Angel Update: 7/29pm

Home. There is something you can get there that is unavailable anywhere else. Peace and quiet. Thank the Lord Angel was discharged today about 2pm. I must say the entire experience was made more tolerable by the incredible staff at Northside Hospital Gwinnett and Northeast GA Med Ctr Gainesville. We took the 2 lane way home, wept our way in the door and she settled in to her freshly cleaned living room, courtesy of Lloyd and Debra Borden. We are so grateful for all who prayed us through this portion of this major medical emergency. We will get into follow up appointments and things but all we ask tonight is that you help us pray for a great night’s rest. We hope and pray the same for you. Don’t stop praying.

Angel Update: 7/28pm

Today was a mix of good news, God things and pain. So, the good news first. There was a decent nights rest overnight, as good as you can get as a hospital patient who is the recipient of tremendous round the clock care. Translation: 3:30am “I wanted to wake you up and make sure you are resting. Time to check your vitals, and your sugar, what’s your favorite color…” No really, it is all part of great constant care. The Lord blessed us with many great conversations and messages from people all over the country who have been a great blessing to us. All of your communications through our update posts have done a great work in heaven and in our hearts. With all of that comes the reality that 48 hours ago a Human Being took surgical tools and cut open Angels scalp and skull, dug around skillfully and pulled out a lemon sized object from her doggone brain, put it back together with staples and she still works. Now, think about the last time you stubbed your toe, tweaked your ankle, bumped your knee or elbow, got popped with bacon grease, got a sunburn, a paper cut, sat in a chair too long and got stiff (it happens), got a leg cramp, accidentally hit yourself with a golf club or aluminum bat, or had a child conk you on the head with a toy of any kind. Now, put all those together, insert it into your head and pour scalding water on it followed by iodized salt and mercurochrome. Starting to get close to brain surgery pain. Oh, and add in a broken bone because her skull was sawed open. Ok now. Please pray that her pain can be managed. Even with the meds they are giving her there is still a significant amount of pressure and pain. THE REALLY GOOD NEWS! She is going home tomorrow! Can you believe it? This started almost 9 days ago and she is finally getting to go home.

PRAYER: Pain Management, A smooth release from the hospital and arrival home, Follow up appointments over the next 2 weeks including a 1 time gamma knife radiation treatment, No insurance issues, Pray away fevers, infections, falls, seizures or any major setbacks, For the home crew which will take over all of the round the clock care, Safety traveling home tomorrow.

STRENGTHENING: They say that people who are in better physical condition overall do better when a major health crisis arises. Same principle can be applied to the healthy active prayer life of a Child of God who gets the right amount of spiritual nutrition, exercise, rest, work, and flexibility. How in this world does anyone face anything close to this without a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Please hear what I am about to say in the right spirit. Some who have posted a response to one of our update posts that has a praying hand emoji or “prayers” cannot remember the last time that they started and ended their day with prayer. Some could not pray effectively because there is unconfessed sin in their life. Some who promised to pray would have to get out a yearly calendar to track down the last time they actually went to church. If this experience has rekindled your prayer life, worth it. If you have tried to pray for Angel and it caused you to clean up some things or reestablish communion between you and the Master, worth it. As we have said throughout the last 9 days, DON’T STOP PRAYING! When the reports get better and she goes home, DON’T STOP PRAYING! Pray like it is brain surgery day, every day. “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17 KJB

ICU Meditations: Within not just Around

In Scofield’s notes in the introduction to Philippians, he makes this statement, “Christian experience, (Paul) would teach us, is not something which is going on around the believer, but something which is going on within the believer.”  Without all my notes with me, I cannot recall between Stinnet Ballew, Milford Biddle or Raymond Hancock, who said in times like these to say not tell me Why Lord, but rather show me Who are you in this Lord. In Philippians 3 Paul laid bye all his outward previous entitlement, precious enrichment, positional enablement, and political entanglement, in deference to the Embolding Power he knew within by humility, sufferings, and persecution. A dear friend reminded us of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 when he instructed us in the sufficient grace, perfected strength in weakness, and glory in infirmities for Christ’s sake. All of which are the pathway to Power in Christ which is not put on but better put in. Watering the leaves of the branches does not give the nourishment that the water from the Roots through the Vine provides.

Angel Update 7/27pm

Today was a good day. For Angel today stretched from last night at 8pm in recovery. I was not able to stay with her and she did not sleep much at all worrying about the morning MRI.  That came around 8am. That’s 3 dreaded MRI in 1 week. Gal deserves a gold medal instead of some of those twerps in Japan. Speech, physical, and occupational therapy all came in and began the work of awakening her left hand and arm motor skills. We received some instructions and made some plans for going home.  Dr Winograd came in and gave his post-op thoughts. He is confident that the procedure was a success. The MRI shows that the brain is collapsing back into its normal space. That will help the return of her slowed motor skills. He took off her lovely gauze wrap to reveal the cross cranial incision now held with the latest in high fashion staples. He talked of follow up with a radiation oncologist who would perform a 1 day 1 time gamma knife radiation treatment. Any other ongoing treatment will go to Dr Tanna. His words, “I’m just the mechanic.” The hardest thing has shifted from waiting to staying still and resting. Angel wants to pop up and get back to her active routine. But poor baby cannot hold her eyes open. Outside of a slight Game Show Network addiction, she is in motion and independent. Good news is that things are moving in the right direction.

PRAYER: Improvement in motor skills. She won’t unconsciously scratch her head or pull at her IV. Upcoming appointments. Pathology report is best case. Tireless Medical staff. Adjustments to home care / recovery. That this test and trial will not be in vain but that God will receive His due Glory and all who observe will learn what He is trying to teach. Which leads to…

STRENGTHENING: Don’t waste the pain. The most revered of our heroes of the Faith have only become so by trudging through the pit of pain. How much Power have we forfeited in trials by clenching our selves so tightly that we refuse the gracious hand that the Lord offers to lead us through the pit of pain to the higher plane of Power. We want to know the power of His resurrection (Phil 3) but it is in His sufferings where we find His fellowship. Let us not waste the pain on our own selfishness.

ICU meditations

7/27/21

Life that rolls out without the acute sensitivity of crisis most often ignores the still small voice and the moments of Gods graceful movements. All the schedules and scuffles, activity and apathy, drown out our attention to the direct action of the Almighty. It has been in these recent intense moments of “I need you” that we have looked and listened more attentively. What a pity that I have not lived every normal, mundane, ordinary, I got it, day without the same “I need you” on my lips. I fear the Lord has stood by me as I practically ignored Him in my day to day. He deserves so much more of my every moment attention unto Him, rather than the regrettable treatment of a life preserver in times of distress. Lord help us all.

Angel Update 7/26pm

When going through a situation like a surgery quite possibly one of the hardest things is the waiting. We’ve been waiting for several days now for a surgery that would remove a 4 cm tumor from the right lobe of Angels brain. I have heard it said in these last several days that one of the common phrases around hospitals is “it will start when we begin and it will take as long as it takes.” That phrase is very true. They told us that the surgery would start around 2:15. Someone came to pick her up for pre-op about 1:45 p.m. We thought that we were right on track. The pre-op experience lasted about 2 hours. We were able to talk with Dr Winograd and hear his plan. He was actually able to show us the MRI images which was astounding. Something akin to a lemon was in the right upper lobe of Angel’s brain. The doctor seemed very confident that this would be no problem to retract. I’m glad he thought so. As he explained everything and asked if we had any further questions we said no. I did at that time tell him that although we do not know what he believes or doesn’t believe, there were literally thousands of people all over the world who are calling his name in prayer on behalf of Angel. He seemed unimpressed and expressed that whatever anybody believes is fine with him. ” I’m Jewish, so.” I did not say it out loud but I thought to myself, ” I’ve been talking to another Jewish doctor whom we refer to as the great physician.” About 1 hour later the OR nurse called to say they were beginning the procedure. About 2 hours later Dr Winograd came into the OR waiting room and said “we are done.” He was able to get all of the tumor and said he believes it is a best case scenario. Further pathology and consultation will determine further treatment but he believed that it should be minimal. This is nothing short of the grace of God from the throne of God motivated by the prayers of his people. We praise His good name. I was able to go in and see Angel for a few minutes in the recovery area. She was talking answering questions and asking the same questions over and over. She did say that her head was hurting to which the nurse said, ” baby you had brain surgery and that’s going to hurt your head.” There will be scans tonight and at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow. You know what we say around here, don’t stop praying. Good night.

Angel Update 7/24pm

A quiet day that began around 4am with checking vitals, glucose, labs, etc through around 7am. All teams made their rounds beginning with Neursurgery (PA Justin, Dr Hazzard). Quote PA Justin to Adam, “Same shirt as yesterday?” Dude, I don’t even know what day of the week it is. Funny moment. Dr McCollough (Plan’s are steady), Cardiology (Dr Dupont – looks good) . There has not been one drop in care through nursing shift changes. Thank the Lord for quality medical care. Took 2 walks down the halls.

Thank you for a great visit from Bro Mark and Ms Amy Stroud. Thanks for smuggling in the Steak n Shake. Also a sweet visit from Mary Beth Cole (Chick Fila Enabler). So many calls and messages of support and prayer. BIG Thank you to bro Les Butler for featuring prayer for Angel on his Music & Ministry FB Live today. “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Pro 17:17) KJV

PHILIPPIANS 4:19 GoFundMe IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Bro Dustin Bonham, pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church Wartburg, TN who organized the GFM effort is going to update the goal one more time. His initial goal of $5000 was met and surpassed early. The bump up to $10,000 was met earlier today and folks are still contributing. The decision has been made to bump the goal one last time to $15,000 and shut down the GFM Monday evening. Bro Bonham has consulted with us and we agree that this is the reasonable thing to do. We have no words to express the gratitude to Bro Bonham and all of those who have given gifts to help defer our medical expenses and supply our household expenses in the time that we will be off the road. But, make no mistake, the LORD is going to get us back doing what HE has called us to do. PLEASE share this info for any who would like to make a final gift. (Phil 4:19)

PRAYER: No seizure activity. Surgery stays on schedule. Family and friends who will be on hand Monday; safety and comfort. Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace. Comfort and courage for Abby & Addy who have been absolute troopers through this whole ordeal. Maturity, Grace and Character all parents pray their children will develop and display. Tumor Disappears – Decreases – Defunct. Rest tomorrow in preparation for Monday.

STRENGTHENING: In the Songs of Degrees, Psalms 125:1-2, “They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.” The psalmist describes those who trust the Lord as a mountain. Don’t miss that. As the mountains pictured below from Israel around the area of Jerusalem display, we are that lesser mountain of faith surrounded by the greater mountains of our Lord. A storm may wash away lose dirt, a fire may come and burn away brush but the mountain will remain, protected by the strength within and the mountains on all sides.

Angel Update 7/23/21 pm

Thank you for taking the time to check in on Angel. We are going to begin using this blog format for those who do not have social media accounts and also create a journal of this experience that others may be able to draw strength and direction as they may travel these same roads.

Today started at 5am with a wake-up call to get ready for an MRI. The tech came to pick her up at 6am. Throughout the morning all the various medical teams made their rounds; Neurology (seizure activity), Cardiology (new Heart Echo), Mobilty nurse (walk the hall), Nurse Manager (how we doin’), Hospital Dr (overall care), Neurosurgical Team (MRI, Surgery plan), Nursing staff and Techs (all day care).

Prayer Plan: Rest and Preparation over next 2 days, Surgical staff (Dr Winegrad, Justin, Catherine), Dr McCollough (Hospital Dr), Dr Bashir (Neurology), Dr Voltz (Cardiology), Dr Tanna (Oncology), Tumor disappear – decrease – defunct, No Seizure activity

Strengthening Points: Times like these are why it is important to be right with God, so we can pray without hinderance of iniquity in our heart. A constantly updated prayer list is important. It is important to be a friend and show ourselves friendly. Family and family relationships are crucial. Church Family is Family that we need. Young people approaching the thought of marriage need to study the difference between Love (Eph 5) and attraction, infatuation, and lust. Nobody says I do thinking, “I will stand by you through disease and failing health, I will bathe you, I will comb your hair when your hand doesn’t work, I will keep my vows when they are called to account, I will make hard decisions, I will walk by your side when you don’t have the balance to walk on your own, I will wipe away your tears and your slobber. I will do whatever it takes no matter how long it takes. I will love you more than I love myself, I will pray with you and for you.” I do is our version of God’s I AM.