Robin Ulbredtch

Over the last four weeks, God has truly been stretching my faith and teaching me to trust Him more. On May 21, 2020, Steve and I took our one-year-old dog, Roxy, into the veterinarian to have her spade. Roxy is a mixture of Terrier, Dachshund, and Snauzer. She is usually extremely active, jumping up and down on the furniture. She manages to sit on the back of our sofa and watch out the window to see who is passing by. When people pass by she barks but when other dogs go by, she whines because she wants to go out and meet them.

On May 21st, when we picked Roxy up at the Veterinary Clinic, we were instructed not to let her jump up and down from furniture and not to let her free run. Roxy also had a cone over her head so she couldn’t lick or bite at the stitches. I don’t know if you have gone through a similar situation, but keeping Roxy down and quiet took both Steve and I together. Steve and I would take turns watching our dog. When I had to do something, Steve would watch her and when he needed to do something, I would watch her. She frequently tried to jump onto the furniture or down to the ground to follow one of us.

In addition to our 24 hour guard duty, Steve had to carry her out our front door and set her down in the grass to relieve herself. He took her out during some rainy, cold days. Though Roxy is only about 17 lbs. of weight, I have a bad right shoulder and my left hand is in need of surgery. When I tried to take her out, she squirmed about and I was afraid of dropping her.

Now the cone on her head was another great challenge. She hated it and would not even try to eat or drink. I tried everything, even her favorite foods, and she would not eat. We called the vet and they told us to go ahead and remove the cone when it was time for her to eat but to keep a good watch so she didn’t tear the stitches loose. Even with the cone removed from her head, Roxy would not eat or drink much of anything. I was so frustrated that tears came to my eyes because of fear that she would not recover.

In desperation, at about 10 p.m. one night, I called a friend who trains dogs for the deaf and told her what was going on. My friend said she thought my dog had an “attitude” because she wasn’t getting her way. My friend suggested letting Roxy continue her “attitude” for a few more days because she thought the dog would eventually get hungry and thirsty and finally decide to cooperate. My friend was right! The following afternoon Roxy finally decided to take nourishment but she made sure we knew she didn’t like that cone on her head.

One day, after her two weeks of inactivity, I let Roxy go outside in our back yard. She had the cone on her head. When she came back into the house, the cone was gone and I couldn’t find it anywhere. Roxy apparently figured out a way to lose it–and to nip at her stitches. I think she may have tore a couple of the stitches because I saw fluid on the surface of her wound. I found a gauze bandage and some peroxide and an ace bandage. I cleaned the wound, put the gauze bandage over the wound, and wrapped the ace bandage completely around Roxy’s thin body several times, covering the bandage so she couldn’t bite it again. Roxy seemed proud of herself for getting free from the cone but she didn’t bother trying to chew or lick her wound much. I was thankful for that!

Not too long after the incident with Roxy, on May 30th about 1:30 a. m. I had to rush my husband, Steve, over to the emergency room at our local hospital. Steve had been coughing really bad for about five days. That morning when I went to bed, Steve was having bad chills and coughing so much that he nearly choked. When he asked for another quilt to cover him up, I knew something was wrong. Steve is usually too hot and even wears shorts in the winter time. He rarely even gets cold. So I told Steve to get up and get ready because I was taking him to the hospital (because of his disability, he can’t drive). He felt so bad that he didn’t even argue with me about going.

When we got to the hospital, they took his temperature and because he had taken a sip of my ice-water, the temperature didn’t register high on the thermometer. However, the one taking Steve’s temperature believed me about his sickness and they put him in a room in the isolation ward. I found out later that Steve had a fever and had sepsis and pneumonia, caused by a strept bacteria. I couldn’t visit Steve in the hospital so I had to call in periodically and check on his condition. Steve’s temperature was high (103) for a while and he was not coherent. At one point, they were not sure he was going to pull through. Consequently, I prayed and put Steve on the prayer chain. Some friends put him on their church’s prayer chain and my family in Arizona has a neighbor who put Steve on the prayer chain for her church.

Several days went by and I prayed and waited to find out if my husband was going to pull through. Gradually the doctors’ reports indicated Steve was getting slowly better each day. Finally on Saturday, June 6th I got to take a bag of clothing, etc. up to where Steve was in the hospital and talk with him briefly. I was relieved when I saw him sitting up in a wheel chair and he began talking to me. Finally, Steve got well enough to transfer to our local Life Care Center where he could still me monitored and finish up his intravenous antibiotics and get some additional therapy to help strengthen him. During this time, Steve’s said his shoulder was really painful. Days went by and Steve’s shoulder didn’t seem to get better. Finally I asked his doctor to check it out.

This morning the doctor looked at Steve’s shoulder and checked him out. We found out his pain is not in the shoulder but it’s all the way across his upper back area. The doctor is doing some tests and will let me know the results. Now Steve is in Life Care and I am home taking care of business and praying (along with a lot of others) for God to heal my husband. I am learning to trust God more in the midst of these great trials. Though I don’t enjoy struggles, I know God has His purpose for allowing us to go through them. Yet I look forward to the day when my husband can come home and be with us again!

“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.” (Proverbs 2:6-8 NIV)

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