Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Note from Kent Wood

My dad asked if I could post the following note:

My dear family and friends,
I just want to express my love and appreciation to each of you. My life, and the lives of my children, have been blessed due to the outpouring of love, concern, and service that have been offered to us so liberally by so many. We have felt the impact of your fasting, faith and prayers. Meals have been prepared, dogs have been walked, beds have been delivered, books have been offered, notes of comfort have been provided, etc. . . all, it seems, at just the right moment. It has reminded me that there is a symphony of service being conducted by God as He inspires each of us to act on impulses planted by Him. The result is blessings in each of our lives. I pray that God may bless each of you for your kindness.

This has been a most challenging chapter in my life. It is hard for me to articulate how much I loved my wife Kathy. She was my dearest friend and sweetheart. I feel as though part of my heart has been taken from me for awhile. Yet, I will also add that these last few weeks have been remarkable as I have felt such an outpouring of spirit, love, understanding, light and comfort, which are helping to fill the void in a significant way. I am very grateful for the grace and compassion of our Father in Heaven and our elder Brother, Jesus Christ. My heart has been turned toward them as never before and I desire to do their will and hopefully join them and my dear wife some day in the future. In our faith, we believe that marriages and families are eternal, when joined through priesthood ordinances. I thank God for the great hope in my heart, born from these temple covenants, blessings and promises.

Of all the people I would like to thank, it is my children. They have made countless sacrifices to be by my side during my hour of need while each one of them continues their private journey to become comforted and reconciled with God regarding the loss of their mother. Their strength and faith have been an inspiration to me. We have felt the grace of God pulling us together, helping us be more unified and of one heart. I thank God for this wonderful gift.

May God bless each of you for all you have done and continue to do to bless our lives.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Update, August 12

In the last post I mentioned that Dad had been diagnosed with a ruptured diaphragm. This was a reasonable diagnosis, given his symptoms and the fact that recent scans showed some of his abdominal organs sitting a bit high (i.e., as if they had migrated up and through the diaphragm).

The surgery was to be done laparoscopically. When the surgeons went in and searched for the torn section of the diaphragm, they weren't able to find anything. So far, little to no communication from the doctors about what they now think is causing Dad's shoulder pain and the apparent ascension of his abdominal organs.

Dad was kept at the hospital for a day or two so he could recover from the surgery. He's home again now, enjoying the hospitality of Elisabeth, Sean, and Jason. They're all taking their turn cooking these days. No word on whether or not Jason's meals are edible.

The family recently started the tradition of doing a conference call on Skype every Sunday night. Last Sunday we spent most of the time taking distorted snapshots of ourselves (oh, the beauty of Macintosh computers), sending them to each other, and laughing. Sean has officially been crowned King of the Photobooth.

Some people have asked me if I feel some sense of relief after leaving California. I think they're under the impression that I was having a really difficult time down there, and that a burden has been lifted from my shoulders. Looking back, there are still some places that my imagination won't go, but I thank God that my memories from the last two months are now a sort of holy ground, and I can't visit them without feeling peaceful, thankful, and better. I felt no burden until I came back to Canada. Being on the phone with Dad helps a little, but part of me just wants to go back and be with him. I truly miss him. From what I can gather during those phone calls with Dad, he is still improving. A little stronger every day. The pace is slow, but it has been relatively steady. Still a long road ahead. I envy the people that get to walk it with him.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Update, August 3

Since Dad returned home, the biggest obstacles for him have been pain control and breathing efficiency. His general breathing has been improving, but not as quickly as was expected. More troubling, however, is the fact that no bruising, tearing, or breaking was detected in the shoulder or nearby tissue, but when he is upright, he feels a sharp, debilitating pain in his left shoulder and upper chest, and his breathing becomes very labored. Until now, nobody has been able to find an underlying cause for these symptoms.

During a routine check-up today, a doctor discovered that Dad has a ruptured diaphragm (on the left side). A tear in the diaphragm allows abdominal organs to migrate up into the chest cavity. This can displace the lungs, reducing their efficiency. It also commonly leads to shortness of breath (dyspnea), dysphagia (which explains Dad's continued issues with swallowing liquids), and sharp pain in the chest and shoulder.

Dad is waiting to go into surgery. We are slightly frustrated that we didn't catch this sooner, but mostly we are hopeful that Dad's progress will be accelerated now that the cause of his symptoms is being addressed.