Delicately we move forward

During rush hour in Arlington, Texas, Tuesday night, a critical care ambulance moved Sue to a new hospital near downtown Dallas, and a new ICU bed. A place filled with experts on neurological aneurysms. Experts on cases like hers.
Even before we got to see her, we felt immense relief. We felt it was the right place. We felt the vast difference in everything medical related.

More assuring was the first doctor that came to consult. Letting us know that she was settled and they had a team of surgeons look at what she came in with. They were confident of the procedure they wanted to do, which was NOT open head surgery to clamp the aneurysm, but a coil procedure to fill it and support it. The coil required no opening of the head since they went through the groin area. The presentation of their recommendation was VASTLY different from XYZ hospital. Suddenly the coil, which the experts suggested (not offering a choice), made perfect sense. Why open her brain if it wasn’t the best option? We wouldn’t, of course. It was a win, win all around.

Again, great comfort, and blessing to be moved to this hospital and KNOW they were looking out for HER, and not for what procedure that hadn’t done in a while. Either procedure had been done at that hospital yesterday. It was common practice. If something were to go wrong, they would proceed to the second surgery option immediately and come get her husband’s authorization. Our prayers were answered, we were in good hands.

She was alert and could speak when woken up. In fact, she has been alert, talking, and moving from day one, which is very encouraging to us. She gave the doctors her medical history herself. She held our hand and said she loved us as many times as we held hers and told her the same thing. She passed all the tests from the neuro exam except her left side was weak and only moved when pushing on the pressure points. We considered that being part of the brain pressure from the aneurysm.

The proper medical term for her condition is subarachnoid hemorrhage.

    sub·arach·noid definition
    Function: adj
    1 : situated or occurring under the arachnoid membrane
    2 : of, relating to, or involving the subarachnoid space and the fluid within it

It’s referring to where her bleeding occurred. Basically, it’s something that was already there. A bubble if you will. What happened is this bubble, she has had all her life, suddenly split and started bleeding into her brain. I say all that, because she has been confused by others as having a stroke. She DID not have a stroke. She had an aneurysm and 40% don’t live through it, because normally they burst, not split. When it ruptures vs leaks, it is instant death.

Yesterday morning, they did the coil surgery. We are assured her recovery in ICU is approximately fourteen days. As you know, fourteen days is nothing. A walk in the park and knowing her, she will somehow, someway swing a day pass to the wedding. Either way, I am just happy she WILL recover. I have no doubt, something awful would have happened at XYZ hospital. I could feel it. I don’t feel that way at this hospital. The surgery procedure has a 92-95% success rate. Not to mention, it’s all being handled before the 72 hour window of time.

However, when the surgeon comes back, it’s not as simple as we hoped. They weren’t able to insert enough coils. They did get quite a few in. It will stop any re-bleed from happening – all good. The bad….another coil surgery in two weeks, plus a shunt to put in underneath the coils to help support that area; in other words two more weeks of delicate care, not recovery care like we hoped. The news that knocked me in the stomach was the fact that during the scans they discovered a clot in her brain about 24 hours old, occurring at XYZ hospital, it was too old to fix it. THIS was in fact a stroke, and THAT was the reason for her left side weakness.

I know I should be positive and blessed and praising all involved and I am. She is still with us. She is still able to move her right side (and at time of post her left leg). She will, with time and therapy, regain full function (after the second coil surgery and recovery). But it will be a long, hard road. I hate that for her.

She is missing those little grandbaby hugs, that she needs and they need. Missing those tight little embraces that only Grandma Sue can give. An embrace to find love, and reassurance. Can I just for one second grieve the loss of that, for them and for her, and for us, just for this little while? I know she is going to miss giving them and they will miss receiving them. Not for fourteen days, but for at least six weeks, and quite possible months.

The heartbeat of the wedding lays in a critical care bed. Her magic wedding fingertips restrained to keep from pulling tubes. The excitement and plans she made locked under a bandage, all hope of her recovery in time for her son’s big day – shattered. All I can do is pray the magic revives coming back to honor her. To spark new life for the hard work she has already done.

I hope I will find the strength to finish what we started and make her proud. But just for a minute, can I be sad? Can I miss that she won’t be there? Can I say this is one of the hardest things I have ever dealt with? The family has ever dealt with?

It’s not like either of us have many parents or grandparents. In fact between us, we have three. My mom, his mom, and step dad. That’s it.

No living grandparents and no fathers.

It’s hard for me to focus on anything wedding without thinking of her and hurting. I’m not sad for me. I’m sad for HER. I’m sad for Jason, but mostly I miss my friend. I miss our planning. I miss our shopping and designing. I would give anything to have her health back. In fact, we have all made up our Christmas wish lists for the next dozen seasons – her health – the only thing listed.

It is a long road ahead, but we will continue by her side supporting her until her full recovery. I will drive to Dallas EVERY day. I know the way and the garage well. Jason is staying some nights there. We have been fighting our own physical illness – fever and chills (stress?), it only lasts a few hours at night, but I guess the swallowed fear has to come out some way.

In a little more than a week we will adorn handsome men, and fairytale princesses with the flowers made by her loving hands. I am still blown away by the beauty and delicacy they behold. It reminds me of her. Beautiful. Soft. Strong.


Made by Sue for the wedding, two days before hemorrhage.

Wedding flower table vases sitting out in her dining room.

Thank-you for your continued prayers. Please know how much we appreciate them in this difficult time, we take day by day.

31 thoughts on “Delicately we move forward

  1. Yes. Yes you can be sad and upset for her, for you, for Jason, for the girls, for the family . . . that is ok, you don’t need permission. Let it out, even if you think you will not stop if you start. Let it out. Cry it, scream it, shout it, punch it, run it, slap it, throw it, dance it . . . whatever . . . let it out. Its ok.

    I am so happy that she is in better care. I am so amazed at that person who told you the truth.

    I can understand how everything wedding now makes you sad because SHE was everything wedding. But most people feel badly when they’ve been the cause of missed or ruined plans—-even when it is not our fault—-we still feel badly. So it is ok to go on . . . . it is ok to go on with JOY. I bet she wants it that way.

    I know, it is sooooo easy for me to sit here and type it, not so easy to do it, but really . . . worrying and dwelling on the sad will not help. In fact it could make matters worse because it could affect the health of you all.

    I am sorry it did not go as well as planned.

    But try to do everything with joy . . . because joy is love and love is joy and even though you might not feel all that joyful there is the LOVE. And they are together and if you hold onto the LOVE then it is joyful.

    Hugs and prayers, my friend.

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    1. Terre-Thank-you for always knowing what to say. I did allow myself to be sad, to be disappointed. I won’t dwell on it as you say, it’s no one’s fault and it wouldn’t do any good. She had looked forward to this marriage and her son’s happiness. I couldn’t, nor will I, disrupt that.

      I think I just needed to feel the shock and let myself cry. I actually feel better since posting this. Writing has always been therapy. Heck, she even commented on many of my blogs.

      10 more days to JOY and it will be JOY for her and for us and you know? I think the family could use it.

      Last night, I held her hand and rubbed her arm and told her how much we love her and how she will get lots of hugs when she gets home. I projected healing energy through my hand and more importantly belief vibes. I need her to believe she will go home too.

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      1. Maybe you don’t even realize what you wrote. A lot of people tend to interchange them (I am not saying you do, but maybe while you were writing you did). You said Sue is looking forward to this marriage—not the WEDDING. Yes, I know she was looking forward to the wedding, but that is just one day. A fleeting moment in time . . . . . but it really is all about the MARRIAGE. She is looking forward to the MARRIAGE and Jason’s (and yours) happiness.

        Well, she’ll get that. She won’t miss out on that. She might miss out on BEING at the wedding, but she will be around for the MARRIAGE. How cool is that? That is really what counts. That is really what is important. Yes, I know her missing the wedding stuffs is a drag, but really in the grand picture of things she is going to be there for the BEST part!

        Oh, I should have said that, huh? “Write it out.” Silly me! Or “photograph it out”?

        You, Sue, Jason, the girls, everyone are in my thoughts and prayers. Across the miles, across the internet, across the waves . . . I hope you feel warm thoughts and embraces.

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  2. Yes dear friend, in fact you need to mourn this. I know that your bond with Sue and Jason is very fierce and I can’t even imagine what you are going through. I know that things never go as we plan, but that all things lead to His path. I am blessed to join you on this journey and know that when we cry out to Him, it brings us that much closer to our loving Father.

    I am so thankful she is in better care, and that the team of doctors have the wisdom and answers to make right decisions. I am praying for you all and hope that our prayers across the miles bring you some comfort.

    God is love, and if your grief for this situation isn’t love, than I don’t know what is. You have such a good heart and I love you dear friend. I’m so glad I get to be there soon to capture more of your story.

    I’m hear to listen my friend. Hugs to you from across the miles and I can’t wait to see you all.

    Love you!!

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    1. Kellene-God has his hands in everything. If there has been one thing we have witnessed over and over on this journey is his love for us. That Doctor was one of three brothers, his mother had the same thing happen and lived with the right care. He saw the three brothers and he did what God had prepared him for. It gives me chills.

      I, also, know that God put YOU in my path. I can’t imagine anyone better at capturing those precious moments than you. And now more than ever, we need that for her. So you play such a big part in God’s plan and I am so grateful for that and for you.

      I can’t wait to hug you and see you!

      All my love back!

      P.S. You made me cry in Wal-Mart when I read your comment yesterday from email. Lol.

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  3. I am so glad that dr had the guts to tellyou all to go to the other hospital. I am sad for you and jason that she won’t be able to be at the wedding, but I know you will see her touch and feel her presence in everything. And oh, what joy she will get in seeing all the pictures. It’s hard not to get the hugs when you need them most, but they will be back stronger than ever. {{{HUGS}}} Continued prayers for her health and healing and strength for everyone.

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  4. Thank God she was moved to this Hospital, the recovery time will be longer than planned but will just be a drop in the bucket compared to if she had not been moved.

    Your wedding will be great and there is a chance she will be there for the ceremony but if not at least she will be there to share the joy after the wedding.

    Continued Prayers for all of you.

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  5. Last May, my son came home from work to find the house spotless, and many items gone. He then found a note on the table from his wife. She had left, and taken their daughter. They were married for 21 years. From the first time I met her, I knew he was making a big mistake. I knew it would end badly, and it did.

    If my son were marrying you, I would be the happiest mother on earth. You are exactly the kind of woman I would want for a daughter-in-law. I know Sue feels the same way.

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    1. Judie-Thank-you! That is so sweet of you to say. I felt like I was disappointing her in not doing some “traditional” wedding things (like music), but she seemed to go with the flow after we played it for her. Every comment to me was always positive and thankful from her that I was in her son’s life. She treated me like her own daughter from day one.

      I am very lucky to have her. Sydney and I both are.

      That’s terrible about your son, but sounds like he is better off!

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  6. How blessed you are to have a Mother-in-law that you love & have such affection for – a true friend. I will continue to keep her and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
    Hugs,
    Colleen

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    1. Colleen-I am blessed to have her in my life. Between her son, her, and his brothers, and all the family I am truly blessed by them. I have wrote many posts about the love they share and how she raised such wonderfully sweet boys.

      Thank-you Colleen, I really appreciate it.

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  7. OF COURSE you can take some time out to cry and mourn and be sad about the situation. How can you not?

    I’m really sorry for your entire family. Please know that you are first in my prayers!!

    Huge hug to you.

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  8. Though it’s not going to turn out quite the way you’d hoped, this is an incredibly encouraging account! I think all of this is working to make this occasion ultimately more cherished.

    They say a person’s true character comes out in adversity–and yours is shining like gold, my friend.

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  9. I think it is perfectly natural and healthy to take some time to mourn this loss for yourself and for the rest of the family. I am so sorry for what you are experiencing, however, we are always given opportunities that test and strengthen our faith. I love hearing about how you are using your faith to get through these tough times. I know that she will make it through this, stronger than ever!

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  10. Even though she wont be able to be at the wedding, I can tell she was super excited about it and her part in the process will still be there. All those flowers have her touch in the part of yalls wedding.

    ((Hugs))

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  11. I just wanted to let you know that I am reading the updates, and praying for continued strength, and healing. We experienced something very very similar with my grandfather, (his burst rather then leaked) and he never woke up. I am so glad that Sue is able to speak and be involved. I know that recovery sounds intimidating, but she sounds like a determined woman. I don’t think she will let this stand in her way. If she chooses to get well, and has the family standing behind her, she will achieve her goal.
    She may not be able to attend the wedding, but have you thought about Skype, or something like that? You could live videocast it to her, so at least she could feel like she was there.
    I know you would still miss having her there, but at least she could still see the special moments.
    Just an idea.
    One day at a time. Even better, one moment at a time. That is all we are called to. God can see the rest, but we can only take care of one step at a time.
    Blessings.

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