Saturday, April 2, 2016

From my Phone

Going to give this a shot, we'll see what happens! Our computer crashed and David's been sick. Since he's our Tech Man, we're waiting on him to be able to get things fixed. I suppose my biggest problem blogging from my phone is that I just don't want "One Account for All of Google". I mean, I'm slowly warming up to the idea of local friends knowing I blog...very occasionally, ha-ha! But, not completely.    We had a pretty great Easter, the weather was indecisive but beautiful. After church I hid eggs outside before David and the kids got home (I was home sick). They found the eggs just before the clouds and rain reappeared! Mia repeatedly said, " This was  a beautiful Easter! What a lovely day!".                                  
               

Monday, March 7, 2016

Our Weekend

We had a lovely weekend! Of course, every day is pretty much an extended weekend for us, and will be for another month. I kinda hate the idea of David going back to work; I like having him around. I'm sure it will be nice for him to get out more, but I think he likes being home, too. Thursday was pretty nice, David and the three younger kids painted birdhouses. Mia had become obsessed with painting something, so we picked some up from Joann Fabrics.


Of course I haven't taken a picture of their finished work, haha! I need to put a sealer on them still, so maybe then. 


Friday we wanted to get out of the house, so we headed down to Tillamook, which is always a beautiful drive, more so now that it's been several years since we've had to make the trip every other weekend for taking the oldest two to their dad's! I do wish I could have captured the amazing ocean waves, as the day was rather stormy. It was just beautiful. While we hoped to see Rachel and Alaina for a grandbaby fix, Rachel and her dad were also feeling antsy and had headed down to Corvallis to get out of the house! Kind of funny, guess our strange weather is having that effect all around. Currently we will have a beautiful, sunny day, making us feel like getting outside and doing something, not necessarily productive, but SOMETHING, nonetheless. Then we will have a couple days of wind and rain, but still are left wanting to do something.


We found a place that David has been wanting to go to, that sells some amazing jerky. It was ridiculously inconspicuously located, and the gps "insisted" it was in the wrong building, but find it we did, and the jerky was purchased. We then went to Denny's for lunch. Not our favorite, but not horrible, either. Our own little town has so many great restaurants and cafes now, that we have become rather spoiled by it. After lunch we went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. We can't remember the last time we were there, but are pretty sure Mia was a baby. Mia LOVED it. She now plans on living in Tillamook and working in the factory when she's grown. We ended the visit with Tillamook ice cream, of course. Mia and I should have shared. We got the same kind, which she declared to be, "Delicious! So Delicious!", then was "full" after about 10 little girl sized licks. Saturday we puttered around the house, then David and I met up with an old friend from high school and his wife. They were on a birthday trip for him, and we got to try out another local hot spot. The food was pretty good, but it was so loud, I don't see us going there again. We're just too old! Sunday we finally went to church again, it was so good to be with our church family. With physical and cardio therapy every day during the week, David is usually too tired to do just about anything on the weekend, so we've just been staying home the last couple months. 


On the project front, I of course started yet another one, because why bother finishing all the millions I've currently got going? No, really, this is a perfect no-brainer for watching tv. Just a seed stitch cowl for...myself! Crazy, right? 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ob-la-di Ob-la-da



Ob-la-di, ob-la-da life goes on, brah, la-la how the life goes on. That song seems to run through my head quite a lot these days. Sometimes good, sometimes not. We personally are doing well. David is doing great, he's been driving for a while now, even! The pic below is his first time. We had a wonderful, if not really strange Christmas. 


David is doing wonderful with his therapy, other than his therapists keep increasing his exercises, haha! Our new year started out, as usual, with us going to bed before midnight. A couple of the kids managed to stay up to greet the new year, but we're usually too tired! I made up a few cowls in January, one for Rachel's late Christmas present (with money, isn't that what parents are for, haha?), one for a friend's birthday, and one for Mia. I only got a picture of Mia's, of course.  I found myself finally filled with exhaustion in January. All the adrenaline and excitement of December emptying itself out left me so drained, but happy. I was easing back into extreme house cleaning and crafting and project finishing. I've had so much fun with David, every time we run into someone who hasn't seen him since the heart attack is an emotional experience.



By February, we were getting into a groove, making headway, planning for school (ugh, we're so behind!), enjoying our time together. So many of David's unbelievably wonderful coworkers have donated enough of their own vacation time that he doesn't have to go back to work until May! So crazy!! What a huge blessing. There are more people signed up to donate even more time if he's not ready to back at that point. Amazing. A word I use often these days. Then the evening of February 5th, I was scrolling through facebook when I saw someone say a police officer in Seaside had been shot. I still can't properly convey what I felt when I saw that. The last time a policeman in Oregon was shot and killed was when I was a kid, he was a good friend of my dad, and I remember many evenings spent with him and his wife. I was young enough that I was sad over it, but not distraught. Years later my own State Trooper dad was shot at while at work (right after my mom had assured the wife of my dad's new recruit that that sort of thing almost never happened here). Still, it went with the job, and my dad had survived the Vietnam War. My dad was basically bulletproof in my mind.This, though. As a grown woman, wife, and mother. After coming close to losing my own husband just over a month previous. I felt paralyzed. His wife had no warning, that sort of thing really and truly "doesn't happen" here. Except that it did.



I had just met Jason Goodding the day David and I came home from the hospital. He had just stood and stared at David, so moved and happy for him to be alive and standing there in the courthouse, grin on his face, surprising everyone with our visit. David told me who he was (he was in a suit for court at the time, not his uniform), and what a great guy he was. He had a wife and two daughters. My heart is so broken for them. He was serving a warrant on a guy who has been causing grief since back in my dad's day. A guy who has told David that he will never quit using drugs because he likes them too much. A guy who wasn't legally allowed to be in possession of a gun. Jason's funeral was incredible. I'm trying to find a picture of all the patrol/emergency vehicles. There were police officers from Chicago, Florida, Canada, and I don't remember where else.  David and I rode in a Road Deputy's police car with his wife and him, through the processional and it was beautiful to see the number of people standing along the side of the road, showing their support. Still, when all was said and done, when the rest of us went home with our spouses, to our children and grieved with each other, Amy and her daughters are still without Jason. As are FOURTEEN other officers' families without their family members. Unless more were added through the night, our country has had FIFTEEN police officers killed in the line of duty this year. In just two months' time. Any yet...God is still good. God knows what's happening. That good can come out of bad. That there is still so much beauty to be seen in our world. That there will be so much more evil and sickness to be borne before we're finished here. For now, we trust and teach our families and friends to trust, to continue to love and pray for those we want to hate. I take joy in the rogue bunch of daffodils in my backyard who continue to grow every year since we've lived here, even though I do nothing, even when we had the backyard razed by a friend with a backhoe. Then ignored it again. Joy in the blooming magnolia bush, all the trees, green buds pushing their way out. Making plans to make the outside of our home a place to make people feel welcome and loved. Joy in a little girl who loves to dress up as "Spidergirl", who also loves Chinese food (yay!)



Whose hair has finally grown out quite a bit after last year's "do it herself" haircut!



Getting more and more of our house "finished", taking a day to paint my little hallway white, making hat and coat hooks out of scrap wood and hooks that came with our house when we bought it.


Cleaning up an old switch plate that also came with the house, and LOVING the soft, worn brass.
I had a couple of these, then found some more older ones on ebay. Though I also found a way to "antique" new ones, which I will likely try. I just love them.


Our newest family member, "Nikki" (named Nekoette by Emma, but seriously, none of us are calling her that! She immediately became Nikki)


She settled right in, even our two other cats have accepted her. Goliath has always loved kittens and is very sweet with her, bathing her, snuggling with her, playing and roughhousing with her. Luna...will, she doesn't attack her and no longer growls at her, so that is her version of acceptance. Ruby, our dog, just isn't crazy about any cats, but is good about backing of her chase when scolded to. 


We have been doing a fair bit of running around and eating at restaurants (enjoying ourselves a bit before we have to crack down on our budget and pay those pesky people who saved David and made him well, you know! We will never have been so happy to be broke! Also, we are pretty blessed to have good insurance) . We took Mia to Seaside with my parents, which always means a trip to the Carousel Mall. Mia got two rides out of us that day. Today is looking sunny, we will be cleaning, as we've been taking too many lazy days, aside from David's daily therapy sessions. I am tentatively hoping for some calm. Some time to finish and enjoy our home projects.


Ecclesiastes 3 (NASB)

A Time for Everything

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Our Plans, His Plans (Pt.4)

This should be the last post dedicated to David and his heart attack! It just continues to get better from the last post. David's healing has been so quick and full, that I am just amazed. After spending the morning being gawked at by a group of hospital staff, we learned they were watching him and had decided he was well enough to be booted from the ICU - YAY!!! He was moved from the ICU on December 16. While adapting to our new space, I see a familiar looking man walk past me. I asked the lady I was talking with, "Is that...?" She says, "That's Andy." I say, "Andy Paulson?" She says, "Yes! Do you know him?" Weird time to be fangirling, and I managed to not chase him down like a weirdo and tell him how much I loved his wife's blog (Posie Gets Cozy) and how I'd been good and ordered a kit a month over the summer to stitch up over the Fall for Christmas presents, but didn't finish because David had a heart attack.  *sigh* Nope, I held it together and just watched him interacting with his coworkers, smiling and laughing. There was something reassuring about seeing him on the happy side of their struggles, knowing I'd prayed for this family and cried for this family and rejoiced for this family and he didn't know who I was, nor that I was standing there, just watching him. Anna, the lady I was talking to, didn't know about her blog, but agreed that they were absolutely as wonderful a family in real life as they seem on her blog. We've had so many people praying for us, hundreds, that I will never personally know of. It's so beautiful to know God knows each of us and our hearts and our ability to love and hope for the best for people we will never personally be involved with.  David was on Andy's floor for only a couple days before he was moved again to a rehab facility. He was there for a week and a half, not long at all! He improved even more, and he is home with us. All day on the 30th, I just couldn't believe it had been only one month since it happened. Truly the longest month of our lives! Well, not for David, he was unaware of most of it! Poor guy just woke up, suddenly (to him) unable to do anything for himself. He walks well, his memory has been amazingly restored, his left arm is very usable and his right arm is steadily increasing in strength. He will still be home, doing rehab locally for a while. How long remains to be seen, basically as long as we can afford it and keep his job, so a couple more months. Then he will go on light duty at work. It has been a long, but incredible month. I'm thankful for so much that has come out of it, but really and truly hope to not go through something like that again! Here's to a quieter New Year!!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Our Plans, His Plans (pt 3)

I tell you, Facebook is the best outline for helping me remember what all went on this past month! Still, there are so many people and things not included in these posts, I wish I could share it all without literally writing a book. The days between Dec 7 and Dec 10 were spent just watching, waiting, adjusting medications, and trying to keep David from biting his breathing tube in half! He hated that thing SO MUCH. Keeping the tube safe was pretty much a two person job, tying to keep fingers from getting bitten. As soon as one of us would get a bite guard in his mouth, he was pushing it out with his tongue. On the 10th, a neuro team came in to assess him. They pinched him pretty hard by his collar bone, to which he tried to yell, "OW!" We were pretty excited over that. His pain response was good, I've never been so happy to see him in pain, haha. It was thought David might need a couple rounds of dialyses, as his kidneys weren't able to keep flushing all the meds and toxins in his body, buy mostly he was physically doing well. I went home for a couple days to see my kids, take care of bills, and upgrade his phone service - because after not being updated the night he was removed from the ECMO, I saw several phone calls from numbers I didn't recognize. It finally dawned on me that David had never updated his phone service from limited calls and data  to a monthly unlimited plan! I laughed so hard at myself. My own phone had been broken, I was using his. Anyway, that morning, during rounds, it was suggested that he be switched from a breathing tube to a tracheotomy so he wouldn't be expending so much energy fighting the tube. I heartily agreed and kind of wished someone had thought of it sooner. It would have been so much easier on everyone! I went home that day, my oldest brother in law stayed with him. I felt bad for my kids, but I hated being home. I just wanted to be back with David. Still, it was good to be with them The first night I was just home with Aidan and Alan. I got some stuff done, then slept. Next day, I got the little kids from grandma's house.They were so excited, we were going to watch a Christmas movie together. We also planned to get a tree, but really, none of us were in the mood, so we didn't. That evening, a I get a call from OHSU. I'm filled with dread, but answer. The nurse says, "So your mister decided to wake up today! I almost didn't call you because I didn't want you heading up here tonight!" So crazy, and no, I wasn't rushing over (the weather in our state, specifically on the coast was awful, so much flooding, roads washing out, etc. she just didn't want me out in the dark on the dangerous roads), but that's where my mind was the rest of the night! I got up there the next morning, though right now I don't even remember who drove me. I have not been driving myself at all. I know I've been too distracted, I've only driven locally. When I got there, he was still intubated, so he could only look at me and make faces. I could tell he recognized me but wasn't completely sure why. The EEG he'd had showed he'd had a couple strokes and the expected shower of tiny brain injuries, but nothing was seen that was irreversible. That meant we'd really have to be patient while his brain both healed and cleared of meds and built up "stuff", which of course was totally fine; he was ALIVE.  Not even an hour later he remembered who I was. He suddenly started squeezing my hand and not wanting my to leave him. Nurses came in to turn him and clean him up a bit as they removed more and more from his body. One of them asked the ages of our kids, and when I rattled of , "23, 21, 15, 12, 10, 6, and 3", David gave me a look of pure shock and panic! We laughed so hard, oh my gosh. Yep, we have seven kids, honey! That became a favorite story spread all over and I still laugh every time I think of the look on his face!  Next day, he was extubated. I asked how his throat felt, he said, "Raw". Then he asked for coffee! That was a no, but they let me give him sponge swabs soaked in water. He loved it, he kept sighing the biggest, most contented sighs. Then he moved to ice chips to test his ability to chew and swallow, then jello. He did great. He also started remembering all those kids we have, heehee.  Next morning, the night nurse, Tim was quizzing him on what he remembered. What was his name, birthday, who was I, etc. He asked, "When were you married? Winter?" "No" "Springtime?"  He seems to affirm, to which I shake my head, no. He asks again, "Springtime?" David, to my hearing says/sings , "Springtime, mumble mumble" Tim says, "Are you singing Springtime for Hitler?" Then they proceed to sing it together! David's nurse is a Mel Brooks fan, what are the chances of that? David hasn't watched any of his movies for a long time, but David is one of those people who can quote movies and apply a song to just about any situation. Okay, I do that part, too. David and Tim spent the morning quoting the movies and singing bits of songs. It was so good to laugh so much!  Over the days, though, I found myself reassuring each nurse that the seemingly random movie quotes and song bits were the "real" David, haha!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Our Plans, His Plans (pt 2)

  I keep starting this post, but all the exhaustion has been catching up to me and I just can't think enough to type. I mean, the hard post is already written, haha! Now is a good time, though. It's almost 8:30 and all my kids are upstairs, sleeping. The exhaustion has apparently caught up to them, as well. The three younger ones never sleep this "late".
  Back to our story, It looked like David had a shot at life again. I wasn't saying anything for a few hours, until they did another echo around noon. I was beginning to feel joy again, and I wasn't going to spread that only to squash it again if things turned out to be not as good as we hoped. Over on facebook, his mother left a comment announcing his death. I was so shocked and angry, astounded she would take that upon herself before I confirmed he was gone. I confess I'm still dealing with mounting "mother in law issues". Because it was a comment, not a status, my hope was that it would go unnoticed. Of course it didn't, and goodbyes and condolences came pouring in. What a frustrating few hours, and of course it's small and petty compared to David actually living, but it's the small things that tend to eat at me. David was improving, even the bleeding at his wound sites were healing. I was able to make the happy phone calls, though those were surprising emotionally taxing to make. Such a bumpy emotional roller coaster ride. David was returned to Patient Status, rather than Organ Donor. I still have the paperwork, and just last night told him I have it if he ever wants to look at it (at this point, he does not, but had been marveling at how close he was). David was still unconscious, paralyzed, and cold. Being on a paralytic and being kept cool was to protect his brain, our big concern from this point on. The miracle of even his heart healing was spreading through the hospitals. I think I said in the last post that we were in Doernbecher's because of the ECMO machine being there. That meant David had staff from two hospitals, his nurses came over from OHSU, heart doctors from OHSU, ECMO from both, people were being trained to use the new one for OHSU. I remember being a bit alarmed at how ill stocked the unit was, they were constantly looking for supplies, not always finding them them. I don't know if one nurse noticed my face days later, but she said, "They aren't set up for adults over here, the bandages and things are all tiny, for the kids." A-ha!!!! That makes sense, and my already befuddled state of mind wasn't allowing for much thought outside of immediate needs and wants, so I hadn't put it together myself. By evening Friday, December 4, Dr Gelow ran into me in the cafeteria, covered in goosebumps again and said, "His heart is still healing, we're planning to remove him from the ECMO on Monday. I just still can't believe it." This was good news, but still scary. What if we got to this point, but his body couldn't take being off the machine? I let family know.  Over the weekend, David was allowed to physically start "waking up" and was tested to see if he would respond to stimuli. December 5, he moved his right leg a couple times. The doctors would run a pen up his feet, and he tried to pull his legs back. He was responding to being pinched and poked. He scrunched an eye when a good friend spoke to him. Those monitering his ECMO repeatedly said he was definitely aware when I was just in the room, and how cool they thought that was. Monday, December 7 would be David's 44th birthday. Everyone wanted to come see him again and gather for his birthday. Removal was expected for evening, possibly next morning, as he was an add on for the day's surgery. Family was on their way, we were in David's room, when his nurse gets the call (I think it was only around noon) that they were ready for him, now! Surprised, the staff scrambled, packing everything up, hugs and encouragement given. I was invited to continue using the family laundry room and showers at Doernbecher's (the buildings are connected). Dr Gelow, who was off that week, was so excited, she still came in for the surgery.  We waited in the family waiting room for a while before heading over. The ECMO lady that day was wheeling the machine back and let me know that at that point he was doing well. I got a phone call soon telling me the same.  We headed over and let everyone know the surgery was going to be earlier than planned. We waited...and waited...and waited. It was getting so late, I was encouraged by family to call back and see what was going on, but was so nervous at that point that I just  didn't want to call and find out he was still in surgery. Eventually I did call, and was told to come back by myself.  Two women I'd never seen before were with him, hooking him up to an EEG. They didn't know anything about how long he'd been back there, or anything else. I could see he was alive, and it looked like that was all I was getting that night. Really, though I was kind of a wreck, that was good enough. I let everyone who had a long drive back home know. We were all frustrated that nobody ever came to update us, but we'd also seen several families coming through. Our best guess was that it turned into a crazy night in the ICU. Emily and my oldest niece, Naomi, had come to stay with me that night.We spent an uncomfortable night in the waiting room, my poor, hugely pregnant sister getting the worst of the uncomfortable chairs, sweet lady! My skinny niece curled up and seemed to sleep rather well. Oh, the good ol' days, haha. Next morning, I head back to David's room, hoping I might recognize his nurse for the day. I enter his room and it's actually my favorite nurse, Red-haired Jenn! (We had to differentiate, his first four nurses those two first days were Jenn, Jenn, Ken, and Jenn. Three different Jenn's!) I hugged her so hard and told her about the weird night of no updates, and that we thought the night had gotten crazy, to which she nodded and said it really did get crazy.  After that we just shared how excited we were that David was doing well, and our hopes for a healthy brain. My sister and Naomi went home that day, I began a routine of going between David's room (where cell phones needed to be shut off) and the waiting room to post updates and check messages. We entered a new phase, and it's one I'm still a bit stunned over; in the best way!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Our Plans, His Plans

You know the saying, "We make plans and God laughs"? The bible version might be, "The mind of a man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps" (Proverbs 16:9). Well, we planned for this Christmas to be a really great, full of fellowship Christmas. We'd been working on the kitchen, and although it was taking us longer than we'd hoped, it was coming along. It's always been the grody room, old floors that never felt clean, cupboards that always smelled old, no back door. Although it still wouldn't be considered a dream kitchen to most (we still have no dishwasher, haha!), it was "us" and we were loving it. We were rearranging the other rooms, touching up paint, determining what could and should wait for after Christmas. This year the house would feel more "finished", we were excited to decorate and have PEOPLE over again. I was beginning to get a little antsy, David got a tummy bug in mid-November. He needed quiet and rest, so I had to hold off on projects. I'd tell myself, "It's okay, so I go over a bit into December, once I can make noise again, it should go quickly." By the weekend of the 22nd, he's having pain just breathing, so we go to the ER. They test to see if he's possibly having a heart attack, but all the tests come back clear. He got a prescription for a bacterial infection in his guts. He gets in with his regular doctor a couple days later, where his blood pressure is perfect, cholesterol is great, everything looks good. His tummy is getting no better, so the doctor tests for C-diff, and it comes back positive. David is allergic to penicillin, so he had been given clindamycin, which unfortunately allows C-diff to flourish. Fortunately we have a medical health savings account, because the medicine for it was $588!! Yikes! I don't know what we would have done if we'd had to pay for that on our own, good grief. By November 29, his guts were feeling better, but his lungs were still hurting when he breathed in cold air. He was staying huddled up on the couch, with a heater going next to him. He was feeling bad enough that I tried to get him to go back to the ER, but agreed to wait if he was able to get an appointment with his doctor the next day. I remember looking across the room and an unbidden thought came into my head, "If he dies, we'll be okay." I believe the Holy Spirit prepares us that way at times. I have had similar experiences before, but I still felt appalled at this one. Come Monday morning, he called and got an appointment for 3:00. He made some other calls, watched tv, ate the yogurt he needed because of his antibiotic. I was figuring out which projects lying around the living room I could finish, when he sits up, throws up his bit of yogurt, turn red and just looks at me. I rushed over to him, asking if we need to go the hospital or should I call an ambulance? He just looks at me, unable to speak, so I called 911. As soon as I ask for an ambulance, his eyes become fixed and blank and he's out. I'm realizing his heart has stopped, his breathing has stopped the operator is asking questions and even as she's asking if I can pull him onto the floor, tilt his head back, etc., I'm realizing I have no choice but to start chest compressions. I absolutely don't want to, I want the medics to do it, but I have to. I was remembering a conversation with David not too long ago, he has CPR training through work regularly and was telling me how  breaths are no longer given, just compressions. Just keep the blood moving. The operator said to just keep going until help arrived. I was only partly relieved when help did arrive, they still had to do four rounds of CPR before they could even get him loaded onto the ambulance. I called my parents to come and get the kids, my wonderful neighbor and childhood friend came down, she had been hoping the ambulance wasn't for us, but then waited with me. I called David's work and let them know David had just had a heart attack. I don't remember who else I called, I know there were more calls. Jeni's wife, Dawn drove us to the local hospital, where I was told the helicopter was being readied to take David to OHSU. David's brother, Robin, met us there. David was stable at that point, but clearly only barely so. We go home, get a few things, my dad then drove me to Portland. His brothers are there, we just wait for him to get out of surgery. When he finally does, a rather grim doctor explains they've done everything they can, he had a 100% blockage on his left side, they put a stent in, but that side of his heart is dead. The rest is barely moving. They are going to put him on a machine, called an ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) that will pump and oxygenate his blood while allowing his heart and lungs to rest, the hope being that his body will heal enough to be able to figure something out. Because the ECMO has been used primarily on children, we'll be heading over to Doernbecher's and staying in the PICU. So much of that time has turned into a giant blur, but family and friends came in, Facebook was beneficial for once and the news and prayer requests were shared around the world! David's brothers stepped right up and took care of me. They cared for our kids. I could write a book about how wonderful they, their wives, and kids are! David's coworkers have been amazing, they immediately began collecting money for us, sending gift cards, good thoughts, plenty of prayer.  Jeni began a gofundme, which brought in more help. Accepting money is weird for me, but I know we'll be needing it and I know all who have helped are happy to do so. At some point, my sister was able to join me and stay at the hospital for a couple days. David was hanging on, some things improving, others deteriorating.His lungs were doing better, but he developed Compartment Syndrome in his left calf and was beginning to get it in his other calf and forearms. They had to make an incision to relieve the pressure. He was on blood thinners to prevent clots from clogging the maching, so his wounds constantly seeped blood. He received many bags of blood. His feet were bruising, his skin becoming increasingly pale. He looked awful by Wednesday. Thursday, December 3, he randomly lost blood pressure. He was given calcium and it improved. Later in the day it became clear his body was failing. The doctors said if he was disconnected from support, he would be gone in a couple minutes. If we left him on, he would be gone a couple days. I trusted these doctors and could see they spoke truth. If David was going to die, we wanted to help others, we had had that conversation before and he was a registered donor. The family all came in to say their goodbyes, some to David, some staying in the family waiting room to just be together during this time. I explained to the kids that daddy was dying, but it wasn't something God was doing to be mean to us. God loves us, even when He allows hard things to happen.  We would miss him here on earth, but would see him again when it was our turn to go to heaven , which would not likely be for a good long time. That he would get to see their brother and other two siblings we know to be in heaven.  Little Mia came in and told daddy goodbye, she was going to miss him and she loved him.  That about broke most of the staff. Geez, that about broke me. We met with the donor team, where Dr Gelow, one of the heart failure doctors cried, too. She was so heartbroken for us and our kids. She apologized for being unprofessional, but I found I preferred seeing genuine sadness to a doctor unmoved. Everyone was so amazing, they were so professional *and* caring. We filled out paperwork, the family left, my sister staying with me through the night. David would be kept on support while donor matches were made, I would notify the family when he was truly gone. The morning of December 4, I stalled a good bit on my goodbyes, staying in the waiting room as long as possible. Finally, I was as ready as I was going to get. Emily and I went to the PICU, rounded the corner to see the team in front of David's room for rounds. I stalled, not wanting to walk through that this morning, though I had been sitting in the other days. I could see I needed to hurry and go, the voices were extra quiet this morning, they were shooting me funny looks. I appreciated their sympathy, but was trying to hold it together until I could leave. I was hoping his body wasn't doing too much worse, I wanted him to be able to help other people. Emily and I hurried through the group and sat in the back of his room until they were done. I did get back up to go thank the team for how wonderful they were, how relaxed they had made me, how good and personable they'd been to David, I just appreciated them all so much. They all nodded, smiled, and looked funny. I went back to my sister and waited.  Finally, Dr Gelow and Dr Hagg (his other heart failure dr) came back, Dr Gelow sitting next to me. She says, "I can't believe I'm saying this, but... his heart is healing." I'm momentarily almost angry at having potential hope dangled in front of me while trying to grasp what she is saying. They, being so careful and thorough, were doing an echo in the morning. Dr Gelow checked it and called down to see if this was even the right heart. She said there was no medical explanation, she knew we'd had people praying, and even the previous night I had several people messaging me that they were repeatedly wakened through the night, feeling pressed to pray for David. She said the heart he had that morning was now one she could work with, and to ask everyone praying to send a double dose for his brain! I'll stop there for now, this is already long and my kids really do need mom today. I will add, this Christmas may not be what we planned, but it really is the best Christmas, and astoundingly full of fellowship!