Archive for July, 2006

7/30/06 8:30 pm

yes, hooray, mike is comfortably settled in at Manor Care in Naperville.  Visitors welcome 10 am to 8 pm.  He is sleeping and cannot talk because of his trach.  he is moving very little.  this is a big week so we will need some extra determined prayer cover.  Request #1–mike has been given one week by the insurance company to make some measure of improvement to justify the expense of rehab.  I believe he gets bumped down the ladder to “custodial” care if they cannot document and justify his stay at Manor Care.  Custodial care is private pay.  Pray that Mike would get the most out of where he is.  My hope is for him to do well here and shock us all.

requests #2 and 3–i am leading a cabin of girls on a junior high wyld life trip Tuesday through saturday this week at timberwolf lake in michigan.  mike’s parents, fred and jill, will be with mike all week bearing the burden of responsibility for him.  please pray for this trip of over 50 kids.  pray that God would be glorified and vivid and that kids would be softhearted and responsive.  pray for protection from distraction while we are there.  and PLEASE pray for a stable week for fred and jill here at home.  (last time i left town mike had a seizure, giving all of us a scare). 

this is a big week and i am laying it all at God’s feet.  it is too big for me to hold.  but i figure the one who can conquer the grave shouldn’t be too overwhelmed by any detail.  amen.     –michelle

July 30, 2006 at 8:39 pm 9 comments

Friday 7/28/06 2:45 pm

the transfer got delayed a little bit by logistics so Mike is scheduled to leave Central DuPage Hospital SATURDAY morning around 10 am.  He will head over to Manor Care on Martin Avenue which backs up to Edward Hospital and visiting hours are 10 am to 8 pm.  They are incredibly friendly and have been so helpful to make this transfer possible.  Unless you have gone through a similar scenario it is impossible to convey the enormous amount of time and phone calls and energy that sometimes go into the transfer or hospitalization process.  Please praise God on my behalf for the saints i have encountered along the way in this debilitating process.  I have spoken to insurance representatives, multiple discharge planners, case workers, doctors, neurosurgeons, nurses and other titled people i cannot keep straight.  all have been compassionate in their sacrifice of time in fighting to make the details come together for mike’s and our family’s best interests.  We tend to live in a culture of skepticism about insurance and health care and i have felt nothing but blessed by the prayer and concern offered by every individual working with us and even those who i bother without even being a patient of theirs!

on a side note–i have been watching library movies piecemeal when the kids are asleep and it is taking me a week to get through Bowling for Columbine, a documentary looking at violence in America.  one section addressed the way we feed on fear here.  it is offered at every media outlet until we are engorged with fear and it infects our lives and interactions like a poison.  Our situation with mike has set our family up to be afraid– of mistakes in his care, or financial woe, lack of or slow progress, discouragement or any number of what ifs that we can dream up.  yet i sit and count blessings and surrender all fear because i believe in a God that reassures me…

Isaiah 41:10
    So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

thanks for holding our family up to this God who is bigger.    –michelle

July 28, 2006 at 3:02 pm 7 comments


Mike will transfer to Manor Care in Naperville on Friday.  This is a great option, since it will allow Mike to be close to Michelle and the kids, and to all of his friends in Naperville.  Obviously, he will be watched closely for signs that he could be ready to return to physical therapy.  We will post information about visiting, etc., as soon as possible.  Please continue to visit and encourage Mike regularly, as his days may be (for now) less active with therapy. 

July 27, 2006 at 8:00 pm 4 comments


Still not sure about Mike’s placement with another facility.  CDH is looking into different options, and it is clear that they have Mike’s best interests at heart.  Please continue to remember Mike’s discharge coordinator in your prayers, as well as his future caregivers.

July 26, 2006 at 11:30 am 6 comments


Quick update:  Mike is soon to be released from Central DuPage, but it is unclear where he will go from there.  Because he does not appear responsive enough for rehab at Marianjoy, he may be placed in a facility which offers skilled nursing until he is ready for more.  Right now, the issue seems to be placement in a suitable facility which is in or near Naperville, and the discharge coordinator at CDH is now working on this.

Please pray for the best placement opportunity, and that Mike’s future caregivers will be encouraging and caring, and that they will believe in Mike as we do.  Pray also for the progress that will enable Mike to return quickly to rehab.

July 24, 2006 at 6:48 pm 5 comments

7/23/06 11:00 pm

oh my gosh, i get more attention than i can fathom.  thanks for all your encouragements, all your care, all your prayers most of all.  mike is still what i describe as just ok.  (though his brother tom was in this weekend and thought he looked great!)  i say mike’s ok because he is much more awake and alert than last week but he is still not able to communicate in any way yet.  he is starting to move his right hand a bit but he has not blinked, squeezed or moved in response to a command as far as i know.  he does seem to be regaining some facial expression but won’t specifically smile if asked or anything like that.  his doctor seems accepting of the slow progress and says that they are doing everything possible and now he just is using time to heal from the severe infection.  he could get discharged at any time since he is medically stable.  i am not sure he is ready for marianjoy again and may have to find a new destination.  I will need to talk to the discharge planner at CDH about the options and timeline.  Praise God for mike’s progress and stability.  Ask for continued strength and capacity to get back to rehab.

as for me… by grace i really experience much more contentment than disappointment.  transfers are the hardest time and lead to the most moody back and forth bouts of discouragement.  but i call for an extra babysitter and an extra nap and journal and pray and go someplace fun with my kids and thank God for how incredibly well he takes care of us.  there is no moment when i have found any of us out of his hands.  frustration certainly comes and comes like an avalanche of griping but just as quickly is washed away by the truths of God’s goodness evidenced in each day of my life.  i am not afraid to be honest or angry or discouraged.  that happens.  i credit your prayer for our family for how fleeting such moments are.  i am not kidding when i say God has been and is SO GOOD to us.  i am surprised by new revelations of it as the weeks fly by. 

Psalm 94:22
    But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.

thanks, michelle

July 23, 2006 at 11:12 pm 3 comments

7/20/06 12:40 am

the tracheotomy did go well.  i spoke to mike’s neurologist today and again questioned whether they were worried about his slow wakeup pace.  he said that while he wishes it was going faster it is still reasonable for it to take this long since mike sustained such a severe infection.  the gist of the conversation was he cannot guarantee that everything is fine but he is still reserving the right to count on that at this point.  i have more than enough to be thankful for but i am certainly living on the edge of frustration and disappointment.  visits are discouraging.  yet…i meet new nurses and doctors and continue to be impressed and grateful by so many “strangers” that pray and care for him.  and i almost cry if i stop too long and think of those who have gone above and beyond  in that role already (good to hear from you, laura, and how did the game end up, ICU ladies?).  it is almost impossible for me to remember what day of the week it is and i start to feel fed up and pitiful.  will the waiting ever end?  yet…others’ faithfulness spurs on my own–faithful friends (even when they find my door locked), faithful meals, faithful prayer.  i fed mckaela dinner at 9:15 tonight because my schedule gets out of control though i should be used to daily hospital visits by now.  i cancel plans and miss appointments.  and yet… each day includes the easygoing laughter of these hilarious, forgiving, life-loving kids i have.  i wonder how this could work for good, this lengthy infection hurdle, this sleepy state, this thing overall.  and yet…

Psalm 42:11
    Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?
    Put your hope in God, for I will YET praise him, my Savior and my God.

please do pray for mike’s wakeup and responsiveness.  (minor things to pray about too–his lips got mangled by the bite block that he needed to keep him from crushing the breathing tube and his feet are starting to turn in toward each other despite an effort to stick pillows between and try to straighten them. these are minor compared to becoming alert but i figure if you are already praying–throw in some extras!)

thanks, michelle

July 20, 2006 at 1:05 am 26 comments

7/19/06 Please Continue to Pray Earnestly

As anticipated, Mike will have a tracheotomy performed today, to protect his vocal cords and to allow that he remain intubated.

Of greater concern, though, is the fact that Mike is still not responding to commands.  (He will sometimes attend to a visitor or to a movie, but he is otherwise unresponsive.)  In his present condition, he cannot meaningfully participate in therapy and he would not benefit from the rehabilitation offered at Marianjoy.  Consequenty, unless we see some improvement during his remaining time at Central DuPage, following the trach, he will not be directly returning to Marianjoy.

The lastest event has proven to be a greater set-back than was originally anticipated, and we find ourselves again wondering about the outlook for Mike’s recovery. 

Please pray earnestly that Mike will regain that responsiveness he had at Marianjoy before this infection set in — and please get a renewed prayer request out into your church communities.  This situation has been going on for two weeks, and, for some time now, the infection has been resolved.  The reason for Mike’s ongoing difficulty is unknown.

July 19, 2006 at 1:11 pm 17 comments


Mike has been responsive on some days, and sleepy on others.  He is attentive to visitors at times, and he will move his arms.  Not a lot has changed, but Mike’s neurologist has assured us that the time this is taking is not cause for concern.  Mike remains intubated orally, and he is receiving oxygen, but he is breathing unassisted.  If his responsiveness (and ability to swallow and cough) does not improve over the next few days, then it will likely become necessary for Mike to have another tracheostomy, in order to protect his vocal cords and to ensure that drainage can be removed from his lungs.  This is really just a precautionary and protective measure, whereas the alternative of simply removing the tube could put Mike at some risk. 

Mike also continues to receive physical and occupational therapy everyday.  It is possible that he could be released back to Marionjoy at any time.  These transfers usually happen without much warning, though.  We’ll let you know.

Please pray for more continual alertness and strength.

July 17, 2006 at 9:30 am 8 comments

7/12/06 11:55 pm

real quick–because it is late–  Mike is getting his tube feedings again and that is going well.  he is also breathing on his own but with some oxygen so they will keep the tube in his throat just until he wakes up a bit more as a “just in case thing” for now.  he is tracking better with his eyes and was watching tv today but is still unresponsive in any other way.  his neurologist said it didn’t seem inappropriate for Mike to need extra time to wake up considering all of the extra variables with mike’s overall condition.  i think that is it.  i have to remember that even as my own feelings fluctuate– one day i worry, the next i am assured–God’s love, power, and providence do not change or depend on any circumstance.  He holds mike every day no matter what comes along.  amen.    –michelle

July 13, 2006 at 12:00 am 8 comments

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