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.