Making strides

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Updates at 8:55 pm by Libbie

Greetings, all.

Al is stronger each day, and more and more like his old self. Today when we saw him he was hankering for a cheesesteak, and we discovered that he’s been walking laps around the seventh floor! We walked a few laps with him, and I expected that he’d be going at a slow shuffle, but he steps right along. We barely had time to take in the art work we were passing. It’s good to see him making such marked strides forward.

He’s also been consistently his friendly self through this whole thing. He knows each nurse’s name (and the name of at least one of the janitors), how and why he/she got into nursing, and anything else of importance about them. In fact, in the ICU he surprised even me with one such case. The ICU nurse was trying to undo a particularly tight connection in one of the tubing units and jokingly complaining about the macho man in the O.R. who must have put it together, wishing she knew who he was so she could give him trouble for it. Al, who was still groggy andin and out of wakefulness, managed to mumble through his oxygen tube and his swollen lips, “His name is Mike.” She was surprised.Then sheasked what his last name was, which Al didn’t know, but he was able to tell her what area Mike lived in, and the name of the high school he had attended! Good grief! I would never have thought to ask an O.R. Nurse Anesthetist his name, much less what high school he’d gone to, and I certainly wouldn’t have remembered that information on the other side of brain surgery, but that’s Al for you. In the midst of this conversation, when she asked what Mike looked like, Al made us all laugh by providing the helpful information that “he was wearing green scrubs.” 🙂

So, the progress continues encouragingly. At this point the doctor expects to discharge him tomorrow. The only possible glitch in that is related to his coughing up blood. But two different doctors think that is probably bronchitis rather than a result of the tumors in his lungs growing, so hopefully it won’t slow down his return home.

I’ll see if we can post some photos from yesterday and today so you can see the improvement.

Today when Al got drowsy I went out for a while to let him sleep and discovered the most beautiful and peaceful gardens on the hospital grounds. It was so restful to just sit with the Lord for a long time in the stillness, smelling the herbs in the Colonial-looking “physic garden” all around me and doing nothing at all. Such times are gifts.

Thanks for all your concern and prayers! We certainly feel the Lord carrying us.


Oh, PS: When I was talking to my mom, she mentioned the son-in-law of one of her best friends who has myeloma and has to decide whether or not to go through a bone marrow transplant. This is a very difficult decision, because so much is at stake (his life, very literally). We are familiar with the seriousness of it, because one of our very precious friends faced a similar decision, and also because Alasdair was a donor for such a transplant a year or so ago. She asked if some of the many wonderful people who hold us up in prayer might pray for him too. Because of today’s privacy concerns and since I don’t know how he would feel about having his name on such a public website, I’ll just give his initials: T. N. Thanks!


  1. Stafford said,

    August 27, 2006 at 10:46 am

    Just to let you know that we are “tracking” with you during this ordeal, and are greatly encouraged at your response to these trials. What a great inspiration you are to us all! We were praying for you this morning in our service, and the women in the congregation’s prayer groups were contacted specially just before the surgery. We will add TN to the list! It was so good to see you both in Glenside in July. It’s cool and damp here today, but that’s what you expect in Ireland all year round! May the Lord sustain you and bless Al during these days of recovery from the surgery.
    Stafford and Patricia

  2. Paul said,

    August 27, 2006 at 8:50 pm

    Daer Al and Libby,

    I praise God for his mercy to you. You remain constanly in my prayers.

    Al, you and I now share another thing ion common (apart from a love of Christ) as car from ear to ear. May it be to you as it is to me a constant reminder of God’s mercy and love.
    PS I might add we both share the hankering for a cheesesteak as well! God bless!

  3. Tom Kulp said,

    August 28, 2006 at 12:33 am

    Thanks for writing back, I’m sure your flooded with emails. Al you look great! I remember when my son Zeke had a biopsy at CHOP, and they let me in early as he was recovering. Pain and peace mingled together, it brings a clearer picture of what’s important, and the comfort that the battle’s been won.

    If there’s anything I can do, let me know…

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