Friday, September 24, 2021
Morning Post from Roxi
"Good Morning Beloved,
"Wednesday was an extremely difficult day. The neurologist came in to see John again while I was there. He better explained to me in person that which he had reported to me on the phone Tuesday night. He explained that there are two main things that affect the brain to function properly: the primary cause is an injury or infection/disease to the brain and the secondary cause is when the body’s organs begin to fail. In John’s case, he is battling both.
"He continued by telling me that most of the body has the ability to repair itself when it is injured. Unfortunately when the brain is damaged, it cannot. Furthermore, the longer John remains unresponsive without showing any signs of cognition, the more likely that he will not wake up. Obviously, this is VERY HARD news to receive. Nevertheless, there is still hope for John to recover. The doctors are still in the process of eliminating possible causes of the decreased brain function, and EEG readings can change. I saw his main doctor this morning and he ordered another ammonia test to see if they were able to eliminate all of it out of his body. Meanwhile, John's vitals are back to being stable.
"John's brother is here and on a mission to wake John up! Moreover, we know that the Great Physician needs only to speak a Word for John to wake up and be fully restored!
"Beloved, at times like these, it is easy to be led down the wrong road. There is the road of despair that pulls at us to walk downward. The road of discouragement whispers in our ears to come rest in it. The road of regret wants to take us back in time. And the road of the unknown is filled with terrifying visions, skewed perceptions and gut wrenching pictures of the future. Nevertheless, there is only one narrow road for the child of God to walk down! We must filter every thing received through the Word of God. We must take every thought captive, and speak God’s Truth to our souls!
And, as my husband would say, we must remember who we are and Whose we are!"
“But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Roxi is at the hospital with John this morning, waiting for a procedure to release built up air pressure from around his lungs. Roxi reports the results of the liver scan showed good function with no liver damage. Further conversation with the neurologist confirms that John's brain function is decreased in both hemispheres, although they continue to eliminate possible causes for this.
The Elders were able to go and pray with John yesterday afternoon, as we also persist in prayer, believing. Roxi continues to wait on the Lord, relying on His grace and strength to sustain her. John's brother is flying in later today. In all things, our hope is not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
"I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God." ~ 1 Corinthians 2:3-5
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
This Morning from Roxi
"Good Morning Beloved,
"I have been seeking the Lord and His Word nearly all night to know how to best represent Him as I relay last night’s report from the neurologist. He brought to mind a little devotion I did for the women’s leadership meeting a few weeks ago. I hesitated to share this because I never want you to look at me in any of these post, but only to the Lord. Then I read this morning‘s Spurgeon in his Morning & Evening devotional. I encourage you to read it, but for now, here are a few highlights:
“'. . . . knowing that He is everlasting should always be a theme of joy, as we consider that we wither as the grass. Knowing that He is unchanging should perpetually yield us a song, since we change every hour. . . The Psalms show us that God’s people in olden times were inclined to think much of God’s actions, and to have a song considering each of them. So let God’s people now rehearse the deeds of the Lord!'
"The Bad News:
"The very brilliant, but ever so kind neurologist had this to say about the report on John’s EEG scan: 'Both sides of John’s brain are not working at normal capacity.' I asked if the ammonia issue could be the cause, and he said it could be a possibility, but not a strong one. He said that the lack of proper oxygen to the brain is more of the concern for him. I asked him if this was irreversible, and he said, "possibly, but first he needs to eliminate all the possibilities and pinpoint the cause.” He continue to say that the longer John remains in this comatose state the less his chances are to come out of it.
"The Good News:
"The doctor said there were no signs of a stroke or seizures and that EEG readings can change. He said we need to wait, and continue to evaluate.
He then apologized for the delay in being able to get back to me. He told me that this is hard news to hear, and not news that he likes to give, but he must give me the truth.
"Beloved, believe me, I know that’s a lot and hard to deal with. Nevertheless, the children of God must rehearse the deeds of the LORD and keep their eyes upon the Him, rejoicing in Him always! As I’ve mentioned before, one of the last things my husband said to me when I told him that I could not do this alone was, 'The Lord will sustain you!'
"In an effort to keep my head straight, that is what I did my devotion on for the women’s leadership. This is a poem/song based upon these scriptures, in addition to others: Psalm 55:22, Matthew 11:30, John 1:3, Isaiah 12:2, Psalm 91:2, Jeremiah 50:34, Habakkuk 3:18, Psalm 18:46, Romans 8:18:
The LORD Sustains
The Lord sustains, yes the Lord sustains!
Through the fears, the sorrows and pain.
No burden too heavy, no trial too long, upheld in the darkness, the Sustainer remains!
Never left forsaken, Christ is my strength and my song!
My heart’s Refuge and Fortress,
My soul’s Redeemer, mighty and strong!
O God of my salvation
Blessed be my Rock!
In all things, I will praise You!
For eternity is my clock!
Oh, how the LORD sustains!
Yes, He alone sustains,
Through my fears, my sorrows and my pain!
My burdens, He carries,
My trials, He ordains,
Holding me through the darkness, my Sustainer remains!
"I am headed to the hospital soon and will update you later if there is anything to report. Stay strong in the Lord and steadfast for His glory alone!"
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Afternoon Note from Roxi
"Good Afternoon Beloved,
"Some of the greatest advice I received from another pastor’s wife when John was installed as a pastor, was to “be flexible!” Whether dealing with small or enormous matters, this has been priceless advice! I got to my doctors office this morning only to find out that my appointment is for tomorrow. Another growth opportunity in the Truth that we make our plans, but the Lord directs our steps!
"I did not go to the hospital today as I planned. On Sunday, I got my first dose of the (Moderna) COVID vaccine, [to be able to continue to visit John after the 90-day window]. Last night, besides having a really sore arm, I experienced normal side effects from the vaccine (fever & chills). I still had a low-grade fever this morning and wasn’t feeling quite myself by the time I left my day early doctor appointment. Therefore, I decided to call the hospital to check on John versus go all the way there and be turned away in case I had a fever. (In case you’re concerned, I feel fine now!)
"As for John, he had a dip in his blood pressure when they did the liver sonogram last night. They had to give him a little BP medicine this morning to stabilize it, but all is well now. I hope to get the report on his liver in the morning. I still have not spoken with the neurologist with the report from the EEG. He will call me when he has time. Patience is my best friend right now!
"I am told that the Permacath for the new dialysis site is scheduled to be put in tomorrow. Please be praying specifically for this procedure. Although it is a very minor procedure, John is clearly in a very fragile state if his blood pressure drops from simply doing the in-room sonogram.
Nevertheless, I well know that the Lord is in sovereign control! The doctors here are very good and I know they would not move him to the OR downstairs if they did not feel John was stable enough.
"That is all for today beloved. We wait and continue to pray! I love you all."
This Morning from Roxi
"Good Morning Beloved,
"I don't have news this morning, but I will report any updates I may receive later today. In the meantime, I want to encourage you and let you know it blesses my heart to hear how greatly the LORD has used His servant, my husband, to impact your lives. I, too, now realize the massive impact he has had on my life. Since the day the Lord extended His salvation to my husband, John’s face has been set like a flint for Christ and His Gospel. He even used to sign our anniversary cards, “Love, your brother in Christ.” I definitely wasn’t as appreciative then as I would be today. I did not realize or want to believe that he is the Lord's and not mine. For John, being my husband is second to being my brother in Christ.
"As I’ve talked to some of you, many have been asking the LORD, “Why?” I want to encourage you to instead ask the LORD, “Show me," and "How?”: “LORD, please show me how You are using this for Your glory.” The Lord has shown me many things that He is doing in the midst of all this. I know that this is not about me or about John, but all about God’s glory and preparing His little ones for eternity! Ask the Lord how He can use you in the midst of all this. I’ve seen so much growth in many of you! What a praise to our Savior!
"Even the receptionist at the hospital told me as I walked in on Sunday morning, “I listened to one of your husband’s sermons today!” I believe, like Bobby said on Sunday, that the love our church is showing to one another and those at the hospital has much to do with provoking a desire in the not yet regenerate to seek the hope and peace we have in Christ.
"I also encourage you to ponder the words of this song, which has ministered to me greatly. I truly love you all!"
Still, My Soul, Be Still
Still, my soul be still
And do not fear
Though winds of change may rage tomorrow
God is at your side
No longer dread
The fires of unexpected sorrow
God, You are my God
And I will trust in You and not be shaken
Lord of peace renew
A steadfast spirit within me
To rest in You alone
Still, my soul be still
Do not be moved
By lesser lights and fleeting shadows
Hold onto His ways
With shield of faith
Against temptation's flaming arrows
God, You are my God
And I will trust in You and not be shaken
Lord of peace renew
A steadfast spirit within me
To rest in You alone
Still, my soul be still
Do not forsake
The truth you learned in the beginning
Wait upon the Lord
And hope will rise
As stars appear when day is dimming
God, You are my God
And I will trust in You and not be shaken
Lord of peace renew
A steadfast spirit within me
To rest in You alone
I rest in You alone
In You alone.
By Keith Getty, Stuart Townend, Kristyn Getty
Monday, September 20, 2021
Today's Post from Roxi
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” ~ Romans 5:1-5
"Good Afternoon Beloved,
"No bad news today! 🙌🏼 I was with John all morning. His vitals are all stable. Now that they have been able to get a lot of the fluids out of his body, his lungs and kidneys are less stressed. He is even producing a small amount of urine, which means his kidneys are starting to work. His culture came back negative, which means there are no signs of another pneumonia!
"They will do a sonogram of John’s liver tonight to see how it is doing. Those results will be back probably tomorrow afternoon. His kidney doctor is planning to move the dialysis tube from his groin area to just below his collar bone which is easier to keep from getting infected. The reason they did not do this for him in the first place is because his body was in such distress. However, now that his body and vital signs are more stable, he is in better condition to be wheeled down to the OR to do the procedure.
"Finally, I told one of his main doctors what the heart doctor said to me yesterday and I could see in his eyes the compassion he felt for me as he imagined the impact of that kind of news on me. He told me that he would never tell a family member anything outside of his expertise. He will text the neurologist and ask him to call me about a John’s EEG results.
"Therefore we continue to wait, pray and praise our merciful Savior for it all…no matter what."
The LORD's Day, September 19, 2021
This Afternoon from Roxi
"Yesterday I woke up not really looking forward to another one of my 'new normal' days. But what was different about yesterday was that it was a day of celebration for a very dear brother in our Pacific Hope Church family. This was a wedding day both John and I had been looking forward to for months. In addition to celebrating this wedding--one of the greatest days in a couple's life--together with our good friend, this was a Middle Eastern wedding! (If you’ve never been to one, let me just tell you that they really know how to do it up right!) What I didn’t realize was how many traditions they have that mimic the ultimate wedding between Christ and His Bride, the Church. What an honor and privilege to be able to attend such a beautiful event.
"Anyway, I wasn’t planning on going. I did not want to take away anything from this joyous day for this couple by attending. I knew that if I went, people would look at me and be reminded of John. Then some of the focus would be wrongly misplaced. So I packed my bag for the day and off to the hospital I went.
"If you read yesterday’s post then you know that my morning was far from routine, but after everything calmed down I kept thinking about the words my husband said to one of our other dear brothers some years ago. You see John had been flying back and forth in the midst of preparing for this wedding because his youngest brother was dying. In fact, John was getting on a plane to go back to be with his family the very next day after this wedding. When this brother asked my husband how he could be celebrating and doing all this while his little brother was struggling for his life, John simply answered biblically, as he always does. John reminded him of the passage in Scripture where we are called to rejoice with those who are rejoicing and to weep with those who are weeping. I never knew about these words until a few months ago when a brother told me what John had said to him on the day he officiated at the wedding of another brother. My husband was living out a very difficult scripture for anyone to do when faced with both extremes.
"I couldn’t get my hubby’s words out of my head, so I decided to just go to the wedding, sit in the back and hope that I wasn’t too big of a distraction. I had no plans to go to the reception for the same reasons, but after the beautifully officiated ceremony, some sweet friends talked me into it. (In all honesty, I really was hoping somebody would!) After arriving at the reception, I discovered that our names had been removed from the guest list for obvious reasons. (Now I can officially check off 'wedding crasher' from my bucket list!)
Thankfully there were other people who didn’t come so I was able to fill one of their seats. I do feel that my presence may have been a bit of a distraction, but for me personally, I have to tell you that it did my heart and soul good to be able to rejoice with my friends!
"Sorry for the long story, but I wanted to share that with you all before I continued with this afternoon’s report.
"This afternoon has been very difficult. I spoke with two different doctors before I left the hospital today. The first is one of John’s two main hospitalist doctors. He is gentle, kind and always extending hope in the midst of uncertainty. The other is the heart doctor, who is a very matter of a fact kind of guy with little to no bedside manner.
"John's first doctor just confirmed the ammonia issue, which he is not concerned about because the medication will flush it out within the next few days. In addition, he gave me the EEG results. This report shows that John has a severe diffuse encephalopathy. According to the doctor, what this means is that it confirms what we are seeing in John: unresponsive unconsciousness. This could be caused by the ammonia but they won't know until it is eliminated from his system.
"The heart doctor came in a little while later and I heard him asking the nurse if John’s EEG results were in. I turned around and told him that it was and that I had a copy of the report. I could tell by his facial expression when he read it that his opinion of what it meant was not going to be good. I will spare you the blunt truth of what he said, but he followed up by telling me that I needed to talk to John’s neurologist because it’s not his [the cardiologist's] area of expertise. I think he should have kept his opinion to himself if that is the case because it was very difficult to handle.
"As I’ve been trying to filter both doctors' responses through the only Truth that matters, more words from my hubby have been brought to the surface to help me navigate through this latest storm of emotional uncertainty: 'You must speak Truth to yourself and refuse to listen to yourself!' It is hard enough to battle all the different voices in your head, let alone real life voices from educated men who are caring for your husband. Nevertheless, the children of God must train themselves to listen only to His voice of Truth and Life!
Therefore we will choose to trust in our Great Physician, plead our case before our merciful King, and wait on upon our Savior’s perfect will. Soli Deo Gloria."
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18
"May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." ~Romans 15:5-6
"I just spoke with John's nurse and she informed me that John's ammonia level is at 100% (the normal is 0 to 30). She explained to me that this tends to cause confusion and can even place the patient in a comatose state. This is controlled with a medication that flushes the ammonia out through the bowels. John's heart rate and blood pressure are a little bit high, but not too high to put him on any medication right now.
"Nevertheless, our man is holding tough! They have reduced the oxygen flow to 45%, meaning he is requiring less oxygen from the ventilator. His vent nurse just said that he is making good progress on her end! She also said that the dialysis has greatly helped by taking all that fluid pressure off the lungs. John's limbs look so much better!"
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Roxi's posts for today.
"Good morning family,
"I've been here since 8:30, but none of John's doctors have shown up today as of yet. Nevertheless, it was quite an eventful morning! The power went out and it took a few seconds for the back of generators to come on. The charge nurse had given John's nurse a break, so there was only she and another nurse and me in the room with four patients on ventilators. Thankfully everything turned out OK, but the charge nurse told me that I was about to be put into service had it continued any longer, which of course I would have wasted no time in following suit in what ever they were doing! It was definitely a heart stopping moment for everyone! About an hour after that, there was a possible CODE BLUE call put out, but then retracted a few minutes later. Last week there was a man out in the main part of the hospital that coded, and it was amazing watching everyone in action as they brought the guy back here to ICU and got him stable once again. I am truly grateful to the LORD for John being here!!
"As for the EEG and the lab culture for the possible pneumonia, I am guessing that I won't get the results back from those tests until Monday or Tuesday. Thankfully, all of John's vital signs are remaining stable! And still no fever! All good signs!! I had spoken to John's nurse about the condition of his ear, so she put in a call for wound care to check it out. I see that they have been here and have put a new dressing on both his ear and his cheek! It looks so much better! The wounds on his face and ear were from when he was being proned (put on his stomach).
"John will have another dialysis treatment around noon. He still has a lot of fluids in his arms and hands but nothing compared to what it was! All in all, with the exception of him still not producing much urine, I would say he's doing OK. He has shown some small signs of consciousness. Yesterday I was wiping his eyes and he had a natural facial response to me messing with him. He is coughing more which means he's more aware of the ventilator and irritated by it. And this morning when they were turning him, he had a little frown on his face because of the discomfort. Honestly, it is much easier for him like this than when he was trying to deal with all of this in a more conscious state. I am thankful for his sake.
"On a personal note, I took a huge step of faith and notified my daycare families that I could no longer continue to provide daycare. I simply cannot be in two places at once, and I need to be with my husband more than anything else. The Lord has always provided for us before, and no doubt He will continue! As my wise neighbor who is caring for her husband that had a stroke earlier this year reminded me just the other day, all this is just stuff! In the words of Job, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there."
It is all the Lord's. Whether He chooses to give or take away blessed be the name of the Lord!"
Afternoon Note . . .
"John's doctor just came in. He doesn't have any results from any of the test as of yet because of the weekend. But he was glad to hear that the EEG was done. We don't know if there is an anything new to tell you from his report but that we continue to wait, hope and pray! They are getting ready to do dialysis on him now, so I am leaving for the day."
Friday, September 17, 2021
"More praise to our most gracious and merciful LORD! John's amazing nurse from yesterday is back with him today. By far she outshines the others in my opinion! Even though one of the other more seasoned nurses (only five years away from retirement) advised against it, this nurse allowed me to help bathe my husband. In addition to teaching me how to do it, she taught me little tricks to help make the job easier.
"In this life, no child grows up thinking about the fact they may one day have to bathe, clean and care for their parents or spouse the same way they know they will have to care for their own babies. Nevertheless, it is indeed what the LORD has for many of us. I have been blessed to be an understudy to many of my good friends who have been given the job of doing one or the other, if not both. Now I, too, have joined this unexpected club. I have been a caregiver to both my mom and now to my husband.
"I praise the Lord for all the years of caring for children and for the loving testimonies of some very amazing sisters, whom I've had the privilege to watch, sitting on the sidelines, as they so lovingly press into our Savior for strength, choosing to serve Him in the process of becoming true care givers to their loved ones. Both have helped prepare me and are now aiding me to take on this unexpected new season in my life.
"Lastly, as I sit here pondering the Lord's ways in this pleasant little courtyard while they hook up my husband for his dialysis, John's nurse just came out to tell me that the guy just got here to do the EEG. I will come back early tomorrow with hope that the doctor will have had time to read the outcome.
"Trying to consider it all joy!"
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
~ James 1:2-4
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.
~from God Moves in a Mysterious Way, by William Cowper
Roxi sends this update today:
I begin with sincere love & appreciation for you all! Words cannot express how utterly humbled & grateful I am for each of you! I am far from being a Moses but your prayers and encouragement have been like Aaron and Hur supporting me in this difficult battle! Thank you.
"I have learned that if I get to the hospital early, I am able to talk to most of his team of doctors, so here is what i learned this morning.
"The bad news . . .
Today’s collective concerns are that he is still not producing much urine, he is still not showing any signs of consciousness, his white blood cells are slightly high and 2 of his doctors heard a little rumbling in his lungs. The concern with this is that John is such a high risk for multiple pneumonias. Thankfully he doesn’t have a fever! 🙌🏼 Nevertheless, they have order a test to make sure he is not developing any new infections.
"The good news…
We give praise to our Great Physician that John’s CO2 levels have dropped a bit, meaning that his lungs are working better at exchanging the gasses. We praise Him further that even though John’s blood pressure dropped too low last night, he was able to get back to a normal level on his own without medication. Additionally, John is maintaining at 50% on the ventilator. Slightly higher than yesterday, but still at a good level according to my hubby’s doctors.
"Bottom line: John is a fighter! The LORD is indeed sustaining us both!"
Thursday, September 16, 2021
"O Lord, I call upon You; hasten to me!
Give ear to my voice when I call to You!
May my prayer be counted as incense before You;
The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering."
Roxi writes . . .
Please forgive me for the late report. I had some errands to run this morning, therefore I just got to the hospital.
John has a beautiful new nurse, both inside and out! I like her a lot! This is her first day with John so she's not completely familiar with his whole history, but she did tell me that he is pretty stable considering his condition. The bad news is that he is still unresponsive to the doctors and they are a bit concerned about that. Honestly, having seen him in and out of sedation a few weeks ago, knowing how very difficult that was for him, perhaps this is a kind mercy & blessing from our Great Physician to spare John all the trauma.
"The good news is they have dialed back his oxygen flow to 45%, which means he is able to breath more on his own! This is the lowest it has been since he's been in the hospital! Praise our gracious LORD!
"Unfortunately, he is still not producing much urine and he is still very puffy, even though they have been able to take a lot of the fluid out of him through dialysis. They just hooked him up for his 8th straight day on dialysis. Every other day they do full treatment dialysis on him, (3 and a half hours) which means cleaning his blood and taking fluids off of him. The alternate days treatments are focused only on fluid removal (2 and a half hours).
"Many of you are asking WHY and HOW this could happen to a man as healthy as John? Do you know that in the nearly 35 years that we have been together, John has not once missed a day of work due to sickness! Pretty incredible! Beloved, the answers to your questions are hidden within the sovereign will and plans of our merciful Savior. It is not the clay's place to ask the Potter, “Why have You made me like this?” or “Why have I been taken from the table where I was so useful and placed upon a shelf?” The vessel must learn to trust in the Potter. Perhaps the vessel has been placed upon the shelf in order to allow other vessels the opportunity to discover their full potential of service. Only the Master Potter knows for sure, but we can rest in His good and perfect plan for each of our lives.
"One last word of encouragement…
I am told that attendance has been way down since our Sovereign King has removed our under shepherd from service. It is hard for me to encourage you all to go when I have not been there myself. To be honest, at first I did not go because I knew I would not be able to handle it both physically and emotionally. Now, I am more concerned with John waking up to me not being there to comfort him.
Nevertheless, if we were to ask ourselves what our under shepherd would say to his frazzled little flock, I believe we would all clearly know the answer.
"In fact, we just need to replay one of his past sermons in which he strongly exhorted those who were forsaking the fellowship and gathering of the saints due to Covid, to come back to the blessings of the sheep fold. We all know exactly what my husband would say about the gathering of the saints: 'It is not about the music style or the messenger, but solely focused on the sound proclamation of God’s Word preached!'”
I do miss you all and hope to return soon.
My love to each of you!"
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Morning update #2 from Roxi:
"John's primary hospitalist doctor was just here. Praise God that John's numbers improved so that he does not need a blood transfusion!
The doctor confirmed that John's CAT scan came back normal, although the doctor feels that John should be more awake by now because he has been off the sedation meds for several days. This morning, John did not respond to the doctor like he did the other day. We continue to pray, wait and hope!"
"Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life."
~ Psalm 119:49-50
Roxi writes this morning . . .
Thus far we've had encouraging reports! We have seen John's infectious disease doctor, who reported that his sepsis pneumonia is under control and he is doing well with the new antibiotic he is on. His pulmonary doctor turned his oxygen down to 50% and he is holding well with the lower oxygen flow. The doctor also told me that the CAT scan came back normal. He is still scheduled to have an EEG sometime this week.
"John is on dialysis right now, and he is having this done every day. He is still not producing any urine, but his blood pressure is maintaining. The primary hospitalist doctor should be here soon."
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Roxi reports there is nothing new this afternoon. She wasn't able to speak with any the other doctors today, but hopes to get their updates tomorrow.
"I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary." ~Revelation 2:3
Roxi's report from late this morning:
"Family, I am with John now. He had his CAT scan at 9 AM this morning. I asked the nurse how it went, but he doesn't know, as we wasn't with him at the time. John is still unresponsive and very swollen. However, they have lowered his oxygen flow to 50% though. I missed the reports of his doctors this morning, but I'm hoping to see another one to get a better update."
Monday, September 13, 2021
Family, here are the updates on Roxi's conversations with John's doctors today. . .
"I just spoke with John's main hospitalist doctor. Unfortunately, John did not respond to a pain test when the doctor pressed his fingernails, but he did try to open his eyes twice when the doctor told him to do that. John is on the borderline of needing a blood transfusion. They are going to monitor him for another day to see if he needs it.
"The neurologist was just here at the request of John's hospitalist. The neurologist performed a number of physical tests, and unfortunately, John was unresponsive to any of them, which was very difficult to watch. The neurologist has put in an order for a CAT scan to monitor his brain activity, which they will do tomorrow."
In the meantime, John has had several dialysis treatments to help remove the excess fluid from his body. He is undergoing a dialysis treatment today, with another round scheduled for tomorrow.
Please keep Roxi lifted up, especially now as her family has returned home.
"He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds." ~Psalm 147:3
Roxi writes. . .
"Good Morning Family,
I am at the hospital early today because I had to drop my daughter off at the airport.
I just spoke with the infectious disease doctor. She is going to change the antibiotic he is on to narrow down it's effect and better target the specific bacterial pneumonia John has. She said he's definitely not out of the woods but he has made some small improvements regarding his white blood cells.
Unfortunately, he is still retaining too much CO2 in his blood because his lungs and kidneys are not working well. I am hoping to see his pulmonary doctor and primary hospitalist doctor this morning as well."
We will post another update today after input is received from John's other doctors.
“O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart." ~ 1 Kings 8:23
The LORD's Day, September 12, 2021
Today's update from Roxi is simply, "We continue to wait."
"Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. . . .
"As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful." ~James 5:7-8,10-11
Saturday, September 11, 2021
Roxi's post from this morning. . .
"Good Morning Family,
John is on his third day of dialysis and tolerating it well. His blood pressure and oxygen level have remained stable.
He still hasn't regained consciousness, even though he's not on any sedation meds. I know that was a small concern of the doctor yesterday. I'm hoping to talk to the weekend doctor this afternoon to get more specifics. I am resting in the fact that John is in our Great Physician's care!"
"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle."
~ Psalm 103:1-5
Friday, September 10, 2021
Roxi just spoke with John's primary doctor who told her that John is doing well today, and he is "cautiously optimistic"! Thank you, Lord, for this hopeful ray today!
John had an uneventful night last night. They have stopped the sedative medications, although he currently remains unconscious. His oxygen has been turned down a bit to 60%. His blood pressure is somewhat stable, and he is still on dialysis. We continue to pray for mercy and thank our sovereign God for His mighty hand on the life of our beloved Pastor and brother.
We pray also for strength, comfort and patient endurance for Roxi and each one in this family who is dearly loved by so many. We ask for God's grace in each heart, according to His good measure.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."
~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Thursday, September 9, 2021
John's doctors have decided to move forward with dialysis to begin this afternoon. Please pray that this intervention will aid in his stabilization and recovery as built up waste products and fluids are eliminated from his body. John continues to need oxygen at various flow settings; at this writing, he was receiving 70%.
John's status continues to be closely monitored, while Roxi and family are relying, moment by moment, on the grace and strength that come only from our sovereign Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please pray especially for comfort for their daughter.
Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
~ From the Hymn, Moment by Moment by D. W. Whittle
As we wait for today's update from the doctors, here is an encouraging reminder of to Whom our beloved Pastor belongs (not to us!) and of our reality in Christ, as He completes His work in us. CityAlight - Christ Is Mine Forevermore (Lyric Video) - YouTube
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Here is Roxi's latest report, received this afternoon.
“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
"We continue to wait upon the LORD in the midst of this valley with pathways obstructed by potholes and mountains of various sizes.
John’s pulmonary doctor spoke with us a bit ago to tell us that they have stopped the paralytic medicine, and reduced the amount of blood pressure medicine by half. John has also been able to tolerate a lower oxygen setting than yesterday’s.
"Our family is grateful to the LORD for today’s path in this valley.
"The doctors are continuing to monitor John‘s kidneys. Right now, due to this second bacterial infection, John’s body is in a state of septic shock, and his kidneys are at a concerning point. We are hopeful they will be able to gain strength back on their own without the use of dialysis. The doctor says we should know what direction they will go within the next couple days. Therefore we continue to wait upon the LORD.
"Our family greatly thanks you all for your loving and continued prayers, support and wonderful food! What a blessing you all are to us!"
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Roxi writes . . .
"Good Morning Beloved, I just spoke with one of John's many doctors (his pulmonary doctor I believe) a very kind man.
"Our pastor always says to give the bad news first, because the good news cannot be fully embraced if the bad is not understood. Therefore, the bad news is that John's kidneys are being greatly affected by another bacteria that is attacking John's body. They are battling this bacteria with antibiotics, which have already helped with his fever. The doctors are closely monitoring these increasing numbers. The hope is that the numbers will go down, but if not, the next step is dialysis, which may happen with in the next couple days.
"The other major issue John is having besides his damaged lungs, is his blood pressure. Right now it is being regulated by medicine, but because it's so low, it is not able to properly help his kidneys and other organs.
"That's a lot of bad news...but God! Love hopes all things! And John's doctor is hopeful that he can get back to a more stable place. The doctor told me this is just the next step of treatment. Maybe he will need it, maybe he won't, but it doesn't mean it will be forever.
"Therefore we pray! Along with John's doctors, we hope!
"And we wait to see what our Great Physician's ordained plan of action will be for His servant John. And in it all we give thanksgiving and praise."
"Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ~Hebrews 4:16 (NASB 1995)
Monday, September 6, 2021
Some of John's family will be arriving today. Please pray for safe travels and that their hearts will be prepared and strengthened to see their brother today. John and Roxi's daughter may be coming as well, so please pray for courage and strength for her also.
John's lungs took a downturn last night, and he is being treated with increased oxygen flow. One of the doctors said that John's lungs and kidneys are not doing well and he is very sick. We continue to implore the Great Physician for healing for our dear Pastor, at the same time we pray for the Lord's will to be done. We know that whatever God's will is for John, "It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” ~John 11:4b
The LORD's Day, September 5, 2021
Roxi reports that John is still heavily sedated today and in the process of being slowly weaned from the paralytic, once more. His oxygen flow has been reduced to 55% (a good thing) but he is still in the prone position for at least one more night as he continues to stabilize. Once he is off the paralytic, they will look at reducing the two sedation medications as they monitor his oxygen levels.
Some of John's family will be coming in at intervals this week, so we thank the Lord for the support and encouragement of family, both to John and to Roxi. Pray for safe travels, and for the hearts of this family to be strengthened and knit together in love and faith. We also continue to pray for our dear sister, Roxi, and praise the Lord for her strong testimony as she navigates these deep waters in total reliance on the Lord.
May we all continue to seek the Lord and give thanks as His hand guides every detail in this time of great testing.
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." ~ James 1:2-4
Saturday, September 4, 2021
After some setbacks in John's condition yesterday (due in part to having been moved to a new facility), Roxi's report this morning is encouraging:
"I just got to the hospital. The good news is that they were able to lower his oxygen flow level down to 60%! He was at 85% yesterday.
His fever is gone and he seems to be stable once again, though he is still heavily sedated and in the prone position.
Another praise is that when they turned him over yesterday to put him on his back, he was still able to maintain the lower oxygen level- a very good sign! Usually patients in his condition have to have their oxygen turned up again.
"A great thing about this hospital is that every area has a specialist, so it's a team that works together to best care for him.
I really like his nurse today, as well as his respiratory nurse. I just talked to the wound care nurse and they are watching and caring for a red spot using all the right foams to cushion him so that it doesn't open up."
We continue to pray for the Lord to restore John’s body to full health and function, and praise Him as we know John is engraved in the palms of His hands.
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” ~Ephesians 3:20-21
Friday, September 3, 2021
Apologies, but the posts from Thursday night and Friday reporting on John's safe transport to Kindred Hospital, the long-term acute care hospital, and Friday's note about his status changes were lost.
In summary, the Lord has continued to strategically place people around John, from the woman at the ambulance company who was able to give John VIP status in transporting him to the new facility and providing text updates the entire way so Roxi was informed every step of the way, to the attending physician at Kindred with whom there is a personal connection through one of our Pacific Hope family. We are so grateful for the Lord's intimate and ongoing mercies and lovingkindness.
Thursday, September 2, 2021
"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
The Lord continues to show His grace and mercy in so many ways, not the least of which is the news this morning about Pastor's transport to the next level of care at Kindred Hospital, the long-term acute care hospital where John will go when he leaves Sharp Memorial.
We had an email late last night from someone who has been following John's progress, and works for the ambulance provider that will be transporting John from Sharp Memorial to Kindred Hospital. She is in a position to place John on their VIP list and has directed that he get the best critical care crew to transport him. She has requested a nurse who is known to be calming and reassuring to attend him during this transition. In addition, she added positive confirmation about Roxi's choice to move John to Kindred. That was her recommendation based on familiarity with both facilities, as well as having had personal experience with her husband recovering there after a long stay in ICU on a ventilator. Roxi will also have more latitude for visiting John at Kindred.
Roxi learned from the nurse this morning that John still needs suctioning of secretions from his mouth, and his oxygen flow was increased to 70% last night. He also had some fever and need for blood pressure medication, although he did not have fever this morning when Roxi spoke with the nurse. Please pray that he will stabilize once more, and that the Lord will get him into the environment that will be most healing for him.
We are not sure when John will be moved, but our "ambulance angel" will let us know when John is scheduled for transport. We lift high the name of Jesus and acknowledge this sweet blessing from the Lord as we continue in prayer with thanksgiving.
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Roxi looked at the two facility options for John this afternoon. These are long term acute care facilities, which are a step below an acute care hospital (like Sharp Memorial), but still provide a much higher level of care than a rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility. (Apparently there are only two facilities available for this level of care in San Diego.)
The places we looked at are specifically equipped and staffed for patients who are coming from long stays in ICU, particularly those who are on (or have been on) ventilators. They address not only the physical needs, but the emotional and mental considerations needed to treat "post-intensive care syndrome" as well. They have an MD on site 24/7, and the nurse-to-patient ratio is the same as an acute care hospital. The goal will be ideally to get John off the ventilator, remove the trach tube and transition to home—possibly 6-8 weeks from now. The primary focus is healing and recovery, rather than pushing for rehab. Roxi had a clear preference for the facility she feels would be a better fit for John, and for her. Praise the Lord, she just learned that they have accepted John.
He will be moved as soon as a room opens for him at the new facility, which could be in the next day or two. We will keep you posted when we learn when the transition will happen.
Roxi also asks that we continue our encouragement and witness to the staff caring for John at this new facility with care packages and maybe make some fresh, encouraging signs for John's room. We will provide info on how best to do that soon. In the meantime, we are so thankful for the Lord's provision and for the continued guidance He is providing along this difficult path for John and Roxi. Thank you all for your continued prayer and support.
Noon - Prayer Request
I just talked with Roxi and we are going to go look at two rehab hospitals this afternoon. (Apparently the rehab floor at Sharp is not the right kind of facility.) Please pray for wisdom and the Lord's hand in opening a bed in the place that is best for John, and that Roxi will have peace about. Thank you, Saints!
We praise the Lord for His mercy and amazing grace in bringing our dear Pastor "safe thus far," as we pray for continued healing--physically, emotionally and mentally.
Roxi spent time with John into the evening again yesterday. When it was time to go, she could tell he didn't want her to leave. Please pray for strength and faith for her as she perseveres in caring for her husband. The next leg of this journey is to find placement in a desirable rehab facility. Please pray specifically with Roxi that the Lord will open the door to place John in one of the few available beds in the Sharp Memorial rehab floor. We know the Lord is in charge and trust Him for the best placement for John, as we petition Him to allow John to stay at Sharp.
Pray that John will have a very real sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit to strengthen, comfort and bring courage to his heart and spirit. Please pray for protection against spiritual forces of evil, and pray that John will be reminded to put on his spiritual armor, and that his mind will be enlivened with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
~ John Newton, Amazing Grace
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
The insertion of the feeding tube for John went well. Thank you, Lord!
One of John's nurses reports there is some concern about secretions and blood in his mouth, which they have been suctioning. (It doesn't appear to be coming from the tracheostomy, so that's a good thing.) Please pray for healing of whatever the source of this is.
Again, Roxi asks for prayer for John's mental and emotional healing and peace. He continues to experience anxiety and disorientation about where he is and what has happened to the normal functioning of his body.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ." ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Roxi was able to spend several hours with John again yesterday afternoon into the evening. He was slightly more sedated to keep him from being too anxious and disrupting the ventilator. Again, please continue to pray for the Lord's peace to envelop and keep John's mind filled with "every promise of His Word."
John is scheduled to have a feeding tube placed today, although Roxi doesn't know the time yet. Please pray for this procedure to go smoothly, with no complications or clot formation from taking him off blood thinners to be able to do the procedure. Once this procedure is done, they will wean him off narcotics over the next 2-3 days.
We'll keep you updated once the procedure is completed.
Monday, August 30, 2021
John is scheduled to have a feeding tube placed tomorrow, so please pray for this procedure to go smoothly. Pray there will be no complications with blood clots as they take him off blood thinners to be able to do the procedure. After this, they plan to wean him off narcotics so he will be sedated only with non-narcotic medications in the next 2-3 days.
Roxi has been able to be with John this afternoon, thanks to a sister who is certified for childcare and is able to fill in for a few hours this afternoon. Please continue to pray for the Lord's direction and provision for Roxi's daycare business going forward.
Roxi was able to spend a long time with John yesterday, just being present with him. It was very difficult for her, as she sees his diminished condition and he is only minimally able to communicate. Since John's physical body has been out of commission for many weeks, he will require extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy to regain its function, and it may be a long road ahead.
In addition to physical healing, please pray especially for John's mental and emotional state, as his mind and body try to make sense out of what has happened, and his inability to function as he is accustomed. Please pray that the Lord will continually bring to John's mind His Word to calm and sustain our brother in his distress.
Please pray also for wisdom, understanding and provision for all the practical considerations and decisions that must be made at this juncture. The nurse has told Roxi it would be good for her to be with John as much a possible, so pray for her as she makes decisions about how to handle her daycare business.
We continue to come alongside John and Roxi in prayer, believing, for the Lord to restore him fully and quickly. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. ~James 5:15a.
Post from Roxi on FaceBook this morning:
"For Better or for Worse, In Sickness or in Health…"
"Good Morning Friends & Family,
Yesterday was one of the most difficult days of my life! The man lying in that bed barely resembles my husband. I cannot begin to tell you how much it hurt my heart to see my strong man so frustrated because I could not understand what he was trying to say to me. Thankfully his nurse is much better at reading lips. Unfortunately much of what he was trying to tell me was when she was out of the room. On several different occasions, his nurse expressed to me how vital it is to his recovery that he have those who are closest to him present as much as possible. I’m sure that’s why she allowed me to be there from just after 10am until almost 6:30! (Visiting hours are usually only for two hours at a time and over at 6 PM.)
"With this said, I am going to ask all of you who want to follow his recovery to please go to our church website. The dedicated web page is https://www.pacifichope.com/welcome/pastor-status-updates. John’s assistant, Anne, will update it continually as we continue down this long road to his recovery. I hope you all understand that I just cannot continue to post on FB anymore. It’s just too much right now.
"I praise the Lord that his mind is still intact and strong!
I praise the Lord that even though I was told yesterday that my hubby is “not out of the woods yet,” he has continued to sustain John’s life and given us all hope for the future!
I praise the Lord that the hospital is close!
I praise the Lord for all of you who have been supporting us through this horrible ordeal!
I praise the Lord that even though the doctors and nurses are all telling me what a long hard road this will be for both of us, it is only a grain of sand in the hourglass of eternity!
Our Sustainer is faithful to sustain!"
The LORD's Day, August 29, 2021
Thankfully, Roxi's test was negative, allowing her to visit John. As of 12:45, she is with him. She says it is very hard, so please be praying for strength and grace and peace for her, as she is present with John for the first time since August 7. Pray for the Lord's continued hand of healing on our beloved Pastor, and for the peace of God that passes understanding as he gradually reorients to where he is and what has transpired over the past four weeks.
Lord, we thank you for bringing John through this storm safely thus far, and pray your continued grace and mercy on the next leg of this journey. Amen.
Some good news! John has been moved out of the COVID room, into a regular ICU room. Roxi had a Zoom with him last evening, and John was able to recognize her. We are praying this morning that Roxi is able to go see him after a negative COVID test. She is trying to get a rapid test this morning so she can go be with him, and hopefully watch the livestream of our church service together this morning. Praise the Lord for this move toward recovery!
(A couple of notes: Roxi will be able to visit for 72 hours from receiving a negative COVID test, so she will continue to need rapid testing every three days. Also, the hospital protocol on visitors is that he is allowed one designated visitor, so our visits will have to wait!)
Saturday, August 28, 2021
Roxi's post-surgical report from the nurse:
"The [tracheostomy] surgery, which was done bedside in his ICU room, went well. He had minimal bleeding, praise the LORD!
They will most likely do the feeding tube surgery next Monday. (That one is not done bedside, unlike what I was told previously, and will need to be done in a different department.)
"The nurse said that John already seems much more comfortable. She had just finished brushing his teeth, washing his hair and getting him all cleaned up.
"So thankful there were no complications!! Thank You LORD!!"
Morning, August 28, 2021
John is scheduled for a tracheostomy and feeding tube insertion today. Roxi's update will be posted after the surgeries.
Friday morning, August 27, 2021
Update from Roxi:
"I spoke to the night nurse this morning. It looks like they’re going to do the surgery on Saturday.
His blood pressure has been going up and down throughout the night due to anxiousness. The nurse said that was very common considering that they are trying to wean him off of the sedation medicine. John goes in and out of levels of consciousness due to the meds and it causes him a lot of anxiety to be more awake and realize he has a tube down his throat! (I didn’t get to zoom with him yesterday because the nurse never called me. The nurse left instructions for them to try and set up a zoom later if they believe it won’t cause too much anxiety for my hubby.)
“The nurse also said that the hymns they are playing in his room seem to calm him! Thank you all for praying! Please to continue to pray for his healing and for the Lord to calm his anxiety.
“It is my heart's desire and prayer that John would do so well that he doesn’t need the tracheostomy and feeding tube surgery!
Abba Father, please miraculously heal Your servant, my husband, and our under shepherd! Please Lord!"
Afternoon Update from Roxi, August 26, 2021
More Good News!
I just spoke with the doctor,
who was very kind! He patiently explained every single thing to me
regarding what's been going on with John, where he's at and what they want to
Dr. David Shaw said that John
has been showing really positive signs over the last 24 hours and he believes
that John will be able to get off the ventilator eventually. He said
this could change tomorrow but as of now he is hopeful for John's recovery.
Because John has been on the
ventilator for 12 days now and showing positive signs, he wants to do a couple
small surgeries that will help him in his recovery:
- The first is a tracheostomy. This will make it easier
for them to take him off the ventilator and will be more comfortable for
John. It will also reduce the risk of damaging his vocal cords! Right now
the breathing tube is lying against his vocal cords and once a patient has
been on the ventilator for a couple weeks, (John has been on for 12 days)
they run into a risk of damaging the vocal cords as well as infections
from the breathing tube.
- The other small surgery that they will perform is
inserting a feeding tube. Right now John is being fed through a tube that
goes in through his nose and down into his stomach. Their goal is less
sedation and a feeding tube will make it much easier for John than how
they are feeding him now.
He hopes to do these surgeries
I am so grateful to the Lord for
this good news. However, to say that I am not in a bit of shock about the
surgeries would be untrue!
Nevertheless, I am choosing to
trust the Lord in every step of John’s care!
Morning Update, August 26, 2021
I wait for
the Lord, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the
More than the watchmen for
Indeed, more than the
watchmen for the morning.
~ Psalm 130:5-6
Will Wait for You (Psalm 130) (Official Lyric Video) - Keith & Kristyn
Getty - YouTube
Here is the latest post
from Roxi this morning. . .
Good morning Family and Friends!
I spoke to John's night nurse early this morning and he told me
that they stopped the paralytic medicine and are adjusting his sedation enough
to keep him comfortable with the ventilator [and intubation] but not completely
under. I will probably zoom with him later if they think it's ok to do so.
I believe this is good news!
Roxi also said that John
responded to some commands once off the paralytic, which is very positive.
We are so grateful for
this report and pray that this is another step towards complete healing and
restoration of our beloved brother and pastor.