Some of you know, but most of you probably don’t know what been going on with me over the past month. Now that I’m home and quite stable, I wanted to share what happened with everyone. The below entries were posted in a more private environment over the 1st couple weeks. At the end of that, I’ll share some thoughts and begin telling the story. Not so much the medical story….the other one, the one that goes into my head from the moment I walked into the ER a month ago. I’m confused about a couple things, but much less confused about a couple more important things. I hope you’ll join me as I unpack.
Written Jan12, 2018
Thankful for the love and support of our family. John’s brother was able to come out to stay with us and my parents are here to help with the kids and the house. We are extremely grateful for all of your love and support as well. The texts and phone calls have meant a lot to us. Please forgive us as we have been unable to respond to everyone as we focus on improving John’s health. Please look for updates here and we look forward to reading your messages of love and encouragement as we’re able.
Been a long weekend…
Journal entry by Janice Dickinson —
Thanks for all your prayers over the weekend as they have carried us through. It was a long weekend. John developed a blood infection which greatly affected his health. We are still waiting on the results of type of infection. They started him on antibiotics, gave him a blood transfusion and dialysis a few times. This has allowed them to stabilize him. They’ve also been able to regulate his blood pressure for the most part which is a huge praise.
We won’t know much more about original cause or treatment plan until they are able to biopsy his kidneys. The biopsy is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday. Please be in prayer with us that his blood pressure will be stable enough and his kidney function high enough to receive the biopsy tomorrow.
Out of respect for John’s wishes please don’t post anything on social media.
This evening he was able to FaceTime with the boys. It was good for the boys to see him and spend a few minutes talking with him.
Journal entry by Janice Dickinson —
Praise God John is out of ICU and in a regular room. The blood infection is now being treated with antibiotics. So we wait for the antibiotics to work before the biopsy will take place. He is continuing with dialysis. We want to limit visitors as he is tired and needs to rest, short visits are ok but please check with Rebecca first.
For those who may not know Johns parent came in this weekend. Teresa is still here taking turns with Rebecca staying with a John. As you pray for a John please lift these two ladies up in prayer as well. We thank you for all your prayers and notes of love and encouragement as we walk this path.
Journal entry by Rebecca Pack —
John has continued to improve and was released from the hospital this evening. They determined the blood infection to be MSSA which will need to be treated with antibiotic through at least February 8th. They will need to wait until the infection is completely cleared and he finishes with antibiotics before they can do further testing of his kidneys. He will continue to have dialysis 3 days a week at a dialysis center.
A meal train has been set up and is greatly appreciated. If you’d like to bring a meal you can sign up at https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/4dvm97.
Journal entry by John Pack —
Much has happened with me medically over the past month. Many of you have read the other posts on this blog and have a sense for my situation. Others of you are only just now learning of what has happened and is happening with me.
I went to the ER on Jan 9th with swollen legs and labored breathing. My blood pressure was 244/140 so at least I got to cut in line and have a nice bed while I waiting for the doctor. I soon learned that both my kidneys were virtually shut down and that I needed to be prepped for dialysis right away. A catheter was installed into my heart to provide a port for the hoses that connect me to the dialysis machine. It must have been two for one day because they ended up installing the catheter and also a serious blood infection into my body that day. This drastically changed my treatment plan, the infection itself was soon effecting me in a way that had the Dr.’s and my family worried for my life. I did stabilize in the hospital and ended up staying for about 12 days. Thing is, that time wasn’t spent figuring out why my kidneys died suddenly, it was simply spent getting me through the blood infection I contracted. Once I was quite stable, I was released and then immediately started a 3 day per week, 4 hours per day dialysis regiment at a local clinic. Long story short, I’m feeling a little better everyday.
That was the medical summary, but the reason I’m chiming in today is because it’s time…
I love words. To me, using the right words at the right time in the right way is among the most important things we do as people.
Problem is…words don’t cut it with this.
From the moment this caring bridge blog was sent out to you guys…my people, there has been an outpouring of concern for my family and I that causes me to weep as I think about it. Truth told, I’m only now thinking about it and letting myself feel it in a real way. I’ve been dodging your calls and not even reading your texts, largely because of how terribly out of place I feel being the one on the receiving end of this thing. It’s my joy to look you in the eyes and remind you of how strong your are and moreover, how strong Jesus is for you in your weakness. I must be a classic bully because I can dish it out but I sure haven’t been able to take it.
Good News… I can take it now.
I’ve listened to all the vm’s and read all the texts now. I’ve wept in gratitude as I consider the reality that you, and because of you, an army, literally an army of people have come alongside Rebecca and I and covered us in prayer, meals, childcare, and a million assurances of how much you love us and how you would literally drop everything to help us in any way.
It feels like a small and insufficient word to you use in light of what I’m feeling, but it’s the only word I know….THANK YOU.
Moving forward, we’ll need less and less physical support as I get stronger and more used to the rhythms of dialysis. That said, what we need more and more of is prayer. I’m convinced that God will bring us through this. Thing is, my great hope is to move myself and Rebecca and the boys through it in a way that we come out on the other side having taken giant steps towards Jesus in closeness and in faith. Please pray that God would use this to teach us all the things were are supposed to be learning. Pray we would all lean in, rather than run when things are hard. Pray that Rebecca would have supernatural stamina as she manages our home, our kids, my health, and work. It’s not sustainable in her own strength, it demands Jesus…beg him with me on her behalf. Pray that our boys Eli 9, Dylan 6, and Decker 14 would have unwavering peace and confidence in the everyday and they watch Rebecca and I fight this battle.Pray that I would do well in embracing my new life. Currently I spend too much time daydreaming about how wonderful my life was just a few days ago rather than spending time reading and learning and behaving like a man totally set on making a full recovery. There is a lot of big boy stuff coming up and nothing short of God will give me the mojo to get after it. I don’t know if you heard, but I’m incredibly immature and not very bright… this next season is the stuff of men. I covet your prayers.
This post is going out to all the people that have been getting them since the beginning.
As you know…I need to share the story, It’s what I do.
From here out, I’ll be telling it back on my personal blog faithfamilyfoodetc.com and then posting on social media. Best way to maintain front row seats would be to subscribe to the blog, that way the posts get emailed to you as I post them.
On behalf of Rebecca and I and the kids, again…thank you for loving us so well and so much, it’s profound to know in such a real way just how much we are loved by our people.
I Love You,