July 4, 2006 at 12:02 pm 8 comments

Mike is doing well at Marionjoy.  He has days where his speech is quite good, and others where he may just not feel like talking. His caregivers would like to see more progress in the way of physical and occupational therapy than Mike has shown, but, of course, a number of obstacles have been thrown into his path since he started at Marionjoy.  Thankfully, it appears that many of them have been removed.  

There have been no fluid issues since the shunt was put in place, and the c-diff infection is now resolved (which is great because it can cause flu-like symptoms and weakness which could have impeded Mike’s progress).  Tomorrow, Mike is scheduled to receive some botox injections in his muscles which should relax them and hopefully resolve the spasticity which he has had in his legs and (more recently) his arms.  This should clear the way for more effective physical and occupational therapy, making the effectiveness of the botox a most obvious subject of prayer.

Mike will only be at Marionjoy for another two weeks (as it is now projected).  From there, he will go to a “sub-acute” facility, which does not support some of the needs beyond which Mike has progressed, and where he will continue to receive physical and occupational therapy. After that, Mike could possibly go back to Marionjoy (for therapy relating to more advanced movement and activities) or he could go home (and having a caregiver come in daily to assist him).  Of course, everything depends on Mike’s progress and his needs.  (Keep praying.)

I feel compelled to mention this, so please forgive me, but some may have wondered about the reduced frequency of updates.  The problems (I think) are mainly two: First, the ICU atmosphere, and the constant oversight of Mike in the ICU by nurses to whom we had direct access 24/7, really allowed for a free-flow of lots of information.  In the physical therapy environment, the nurses who care for Mike daily, and who are available for questions, are not the therapists who have the answers about Mike’s progress.  (And, of course, the therapists are not with him constantly.) So, there are certain practical difficulties of getting information and of just how much information is available.  (I myself often do not know how things are going day-to-day.)

The second problem is really a good problem to have, which I would summarize (maybe badly) this way: the better a person gets, the less obvious (in some ways) the progress becomes, and the harder it is to pass on.  When Mike was fighting for his life, every single response and every inch of movement was truly a milestone, and something to be eagerly reported.  These were changes (in a way) from nothing to something, and so the changes were qualitatively infinite.  Now that Mike is in therapy (thank God!), every movement does not now represent what they once did.  Rather, we are looking at subtle improvements in strength and range of motion, which are harder to identify and quantify, and, so, harder to report.

I know that you probably will have guessed all of this, but I wanted to say it because the reduced frequency of updates to you has bothered me.  We know that you are faithful in prayer (thank you!).  Be encouraged to remain fervent.  Prayer has brought Mike to where he is, to where he is praying with us.

Entry filed under: updates.

6/28/06 11:59 pm 7/6/06 URGENT PRAYER REQUEST

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Steve & Elizabeth Sherwood  |  July 4, 2006 at 12:38 pm

    It has been so encouraging to hear of Mike’s progress and to read between the lines your great love for him and patience with this process. We pray for you often and are so grateful for the miracles God has done.

  • 2. Cata Ingalls  |  July 4, 2006 at 1:40 pm

    Dear Mike and Michelle,

    You would be so proud of Rob. He just spent 2 weeks hiking at Philmont, a Scout Ranch in New Mexico. He was the chaplain for his group and led the nightly devotional and even “Light the Fire” on the guitar. He “found an outlet” for sharing his faith, he said. Warren was teary watching him. Rob credits the two of you for teaching him about Jesus.

    We continue to pray for you daily as do many others here. Even when there are no updates the simple act of checking the website is my reminder to pray. As always, we wish we were closer so we could visit.

    May God continue to lavish you with His love and healing.

    Cata, Warren, and Rob

  • 3. Debbie Dixon  |  July 4, 2006 at 9:55 pm

    Greetings to the “Z” family on this Fourth of July holiday. Happy to read your updates as they help direct prayer. PLEASE know that you are remembered daily in thoughts and prayers. Every day is blessing from God and a moment to celebrate. Mike has made much progess and you Michelle continue to be a wonderful witness to the power and love of our mighty Savior. Your patience, perserverance and love speak volumes to many. God has taught me sooooooooo much about faithful prayer since March 22. Take care. With great love and many prayers . . .

  • 4. Jerry Powers  |  July 4, 2006 at 11:06 pm


    I plan on stopping by Marionjoy this Friday, probably around 5-6pm to see Mike. I will be coming in from Dayton. Feel free to contact me by email or phone (513)850-4811, if there is anything I can do, or anything you need at all. I plan on bringing some pictures to share with Mike. I am looking forward to seeing him. If you are there on Friday, It would be great to see you also. Talk to you soon.

    Jerry Powers

  • 5. Matt Koupal  |  July 5, 2006 at 8:48 am

    Hey Michelle-

    The very last thing any of us wants is for you to feel pressure to report on Mike’s progress every day. I check the website daily and pray for you daily and have committed you to the Lord’s care. I can totally relate to your comments about the subtle improvements and lack of good communication-with our son Luke we’ve been right where you are in that regard. It IS very hard to report status to those who love you when you’re in this situation. So I will continue to check daily and visit periodically, though without any expectation of regular updates, major breakthroughs, or anything of the that sort. I do expect God to continue to uplift you and Mike and heal him in His time.

    In His name I pray for you and Mike,


  • 6. Leah and Ryan  |  July 5, 2006 at 10:45 am

    As I have read your words of encourgement, hope and prayer over these last months I have yet to respond back to you. Although our voices have been silent to your ears please know that throughout this course you have been in our prayers and conversations. It is rewarding and fulfilling to hear your words proclaiming Mike’s trimuphs and challenges and although the updates maybe sporadic at times please know that the prayers are not. We appreciate the time to you take to inform us of the details as small or big they may be. I continue to pray for you and your strong support that you are spreading not only to Mike but your family and friends. May God continue to shine his blessings on all of you.
    Prayfully yours,
    Leah Ryan and Ty Oldendick

  • 7. Pat Spencer  |  July 5, 2006 at 9:05 pm

    Please don’t feel burdened to report to all of us. I always feel blessed that I can touch base with a friend and catch up on Mike’s progress. As well as feeling fortunate that you have shared so much with all of us; and that you take the time to write. So I see it as alittle gift each day to check in on you all; then I delight in the priviledge to pray for you all!

    Take Care of yourself,

  • 8. Lisa Haid  |  July 6, 2006 at 7:29 am

    Mike and Michelle,

    Regardless of how frequently your updates come, our prayers will continue. Your updates on Mike’s incredible progress is a blessing that I’ll never take for granted. I check the web site every day and know that “no news is good news”. Praise God that Mike has progressed to a place where we don’t need updates every day!

    with love,


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