Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Is Here

Family arrived in the middle of the night last night, so I knew Christmas was here. Others arrived at Gerry and Vickie’s house in Johnston City, and we all got together tonight at The Mix in Carterville to hear a concert by Eiler Grey (our granddaughter Leslie Eiler) and her friend Caleb Francis, who came down from Charleston.

We will gather again tomorrow after church for lunch, and then by Monday morning part of the visitors will be going back up north and one will be leaving to join Texas A&M football team preparing to play in the Alamo Bowl. Others of our family are in Florida and elsewhere this year. So our group on Christmas Day to eat ham and Christmas dinner will be smaller than usual.

I am later than usual in writing on Woodsong Notes also because our family has been enmeshed in too many health issues to have much time for writing Christmas cards or anything else. Too many people in our family are seriously ill right now.

Our hearts and minds have gone through many flipflops this week as Gerald’s brother Ken continues to fight leukemia. I know our family is not alone. Many all over the world are fighting life-threatening illnesses and have no doubt had highs and lows this week just as Ken has. On Tuesday he was doing so well that a doctor said Ken might get to come home for this weekend. That afternoon he had a heart attack when some bleeding started, because his heart lacked sufficient blood to pump.

It made us feel even worse because it was preventable. The doctor had ordered a blood transfusion for him at 7 in the morning. The nurse still had not given it in the afternoon when the heart attack resulted because the heart did not have enough blood to pump. So he was back in ICU.

Yesterday after someone lost his blood sample between his room and the lab, a doctor did it over himself so Ken could have a needed test to find source of bleeding. The showed no serious cause. They were able to stop the bleeding. People were high.

Then he was put in with another patient and the patient’s attendant--and the other two talked all night with lights on. Opal could not stay in the room, so she was forced go to the lodge with their children. This morning after yesterday’s ordeal and no sleep last night, Ken was all washed out. But he is not washed up. He is still fighting, and so is his family.

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