Lea had a very tough day today, with the infection she is fighting causing her temperature to persist at the 101-102 degree level even with regular doses of Tylonel, and her blood pressure bottomed out again. She, of course, was not able to do any work at all on the ventilator. Barbara, her night nurse had another tough night trying to keep up with Lea’s worsening condition, as her systems reacted to infection and temperature increases, blood pressure fluctuations, and confusion and delusion.

Lea was in no condition for me to wash her hair today, or for that matter, give her a bath, or tend to many other needs. I was able to put a little lotion on the soles of her feet, but didn’t apply it anywhere else since it would just close up her pores and hold in the heat caused by her temperature. About all I could get done was a little oral care, as I cleaned her teeth a little, and applied lubricant to her lips.

Stacey, her day nurse, was kept very busy all day long, as Lea kept altering symptoms from high blood pressure to low blood pressure, delusion, Detoxification Tremors, and adjustments to medications. The mid-level nurse practitioners decided that all Lea’s IV and PICC lines should be changed to make sure none of them was the source of infection. They told Stacey that they would do the procedure “in about an hour,” to give Stacey a chance to prepare.

The mid-level nurses called in a doctor to consider Lea’s Detoxification Tremors, which were becoming quite violent and fairly continuous. The doctor recommended that she be given some Benedryl, since it has been shown to reduce the tremors, and within about 45 minutes her tremors were negligible.

Dr. Mah then came in to examine Lea, took a look at her numbers, the charted info on how she had performed overnight, and decided he wanted to do the IV changeover procedures right then. Well, naturally, the procedures didn’t all go well, and one of the A Lines would not go in at all because Lea is so swollen, so a specialist had to be contacted to do the installation using a special process. It was scheduled for later in the morning, and was successful.

During the early afternoon an X-Ray was taken to make sure the new lines were properly ositioned in the vessels, and then her abdominal dressing was also changed in the late afternoon. So, she has all new lines, and if any of them was the source of the infection it is now gone. The plan is to watch her battle with the infection over the weekend, to see how she reacts to the changes that have been made. Dr. Mah will be coming in to keep an eye on her over the weekend, too.

The plan is to just watch what she does. If she continues to get sicker, Dr. Mah may have to do a surgery. The CT Scan shows pockets of fluid around the pancreas, and they could possibly be pockets of pus. If that is the case, they will have to come out for Lea to get any better. They might be removed with a syringe if they can be reached that way, or surgery may have to been done though the almost healed wound that is still open. That would be a shame!

As I took a break to do laundry while Lea was sleeping this afternoon, I loaded my clothes into the dryer, and then went back up to the room and sat down at my keyboard. I haven’t spent any time playing it for several weeks, and I could sure tell that I had gotten very rusty! But, as I played from my collection of love songs for her, I thought of a recent Gaithers Homecoming Concert we attended in Indianapolis this past summer.

It was shortly after the passing of long-time entertainer George Younce, and they played a video tribute to George that night during the concert. One of the clips was a wonderful piece he narrated, called Beyond the Sunset, which I have heard many times over the years. It very well expresses how I feel about Lea, and I recall that we held hands as it played, and weeping silently together. It means even more tonight. Here is how it goes:

~ Beyond the Sunset ~

Should you go first and I remain
To walk the road alone
I’ll live in memory’s garden, dear
With happy days we’ve known
In Spring, I’ll watch for roses red
When faith the lilacs bloom
And in early Fall
When brown leaves call
I’ll catch a glimpse of you

Should you go first and I remain
To finish with the scroll
No lengthen shadows
Shall creep in
To make this life seem droll
We’ve known so much of happiness
And we’ve had our cup of joy
But memory is one gift of God
That death cannot destroy

Should you go first and I remain
For battles to be fought
Each thing you’ve touched
Along the way
Will be a hallowed spot
I’ll hear your voice
I’ll see your smile
And though blindly I may grope
The memory of your helping hand
Will buoy me on with hope

Should you go first and I remain
One thing I’ll have you do
Walk slowly down that long, long path
For soon I’ll follow you
And I want to know each step you take
That I may walk the same
For some day, some day
Down that lonely road
You’ll hear me call your name

Performed by George Younce & The Gaithers

These are beautiful sentiments, and very much how I feel about my wonderful wife. George’s deep, soothing voice, makes the words even more moving to me tonight. Lea and I have already agreed to watch for each other when we get to heaven, so I know that no matter what, we will be together for eternity. And, that is the best gift ever! No matter what, she’s saving the last dance for me.

Please keep Lea in your prayers this weekend as she fights this ferocious infection. We don’t know where it is coming from, and so we can’t treat it directly. It is a game of waiting to see what happens, and then trying to catch up with it. Without the miracles God has given us, we wouldn’t have gotten this far in bringing her back from the grip of this disease. It is the power of prayer that brings miraculous healing, and we have seen it work time and again. Ask the Lord to continue His healing of Lea, and the perfection of the works to be accomplished through this trial.