“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and through the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. –Psalm 46:1-2”

Thanks to my husband, I was able to spend several hours at the hospital with my brother and his wife yesterday evening sans the kiddos. The Dr. had him moved to Cardiac ICU so they could monitor him more closely (not because his condition was any worse), but they are puzzled by the fact that he is still not able to speak coherently and by the fact that he is in so much pain.

This is the timeline of how he came to be in the hospital in the first place: He has had severe back problems for the last few years and just last year had a rod placed in his back, so when his back started hurting worse, he applied more pain patches to the area. Apparently, it was not his back, but his kidneys that were infected – which went on for several weeks until he became so ill that he could barely walk and my SIL insisted that he go to the ER. Up until that point, he had declined, but on Sunday, he agreed that “maybe” he should go. He was speaking fine, just unable to move very quickly because his entire body was in pain (we now know that the toxins had gone “septic” and were spread throughout his bloodstream). After a 4 or 5 hour wait in the ER (in which he took a turn for the worse sitting there), he was moved to an exam room and between the 7 AM shift changes, he became incoherent, which was very upsetting for my SIL. She thought it was just the pain he was in, but the Dr wasn’t so sure. They started him on a round of very strong antibiotics, along with some pain management.

Fast forward two days and he’s not nuch better, other than his urine is now clear and his white blood cell count is lower. They did an EKG on his heart yesterday evening, because they now fear the infection is either in his heart or brain. That seriously frightens me. Today, he will see a neurologist and receive a full MRI to try and determine if his brain or any other organs have been affected. I’ve come to realize it’s just a process of elimination. You think it’s one thing, rule that out, then move on to the next possible scenario. I don’t like this kind of medicine, but I have no choice but to accept it and have faith that the Drs. have his best interests at heart. If nothing is found within the next day or two, they will transport him to Baylor at Dallas and he will be seen by a specialist.

I cannot begin to tell you how special this man is in my life. He is the one person who has always been there for me and my other brothers when no one else could or would be there to help. I look to him as more of a father figure than anything else, because he helped to raise me after my dad died. He has a special way with my kids – they all call him “daddy Bob” because he is like the “grandpa” they never had. He’s just an extraordinary human being and it’s so very difficult to see him in this pain. Yesterday, I held his arm down while the nurse drew out 8 different vials of blood. He was unintelligible for most of it, but at one point, I distinctly heard him say “Mama, it hurts so bad”. Again, my heart just breaks that I can’t take away his pain and suffering.

Today, I think back to what Jesus suffered for me on the cross and I can’t be sad anymore. Instead, I am hopeful…because either way, no matter what happens, I know my brother is resting in the arms of Jesus. He will either see him through this or see him home, so how can I be sad about that? I don’t know what has caused all of this, but God does and I am thankful that He is in control and not me…He gives me the audacity to Hope.

After all, what is Hope? It is merely the belief that tomorrow will be better than today.

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1 Comment on The Audacity of Hope

  1. Kimberly
    September 5, 2007 at 12:26 pm (16 years ago)

    Oh Karen,
    My heart goes out to all of you. You’re right…God has him in His hands, and He will not drop him. I will continue to keep all of you in my prayers!

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