“Daddy, they called! They have a heart!!”
(Read Part 1 here)
A new heart! Renewed hope!! A chance for Shelby to live a full life!! It’s exactly what we hoped and prayed for!
But wait! Wait…
For one to live, someone doesn’t.
Somewhere, a family’s tears flow. Someplace, loved ones grieve. Somebody is hurting, mourning a tragic loss.
Their hope, it’s gone.
Yet, in the deepest of deep grief, they share. They share life through their loss.
To someone else, some unknown person to them … to Shelby … they pass along a heart, the very beat of life. Continue reading HEART OF HOPE (2) – My Daughter’s Transplant Story
Phone rings. 3:42 AM. Never a good call at that time.
I listen, shocked. Adrenaline rushes. My fingers tremble on my shirt buttons.
Twelve minutes later in the ER, several people explain that Shelby, my 20 year old daughter, has an enlarged heart that’s only working at 15% capacity.
I can’t get to her. People everywhere, beside her, in the way. I can’t reach her, and she’s slipping away.
It’s almost ten minutes before I can bend over to see her in the bed, pale. So pale. Shallow breathing. Hands and fingers, blue and cold.
I speak softly, fully understanding I may not ever get to again. “Hey Sweetheart.”
Her eyelids flutter before opening her blue eyes that are there, but slipping.
I see the recognition as she whispers, “Daddy, I don’t want to die.” Continue reading HEART OF HOPE (1) – My Daughter’s Transplant Story
“Breath! Breath deep!”, the nurse said. “Good! Control your breaths. Control. Breath deep. Control!”
The deep breaths continue until the pain momentarily subsides. No class, no education, no preparation can adequately prepare someone for the pain. Sure, it wouldn’t be forever, but right then, in that moment, it feels like it will never end.
Sharp, awful waves migrate from the back and end in the private area of the body. It’s so intense that all appearances, inhibitions and concern for dignity flies straight out the window. Nothing short of hope and relief from the excruciating pain can bring comfort.
The nurse, a seasoned veteran, has seen it all, yet she never consistently predicts the responses beforehand. A sonogram gives the approximate size, length and weight beforehand, but everyone’s different, so there’s no way to know up front how long or what the response may be. Continue reading Push, Push!
One of my sons, Todd, told me a story that still lingers several years later.
He had several jobs at once in college, but quit them all to work in a college intern. He continued to work, however, for a gentleman in his 80’s he’d met a couple of years before. The man was in great shape, but hired Todd to do heavy labor work around his farm.
As Todd got to know the man and his wife, he really liked them, a lot.
Unfortunately, she had Alzheimer’s, and was getting progressively worse in the short time he’d known them.
One day sitting in the gentleman’s pickup, he told Todd he would need him to work more to help look after the place.
Staring out the front windshield, he spoke quietly, as if thinking out loud. He said his wife’s memory lapses were becoming longer, and more frequent.
Occasionally, she would snap out of it and be back to herself instead of the confused, absent minded stranger. He was was forced to move her to a nursing home for proper care. Continue reading A Thought To Remember
When my youngest son, Clark, was in high school, he got a gash in the top of his head from a basketball tournament. Clark shaved part of his head so we could look closer. Butterfly stitches wouldn’t stick, so I pinched the skin together while one of Clark’s friends dripped Super Glue on the cut. Worked well too, a lot better than the first time….
….the first time Clark was 7 years old. I coached his baseball team and was working with the outfielders to catch pop flies. It almost dark and I told the boys no more but Clark begged for one more pop fly. Since he was my son, I went against my better judgment and threw one more pop fly, high, really high. Clark had perfect big leaguer form, stuck up his glove, and the ball hit him squarely in the mouth.
The week before he pulled his first front tooth and had big open gap when he smiled. The ball smashed the open gap and pushed the next tooth through his upper lip.
Another player’s dad, a doctor, took a look. It needed a stitch, maybe two. Off the record, he said if it was his son he would avoid the ER trauma and just super glue it together. Continue reading Super Glue Stitches
My doctor told me during the exam it was time.
I took a deep breath. I knew this day was coming. I resolved then and there to cowboy up and get it done.
I’ve been flying under the radar for several years. No problems. No issues. No medicine. Just the way it should be!
But this year, instead of the vampire nurse just draining a week’s worth of bone marrow work from my arm, the doctor tells me he wants to check out several other things.
First, a sleep apnea study — No problem. Sleep is my one of my natural talents! Passed with flying colors!
Second, a stress test — Continue reading The Ire of Staying Healthy