Archive for November, 2006

11/29/06 11:45 pm

LOVE the game analogy, steve.  i did get all excited and i am not even a big fan of much of anything!  great pep talk!  ok, so here is how things are going.  mike is still staying healthy and day by day he is starting to gain some responsiveness.  he is starting to mumble a little and follow commands like saying AHH and opening his mouth for some mouthwash (on a spongy stick–still nothing to swallow).  he is starting to pick his head up, move his arms and bend his knee a bit.  all of this is pretty encouraging, in my opinion.  he is still keeping his eyes closed for the most part aside from a little peeking open occasionally.

this weekend i am going on our polar bear outreach weekend with high schoolers so mike’s parents will be helping Rafael take care of mike.  pray for a smooth and quiet experience for all of them.  pray that we would not continue to make friends with our amazing neighborhood paramedics.  pray for kids to see Christ in a new, amazing way.  pray for us.  thanks and love,  michelle

November 30, 2006 at 12:47 am 7 comments

11/26/06 1 am

yes, mike is home!  everything went smoothly with him getting discharged from the hospital last night and some late night training on ivs and feeding pumps from a gracious homecare nurse.  we haven’t had much time to spare but we are all doing well.  we are excited to KEEP mike home this time.  we even got some extra help putting up some christmas decor today.  the glow of the colored lights is calming and peaceful.  and everyone is sleeping soundly–so i will join them.  thanks for keeping us covered in prayer!  peace and joy,  michelle

November 26, 2006 at 1:53 am 6 comments

11/22/06 11:45 pm

just an answer to  a question–rafael is still mike’s caregiver–he has been eagerly waiting for mike’s return as well.  he has been visiting mike up in the hospital daily and doing some range of motion exercises with mike to help keep his limbs loose.  definitely thank God for Rafael.  and keep his family in your prayers.  he and his wife, veronica, are both working here as caregivers and are separated from their 7 children still in the Philippines.  he blesses our family while missing his own.

November 23, 2006 at 12:43 am 2 comments

11/22/06 2:45 PM

good news… our doctor called today to announce that mike’s fever is no more and his pneumonia has cleared up so he is scheduled to head home this friday!  he will still be receiving IV antibiotics for a little while and he will be on a perpetual feeding tube to be more sensitive to his digestive system (as opposed to using his feeding tube in meal spurts 4 times daily).  so we will be learning a few new things and will adjust.  he still seemed pretty unresponsive during my visit last night but hopefully time will yield a more “entertaining” michael.  i laughed at the front page story of the naperville sun yesterday with a full page cover story on a family dealing with some medical difficulties.  the neighborhood banded together and has kept them well-fed for 3 weeks.  i am so glad their generosity was being highlighted and praised but it paled in comparison to our 8 months of meals and love, and support.  so thank you thank you thank you for the incredible miracle you continue to share with our whole family.  may your graciousness be returned to you in abundance as well!

wahoo, michelle

November 22, 2006 at 3:43 pm 3 comments

11/21/06 12:30 am

unfortunately there still isn’t much to share in the way of news.  a reminder of the assortment of prayer requests in no particular order of import… continually lower temperatures, continually improving pink eye, prevention of increased sores/wounds… mike’s prone to sores on his feet when he is laying in bed so much because his feet turn in and rub against one another, or even his toes tighten and bruise each other.  also, he loses range in his limbs because it is harder to get him the same amount of rehab when he is incapacitated in bed.  he is also prone to sores forming on his right ear where he constantly inclines his head, smashing that ear folded onto itself.  there is a lot to keep in prayer over but still a lot to be thankful for.  i am glad mike is hanging steady and not getting worse.  i celebrate his incredible progress this far.  i thank God that he is close and accessible to me and the kids.  we are constantly awash in blessing–don’t let the Liar of this world diminsh that truth in anyone’s eyes.  praise God from whom all blessings flow, michelle

November 21, 2006 at 1:31 am 6 comments

11/16/06 11 pm

every day i have to answer someone’s question about how mike is doing.  and the answer is basically, “um, not great”.  he is looking a little better than the worst of monday night but he is still weak and quiet.  he still has lungs clogged with gunk and is running fevers daily only broken up by a cooling blanket and tylenol.  then people ask how i am doing and i answer, “um, pretty good”, and it is weird because there is no reason to be anything but discouraged.  yet my spirits lifted inexplicably.  so thank you for the prayer.  thank you for the partnership.  God is certainly in this place.  with us.  thanks,  michelle

November 17, 2006 at 12:12 am 13 comments

10 pm Monday 11/13/06

the first prognosis for mike is he has a bladder infection which caused the temp which necessitates some new antibiotics and a few more days in the hospital.  but this afternoon he experienced another high fever and some of his feedings came out when they suctioned him.  so they gave him a new trach with an inflated cuff (which he has had before) and are keeping him on oxygen and checking on whether he has some kind of digestive system blockage or something that sounded like an “isis?”.  he is very out of it and wiped and sick.  it definitely felt discouraging visiting him today with no responsiveness.  but i listened to a song a friend of ours wrote about mike early on in this struggle on the way home from the hospital.  the theme is a prayer for the Redeemer to redeem.  and it drew me back to the source of all hope and encouragement, “the anchor for our souls”.  i ache anew for michael’s frailty today.  and i hold onto the savior, for me and him.  amen,  michelle

November 13, 2006 at 11:11 pm 6 comments

Sunday, 11/12/06 11 pm

2 steps forward, one step back.  it took a few days to get a bit adjusted to mike being at home and saturday was the first smooth seeming day.  and then came sunday… mike became agitated, and short of breath.  He was taken back to edward hospital and was admitted with a fever of 102 degrees.  it is pretty standard procedure with him so feel free to visit him in room 431.  i am sure they will keep him there a few days minimum until they isolate some helpful antibiotics for whatever set off the fever.  it is tiring to be back in the emergency room.  but there is always enough grace along the way–God seems to show himself most through the little things.  i fell asleep on the 2 plastic chairs in mike’s ER room and was awakened by a thoughtful paramedic who brought some toasty blankets for my improvised naptime.  such a picture of grace to me.  thank you one and all for the numerous ways you allow God to use you in our lives.  resting in grace, michelle

November 12, 2006 at 11:48 pm 5 comments

11/9/06 11 am Home!!!!

Mike is HOME!  Hurrayyyy!  The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind of procedures and medications.  We had some complications getting all the medicine at the pharmacy and had to calm our nerves and troubleshoot a bit with the homecare nurses help.  But day 2 has begun and we will continue getting organized regarding mike’s care.  Rafael is mike’s live-in caregiver.  he is incredibly attentive and caring.  we are figuring everything out as a team.  and mike himself is a little hard to pin down.  he won’t say how he feels about being home specifically.  so even though that’s the question on everyone’s mind, he is holding out on expressing feelings.  his speech is mostly mumbles with a very few thoughts out more clearly.  but he is very alert and mostly comfortable.  he had some stress with some muscle spasms in the evening but they passed and then he felt better.  as hard as it is to see him in any pain, i was glad they were not the worst i have seen.   my favorite highlight has been waking up from a loud noise around 4 am and creeping into mike’s room to check on him.  his little red trach cap was on the floor–he must have had a strong cough, blown it off, and kept right on sleeping.  i stopped and watched him snoring happily away after putting the cap back on.

i am driven to worship.  God is so good.  glad to be home together again.  in christ,   michelle

oh, p.s.  my quiet time this morning talked about life and death and focused on Philippians 1:20-24  here is part…  “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death… (by ability or by disability is what i want to add on)… so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.”

i believe God is redeeming all things for his glory and our good but i also see that it takes immense courage and trust to allow God to use all things, either our health or sickness, our life or death.  i pray that mike will be a living example of this verse, that these words would become his own.  i pray that he would “in no way be ashamed”.

a last addition… thanks Marionjoy family for the hugs and goodbyes and well-wishes and utter wholehearted care.  what a blessing.

November 9, 2006 at 12:16 pm 29 comments

11/3/06 9pm

every little thing gradually falls into place.  i have been watching and learning more intensely than ever during these last few days of therapy at marianjoy.  yesterday we maneuvered to get mike into his wheelchair using this big hoyer? lift which is a lot like a little carnival ride from bed to chair.  it is harder than you might think with a guy whose one leg really prefers sticking straight out in front of him.  i commented that mike is a lot like a puzzle piece and you have to figure out what fits where…(i tend to lose and squish his arm when i am doing his tranfers).  the more i thought the more i figured everything about mike is a puzzle piece in a sense–physically, carewise, therapies, whatever.  each piece has  a place, a time to squeeze in a hospital stop, then a big piece of inpatient therapy, now we are holding the homecare piece trying to figure out which way it goes and becoming accustomed to its shape and how it fits in comparison to the pieces we have already placed.  i like this analogy because it makes me feel less nervous about the newness of the next piece and instead eager to see how it will contribute to the whole picture, every single juncture.  I interviewed a couple of caregivers today and felt very good about one in particluar.  i am encouraged to see God work through this new figure.  and always i give praise to the wonders of those who have invested in mike.  you would think i could get used to miraculous people, but not really.  i am in awe of the grace administered by so many at Marianjoy from sports scores to babysitting offers!  their giftedness is a glory to God.  so still a busy week ahead… a ramp going in tomorrow morning, more care training on monday and tuesday and an appointment with a gentleman working on a medical benefits trust.  wednesday is still the due date for home. 

informations sake… after much discussion regarding mike’s trach we decided to keep it in and accessible but capped 24 hours a day.  he has some scar tissue from having it removed (oh so briefly) last july and if he repeats that in and out again he uses up his chance to get it out again.  so we will bide time with it by now as a precaution should he get sick enough to need his airway controlled again.  he will not be utilizing the trach but will retain access if necessary.  also, he was eligible to have the skull cap put back in but we were advised by mike’s marianjoy doctor to let that surgery wait as well to decrease risk of infection accompanying a significant surgery.  also, there is no medical necessity for it–in fact, they consider it cosmetic!  so keeping trach and hole in the skull for now. 

 love and thanks,    michelle

November 3, 2006 at 10:17 pm 9 comments


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