For some time my blog has been on the backburner. As I try to prioritize my time I have found I had to put it aside for some time while I tried to catch up on other things. I thought that once September was over things would settle down, but here it is the end of October. Time certainly flies, just like I said in my last post.
This week we have been reminded again how fragile our lives are here on this earth. So often we say how we never know our time, but how seriously do we believe this? How much do we think about how in a matter of minutes or hours our lives can change drastically or be gone completely?
I sit behind the computer in the waiting room at ICU at the General. As many of you know my brother, Nathan, is critically ill. He has just left for surgery and we do not know if we will see him again. What we do know is that he is in God's hands and we must trust that God knows what is best.
On Wednesday Aileen (Nathan's wife), brought Nathan to the local Emerge with what was thought to be a virus. By the end of the day he had been transferred to the General and was in surgery. What was first treated as a bad infection was in the end diagnosed as a life threatening bacteria infection, streptococcus A (what you and I commonly know as a bacteria that causes strep throat), which is a tissue eating bacteria. Nathan has a form of Strep A called necrotizing fascitis, which is better known at Flesh-Eating Disease.
This bacteria is extremely aggressive and quick. Within hours Nathan went from looking "normal" (as well as normal can be when one looks extremely ill and is in a lot of pain) to the skin and flesh opening and dying on his legs and arms. By time he went into surgery his entire left leg was bursting open and showed signs of dead areas. Going into surgery it appeared there was a good chance of losing his left leg.
Late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning we gathered together in the ICU and waited for what seemed an eternity but in reality was about two and a half hours. The news was not good. The doctors had to amputate Nathan's left leg, as well as remove skin, tissue and muscle of his right leg and arm. The procedure had to be aborted when his heart stopped and it took them about a minute to bring him back. While we were thankful he survived we realized that he was still in extremely critical condition.
Thursday evening brought some positive news when the dressing changes went much better then they expected and so they decided to wait another day before going back into surgery. We were all able to go home and get some much needed rest. God knew we would need that rest as this morning we received word that the bacteria had spread into Nathan's abdomen.
After much consulting and reviewing of CT Scans the doctors decided there was enough positive to attemp surgery again with the hope that they can remove the tissue that is infected and that the bacteria has not entered his organs. The biggest concern is whether the bacteria has reached his organs, if so, there is nothing further that can humanly be done. There is much concern for his heart, but it is in better condition then Wednesday night. The other very major concern is whether he will be able to handle the blood loss from such a major surgery. There is also concern for his right leg.
While there is so many concerns and so many unknowns we know that Nathan is in the Lords hands, without His will not a hair can fall from our heads. We must rely on this comfort as we await the results of surgery. At this time all we can do is pray and we covet all prayers that go up.
"My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" Psalm 73:26