Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Big Pour: Concrete and Blood

No, not at the same time or in the same location. So, here's the story: last Tuesday my backyard was getting prepped to have the concrete poured in all the patio areas and the curving, sloping path around the yard. There were about 12 guys getting everything ready and waiting for the concrete truck to arrive. I had to run out to do an errand and as I was driving down Michillinda I saw it slowly approaching uphill: the massive concrete truck. Whoo! Hoo! I was excited! Here it was: the end to a gopher-tunneled, caved- in backyard lawn that was both dangerous and ugly. In its place was going to be solid level ground in specific, carefully laid out parts. I was finally going to have a REAL back yard suitable for bbq's, playdates, family gatherings and - gasp- weddings! (eventually, that is). As the girls and I watched them pour the concrete and fill in all the spots we got excited. It was incredible and amazing to watch.
                The backyard had to be cleared and leveled first - back breaking work!

      I'll post the finished product pictures when we're all done - well, mostly done.  

      Shift to only 2 days later. Early Thursday morning I got a call from my sister Sarah; my Dad had been taken to the hospital for uncontrollable rectal bleeding. It was serious, she said. So, as soon as I could secure the girls at home, I left to go see my Dad. He was really sick and was having the 6th unit or so of what would be 22 units of blood poured into him - drip by drop, drop drop....By Saturday morning he had looked better, but the colonoscopy had showed nothing that signaled where the bleeding was. But, the bleeding had stopped so he was moved up to the med/surg ward and out of ICU. However, after leaving him later Saturday evening, I got a call as Tim and I were ordering our dinner (we were out on a date) that he was bleeding again and that it was very serious. I gulped down my dinner and left for the hospital. Shortly after I arrived, it appeared as if they couldn't get blood in my Dad fast enough. He looked so white and was so cold. After turning away to cry so that he couldn't see me, I looked back at him, held his hand and smiling asked, "Do you have peace, Dad?" He nodded. He then winked at me. My Dad - always the charmer. Several minutes earlier he had made it clear to my sister that he didn't want to be revived when he went into shock and would quickly pass away. It was imminent and we all knew it. We were asked to leave the room at that point as the nurses frantically rushed to open another IV line in him.
     After waiting about a half hour, we were told he was in surgery. What? He was too risky to operate on, but it was either that or let him die. His colleague and surgeon friend of over 35 years was determined to do the best he could for my dad. And he did. With lightning quick precision, he removed most of my Dad's colon. A surgery that would have taken 4 hours with anyone else took only 2 1/2 hours with this amazing surgeon, Dr. Shirish Patel.Miraculously, my Dad came through the surgery well. It's been several days now and the recovery has been very painful and difficult. I would so appreciate your prayers for my Dad's healing and peace.
    Incredibly, my brother flew out right away when he heard the news of my Dad's hospitalization. None of  us in my family had seen him for over 6 years. There had been estrangement and tense, unresolved issues between him and my Dad in particular. After my brother arrived, none of those issues mattered anymore. Spending time with my brother has been emotional, joyful and extremely healing. God is so good. I'm asking God to do one more pour for me: that of abundant rest and strength. I am spent and weary. But God is my strength and my peace. I will definitely keep you posted.


Colleen said...

Wow, Laura, I will be praying. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

dietcokegrrl said...

oh my gosh!! LAURA! I am so sorry about your dad. I'm glad that he made it through surgery and hope for a swift recovery. Samuel had his entire colon removed in 2001 and was in the hospital for 2 weeks. It was a long recovery (and that was for a 40 year-old).

Glad your brother was able to come home and reunite with the family. What a blessing. I will be praying for your family.

Much love to you!

P.S. Can't wait to see the yard. How exciting!

Janis Pearson said...

Dear Laura,

Thanks for directing me to your blog to get the full scoop. Continuing to pray for you, your Dad and family.

Love Jan