Archive for March, 2007

very early 3/27/07

Saturday night’s benefit concert for Mike and our family was beyond words.  Sarah VanDrunen’s immense talents (as well as her musicians) were only topped by God himself showing up and gracing us with his presence.  I had a glimpse of heaven as I witnessed the parade of family, friends, new acquaintances and old influences and every part of the body of Christ.  God is bigger than i have the capacity to imagine.  and the miracle of those who came to encourage and support was matched by such incredible generosity in a free will offering and ticket sales totaling $17,000!  all i could think is that God apparently enjoys spoiling us.                          still beyond words, michelle 

March 27, 2007 at 12:37 am 7 comments

3/22/07 6 pm

mike and i had an ok day yesterday.  we read such encouragements from the website and then scrolled back to what was written a year ago.  it is hard to remember such a day and easy to look at it like it is the end of life when truly looking back we remember how close to death mike came.  and this anniversary reminded me to celebrate the resurrection.  certainly we still struggle to understand and enjoy life to the full in a new way than before, but it is life and we remember to praise God for each moment in it.  mike has been combatting a cold for 2 days and is a bit less talkative with a lot of “productive” coughing.  but he did just now answer “seinfeld” with the choice between seinfeld and sports.  it is nice to enjoy the luxury of the mundane when i remember the drama of one year ago.  thank you so much for the knowledge that not a day goes by where we are not covered by prayer.  many have shared with me about the struggle and stretching of fasting yesterday.  how incredible to have so many hold us up in such a way.  peace, michelle

March 22, 2007 at 6:07 pm 5 comments

almost 3/19/07

i have had a busier week than i expected and haven’t been able to update.  Young Life friends throughout our division as well as friends at naperville presbyterian church have committed to praying and fasting while observing the one year anniversary of mike’s brain bleed and craniotomy.  the guidelines suggested were to fast from tuesday night to wednesday night and commit mike to prayer throughout march 21.  anyone, anywhere is more than welcome to join us.  i know that there has been no limit to the number of people in places too numerous to keep track of who have kept mike and our family in their prayers throughout this year.  thank God for that.  this is simply another opportunity to have a renewed hope and focus as we approach the anniversary.  in addition to that, friday is mike’s birthday, and saturday is the benefit concert in the south suburbs at my childhood church featuring sarah vandrunen.  mike’s parents will hang back at the house saturday with mike while the kids and i enjoy the concert and fellowship.

specific prayer requests going into the anniversary week…

mike is talking more since thursday than i remember hearing since last june–at least a few phrases and sentences a few times a day which is incredible, encouraging and praiseworthy.

mike continues to moan and complain of discomfort while in bed or in his wheelchair.  it is difficult to ascertain how to help him find relief.  we simply rely on repositioning and massage but these are only bandaids and often don’t help much if at all.

 i feel inadequate to help him with his pain and get quickly burnt out on his harder days.  last night i stayed up too late and then mike woke up uncomfortable a few times moaning.  i come downstairs and do my best to pacify him but lose lots of sleep when i wake up every hour.  that kind of night is rare.  but a hard day is less rare and i feel worn and torn when i struggle between his needs and the kids and the other unignorable details of our lives.  i feel guilty but sometimes ignore the moaning when i have done all i can and try to preserve my energy to continue serving all parties.  the guilt haunts me.  *this is not something i feel great talking about but it is certainly a subject worthy of prayer–basically, how do i strike a balance between preserving myself and attending to his sometimes bottomless well of need for me.

thank God for our daytime caregiver, don, who is patient, respectful, caring and diligent, and the AABCORP agency which provides him to us 7 hours a day, 7 days a week.  pray that nothing hinders this situation.  pray for don as he also struggles to keep mike comfortable and tend to his pain and therapy.  when he is here i shift that load of responsibility and psychological strain onto his shoulders.  then i praise God for the break.

pray for our kids.  mcKaela has truly come a long way from the major panic attacks which began last march but she still sometimes experiences an unreasonable amount of anxiety when separated from me.  she also remains attached to her pacifier at age 3 and a half and i have no heart to remove the few securities she has latched onto.  she has an almost frightening understanding of parents’ mortality (from all those morbid disney movies where no family goes unscathed) and i believe this fuels her need to control situations.  our church children’s ministers are patient miracle workers but some days with her can break my heart to leave her wailing.

praise God praise God over and over for the precious, invaluable relational time our kids do get with mike while he is home.  the three of them smushed onto his bed while i repeatedly flipped a sheet over their heads like a parachute this afternoon.  it was as close to wrestling with them that mike could get with their waving hands and uncontrollable giggles.  it is so little compared to “normal” life, but it is so much.

pray for this coming year, even this coming spring, for smooth opportunities to coordinate transportation and mike’s moods to get him out of the house and into the world–like heading to a park or museum or something.  outings are daunting but i think they could be huge blessings.

please pray too for mike’s time with friends and family.  lately we have been able to host our small group bible studies so that mike can listen to the discussion.  he usually falls asleep before we are done which i am sure is due to the late hour and not the entertainment quality of the group.  i think this is great to be able to keep him included but it can be hard visiting or spending time with mike with little verbal affirmation, no matter what the circumstance, group or no group.

finally, pray for mike’s basic progress.  he speaks just a few phrases a day and they often require some effort to decipher.  he is mentally sharp as far as we can tell and in a sense is a prisoner of his own weak body.

he still moves his arms very little and legs not really at all.

he is susceptible to infections and loses so much progress when he does get sick.

we are hoping to be infection free for 6 weeks to be eligible for neurosurgery to put the plate back in his skull.  any head surgery is a good subject for prayer.

wow, that seems like a pretty solid list of prayer requests.  thank you.  more than you can know.  more than i can ever successfully convey for prayer.  it is by far the most valuable gift we receive.  thank you.  may the time you spend on us ultimately draw you closer to the Savior, too.

amen, michelle

March 19, 2007 at 12:32 am 31 comments

3/13/07 11:30 pm

reading your comments surprises me about how God continues to work.  i love how surprising, unpredictable, trustworthy, wonderfullll our God is.  mike is home–arrived late evening and is settled in and sleeping.  all is well.  thanks, michelle

March 13, 2007 at 11:40 pm 5 comments

3/12/07 11:30 pm homeward bound?

i found a chance to catch up with our family doctor as he checked on mike tonight.  he interpreted the notes from the infectious disease guy that handles mike at edward hospital.  he said that they have been treating mike for 2 resistant bacterial strains that he most likely is colonized with (i think that means he pretty much has them all the time) and will probably have me finish up the antibiotics for that at home.  but home will likely be his destination tomorrow according to the best guess.  so hurray for a return plan.  we will wait and see if it all pans out tomorrow.  thanks as always for sustaining us in every way possible.  in christ, michelle

March 12, 2007 at 11:45 pm 2 comments

3/8/07 11 pm

we made it just past 2 months without getting admitted to the hospital.  but arghh, today got the best of us.  mike experienced a short seizure this morning and was in an altered unresponsive state for about a half an hour afterwards before returning to normal and moaning and following me with his eyes.  we did send him to the emergency room and they admitted him for a few days.  they will measure his brain activity with an EEG.  and they are giving him a new dose of an antiseizure medicine he had previously been weaned from.  so, it is fun that the hospital staff who usually sees him at his least responsive when he is so sick will have a chance to see him a bit healthier.  other than that i might have to keep brainstorming some more positives.  but he is on the 4th floor of the north building.  please stop by!  i believe it is room 417.  God holds each of our days in his hands.  we just try to live them to the full.  amen,    michelle

March 9, 2007 at 12:02 am 8 comments

Benefit Concert – March 24th

Click the link below for the details on an upcoming benefit concert for Mike and Michelle at Living Springs Community Church:

Sarah Van Drunen poster

March 7, 2007 at 12:39 pm Leave a comment

3/6/07 8:45 pm

i could spend the rest of my life writing thank yous to people and never get to everyone.  i say that just to convey the flood of blessing that we swim in on a daily basis.  and to encourage those that never get a thank you that your care for us is no less appreciated for going unacknowledged.  God hears our praises of thanksgiving for you.

meanwhile, we are doing ok here at the homestead.  mike is still struggling with pain on a daily basis.  it makes me feel inadequate.  God alone is adequate, i guess.  more than adequate is the truth.  we try to distract him with baby kisses and little girl hugs.  mcKaela has graduated to being given permission to use the bed remote button that lowers daddy to her level so that she can climb up by him.  he is talking sometimes but not on command so he still will not qualify for speech therapy since he wouldn’t reliably be able to take advantage at the specific time they would show up.  but we are trying different ways to coax him along ourselves.  some friends who stopped by last night asked if we were overwhelmed with visitors and i said no.  but i added that i am afraid to ask for visitors and be slightly overwhelmed since i do feel like people always respond so eagerly.  so i guess what i am saying is…feel free to come by.  don, our daytime caregiver, is always here till 3:30 and can answer the door.  our night schedule changes week to week but we tend to be home weekend nights.  you can always give us a call if you want to check our schedule.  i know people are careful not to intrude but i certainly don’t want anyone to feel like mike is inaccessible in being home.  thanks again for faithful prayer.  also, remember the concert coming up on march 24 (scroll down a few posts for the flyer).  some are wondering whether mike will be able to be there and i am thinking it is a bit too risky to get him there to the south suburbs when his pain is so unreliable.  if he ends up having a bad night i am afraid to not be able to get him into bed or find some relief for him.  so we may simply try to tape some evening highlights for him to show later.  but we ARE looking forward to being there and enjoying the night.       in christ, michelle

March 6, 2007 at 10:31 pm 1 comment

2/28/07 11:15 pm

we ran into some inconveniences at the hospital yesterday with our ride home turning a 2 hour trip into a 5 hour trip.  i have since let go of some of my crankiness and overall our first wheelchaired outing was a success.  mike was in some pain from the length of the time we were out but i was impressed with how well he withstood it.  the CT scan itself was merely to get measurements for them to begin creating the plate to later insert into his head.  the neurosurgeons office thought that the surgery was likely to be scheduled for april.  so we are one step closer to that goal and i am excited.  our friend and doctor stopped by to check mike’s progress and didn’t get a verbal performance but did get a wave goodbye.  our doctor was impressed with how alert mike has become over the last month or two and we are both feeling really encouraged by mike’s healthiness.  so overall, we are still hanging in there, sometimes with complaints which always become overshadowed with blessing.  again, thanks for keeping us afloat in prayer and remember to print out concert info from 2 posts back (scroll down)…  glad to be home, michelle

March 1, 2007 at 12:22 am 4 comments


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