Lea continues to struggle tonight, as she is being asked to take on more of the chore of breathing for herself. The ventilator support was turned down a little at around midnight last night, requiring her to work a little for each breath. The ventilator is always there for support, but she has to initiate the breath, and the vent will help her complete it if necessary.

The workload tired her after a few hours, and her blood pressure rose up in the 160-170s over 40s and 50s, but she did well. The machine is set to support her at a level of 10 peeps, and at one point she was doing better than double that herself. She tired quickly, of course, and needed relief later in the day. Still, if she continues to grow stronger, she can eventually eliminate the need for the ventilator support entirely.

She is taking on a little more liquid again, since she is being fed partially through an IV. Hopefully, the digestive system will kick in right away, and she won’t get as bloated as she has in the past. She had also been given a couple units of blood overnight to build up her bloodstream volume, since she is still bleeding from the abdominal wound. That will happen regularly until the incision is closed up.

I authorized a rake massage for Lea this evening, and nearly fell asleep listening to the music the therapist played while doing the massage. I’m not sure Lea had any idea what was going on, but her blood pressure and pulse reacted much as it does when I read to her. I interpret that reaction as being more relaxed than usual, and am willing to repeat anything that helps her in any way.

It is really very hard to be with her day in and day out and not get any reaction from her. The doctors say that “she” is in there somewhere, and that she can hear my voice and be comforted by it. But, sometimes, in the weak moments, I wonder if she really is in there any more. Wouldn’t it be horrible to go through all this just to find that it is only the body that is being kept alive . . . that the essence of who she is has already gone? It makes me shutter to think of it, and I have to confess the thought makes me weep.

I received a message some time back from a person who suggested I think about whether I might be asking Lea to stay here with me, when she would rather, of course, go to her reward. The writer must have felt that the bond Lea and I share is strong enough that she would stay here and suffer on, just to please me. (If she knew Lea, she would think differently. J )

The natural reaction to that kind of comment is immediate rejection of the idea. And, I have to confess it deeply hurt my feelings. But, as I thought more about it, meditated as I read my study bible and prayed for insight, I began to realize that I didn’t have the power to make her stay here against her will. Only God can make the decision whether she goes or stays. There is comfort in that. I have decided that I wouldn’t want to be responsible for deciding who goes and who stays.

I pray to God for guidance in making the medical decisions that come before me on nearly a weekly basis, and that He grant me the wisdom and faith to do what is right. I can also bend down close to Lea’s ear, and with clear conscious, say, “Lea, I love you! I want you and need you. I am so proud of you! You are so strong! You are doing so well! Please don’t give up, darling. Keep fighting to get well, so we can go home.” What a relief it is to know that my desires are not going to be the deciding factor!

I don’t know that my faith has gotten any stronger. I accepted Jesus many years ago, and He has been a constant companion over the years. He has always been there in times of trouble, and in times of joy. But, I think my faith has taken on a different character. As I have struggled through this situation for the past several weeks, I have come to realize that I don’t have to just step back from my emotional ties to my soul mate and say, “The Lord’s will be done.”

I am one of His children, and I can approach my father and reason with Him. And, while I have to say, “Thy will be done,” I am allowed to plead with Him for my desires as well. Although I may be required to “drink from this cup” one of these days, I can ask that I be allowed more time before taking that drink. I may not be granted that additional time, but I am allowed to ask for it.

And, you know what? I’m okay with that.

Rest well, Lea. I’ll see you in the morning.

Praise God,