Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"How are you doing?"

We get this question often from you, folks who love and care for us, even people whom we have never met. We probably seem, sound, or act strong and brave, but we're human just like you. Deb, the kids, and I do get "overwhelmed" and have had a spontaneous cry from time to time.

We had many times of crying in Mexico during those first few days. Everything was overwhelming, his injury, the translations issues, getting him back to the states, and not to mention all the "what if Dan can't ever ... " questions. We asked God to sustain Dan's life and that we would gladly accept our son, in any condition.

Deb got "overwhelmed" last week just after the rehabilitation staff showed how to "exercise" each of Dan's limbs 2-3 times a day, 8 - 12 reps for each exercise. "How can I keep things up at home AND teach AND help Dan with his exercises?" she said quivering, then tears.

Yesterday's surgery went well, but the next few hours did not. Breathing issues, possible blood clots in his lungs, needing blood thinner is not good after a surgery, going down for another CT scan for possible clots, another possible surgery for a blood clot filter, his oxygen level not staying up at the norm, congestion in the lungs, temperature again but Dan felt cold. It never seems to be good news sometimes. We went home tired and uncertain about many things.

Dan DID sleep well, he looked great this morning, we can understand his mouthing of words better. [trach tube instead of mouth tube], there are no blood clots, [he's on meds to help with that] and the low oxygen readings are probably from pneumonia residue in his right lung, which is clearing out.

So enters the respiratory therapist to begin a treatment. The ventilator is replaced with a "mouth bag ventilate" [MBV], and they give a few big squeezes, removes it, suctions out with the Intubation, puts back on the MBV and then start again, and during this time, Dan's neck reflux muscles make him look like he is choking during the whole procedure.

Well, that got over and I was "overwhelmed". "How can I ever care for my son in this condition, what happens if I can't MBV him, or suction his lungs correctly, or get the ventilator back on in time, or a 100 other thoughts."

I had to call on a business customer [first time since 3/10]. In the car I turned on a favorite CD of mine - Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir "I'm Amazed" and as always, they ministered to my heart with their song "Thou O Lord" from Psalm 3:

3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;

you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.

4 I cried out to the Lord,

and he answered me from his holy mountain.

5 I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety,

for the Lord was watching over me.

Yes, God IS a mighty shield around Dan Knudsen, and the Knudsen family. We thank The Great Physician for His love, His watch care over us, and for "this portion" in our lives.

THAT'S how we are doing! :)


Anonymous said...

Dear Knudsen family...oh how many feelings come back to me when I read this post. I spoke with Debbie this afternoon and I want to try to minister to you any way that God desires me to. We have been through many of the same "firsts" that you have already experienced and are yet to encounter. I remember tears streaming down my face the first time that I had to "bag" my son while the R.T. suctioned him..."I am responsible for his breaths" was my thought. To the medical personnel, that may be wonderful, it is still not their loved one.
How do you do it? I can share from my experiences anytime you want. I would be happy to share the moments of feeling utter defeat to feeling like one of the most blessed humans ever.
I cannot take away your pain, it is the journey that you will go through with God. I can however try to carry part of your load in any way that I can. Keep reaching up and He will give you evey piece of stength. Remember that it is through our weakness that His power is made perfect. Call me ANYTIME!!! If they have you me and I can encourage you through it. I have no medical background but instead the greatest physican as a teacher!
Blessings from "just a MOM".
Beth Malarkey
937-599-4348(24/7) please allow me to be blessed!

Mom said...

I have just read the latest update and want you to know that we are praying for each issue you mentioned. "Over whelmed! yes, I'm sure you are. It is good to admit our human frailities because "when we are weak, Jesus makes us strong" and when we see our loved one suffer we are definately over whelmed. My precious Debbie, may God hold you in the very palm of His Hand as you set out to do the great task that He has given your way; and Bill, my precious son-in-law, may God guide you through the many tasks you have with working and taking care of your family responsibilities. God said in Deut 33:25 and as thy days, so shall thy strength be. Take one day at a time precious ones. God will be there with you. Our hearts are with you. Love you so much - Mom

Laura Elliott said...

Dear Debbie and Bill, and family,
Thank you so much for sharing so honestly. It helps us feel close to you at a time when we long to be with you and love you up close but because of your situation need to give you space just to deal with it all. Our prayers will be better informed and our hearts are drawing close to you even when you are overwhelmed. Perhaps those are the moments when God brings you to my heart to again pray. You are so loved. Call us if you need to be encouraged or need someone to pray for you. It would be our joy!
Laura and Matthew Elliott

Janni said...

Hi, Knudsen family. I'm so glad you can be honest about how you feel. None of this is easy.

I know it looks overwhelming to suction a person but let me reassure you that after doing it a few times, it isn't that complicated. You'll get the hang of it. May God continue to give you the strength and grace you need for each moment.

We're praying...

Anonymous said...

Hi! My name is Paulina and I was at camp when Dan’s accident happened. I heard that you read every comment to Dan, so I decided to write one and share some of what God has been teaching me through the Bible.
Dan, I’ve been studying the book of John during my quiet time and when I read these passages the first person I thought of was you.

John 9:1-4
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

Wow! The man was blind so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. What an honor! Dan, you are in that condition right now so that the work of God might be displayed in your life. God is using you. It was first shown at camp. It was the test of our Worship, and we were able to get together and praise God. That night one person was saved. As long as it is day, we must let ourselves be used by God. Because the time will come when we cannot work anymore. I pray that God heals you, but you are an instrument of God’s glory and power, that power that has been changing people’s lives and encouraging others. Feel honored because God is using you.

John 11:1-6
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick." When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.

Well, why would Jesus stay where He was instead of going to visit Lazarus and heal him? I’m sure that Lazarus wouldn’t have died if Jesus would’ve been there. But Jesus waited. Why? “IT IS FOR GOD’S GLORY, SO THAT THE SON OF MAN MAY BE GLORIFIED THROUGH IT. “I know you and your family are going through a very hard time and maybe things seem to not get better. But God is waiting. Why? TO BRING GLORY TO HIS NAME.

You have no idea how many people are praying for you. Schools, Churches, Bible studies…Prayer is powerful! I pray that you will be comforted every day by knowing that God wants to use YOU to bring glory to His name.

Anonymous said...

Dear Knudsen Family,

Thank you for sharing your feelings and emotions with us. I can not begin to imagine what your going through.

Please know that I am willing to help in any way I can.

Fear not, the lord is with you and he will not forsake you.

You will stay in our thoughts and prayers.


Patience Praier said...

Hey Knudsens,

I go to Cedarville and although I don't know you, I just wanted to let you know that God has really put it in my heart to pray for Dan... and all of you! With every breath I take, I pray that his would return. I can't tell you how much I have been encouraged to trust God and seek Him through your wonderful testimony. Know that I am praying for you constantly and that I am thrilled to see how God will use this. May God give you comfort (and rest!) through each night and renewed strength each morning. I pray that, above all, you would remain close to Him! You are having a powerful impact on people (who you don't even know) as they watch your reaction to this seemingly "freak" accident. God is in control and He loves you! Keep your hope in that!


jan said...

Thank you dear friends for sharing your heart and your fears. We are crying with you as well as rejoicing at God's continued faithfulness to you step by step. Phil 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. You will, are and can do all that He is asking you to do with His power and grace! Phil 4:7-8 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and suppplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. We love you all and our prayers will continue!
Jan Stern

Anonymous said...

Dear Daniel, and family,

Thank you for coming to Puebla to serve at the camp for a week. I'm sure that you never imagined that camp would end the way it did. My four kids were there at the two camps, and Nathan, a fourth grader, was in your cabin. Thank you for ministering to them. Please know that we continue to pray for a complete recovery for you and for God's grace and strength for your family.

Praying in Puebla,


Ham said...

Dear Knudsen family,
I know it is overwhelming at times, it was really hard to see my dad when he was in the hospital bed, needing help for every single thing, not being able to eat or stand up, it was realy hard during those times for me to go visit him, but our God is incredible, and He uses so many things to let us know that He is in control, so I got to this point where even though it was hard, I knew god was in control and there was nothing else but that certainty that He is in control and that He is allowing this for a reason.
It will be hard, but you are not alone, and you are experiencing the unity of the body of Christ as we speak.
Dios les bendiga!!!
In Christ,

Anonymous said...

Hey this is Mike Radtke, just been reading the updates the past couple of days and my family and I have been praying for Dan, the family and the doctors a lot since we found out. Our church also has been updated with the situation and I know we have alot of people praying for him as well. I realize it may be hard to take a lot of encouragement out of words that you have heard a million times, but I know that God has his hand in this situation and no matter what God is going to protect you all and he will work through the doctors so keep praying as we will do for you and I pray for blessings upon blessings for you all especially Dan.


The CyberParson said...

Just read the latest post. I've only walked with friends in such circumstances, and never had the challenges myself, so I can't say I know what this is like. But I'm deeply moved by your honesty and pain, hope and questions. I've seen God give the grace needed daily, and still wondered when asked, how will we handle tomorrow? I am praying, and our church family is praying--for Dan, for healing, for grace, for all of the family, for strength, for peace, for comfort, for...I have to let the Spirit fill in the blanks here. We are standing with you all. Pastor Craig @ GBC, Cedarville.

Anonymous said...

What can I possibly say that can be of any more help to you then all that has already been said, my heart aches for each one of you. Being one of the elders of the family and having my grandson in this position is hard to cope with, but this is just the beginning of a new venture in a life of God's direction and purpose for many lives to be touched for His glory and honor. We only know He holds each tomorrow in His hand to make the best come alive in each of our lives that others may see His love work through us. We are here for you to be used in what ever way we can to assit in the coming days.
Every word in the bible is pure and useful in times like these but I must look to the verse in Phil 1:6 as to final out come in all that will take place. Because you carry part of my name, we will walk through this hand in hand and come out the other side much better for being part of His work.
The grace and mercy of our Lord lift your spirits,
Dad (Grandpa) J

Sarah Smith said...

Hi! I am an accounting professor at Cedarville and Mike is in my class this semester. I wanted you to know that the verses you posted were special to me also. I had a son with Cerebral Palsy who went to be with the Lord last December. He could not do much and even holding his head up was a struggle. I was always glad to be reminded that God holds our head up high!! No matter what the circumstances, we do not have to let our heads droop in despair or discouragement. Regardless of the things Wade could not do, he was full of happiness and contentment. God bless you all.