Archive for September, 2006


i wish i had more definite details to share but mike had a great day therapywise.  he has been increasing his tolerance having the valve put on his trach hole to allow him to vocalize (talk out loud).  i believe he had it on a couple of hours this morning without a problem.  he also is continuing to impress his phyical and occupational therapists with his progress (especially despite his field trip to edward last week).  praise God he has not stagnated but continued to improve even while sick this past week.

 mike did get upset this morning and apparently was “yelling” with the nurse and therapists (before i arrived).  he was very clear in his speaking and shared a variety of sentences with them…  “i want cereal.  i’m stressed.  my leg hurts (muscle cramps and tone issues).  too many visitors…”  yes, i am proud to say that mike has been so lovingly cared for he finally felt a bit overflowing with friends.  now we did have a great visit with Young Life area directors later in the day and mike had no problem getting into the wheelchair and welcoming their time with him so it is possible his visitors complaint was a mood thing coupled with some amount of pain.  so i say, please do not be discouraged but encouraged by that comment.  i only share it in the interest of full disclosure.  if it tells you anything, may it be that mike is more than capable of conveying his annoyance in a loud and clear voice when something actually bugs him so you never have to guess at his feelings.  he will tell you if he needs space.  and, great job with visits… don’t feel like visits have to be long or weekly or anything specific.  just stop in when you have a good chance.

and finally, his therapists indicated that they thought he was doing so well today there is a good chance he may get transferred to marianjoy in less than 2 weeks.  we will have to wait and see what marianjoy says.  the step up will be great for aiming for weening him off the trach again as well as intensifying his progress overall hopefully. 

it is funny but even mike’s anger turns me to praise.  join me,   michelle

September 28, 2006 at 11:37 pm 10 comments

9/25 7 pm

mike has been transferred back to ManorCare today.  he is still on antibiotics and seems a bit groggy at times (maybe still an adjustment to medications).  therapy is going well…more updates when something is new.  all is good.  with good reason to praise, michelle

September 25, 2006 at 6:59 pm 5 comments


mike is doing well at edward hospital still.  his fever has been down for days as the antibiotics again do their work.  we also took advantage of the hospital visit to get him seen by his neurologist to adjust his antiseizure medication.  Mike had had 2 seizures this month within 2 weeks of each other.  He is now at the maximum dose of his drug which will hopefully stave off further seizures which his particular brain injury makes him highly susceptible to.  He is alert and coherent but slow to respond.  he is participating in therapy at edward but he is not up to his normal frequency of interacting whether through nodding, mumbling or speaking.  i believe this slowness may be the drug switch adjustment.  I have been so utterly touched and reassured by the faithful variety of visitors he is receiving, even since being switched to edward.  he is awake enough to be blessed by the visits even if it is difficult to tell.  and the football team souvenrs in the room add an extra “elegance”!  Thanks so much for the way you all care for mike and me.

today is the first day of autumn according to my calendar which i had to check to write the date.  time sneaks by me like eli trying to climb the stairs for the millionth time after being removed to safety…(and i have missed important birthdays-sorry sister and sister-in-law).  but there is a magic surprise about fall when you don’t know what color the tree in your front yard will be when you wake up the next day, when you don’t know what slimy bug might be discovered under a pile of soggy leaves overturned by a 3 year old.  i am looking forward to being surprised by mike’s own transformation in the coming weeks.  i pray that we would see a newness in him as our artistic father continues to recreate and redesign him.  peace and love,    michelle

September 23, 2006 at 5:16 pm 4 comments


a quick update–mike has been running a fever fairly consistently the last few days and missed therapy yesterday.  they decided to send him in to the ER at Edward to get tests again to check for an new infection.  no telling yet whether they will keep him or release him (like a fish).  i will write if he heads back to manorcare.  otherwise, assume he is at edward for visiting…  praying for progress, michelle

September 19, 2006 at 2:15 pm 10 comments


You may have noticed that there is now a “Golf” button on the top menu bar.  Click there to access online registration for the upcoming golf outing at Walden Ponds on October 14th.

(Each individual golfer should register, even though you can list the people in your foursome.  If you don’t have a complete foursome, don’t worry about it.  Please register as soon as possible, so that we can begin to pull things together.)

Please spread the word, and invite everyone you know who might like to participate.  Everyone is welcome, of course!  If anyone would like to help with the event, or if anyone can donate any items for the raffle, please contact Mike Lehner at (937)901-9012.

Finally, please pray for good weather on October 14th, and for an enjoyable and successful event.  Thanks!

September 19, 2006 at 11:50 am Leave a comment


some weeks are easier to sit than others.  i think i even hear eli waking up right now so i will be brief… WOW what fun visitors have been.  Wow, how you have stepped up to the plate.  please continue to stop in.  i say feel free to read anything, talk, pray, play, watch tv anything.  even when i am not in the mood, any kind of diversion is a blessing for at least a little while.  if you are unsure whether he is enjoying himself, then just keep it brief (like 10 minutes) and at the very least it will be a change!  Rest assured, he is more than capable of being clear if he is uncomfortable or in pain or irritated.  That is when he practically shouts.  if it is hard to understand him then the truth is he is probably being a bit noncommital.  so i say unless he shouts NO at you loud and clear, feel free to interact any way you want to try.

mike has been extra sleepy this week and did have a slight fever one night.  he is doing ok and has been capable of participating in all of his therapies but we are hoping he perks back up soon.  Monday night he had a short seizure which is not uncommon or unexpected with any head injury.  he has been on anti-seizure medicine all along but this is the second seizure in the last 2 weeks so they did adjust the preventative medication which is a possible explanation for the sleepiness. 

they are tentatively planning for him to be reevaluated and sent back to Marianjoy in Wheaton in 2 weeks or so.  he will partake in some more agressive therapy there and we are excited for his return.  Manorcare has been an incredible blessing full of excellent and compassionate caregivers.  please praise God yet again for surrounding us with skilled and sensitive people who go above and beyond.

while listening to a favorite mix cd on wednesday i noticed mike saying something.  a lot of what he says is too mumbled to understand so at first i couldn’t follow.  then i realized it was in synch with the song playing.  he was singing along to the random verses in “american music” by violent femmes.  it made me laugh, brightened my day.

thanks and praise,    michelle

September 16, 2006 at 3:01 pm 5 comments

9/11/06 3:30 pm

if you have not read my plea for visits in the last post please backtrack, but to answer a question…

mike has therapy usually in the afternoon since so many others get wiped out and can’t handle that timeframe and he seems to thrive with that just fine.  however there is no technical therapy time and they are very welcoming and open to visitors even during therapy.  it can last an hour or less depending on the amount of strain they are putting him through in that session.  i would say go whenever it works for you and see what is happening when you get there.  since there is no set schedule it is practically impossible to aim for or avoid something with mike.  sometimes he is in therapy, sometimes sleepy, sometimes awake and attentive.  but i would rather more visitors at inopportune times than less visitors during his awake and responsive stretches!

thanks and love!   michelle z  (ps, i love all the encouragement you send in posts here.  it feeds our souls!)

September 11, 2006 at 3:29 pm 9 comments

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