Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Treasure Up These Things Tuesday

God helped us to derive a family plan for this week, so we're trying something new out, which we hope will be successful for our family dynamics at this time. I am staying here at the hospital with Chrissie around the clock (my choice, my wish...can't stand to be away from her) while Matt and the kids are staying together back at the ranch. Matt will work Mon-Thurs. part-time while the kids are home to do school with Stephanie during the day. Then Matt will bring the kids back to San Antonio on Friday to stay the weekend at the campground where we can get together as a family. They'll stay in SA Fri., Sat., Sun., and return to the ranch Monday morning and repeat the schedule.  Stephanie and her daughter, Emily, take care of the ranch and all of the animals on the weekends while we're away.  They are such a blessing to the ministry of Forgotten Saw Ranch. 

There are so many things that God is showing me to treasure up in my heart during this time.  Luke recorded how Mary treasured the miracle of her Christ child up in her heart when all who heard His story were amazed.  When everyone was partying and praising God for His miracle of Jesus' miraculous birth, Mary quietly reflected on those amazing moments as the mother of this Miracle, and she treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:17-20, "When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

I don't want to miss the things that God wants me to treasure up and ponder in my heart.

Tonight God brought my friend JaLynn (who was actually my sister's friend first, but is just as sweet to me!) to the hospital to deliver me a meal.  God used our special time to allow me to treasure up some things so I can forever ponder them in my heart.  Sweet blessings, tender moments, miraculous happenings.  There's so much going on that I feel at times that I'll never be able to recall all that God has done.  But God allowed me to remember so many details that I hadn't even journaled as I sat and recalled events with JaLynn.  In the process of sharing God's many testimonies of His mighty hand, His miracles, His love, His tenderness, His mercy, His grace, God blessed JaLynn and I with a rich time to really treasure up all of these things so that we can ponder them in our hearts.  It was a sweet time of fellowship, and I realized I haven't really gotten a chance to "discuss" (out loud) with pretty much anyone what all God has done in this hospital.  (I've journaled much of it in this blog, but I haven't really had a moment to think, much less talk!)  Thank you, God, for this sweet time to treasure these things up.

But mid-way through our visit, Chrissie decided she wasn't quite getting the attention that a special princess deserves, so she decided to toss a little drama into our night of fellowship!  Chrissie started to stir and was a little uncomfortable, then she started tossing her arm around.  She was making her "frustrated" face (which is when she grits her teeth together and shakes her body as much as she can...a common self-controlled tantrum that Chrissie is famous for), and we were talking to her and rubbing her arms to try to calm her down.  Then I noticed blood was on her wrist, where her IV is.  It ended up that in all of Chrissie's arm thrashing events earlier today, she jostled her IV loose, and it was bleeding, but still intact.  (She had an arm board around it, with lots of tape, but she was so restless earlier that she banged it all up and had destroyed the set-up.)  So, 2 nurses had to hold Chrissie's arm down while I prayed over her and loved on her, trying to help her feel that peace that passes all understanding.  (Chrissie HATES IV's and anything to do with a "boo-boo", so she was fighting having them "fix" the IV.)  They got it all fixed up after about 15 minutes, and then the doctor decided it would be a good time to try to switch Chrissie to the conventional ventilator since she was getting SO agitated with the transitional ventilator.  (Apparently the transitional/intermediate vent forces breaths, making it almost impossible to take breaths oneself, so Chrissie was super agitated with fighting the ventilator.)  All of a sudden, Chrissie was switched to "normal" settings on the ventilator, which meant she could now take her own breaths, and the ventilator would kick in to provide her with a breath if a set amount of time passes between Chrissie's own breaths.  Well, a few minutes into the new vent settings, Chrissie began to get really angry.  She was biting the breathing tube (which makes it impossible for the vent to puff air into Chrissie's lungs), and she was gritting her jaw together, shaking her entire body in true Chrissie full-fledged-fit-throwing.  (That's my girl, my fighter, my warrior princess!)  This extreme shaking, jaw clenching, tube-biting fit caused Chrissie's oxygen sats to drop down into the 50's, and she was quite purple in her face.  It was at that moment (full tantrum mode) that the doctor on call decided to give Chrissie some "Vec", a drug that paralyzes her.  She also upped her morphine and started Methadone (that helps with morphine withdrawals and stabilizes the drug so she doesn't have as many ups and downs while on morphine) and she upped her sedative, too.  I was glad the doctor got to see a glimpse of the "monster unleashed" so she could help tame her, which she accomplished in a matter of just a few minutes.  During this time, the respiratory therapist disconnected the breathing tube from the machine and "bagged" Chrissie (using a bag of oxygen that attaches to the breathing tube at Chrissie's mouth) to get her oxygen sats back up.  This only took a few minutes until she had the O2 sats back into the 80's, and Chrissie's color returned to normal.  Then they reconnected the normal vent and she's been on it ever since.  (This occurred probably around 9PMish.)  Chrissie's oxygen sats are now at 95%!  They have to keep checking her blood gasses to see if she can get her carbon dioxide down (it's in the 70's now and they need it at 40 or below, ideally), but for now, things are stable enough to keep her on this vent!!!  Praise the Lord, hallelujah!!!  This was the goal for Tuesday, but it actually occured Monday night around 9PM!  Now, just be praying that Chrissie's lungs will clear the blood of Co2 and keep her O2 up, amongst a few other things.

We are definitely heading in the right direction, and prayerfully things will continue progressing in this way.

Oh, another praise:  during Chrissie's extreme tantrum, her right shoulder and arm moved several times!!!  Another hallelujah, praise the Lord moment!  (Even though the circumstances weren't ideal, with the big fit she was throwing, but huge praises that there was movement on the right side!)

So, today on this Treasure Up These Things Tuesday, I pray that God will continue to allow me to treasure up all of His miracles and blessings.  There are too many to count, too many to record, so I pray He'll allow me to treasure them all up so I can ponder them in my heart.

JaLynn took this picture as the nurses worked to fix Chrissie's IV and I prayed over Chrissie, rubbing my face against  hers.  (Chrissie's love language is physical touch, and she LOVES to smell her momma!)

WARNING:  You may want to skip the next photo if you have a weak stomach!

While they had Chrissie paralyzed, they decided to change her dressings over her incisions.  The 3 tubes coming out are drainage tubes.  1 for each lung and 1 in her chest cavity.  They drain the extra blood and fluid out of those areas so that it doesn't pool up inside of Chrissie.  She has a couple of extra holes that they pulled tubes of gauze out of (that went down in her body...eewwwww and ouch!) where other tubes had previously been.  My little warrior princess has plenty of battle wounds that display the Lord's favor upon her and proclaim His miracles to the ends of the earth.

The kiddos at Seaworld.  Kiefer didn't know what to think of this strange penguin!!!

Look at these sweet boys.  Brothers through and through.  Such a sweet photo to treasure up in my heart.  There are no color or culture barriers, thanks be to God!  (Kiefer is really a VERY happy guy, but he's not fond of photos...yet!)

PS Just thought I should mention that Chrissie's temp has stayed normal most of the day or very low grade fever. Nothing has shown up on the cultures yet. They're checking everything from urinary tract to every nook and cranny that could possibly have an infection...nothing yet, besides the MRSA, which is already being treated.


Unknown said...

Checking in on your sweet girl this morning before I pray. I want to know how to pray for her today. You are an amazing woman and your faith is such a testimony. Praising God for the miracles He is working and allowing you to be apart of in His own way.

Love and prayers from another Texas mom

Karen in PA said...

Awesome to hear about Chrissie's movement on her right side. When I read about the possible stroke, I prayed that even if she did have one, that any and all symptoms would go away. Leaving doctors, nurses, etc...scratching their heads in amazement. Continue to amaze them/us Chrissie girl! Continue to fight!

Anonymous said...

Admittedly, sometimes I just come by and scan the emails getting the overall update on your little serbian sensation!!! I've been so busy. Please know I am still praying for your family and Chrissie. I'm not surprised she is doing so well though!!! The family plan seems like it would benefit everyone involved ;)
*Tammy (RR)

Unknown said...

Truly many things to treasure from this experience Lorraine. Praising God for your time of fellowship. Praising God for the love He continues to pour over your family during this time!

We love you!
Prayers remain with you and your warrior princess!

Anonymous said...

Praise be to God for his loving care and mercy! He truly and thoroughly loves his warrior princess! Just wanted to say that along with prayers for all of the Patterson immediate family, we are asking God's grace and mercy and infinite love be so evident for Stephanie and Emily as well! They are such good and faithful servants! Thank you, Lorraine, for reminding us all to treasure up the things that are most important and to ponder them in our hearts! To God be the Glory!!!

Nora S. said...

Thank you for sharing again. I'm so happy to hear Chrissie had movement on her right side during that difficult time yesterday. I was specifically praying for that yesterday! You have a beautiful family and I am amazed at all your children are doing as they work together at home. You and your husband are doing a wonderful job with the children and someday--when time allows--you need to share with us some of your secrets of child raising.

I'm praying that Chrissie can continue on the vent she is on and that her body continues to heal each day moving toward the day you two can head back to your ranch--by the way what is the story behind the name of your ranch?

Blessings to all, family, nurses, doctors, friends.


Emma said...

Looking at that picture of your other 5 kids makes me realise it looks so empty. There's someone missing. Chrissie belongs with them and I pray it won't be long until they are complete once again.

Deb Watson said...


Several times a day I pull up your blog to hear how the "Serbian Princess" is doing. She is a miracle beyond miracle. Her story is incredible. It is such a testimony to the power of God - I am so struck by the realization that it is God who has ordained her days - we live and die on His timetable. He holds the future, but He speaks in the present. His Name is being lifted up among all who are witness to this miracle. We look for miracles, but seldom do we stop long enough to see them. Chrissie's life has become a drama being played out before the world. The writer of her script has carefully plotted each scene and nothing happens that He has not written and nothing happens that does not advance the plot. We have a good and gracious God, who knows exactly what He is doing and who never forgets us. He breathed life into Chrissie and He sustains the life He has created. He is the ventilator that puffs the air in and out of her lungs. He says, "I AM" and He is! O that many might see the Glory of the Lord through our princess.
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples build by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him, though he is not far from each one of us. FOR IN HIM WE LIVE AND MOVE AND HAVE OUR BEING. As some of your own poets have said, "We are his offspring." Acts 17:24-28

O Jesus, Chrissie is yours, in You she LIVES and MOVES. Thank you for allowing us to see YOU in her.


Lynn said...

Mattie is a real treasure! What a blessing to know that your children are there for each other as well as for you and Chrissie during this difficult time. All these struggles must be building up some tremendous spiritual muscle, too!

Our family continue to pray for you, and both my husband and I now check your blog regularly. He has always thought it "odd" that I "make friends" online, but we both consider you our friend. Can't wait to meet you - whether here or above, because I know our family will have eternity to spend together!

Praying Tuesday will be full of grace for you and yours.

Amy said...

Still praying for you guys- cannot wait till Chrissie is smiling in those Sea World pictures too!

Sarah said...

I will pray for Chrissie's lungs today... praying she finds more comfort on the regular vent!
Love, Sarah

Anonymous said...

~So glad that she is "pushing" things along her way with her little tantrums! Our wonderful God is moving things along. So glad.
Maryann Foster

Kat said...

We've added movement to our prayers...wow, Chrissie moved, didn't she? LOL...So thankful we get to watch God's glory in this...amazing. We're continuing to pray!!!

Arnold family said...

Praying for your doll! For where your treasure is your heart will be also. Mathew 6 20-22

Blessings to your family!

Holly Arnold:)

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, that photo of Chrissie's chest made me cringe. Poor thing. But it sounds like she's doing so much better! Praise the Lord!!! Still praying, love you Mommy!
Mattie Patterson

Monica said...

I've been reading this blog for a little while, keeping up with it, but that picture of Chrissie just really made me go 'ooo, poor baby'. She's such a strong little girl, even though she's having to go through what no child should. That's quite the girl you have on your hands.

Go, Chrissie!

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