Archive for April, 2007

4/30/07 7:30 pm

miracles and mayhem.  marianjoy called me back and said that speech therapy with home care would still be a good option for now and later today i received a call saying edward home care found an opening with a speech therapist so we get to keep the therapists we have seen before!  meanwhile, eli has some type of flu–fever and throwup-our favorite combo.  i don’t know whether to be irritated that we have one frustration after another or to feel grateful that at least God keeps things spaced to allow me to face one thing at a time.  busy weeks follow busy weeks.  wyld life club thursday and an opportunity to put God’s goodness into words for kids to hear.  so we praise,  michelle

April 30, 2007 at 8:00 pm 6 comments

4/29/07 11:45 pm

i got the chance to attend a Young Life retreat and enjoy good teaching, good friends, and good food.  mike’s parents spent every waking minute with Mike, McKaela and Eli while i went AWOL this weekend.  it did wonders for that crankiness of mine and i believe they all enjoyed themselves as well.  mike is doing better now than he ever has since this all began.  he has been so chatty this week i have actually asked him to keep his thoughts to himself or share them with someone on the phone–anyone beside me (i can’t hide that cranky week).  unfortunately he did specifically prefer my attention until i ducked out of the house.  but he has been seriously impressing me.  he has a whole bunch of ideas he wants to convey and many are understandable and conversational.  sometimes he is harder to understand though and sometimes i am not sure if he is confused, experiencing the wrong words coming out or if he is really a bit crazy.  he has shown so much coherence and comprehension that when he does throw a weird, out of context sentence out at me i don’t know where it came from or if it is significant that he didn’t make sense.  but it is a very exciting time, crazy sentences and all.

Please Do pray for therapy.  he was evaluated and began therapy through the home care agency that worked with mike in the fall but they do not have a speech therapist available at this time (due to a nationwide shortage).  you cannot have more than one agency work with a patient so we will need to dump that agency altogether to get speech any time soon.  i am waiting on some info from marianjoy before i go to a new agency altogether for home therapy for speech, occupational and physical.  he has been getting the physical therapy this past week since they began that before they realized there was no speech therapist available.  but pray that we get all of that organized and working smoothly.  he is doing so well right now i would hate to squander too much time.

praise God for his goodness.  he puts on quite a show!    michelle

April 29, 2007 at 11:58 pm 3 comments

4/25/07 11:45 pm

i had a cranky day–just a little too busy, too many people in one day, no real or legitimate reason to be cranky.  although i don’t grudge myself a pointlessly cranky day, as long as i don’t let it take over.  but as i snapped at our kids to stop being SO loud and admitted to mike as i tried to hear his soft mumbling sentence, “michael, i am losing it,” he made himself heard.  he said, “let me kiss you.”  so i did and he passed on some patience to tide me over a few more deafening minutes of small children’s play.  just a stunning, yet simple moment orchestrated by a God who knows our needs.

mike is having some therapists visit and will continue to have that over the next few weeks as they assess goals and progress and pass on more training to don and i to continue to use as we care for mike.  mike has been more comfortable painwise than usual but he does have some pain as before.  but where he would cry out incessantly before, he is more easily and quickly relieved at this point.  please pray for this same level of relief to continue.  his head looks fabulous when i pull off the bandages to clean the site.  they did a remarkable job.  it really does make you stare and admire.  so good busy days make it hard to get updates up.  but we do continue to rely on prayer so thank you, michelle

April 26, 2007 at 12:40 am 6 comments

4/23/07 11:15 pm

had a little delay today getting mike a ride home on the bus so we scheduled for a 10 am checkout tomorrow from the lovely hotel he’s been enjoying, edward hospital.  he was a lot more awake (without pain) during my visit with the kids today.  they are slowly weaning back on the pain drugs and we’ll see how that continues at home.  but we are glad to get him there.  always so much to be thankful for, michelle

April 23, 2007 at 11:16 pm 2 comments

4/20/07 7 pm

mike is still at edward hospital and doing pretty much the same as that first day–which is just fine.  he is sleepy and in severe head pain every couple hours.  the morphine helps a lot.  he talks a little when awake and is totally coherent so visitors are welcome.  he was moved out of ICU to the 5th floor of the North tower yesterday.  his doctor said it would be ok for him to stay a few more days which i think is great since i just finished painting trim and we are moving mike’s furniture back tonight onto our beautiful new wood floor.  maybe i can afford to sleep tomorrow.  also, it may give them an extra chance to evaluate him for home therapies again and figure out an adequate pain response since they can’t send him home on morphine.  so we are still basking in the glow of God’s providences, big and small.  in christ, michelle

April 20, 2007 at 7:13 pm 6 comments


i cannot imagine a smoother day.  surgery took just a few hours and finished early.  our neurosurgeon said everything went just as it should.  mike is in the ICU tonight.  he is very sleepy but wakes up in pain every other hour and is given some morphine.  i have been so surprised at his alertness and responsiveness.  i expected a setback but he answered questions about the source of pain.  and then fell back asleep easily with the medication.  he is expected to be in the hospital for 3 days.  visitors are welcome–i am not sure he will stay in the ICU or get bumped to a stepdown unit.  visitors can ask at the info desk.  every moment today has been in God’s hands… tomorrow too!  amen!

April 17, 2007 at 11:48 pm 13 comments

almost 4/17/07

it is almost literally the big day– about 5 minutes to midnight.  i had to leave mike downstairs moaning/crying because we had exhausted every possibility for relief and we will start early tomorrow getting dressed and ready for a 7 am Ride DuPage pace bus pickup (thank God for that underfunded glorious program).  so i am hiding out from his pain and hoping that where human effort has failed supernatural relief will kick in.  during a hard night last night i prayed with him for a focus not on the pain, not on the wind and the waves, but only on the Savior, the author and perfector of our faith.  i encouraged him to hold onto the Lord to get through till surgery tomorrow and then to welcome some sedatives–

so surgery at 10 am.  i assume everything will be wonderful and i will be able to give an update saying so tomorrow night.  the weekend was a blur with friends helping move mike into our family room along with all furnishings from his room and tearing up the carpet tonight so that we can have the new wood floors installed in these 3 days he is in the hospital.  today we were blessed by a delegation of prayerers (?) from Living Springs, the church i grew up in which hosted the benefit concert last month with sarah vandrunen.  mike was surrounded with people lifting him up before the Lord for healing and wholeness.  as they loaded back into the church van to drive the hour home i asked mike what he thought.  i am never sure how he may answer with such an open-ended question.  and he had not spoken really while they were there.  but he said clearly, “i thought that was awesome”.   so i am glad tonight that despite the pain, he feels as blessed, as surrounded, as i do.  God is so good.  thanks so much to so many who continue to show us how good.

April 17, 2007 at 12:08 am 8 comments

4/12/07 11 pm

finally a calm in so many preparations for mikes surgery and continued care.  mike is officially transferred from Young Life insurance to Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan coverage by a miracle of God’s grace.  and our neurosurgeons and primary care doctor and his generous flobotomist (sp?) have coordinated efforts to draw blood here at home instead of dragging him into the hospital for those necessities this week.  This included lots of phone calls and home visits between them all.  i guess each detail big and small surprises me.  every day both old friends and strangers, too, go out of their way to smooth rough paths for us.  and it makes all the difference.  each day is a new joy to discover God’s own perfect coverage for us ( i have had insurance on my mind!). 

the image this week of my newly mulched (by thoughtful, diligent church folk) early blooming garden being covered by a blanket of fresh snow caught my attention.  the vivid brown mulch, green shoots and clean white flakes didn’t add up.  it was a picture of nonsensical contrasts.  in some way, i see that image of God in this place in our lives.  why praise the necessity to switch insurance because your bills have exceeded a million dollars, why welcome flobotomists to your house to stick your arms again for the millionth time?  why indeed?  Because our God delivers himself in each moment to comfort and cover.  and his presence is irresistable.  it is impossible not to praise him.  i know it does not add up.  even so, the nonsense proclaims his wonder.

i stayed up watching tv in mike’s room the other night until i heard him ask, “michelle, how long are we going to do this?”  i said, “Do what?”  He answered, “Watch tv.”  He was kicking me out so he could go to sleep.  it made me laugh.  the moaning is still maddening but the inbetweens are, again, a wonder.  he is my husband.  still.  what a miracle.

April 12, 2007 at 11:24 pm 13 comments

early 4/7/07

so, no one loving us so well will ever get the full credit they deserve here on earth.  but my rescuers of the week are Jim and Janet who are both associated with the Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Program.  this program is a better fit for mike’s coverage than the medicaid will be and jim politely pursued an answer from me on how our insurance plans were looking.  he has spurred me on to action that i approach a bit too lazily and he has connected me with Janet who is trying to help me do anything possible to extricate myself from the medicaid situation that hospitals and social workers seem a bit too eager to push everyone into and get mike qualified for this ICHIP program which works more like the COBRA plan we have been used to.  conveniently this all should have been done, oh, maybe yesterday or last week.  now i could get frustrated or sad that i don’t have better timing but honestly, i figure if God can place the stars, dig the Grand Canyon and rise from the dead, then he can be the master of my timing, good or bad.  and besides, my rescuer Jim is taking care of the worry for me and guaranteeing that we do all possible from a human standpoint to get mike the best coverage.  so financially, we are in God’s hands and i don’t really worry and that seems to be working out ok so far.  but what do i know?  if things get bad, i will certainly be open—after all, who am i to say that’s not a reason he continues to keep so many faithfully reading our updates?  he does continue to provide heroes at every turn.  whenever i even get an urge to worry, God grabs that from me and lets me know he’ll handle that for me, too.  thanks as always for care and prayer!  he is risen indeed, michelle

April 7, 2007 at 12:25 am 12 comments

4/4/07 11:45 pm

busy days of ministry and insurance and applications and taxes (thanks greg schultz!) and kids and even EASTER!  a few days worth of news…  i met with one of our neurosurgeons to go over the surgery and he shared that the cranioplasty (putting the plate back into mike’s head) will serve protective and cosmetic purposes but sometimes also increases alertness and verbal ability as well as decreased headaches.  there is not a real medical rationale and it is not always the case but he was hopeful that the surgery might have this effect with mike.  so he recommended moving forward for all of these reasons.  i was simply looking forward to easier hairwashing so i am feeling very hopeful!  then their office called with a surgery date sooner than i though possible… APRIL 17!!!!   mike must stay healthy prior to surgery but it  is only 2 weeks away so it becomes less of a gamble!  (not that anything is a gamble with God!)  i was told there is an inherent risk with any surgery that something could happen where his brain bleeds and we start the whole process of last year over again.  but the risk is small and the gain is great.  also i was told to prepare for a setback for mike which i would expect is similar to when he has been sick.  i expect that he will stop talking for a little while and maybe become sleepy again as he has during any serious physical stress.  he will be in the hospital a few days at least.

other considerations… we will try our best to coordinate putting in a wood floor in mike’s bedroom/family room to replace a much-stained carpet while he is in the hospital.  and i finally got a message from our insurance that mike has at long last reached his lifetime maximum.  my mom has dubbed our insurance the loaves and fishes since i was first thrown into a panic over its diminished resources by our insurance liason in july 2006.  it has kept going and going and blessed me with the opportunity to be cared for by the compassionate and prayerful Christians at the Young Life Service Center and those who worked with us through our long term disability company.  and God has not even finished collecting the baskets–he has thrown some new resources our way to walk us through the next step in insurance as Christ’s ambassadors.  so, my head is a bit cloudy with details about too many things.  but still, again, all is grace.

as for mike right now… he is almost conversational though most conversations revolve solely around how we can help reposition or recushion him to subdue his muscle pain.  a few hard days in a row take the life out of both of us in different ways.  he is enduring so much physically and i find it torturous to listen to his moaning with no ability to help beyond a 5 minute reprieve.  i am finding myself becoming numb to his call when i am trying to finish an application for insurance or finally grab a bathroom break or whatever.  i tried to peptalk him today (instead of yelling at him that i can’t do anything better than i already am) that he worships a God that has risen from the dead and as mckaela says–God lives in you.  so we have resurrection power.  i really have nothing worth offering for pain, but mike can handle this with resurrection power through our God who loves him more than life!  so i cling to that truth–for each of us!  happy Easter.  love, michelle

April 5, 2007 at 12:05 am 6 comments


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