Archive for August, 2006


Miike went to Edward last night for some attention relating to the fever which he has had for about a week-and-a-half.  He did not have a “spike” in fever, or anything alarming occur.  It appears that his doctor was just not willing to wait any longer to see the matter resolve on its own, having allowed it sufficient time to do so.  Anyway, he’s doing fine.  He has been placed on antibiotics, and he should return to ManorCare on Thursday.  Mike continues to be awake, alert, and responsive.  He has been making some good showings in therapy, so it will be great to see him return to it.

I was reminded today of how thankful we can be in all of this — even for these trials that we see Mike encounter, and which appear, more and more, simply to be a part of this process.  I ran into a former work associate who relayed a haunting account of her friend’s husband suffering a cranial hemorrhage a couple days ago.  This young man, just 31, had complained of a headache behind his eye which grew progressively worse, until he asked his wife to call an ambulance.  Paramedics worked with him in his home for awhile before transporting him to a nearby hospital, but efforts to save his life were unsuccessful.  There was no mention of surgery having been attempted (maybe it could not have been performed fast enough, or maybe they didn’t know what was happening).  He had two little girls.

We all know how many things had to come together back on March 21st (and even earlier, considering the AVM diagnosis), in order for Mike’s life to be saved.  I’m just so indescribably thankful for a brother like Mike, and that he is still with us.  I am so sorry for this other family, that they are living out the tragedy that we escaped so narrowly (or, so it appeared).  I don’t know their names, but I hope that you will say a prayer for them as they endure their loss.  And one of thanks for all we see in Mike’s progress.  We have so much to be thankful for. 

August 29, 2006 at 8:28 pm 4 comments


Mike has been doing great this week according to his therapists. I gauge how i should feel based on their enthusiasm and they were feeling pretty excited. For some reason that fever is hanging in there and they are still treating him only with tylenol. surely by the grace of prayer it has not inhibited any of his therapy time. please continue to pray for mike’s protection from this annoying infection. but likewise, be encouraged, his progress is great.

– michelle

August 25, 2006 at 7:20 pm 6 comments

8/22/06 Post from Peggy Lehner, following visit with Mike

No news on the fever (sorry), but Mike has continued to be alert and responsive, so it doesn’t seem to be setting him back.  In the meantime, I wanted to pass along some words encouraging people to visit.  (As many of you know, the Lehners are dear friends of Mike from Dayton, OH.) … 

    Jim and I made it up to see Mike for the first time this past weekend and we would just like to pass on the following. It is really very important for Mikes recovery that he have as much stimulation as possible so PLEASE make every effort you can to go visit, stay as long as possible and don’t worry about staying too long. If you are hesitant for any reason let me assure you that we quickly realized MIke really understands everything you are saying to him. His ability to communicate is extremely limited at the moment but the longer we stayed the easier it became to interpret both his facial expressions and get him to nod or raise a finger in response to even somewhat complex questions. Perhaps most encouraging was seeing Mikes sense of humor come through. I used to tease him about that peculiar little head movement he makes where he would sort of move his neck around and shrug his shoulder— Michelle says it is a left over football injury. I am probably not describing it very well but everyone seems to know what I am talking about. I was babbling to Mike on Friday night about how hard he needs to work and made reference to wanting to see that famous “Zegarski shrug” in the near future. Lo and behold…he looked right at me and moved his shoulder up and down…a movement we certainly had not seen up to that point. As some of you may know Jim is a doctor and he is concerned that Mike be kept awake as much as possible during the day so that he can get solid sleep at night. That also will keep him fresh and alert for the next days therapy! So go and don’t worry about what to say…even sing a song if you must. We made him sit through a very bad rendition of the ND Fight Song. (Something tells me MIke wouldn’t have clapped even if he could). When you leave put a tape in the CD player or ask Mike if he wants the TV on…and what he wants to watch. His room mate told us that Jerry Springer was on that morning and was very loud. He asked Mike if he could turn it off and he said Mike response was an enthusiastic YES so don’t assume that Mike has lost his taste for GOOD entertainment.

I won’t claim it was not emotionally diffiucult to see Mike in his current condition but it was SO GOOD to be able to be with him. Just wish we were closer and could visit more regularly. It was also great to see Michelle and the kids. Michelle is absolutely amazing as you all know and those kids are truly precious.

August 22, 2006 at 6:04 pm 6 comments

8/19/06 Prayer Request

Mike has had a fever of just over 100 for the past 24 hours.  He is being watched closely, and tests are being run to determine the nature of an apparent infection.  Mike was asked if he was in any pain or if he felt sick, and he responded that he did not.  Of course, that is very reassuring.  Please pray that this is not serious and that it can be resolved quickly, so that Mike can stay at ManorCare and avoid any loss of therapy.

We will keep you informed.  Thanks.

August 19, 2006 at 9:39 pm 12 comments


Mike has had a good week of therapy, and his spirits seem to be high.  He has been spending time up in his wheelchair, and there has been some talk of capping his trach, which would allow him to try to speak more (though he can say a few words at times with the type of trach that is in place).  He is really benefitting from your visits, and he appears to thrive on them, so make time to stop in if you can. 

August 19, 2006 at 7:45 pm Leave a comment


Mike was up in his wheelchair today for a couple of hours, and he was in good spirits during a visit with Michelle and the kids.  He and McKaela were copying each other’s facial expressions back-and-forth, goofing around.  When Michelle asked how he was doing, he answered that he is okay, specifically in response to her concerns that he might be feeling depressed.  Therapy is also going well.

Michelle posted in the comments the other day, so you may have seen this already, but maybe not, so she’s being syndicated here …

oh my gosh, what an amazing 2 weeks it has been. camp was more than good or great. i am stunned at how much fun, how much ministry, how much energy i enjoyed. kids had a great week of adventure and saw Jesus. i have never come home with so much energy, and refreshment before. your prayers are amazing at upholding my family. it almost seems shameful that it takes such extreme difficulties to call us to live by prayer because more people than just me could be using this kind of power! mike did not seem to suffer too much setback from his brief Edward hospital stay while i was gone. he has been back at manorcare for more than a week and is doing wonderfully. he is using a (i have NO clue how to spell this) pacymere valve on his trach during speech therapy so that he can still utilize the trach and verbalize at the same time. they are also impressed with his swallowing which is great for his muscles and will help with speech. Monday will include more practice with this as well as getting mike into a wheelchair for the first time since he left marianjoy.

I just got back from hanging out with mike tonight. we talked a while (me talking, him sometimes mouthing a word and nodding his head to answer questions) and then we watched tv together. he said he was feeling ok physically and emotionally. i told him there is sometimes concern for his emotional outlook and he said he is basically not great but ok. i figure it is hard to really be great in a hospital bed all day so i figure the ok seems like abundant grace to me all the same. he definitely seems relaxed and comfortable. i haven’t seen him in pain all week.

i have been teaching mckaela simple songs like “God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He’s so good to me. he loves me so…” and i enjoy her very bad singing along with my very bad singing. but i also enjoy the chance to proclaim the truth of those words out loud, over and over. he is so good. wow and thanks for being tools of his goodness to us.
by the way, what a distinct and unique pleasure to catch up on 2 weeks of encouragement through your comments all at once. a broken computer does have its perks after all.

love and joy,
michelle z

August 14, 2006 at 11:52 pm 10 comments


Mike has been back at ManorCare, and making some good showings in therapy, all week.  The most important thing for now, it seems, is time.  Time to work in a rehabilitation environment, uninterrupted.  This is the critical time: the time during which Mike can make real progress in his recovery.  So, please pray that this opportunity will continue for as long as Mike needs it, and that he will remain safe from infection and other potential setbacks.

We’ve all responded to the emergencies Mike has encountered over these past months, and it is good to know that another one is finally behind him.  But the “emergency” now is that there be time for Mike to work — free of these exhausting emergencies.  He is showing that he is ready for it, that he wants to work hard, and that he’s not quitting.  Let’s match his effort with our own. 

And don’t hesitate to visit, of course.  Mike would love to see you.  (Thanks for being there when we can’t.)

August 9, 2006 at 9:48 pm 16 comments


Mike should transfer back to ManorCare today at about 4:30 p.m.  Please pray that his spirits will be raised by the return to active rehabilitation, and please pray for the health of Mike’s legs and feet.  His feet are turning inward somewhat, and we don’t want to see this become an obstacle to his therapy, or to efforts to have him standing.  (I just believe that as soon as he is standing on his own, nothing will be able to stop him.)

August 5, 2006 at 3:16 pm 6 comments


Wednesday, Mike went to Edward to have his trach changed out, which went fine.  While there, however, it was noticed that he had a slight temperature, so they placed him on antibiotics and decided to hold him.  He would have returned to Manorcare today, were it not for a delay in performing an ultrasound on his legs to ensure that he has no clotting in his legs.  That should occur tomorrow, and Mike could then return to ManorCare.

Mike remains alert and awake, and he is anxious to return to the rehab environment at ManorCare.  Please pray that he will be cleared to return tomorrow, and that he will be able to work hard and uninterrupted for awhile.  All of this bouncing around is very frustrating for Mike — and for all of us, I am sure.  If you can visit, please do.  (As soon as Mike returns to ManorCare, I will try to post.)

August 4, 2006 at 9:09 pm 4 comments


Yesterday and today were great days for Mike.

He has had physical and occupational therapy both days, and he has been actively participating in the sessions, notwithstanding the last four weeks of unresponsiveness!  Mike is sitting upright (at the edge of his bed) for the sessions, and complying with the therapists requests.  He has raised his head, he has squeezed hands, and he has opened his mouth.  Mike will also wave goodbye when visitors leave, so we are seeing some bigger arm movements.  (I haven’t seen the sessions, but these are some of the highlights I’ve been told.)  Needless to say, though, after a month of almost no activity and no compliance with verbal requests, this is VERY EXCITING news to share!

We are told that Mike’s leg strength is good, and that there will soon be efforts to have him standing.  (We’ll try not to forget to mention that when it happens.) 

Say a prayer of thanks for all of this, of course, but also for the care Mike continues to receive.  At ManorCare, he has again been met with medical professionals who are taking a deep interest in his progress, and who have the highest hopes for him.  Mike is clearly matching their efforts with his own, proving again what a fighter he is.

As always, thanks for loving enough to pray as you have been.

August 1, 2006 at 10:30 pm 17 comments


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