Archive for March, 2006

3/31/06 3:15 pm

Of course, thanks to everyone for being a part of the prayer vigil for Mike — to all who could commit to a specific time slot, and to all who joined in throughout the day. 

The pressure sensor was removed today, as it had been suggested, and Mike has been holding steadily today.  Mike's occupational therapist was pleased to learn of his responsiveness yesterday, and will be implementing a treatment plan which will help to bring Mike further and further along. 

Sorry there was no late-night update yesterday.  Except, of course, where urgent information prompts an immediate update, we will be moving to a single afternoon update each day.  The benefit of this is that we can get impressions from Mike's treating nurse after that nurse has had the opportunity to work with him for most of her shift.  Previously, there had been two daily updates, but they were being obtained shortly after the shift-changes, which enabled the nurses only to report the details of the previous nurse's notes. 

So, this change could give a more accurate and detailed picture, since we will be able to report more of the actual observations of the nurse we speak to.

We know you'll be continuing to pray with us.  I will see Mike this weekend, and look forward to sharing more, as Mike progresses.

March 31, 2006 at 4:59 pm 2 comments

3/30/06 2:00 pm

Mike had an exciting morning.  He responded well to verbal commands, and was able to "quite purposefully" show Dr. Brayton (one of Mike's neurosurgeons) two fingers on his right hand.  This is especially pleasing in light of continuing efforts to bring him forward physically, and the stress those efforts can cause.  A drain has been removed which had been in place since Mike's surgery to remove excess fluid build-up in his head.  There is discussion, also, of removing a cranial pressure sensor from Mike's head tomorrow.  Respiratory testing continues, and Mike is doing fine, but the doctors would like to see his numbers improve.  So, pray for pulmonary (lung) function and strength.

Kim, Mike's nurse, commented today that it does appear that Mike responds better to a deeper (perhaps louder) voice at his neurological tests.  (Michelle has always said you have to yell at him to get him to do anything.)

In other news, internal cranial pressure and profusion pressure (like brain blood pressure) are "perfect"  (which is why the drain has been removed and the sensor could be removed soon).

Basically, it looks like Mike is progressing well physically, and that he is (we can now see) holding his ground neurologically, demonstrating again that he can purposefully respond to audible commands.  We're so proud of him!

There is cause to be encouraged and inspired!  The Lord is at work, and He is faithful to his promises.  Matt 18:19.

March 30, 2006 at 4:36 pm 21 comments

3/29/06 10:00 pm

Theresa is caring for Mike tonight.  She reports that Mike is, again, holding steadily.  He has not shown a lot of responsiveness today, but he continues to raise his head in respose to oral care and he is showing eye movement, though he is not tracking right now.  She states that Mike continues to do very well with tests of his ability to breathe with less ventilator assistance.  She also reassures us that Mike is holding — and he is not moving backward.  She reminds us that, right now, Mike's doctors are trying to move him forward physically in a few areas, and that this is probably causing some stress to his system.  She offered that this is very likely why we have been seeing a little less neurological response.

The doctors are slowly trying to move Mike off of the ventilator, which will effectively return his lungs to a normal "environment."  In addition, other measures are being taken to slowly return Mike's brain to its normal operating environment, and to withdraw the artificial means of assistance put in place during surgery.

The point that Theresa was trying to make was (I think) that Mike's entire system is in a delicate balance right now, and even in that delicate balance we've seen a lot that is encouraging.  But in working to move Mike forward, that balance is going to be disturbed from time to time, and he might not always be able to perform exceptionally on every test.  His breathing tests are great right now, so his responsiveness might be a little off.  This is not unusual.

As the prayer vigil begins, we want to encourage everyone to pray for increased physical stability, for continued adaptation of Mike's brain to the increasingly normal bodily environment he's returning to, and for protection from complications, specifically infections, which could create obstacles or real danger.  Of course, we have so much for which to offer praise and thanksgiving, as well. 

I doubt very much if any single person will be praying alone throughout the entire prayer vigil.  Thank you, everyone, and thank you again, Anne.

March 29, 2006 at 11:42 pm 7 comments

3/29/06 10:30 a.m.

Mike is holding steady.  His responses are unchanged for the most part, and he has remained less active overnight.  He has been able to show what his nurse decribed as a more appropriate response to certain stimuli, in that he will attempt to raise his head at times (in response to oral care).  Mike contnues to have a mild temperature, but this is not of great concern.

Mike recently underwent an hour-long trial of reduced support from his ventilator, to see how he would do.  He did great.  The objective here is to be able to take Mike off the ventilator, allowing him to breathe unassisted (though perhaps still with a supply of air richer in oxygen than normal air).  Know that the concentration of oxygen has been steadily reduced, in response to Mike's improved lung function, and that he is now breathing air only slightly higher in oxygen that the air we breathe.

Mike's nurse indicated that, in terms of his physical health, he appears to be doing very well.  He will be starting some "passive" physical therapy and occupational therapy, to keep his joints flexible.

Mike's EEG test, we are told, was conducted for the primary purpose of ruling out seizures and the risk of seizures.  It was wonderful to hear that Mike does not appear to be at substantial risk of seizures, and anti-seizure medications are not being prescribed.  The EEG results were otherwise consistent with his surgical procedure, but it appears that the EEG was ordered for the purpose of assessing risk for seizure and that it is not really being looked to for more than that.

Please make a special point of praying for the nurses who care for Mike 24 hours a day, and who work with him on his neurological responses.  Pray specifically that they will be encouraged to really push Mike to show them everything that he can.  Mike has seemed to perform best when family members and friends were in his room with the nurse, literally cheering him on, and loudly urging him to close his grip or raise his arm, etc.  It has been suggested that the familiar voices could be a factor.  (I can assure you that if volume is a factor, we had that covered as well.)  Point is, we need to pray that Mike's nurses will be encouraged to really push him hard, and yell at him, just as we have all had to do at one time or another.

You all are wonderful.  Thanks for filling up the prayer schedule.  I know that probably hundreds more will be joining in prayer throughout the day, who may not have been able to commit to a specifc time.

March 29, 2006 at 12:58 pm 3 comments

PRAYER VIGIL SCHEDULE (add comment to request a time slot)


Hi everyone else who loves the Zegarskis! So here is the beginnings of the schedule for Thursday. If you are “just tuning in” I left a post yesterday detailing our day of prayer this Thursday starting at 6am. E-mail me at to let me know if you’d like to participate (and if you live in Naperville, also let me know if you’d be interested in going to a specific site to pray such as the young life office). The schedule thus far is as follows:

6:00am  Christina Matousek, Paula Draheim, Bob Whitney, Kirby Snell, Jeff Rubin, Jenn Mesko, Amy Pasqualini
6:30am  Ann-Marie Stuopys, Heather Lewantowicz, Janice Rubin, Gail Reed, Melanie McCord
7:00am Beth Buschman, Mitch McKenna, Katie Albaugh
7:30am  Rachel Baron, Jason Lewantowicz, Vickie Sinclair, Bob Whitney
8:00am Jordan Burton, Carleen Suttman, Joy Thomas, Mary O'Brien
8:30am Sam Curley, Susan Stamm, Judy Maples
9:00am  Debbie Dixon, Bessma Shamma, Jeanne Brennesholtz
9:30am  Linda Doyle, Jenny Escalante, Stacey Schmelzel, Jack Kelly
10:00am  Wendy Bell, Aimee Tucker, Kevin Thommes
10:30am  Wendy Bell, Mary Ashley, Ben Chambers
11:00am  Shawn Belmont, Megan Pehlke, Jessica Maples
11:30am  Aimee Tucker, Patti Rice
12:00pm  Jessica Maples, Kathy Bossingham
12:30pm Kevin Reeve, Matt Walker, Dan Riordan
1:00pm  Katy Johnson
1:30pm  Cindy Geighes, Becky Davis
2:00pm  Jenny Escalante, Scott Rice, Jen Gioffre Poland
2:30pm Julie Wachter, Raeann Everts
3:00pm  Karen Doer, Brendan Wischweh
3:30pm Aaron Wachter
4:00pm  Katie Doyle, Shelly Prado
4:30pm  Goodman family, Gail and Phil Ebersole
5:00pm  Ryan Magnuson
5:30pm   Mary Ashley, Liz Lmbka (and crew)
6:00pm  Megan Pehlke, Joy Mysliwiec
6:30pm  Joy Mysliwiec, Molly Winkelmeyer, Nancy Rahsman, Patti Van Dorn
7:00pm Erin Strong, Shannon Hallstrom
7:30pm Sister Strong, Dave Sloop
8:00pm Mom Strong
8:30pm  Beth Stoy
9:00pm  Chad & Melissa Perry, Stacey Matiyow
9:30pm  Leslie Swiss, Linda Doyle, Sarah Naffzinger
10:00pm  Martha Turner, Sarah Naffziger, Wendy Bell
10:30pm  Ken Fay, Anna Davidson, Kristi Vana
11:00pm  Julia Redford,  Collette Cerveny (and Dayton YL leaders), Ida Lynn Wenhold
11:30pm  Justin Elder, eli Margaron
12:00am  Desiree Singleton, Emmy Childress
12:30am  Matt Maragon, Ben Thomas
1:00am Sarah Spunt
1:30am  Rob Engelhardt
2:00am Beth Griebel
2:30am Dan Griebel
3:00am Ellie Liebovitz
3:30am  Lisa Haid
4:00am  Lisa Haid, Damon Frahler
4:30am Kari & Mike Ledebuhr, Dave & Gwen Hubbard
5:00am The Lunde Family, Annie Udell, Kim Schutter, Jeff Chesemore
5:30am Kim Hoffman, Vickie Sinclair, Barbara Gobrail, Heather Radinski, Melissa Page, Marcia McKenna
6:00am Margaret Sumner

Please e-mail me to let me know if you’d like to join us in prayer for Mike, Michelle, McKaela, Eli, and the rest of the Zegarski/Bultema bunch. THANKS again for showing me and so many others what true community in Christ looks like.

March 29, 2006 at 8:37 am 67 comments

3/28/06 10:00 p.m.

Mike's nurse has described Mike's condition today as "unchanged," basically.  Mike has not been very active today, relating to his neurological responses.  We have been reminded on numerous occasions by those caring for Mike that this is nothing to be worried about.  Every test (they are conducted hourly) will not necessarily yield a better response than the one before it.  A general upward trend, with more and more consistency is what we need to look for and pray for; and it has been stated that we are seeing this. 

It is good to note that Mike's internal cranial pressure (ICP) has decreased to between 0 and 1.  It had been between 5 and 8 for much of last week.  As a point of reference, the nurses did not want to see that number above 25, and zero is the number we want (that is what is normal for everyone).  So, it is exciting to note that ICP appears to have returned to normal.

It has been mentioned that Mike's latest CT scan showed improvement.  The CT scan provides a number of pictures of the brain, and it is showing that Mike's brain is moving closer to its pre-injury position and shape.  Obviously, that is good. 

The EEG results still need to be explained by a neurologist, so we cannot give any information on that.  

Thanks for signing up for prayer — the list will be updated immediately, so we can see where we are with that.

Looking forward, please watch for 2 updates per day:  late morning, and late evening.  Mike's nurses have requested that this be the pattern of calls to the ICU for information.  However, if we receive information at times from those who are with Mike in his room, important updates may occur at other times as well. 

March 28, 2006 at 11:38 pm 6 comments


Thanks to everyone signed up, and to all who, we know, will be joining in throughout the day to pray for Mike.

March 28, 2006 at 5:39 pm 9 comments


We have received a request from the ICU nurses that no one outside of Mike's family call the the ICU for an update.  Thank you for showing how much we respect and appreciate them, by relying on this site for updates.

March 28, 2006 at 3:06 pm 1 comment

3/28/06 1:00 p.m.

Mike is continuing to show some positive signs of improvement. Although intermittent signs, they're positive. Some of these signs include occasional squeezing of hands, or slight raising of arms or pulling in legs. Mike's doctors continue to be "cautiously optimistic" concerning his progress.

Late last night, Michelle and Mike's evening nurse, Theresa, were with Mike when he opened his eyes twice in response to touch sensations at his chest. The first time, the right eye was fairly wide open, with the left partially open. The second time, they both opened but not as much. We need to be absolutely clear that this should not be mistaken for "waking up," as we use those words. However, these were certainly facial responses to stimuli, and we understand that to be "higher" than, say, arm movement in response to sensation in the arm.

Mike had a CT scan yesterday which showed some improvement. He also had an EEG, but the results are not back yet.

Your prayers are effective, and we have (always) cause for praise. Keep praying for the positive responses we're seeing and for Mike's continued medical stability.

Know that Mike has been told repeatedly to be praying himself. We trust that he understands, and that he is joining us all in prayer. We know, as you do, that our Lord is hearing our call. And what a blessing it is to witness Michelle's faith and strength!

There just aren't words to tell you all everything we want to say, of our gratitude and the blessing you all have been to this entire family, and (we know) to each other. What is clear is that Mike's "family" truly includes all of you.

(Again, please remember that, if you don't see an update, it means Mike is "holding.")

March 28, 2006 at 2:12 pm 5 comments

3/26 11:15 p.m. (Letter from Michelle to all)

There is no way to explain the peace I feel. From the world's perspective this is all a horror. But I feel like singing so much of the time. Only from the vantage point of eternity do I know that this is merely a moment. And so I know that God has charge. Still he encourages us to bring our requests straight to his "throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" Hebrews 4:16.  This week has given me a glimpse of the church, the body of believers united in spirit, formidable in prayer as we claim God's promises for healing this Michael of mine.

THANK YOU for your persistence in prayer which Rev. 5:8, 8:4 compares to incense. I know God is enjoying the smell his people are cooking up. He is a sweet God and every day I am reminded that his grace is sufficient for me. Each and every one of you is his tool. Love has become tangible in wagonfuls of cereals and snacks, endless meals, flowers, gifts, cards, verses, notes (and love wraps me in a special quilt). The verses and hymns you share feed me even more than the yummy treats delivered. I struggle to think of any unmet need when flooded with requests to help.

 God is at work. Undeniably in Mike. Obviously surrounding me. And hopefully in each of you as you suffer and rejoice with us as the indispensable, invaluable body of Christ! Each name signed reminds me of a memory and lifetime of blessing. I will never be able to thank you all for the abundance. But know that you deliver grace, laughter, joy and gratitude with each word. You point me back to the Savior even when I am tired or covered in my daughter's vomit.

And don't forget he is called the Savior for a reason. I wait in eager expectation for God to deliver him home to us to dance with McKaela, to supervise Eli's tummy time, and (God forbid I admit I could ever miss it) to harass me back into my Pilates schedule.

Love, peace and hope,

Michelle z

March 27, 2006 at 12:24 am 73 comments

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