Some have wondered what she is like, the best times to visit, can we just drop in? And, I so appreciate those who contact me via Facebook, text, or email and ask these questions because I really have to feel the situation out for her.
It is agreed among us all on #TeamAniyah that I am the designated “watchman” and communicator of sorts for #TeamAniyah; which is among many of the hats that we all juggle and toss to each other as each of us steps into place to get some rest in the process. That being shared, I filter the communication coming in and out of it as best that I can in the time that I can step away and be assured that she is covered and doesn’t need me at the time. God has it to have each of us with her at the time as needed, and each of us receiving our own break in the process. As the “watchman,” I communicate in love and honesty where we are at in the day with her as each day is so different. So, I want to walk you through a typical day with AJ so that you may understand why these updates don’t always come first thing in the morning, why I am unable to readily answer the phone when you call, text, or respond to emails right away.
5am-10am: Doctors come pouring in with updates, nurses are taking vitals, food is being dropped off, the room is being cleaned and stocked up again. And, there’s a morning bathroom routine somewhere in there in which I have to tell people to leave the room so that I can tend to her for a minimum of 45 minutes. You read that right, 45 min. I am honored to do that as she was dependent on the nurses to do that before for her, and as a mom, it’s nothing for us to rush to the side of our children in need or just to do so because we love them unconditionally. She has multiple injuries and we have to take our time, allowing her to breathe through each movement that she pushes her body through to the next. Then, there’s the teeth brushing that is not as easy as one would think. She does have some cracked teeth in the back due to her accident that I have to be very careful to work around. Her good arm is the one that was de-gloved; therefore, leaving her weaker arm to meet new and demanding challenges as never before.
We will be happy when we are at home and not woken up as early. We realize that the time in the morning might move a little easier as we progress from temporary state to temporary state and she gets stronger in the process.
10am-1pm: Somewhere during this time, and after some rest between the morning routine for all of us, we get her something to eat and she gets ready for her day:
- Brushing and braiding of her hair
- Sponge baths
- Linen changes
- Robe and personal hygiene changes
- Another bathroom routine
1pm (averages about 2-3 hours): Physical Therapy (PT)
If all goes well in PT and she doesn’t feel drained or in too much pain then, she gives me the OK for visitors.
I admire her, we admire her, for what she is able to push herself through and we are all thankful, including AJ, to God for how far she has come in this journey with God.
Due to the constant activity and hustle in the room for most of the morning and some of the afternoon, she needs to de-stress and bring her body to a place of peace again. She loves having visitors, and knows that people want to “witness” for themselves that she really is OK and she truly is, but getting through the process is not always OK up to that point. We see her having to work through getting herself mentally, spiritually, and emotionally ready for fellowship after she has gone through the physical part. Therefore, the hustle and bustle is dialed down to something that leaves her more comfortable and at peace, giving us the cue to do so with her:
- Minimal lighting in the room
- Soft voices (although we do laugh and cry many a time)
- No big hand gestures or too much excitement because she just came off of an exciting morning.
- Many want to know her God story right from her mouth, and here is where I, the watchman, kindly request your understanding and consideration. You see, when I walked through my trials I never really felt up to talking about them as I was going through them. They were difficult times, and although I can share with great confidence that God was with me, my wounds were fresh and I needed to heal from them first before I was able to reach the place in which God would have me share the story with others for further healing. Even afterwards I still had “trigger” moments in which I had to heal before God said it was time to share for even further healing within and for others. The Bible states in Isaiah 43:2,
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
This verse is understood better if you can picture that the “waters” can seem overwhelming, and God is the only One who is getting you through them. Rivers do rage, get out of control, and you might go under for a second or so, but when they do, God is the One you can count on to get you through what is out of your control and protect you from the raging waters. The fire; well, you do feel the heat and in this heat it may be difficult to catch your breath and push through, but God promises that you will not be burned or consumed.
Each day is different. Each day has its own challenges for each of us on #TeamAniyah. There is still work and school for most of #TeamAniyah. There are the challenges of getting the rest we need, at the times that we can do it. If we sleep a few hours at a time, that’s a good day and we are grateful for it as God has been faithful to strengthen us. However, bathroom breaks still happen in the night. We are not only telling AJ that this is temporary for her, but we also have to tell ourselves the same too. The reality is that this is a process and not only is the process long, but the process within the process is long.
For the many who have stepped out and helped us, we are truly grateful and overwhelmed by your love and selfless service to our family wherever they may be at the time. Please know that God does put you on our hearts to pray for each of you as you do so. Daily I stand in the room praying over the situations as they come, the visitors, AJ as she pushes through physically, mentally, and spiritually – and #TeamAniyah and myself. I have had some situations in which you precious people have reached out to us and God drops you into my spirit to pray for you. And, soon after I will get a text or a call about a trial you are going through at the moment while you are caring for our children, helping us out at our home, or battling the traffic and other stressful situations getting here to the hospital to selflessly serve, love on, and encourage us. We realize this trial is much bigger than what we see in the physical. God has made that very clear. There is a much bigger spiritual battle going on in which the enemy is not happy with the outpouring, and with all that God is doing in it. I want to take the time to remind you that any time that we step out to do good for anyone, the enemy is quick to create havoc and stress. We are honored that you push through to do the good anyway, and we are confident that God will bless you all for it!
We just want to sincerely thank you for truly serving us, praying for us, and encouraging us through this – it has its many daily challenges, but we are pushing through and grateful for the many blessings that come with it all.
- In PT today she was able to transfer from the bed to the wheel chair, and back from the wheelchair to the bed. This was a difficult challenge for us all. She did most of the work, and she did great, but it is timely and requires many breaks to get through it. It also puts pain and pressure on the skin graft on her thigh so, it doesn’t come without pushing through the pain in an effort to work towards the gain. She is such a trooper and so determined to live.
- In the moving she is in pain, and often in that pain, she cries. We used to tell her, “It’s OK.” But, God dropped into my spirit, “You’re right, Laurie. It’s OK for her to cry because there is pain and discomfort. It is part of the healing. Let her do it.” So, we do at her pace. And, God meets her in those moments when we can do absolutely nothing for her, but just wait until she’s ready to go to the next step.
- The hand doctor visited and she WILL be getting her cast off on Monday, along with her wound vac.
- They believe she will be discharged on Monday, and we are so grateful to the many who made the home ready for her. You all are heaven-sent! We truly appreciate all you have done to make home a home for her.
- She takes her pain meds as needed, and that is not that often during the day (after lots of activity) since her pains are more tolerable compared to where she was at the onset.
- The doctors have shared that the days ahead in her recovery will look like this:
- Intense daily therapy on her hand, fingers, and learning how to use it in this manner for the rest of her life.
- 6 weeks in the TLSO, “turtle shell”
- Intense physical therapy at home in the strengthening of new positions.
- 3 months in a wheel chair at which time she will progress to a walker, a crutches, and/or a cane. It will be 9 months – 12 months before she can walk on her own two feet without any assistance.
Where to send cards after she is discharged
I am setting up a post office box, and expect to have that address ready for you Monday morning. =)
We had a great day with AJ today! She was visited by family, close friends, and blessed new friends that all came alongside her to love on her and us. We had lots of laughs, and tender moments. You are all so amazing at being the “Lights” in our shadows!
I wanted to share some pictures of our day today with our blessed family and friends, picture of AJ with #DMBFamily members and gifts she has received from the #DMBFamily, and the many family and friends who love her. You have all given her such joy and hope in this trial.
She/we “Love You Oh So Well!”
~Laurie for the PopTribe, #TeamAniyah