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Updated: Feb 15, 2021

Kayley Hospital Watch

REMEMBERING As morning dawned yesterday I craved hope. Something... anything... just a morsel of relief; I prayed this not for me but for her.

Wait. That's not true. On second thought, it was for all three of us.

The morning kick start was more of an ambush. The hematologist told us because of heart pressure problems they were forced to retry a procedure they tried 3 times the day before to no avail. It's a very painful procedure involving an extremely long wire being inserted into an artery. Missy left the room but they made unusual exception to allow me to stay. Her moans of pain are a recording I hope to one day erase. Constricted arteries prevented success and prompted apologies. The doctor told us, " It highly unusual. I haven't seen this happen in the 7 years I've been performing the procedure".

We were then notified that after lunch they would be going into her pelvis to extract bone marrow. Kayley cried as they explained the process and brought in the release forms to sign.

Missy and I were haunted.

Privately we talked away from Kayley. How can she endure another procedure? Why can't they wait until she regains some strength? I felt like I was going to throw up.

One hour later they returned to inform us the team collectively decided she was physically too weak to weather the storm.

I can't remember a time in my life I felt more relieved. Actually it was more like elation. It was the morsel of relief and hope I prayed for at sunrise.

We met separately today with the cardiology, rheumatology, hematology, and infectious disease doctors. While they still do not have a diagnosis they have started us on a new trail of extremely high doses of steroids. Even though Kayley is alarmingly weak and has difficulty breathing, we rejoice in better blood pressure, being taken off a liquid diet, and the absence of fever.

Any progress, regardless of duration, is cause for hope.

She still struggles and so do I. Her physically/ me spiritually. For the third time in these 14 days I privately spoke spiteful, angry and accusatory words to God. I'm ashamed to say I still have bouts of strong anger towards Him. Like the other 2 times, my conscience later arrested me and I asked for forgiveness; I truly regretted my foolish, unfaithful, and weak behavior. These feelings toward Him are all so foreign and something I've never known since receiving Him in my life at age 21.

As for right now it's almost 3 AM. I'm back on watch sitting inches from Kayley. Her labored breathing can be heard above the noisy machine behind me that persistently hisses like a snake.

I occupy my mind through writing yet in the darkness of this experience things can sometimes get convoluted... twisted... confusing. I forget which wing we're in. I forget which room. I forget the day of the week. I forget to put on a watch. I forget to eat since I often feel no hunger. I forget what the doctors tell me. I forget where I placed things in my small ICU home of 14 days.

I didn't know the mind could play such nasty tricks.

But there are also things I am remembering in these long dreary nights. Memories I haven't pondered or revisited in years. Memories about her that sickness, hospitals, fevers, heart/blood pressure problems, tubes, incisions, lung fluid, infections and mysterious diseases are powerless to erase.

I REMEMBER finding out I would have a baby girl; her birth and the quiver in her lips the first time I held her. I REMEMBER "tea parties" at a small Cinderella table with goldfish and apple juice.( it's still the finest cuisine I've ever eaten) I REMEMBER the day she asked for Jesus to live in her heart. I REMEMBER her constantly telling Missy that one day she would marry me. I REMEMBER our first trip by ourselves for her to "help daddy preach" in Salt Lake City. I REMEMBER her often knocking on my closet door while I prayed, holding her picture bible, and asking if we could talk to Jesus together. I REMEMBER flying home before 9/11, when it was still legal to greet family in the terminal breezeway, her running to me like she was Usain Bolt, jumping in my arms, kissing me relentlessly and hugging my neck as though I were some famous hero. I REMEMBER the first time she traveled with me and shared her testimony and how the students connected with her. I REMEMBER hunting, fishing together. I REMEMBER the day years ago when she asked a question that haunts me even now... a question that literally took my breath and caused me to sit on the stairs with tears in my eyes. "Dad, are we the kind of people like the ones in the Bible? Are we the kind of people God would write stories about"?

I will spend the rest of my life striving to become that man.

So until morning I choose to push away fear... anger... doubt... and the howling voices of evil.

Until morning, I will reflect back to better times with her and cherish those special days. Days I trust God will soon give us again. I choose right here, right now to walk by faith and not by what I see.

I choose simply to......... REMEMBER


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