The next phase that I want to share the blessings from is when Dad finally woke up. It was so tough waiting for that moment. But I’m so thankful that it came. It was a slow process getting out each and every tube that dad’s body was depending on. I remember calling one night while my sister Rachel was staying with Dad. She put the phone next to his ear so I could read the Bible to him. It was a beautiful moment that I cherish because I was given the opportunity to give back to my dad something that he has been giving me for 30 plus years.
Here is a note from my sister Abigail as we waited for Dad to wake up…
Every two hours they do nuero checks and tell him to open his eyes… every time I hold my breath and expect to hear a cheer that he followed a command besides finger grasps.. So hard to see him look so helpless and unresponsive:-/ he has not opened his eyes or breathed on his own yet. Still intibated for now while brain recovers… At least he’s stable… hip, knee ankle, and superficial head stuff are all stable and on road to recovery… foot looks extremely painful , surgery consult Monday for foot fixtures!!! Closed head injury is yet to be revealed with time, looks promising!! Thanks for all prayers! (April 18th, 2013)
The waiting was painful. Then came a moment to celebrate. The moment Dad started to stir. Here is a note from Abigail on this moment…
Dad opened his eyes part way four times this morning, took a couple breaths over the ventilator… he is wiggling around and tried to pull his tubes out of his mouth and catheter… he has followed a few prompts this morning: like wiggle toes, thumbs up and opens eyes to pain response:) thanks for prayers… (April 19th, 2013 ~ Morning)
It was so good to hear that Dad had started to respond. That evening dad responded a little more as my sister Rachel stayed by his side.
Hanging out with Dad in St Cloud Hospital. Tonight I asked him to wiggle his toes and for the first time he wiggled his right foot big toe. He was able to move left foot around but now he could do right one. PRAISE THE LORD! God is so good. It is really hard to see dad like this but is amazing how excited you can get over wiggling a big toe lol. He is still unconscious but stable. His blood level was low 6.6 so they did a blood transfusion and said he is responding well. YAY! Thank you for the prayers we all appreciate it so much! God is not dead He is at work in my dad and I cant wait to see what he has in store for my dad. He will use this in huge ways for his glory. — feeling better about things. (April 19th, 2013 ~ Evening)
Words cannot adequately express the relief that came as we saw dad wake up from his unconscious state. It was so tough to wait because every time a doctor came in we would hear the worst case scenario. Things like, “your dad might never wake up, he might always need a ventilator, and other such things”. It was tough to swallow the unknown and trust God for the future outcome. But God is the Great Physician. He heals our bodies, not doctors. They are used by Him to do a tremendous work, but ultimately God restores the body.
“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 30:17)
The day the tubes came out and dad started to breathe on his own was probably one of the scariest in the whole ordeal. My sisters Rachel and Abigail experienced a wild day as dad came through. Dad did a lot of thrashing and reaching for invisible objects that day. Later we would come to find out that this was the normal response for someone with a traumatic brain injury, but at the time it was pretty intense.
The process of waking up was a long one. Dad made slow recovery by giving thumbs up, nodding yes or no to questions asked, and following other prompts. Yet, there was still no voice. Dad had no way to speak to us. At this point dad had a very difficult time keeping his eyes open. Many times he had to use his own fingers to hold them open. And even when his eyes were open they were empty and seemed to look right passed you. He could not focus and he just wasn’t the same. But progress was made and in that we rejoice! Looking back on this phase of the journey I can tell you quite a few blessings. Here they are…
1. Dad woke up. That was huge in itself.
2. Dad recognized everyone that came to him. He would squeeze people’s hands and respond. Great to see that his memory was still intact.
3. A family member was with dad the whole time. It’s so nice that he got to wake up to his children instead of a doctor or nurse.
4. Dad had constant visitors. People kept showing up to pray and encourage him.
5. The prayers that went up on Facebook and the loving support from family and friends.
6. We heard so many stories of dad and the impact he has had on our small community. Each story was even better than the last one. Totally blessing our hearts and making us even more proud to be his children.
7. One blessing I’m thankful for is that I did not have to witness dad waking up. My mind retains information and I think that would have replayed in my mind for years to come. Thankful that God knows what we can handle.
I will continue writing about the many blessings from this tomorrow!
Dear Father God, It’s so good for me to look back and remember how bad things were so that I can better appreciate how good they are now. Thank you for watching over my dad. Thank you for your healing touch in his life. Even though the healing process has been slow, I’m thankful that it has been occurring. I trust your timing for Dad’s complete and full recovery.
Counting my Blessings,