Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday November 1

Steve was up and out of bed by 7:00 for breakfast. This is the first time Steve has really eaten anything other than a soda cracker. He loved the fresh pineapple this morning. Every bite he commented on how good it tasted - and the hot tea was also a hit. Steve doesn't really like hot tea - but this morning it was "glorious"! Eating wore him out and he soon fell SOUND asleep.

The pain medication makes him have bad dreams - he woke up to Senator Pence killing all the bunnies on the Whitehouse lawn and there wasn't anything he could do to stop him. Of course I get a good laugh about it, but Steve was very serious and upset that I didn't have compassion for all the bunnies! I think he is still upset with me about it.

It has been quite the morning - the drainage tubes are out, the catheter is gone, the IV's are out. There are only two tubes in him now: The pump that actually places pain medicine all around the heart/incision to numb it, and the oxygen tube. Steve has had an EKG, Echocardiogram and Chest X-rays as well this morning. His involuntary muscle spasms/jerking has subsided as he has been working on breathing deeper and longer, and for that we are grateful.

By early afternoon we were out of the Intensive Critical Care Unit and into Steve's new room in the heart center. I can sit beside him all day long now. That seems to give him much comfort. Of course the move exhausted him. I simply couldn't wait to give him a hot sponge bath and get his teeth brushed. So as soon as he was settled from the move from Critical Care to Room # 3036, I got his sponge bath ready and came out of the bathroom with a big smile on my face. I was finally going to get to do something that would make Steve feel better - - only to find him once again SOUND asleep. So much for the bath.

3:00 pm - Oh, the joys of the little things. 25 steps to the bathroom - toothpaste, toothbrush, Ivory soap, a washcloth, a towel, a shave, some deodorant, a clean hospital gown - and wonder of wonders - finally a pair of pants! My advice to you - don't ever take putting on a pair of pants lightly because putting feet into two small holes after heart surgery is a real trick! Ha. Did I mention that Steve is SOUND asleep again?

It's been a good Day. Steve ate a very good dinner and of course is now SOUND asleep. I'm ready to be home and sleep in my own bed . . . oh well, I am counting my blessings and for tonight, those blessings lay in the bed beside me - in the complete joy of my family and through the strength of our friends. God is good - who needs a bed!


Stephanie and I spent the night in the after surgery waiting room. The chairs were less than adequate for sleeping, but we managed to pull two chairs together and make it work. Jayna was in checking on Steve every hour or so. Really he did very well - the pain medicine kept him pretty sedated.

Yesterday flew by as we witnessed Stephen's initial recovery from open heart surgery. They did get him out of bed to sit in a chair. The nurse told him that they were going to get him out of bed 3 times today for about an hour each time he would sit. After they got him in his chair and he experienced the tremendous pain in the move, Steve suggested that he just sit there for 3 hours and forget the getting in and out. The nurse laughed and said - sure that was fine with her knowing full well that his suggestion was impossible. Steve was very funny as he sat there for the first 5 minutes saying "hey, this isn't half bad - I think I'm going to make it." Stephanie and I were very encouraged thinking "wow - Dad looks good". About 10 minutes into the "sit" - he couldn't focus, then nausea, then heaving, then shallow breathing, then begging to be put back to bed - 15 minutes into the experience! So much for three hours.

The second time did not go any better and the third - well, they decided to not even try. Stephen has begun having involuntary musclespasms and jerking. Last evening the doctor suggested that Stephen is not breathing deep enough, thus not getting enough oxygen. Steve is trying to be so strong and not a big baby so he has been refusing to take much pain medication. The nurses upped his pain medicine so he would breathe deeper. Hopefully that will help.

The day was long and quite boring. The family could only come in at 10:00; at 2:00 and at 7:00. So there was alot of sitting around with the realization that the rest of the stay would be similarly boring. We arranged a flight home (North Carolina) for Stephanie - she left around 8:30 last evening. Sara Jayne will be leaving in the morning for Jacksonville Florida. Sara is driving the entire way with 2 babies in the car - those of you who are praying for/with us, that is my prayer request for the day - for protection of this family while on the road. Jayna went to Jason's house for the night as they gave Steve a sedative to help him sleep.

It is now Saturday morning November 1. Dr. Coffey just came in and told us that they were going to remove his drainage tubes, catheter and some of his IV's. Later this morning they would remove him from ICU and put us in a room with more privacy and comforts. They even suggested that Steve would be walking around the ward some tonight.

I am very much aware that Stephen is on the mend. Please know that it has brought me great comfort just knowing that all of you were praying and keeping updated on Steve's progress. I'm sure from now on, it is just going to be the daily mundane routine of getting better. I promised the girls that I would keep this blog updated for them. I know the prayer request will be remain the same - just keep on praying for healing and strength. I'm doing great - I am sleeping well and gratefully watching Steve get stronger every moment.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I just came from being with Stephen in Critical Care. They let us go in about every 2 hours - so I got to see him at 2 and at 4 this morning. He is looking great and remembering details even before surgery. Today he is a little afraid of the pain. He keeps mentioning that he had great peace before the surgery, and this is the part he dreads and that scares him the most. Steve says over and over again that God certainly gave him peace before surgery and that his prayer is now for strength. So if you are praying for Steve - he needs strength today -

It has impressed me how very important it is for Steve to tell people that he loves them and how important they are to him. Whenever I tell him that I heard from someone, he asks if they know how much he loves them . . . then he tells me things about each and everyone that make them so special to him. That has been very precious to me - to hear his heart about the lives of the people who have touched his life. I am cherishing every moment.

Yesterday for some reason was very emotional for me. I cried all day - this morning I am still quite weepy, but have determination that we will get through this day and move one step closer to healing and getting him back home. They tell me that today will be the hardest. They are going to get him up in a chair this morning - and then he will be taking a walk around the ward this afternoon.

Again, thank you for your prayers. I am forever humbled Jayna

Thursday, October 30, 2008

To be continued 2

Steve has the breathing tube out of his throat and is now awake and able to talk to his family tonight. He completely "wiped out" each of his kids with his great words of love for them. When Jason and Kendra walked in the room Steve cried and begged them to just "hold my hand". When they said they were going to let him sleep, he said "just hold my hand a little longer...I love my kids...I'm so proud of you...."

Sara leaned over to kiss her father and he said "Oh, that is soooo good. That is what my life is all about. Don't quit".

Stephanie came breezing in the room and her daddy said "has anybody told you you're pretty?" and when she kissed him he said "one more". She got the giggles.

Kinsen was having trouble sleeping the night before the surgery. Jason told Steve that Kinsen was quite upset that Grandpa was sick. So, after Steve came out of the anesthesia he specifically told Jason to tell Kinsen that "Grandpa is just fine, he just got a new zipper".

We all had to laugh when his parents walked in the room and he said...."well I finally found my elephant" refering to the fact that he was totally confident that he was not having a heart attack because he always heard that a heart attack felt like an elephant sitting on your chest.

We are so encouraged that Steve is doing exceptionally well tonight. For some reason, however, the entire family is tearful.

to be continued...

Stephen slept very well last night. Probably the best he has slept since this whole ordeal began over a week ago. He attributes his great sleep to Jayna staying the night right beside him and holding his hand. He tells us all that he has peace and is not worried at all. Naturally his family has much more anxiety than he does.

At 4:15 the surgery team came in to get Steve prepped for surgery. He is still laughing and cracking jokes as they shave his chest and legs! The nurses are having him perform some kind of scrub on his chest that smells terrible. -- He just looked at me and winked with a dazzling smile. He sure looks relaxed. My heart screams to protect him from this whole ordeal and keep him safe - but they tell me I can't take him home without having this surgery.

to be continued......

10:15 am - Jason said that the family received word that everything is going well with Steve. The surgeon has completed the major portion of the procedure and they are beginning to prepare to close Steve up.

to be continued.....

10:45 am - The surgeon has came out to say surgery is completed. Everything went great and Steve is in recovery. Jayna will be able to see him in about 10-15 minutes.

to be continued.....

11:30 a.m. - Dad's doing great! The surgeon came out rather quickly after the nurse said they were waiting to warm him up and said he was already closed up, everything went great and we could see him in 10-15 minutes. We were thrilled to know that all of us were able to go back and see daddy for a few minutes.

They had just wheeled him into the Intensive Care Unit when we arrived and were still getting him set up to moniters, etc. He really looked great. Everyone had warned me that when I saw him he would look "like death," but I thought his coloring was great, his hands were warm, and he looked really good. We were able to spend a few minutes with him, ask the doctor a few more questions and then we came back out to the waiting area.

Mom has been so strong through this entire process. We have seen very few tears from her. After seeing dad, though, it was like she realized it was over and that dad was going to be okay. The bishop had arrived to visit with us while we were in seeing dad and mom walked right by him with only a wave and went to the bathroom to have a good cry. She just kept saying, "He's gonna be okay!" We were all very relieved and glad that the worst part was over.

They told us that he would be in recovery for about 4 hours, they'd take the breathing tube out and then we could go in 1 or 2 at a time and sit with him. At that point he'll be able to talk, and the doctor even said that he should be up and sitting in a chair by this evening.

Mom has asked that we not have any visitors until after he's out of Critical Care. We'll let you know when that will be...probably not for 2-3 days.

Thank you all for your prayers. We do count this as a miracle. The doctor said that after the surgery (Quadruple bypass that went around all the stents) his heart is already functioning at near normal levels. Incredible! Praise the Lord.

By the way - I did want to share the sweet relationship my parents share as a side story. This morning as they were wheeling dad down for surgery, mom was walking along by his bed. He had been given medicine to put him out and was feeling pretty good until he got out of the elevator. He asked the nurse to stop for a moment and told mom to come to him. He took her hand, asked her to smile at him. Then he closed his eyes with a sigh and said, "The last thing I want to see before surgery is your beautiful face, and the next time I open my eyes, you'll be there, won't you?" He made us all cry, but it is a beautiful testament to the love he shares with my mom.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Good morning everyone. We have been so very humbled and honored by all the love, prayers, and support of so many people. I cannot express enough the blessing that Stephen and I are experienceing through this entire crises in our life. The first thing we have learned is the importance of love. You hear and preach all your life that you can "know we are Christians by our love, by our love....", but when something like this happens and you find that love poured out on you, your perspective of what "love" is changes dramatically. Not only have you all been so concerned and offering up continual prayers, you have written/shown words of appreciation and great love for Steve and myself. We are so humbled; and so blessed; and so loved.

We have met with Steve's surgeon, Dr. Coffey, this morning as he is preparing us for the events of tomorrows surgery. He suggested that this surgery process will begin at 6:30 a.m. and be completed around noon if all goes well. Steve will be in recovery for 4-5 hours before we can actually go in to see him. I think it is going to be a long day. However, the ladies from our church have packed a great basket of snacks, food, drinks (and even Soduko)! Dr. Coffey informed us that the original intent was to perform bypass surgery on two-three arteries, however, they have pretty much determined that they are also going to bypass the stints that were put in to save his life while in Kokomo. That could mean up to the dreaded 4-way bypass. My heart is heavy.

Steve seems to be very relaxed this morning. He is laughing alot. The doctor staff have begun to refer to Pastor Steve as the "F.O.B." around here. Instead of asking "how is it going with Rev. Beutler"....they ask "well, how is the F.O.B." Upon my great shock at such a name for my wonderful kind husband, they informed me that "F.O.B." means "Friend of Bishop". Bishop Mike Coyner is the Bishop of the Indiana Area United Methodist Church. As soon as he found out that Steve had a heart attack, he contacted the head of the cardiology department at Methodist Hospital and arranged to get the best doctors, rooms, care that Steve could possibly have. When we entered the hospital, the entire hospital had heard about Steve as a very important person that needed special care. The head of the cardiology department has personally come down to meet Steve; the CEO of Clarion Health Network has met us; the entire Cardiology team has been in. I've been rather embarrassed at all the attention, but our children are thrilled that their father is getting such fabulous care. The medical staff all find it terribly funny around here to call a minister a F.O.B., so that name has stuck - much to my chagrine.

Also, while Steve is sleeping and I have time to read the blogs and emails, I thought I would respond to the many, many questions about the name of our blogsite. It seems that most people think of Steve as one of the most humble servant oriented pastors on the face of the earth and his blogsite is called "most holy rev" - not a very humble sounding name at all. It has caused a lot of laughter and amusement amongst our readers!

As you have probably guessed, there is a story behind this name. When our first Grandchild was born, Jason and Kendra handed her to Kendra's mother saying "this is Kinsen Ariana Beutler, what name would you like for Kinsen to call you" - whereas Connie Lightfoot said "Grammy" - and Paul wanted to be called "Gramps". I was the traditional "grandma" and Steve....well, he just couldn't face the fact that he was old enough to be a grandpa so he took the sweet bundle of joy in his arms and said "you can call me 'Most Holy Rev'" whereas our entire family broke out in peals of laughter. When we went on our sabbatical last summer our children wanted us to have a blogsite so they could keep up on our 3 months of travel, so they took care of setting up the blog and taught us non-techinical parents how to use it. It was meant as a family "joke" that would not be for anyone elses eyes. However, when the heart attack took place and we were receiveing 150+ phone calls and emails a day, we thought the fastest way to get information out would be to use the blog - sorry about the pompus name - it is really a family joke!

Thank you all for your love a prayers. We definately have great peace and calm in the midst of this storm. Sometimes I get very anxious and I have had trouble praying. That really has bothered me because I am leading a Women's Bible Study on "The Power of a Praying Woman" and I am now having trouble giving control to my Heavenly Father for fear that his ways are not my ways. It has truly been a struggle for me of which last night I was finally able to trust God with my beloved husband. I know alot of you have been there yourself - now perhaps I, too understand... Love to each of you - God is good, all the time...... Jayna

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

10/28 - Heart Attack Log

The surgeon came in this afternoon and made some schedule changes. Steve's surgery will take place Thursday morning (10/30) at 7:30 am. This just means the family will be getting up earlier to go to the hospital to see Steve prior to surgery.

The surgeon was also talking to the family about the stints that Steve received. Normally, bypass surgery doesn't occur so soon after stints have been put in. Therefore, he is a little concerned about Steve's body rejecting the stints. During surgery, he will have Steve on the ventilator and heart pump and he said the worst case scenario would be the stints are rejected and then he would just do a six way bypass.

Steve is eating much better and walking at a good clip around his hospital floor. One of his nurses says "he's shaking his tail feathers". He seems in good spirits and has asked for his "old man" mask so he can put it on for the doctor in honor of Halloween. He wants to tell the Dr. that he feels like he's aged since he's been there. Guess he still has a good sense of humor!

Monday, October 27, 2008

10/27 - Heart Attack Log

This afternoon the surgeon came in to discuss some things with Steve and Jayna. The decision has been made to schedule surgery for Thursday morning, October 30th at 10:00 am. The doctor is very encouraged, after reviewing Steve's tests from yesterday he indicated that Steve's heart is strong and he is healthy. The normal male heart should function at a 55%-65% EF (Ejection Fraction). At the time of Steve's heart attack in Kokomo his heart was functioning at only 8% EF. Today, Steve's heart is functioning at 45% EF. The Dr. said that this is nothing short of a miracle! Therefore, he doesn't see any problem with Steve coming through the surgery successfully and having a good recovery.

Steve and Jayna have had quiet day together enjoying the sweetness of each others company and emotionally and mentally preparing themselves for the upcoming surgery.

Please feel free to also call 248-686-1190 for simular updates on Steve

Sunday, October 26, 2008

10/26 - Heart Attack Log

This morning the surgical team had Steve doing some tests. They were happy with what they saw on the Eco cardiogram. They are greatly encouraged and see healing occurring with Steve's heart. The team has recommended that Steve be given more time for his heart to heal and strengthen before they do surgery. The Dr's would like to wait until Thursday (10/30) or Friday (10/31) to schedule his bypass. Steve is in heart rehab for the next few days. We are praying that his heart continues to regenerate.

Naturally this change in plans have frustrated work schedules and travel plans for all three kids. Jason and Kendra are going back to work, Stephanie gets to stay until the end of the week, but Daniel has to fly back to North Carolina. Chris's uncle died and he is headed for Kentucky for the funeral, Sara Jayne and the two grandchildren will be staying with Jason and Kendra. Jayna stays with Stephen most of the time until one of the kids insist that she obeys their commands - of which she sometimes rebels, but.... eventually they win.

The medicine given Steve last night helped greatly with his nausea. He was able to rest and relax and watched the Notre Dame game with Jason, Stephanie and Dan. He continues to feel much better today, but tires easily.

Jayna was able to get a little rest last night and is feeling somewhat better. Sleep is still an issue for her so your prayers are still needed in this area.

We are overwhelmed with the love, support, prayers and all the food that is coming all the way to Indianapolis. A basket was brought today filled with all kinds of goodies - homemade cookies, brownies, sandwiches, chips, cereal bars, juice boxes, chicken soup, vegetable soup, apples, bananas, grapes, snickers, candy bars, crackers, cheese, bagels, donuts, cinnamon rolls, water, nuts - well....I haven't seen it all yet, but I hear that it took a SUV to bring it all.

Please feel free to also call 248-686-1190 for simular updates on Steve