Archive for April, 2006

4/15/06 6:00 pm

Mike had a great day.  On request, he was able to squeeze both his right and left hands.  (He appears to be doing better with his right hand, showing better consistency.) 

Mike also surprised his nurse and his dad this morning by shaking his head, "no," in response to being asked if he wanted to listen to a particular music CD.  This head motion came in response to the verbal question alone, without other prompting.  (He was not asked to shake his head.)  In addition, this response was given twice to the same question, asked at two different times, separated by some other questions designed to prompt a nod, "yes" (which he did not show). 

We've been told previously that something new in the way of responsiveness is always good.  This response was certainly new, not only as a type of motion, but also in the sense that it represented an expression of preference, and not mere compliance with a request.  (We like those too, but this may suggest a bit more than that.)  The fact that he made the same response on two separate occasions also provides a clear answer to another question, telling us plainly that Mike does NOT like the UD Flyer Band's basketball music CD. 

This is very exciting and encouraging.  Mike's nurse stated "I almost fell over when I saw it."  (Those are medical terms.)

It's a joy to share this with everyone.  Thanks for looking in on Mike.  Happy Easter.

April 15, 2006 at 7:32 pm 17 comments

4/14/06, 1:00 pm

Mike's heart rate is back down to normal, and all of the tests have come back normal, so that is very good.  It appears that he may have simply been uncomfortable, and the nurses were able to resolve the issue.

It is also good to note that Mike has been sporadically showing two fingers on request, and also thumb movement on request, during the same evaluation.  So, it appears he is able to differentiate and that the movements are purposeful and not mere reflex actions.

Mike may be ready for a transfer early next week if a Monday-morning CT scan shows that fluid levels have not increased.  Seeing Mike moved to a rehab facility and into a coma stimulation program, as soon as possible, is probably the most important thing we can pray for at this time — and for all the things which will clear the way for that transfer.  More responsiveness and greater consistency in his responsiveness, too, are primary concerns, of course.

Sorry for the delay with yesterday's update.  (The site would not permit the update for some reason.)  

We wish all of you a safe and joyful Easter holiday.  We know you will be lifting Mike and Michelle up.  A dear friend of Mike recently emailed a message that I wanted to share:

It's no accident that this week in particular we celebrate the miracle of life and its victory over death and darkness. God introduced man in a garden and reintroduced him, fully free of the first man's bondage, in another garden. God is in the redeeming business, and the tomb is behind us. All of us.

Amen.

April 14, 2006 at 1:33 pm 5 comments

4/13/06, 9:40 a.m.

Just a short note to everyone. Mike’s CT scan looked better yesterday than Monday, so no surgery is planned. Mike is completely off of the ventilator now, so that is wonderful. Something to pray about: Mike’s heart rate is elevated, and it is unclear why this is so. A number of tests are being run, but results will take at least 24 hours.

April 14, 2006 at 8:41 am 5 comments

4/12/06, 5:00 pm

Good news: Mike has been breathing on his own since 6:00 a.m. this morning, and it is hoped that he will be able to continue for a 24-hour trial.  Tomorrow, he will undergo a follow-up CT scan, to determine whether any surgical intervention is necessary to relieve fluid build-up.  Of course, we pray that no surgery will be necessary, and that Mike can soon move on to a rehabilitation clinic.

Mike has opened his eyes in response to a physical stimulus at least once today, and he may be trying to track visually, but it is difficult to determine.  He has not shown responsiveness to verbal requests today, as of this posting, though one of Mike's visitors reported to the nurse that he may have shown some finger movement in response to a request.  (The nurse did not see this at one of Mike's checks, so it could not be reported as such.)

That's all they could tell us at this time.  I don't like "bumping" Michelle's letter, so make sure you read it below.  And thanks for checking in.

April 12, 2006 at 5:29 pm 10 comments

4/12/06, 10:00 am (Letter from Michelle)

Always so many fleeting thoughts so late at night, and so little time to sort them out. So here is a taste of what has gone through my head:

I visit the hospital mostly late at night after I have put McKaela to bed. It has been a gift to have quiet with God as I continue devotionals and also quiet with Michael as I read to him or sing or steal some room on his bed to be close.

1. Thoughts today consist of a nervousness of people seeing my pettiness. People seem a bit more impressed with me than I deserve and I remind them that God's grace leads and carries me. Any good is from such an inexhaustible Source. But I do get nervous that the part that is me might come through and catch people off guard. I am still enjoying God's peace and calm but be sure to assign appropriate credit, please.

2. In my quiet times I have been going through 1 Peter and hit 1 Peter 4:7-11:

… be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

As I read these words aloud to Mike and then tried to digest them I thought about the variety of talents and gifts so many have shared with us in these past weeks. The nurses and doctors certainly administer God's grace in a particular form (especially when coated in cough congestion, right?), and each meal delivered to my family testifies to another set of talents. I look out my window and someone is fertilizing my lawn, or delivering a green plant that celebrates life. My mailbox gorges itself on letters of love. And I am almost embarrassed that I check the website as often as anyone else to catch the latest prayer or scripture.

I relish the variety of ways God has creatively taught each of you to share his grace. Thank you. You each point me to praise. Thank you.

3. I pulled out Easter decorations in early March trying to figure out how to explain the connection of eggs with Easter with Jesus for McKaela's benefit. I stretched to emphasize that the eggs she was so passionate about hatching had to do with new life, and so did Jesus. Jesus came to give us new life, just like eggs remind us of new life. She is also currently obsessed with butterflies and cocoons so I wove them into the symbolism. After all, a caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly practically begs to be compared to Jesus to tomb to resurrection. Yet my explanations become deeper to me as I sit with my husband, seemingly buried in his own cocoon. And I wait longer than a weekend to see God bring new life to his body.

I pray that we would celebrate Easter, celebrate the sacrifice of the King this weekend, and wait in eager expectation. Each day, each victory, confirms the promise "that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion." (Philip. 1:6).

I read your cards and notes and letters to Mike every night. I am sure it speaks courage into his weakness. And reminds him of a Savior's love.

– Michelle

April 12, 2006 at 10:21 am 16 comments

4/11/06, 5:00 pm

Mike has had a good day!  He has shown some finger movement, and he appeared to be doing some "auditory" tracking with his eyes this afternoon.  Also, he breathed without vent support for 8 hours yesterday — AND PRETTY MUCH ALL DAY TODAY, and without stress.  It sounds as if he will soon be entirely independent of the ventilator.  (I understand that he will continue to be given oxygen, but only slightly higher than that in normal air, and only passively and not through ventilator assistance.) 

My barber, who is a student of Scripture, today reminded me of this parable, which I wanted to share: 

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' "

For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "

And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. Luke 18:1-8.

Our faithful and sustained prayer remains (always) the best thing we can do for Mike and Michelle.  Stay encouraged.  The Easter season holds for us the very reason that we are Christians: our Lord's greatest miracle, his own resurrection.  Let's keep praying for the miracle we seek.

April 11, 2006 at 4:54 pm 6 comments

4/10/06, 5:30 pm

Well, Mike is keeping us all on our toes, as usual.  A CT scan today revealed that fluid build-up has dissipated significantly over the last few days, and that surgery to relieve the build-up is not now necessary.  (It would seem that prayer that the surgery go well has produced an even better result.) 

Late this week, the situation will be re-evaluated, to see if surgical intervention will be necessary at all.  If it is not, then there may be nothing which would preclude a transfer to a rehabilitation facility.  Please pray for Mike's neurosurgeons as they make these decisions and make recommendations concerning the facility best-suited for Mike.

Also, Mike continues to do very well with his tests "off the vent," so it may also come to pass that when Mike is released from the ICU, he can go to a facility as a non-vent-dependent patient, which would be very good.  (Specific-prayer suggestion. Thanks.)

Finally, so many of Mike's "extended" family (that means you all) have posted so many beautiful and encouraging words and Scripture verses that I will be occasionally singling some folks out, by copying them to the update posts.  Your expressions of faith and hope, and of love for Mike and Michelle, not only lift them up, but sustain all of us who are in prayer for them.  (And that doesn't mean you can't just drop a note to say that you continue to check on Mike and pray for him.  It's always nice to know how many are keeping him in prayer.)

April 10, 2006 at 5:52 pm 9 comments

4/8/06, 11:00 pm

Mike has done very well today with his breathing trials (without ventilator support), most recently being off the vent for 2hours.  He has also shown responsiveness to stimuli, and some tracking of sound with his eyes.  So , Mike is holding steady. 

This is from a recent post from Shawna Vogel, which I found very encouraging and I wanted to share with everyone:

My family has been praying daily for Michael, Michelle,and the Zegarski family. I have been reading scripture in hopes to lift up my petitions to God for Michael and his family. I would like to share God’s word.

Behold , I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?–Jeremiah 32:27 –Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.—Hebrews 4:16 —The Lord your God himself crosses over before you…He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you. –Deuteronomy 31:3,8–Whenever Iam afraid, I will trust in You. In God I will praise His word, In God I have put my trust;I will not fear. What can flesh do to me—Psalm 56:3-4—Trust in Him at all times, you people;Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. –Psalm 62:8.

Do good,O Lord, to those who are good like your servant Michael, who is upright in his heart. Please bring your warm light into the Zegarski’s darkness. Behold you are the one true God and your word proven. Thank you God for the many blessings which you have bestowed. In Jesus Christ We Pray!! AMEN

Thank you, Shawna.  Good night, all.

April 8, 2006 at 11:12 pm 2 comments

4/8/06 2:00 pm

It is good to see that Mike looks MUCH more comfortable, now that he is not orally intubated, having had the tracheostomy.  He really looks like himself again (less some hair), and one can't help but look at him and believe that he is feeling better too.

Mike was able to breathe unassisted for almost 3 hours today, so he is progressing nicely with his respiratory strength.  Pray that he can soon be removed entirely from ventilator support.

Mike has shown some flexion response to stimulus today, which is good in light of how much he has been through with the respiratory trials.  Additionally, it is hoped that with the relieving of the fluid build-up (mentioned last night) we will see a return of some of his best responsiveness.  Pray that Monday's procedure to relieve that build-up will go perfectly, and that Mike can soon be made ready for a transfer to a rehabilitation facility.  Also, please continue to pray about the decisions surrounding a rehab facility and for the availability of a facility that will be best for him.

We will be with Mike all day, trying to encourage him, so please check back.

April 8, 2006 at 2:17 pm 4 comments

4/7/06 6:00 pm

We've had some great news today. Mike's angiogram appears to show that he no longer has an AVM or an aneurysm, and that he should not be at risk for future hemhorraging. Put another way, it appears that the surgery corrected the problem which led to Mike's injury.

Mike will need a fairly minor surgical procedure Monday, in order to relieve some fluid build-up in his head. Please pray that this procedure will correct the problem, so that a shunt will not be necessary to allow fluid to drain. This will delay any transfer until late next week at the earliest.

Mike has had less responsiveness over the last couple of days. (He's obviously had a lot going on.) I will post more this weekend from Chicago — gotta get up there. Thanks for checking in.

April 7, 2006 at 6:10 pm 8 comments

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