Monday, January 08, 2007

Lessons From the Woods ~Update #23

Twenty one days....21 days....3 weeks....When you become a parent and you look at that baby in your arms, you know that one day they will grow and become adults. You also know that you have plenty of life to live in between them being a baby and venturing out on their own. So, you pace yourself knowing that you are making an investment that is going to take years, on average, about 20. Raising that child takes good communication between mom and dad, making memories and traditions that eventually become consistent patterns and life styles. When your child is born, you don't count the days that go by. If you did start out counting those days, in just a matter of time you realized that it was much more realistic to celebrate the years instead of the days.

This is not so when your child is fighting for his life. You do find yourself counting the days, a pessimists becomes disappointed that things haven't progressed enough and the optimist values the long strides, using day one as their measuring stick. But, at some point in the process when the doctor makes it clear that we are not out of the woods and won't even give you a time line because it is so irrelevant in the matter, reality materializes before your eyes and it's clearly time to regroup.

Right about this time...people are really getting physically worn out. Frustration sets in, outside careers soon have to resume again and lets be real....everyone gets grumpy. Whenever we get frustrated or grumpy and act out in that state, we are making the situation about ourselves and there is no time for that. A life hangs in the balance, there is no time to start feeling sorry for yourself, or to begin taking your annoyances out on each other. What is important is that this is about Mark and doing what is best for him and that means high levels of hope, a positive attitude and patience with the poor patient that is in pain, scared and angry. Last night my husband and I had a fight. Something was said, someones feelings got hurt, someone felt unappreciated, someone doesn't like the way things are being done or not other words, we were both thinking about ourselves.

It was time to re-group, communicate and fine tune our focus. It has been 21 days, but to be honest, day one melted into day two and so on and so on until suddenly 3 weeks have past and we, the parents, haven't discussed the long haul. When you don't discuss the long haul, you begin to doubt that you can handle it because at that moment, you are not operating as a team. We are a team and it must stay that way. Of course, we made up. Even as we were getting upset, we knew it was wrong. The outcome was that communication is vital to remaining focused on what is best for Mark.

Dr L explained more in depth regarding Mark's current situation and his near future. Under the wall of muscles that surround your abdomen, is a thick layer of connective tissue. It's job is to hold all the stringy muscle tissue together, therefore creating a decently strong wall to keep your intestines and other organs in their right place. This wall of connective tissue died as a result of Marks injuries. His muscles ripped against the grain, from the right front around to the back. How can stringy torn muscle tissue be sown back together with out that special adhesive layer? The answer is...not very well. For however long Mark's body decides, every time Mark stands or sits up, his muscles will tear, he will bleed internally and need blood like he did last night...3 more pints. As long as he stays laying down, his bowels will never begin to work and could continue to die from a lack of use. So, he must stand and spend his allotted time in 'The Chair' which causes new tears and more bleeding. Almost every day he will have a CT scan to check for "leakers" or "gushers." Leakers slowly heal themselves and Mark can always get a pint of blood to maintain that while it heals. Gushers, on the other hand, means a surgery and right back to square one. He is still not able to drink anything, or eat anything until this long process corrects itself. And THAT is just one issue. Lets remember that his back is broken, as is his foot and he has pneumonia and asthma.

What a walk in the woods.......Mark is scared, he has voiced that he feels his life is over. It is NOT over, but in reality, it will never be the same. Today, he stood up 2 times and sat in the chair for one hour. His morning blood test will determine if there is any new tearing. In time....just like myself, he will learn that their are people out there much worse off than he...and he will feel gratitude and contentment with what he has. But right now.......he is 24, you can only imagine what is going through his young mind.

I am lifted up and smiling today. I laughed and heard myself laughing and then I cried because it felt so good to be laughing...silly girl :)

I am embracing each one of you. Soaking up your words and packing them inside my heart. Each word allows me to take one step step at a time right through the middle of these woods. I love you * I cherish you * I thank you xo D


Anonymous Lady Paitner said...

I love you too. A candle is burning in front of my Bouddha for Mark...
And don't be ashamed that you smile or you laugh. This is making you stronger and fills you with positive energy. go !

12:50 AM  
Blogger Goddess of Leonie said...

sweetest darby,

your honesty, grace and rawness astound me and take my breath away.

big love to you and your family, and to mark.


12:53 AM  
Anonymous Sophie said...

We have a saying in Dutch, it translates to 'laughing is healthy'. And it is! So please laugh whenever you can. Laugh if you need to, cry if you need to. There is nothing silly about any of that :)

Hope you'll get some sleep. And if you need a listening friend, know that i'm just an e-mail away!

xoxo Sophie

12:55 AM  
Blogger gena said...

Oh believe that you will walk out of those woods with Mark, dear Darlene, I know it has been three weeks, but given the extent of marks injuries, three weeks is not that long honey, it is early days, the human body is amazing, Mark is amazing,its going to be ok,those childrens voices Mark hears? perhaps they are the many Angels we are all sending to help him. xxx

1:24 AM  
Blogger Libbys Blog said...

My goodness, so much change in so few days, like your friend who wrote the poem for you, even though I may not have been here for a few days does not mean I have not been thinking about you and your family. But how does he have strength to fight if he is not eating or drinking?
With you at all times!

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Annie Morris said...

Dearest Darlene,

Just a HUGE HUG for you and your husband. At least you have the innate wisdom to realise what caused the argument and how to 'fix' it.

I pray for you and your husbands' contibued strength and courage during this long battle.

Thank you for again gracing us with your thoughts. We are blessed to know you.

As always, praying for Mark, with Love from Down Under

2:00 AM  
Anonymous suzie Q said...

Bless you, Darlene, we all love, cherish & thank you, too. ~*~ Your beautifully honest posting here is an inspiration to us all, I'm sure.

It's no wonder that you & hubby felt the need to raise your voices, and at least the two of you can talk it over afterwards and realise that it's the situation that you are angry with, not each other. Bless you both, no one knows what this is doing to you.

I hope Jay takes some comfort from knowing that we are all here for you, every step of the way, and that he has someone that he can talk to, let it all out... it seems harder for men to do that still, even in these modern times. (some) Men of our generation still keenly feel the need to protect their family, and it must be so frustrating for him to feel so helpless, unable to 'fix' this situation for any of you.

So glad to know that you've been laughing. It will heal you, faster than any medicine! :)

Sending smiles, and hugs, and love, and healing energy. To Mark, and all of you.

Suze xXx

2:11 AM  
Blogger Angelfeet said...

Thinking of Mark and you and your family every day, from the UK.

2:13 AM  
Blogger gerry rosser said...

Testiness can happen under stress, don't beat yourself up over it.

Still here, still with the warm thoughts.

2:24 AM  
Blogger Julie H said...

Just stopping by to let you know that I am still here, still praying, still believing.

2:30 AM  
Anonymous amy said...

i know i've shared this observation before but your honesty, courage and the beauty of your words continues to amaze me.

your family's awareness of the need to communicate and focus is further evidence of the lovely strength each of you possess.

hope some good healing happens over the course of this week.

best wishes


2:38 AM  
Blogger Cape Cod Kitty said...

Ah, Darlene, the letting off of steam between you and your husband is predictable in a situation such as yours. It is a safe place to let out emotions. You have nurtured that safe place when you built your loving partnership. It's Ok to use it now as a haven in which to release the impact of the emotions you have all been holding in.
I love knowing you laughed! After my brother's horrendous accident in the mid- '70's, I swear we all survived by gathering around his hospital bed watching Saturday Night Live. We would have "parties" in the room centered around that event. It was such a relief to laugh and focus on something else for a bit. We all still talk about those memories.
Love and courage to all of you.
Wishing you awareness of each bit of progress and for sunshine to bring beautiful light through the treetops upon Mark and all of you. The woods can be a beautiful place.
Cape Cod Kitty

2:49 AM  
Blogger EmergingCrone said...

Thinking of you and Mark and your family...

Please allow yourself a little leeway to be human, to lose your temper, to have needs of your own... so that you can continue to provide the incredible support you are giving.


2:56 AM  
Blogger Shaz said...

Sweet girl,
Tears still flow
smiles still appear
our love never wavers
Your strength is a glow
his body tries to heal
our faith continues to soar

it is your beautiful boy
Our hearts he did steal


3:07 AM  
Anonymous Paris Parfait said...

Who was it that said laughter is the best medicine? In any event, glad you found some happy moments of release. And you, your family and Mark will walk out of the woods in time. I just hope Mark can eat something soon to increase his strength to fight. He is very much in my thoughts and prayers.

3:22 AM  
Blogger magicaldamselfly said...

Laughter will feed your soul and keep you strong and positive, it will take a lot of both to see Mark through in the long haul so laugh! Laugh to stay positive, laugh to regain strength, laugh, laugh and then laugh some more.
We are here for you, for your tears as well as for your laughter, you are loved.

Angels on your pillow Mark, angels all around you.


4:12 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

What an amazing family you are!
You just keep taking those baby steps, even when you stub you toe a little.

4:17 AM  
Anonymous Kim in IN said...

Just sending love and peaceful thoughts today......thoughts that will keep you on the path........

4:28 AM  
Blogger ~NanCourt~ said...

Love, good thoughts, and prayers for you all.
I wish I lived there. I am an RN and I would come "spell" you and help tend to your sweet son. I can't do that so will offer you heart felt support through prayer.
Please stay strong and just know there are many people lifting you up and praying for Mark's continued strength and healing.
Please tell Mark he has a huge cheering section and that we all believe in him. Even on those days is seems too big a mountain to climb, we believe in him and he is an inspiration to us all.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Candy said...

You incredible honesty here is humbling. The gift you give us each time you post is miraculous. That you can even do such a thing as post is beyond my imaginings. You are strong and courageous and God is very obviously at your side - and Mark's. Thank you for this gift and all the others. I pray for blessings to pour out over each of you today as you hold each other up.

5:25 AM  
Blogger angela said...

You really are very wise.
Love and hugs,

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Erin from Boston said...

I know that they are cliches, but cliches have truth in them. The first is: Time heals all wounds. Tell Mark to be patient if he can. The biggest gift he can give himself right now is time. Nature will do the rest. Life will happen. I think of Mt. Saint Helen's. When it last erupted the entire forest and all life around it for miles was destroyed. Turned to ash. Now you would never know. It is a lush green place again. It healed and so will Mark. The second one is: There is no benefit from "what ifs" we can only go from where we stand. Try not to beat yourself up for not doing things differently before the accident. There was no way you could have known what was going to happen. The only thing you can do is stand where you are and work forward from there. You and your family are amazing people and I know that you will come out stronger and even more loving from this. Three weeks is a great accomplishment for someone the doctors are saying shouldn't have lived. My thoughts and love are with you.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Jerri said...

I've been sitting with my fingers on the keys for long minutes now, searching for something comforting to say.

It's beyond me. All I can do is send deep, sincere intentions for love and peace and healing. And pray. Always, I pray for each of you.

6:31 AM  
Anonymous mindy said...

you are so brave in these big and scarey woods darlene, i'm in awe of the depth and breath of your heart and spirit...i leave you with my love and my words as a breadcrumb in the long trail that will help lead you all safely out of the woods and into the sunlight. i can't wait to meet you and embrace you there. we're all here waiting for you, sweet one...however long it takes. xoxo

6:35 AM  
Blogger Chulita said...

Oh Darlene, you don't cease to amaze me....your insight si so healing. Thank you for sharing your most deepest thoughts with us. Still sending prayers and love your way.


6:37 AM  
Blogger Shari said...

I don't know what to add to this wonderful group of comments that hasn't already been typed with words of encouragement, compassion, and love.

My heart goes out to you and your family. Take care of yourself and stay healthy, your husband, too.

It's a rough road, but it should smooth out soon.

And laugh all you want. I always believe it is therapeutic and healing-not to mention stress-buster. It's good to hear that you are laughing.

Sending prayers from Wisconsin.

6:48 AM  
Blogger The Whole Self said...

your ability to process everything so completely and beautifully (despite the horror) and then on top of that be able to write it down astounds me.

still sending all the love, for you and your boy.

7:04 AM  
Blogger windyangel said...

Oh Darlene, How wonderful to hear your laughter. How wonderful to know that you and Jay are "human beans" too. I think we were forgetting that part. You seemed to both be so strong and beyond failings. But of course. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Mark - ah, what can I say? Though he says it's over he keeps trying. This is proof of how strong and important family is. It speaks to faith. It goes to show the power of prayer. It speaks to miracles.
Though Mark is alive he will be going through the nasty grieving process. It may take a very long time. Each step of the grieving process will bring pain, pain of a different kind. But you know this. You know this because of your lupus.
His anger - I can't imagine the weight of it for him. But as you stand beside him and ask him to look into your eyes hopefully a tiny grain of the anger drains away. With every tear that is cried hopefully yet more of it is washed away. Anger is a horrible beast yet maybe to some tiny extent it is energizing Mark. I pray that you will be able to help him work through it. Eventually, maybe eons away, he may get to that place that you are at in dealing with the anger, in seeing anger as you see it.
Darlene, you mentioned about Mark talking of children. Most certainly he is feeling as a child because of being so helpless now. I think I would encourage Mark to watch for the children as it sounds like he has already been trying. Our daughter had a seizure in Nov. One night a few weeks after that she asked me to leave the lights on in her room for a bit so she could see the angels. She's 15 years old. I've no idea why Mark is seeing children but I personally feel it is positive. Maybe he is looking to a more gentle side of himself?
May the angels be with you. Holding each of you in thought and prayer throughout my day.
Huge hugs,

7:08 AM  
Blogger bb said...

hello silly girl :-) you use that laughter and those smiles when you can find them. sending love to you, still thinking of you all x x x

7:28 AM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

Continued love and support your way--he is continuing to fight the good fight...I am continuing to feel inspired by the fragility of it all and how this situation reminds me to love others as much as I can NOW. I hope the blood test results today are positive ones. Hang in there, you and your family are fighting through this right along with him!
Love, D.

7:28 AM  
Blogger bronxbt said...

darlene, in order to continue to stand tall in this dire situation, you must be able to take a moment for yourself, sit back, and admire what's been accomplished.

the human body is incredibly fragile, yesh - but it's also incredibly resiliant. it can bounce back from many things that would surprise even the best doctor's and "modern science."

i'm proud of you. proud of mark, proud of your entire family.

most important, it's okay to fight, to argue to vent. get those emotions wrestled out and never internalize.

we love you, we are all standing by...

7:32 AM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

Dear Darlene, the tears are seeping from my eyes, and I do not want to stop them.

I am so in awe of the strength of character you and your family are showing through this ordeal.

Operating from grumpy is indeed about self and not about anyone else. That is an important lesson I needed to learn. The fact that you and your husband were able to recognize that is another testament to your unique, loving relationship. I can only hope to emulate your strength and perspicacity.

So, as usual, there will be even more love and positive energy sent your way.

Thank you for the "payback" on that. We can only wonder at how you do it.

Please give Mark, and the rest of the family hugs of love. I, like the rest of your newfound blogger friends, am inspired daily by your reports.

7:39 AM  
Blogger bee said...

you are amazing. so is mark, and so is your husband, and so is angela, and so are boho girl and boy...for being the family i know you are...

much hugs, much love.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

"Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light."
-Helen Keller

We are all here for you, and we know that you're strong enough for this battle. I'm sending so much love to you and your family, and a serious amount of strength to that gorgeous boy.

I love you, Darlene!

7:48 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Checking in with you everyday and we pray and pray some more for you and your family !!!!

8:01 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

Fighting, making up, laughter, tears....all of those are forms of release and that's a good thing. It's a necessary thing. Sending much love and good thoughts your way, sweet one~~~~~

8:13 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

Aww, good Lord. That just sound awful! That poor guy, I just can't believe it! I really can't believe he crawled out of that car, like he did. Wow.

We are thinking and praying for Mark everyday, in our family. But we know he has such a long road ahead of him...I pray he realizes how strong and brave he is, too. It must just seem too much, to him. Hard to beleive...So we will all keep believing for him, until he can.

You need to laugh! You are not silly. ;) Seek out laughter, and raise your vibration. I am serious!(Now, who is th esilly girl?) I hope much laughter for you today and days to come, dear Darlene.


8:16 AM  
Blogger Jane said...

A beautiful posting. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Turquoise CRO said...

What can I say that hasn't already been said so beautifully, so just know that we are in those woods with you,Darlene, with our prayers, and good sweet thoughts and healing energies, in those woods are tiny little flowers of beauty(Mark's sweet little children, a kind nurse with a hug,a smile, the sound of laughter)I'm GLAD Jay and you made up! but I can imagine how grumpy I would be now! I would be an old BEAR((make that GRRRRR into Great!Grateful to have each other!) by now in those woods! Love and prayers for HEALING((((Mark)))) and Thank GOD for Doctors and nurses! Try and get some deep sleep rest Darlene! xooxoxo, Cinda

8:36 AM  
Blogger Blue the Spa Girl said...

My heart goes out to both of you.
Poor Mark, when he comes out of this, scars or not he will have a greater vision for the value of life.
Sending love.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

Dearest Darlene- continuing to remain strong will be the greatest challenge for you as a family- for yourselves and Mark.
I remember thinking when my dad was so sick in the hospital just awful things like where was the rest of my family, they should be here, I feel unsupported, don't they care about daddy... of course they did, but the biggest thing for me was to understand that everyone goes through their grieving process differently. I couldn't expect them to react like me and vice versa. Once that was settled, we could all help the best we could- both daddy and each other.
I am hoping and praying that laughter once again comes easily to you, that your courage remains strong and that you and your family know how much all of us love you and Mark...
God bless.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Dear Darlene,

I'm so glad that you and Jay are feeling connected as a team and that you can share the pure humanity of your stresses in a moment like this.

Many prayers and strong wishes for Mark's continued healing.


9:09 AM  
Blogger Pam Aries said...

I came by to see how things are going. THis whole ordeal is so unbelievable! My heart breaks for you all. I do not have children and cannot remotely imagine how you feel. Please know that I pray for you and your son Mark !

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Came by to check on things and sometimes I just don't know what to say that would be inspiring or comforting. Today is one of those days...Just keeping the prayers going and sending hugs your way.

love, sandy (dd)

10:06 AM  
Blogger a m y said...

I'm sending you lots of love, and Mark, too. Life will never be the same; however, there will be blessings because of this trial, I am sure of that.


10:07 AM  
Blogger hepmomto3 said...

Continued love...continued prayers...I have a candle on my blog and a candle at home. Thinking of you all daily Darlene and praying for continued strength and healing.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Teresa Sheeley said...

Still here praying and thinking of you and mark and your whole family.

Much Love


10:22 AM  
Blogger LEstes65 said...

Oh my goodness. Yesterday's sermon was about the long haul. And our pastor mentioned marriages, parenting, indivual health. It was amazing. I kept thinking of you guys. Last night, I sat down and tried to grasp some of the things he had said that rang in my head - tried to grab one to send to you. But it didn't work. And here you are talking about the long haul in your posting. You're amazing and God is showing me some amazing links in our world. It feels like, in this little "wow" in my head, God is showing me he's got you.

I'm glad you laughed. I'll pray for more of that for you.

Love to you.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Trish Ryan said...

Oh honey, please keep laughing. There's that corny saying about how it's the best medicine, and the truth is that things like that become corny sayings because they're true. And laughter, for your family, is a way of fighting back, of staking your claim that you are LIVING rather than dying.

We stand in agreement with you for Mark's life - for miraculous healing, strength beyond what should be possible, and a joy-filled future. God knows the plans he has for Mark - and for you and your husband and your entire family. And they're good plans :)

Bless you!!!
Much love,

11:07 AM  
Blogger amy said...

We'll be praying for no more tears in those muscles! And more opportunities for the "team' to chat and be together. How can a person remain calm through something like this? I'm glad you laughed yourself into crying. Sometimes I have to watch a completely absurd movie to let go like that.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Gracey said...

You write with such elegance because it is from your heart. You have had so many tears these past few week, it's good for your soul and mind that you laugh when you can even in hard times like these.

Poor Mark, I'm around his age being two years older than him, and if I was in that situation, I can see how he feels like his life is over. Keep encouraging him that he has so much to live for and to keep pressing on.

I don't know you or your family but each time I read your updates, I feel like I'm getting just a bit closer to knowing you.

Keep hanging in there....bring your smiles and laughter to Mark's room even when he doesn't want it. Your laughter and smiles will do him so much good!

11:56 AM  
Blogger Sheila said...

Laughter is the best is a release, like crying.
So is a spat..move on and know that there will be many days ahead that you won't know whether to laugh or cry.
Who says you have to be brave, you have to let go your anger too. And don't we always take it out on those closest to us?
Patience is a difficult thing to find in a situation like this, and it will be needed for so many things.
You were all injured that night not just Mark.

12:00 PM  
Blogger deirdre said...

Everything you feel is so much a part of this process. Laughter is good - it keeps your heart open. The tiredness and crankiness are also part of the experience. Listen to those feelings. They tell you when to rest, when to take a few minutes for yourself. Even though Mark is the patient, this is also about you, as a mother, as a support person. You can't give when you're too tired. And I know, first hand, how silly it sounds to be encouraged to take care of yourself. I also know how vital it is. I'm still with you.

1:41 PM  
Blogger deni said...

HUGS and prayers!

3:27 PM  
Blogger Dotee said...


You write so beautifully and articulately about what you are experiencing. I admire and love you and send you continued love and support.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Mairsy said...

My thoughts and prayers are with your son Mark and your whole family.... at the moment it probably feels like a cycle of disappointment that won't be broken. Have faith and remember that you can smile and laugh and that he will recover and be a stronger person for his horrible ordeal.
Sending you positive love and vibes across the seas !!

x Mairsy

4:38 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

So glad you were able to find release in a moment's laughter. The tension you all are feeling must be so unbearably heavy. I hope you find some reason to smile and laugh as often as you can :)

6:01 PM  
Anonymous glo said...

And we cherish YOU for being so raw and honest with us in this most difficult time. Tell Mark that he has an army of people praying for him...sending positive vibes...that we can't wait til the day when he can sit at the computer to read all of this that came from people from all walks of life that have joined here in the name of human connection and most importantly...LOVE. Mark, you have a wonderful Mama and are all going to get thru this and come out of it stronger than ever. Sending big hugs ((((((MARK)))))))) (((((DARLENE))))))) God bless xo glo

7:09 PM  
Blogger Vesper said...

love you, too, D! and so happy to hear that you laughed! that made me smile!

thinking about you and praying for you and Mark lots! xo

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Dee said...

Darlene, you validate your humanness with the fight you and your husband had and subsequently made up. It was probably a fresh rain to relieve the tension after these 3 weeks. So glad you shared your smiles and laughter today. It truly will heal your heart and help you keep going.

Mark is fortunate to have the family support he has from you all. He has to get better.

More prayers for all of you.


9:19 PM  
Anonymous holli said...

I second what Gena said - one of my family members was near death and she heard the children's voices.. I truly believe they were angels - she made it out of the woods.

I don't know what to say except I will keep checking back, hoping and praying. And as a mother, I can't imagine the strain even 21 days has put on you. I've seen it on family and friends. Please get rest, stay strong so you can help Mark.

You don't know me but my thoughts are with your family.

10:17 PM  

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