Sunday, October 22, 2006

Settling in at UVA

I’m back home now and wanted to give everyone an update.

Katy is still struggling with the pain and some other issues, but she has been able to rest comfortably. As of 8:30 this evening when I left the hospital, she had not had a spasm for about twenty-four hours and she was preparing to read some from a devotional book she recently acquired. For reasons we do not fully understand, she is feeling “safe” enough at UVa hospital that no one is staying with her tonight. This is the first time she has felt that way in the hospital since all of this started in July. Consequently, Dawn is staying in a Hospitality House near the hospital, where she should be able to get some much-needed sleep. As anyone who has spent a hospital night with Katy knows, neither a semi-reclining chair nor half of a hospital bed are conducive to a good night’s sleep! We are very hopeful about making progress at UVa, based on the conversations we have already had with the staff. They will be doing a number of tests over the next few days. We are praying for answers on what is causing Katy’s suffering, and what can be done to alleviate it.

After being told that there were no hotel rooms available anywhere in Charlottesville last night (Saturday), Dawn and I took advantage of my parents’ standing invitation and drove forty-five minutes to their house to sleep. We got in long after they were in bed, and left before they got up, but we got a good solid four hours of sleep and were back in the hospital this morning in time to meet the doctors as they were making their morning rounds. It should come as no surprise that we spent most of this afternoon dozing in chairs beside Katy’s bed.

God’s blessings and answers to prayer come in many ways. During her illness, Katy has been fretting about the fact that the weeds were overtaking the flowers in the flower beds, and the windows in the house really needed to be washed. She was thrilled yesterday afternoon when I told her that a crew composed of people from our church (Wellspring) and Rainbow Forest Baptist had pooled their efforts and accomplished those tasks (even mulching the flower beds and cleaning the house from top to bottom) in only three hours. Thanks to all of you who participated in that effort; you have blessed us greatly. I told Katy I would take pictures of your accomplishments for her. Special thanks to Jennifer Blugerman for coordinating this effort; she is one of the most organized people I know.

When I dropped Dawn off at the Hospitality House this evening before heading home, it was with a heavy heart. This is not only Katy’s first night alone; it is also Dawn’s. She has been bearing a heavy burden, and when I left her alone at the door of a house full of strangers she was teary and seemed somehow very vulnerable. As I drove home, I prayed as much for Dawn as for Katy. She called me when I was about an hour down the road, with the following words that were a great comfort, “I’m ok now. I’ve met the other women who are staying in the house. They are mostly older and they are nice and very wise. We have had a cup of tea together. The Lord is taking care of me.” As our kids have grown up, we have always prayed that whenever we were not available for them, the Lord would provide someone else. He has always done that, and He has done it for Dawn as well. He is faithful.

  1. Heather Kirkwood Says:

    I got pre-occupied with something before going to bed, so decided to check out the blog one more time before going to bed. Thank you so much for the update, especially given how tired you must feel. I’m about to fall out of my chair myself - so know that I’m always praying for you all. I’ll write some more tomorrow.

  2. Jess Lankford Says:

    Good morning Katy!
    I’m glad that you are feeling more comfortable at UVA - that is such a blessing! I’m so thankful for your blog - so I can stay up to date on your status! It’s also good to hear that you are reading - when I find something good to read - the time just seems to fly! I have a couple of good Christian fiction books - if you are interested!! I just finished them last week!

    Dawn -
    I know you are exausted! I’m glad that you found some wise older women to spend the evening with and share a cup of tea - I read this verse this morning “He who walks with the wise, becomes wise” Proverbs 13:20…The Lord is taking care of you and watching over you - He doesn’t slumber or sleep! Praise God!

    Love you all - praying for a good day!

  3. Linda Kochendarfer Says:

    I’m so glad you are settled in and that your mom has found women she can be comfortable with! It seemed empty at church yesterday without you, your mom and dad. But Paul Burton carried the day, gave us up to date information and blessed us all with his music. Mr. K is in Washington through Wednesday night, so it’s just me and the dogs. I was telling the small group that my littlest Bichon, Bandit, did an acrobatic act last Thursday. He can be a bit “hyper” when you let him out of his crate. Quickly after I opened the door to his “house” I heard a crash and breaking of glass! He had fallen through the railings on the second floor outside our bedroom and had landed tummy first on our oak dining room table. He broke a globe on a candle holder of my mothers and the floral arrangement on the table was air bound! It didn’t seem to bother him at all and he was up and running around in just a matter of seconds. I spent 30 minutes cleaning up broken glass and making sure he didn’t cut himself. Mr. K says we should give him his own parachute for a Christmas present! Speaking of pups, Ellie had a great time Saturday at the workday at your house. She had kids to play with and everyone wanted to pet her. We probably wore her out and I suspect she was glad when the house was quiet again. I’ve got some work to do for Pastor David so I’ll have to go; rest in Jesus’ arms today and keep us posted on your progress. Though you’re in Charlottesville, you are still close to us in our hearts. Loving you and your family,
    Mrs. K

  4. Patricia Hagsten Says:

    Praise God for Hospitality Houses and for Dawn’s “settling in” and resting. The emotional drain is tremendous….and won’t be easy for you at a distance, Paul.
    We’re heading out of town again and may have only occasional, limited access, but know whe’re continuing in prayer.

  5. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    Katy, darling, I’m so very glad you felt safe in the UVA hospital, and hope that continues. How God is answering prayer for you, and I know He has much more in store. I’m so excited for what He is GOING to do for you yet, and we will all be blessed as a side product, yet, I know that it’s our dear Father’s intention to bless us as well. I think that you should know that UVA in Portuguese means “Grape” and I now christen it “The Grape Hospital”. Think of all the special meaning of Grapes and grapevines and their wine in the Bible! A project for you & your family to study up!
    I pray and believe that this will be a very FRUITFUL stay for you at the Grape Hospital. Love so much, Aunt Lil

  6. Lillian Oliveira Says:

    Another name! Katy, I’ve had such a hard time remembering the name of your condition, that I’ve named it Herman’s Pudding Lake. Bet I never forget it again! Love, Aunt Lil

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