Friday, September 18, 2009

Update on Mama

I wasn't going to post anymore about Mama, but since I've gotten so many emails and requests, I am happy to do so.  If these posts offend you in any way or remind you of bad times in your life, please forgive me.  That is not my intention.

Mama is struggling.  Wednesday the doctors were afraid we may lose her.  Wednesday night and Thursday morning were absolutely horrible.  I spent Thursday at the hospital with Mama.  Daddy was exhausted not having been able to sleep in the hospital room for 2 nights from Mama moaning and in so much pain and the nurses in and out doing their thing.

Mama was talking yesterday morning with her eyes open some and closed some.  She was really out of it.  She was saying things that didn't make any sense and getting frustrated with us for not understanding her.  I told her as sweetly as I could that I knew she knew what she wanted to say, but we just didn't understand and I was sorry.  She just nodded her head.  She was unable to tell us what year it was.  Her pain and discomfort was wearing us all down.

I convinced Daddy to go home and take a nap.  Mama somehow knows when he's not in the room even as out of it as she is and just calls for him and screams for him and says things that just breaks our heart, like "just let me die."  Who wants to hear that from their mother?

The good news is..... yes, there is good news......

They were able to get her breathing stronger and her blood pressure back up to normal range.  Since these things had improved they were also able to give her some pain medicine.  Boy did that change all our worlds!  She was finally able to rest soundly and peacefully after that.  The moaning stopped, the crying, the constant rambling we couldn't understand.  We all were able to relax and regroup. And secretly I dared anyone to walk into her hospital room and disturb her.   This was the first time since her surgery they were able to give her pain medicine.  They just couldn't give her anything until her vital signs had improved.

By last night after I had already traveled back home (I'm 45 minutes away from the hospital), I was actually able to talk to Mama on the phone and she was making sense and knew who I was.  She still doesn't know the year, but that's the least of our concerns at the moment.  I asked her if she remembered PT having her try to sit up in bed (I won't even torment you with details from that ordeal), and she said no.  THANK YOU GOD FOR MIRACLES!  She also doesn't remember her painful morning!  We are so blessed.  God is so good.

She asked what time I was coming back on Friday.  It was hard to tell her I didn't know if I could.  I hate being away.  I know that my brother and sister work and if I don't go, Daddy won't leave her alone.  It tears me up.  But I have to be here at least until a package arrives I need to sign for.  And I've got to get some packing done.  With all my running around, I really need to make a bigger dent here.  We are leaving for Alaska in just 9 days.  And I spent most of the day at my own doctor's appointment on Wednesday, so not much got done around here that day either.

Sue, Mama got your card, and it's beautiful.  Thank you so much!  She isn't able to stay awake and coherent long enough to look at her cards yet, but I taped them all on the wall right in front of her bed so when she opens her eyes, she can see them.  Bless her heart, late yesterday when she was sort of making sense and awake, she briefly saw them and said, "Is that all of them?"  I said yes.  She's gotten about 10 cards.  I'll read them all to her later.  I could tell she was hoping there were more.  She just loves getting cards.  Bless her.  Who doesn't love being loved and thought of?  Nothing wrong with that.

I know my mother very well and understand her Southern upbringing.  I have made a list of all the cards she has received and who sent them as well as a list of flowers she has gotten and who sent them.  I know when she is more herself, she would be upset if she didn't know what came from whom because the first thing she is going to want to do is write thank you notes.

Please continue to pray for her.  She is unable to lift her arms.  She can bend them at the elbow, but has a really slow and hard time getting them all the way to her face.  She can't scratch her nose or wipe her eyes or anything.  She's just too weak.

Also, please pray for my Daddy.  He has been a real trooper through all of this.  He has to make runs to the house to get his insulin shots.  Mama made sure she told everyone not to let him forget to eat or take his insulin.  He's not eating like he should right now, but he's doing the best he can under the circumstances.  He hates to leave Mama even when one of us kids are there, so most of the time he just stays at the hospital.  And he's happy to do it.  He's told all the nurses and doctors and therapists who walk in that she is very important to him and to treat her as a precious gift.  He's also exhausted.

In the mix of all of this going on with Mama, with our move to Alaska next week, we are also facing our son, James, leaving for Iraq on Monday, September 21st.  They originally told them they would be there for 12 months.  Now they are saying realistically, it's more like 15 months and probably longer than that.

He will be stationed in Kawaiit, which is now a safe zone (though not as safe as here in the US), but my son is an Army truck driver, so he will be traveling up and down Iraq in and out of danger zones.

Please pray for God to protect him.  I absolutely know that I am not in control.  I know that.  God is in control.  And I'm so thankful that He is since He knows what He's doing.  I trust Him with my son, with my Mama, with my everything.  But as a daughter, I hurt when my Mama hurts.  I want all her pain to go away.  As a mother, I hurt when I know my son is in danger.  I want him protected from evil and harm all of his life.  So I ask you, please pray for my family.  For protection, healing, guidance, and for peace and comfort and strength.

Before we had made the final decision to move to Alaska, while we were still thinking about it and seeing what jobs were available there, I prayed about the move.  I told God how we desired to go.  I told Him how I know being such a loving God full of good gifts to give His children, that I knew He wanted to give us the desires of our hearts.  I also told Him that I didn't want to go if it was going to be a disaster.  If things got tough and hard and we wished we were still here instead.  That I only wanted to go if it's what He wanted us to do.  Because then I know no matter what we face there, God desired us to be there and it would all work out okay.

He reminded me of Jeremiah 29:11,
"For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."
My heart just fills with love for God.  Not only did He answer my prayer, He used the same wording I used.  How precious He is to me.  Oh how I love Him!

I want to give you the address for my Mama in the hospital and for my son overseas.  In no way do I expect anyone to write or send a card.  But if you feel led to do so, I want you to have the information you need.

Lexington Medical Center
Patient:  Judy Ellisor
Room:  579
2720 Sunset Blvd
West Columbia, SC  29169

AP, AE  09366

If you send a card or write a letter to either my Mama or my son, PLEASE be sure and tell them you're one of my friends so they'll know who it's coming from.

Feel free to share my son's address with any classrooms who want to write, girl scout groups, boy scout groups, church groups, etc. If he is on enough group lists, maybe he won't have mail calls that he has to walk away empty handed.  They don't do mail call everyday.  It's only about once a week and then only when they are back from missions.  There is no mail call when they are out on missions.  So you can imagine how long it can feel when  you have one or two mail calls with no mail and it's really been weeks or months since you've heard from home.

This is my son's second tour in Iraq.  He said one of the worst feelings is having mail call and walking away empty handed.  He said, I don't care what you write about, it's just good to hear from home.

Thanks once again for letting me ramble.  I wish I could take the time to post a crafty item.  But I'm probably going to pack up most of my craft supplies today.  That should be a dent in things for sure.  :)

We do plan on updating our Carolina to Alaska blog while traveling, so if you want to keep up with me, visit there. 

Don't forget about me.  I'll be back with regular posts as soon as I can.

Thank you for all your prayers, cards, letters, emails, and good thoughts.  I appreciate you all.



  1. Thanks for posting this Janis, I have bben so concerned for her. Looks like she's improving and hopefully will be back to her old self soon.
    Have they said if she has to have rehab after?
    I can't imagine what you are going through,knowing you have to leave now..hugs

  2. Janis- A quick note to let you know that (finally) a card is in the mail to your mom. I'm so glad to hear of her improvement!

    I will also be keeping your son in my prayers and hope to send a care pkg. to him as soon as possible. Please post as to whether he has any allergies or preferences/requests.

    I hope everything goes smoothly with your move.

    Remember that God is with you along the way and let your faith sustain you.


  3. Janis, I'm sorry to hear that your mom is having such a rough time of it; I will keep her in my prayers and thoughts.

    Also I will pray for your son.

  4. Thank you everyone. Mama is improving, she just seems to have setbacks every morning. Afternoons are her best times.

    Thanks for remember James too. He has no allergies and would love anything you send. And I'm sure he can use notebook paper, envelopes and stamps for letters home, but I don't expect anyone to buy him anything. I'm going to send him out a package hopefully before we leave next week. Hopefully. I feel like I'm getting pulled in so many directions right now I keep thinking I'm forgetting something.


  5. wow do you have a lot on your plate, you are in my prayers as well as your Mom and Son. Do hold tight to the words of God, they will bring you comfort in the days to come.

    I keep thinking of the scripture Philippians 4:6-7....."Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus"

    May God richly bless you...have a wonderful weekend!

    enjoy *~*

  6. Hey Janis...just wanted to let you know that a card is out to your mamma as of a few days ago...hopefully it will get there before you leave! Your family is in my thoughts and prayers!

  7. Janis, thanks so much for the update on your Mama. I've been worried about her, but glad to hear she's doing better. I know God's love and comfort will sustain you all, through all you are going through.
    I'll be mailing out a card to your Mama tomorrow and continue to keep her and your son in my prayers. I will also be praying for your Dad and safe travel for you, Tom and Bonnie.
    Love 'ya girl!