Tougher Than the Rest

If your rough enough for love, baby I’m tougher than the rest.  —Bruce Springsteen

This lyric seems relevant tonight as we had another one of those afternoons that are all too commonplace in this process; one that stretches us and makes us realize that this process with Rudy takes toughness.  Just when you think you’ve been pushed as far as you can go, there’s another shove.

The chest drain went in smoothly and gave off lots of fluid, but Rudy’s low blood pressure was of concern all afternoon.  We went out to get some fresh air with the kids and shortly after we returned to the room the activity in the room suddenly picked up.  I still wonder how these ICU people communicate–first just a doctor and a nurse…then a second doctor…then more nurses and care partners.  The room stayed quiet, but focused and intense to where we could pick up that it would be best to pull out the kids and Oma and Opa out to make room for 8 people that were now at Rudy’s bedside.  The phones started ringing as other members of the team answered their pages and I could pick up the concern as I stood watching from the doorway.  I don’t think Rudy was in as much distress as some of the previous episodes and, probably in shorter time than it felt, they were able to find the right cocktail of medications to get his BP where it needed, but it was disheartening for me to watch.  He’s so fragile and delicate and the going is so slow that it really doesn’t feel like we’ve made much progress over where we were a week ago.  My kids were in the next room–they need us just as much as Rudy does.  Yet it’s so hard for me to focus my attention anywhere else.

That Springsteen lyric first came to me yesterday as we were watching the pediatric patients trick or treat down the hallway outside.  The staff had taken time to set up at different doorways so they could have as realistic an experience as possible.  The kids were cute, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the parents even though few of us were able to make more than a few seconds eye contact.  This wasn’t the Halloween they hoped for, yet they show up for their kids and enthusiastically wheel them down the hallway, making sure that IV lines don’t snag and that costumes can somehow be tied on around the medical equipment that needs to stay attached to their kids.  Some of them do it very tentatively and hesitantly and I hope that means that this holiday in the hospital is an anomaly.  But other parents move instinctively and maneuver the equipment with a second nature that makes it clear that this isn’t the first time they’ve had to do this.  These are the tough ones–tougher than the rest.  Who knew what our love for our kids would demand of us.


13 thoughts on “Tougher Than the Rest

  1. What a roller coaster… it looks like every week-end brings a series of new challenges, and setbacks. I am praying that this cycle be broken, and that Rudy starts going through a series of breakthroughs. I also pray that God keeps giving you strength and patience to endure this journey, as well as JOY. No parent should go through this, but God tests us in very harsh ways sometimes, as he did for Job. I pray the Rudy’s siblings can get past these times too, as well as all members of your close and extended family. I have never met you in person, but my heart is bleeding for this little soul, and I can only imagine what this feels like for your family. I have told every person I know about Rudy, and we are keeping a strong prayer chain for Him.
    I a speechless and don’t know what to say at this point, except that God is good, and that He hears our prayers.
    With all our love and support in Kentucky,
    Faith and Richard Groves

  2. All of our family reads your notes with tears in our eyes and prayers in our hearts. How difficult it is for all of you, but we know God is in control and is watching over you faithfully. We ask Him daily to help Rudy improve steadily, and keep you and Trish in His loving arms. We think of Trish’ folks often, too, and pray Dick is doing better and suffering less.

  3. I continue to pray for Rudy every night-and your wonderful family. I think of your children when I visited in Sunland to pick out jewelry. They would come out and smile and be so adorable. Children are strong; I know it is hard for you to focus on your other children when Rudy is so fragile. I just care so much about your family.
    Love, Donna

  4. I am sorry that today was so hard! God, uphold the Geylings and may Your mercies be new in the morning.

  5. Oh Trish and Rolf…We’re sorry to hear that Rudy had another rough day today. He has had too many of those, hasn’t he? We pray the God of all comfort is wrapping his loving arms around all of you as you walk this very bumpy road. May Rudy’s blood pressure stabilize, his chest fluid drain, and his body strengthen so he is able to breath on his own. We’re rooting for you, Rudy! …and as always–you are all in our prayers!

    Lots of love from Santa Barbara!

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen.” Jeremiah 29: 11-12

  6. Loved the Halloween Photos of Rudy. Would love to see the others kids dressed in their costumes as well. Hint Hint.

    We will keep praying on-going for Rudy and all the rest of the family & for all caregivers as well.

    PS: Have been praying for Katie as well. What is her blog adddress? Would like an update there too.

  7. Rolf, Trish and Rudy — We are continuing to pray for you and think of you so often through out the day. Thank you for the daily updates. We give you all a big virtual hug. There are no words to express this journey. We love you and are so sorry that this continues to be so difficult. We’ll be in touch soon about trying to arrange a visit if /when it would be helpful.
    much love,
    the Sasser’s

    JUST WANTED TO SEND A HELLO AND TELL YOU THAT WERE THINKING OF YOU IN CT. Rudy looks like a fighter and I am praying that he gets better.

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