastern man in his mid thirties bagged my items, and with a heavy accent said, "How are ju today, Ma'am? You look berry tired." I smiled and thanked him for asking and validated his observation with the purpose for my stay here. He showed me true concern, and proceded to tell me of his brother who several years earlier had a fall in the yard, was cleared with a clean bill of health, and two weeks later woke up completely paralyzed and died. Wow. How do you respond to that? I gave him my compassion as best I could and listened. And then...the words I never (for some reason) expected to hear. His voice radiated and drew the attention from the people in lines all around. His managers even stood with jaws dropped. He looked me in the eye and said in a happy boistrous voice, "Ju tell your husband dat God is da fadda! (you tell your husband that God is the father). He had his life planned out before he was ever born! God is our daddy, He makes no mistakes! If your husband was blind and not paralyzed, he could not see his beautiful wife and childrens! He could not see all of da beauty around heem! Ju tell your husband...God has a purpose for him here...and he has one for you too!"

Um. Yeah. I wish I could do his five minute message from God justice, but there is no way. Donut run turned evangelism outreach in the checkout isle at Publix with the Middle Eastern man bringin da word! Smile pasted on my face, I hugged him and thanked him. Thank God for the boldness of Mobwan. Reminding me to be so bold for God's love for us.

And so another encounter to draw me closer to Him.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day Four

Nobody here recognized me this morning when I appeared in normal clothes, clean hair and a touch of makeup on. We were blessed to meet a couple when we were here earlier in the year that unfortunately have been dealing with the same type of issues as us. A precious couple, Tracey and I have become good friends, although they reside in Tennessee. They also have a place close to this hospital that they graciously offered to let me use once I could no longer stay in the room with Tim. Lastnight brought me an amazing night of solitude and sleep. Sam will be returning in January for more surgery...we will be here until late January at least, so we will be able to be with each other.

Mr. J arrived yesterday...Tim's new roommate. Same level of injury and also a skin flap. I was in my vulnerable human form yesterday and began dreading it pretty early on. TV blaring, phone ringing constantly, call light every 90 seconds...I was already thinking the worst. I left lastnight in tears having to leave him facedown in obvious pain. Unable to move, sad to see me was the first time I have ever had to see him like that and it killed me. When I returned this morning he was back on his side and looking better than when I left him. Mr. J had no water and was calling for some. Who am make him wait for the nurse? I took his cup for some water and gave him a drink. His aged, dark eyes met mine and the smile that appeared was precious. His words of thanks...real thanks...not fake thanks...reminded me that God has a job here that only Tim and I can do. I repented for the selfishness that filled me the day before. And as we talked, I learned of his injury only one year ago, his many years as a minister prior to that, an elderly black man that praises God despite his circumstances. He filled me with joy. But just when I thought I could not be humbled enough, his daughter and grandson entered the room pushing his wife who is completely blind. She stood next to her beloved husband, staring in the darkness, with both hands stroking his face as they both smiled at one another.

That is how it is here. Aside from dodging a wheelchair every fifteen feet or so...there is a connection here. As you walk past people in the hallway, you know who is here with family. Our faces are all the same. Our eyes meet with an unspoken embrace. It could always be worse.

Worse like the man I met telling me of his wife stricken with Guillan Barre syndrome from a flu shot just 6 short weeks ago. She is completely paralyzed and on a ventilator with a trach. They have a 4 month old and a 2 year old and no family. Or the cries and screams from the room next to us early in the morning of the family who lost their husband and father in the wee hours and had to be told when they arrived. Who am I to complain? Who am I to have self pity? I am the daughter of father is the King of Kings. I have my health, my husband, my children, my family, a home, a job...the list goes on and on. Tim may not have the use of his body from the chest down, but his heart and love for Jesus, me and our family surpases any yardwork that does not get done because he is in a wheelchair. I hope you all take a step back this holiday...and every thankful, and serve our Mighty God.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 2...again

This past September when we began to notice a place in the ischial area of Tim's backside, we never imagined that for the second time this year we would be facing this massive surgery again. After all...we have dealt with skin issues in the past and were able to heal them up pretty easily. It began going south very quickly, despite our best efforts...Tim stayin in bed, eating well, etc. Within a matter of six weeks we were told surgery again, but the earliest date would be in February. That was all well and good as long as he could tolerate it. But about a week and a half ago I began to notice subtle differences and shortly afterwards so did a number of other people.

We were blessed to be admitted as soon as we were. The fear was sepsis...or that the infection had gotten into the blood stream. They were very aggressive when we were admitted to ICU lastnight, and he went into surgery around 730 this morning. The last skin flap took two and a half hours. Today, four hours went by....then four and a half...and I got very scared. Bad feelings swept over me. I am not ready to lose him...and I begged God not to take him yet.

I stood at the window of his room overlooking the Atlanta skyline. Outide of it stand two very tall trees, barren with leaves dropping to the ground every few seconds. As I looked all around, I took particular notice that there were not any birds....anywhere. I looked all over, across the street, down the road, in other trees...none to be found. So I asked God as I prayed...and paniced.."God, if he is okay, please land a bird on the tree to the left. Only one. Only on the left. I stared...I prayed...I begged...for thirty straight minutes. We were now five hours with no word from the surgeon.

I began to accept not that God was not there, but that it was His answer. Not that He could not bring Tim through, but that it was not His plan. And as I wiped the first tear away, a huge, bright yellow bird perched on the limb right across from me. Looking straight my way....and within seconds the surgeons footsteps entered the room.

The operation was difficult. He was barely able to close the incisions with the lack of tissue. The infection was as large as a canteloupe. Those are all his words. Tim needed two blood transfusions. That is very uncommon for him. He should do fine, however this recovery will take some time. His spirits are very low. That breaks my heart...but I suppose after all he has been through he is due to have a bad day. I will keep you all up to date.
God is still God.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm Back!

One of the many things I have put on the backburner for entirely too long has been this blog! Maybe it's been that life has had me strapped, perhaps God has been reconditioning me to work more diligently for His kingdom, maybe it's because we finally got high speed internet way out in the sticks...but for whatever reason, two of my favorite quotes of all time popped up yesterday that reminded me exactly what I have not been doing...and that is spending time with God the way I am supposed to, and feverently serving Him.

The first quote is, "A woman's heart should be so hidden in the Lord, that a man must seek Him first in order to find her." The other is, "Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says,"Oh, crap...she's up!"

Eight months ago those were both referring to me....since then, I just believe that it's everyone in my house that says "Oh, crap....she's up!" Needless to say, it's been quite the year, but my marriage is stronger than ever, we are learning to deal with things regarding Tim's health that will just be a way of life for us now, rather than a medical emergency. We know that is not ideal, however we are proud to worship at an amazing church, embrace our health, careers and family, and live life to the absolute fullest. Which has brought me back to the fact that I have been a total slacker when spending time with God. I am so looking forward to beginning a home group in our home that I will be teaching every other week that will give me some accountability to get back in the Word. Praying for others and their marriages and damaged relationships on a daily basis. How can I pray for you?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Diary of a Tired White Woman don't really want to read my diary from about February 5th til March 15th! NOT pretty!I respect my readers, my husband and myself enough to not create posts when I am that stretched emotionally and physically! What I CAN say, is things are getting better. Tim is in his chair 12-14 hours a day, weaning off of the valium, and anxioius to go back to work part time next week. He will not be driving for some time yet, however we will go to the hand surgeon on Monday to get a plan for fixing the ligaments in his left wrist. Praying another surgery is not in the future....but if it is, I still know God is in the driver's seat.

Our first weeks home were very trying. Still on 60 mg a day of valium, staying confused and disoriented, getting him up twice a day and putting him back to bed...our nights consisted of bed at ten, wake up for meds at 12, turn at 2, alarm at 6, (waking up at least every hour for a channel change), Landon on the bus at 6:30, and repeat on a daily basis. It made the hospital stay seem like a piece of cake...

My blog is about the selfless acts of others...and the face of Jesus I see in them. Since it has been a are just a few...

After a complete meltdown of exhaustion, anger, frustration, etc.., I was speaking with my best friend from high school unloading one evening. She hung up somewhat abruptly, and called me a couple of hours later to inform me she was leaving the next morning to drive from Louisiana to South Carolina to rescue me! It had been two years since I had seen her. What a glorious sight it was! She cleaned, cooked, massaged my neck, played with Landon and fed Tim on occasion refusing to let me do any work that was unnecessary. It was the greatest gift God could have sent me. I love you, Susan.

So many others have pitched in with meals, gift cards, and just coming to hang out with Tim for a few hours so I could get a shower, take a nap or go to the grocery store. I am so incredibly blessed with an amazing church, friends, family and most of all an amazing God for bringing us through this. We have always been "The Perfect Couple." Tim so amazing for what he has overcome, everyone looking at me as if I am glowing because I married him despite his disability....what this has shown us is that we are human. We are vulnerable. We are not to forget that we can do nothing without our mighty savior. We do NOT have cruise control.

Our sobering moment came two weeks ago. One of Tim's closest, lifelong friends and college roommate committed suicide one Sunday afternoon, after attending church and lunch with his wife and two daughters, ages 2 and 5. He had called me on a daily basis during the stay in Atlanta, sometimes talking to me for more than an hour, encouraging me beyond belief. Speaking with Tim almost daily, offering him an ear to talk off. Knowing he had struggled with depression, but never expecting that phone call. Last Saturday as Tim spoke at his memorial, we realized that we never know what will be around the next corner. Please pray for Sarah and her two daughters, as well as their entire family.

We are enjoying life again. No bitterness, no selfishness, and no blame for the things that have come and gone. Only looking ahead to the time we have been given.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hittin the Road!!!! this day finally here? Suitcases packed around us, staff coming to tell us good bye...some great and wonderful people have been brought into our lives. I have made some long term friends here both staff, patients and families, that I am sure God will utilize in the future. As I sit here writing my blog, our two favorite techs are getting him bathed and dressed....we are all screaming in laughter....they are absolutely killing me. They were with us the day we went to surgery, and are with us on the day we are leaving. How cool.

We did have a bit of a scare yesterday with his hand. It got somewhat over manipulated during therapy, so it was twice its normal size and bruising. Not really uncommon stuff for as tight as his hand has been, but we were afraid it was broken. Luckily, many were praying and it turned out to have some torn ligaments. Stabilizing it to give it a rest for a while.

Sunday Tim was asked to be the speaker at the chapel service for the hospital. He donned red plaid pajama pants, a Superman ball cap, and a black tshirt that said "Rep the King!" Gospel singers, "Floetry" speaker and Tim led the worship for over an hour, where we were surrounded by patients, volunteers, staff and family of about 50 people that prayed and worshipped together. Some of the patients with airways attached to ventilators, some pushing their own chairs.....everyone who was able stood to applaud Tim after his message on freedom....the beginning of new life. It was 24 years to the day of the day he became paralyzed.

We got a pass to leave that evening and went to Benihana's Japanese Steakhouse for dinner...a much needed evening out to say the I never imagined Tim going to a nice restraunt in jammies and a ballcap, but is certainly one to put in the memory banks.

We are so glad to be headed home. We also know there are some struggles ahead. Driving will be an issue and it will still be many weeks before he can tolerate being up for extended periods like he is accustomed to. Gotta put some weight back on him....wish I had that problem! Please continue to lift us up as we tread on ground we have never had to go before. We are so thankful for the support you have all given us. I will continue the blog and updates every few days. He is up in his chair about 4 hours at a time...sometimes once a day, sometimes twice a day, depending on how well his skin looks after the first time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Light At the End of The Tunnel

Well, five days and counting! This week has been filled with much progress. The original "up in chair" date for Monday was postponed until Tuesday. He got up for the first time for thirty minutes and they have added thirty minutes a day since then, so today I believe it might be one and a half hours. He is tolerating being up well....there is usually a huge blood pressure drop that can occur that will cause him to pass out, but that was not the case, so that was a good thing. We have been concerned about upper body strength loss but he said he could brush his teeth and didn't need a nap afterwards! I will be returning to Atlanta on Sunday. He has been asked to preach at chapel that day so I will accompany him to that. There are a lot of restrictions placed on him in that environment so I am anxious to see what he comes up with....I am sure it will be effective no matter what. The plan is to pack up and head home on Tuesday!!! We are very excited that this phase will be over. It did so much good for Landon to see him on Sunday for Valentine's Day. He sang all the way home, "My daddy's gonna be okay...." Pretty funny.

After we get home there will still be work to be done. His left hand is still very contracted and it will hinder him from driving for a while. Planning for some thick air in the household as I pull absolute rank on him over that Tim does wear the pants in the family....I just put them on him. :) He will be up for short periods during the day and will have to be turned every three hours through the night. At least I will have my bed to sleep in rather than the expand-a-rock at the hospital!

I am out of my funk I do believe. Thanks to so many who have called, written, etc as they picked up on my downward spiral last week. I told everyone in the beginning when they asked what they could do to give me a call at week 3....I just know my sanity all too well. Back in the word....prayer coming easily again. Another angel helped me to see I don't need all the answers I am looking for. I just need to trust God. Pretty simple stuff. It's working.

Psalm 139:17-18 and 23-24

"How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number thant the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.

Search me, O God, and know my heart, Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting."

Great to know He loves me waking and sleeping, when I am anxious, knowing my every thought even though for some reason I think that they will escape Him. Good news....that goes for you as well!
Be Contagious For Christ!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Far From God

I was shocked this morning. I worked all night and got home to go to bed. Cup of coffee, (yes...before Just don't even try to understand me) brush the teeth..skip washing the face. I settled into my sheets unaware of any noise around me and began to I always do...just before I went to sleep. And then I panicked. I couldn't pray. I was at a loss for words. Have I ever been unable to pray? To just have a conversation with God? I am not sure I remember a time like that. But this happened. So out of control. Wanting answers to things I don't have answers for. Sleep came quickly. Without prayer.

My phone blew up all day. I have to keep it on in case the school or hospital call, so I am typically disrupted multiple times during the day. It's not hard to fall back to sleep. Each time I was awakened in a I read random emails and messages that came across my blackberry from FaceBook. As I read each one, I wept. To know that in my weakness I was able to encourage others. For people to tell me how strong I am to even admit this life is a difficult one and put away the fascade that I am not perfect, or unbreakable, or human. God speaking to me through it all. Telling me I do not hear Him because I am not listening. Which is true. A phone call from an amazing man came. I don't typically pick up the phone while I am post-all-nighter, but I did this time even though the number was only somewhat familiar. He told me he needed to see if I was okay. He said he wanted to pray with me over the phone. God sent an angel to me this morning at 11:30. To pray for me because I could not find the strength to pray for myself. More messages of encouragement, then cards in the mailbox from the unexpected. God sending me gifts in the mail even when I have stopped seeking Him. Wow. I am being broken.

I've realized this has stopped being about Tim and is becoming about me. When my life has become so incredibly preoccupied with the life we must lead, a parent, a caregiver, a wife, a worker, and an encouragement to others.....I don't know where I fit in when it has all taken an abrupt stop. Slowing the way that I have....the break in the routine, per say, has left me questioning what there is beneath the surface of it all. I don't want to be left with nothing if God were to take Tim home. That's where my mind has drifted these last couple of weeks. It's Satan...I know that...but the fact remains those things have surfaced. I have dealt with them on my own. Don't try that at home....very

Ecclesiastes 8:8-10 (New International Version)

8 No man has power over the wind to contain it;
so no one has power over the day of his death.
As no one is discharged in time of war,
so wickedness will not release those who practice it.

9 All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt. 10 Then too, I saw the wicked buried—those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise in the city where they did this. This too is meaningless.

Getting my MOJO back I hope. Don't think that your encouragement is not needed or read even though I do not respond. And while I am at it, if you would, help me do what I have been best at doing. If I cannot pray for myself right now, how can I pray for you? I would love to start there. Perhaps by interceding on your behalf I will hear Him loud and clear. And ask yourself a question. What have you done today to make a difference in somebody's life? Someone made an enormous difference in mine this morning. I look forward to seeing what I can do in return for someone else. Challenge yourself today.


Are We There Yet????

I've known better than to ask myself that for quite some time now....even after this is all said and done. I've had Bloggers Block for about a week now. I'll explain shortly, but first allow me to update on Tim's progress...or at least what he has been able to form words for over the phone! His staples came out last Friday, and incision has been looking good. They attempted to start stretching him also, so I am assuming that is goin okay as well. So far the plan is for him to get up in his char on Monday the 15th for about 30 minutes, a few times a day. That will increase slowly until he is up for four hours at a time. His left hand had contracted all the way down to his forearm, therefore bought himself a cast last week as well. The good news is that seems to be making a huge difference in his hand. The big news came today when he confired February 23rd circled on the calendar in his room for his date to return home.

Yes, we are very excited to know there is somewhat of a light at the end of the tunnel. It will be some time before it gets back to normal around the Evatt home. In and out of bed 2-3 times a day. Turning every three hours throughout the night. It will still be a lot to do at that time, but I will be glad that he is not in another state.

It has been a rough couple of weeks for me. I suppose that is why I have been reluctant to post anything for fear of the negativity showing through me. For all of those who support us right now I cannot bear to do that here....even though I know everyone knows I am only human. The sedation he has been on for so long now has had its effects on our conversations and I have been mucho sleep deprived from working nights. I have also not been spending time in God's word like I am accustomed to doing. All the while during a time that I needed Him the most I have found myself spending less and less time with Him in studying and in prayer. It's been hard to admit that. It's been even harder to realize it was happening. I know that I have a gift for inspiring others.....I don't always possess the same gift for inspiring myself.

I'm working on it, friends. That is all I can say. I am grateful for the friends that have been and will continue to carry me and us through this. Workin on finding a strength I have not had to ever have before. I know I am not the only one.

No cute and hilarious stories. Just keeping things real here tonight. Thanks for your prayers. I'm sure I will have plenty to talk about after Landon and I spend Valentines Day in Atlanta! Might even youtube some of that

God Bless You

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Boot Straps

A few weeks ago...before all of this got so bad, Tim asked me one night as we were talking about the cool "80's" what brand of tennis shoes I wore. I think it was a question on one of those facebook quizzes or something. Kaepa's, Reebok's, Chuck Taylors...I just laughed as I thought about it. I told him I didn't wear tennis shoes in high school...I wore boots every day. Justin Ropers to be exact....the ONLY real boots. The other night, after an absolutely crazy amazing 6pm worship service, and date night with the kids before I headed to Atlanta again for a few days, I realized that while everyone was holding me, loving me, lifting me up at church that night that when anyone would ask how I was doing, I would tell them without even thinking about it, that I was pulling up my bootstraps and walkin through. That night as I laid in bed it hit me.... are awesome. Tennis shoes keep coming untied, the water seeps through them in the rain and you cannot wear them if they get all muddy. They have to be replaced often cause they don't look good anymore. Boots last forever. They are durable, they can trudge though any terrain and provide protection from the thorns, snakes, mud. The more you wear them the more comfortable they are. Their character comes with age. It suddenly occurred to me why I was subconsciously saying that. My God is protecting me, keeping me safe as I travel, blessing me with the embrace of great friends and family, providing for us while we go through this.

It's been a good few days in Atlanta. We have actually just rested a lot and that is something we both needed. Incision looks great...I think on Friday they will take the staples out. If it does okay then the stretching will begin slowly. He still has one of the drains in, antibiotics through the central line...and we were very excited (and proud of him) that he has gained about 10 pounds back! Yes, some of that might be fluid, but he is definitely eating well and steadily throughout the day...and we make him drink Ensure....which is hysterical...

I head back home tonight. This will be a hard stretch for us because I am working more. I will bring Landon up on Valentines Day, then will come for another four day stretch the following weekend. 10 days this time. I am gonna wear my boots :).

This week I have had two opportunities to reconcile broken relationships from my past. Tough conversations. And total forgiveness. I had brought myself to believe over the years that I had let go of everything in my past that was holding me down emotionally. Guilt, sadness, regret. I am so glad God gave me the opportunity to make these relationships right. They are two completely different types of situations. Both very valuable parts of my life. Thank you to both of them.

2Corinthians 5:18-19
"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation."

Let us reconcile our differences among us. The peace is amazing. God has committed us to do it.
Be Contagious For Christ!

Friday, January 29, 2010

One Week Down...

First of all, thanks to so many who have let me know that they are reading this. I appreciate all of the comments that you leave, and I read them all to Tim. He loves hearing the feedback and encouragement.

I had my complete breakdown on Tuesday evening just before the basketball game. I had reached exhaustion point and found myself doing things like moving the chair out of the way so Tim could get to the computer, picking up shoes so he wouldn't run over them, expecting him home at 6....let's just say my mind got the best of me and it took off with ALLLLLL KINDS of crazy thoughts.(It does not help that medically I know entirely too much for my own good in these situations) I officially had my first ever anxiety attack. All I could think of was what my life would be like without him ever coming home. An emptiness set in and all I could do was cry. Thankfully, my mommy was here to coach me through it, Cierra picked up on it IMMEDIATELY and staggered to get Landon ready for his game, and I choked back the tears as everyone asked about him while we were at the gym. Coma cannot describe the sleep I had, even though I could have used more!

I have gotten absolutely brutalized at work for the last two days. The hospital is so busy and I slept until 10:30 this morning. Landon is home sick as well, but is doing fine...he's been such a little man, as well as Cierra being so supportive. My mom has kept everything moving along nicely as usual.

Tim's brother drove his parents to spend the day yesterday. From what they said he was a little loopy and losing track of the days. His wound hasn't had any complications that I am aware of and at this point we are just letting things heal up before they try stretching him. I routinely get my phonecall between 9 and 9:30. That is a happy time for me. I will be headed back on Monday and will be home again on Thursday morning.

So many thanks to all of you for gifts, encouragement, prayers and hugs. We appreciate you so much. Blessings to you all....

Monday, January 25, 2010

Headin Home

It's a little surreal packing up my suitcase tonight to leave in the morning. It's a hard place to be in...knowing Landon and Cierra need me at home....I need to work some, take care of some business, spend time with the family, etc...and of course I am torn being gone from here at least until he is in his chair again some in a few weeks. The bigger part of me knows every day this week there will be someone here and that brings me so much peace. This initial week it has been essential and I am grateful I could have the time with him. My plans are to go home tomorrow and come back possibly Sunday evening. I have no idea about after that.

Today the fatigue caught up to both us us! There was an awesome family brunch in the family room where I got to meet several other family members. It's sad to say that Anderson and Spartanburg are well represented at Shepherd!!! We had a sweet friend from Greenville stop by and spend some time with us today and before we left Tim got the nurse, the xray tech and the rest of us so Odie could pray for him. After that we sacked out for the whole afternoon! And IT FELT GOOOOOD!

This evening I went for a cup of coffee here on the floor and began talking to a woman who seemed to have a happy heart similar to how I perceive my own. We began talking about why we were here...each with our husbands...each for a skin flap. You could tell this wasn't her first rodeo either. I began to tell her that I had written a book, when mid-sentence she jumped up and down in the 3 x 4 room with soooooo much excitement saying, "YOU'RE THE BOOK GIRL!!!!!" Caught a little off-guard, I followed her to her husband's room...very nice man....she showed me the bookmark on her computer with my name on it linking her to articles and the book order site. It was hilarious to be a celebrity for a brief moment in time. Even if I did look like hell. I'm bringing her a book when I return.

With the worst of our fears behind us thus brings to light a specific verse that was planted in me today.
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the laps of fools.

For certain the end of this journey will be better than the beginning...even if nothing else happened and it was completely uneventful. We cannot be angry in our circumstances. We have family, friends, each other, an amazing church, great doctors, and above all a sovereign and mighty God. Will your end be better than your beginning? How will you make that so?

Be Contagious For Christ...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

God's Ultimate Plan-Whether You Like it...or Not

Today has been a day of God's ultimate plan for us to continue to be revealed. The reasons we are here unfold over and over again. Before I get to that, I began to use this blog long before all of this ever started to bring hope to others through Jesus Christ and the random acts of kindness that go untold on a regular basis. The support system we have is too long to list at this point, but the amazing friends and family we have has left us thankful and humbled. From the nurse's aide named John that went down and bought me coffee on Friday to our friends Heather and Terri who are keeping Landon so occupied he doesn't get quite as homesick for us! Many cards and gifts keep coming, and we cannot thank all of you enough.

Today....I wanted pizza. Not just any pizza. Domino's has flooded the television market with it's new and improved pizza every five minutes, so I HAD to try it out. The delivery guy called and asked if I could come to the security desk five floors down to meet him. I was a little miffed and was contemplating asking him to tip ME, but decided to tip him well instead. On the elevator I met a woman whose husband is a new C-6 quad (Tim is C-5) and by the time we hit the ground floor I was able to encourage her and help her begin coping with their situation. Hold that thought...

Several weeks ago in Anderson, a teenager at Hannah High had an unexpected stroke. It did some serious damage. Tim was on pastoral care staff for the weekend and went to the hospital to speak to his mother who was completely, of course, distraught. We knew they were transferred here to Shepherd several weeks ago, but I had been unable to locate them up to this point. As I stood in the hallway speaking to the woman I met in the elevator, another woman that obviously knew her came up and they began talking. A strange feeling swept over me. And before I even knew what hit me, I asked her if she was from Anderson. Her face froze as she answered, "yes," and I fought back tears as I said,"I've been trying to find you." I told her I was Tim Evatt's wife, and she wept...right there in the hallway. I explained why we were here and we had been trying to find out about her son and meet up with her. Boldness came over her as she explained to the other woman what an amazing man Tim is...and that you don't even see that wheelchair. I looked at her and said..."God has brought you from a level of brokenness to encouraging and lifting up others around you." She cried again and said, "I never imagined being able to do that. Even before this happened."
We are planning on all three meeting daily for encouragement.

Lastnight I also met a man whose son was struck by a bullet and paralyzed from the waist down. I brought him to our room where we all held hands and prayed with him.

We also received some interesting news yesterday. It's been a mystery to all how we ended up on the OR schedule for Thursday. None of the doctors knew why, so we decided God had that one worked out too. We were originally set for Friday. One of the nurses told us that there were two or three skin surgeries scheduled for Friday and when they got them to the OR they were told their surgery could not be done, and they would have to come back in a couple of weeks. Tim was the last skin surgery that was done. I know. You are as speechless as we were. This gets crazier by the day. The chaplain came in today and spoke to Tim. He will be wheeled down IN HIS BED in two weeks to preach on Sunday to all of the patients and their families FROM HIS BED!!! Like I said....this gets crazier by the day!!!!

Acts 4:29-31 says, "Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly."

Good Night, and God Bless...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rollercoaster: Day 3

I entitled these blog posts "RollerCoaster" because that's how it felt to me. Low's because of constantly deteriorating problems and feeling like nobody was listening to me, and high's to watch how God has worked throughout all of this. The thing about this particular roller coaster is....just when the ride is supposed to passes the station and keeps on going all over again! Today it slowed down enough to let me off for the time being. This has been going on for months and I am finally at a place of positive thinking again instead of anger and fear.

Yesterday when people I would run into here at the hospital would ask how the surgery went, I would reply with hesitation.."He had to have the full skin flap." After about the fourth reply of excitement, I had to ask-"WHY IS EVERYONE SO FLIPPIN HAPPY ABOUT THIS!?!!?" I was distraught, angry and although very thankful, still very worried and confused. It was then explained to me this morning that he was having this skin flap no matter what. I missed that memo. Worst case scenerio is they wouldn't have enough muscle and tissue to close it, so it would have to be left open and taken back in in a few weeks-that quite clearly would spell D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R from an infection standpoint. Best case scenerio is they did the flap and were able to close it on the first go around, which is what happened yesterday. God just cracks me up sometimes. I don't ever lose faith...not ever...I'm tough enough to make it through, sometimes I am just impatient for what His purpose is. After the news...I had the best two hours of sleep I have had in weeks!

Psalm 41:1-3 "Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble. The Lord will protect him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes. The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness.

Let the restoring begin. It has been a good day.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Roller Coaster: Day Two

Isn't it funny when you BEG God for something and you get just the opposite? Tim was wheeled into the OR doors this morning an hour earlier than was a jovial time for all as his nurses roared with laughter when he yelled, "It's NEKID TIME!!" The doors closed and there I was....alone in the hallway..not even knowing which direction to go coffee.

I walked around for a while, just talking to God. Even though I asked Him for a simple surgery....and pleaded with Him for no skin flap....the little voice inside of me told me that just would not be the case. I have known that for a few weeks. But then I had to hear the words the come out of the surgeon's mouth five hours later. I had to remind myself to breathe.

Panic set everything he said to me became a blur. Blah, blah, least 6 more weeks, maybe 8 in the hospital....blah, blah, blah...I am happy with the results. I did't know what was worse...hearing it for myself...knowing I had to tell him...or having to tell his mother. None of the above turned out to be easy.

The rest of this is not for the sensitive...people want here they are. Don't say I didn't warn you. The bone that is the ischium was very pointed from a surgery in 92. The wound was in the right groin area. Throughout the course of this the sharpness of the bone has basically mutilated all of the good there was really nothing to work with. Solution: Skin Flap. An incision that looks like a "V" from the front to the back of his right inner thigh. (now you see why we weren't excited) it's about 8 inches long on each side. The bone was shaved down and an area as described to me about the size of the Dr.'s fist was completely necrotic (dead/infected) and that just had to go. Muscle and skin from the surrounding area of the thigh was pulled in and grafted....and POOF>>> there ya have it.
Very long healing chair for many weeks....but the great news.....he can't feel anything so he's channel surfing with the sip and puff remote. We will have a central line put in in the next couple of days to give some high powered antibiotics for several weeks. He is eating and drinking great with no complaints.

So, I guess God knew all along what he needed. Funny how that works. It's been a rough ride for the past few months trying to prevent this....but now it is fixed...and let the healing begin. We so appreciate everyone's generosity, prayers, support, etc. We have a long road ahead of us...but we will be fine on the other side of this journey. Please pray for quick and thorough healing, as well as our family while we make it through this. Giving God the glory...because we know we are blessed to be in such an amazing place, and that He has been steering this boat the whole time. I have been able to meet some wives of spinal cord injuries and encourage them....and Tim just shines to whoever comes in the room! The worst is over...I will post on the days I am here to keep everyone up to date. While I am can I pray for you?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Roller Coaster: Day One

It was a huge blessing to us yesterday late afternoon when we got the call to be here a day early! A whirlwind of emotions flooded us all as we threw everything together and made it here 30 minutes earlier than we need to. Excellent attention and sertvice-as expected-as we were flooded with doctors, nurses, PT, wasn't long before we knew full well why God intervened. The surgeon and Tim go way back...they are constantly teasing each other and dogging one another out. It caught us both off gaurd when we saw his face change and the tome of his voice along with it after seeing the deterioration of this wound in just 9 days. What was supposed to be a fairly sinple debridement and muscle graft has gone another direction-we won't know the extent untill he actually gets him into surgery in the morning. I know Tim will be okay...its just seeing him so vulnerable and scared. Its seeing his face as he was transferred to his bed knowing he wouldn't be up for several MORE weeks. It's the way I love my husband and hurt for him. The way his family saw him multiple times over the years. A big day tomorrow...he is sleeping soundly and flirting with all of the nurses everytime they come in. Thanks for the prayers...I'll update after I hear something tomorrow. We have a mighty God....

Friday, January 15, 2010

Separation Anxiety

Well, as most of you are aware, my husband...a quadriplegic of 25 years....will be having surgery next Friday 2 hours away in Atlanta. I will be commuting a few days there, a few days home, basketball games with our son, night shifts, and a home to run. He will be there at least a month, and spend the first couple of weeks face down on a stretcher. Sounds pretty crazy, huh?

We serve a mighty God. He sustains us in times of need and fatigue. He carries us through times we can't stagger through on our own. And before anyone feels sorry for either of us, realize this: we are going to be okay!! Isn't that wonderful? Guess what? We aren't dealing with cancer, heart attack, stroke, and we aren't standing around in a poverty stricken country in rubble at our feet wondering if our family is dead or alive with nothing to eat or drink. We live in a country where we are free to worship as we choose. People....It's about time...we realized how blessed we really are!!! The funny thing is....if I know my husband.....the will be a SERIOUS revival going on in that hospital!!!

God has blessed us with an amazing family, amazing friends, and a church that has surrounded us with love, prayers and support in a very exhausting and frustrating time for us. I thank each of you that have contributed to this. Know that you have made a difference.

"For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help." Psalm 22:24 God hears us when we call Him. He answers our cries. My question we only cry out to Him when we are needing His rescue? Why not cry out to Him each morning to bring yourself into His mighty presence before you face this world alone.

I pray that we will all "Praise Him in the Storm."

Saturday, January 2, 2010


So, instead of dressing in the sparkly dress and donning the lovely new princess cut earrings and necklace my amaaaaaazing hubby got me for Christmas to bring in the new year with our insanely loud, but wonderful, group of annual New Year's Party friends, you would have found us at the stroke of midnight with our crystal champagne flutes filled with bubbly, dressed in pajamas, with our 8 yr old toasting his first countdown with the crystal champagne flute! At first we were a little bummed that we could not go enjoy the scene with our buds. My husband of five and a half years is paralyzed from the chest down and elbows down. That's not the problem. He is being required to be out of his chair....flat on his back for several weeks due to a pressure area on his thigh that has decided to go ballistic! We realized as we toasted and kissed at midnight that we could not have been anywhere more wonderful than our home...with each other....knowing God loves us so much. See, this might seem like a sad story to so many. But to have a husband who reminds me routinely....."Only God could love you more..."blesses me far more than anyone could have blessed me that could walk but only loves me half as much.
What an amazing New Year's Eve! I am excited to see what God's gonna do with us this year!!!