Life is a constant ebb and flow of good and bad, life and death. This week we experienced a heavy mix of both.
Sunday we were anxiously awaiting news of the safe arrival of niece Tina's first baby.
For lack of a photo for that day I am borrowing one of my favorites of the many posted on Facebook throughout the week--my mother holding her great grandson Simon. (Photo credits Daddy Kyle!)
Woke up Monday to a sad looking Christmas tree, the top half had gone dark--a premonition of things to come? It was a scary day indeed.
Sam's weekend-long headache and vomiting escalated severely. He begged to go to the ER. They spent four hours at the doctor's, but meds and fluids administered brought no relief. From there Kristie took Sam to the ER. Finally by evening they had a diagnosis (after a CT scan and MRI)--colloid cyst on the brain obstructing the flow of cranial fluid. By then we had joined them in the ER, ready to do whatever we could.
The ambulance left around 10 p.m. transporting Sam to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis--reportedly the best brain trauma center in the nation. Mike drove Kristie there after she stopped at home to put the little ones to bed and collect a few things. I spent the night with the boys. It had been a long day for wonderful babysitter big brother Malachi. And it was very hard on Mom-Kristie to be away from baby Jude first time overnight.
When she phoned early the next morning, Jude had just realized that I was not Mommy and was crying, but after some breakfast was fine.
That was Christmas Eve. We were anxiously waiting to hear when Sam's surgery would be. Could it wait till after Christmas? Would a surgeon be available and willing?
There was a 'changing of the guard'. Grandma Debby arrived to take over with the grandkids. When she walked in, little Zion said, "We don't need you. We got one already." ;)
Mike had arrived home from Indy around 4 a.m. Mid morning he picked up his sister Diane who spends holidays with us, and we met at Stephan and Karen's for the traditional Christmas Eve brunch for family and friends, the Monday Night regulars and more. It was so good to share in the nourishing meal and uplifting prayers before heading down to Indianapolis, and I got to meet a new little member of the group--Arya not even a month old!
The first great news was that Dr. Shapiro, one of the top, if not the top neurosurgeon in the nation, was scheduled to operate that morning.
We arrived toward the end of the five + hour procedure and waited to go in and be with Sam.
|Tender moments after surgery|
Kristie went home late Tuesday to keep the home-machine running smoothly and take the two older boys to see their dad the next day--Christmas Day.
Notice the smaller bandage, a slight smile, and Sam eating an Italian ice. He was confused at times but his customary humor was intact and came through in whispers or hand signals.
We enjoyed a brunch at Leah's, left Diane there and went back to the hospital.
Found the little ones playing contentedly, another good day with Grandma Debby.
Then we went back to Leah's for a delicious dinner and to pick up Diane.
Leah so enjoyed decorating her new home. Every nook and cranny was delightfully adorned.
Thursday, Boxing Day in some countries, we traveled North and had a good visit with my mother, brother Alan and family.
The news about Sam was that the drains had been removed and in the evening he was moved out of ICU!
Friday morning we were shocked to hear that he would be released to go home already that day!
At first it was rather overwhelming, especially for Kristie thinking of the care required.
However, everything went smoothly and Sam's steady improvement has been very encouraging.
Mike made a trip to Muncie to cut wood for Sam to heat his shop, whenever he's able to go back to work.
We had already scheduled a dinner with friends from our small group and were glad to be able to fit it in.
Leah was hurting so much for her brother and had not been able to visit him yet, so Saturday we went together to visit and help out for a few hours. I scrubbed floors while Leah wrapped their family gifts for them--the prettiest presents ever.
Sam looked good with his new hair cut and was very glad to lay there and quietly be involved in family life.
When we left almost all was in readiness for their family Christmas celebration today, Sunday.
The plan for the entire Koch clan is to celebrate 2013 Christmas in 2014, on New Year's Day!
We have a lot to celebrate! However, we've already received the best Christmas gift ever!