Shed A Tear And Sticking His Tongue Out

January 24, 2015

Calendar dates and days of the week have become a blur over the past few weeks – but I’m always reminded when Saturday comes around because I have many mention they can’t wait for my update on Bruce – and since those reminders came this morning, I suppose it’s time for a Sack Family Saturday Update!

The Georgia Sack 5 have been blessed this week with PA Sack Family members arriving in Tallahassee to be as they say, “boots on the ground” for us. Although Elizabeth pointed out that none of them actually had boots on when they stepped off the airplanes! Regardless, it has been an incredible blessing to have family literally standing non-stop around Bruce’s bedside while Elizabeth and I steal away for a few minutes at a time.

While immediate family members have made their way, or are making their way into Tallahassee as I write, I would be remiss to say a HUGE thank you for all of our faithful family and friends who have blessed us in so many ways – we have had laundry pickup and delivery at the hotel, we’ve had meals delivered, we’ve had gift cards for incidentals, and we’ve had so many of you reaching into their network of friends to meet our needs in so many other ways, not to mention the non-stop encouragement through visits, cards and messages . Elizabeth and I have been home once since Dec. 28th, and prayers and plans are in the works to find a home for us to stay in while we continue to stay by Bruce’s bedside in Tallahassee. This would eliminate the costly hotel stays and/or runs to and from the apartment in Valdosta. So I praise God this morning as those plans continue to unfold in the way He desires them.

While all this has been happening out in the world, Bruce has been continuing to perfect his role as Sleeping Beauty. This week they placed the trach and PEG feeding tube without any incidents. They discontinued the constant EEG monitoring. While he did develop an infection, he is persevering through that with antibiotics. More importantly they began taking him off the sedation meds. While a high dose for most people is 8mg, he was holding at 49mg / hour for numerous days. He is now reduced to a 1mg dose every 2 hours. Praise God! As they have reduced this med, and he weaned off the surgical anesthesia he began opening his eyes more and more and responding to the neurological checks (at this point reflexes as they pinch him). He shed a tear when his mother gave him a kiss for the first time yesterday and he stuck his tongue out when his 2 sisters told him he looked like his father! While it’s great to see his eyes opened, as a family, we know there is a very long road ahead before we understand where he is neurologically.

Over the next few days the decision will be made as to whether or not the “brain drain” needs to be replaced with a more permanent shunt. If/when that is done he will then most likely be moved to Select Specialty Acute Care Hospital in Tallahassee for weaning off the ventilator.

And so, on this Saturday morning, I continue to praise God for your continued prayers, for his healing that only the Great Physician could orchestrate and ask that you remain faithful as we approach the next few days .

Yesterday, in one of our break times, Elizabeth and I had a great discussion and prayer time in the hospital chapel. She asked the question, “tell me one time Mom when God has failed us?” She then encouraged me and reminded me that God never fails. As we were talking about the endurance and perseverance that was growing inside of us, sometimes against our own will, she said, “Are we going to look grumpy or are we going to go out into the world and show how our faith stands strong?”

So this morning, I ask each one of you, “Are you going to look grumpy today or are you going out into the world as an example to the hurting world how strong you stand in your faith in our Lord?” God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

As we continue today to hover over Bruce at his ICU bedside, we trust that you are showing to the world how strong your faith is.

Family From Pennsylvania Arriving

January 22, 2015

Janet Sack writes on January 21, 2015:

I have relied on family, Elaine Sack Gardner , especially, to post updates over the past few days. We have been blessed to have Bruce’s 2 of 3 sisters arrive from PA on Monday and stay with me and Bruce non-stop – supporting us, giving Elizabeth and I much needed breaks and most importantly praying over us non-stop, there is something to be said about having family nearby. His mother and brother arrive tomorrow.

Bruce’s treatment plan is moving forward. His sedation medicine has been reduced from 49mg to 24mg as of last night. Yesterday was the first day his eyes were opened in 10 days or so. His yawning was quite cute – he’s been sedated since the beginning of the year – sleepy boy!

Sometime this afternoon he will have a trach tube inserted and without the eeg wires on his head and the breathing and feeding tubes in his mouth and nose, he should be more comfortable as he continues to be weaned from the 5 seizure meds. Before he can be transferred out of the ICU he will need to have the “brain drain” replaced with a shunt. The discussion now is to have that in place on Monday.

Yes, as a family, we are walking through this with a big unknown – neurologically how will he really be when he wakes up from all these meds? That is a question, we can’t answer, the doctor’s really can’t answer with confidence and so, as a family, we stand with the confidence that the Great Physician, has the answer and in His timing will reveal His plans to Bruce and for Bruce. So, we continue to wait patiently, praying without ceasing, and with the confidence that Our Lord will never give up on Bruce and neither will we.

We continue to covet your prayers, fasting, and encouragement in the variety of ways you have all been faithful not only to the Sack Family but to our Heavenly Father.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Long Term Care Needed for Bruce

January 19, 2015

Elaine Sack Gardner, Bruce Sack’s sister writes:
Update on Bruce Sack. Janet and the rest of the family have basically been told by the doctors that there is nothing else that they can do since Bruce is not responding to their course of action. So we have met as a family and discussed with Janet what the next step should be. We are preparing Bruce for long term care since there is nothing else that can be done in ICU for him. Janet has asked for physical support surrounding her as she makes this decision and takes the next step. So very early this morning, I drove Barb and Ellen to the airport to catch their flight to FL and Mom and Stewart will be joining them on Thursday. I will be remaining in PA to be the contact family member for this situation. We have also as a family discussed seeking a wall of intercessory prayer warriors to surround the family and be in agreement in prayer regarding this situation. I have personally spoken to several of you already and as a family we have agreed to seek God for what He wants in this situation….cause its not about what we want. We are continuing to trust God for Bruce’s complete healing on this side. If you feel called to participate in this, please PM me and I can give you all the details. Thank you all for your continuing prayers and support.

Peaceful Feeling

January 17, 2015

Yesterday, while I was sitting in the ICU Emily called me and said, “Mom, I have had this peaceful feeling all day long. I love it!” I so totally concurred with her as I too sat with a peaceful feeling and watched Bruce sleeping with a decreased dosage of meds. It’s a peaceful feeling that continues today for all the Sacks and its that peaceful feeling that I know has given me the courage to stand boldly before the healthcare providers and proclaim that we have not given up on Bruce as this spiritual and physical battle rages.

While I believe that each one of us can obtain that “peaceful” feeling going before our Lord in prayer, I know that it’s been our faithful prayer warriors that have sustained us these past few days when all we could bring to Jesus were our tears and brokenness. So thank you for your continued outpouring of love on all the Sack family members , thank you for lifting us up in prayer, for visiting with us in the ICU, for your cards, notes, snacks, messages over social media and even for the love offerings that have come our way.

We are poised ready to persevere through this trial and stand boldly as we wait for the Great Physician to complete the work he has started in Bruce.

Thank you Jesus for providing us with such wonderful family and friends.

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. PHILIPPIANS 4 : 19, 6 – 7 (NKJV)

Do Not Be Discouraged

January 17, 2015

Joshua 1:5,9 niv

5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

This is where it becomes a statement of faith for the Sack’s. We sit in the hospital ICU watching the reaction to drs and nurses who have given up on Bruce, but we stand strong in our faith believing in God’s ultimate plan for Bruce.

As the drs begin to reduce the sedation meds and Bruce tolerates the change, we stand encouraged in God’s promises.

Earlier today, Bruce’s sister Barb stated our stance so eloquently: “When the medical community can do no more we realize that Jesus, our Great Physician, has been and is actively engaged in his care and restoration. We petition Him confidently and boldly to see Him fully manifest Bruce’s healing because His Word says that “By His wounds we ARE healed”

So, on behalf of Bruce, we covet your prayers in joining with us as we beseech the ultimate healing power of our Lord and Savior.

Peter Walking on the Water

January 15, 2015

Matthew 14:30
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me.”

It’s a windy / stormy time for the Sack family right now. Yesterday the doctors met with us to discuss our options going forward. What they had hoped would be a 48 hour sedation to stop the localized seizure has failed from their perspective after a week of trying. Bruce was taken to the maximum limits on 5 sedation / seizure meds and still continued to show signs of a seizure on the eeg. They have no idea, neurologically, where he will be when they begin to wake him up. So the future for his medical care really depends on what his needs and wishes would be in such a time as this.

There are no easy answers for the family on this, just like there are no easy answers for the medical providers. But, this morning, as this storm rages, we cannot be afraid, and we most certainly must not give up hope, we must continue keeping our eyes on Jesus, and like Peter as we get out of the boat and begin making some very hard decisions, we must not be afraid, lest we sink in this raging storm. I still believe that God is in control of all of this and so today, I ask for your prayers for miraculous healing in Bruce, and wisdom as the family joins in with the medical providers to make the decisions on healthcare going forward.

God’s Timing

January 13, 2015

Last year I learned that hospital time is not the same as regular people time and so I really shouldn’t be surprised or struggle with God’s timing, right? Because His timing isn’t necessarily like regular people time either. But I admit, I do struggle and have spent today buried in devotions and prayer time contemplating this concept.

What we thought would be a “simple” medical procedure has been extended in time. Last week numerous EEG’s showed seizures occurring on the right side of the brain. After consulting colleagues around the country, the neurologists thought it best to sedate him for “48 hours” to stop the seizure and then see if he would be more responsive after they woke him up. Well, simple procedures have a way of becoming quite complex with Bruce. Each day, since Wednesday evening, they have continued to increase the sedation medicine, trying to sustain longer periods on the EEG without seizures. The 48 hour clock would start once they felt the seizures have subsided. As of this Tuesday afternoon, we have not reached that point yet.

It’s been so easy to become discouraged in this process, I really, really want to get to the point of him waking up and knowing that he will be the same old Bruce, but I know we must trust that our Sleeping Beauty is resting and healing his body in God’s timing. For now, he continues to amaze healthcare providers who have never seen a patient on so much sedation medicine and then others who are up for the challenge and feel we are only at the half way point in the amount of sedation meds he could tolerate. I continue to hear comments that he is in really good shape, except for his head of course, and in the same breath, I hear many “I’m sorry’s.”

But today, I’m not going to stay discouraged. And as Emily reminded me, I am not going to let Satan claim any more of my tears. I am strong in the Lord, knowing that it is His timing and His plans for Bruce that have yet to be revealed. I thank God that there is this time of Bruce resting and sleeping (although I would have chosen a beach chair in Tahiti). I thank God for the medical providers who have hovered over him, baffled at times, but have not given up on him, either. I thank God that we continue to be supported by family and friends who provide shoulders to cry on, scriptures to rely on and encouraging words to lean on.

I ask that, tonight, as you are on your knees thanking God for all that He has provided for you today, that you lift Bruce up so that he really does rest well, seizure free so that total restoration and healing may continue in God’s special timing as we, the Sack’s will continue to wait patiently, knowing God’s timing and plan is perfect.

Habakkuk 2:3New Living Translation (NLT)
This vision is for a future time.
It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,
for it will surely take place.
It will not be delayed.