Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Testimony Tuesday: Lessons from the Hospital

Since Friday afternoon the majority of my waking hours have been spent at the hospital hanging out with my uncle who is in, without a complete miracle from God, the final stage of his battle with prostate cancer. This is the first time in my life that I have been in this situation and old enough to understand what is going on. It has been hard to watch him struggle so hard to do things that most people do instinctively and that I have certainly taken for granted. Just a few of these things include:

  • Having enough weight. As a woman it is sometimes difficult to be happy with my weight and not wanting to lose those "extra few pounds". But as I have very literally watched my uncle shrink before my very eyes to what I am guessing is around 80 pounds taking on the look much like that of a skeleton with skin, I am thanking God for a healthy weight.

  • Being able to breathe with ease. There have been mulitiple times over the past few days where my uncle has stopped breathing for several seconds. Each time making me hold my breath as I stare and wait to see if he is going to start breathing again. Then there have been times where he has to use his whole body to breathe. All the while I am breathing instinctively without any thought.

  • Being able to eat and feed myself. Since I got there Friday night the only thing my uncle has eaten has been ice cream. And it has had to be fed to him.

I could go on and on but I think this would turn more morbid than it already is and I will spare you that. Being in a hospital with someone in the final stages of life will certainly reveal some of the most basic things in life (i.e. the ability to communicate) that are easily taken for granted. But I am continually amazed at how even in the hardest times, God is faithful to provide blessings. Since I do not want this post to be a complete downer--and I want to give God credit and thanks for these blessings, I will share some of them with you.

  • First we were given a special gift Friday night. When my uncle went into the hospital Thursday morning he was pretty much unresponsive. Friday evening while we were there he just "woke-up" for a little while and talked with us and laughed with us. At the time we thought maybe he was coming out of it and going to improve, but as it turns out, the Lord was just giving us a really special time with him and I am so thankful for that. He said funny things that just fit his personality to a "tee" and we just got to see Tom be "Tom".

  • He had been very restless. Almost like when you are asleep but you are dreaming that you are awake and you can't move but you just keep on trying and trying to move. Sunday morning I got to have a special prayer time with just the two of us and at the end I prayed for God's peace and when I said the word peace he squeezed my hand really tight. He has been much more calm ever since.

  • It has kind of been our special thing that while he is having a waking period, he will let me feed him water and ice cream.

  • Even though the room probably should be a somber place, we have really laughed more than anything else. Remembering stories, sharing memories, laughing about little things that have come up in the room. A couple of times he has even laughed with us out of nowhere so I know he can still hear us even when it appears he is out of it.

While it has been a hard thing to watch, I am so thankful for the blessing of being able to be there and just hold his hand and keep him company during this time. Also, I have to give thanks for Matt because he has encouraged me to go and taken on all the responsibility of the children so that I could be there.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

What a wonderful thing you are doing for your uncle. I know you are handling it so well. I will put all of your family in my prayers, most of all your uncle to be at peace.