To say it has been a trying few months medically for my grandparents would be an understatement.
It is not something unexpected.
I am so blessed to have had all of my grandparents alive my entire life and all make it to 90 years old. But, 90 has proven to be rough so far.
It started with Bull unexpectedly passing away around Thanksgiving. But, that was actually preceded by a rough car wreck that Inie had. She has recovered nicely but it was hard for a while for her.
Fast forward to January.
Pepa had a bad case of gastritis and was hospitalized for several days while we were trying to diagnose it. He had some terrible stomach pain and had to go several days without food or anything to drink. But, after the diagnosis and a few days of draining what was in his stomach, he was ready to go back home.
He is still weak though.
We prayed and prayed that he would be able to make it and go to Bryan and Lauren's wedding and Praise the Lord he was there!
He is walking around with a cane now (and not liking it much) but he is getting better and better everyday.
Fast forward a couple weeks later and we get another call at 5am that Momma Gay has had a stroke. Pepa heard her moaning beside the bed and he put a pillow under her head and called 911.
They were transporting her to Plaza Medical Center.
Well, I am so beyond thankful for my mother-in-law, Cheryl.
She is the VP of Plaza immediately got Momma Gay the most excellent care. We had information quickly and she was there to assist Pepa and my mom and Aunt Jan to make the best decisions possible for Momma Gay's care. I can't speak truly intelligently about her exact condition when she got to the hospital but, all I know is that she was paralyzed completely on her right side.
She couldn't speak clearly but totally knew what was happening and was extremely upset. The doctors did a CT scan and an MRI to confirm the stroke and the type and timing of it. Very quickly after the MRI they had to make a decision about whether Momma Gay should have a procedure to try to remove the blot clot that caused her stroke. This procedure has about a 80% chance of failure. Cheryl wisely advised to proceed with this procedure if Momma Gay was otherwise relatively healthy because of the possibility of life after the procedure being drastically better.
I don't know how but, it was an amazing success.
Cheryl said it was one of the highlights of her medical career. They might even write up journals about how successful this procedure was on Momma Gay.
They were able to not have to put her under anesthesia and go through a blood vessel to remove almost a 1/2 in clot in an artery in her brainstem. If this artery had stayed in, she would have surely not improved and only continued to go downhill and eventually die from this clot.
This is a graphic pic but this is the clot.
Also, here are her brain scans before (top 2 pics) and after (bottom 2 pics) the procedure.
And by the end of the day and the next day Momma Gay could talk like normal and was not paralyzed anymore.
We got this pic and all wanted to raise our arms and praise the Lord too!
It is truly a miracle.
Totally and completely a miracle.
That the EMT's took her to Plaza, that she was even in good enough health for this surgery, that it was successful and that she can speak and is not paralyzed.
Our God truly is a miracle worker and prayer is powerful.
I have been texting my girlfriends for prayer for my grandparents a lot over the last few months and I am sure it gets redundant but, I remember texting them right when the doctors were about to do Momma Gay's procedure and said "please, stop and pray right now" and I know they and many more did.
Prayer is powerful and effective!
God deserves all the praise and glory at all times of every day but especially when he so clearly, directly and visibly answers prayers.
We went to visit both Pepa and Momma Gay in the hospital and right now Momma Gay is staying at a rehab center close to the house that we have visited as well. Let's just say it is much livelier (nice way of putting it) when we got to visit.
Ty just moves her bed up and down and changes all the tv channels.
But she always saves a little treat for my kids. This time she let them each have a cookie and some saltine crackers they bring her with every meal.
I know the last few months have been a roller coaster and what I know to be true is that this is not the end yet. I still have 3 of 4 grandparents that are 90.
Their health isn't what it was.
The new responsibilities I see both my mom and dad taking on are a wake-up call.
It is uneasy and also, so peaceful at the same time.
This world is not our home.
These bodies are but a vessel.
Our life a breath.
I am thankful that all 4 of my grandparents are incredible Christ followers.
They will all walk with Jesus.
My prayer is that we don't take for granted a minute of their time here with us. We treasure the opportunity we have now to serve and visit them more often. We ask the questions we want to ask and listen to the stories we don't want to forget. We introduce our children to their great-grandparents and teach them about the love they shared with us. We have never been more aware that don't know what tomorrow brings.
We choose joy today!