And He said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

Monday, September 25, 2017

Invisible

What does it feel like?  What does it mean?  I could give you Webster’s or Wikipedia or google’s definition.  However, instead I will give you mine.  With the way that I feel, my guess is that you might see my picture next to the word invisible.  Ouch, I’m being honest, huh?

Despite all of the precious love from each of you while I was in the hospital, now that I’m out….
If you recall, I was in a coma; thus, I don’t recall each of your visits.  As a matter of fact, I have to keep asking B who came to the hospital, who called, etc.  Since I’ve been out of the hospital, out of a coma, I don’t seem as valuable.

I can start the feelings at home.  Apparently, my little one cried for Mommy while gone, but now that I’m here, nothing.  Yes, she’ll occasionally give me a hug and tell me she loves me, but it’s when she wants to, not when I ask her to do something.  You’d think I wasn’t speaking at all.  Yes, my voice is still hoarse.  However, she has acted this way when I have a voice, too.  The assumption is that she looks forward to family time because she gets excited when we talk about it, plan for it, etc.  However, the other night in the car, we’re all about to start singing a song together that is super fun and she asks me to stop so that she can sing by herself.  Ouch!  To most that might not hurt; however, when you don’t feel like you get to be a Mommy anyway, each chance matters.  This was an opportunity for us to share a special song about being a light to a dark world, yet I was asked to not participate.  So, yes, the tears were flowing…my daughter didn’t want a Mommy…was my interpretation. 

So, as you might guess, my view is through a different set of lenses than most of the world might look through or maybe I’m just being extra vulnerable by sharing.  My lenses are that of a grown woman that used to have a job that “required” her to be out talking to people and driving all over Tx all day long.  I was constantly surrounded by people.  I felt important.  When I walked in a room, people noticed.  I was respected by healthcare professionals.  Now, I am stuck in the house most every day.  Sitting behind a computer that can cause seizures since reading & writing are both triggers for my seizures.   I would love to sit & write thank you’s to those of you that have gone above and beyond, yet it typically brings about seizures.  Thus, there’s one more way of reaching out into the world that is removed.  Healthcare professionals see me as the patient, not the one coming with info.  Thus, I am asked to be quiet.  Though we have learned so much through this journey, they don’t care to listen to me.  They will listen to my man, but not me.

I’ve not had the opportunity to drive in nine plus years.  Just to realize that I need something and quickly run to the store.  It doesn’t get to happen.  To know that my 20 yr reunion is coming up and I’d love to go find an outfit to wear since I’ve not been shopping for clothes in quite a few years, but I have to ask for a ride and then ask someone to wait while I try stuff on or only have a few minutes to look because they need to be somewhere else as they are doing me a favor by taking me.  Even to take my kiddo to school.  She prays this almost each night, that God “will heal Mommy so that she can take me to school.”  Ouch.

Okay, so I’ll clean the house if I’m home all day, right?  Well, first, physical activity is a big trigger.   That being the reason that when in public I’m typically in the wheelchair or a motorized scooter at the grocery store.  I love the lines left in the carpet that vacuuming makes.  So, it would bring me so much joy to get to vacuum all day long (okay, I might eventually get sick of it).  However, that is a bunch of physical activity & it’s a lot of noise.  Many sounds are triggers for my seizures.  For example, the blinker in the car can be a trigger.  If music is too loud or at the Friday night football games when they sound the train horn or whatever that loud noise is, I have to plug my ears, or else.  Books on tape/audio books, that would be fun.  However, there is something about the octave that has been a trigger for many years each time that I’ve tried.

Even at church…we have an amazing church family!  However, we sit where we do because of the sounds.  Too close to the speakers and we have seizures.  Too close to the instruments and we have seizures.  Too far away and I don’t feel like I’m a part of the service.  Also, there is a lady that has always had a tambourine, but she sits on the other side of the sanctuary.  So, we’ve been in the same spot for about six years.  For some reason, the last three weeks, she has come over to the other side of the sanctuary and I have to leave during worship due to the pain it causes.  The first week, I just stood in the hallway during worship as I don’t want to interfere with her worship either.  Last week, one of the pastor’s wives saw me in the hallway and asked what was going on and went in and shared with the lady & asked her to stop.  We were at the last worship song by the time all of this happened.  So, I made it back in for one song.  Today, she started banging it and I rushed out.  Ben got one of the ushers to ask her to stop.  Instead, they moved her to the balcony.  So, I came back in…then, it started again, so I had to rush back out.  If you’ve been around me much lately, you know that me and rushing don’t work well together as I am typically shaking, out of breath, and completely exhausted, and likely to have a seizure after rushing.  Turns out there were two ladies today with tambourines.  Thus, I was outside in tears most of the morning.

Back to cleaning the house as this would be fun and there would be a sense of accomplishment.  Most of the chemicals that we would use to clean with, even the more natural ones, when touched, breathed in, etc., can trigger seizures.  Thus, if our house gets clean, that is on B’s shoulders and I can’t be in the house.  So, there’s one more thing I can’t do and one more thing that I have to add to his plate.  I can do laundry, though.  So, there is my outlet a couple of times a week.  However, once I unload the dryer, the standing to hang items, fold sheets, etc., requires help.  Or, I’m just too exhausted from walking from the bedroom to the laundry room, unloading the dryer, switching the clothes from the wash to the dryer to be able to complete the task.  Thus, much of the laundry remains laid out on the table, needing to be folded or hung.  This is frustrating as I was raised to finish what you start.

Another example is in public, namely the grocery store.  It is amazing how many people seem to think that the motorized carts have their own lane and we should get over the fact that they are shopping on the same aisle.  First, most stores do not make their aisles wide enough for the carts to turn easily.  So, if there is someone on the aisle that I’m trying to turn on, I have to wait until they’ve moved completely out of the way.  Second, they aren’t as easy to maneuver as one might guess.  Putting it in reverse, causes a beeping that hurts so badly and typically triggers a seizure.  Thus, forward is the only direction that I can go…It’s amazing how many people that are up and walking with their cart seem to guess that I would prefer to move out of their way in the big motorized piece of equipment rather than them taking two steps backward with their cart so that I can make it past them.

It is truly amazing the dirty looks that I get when coming down the aisles.  As if I have chosen to be in the motorized cart to inconvenience them.  Do they really think that I would intentionally ride in one of those carts and try to get in their way?  It sure seems that way.

Let’s try Miss P’s dance class.  When we get there and I’m on the walker, the Mom’s like to remain standing or sitting where they are.  The fact that there is a woman trying to walk through with a walker doesn’t seem to faze them.  Many will actually turn around and turn their back to me.  Thus, my feeling invisible.  Just because you turned your back to me doesn’t mean that I didn’t see you.  It hurts.  Then, needing a place to sit while there.  I’ve actually had to go out to the car a few times because no one will share some space on a bench.  B can stand in there & he will give up his seat for anyone.  However, if I’m not there early enough to claim it, I have to sit outside in the car.

To live in a community that we’ve been in for 30+ years, it hurts to be in town and see people intentionally turn their back so that they don’t have to look at me, acknowledge me, etc.  Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.”  Mark 6:4 (NASB)  Please trust that I’m not referring to myself as a prophet by any means.  Just trying to comfort myself that even Jesus felt rejection in His hometown.  

Am I saying that our hometown isn’t amazing?  Not at all.  There are so many wonderful people.  Many that have shown tons of love.  Yet, there are also many tough days.  When at the grocery store, at P’s dance class, etc., it hurts to see people that we know and that know our struggle, yet they still turn the other way.  Or, when people ask us to let them know what they can do to help.  I finally build up the courage to ask them for a quick ride to the grocery store and they’re too busy!! 

Maybe many of you feel this way, you just don’t share it.  Maybe I’m the only one.  If so, sorry for taking up your time.  If you do ever feel this way, know that you are not alone, both physically and spiritually!!

Joshua 1:9, “This is my command — be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (NLT)


Monday, September 11, 2017

What a difference a Month Makes....


With all the natural disaster events that our nation seems to be facing, and veterans returning from war, it seems that today we can all get a little glimpse of what it means or feels like to be shell shocked.  For us, that is what the last month, August, has felt like.  Coming out of a horrendous July with Princess nearly losing her life not just once, but twice has left us almost a feeling of walking on egg shells.  Princess is still continuing to have seizures, thankfully, not near the rate that we were experiencing in July or actually even prior to July.  This has been an answered prayer and we praise the Lord for providing just only 5 seizures that we recorded for all of August. 

We are still trying to balance our schedule between multiple physical therapy appointments per week and multiple visits from a nurse to monitor Princess’ blood levels.  Thankfully, the shell shocked feeling seems to be lessening and we are beginning to get back into a routine. 

Something that I have been able to describe to folks is just how much energy, or lack there of, that Princess doesn’t have.  It is really surprising just how much stamina Princess does not have and that once fairly simple tasks at the house can exhaust her.  Slowly we are seeing improvement, and realize that the road ahead back to full-strength will take some time. 

Another reason that August was good was the fact that Princess and I (as many read) celebrated 14 years of marriage.  We had a nice quiet celebration, and are looking forward to what this year holds. 

Thank you to many who are continuing to check-in and seek updates!  We are grateful for today and are prayerful that September will allow for Princess to continue to build her strength and can have fewer seizures than August.  As of today, we have recorded 4 seizures so far and pray that the Lord will continuing to provide healing! 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Fourteen Years of Blessing!!!

Today is the day to celebrate 14 years of a man honoring his commitment to the Lord!!

Who has received the ultimate blessing of that commitment?...Me!!!

Yes, this is M posting!!!!  For some reason, the Lord has chosen to keep me here and now I get to thank my Man for being so incredible!!!

My prince has stood by my side in the good & bad, for richer or poorer, in sickness & in health (though we've not had too much of the health part).  It amazes me how many people say that most husbands would be gone by now.  However, when we got married, there was a good part of me that believed he would disappear like every other man in my life...yet, a few weeks ago, (I'm crying now) he said, "I hope that I've proven you wrong, that all men do not leave.  I'm here 'til death do us part."  What an amazing man!  You have all experienced how amazing he is over the last two months.  Yet, I missed most of July and keep learning of all of the amazing things he did for me.  Many are things that are embarrassing to think that my hubby had to do those things, yet he acts like it was natural, expected, no big deal...it was a big deal because to do those things and be that husband means he saw parts of me that as ladies we try to keep hidden to feel attractive, it means he didn't get to work for almost two months, it means that he missed his annual mtg for work, it means that we missed T Bar M family camp, it means he sacrificed himself to give to me and take care of me and Critter!!!  It means that he's not even mentioned how awful my hair looks since I don't have too much left with all that had to be cut off and he tells me it's beautiful!!!  Even the sweet lady that does our hair was a bit thrown off with what to do at first.  Yet, he's not even posted a pic of what he has to look at each day so that you can all feel sorry for him!!!

Coming home to love on our girl and make it about Jesus, not himself!!!


Do I feel blessed?  Absolutely!!!  Thank you, Jesus, for this man that you and your Daddy chose for me!!!  I am beyond grateful!!!


Ephesians 5:1-3; 20-33 (NIV)

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Instructions for Christian Households

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her  to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.



This is my man...every single thing that you read above.  He takes his commitment so seriously.  I am so blessed!!

The truth is that our pastor puts it best in today's devo that he sent out!!!  So, I'll let him finish this post for me!!

- LOVING LIKE JESUS -
By the nature of the cross, sacrifice includes suffering. You cannot make a sacrifice without suffering. In the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before His death, Jesus prayed, “Let this cup pass from Me.” He would have preferred not to do it, but then He said, “Not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). Out of love for us, Jesus went to the cross and stayed there even when He didn’t have to.

Suffering out of love for your wife will mean dying to yourself. And real love means you do it even when your wife’s virtues don’t motivate you to do it. We can’t say, “Get right first, and then I’ll love you.” God’s love doesn’t work that way, and neither should ours. God tells husbands to imitate Christ’s love, and this means dying to self just as Christ did.


Loving your wife like Christ loves the church also involves substitution. In baseball, a designated hitter gets in the game to hit for the pitcher so that the team can protect the pitcher, the more valuable player, from injury. In the same way, a husband should go to bat for his wife, protecting and valuing her.
For His kingdom,
Tony Evans

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

God is Good...

Friends, it has now been three weeks since we came home from our nearly month long stay and ordeal in the hospital.  While it is great to be home we certainly are not immune from challenges.  Trying to balance work life, home life, and Princess' physical limitations has been quite the chore to juggle.  While things have been manageable, it has truly been an adjustment to balance multiple weekly and sometime daily nurse visits.  Recurrent doctor appointments and transitioning into "life."  Princess is continuing to improve, and while it is slower than what we really would prefer, we are excited to see that she is progressing. 


Our biggest praise for the update is that since Princess' last recorded seizure in the ICU, she has only recorded 2 seizures total.  Yes!!!  Miraculously, things have been well in this regard and the two seizures she did record were both on this past Saturday.  Having been through what we have just experienced we did make a quick trip to the ER to check labs.  Thankfully, her labs, namely her sodium levels, were fine and she has not recorded any seizures since then.  Praise the Lord!


Therefore, in nearly 30 days, Princess has only recorded 2 seizures.  In our 11 year journey, this has actually never happened.  Praise the Lord for His mighty work. We also have stumbled upon another potential cause of her seizures that I will discuss later through another post.  More importantly, through this discovery that we have literally stumbled upon, we are looking forward to continuing to test our theory and continue to look towards a favorable outcome for Princess.


We did have a follow-up with the ENT today and Princess' voice is probably around 90% of full strength.  It is fun to hear more of her voice and see her improvement.  From the trauma that she sustained from the dual intubations, the ENT sees dramatic improvement with still some swelling and expects that in a few more weeks that Princess will not have any complications.  Her pneumonia also seems to be treated and not pose any issues. 


It does seem that Princess' shingles has improved and she is now just experiencing some residual nerve pain that should clear in the coming months.  Along with another autoimmune condition, Princess has experienced a little bit of alopecia.  This has truly been interesting as she has lost a significant amount of hair just prior to the ICU and then after removal of the EEG when we left the ICU. 


Lastly, it is truly amazing the toll that the ICU and the seizures took on Princess' body.  Her musculoskeletal system is pretty sore and it is very apparent that it will still take some time for her to fully heal.  Currently, we are dealing with sore muscles and knots in her back and neck and extremely sore leg muscles.   Her walking is continuing to improve and we are not needing the walker nearly as much around the home.  We are still dependent upon the wheel chair for most things outside of the home and are working with physical therapy to increase Princess' strength. 


Thank you for all those that are continuing to pray and check in.  Princess is getting better and we are cautiously optimistic with each day.  Sodium levels seems to be holding steady.  We are monitoring her potassium levels closely as this has also been a challenge to maintain.  Above all, it is encouraging to see Princess getting better!


I look forward to posting more soon! 



Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Need....

A long overdue "Howdy!" from the Foxhole. Princess reminded me that it has been over eight days since our last post.  Thank you as well to all of our dear friends and followers who have checked in through your messages, texts, and posts.  We have now been home for two weeks and we are still adjusting and learning to be back home.  Balancing time between, work for myself, Physical Therapy at home for Princess, other nurse visits, continued doctors appointments, and of course the clamors of needs at home, it has been busy.  Friday night we were able to take a break resume with our Date Night.  Back at our spot, the Lord blessed us as we crossed paths with a childhood family friend of Princess that had been randomly following the Foxhole from Nicaragua on a recent trip.  This was an encouraging encounter and blessing!  Amazing to see how God works!

As the days pass, I have been able to share more with Princess of what the last month has involved.  Whether through messages, pictures or even stories, she sits back and listens to her life as if it was a story.  Truly unique what the brain can retain or not retain.  Names, faces, events have seemed to have unfortunately vanished, and yet, something much more important has remained...

Physically, Princess is still trying to work through getting her strength back.  Moving from bed to the bathroom is like sprinting a mile and leaves her exhausted.  Truly a reminder of just how difficult of a hill it will be to regain her strength.  Her voice is getting stronger and she isn't speaking with a whisper as much.  Her pneumonia has seemed to healed.  Her shingles is still a bother, and we have seen a couple times where it isn't as painful as before (this a huge relief).  A praise is that we have not recorded a seizure.  Rather, we have continued to record auras and fortunately, the last few days those have been decreasing in frequency, too.  So amid the backdrop of business, physical pain, and exhaustion, Princess is slowly getting better.  It is apparent that it will take some time and I pray that we can be still, and continue to keep our focus on the Lord and His work in and through this season.

As I left a thought hanging just a paragraph back, something of much greater importance for Princess has remained.  And while we adjust to the trials at home, we also recognize the trials that lay for all of us ahead.  This weekend a dramatic and unfortunate scene has played out in Virginia.  And for us what has remained, is what is absent from many in our Nation today.  Something, that because of its lack, has brought about hostility, anger, and aggression.  This lack...is a need for a Savior.

A question that has been asked of us a lot through our particular journey is if Princess remembered me.  Did she remember Critter?  Did she know who we were?  Yes, is the short answer.  And while this might be important, more importantly, she has rested well in our Father's grasp and has never lost sight, or better, never lost her mind of who Christ is as her Savior, Rock, and Redeemer.  Through the trial and through the pain, her focus has been and is continually on Him. Our focus remains on Him to be our strength and our Provider. Our Savior.

And this has kept our attention and our focus.  Our faith in Christ has given us balance, direction, and wisdom.  Today, I shared with Princess that in the heat of the early moments of our first hospitalization, and in a moment where I was finally able to sit and call my family to provide an update, the only words that I could muster out was what was and has been hidden in my heart.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your way, acknowledge Him
and he will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6


Matthew 12 says that out of the overflow of the heart the mouths speaks. As I shared with Princess the events and what was shared with our family, I am grateful that the overflow of my heart is with God's Word.  He is truly carrying us.  And in the same breath, I cry for our Nation, for our homes, for our families that we would all cling to the Savior, Jesus Christ.  

Chaos fills our lives and the tension of hostility and racism, among other things, spilled over and God has been left out of our culture once again.  Sadly, the decline that has been going on for decades is only getting worse and I, Princess, ALL of us need to pray, and seek the only One that can give us any peace or solution to our problems. Just like the Lord has provided in many ways for us, I am praying that all of us could stop and get back to a time when there was respect, moral values, and a belief in God.   

And while I don't feel qualified to speak on such an issue or even a matter, I turn to those who well before me have tried to address the Need.  

Here is a brief snippet from Dr. J Vernon McGee in a message he titled, "America Needs a Declaration of Dependence."

"I want you to notice a philosophy of history that we find in God’s Word. The three steps that precede the downfall of any nation are first of all, religious apostasy; second, there is moral awfulness; and third, political anarchy. These are the three steps downward that all the great nations of the past, lying this moment in rubble and ashes, have taken. Rome, for instance, is the classic example. The historian Gibbon gives five reasons for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. The first step down is the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society. Second, higher and higher taxes, the spending of public money for free bread and circuses for the populace. Third, the mad craze for pleasure, sports becoming every year more exciting, more brutal, more immoral. Fourth, the building of great armaments when the great enemy is within — the decay of individual responsibility. And fifth, the decay of religion, fading into mere form, losing touch with life, losing power to guide the people. These were the downward steps that Rome took, Greece took, and which all the great nations of the past have taken."

He goes on to state...

"How Did It Happen? Pandora’s box of troubles was opened for America back at the turn of the century when professing Christians deserted the midweek service and then, after the first World War, deserted the Sunday night service. And before long there was no difference between the leading deacon’s language and that of the local bartender. Dr. Walter F. Tunks of the University of Akron said, “In the last six thousand years, there have been twenty-one civilizations, and every one of them has gone on the rocks precisely at the point where they let God go.” It was indeed interesting to find in the staid Wall Street Journal, when the Depression first began, a brief editorial that went something like this: “What America needs more than railway extension, western irrigation, a low tariff, a bigger cotton crop, and a larger wheat crop is a revival of religion. The kind that father and mother used to have. A religion that counted it good business to take time for family worship each morning right in the middle of wheat harvest. A religion that prompted them to quit work a half hour earlier on Wednesday so that the whole family could get ready to go to prayer meeting.”

"America’s problem is the same today; it is a spiritual problem."


So, as a long overdue update, we do appreciate you checking in.  We appreciate your involvement in our lives and we are so grateful for your prayers and support.  Lord willing, we will continue to post about Princess' improvements and most importantly, God's continued grace, and strength through  the adversity.  Please pray too for the communities affected by the weekend's events.  Pray for our Nation.  Pray most importantly for God to be made known, and for our homes, families, communities, states, our Nation to recognize that our problem is a spiritual problem and there is, just like there has only and always been, one solution.  The need for a Savior.


















Friday, August 4, 2017

Home, Again...

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18



The Foxhole is now posting from home!  And while we have been home now for several days, we are still trying to acclimate ourselves.  As the verse above states, Rejoice Always.... Easy to do now at home...difficult to do while going through an unpleasant circumstance like we just went through.  Yet, we did and continue to celebrate the milestones and victories we received while in the ICU and Hospital, and now at home.  We also greatly rejoice because of great support and friends like you.  Like the early church, as spoken of in Acts, you came alongside of us, supported us and gave of yourselves.  As Barnabas' name meant comforter or encourager, you were, and still are, a Barnabas for us. 


And whatever form of comfort and encouragement it has been, it has helped to carry me, Princess, and even Critter through this last month and looking forward.  So in our prayers, we too, pray for you continually, and give thanks for God's provision.  Thank you!


Additionally, I look to this verse to let it be a reminder of how can I rejoice in affliction.  Sure it is easy to rejoice when things go our way, yet in a trial...how is it possible?  For me, it is what follows after the first part of this verse.  An attitude. 


Focused attitude and attention on God. This attitude and really, the heart, has to be centered and focused on Christ.  A sure way to do this is to communicate with God.  How do we do that?  Through prayer.  Simply, prayer is our time to just talk with God.  So therefore, having an attitude of prayer and praying without ceasing will dramatically change mine, our, attitudes.  Hence, our attitude needs to be guided by prayer.  And then, finding a way to give thanks.  While I may not have this focus all the time, I am grateful for God's grace and His mercy.  For as the Bible says in Lamentations 3:22-23, "The Lord's lovingkindesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." 


Is it easy to give thanks in ALL circumstances?  No, it isn't.  And really, it is truly hard. Sometimes it seems even impossible.  Many have walked an even tougher road and for me to sit here and encourage someone to be thankful for a horrific event, is really something that I cannot understand.  My finite mind cannot even begin to explain an infinite God who says that He knows the plans He has for you and me.  Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans for a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).  Therefore, as we have referenced in the Foxhole many times, Proverbs 3:5-6.  Trust in the Lord with ALL of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding; in ALL your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. 


So, do I, does the Foxhole have it all figured out?  Certainly, not!  Are there times when we get frustrated, beaten down, angry, and upset?  Absolutely.  But, it is because of God, because of you, because of our attitudes directed at and towards Christ, that brings us through and allows for us to rejoice always, and give thanks.  And hence, that is even now our focus as we are now home. 


Home, again...  Being timid this week at home has been a struggle.  Princess has truly gone through two nearly life-ending events in just less than four weeks.  Her body that is supposed to be able to work on its own, was literally being controlled by a single machine.  Therefore, she is fragile as her body's own systems begin to function all together again.  Like a restored antique auto, all the parts and pieces have to each come together to be fully restored.  And that process takes time.  Unfortunately, it doesn't happen overnight. 


How did we get to where we just came from?  Her sodium levels literally crashed.  And while we don't know if it was a gradual event or just sudden, her sodium levels are the only outlier in both hospitalizations.  This most likely caused by a consumption of too much water, trying to control another condition that she suffers from, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).  So now it is scary to even consume fluids, trying to find the right balance for what the body requires in a normal state, yet what the body requires for a condition like POTS. 


And while trying to maintain the right sodium level is a concern, we also find ourselves trying to adjust to a "new normal" at home.  Even discussing last night, we don't want to call it a normal.  While in the hospital someone mentioned to us that for every day in the hospital, it takes about two days to recover.  After this week, we are seeing this.  It truly will take some time (possibly two months) for Princess to recover.  Getting around the house is not easy.  Though guided by a walker, it is an exhausting task to just get from bed to the bathroom.  What should be just a short few steps, seems like a mile.  Physically, she is just continually exhausted and is having to relearn many things.  And while we have not recorded any seizures, she is still having auras.  Though less serious, it does cause for all of us to take a moment and stop.  And now our schedule at home is trying to coordinate follow up appointments, physical therapy, speech therapy, and fitting in final arrangements for the upcoming school year. 


Speaking of follow up appointments.  Many of you knew and have been asking about our recent ENT appointment.  Since Princess' second extubation, she has had no voice.  Whether there was some laryngeal trauma or even something else, we needed to follow up with the ENT to figure our what was going on.  Praise report, it appears that Princess' throat, and everything pertaining to the neck area (internally) is very inflamed.  It appears that there is still some present infection (pneumonia) and a few scratches or trauma in the palate.   Therefore, a steroid, antibiotic, and something to loosen the mucous should hopefully have Princess' voice returning.  We are pleased to say that midway through the steroid regimen, Princess is showing a small improvement in her voice in various snippets throughout the day.  While just above a whisper, it is encouraging for all of us to witness this!  Referencing to early....Easy to give thanks!  Praise the Lord! 


On another front, Princess has likewise has a continual pain that is focused squarely on her right shoulder and chest area.  While we have been trying to determine if this was muscle related due to the seizures, reaction to medical tape, or a reaction to the EEG, we think that as of late yesterday it actually might be shingles!  Lovely!  While there isn't an open sore, in really looking at the facts, visiting with others (including our physician), this seems to be what's taking place. 


And there it is, a much long overdue post.  First, again, thank you!  Second, please keep Princess in your prayers as she recovers.  It is going to take some time.  While I see improvements in her daily, it is going to take some time for her strength, cognitive ability, endurance physically and mentally, and really just daily life to get back together.  Please keep praying.  Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.  Give thanks to the Lord! 


Please pray:
  • Princess to be strengthened physically and mentally each day.
  • Princess to not be overwhelmed by being at home and not being able to "be at home."
  • Princess' voice and throat to heal.
  • Princess' shingles to subside or go away.
  • Our family time and some greatly needed Critter time.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday...Day of Rest...

Growing up, and still to this day, a favorite verse of mine has been 1 Cor 10:31, "Whether, then, whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."  While I know I don't always get this one perfect, it still has a great reminder for us all that truly He wants every part of us to give Him the glory...In the good...in the bad.

And trying as many times have been, especially what we have encountered over the last two weeks or even this month, I am also reminded that in trying to give God the glory in all things that we are to go to Him in prayer.  Today was Sunday.  Our second Sunday in the hospital.  While this one was not in the ICU, it was still in the hospital and for a moment Princess and I turned our little room into a Sanctuary.  Thanking God.  Praising God.  A dear couple and great friends to our family gave a few years back Seeds Family Worship.  It has truly been an amazing gift and has blessed our family time and time again as we listen to their albums and sing God's Word.  You might recall I posted a link to their music last Sunday as we worshiped.

In listening again today and singing along Philippians 4:6-7 stood out for some reason.  I essentially 1 Corinthians 10:31 and this in my mind at the same time.  Philippians 4 tells us to not be anxious about about anything. But in everything, by prayer...by petition...present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!  So therefore, when it comes to giving God the glory in the good and even in the bad, we don't have to be anxious.  The Bible says to simply present our requests to God- by prayer, by petition.  Then let Him do the rest.

And so it is, while we have journeyed these last two weeks we have to turn our eyes to God.  Today, we were anxious to go home.  Yesterday, our Doctor said that we were looking at a 1 to 3 day Window which meant that it would most likely be Monday or even longer till we could get home.  However, a good report was had and it actually looked like we were coming home today!  Praise the Lord...

 Well, as you can imagine we were pretty excited about the unbelievable possibility of headed home sooner than expected.  Each morning we have had a follow up with the physicians over our care.  And each morning Princess has made great strides.  From overcoming her nearly 14 hours of continuously seizing, to overcoming her 11 days in ICU, learning to walk again from muscles that had almost given up, working hard to swallow to just enjoy a sip of water, to battling pneumonia.  While all these accomplishments have been great our morning report was met with mixed emotions.

While Princess has made some great strides, it has become evident at this time that her voice and her throat healing have somewhat plateaued.  Her breathing is labored and her voice is just a faint whisper.  Early talk looks like she might have some laryngeal trauma.  Therefore with the recommendation of the Physician, we will stay at least another night and day.  This will allow Princess to connect with an ENT and get a very necessary laryngoscopy to see exactly what damage if any might be present that is not allowing her throat and voice to heal.  While this news is bittersweet, we then turned our minds into prayers and kept praying for God's peace to transcend our understanding.

Around 12:45 today, it all changed....While visiting with our Neurologist, our room phone rang and it was our Primary Care physician calling.  He then explained that he had reached out and contacted an ENT on our behalf and that the ENT would like to get us into his office possibly as early as tomorrow and that everything could be done in office for Princess...therefore, we would in fact be discharging from the hospital TODAY!!!

So, typing this evening, I am doing in from the comfort of our own home.  What a homecoming for Princess!  Critter was super excited by the surprise and even got some special snuggle time with Mommy just before bedtime.  So praise the Lord!

Now begins a new journey as Princess will have to limit herself while at home.  Our hope is to be with the ENT tomorrow and that what seems to be laryngeal damage, hopefully will not be too severe.  We'll continue to post...and now from the comfort of our home!  Thank you for continuing to lift us up to the Lord!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Post ICU...Day 2

Oh, it is wonderful to have my Princess back!  Today is our second day out of the ICU where Princess began what would become an 11 day ordeal that started due to her seizing continuously for nearly 14 hours.  Having been put into a medical coma and putting her life on the support of a ventilator, we have experienced an up and down mix of emotions and events over these last two weeks.  It is surreal to think that nearly two weeks ago she was hooked to all this strange equipment for a second time and now, just two days out of the ICU, she is not hooked to anything...No oxygen, no IV line.  Her recovery is remarkable.

Now, while my post has an upbeat message, it is important to know that she does have a long road to recovery ahead.  Basically for the entire month of July, with the exception of one week, Princess has either been on a ventilator in the ICU or recovering in a hospital room.  Obviously, we are very excited to be on the road to recovery.

These last two days have been good and have unveiled just how slow Princess will need to take things.  Learning to walk again and use muscles that haven't been used for 11 days.  Learning to swallow so that even just a sip of water could be had.  While, we're confident that this relearning is not from the seizures, it appears that it has more to do with the extended intubation.  While we were able to get some rest over these last two days, we have met with Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Pathology.

Thankfully, yesterday, Princess did pass her retest of the swallow test. This meant that Princess could safely consume water, and solid food.  Consuming food and water now meant that she could get the necessary food and nutrition to begin her battle back and have full recovery.  Visits from Physical and Occupational Therapy were extremely helpful.  It also gave good light to the physical limitations as Princess will need to rebuild her strength.  Today and yesterday we are just working on walking with a walker and getting to and from bed to the bathroom or around the hospital room.  The positive, for those that know Princess, she is a fighter and today it was incredible to see her progress and some strength come back.  Her balance was improved and for the most part I was not assisting her as she moved.

Still no seizures!  We have now gone a full week since the last recorded seizure.  Praise the Lord!  Her pneumonia is still pretty strong and today's x-ray did show that she is improving and today would complete her last day of antibiotics.  As the doctor shared with us, he truly felt like Princess was over the hump and should continually get better each day.

So, that is the latest from the Foxhole.  We are grateful for the rest and the lack of medical equipment that now surrounds us.  Please continue to pray for Princess' strength, and healing.  The pneumonia is truly strong and makes it very difficult to breathe.  Her throat is extremely sore and inflamed from the second intubation in just three weeks.  Pray that walking, balance, and stamina will be restored to her.
Thank you to everyone who has checked in, and encouraged us along the way.  Last night we took the time to read through the blog as I shared with Princess what she had just gone through.  I know today, she has also had the chance to read through some messages and even most of the cards that have been sent through the mail!  Thank you!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

ICU Day 11

11th Day in the ICU.

As many of you observed, we did not post last night.  This was mainly due to a day that started fairly rough, and yet, we're happy to say it ended on a great note.

The Bible says in Ephesians 5:18, "Do not get drunk with wine...but, be filled with the Holy Spirit."  This verse came to mind as we started the night before, and woke yesterday as Princess was battling through the heavy effects of the sedatives.  Though having been completely off the sedatives for nearly two full days, we could still see the lasting and consuming effects that these toxic drugs can have.  Witnessing the effects firsthand, I was reminded that we are not to get drunk with wine. Why?  Because its effects take over and we can lose control of ourselves.  Just these sedatives, they were controlling Princess and affecting everything she did.  Literally, she was seeing and experiencing things that weren't there.  Her world and environment that she was living in did not match what she was experiencing.  

The second half of the verse then tells us to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  So while the author Paul was just a moment ago talking about being drunk with wine, he made the comparison to be "drunk" with the Holy Spirit.  Amazingly, whether it is wine or the Holy Spirit, both can enter into our reality and give us a completely different experience.

Anyway, just a little moment that came to mind while this was going on.  But thankfully, although we started out rough, the day in fact ended on a good note.  During the day Princess was able to work with PT and get out of bed for the first time and sit in chair for nearly an hour.  We have another great nurse that was so proactive in getting Princess care. Not only did she order PT, she actually even spent an hour or two coming Princess' hair, trying desperately to get the glue out, caused by the EEG.  And YES, the EEG was removed on the same day as the ventilator.

As you also might know, pneumonia did set in from being on the vent for some time and so Princess did spend much of the day on a BiPAP machine.  This is essentially a machine that is used just one step prior to a ventilator.  Due to the pneumonia, and being on a ventilator for 9 days, the lungs still needed some assistance for Princess to fully breathe.  By evening time she was considerably better and was using just a nasal canula.

Our night thereafter was somewhat short with again, very little rest.

Today was exciting as we got to see more progress from Princess.  She was up in bed more often and truly, more like herself.  Unfortunately, she did not pass her swallow test and therefore is still not able to consume liquids or even resort to a normal diet.  While this experiences was somewhat of a setback,  it did bring to reality that what Princess just went through and endured, we might be matched with an uphill battle.

While that battle might be tough, the great news for the day was that Princess was  transferred out of the ICU this evening!  This is great progress and even surprised us and others that we were going to the floor already.  While her progress is seemingly fast now, the advice from many have been to just rest and take things very slowly.

So, off to bed for this tired couple!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Good Night

Well, the day is done and it is time to turn in for the night.  While we celebrated the joy of being extubated and no longer being on the ventilator, the victory was short lived as Princess had to battle through the terrible side effects on being on such high sedation.  The nurses and staff have been great and have taken great care to communicate and care for Princess.

We now turn to bed and hope that Princess can now get some great quality rest that she has been desperately needing for awhile.

Pray for her strength and the continuing withdrawal from the high doses of meds that she was on for.  Another praise was that the EEG was also removed.  Praise the Lord and good night!

Leads to...

The Longest Day has led to a victory...

Princess is extubated!  No more ventilator!  She is incredibly tired and lethargic from a restless night, and is now focused on trying to rest being not chained to bed by all the medical devices.  Praise the Lord.

After being on the ventilator for 9 days, she is still trying to figure out her vocal chords and it will be a bit before she might be able to speak.  The EEG should hopefully be coming off as well as we are still waiting on the Neurologist's approval.  Once this is removed, she will be officially detached from anything holding her in bed.

Praise the LORD!

Please pray for:

  • Princess' strength
  • Seizures to stay away
  • Successful passing of different benchmarks (swallow test...this will allow her to drink for the first time)
  • Strength for Physical Rehab
  • Strength for Mental Rehad...Not too sure yet what has been lost, if any
  • Just as a dear Prayer Warrior mentioned to me during these last two weeks, God has been using Princess, even though she wasn't moving.  Pray that God would continue to use Princess in amazing ways.  

The Longest Day

Thank you for all those that checked in and were wanting an update yesterday (Monday) on Princess.  It was a unique day as we were focused and understood that today would be the day that Princess would be able to finally come off the ventilator.  It has been one full week and so you can imagine the anticipation that we all have.  Unfortunately, during the overnight hours Princess was, understandably so, agitated with the vent now that she was fully off sedation.  Due to her agitation and this giving rise to her heart rate, she was given a dose of sedative.  And, much to our dismay, this meant that Monday was difficult in that Princess spent much of the day sedated and was not quite able to perform the necessary tests that would allow her to come off the ventilator.

The good news and great feedback came from one of the techs that reminded us that though she would not be coming off the ventilator, Princess did indeed breathe most of the day on her own with very little help.  It does turn out that with the length of time she was sedated, her pneumonia, and that she is very low on "fuel" for energy it is going to take most likely an additional day.  Needless to say, we were saddened by this as we also knew that now Princess would be facing possibly 24 hours or so awake and feeling the ventilator tubing down her throat...something that I don't think anyone would want to endure.  Truly, Princess is amazing and her strength to endure and get through this ordeal is nothing short of a miracle.

________________________________________________________

Part II

The night was a very long night.  Both Princess and I were basically up the entire night.  Princess extremely uncomfortable with the vent, even more aware of the now 9 days of laying idle in bed.  Myself, trying to get Princess from becoming too agitated and hence warding off any additional sedation that could set her back even another day.  Yesterday, in order for Princess to get nutrition, a tube was inserted through her nose.  Unfortunately, I drifted off next to her bed just long enough that she, though restrained was still able to pull the feeding tube out.  This has certainly made for an eventful morning, and we are anxiously counting down the hours till we see the morning doctors and begin the process to get Princess off the vent.

Please pray for Princess day.  That she would be able to finally get some quality rest off the vent.  Her seizures would continue to stay away, and that we would be able effectively communicate with the physicians.  Yesterday was also difficult as we met all new doctors and having to make sure that everyone was on the same page.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Day of Worship

Sunday in the ICU was a day of worship for us.  After a night to forget, Princess' heart eventually did begin to calm down at a steady heart beat of 179 and eventually coming down this morning and staying at 120 for most of today.  She is still incredibly groggy and sedated and will be for the next two or three days.  This is just due to the amount of sedation that was required to get her to stop seizing.

Coming out of sedation, she is definitely noticing that she is intubated and it is becoming more of a nuisance to her.  We are hopeful tomorrow that she will be more responsive and therefore could look at being extubated at some point.  We will need to make sure that she is able to breathe effectively on her own and then will need to do a swallow test to make sure that she could tolerate liquids.

Our highlight today was that she was able to show me her beautiful green eyes and we shared some tears.  Worship for us included playing a selection of songs that have become meaningful for us through this journey.  What a day to worship together!  With all that Princess has endured for a full week, it was good to come before the Lord and sing.  I would sing along with the song to her and she was singing in her mind.  Tears poured as we sang of Heaven, God's healing, God's amazing love, and the power of His mighty name.  Worshiping in the middle of a storm is challenging, yet when we call upon His name, He is faithful to hear us!  Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you.  Bless the Lord at ALL times!

I look forward to tomorrow's update and I pray that Princess will have a restful night.

Please pray:

  • Princess will get some good rest
  • Princess has been diagnosed with pneumonia and is currently being treated for this. Pray that it would clear quickly
  • Pray that the sedatives will quickly wear off and that Princess will be able to respond to certain commands and tasks
Our Worship Playlist (take a listen):  

Just Ask...

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. - Matthew 7:7


As the previous post was titled "Joy in the Morning,"  it is morning, and I am joyful.  Princess heart rate has gone down and is currently around 121 beats per minute.  While this is still fast for the moment, we'll definitely take it over what were were experiencing last night for nearly 6 hours.  Another praise is that she is no longer showing signs of atrial fibrillation or Afib.  Essentially, Princess' heart was not beating in sync and this is very serious as it can lead to several issues including heart failure, something that we potentially were facing last night.  So, again, we are extremely grateful this morning that the heart has slowed significantly and is back into normal rhythm.

This morning, we'll meet with our team of docs, continue with Princess' wake up as she is still pretty out of it due to the high doses of meds, and then as well, hopefully remove her off the ventilator today.  Please pray that she will in fact be able to sustain breathing on her own and the she will continue to wake and regain more of her own ability to do what is necessary.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Joy in the Morning

If you have ever made homemade lemonade you know that you have to have lemons.  And to make the lemonade you have to put the lemons through some intense pressure to get their juice, or what's on the inside.  Whether you heat the lemons, roll them on the counter, or just keep them in the refrigerator, you end up putting the lemons in various situations all for one purpose...to make great lemonade.  But just having the lemons does not get you the lemonade, You then have to squeeze them in order for them to produce the juice that is necessary for you to get your end goal, lemonade.  I've been thinking about this illustration for most of the week.  I visualized this process and even down the final squeezing.  And it came to me, when we have a sack of lemons to squeeze, we usually don't have to second guess, that upon squeezing we'll get lemon juice.  Imagine, how disappointed would we be if we got a lemon and squeezed it and all that came our were seeds, or dried up bitter pulp, with very little juice?

Well, I used this because through the intense pressure of this week, and even the intensity of this evening, I felt a lot like the lemon.  And just as the Bible quotes in Matthew, out of the overflow of the hear the mouth speaks.  So what's inside of me?  Hopefully a sweet juice that has been filled with God's Word and Christ's attitude.  Truly an opportunity to say "I have hidden Your Word in my heart" (Psalm 119:11).

Tonight indeed was a pressure moment.  It had to deal with the heart.  Princess' heart.  While we were successful in coming off the second and last sedative, we were thrown a curve ball as Princess' heart rate became pretty elevated and would not calm down.  She hovered around 135 beats per minute and was also battling an intense fever.  Shortly after giving her pain medicine to possibly address the heart rate (thought to be from the pain of the ventilator that she might be feeling), Princess' heart rate began to become very erratic and quickly shot up to 175 bpm, then back down to 129, then up again, then down again.  This went on for a good while and then rapidly shooting towards 250 bpm, 275 bpm, and even topping out I think at 308 bpm.  By this time the nurses on the floor were attending to Princess and trying to quickly get her medicine to stop the erratic nature and irregular nature of her heart.

By this time, many of you had been praying and were seeking the Lord on our behalf.  Medication wasn't working and so then it was more medication, and then more medication.  So we have been now at this for nearly 6 hours and at this current posting, we are somewhat stable bouncing between 162 and 178 bpm.  Princess is in A-fib right now and they have her on a medicine to try to correct this.  The good news is that her blood pressure is staying slightly regular.

Truly, this was a time where we weren't quite sure what was to be our outcome.  So, thank you for praying that as for now her heart rate is still extremely fast, and it is appearing to come down.  Pray for our night as I will be standing by keeping watch over her.

So tonight as I keep watch, I am reminded of Psalm 30:5, "...Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning."

Saturday Morning

Good Morning, Saturday!  Princess was able to come off the first sedative well and finished the process around midnight.  While it wasn't planned, they did go ahead and begin the taper off of the second sedative.  Neurology just came by and gave their morning update and Princess is continuing to look very good on her EEG.  While there is some activity (this is always the case) it does appear that whether coming off the sedative or the increase in her med yesterday, their is a positive effect.

The goal for today is to continue the taper of her second and last sedative.  Her vital signs are all looking good and there is a positive mood that over the next 8 to 10 hours we might get to see Princess awake for the first time since Monday evening.  If not today, it will be tomorrow!  To my agreement, the doctors are choosing to be extremely cautious in the taper so as to not disrupt or aggrevate the brain and therefore cause seizures that could end up leading to where we are today.

Our "Angel" Nurse is back again today (she was on yesterday, too) and I am thankful that she has been able to be part of the taper process.

So, please pray for:

  • Princess' seizure activity to stay at bay
  • Healing of Princess' brain
  • As she begins to come off the sedative that she would have a quick recovery and that we would take things slowly.  
  • Communication between myself and the physicians regarding medicines and Princess' care.  Thankfully, the Neurologist today did indicate they are greatly relying on my input especially after they come off the sedative to aid them in their understanding of what Princess is like on a daily basis (baseline)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Checking In

Friends,  thank you for your continued support!  I will keep this brief to just let you know that Princess is nearly halfway through the taper of the first of two sedatives.  I imagine that we will most likely be off of the first sedative sometime between 10 PM and 11 PM CST.  The evening report from Neurology is that Princess is continuing to not have any seizures.  The Neurologist is seeing still little activity, which is normal for Princess and therefore we are still in positive territory.

Therefore, we are still praying for the seizures to stay away and then will most likely look to begin the taper of the second sedative sometime tomorrow based upon the EEG report.

Princess did spike with a fever today at 101.8, and at this time it is coming back down and is in the 100's.

Thank y'all and well continue to update and post!

Fourth Quarter

My football career lasted almost two months.


The excitement of being in Junior High and needing to prove my manliness in the spirit and camaraderie of the game filled not just my little frame, but that of many others.  I would imagine that several of you can admit to that.  The Lord gifted me with speed and so naturally, I was put in a position that somehow meant:

  1. The ball was snapped to the Quarterback
  2. Quarterback hands me the ball
  3. B gets hit...
And therefore, so went my two month career and the realization that it really is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35)! Time to retire!

Life has a way of knocking us down.  And it is how we respond to when we get knocked down that shows us a lot.  It doesn't always mean that we will respond with grace.  It doesn't always mean that we won't hurt, feel discouraged, or even that everything is okay.  But, in the very essence of the moment, for us Jesus Christ who can sympathize with our weakness (Hebrews 4:15), is able to pick us up, dust us off, and we can get handed the ball again.  Does it mean we sometimes want to hang up the jersey, throw in the towel, retire?  Certainly!  And yet, building a life on a firm foundation, a Rock, we can be like the wise builder that Jesus talks about in Matthew 7 and when the rains and storms come we shall not be moved.  

Our ongoing 11 year journey has shown, maybe better, taught us a lot of this.  And part of the message that came this morning from my time in God's Word (www.ttb.org) was that we don't want our personal experience or for that matter, a person, to ever get in the way of preaching Christ.  And so it is, Princess and I have journeyed and we do pray continually that the Lord would strengthen us and that while we would love for the present circumstance to be over, we more importantly want God to be glorified.

So to borrow from the cliche', we are in the fourth quarter (at least in the hospital).  The goal for today is to begin bringing Princess off of her sedatives and our of the medically induced coma.  We anticipate this to be a long day and process.  Due to her being on a "big girl" "offensive lineman" dose of meds, we will be bringing her meds down by 1 mg per hour as she can tolerate it and the first drug will take anywhere from 10 to 12 hours. While this is good, the focus will be for Princess to not show any seizure activity.  

Neurology just left with their report...Seizures have kept at bay, though, during the night there were in fact some signs that Princess' brain is still very irritated and the potential for seizure activity is HUGE.  That said the weaning process will be interesting as the sedatives are also acting as an anti-seizure drug, and without the sedatives, Princess potentially could have a lot of seizures.  I do greatly appreciate and understand the concern by the professionals.  After further dialogue, we did decide to do a bolus dump of Princess' current medicine and hopefully that could take the "edge" off and allow her brain to "cool" down.  Liken this to an open wound that you do not want to get more inflamed or irritated.  

So, it is the fourth quarter, we might be a little behind on the scoreboard, but we are not out.  The wean of the sedatives will soon begin, and we can only pray that Princess will wake, seizures will have stayed away.

Please pray:
  • Princess will remain seizure-free
  • For the weaning of the sedative and the potential side effects 
  • For Princess' healing.  What she went through these past three weeks, namely Monday evening/Tuesday morning was tremendous and Neurology cannot stress the severity enough

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Call to Me...And I will Answer You

Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call to me and I will answer you, and tell you great and wondrous things."  Friends and prayer warriors, I was hit hard with the reality of God's goodness today.  After a wonderful visit with a dear friend and a brief moment to see and feel the sunshine today, I left after being ministered to and just walked through the hospital with my hands and arms outstretched, tears coming down and literally praising out loud the goodness of God.  Not at all because I deserve it, because I don't, but because that is just who He is.  I literally was just overwhelmed.

You have been the hands and feet for us these last few weeks.  You have carried our burden with you and have overwhelmingly encouraged me, The Grandmother, and I can only imagine the many others as we have all been interconnected through social media because of Jesus Christ. So again, thank you!

First, to truly get a feel for today, I would encourage you to read yesterday's post to get some great insight and perspective.  Additionally, if you have been reading our posts, I have tried to make it very clear that God has answered specific prayers and I stress that it is amazing to see God's hand answering specific requests.  From specific nurses, to conversations with doctors, to even Princess' healing...each one of you have had a part in this.  Simply, thank you for talking to God!  He loves it when we call upon His name.

Last night after our "encounter" and my decision to not go with the physician's recommendation; rather go with the Great Physician's recommendation, I was overwhelmed with a peace that did transcend understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).  I continued to be through the night continually praying over my Princess.  Waking at 4 AM I overhead the nurses discussing Princess, and then learned that her Neurologist did check in at midnight and did confirm NO SEIZURES up to that point!  PRAISE JESUS!  This meant that from our conversation just literally 6.5 hours earlier that Princess had not had any seizures.  Oh taste and see the Lord is good.

Morning would come quickly and of course my mind began to race with question as to what has happened since midnight?  Each passing hour wondering and praying.  Several of you have also encouraged me to not give in to Satan and his attack to cause me to doubt.  I can honestly say that throughout the morning, I really felt like a target was on my back.

The morning would progress and after seeing an entourage of physicians, I had yet to have a consult with the Neurologist. So then I start to wonder is this good for bad?

11:00 the Neurologist walks in...

"Well, we're petty lucky.  She has not had seizure since 4 PM yesterday..."  

PRAISE JESUS!!!  PRAISE THE LORD!!!

So that was truly the best news I could have received!  I then felt that I needed to share some background with the Neurologist and so if you will oblige, I will give you a look in:

Dr X if I may, I believe you knew walking out of the room last night that I was not a fan of what you proposed.  When I did the math you were asking us to go up on a medication by 950% and to do that particular dose twice per day.  My wife has worked too hard to get to this point and frankly we have better control of her seizures today than we did at even higher doses that what you proposed.  Well, after you left last night, I was restless and had absolutely no peace about the direction we were going. Therefore, I began to pray to the Lord and ask God for direction.  It was then I felt that He was leading me to not give my wife the medicine, rather give her more time to rest.  You see, we believe as the Bible teaches, to seek the Lord first and that is what I needed to do last night.  As well, our mantra, our family's life verse in the Bible says to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do lean on your own understanding; in all you ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.  And so that is how I arrived at my decision to block the meds.  Now, I realize that just as I need to trust the Lord, that He has created you for this moment and for you to take care of my wife.  Therefore, I also need to trust you.  For this is what you were created for.  So I am looking at trusting the Lord and trusting you for your God-given wisdom.  However, in seeking the Lord first, He made it clear to me to not move forward the medicine.

And with that the rest of our day was set.  Today was indeed a day to rest and continue to pray that Princess would remain seizure free.  And as am about to post, Princess has in fact been seizure free now for 30 hours!!!  AMEN!

So gameplan... assuming that we did continue to be seizure free today we would look to begin reducing the sedation tomorrow.  The Neurologist is still concerned that Princess will have seizures, so therefore we know how we need to pray.  The wean could take all day, and could take up to two days just because of how much medicine has been pumped into her little frame.  And however long it takes, that's okay.  Tomorrow, I may get to see my Princess again, and oh, the stories, the messages, the prayers that we will get to share with her.

So, today, Call to Jesus and He will answer you.  It may not be what the answer you want, know that He who began a good work in you will see it through to completion.  The He has good plans for you.  Nothing to hurt you.  Plans for a hope and a future.  What wonderful news!

Please pray:


  • Princess will come out of sedation easily
  • Princess will have no seizures as they bring her back 
  • We will have clear direction as to her rehab and what we will need to do

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Move Me

IN thinking out today's post, I had in my mind excitement and peace and elation to share great news.  The news that is to come does in fact translate to all those, and it was what I will share in a moment that (as you might be reading through the lines) did come at us like a nasty curve ball. 


First, I met with the doctors that are over Princess' care early this morning and each one had a great report.  Nephrology said that Princess' kidneys are working great, doing what they are supposed to do, sodium levels are in fact stable and probably fair to say that the crashing of her sodium is probably contained and Princess does need to drink less fluid. 


Neurology came by next and reported that as of 9 PM last night Princess did not record a seizure.  Thus we were now nearly at 12 hours without a seizure after nearly 14 hours of continuous seizures.  That said, the goal now was to go 24 hours or so without a seizure, and then look to begin removing the sedation, get her back to breathing on her own and voila, we would be doing a wash, rinse, and repeat version of two weeks ago.


So today was a day to just feel at peace, much thanks to the Lord hearing your prayers.  I had incredible peace today and was well comforted that Princess' brain was finally resting.  So spending some time praying and thanking God, I began pouring through Psalms and even read aloud to Princess making the Scripture more personalized with our names, and pronouns. 


Psalm 30 for example is what we read together- We will extol You, O Lord, for you have lifted us up...O Lord my God, we cried to you for help, and You healed Meredith.  O Lord, you have brought up our souls from Sheol; You have kept Princess alive, that we would not go down to the pit.  We will sing praise to the Lord, and give thanks to His holy name... To you, O Lord, I called and to the Lord we made supplication...You have turned my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed my with gladness, that my soul, our souls may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever...


And from there other passages just flowed and truly it was a little sanctuary of praise in this little ICU room.  O taste and see that the Lord is good! 


So there was what was going to be today's post...


Around 5 or so our nurse came in and informed us that apparently Princess has in fact had several seizures today (even under heavy, heavy sedation as I mentioned yesterday) and that the Neurologist was going to come visit with me.  Somewhat surprised, I wrestled with what I knew would come next...a heavy dose of more seizure drugs, something Princess, with success, has worked so hard at reducing over these last two years. 


Our neurologist did come in around 5:30 and did break the news to me that she has had several seizures and with that would begin with a bolus dump of a particular drug.  This  would mean that Princess would in one dose experience a 900% increase of a drug that she has actually reduced by 95%.  Keep in mind that with her reduction she has had better control that what she has ever experienced in 11 years.  Hence, what was about to take place was a mentality that has been seen time and time again that if the symptoms or complications don't go away, you have to treat with more meds.  While this can be the case for some, in Princess' case, it has actually been shown and proven that sometimes less is best...


With further petition to the Neurologist, I wound up relenting in despair and decided to go with the plan and see how Princess would do over the next 12+ hours. 


O Lord, my rock, my redeemer....What should I do.  Matthew 6 says to seek the Lord first, and His righteousness.  Therefore, I took Princess' hand and began to pray and call upon the Lord.  Psalm 34 says that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  James 4:8 says "draw near to God and He will draw near to you."  And then I waited. 


And then "I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay. He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm." Psalm 40:1-2.  Restless with what I just agreed to, the peace that I had earlier in the day was gone and it was time to Trust in the Lord....and let His peace that transcends understanding rule. 


I would now at this time make the decision to stop the med from being introduced and keep Princess on her current regimen giving her more rest and let's see what the night would hold and revaluate come morning.  With this decision, I then reached out someone close with our care and fellow Brother in Christ, and he confirmed my approach...."Just give it more time..."


And then the words and prayer came to me as I now had a target on my back from the physician and staff for stopping the "plan." 


"There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death..." -Prov 14:12 Lord, give Princess more time and for you to be glorified. Though the doctor wants to go one way, I'm restless and want your input, Oh Lord. While I am standing in the way of their direction, their intervention, move me and my flesh if I'm acting out of your will. Princess needs your healing, provide as you see fit. In Jesus' name.

So, as I quickly posted and asked for your prayer, the above prayer is the resultant. 

So this evening and in the morning please pray:
  • opportunity to connect with the Neurologist and it not be a confrontation.  That we would each have a mutual respect and understanding and that I would be able to effectively communicate and 11 year journey to someone who has only met Princess through a medical chart and over the course of two days.
  • that Princess would go this evening, the next 12 hours seizure-free
  • Continued peace. The burden of my decision became weighty and while I have peace, there is still a second guess.
  • That Princess will heal from this and God will be glorified.
  • Christ to be made known in this ICU unit. 
  • Don't forget to pray for those that are around us.  Based upon the size of the crowd in the waiting room today, there are many that are grieving this evening. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Heavy Meds...

2nd Corinthians 4:8, the apostle Paul writes, "we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair." 


Today has been a long day.  First, I am very, very humbled and thankful for the many who have reached out either in person, text, email, message, call, etc. Princess had somewhat of a family reunion today as two of her Uncles and an Aunt were here to visit today.  Oh, how I long for her to welcome you with a smile and a hug as I know she would desperately love to.  I am grateful for our family, as well as our church family who has been also very supportive in this journey. 


While my previous post gave detail about our night/early morning, it wasn't until 6 AM this morning that Princess finally laid still.  And though she finally laid still, unfortunately her brain did not comply and she sadly continued to have seizures all throughout the day.  Due to her seizures, they did continue to increase her sedatives.  While this may not mean much to those reading, a nurse was able to describe that Princess is literally on doses that are really meant for Offensive Lineman in the National Football League.  Hence, while we saw that it took quite a bit to even get her calm, she is requiring a substantial amount well more than a girl her size should really require. 


And yes, though heavily sedated and on a ventilator, she is still having seizures.  Early today it was recorded nearly one an hour and that number did lessen this afternoon.  One of the consequences to the heavy sedation is that her blood pressure needs to be closely monitored.  Getting to a point of 70/42 they had to momentarily lessen the sedatives to only discover the lessening the sedative opened a floodgate for seizure activity to take place. 


To put this ICU experience in perspective, Princess is requiring even greater amounts of sedatives and is still seizing as to our visit just two weeks ago, where her seizure activity had been quelled under less sedation.


The Lord has provided in amazing ways.  Your prayers have been answered as we were reunited with our precious Nurse from our last time.  Her care, and concern for Princess is so amazing!  To those that came today, last night, and over these last few weeks, I don't know how we could every repay you, and I am especially praying for blessing upon blessing for you and your sacrificial love. 


Please pray for:
  • Princess' seizures to stop (literally, stop)
  • Wisdom as I conference with the physicians tomorrow
  • For Princess respond favorably to the weaning of the sedatives when that time comes
  • Healing from potential damage due to her literally having seizure after seizure for nearly 14 hours


The Fourth Watch

In the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John we are given an account of Jesus walking on the water.  This miracle came after Jesus had just served up an amazing feast to over 5,000 people.  I am reminded of a message by our Pastor that went into great detail of this miracle....




Jesus, having just finished a busy day of preaching sent his disciples out onto the sea in a boat.  As the disciples were midway through the sea, their boat was not able to make any progress because of the waves and a storm.  But, during the fourth watch, Jesus came walking to them on the water, and thinking they were seeing a ghost they cried out.  Jesus calmly said to them to not be afraid for it was Him.  They then received Jesus into their boat and the gospel of John says that immediately, they were on the other side of the sea.


I am reminded too, Princess has loved this passage and message that was brought to us by our pastor.  A key point to understand- Sometimes, being in the will of God means we might go through difficult times.  Jesus told His disciples to get into the boat and to go to the other side.  Doing what He told them to do, they obeyed.  Jesus knew they were going to struggle.  He knew there would be a storm, yet He told them to go and they obeyed (not fully understanding what lay ahead).  And so it was, the sea and water became a problem for them.  They became fearful, yet they were doing what the Messiah had told them to do.  But then....isn't that some of the best two words...But then, Jesus came to them walking on the water...walking on the very problem that had them scared.  And then, having received Him into their boat, they were immediately on the other side. 


Have you struggled with something God has called you to?  I know I have...I know we have....and it has been our constant trust in Jesus Christ that we are in His plan, and time and time again, He has calmed our fear and taken us to the other side!  God is sovereign....That means He is in control of ALL things! 


Now all this occurred in the fourth watch...sometime between 3-6 AM.  I title this post the Fourth Watch because just after 3 AM Princess was intubated, sedated, and put on the ventilator.  Since approximately 4 PM (now yesterday), for nearly a full 12 hours Princess has not stopped seizing.  She has been given so much Ativan (rescue drug) that I have lost count, she has been given additional drugs on top of that and still, she is still seizing.  Thus, the only thing left to do was to shut her down.  And this truly is what needed to happen.  Princess has not stopped thrashing about, hallucinating, and seizing literally all day.  And if I am honest, she has been having seizures non-stop since this past Thursday. 
.
So, here we are in our fourth watch of the night.  Princess and I have maybe had one hour of sleep, and now that she is medically out, I pray that the seizures will soon stop (as I type this, she is still seizing).  Though I am not fearful at this time, I am praying, like many of you that Jesus will come and take us immediately to the other side


Till my next post, continually praying! 


Pray for:
  • Seizures to stop
  • Since we are back in the same unit and floor as last time, that we might get our sweet "Angel Nurse," Sarah.
  • Princess' brain will be protected
  • Memory will be restored- very apparent that she has lost a lot of memory and cannot even recall her last hospitalization just two weeks ago.
  • Peace and renewed strength and faith for me.
  • Peace, understanding, protection for Critter.
  • Strength for the Mother-in-law, aka Princess' Mommy, aka, the Grandmother, aka, the Queen Mother (Hope that brings a smile to you M3)