Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday Memories #5

Did I ever tell you about the time our prayers were answered?

This is a long memory. If you know about my mom's situation scroll down to ***.

My mom has Crohn's and has been dealing with a draining fistula for almost six months. She had surgery September 1, 2005 because her Crohn's came out of remission and took over her life again. She wasn't able to eat and was forcing herself to drink Carnation Instant Breakfast or Ensure twice a day for nutrition. She was doing that for months.

Finally, my daddy returned home from his tour in Afghanistan and surgery was scheduled. The surgeon found a lot of damage from the Crohn's and was able to remove most of it. He was positive and hopeful the surgery was going to help. He said recovery would take 3 to 6 months before she was back to her old self and her GI system was working correctly.

Days after the surgery Mom's internal stitches ripped open causing a massive opening between her stomach and intestine. Thankfully she still had a drainage tube in from surgery. The JP (which looks like a plastic hand grenade) was filling up faster than the nurses could drain it, and Mom was in excrusiating pain. She was rushed to critical care. Several phone calls were made to family and friends and our church to pray, pray, pray.

The Resident (who was working with the surgeon... who just left to help the victims of Hurricaine Katrina) was in talking with Mom when Daddy and I were able to visit her in critical care. She was holding Mom's hand and said, "You have a huge gardian angel watching over you. I was supposed to take that tube out two days ago, but every time I tried I either got called back to surgery or you were sleeping and I didn't want to bother you." If she had taken Mom's JP tube out Mom would have died from organ failure due to the large amount of fluid her body was draining. By large I mean thousands of cc's.

Mom spent 30 days in the hospital and left in worse shape than when she went in. She couldn't eat or drink. She was receiving all of her nutrition through a PICC line. She had a large abdominal wound (where the doctor had to remove her staples and rip open the healing wound to allow trapped fluid to escape) with a drainage bag to collect the drainage. She was barely 100 pounds. Her hair was thinning. Her eyes were sunken in with dark circles around them. It was extremely difficult to see her like that because she reminded me so much of Grandma before she passed away (my mom's mom who had cancer and I cared for).

***Fast forward to January 24, 2006. The fistula was still draining, but not nearly as much as it was before. She still had her PICC line and receiving TPN dailyl. She was allowed to drink small amounts, but no food. The doctor decided to go in and close the fistula since it wasn't closing on its own AND since Mom was responding so well to the TPN (she gained almost 14#!)

As you might recall I made a few posts from the fancy 5 star hotel... I mean hospital room. The surgeon stapled, stitched and glued the fistula closed and closed up the abdominal wound making the skin smooth and even. A day and a half after surgery Mom started leaking from her wound. Another fistula developed! Mom was devestated, of course. She told the doctor she couldn't wait another four months for it to "heal", and she wanted him to go in and fix it. The surgeon, who was very compassionate... and frustrated, told her he couldn't go back in because more surgery would mean more damage and the possibility of several more fistulas developing. After a lot of crying and praying Mom again went home without anything to eat or drink, her PICC line, and a new fistula and abdominal wound... with a drainage bag that collected the drainage that only increased daily.

Two Wednesday's ago my church started a Mobile Prayer Force at my Mom's house. Thousands of people attended... okay. Maybe just 50 or so actual bodies, but many more in spirit! (A little me thrown in... I was feeling really bad that day. I was in a lot of pain and could hardly move. I had planned on joining the prayer circle, but just went inside Mom and Dad's house during the prayer... physically I felt better when I left their house after the prayer. I felt it. All of me. Back to Mom...) There were several individuals that prayed aloud, group prayer, silent prayer and after that several small groups praying together. Before they left they all said The Lord's Prayer together.

Aunt Jayne (a family friend) said that during silent prayer a flock of doves began stirring around in Michael's huge pine tree in the back yard. Then all of a sudden they flew away. She said she felt peace right away. (Maybe this was the same time I felt it...) Like God was saying, "It's time."

That very evening Mom's wound drainage slowed down. Daddy noticed a huge decrease in the drainage... from 700 cc+ a day to only around 150 cc or less a day! Then by the beginning of last week the drainage went down to nothing... as of right now she's not had any drainage at all for 144 hours!!! The longest time she ever went before was 34 hours in November... just before Thanksgiving. (She was so hopeful. The doctor told her that if she could go 3 or 4 days without draining then she could have clear liquids then slowly progress to solids. I remember we were at the cabin out in the woods. My daddy was home from his tour in Afghanistan, and we wanted to get away. Mom started draining again just before Thanksgiving, so she couldn't eat. She had us all line up and walk past her with our heaping plates. Bless her heart!)

The wound was the size of a quarter two weeks ago then dime size four days later. A few more days later the wound was the size of a pin hole. (I'm so excited I can't even think straight... forgive me. But Yay! Thank you God!) The wound on her stomach is flat... whereas the wound from September was so deep and wide that it never actually healed over. This time the wound's all healed over and healthy new skin is growing. She has a small area (1cm x 2 or 3cm) of raw skin from the drainage and irritation from the drainage bag. But daddy's been taking care of that, of course... he had a great teacher! :p

She's been without the drainage bag for several days. She just has a small dressing over the wound... oops. I'm so used to saying that. Just a small dressing over the red area! (I don't know how to cross things out... so you'll just have to live with the "oops")

Mom called the surgeon Friday morning. Of course she wanted to give him the update, but she really called to see if she could have something to drink. She's had NOTHING by mouth so the lady's thirsty and hungry! (And who wouldn't be? Especially after watching FOOD NETWORK for hours at a time seven days a week. No joke. She watches it all the time. She never watched it before. Isn't that torture? She's crazy. It makes me hungry, and I can eat... and eat and eat.)

Anywho...The nurse called back very excited. She said the office is so happy for her! Of course they are! Who isn't? The doctor said she can slowly drink some clear fluids. She's going to try the grape juice again. Like last time... to see if any purple drainage come out. But it won't this time... BECAUSE IT'S CLOSED. Right?

I'm really just rambling. I'm crying and smiling and wringing my hands in-between typing. There's the news... I'm not even going to try to proof read this. You'll just have to understand the message and forgive the errors. God is good all the time... All the time God is good!

Keep prayin'. Once this is truly healed (and it is! I just know it!) Daddy's gonna have to start job hunting (since he just retired from the military). He's got his hopes on a civilian job for the military. Pray that a position opens up for him. They said maybe he'd hear something in March. Just look at the timing!

Oh! And Aunt Jayne told me that the other evening after she got off the phone with my mom she looked out on her deck and saw two doves perched on the fence then they flew away. Isn't that neat? Yay! And thanks again for your concern and well wishes! And please forgive the rambling and grammatical errors... my focus is more that God always answers prayers. He answers them in His time and His way. We just have to rely on Him!

My Beautiful Mom!

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Blogger LadyBugCrossing said...

What a cool memory/new thing/blessing!! I am so happy for you and your family.

Keep me posted! We are praying for you over here..

10:03 PM  
Blogger Shelli said...

Kimmy, that is so awesome! Really. Who can deny the power of prayer? I am so happy for you and your family.

12:12 AM  
Blogger Norma said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story, not only of her illness, but the faith story of your family, friends and church. I will continue praying for your mom.

You mentioned printing out my MM (about saving cards and letters). Because I have it in a shadow box, it doesn't print well, unless you block and copy it and drop it into a wp document.

5:13 AM  
Blogger monica said...

That was well worth reading.

You are right, all things come together. Even when we do not understand them.

Thank you for sharing this and your heart.

I play each week too!


6:59 AM  
Blogger FrogLegs said...


8:40 AM  
Blogger Rene said...

Hi, Michelle sent me, you have a lovely blog.

Your mother has really been through the mill, she truly deserved a miracle. So glad your prayers were answered and hope things continue on their miraculous path. Hope your dad finds a job as well.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Katherine said...

wow wow wow! So happy for your mom and your family! I absolutely believe in the power of prayer, too. Along with a strong will to live. Good luck! My first Monday Memory is up, too.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Veronika said...

That's just awesome! I'm in tears.
God does answer prayers - and in his own way.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!!!!! How terrific! :)

11:50 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Oh this is so wonderful!!! I'm so happy that all is getting better. You had me in tears again. Several tear-jerker-Monday-Memories today!

Mine is up too.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Thank you for sharing that wit us!! It really is wonderful news!!


12:12 PM  
Blogger Suz said...

Your story gave me chills Kimmy, I so believe in the power of Prayer. Iam so happy for your mom and how she is doing.

Continue Prayers for good health for her and Prayers that your dad gets the job!

Hugs Suz

1:48 PM  
Blogger YellowRose said...

Ok, you had me in tears!!! I am so excited for you and your family. I believe in the power of prayer and your post gave me goosebumps just reading it!!

My MM is up!!

3:29 PM  
Blogger Paisley said...

Wow, that's just wonderful news!!!! I am so happy for your family.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Virenda said...

I truly truly hope things will start to get better.

I can't even begin to imagine the pain and despair your mother and your family have to go through.

I'm happy that you have some hope, a light at the end of the tunnel.

Please keep us updated.

(Your mother is beautiful and her eyes are gorgeous)

4:53 PM  
Blogger Libragirl said...

You mother is beautiful.

I linked you on my site.

In answer to your question..yes there is a garage.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Lena said...

You mother is gorgeous! She looks like my mom!! I had no idea you were dealing with this. I pray that you and your family have your mom back to normal soon.

Every day we have with our familes is a blessing from God. I pray that your mom is completely healthy again soon.

I will check back for updates. For now, I'm so happy for you!!

6:38 PM  
Blogger WendyWings said...

Your mother is amazing I am so happy to read the update and see that things are looking up.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

What a story. Oh yes, the power of prayer! I am also a witness to that! We had a lot of prayer groups going for Anna! I will probably post something about that for next weeks MM!

Your mom is beautiful!

My MM is up now, a little late, but it's up!

9:32 AM  
Blogger shelleyginger said...

It's amazing...I don't know you or your beautiful Mom but what I just read had me in tears for this brave lady!! Please give her big soft hugs from me and feel free to let out a few whoops and hollers!! :)

12:18 PM  
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