We give thanks for Pastor Joseph’s quick and smooth recovery after his pericardiocentesis procedure. He was released from the hospital this afternoon and is finally back to the comfort, peace, and freedom of home. He has been renewed in his strength, vigor, and of course, a good appetite. The vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, O2 level) have been stably beautiful, and he is looking forward to going back to his swimming routine. Most importantly, he has been reunited with Shimu, which truly has brought peace on earth unto her.
As Pastor Joseph continues to strengthen his heart, let’s lift up the doctors and nurses who will also continue to seek a treatment to cure this heart condition. The treatment might still involve highly invasive surgery into the heart area, so we cannot let down our guards now, but need to stand even closer together and cover each other as one family in greater grace and mercy, for that’s how God flows His authority through us.
God has an important reason for picking the worst possible day in the history of this hospital for our spiritual father to be admitted into the ER. Perhaps this is His way to bring us together – through our common honor and affection for our pastor, our shepherd, our father. If that is what it takes to bring beauty and purity to His bride, may the work of the Lord be blessed.
We give thanks.
Pastor Joseph was admitted to the hospital yesterday (1/3/22) after complaining of shortness of breath for 2 days. After assessing his breathing difficulties, his doctor asked us to admit him through the ER because the tight hospital capacity from Covid did not allow them to directly admit patients. So after spending 14 hours in the ER waiting area, we finally got admitted into a patient room and the ER doctor confirmed a pericardial effusion condition with a heart ultrasound. These are sizable pockets of liquid surrounding the heart that can apply significant pressure to the heart, preventing it from fully expanding. This compromises the oxygen level that gets pumped into the body, resulting in the shortness of breath.
The surgeon successfully initiated a pericardiocentesis procedure today to drain the excess pockets of liquid. The catheter drain will be in place for 24 hours, and if all goes well, Pastor Joseph can be discharged in less than 24 hours after the catheter is removed.
We are thankful for God’s grace and provision to sustain Pastor Joseph, even during this very trying time with limited hospital capacity. Waiting 14 hours with Pastor Joseph has really softened my heart, so to speak – I never imagined that I would so welcome the sight of an ER patient room. It certainly ranks among my top moments of giving sincere thanks.
There were numerous moments during the 14 hour wait that I thought we should just quit and go home. The nurses and the security guards said that they have never seen such a surge in the ER. In all practicality, this is perhaps the worse time for anyone to need to get admitted to the hospital. I sustained by trying my hardest to find “thanksgiving” in that situation, all the while soaking with a full crowd of sick people, many with Covid. As my daughter noted to me at 3:45 AM, that this is akin to the “no room at the inn” situation for Joseph and Mary, and this experience certainly felt like a full blown “manger test” for us. Pastor Joseph stood strong and persisted. And with the fruits of that faith (which saved Pastor Joseph’s life), we can only be thankful, and continue the learning to persist in the actions dictated by our thanksgiving.
What truly set my heart trembling was the fact that the surgeon was able to drain 1,400 cc of liquid right off the bat, where typical volume would be in the 5-10 cc level. This broke the surgeon’s previous record of 1,200 cc. She indicated that, with this kind of volume, the heart was at risk of stopping at any moment, and she was stunned by how well Pastor Joseph’s heart stood up to the pressure. She said “wow” to the record-breaking volume! I said “wow” to God’s mercy and timeliness. We have nothing, but everything is in His hands – and by that, we have everything.
Please continue to lift up our spiritual father and mother – Pastor Joseph and Shimu. It’s always hard for them to be separated because Pastor Joseph does so much to take care of Shimu. Pray for the Spirit’s comfort and that she will be strengthened through this experience. Please also pray for the doctors to seek God’s wisdom and insight to understand the cause of the pericardial effusion and how to treat it at the root.
God is with us. In your thanksgiving, experience Emmanuel!