Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dan's first post

Hello Everybody, this is Dan posting to you.

It has been over a year, and I guess I haven't posted because I don't know what to say. Most of the time it really sucks. I don't know what normal is supposed to be. I guess I felt a little bit normal this past Saturday night when we went church for Easter and I got to dress up, which is what I used to love to do. Right now I'm in the dark tunnel and it seems to be pitch black except for a pin prick of light at the end of the tunnel, which to me is the hope that science can come up with a way of fixing my spinal cord. But I know instead of waiting around, groping in the darkness doing nothing but waiting for science; I want to find the light switch to illuminate the tunnel and see what God wants me to be doing with why he wanted me to be this way. I know He didn't pick me because I was strong enough. Strength is something I have to consciously think about everyday. I don't know if it makes me more or less of a man to cry every week because I'm not strong enough. I guess the hardest part is the most obvious in the fact that my mind is still here and yet I can't make my body do what it's supposed to. Think as hard as you can and can try as hard as you can, but your finger doesn't move. As I'm speaking to type, I can't say that last sentence without crying. Do not ever say that I am a good example or that I have accomplished anything or that I have overcome something great: I can do nothing without Christ who strengthens me. But blessed are the weak for He will make them stronger, , right? I used to think Philippians 4:13 was about being able to do anything, but realized later it's about contentment. I am not always content with where I am and with where God put me I'm ahamed to say. Many days I doubt His imminent presence. It's not some shallow "why do bad things happen to good people" but more like a struggle to have the patience to see where God is taking me. It's sobering to hear people say how inspiring I am to them when I know my sins and my struggles and how I would not want anyone to have my frame of mind on most days.

I cannot thank all of you enough for your support and prayers. Even if I get angry with God and think that prayers don't do anything, the truth of the matter is that they do and that you are faithful to continue to pray for me.

Two major prayer requests

: Cedarville is modifying a room from me, and is in the process of raising money to fund the room; I know God will provide the money necessary.

And secondly I need a personal-care assistant or else even if there is a room I would not be able to return. I know that God will provide the person necessary. (And in case it isn't obvious, my personal-care assistant has to be a guy pretty much unless I was going to marry the girl helping me. hahaha)

Well that's it for now, I should probably do this more often.

-- Dan

[Dan was in bed but having a "rough evening" physically and emotionally. He got on his computer and typed the above while it was fresh on his mind.]

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter '08

Happy Easter from Dan and his family.

What a fun-filled weekend !!!
Packed church services, special choirs, and songs about the risen Christ.

Family and friends
[Knudsen x2, Schmanke x2, Szots]
gathered to enjoy too much food to feast on,
desserts that said "eat me",
adults catching up with each other, and, of course, March Madness.

It was the twins who stole the show [don't grandchildren always] experiencing many firsts in the USA:

coffee cake making and egg coloring at
Great Grandma K's,

the traditional Easter egg hunt,
with a 100 eggs
from Great Grandma J.

They can't help being the center of attention.

What a difference one year makes.

I trust your Easter was equally enjoyable.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


is it time to stop blogging when you start copying someone else's blog just to update yours? Thanks for the analytical info from Dan's sister, Jen, [hmmm, thought she was a Theatre major at CU] and can be seen over at her blog.

Even though March 9 marked the 1 year point of Dan's accident, today marks the 1 year point of the checkinondan blog. My super smart Sr. Marketing Analyst brother, Matt, [CU '05] found out that we could track activity on the blog. Unfortunately this didn't actually start until March 18, but the numbers are still staggering. I thought I'd share.

From March 15 (or 18th), 2007 to today there have been:
139,313 visits by
19, 352 unique visitors (close to 14%)
Now what you have to keep in mind is that a "unique visitor" is judged by the actual computer, so in the case of a place like Cedarville, there are hundreds of computers people can get on to check it. Still, even with that number being high; that's a lot of people!

These visitors come from 66 countries/territories on 6 continents. Wow!
Over 130,000 of those hits come from the US ( 43 states + D.C.).
The countries represented are (in order of # of hits):

United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Canada, Honduras, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Romania, United Kingdom, El Salvador, Germany, Nicaragua, Australia, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Togo, Bermuda, Israel, Costa Rica, South Africa, France, India, China, Turkey, Czech Republic, Peru, Taiwan, Philippines, Russia, Uruguay, Ghana, Jordan, South Korea, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro, Dominican Republic, Ukraine, Italy, Cambodia, Switzerland, Portugal, Botswana, Argentina, New Zealand, Venezuela, Uganda, Greece, Panama, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Faroe Islands
[Danish!!! are these some of our lost relatives grandpa?] , Belgium, Estonia, Norway, Bolivia, Moldova, Northern Mariana Islands, Ireland, Kenya

We have been so astounded by the worldwide family the Lord has given to our immediate family during this year...and continuing! Mostly what these "hits" mean are that there are THOUSANDS people in these countries who are praying. That's what we call humbling.
Thank you from our whole family for all our love!

Dan had his Spinal cord doctors visit this last Thursday.
  • She noticed that he has gained weight, we have noticed his legs have some meat on them again.
  • His meds will stay the same, only adding melatonin, an OTC supplement to help with his sleep.
  • We would like to see updated x-rays on his original injury site - His Nurologist at NMH should probably do this.
  • It was decided that further helps for his spasms should be taken up with NMH , RIC head SPI doctor.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

One Year

We were hoping you could hear directly from Dan on this one year since his accident. He said "I might" a few weeks ago when it was suggested to him, but he's just not taken the time thus far.

Sooooooo. We will post our thoughts about the past year, especially after l
ooking again at photos from the past year and reliving each emotion all over. It has been one whole year since we received "THAT" phone call.
The photos of Dan in the hospital in Mexico, the air ambulance trip to the U.S., the 2 weeks at Northwestern were pretty heavy-duty scary. The tubes in his nose and mouth, the halo -- We guess, no we know, there has been progress!!

Remember when we were concerned if he could even eat solid food for 2 months, and the joy when he said
"I'd like a Happy Meal". LOL
And yet, in some ways, those days were not as hard as today, because we had the hope that Dan might "get well." We didn't know the full extent of what spinal cord injury meant, and doctors nor hospitals want to break the bad news to anyone. [Silly us] AND Dan has the worst case scenario: C1 & C2 break, vent dependent.

You would never believe how often we think about the kindness shown to us during our 5-month stay in Chicago.

Thank you to ...

-Cliff and Phoebe for giving us your condo while Dan was at Northwestern
-Jim and Sandy for loaning us your condo the
entire time Dan was at RIC. Their family and friends agreed to give up many Chicago weekends so that we would have a "home" convenient to RIC . [Deb was so thankful that every morning and every evening, she had this wonderfully refreshing 15 minute walk. Bill stayed all night with Dan every night in those first few months.] By the way, we had never met either of these couples before!
-HCA for giving me leave of my teaching responsibilities the rest of that year
-MLS Direct Network [Bill's business partners] for extra residual pay for 3 months.

-you all flooded us with food gift cards
and our frig was kept stocked
-Alan and crew built Dan's temporary room and ramps

-you helped sell our house in 1 week, by doing landscaping, painting, cleaning, packing
-you prayed Dan physically through Jen's wedding day [he has not sat upright like that since.]
-many visited, spending more time driving, than visiting,
- Cedarville & OPE friends came at great time and expense
-concerts that benefited Dan & preparations for his return to CU
-some spent the night with Dan, giving Bill and me some free time

-you generously provided money for a handicap van.
-you sent gifts and cards,
-mostly, you prayed.
Physically, we were in want for nothing.

Emotionally, we are still trying to make sense of this "portion" given to us.
When we were still in Mexico one of our pastors called and asked how he could pray. We knew that in those initial, numbing days, that we were constantly being prayed for; so even though we had no idea that this injury was forever, we knew that the long haul is where it gets hard, so that was my request -- that we would not get discouraged and displease our Savior. Thank you for praying for us. We are not the only family that is going through a severe injury situation. We have had many discouraging days, many fearful days, but when we turn our eyes to the Lord, He refreshes us still. The hardest thing for us now is that we thought we would get home from rehab and Dan would be upright in his chair and roaming around, taking online classes or attending the local community college, and "spunky" again. He's not there yet.

When we look at photos before his accident he has that fun, alive smile. We know that will come if he ever gets past all of these physical ailments. There is always something hurting Dan. We also know that until he can see purpose for his future life, his life will not hold much of a purpose. Thanks to those who have already expressed and sent "anniversary" thoughts to checkinondan@gmail.com You can't possibly know how much we appreciate that you still care to check in on Dan and us, so often. We are humbled.

Dan & Deb at CU Feb '07

One thing for sure: My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Pray for Dan

Although we are thrilled with Dan's pacing record, Dan really isn't doing well. His spasms (not seizures) are severe, and he hasn't slept well. He has 2 doctor appointments this week. We'd appreciate prayer for these issues.
Thank you.