I thank God for the blessing of being able to report another pretty good day for Lea, although we suffered what we hope was only a minor setback at the end of the day. Through His grace she was able to spend nearly an entire day breathing on her own, with the ventilator in a support role when she needed help. By six o’clock this evening she had completed 18 hours, and had been able to continue with support decreased substantially.

Plans were to let her go as long as she could reasonably sustain the effort on her own, and then put her back into rest mode. Unfortunately, at about six this evening her lungs suddenly just quit absorbing sufficient levels of oxygen. Lea was still trying, but she wasn’t able to go on without assistance. So she went back on high levels of ventilator support, and was immediately scheduled for a chest X-Ray and a bronchial procedure to extract mucous from inside the lungs. The procedure was done at 8:15, and produced only small amounts of fluid, so fluid was not the cause of the problem. Her oxygenation, though, had already improved some, so we’ll see how she does with some rest.

The hope is that she can take over the breathing chore on her own within the next few days, but she is currently having trouble sustaining good oxygenation on her own. This may indicate another accumulation of fluid around the lungs in the chest cavity, a problem that has occurred twice before, or some other problem with which we must deal. There really should be no reason she couldn’t resume breathing on her own, barring complications caused by the pancreatitis.

Her narcotic medications were dropped back a little again today. The Dilaudid was reduced to 2.4 ml/hr, while the Ativan is down to 10.0 ml/hr. She is still, however, heavily sedated, and mostly unresponsive. We think will still have about two to three weeks left in intensive care if nothing major goes wrong. She still has to overcome tonight’s setback and regain full use of her lungs, she has to kick her narcotic habit, she has to get her stomach closed up, and she has to get her digestive system working properly.

Dr. Amanda Ayers, one of Dr. Mah’s associates changed Lea’s dressing mid-afternoon, and said that things are still on track for getting the abdomen closed up within the next week or so. She has a large drain in her stomach, and there is still some dark fluid being flushed from inside the wound, but it is really looking pretty good. She will need to have a skin graft to complete the closing.

I feel that we are pretty close to being able to turn the corner toward recovery, and keep thinking that we only have a couple more hurdles to get past. I grieve in my soul for Lea when I witness the pain and discomfort she is going through, but I still have faith that she is going to be returned to us, and that she won’t remember the pain she is experiencing. Even if we should lose her, I wouldn’t give up one single moment I have been able to spend with her during her hospitalization. It has been my privilege to be here helping her, giving back to her the selfless love she has given me during our years together.

It brings tears to my eyes, and sadness to my heart, to even think that I might have to go on without her, and I don’t have any idea how I could survive that loss since our lives are so tightly intertwined. I pray that God will not make me learn that lesson. I pray that He wants Lea and me to continue ministering for Him as a couple, and that she will be returned to us very soon, delivered through the skills of the medical professionals caring for her moment to moment, day by day.

I pray that God will forgive me of my many weaknesses; that He will help me overcome the sin of pride, and that He show me His will for my life. I kneel at His feet and humbly ask that Lea, miraculously healed, be made a part of His direction for the rest of my life. I pray for her survival and full recovery, and pledge myself to her care and protection in the years to come. I pledge us to His service and glory in the role He sets out for us. I pray that these things be granted for my own benefit, and for the benefit of so many others whose lives Lea has touched. By the grace of His blood, shed for me, I pray. Amen