Tuesday, February 26, 2008

50 days pacing

... and the energizer Dan keeps going, and going, and going.

It really is amazing that for the last 50 days, Dan has not used his ventilator. Although he is still classified as "vent dependent", he'd like to keep that breathing lung in the closet forever. We change 1 'c' cell lithium battery about every 21 days, but his pacer from Synapse Biomedical just keeps breathing 12 times a minute, 24/7/365.

He still requires suctioning and a "cough assist" machine from time to time, as he does not have the ability to cough out Flem or clear his throat. The humidity or lack of it seems to play some part in this.

Dan keeps his trach cap on 95% of the time during the day, and is taking the next steps [mind over fear], to keep it on at night also. He is pushing his sitting upright tolerance, to a greater degree. Those of you whom have visited may remember how far down he was lying. That is improving daily.

His spasms continue to be at a high level. We are considering intense therapy at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at Kennedy Krieger - John Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. Needed is the center to accept Dan, and for the insurance to support this cutting edge program.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thankful for Cedarville Family

We loved Cedarville University before Dan's accident, but since March 9, 2007, we have a deeper appreciation for this place. From Dan's friends to the administration and staff to parents of students we've never met, we continue to be blessed by those associated with CU. We still receive cards, gifts, even valentines from people we don't know, but who assure us of their prayer commitment -- usually signed "a praying mom from --" or "still praying in --". The staff have an attitude of wanting to accommodate us in every possible way. I was musing the other day of how many new and dear friends we have, yet we don't really even know them. Does that make sense?! I know that we will get to meet many at Mike's graduation in May, but we even get correspondence from friends who graduated from CU years ago. How awesome heaven will be!! Thank you to our CU family.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Parents Return :-)

Yes, we are back, and were shocked back into reality with Sunday's mid west weather.

Costa Rica was sunny, warm and sported 88* temps with cool Pacific Ocean breezes. Five hours later we walked out the door at O'Hare Airport to -3* take-your-breath-away deep freeze, and a wind chill of -25*.

Welcome back to the windy city of Chicago!!!

We would like to thank all of our family, friends, and nurses who kept Dan company with daily care, meals, feedings, therapies, visits, and even the Super Bowl Game, during the past 9 days, all in an orchestrated effort of love.

They included Addy & Gabri, Adam, Cheryl, Dave & Kim, G-pa & G-ma Johnson, G-pa & G-ma Knudsen, Gary & Jen, Jordan, Jacquie, Kelly, Kathy, Kirsten, Malisa, Mary Kay, Matt & Emily, Mylene, Nancy, Rhonda, Sue & Stan, Suzanne, Suzie, Terry, Trish, [who am i missing?]

Big thanks to nurses, Trish & Kathy, who put in extra hours and days to help out during our absence, and to Sue for quickly learning "Dan's care routine" and for wanting to stay overnight at our house to care for Dan.

Special thanks to Aunt Mary Kay who also covered all the schedule "gaps", stayed over night also, lent moral support to the nurses, and was the "keeper of the schedule", AND kept my business running and customers happy.

This was a great testing of Dan's daily schedule and the logistics for his return to CU in this fall.

Although we were countries away, experiencing new sights & sounds, tropical rain forests, the bluest of oceans and stunning sunsets, it was difficult not to think about Dan, his past 11 months, and all the many changes that are now part of his and our daily lives. Laughter & tears, ups & downs, progress & set backs,
"it is life and it's all good!!!"

Thanks to my business partners who paid for most of the trip, gave us special upgrades, listened and showed us their love.

We are grateful to God for his love on all of our families' lives,
while not fully understanding His plan,
but desiring to continue down this path He has laid out for us.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

They're Off!

Well, I figured I'd take this time to jump in and inform you that Dad and Mom left today for Costa Rica! Due to this much-anticipated trip, there will most likely be a week's silence on the blog, but please, please keep praying!
Please pray that Dad and Mom will have an absolutely wonderful, relaxing time (oh yeah, I guess Dad does have to do SOME work seeing as it's a business conference!)
Please also pray that Dan will have a fantastic week with no extra "hiccups" in his day-to-day life. And that it will be a re-freshing week for him as well.
We are all so grateful to those who have stepped up to stay with Dan and help with his care. I'm sure each one of you will be a great blessing and encouragement to him.
Keep checking in next week for updates and hopefully pictures from the great week!