Saturday, November 19, 2005

In fervent thanksgiving

We learned last night that my husband's brother had been hit by a car while skateboarding. He was thrown into the air and fell on his head and neck, underwent five hours of brain surgery, and my first fervent thanksgiving is that he lived through the accident. When we first heard, though, he hadn't yet regained consciousness, so we didn't have much more to be thankful for then.

My husband immediately made plans to fly to California to be with him and their mother, and my second fervent thanksgiving is for frequent flyer miles; he was able to get on a flight early this morning for the mere cost of 37,500 miles and fifty bucks, even though it's the weekend before Thanksgiving.

When I called my sister for prayer support, she pointed out that she and her husband live perhaps five minutes from the hospital where my brother-in-law was - a fact I'd entirely forgotten as I concentrated on getting the husband across country and communicating with the mother-in-law in transit from SoCal northward. So my third fervent thanksgiving is for my sister and brother-in-law, who are picking my husband up at the airport, giving him a place to sleep very close to where he'll be needed, and performing whatever fetch-and-carry services anyone in my in-laws' family needs, in addition to continually lifting up my dear brother-in-law in prayer - something at which they're better than I am, though I'm doing my best today.

We got through to the ICU eventually and discovered that he was showing good improvement - had been conscious, responsive, able to follow directions and to move his extremities. So, my fervent thanksgiving for the first good news we'd had, and for the ability to put my mother-in-law's mind a little at rest, since she'd been driving through the mountains and unable to receive an update for a couple of hours. And then, a few hours later, just before hitting the sack, we called again and were told he'd shown "massive" improvement - was, in fact, very impatient to have his ventilator removed, though that won't be done for a couple of days since his frequent periods of deep sleep are still too deep for his breathing reflex to function reliably. I fervently thank God for this improvement.

Penultimately, my fervent thanksgiving for the people who stayed with him in the hospital, his estranged girlfriend's parents. They've acted as parents to him during a terrible time and, in spite of their not being permitted to have much information about him since they're not relatives, have apparently been his advocates and companions for many hours since the accident happened.

And finally, I most fervently thank God for the staff of Sutter Memorial Roseville, who saved his life and continue to care for him with kindness and dedication.

One non-thankful note. I second my mother-in-law's exasperated statement, once she'd learned that he was doing much better: "This is the third time I've had to rush to the hospital in a mad panic over skateboarding - I'm going to burn that thing!" I have nothing against skating or skaters, but this is the worst one yet for my brother-in-law. On the other hand, maybe it is a thankful note: my kids are now "scared straight" about wearing helmets, at least for the moment. Whether a helmet would have helped him, I don't know yet, but I've never yet heard of a case in which someone was harmed by wearing one.

No comments: