Update #3 – Walking again after 67 years

WOUNDS. One pressure wound is completely closed. Prayers have been answered “Yes.” The Wound Vac was removed two weeks ago from my pressure wounds. The other wound continues to close and heal… not quite there yet, but soon. Pray for complete internal healing.

FEELINGS, NOTHING MORE THAN… Some feeling has returned to my feet, however, the arthritis in my right hand is more pronounced. I remember my grandmother’s gnarled knuckles and how she constantly massaged her painful fingers. The same may be in my future, but so may be relief from prayer and good arthritis drugs.

“OOO! I’M KAPUT!” Bedtime has been around 9 PM due to fatigue. I nap a little, but there is so much to do now that I’m home. And everything takes a lot longer to accomplish. So, slow and steady.  From what I hear from all around me who have had Covid, fatigue is the one lingering effect they cannot overcome.

WALKING. I am walking with a cane. In the house, I switch between a walker and my new Hurry Cane. I hold onto walls, counters, cabinets and dressers, and Mary. I found my balance, but my balancing muscles tire easily. I do not want to revisit the hospital, so I am doing everything I can to avoid falling. Very soon, I will finally venture into the neighborhood and its uneven sidewalks and ADA-approved curbs.

MUSIC. I hope that iTunes and AppleMusic get “This American Night (on the 4th of July)” on the air by July 4th. It has been a race against the passing time since I got home to master it and submit it.

STARBUCKS. Some have asked me when I will walk to Starbucks. My goal is the 4th of July. Mary will drive me to Starbucks. I will get out of the car and walk to Starbucks. It will be with a cane, not a walker, so I can walk out of the place holding my café latte.

Allow me to answer some additional questions that I get from visitors:

  1. Will you have to use supplemental oxygen forever? Covid ravaged my lungs. The last x-ray showed scarring. I have breathing exercises to do to restore my lungs. Right now, I’m using 1 – 1.5 liters of oxygen per hour to supplement the fairly clean air of Rancho Cucamonga (where three freeways intersect. Daily ocean breezes around 4 PM tend to keep it clean.) I continue to wean myself off of the extra O2, but it may take a while. Till then, I am making the oxygen as portable as possible.
  2. What do you remember when you were in an induced coma? I do not remember anything during the time I was on a ventilator and heavily sedated. Mary tells me that she Facetimed me while I was on the ventilator and talked to me, prayed for me, and played music for me. “How Great Are You, Lord” and “The Battle Belongs” were on the playlist. I took a picture of my face each day I was in the hospital. Those pictures stopped on January 14 – the day I went on a ventilator. I took video to show how bad it was. (The next picture I took was on March 27.)

I remember I knew I was getting worse. My breathing was labored and fast. The machines did it all for me. I remember my oxygen alarms went off more often after my birthday on January 9. I remember telling Mary three things: Where my important papers were, who to trust with our money and to do everything he said, and to cremate me and worry about burial after the pandemic subsided. (I want a headstone that says, “Hey, you! When Jesus comes back, you better get off this grave!”  I’m sure they have talking headstones by now.) I remember asking Jesus to take me home twice. (He didn’t!) I remember asking God to give me a vision of heaven. (He did.) I had a lot of dreams, but I don’t think any of them occurred while I was on the ventilator. I remember my dreams in great detail after the ventilator, but they were mixed in with a lot of hallucinations and drug-induced fiction. Reality and dreams were difficult to separate. I was on several sedatives when on the ventilator. I also thought I had caused my pressure wounds and was depressed about that. I now know that the pressure wounds were caused by my 46 days on a ventilator. I was restrained (I tore off all the tubes!), and I had chest tubes in both lungs, so I could not be turned.

My head slowly began to clear once Mary was allowed to visit on March 19. It was only then that I began to learn how dire my situation had become.

MIRACLE. I am just now getting my head around this word and if it applies to me. Please bear in mind, I had nothing to do with my recovery during the ventilator. I was restrained in a bed and a machine breathed for me. Lots of people died all around me. Police officers, firefighters, trainers, athletes, nurses, doctors – all these people were in better shape than I was in. I was active, but I was slightly overweight and had diabetes type 2. And most of those who died didn’t last five months before passing. I remember asking a nurse after my birthday and before the ventilator, “Once you go on a ventilator, do you ever get out of here?” She tried to give me hope but was illusive. I later found out two nurses in that station had died from Covid.

At one point, all my possessions were given to Mary, and she heard a phrase that we never want to hear from a doctor again: “The outlook is grim.”

Mary prayed for me immediately. Mary’s family and my family prayed for me immediately. Mary asked her praying friends to join her as did my family. About four days into January, when I realized that I was not going to get out of the hospital soon, I asked Mary to contact about five people knowing that the prayers of a righteous person do much. I did not contemplate or consider the wildfire of prayer these people sparked. I did not know Mary was writing daily prayer updates and those updates were being forwarded to others that she did not know. I did not know about the prayer circles outside my hospital. I did not know that people stopped in the parking lot and prayed specifically for my recovery. I did not know about the community Bible studies all over the States that prayed for me. I did not know about churches in the States, India, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Guatemala, Ecuador, and I will never know many people prayed. This I do know: I was on a path to the door of death and Jesus closed the door. Not all prayers are answered “Yes.” This one was. All glory to YHWH.

PRAYER: Now it’s time to pray for Mary. Thank God that He put a woman of prayer into my life, and ask God that He will bless her mightily in incomprehensible ways for her faithfulness and commitment to Him. Pray that she gets much-needed rest (I am a handful!) I thank God for her every ticking second of every hour of every day.

Proverbs 31:10 states: “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.” And I add (verse 29) – “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all!” Indeed, a woman who reveres the LORD shall be praised.