Thursday, February 9, 2017

February with my Father

A week ago today, my father and I left in the morning to drive to a city in another state for his pre-op appointments, because he was scheduled for spinal surgery on Friday morning.  

It was a poignant experience, because twenty-seven years ago my parents took me for spinal surgery. I was 13 years old.  I had worn a back brace for scoliosis since I was about 5, but the brace wasn't enough to halt the progression of my severe spinal curvature (my spine is a backwards "S").  I had a spinal fusion using bone from my hip, and an instrumentation which placed fiberglass rods on either side of my spine.  I can only imagine the tension my parents felt that morning in October as their child was wheeled off for an 8-hour surgery on her spine. 

(There's a whole backstory there, too, because that was the first time I really felt God's presence and protection in my life, and it was a formative experience for me. But I'll save that for another time.)

So of course it was my privilege to care for my father.  We got up at 4:00 on Friday and had to be at the hospital at 5:45.  By noon he was out of surgery and in recovery, his neurosurgeon had given me a positive report, and I went to go find lunch and make phone calls and send texts.  He was in the hospital until Sunday, but had a slight complication.  So on Monday morning I called the doctor and we were slated to go back on Tuesday morning.  After four (!) hours of sleep Monday night [I just couldn't sleep well] we got up, once again, at 4:00 am.  Fortunately, and hallelujah, the complication appears to have resolved itself.  I was THRILLED!!! to learn that!

The morning we were to leave home, last Thursday, my father's online devotional was, he said, "very timely." It was this one, which is about the author's experience when her 13-year old daughter had spinal surgery for scoliosis.  My father and I smiled at each other.  Another wink from God--I love them. Timely indeed.

So now my sister is here with us for a few days (with a major toothache, poor girl!), my father is still recuperating here for a while, and I'm finally home to stay!  It's wonderful to do things like laundry and washing dishes and teaching school. I'm not getting up early yet--I'm sleeping in until 8:00 this week intentionally--and I'm not back to a "normal" schedule. We're staying flexible as we help my father recover and enjoy some time with him and my sister.  But oh, it's lovely to be home, to see him improving, to spend time together.  (All the time in the hospital and in the car gave us time for a lot of uninterrupted conversation!) And it's a privilege to have the freedom and flexibility to care for my father during this time.  I'm so grateful for all of it.  

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