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17 August, 2015

Another Marker on the Road of Recovery

I brought Jeff home on Friday. How amazing is that?! Open heart surgery, replacement of a valve and the ascending aorta on Monday, 16 hours under the influence of anaesthesia and sedation, and he comes home four days later? Wow! I continue to stand in awe of God’s creative genius in giving the human body such healing ability. Amazing indeed!

And while at home Jeff continues to walk forward on the road of recovery. We are learning a new pace in daily life, somewhat like what we learned whenever we added a child to the family. Sleep—eat—rest—activity—rest—eat—sleep—activity….and so on.

Getting home is a huge marker. Figuring out a new pace, one that varies slightly every day but continues to move Jeff forward is another marker on this road of recovery. There aren’t pre-drawn maps to help navigate this very individualized section of the road. But, as we listen to those “Heroes of the Scar” who have navigated their own versions of this road we glean helpful landmarks that give greater courage in walking this territory unknown to us. We are grateful for these who are heroes to us.

Jeff is doing well. Incredibly well. God gifted Jeff with astounding tolerance of pain and he is getting along well without narcotics. Today he asked for a haircut, so I drove him to town and he had his hair cut. He walks around outside, even up slight inclines and tolerates activity well. He sleeps well in a recliner loaned to us by one of our heroes. His appetite is gradually increasing, as is his knowledge of the new regimen of medications he now follows.  He enjoys visits with friends and family dropping by. Jeff is doing well. We are grateful for every step forward.

Our schedule fills with appointments, beginning with the anticoagulation clinic. Jeff will be taking “blood-thinner” medication to prevent blood clots forming around his artificial heart valve. We will be learning how to monitor his blood level of that medication and make necessary adjustments in his dose to keep his blood appropriately “thinned.” We have a lot to learn and we are grateful for those who will teach us in the process and for those who cheer us on.

Daily several cards arrive in the mail, both digital and physical, bringing cheer and words of encouragement. Many, many folks are walking this journey with us. People from all around the world, in many different time zones, are traversing this trail with us, praying and cheering us onward. We are so, so grateful for our fellow travelers.

Yes, there are many important markers along this road and we celebrate the passing of each one. But among the greatest markers of all is a grateful heart, and today that is what holds our attention. We are so, so grateful for all these things and all these folks. They keep us moving forward and remind us to be grateful all along the way.

Please let us know what fills your heart with gratitude today. We would love to celebrate together!

Christine, for Jeff too