Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Best present ever

Jacob is downstairs for a short surgical procedure removing the sub-clavicle line and putting in a pic-line in his arm and removing the staples on his heel. He still cannot put pressure on his heel when he stands and has a couple more weeks until the staples in his back and drainage tubes from the sight of muscle remove can come out. But we are progressing each day sooooooo much. It is incredible it builds momentum and hope.

Last night, leaving was hard as Jacob told me through mutual tears that he wants to be "normal." He does not want to miss out on his life. This morning when I came in he had just been helped to sit in a chair and the physical therapists were leaving. I received the best present ever as he said I want to give you a hug for your birthday - and he stood up and again in mutual tears just embraced, "happy birthday, daddy, I love you." That is all that I need today - I am good, I am full.

Yet there is more as we keep moving forward and the Rehab Doctor started the conversation about school and in the next couple of weeks setting up tutors and getting him going on finishing his senior year. We still have thumb surgery to come - maybe next week. They are not talking about removing the thumb anymore and replacing it with his toe - we are not talking doing a skin graft over the missing skin that is down to the bone (like someone took a bite out of a drumstick). I have been so reluctant to say that but it is to me such a miraculous blessing. As I stood by his bedside in the midst of his splints and bandages - I kept looking and praying and asking God to save his thumb. Now it is not a sure thing yet - but it IS what they are saying. A graft over the thumb - limited motion - but his own thumb.

Food will begin again this afternoon - maybe a bite of ice cream, oatmeal, pureed beef and mashed potatoes - Jake's eyes get big and he says "no" to the pureed meal. But we need to get his throat working on swallowing and his stomach use to receiving - to get off the brown goop bag and get back to real food - we need to get that feeding tube out of his stomach. Jacob is getting it and getting encouraged I think as he can do more and more - he wants to do more and more. He reminds me of what he needs to do - work at stretching his arm so he his skin does not heal with less motion - work with the breathing exercises - putting on his own pants and socks.

From all that has gone before - the slow plodding along - this is like lightning fast. Everyone said that Jacob is strong and he will bounce back - we are seeing it. Yes we still have a long way to go - but it is such a huge blessing and encouragement but us and I know to all of you that we ARE seeing it. Miracle on top of miracle, blessing on top of blessing.

The new article came out in the Mercury News today (link) - it was great to have Jessie Mangaliman come by and he was able to see Jacob eating and working on his therapy. He did a great job of sharing the journey - only one thing I want to clarify - Debbie is okay with Jacob still pursuing firefighting - we all are. Our respect, admiration, and love for those that choose this position is beyond explanation. We know a few firefighters personally - more and more each day. For us we no longer pass an emergency vehicle without a heart of praise and a tear in our heart, we no longer watch the news as though distant people are responding - they are friends and family. We fully support Jacob in whatever he wants to pursue when this is done.

Just wanted to clarify - otherwise thanks Jessie for capturing a bit of our journey.

We are waiting for Jake to come back to his room - my father (Papa) and me. In the midst of this moment - I am thankful, so very thankful for my parents as well - my dad is one of my best friends - he is a model for me of God's love - and for how to love my children - Papa is my hero.

Jake is back - surgery was a "piece of (birthday) cake."

Joy in the journey

Tom (Dad)

11 comments:

Cindy Todd said...

Praise God and Happy Birthday Tom! Continuing to keep you all in our prayers! Love, Cindy

Sharon Shenk said...

Happy Birthday from another stranger - yet not a stranger - and a sister in Christ! From one who hopes with you, prays with you and believes with you and your whole family!
Thank you again for letting us walk this way with you.
Sheri

Anonymous said...

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a Beautiful Birthday Present-Happy Birthday Tom =)! We love hearing about all of the mini-miracles Jacob is experiencing now......with happy hearts! Much love to the Kirkendall Family-the tsudama clan

Anonymous said...

Oh what a birthday you've had, Tom. Can't beat Jacob's smile as the best gift ever! God is revealing himself in such amazing ways. Keep up your strength and please take of yourselves - REST in His arms.

Anonymous said...

We were praying for you all at TLC's family camp this weekend. I was so glad to come home and see all the positive updates. You'll continue to be in our prayers!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful birthday present!! Thank you for sharing your journey.

kirky said...

My first time posting a comment....my Dad is my hero too, as he loves us as God truly does, unconditionally and fully. Tom, you too are an example of this same type of love and I am seeing that more and more. I love you with all my heart....you are also my hero! My love to you my brother on this very memorable and special birthday....

Kirky, Kristine, and yes, sometimes your Krissy (but don't tell anyone :)

Mari said...

This must have been your best birthday ever, Tom, to see Jacob's incredible smile, standing, & a big birthday hug!!! :-) Wow, what a difference from a month ago! The miracle of feeling joy again, awe & happiness in each new daily 'now huge' steps in Jacob's recovery! May God continue to bless you & your whole family beyond all you can imagine and pour His favor over you throughout the year ahead! Happy Birthday Tom, and much love to you all from the King fam!

kirky said...

I just had to make a comment....yes my Dad, our Dad is a complete role model of God's unconditional love, acceptance, and giving....he would and will do ANYTHING for us. However, you, my dear brother Tom are so much of this same role model who exemplifies these very same qualities. You are amazingly giving, kind, patient, and loving, and I so thank you for being these things! On this very memorable birthday, you are a blessing and a joy in my and our lives....thank you...

In love always,

Kirky, Kristine, and yes, sometimes even Krissy (don't tell anyone!)

Caitlin Mackenzie said...

Thanks for continuing to share your journey. Happy Birthday, Tom.