Saturday, September 29, 2007

pacing marathon

Dan is on a pacing marathon so to speak. It started on Wed night with an overnight of 9 hours. Thursday we were gone all day, but Dan started pacing again at night and continued all the way through Saturday evening. He only stopped pacing each morning for 2-3 hours for a break. He also is drinking and eating while pacing, something that was difficult at first.

Mind you he does not have enough title volume to push the air through his mouth and nose, thus he has his cap off, and is not able to talk while pacing. This is expected to improve over time as his diaphragm continues to get stronger.

Thanks for your continued prayers in this wonderful blessing of "natural breathing" for Dan.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Wheelchair delivery

Dan's sweet wheelchair was delivered to the RIC in Chicago this past Thursday. It was a long day of adjustments and fine tuning, but was so good to see Dan roving up and down the hallways under his own power once again. It is amazing that after not being in a power chair since mid June, Dan knows what to do, and does it well.

Thanks to salesman Mike from Rehab Tech, who went the extra mile to get a major modification done on the spot, so that we could go home with the chair. Susan, RIC head of Therapy was careful with many details to ensure full comfort for Dan.

The chair has a sophisticated environmental control unit [ECU] that lets Dan see what the chair is doing all the time. IE drive mode or idle, him controlling the chair or an assistant from the control unit on the back or the chair. He can tilt the chair backward by himself for a pressure release as needed to avoid sores. He has molded arm rests that support his arms and shoulders. His ventilator is now on a bracket instead of swing loosely. There are too many other features to mention. Ask him for a demo next time you see him.

Shortly we will program his ECU to operate the TV, DVD player, CD & radio. In the future he can control any type of infrared adaptable device such as light, doors, house alarms, etc.

Like he said it's a really sweet set of wheels.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Packing & Moving help needed

Well folks, it's time for us to pack up the rest of our worldly possessions, cause we are outta here on
October 5th.

Where are we going?

Here >>
We have secured a 2 bedroom / 2 bath, handicap accessible, condo in South Elgin, IL called River Crossing. And yes we DID qualify for the 50+ community status. LOL. It was referred to us by Randy & Flo via friends of theirs--the Petersen's of Visiting Angles. The condos usually are for sale... but you know how God works in these matters. We will be living here for the next 6 months, because ....

We have also been talking with a local builder for the past few weeks, and hope to finalize new house plans [handicap modified] this week; 5-6 months from signing to delivery. Details are being saved for a future post.

What is the plan?
All of our stuff is being divided into 2 groups.
  • a. The minimal amount of household items, a few furniture items, & clothing that we need for the next 6 months. We should be able to move into here on Oct 2nd & 3rd and will need people to help move us on those days.
  • b. The "rest of everything else" will be packed into a Pod storage unit until we are able to move into our new home, hopefully in 6 months.
We would like to have the "rest of everything else"
out of our house by this Saturday.

How can you help?
If you have a few hours this week, morning or evening, especially this Saturday we need "many hands" to pack boxes, and others to move those boxes into the modular storage unit. We also need people to help wash and clean rooms as they are emptied, AND if you like to work out doors, there are a few weeds that need to be pulled and light outside yard clean up.

What to do?
Just send us a note with your availability and a phone number. Most replies will happen by email, but if we don't contact you, please try us again.

Misc items for free or sale.
  • 1994 Olds Cutlass Supreme - 78,200 miles, red, runs great, good condition, A/C leaks and does not work. $2100 obo. [Kelly's Blue Book]
  • 5' White Metal & Glass Top Patio table - no chairs - free
  • 16' Round Trampoline - the pad needs replacing. - free
  • 12' x 6' x 6' wooden playground tower. - free
I'm sure this list will grow. Check back often.

Sleeping Prayer for Dan.
I am up posting, but it's really because Dan is having a restless night again. He has been "clicking" for us every 5-10 minutes, his stomach hurts, his neck is very sore, he is having increased spasms and has a slight reddish infection with one of his surgery suture sites [Dr's have been consulted] and is defying any sleep meds he has been given.
Continue to keep him in your prayers.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

home from hospital

FYI update, [even to immediate family]

Dan was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon

long ride home in rush hour traffic

had a tasty meal provided by friends

[up a few times during the night]

feeling somewhat better over all

the CUBS won.

Life is good.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dan's family

[clockwise: Dan, Emily & Matt, Jeff & Jen, Mike,
Bill & Addy, Deb & Gabri]

Well, this past Sunday's family gathering was too much fun, went by too fast, and all 10 of us Knudsen's gathered at our Old Kirk Road home for the last time. It was the first time that all 10 of us have been together since the family expansion this year with a new son-in-law Jeff, and two very cute, twin grand daughters, Addy & Gabri.

[Jen & Jeff
meeting the twins
for the first time.]

For those of you who are in the early years of raising children, perhaps you occasionally think about the day when they all will leave home. Those of us who are empty nesters love the holidays when all the kids are home. It was all that and more.

Twins: Mike, Dan, Gabri & Addy ...
(in the right order per Emily)

MEDICAL UPDATE: We are trying to line up home nursing care so that Dan can come home from the hospital. If you know of anyone who is a nurse [RN or LPN] and would like to work a few hours on their day off, please give them this email address:

There is no insurance money available for this, and because of that, 2 home care nursing agencies have turned us down. There is some limited state money that can be provided soon. We really need skilled care for Dan at home at this time. We feel that prevention will help keep him out of the hospitals in the long run.

Medical update in previous blog below.

Friday, September 14, 2007

1st after home Hospital visit

  1. Keep Dan in your prayers this afternoon as I am currently blogging from our local hospital. Dan started experiencing sharp pains in his foot and groin area. He has a urinary tract infection [UTI], and is running a slight temp of 101. He is on strong pain killers.
  2. Dan has been through a litany of tests, blood work, x-rays and a battery of what, when, where questions. His pain is somewhat lessened thanks to strong pain killers [drugs are bad], and he is catching up on sleep. He did have a double portion of the meat loaf & mashed potato lunch. His X-rays and other tests have returned with everything being okay. "Just a bad case of UTI"
    Someone asked "how can he have pain in his foot but yet not have any feeling below his neck??" There is that pain called "phantom pain", or Dan does say that he feels internal pains, like hunger in his stomach and spasms which can make his body shudder. Not sure why it is the groin and foot at the same time.
  3. Saturday PM - We are still at the hospital. Same pains, lots of antibiotics, constipation issues added to the mix and just trying everything to get all this cleared up. Still eating good. Thanks for your prayers as always.

We knew that a hospital visit would happen some day, and are still glad that we avoided the "1st week out of the RIC hospital visit" like many patients. Also pray that Dan gets released Saturday. All the family, Bill & Deb, Matt & Em, Jen & Jeff, Mike, Dan, Gabri & Addy too, will gathering from far and near, for the last time at our Old Kirk Rd home. We are out of there Oct 5th.
It will be the first time all 10 of us have been together.

Dan came home for a few hours, but was still not well, so we borrowed a van, and Bill and Dan's Aunt Mary Kay drove him late Sunday night to Northwestern Memorial Hosp. in Chicago. NMH has great medical resources and also know his medical history best.

He is still here as of Wednesday AM.

More tests, more pills, had the chills, then a fever, His blood work, x-rays and cultures were all taken and are being examined by a team of doctors, He saw his neurologist, his plastic surgeon and will hopefully meet with
the spinal cord injury doctor. His spasms have increased, due to the UT infection, He says his toe pain doesn't hurt when he sleeps, and requests more of his sleep meds. He has been sleeping much of the day time hours, and awakes every 1-2 hours for a drink of water. His eating is off but not stopped. The hospital vent seemed "different" to him, so we are using ours. That also requires us to be in his room most of the time.

On a good note,in the past week, Dan set a record of 4.5 hours on the pacer in one sitting, or should I say in bed.
Yes, there is always good during the dark times.

Van needs

We have found a van. Finally.

We are ready to purchase a '06 Dodge Caravan, rear entry van with 23K miles, handicap modified by Freedom Motors of Battle Creek Michigan. The total cost is $32,250. There is also a $2oo delivery charge, unless I can figure a way to get it home. The van is ready now for pick up, as soon as I secure all the funds. We are selling Deb's '94 Olds Cutlass to help pay for "Dan's wheels", which will go back to Cedarville when Dan goes back to school.

I was not going to say anything about this need, as I doubt that many of you had financial help with the purchase of your last vehicle, and I sometimes feel like I am talking to the faithful choir. But going through some old emails I came across a request from someone to asked me when they could help with the van needs, and maybe there are others.

Some of my business customers [I provide credit card processing for merchants] have already given money and others are doing fundraisers for this van need. Thank you for your help. Thanks especially for the putting up with the lack of service or attention from me. Everything has changed these days. My time is so unpredictable when caring for Dan. Your continued support for our family means much to me, and I trust that I can return the favor to your business in the future.

Thanks to the many families with handicap vans that have emailed us about the advantages of their particular van etc. Please know that we have taken those suggestions into account, have done additional research, visited, driven and borrowed many types of handicap vehicles over the past few months. This is a good reliable vehicle for Dan, in his current new injury condition.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pacing, Power Chair, Jouse and the CUBS

Pacing is good for the most part. Sunday was the best with 2.5 hours in the chair. We can get that long of a time first thing in the morning, in bed and doing nothing , but it dwindles fast during the day. We continue to chart if he has been deep suctioned or if we used the Inexsuffalator AKA "the coughilator". It is a machine that shoves pressure into the lungs, expands them, and sucks it back out, (like a cough) hopefully getting the bigger mucus or "luggies" deep down cleared out.

This morning Dan even got washed up, dressed and into his chair during pacing. Transferring him without tubes was nice. This was a first, as any movement or touching of him in the morning causes lots of spasms and would affect the pacing. It also knocks his SpO2 levels down below 94, which is where the headaches begin. Dan's is usually at 99 or 100. So, progress at a steady pace.

His power chair is possibly going to be delivered to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago this week. The wheel chair company requires that an occupational therapist check him out with the new device. I sense another 1 day road trip in the works, but am getting better at packing all his travel stuff.

The Jouse mouse showed up today. [We're feeling a little gypped because we paid for 2nd day air from Canada, and it took 13 days. Such is life.] Anyway, we got it hooked up and Dan is perusing the Internet with a bit more speed. Thanks to the ones who provided the funds for this device.

What is with those CUBS? Yes, we watch every game, every day. We now have a 2nd CUBS banner hanging up, and CUBS necklace, [thank you Sharon at Party Setters], watch with the CUBS blanket, and CUBS cap on. We even get vocal [but not like Uncle D.] at the TV when plays are blown, knowing that we could have done better. LOL I don't think it's something to pray about because the Brewer fans are praying for the opposite way. [Sorry to Uncle E. Aunt L. S&T, but we feel the Cardinals are too far out of it for a comeback this year.] If you want great insight to the game and players, stop by and join us.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

We're Still Here

Dan is doing well. Sorry we don't post more often -- we're pretty busy -- I thought I was exaggerating when I told people that Dan's care would take a few hours each morning and evening once we got home. I was not exaggerating, but short of reality!

Dan's pacing is slow but sure. He is able to stay off the vent much longer when he is in bed or reclining than when he is upright. His longest time was 1 hour and 20 minutes. As I'm typing now, it's been 30 minutes. That's the longest so far while in his chair.

I love seeing Dan use his computer. In addition to checking his email and Facebook, he gets to view photos of his nieces (which he loves to do) and is doing a Bible study with his OPE guys.

Dan is really wanting to be at Cedarville for homecoming, so we'd appreciate prayer about getting those details worked out. We still need a van -- they're out there, but we're hoping to find one a bit less expensive. Oh, and would you pray that Dan's power chair would arrive soon. What a difference it will make when Dan will be able to move himself about and have some independence.

Neither has the eye seen a God besides Thee,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. Isaiah 64:4

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day '07

Pacing today started with a record 32 minute session this morning while Dan was still in bed and another 20+ minute session later on in his chair. Progress is slow but good, and we are still excited about getting rid of those "watch my tubes" forever.

We have enjoyed a lot of visitors this weekend.
Cedarville students took advantage of the 3 day weekend
and a few of them "checked in on Dan".

Long time family friend and CU student, Talitha stopped by Sunday to say "HI" and drop off a few things from Dan's twin brother, Mike. She'd love to have Dan back at the 'ville, to practice her nursing skills on him.

Jared [OPE brother]
& Katherine
['07, who was with
on the Mexico trip],

stopped by after
visiting family in Chicago.

Mark ['07] was nearby and just stopped by again, to watch the Cubs game with Dan. Wearing a Cubs hat, and Cubs blanket [Thank you Lyle's] did not help the Cubbies win today :(