Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Baby Steps to the Elevator

Baby steps to the elevator... a quote from What About Bob, of course, but also the goal of the burn unit: to get Jacob to walk out of there, and down to the elevator off of his floor.
I will give the more somber news first, because the steps taking today by Jake somewhat outweigh negativity: they are more concerned about his brain activity. They have had several neurologists come in, they scanned his brain waves, and we will hear back later. They are fairly certain that whatever did happen to his brain is affecting his ability to wake up right now. He is off of his medications a lot, to the point where they would expect him to be waking up. It seems to be a blend of an induced coma and his own physical disability to wake up. It is a bit more like a real coma, where he has to work at recovering simple motor skills again. It will be a long process of recovering him from his unconscious state, basically. So "waking up" really means this longer process, very slow, of regaining full cognition.
All that said, some excellent steps were taken today. When I can get my mom to write it down, I will convey to you her experience of the event. But, today the nurses got him into a sitting position. While still looking quite vegetative, once in the sitting position he actually held some of his own weight, and seemed ready to try and sit up farther. His eyes were open in the same manner they have normally been off and on - his eyeballs don't actually move, but he vaguely opens his eyelids. So my mom bent over into his face, took off her mask covering her face, and said hi to Jake. According to her and the nurses, his face lifted a bit, he opened his eyes a little more... showing at least a little bit of recognition. And of course, since there were only women in the room (my mom and a few nurses), they had a cow, clapping and giggling and whatnot... typical woman stuff. (I hope you can read into my sarcasm.)
Also, just within the last hour, my dad told me that Jake began to show some more signs of awareness. Jake was doing his little move-around-open-eyes thing... but this time, when my dad asked Jake to squeeze his hand, he did. Or at least showed, according to my dad, some response. Trying to communicate. This is a big step.
The wound on his butt is looking really good. His skin grafts are healing nicely. He keeps kicking off the bandage on his right toe. For a couple of days now the breathing machine has been pumping air from the room, not pure oxygen. And it is on low support. Last night he breathed a lot on his own. He may have brain damage. He has bacteria in his lungs that appears resistant to most antibiotics. His range of motion is good, he can sit up, he may be put in a chair in the coming days for a little while. Still has fluctuating fever and withdrawals.

So that is the current state of things. I don't even know what He is saying, and I don't know why he is saying what he is, but God is speaking to us through this. The Living Word of restoration is being breathed onto us by Jacob's functioning lungs. The Presence of the Lord is being realized in the midst of Jacob's horrific burns. The Kingdom of God is being realized in those supporting and guiding him to recovery... wise doctors, AMAZING nurses (they are way cool), skillful technicians, emotional support, baked goods, loving friends, etc....
Yes, miracles happen. Yes God works mightily. But it does not have to be this vague supernatural event that we tend to expect of an all-powerful God who could snap his fingers and make everything alright. That's not the point. The point is that he is making everything "alright" in and through everything that happens. The supernatural occurs in the mundane, in the ordinary. In that godly waitress at the diner. In that story of someone being restored through Jacob's story. By the glory of the benefit concert! The whole point is not that this life sucks and therefore the "eternal" or "heavenly" life is all that we seek through meditation and deep thought, forsaking the "physical." It goes much deeper than that. The whole point is that God is in this earthly life, he has come to us, and we are being restored. Isn't that the whole idea of the incarnation? Of God made man? That the divine, the heavenly, the Indescribable is somehow described and manifested through the earthly, the lowly, the broken? And thus our restoration is not necessarily after sorrow or brokenness, but in the midst of it?
All that to say, I see God. I see the Un-see-able. I know the Unknowable, through this hell. In this torrential downpour. I see glimpses of restoration. Jacob's breath. God's breath, breathing on Jacob's wounds. And it reminds me of what a wreck I am. What a wreck humanity is. And the Heavenly enters into that wretchedness with us, to show us his Love.

Far greater than Jacob's physical journey will be his spiritual one. O how we he needs restoration.

Rob (brother)


Baylee said...

My second son had Craniofacial surgery to correct the early fusion of his skull at the front of his head, Metopic Craniosynostosis. He was 6 months old. Because of the invasive manner of the surgery, his whole face swelled to the point he couldn't open his eyes. I knew he could hear me, smell me, feel me, but when he was able to crack one little corner of eye open and see me... it's the most amazing feeling... knowing they know you're there. Today, I cry happy tears for you/with you. My love and prayers and every happy thought are with you, Jake and everyone else holding him up with the light of their love and the Lord.

my best- Baylee Young Norman

(Hunter Young's sister and Freeline Alum 2000-2004)

Staci B said...

What an incredible journey...and testimony going forth. Debbie Childs posted about Jacob, I was a high school (youth group) friend of hers. I keep up to date, thanks for posting updates, and I will continue to pray.

Anonymous said...

Robbie - once again your insights amaze me and remind me of lessons we learned early on in our journey with AJ. And you are exactly right: it's not that there is no healing if it's not complete immediate healing. God is fully capable of this, and may choose to. But more likely, and what appears to be the case here, He chooses to work through doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals as well as the natural healing processes. But these are still miracle and answers to prayer. There may be brain damage, but that doesn't change who Jake is: a young man made in God's image and here on earth to follow God's plan for his life. Don't get me wrong, I'll continue to pray that he is returned to full function and to the Jake you all know.

While I'm sorry to hear that the recovery process may be prolonged, I'm thrilled with the progres that Jake is making. God continues to show that He is bigger and more powerful than the doctors. He may have a lot more surprises in store for all of us. I can't wait to see.

Continuing to pray and support you in any way I can,
Christy (Draves) Grant

Mari said...

Reading these posts the last couple of days have taken us to the high heights of excitement for each new accomplishment and the lows of fear & sadness at the still unknown & long road ahead. But I love what you said about how God is making everything alright in & through everything that happens...and how the supernatural occurs in the mundane, in the ordinary. It's so true & evident in the many ways this tragedy has touched & changed our lives and the lives of so many we've talked with & many many more who are following this journey through you & your family's incredibly real & inspiring blogs. We rejoice with you & cry with you and somehow the huge mountains we face in our own lives seem a whole lot smaller. You have encouraged us and challenged us to a greater place of honesty & faith. God is daily using Jacob in a powerful way to reach deep into the hearts of many! So thank you all so much for continually speaking your hearts, for letting us in on the intimate daily progress of Jacob & allowing us to walk with you, our hearts aching for you, for Jacob, as we continue to pray night & day, believing & trusting God for Jacob's complete recovery. Love & blessings to you all from the Kings

Donna said...

What wonderful things are happening. God has a steady hand. The steps forward, yes the little steps are amazing. We anxiously wait for more news on those baby steps and what a joy everyone of them bring. Thanks for the update. Still praying for Jacob and for courage and strength to all.

Donna said...

Psalm 89:8-9
"O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds You. You rule the swelling of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them".