So sorry for the radio silence. I’ve been meaning to hop on here and update y’all, but life has been happening and, well, I just haven’t carved out the time. So, for those of you calling to make sure everything is OK, here’s (part one of) an update!
Let me pick up where we left off… I didn’t have to break Corey out of the hospital (phew!), but to say he was putting pressure on them to release him would be putting it mildly. He called me as I was pulling in to the hospital and said, “Don’t even park. Just idle in the pick up/drop off area and I’ll be down.” He was dressed, packed, unhooked and standing at the doorway to his room, waiting (impatiently, I might add) for his discharge orders to come through. Once those neutrophils started coming in and hit the magic 500 mark, he started feeling better and was getting antsy to be freeeeeee!
We were discharged Wednesday afternoon — and may or may not have driven home in time to catch our daughter’s final playoff match and subsequent championship volleyball match that evening….
(They didn’t win the championship, but they played their hearts out and got an ice cream out of the deal…)
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, we were released from the hospital and settled back into the routine of daily checkups at the SCCA clinic (after our 15-hour detour 😉). Corey’s neutrophils continued to rise over the next few days, as did his white and red blood cell counts. He ended up having to have a blood transfusion while he was in the hospital, which is pretty standard. The fact that he had to have only one blood transfusion – and no straight platelet transfusion – is actually pretty great. So, as with most of his recovery thus far, he’s ahead of the curve.
In the week that followed his discharge, Corey’s numbers continued to creep up, slowly but surely (Dr. Barr called his neutrophils “lazy.” Ha!). And while his numbers were going the right direction, he was having a hard time eating and drinking enough (and keeping down what he was able to take in) to get all the nutrients he needed. After a day or two of unimpressive lab results, they ordered IV infusions of additional fluids, full of the minerals he needed but wasn’t getting. After a couple days, they had to increase the volume of the infusions and we ended up having to do 6 hours of infusions each day over the next week. Fortunately we were able to do these at home (the apartment) so we didn’t have to sit in the clinic for hours and hours each day.
There was a lot of silence in the apartment over the next several days. The little bit of time each day that Corey was awake, he was trying to make himself eat, drink and swallow his pills. Oh, the pills… I know they’re necessary and helpful, but they have become the bane of my existence. To spend the couple waking hours you have with a person each day telling them they have to eat more, drink more, and swallow fists full of pills the size of Mike-n-Ikes, when that person can hardly stomach the thought of making himself drink one. more. thing. is torture.
It’s also hard not to take it personally when that person snaps at you out of sheer frustration. Maybe that’s why I haven’t written much lately. To be honest, I hit a low point during those days too.
Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” This is another one of those psalms that’s highlighted, underlined and noted much in my bible. During those dark days I was looking into its origins, wondering what would prompt David to remind himself to “be strong and take heart.” Some think he wrote this while he was coming to the throne, which was a very tumultuous time for him, while others think he wrote it upon the death of his parents, another obviously troubling time. Whatever the occasion, reminding himself to wait out the hard times and lean on the strength of the Lord was a help for David in those days, and has been a help for me in my darker days too.
This process isn’t easy and can’t be summed up in a 90-minute Hallmark movie (is anyone else excited that it’s Hallmark Movie season again?!?!). There are hard points. There are bickering moments. I know Corey loves and appreciates me and he knows I’m trying to help him through this, but the daily grind where I’m “making” him eat, drink and take his pills and he’s “refusing” to do so is hard. I know it’s going to get better and I see him getting stronger and stronger every day, but this has been a season of reminding myself to “take heart.”
As it is also the season of thankfulness, I will end this post with an overwhelming gratefulness for the Word of God and the countless promises it holds. Here’s to the waiting, the being strong (when you really don’t want to be), and the taking heart. And here’s to getting through the dark days…together.