(guest post by Matt)
In the last update, I left off sharing the great news of Stephanie’s clear PET scan. Since Friday, Stephanie has done well. Very well. Yesterday (Saturday) was a good day. She’s been walking, coherent, eating… she’s been doing everything the nurses have needed her to do in order to be discharged from the hospital. And my oh my, how things change.
Today was supposed to be the day. We thought it and Stephanie’s nurses thought it too. They were so certain that she was going home that they started writing up discharge papers and instructions and even said, “If you feel like you’re ready to go home, you can go home.” Stephanie was unsure and was on the fence between, “I just want to get out of here,” and, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”
She and I were on a little stroll through the hallways of her floor, just chugging right along. On our way back to her room, we passed the nurse’s station; Stephanie’s nurse who gave us the choice was there, and Stephanie voiced her decision: “I think I’m ready to go home.”
The nurse’s reply: “Not so fast.”
During her stay, when the nurses were checking her vital signs, they noticed an irregular heartbeat. They ordered a couple EKGs to be done, but didn’t think that it was that big of a deal. Stephanie was still under the influence of pain meds, she’d just had surgery, her body had been depleted from its regular nutrition… all these things likely played a part in the little hiccup she received on the scan. Well, evidently the medical team thought enough of it that they took our choice away from us. We’d be staying at least one more night.
Not only would we be staying at least one more night, but this involved a room switch. That meant new nurses, a new floor, new just about everything. This switch also involves Stephanie to be hooked up to heart monitors strategically placed on her upper body to monitor her heart rate. Generally speaking, I believe change is good. Change keeps our wits sharp, keeps us focused, makes us pay more attention. However right now, change sucks. It’s overwhelming right now. It’s causing stress. The last thing we needed was one more thing to pop up. Frankly, we thought that a re-diagnosis, surgery, recovery, and the upcoming grueling chemotherapy treatment was enough for the time being.
From where we are now, it’s looking like Stephanie’s electrolytes are low. So, this is a whole different ballgame. For me, when I hear anything along the lines of electrolyte deficiency, I think have some Gatorade and be done with it. But as it turns out, magnesium and potassium (the two she’s lacking) play key roles in heart function. And having just endured what she’s endured, the road to getting out of here seems to be that much longer.
This seems simple enough, but we are drained. Emotionally and physically. Stephanie is over it. She just wants to go home. She’s tired of the pain, she’s tired of the hospital. And I have to say, I’m tired of it too. Personally, I make the 20 minute drive back home to our house twice a day to care for our pup, Scout, before coming back to the hospital. I’d really prefer to not have to do that. I just want to have the green light from the hospital, get Stephanie in the car with me, drive away and never look back. I’m blogging this at 11:30pm. We’re in a smaller room on a different floor with different medical staff. Nights are rough (anyone who’s ever spent the night in a hospital, patient or otherwise, can attest to that). We miss the comforts of home. We’ll never take for granted our own bed or a hot shower ever again.
So, this entry will close with a prayer request. Please pray that the Lord would see fit to strengthen Stephanie enough so that we might be able to go home. Pray for strength and endurance for both of us. Pray for peace despite the situation and for rest and comfort during our stay. Pray for wisdom and efficiency for the medical staff.
We’re discouraged, sure. We’re both running on empty. This in no way signals towards a lack of faith. Our spirit is strong, but our flesh is weak. We still rejoice for the amazing triumphs of the weekend and look forward to the future. Tonight is simply a speed bump. As always, prayers are appreciated, and we love each one of you. Thank you for everything and thankfully, tomorrow is a new day.
Isaiah 40:29 (ESV)
“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.”