Your prayers have brought my brother so far in the last few days. Every email, every comment posted on this blog is being saved for him to read and it is keeping his spirits lifted. We received more good news Tuesday. Doug's heart rate is now where it should be--around 93 beats per minute. That's a dramatic decline from the 138 bpm last Friday. The weening him off the heart medications is going very well. However, he is continuing to keep fluid on his lungs and around his heart. The doctors have now limited his fluid intake and are hoping to concentrate on the fluid that remains near those organs. If the fluid doesn't come off soon, Doug will risk going into congestive heart failure. Assuming he continues progressing today, he will likely have the heart defibrillator surgery Thursday.
A farmer in Clarksdale (20 minutes away from my hometown) heard of Doug's situation and called my father. This farmer offered to handle any work related to our family farm while Doug is in the hospital. What a blessing! As you know, we have received over 6 inches of rain in July--far too much. Most of this rain has come in the last 7 days. It turns out there is no farming that can be done anyway, so this would be considered 'down time' until the land dries. Although we have complained about the rain in some respects, we are seeing this as a blessing as it seems to have come just at the same time that Doug is recovering. This is time he is not losing as a farmer.
One thing I've learned over the last few months: Prayer is asking for rain; Faith is carrying an umbrella when there is no rain in the forecast. Doug has been given a grim forecast by the doctors, but we are carrying an umbrella of faith. God loves to see our faith lived out.
So today, we are praying specifically for the fluid around Doug's heart and lungs to come off. We are also praying the surgery can take place tomorrow and that he continues to improve.
"And this small and temporary trouble I suffer will bring me a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble. For I fix my attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannont be seen lasts forever." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18