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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another spin around...

First, I'm sorry for not getting updates out to everyone who has asked. I've been living on a true roller coaster. You know most all of my years with Allen have been stable and steady and I can always count on him to keep my life balanced and simple. I love that. Well...

We finally came to a point where the doctors have made it clear that they don't know what else to do to bring Allen around or help him recover and even if he does recover they don't know if he will be able to live off of ventilators and lifeline tubes. So... Allen doesn't want that. He made that known to me many years ago. So, he wasn't responding and they said the eeg only showed a sedated-like brain wave with no response to stimulus.

Well, he kind of squeezed my hand some during this time, but the doctors assured us it's just reflex movements. So we started talking about hospice and taking he somewhere to be comfortable and either God will raise him up or take him home.

Tuesday he responded much more as those of you on facebook saw with the little mini-video Jamie made of him moving his finger. He lifted his arm and put his hand on his stomach. He's moved his lips and lightly pursed his lips when i kissed him. This morning we talked to the doctor and he said he is very skeptical that this could be any more than reflex movements to stimulation. Of course, Allen doesn't respond to the doctors and so we look crazy. i don't care. I know what he did. But... he didn't do it this morning so... again, we settled on hospice care and are supposed to talk to the hospice people tomorrow morning (Thursday). Okay... by this time, I've cried my eyes out and dealt again with removing life support. It's not just a matter of life support because he has blood clots that need addressed and if they remove the drain tube from his head they think he will slip away. I can still choose to have filters put in to protect him from the clots and and they can put a shunt in to drain and keep the pressure off.

Just about the time I've settled down toward the end of this ride, hating the way it's ending but coming to terms with it....

Tonight Jamie, Erin and I were sitting with him. I KNOW he hears me. He was nodding and acting like he wants to talk, but the trach won't allow him to. Jamie asked him if he was comfortable and he did this shrug thing and turned his hand with his thumb up, like ...":eh, as ok as this gets". Such an Allen response, like the way he loves on us when we hold his hand by rubbing his thumb on ours. We were talking about how difficult this is and that I want to do the right thing and he pursed his lips clearly for a kiss. I asked him if he wanted a kiss and he did it again.

Now, some of you have read about Dr. Opie who is the intensivist. Well, I'm sure he's very bright, but he's a real cynic and not our favorite. It's okay. But... Dr. Duckworth who is Allen's surgeon had been out of town. He came in to check on Allen and after we talked he agrees that whatever improvements come may not be enough to get Allen off of ventilators and able to live on his own, but that I don't need to hurry on any decisions. He asked if we could get him to respond. This time Allen picked his leg up and wiggled his toes majorly. He made it clear to the doctor that he's 'there'. So the doctor increased his head drain to see if that makes any difference. When Dr. Duckworth left the room, Jamie and I said almost simoultaneously that we like that doctor and Allen nodded his head. We spent some time talking to Allen and told him we could take him out of there to the hospice house and wait or we could fight it out at the hospital and see what God will do there. I asked him specifically if he wants to stay in the hospital and work through this for a while. He nodded his head, 'yes'.

Another spin around the roller coaster... and we wait some more.
Don't get me wrong. I'm so happy he's responding and wants my kisses and loves on his girls. I'm hoping and God wants me to hope, but I'm not giddy. I'm trusting. I trust God with Allen's life and that he'll continue to show us what to do.

I still covet all of your prayers and thank you so much for all each of you are doing. The prayers, the calls, the texts, the emails, and the financial support has continually reminded me of God's love through his people. I've received cards here at the extended stay place and they have been encouraging and a blessing. My brother Charlie who just had heart bypass surgery is already up and walking and we believe for his complete recovery, too. Thank you for praying for him. My brother, Jimmy, and his wife, Gail, are with us now and have been such a blessing and hold us up, too. There are so many of you doing so much and I cannot thank you enough or even express how it makes me feel. All I can say is Lord bless you and pour back 100-fold into your lives.
With all our love,
Allen's family ... Allen, Linda, Jamie, Christy, Erin, Peter, and Betsy.
ps... Christy and family and Allen's mom and brothers are heading up here this weekend, as well as some other family members.. We are not alone. God is good.

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