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    Guidelines for Visiting Josiah

    June 10, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    Now that he is in intensive care, I feel I need to give guidelines for visiting my husband. I observed him being distressed by the voice of someone in his room today {an employee}, and felt like I needed to express my preferences. Technically, no one should be getting in without the code, but they have, so this needs to be said.

    First and foremost, I prefer that only very close friends and family visit Si. And, yes, I count our pastors/elders as “close.” The reason I say this is that he is blind most of the time, and he is also confused. I want him to be visited by people who can actually be a comfort, and right now that means that he needs to know you by voice, not sight.

    If you visit, there will be a computer screen next to his bed. There are a whole bunch of numbers, but there is one which is most important. The top white number is his heart rate {beats per minute}. If you can watch any number during your visit, please watch the white number at the top. His heart rate is high, but that is normal for his level of anemia.

    109 is what you should consider “normal” for this number right now. If it is above that, he is agitated, and if he is lower than that, he is calming. When you talk to him or touch him, you can tell if he likes it by watching that number. If it goes down or hovers around 109, you’re doing good, but if it goes up, you need to try adjusting something–where you are touching him, what you are saying, the pressure of your touch, or the volume of your voice. I would suggest speaking softly and never asking a question because it frustrates him to not be able to answer.

    His right side is better than his left. You can hold his right hand.

    Please also:

    • Tell him he is on a long road, but everyday he will get a little bit better. Saying this is something my mom learned from her trauma training.
    • Tell him not to try to answer you or rouse himself, that it is okay just to rest and listen to your voice.
    • Tell him that you are here to help take care of his family. He worries about us and saying this has helped him calm down in the past.
    • Tell him it is important for him to sleep and rest so that he can heal.
    • Tell him to be strong and courageous and not to panic or lose heart no matter how bad it gets.
    • Read him Scripture.

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  • Reply Amanda June 12, 2015 at 9:22 am

    I had not read this so long ago, but even now it is heart-wrenching to think of your family going through this time. So very glad for all the prayers and God’s grace and healing that brought Si through this!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 12, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks, Amanda! {{{hugs}}}

  • Reply Robin June 13, 2009 at 12:16 am

    I am a friend of Kristen’s and wanted to let you know that I am praying for you, Josiah and your family. May God grant you peace and bring healing to Josiah’s body.

  • Reply Beckie June 11, 2009 at 12:25 am

    I thought the same thing Rita did when I read your post. May our God bless you abundantly.

  • Reply Brandy June 10, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Thank you all.

    Jennie, Tammy Heppner is organizing meals for us. Right now, I have a housefull as my mother-in-law, father-in-law, and brother-in-law are all here. We are hoping to organize shifts where Siah is visited throughout the day, but no one is sitting in a waiting room for too many hours.

  • Reply Jennifer June 10, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    When and where and for how many can we bring food?

  • Reply Casey Sharifi June 10, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Through your love you know what Josiah needs and wants and what he doesn’t even if he can’t tell you himself. I think that is wonderful that you are putting that first. You are an amazing wife, Brandy.

  • Reply Rita June 10, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Will be praying for you and Josiah. I do not know you but your heartfelt words letting others know what is important brought tears to my eyes. My how you love your husband. I will be praying.

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