This Catholic Journey
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Name: Amber
Location: Reno, Nevada, United States

I am a 34-year-old single mother of three. I am a convert to Catholicism and came into the Church on April 7, 2007. This blog is a collection of thoughts and things I learn in my journey of faith. All comments are welcome!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Tiny Miracles

What a roller coaster ride our family is on! Sunday, my aunt was taking a turn for the worst... But by the following day, her kidneys showed no signs of failure and her heartbeat had returned to normal. The doctors decided to have her on the respirator only part time because when she's overly exhausted, she has a more difficult time breathing on her own. She's gone up to six hours without it. When she is on it, the respirator gives her only 4 breaths per minute and the rest is all her doing.

On Wednesday, a physical therapist went in to assess her. After being helped to a position in which she was sitting on the side of the bed, my aunt was able to sit on her own without falling over. At one point, she started to fall back a little and the physical therapist told her to move her shoulders forward and my aunt did so and brought herself back into an upright position. She did everything the therapist asked her to do, moving her left leg, right leg, touching her chin, etc.

My aunt's friends have quite the sense of humor. At one point, my aunt was asked a question and they said, "If the answer to this question is 'yes', flip me off!" And so, my aunt flipped her off. She definitely hasn't lost her sense of humor!

My uncle was trying to get my aunt to open her eyes the other day and she brought her hand up to her brow as if trying to push her eyelids open.

SO, my uncle requested a second opinion from the head of neurology at the hospital. The doctor initially came in with this attitude and said, "Look, we've already told you what to expect... Haven't the doctors already explained everything to you already?" My uncle explained that my aunt was doing things that the doctors said she would NEVER do. The doctor's response was, "Yes, well, family members often SEE things that aren't really happening because they want to believe their loved one is going to get better." My uncle said, "Yes, but it's NOT just family. It's friends, nurses, and even the physical therapist!"

So, the doctor decided to actually take a look at MY AUNT, instead of a picture of her brain. My uncle said the doctor was very surprised to see that my aunt's personality and ability to understand remained in tact... her ability to communicate with nods and squeezes was also surprising to him, not to mention the amount of movement upon request she is able to carry out. Then he put a light in her eyes and expressed that he was seeing what he did not expect to see. He then ordered another MRI. My uncle wants her transferred to a rehab facility but the insurance, at this point, has turned it down because her diagnosis is "brain dead". People with no brain function don't need therapy. Hopefully, the new MRI and the evidence that she is not completely brain dead, will allow the doctors to change the diagnosis so that she can get the rehab she needs to improve even more.

My uncle told me yesterday that each success, while it brings him joy, also makes him realize how much more difficult it would be to lose her after all this... or to decide to "let her go". That phrase was a bit scary to me... I hope he never takes away any normal means of caring for her and I hope he never consideres euthanasia.

A HUGE thank you to all of you who have prayed and who continue to pray! Your prayers are being heard!


On a completely different note, I sent a Catholic Answers tract on infant baptism to my parents and urged them to attend my kids' baptism. I pray their hearts are open... and I pray they will set aside their opinions for the sake of the kids.

We're all getting excited about the baptism but have a HUGE day of moving ahead of us tomorrow. Hopefully, that will go as smoothly as possible...

Eventually, I'd like to get back to some normal blogging!


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