“Small Things Are Mighty Blessings”

October 25, 2014

Janet Sack writes on October 25, 2014:

So, what would a Saturday afternoon be if you weren’t reading an update about the hospital stay that never seems to end? Yes, we are 4+ weeks into Bruce’s hospital stay and are definitely here until Monday. I’m praying a release day will be somewhere between Monday but before a Biblical 40 which would be around Nov. 3rd!

Our delay this week has been all about the feeding tube. After having the 2nd tube removed earlier this week and the infected area treated with antibiotics and left to close on its own we are celebrating that he was cleared for solid foods and there is no longer a need for any type of feeding assistance. However, until the incision area is closed and healed, he is not allowed to eat. (He is like a play-doh machine if he tries right now) Despite the on again / off again feeding issues and being hydrated now with only iv fluids Bruce’s physical strength and stamina returns little by little each day.

So many have asked us how we are “surviving”. It’s quite easy to answer, we are leaning on our Heavenly Father and we are sustained by the prayers and support of our family and friends. It’s in the ability of God opening our eyes to appreciate the small things as mighty blessings along the way. For example,
…the hugs the nurses give us as we face the ups and downs in each moment
…the determination of all the hospital staff to have Bruce strong and healthy
…it’s in the laughter of our 11 year old, that after living for 4 weeks out of a duffle bag, she and I faced an overnight stay in Tallahassee with just a few items in a Walmart bag, and yet we had all we needed
…it’s in the conversations with diners during late night Waffle House visits (shh, don’t tell my mother)
…it’s in the incredible amount of phone calls, text messages, Facebook posts and cards that are sent to encourage us
…it’s in the rekindling of relationships of family and friends after years of lost contact
…it’s in the financial gifts that have provided the fuel and food to sustain us in our travels to / from Tallahassee
..it’s in the unexpected donation of hotel points to allow us to stay in Tallahassee for several days shortening our daily 4 hours of travel
…it’s in an unexpected visit by our Best Man, Mark Russell when we most needed the encouragement to persevere through the challenges of this week
…and it’s been in the ability to cling to God’s word as we press on…

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

So, we rest tonight, knowing that the Lord is our shepherd in this never-ending hospital journey and we are joyful to have our souls refreshed as we rest beside. We are praying with thanks and gratitude for all that our prayer warriors have meant for us in this long journey.

Brother Bruce Gets Very Bad Infection

October 21, 2014

Janet Sacks writes Tuesday, October 21, 2014:

I know many have asked for an update on Bruce. It seems as soon as I’m ready to post something changes in his care and the posts become irrelevant. Our word of encouragement this weekend was perseverance. We will win this race in Gods great timing.

Part of the discharge protocol to move him to rehab was to insert a peg feeding tube so he could be supplemented and have meds administered. The procedure to insert the tube was last wed. By the time Bruce could prove he could handle it, it was too late to find a rehab location and nothing happens over a weekend. Since the weekend he has developed an infection with the peg tube “none like I’ve seen” says the doctors. So, they have shut it down for two days, are administering antibiotics (he just finished the round from pneumonia) and in my best calculations, figure it will be to late to move him to rehab anytime this week. Over the weekend the peg tube feeding caused him to aspirate, so there are no oral feedings occurring either.

I could moan and groan about the necessity of this feeding tube to begin with and the path as to how we got here now, but I certainly will not. Bruce has been a real trooper through all this and gave me the words of encouragement as this setback unfolded yesterday.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

So for our mighty prayer warriors, family and friends, we ask that you cling to the Lord’s promises as well because the Sack family really is: Joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer and we trust that all of you will be as well.

Pastor To Be Released From Hospital Next Week

October 11, 2014

Janet Sack writes on Saturday, October 11, 2014:

This week I have relied on family members to provide updates, simply because, well…. we are exhausted. I believe all of the Sack’s, near and far, have realized the emotional and physical stamina in takes to pray Bruce through 3 brain surgeries within 2 weeks. Though, we are ready to claim exhaustion, we are still proclaiming God’s incredible work in our family this week.

Bruce, is still in ICU, but in the step-down unit, ever so ready to go home. However, his body isn’t quite ready to, as he is in the midst of recovering from a bout of pneumonia that set in after the last round of anesthesia. The goal is to go home “next week” and so we relish in the idea that as we finish out this Saturday evening, “next week” comes within a few hours!

The surgeon has declared the fistula surgeries a success. He was able to close off all of the large arteries feeding into the vein. The ones that remain are too small to touch! Praise God! Bruce endured 4 surgeries on the fistula within 2 months. Ideally those 4 surgeries would have been scattered over a period of 1 every 6 months. Two Years work within 2 months – whew! For each surgery Bruce received a band aid on each leg. Thank You God for leading medical providers into the research and work it takes to develop such amazing healing techniques.

So tonight, as we once again rest before Sunday morning worship, I ask that you continue to lift each of the Sack’s up in prayer for continued strength to endure the works he has called us to:

For family, far from the hospital who wish they could be here for us and with us and have to rely on calls for updates

For David, who has been a strong big brother and has blessed us by being the son responsible for running the “house” while keeping up with his own schoolwork

For Emily, who has been a shoulder to cry on, and who has cried on many of the nurses shoulders herself, who’s working double shifts this weekend while keeping up with her VSU classes

For Elizabeth who has boldly claimed her testimony in her many hours sitting in the ICU waiting room sharing her story with other families and who now faces a cold and sore throat. (and which her mom is desperately trying not to catch, but losing the fight)

For Bruce, who has amazingly undergone 4 brain surgeries and is now “patiently” waiting the rest his body needs before being released from the hospital. And who continues to wait for the iv fluids to diminish the blood clot.

Isaiah 40:29-31
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Though we have cause to be weary and weak, today, more than ever our hope IS in the Lord and we WILL not grow weary or be faint. Rejoicing in the miracles of healing that we have witnessed over these few weeks. Our God is Mighty! Thank you prayer warriors for investing your time and energy on the Georgia Sack family!

Today’s Surgery Rescheduled for Tomorrow

October 6, 2014

Janet Sacks writes Monday, October 6, 2014:

Did you know that brain surgery comes in a box? I pray that unless you are a healthcare worker you never have to experience or see what I call “brain surgery in a box.”

Our planned quiet weekend was filled with ups and downs as God’s amazing hand rested upon us.
Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)
In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.

And while it’s a long story to share this evening, I will share that it was truly a miracle when the “brain surgery box” was removed from his ICU room, UNUSED and “amazingly” not needed! While our amazing prayer partners covered this crisis in prayer, as a family, The Sack’s understand why there were “strange” reasons, as the nurses called it, that Bruce did not need an emergency temporary drain. It was not necessary in God’s plan for Bruce’s healing! Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

As the waiting continues tonight for what should have been the final surgery today ……so does the expectation that God’s healing miracles are continuing. Sure we are disappointed the surgery did not occur today and that we could report on our recovery progress this evening. But I believe that today’s scheduled surgery was our plan and not the Lord’s – because there is yet another long story about why the surgery had to be rescheduled for 8am tomorrow – and yes, it’s an explanation totally out of our control!

So tonight, like this weekend, we wait. But tonight our waiting isn’t for the clock to slowly count off the hours until tomorrow morning – our waiting is with expectation and hope and assurance that our God has something incredible in store for us. And honestly, I can’t wait until tomorrow to see what that is – but I will……

The Day After Surgery

October 3, 2014

Janet Sack writes Friday, October 3, 2014:

So now we wait…. Yesterday’s surgery wasn’t enough to send Bruce leaping and jumping for joy — just yet.

This weekend he will continue to wait and rest in ICU where he will be closely monitored. We wait for Monday when he will undergo another embolization on the fistula. And we continue to wait for the Iv meds to work on the blood clot.

So as we wait, and as we continue to hear stories of how all this “stuff” going on in Bruce’s head seems medically impossible, we continue to believe and witness how our God makes ALL things possible and we wait for His perfect timing in the healing process.

Mark 10:27. Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Rev. Bruce Sack Health Update

October 2, 2014

Janet Sack writes Thursday, October 2, 2014:

Bruce Sack is now out of surgery and resting comfortably in icu. The surgeon is pleased with the amount of work he was able to complete on the fistula — but the work is not done. The goal is to conquer this fistula. With that said — Bruce will remain in the hospital until they schedule him for another embolization next Monday or Wednesday. In the meantime he will remain on meds to work on the blood clot.

Prayer warriors – we see your work in action. We see it in the hunches and promptings the medical team is following even though they aren’t exactly sure why (we know why!). We see it in the way Bruce is resting more comfortably this afternoon compared to the previous few days. We see it through the loved ones both near and far who are meeting our needs in so many ways.

So for now – we all are seeking rest this early evening as we praise God For this incredible step forward in the healing process and as we prepare for the next step in the road to recovery.

Surgery Scheduled for Tomorrow for Rev. Bruce Sack

October 1, 2014

Janet Sack writes on Wednesday, October 1, 2014:

This time last week as Bruce settled into ICU, little did we know what this past week would hold. As we waited anxiously to hear the unexpected news of a blood clot lodged into the vein and the fistula growing larger on the only other vein we knew we were facing a challenge. The surgery last Thursday to work on the fistula brought some immediate relief, and the challenge over the past week has been to “rest” comfortably in ICU to allow the IV meds to work on the blood clot while Bruce’s body flushes out the toxins from last weeks surgery.

Today we wait patiently, and a little more comfortably in the step down ICU unit for the surgery scheduled tomorrow. The surgeon is hoping that Bruce will be able to tolerate a longer surgery procedure tomorrow so he can coil many of the arteries feeding into the fistula. In July, the procedure lasted 6 hours. Last week it took 2 hours to work on the largest artery in the fistula.

I will be the first to admit it has been a difficult week. It hurts to see a loved one suffering physically, it’s difficult to disrupt “normal” schedules and routines and adjust to different constantly changing circumstances and situations. And when I’m trying to bask in my own pity party it’s God who opens my eyes to see the world outside. My heart turns and breaks to see other families lives changed forever as their loved ones are brought into the ICU of a hospital. But I will be the first to admit that it has been totally amazing watching and experiencing just how good our Powerful God can be.

As I travel to/from Tallahassee from Valdosta, I love to crank up the music and spend time worshipping the Lord. I have loved many of the songs by Mandisa, but this week, the song “He Is With You” has carried me through many tears…the lyrics ring so true….

And He is with you in the ICU
When the doctors don’t know that to do
And it scares you to the core
He is with you

We may weep for a time
But joy will come in the morning
The morning light
God IS with us in this journey, God IS with us in the ICU, God IS with the surgeon as he consults with peers around the country to know what to do, God IS with us when we are scared, and God IS with us when Joy comes in the morning.

He has covered Bruce with His Mighty healing comforting power, and we know He will continue to be with him throughout this trial. He has reined promise after promise over us as we pray, question, ponder and experience step by step this journey of physical healing. When we need comfort He provides it, when we need Hope He affirms it, when we need rest, He holds out His arms to rest in. God IS with us!

So in this time of waiting patiently, our impatient patient and I are filled with peace, hope and joy. Not that we are taking the physical situation of Bruce’s condition lightly, but because, we know without a doubt, that because of the severity of the situation, we have the Great Physician and Healer covering us and providing for us and building us up as we claim His victory over this battle and as we continue as a family to say “yes” to being His servants in this world of lost and hurting people.

So, mighty prayer warriors, I continue to ask for your prayers as we continue in this journey and as we draw nearer to the surgery tomorrow – praying with confidence that His Will be done.