Matthew Bishop had his INR checked here in Oxford today, and it was 3.3 which is perfect. It jumped a little faster than anticipated, so he's going back to have it checked again on Wednesday. But what great news!
"Lord, heal me, and I will truly be healed.
Save me, and I will truly be saved.
You are the one I praise." Jeremiah 17:14
"God whispers to us in our pleasures,
speaks in our conscience, but
shouts in our pains:
it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." -C.S. Lewis
Great news this morning: Matt's blood is up to 1.9. He might get to come home today but isn't packing his bags just yet. Will update when I get official word but going back to bed for now; babies have reverted to the sleeping patterns of newborns since their daddy's been gone. Bright side: Sav-A-Life is closed on Thursdays, so maybe we can catch up on rest. "I am sad and tired. Make me strong again as you have promised." Psalm 119:28
Text from Matt this morning:
"Blood levels went up to 1.5. Doctor said realistically Friday my levels will be where they want them. They are going to up my blood thinner dosage today. Hopefully I can come home Friday."
I told him to keep his head up & let me know if he needs more movies. What's one more day in God's big, beautiful scheme? We want him safe & healthy before he leaves the hospital.
Today's Devotion from Jesus Calling is so fitting:
"I am leading you, step by step, through your life. Hold My hand in trusting dependence, letting Me guide you through this day. Your future looks uncertain & feels flimsy--even precarious. That is how it SHOULD be. Secret things belong to The Lord, and future things are secret things. When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at things that are Mine. This, like all forms of worry, is an act of rebellion: doubting My promises to care for you.
Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent & return to Me. I will show you THE NEXT STEP FORWARD, AND THE ONE AFTER THAT, AND THE ONE AFTER THAT. Relax and enjoy the journey in My Presence, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go."
Psalm 32:8 "The LORD says, 'I will make you wise & show you where to go. I will guide you & watch over you.'"
I'm at work this morning getting the twins settled with their babysitter and about to head over to Tupelo for a quick visit with Matt.
When Matt called earlier the doctor had told him his blood is continuing to rise, so that's good. It just takes time. He needs to be between a 2 and 3, and he's currently around a 1.6 (or something to that effect). It's looking like he'll avoid having to receive blood, and we're still aiming for a release date of Thursday.
Funny side note: Matt has been having hot flashes (I think from the Coumadin they've been giving him as a shot in his stomach), and one of his nurses said, "What did you expect?! We put you in a dress (his hospital gown) and pantyhose (his support stockings to prevent blood clots), so it's only natural you'd start having hot flashes!"
The babies didn't sleep well last night. Bo woke up at 4 a.m. bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but I continue to praise God in ALL circumstances and especially for coffee :) I am still so grateful that my husband is alive and making such steady progress.
I've been praying Isaiah 41:10 a lot lately:
"Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
God has definitely been doing just that! For Matt, for me, for our babies. Thank you for all the kind, selfless, gracious souls who continue to take time from their days to offer up petitions on our behalf. May God give y'all special blessings and give me opportunities to pay the favors forward one day.
It apparently takes 4 weeks to get blood ready for transfusion, so if the doctor goes that route Matt'll have to get bank blood. They're going to try diet first though. Prayers that they can get his blood regulated with food & not need to give him blood. And speaking of food: Matt won't be able to have fruit or sweets for the first 3 weeks.
I'll keep updating as I know more. A blessed Sunday to all.
I'm getting ready to drop the babies off at church with their grandmother & head to the hospital in Tupelo to see my sweet husband.
They might give him blood today. Nurses recently told Matt his blood levels have digressed -- not a huge surprise, as we were warned that getting his blood levels regulated would be difficult.
I wish I could've been there when the doctor made his rounds at 7, but I've been in constant conversation with the Great Physician in whom I still & always will have absolute trust. It gives me comfort to know He's in control.
My specific prayers today include praise & thanksgiving that Matt is alive; continued pain management for Matt as well as mental, emotional, and spiritual strength & peace; divine wisdom, discernment, guidance, & direction for his caregivers to get the Coumadin dose correct; that Matt's chest tube can come out soon; that the IV in his neck can come out soon; that the IVs in his hands can come out soon; that my babies will know they are safe & loved while I need to be away; that they are content & sweet-tempered for their sitters; travel mercies as I go back & forth; gratefulness for my mom who's been with me since Wednesday night to help; gratefulness for all the kind friends who have cleaned my house, cooked us food, watched the twins; gratefulness for the prayers being offered up on behalf of our family; a humble & respectful request that God will continue to bless us; that He'll forgive me where I fail & help me to do better to live a righteous, sober life that's pleasing to Him & brings Him honor & glory & furthers His kingdom; for anyone else who's suffering or grieving; that the Holy Spirit will intercede & pray the things I'm accidentally neglecting.
Matthew Bishop has already been moved from intensive care to room 281 this morning! I've spoken with him on the phone & he sounded "himself": clear & coherent & in good spirits. God is answering prayer in major ways.
Rebecca Seawright & I came back home with the babies late last night (couldn't get them both to sleep in the hotel room) & I plan on returning to Tupelo later today or this evening while Mama watches the twins.
My dad, Joe Seawright (who is still in Tupelo) tells me they had Matt sitting up on the edge of his bed preparing to remove his catheter, and they'll have him up & walking with a therapist today. Robby & Joyce Bishop are still there with Matt.
Please pray for pain management, that the pain will be controlled, that the nurses administering his medicines will stay ahead of the pain; these first days are bound to be excruciating. And please start praying that the Coumadin blood thinner will be regulated in a timely manner (apparently that can be a long & frustrating process).
I was so humbled to be greeted this morning by four amazing ladies from our Anchor church family who came bearing food & cleaning supplies! Linda Nolan Hill, Bonnie Curtis, Rose Edlin & Nell Green are currently cleaning our house top to bottom & doing laundry while I make a grocery run & my mom strolls the babies. They are Proverbs 17:7 incarnate! "A friend loves you all the time, and a [sister] helps in time of trouble."
Matthew Bishop's parents & I saw him in the CCU from 6-6:30. We can go back at 9 tonight & again at 6 in the morning.
His coloring was good. The breathing tube was gone. The tube that ran from his nose to his stomach was gone. He'll keep his chest tube until Saturday.
I spoon-fed him some ice chips. He was holding a pillow to his chest as that incision is super sore. Besides generally feeling like he got hit by a train, his pain seems otherwise to be under control.
I told him what a walking miracle he was & that we ought to buy a lottery ticket. Between having twins & his unicuspid valve, the odds are with us! The surgeon had only seen 3 like Matt's in the thousands of operations he's performed over the last 15 years.
I got fussed at for forgetting Matt's glasses, as he can't see the tv or his cell phone until I deliver his eyes at 9.
I uploaded a picture of the babies in our hotel room. They have been remarkably good bless their hearts. There's been a big outbreak of flu at the hospital; there are signs up everywhere & face masks for visitors to wear. Dr. Talton advised me to keep the twins away. So I guess I'll be taking them back home tomorrow & will have to drive back & forth to visit Matt while my mom & church friends keep them & Joyce Bishop stays full-time with Matt.
Wow. Matthew Bishop did well, but what a surprise when the doctor saw his heart: it wasn't even a bicuspid valve; it was UNICUSPID. All 3 leafs of his aortic valve had fused together. Blood could barely get through such a super tight opening. It's nothing short of a miracle that he hadn't dropped dead. There was so much calcium buildup on the valve that it took them 45 minutes just to get it out. God apparently has more work for Matt to do. Feeling very fortunate right now.
Our plan after I get to peek at Matt is to get a hotel room & set up shop there with the babies who don't need to be in the hospital unnecessarily exposed to dangerous germs. And I can go back & forth between nursing the twins & visiting Matt.
He will be in ICU overnight & hopefully get moved to a regular room on the floor tomorrow. Will continue to post updates as I have them.
They are closing Matthew Bishop's chest now. The minimal incision through the sternum was sufficient. His surgeon, Dr. Talton, should be by within a half hour or so to debrief us. I'm trying to prepare myself for the shock of seeing Matt in ICU with all the tubes & bleeps. Will post again after we talk to the doctor. Matt & I & our families appreciate all the prayers. Please keep them coming.
We are en route to Tupelo: Matthew Bishop & his parents ahead of my mom, the twins & me and my dad bringing up the rear. I feel like God's angel army is going before all 3 of our vehicles to make a way. I have prayed aloud & can already feel your prayers as well. Thank you seems so insufficient, but thank you just the same. Please continue to undergird Matt with spiritual petition to our Heavenly Father, a Father who loves Matt infinitely more than we do. I'll be updating throughout the day. Much love.
We saw Dr. Talton this morning, and he scheduled Matt's aortic valve replacement surgery for this Thursday, February 20.
We have to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. They plan to wheel him back for the procedure around 7 a.m. Start to finish it should take about 4 hours.
We'll be on the 2nd floor of NMMC in Tupelo. Immediately after surgery Matt will be in ICU for the rest of Thursday. Whenever he's ready (probably the next morning) he'll be moved to a regular recovery room.
Babies are not allowed in the ICU waiting room, so please be in prayer that God & the hospital staff will work it out to where I can nurse them with ease & in relative privacy for that first day during the actual surgery & immediate recovery.
He will stay in the hospital for at least 4 or 5 days (mainly to get his Coumadin blood thinner regulated) and will probably get to go home Sunday or Monday.
He will be receiving a mechanical valve. Thankfully his aorta is not too enlarged to need repair at this time.
There are 3 or 4 choices when it comes to the incision type. Dr. Talton & Matt will decide Thursday morning before surgery which one to go with. Full recovery will take 8 weeks.
Dr. Talton is well-respected & very experienced. He does around 200 of these surgeries a year. He can go head to head with any valve replacement surgeon in the Southeast. His results are excellent, and we have full faith in his ability.
I will continue to post updates as our journey unfolds.
Thanks for your prayerful consideration in the coming days & weeks.