The room is in darkness, a yellow glow from the oxygen concentrator’s panel and the orange column of the electric heater offer a bit of light, with the light from the door showing two sleeping figures. Sheba in the far bed and Mum in the middle one, deep in sleep (even though dog is barking noisily below our window) thanks in part to one of her new medicines (and lots of your prayers).
We have crossed into March for which we are very grateful and have now completed a week at Landour Community Hospital. Mum continues a process of restoration. We are so glad that she was so sharp mentally today. She recognised visitors, asked about their children, made jokes, prayed, cried, received a few short phone calls (including from Premila). A number of times Mum expressed just how grateful she was that she was being cared for by the extended family. We see all of this as evidence of deep grace.
Just 72 hours ago Mum’s condition was so touch-and-go… today she ate oats in the morning (and shared an egg-bujia toast from our breakfast), drank a mid-morning juice, had a few grapes, had rice, dal and veggies pureed with fresh squeezed orange juice for lunch, ate a whole ice-cream cone in the afternoon, and a special vegetable curry for dinner made by Neeru. We were actually able to lift her out of the bed this morning and sit her in a chair for some minutes in the morning as the sun streamed in the windows. Then in the afternoon we did the same thing – only this time in a wheel chair and took her outside into the sun for some time. All of this, plus a steady stream of visitors, meant that Mum was tired at the end of the day – but we did saw very little of the drifting in and out of sleep / consciousness that had been the norm earlier.
Mum is still very tired and needs rest and recuperation. And yet she is deeply touched when people come to visit. How to tell people not to come? So many are dear ones who have been blessed with her, or who have stood by her so much in the past. Hospital staff pop in and ask her in Hindi “how are you doing Aunty?” She normally does not respond with the expected “I am fine,” instead Mum says “I am getting better.” Today she cried a number of times as she interacted with visitors. We had many prayer sessions in this room of ours are LCH – thank our dear Jesus for His on-going mercies.
We have been having the first conversations around her remembering the traumatic experience of her falls and the emergency steps taken. Mum told us that she remembered feeling so alone, lying in the bed in a pool of blood, waiting for someone to come, calling out to God for help. And seeing the expression on Vickey’s face when he arrived. And the room soon filling up with men who took her up to Sisters Bazaar. Of seeing the trees and sky as she was being carried in a stretcher. Of the crowd waiting at the top, reminding her of Dad’s last trip up the hill. “I thought that this meant I will die” said Mum to us today. Well, Mum is still alive, but the challenges of processing these hard days will take much time. Your prayers are cherished for Mum as she works through these issues.
We also have to remember that at this point Mum is functionally paralysed. She has very little ability to use her right arm and leg, and limited functionality in the left set. Mum faces that deep challenge of being cared for in all her activities of daily living. Our next steps for her… are to see that she can take steps. And that is likely to take…. Weeks? Months? We really don’t know as we have not gone through this before. Please focus your prayers on bringing functionality back. So that she can get out of bed, walk around, make herself a cup of coffee, read her Bible up in the prayer room etc. Currently all she can do is lie in bed and has to have others do almost everything for her. This is an incredibly hard situation to be in, especially for a tough, thin German lady who used to do an hour walk everyday up and down her beloved hillside in Landour. Please pray for Mum as she begins to realise her current situation. She said yesterday that she feels like a ‘dead fish.’ Pray for restoration of strength, patience and perseverance to help her in each small increment of rehabilitation, and for hope and joy to pull her through.
Amazingly, we will be reaching the end of Mum’s hospital care in a day or two. Her courses of antibiotics are coming to an end. Her sutures have been removed. She is due off oxygen any day now. The question of where Mum should be for her next stage, one of rehabilitation is looming large. Please pray for us as we examine the possibility of her being cared for at Shanti Kunj, as well as the other option of her coming with Sheba and myself to Asha Kiran Hospital (which would include a mind-boggling journey across our beloved land). We all yearn to hear from God what He said through His prophet Isaiah: ”And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30.21a).
Thank you again for walking along with us on this road.
- Andi and Sheba Eicher (on behalf of Eichers everywhere)