Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bi-pap, Surgery, and Tender Mercies

Have you ever heard of a Bi-pap machine? 

I only learned of them recently. I knew about C-pap machines. Several years ago Hubby was diagnosed with sleep apnea so we got the C-pap machine, hoping that would help him sleep better.

However, it didn't help. Poor Hubby still suffered, so he gave up using the machine.

And his health continued to slide. Here he is about a year ago. We'd taken our grandson for a hike. Hubby struggled to keep up.

Last June we went to Washington and visited a cousin I hadn't seen for many years. After we'd been there a while my cousin took me aside and told me how concerned he was about my husband's health. I knew Hubby wasn't feeling well, but for someone else to point it out alarmed me. 

How could I not have seen how ill my husband was? I mean, I live with him . . . I live with him and that's why I hadn't noticed his steady decline.
So as soon as we returned home, I called the doctor. After meeting with our GP, we were sent to a couple of specialists (a sleep specialist and a spine doctor).

Boy, were my eyes opened about sleep apnea. Did you know that if apnea is left untreated a  person's body will start to shut down? Needless to say, Hubby went in for a sleep study. 

And then we waited for the results.

Meanwhile, the spine doctor did an MRI which showed that Hubby had a herniated disc and degeneration of the spine. The spine doctor sent us to a surgeon. After injections and all sorts of tests it was decided that Hubby needed to have several discs decompressed. Surgery was scheduled. 

This was going on at the same time as the sleep study and the results were coming to a head at the same time. Talk about jangled nerves and sleepless nights.

After many prayers, Hubby was able to get a Bi-pap machine, which goes a step further than the C-pap and helps him breath when he stops, plus this machine also allows for oxygen. We were able to pick up the machine the Friday night before his Monday morning surgery. A very close call. 

Pre-op and dreading surgery.
 Pre-op was interesting. I knew Hubby was anxious. But soon they came and took him up, and I was directed to the waiting room. I sent a text to our daughters and son. They wanted to know when the operation started. 

As the minutes turned to hours, I grew nervous. After a couple of hours, my son showed up. He couldn't stand the wait and took time off from work. Finally an exhausted doctor came and told us all went well, but there had been major damage to Hubby's herniated disc and the doctor had to remove most of it.

That was three days ago. 

Hubby is home now resting in bed. He has a long ways to go with six weeks of no bending, lifting, or twisting. He can't even drive a car until we go back to see the surgeon next month.

Through it all I could see God's tender mercies. I know there will be more challenges and tender mercies ahead, but I had to publicly acknowledge the help our family has had from a loving Heavenly Father. 

Has there been times in your life when you have felt God's tender mercies?

I know I promised last week to post about Ireland and what it has to do with my new novel, Deceived, but I just had to take a break and give you a slice of my life as I'm living it.

I promise to let you know how Ireland, the Nez Perce, and a cattle ranch in Idaho play major roles in my book.


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