When Churchill reported to the House of Commons that the the Luftwaffe had been turned back from the skies over Britain and the Island nation was secure from an impending Nazi invasion, he noted in conclusion that this victory was "not the beginning of the end but it was the end of the beginning."
Those seems fitting words tonight for Toni. We have the first signs of a win.
Toni's sister Kim called this morning and said, "Better bring her shoes. She's ready to go home and cut the grass." I'd be happy to have her home and let the grass grow to unprecedented, neighbor annoying heights. And it was in exactly such high spirits that I found her this morning on arrival. Apparently about 11 pm last night the tide turned in her favor, and she began a dramatic recovery. She remained vibrant throughout the day, and on examination showed significant increases in strength and endurance. Her vitals were normal, and while continuing to feel the tingles and numbness in her arm and hand, she nevertheless found these to be at a tolerable level, rather than the electric shock type pain that had been pulsating through her relentlessly. She was mostly free from pain in her head as well, and for the first time in many weeks she was able to grasp things with her left hand, actually able to sense the texture of objects on her finger tips and control the movement of hand and fingers. Her fatigue had abated. Her blood pressure had returned to normal.
Frankly, I was amazed. Still am.
The docs came in and they were as delighted as I was stunned. They've ordered some more tests for tomorrow to make sure she's making proper progress (a further MRI among other things), and then plan to dismiss her to continue her recovery at home. Thanks be to God!
Is there more to come? Yes. We will visit with specialists at Southwestern in Dallas in the next couple of weeks to examine more closely the cluster of infections/disease that have so afflicted Toni. It turns out that she was hit not by one bolt but by three: Transverse Militus, Sjogrens, and Lupus, the final one producing the first, and hitting her central nervous system. All of this has to be handled with great care, but a good recovery is expected in time. She will continue to need a lot of rest and can't really get back to full normal daily life for awhile. I'll take partial daily life over unconsciousness any time.
More tomorrow, but as it stands, she will get to come home unless she suffers a set back tonight or tomorrow, or if the MRI unexpectedly showed an increase in the spinal inflammations. Of course I hope they show a decrease in size.
You have all been such wonderful prayer warriors with us and I am deeply grateful. Toni couldn't pray most of the time; mine felt like they reached the ceiling and bounced back. As Ken and Cathy Campbell reminded us today, 'That's when all of the prayers of the others were carrying you'. Yes indeed. Thank you dear friends, and don't stop. There's a long road yet ahead. This isn't the beginning of the end after all, but it is the end of the beginning. Those warrior words are fitting, for Toni remarked a few times that she felt she was in a terrible battle. This, the first full day of the beginning of her recovery, is the Feast of Michael and Gabriel, God's Mighty Angels (the day also known as Michaelmas). In Toni's battle they fought for her and I am grateful. I am grateful too for the angels around us who sent cards, texts, food, coffee, sat up nights and days, called with encouragement, mowed, and prayed relentlessly. I know who you are and hiding your wings will do you no good. Keep up the good work saints.
Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me bless his Holy Name.
As a postscript, here's a old petition to Michael for his help against dark assaults:
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle, be our safeguard and protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.