March 25, 2011

About Judy Bovine

Sorry I was off the map for a few days. I had plenty of posts ready for you lovely readers, but my heart just wasn't into posting about trivial things. Respectively speaking, anyway. I gave it a go for a couple of days but then gave up. I hope you forgive me.

My attention has been on Judy.

Judy has always had a wonky heart valve. It slushed when you listened but never gave her any problem until recently. 68 years seemed to wear it out. On Tuesday of this week (and slightly 'urgent-like') she had a shiny new cow valve put in, along with a single bypass.

I've already told her that I intend to tip her over and listen for the "moo."

Around 1:00pm ET on Tuesday, I was allowed in to her room after surgery. People, she looked unexplainable. She was still on the vent and was... broken. My mommy was broken. They had split her chest open and messed around in there! No manner of pre-med training or maturity or stubbornness could have prepared me for that moment. I thought I was going to be sick. I froze entirely. It's a good thing they only allowed me 5 minutes and I used that up asking the nurse a million questions and trying to only sneak a peak of Judy's frail self from sideways glances. Oh it hurt my heart to see her like that.

During all of this, Bryon had to stay at home and the children were able to get a 4 day visit in with their dad (glory, God is good) - so I was alone. Alone in the car to call Bryon after my 5 minutes and SOB MY EYES OUT. Poor guy was all at work and everything and I just unloaded. Here I'd seen her and... I couldn't touch her. I'd been allowed but wouldn't. I was frozen, as I said. It was possible that I'd just let the last moment I would ever see her alive (bad things happen, Folks) to pass without kissing her forehead, touching her hand, or saying, "I love you." Shame on me.

But, as it turns out, God didn't want Judy that day. Or the next. She began to heal and was so excited to be at the hospital that she put in for a fancy permanent pacemaker surgery as well, which they did on Wednesday. She sailed through that as well. She's still sleepy. And she has 3 months of recovery ahead of her. And I am very much aware that she is there and I am here, with a young and new family. My heart is split in half. I am trusting that my uncles, her friends, and the good people at her preferred extended care facility will more than adequately care for her when I cannot. [She still won't move to Da Plains; I've asked.]

Yesterday I stopped into her room to say goodbye; we couldn't stay any longer. She kissed me and hugged me back. Mumbled a few mommy words before I left. I told her that I was proud of her for going through this. Then I swallowed the lump in my throat, picked up the kids from Shoes and headed West. Heading West never felt so good. 13 hours and two stops, and we made it home last night. The manner of missing my husband was also more than I'd prepared for. I may not let go of him for eleven days.

Now I get to annoy the nurses there with frequent calling at all hours of the day to hear about how she's doing. (I want to be part of what I can, until she can call me herself.) And Lord help them if they don't humor me and provide an update. 

So, now. I need some distraction. Let's get on with posting! Lots of home improvement ideas are whirling around in my head and I need to dump them out in order to concentrate on the mommy thoughts. I'd really love your continued prayers and I'll be sure to continue updating all of you on our dear Judy's progress.


  1. Rachel, I'm praying for your Mom. And for you, it is so hard to be away at a time like this. Thank God you have such a wonderful husband and loving friends.

    Your sister in Christ, Janelle in Maryland

  2. I can't even imagine how hard this must be for you. I'll be praying for Judy. May her recovery be swift and complete!

  3. Thank the Lord it all went well for your mom. I am so happy for her and you for you too! Praying for a quick and stable recovery. Blessings to you, dear sister :)))

    (P.S. I copied the "sister" bit from Janelle. It was such a humbling realisation that all of us ywho believe in Jesus are brothers and sisters. So, thank you Janelle.)

  4. Oh, I needed to read this! Thank you! See, my mommy was broken before she died. She broke slowly... and I watched until I could hardly touch her, or speak. The guilt has been unbearable. Just knowing that someone else who loves her mom as much as I did mine was at "that place" allows me to feel a bit free-er. Thank you.

  5. I am praying for you, that you will forget that sight and see her for who is truly is, that you will not feel off balance by the new weights that are on your shoulders, that God will show you the happiness and joy that will come out of this situation. I am praying for Bryon, that he will keep his ears open at all hours to support your fears and worries, that he will help you balance the frustriation that builds up as you try to do it all. I am praying for Judy, that she does as she is told by the doctors, that she thinks God for the second chance she has been given, that she will mend anything that needs to be mended, that she will be straing and have the right attitude for healing. Amen!

    By the way, I am crying :)