Well Sheri is finally home (in a sense). We flew home Friday afternoon (8/12) after an intense week of getting ready for discharge. When we arrived, Sheri came into our house with new tile floors only hours old—her first time home in 5 months. It was both overwhelming and comforting at the same time. And everything has changed. Our life has been changed forever. Would God have wanted it any other way? No, or it wouldn't have happened in the first place.
What He has down the road for us I do not know. But we trust Him in this. In Luke 22, Jesus told Peter that Satan had demanded to be able to sift all the disciples like wheat—to see whether their trust was firm (like wheat) or fluff (like chaff). Peter failed a major test—denying Christ. Yet on the other side of it—when he got back on his feet—no one could get Peter to stop talking about his Savior who rose from the dead. And look at his encouraging faith in 1 Peter!
In many ways, we are back to square one. Being home is a great thing to rejoice in. We are so happy to be out of the hospital and where our home is. We survived phase one. On the other hand, we are back to reality apart from the safety net of doctors and nurses whenever any issue arises. Being home means I am the primary caregiver—no nurse to back me up if I'm delayed or run into problems. Lauren has been an incredible help but school started bright and early August 15. Being at home means someone has to be with Sheri almost 24x7. While we have made short excursions and left Sheri for a few moments, she cannot be left for long. She has limited mobility and can do little without an aide or assistant. And there is so much involved in her caregiving.
Prayer Request 1
We have had to stay at a hotel since arriving here because Sheri's allergies would not let her stay in the house with the dust of construction. Marla Wagner has graciously offered to put together a cleaning party for some time on Monday during the day if anyone is interested. Staying in a hotel means we do not get to use the hospital bed we have or other major pieces of medical equipment delivered to our house. Staying in a hotel means living out of an ice chest and having no means to cook food. Staying in a hotel means Sheri is even more limited in her ability to move around and do things. The house must be cleaned thoroughly before she can go home.
Prayer Request 2
One of the big things we noticed right away was how limited we are without a wheelchair van. We have taken the wheelchair taxi twice, but that means waiting for hours for it to come and then only going a short distance because of the cost. The rest of the time, Sheri is stuck in the hotel. She would love to go shopping with Lauren or visit some friends or go grocery shopping or out for dinner. Right now, she can't. Please pray about our options and provision there. The daily rental cost of a van is 0 and not a long-term solution. We thought we had a line on a van but that didn't pan out. Someone was kind enough to send me a brochure on a new specialty van and we will certainly look into that.
Prayer Request 3
We don't know if Satan demanded permission to sift us. Either way, it feels like we are being attacked at every turn. And the trials we've gone through certainly require a great deal of trust and reliance on our Lord. We understand the first six months at home will be the most difficult, but knowing that doesn't make it easier or more pleasant. Nothing is easy yet nor is likely to change in the near future. The second night home, Sheri developed a serious medical condition that kept us up most of the night and required us to call in a home-care nurse. Our insurance doesn't cover regular nursing care—only for emergencies. I, who am "Mr. Squeemish" when it comes to blood and medical things, am giving Sheri her I.V. antibiotics and flushing her semi-permanent I.V. pic lines because this nursing care is not covered. This is an amazing step outside my comfort zone (and not without a lot of arm twisting to get me there). So please pray for our strength and witness through this overwhelming and overtiring time.
Finally, please pray that we may use all of this to His glory.
Thank you to all who have constantly been there for us and cheering us on along each step.
"... as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," JOS 24:15 "