August 25 - Day 71/ 72

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandmanEvery branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. -John 15:1-8 

I remember those barefoot hot summer days as a young girl on my grandparent's farm picking wild grapes and dashing through the creek with my brother and cousins. Soon summer faded away as the cool breeze blew in autumn's colors to quickly vanish beneath the coldness of winter's white blanket. As each season surrendered to the next, I knew that once more I would taste the harvest from those wild grapes but in a different way. I peered over the counter as my nana drained the purple grape juice from the mason glass jars for a special treat on Christmas day. I marvel in the way spring, summer, autumn, and winter unfold because I see how the Lord reveals his goodness through the seasons. This summer has rendered the most searing memories within a young lover's heart but this does not dismiss the sweet fragrance of last summer's love with my best friend. Those were unforgettable days, as we had picnics under his grape trellis, moonlight walks, gazing at stars, long drives over the mountains and through the valleys, hikes around the lake, evening concerts, family dinners, early sunrises, and sunset talks. We have a long grape trellis in our backyard with three large vines that are at least thirty years in age. The harvest was little last summer so Dean planned to read up on how to be a husbandman. The English word husbandman means someone who cultivates the soil. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. - 2 Timothy 2:6 The husbandman must first labor before he receives the harvest. Paul encourages Timothy to persevere in his toils, looking onward to his reward. The harvest will come one day and o what a glorious day of rejoicing that will be! Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and later rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. -James 5:7-8 We were reaping the fruits of another man's labors but two years had passed with no care. Life became busy with work, projects, and wedding plans so this spring my pappy came and trimmed back the vines. He cut the dead vines while I gathered them as they fell to the ground. There are three strong vines rooted deep in the ground which all the other branches spring forth from. He cut back so many branches that I remember asking my him whether the harvest would be plentiful. Last week, Dean's father shared with me that the vines have yielded many clusters of grapes both white and purple. His brother took this picture of our grapes and sent it to me so I could share it with Dean. This spring I was looking forwards to canning grape juice for the winter months and making new memories with my husband. Surely the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. This is my prayer for us all: Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. -Matthew 9:38 May we not let the grapes fall to the ground and be eaten by the worms. Let us cease the day while we have breath. "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." -Thomas Edison  May we be wise in: Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. -Ephesians 5:16

August 24 - Day 71

Thursday night, Dean had a high heart rate with much sweating. However, this morning he got a bath and a nurse washed his hair for the first time in over 3 weeks. He seemed to really enjoy it! They also gave him some Tylenol and Propranolol this morning which seemed to help bring his heart rate down; his vitals became more stable. The neurosurgeons are taking precaution so they ordered another CT Scan of his brain around noon. Theoretically, he shouldn't be on a blood thinner due to his brain surgery but they are considering about putting him back on heparin to prevent more clotting in his left leg. His left leg remains warm and swollen. He received two units of blood and currently his hemoglobin is at 10.6. The doctors say it takes time for the body to reproduce the blood cells especially in his condition. In the evening he went for another CT Scan of his chest. Overall, Dean seems very exhausted. We were assigned to move to a step-down unit on the fifth floor earlier in the day but well after midnight a double room became available so we packed our bags and the nurses wheeled him upstairs around 2 am. Please keep Dean in your prayers, especially for protection against exposure to more germs within a hospital environment. 

August 25 - Day 72

The neurosurgeons cleared Dean to be on blood thinner called Heparin through a slow IV drip and then they will transition him over to coumadin which can be administered to him at Kessler. These anticougulants prevent the formation of blood clots and the existing clots from getting larger; however, they don't change the current status of the blood clots already formed. Dean's whole left leg has a DVT causing his left thigh, leg, and foot to be swollen(edema). Deep venous thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep inside a part of the body. Two major causes of Dean's DVT are from his initial femur surgery and being bedrest since the accident. Thankfully, Dean has the filter in place which prevents blood clots in the thigh that are more likely to break off and travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolus, or PE) than blood clots from his lower leg or other parts of the body. It will be a few more days until he is released. His hemoglobin is back down to 8.6, and we don't know where the blood is hiding or leaking. He seems pale and exhausted. They still haven't determined the source of his fever. His temperature was fine during the day but towards the night he had a low-grade fever and became diaphoretic. I see this happen quite often during the nights as his upper body becomes drenched while his face beads up with sweat. I try to wipe him off and fan him as much as possible. Around 10:30 pm the nurses wheeled in another patient from the ER into our double room. This man came in with pneumonia and has a high fever now. I can't sleep, Dean is sweating profusely, and I just want to take him home to Mercersburg and live life again with him. The man next to us is suffering and I felt the urgency to pray for protection as soon as he entered the room. Thankfully Dean seems like he is resting peacefully but I feel sick to my stomach. Upon my request the nurses are cleaning a room next door to transfer Dean. I packed our bags and I'm writing this while we wait. I thank the Lord I was still awake when they brought this man into our room and that I overheard them talk about his fever and condition. Otherwise, they would have left Dean in this room. His immune system has been weakened and his body has undergone a great amount of trauma which makes him even more susceptible to illness, especially since he has already had pneumonia once while at York Hospital. It's almost 3 am in the morning, so I am sharing in the midst of a very weak moment. Please pray for God's mercy and protection over his life as he recovers. 


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