Health Update for Susan

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“ Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” -John 7:38

On Monday, August 23, my mom went to the doctor to have some of her allergy medications refilled as she was experiencing some of her typical allergy symptoms. At her appointment, the times we live in being what they are, she was tested for COVID-19 and received a positive result.

So she returned home to quarantine and recover from what seemed like a mild cold. As the week progressed, her symptoms became more intense and she struggled through GI symptoms that dehydrated her. My dad returned home from his weekly run as a truck driver that Friday and cared for her, although he was experiencing flu-like symptoms as well.

Over the weekend, my mom was feeling so much better that they were sure we wouldn’t have to cancel our upcoming Labor Day get-together. Unfortunately by the morning of August 31, my dad took her to the ER because she had become lethargic and had oxygen levels in the 70s. She was given oxygen and a bed in the ER for the night.

The following night she was able to get a room, but by the following day she was moved to the ICU and put on a BiPap machine. (A BiPap or BPAP is a form of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) therapy used to facilitate breathing. The machine features a tube that connects to a mask which is worn over your nose and mouth. Like other ventilators, BPAP machines use pressure to push air into your lungs. Depending on the settings, this opens the lungs, improving the level of oxygen in the blood and decreasing the carbon dioxide.) My dad also received his COVID test results confirming what we already knew: he also has COVID.

Currently she is still in the ICU. She was able to move around a bit with the supervision of a physical therapist, but otherwise she is confined to her bed. She also got a break from the BiPap for about 5 hours on Friday evening, but for the most part she has been on it since being in the ICU Thursday. When on the BiPap, she can’t close her mouth, swallow, drink, or cough and says she has a constant fear of choking. It’s heavy and painful on her neck, face, shoulders, and back.

As you probably have guessed, we can’t visit her. We have been communicating through text, Marco Polo, and FaceTime. It can feel very hard to wait without any way to help.

However, in His great mercy and provision, God has given us a way to communicate directly with Him and participate in His sovereign plan through prayer. I think often we downplay prayer as the last resort or a consolation prize; “well, I can’t do anything really useful, so I guess I’ll pray.” But there’s a reason we’re encouraged by Paul to pray without stopping. James tells us our prayers can be powerful and effective if coming from a steadfastly obedient heart. And in Timothy, Paul notes that prayer is a vessel (along with the Word of God) God uses to make us holy!

We know from God’s Word that prayer is important, necessary, and powerful, but it is also a way we love our neighbor. So as I sit here 2 hours away from my Mama feeling powerless to help her, I can kneel before Almighty God, Great Physician, Creator of her body, and Caretaker of her heart. Will you join me?

Here are some ways you can pray:

-That the medical team would be able to successfully wean her off oxygen allowing her to breathe on her own
-That she would get regular breaks from the BiPap to drink water
-That she would have the peace that passes understanding and comfort in her solitude
-That my dad would continue to get well and be well taken care of
-That the Lord will be with all of us who care for her as we deal with anxious hearts and frustrated spirits

Thank you for your prayers and for being the community she needs right now. Let’s go before the Lord.

Jenn

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Jennifer Byars

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