We arrived to the hospital just in time to see Dr. Levenback and Dr. King and their fellows visiting Kristi. We could hear her laughing from outside her door. What a great sound! She was hardly speaking because she felt so bad last time we saw her. We were also surprised as she was just sitting upright in her bed and so alert and interactive. There was a little less of her to see as her weight loss is evident. The fast and miserable weight gain following her initial cancer treatment is now something she can give thanks for!! Sometimes I stand amazed at how God goes before us in some of the most inconvenient ways we can never understand at the moment, but are a gift later. Kristi had exercised and changed her diet following her Miracle, and had become so discouraged this past summer because she wouldn't even lose a pound!!
Kristi had been talking to Dr. Levenback about her drain because it had changed both in color and in the amount over the past 24 hours and she felt anxious about it. Last time we left Houston, we watched the drain change colors and odor over the next several days before having to take her to the ER. Dr Levenback told us that he was just explaining to her that what she has been through is very traumatic and she will have some experiences like someone with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). He felt her anxiety about the drain was more tied to this than the facts of where she is medically at that moment. She was laughing and I said, "Well, her two sisters who are counselors have just arrived so we can handle PTSD right??" We all laughed, but seriously........Amy and I would feel much more knowledgable and at home with PTSD symptoms than all we have been doing!!! Although, I still do say that we have earned our nursing degrees throughout this adventure too! But for your sake, we will not plan to practice on anyone outside of the family.
Shortly after this visit, the nurses checked Kristi out of the hospital and Dad made yet another run to the MDA Pharmacy to get more large bottles of pills. After packing up her belongings we took that familiar stroll to the elevator and down to the lobby with beautiful piano music and moved her into the hotel room. She walked with her walker from the car to the hotel room. It was another moment to celebrate like when we celebrated our children riding without training wheels on their bikes......"Look at me Sisters...No Wheelchair!!" As Amy and I were going over her medicine and writing down when we needed to give her her mediation, we realized that she had been able to drop two of her more high power pain medications in the past few days. We find yet another reason to celebrate! Two of the antibiotics she will take for 6 weeks and the other for 1 year to protect from this situation reoccurring.
Kristi would like to thank everyone for your prayers that have carried her through this last 24 days in the hospital. She has needed and felt your prayers. She was telling me today how much Psalm 91 has helped her though out this journey. Verse 11 says, "For He will order his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways." When she was strapped in three places on the uncomfortable gurney on the way to Houston in the ambulance and they hit some very rough places, she told God she needed his righteous right hand to hold her and make the bumpy road smooth. She pictured in her mind a huge angel with hands large enough to just hold her gurney up and felt the road become smooth. I'm sure she will have so many stories to tell in the days and years ahead as Kristi is a great story teller!
Amy took Dad to the airport and he flew home to Colorado to see Mom and help with the finish of tax season. Kristi said she has told Dad he should feel like an extremely important man because he is needed in so many places. He will return to Arkansas to complete Jeff and Amy's house project next...hopefully! We have learned that we can't plan too far in advance on this journey.
We are about to venture down to the exercise room and try and continue what PT Betty has been doing with Kristi. They actually have the machine she needs for slowly working to strengthen her legs. : )
FRIDAY: Tomorrow we will take Kristi to the May's Clinic for an appointment with Dr. Levenback. They plan to take out the IV pic line and possibly the drain.
PRAYER: Kristi would like prayer for her sense of restlessness. Her mind feels much better so she wants to move around and go and do, but her body cannot begin to keep up with her mind! She sits on the couch and bounces her legs and finds it hard to feel peaceful internally. I opened my Bible to read a scripture to her and then we read Jesus Calling. WOW.....it was all on "stillness of soul" and even had her scripture from Psalm 23...."He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters". Kristi said, "That's what I want for this summer.....for Billy and I to take our kids and sit beside still waters and look out over beautiful green pastures."
It calmed us all and we ate lunch and took a nap! Now....that has never happened on this journey. Too much stress and too much care-taking or misery for Kristi for us all to nap. Yet another sign of her improvement and reason to rejoice....................Danina