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Friday, June 10, 2011

Update 4, April 5

Greetings, All———
Can I just say aaaaaaaaarghhhh….? Although the weekend was a blessing, with both daughters here with their husbands, by yesterday, some of Stu’s difficulties took a nasty turn.  He still has a lung infection, he still can’t swallow, and there’s an old wound on his posterior that has flared up and threatens to become infected.  And I got a call this afternoon from one of his Doctors explaining that at this point, since his swallow is not happening, they need to consider installing a more permanent feeding tube.  This does not mean he will never swallow, but since they can’t predict when that will happen, they need to do something more permanent.  It is minor surgery, but does carry normal risks like bleeding and infection.  Sigh.  I authorized the surgery.  This is all new and sobering territory for me——-I appreciate your prayers as I do my best to make wise decisions.
Stu has been transferred to the Kohler Pavilion, 10th floor, room 16——a pretty room with a big window and more comfortable for visitors.  If anyone is in the Portland area and can stop in to see him, I think it would be helpful.  I am grateful for the visitors he has already had, I think it helps him keep in touch with reality——at least to some degree.  Just be prepared for some definite Jewishness:-) He has not lost his touch:-)
On Sunday I hitched a ride with Rachel and Jerome down to G.P.  to gather some supplies and drive my car back up here.  I’m glad I was able to do it, but it also made me come to terms with the fact that I am really sick————I have a rib-cracking cough, and by the end of yesterday, I was totally depleted.
I had to face that I needed a day, at least, of recuperation, so I have not gone to the hospital today.  They say a friend in need is a friend indeed———I must say that Josie Banks has been that kind of friend in a crisis.  She was pretty adamant this morning that I needed to stop trying to “be there” for Stu until I could get over this illness.  God bless her.  I needed to hear that.  I found my way to her house, curled up on the couch, and slept all morning.  It is a much needed sanctuary.
Today as I talked over the feeding tube decision with my daughters, I mentioned that a question that has to crop up is “Where is God in all this?” I have to say, as grisly as some of these realities are, if I stay calm, I am able to see Him.  There is a quote from “Les Miserables” that comes back to me——-we put it on a family Christmas card many years ago “The pupil dilates in the darkness and at last finds light in it…… also does the soul dilate in suffering and at last finds God in it.” He is here.  He works through doctors and nurses and friends and circumstances, and His will is good.  I pray that you all are being somehow blessed by this story that God is telling through us Mendelsons.  I feel your prayers, and so appreciate your encouraging emails.
Blessings from Portland

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