Every hour that passed after the surgeries, the weight seemed a little lighter, the breathing a little easier. One hour out of surgery and nothing has come crashing down! Two hours out and he's still alive! Three hours out and he's stable! By the time evening came we were all absolutely exhausted but relieved and thankful and ready to go home for some sleep.
April 20. Lynette's Birthday. We were supposed to go over to her house this night and have an early Easter dinner. Lynette had said no gifts and no Birthday celebration, but who follows directions like that? I had a cute idea planned out and couldn't wait to give it to her. What a different day April 20, 2011 turned out to be than the one we'd planned.
Let me go back a couple days, though, because as I write there are so many details that I want to remember and so if I forget some I'll go ahead and add them out of order.
The day the doctor told me Alif would not survive his lung infection, we cried out. Everyone who asked about his condition knew how bad his infection was, and "pray for his lungs!" was the main prayer request that day. Several times I asked God to heal him so completely that everyone would know that it was by His power and for His glory that Alif had been healed.
Imagine my faithless surprise when I walked in to his room the next day and the respiratory therapist looked thrilled! I asked how it was going and he said, "you're not going to believe it. He's satting (saturating with oxygen) so well I went to get his nurse and the charge nurse to come check it out. I've been pulling people in here all morning to look at him. I can't explain what happened - maybe some whole other pocket opened up or something? He's satting GREAT." Smile! That's our God!
So back to the day after surgery. It was nothing but good news all day. Alif was (and had been since the 17th) still intubated and sedated, but his numbers were looking good all day. It was bittersweet to see him doing so well but to only know that by looking at his heart rate, his blood pressure, his oxygenation. Alif and I talk a LOT. Many times throughout the day we call each other's cell phones and relay some little detail, check in, joke around. How strange and disheartening to know my husband only by numbers on a screen. "How are you today?" "140/80, 76bpm, 93%." Not normal!
Even still, it was a beautiful day to have no crises pop up. It gave me a few minutes to reflect on how grateful I was to serve a Master who loves us in an all-consuming way. There truly is not a time in my life I can remember ever feeling closer to my Father than in those first couple weeks. I felt completely enfolded by Him - shielded, comforted, loved. Every moment of quiet I prayed. Every minute in the car I prayed over every system in Alif's mind and body. I was so thankful not only for a good-news day, but for the ultimate Good News that even if Alif didn't survive this ordeal physically, he was in his Father's hands and therefore absolutely rescued from every kind of harm.
What a comfort, what a joy!