The Hem of His Garmet

An update on Liz: tonight, she is laying in a bigger hospital bed that has been padded for her protection. Since a little before 5 am this morning, my wife has been experiencing periods of involuntary movements that would cause one to think that she is having a seizure. But upon further review, there’s no real evidence of such a thing. Just because the motions are similar doesn’t mean that it is in fact a seizure. Thus, initially, the doctor started her on a seizure medicine, it has now been removed. No need to add more medicine into her system unnecessarily. I spent about 20 to 30 minutes talking to her neurologist, by phone, about what I have seen, what I know, and suggestions on what I would do based on what I knew of her past. (I was proud. He asked me if I had done some medical internship.)

As I walked into her room in the critical care unit at the hospital, I was saddened at the fact that we as a couple, were back here. I stood at the foot of the bed and watched her monitor. Liz was asleep and getting help with her oxygen through the nasal cannula. She is 30 years old and this is her 6th stint in an intensive care ward of a hospital. (May actually overlooking one or two.) On a positive note? Her stomach and GI issues are slowly resolving. And her blood is a little more thinned out than it was yesterday. These are good signs! But it is tough to know that my wife went in with a blood clot in her leg, had lingering stomach problems, and is now being monitored closely by a neurologist. 1 + 1 = 11.

So, the plan? She will get an EEG done of her brain. There is talk that it will be one where they get all the leads in place around her head and then turn the machine off. The nurse will watch her closely throughout the night and into tomorrow. If and when Liz begins to shake and go through these seizure-like motions, the nurse will go in, turn on the machine and begin recording the brain activity. This is done so that they can determine whether or not the movements are triggered by something cerebral or muscular. In the meantime, the hematologist will continue to get Liz’s blood therapeutic and the admitting doctor will continue to check on Liz’s general care, including the healing of her abdominal pain. Interesting note: her nurse today is the first nurse Liz had when she was put into the ICU after the quads were born. She was reminding me that she was the one that got the opportunity to wheel Liz up to the NICU to see the babies for the very first time on Mother’s Day in 2005.

My alarm went off at 6:30 this morning. The sky outside was turning from black to a deep purple. The air in the apartment was a bit crisp as I had left the balcony door open overnight. I woke, for another morning, alone. And then the phone begins to ring. Caller ID tells me its the hospital and so I believed it was Liz just calling for an early morning, “Good Morning.” Not the case. It was her nurse asking me about any seizure medications and/or seizure history.

I almost lost in front of my kids this morning…Spending 20 minutes on the phone with the nurse and getting information on what was happening to Liz and then having to go wake up five sleepy-headed kids and wake them up with a smile on my face…So, I did something I needed to do for myself and for them. Instead of just busying myself with the normal mornings routine of getting the six of us ready, I sat down and had a bowl of Cocoa Puffs with my kiddos this morning. And it was awesome! I had some Christian music playing in the bedroom and we just sat in our chairs and danced around. We all laughed at Samantha when she was laughing so hard that cereal fell out of her mouth. It was pretty funny.

But, after finished up with breakfast, getting the clothes set out, brushing my teeth…I cried my eyes out in the shower. I am not even sure what sort of cry it was. I don’t know if I was scared or tired or broken or humbled or what. And listen to me,…when you cry before the Lord, He makes Himself known. He shows you that He is there. He needs you to feel His presence as much as you need to feel it. After several minutes of just snotting it up, God sent an angel to remind me of one of the fruits of the Spirit; gentleness. Logan, opens the bathroom door and over the roar of the bathroom fan and the sound of shower water, he says, “Daddy.” “Yeah dude, what’s up?” “I really had fun with you dancing at the table while we ate breakfast this morning. You’re a lot of fun.” (Man, I can’t even hold it together retelling it.) And then, of course, after he leaves, I cry even harder.

The unknown scares many. It has become my normal. But another thing that has also become my normal? My determination to fight. Yes, I grow weak and weary, but the battle is not over. Nor do I fight it alone. When other husbands/dads look me in the eye and they tell me they love me, are praying for me, and to let them know what they can do to help, God makes Himself known once again. When wives/mothers ask me how Liz is doing and relay to me that my wife has been heavy on their hearts, God makes Himself known once again. When a dear friend of mine loses his father this morning and then sends me a text asking me how Liz is doing, well, you get the point.

I am blessed. Not because of a dang thing I have done. In fact, quite the opposite. I am blessed for having God in my life, doing everything I can’t, which severely outweighs my abilities. Tonight, my kids are asleep at someone else’s house, my wife is asleep in the hospital, and soon, I will be working until 6ish in the morning. Tonight, God has the Dixon’s in such a great embrace. And He’s not letting go.

When I stand before thee at the day’s end, thou shalt see my scars and know that I had my wounds and also my healing.

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One Response to “The Hem of His Garmet”

  1. Leslie Brado Says:

    Even though we have never met, we feel as though we know you and your family. Melissa and Sean have been so blessed by your friendship. We are praying for Liz and for you as you take care of your family (and it sounds like you are doing an awesome job!) Keep relying on you family and friends to help you through the tough times and be comforted knowing how many people far and near are praying for you.

    Please give our love to Liz and we will continue praying.

    Leslie Brado ( Mel’s Mom)

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