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You Can’t Always Get What You Want

I met a guy when I was doing a summer job in college.  His big plan was to travel to the Sistene Chapel and find a chair and stare at the Mona Lisa all day.  When I asked him why, he said he wanted to get as close to Leonardo as possible.

I liked his idea.  He was excited about it.  It sounded intelligent, and probably used it to impress a girl or two.

I just didn’t have the heart to tell him he was going to the wrong place.

I’ve often wondered if he ever figured that one out.

So, Anissa didn’t wind up being extubated Sunday.

I did however get to tour another hospital for a different reason.  Peyton broke her arm Saturday on a fall down the stairs, and told me she was going to suck it up and be tough.  I’m wrapping my kids in bubble wrap from here on out.  We did get in some minor comfort shopping complete with an early birthday present and popsicle.

Or Monday…

Instead they wheeled the ventilator back in.  She had struggled to keep her airway clear and the thought was that maybe she was laboring too hard.

Or Tuesday…

Instead, I got to tour several other facilities for the next phase of her care.

Or Wednesday…

Instead, I had a severe heart to heart with my wife.  I told her that if she wanted to go, that was ok too.  I had it covered.  But, if she wanted to fight, I was behind her all the way and this was just one more thing to overcome.  It dawned on  me that I had never considered that as a possibility.  Maybe she didn’t want to fight.  She’s too good of a person for everything she’s been through.  Maybe this was it.

By far, the hardest conversation I’ve ever had to have.

That night, someone sent me a link that the St. Pete Times ran a story on us.  I clicked on over to see what they had done.  It was essentially a copy of something Anissa wrote about on the 3 year anniversary of Peyton’s diagnosis.

Romans 12:12.

Rejoice in hope,

Be patient in tribulation,

Be constant in prayer.

I can’t say that it comforted me, that it filled me with the knowledge that everything would be OK and confidence that we could do this.

But that verse spoke to me and clarified that although there was nothing I could do for my daughter’s body, I could do these things … and God would handle the rest.

Although I will never tell you that my faith keeps the fear at bay or my anger under control, it’s what has kept me from giving up and allowed me to get out of bed every morning (well, most mornings).

It’s been what allows us to keep laughing, keep living through it.

It just felt like she was reminding me where we’ve been.  It was encouraging, and I needed that.

On Thursday, she chose to fight harder.

She was very responsive to the medical staff in the morning.  Fairly alert and able to consistently follow commands.  I asked the various doctors to get on the same page with regard to her treatment.  I kept getting differing stories from each specialist.  They agreed, and she was finally extubated at about 5:30 pm.  We’re taking a risk that she won’t be able to clear her airway.  But, there’s also risk crossing the street.  Sometimes you’ve got to run before you walk.  So, tonight, I got to hear my wife make a sound for the first time since that last phone call.

It was a fairly strong “ahem”.

On my way out last night, I stopped by the chapel.  It’s a tiny little room with a little pulpit and a bible on it.  The bible was opened to Mark.  The verse in big letters center-pieced on the page was Mark 5:36 “Be not afraid; only believe”.

I really think that getting her out of the ICU where the kids can come visit are the next main key.  I’m going to have to be cautious, but, they are going to be an integral part of her recovery.  Nothing could stand between my wife and her kids.  I truly think they will give her the biggest fighting chance to recover.

Understand folks, this recovery process is going to be a while.  A large part of that recovery will be up to Anissa and how much interaction she gets from family and friends.  She will need consistent coaching, pushing, pulling, etc.  So, for all of you folks that are lining up to help out, THAT’S when we’re going to be needing you.  Right now, we’re focusing on getting her more alert and aware.  That takes rest, comfort, coaxing, love, and prayer.

Right now, the closest person that I know of that defines “serenity” is with her.

And we’re being patient in tribulation.

166 Comments on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

  1. #1 Angela
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 2:46 am

    I heard today about a study that the MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR in a positive outcome for a stroke is the attention that your medical care team provides. They HAVE to believe that they can cure anissa, and this will result in a better outcome. SO MAKE SURE THEY BELIEVE!

  2. #2 mayhewp
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 9:00 am

    I know she would 🙂

  3. #3 Celeste
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 9:04 am

    While I am getting ready for my son Jarods 9th year old birthday I am taking time out to write this.
    I love you Anissa. I haven’t seen you in many years, but I am thinking of you daily. I am praying for you. I am looking forward to the blog about you waking up and coming home soon. I am constantly praying and thinking about you. You are strong-your children and husband and family need you home. I know God is the only one who knows your path–but I am praying (as others are) that you will recover just like a Christmas miracle. I also have selfish reasons..I want you to meet my family and my new little 9 month old baby girl. Love you Anissa!
    Your friend, Celeste

  4. #4 Chantel
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Praying for you all.

  5. #5 Jody
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I haven’t commented before because, well, there are a lot and what is one more, really? But this post touched me. I’ve not officially met Anissa, but have heard her speak at conferences a few times. My prayers are with your family and if anything can be done for you in Iowa- or from Iowa- I’m available.

  6. #6 Adventures In Babywearing
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    If there’s anything I can do from way up here in Indiana, you let me know! I am fighting for Anissa, too. Just last night at a family birthday party my Father in law asked me what the latest was with Anissa. SO many people are praying and following along.


  7. #7 Amanda @ High Impact Mom
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    So proud of you lady! Keep fighting! Praying for you and your family daily.

  8. #8 Lotus Carroll (Sarcastic Mom)
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Thanks so much for the continuing updates. It is moving to hear her progress. I can’t imagine how you must have felt when you heard her “ahem.” My heart burst (in a good way) for you reading that.

    Thinking about your whole family often and sending prayers and strength to that wonderful woman.

  9. #9 jessica
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    oy! and the broken arm? Never a dull moment my mother always says. Peter, you and your family are a symbol to us all to be strong, to believe, to never give up hope and I thank you for that every day.

  10. #10 Erin
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Sending Love. Big, heaping waves. I think of your family often, Anissa’s touched more people than she knows.

  11. #11 Zakary
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Your family is in my thoughts. Hope Peyton’s arm heals quickly. Hugs to you.

  12. #12 Michelle Willis
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    We’re still thinking good thoughts for your family here in South Carolina. Your strength is truly an inspiration.

  13. #13 Sarah
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Tebow had this passage on his face during the game
    John 16:33
    “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

  14. #14 Amy@UWM
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Oy, what a week! You’re absolutely right about the kids and their role in Anissa’s recovery. Hope Peyton’s arm heals quickly. Thanks for the update. Hang in there!

  15. #15 Jana B.
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Thank you again for another heart touching update. I think about you and your family daily and talk about the situation to everyone I know just so they too can pray.
    Take care and here’s to believing!

    Germantown, OH

  16. #16 Teresa
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    God Bless you all through this journey, may the grace of God always be with you and that the spirit of this season bring joy in your life…. trust that God will heal your child and your wife and that this time for you is merely a season, learn from it, you have our family’s prayers… be sure to take care of yourself too.