So it appears nursing may not be my calling.

First of all, let me just say that all of the prayers, love and positive mojo being sent our way have not only been very much appreciated, but apparently VERY EFFECTIVE because Daddy is doing really well! I can’t thank you enough, and I mean that.

The surgery went exactly as we hoped– no complications, Daddy’s blood pressure held steady and he came out of the anesthesia like a champ. There aren’t enough positive adjectives to describe his surgeon, the renowned Dr. James Suen (Google him- I’m not even kidding about the renowned part) who has been unbelievably kind, professionally thorough and remarkably accessible. We were blessed to get him, and it is a great relief to know that Dad is in such good hands.

The whole thing took a little over three hours. A sizeable amount of Daddy’s scalp was removed and there were two skin grafts ┬átaken from his thigh to replace it. His head was shaved (we have a little baggie filled with fluffy white hair– hey, if anybody out there has any custom hairpiece connections, hook me up, OK?) and he has a big ol’ puffy pressure bandage sitting slightly askew on his right side, beret-style. One eye is slightly puffy because there are stitches about an inch or two away from it. He kind of looks like a bald, drunk Frenchman. But in a good way.

He is continuing to surprise every medical person he comes in contact with because nobody can believe he is 93– one nurse actually left the room to go double-check his chart. God bless Mom and her endless nagging unflagging dedication to making sure Daddy eats healthy foods and stays active! His remarkable constitution is irrefutable proof that her diligence has truly paid off in spades. Dr. Suen checked him this morning, and the dressing on his skin graft has been changed with minimal discomfort. He is alert, eating a little bit, and has already walked the entire length of the hallway today, his IV pole and physical therapist in tow. He could probably go home later on this afternoon if he really wanted to, but he didn’t get a whole lot of sleep last night so we would all feel better if he spent one more night here in the hospital.

I stayed here last night too, sleeping on a fold-out bed about five feet away from him. I have to head back to Nashville tomorrow, and since Carolyn, Liz and Jonathan will all be pitching in around the clock, this was my chance to do a ‘shift.’ I settled in with my laptop, two books, a handy-dandy reading light and my own pillow– this is not my first time at the rodeo, folks. I tried my best not to hover, but it wasn’t easy. Every time he sighed or shifted slightly, I came to attention like a hunting dog on point–“Everything OK, Daddy?” He had these weird blood pressure cuff-type things on his legs to help prevent blood clots that rather noisily inflated and deflated at regular intervals, which also made me a little jumpy. Add to that the fact that I had to remember to completely unhook those things AND lower the sides of his bed AND unplug his IV machine every time he needed to go to the bathroom (which happened hourly, by the way– removing a catheter apparently really wreaks havoc on a guy), and you will understand why neither one of us got a whole lot of sleep last night. Also? Truth be told, I wasn’t really very good at that whole remembering and unplugging thing. I didn’t almost kill him or anything, but there were a few mad dashes out into the hallway to find a nurse in the middle of the night (seriously– why in the world would they make that inflatable cuff thing so ridiculously hard to unplug??) and at one point I do remember Daddy sweetly murmuring something about hoping I wasn’t planning on giving up my day job. So I guess as a nurse, I’m a really good… blogger.

I’ll leave you with few snapshots from the last couple of days. Here’s a picture of my parents in the waiting room, about 10 minutes before they took Daddy in to surgery:

And here are two shots from our very precious (in the very fullest sense of the word) baptism service:

18 Responses

  1. auburn60

    Yeah, my family tells me I was very astute not to go into nursing…not my forte’ at all.
    So glad and relieved that your Dad is doing so well. Heaven has been stormed on his behalf.
    Now (picture me looking stern and shaking my finger at you) YOU rest up some before attempting the schedule you have for the rest of the summer.I wish I could be there to drive home for you–you could just curl up and sleep all the way home.
    Your pictures of the baptisms are making me cry. I’ll send you pics of our baptism–Heaven was rejoicing this past weekend.

  2. jonny

    Apparently not = )

    Concerning the last two pictures, that man SERIOUSLY loves his girls!! Don’t know if I’ve ever seen father/daughter moments like that before. And concerning you and your father, this girl SERIOUSLY loves her dad!! I don’t know if I’ve come across anyone with the relationship you have with your father! It’s all good, encouraging, blessing, profoundly touching at times, humbling too. Thanks for all the sharing = )

  3. Phyllis R

    Well girl, you had me laughing and crying at the same time. I do however work in in the medical profession, but in the financial department. Don’t think it would be very kind to our patients for me to take my “shift”. LOL Just like auburn60, the baptism pictures made me cry. How PRECIOUS they are. Well, for that matter the sweet picture of your parents made me cry to. No matter how old we are…our parents still “Momma and Daddy”. :) Special kind of people parents are…I know I miss mine. You know something else…the older I get…the smart my Daddy was…I just didn’t realize it at the time. LOL

  4. DELIVEREDJEPARKER63

    Get outta here! Just look at God! I knew that He would answer prayers, but He always shows off in the process! Is anything too difficult for our God? And, most of us already know your calling, if you don’t by now, OK? And, regarding that “sloppy one” to Pops, please give one to Moms, too! I’m sure she could use one right about now!

    And, those 2 pics are the absolute GREATEST! How proud are you, chick? WOW! The love of your family flowed right out of the screen and popped me upside my head! I am sitting here laughing at how your folks are sittin’ there like they’re waiting for the cruise to set sail, and then the powerful love of Jesus shining thru your family leaves me in tears of such love, joy and gratefulness in our salvation and bond thru Jesus! Our God is an awesome God, and yes, He does reign, not only in heaven above, but here on Earth! That is the good thing about it all, we don’t have to wait until later! Girl, I am really about envious of you! (Not quite, yet!)

    Later, gator! Much love, and thanks to our Lord!

  5. rockin robyn

    God bless you Tori and your whole family!!! That pic of your parents says it all. You can see the worry or concern in your momma’s face but God does answer prayers doesn’t He.

    How can He not reward you when you and Russ brought up two beautiful children to trust in and follow His Son.

    My prayers will continue for your dad and to keep your mom healthy so she can take care of your pop.

    Thank you for sharing this very personal and special event with us. I can only imagine the pride Russ was feeling as he was baptising his girls. Wow!!! God is good!

    “I love you man!!” I wish I could just give you all a big hug just to feel some of that power that is all around you right now.

  6. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Sometimes it’s who you know and not what you know, my precious Tori.

    I absolutely love all three of those photos: they each show expressions of sweet and boundless love. Don’t lose those pictures, sweet pea.

  7. morgitta

    Your father has a great sense of humor, Tori. Good to hear he is doing so well !!!
    These are the most precious father-daughter pictures I’ve ever seen. A bond made in heaven. I think, the picture you once posted about you sitting on the floor in a hallway talking to your dad, was very special also.
    Shipping my warmest feelings to the whole family.

  8. MostlySunny

    PRECIOUS MOMENTS!!! Now there’s a name for a business! But really, those pictures ARE precious, every one of them! Golly, does it get any better than that — still having your parents around in their 90’s AND watching your kids being baptized by their Dad — all in the same weekend?! My heart was truly touched.

    Your hospital shift reminded me of my “2 shifts” by my Mom’s bed when she was dying…watching every breath and listening for every change in the beeps and noises of the stuff she was hooked up to. I treasured (precious moment) the early hours of the morning reading to her from the Bible (I think they were mostly for me!). I prayed over her after reading one early morning (which was her last)and fell asleep with my head on her chest and my arm across her body. My brother (asleep in the waiting room) said he came in and didn’t want to disturb the moment. Precious moment.

    Treasure every one of them, Tori. You are blessed, indeed.

  9. AshleyNicole

    That’s a very special moment in a person’s life when they decide to give their life to God.
    I can remember the day when I made that choice and then I can also still remember the night I made the choice to rededicate my comment to God, it’s a very special time.

  10. DELIVEREDJEPARKER63

    Aaaawwwwwww…..That was the sweetest, MostlySunny!
    And, AMEN, Rockin Robin!
    This whole ordeal has increased my faith, and encouraged me. Reading all the posts, looking at the different pics has just filled my heart and strengthened me.
    Thanks!

  11. raycleg

    That baptism service truly was the most precious thing I have ever seen. Thank you, Tori and Russ, for allowing Pastor Huskey and myself to experience that with you. You guys truly are the real deal! It was so moving and inspiring to watch the way that you ministered to your girls. I pray that I can one day do the same for mine.
    Thanks again and God bless you! We are praying for your parents.
    Raymond-Worship Pastor @ Benton 1st

  12. gracelynn

    Isn’t God amazing?! I knew that He would provide and take care of each and every one of you. I’m so glad that your dad is doing so well and I continue my prayers for you all daily. I don’t think I was cut out to be a nurse either so don’t feel bad LOL.

    The pictures of Russ and the girls at the baptism are timeless and precious! I was crying as I saw them Tori. They will treasure those moments for years to come.

  13. LindaB

    Those are “Kodak” moments, to be sure! Love ‘em!

  14. DELIVEREDJEPARKER63

    Ya’ll – I just gotta take a sec to thank my God this morning, and since ya’ll are captive audiences….please bear w/ me while I get this off my spirit…someone needs this today…

    I am soooo thankful to have another day to serve Him & glorify Him,
    thankful that on the way home from the Food Lion, (in the next town of Tarboro, NC – 7 miles away) I pass several soybean fields, & notice groups of deer feeding – so peaceful even though being driven from their natural home due to new higways,
    Thankful that on my walk this AM, hear all these different birds praising the Lord in their own languages, in concert, w/out strife or discord, & catch little bunnies playing in the field across from my home,
    Thankful that during my prayers & morning devotions I hear this pitter-patter, which grows into romping – up & down my hallway – my furfaced cats of different breeds/ages/origins, all playing happily together,
    Thankful to wake up in such joy & anticipation in the day, after a sweet night of peace in my Jesus – which used to not be possible due to my bondages, & I mean MANY SERIOUS BONDAGES – usually I would MAYBE just then be going to bed – sleep was an escape artist in those days due to the drugs. Once upon a terrible time, after realizing that I had finally come to consciousness, would squeeze my eyes shut against living, hoping to stay asleep as long as I possibly could, not wanting to live nor face another day,
    Thankful for you, Tori, and this wonderful site to be able to vent this, and for your superduper friendship. Ya know, I thought Russ was the greatest, but the Lord used him to get me to you, and I am thankful for that, too, but you already know this,
    Thankful for all of you out there that post here, giving me hope, encouragement, smiles, tears, wisdom, insights, how did all of these extraodinary people wind up on one website? It is phenomenal!

    I thank my living God for this chance to thank & praise Him with you and for you!

    (ok, i’m putting the soapbox away now – temporarily=)

  15. MostlySunny

    Well said DELIVEREDJEPARKER63. We need to be reminded to be thankful for those little “daily” things, and for where we are in life today. Sometimes it’s so painful to look back at what we used to be and do, but we need to in order to be truly thankful for what we’ve been delivered from and where we are now, and know that God knows where we are going next (El Roi – the God who sees me; Hagar in Genesus 16). I’m so glad your eyes are now opened to life in Christ. What joy and peace!

    And, after all, we are all a bunch of “used to be(s) _________”! We just fill in the blank with whatever our past is.

    God is God and God is good…always.

  16. DELIVEREDJEPARKER63

    Thanks – for understanding!
    Every day is Thanksgiving for me!

  17. jonny

    Don’t think I could ever forget my 1st night’s sleep in Christ as an adult.

    You sort of beat me to the punch, D. I had to be reminded of a lot I haven’t had to face, deal with for years last Thursday night. Then earlier this week I couldn’t get over how vital coming across, stumbling onto, this blog spot would be to, for me. There’s probably more understanding in that area to be revealed. Anyway, still grateful, thankful for all this, all of you & all the ways Christ takes such thorough & complete care of us.

  18. GRITSinNC

    After finally getting logged back in, I’m almost sobbing here. First Tori’s precious dad, then Russ baptizing the girls is about the most precious thing I’ve ever seen. Can’t keep the tears back. I never had a father/daughter relationship like that, and my poor children didn’t have a decent relationship with their father either, so it totally blesses my heart to see the relationships ya’ll have. You and the girls cherish it always, as I know you will.

    BTW, I’d never make a nurse either. I was a terrible mother when it came to them being sick or injured…I panicked. When a daughter had her tonsils out, I ended up passed out in the other bed. LOL

    Delivered, you just continued making the tears flow…that was so beautifully said and I thank you for the reminder of all the little things we have to be thankful for, but most importantly the biggest thing, our Lord’s forgiveness of our past mistakes and making us new creatures.

    And AHA D, I found out sorta where you live in NC. I live off 64W and you’re down 64E, so we’re just a straight highway apart, after bypassing Raleigh. :o)

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