Sunday, May 20, 2007

Back to Dan

Dan really had a good week. For his dining pleasure, he's had Big Mac's, Chinese food, Popeye's chicken and mashed potatoes, and Jamba Juice! He eats some RIC food, but he doesn't usually have a taste for it. When he consistently eats 600 calories by mouth, one of his 4 tube feedings can be eliminated, hopefully making him more hungry and gain weight.

He completed all of his goals for speech therapy by eating and speaking, so he will no longer have speech. He is able to speak and read on the exhale but also some on the inhale by somehow controlling his vocal cords. That is great for a vent patient. The therapist wants to know how Dan does that so she could instruct other patients! Most vent patients have to pause when they're reading or speaking continuously, waiting for the exhale.

Dan drove his wheelchair himself this week with the "puff & sip" air tube [same as the one over his bed for calling the nurse]. One hard puff is forward, a soft puff to turn right. a hard sip for backward and soft sip to turn left. We walk, Dan rides around our floor and other [17 floors here] rectangle shaped floors multiple times a day. -- 10 times around is one mile. (Mom enjoys the exercise!)

Today the original 6 members of this family, Bill, Deb, Matt, Jen, Mike, & Dan were finally together for lunch at the RIC for a family time. Em joined some of it via phone. We discussed our "new life" since the accident, Dan's rehabilitation and progress, his and our future, selling and buying another home, the wedding, ... "family stuff".

A big concern to Dan is how to communicate when people ask him, "How are you doing?" We know that you all care, and he's aware that sometimes people just don't know what to say, but it's too general of a question. Dan needs so much positive reinforcement about his future, and that he can still enjoy life despite his physical condition.

You may need to view him from a distance to get over the initial shock of his condition, [we've all had to do this from time to time], then approach and give him your greetings. Maybe read up on
Quadriplegia and the latest technology, and a sincere smile with the same love you've always given him always works. Something like, "It's good to see you", and tell him what's going on with you, and ask him specific questions about his rehab or current sports events [Go Cubs Go]. Look past his disabilities to see him.

Please pray:
Dan has a headache every day, not migraine, but severe.
His pressure sore is much better, but has a long way to heal.
Nights are still rough, like 3-1.

I read II Chronicles 20 again a few times this week. Read verses 3 - 12, 17. What a focus!


Anonymous said...

My favorite response to the "how are you doing" question is "never been better... weeeelll"

Dan may not have my warped sense of humor though.

-John Mravik

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan,
Just wanted to write again,(I had written a couple times when you first had your injury) to say WAY TO GO!! It has been so exciting to see what God has been doing on your behalf. I know He is answering prayer. It is incredible that you are eating reg. meals! Your progress in speech is amazing! You look so good sitting up in your "hotrod" and it seems like you just about have the navigation of that mastered as well. Dan, you are an amazing young man. It takes so much courage and strength to pick yourself up inside, stand up and keep on going!! You are such an encouragement. I love the picture of you smiling.
We will continue to pray for you and your family. Be assured we won't forget you.
Thankyou for sharing your life and this time with us.

"Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God,
you who have done great things.
Who, O God, is like you?
Though you made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.
You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. Ps.62:19-21

A Sister in Christ,

Jane-Jane said...

Dan... ya know what, I have nooo problem putting weight on. Maybe I should come cook meals for you!?! I'll fatten ya up in no time! I'm sure there will be more gift cards flying through the mail for you, with lots of love and prayers.

Dude... I am with John (commented above) I think that a warped sense of humor, along with God's grace, will get you through people and their lack of knowledge. (I'm trying to be pc here!)

Dan, you have soooo much to teach people. It totally amazes me how people are so wrapped up in their world that they can't see even a very obvious need for someone in front of them. God WILL use you to open their eyes to others, and to Jesus' love for everyone! Get ready to rock for Jesus cause it has only just begun for you!

Your heart is big, big for Jesus or you would not have been in Mexico. I am sooo stoked to see you accomplishing things that are even blowing the minds of the therapist. God so has a BIG plan for your testimony.... if He can use me and my screw ups, He WILL use you to educate others.

Praising God for all He is doing through and in you!

Aunt Sue said...

Hey, Dan,
I used to teach kids "The real you is the person looking out of your eyes..." until I had a blind daughter... the REAL YOU is your MIND--the body can be the pits, unreliable, and uncoordinated, or different...(and think of all the teens who are complaining about zits tonight...) and wouldn't it be nice for people to love you for your MIND....HEY...I do!! Your mind is a wonderful thing. Except the headaches are the pits. I had one for 30 hours this weekend and kept thinking... "well, me and Dan--headaches together...OK, God, what IS the point?" I know God never forgets a prayer (and there are a ton of "stop this pain"). It is hard to do anything w/ pain in the head. It just occurred to me, I'm going to start praying "Don't let me get a headache." (prevention) I'll keep you posted. Love you! See you in a few weeks! Keep praying for Don's safety!

Amanda Martin said...

Howdy, Dan! Was thinking about ya quite a bit over the weekend. I ended up staying the night in Chicago with a friend this last weekend, and she lives pretty close to Children's Memorial which made me think of you! I am so very, very glad you are still on this earth and that God isn't done with you yet. I know He will reach many people through you. All for Jesus!


Jeff & Kim Thiele said...

Hi Dan and Family,

I haven't written in a while (although, I have called) but anyways, I just read one of the above comments and it made me think of one of my fondest memories. It was at Richards wedding, (same place as Jen & Jeff's) and a very handsome young man asked the mother of the groom for a dance and that handsome young man was John Mravik in his wheelchair. I don't know the logistics but it was a wonderful dance and he didn't roll over my feet once!! (of couse if he did, he could have just said his wheelchair has two left wheels)..... Thinking and praying for you guys.

Love, Jeff & Kim Thiele

Your big sister said...

You better believe I'm dancing with ALL my brothers at the wedding!

Anonymous said...

Dear Dan and Fam,

Thank you for your updates. God is at work in and through you! We are so glad that you are eating solid foods now. What an accomplishment that you have reached your speech goals and that you are now getting around in your wheelchair on your own. We continue to pray for miracles and accomplishments in your mind and body. Keep looking up! The Basile Family

Anonymous said...

Its so great to hear that Dan is up and about and that picture looks pretty good!!! Its so great to see the lord working in this!!!:)
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Anonymous said...

After reading today comments and blot the song, Open the eyes of my heart Lord kept running thru my head... Dan your story helped me and others to have new sight when it comes to overcoming and let God use us. Thank you...praying in Northern Ohio. Also praying for the twins and the wedding.

elj377 said...

I have been listening to Mercy Me a lot recently and the song Bring the Rain has really touched me. If you have the chance listen to it do so and I hope that it blesses you as well. We are praying for you all and will try and come visit the next time we are in Chicago. Dan, eat some Portillos for us since we can't get a decent hot dog in Kansas City!

Love from Dan and Erin Jonathan

DW said...

Thank you for such an informative and practical update. Those of us reading & praying from states away feel so far removed from your situation that it 'doesn't seem real' until we read the blog again. Please know we too are encouraged by God's faithfulness to each of you.His sovereignty has again come home in a whole new personal perspective.

Dan we are continually amazed and encouraged at your progress and rejoice over each success.
Never, never, never give up! Debbie & Bill....simply amazing...many hugs and much love.

Anonymous said...

Let's just say we continually pray for you during this season. We are from Washington State and heard about Dan via missionary friends of ours in Mexico. My husband is also a Cedarville grad and we have two children who are adopted. So needless to say our hearts are with you regarding adoption. God's timing is always PERFECT, though it is hard waiting. Your perspective and reliance on the LORD is a motivator. Thanks for being an encouragement and we will continue to pray for ALL of you during this time!!