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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Checking In, Checking Out

Hello, my friends.
 
I guess I owe you all an explanation of my recent absence, especially since some of you have contacted me outside of the blog to ask how things were going.
 
Doug's brother continues to grow stronger following the amputation of his lower left leg. But life is going to change for him, and the process is keeping Doug and me very busy. So busy, in fact, that I've decided to suspend the blog indefinitely.
 
First, though, because you've all been so supportive, I want to bring you up to date.
 
Because Veterans Affairs is unable to make Dennis' old apartment wheelchair accessible, Dennis is going to have to find a new place to live. And, because he's in rehab, he's unable to look for a new apartment. So that search will fall to Doug and me.
 
We have a meeting today with the staff at the V. A. hospital, where Dennis had his surgery and is now undergoing physical and occupational therapy. After that meeting, we'll have a better idea of what we need to look for in an apartment for him. Then the search will begin in earnest.
 
Meanwhile, we've been taking care of life's little details for him and visiting and encouraging him as much as possible, as well as managing things here at home. That has left no time for keeping up my own blog or visiting yours.
 
So, my kind friends, after checking in with you via this post, I'll be checking out of blogging indefinitely. Maybe I'll pick it up again someday; but for all intents and purposes, I'll bid you farewell.
 
Thanks for being the great encouragers that you've been for me during  my three and a half years in the blogosphere.
 
I've said it before, but it deserves repeating...you're the best!
 
 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Green Side of the Grass

A friend shared this with me today, and I thought some of you might enjoy it, too. If you're over 50, or know someone who's over 50, you may see yourself...or a friend...in this song and video by Libby Allen:




Saturday, April 19, 2014

How Deep the Father's Love for Us

As we remember and celebrate the resurrection of our Savior on this Easter Sunday, I want to share an a video featuring a hymn sung by Phillips, Craig, and Dean. The song is "How Deep the Father's Love for Us," and it never fails to make my heart soar in thanksgiving for the price that was paid to redeem my soul. May it touch your heart as well.



Lyrics by Stuart Christopher Townend:

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
(REPEAT)

Wishing you all a most blessed Easter.

 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Brother-in-law Update #5

I just wanted to let you all know that Dennis' surgery went well. He seems to be accepting the loss of his lower leg and is looking forward to learning to walk again with a prosthesis. So far, he's experienced minimal pain, for which we're very grateful.
 
He's going to be spending a couple of months in the hospital as he goes through rehabilitation. Hopefully, after that, he'll be able to manage the three or four steps leading up to his apartment and will be able to resume his independent living there.
 
Once Dennis is moved into the rehab section of the hospital, he'll be kept busy by the therapists; and we'll probably cut back on the number of days that we make the two-hour, one-way drive to the hospital to visit him.
 
I want to thank you again for all the kind and supportive comments over the last few weeks.
 
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Brother-in-law Update #4

Just a very quick update on my brother-in-law, Dennis. Some new sores showed up on his foot last night, so the bypass of the diseased artery that the vascular surgeon had hoped to do would not have been enough to save the foot. They'll be amputating the foot above the ankle tomorrow morning.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Brother-in-law Update #3

When we visited Dennis yesterday, we had the opportunity to meet the lead surgeon on his vascular surgery team. It was really the first solid information we've received to date.

The surgeon would like to do a bypass surgery next week, probably Wednesday or Thursday, taking a vein from Dennis’ left leg and using it to bypass the diseased artery in the same leg. That artery is too damaged to allow proper blood flow to the lower leg and foot. The surgery will involve an incision from Dennis' groin to his ankle and a surgery of 4-5 hours in length.

The doctor believes the surgery can be done and that it's the best option for Dennis, but his whole team must agree to it before they proceed. If it can’t be done or if it doesn’t work, they will have to amputate the leg below the knee. If the bypass works, though, he believes amputating the toes will be all that’s necessary.

As I understand it, the lack of circulation in the foot is working for Dennis right now in that the blood is not feeding the infection. I gathered from what the doctor said that, as soon as that infection gets adequate blood supply, it will begin to spread rather quickly. So they will proceed to the amputation within two to four days after the bypass.

We plan to visit Dennis again on Monday. Hopefully, by then, the surgical team will have made their decision as to whether to go ahead with the bypass surgery and will be able to tell us when it will happen.
 
Today, Doug and I took a day off from all the running. We spent the morning getting some things done around the house. Then, this afternoon, we went to Ouabache State Park, about an hour from home, to enjoy a couple of hours in the sun, just relaxing and reading. It was quite windy there, but the temperature was in the mid-seventies, the warmest day thus far this year. The day out did us good. It's been a long winter and a busy couple of weeks with Dennis.
 
I took my camera with me to the park; but, to my disappointment, I found no birds to photograph. Oh well, I had a good book...and good company with my sweet husband.
 
 

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Brother-in-law Update #2

The good news is that the hospital is being very thorough in their testing before taking Dennis to surgery. The bad news is that all the testing, and the resulting delays, are making Dennis a little testy.

They've done an ultrasound test to check the circulation in his feet and lower legs. They've done a CT scan. And they've done another ultrasound test to map the arteries in the left leg, which is the one that has the foot with the dead toes.

He was supposed to have had an angiogram today, inserting dye into the artery or arteries in that left leg, further checking the circulation. At the same time, they were going to check the veins in the right leg to see if any of those could be used to improve the circulation in the left leg. Unfortunately, those tests have been delayed until tomorrow.

So, at this point, it's looking like it might be next week before the actual surgery can happen.
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