Archive for March, 2008

3/28/08 post-op

my kids are quibbling so i will rush… mike went about 24 hours at home then began swelling up in his face and neck so i took him back to the ent and he released some air that had leaked beneath mike’s skin. but then it reswelled so we went back today and he reinserted a rubber band that allows the extra air to escape instead of pooling beneath the skin. this way mike’s insides will cntinue healing and then we will pull out that rubber band hanging out of his neck as the last thing to heal shut. a little unsettling but not the worst case scenario by far. please pray for smooth healing. thanks and praise, michelle z

March 28, 2008 at 4:48 pm 6 comments

3/26/08 wednesday afternoon

when i got to the hospital room to take mike home today he asked, “what school is your kid in?” i thought, oh no, he is crazy talking. talking is great but crazy is not so much. then the nurse and i clarified tht he was finishing up a conversation he had been having with her about a junior high kid she mentors. it is SO much fun to see mike able to speak and hold up his end of a conversation without me in the room chiming in with translations!
anyhow, we are home and looking forward to WORSHIPping with anyone who wants to stop by tonight, WEDNESDAY at 7 pm. we do not have childcare but if you are comfortable with your children being unmonitored as they play–my kids will be doing just that and you are welcome! hip hip hooray as eli likes to say, michelle

March 26, 2008 at 4:11 pm 3 comments

3/25/08 6:00 pm … and all is well.

Just a quick note to say that Mike’s surgery to close the opening in his throat went well. He is staying the night at the Edward ICU, for observation, and is expected to be released early in the day tomorrow. He is awake and alert, if you care to visit. Also, the casts on Mike’s legs have been removed (yesterday), and, as you know, various appointments for measurement for braces and other therapy-related matters lie ahead.

Thanks for keeping up on Mike’s progress. More soon.

March 25, 2008 at 6:03 pm 1 comment

3/21 or literally 3/22/08

i was feeling pretty cranky today. not for any real catastrophic reason. just the annoyances of normal life. kids that are louder than you wish when you are on the phone. the wheelchair adjuster people not calling back to fix mike’s chair up before heading into next week where it will be infinitely more difficult to schedule around mike’s appointments. and then the cable went out thursday night. you can hear the broadcast in mike’s room but not see much through the pixillation? anyway, they gave me the 1-5 window and i promised mike someone would be on the way today and he just had to hang in there and he would only miss a fraction of the basketball games today and then we would be good to go again. at 5:30 tonight i began my comcast quest to track down our no-show guy. by 7 they swore there was no way they could get someone to our house tonight, not even for the pope. i had given them the best sob story i could muster about them stealing mike’s beloved once a year passionate enjoyment of the tournament coverage when there are so few luxuries he is able to hang onto in life. they still couldn’t fix it until between 8-12 tomorrow (although still better than the 1-5 tomorrow time slot they started out trying to pacify me with). so i am cranky (for mike) and also bitter because it had taken extra HOURS of phone calls just to get a big fat NO from them.
then i grabbed hold of my last salvage effort to redeem my evening. i had had to let go of my desire to attend a good friday service in my pursuit of finding a cable repair guy and had figured i would have to stay home and wait anyhow but with no cable guy coming i had 20 minutes to scramble my pokey family into the car so that we could get to that service. then everyone pooped. (proofreading this quickly i realize that i am not supposed to say that but it is one of those things that is uniquely infuriating and unavoidable and makes me crazy and so i don’t know how to describe that reality in any other way than simply saying just what happened). and as the minutes ticked by i knew i could never maneuver them to church. as the service started without us i made a few phone calls and reached a sweet neighbor who literally abandoned her family to come sit with mine.
over these years i have still not mastered the humbling walk of being ridiculously late for church (and everywhere else). you know- the path through everyone so that you distract and every eye turns to you? every single time i ask myself if coming THIS late is really worth it. once i sat i was able to be quiet. to listen. to remember brokenness besides my own on this good friday. and it WAS good. it was so good to rightly mourn the brokenness. to mourn the brokenness in a day that keeps feeling like you’re getting the short stick. to mourn the brokenness in my own selfishness that feels more sorry for me for keeping up than feels sorry for mike for not even being able to get up. (i know i know that that barely made sense). to mourn the brokenness of families. to mourn the brokenness of bodies. to mourn the brokenness of my Saviour. it was so good to rightly mourn in quiet and in song.
after my time there i remembered that today was the 2 year mark of mike’s brain bleed. and it is an odd thing to me to wonder what a reasonable reaction is on such an anniversary. does sadness rule as the response to a day that broke our lives, broke our plans, wounded our relationships? should relief or thanksgiving drive all that out as i praise God for mike’s miraculous recovery thus far despite little realistic hope? how do you strike the right balance between gratitude, perspective, rejoicing and anguish? i still don’t know but it seemed a right pairing to remember the heartbreak of 2 years ago today with the observance of good friday’s heartbreak 2000ish years ago with my Christ on a cross. it is good for me, for us to rightly mourn. and to allow God the opportunity to flush out my own selfish heart with tears and anguish and to make room for his amazing grace. so sleepy and bewildered. but full. peace, michelle

March 22, 2008 at 1:15 am 14 comments


i am scrambling to coordinate all mike’s appointments again. all so far are going well. i was sharing with friends how funny it is to be rejoicing about how smooth a dentist appt could go but i was apprehensive about getting mike into the dentist this week. it helps that our dentist is a gracious friend who was willing to put in some grunt work literally hauling mike over from his wheelchair into the dentist chair. any new scenario always gets me nervous about unforeseen stumbling blocks and they were all so helpful and capable (which is good since mike is heading in again on friday–even when you aren’t eating, your teeth need a lot more attention than i realize). and yesterday we checked in with our ENT and got on his schedule to have mike’s trach surgically closed on march 25. there is a very tiny percentage of people who need this surgery twice because the hole pulls back open so pray that we do not join this unusual few. it is an overnight stay at edward hospital to rule out any postop complications. so our schedule lineup the week after easter is worth paying and praying attention to…
leg casts off monday march 24, trach hole closed tuesday march 25 and sleeping at hospital, home on wednesday march 26 and you are invited to join us to COME WORSHIP AND CELEBRATE at our house that night wednesday, march 26 at 7 pm!
friday march 28 we will check back in at marianjoy and get fitted for leg braces and when we receive those braces the following week mike will be ready for outpatient therapy 3 times a week. hurray! we are looking forward and praising God for the hopeful promises of each appointment coming. thanks again for sticking through each day with us in prayer! michelle

March 12, 2008 at 3:14 pm 7 comments


mike is home and good and i have a lockin tonight with jr high kids which i am preparing for so all i wanted to say was that the magazine i get is called Discipleship Journal and it is its march/april installment that i got so excited about this week. sorry for being unintentionally vague. thanks! michelle

March 7, 2008 at 4:09 pm 3 comments


i am planning on picking mike up to come home around 4 pm today. he is doing just fine and i thank you for prayers offered and answered. he is expressing his eagerness to come home to hospital staff which i am also excited to hear because it means he was trying to communicate himself without waiting for me to be his constant liason. also thanks to those who were able to stop by and keep him company (even when you chance finding him asleep!). please continue to consider an opportunity to reconnect with mike if you have not–he appreciates the relationships so much. see you? michelle

March 6, 2008 at 3:22 pm 2 comments


the gastrointestinal doctor said that one way to see what is making mike’s belly bleed was to stick a camera down there. but that endoscopy? procedure requires some sedation so people don’t feel like they are choking which can impact breathing and since mike already has pneumonia it doesn’t seem like a good idea unless it was an emergency. everything else about his hemoglobin? count seems stable and good so it seems that the blood in his stomach is no emergency. so right now we are just waiting it out on the hopes that nothing changes requiring intervention. and i assume the pneumonia will require a couple days’ stay to clear his lungs. so mike is doing ok. sometimes i think it is hard for him to make his views understood by very busy nurses who don’t initiate a game of 20 questions to be sure all his needs are met. he can still get a pain drug for his ankles as needed but he doesn’t effectively get the nurses’ attention when he wants it-or so i have seen today.
please pray for continued smooth healing, and for mike’s perseverance and creativity in communicating without an audible voice all the time. (the trach cannot be surgically closed while he is sick so we will have to stick with waiting a week or 2 more for that to get looked at).
on another note, i m reading through my march/april discipleship journal. it has a section of articles under the theme “invitation to adventure: what happens when we say yes to God”. every article gets me more and more excited about the truth and conviction of what it means to say yes to God and be “gloriously ruined”. i LOVE recognizing God’s truths as i read–that he is constantly calling us to adventure that we are not that interested in which can stretch us or break us and always transform us. each article addresses our varied responses and none hesitate to call our fearful hearts what they are–sinful. our hesitancy to really accept adventure in every form God offers us separates us from him and his best for us–his communion with us.
i do love the topic and often think that i have been privileged to have been a part of God “ruining” the life mike and i had crafted for ourselves. but now that this life has been going on for almost 2 years i am almost getting too used to the unpredictability and losing that softness to God’s shaping. that transformation is what i believe to be the ultimate purpose of the adventure in the first place and so if i am feeling apathetic or oddly comfortable with the familiarity of the chaos of this life then i am becoming my own roadblock to God’s use of adventure in my life. i always got marked for run-on sentences in high school. that never did stop me. anyhow, maybe God creates us with varying degrees of a zest for adventure but i want it. and i do believe that God is THE source. and so i am excited to get even the beginning of a sense of conviction over my own comfort with my new setup and boundaries in life, uncomfortable as they may seem from the outside. if any of this does or doesn’t make sense to you, or really if it intrigues you at all, go read the articles. i think they are a great offering of God’s word to penetrate my own hard heart.
peace, michelle

March 5, 2008 at 12:48 am 5 comments


apparently it is the season to be sick judging from a crowded ER at edward at 11 pm on a monday night. mike had a fever yesterday afternoon and we had intended on getting a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia but mike wasn’t satisfied with staying outpatient, or so i guess. last night i saw blood in his g-tube from his stomach so we headed over to get checked in at the hospital. an x-ray comfirmed pneumonia (although i wonder whether if someone took a chest x-ray at any random time throughout the year whether it would show pneumonia–he has never had an x-ray that did not show it.) but we are having a GI doctor look at him sometime today to explore the blood in the stomach. i don’t have any real info yet other than an assumption that he will be in the hospital fo a few days and lonely for company. because the hospital is overcrowded he is in the north building in the heart hospital. please feel free to check in on him anytime. he is feeling ok though he cannot talk out loud unless that trach hole in his neck is covered with your hand. (i am praying we can get a doctor to surgically close the hole while he is inpatient there though it is a side issue.)
please pray for a right and smooth resolution to the blood in the stomach. my ignorance is keeping me stress-free over it at the moment. i will update with more info when possible.
thanks, michelle

March 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm 5 comments


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