Saturday, December 5, 2009


Yesterday was my blog's one year birthday.  I was planning on writing a fun little post and maybe doing a little give-away of some sort.  If you read this blog and leave comments, you know your chances of winning would have been pretty good.  Like one in two, or at the most one in six.  Alas, this did not happen.

I have enjoyed my little blog over the past year.  Even if I had no faithful readers, or no sweet comment makers, I would still do it.   It has been a good blessing reminder, cheap therapy and a way to gather those memories I just don't want to forget, but know I would if left to my frantic mind. I like blogging.

So here I am blogging, sitting beside my Dad's hospital bed.  We have been here once already this fall. It all started with a diagnosis of H1N1. This sparked a flare-up with a chronic liver disease and septicemia, a long run with home IV antibiotics, with this all compounded by the end stages of Parkinson's disease.  Nothing is ever easy with Parkinson's.  I can't help but feel a little like David. My soul is downcast within me.

Since my Dad was forty four years old, his grasp on good health has always been a tenuous one.  What was thought to be a simple gallbladder flare-up turned out to be a diagnosis of primary sclerosing cholangitis, which means the bile ducts to Dad's liver are narrowing and hardening.  This can lead to infections and blockages and potentially a liver transplant.  Dad was on "The List" to receive one and actually got paged twice with a match, but he turned it down. Twice. At the time, he was feeling too good, had farming to do, and a family to raise. That is sort of the pendulum on which you swing with this disease.  When things are good, you're doing just fine.  When things are bad, well, it can be really bad.  Since the diagnosis of Parkinson's about 12 years back, he decided he no longer wanted to be an entry on "The List".  I can't say that I blame him.  Miracles that they are, organ transplants are still nothing to be taken lightly.

The first time my Dad was hospitalized, when I was 12 or 13 years old,  I  remember tentatively asking my Mom if Dad was going to die.  She honestly answered that she did not know.  From then on, that question has hovered in our house from time to time - always sneaking around and never quite leaving the premises. It became a room in our house with the door firmly shut, no one wanted to go there, but you would still press your face to the peephole to see if you could see anything inside. The only thing scarier than the known is the unknown, right?  What would it look like, how would it feel and when would we have to go in there?

In turn, I became a nurse, my older brother became a pharmacist, and Nate, the youngest keeps things balanced with his goofy humor and optimism.  Really, Dad has done remarkably well, all things considered.  We have a lot to be thankful for.  Dr. Zetterman, Dad's doctor, turned good friend, in Omaha always called Dad his miracle patient.  I think he is right.

So, here we are wondering.  Is it time? I only know that I will not have to go there by myself and for that I am grateful.  Like David, I need to finish the verse.

Why are you downcast, O my soul?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him,

my Savior and my God. Psalm 42: 5-6
Did I mention this blog is good therapy?


@nnie said...

oh Shannon,
I, one of your faithful readers, am so sorry your dad is hospitalized right now and that your soul is downcast.

I can't begin to imagine dealing with such serious ups and downs from such a young and impressionable age.

It sounds like your dad is quite a fighter and that you have responded much like David himself: as a woman after God's own heart.

Prayers lifted,

Mrs. E said...

I'm so sorry! I know how hard it is to watch people we love suffer--especially when we can't do much about it. You have a remarkable attitude--one I am sure is fueled by faith. My thoughts are with you!

Craig said...

"Hold On, Help is on the Way"

Bennett is 'the salt of the earth', as a farmer who loves working the ground and the Lord who makes it grow. He's got a quiet strength, maybe some of it from his condition. I respect him a lot.

Kim said...

Don't you know you have already given away wonderful gifts. Reading your blog blessing. What you do with the written word makes me speechless. I'm full of thoughts of thankfulness and praise to our God.

Anonymous said...

Shannon, I am a quiet but faithful reader of your blog. You make me laugh, you make my cry, and you make me remember watching you and Lea grow up into such beautiful young women. Bennet is a great guy--I loved working for him and your mom--and we are praying that this is just a little setback and he will soon be home again.
Karen Dykstra

The B Keeper said...

When I think of your father....steadfast comes to mind. To make certain of what I thought it to mean, I looked it up.

Steadfast: marked by firm determination, firm convictions, a man of unbendable perserverance, unwavering loyalty.

That would be your Dad. From those many years ago, that I met him & your mother. And from what I learned about him from you & through you. I'm certain that this description still holds very true.

As does this of your Heavenly Father. One of my favorite songs - "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is They faithfulness O Lord".

The love shared between a daughter and her father, is so very precious.

Hugs to you, dear friend.