Bad Roller Coaster Week

This week was really bad roller coaster ride; you know the kind that just tosses you all around. I had great plans for the week. I’d broken the work down that needed to be done into three days, so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed.

Then Daddy was still in the ICU. His oxygen numbers where mostly not good but he did have improvement throughout the week.

I like to have my Christmas tree up right after Thanksgiving and for the last 15 years or so, we have done it on Wednesday. We also do all of our holiday dessert baking that day. This year I decided to start putting the tree up on Monday. It is a good thing too because we needed a new strand of lights and snow! Ugh!

Michael stopped and picked up both items on his way home, so we finished the tree on Tuesday. We also did half the baking. :)

My last picture of my daddy!

Daddy’s oxygen levels fluctuated a bit but he still needed a lot of oxygen. On Wednesday afternoon they moved him out of ICU saying he was no longer sick enough to warrant it. However by 11pm his blood pressure plummeted to 60/40. They gave him something to bring it back up and returned him to ICU.

They started a battery of tests and before too long the doctor on duty had the nurse call me and my mother. The short version is that they were as surprised as we were but she felt we needed to be more concerned with his comfort at this point than attempting to save his life (he did have a DNR). It was bad.

I asked if we could come see him and I was told no but she’d check, maybe the policy had changed. Of course, I immediately sent out calls to people to pray, as did Tiffany. The next phone call was that they would allow us to come. He was on a bipap machine.

God worked a miracle and Michael rushed Tiffany and I to the hospital. They took us up, got us protected, and let us in to see him. It was hard. He hated the bipap! Mike and Tracie were bringing Mom and they were only a few minutes behind us. He had to hold on so they could say good-bye too.

He did! Tiff went out after telling him she loved him and loving on him a few minutes, but it was very hard to see. She’d just left the room, Daddy kept trying to take off the bipap mask, but the nurse and I convinced him not to until Momma could get there. She was just outside the door getting garbed up.

I stayed for a few minutes but then went out and Tracie’s husband came in for a few minutes. When he came back out, I went back in. Mom and Tracie were singing to him; I joined in.

I don’t remember when they took off the bipap and put back on the other oxygen–everything is a blur–they gave him lots of pain killers and you could see him beginning to relax a bit. After a song or two, Mom told him he could go be with Jesus. I told him we’d take care of Momma and not to worry about her. More quiet singing and he left.

The nurses were great!!! They gave us as much time as we needed. He passed from this life around 1:45am on Thanksgiving day morning. I’m just so very thankful that Thanksgiving isn’t always on the same day every year!

The nurses told us several times what a sweet man Daddy was. I’m thankful he had some great nurses looking after him, in a time when we couldn’t be by his side during his last days of life here.

To say our Thanksgiving was different, is an understatement! Brian, Lauren, and Liam still came up. We went over to my sister’s house in the afternoon–we just needed to be together. We each handle loss differently. Mom is currently solid as a rock, but we each had our moments of breakdown throughout the evening. At the time of this writing, he hasn’t even been gone a whole day yet; it just doesn’t seem real.

I’m going to run. It is Thanksgiving night and I am operating on about 2-3 hours of sleep. I’m ready to crash. :) Thank you for all the prayers; they are greatly appreciated.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

4 thoughts on “Bad Roller Coaster Week

  1. Ah, Michele, I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad.

    This is going to sound really quite weird, but one of my favorite scriptures is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. ” But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep (in death), that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope …” It’s comforting that we are expected to grieve … but we have this amazing hope that we will see others after death and live eternally.

    Praying for you and your family in this season of (temporary) loss.

    1. Yes Lori, thanks so much for sharing! That is a verse we have kept close to our hearts. We have definitely felt the prayers of so many friends and family.

      Thank you for your kind words.

  2. Michele, as said in a post to one of you girls, it is hard to put into words how we all feel about your father. We cousins have been hugely blessed to be raised in the Borntrager clan. My aunts and uncles have been solid for us cousins. Now we find ourselves in our 50s and 60s and looking after our parents. What a role reversal. What irony.

    Your dad was a father figure to all of us. I remember one specific time in my teen years, my parents found it difficult to talk to me about something. Uncle John came to me and said, “can I talk to you?” We went outside and he very gently spoke with me about the issue in my life. He used compassion and wisdom and made sure I understood he loved me. I remember thinking it was, at first, an awkward situation, but I knew in my heart it was always because he loved me and cared about the choices I was making as a teenager. Not sure I ever told anybody that until this week.

    You know, that is the difference between their generation and ours. They truly knew how to mentor. That instance meant so much to me over the years.

    We must all learn from the wisdom of your mom and dad’s generation. They have so much to give. And love has been consistently given.

    I am praying for all of you over the coming days, weeks, and months. Love you cousin!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing that Mark! I love hearing things like this about my dad. :)

      I know you know the pain of losing a father. I never knew what to say before; words come hard to me many times. Thank you! Family is awesome!

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