Archive for October, 2006

10/31/06 8 pm

while our visit to marianjoy today was marked by the mayhem only a few small wailing, moody children can muster up we did find good news awaiting us.  mike has not had a fever at all today.  i did not hear any news regarding what might have caused the fever for the last 2 days but i am relieved it has subsided.  mike is still being plagued by a lot of spasticity in his limbs to varying degrees throughout the day.  and his conjunctivitis in his eyes is resisting progress in my opinion.  but these are merely distractions on the road to recovery.  i am still in the midst of chaos and excitement in preparing for mike’s trip home!  keep us in prayer and thank you for the assurance that you are all doing just that.   

grace and peace,  michelle   (PS… even when kids are behaving badly, they are so stinking cute in halloween costumes it still makes them loveable… mckaela was a cow and eli was a bear)

October 31, 2006 at 9:00 pm 11 comments

10/30/06 Prayer Request

Just a quick note to let you know that Mike has had a fever since very early yesterday morning.  His doctors are watching the situation closely, and tests are being run to determine the best course of action.  Please pray for Mike and for the efforts of all of his caregivers.  He is still at Marionjoy, and there does not appear to be any reason for a transfer.  (If you visit, he may be tired as he is fighting an infection.)

Please continue to be in prayer over Mike’s return home in the near future (November 8th remains the intended date).  Please pray specifically for Michelle as she meets with candidates and eventually selects a live-in caregiver.  There will be innumerable preparations and adjustments both before and after the move, all of them intended to support Mike’s continuing therapy and recovery.

October 30, 2006 at 4:24 pm 1 comment

10/29/06 11:30 pm

(i wrote this late last night and didn’t get it on the site when i had thought i did–so late thoughts…)

when i have the time i have nothing to say and when i have thoughts i have no time… arghh.  quickly before heading to bed…  i am filled with a huge helping of both excitement and fear over mike’s return home.  i have been ascribing feelings to others that i have come to see as my own.  in my head i had believed mike would be in pretty good shape in order to “graduate” to be headed home and in fact, while he has been improving through therapy he still has a long road ahead.  some days don’t seem much better than a few months ago while other days he can actually hold a partial phone conversation with his brother in virginia.  the very precariousness of mike’s current condition makes me nervous about the responsibility and risks of having him home.  and yet i cannot wait for him to be returned to us.  i cannot wait for the kids to enjoy the privilege it is to see him every day, for him to be encouraged and motivated by his very environment. 

tomorrow bright and early i go to my first family education day to experience the rigors involved in caring for mike at home with only the live-in caregiver.  i know that the coming weeks will be an enormous adjustment full of joy and difficulty.  please keep in prayer for mike’s continued overall healthiness, and for smooth preparations.  just about 10 days till he is home–nov 8.  yikes and wonder,  michelle

October 30, 2006 at 12:38 am 2 comments

4:30 pm 10/19/06

sorry about the delay on news.  mike’s doctors and therapists compare notes in a weekly staffing usually on mondays but his was wednesday since he has been at marianjoy such a short time so far.  lots of stuff is happening to make the most of his therapy opportunity at marianjoy.

he is experiencing painful leg spasms and has pink eye but there is much to praise…

he is getting injections to relax the muscles in his left leg which struggles to bend.  his pink eye is getting treated.  he is in a new wheelchair better suited to his size and shape so that he slides down less.  his trach is being capped off all day and maybe by next week will be capped at night as well.  he is still verbal off and on depending on mood, energy, etc.  but it is nice that he can speak when he desires to. 

though he had a hard day today with pain he did play slow motion catch with mckaela where she took the ball, held it out to him to grab and then he would slightly toss it out to the floor for her to retrieve (much like a puppy which kaela is delighted to impersonate).  kids are allowed in the new private room which has been so wonderful for us. 

and drum roll please… their initial estimate of his discharge date is for a mere 3 weeks at marianjoy and then HOME!  now there is no telling what can happen between then and now so that is just an aim.  but wow!  from home he would need a live-in caregiver and we would need to assess his needs for either private therapy or outpatient therapy through marianjoy.  a lot to digest.  full of wonder.  please pray lots!    michelle

October 19, 2006 at 4:38 pm 14 comments

check last post first… today’s thoughts 10/14/06

today was busy as usual getting my free babysitters settled in for the hours as i headed off to manianjoy.  my kids are sometimes easy, sometimes not.  i would be more embarrassed if i didn’t realize the way all this stretches them as well–sometimes multiple (gracious) babysitters in one day, sleeping away from home on a regular basis, being bustled from place to place.  i struggle to figure out how to discipline, how to love, how to tolerate, how to be patient.

last night my time with my bible study group spurred me to reconsider the lastest difficulty in raising mckaela.  her strong temperament sometimes seems so absurdly sabotaging her enjoyment of life i can’t believe she won’t simply surrender so that she can enjoy all i want to provide.  then i remembered how hard it is for me to simply surrender and accept gifts given in perfect time–not when i whine or insist or connive.  not at all when i think i have earned something.  God has my dessert ready and waiting, yet my temper tantrums delay the delivery. 

i struggle with gifts.  gifts are too illogical for me.  i want to earn, want to deserve it.  today i am overwhelmed with gifts.  the mail delivers shocking gifts.  a friend delivers bags loaded with clothes handpicked by strangers at a school clothing drive.  babsitters tell me thank you for letting them sacrifice their time for no pay and they clamor for the next opportunity.  and the meals, the delicious, wondrous meals just keep coming.  the lawnmower outside announces the behind-the-scenes faithfulness of my neighbors.  some bring words of incredible encouragement and i barely have the attention span to smile thanks.  but i dwell on such nourishment at night, in the quiet.  not one of these people receives the measure of the thanks they deserve, and some even less than others.

i wish i could repay or earn or deserve any of this… but i don’t.  that is the idea behind a gift.  i am not worthy.  i am simply lucky.  i am loved beyond merit.  that is my letter from God today.  delivered by sweet friends and strangers.  his gifts are always waiting, biding the right moment for giving, training me to learn to recieve, weaning me from stubborn tantrums, refining my trust in God’s perfect goodness.  on such a sunny day i pray that the golf tournament is enjoying such brightness out in ohio as well.

thanks, God, and you all,     michelle

October 14, 2006 at 3:50 pm 7 comments

10/13/06 – Mike Back at Marionjoy

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Mike transferred back to Marionjoy today.  Please keep up with visits during the coming busier Holiday months.  And, of course, keep up with prayer — for recovery and for Mike’s spirit.   The golf outing to benefit Mike and Michelle is tomorrow.  Thanks to all for prayer and participation.  It looks like we’ll have nice weather and a wonderful turnout for the event.

(a quick p.s.  to dan’s update–mike is in room 2275 in the new hospital area at Marionjoy in wheaton.  it is off of roosevelt rd between naper blvd and winfield.  visiting hours are weekdays 4-8 pm and pretty much 9-8 pm weekends.  he is in one of their gorgeous brand-new rooms.  a handful of old staff welcomed mike back this afternoon and he should be getting into his full therapy schedule on monday.  the staff saying goodbye at manorcare showed such graciousness in wishing us the best.  God has led us on such a route of unusual blessing.  thanks as always, michelle)

October 13, 2006 at 5:58 pm 2 comments

noon 10/10/06

mike is supposed to be heading back to marianjoy in wheaton this thursday… a tentative hip hip hooray!  i am always a little hesitant to count on something before it happens.  he is doing well.  he still seems hit or miss on catching him alert or sleepy.  one friend visiting yesterday reported in that he laughed at a joke.  and i was impressed and surprised when he laughed at a story i told him about one of mckaela’s temper tantrums.  apparently her disobedience is a lot funnier when you aren’t actually there.  especially when it involves a bathtub and a birthday suit.  he is still limited in facial expressions so laughter is pretty refreshing to see. 

keep in prayer–staying infection-free, continued progress in all of his therapies, continued minimal spasticity in his limbs/extremities, and the least amount of his ankles turning in as possible.  also, sorry i don’t know how to transfer pics from my phone which happen to be what i have taken recent photos of mike and kids with.  if i figure it out i will let you see…  in joy,    michelle

October 10, 2006 at 12:15 pm 7 comments

late Oct 7, 2006

mike was more awake today than i have seen him in a week.  he even mustered up a smile for me to take a few pictures of he and McKaela laying next to each other.  the encouraging word is that it may just take a few more days to get the marianjoy transfer set into place.  many have asked me if i am glad about heading to marianjoy and i certainly am.  i have truly felt blessed by mike’s stay at manorcare for its excellent staff and its mindboggling closeness to our house.  but mike at marianjoy in wheaton is a vital step closer to mike coming home so we are eager for that goal.

a side note…every once in a while i shave mike’s head down to a fuzz–mostly just as a cleanliness issue–it’s easier to wash his head without the hair.  however, when he is low on hair his scars from his head surgeries show more and may give visitors a jolt at first.  just keep it in mind–he is doing great, all the scars have healed well and his hair does a fine job of covering them when allowed.  but they are certainly disconcerting–the man has indeed been through a lot.  regarding the sunken in area–i have been told that mike can only have the surgery to put a plate back in to complete his skull in that area once he has been infection free for 6 weeks.  i don’t know that he has been healthy that long since this whole thing began.  at 4 weeks we can call and make some preparations for the surgery and pray he keeps germs at bay.  but that will be a minor goal on the agaenda.  he is not compromised in any way by not having the plate in yet though it will be nice when it is able to be taken care of.

thanks for hanging in there with us, by God’s grace,     michelle

October 6, 2006 at 12:52 am 8 comments

10/2 10:30pm

unfortunately or fortunately i don’t have much to report.  but always figure no news is good news.  it means mike is right on track with slow but steady progress.  he has been sleepy the last 2 nights i have been there.  but he is healthy and in good shape.  he is finishing his antibiotics tonight fom his last infection and fever bout.  please pray that he would be able to ward off any potential infection that tries a sneak attack in these coming weeks.  it would be lovely to stay away from Edward hospital long enough to miss their excellent caring staff (who are wonderful to stop by mike’s room & write notes and pray).  more news when it arrives,       michelle

October 2, 2006 at 10:35 pm 4 comments


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