Monday, December 28, 2009

Da Bulls & Christmas

Last Saturday I got to go to a Chicago Bulls game with some of my relatives. The Bulls are not anything to write home about, but the experience of this game made it special. My cousin Don got a suite for all of us to enjoy together. Thanks Don.

It was blizzard conditions, which made driving a long adventure, but the special parking, and getting into and around the stadium were very smooth. Yes, we were looking down onto the stadium floor, from the banners, but the game was good, and it was a good time with Matt, my brother, and my dad.

Christmas gatherings included visiting grandparents and family at my Uncle Mike's house. He build a ramp for me to get into his house. Then we had family at my house. It was great to see more aunts, uncles ,and cousins. Missing was my Grandpa Knudsen, who always read the Christmas story.

We had the traditional Knudsen Christmas kids play, but, since most of us are grown, it takes on different, sometimes humorous tone. I was the inn keeper. My nieces, Addy & GG, played Mary and Joseph. Savannah was not willing to play baby Jesus, and sort of did her own thing as an "extra" in ALL of the scenes. [think Maggie on the Simpson's]

I go back to school next week. Final semester. I'll post next week.

Happy New Year.

ps FYI, I passes all my classes with a 3.8 gpa.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I continue to get better, but I am not at full health yet, so I stayed in bed today. My sickness could have been caused by a minor flu. Sleep throughout the entire night has been lacking in recent days.
I will begin reading Romans & Galatians because I am going to sit in a Bible class nest semester.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Except for the Bears losing, I am feeling much better today.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I did it the normal way.

Yesterday was a long day, BUT everything went well, and I got home around 8 pm. I had sort of a restless night, but that is to be expected.

One good thing to report, about my surgery. Most people who are put under, have a breathing tube that is put down their throat / trach, then a inner tube like "cuff" is inflated against the trach wall, so the flow of oxygen can be controlled. In the past, I have had to have special things done, because of my DPS [breathing pacer] and the Shiley in my trach. All of this has caused extra work, switching out to a cuffed Shiley, etc, on the part of the anesthesiologists.

The clear Hood Stoma Cap, that I now wear [instead of the old "in the trach" Shiley] does not restrict my trach airway. Thus it was possible for me to be put under, the normal way. They still have to sync their breathing machine with my DPS, but it felt neat, to do it the normal way.

Thanks for all of your notes and emails, but especially your prayers.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Minor Surgery

Please pray for me today. I have outpatient minor surgery scheduled for 2pm today. I guess there is no such thing as a "minor surgery," but it should only take around an hour. Pray for the technical details, any anxiety on my part, and a quick recovery (after all, it's Christmas time).

Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything,but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fall Semester classes

I officially finished class for the semester this past Monday. I took persuasive theory and cultural anthropology. They were both excellent classes. Persuasive theory was one of the best classes I have taken at Cedarville. I think what I appreciated the most was my professor, Dr. Phipps. I learned practical ways to communicate and persuade by understanding various theories and being more perceptive of people's personality types. Cultural anthropology, the study of people in different cultures, was interesting because it focused on the sensitivity towards the uniqueness of various people groups and how to appreciate their differences. Unfortunately it bordered on moral relativity, so its immediate relevance fluctuated. I believe I did well and now that those two classes are completed I only have four classes left until I graduate this may!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I was able to attend church last night. I love going to church. There was a great message on Revelation 4, which was about a picture of God‘s throne room in heaven and His awesomeness. This past semester, I thought about heaven and eternity, and how short life is on Earth in comparison the eternal nature of our existence. An eternal perspective of my life makes me understand that I have a purpose now.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Early Christmas in the Dorm

If you look closely you can see some stockings hanging on the shelves, and a Christmas tree on top.

Earlier tonight was the OPE Christmas party. We all wore ridiculous Christmas sweaters and exchanged "white elephant gifts." Thankfully I ended up with about 2 pounds of Good & Plenty candy. They sure tasted good, (I'm only kidding, I didn't eat them all).

I would consider this a decent gift considering some people receive gifts such as Playdough, a cassette tape of Elvis, or a bottle of hair bleach with a can of pork and beans. It's always a good time with OPE. We hung out for a while, after the gift exchange, as the group slowly dispersed.

Oh, and there was also food to eat. This is a fact, that although common, should never be unappreciated.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Live it up!

I am going to post about my semester in a few days, after I get home.

Ephesians 5:15-17: Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

How many times have you heard the concept of "you only live once," as being synonymous with living recklessly? Just live your life and party everyday! No, that would be unwise. If we only live once, then life should not be wasted in a dizziness of regret or self-pity. The only fulfillment in life is to actively live for God. I used to have in my mind that wisdom was an unattainable concept. I was wrong, wisdom is possible, and it is practical. James McDonald from Walk in the Word gives a great definition of wisdom: "Making the best choice with the best result in every situation." I want to be making the best godly choices, and then they will become easier to make.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

College Football

Congratulations to the Crimson Tide and Longhorns. They will play each other in the BCS championship game. I'm sure many are disappointed the Florida Gators did not win, because they are Tim Tebow fans. Tebow is a committed Christian and he writes bible verse references on his eye black for each game. Did anyone see which one he wrote? It was John ? :33, but I didn't catch the chapter.

Today I played a strategy board game called Settlers of Catan. I lost as usual, but it was still fun.

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

A little bit... more often

Hey this is Dan! I want to start writing some short posts on a consistent basis. I recognize that when this blog started it was to inform everyone what was happening in my physical life. I will continue to update what I'm doing in life but also what I am learning in life. I may post one sentence or multiple paragraphs. I want you to keep in mind it is my desire that everything I say and do is not for myself, but for the glory of God.

This is a quote by John Piper from his book entitled Desiring God: "I know of no other way to triumph over sin long-term, than to gain a distaste for it, because of a superior satisfaction in God.”

2 Peter 3:18 Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Friday Feasts

This may be the easy way out to do the blog, but Jen recent visit just reminded me of a weekly food gathering in Dan's dorm that had not been blogged about yet. Read what she has to say about Friday Feasts [as I call them] They are a great time to eat good food, strengthen friendships, AND doubles as a healthy result for Dan. He has had lower over all BP since he started cutting back on sodium and eating "dorm" cooked meals.

A very big THANKS to Sarah S., who heads up Dan's food team. Thanks to Ben who connected Sarah and Dan. Also, thanks to Anthony M, the Lawlor RA who has made some excellent "momma mia" meals on Tuesday nights. All of these meals are to die for, but are by invitation only.

Pricilla and Sarah [in the back] prepare one of the first Friday Feast meals.

Jen's Blog

Monday, September 21, 2009

Meet The Guys

It time to meet the core guys that help Dan.

All of them are full time students at Cedarville. All are OPE guys. All have arranged their class schedules to clear 1 or 2 days each week to help out Dan. They also cover Saturdays and Sundays every 4 weeks. All of them were involved with Dan's care [usually an overnight guy] last year. Pretty AMAZING group, you must agree.

Listed below is the following information - Name, Hometown, Year in college, Degree, Something about themselves. A comment from me, Bill.

Ben Roose - Tustin, MI - Senior, Biology [headed to medical school]
"I'm #2 in a set of twins, like Dan." [It's a twin thing.]

Ben comes from a home where both parents are doctors, was home schooled, excels in anything he thinks about, looks at, or touches. Ben is invaluable with his astute medical logic, and seems to be the "go to guy " for many medical issues with Dan. AND is excelling in his culinary skills.

Brad Colas - Vestal, NY - Senior, Criminal Justice,
"I enjoy watching Shark Week"

Brad, a "Just the facts" kind of guy, has great organizational skills and was instrumental with Dan's complex care schedule. Brad is the Cheif Justice for the CU student court. He is also a Cedarville EMT, never turns down food, and has an energetic spirit.

Dale - Education,
"My passion is to teach others in this world."

Dale will definitely make teahing come alive, as he has just started his student teaching. Shy at first meet, but full of intriguing stories.

Kyle Lowry - Allegan, MI - Senior, Psychology
"I enjoy hiking, spending time outdoors, you know ... manly stuff."

Kyle goes way back to Dan's Lawler dorm days. He is a true faithful friend, has a heart of compassion and quiet spirit. He has stepped in for Dale, who is now student teaching.

Uphold all of these great guys in your prayers when you think of or CheckinonDan.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

CU Fall '09

Well, Dan's senior year at Cedarville, has started off with a whirlwind of activity.

Bill here -- cannot believe that I have been here for 2 weeks already. The first week was filled with OH Care Program for the nurses and the care guys, then training with the 5 primary care guys that are staying with Dan 1 -2 days per week, and alternating the weekends.

The start of the school year holds meetings galore with profs, special needs departments, and academics, etc. It was suggested that Dan do a "helps" table in the student center, so an email including the previous blog post went out to the entire faculty, staff and student body. To date, this has generated an additional 45 responses, making it a total of 66 students who are helping Dan. They were put into the categories of Care Guys, Nurses, Academics/Hang Out, Food, PT & eStim, Laundry/Cleaning and the Overnight Guys.

Thanks to the students who have volunteered and are giving generously of their time.

Special thanks to Barb, mom of CU student Emily, who has been invaluable to all of us. Holding classes for the many new PA's of Dan and Emily. Things like how to fill out forms, what supporting documents to submit , getting binder/log books in order to chart your day's care, 29 pages of documents, first aid tests, background checks, etc. and the list goes on and on. I could NOT have done all this time consuming work by myself, let alone for 5 of Dan's primary care guys and nurses. She has a well oiled system in place, and we are learning each day from her experience. THANK YOU BARB!!

Dan has had a few good weeks, getting acquainted with old friends and new ones. He was having high blood pressure issues and is currently tracking his sodium level as a possible cause. His studies are progressing well, both in classroom and online.

I am having difficulties uploading photos from my phone/camera. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cedarville Student Volunteer Opportunities

[this page is designed to give the CU students detailed information to volunteer for a fellow student.]

for further info and consideration, reply to:

There are many opportunities to serve at Cedarville this school year. We can think of no better way to impact your life than to spend a few hours helping a fellow student.

Dan Knudsen, class of '08, sustained a high level neck injury on a MIS trip, Spring Break '07. His C2 injury resulted in the need for 24/7/365 care for his daily life. A friend from church, Garrett, took on the challenge to be a full time caregiver in the summer 2008, thus allowing Dan to come back to Cedarvillle. Now Garrett is able to continue his studies, thus leaving, Dan's ability to finish college at CU in question.

Seeing this need, a few of Dan's OPE buddies came up with a plan for him finish his education. Ben Roose, & Brad Colas all have full college schedules and studies, and yet they have signed on to help Dan roll across the platform in 2010.

There are many ways you can join these guys, because we all know that "Many Hands Make Light Work".

Academic help includes - walking with him to and from classes and chapel, transcribing papers, typing, tutoring, test aid, schedule management.

Physical help includes - lunch or dinner feeding, helping cook or prepare low sodium food, hanging in his room 1-2 hours a week, [to give others time off], laundry help, tracking and ordering of medical supplies.

Personal help includes - help with daily getting up and in bed routine, hair grooming, daily exercise & eStim of muscles, overnight stays [sorry no girls on this one]

For further information, talk to Dan or one of the 3 guys mentioned above, then send an email to Include your name, phone #, area of interest, all in the subject line.

"Thank you, that you cared to Check In On Dan today."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Thank you

Thank you for such gracious comments and for continuing to check in on how we are doing. We are amazed by such kindness.

Dan is back at Cedarville! Lord willing, he graduates in May!

Please pray for Dan. He really does have so much pain. It doesn't seem quite right to be paralyzed, supposedly have little or no sensation, but have pain. We squeezed in several doctor appointments the last couple of weeks, hoping for answers, but found none. We continue to learn what is involved with a spinal cord injury.

You are dear friends whether we know you or not! Thank you for your encouragement.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Summer '09

Dan finished his 2 online classes last week, has visited several doctors in the last 2 weeks trying to get answers to his ongoing aliments, and has enjoyed spending time on the computer, not having to do class work!

As you obviously know, we don't update this blog very often, but it seems that Dan is finally not in crisis mode any more. That is not to say there are no issues; they are ongoing.

The biggest concern is Dan's constant pain -- especially in his hands. We went to a hand specialist, quite excited for answers, but his response was that it is a result of the spine injury. We will try new splints, but have no hope at this point of let up of pain.

We are all gearing up for Dan to go back to school this fall. It's quite an ordeal for anyone to pack up for school, but with all of Dan's equipment, whoa!! Bill will once again stay for a couple of weeks to get Dan started and help train the new guys who will help with Dan.

So, all in all Dan has had a good summer. Thanks to the few of you left out there who check in on D
an and pray for us. We're still in the journey!! Please pray for Dan.

"Whom have I in heaven but You? I desire You more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things You do. Psalm 73:26, 28

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mike & Liz Wedding

MIKE & LIZ got married July 3rd, 2009

WOW! What a fun weekend!
Beautiful bride and groom, perfect outdoor wedding, reception with good food, great music & dancing [thanks DJ Raul] and chatting with family, friends, relatives on both sides.

Dan was the best man; groomsmen were OPE guys, Ploeg, Staab and Hueni.

Dan gave a funny AND tearful "best man's speech", as only Dan could do.

Flower twins, Addy & GG were too cute.

GG said that she was the ONLY girl that Dan danced with.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Happy Birthday to Dan. #23 for the record. Dan did blow out the 3 candles on his cake, which is difficult with low volume pacer air. We're not big cake eaters [ can you tell?]

Dan also celebrated by getting a new Hood Stoma Cap for his trach [see upper photo]. It is made of clear Silicone, does not have a neck tie [which always moves and irritates Dan], stays in with 2 "wings" that fit inside his trach, and is finally the correct size [try #3]. It is taking some getting used to, especially with suctioning and the cough assist, but it seems to be working out okay.
Big thanks to NURSE Talitha (CU'09) for assisting "Dr. Bill" (LOL) on this procedure.

Matt & Em & the grand kids came over to help celebrate. Addy & GG are getting to be quite the artists. They asked for their rides, around the house on Dan's chair, which he gladly gave.

We are well into preparations for a 5-day visit to OHIO for Liz to become an official Knudsen. Which reminds me, Happy Birthday Mike [get your own blog] who is just days away from getting hitched.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's Dan

Hello again, it's Dan.

What a great semester! I need to thank so many people who helped me with everything these past few months. I could not have accomplished anything without them.

One year down, one more to go. I am taking two classes online over the summer-Business Law and History of World Civilizations II.
It seems like my family's big plans for the summer focus around my twin brother's wedding July 3rd in Cincinnati. I had a really neat opportunity to share my story with a group from my grandma's church this past Sunday.

Thank you to those from the class of 2009 who helped me this past year with my care.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Grandpa Knudsen Home-going

Grandpa Knudsen went home to be with the Lord Tuesday afternoon. We would love your prayers for the family.

Funeral information can be seen here at Norris Funeral Home website.

  • Top - grandpa "helping out" feeding Dan on his regular lunch visits. [he was always good for a nap]
  • Left -Dan standing next to Grandpa K on our '06 vacation.
  • Right - Grandpa rescues a drowning squirrel from the pool at our Geneva house.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Savannah

Savannah turned 1 year old this past week. She is not into riding on Dan's wheelchair like her sisters Addy & GG, but she will in time.

She can be funny, shy, serious, inquisitive, and loves to read books with her bigger sisters. Isn't she the cutest? [spoken like true grandparents]

* Be in prayer for Dan's paternal grandfather - John, who suffered a severe heart attack on Friday.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 09

Happy 3rd Birthday to GG & Addy

FYI, Dan is back in IL for a while. If you are interested in helping out with his weekly care, give us a call, or send an email to:

If you have a few hours a week or every other week, or 1 time a month, we are flexible.

Needed areas of help:
  • Nursing or light medical care
  • AM getting up [starts at 8 or 9]
  • PM getting in bed [starts at 8 or 9]
  • Physical exercise & range of motion exercise
  • Lunch time meal prep & feeding help
  • Visiting or hanging out for a few hours, giving us time to get other things done
  • Insurance paperwork and filing of medical papers, etc
Another financial need -- we would like to get some money to Garrett, Dan's caregiver. Garrett did not get paid the whole year he was with Dan except for the days they were back in IL for breaks. The OH care system is still NOT in place, so he was not able to receive money from OH either. He was only paid about 30%, of what he should have made this past school year. [I know, a true servant] Dan could not have completed this year without his dedicated care.

If you would like to donate to Garrett, mark your check "For Garrett c/o Dan Knudsen", and send to:
Harvest Bible Chapel, 1000 N Randall Rd, Elgin, IL 60123
I don't think this is a tax deductible donation, but Garrett [and Dan] would greatly appreciate your generosity.

Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers, as always.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

End of school year '09

"Thought you might want these to post on the blog . . . This was OPE's last cookout of the year. Dan drove out in the grass and got to sit in the sun, it was great." ~ Garrett

Well technically, Dan's summer school is a part of the 09 season, but after his final Friday, Dan will have completed his 1st year of college at CU since his accident.

Provided that he passes his Constitutional Law exam today. It is a long written test, and Dan has worked hard to keep up with all of the written part of this class. He does not want any "favoritism, or easy grades" handed to him. We don't know how he has managed to get everything done, considering his constant health issues. [4 hospitalizations, a few ambulance rides, cold weather issues, etc, etc, etc.]

We are so proud you Dan :-)

Pray for him to have clarity of thought as he takes this final.

Autonomic Dsyreflexia [AD], which causes high blood pressure [above 170 for Dan], continues to bother him each night, and many nights he has had to leave his Nitro paste on him to keep his blood pressure down to the low hundreds. The cause?? who knows. His doctors seem to be out of answers, and think he might need to spend some time in the hospital for extensive testing.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter, family & friends

Good Friday, Easter, and Dan's visit home have come and gone, and it was enjoyable.

He was able to attend Good Friday and Easter services at church, and saw a number of people, many of you, who help out with his meals and care when he is home.

Friday was egg coloring time at our house and grandma K's. The tradition continued with the next generation of Addy & GG K.

Easter brought family together: Grand parents, Aunts & Uncles, Cousins , Brother & Sis-in-law, and of course Dan's 3 Nieces. A delicious dinner was enjoyed, followed by G-ma J's "world famous" Easter egg hunt.

Cousin Don was in town, and as always, has surreal Military adventures to tell. We are proud and thankful for his service to our country.

A local friend, John, who has a similar injury to Dan's, dropped by for a few hours to hang out. Of course, watching the CUBS win.

Dan's health was pretty good for the most part. The swings in his blood pressure are still puzzling, but hopefully it will not be a deterrent for him to finish these few weeks left of school.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dan's Home

Yay -- Dan is home for Easter break, and the CUBS have won 2 out of 3. :o)

ps. we can always use helping hands, getting in and out of bed, lunch, exercize, visiting, while Dan is home. Easter Blessings to you all.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Help at CU

Dan has been working like a mad man this semester. He is taking an online course in Macro Economic, and classroom course of Constitutional Law. This class is the start of what attorneys would do, act, say, present, in a court of law. Despite the hard work, new concepts, and the rigorous research, Dan loves it. He has always loved to use his power of persuasion on people. [Especially his parents]

We'd like to say all else is well, but it is not.
Dan still does not have medical care funding from IL [brick wall], OH [moving forward, oh so slowly] or the insurance company [he is not "home bound" status = need no assistance, period]

Of course when all seems well, his physical situation can turn on a dime. After a 48 hour bug last week, he is having Autonomic Dsyreflexia [high and low blood pressure] issues AGAIN this week. [see reference in side bar]. We are trying to track everything he eats and drinks, consulting with medical doctors, but have found very few answers. Some say "it's just his life". The worst part is him missing class. He puts forth so much effort and does not want any favors.

The AD spikes up at night, and someone [usually Garrett] is up in the dead of night, applying Nitro Paste to lower it, monitoring his BP until it gets back down to 100, removing the paste, trying to sleep. just to have it repeat itself again.

DAN NEEDS HELP . . . Nursing help.

If you, or if you know any nurses [RNA, CNA, PA, Nurse Caregivers] in the Cedarville, BeaverCreek, Xenia, Springfield area, Dan could use 1-2 hours of help in the evenings or weekend mornings, 1 day each or every other week, for these last 5 weeks of his college.

Please give and have them contact us at this email address:

Thanks and Love,
Bill & Debbie

Sunday, March 8, 2009

2 Years

This past Friday night marked 2 years since we received the phone call that Dan had an accident and was on his way to a hospital in Mexico. I was recently looking at photos of those early days, Dan with tubes in his mouth and nose, neck brace, months of hospital stay, and realized how powerful prayer is. I look back and shudder at the heaviness of it all, yet at the time we didn't carry that same heaviness. Whether is was the short stay in Mexico, ICU, rehab, back home, I now know that prayer carried us through each stage. Even after 2 years, tears occasionally flow like when looking over photos and videos of Dan BEFORE his accident. The grief process still continues. Thank YOU for carrying us.

Dan is doing well. He looked so good when he arrived home last week for spring break. His week included taking a test at his local community college for his online course, seeing and babysitting his 3 nieces, lunch with grand parents, taking in a movie [Pink Panther 2} with his Aunt Mary Kay, AND catching up on emails. He continues to have some minor blood pressure issues, but we are growing in our understanding of Dan's physical needs.

Dan's spring break also included a visit to his mom's 2nd grade class at
Harvest Christian Academy in Elgin, IL. To them, a celebrity was coming! What an inquisitive group of students they were. Their questions included:

  • "What's that thing on your chair?" [It displays the controls for my chair]
  • "How fast can it go?" [Faster than you can walk]
  • "How do you eat?" [Many people help feed me]
  • "What do you eat?" [Almost everything]
  • "How do you read The Bible?" {I use Bible ESV]
  • "Does it bother you when people stare at you?" [NO, people look and then look away, kids look until their parents tell them to stop. I smile back at them.]
  • "What are you studying at college?" [Pre-Law]
  • "Will you be able to walk again?" [only God knows]
  • "Do you get jealous when you see people do things you can't?" [NO, I am glad for them]

There were some cards and gifts for him which were much appreciated. Dan thoroughly enjoyed his visit as much as the students enjoyed him. Thanks to all of Mrs. Knudsen's 2nd graders for loving Dan.

This is one of Dan's favorite verses , which he quoted to the students.
Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

Friday, February 20, 2009

That Was A First

I got a call from Dan's cell phone, with Garrett on the other end, saying that Dan was on his way to the hospital.
[Gulp] . . . "What's going on?" . . . "Dan has been up since 3 a.m. with high blood pressure." . . . [Oh no, not again!]

This was the first hospitalization without parents being around, and I was mentally in the car, zooming toward Ohio. Do the Dr's know about AD? His pacer? How about the nurses? Will they have his Nitro paste ready if his BP spikes again? How often will they check it? What are they looking for? and the brain raced on.

I was able to talk with the ER nurse, and then Dan, who assured me that he currently felt fine, and was taking care of everything. We discussed what was possibly going on with his high BP, [it was low the entire time I was there] and what specialists to bring in for consultation.

Dan was only hospitalized for 1 day, and the focus, possible causes for high BP is with his diet. There is something called Bowel Transit Time, which is severely hampered in Spinal Cord people.

Thanks to Garrett for his tireless care for Dan, and for Elizabeth & Morgan for spending time at the hospital, to give Garrett some needed R&R. Thanks for others who called and helped out in various ways.

God is Good

ps. keep Alex M [first pacer transplant] in your thoughts and prayers, as he has been in the hospital with a severe cold. Beth [the mom] has been running on overtime.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Feburary Happenings

I, Bill, was at CU this past week for my monthly visit: assessing Dan's health needs, nursing concerns, ordering medical supplies, shopping for grocery and supplies, tweaking Dan's care schedule, and mainly giving Garrett some days off.

A special routine that has been added to the schedule this semester are lunches provided by the ladies of Grace Baptist Church in Cedarville. Dan does not have classes on Tuesday and Thursday, and cold weather is not a friend to his health. Thus when Pastor Miller asked how the church could help, lunches were the logical choice. Mary Lynn heads up the entire program.

Tuesday they were cooked a delicious meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes & gravy, cooked carrots and home grown corn, and a few other items, compliments of Nedra Callan [she knows CU history]. This is just one of the special home cooked meals brought over by church ladies. [Judy, Kathy, Jewel, Cathy, Shelly, Patti, Mary Lynn, Pat, Nedra, Murtha, Chief and others] Thank you for your willingness to cook and help feed Dan. The food helps him physically, the conversations are fun, and he's very appreciative of your ministry.

Dan is still in need of a few people to help with his care. It could be students or local people.
  • A scheduler - who can help to keep track of the 25+ individuals who help with Dan's weekly care. [someone who has access to the campus email is preferred]
  • A few more nursing students, to help with weekend care.
  • More help is needed [1-2 hr at a time] on Thursdays, to give Garrett a full day off.
Send us an email if you would would like more information on any of these areas of need.

Dan is doing well with his campus law class and his online accounting class. Many of the things that are easy for us can be very slow and time consuming, especially typing assignments.

I told Dan that he should be very proud of the progress he is making, despite constant physical issues like low blood pressure, sleeplessness, chairs that breakdown, [it took a month to get the tilt mechanism repaired], colds and extra suctioning, irregular diets, and the list goes on. He continues to persevere in spite of these obstacles.

Thanks as always for your prayers, and thoughts as Dan comes to mind.

Note from Mom: When I talked to Dan on the phone recently, his voice "lit up" when he told me about the 'lunch ladies' meals! Thank you ladies (and to our dear "Chief.")

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Garrett Writes

"Well we're in our second semester at Cedarville and things are going very well. As you all may know we have hit a lot of problems with insurance and funding but, nevertheless, God always provides and we made it. We are still trying to work out some of the kinks but we are trying to stay faithful and believe that God is always faithful. So if you all could be in prayer for that that would be great as we are always in need of prayer. We are still working on bringing guys in on Thursdays so I can get a day off. So far so good but we still need to get something scheduled and set in stone. <----another prayer request :o)

Serving Dan has definitely proved its challenges as some of you might know who have worked with Dan. It is not because of Dan himself but just the overall care and responsibility for him. God has really used this time to grow and strengthen me spiritually and responsibly.

I was inducted as an "honorary member" of OPE at the beginning of last semester and couldn't be happier with the friendships I've made over this time. OPE is such a great group of guys with hearts to know God more and grow closer to Him. We have our small group once every week and this semester we are going through the gospel of John. It's so amazing! I love these guys and thank the Lord for letting me be apart of their lives. It's amazing what God does when we surrender our lives to Him, listen to His voice, and obey Him. He has allowed me to be a blessing to Dan and that, in itself, is a blessing to me. I am blessed to be His hands and feet and serve others while He does all the "preaching" and grows us to be more like Him.

The future is still a bit unclear of what the Lord wants me to do, but so far I am feeling like I'm being released to move on and continue in my education next fall. So please be praying that the Lord brings someone into Dan's life that is able and willing to continue where I might be leaving off. I know God still has plans for Dan (as He does for all of us) so we are trusting that he will continue to take care of Dan and provide.

Thank you all so much for your prayers! They definitely do not go unheard! I have had some down moments of stress and frustration but through Christ I always overcome. I'm still here so it can't be all that bad :o) Thank you all again so much and I trust you will keep praying for Dan."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Spring Semester & Nurse Katy

Despite "no funding" from IL or OH for Dan's caregiver, Garrett, or others who care for him on a daily basis, Dan is determined to finish his education at Cedarville U. We seem to have made in roads to IL state officials, but some laws prevent caregiver funds from crossing state lines, despite the fact that it’s all federal money. Go figure.

Bill accompanied Dan and Garrett back to school last week to help with new semester "stuff," including grocery shopping [for inclemate weather days], insurance phone calls for PT and OT, the run up to Dr. Onders in Cleveland [see last post], helping with the "checkinondan" caregiver schedules, giving Garrett time off, AND also checking out a few things for Mike and Liz's wedding in July.

His one-week stay to take care of "stuff" turned into 2 weeks because of a 3-day search with multiple phone calls to get the wheelchair repaired, ordering a new hydraulic for the van ramp, a visit and more paper work for 2 OH aid offices, while still fielding business calls and issues. Bill will spend 1 week each month at CU, like last.

Dan has people from Grace Church in Cedarville who bring lunch 2 times a week, but is still in need of care helpers in other areas:

· 2 student nurses for alternating weekend care

· someone who will take care of Dan's scheduling

· full day of care givers on Thursdays so Garrett can have a day off

· a nurse or CNA in the Cedarville area, for volunteer help on Thursday mornings

"Baby, It's Cold Outside"

Most of the mid west has been hit with sub zero temperatures and many schools have been closed . . . but not universities, including Cedarville. So students just bundle up and make their way to class. Getting Dan ready to go out can take some time with getting on gloves, a scarf, a hat, 2-3 blankets - well tucked in of course.

Dan has a nurse, Katy S., [CU class of '69], who volunteers 4 days a week, 2 hours each day, to help Garrett get Dan ready for class. Katy, former nurse at CU clinic, missionary, and volunteer for many community organizations, is also an avid sewer.

She has made sewing repairs, for padding on Dan's chair, altered his pants longer, and recently whipped up a pair of "winter blanket pants" [see top photo] and mittens for Dan. It’s a blanket that looks and acts like a pair of breakaway pants, which are easy to put on and take off.

"Oh, it didn't take any time to sew, I just had to figure out how to make them first" she laughs.

Dan, along with us are all very appreciative of Katy, her experiences of a full and interesting life that always entertain, and her willingness to be at Dan's side four morning at 7 am. God Bless You, Katy.