1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always,17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
You know how people say hospitals are scary places? Well, they are. I believe most of the fear comes from being in a place where you know your loved one is in pain and you cannot do a single thing about it. We lived in the hospital for 113 days and although this seems like a long time (it sure felt like it), there are families who spend much longer. The length of the stay does not add or subtract fear but over time, your story list grows.
Over those few months, we collected some funny moments that I wasn't able to sneak into our blog. Now, I am making a whole blog post about the ones I can remember! So, sit back and enjoy a little lighter Lavender Longshot post:
- As many of you know, we have 2 nephews (4 & 2), a niece (7 months), and a niece/ nephew (-3 months). When the accident occurred, Derek's sister was left to try to explain to the 4 & 2 year old what happened to Uncle Derek (aka Uncle Dizzle) and why he was in the hospital. Courtney sat the boys down and explained that Uncle Dizzle has wrecked his motorcycle on the way to work and would be staying in the hospital until he felt better. Throughout the day, she noticed that the boys were a little more quiet and seemed to be pondering things. Huxley (the 2 year old) walked up to her in the middle of the afternoon and said: Huxley- "Mom did Uncle Derek hit a whale with his motorcycle?" Courtney- "No buddy he didn't hit a whale" Huxley- "Did he hit a moose?" Courtney- "No it wasn't a moose" Huxley- "Did he hit a turtle?" Courtney- "Well actually, it could have been a turtle!" For the past few months, we have laughed fairly hard over this conversation. There was also a "Get Well" card that must have been floating around card chains, with a turtle on the front with a big band-aid on it. Whenever we received one of these cards, we laughed even harder. So now you know if anyone ever asks us what happened, we will just say he hit a turtle.
- For the first few weeks of the ICU, Derek was only able to communicate through clicks, head nods, and hand motions (which is was NOT good at). Obviously, there is bound to be some funny situations coming out of this situations! If you know my mother, you know she is a wonderful, caring woman with quite possibly a heart of gold. She also loves family devotions and singing. One night, I was down on the 4th floor getting ready for bed while she stayed up in Derek's room. We made it a priority that Derek never sat alone, if at all possible. As my mother sat there, she asked Derek if he would like her to read some scripture to him. He shook his head no, so my mom grabbed her Bible and started reading. After she finished reading, she asked Derek if he would like her to sing a few hymns to him. He again shook his head no. And then mom began to sing. We all laugh now because mom said, "Well I thought he was so out of it that he surely didn't know WHAT he wanted!" A week later when Derek was able to mouth words, mom asked what scripture he wanted to read and he mouthed "Ecclesiastes". She then proceeded to read him Psalms because she thought "he must not have understood how depressing Ecclesiastes" can be! I then informed her that Ecclesiastes is Derek's favorite book of the Bible and he just sat there and smiled the whole time.
- As I said before, we were very careful that there was always someone there to sit with Derek while he was in the ICU. One night, Derek's Uncle Kevin came to visit. Uncle Kevin is a pastor in Cincinnati (and officiated our wedding!) and was sitting with Derek late one Friday night. I went downstairs to get my stuff for bed and when I came back up to the room, I was so disappointed I didn't have my cell phone on me! I quietly walked into the dark room to see Derek sleeping in the corner. I looked across the room just to see Uncle Kevin standing under the 1 single light in the room. The light was shining down like a spotlight and Uncle Kevin was standing there with his Bible open practicing his sermon for Sunday. He looked like an angel! As I began to laugh, it took Kevin a minute to figure out what I was laughing at. He then caught on and said, "It was the only light I could figure out how to turn on!"
- Derek has this weird obsession with Red Panda's. If you dont know what it is, look it up...and then text Derek ideas on how to steal one from the zoo. He LOVES these little furry creatures and has been talking about getting one for years. Well, one of his friends must have actually been listening because 2 weeks into our stay, one of his buddies sent us a stuffed Red Panda. This was while Derek was still a little loopy, and he was just so excited. For the first time EVER, Derek asked me to "Please take a picture with me and my red panda". He then continued to sleep with it the next few nights until he became a little more aware that he was sleeping with a stuffed animal. It was SO precious.
- Once we left the ICU on July 13th, it was really fun just to talk about the last month and try to figure out what he remembered and what he completely forgot. When I was first testing his memory, I asked him how many nephews he had (he held up 2 fingers), if he remembered his Nashville birthday party (head nod), if he remembered where he worked (head nod), if he remembered our wedding (shakes head no). For a second that movie about the woman forgetting her husband flashed before my eyes..and then he just started laughing. So- you know what I was up against. A semi- delusional man with a sense of humor. Now, the layout of the hospital room is important here. If you were laying in Derek's bed, straight in front of you would be the TV, little nurses station, and a GIANT obnoxious bright clock. To the left was my little nook with a pull out chair and a tray. About 3 weeks in, my brother-in-law Caleb spent the night with Derek. The next morning, Derek was mouthing over and over to Caleb and I something that we just couldn't understand. FINALLY after about 10 minutes of guessing, I said, "Are you trying to say Crack house?!?" He shook his head yes, and then rolled his eyes. Naturally weeks later I had to ask him what he was talking about. Derek explains that at some point during the night, he woke up in a shady basement. He said he was looking around and he was sitting in a bean bag chair but couldn't get out. There were doctors and nurses around and he looked over and saw Caleb sleeping under some table (when that chair pulls out, the tray sits high enough that it would look like someone was "sleeping under a table"). He said he remembers trying to get out of whatever place Caleb got them into and remembers thinking "Caleb is into some shady stuff". Derek still swears to this day that he was in at least 5 different hospital rooms (including the crack house) throughout his stay in Indy. He was only in 2 rooms the whole time.
- There was this one time his tooth was a little loose. He asked the nurse and she said "We will have to get a dentist to come in and take it out for you." While we were at dinner, Derek texted me and said, "I just went ahead and pulled it out myself".
- My last story for today happened on our anniversary which was during our stay in Chicago. August 3rd also happened to be the first day when Derek was cleared to eat solid foods! I attempted to plan a romantic anniversary dinner in the park with the help of my friends Julene & Sarah. The first 20 minutes of the night was going great! I was able to surprise Derek and we sat down at the park to begin our meal. A few minutes after we prayed, a man walked up to our table and asked, "Is anyone sitting here?" I am sure Derek and I both looked a little confused and I said, "Excuse me?" He asked again if anyone was sitting here and motioned to the seat next to me. I said "Well technically no but we are enjoying our anniversary dinner." He said, "Ok." And then continued to plop himself down beside us and just watch the runners for the next 15 minutes. I did manage to sneak a picture, mainly because I could not believe what was happening!
That is all for now! I will probably sneak in more stories here and there throughout the next few blogs. I really just do not want to forget some of these memories and I hope you enjoyed them.
Ps. The first photo? That is a Standing Frame chair! Derek is hoping to get one for his office one day.