Beep. Beep. Beep. Click. Hiss. Whirr. Beep. Beep. Beep. Click. Hiss. Whirr.
I am sitting here by the bedside of our oldest child here at Vanderbuilt Children's Hospital here in Nashville, Tennessee, where we live, watching him as he continues in his drug-induced slumber. His signs have been improving, but he remains in deep coma.
Doctors and nurses regularly float in and out of Thaddeus' ICU room, where they fiddle with the monitors, check his vitals, look into his eyes and ears with flashlights, pinch or rub his skin, and shout out his name over and over, to see if they can get him to respond. Except for a few brief grimaces and movement of his toes and fingers, Thaddeus lies still as death. Yet the responses are encouraging; I must remain hopeful.
It's been nearly two weeks since The Fall that changed our lives forever (or HAS it??). Thaddeus Johnathon Humphrey remains in Critical Condition, but at least he is starting to respond a little. It may not be much to most people as they see him lying there, but it's better than him not moving AT all. Plus we have our faith in Christ to sustain us because we know that He is with us and will never leave or forsake us. He is even with Thaddeus as he lingers in his coma.
Friends and family have been wonderful throughout this whole ordeal: volunteering to do our shopping, taking care of our two other children, 10-year-old Emma (who has CP and is in a wheelchair) and 6-year-old Bryce, calling and asking if we need anything, sending us flowers, get-well cards, and even money in the mail, and the like. The pastors from our church have been holding regular prayer vigils for our son and the outpouring of love and support has been nothing short of astonishing.
On Sunday, Mom took me out to eat. We went to Golden Corral, meaning Mom and some ladies from the church. They paid for my meal and everything and listened sympathetically as I broke down and cried, right there in the middle of the restaurant. They lifted me up in prayer and I could feel the love of God washing all over me. It was a holy moment.
We then stopped by the house so I could get some clean clothes, check the mail, and say hello to my Daddy, who was watching over Emma and Bryce. Emma and Bryce both squealed when they saw me (well, Emma bounced excitedly in her wheelchair) and held out their little arms as I embraced both children in a huge bear hug, my tears falling anew into their hair.
After that, Mom and I headed back to Vanderbuilt Children's and relieved John of PICU vigil duty. John then left and walked around the hospital halls, praying for Thaddeus and going to the cafeteria, where he got himself something to eat. He probably then stepped outside to have a smoke. John usually doesn't smoke, but he does when he is nervous or agitated about something.
Doctors are optimistic that Thaddeus has not suffered any lasting damage, but he does face a very long (not to mentioin, painful) recovery. It will probably take a year or longer, they told us. He will probably walk again, but not without extensive physical and occupational therapy. That news was most pleasing to our ears; we were scared that Thaddeus would end up like Emma, even though Emma was born with brain damage and was later diagnosed with CP when she was about two years of age.
Having one child who is physically disabled is bad enough. I don't know what we would have done if we were told that Thaddeus would be disabled as well. It would be far too much for us to bear.
Well, I am going to take a walk myself, so I will write in here again another day. Hopefully when I do, Thaddeus will be starting to wake up or BE awake. I can only pray and hope. Until later, this is Rita Humprhreys saying so long; please keep those prayers and well wishes coming! They are really starting to make a difference in this situation! Thanks in advance!
~Love, your friend in Tennessee, Rita. :)
~To be continued.~