Clay had another seizure this morning, and he seems to be declining rapidly. Before I tell you about it, let me back up a few days.
This past Saturday night, what felt like 1,000 of my dearest friends got together to surprise me for my 40th birthday. My mom, my sister and our friends, Robin and Caleb, worked so hard to keep my from finding out, but as it seems to always happen with us, the Lord knew what was best. I was supposed to think it was a prayer meeting at our church for Clay, but I really knew that it was a party for me.
I hadn’t told anyone that I knew. And, this might not be something I should admit to, but I can lie pretty good. I LOVE surprises and I’ve pulled off some epic surprises for other people. So, when I realized what they were planning, my heart was sad for them. I knew how disappointed they would be to find out.
But, at 5:40 pm, Clay was laying on the floor of our shower throwing up. He was so nauseated he couldn’t even stand up. I had already gotten dressed and was ready to leave when this happened, but I had to get in the shower with him to help him. I was literally looking at him with absolutely no idea what to do. Do I tell them? Do I try to convince him to go?
Sam and Grace came upstairs, expecting to find us ready to leave, and Clay was on the bed trying to go to sleep. I felt so sorry for them. You should have seen their faces. So, I decided to tell them that I knew. We told Clay that we were actually trying to get dressed for my party and he said, “Oh no. It’s your birthday?! I didn’t get you anything!” Hahaha.
Y’all, he sat right up and said, “There’s no way I’m not going. Let’s go.” And, he finished getting dressed. And, I’m really glad. As bad as I knew he felt, I didn’t want to go to my party without him. We arrived 30 minutes late, but we made it.
The good news is that I was actually really surprised when they opened the door to our church sanctuary. This is what I saw…
It felt like a sea of people. I haven’t counted, but it was A LOT! I felt so loved. In the midst of everything we’re going through, so many of my friends and family stopped what they were doing and came just to tell me they love me. I needed it. Thank you so much to everyone who was there! I’ll never forget that moment. And, you see that red, white and blue shirt sleeve in the far left corner….that’s Clay. He made it there with me. He didn’t really know what was going on, but he was there.
While they waited for us to arrive, they really did have a prayer meeting for us. Look at all these people, praying together for Clay. Praying for our kids. Praying for me. We are so abundantly blessed. I thank God for all of you everyday.
We partied and had cake. Lots of beautiful cake. It was the perfect party. Not too long, because Clay really got tired. But, long enough for me to be showered with love and gifts, and for my mom to show off a bunch of pictures of me growing up!
My high school girl friends came home with me and we visited a little longer while Clay went to bed. He needed help up the stairs that night for the first time. We noticed a significant difference in his ability to walk. His legs were getting weaker.
Sunday, I went to church while Clay’s friend Caleb came and sat with him. I was texting Caleb all through church to make sure he was ok. He never woke up. Some of my high school friends came to church with me – Meredith, Chenelle, Christy and Jensie (Chenelle’s daughter.) Meredith Heath was my very best friend in high school. She lived with me and my family for a year. We are like sisters. She flew in from North Carolina for the party and stayed a few days. Her primary goal was to make Clay happy, so whatever he wanted for two days, she got it. I love the selfie of us with him.
He stayed upstairs all day Sunday, and although he got up for a while Sunday evening to eat, he really wasn’t out of the bed much. My cousins, Adam and Ashley, came to see him, but he couldn’t wake up. So, we visited and took pics. You know I’m good at that. Then, Todd and Drew came by to show him their baseball rings they received for winning State for Central High Baseball. Clay played in high school, so he was so excited to see this happen for them.
Sam had a friend birthday party. His birthday is actually before mine, but I got to celebrate first. He is turning 18. Meredith helped me get the house ready and get food for a bunch of teenagers. Clay visited with them for just a minute, but mostly stayed upstairs.
Clay was able to get up Monday for a meeting and then a few visits. He didn’t go downstairs all day, but he was awake for some visits. Cleve, Conner and Ms. Sharon brought a homemade apple pie. The Pyle’s brought the Krispie Kreme eclipse donuts! Oh my goodness! If you didn’t get one, you missed out. And a package arrived from Aunt Sue. She made us a pillow out of the t-shirt from Clay’s golf tournament. He loved it!
He got a little confused when it was time to go to bed Monday night. But, he slept good. He woke up Tuesday morning nauseated and vomiting. That entire day, he was either sleeping or throwing up. It was very difficult for me to watch. He hates to be sick and he just couldn’t get any relief. We had family over for Sam’s birthday, and he tried several times to be able to visit with them, but he couldn’t stop throwing up. So, our family and friends made Sam feel special while I stayed upstairs to help Clay.
Scooter and Beverly Trice, stopped by to give me a birthday gift. Oh my goodness. Look how special! They spent the week in Waco, TX, and bought me this sign at Magnolia. It is the perfect saying for how I feel right now. Clay and I have both been showered with love, and, y’all, I’m telling you, it is keeping us going. Your love and prayers have meant so much to us. And, look, Jimmy Don even signed it!!!!
After the party, everyone went home and I settled in for what I thought would be a peaceful night of sleep. After vomiting all day, Clay was exhausted. At 2 am, I woke to hear him convulsing on the floor beside our bed. He was having a seizure, and he had fallen out of the bed onto the floor. I rushed to turn on the light and saw blood right away. This time was different from the first. I felt prepared.
I remained calm, and turned him on his left side. I just nestled my legs behind his back so he couldn’t roll over. I held his head so he didn’t get hurt. And, I just prayed. When he started to calm down, I called Dr. Gummadi to talk me through it. He answered right away and helped me stay calm. I called Hospice and they sent the nurse. After the convulsions stopped, I called for Sam and Grace to come up and help me. They were wonderful.
The nurse called the Fire Department to put Clay back in bed. She gave him some medication and stayed with me until everything had calmed down. The medicine makes him cranky and agitated, but it also makes him sleep for a long time. We lined his back with pillows and eventually got back to sleep.
He slept most of the day today. The medicine puts him in a deep sleep, so he is barely conscious. Tonight at around 10 pm, I asked Sam to help me give Clay his medicine. We talked to him to wake him up, but it was very difficult. He needed to go to the bathroom, so he got up, but he was very agitated. It was hard to help him. Then he basically refused to take his medicine.
He seemed confused, frustrated, and almost angry. It was not him. I know it’s the medicine, but it can still be really hard to help him when he is like this. Sam was starting to get really upset because we needed him to take the medicine. It is the seizure preventative. I begged him, I cried, I fussed, I demanded, Sam begged, Sam bargained, Sam fussed. Nothing worked.
We were both at our wits end when Sam picked up the phone to call Hospice. I told him to wait. I told him to turn on my Sonos speaker and play Selah radio. The first song that came on brought such a peace to the room. I laid behind Clay and put his head in my hands and told him I was going to pray for him. Sam laid hands on Clay, too, and we prayed.
‘God, we know you see us right now. We know you know exactly what we need. Clay needs your Holy Spirit to rise up within him. You are greater than his mind. You are greater than this medicine. You are greater than his thoughts. You are the peace he needs. Please give it to him right now. Please help him do what we need him to do. I watched you display the fruits of the Spirit through him after his surgery, when the doctors told me he would be mean. You made him sweet. I need you to do that tonight. I need you to give him a sound mind and a willing heart. Please God. Please help us.”
When I stopped praying, I rubbed his back softly and said, “Clay, you know we love you, right? You know we are trying to do what is best for you, right? I need you to take these pills.”
He opened his eyes and said, “Ok. Where are they?” He took them. His entire demeanor changed. Sam’s eyes got really big and he looked at me like he wanted to say, “Did that just happen??!!” It did happen. The Lord heard our prayer and answered it.
After that, Clay sat up and drank some water, and said he wanted donuts! Katy and Damian, thank you so much for bringing donuts. We had some glazed left. Sam popped them in the microwave and Clay ate them. He sat up and talked to us. We laughed and joked around. Grace came in and he laughed with her. It was like he was himself again, immediately. He signed some papers for me and I helped him get situated safely in the bed. Then, he quietly dosed off to sleep.
Y’all, God is real. He is powerful. He hears the cries of our hearts. He sees our needs. When life is frustrating and you want to scream….turn to Him. He will answer you. He lives in Clay, so even if Clay’s mind is not right, his spirit is. The Holy Spirit is greater than our flesh.
The reality of our situation is that Clay is progressing quickly. The doctors believe that the nausea and seizure is from pressure building up in his brain. It may be hard to control. So, the meds will keep him sedated unless God touches him. Please help us pray. My last blog talked about how healthy he’s been in the midst of the sickness, and while I knew these problems were likely in our future, I was hoping we had more time. Please help us pray that God will touch him and control these symptoms. I am asking God to give him strength and a sound mind. We are praying against nausea and headaches.
These days have been hard, and there are more hard days ahead, but God has remained perfectly faithful. I just keep reminding myself about God’s love for me. He loves me. His love is unfailing. It never ceases. He has my life in His hands. He has my children in His hands. He knows what is best. I continue to trust Him, and I continue to be thankful for the way He answers our prayers. We love you. Goodnight.