I was on a ventilator for 12 days, and had numerous dreams and hallucinations during my time under, I have no idea if what went on in my mind was spread across those two weeks, if they occurred during the days that I was apparently awake, or if they even happened in a single day. All I know is the helplessness and hopelessness that I felt were very real to me, and that while I’ve so far been spared of most of the emotional and mental trauma that accompanies those memories, they’ll stay with me forever.
Out of the entire time that I was in the hospital and on the ventilator, this is the only time that we can synchronize the events that happened in reality with that what was going on in my mind.
In my mind, the airlift had finished. However, instead of being in the same setting in the South Pacific, I was now somewhere in Africa. The nurse that was with me, Bill (I subsequently learned that there was no Bill in the ICU, and have no idea which nurse, or combination of nurses, Bill was in reality), had taken me from the field hospital on the aircraft carrier and had brought me to a room where the Michigan/Michigan State game was playing on a TV in the front of the room, which in my mind was sort of a harem or drug den which was located in a warehouse district. I have no idea how I got there, or how I was transported, but I knew at this point that Bill had kidnapped me. Bill was sitting at the front of the room, on my right, and there were other, normal, people in the room, but they didn’t interact with me, nor did I interact with them. Like in my other dreams, I was completely unable to communicate verbally, and while I was desperate to communicate, I was reduced to pointing to things and gestures to try to get my message across. Here, Bill was trying to make me comfortable and was trying to interpret what I was attempting to communicate. At one point, he turned up the volume of the game so that I could hear it better – the complete opposite of what I had wanted. Prior to going under, I had promised Eunice that I would wait to watch the game with her, and even in my covid-wrecked mind that promise held true. After some frantic gesturing and guesswork on his end, Bill finally understood that I wanted him to turn the game off. Shortly thereafter, it was time for him to decide my fate.
Bill talked to one of the other people in the room, and told me that it was time, In my mind, I knew that I was being ransomed or sold, and it was time to bring me to my new captors. I was then brought out of the room we were in, into a warehouse district (similar to the picture), and ended up in a newsstand/shack by the side of the road. The shack that I was in was fully enclosed. I still couldn’t move or talk, and was completely helpless. Bill, having a conscience about what he was doing, told me that he was letting me free, and that he would tell the police where I was so that they could retrieve me after he had the opportunity to get away.
After Bill left, I kept trying to move and make sounds, to do anything so someone would notice where I was and free me. Nobody came. As time dragged on, I felt more and more hopeless – I was trapped, nobody was coming, and there was nothing I could do about it. However, after what felt like several hours, Bill returned. The police were not coming, so he took me out of the shack and brought me to a large house.
During this time, I learned that they had turned on the Michigan/Michigan State game on in my room in the ICU at Eunice’s request. According to the nurses, I was awake and watching – I was at least somewhat aware of my surroundings and what was going on. Somehow, I managed to communicate to them that I wanted them to turn it off, and they did.
Ben is awake! Praise God! The doctors switched him over to a new sedative which will allow them to eventually take the tube out but they maxed out on it for Ben and still had to use some of the old sedative. His ventilator settings are right where they need to be (FiO2 40% and PEEP of 5). Ben failed his breathing test today because he was breathing too fast. His oxygen levels are staying up so the doctors aren’t sure if it’s because of his body or if he’s stressed. Ben can’t talk since the tube is still in his throat and the nurse told me that he’s shaking his legs a lot. They think he is anxious and when they asked if he’s anxious about himself, he mouthed “no”. When they asked if it’s about his family, he mouthed “yes”. They’re going to start Ben on some meds to help with his anxiety and see if that helps. I rarely see Ben anxious. The only time he’s anxious is if he’s worried about me or the girls. Ben is usually really grounded and I can’t remember the last time I saw him anxious. I’m guessing now that he’s awake, he is really bored and probably just wants to get out of there and back home to us as fast as he can. Unfortunately he can’t keep his mind busy with his phone because they still have him in restraints. They are afraid that he’ll try to take his tube out again. Please pray for the following and more:
1. Praise God for all the answers to prayers and healing of Ben. Praise God for miracles.
2. Pray for Ben to pass his breathing test and have the tube removed soon.
3. Please pray for God to heal Ben completely of the diabetes.
4. Pray that Ben’s clotting factors would continue to decrease and return to normal.
5. Pray that Ben’s triglyceride levels will come down to normal. They are still very high but are coming down.
6. Pray for Ben to feel God’s presence and comfort.
7. Pray for the medical team, support staff, and the other patients in the ICU. Pray for wisdom for the doctors to treat and care for Ben.
9. Pray for continued protection of Ben’s mind and body from any side effects or damage.
10. Pray for a complete healing and miracle in Ben.
11. Pray for healing of Ben’s lungs and a complete clearing of the pneumonia.
12. Pray for Ben to come home soon!
13. Pray for God to help ease Ben’s anxiety/stress/restlessness.
Ben’s dad is doing well. This morning when they got him all ready to go in the transport vehicle, Andy smiled. His transfer went well with no complications and he’s all settled into his room at the long term care facility. He is still on the ventilator and they’ll be helping him slowly wean off it. I’m not sure how awake he is since the nurse I spoke to just got on the floor and will be calling tomorrow for more updates.
1. Praise God for the healing of Andy’s body and mind. Praise God for this miracle.
2. Pray that Andy’s brain function and memories will be completely intact.
3. Pray for Andy to feel God’s presence and comfort.
4. Pray for a complete healing and miracle for Andy.
5. Pray for the team that is taking care of Andy.
6. Pray for the inner healing of Andy’s mind, soul, and spirit.
7. Pray for Andy to know that so many people love and care about him and to have hope himself and believe in the healing God is doing in him. (Unfortunately we can’t give Andy his phone due to Covid restrictions. Hopefully we can get his phone back to him soon so he can have more communication.)
8. Pray for Andy to come home soon.
The girls, Ben’s mom and I had a good day today. I didn’t call the hospitals much and tried to stay away from my phone to spend some quality time with the girls. Ben had surprised the girls and I a while ago with tickets to visit Greenfield Village which is a historical village. He had thoughtfully purchased the tickets for Halloween so the girls would have a fun time, especially with everything going on. We went tonight with Ben’s mom and the girls loved all the attention and time they had with us without any interruptions. Thank you everyone for your prayers. We are so thankful and praise God for his miracles and the healing of Ben and Andy. Our hearts are filled with joy knowing that our loved ones will soon be home with us and safe in our arms. Please keep praying, this battle is not won until they are home. God is at work in all of us.