Since Mike has been regularly stating his ownership of the blog, I have had no interest in writing a post. Now he wants me to say something! So, here it is. I don’t have to move on yet.
I have always been one to keep mental anniversaries. Thus, you can imagine what the past week has been like for me! So what happened one year ago today you might ask? Mike was moved to the regular neuro floor at St. Marys Hospital. I took Benj and Jared back to the Kruegers in terrible weather, and then turned around to go back to the hospital. I was not comfortable with Mike being there alone, and I was afraid the weather would get worse and keep me away the next day. As you can tell, I still remember things in great detail. I can even tell you where and what I ate many days. That is just plain weird! (Okay, one year ago today I ate a chicken salad sandwich for lunch with Benj at The Canadian Honker and dinner with Benj and Jared at Applebee’s. Benj and I split something and Jared had Mac and Cheese, surprise, surprise. Then Benj treated us to Coldstone.)
When not thinking of what we were going through, I have been thinking of the people that I met in the family waiting room of the neuro ICU. There were four other families that were there basically the same length of time that we were. (This would be the first neuro ICU stay. You may recall there were two more trips there.) One I have followed on a Caring Bridge site. Nothing has been posted for several months, so I have no idea how that woman is doing. She had suffered a brain bleed in the same area as Mike’s AVM. Last I knew she was home, wheelchair bound and having a hard time talking.
The others I have kept in touch by e-mail, snail mail, and even a reunion at our June follow-up visits. One is a mother from Montana whose son had surgery in hopes of stopping his life-altering seizures. His seizures are much better, but he still has a couple per month. This woman has been tireless in her care of her son since he was born. He recently moved into a facility for people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. He is a cheerful, social young man and is loving being around a lot of people!
Another couple I have kept in touch with is older (no offense if you are reading this!) and were also a great example in the care of their son. He also had surgery to stop seizures. He was in the inpatient rehab unit part of the time Mike was, and went to his home elsewhere in Minnesota. This man was there when Mike had the seizure at the start of the blood infection, and was so helpful to me! They really need to keep chairs sitting in the hallways in case a spouse starts to hyperventilate! As he cared for his son, he kind of reminded me of how my dad cares for my brother. The wife has sent me family pictures from their vacation, and it has been fun to see the rest of their family. They also tracked me down in the cardiac ICU just to find out how Mike was doing. What a great couple!
The final person I have kept in contact with is the wife of the other E. Free pastor that Dr. Meyer did surgery on the same day as Mike. His was to remove a large tumor that was behind his eye and growing out in every direction. They both had surgery on February 12th, but the other pastor went home on th 17th! I can’t imagine a two day trip back to Indiana that soon after surgery. Apparently it was very hard! I heard from his wife this week. He is doing well, back to full pastoral strength, but since his was a tumor, there is always the concern that it could grow back.
As I have thought about these people, and prayed for them, I have been overwhelmed with thankfulness that basically, Mike’s ordeal is over. The AVM is gone. Yes, there could be seizures, but we’re not going to try going off meds again anytime soon. And there is that blood clotting thing that no one could ever figure out, but many people stay on coumadin there entire lives. I will continue to pray for my dear friends whose trials will go on. I will thank God for the example of faithfulness that they are to many, and pray that He will continue to keep them strong. Our friendships were forged in the fire, and I am sure I will never forget any of them. Maybe I will move on soon, but not quite yet. The worst day was the heart surgery day, and that’s still 9 days away. Ask me after that!