277. Wake Up Call

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See? It got better, just like I promised. Sorry for the emotional ambush yesterday, everyone – my bad. I am so used to this subject matter that I sometimes forget that it is upsetting. Let’s call that a defense mechanism. But still, sorry – I will be happier today. JPAS shared a verse on Sunday during the Lord’s Supper – Exodus 2.25 (ESV) “God saw the people of Israel – and God knew.” The context is that the Lord saw Israel’s suffering while they were slaves in Egypt…and He knew.

When you combine the question, “Don’t you know” with the natural inquiry, “Don’t you care?” you get a probing heart-cry that many experience. In case you’re wondering, however, if the “You” in the questions is God, the answer in both cases is YES.

The next logical question is, Well, if God knows and cares about my situation, why hasn’t He DONE SOMETHING about it yet?!?! I don’t know the specific answer to this question for you, but I know the general answer for me. I’ll touch on it tomorrow, but I’m going to write about it fully in the 2nd Vol. of my “Memoirs” – you know, the one that I can’t write yet bc I have to wait for more stuff to happen. Incidentally, I am praying that Vol. 1 of my “Memoirs” will be ready soon – I’m still ironing out logistics and would appreciate it if you’d pray with me.

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I took this picture on Saturday. E&R came to visit and we went to visit S, “my other jeweler.” My “original” jeweler is Mr. K (Classic). I always said that if the financial analyst thing didn’t pan out I was going to come home and be his apprentice. Sadly, there is no room for vision and fine motor skill impairments as a jeweler. Another dream bites the dust.

But I took this picture bc I sat on the same bench I did over two years ago when I went to go buy my walking ring. Actually, I did not sit on the bench then – Mommy parked my wheelchair next to it and Daddy got us (predictably) ice cream at (predictably) my request, and we had a snack there. This time I sidled up to the bench on my own steam.

It was S’s idea to engrave my walking ring with the date of when I first walked (9.21.11). The ring was still with her when I walked, so Mommy called S to tell her the date. So we have good news then, S said.

I wanted to share this email (the one that followed directly after yesterday’s) because it talks about when I woke up. My social worker at The Place asked me to tell her about the first thing I remembered. I told her I saw a pretty nurse bending over me and pinching me. She encouraged me to respond saying stuff like, I know you can do it, etc.

My nurse found me online after I sent “thank you” cards to the hospitals, and when I clicked on her FB profile my eyes widened and a lump came to my throat. I had always thought that I might have dreamed what she looked like, but she really does look like that – and I’ll always remember how her words pleaded with me to rejoin the land of the living.

Later on, my therapists et. al would talk to me, and the assumption was that I was already a part of the land of the living and I could laugh and joke about things like people do. Even now I see myself in those situations as a 3rd party observer, not really believing those words were for me.

But they were, and I know it seems like a little thing, but talking to me like everything was business-as-usual, and treating me with extra kindness when the occasion required are things my medical teams did for me that I will never forget. To quote myself:

“I would like to thank Dr. Dogan, the surgeon who saved my life, as well as the army of doctors, nurses, therapists, and aides who brought me this far. If this hadn’t happened to me I would have never been privileged to see the strange and wonderful world you work in, where you change people’s lives on a daily basis. I know because you changed mine.” (Learning How… Vol. 1, Introduction)

Thank you can never be enough, and too few of us say it. But it’s all I can do right now – and let me assure you that I REALLY mean it: Thank you xoxo.

4.10.11: Day 3, Sunday – This is what everyone was waiting for.

Dear Beloved,

We give thanks to the Father of mercies for His hand of grace and answer to all your prayers.

Yesterday was a low point as we sent out the update regarding Ning’s condition. We went to bed agreeing that we probably would not be able to get to church. When we got up in the morning, we decided to go attend the Lord’s Supper and remember the Lord as He commanded. We would not able to see Ning ‘til after the Lord’s Supper. We decided that was the right thing to do, with the thought that Ning would go to the Lord’s Supper under the circumstances.

On the way we telephoned OHSU and spoke with the nurse on duty and asked how Ning did during the night. She said that Ning did fine and as a matter of fact Ning responded to their commands to wiggle her toes and she even gave a thumbs up.…When we heard that Ning gave the thumbs up we knew that this was Ning and we burst into tears and gave thanks loudly in the car.

We thought we were going to be late for church but before we knew it we arrived on time and had a few minutes to spare. We passed the news to one of the elders to make an update announcement at the end of the meeting. All in all, the Lord’s Supper was a warm and wonderful remembrance of our Savior Who loved us and gave Himself for us, with many participating with a word, prayer or hymn. When the announcement was made about Ning’s responses to commands and the thumbs up she gave, they broke into applause and disregarded the normal decorum. After the meeting, the believers came up and greeted us most cordially. It is evident that there is so much love for Ning and they have been praying most earnestly as you have.

We quickly returned to OHSU and went to see Ning. G, the nurse, woke Ning up, saying, Ann I am going to do some suction and make you cough. Wake up, your mom and dad are here to see you! As a result of the suction she did cough and she did wake up from her slumber and opened her big eyes. This is the first time we have seen Ning open her eyes on her own. At G’s request, Ning wiggled her left toes. Give us a “thumbs up”, G said. Ning responded with moving her left thumb up! We gave thanks to the Lord. PT then left to bring in Ernie and Ai Ai so that they could see Ning as visiting is restricted. Juio told Ning that was what PT was going to do. When Ernie and Ai Ai came in, we could see Ning’s eyes focus on Ernie and Ai Ai as they talked with her. We are really thankful for that. Ernie pulled out a card that his daughter little Karine had drawn for Ning. Ai Ai asked if Ning would like to see Karine’s card and to answer yes by blinking her eyes. Ning obliged! She kept her eyes opened for a long time even though we asked her to rest. We did not wish to overdo and exhaust her. We told her we were going for lunch. “So, don’t go away, OK, as we shall be right back.” These are the typical words that Hannah and Karine, her nieces, would say to her when they wish to make a quick exit and come back later.

Thanks for all your earnest prayers that have gone before the Father of Mercies. Please continue to uphold Ning before His Throne of Grace. The staff tells us that Ning is still in a critical stage and the process can be expected to be long and not to get our expectations too high. There could be some ups and downs which would be normal.

So, today is as different from the last two days as between day and night! Praised be our Blessed Lord for His mercies and His intervening Hand. He is present all the time but we could not humanly see Him. Underneath Ning are His everlasting arms.

Ning has been resting peacefully this afternoon and is probably exhausted by all the activities from us.

Tomorrow morning, the doctors will perform an angiogram on Ning’s brain to get a better picture of any remaining AVM clusters. Please pray for this procedure to be completed safely, for the Lord to guide the doctor’s hands, and that the results would be clear and accurate. Please also pray with us for the doctors to have wisdom in evaluating the results and determining the next course of action, if any.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

Gratefully in His love,

Juio, Ernie, AiAi & PT

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