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Friday, December 31, 2010

God will help us survive


...the Bible tells us that God remembers us. When we feel forgotten and alone, thinking that no one cares, God remembers. Every rainbow reminds us that God remembered us when the greatest calamity in history struck the earth, a flood so great that it almost wiped all human life from the earth (Genesis 8,9). God never forgets. “He remembers His covenant forever, the promise He made, for a thousand generations” (1 Chronicles. 16:15). Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I'm feeling overwhelmed...

Allen's caseworker talked to me about starting to come for Allen's therapy. So the plan was to be there Wednesday morning 8:30 a.m. Everyone around has had this 'bug' and I started feeling punky Tuesday night and called to let them know I wouldn't be in. All I did was sleep for two days and ached. Other than a little heaviness in my chest, that's all I felt, but I couldn't go expose Allen to it. So this morning (Friday) I was able to go in and watch his therapy. They all say he is progressing, but very, very slowly. They want to show me everything I need to do in case he is sent home before he is able to stand, walk or transfer himself to a chair. God is bigger than all of this, but I am feeling overwhelmed. I blame it on not feeling 100%, but I'm not sure that not feeling 100% isn't because my soul is pretty overwhelmed.

Today I read to Allen and myself...
Psalm 43:5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Allen is getting stronger, but fighting off two different infections and on two strong antibiotics. He goes off saying strange things and it seems to make perfect sense to him, but not anyone else. He remembers bits of his past, but there is a lot he doesn't remember. Even the speech therapist is concerned about it. I am tired of thinking about what will come next. I know, I know, trust for today, tomorrow has enough worries. I know all the truths. I can quote the scriptures, too. But my heart... my heart gets overwhelmed. I am trying to put my hope in God and I WILL praise him.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Need an exterminator!

Please pray. Allen hasn't been feeling good today, a little chilled. There are bugs going around and he's under temp. They had to put the foley back in and continue bladder training. After 3 months with that tube, it's taking a while for it to do what it's supposed to. Erin and I sat with him today, napped with him a while, took him down to supper, prayed over him and read to him. He's such a sweet heart. I ache each time I leave him.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.

God is so good... God is so good... God is so good... He's so good to me. He answers prayer... He answers prayer... He answers prayer... He's so good to me. I love him so... I love him so... I love him so... He's so good to me.
We spent the afternoon with Allen for Christmas eve. His brothers - Michael and Kevin, our girls- Jamie, Christy and Erin, Christy's hubby Peter and daughter Betsy and I sat in the dining room at S.Tx. Rehab with Allen.

He drank tea, talked, listening, joked, watched his sweet Betsy run around and eat chocolate chip cookies, and opened a few Christmas gifts. Erin and I got him some drawing supplies because he always liked and was good at drawing. Christy made him a lap blanket. Jamie made him this incredible lap desk, sketching, painting and wood burning this cowboy on it with the words: "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway."

That's what my Allen is doing. I know it's scary to have gaps in memory, not be able to get up and do what you want to do and all that he's dealing with. But he's saddling up anyway. He's doing what has to be done with a good attitude and he's going to get better.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

God is good... but we already know that!
Allen is off antibiotics now, the foley is out, he's eating well... and... yea!!!! the insurance company has okay'd another week. So... one day at a time with everything else, but at least it's one week at a time with insurance! LOL I really wish they'd just okay him staying until he's able to get around, but I guess they're worried I'd want him to live there! HA!!! I can't wait to get my man home again.

One of the nurses wanted me to be there for all of Allen's meal times, to learn how to get him in and out of bed with the lift and feed through the peg tube. I'm very willing to learn what I need to learn, but I'm still asking the Lord to finish his miracle and get him up and around. I got the feeling she thought I'd be nervous about taking care of him. One thing I learned through taking care of Mom and Dad while they were in hospice care at home, I can do anything the Lord needs me to do if I have to. Now do I always think I can do it? No, but nevertheless " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Tomorrow is Christmas eve. A lifetime ago I might have been sad to spend so much of the holiday at the hospital instead of home baking, crafting, wrapping, etc. Today, I am so grateful that I have a husband at Christmas that all I can do is rejoice... rejoice in the Lord's goodness!
Merry Christmas to all of you wonderful people who are standing with us, loving us, praying with us, helping us through this time. We are very blessed.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Improvements and prayers

Choosing not to fret lately... it feels good.

I haven't blogged in a few days. I have a knotted muscle by my shoulder blade and it's awful. I got an adjustment which helped around it, but that muscle doesn't want to let go and let God! LOL

Allen had his barium swallow study yesterday and .... drum roll... passed and can start the road back to eating. He starts on pureed foods. I helped him with apple sauce yesterday. I'm going to take in some yogurt today. ... and ... mashed tatoes and gravy and punkin pie (no crust) for Christmas!

He is getting stronger. The therapists say it's a long and promising road. He makes small improvements all the time. He can stand between the bars for a while. He follows multiple commands. His speech is still a little 'lazy' sometimes, but mostly really clear. He is a little less confused.

We read to him most days. He really likes it. A sci-fi book he and Jamie have read keeps him listening. When I think he's asleep and stop his eyes pop open and he asks me to keep reading. It's awesome. My TV bug isn't too interested in tv. We leave the Christian radio station on some days and some days he just want quiet. I got him an MP3 player with the Bible, books and music, but it already died! GRRR... gotta find the receipt.

Pray that the insurance company stops making waves about the amount of time he needs to fully rehabilitate. They want to downgrade him to a nursing home for continued rehab. That doesn't make sense. Aggressive rehab is helping him so much. South Texas Rehab has been so wonderful. Each person seems to truly want to help him succeed. I have been impressed, blessed and grateful.

Also, please pray for Allen's brother and Mom. Michael was in the hospital again for heart pains and Mom visited him. When she was leaving she fell and injured her hip. She's in the hospital now and we don't know if it means surgery or what.

Blessings to all my friends and family! I love each of you.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry CHRISTmas

We're going to see Allen and decorate his room for Christmas. He's going to be there a while and we will be there on Christmas so we need to feel the celebration! God did give us favor with the probiotics. The pharmacist is a big believer in using them and she's going to get him on them ASAP. Our God is an awesome God.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good report

LATE... but a quick report... meeting at Rehab went well. Allen's CT scan was good and the nurses and therapists all say he's cooperative and improving, though slowly. He did have that UTI setback, but he seems to be getting better. He was more cognizant today and wanted us with him. Jamie, Allen and I took a wheelchair stroll out to the courtyard and sat in the sunshine for a while. After lunch we went back to his room and napped with him a while. I've got to get them on board for giving him pro-biotics now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hanging in there like a hair in biscuit!

Ephesians 3:20-21 (KJV)

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Who's that knocking on the door....

Please pray for Allen. After his weekend of not responding much and sleeping, the doctor has ordered a CT head scan. We have a family meeting with them Thursday to discuss his progress and results. I've had a weepy few days. I want my precious husband back. ... I'm waiting and trusting ... and knocking on God's door. All the way to Brownsville today, I talked the Lord about how much I need Allen... the one I know and more so, knows me ... the real me. We are one flesh and if God isn't finished with Allen, I want that other half of us to come back to me. The other day he told a nurse to be sure to tell his other half something or another and she relayed it to me. It's funny how lately he looks at me and isn't sure I'm Linda, but he knows Linda is his other half. I'm not giving up until God brings him back!!!!

Matthew 7:7-11 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

God's hugs

Allen has a UTI (infection) that is resistant to the antibiotics and they've started a stronger one. I know they can do good, but I hate antibiotics for what they do to the body. He's lethargic and weak and his digestive system is a mess. Lord, please heal him-- all of him! ... and let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, Oh, Lord, our strength and our redeemer.

One of our brothers in the Lord hugged me and thanked me for taking care of his brother. He thanked me over and over as I cried on his shoulder. You know those times when God uses someone to hug you and touch your heart? Allen had a hard time recognizing me and I know unintentionally hurt my feelings. I had a hard time and I needed that hug. Thank you, Lord and thank you, Mixon.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Psalms 1

1 Blessed is Allen who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 Allen is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever he does prospers.

Yes, Lord

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Betsy and Pa-Pa had a good day today!

Christy and I took Betsy in to see Allen at rehab today! They haven't been together in over two months. Wow... he was doing so well with therapy and back into the room sitting in the wheel chair. He stood up today! He LOVED seeing Betsy and had fun talking to her and watching her play. He talked clearly and had most of his thoughts clear today. It really was wonderful. The doctors and staff really see him doing wonderfully and recovering well. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for this encouraging day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Moving on up...

The last few days have been positive for Allen's improvement and for my heart. Allen is getting stronger and I can understand his talking so much better. He even talked to the girls on the phone. But... he is still sometimes talking 'nonsense' stuff they call 'confabulation'. I was reading a great book called 'Eureka' about someone's experience as a caretaker/friend after a similar aneurysm. She described confabulation as when he wants to converse but loses direction and just talks and the words don't make sense to us. But Sunday we watched 'Saving Private Ryan', a 3-hr movie and though he can't see the tv well, he was pretty much following along with what he thought was going on by the sound. I was impressed. He was reading the Rook cards, 1-14, cards out of order and no mistakes except where I accidentally flipped the six and he said nine... my fault!

Allen was moved out of ICU on Friday. Hallelujah! The S.Tx Rehab nurse, Lisa, visited Allen three times to assess and approve him and still by today (Monday) no approval to pay for this rehab facility by the insurance company. They still wanted to send him to a skilled nursing facility (Retama Nursing Home) GRRRRRR! We were praying.

But this morning... I called to try to just ask the insurance company to get the paperwork going and all I heard was "HIPAA, HIPAA, HIPPA" (whiny voice) I was nice to the ... person... but even though I've been making 'life or death decisions' for my husband for the last two months, that didn't matter, she would not talk to me about Allen's healthcare. I needed to get him to sign or they'd have to talk to him!!! Come on! He's recovering from a brain aneurysm. Well, I lost it... I yelled at her and hung up..... OOOPS! Yes, she was being jerky because I had previously talked to two different people about his care and they weren't fussing... "HIPAA, HIPAA, HIPAA". But to me it was just a way to not have me pressure them to get the ball rolling for his rehab care. So... I cried a while and asked the Lord to intervene and he did.

When I went to see Allen today and stepped into the caseworker's office she was on the phone with the powers-that-be at the insurance (still no assurance)... then she got the therapist on the line with the insurance I heard him saying such positive things about Allen's recovery and expectations for him in neuro rehab. I was holding my breath for a while as Allen was with the therapists and doing a swallowing study.

I got to go to therapy with him and he was sitting on his own on a raised mat (like a bed) and when they 'pushed' him over to each side he could right himself. Plus he was 'firing' all the muscles to get to standing up, though not at the point of standing. Not there yet, but he's trying hard. The swallowing study was positive, but he's not ready for liquids yet. They will begin working on pureed foods with him as he is trained to swallow properly again.

Well... a little bit after the insurance was to discuss their decision with the doctor, we got a call...
YEA! Approval. God intervened on our behalf! In an hour or so the ambulance transported Allen to Brownsville. Thank you, Lord Jesus!

It was a hard day for Allen... all the therapy, the swallow study, sitting up for hours, an ambulance ride.. then the assessments in Brownsville. He was totally frustrated and exhausted. I know this next few weeks will be hard on him because they will be pushing him and tiring him out. But... in the long run, we hope and pray that will allow him to come home and be functional as he continues to heal. We still ask God for a COMPLETE miracle. Keep praying with us as we KEEP OUR EYES OPEN to see what the Lord will do.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

South Texas Rehab

Christy, Betsy, Jamie, Erin and I visited South Texas Rehab on Alton Gloor in Brownsville. It seems to be a great facility. The staff and patients all seemed so friendly. That says a lot. The paperwork is going forward to get Allen transferred there in a few days unless there are any snags... pray. Allen wrote 1 to 10 for me last night and after I did some mouth care with him (tooth brushing) he talked very well for a bit until he tired. He tried to write his name, but faded out as he was tired. I need to start with that one next time. The other day as I was leaving he told me, "Be good." I asked him if I had to. He said, "It helps." He's got his sense of humor. I love him so much and I'm asking... begging... God to finish his miracle in him and bring him back completely.