"How's John doing?"
I field that question a lot lately - and don't get me wrong, I'm so thankful so many people are asking. I just wish I had a better response to give them. Something that would indicate progress, a clear plan for the future, etc. Yeah, we don't have that.
The truth is, John is in nearly the same place he was when we came home on Monday. He is taking Oycodone (a step up from Vicodin) every four hours for the pain in his head and dull ache behind his eye. He struggles having to just open that one eye for the drops I put in for him four times a day. And, he pretty much moves from the bedroom to the couch depending on night and day.
The doctor sent us on our way Monday morning with instructions to set up an appointment in two weeks - "When the swelling has gone down" - and they'll schedule for the new transplant appointment. In my mind, I thought it would all look like the recovery from the previous transplant - it wouldn't be pretty to look at, but it would get better and better and look more and more normal. Instead, his eye looks just as gruesome as it did. The cornea is clouded and bluish (the middle) and the rest of his eye is entirely red, and for lack of a better word - rather bulgy and angry. Not only am I not seeing improvement, it's hard for me to fathom how much we'll see by next Thursday at the time of his appointment.
Which all sums up the hardest part of this ordeal. The waiting. The not knowing.
I'm a person who likes to plan. I like an order to my schedule. I like new things and fun diversions, but (maybe even more) I love to plan for them. Anticipation and expectation is a big adventure for me. There's never a bigger time for me with that too as right now, this time of year. Christmas is on its way, full of Countdown Calendar activities and Sunriver the day after.
Now, because of all of this - each day is showing us just how uncertain anything in the future is. In the short term, when will John be able to return to work (more about that and his incredible boss in a bit)? And, the more self-centered concerns, what will our holidays look like? Will he just be getting done with the next surgery? Will all this time off mean he won't be able to take the days off for Sunriver? Much less the cost of this holiday season and that vacation? Our holiday card design, Christmas lights adorning our home's exterior....all these little things that make this season magical and Norman Rockwell....are starting to become questionable.
On the flip side, the support we've gotten has truly been overwhelming. I'm indebted in gratitude. And, I pick that word carefully - as it is not easy being on the recipient end of this giving thing. Obviously, it's aimed for John, but as we're one - I'm feeling it too. The loving texts, FB messages, Instagram comments - that just keep piling up. The visits - Tyson (John's boss) came over Tuesday with vitamins and well wishes to get him completely rested and feeling better. The next day, Gjusta (Tyson's wife) brought over a beautiful flower arrangement (Bird of Paradise, I think...) and homemade chocolate chip cookies. Yesterday, Patti (John's buddy at work) brought over an entire Costco box full of things "to get us through". Pistachios, almonds, cookies, a cheesecake, and a chocolate mousse cake - wow - not to mention a beautiful harvest flower arrangement. I was literally trying to think of what I could deliver to the whole crew at Tyson Steele Associates to thank them for their support, picking up John's load - and their prayers - and then, instead, it all gets delivered here. There's a time to give and a time to receive - and right now God is teaching us how to take it all knowing we couldn't possibly (or would ever be expected to) pay it all back.
Yes, God is teaching us a lot right now. I was wishing the insight I'd be given would be the specifics as to how this journey is going to unfold. The logistics. Instead, the teaching is of the more eternal variety. Thoughts of the time Noah, Abraham, Joseph - and so many others - had to wait for the "completion of God's plan"- situations that went way beyond seven days - more along the lines of seven decades. Oh, wow....yeah, I've got some patience issues to work through if that's the case!
So, in answer to that question, "How's John doing?" Well, better than you'd expect as his spiritual vision has ALWAYS been clearer than his physical vision. He's hanging in there. And, for that, I'm so thankful. For so much of this, I'm already so thankful. I'd just like a few more answers to work with.