It’s June 2nd.
At 4:30pm, doctors called me while we were in the cafeteria to let me know that Scott had started bleeding again, and that nothing was stopping it. They said the Intervention Radiologist (IR) team would do their best, tho’ they had claimed prior to this that they were out of options. We were grasping at straws. We were all losing him.
Our church had assembled and was praying in Woodland. Loved ones were on their way to be by Sarah and my side at OHSU. I still remember my text to a dear friend, begging: “Please come now.”
“I’m so scared.” I texted our pastor, as he, his wife Katie, elder Jim & wife Vicki were on their way.
This part of the Saga, this evening, felt so very long.
I remember realizing it was time to gain the courage to do something that I didn’t want to do. To face something I didn’t want to face: It was time to talk to a couple of very specific men in our lives, asking them to step in and be there for my children for the long haul. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to ask someone ever. Ever, ever, ever.
There were many things that I hold close my heart during these precious hours*. Many things that I simply don’t have the umph to face, share, or talk about here for now. The intensity in those hours were like a hurricane. Raging. Unfathomable. Calm. Awesome.
As Scott was going farther away, the closer God made Himself apparent. The scarier it was, the more I rested in knowing God was in control, and that His peace fought for me. The more I thought Scott would leave me, the more I cherished every moment I’d ever spent with him. It was the ultimate pendulum, pulled strongly and equally to both sides. Opposites were colliding.
At 7:30pm I got the call: They had stopped the bleeding.
Out of surgery. Moving back to ICU. Bleeding stopped. Keep praying. He’s alive!!
We didn’t think Scott would live through this day. The medical world had all but given up, with “no options”. We still had hope. It’s by the grace of God that those incredibly skilled doctors performed magnificent miracles on Scott’s body. If you tried to convince us otherwise, well, you’d be wrong. And that’s a shame. It is that simple.
At one point during this evening while we waited in limbo, I was talking with one of the men that had come to the hospital. He kept trying to encourage me, “I just know Scott will be okay… Why would God put him/us through this if it weren’t going to work out?” I had to look him in the eye and tell him that we didn’t know Scott would live. We hoped! But that God works in big ways, not always our ways. But that we had to trust Him no matter what. Our faith could not waiver just because it doesn’t go the way we want to, if it must end [to us] horribly. I remember worrying that the thousands of people watching Scott’s story may lose heart if Scott died. I wanted to reassure them. I remember feeling urgency, like I had to tell them now that God is good, even in the bad. To explain that we cannot base our faith on what we want and feel.
But then, this man held faith like a child. How could I discourage that with my worldly sense of ‘logic’ and self-preservation/protection?!
When the IR nurse called to give me the good news, I just cried. I was overwhelmed. Grateful. So scared still.
Each hurdle ending in “good news” gave me less exuberance than the last. It was harder to think we could just breathe again. It was harder each time to relax or celebrate.
I stayed with our loved ones in the cafeteria for some time. The nurse had let me know it’d be a while as they got Scott ready to move back to the ICU, where I could go to him. One side of me wanted to stay in the cafeteria longer. Just to be.
At last, Sarah and I went to see Scott. He was swollen more than ever. His eye sockets were bulging, not indented. His hands were completely puffy and tight. He had machines covering most of the parts I could see, his body surrounded in pillows and blankets to secure and prop him. The face mask and padding that held his ventilator in place was stained with blood. They had done their best to clean him up, but he had blood puddled in his ears. Crusted into his facial hair. His breathing monitor, which once provided soothing sounds as it supported his lungs, was sporadic and non-rhythmic. His vitals were sketchy.
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. ~ James 5:14
Continue Reading »