Friday, January 29, 2010

lots of stuff - forward motion

First and foremost I apologize for not passing along sooner the website for David Carson: David is in Idaho and is making some significant strides but continues to definitely need continual prayer support.

On the left hand side of this blog I have tried to find a good way to list the links. There are those that need our critical prayers as did our family as Jacob hung on to life. There are also those that need our continual prayers as they encounter rehabilitation and adaptation from their life-altering injuries. Please continue to hold them up as a community and pass on the prayers to others. It is an amazing privilege to write to them and confidently say that the Jacob's Journey Community (of which I do not know how many) are praying for them.

I also want to acknowledge and thank the dental staff of Drs. Ali Heidari and Ramin Moradi in Aptos. They have been such a tremendous help to our family and our own dental needs as well as whitening teeth as a way to help us out financially. They are a wonderful and amazing group of people and I know will continue to be a blessing to all they meet.

As you already know, Jacob's last dosage of Vancomycin was administered Monday night. Wednesday his picc line has become another souvenir. Jacob was more excited about not having to have the antibiotic bottle hanging from his arm for 3 hours a day than the actual removal of the picc line. But it is so nice to see his arm free and to not have my socks cut up any more. (Debbie cut up tube socks to make bands to go over his arm - it kept the picc from dangling on his arm.) So Jake, being infection free now for over two weeks is able to move forward with his head surgery. We have a pre-op appointment for February 9th!!!

So currently we are praying for infection to remain away from Jacob and that all would remain on course for surgery to happen as soon as possible.

Jacob and I had an interesting discussion about his thumb yesterday. He honestly has been frustrated with it and has been talking about just wanting it to be removed. He even began researching prosthetic thumbs which we were told did not exist - you can find anything on Google. We even talked about a friend Darren who could make him something. He actually had a good point in that the thumb and its infection was keeping him from moving forward and that at the end of it he will just have an ugly looking thumb that does not bend. For me it produced guilt as I remembered standing there in his room as he was in a coma praying for the Lord to spare his life, spare his arm, spare his thumb. So many have prayed for his thumb and for me it is the evidence of miracle, mercy, grace. God answered our prayer - and it continues to blow me away. Should I not have asked for this? Was my prayer selfish? Did my prayer and God's answer increase Jake's pain?

God's view is so much greater than mine. And I hold closely to this - His answers are perfect. The waiting that we have suffered through and the time that it has taken for healing continues to build and grow strength in Jacob and in us all. It feels like we can finally begin to see the fog lifting on the "waiting" period and begin to stride toward what is next. Jake is able to use his hand more and more and it seems - he made a fist with his right hand today and amazed me at how much he can close his hand.

We are moving forward. Debbie is going to back to work part-time next week. Another big adjustment but we all agree it is time. She has given so much to be Jake's nurse and loves to be at Mountain School. Robbie starts classes next week and Jensen continues to do so well. So for me, Jake and I will spend more time together as I become the primary one to take him to appointments. I am also taking steps to move in my career search. God has flamed a vision that I have had for a while and I am taking steps toward that. I will share more as I move forward but part of my passion is to surround those encountering tragedy as we have been surrounded and lifted up.

It is time to move forward. Jake and I met with his teacher at school on Thursday. Afterward Jake was able to stop by Wood Shop to say hi to some friends and the teacher. It was so good for me to see Jake moving back toward where he is suppose to be and to see others so excited to see him. We have been and are so incredibly blessed.

the torment of my soul consumed me
the anguish of my heart bound me
thrown deep into a pit my cries were mute

yet you o Lord stood beside me
holding me close mending my soul, my heart
you heard my cry before it was uttered

recovery is rocky and steep
the scars limiting my movements
paralyzing fear never far away

yet you o Lord stand with me
hold me close - mend my soul, my heart
hear my cry, remove my fear

Grace and peace in abundance,

Tom (daddy)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

picc line, X-ray, good reminder

The house is very quiet. I have maybe an hour to myself and don't know where to begin. So I thought I would start with a quick update as to what is going on today for us. Robbie made it back down to Biola. Work starts today at noon. His mess is gone. Amazing how one added adult to the house adds to the stuff. But of course we miss his stuff. He went back I think with each of having a stronger sense that it is exactly where he is suppose to be. I am looking forward to hearing what God is going to do through him and in him as he strives to connect with people and complete this semester. 

Jensen is of course at school. Minimum day today. It is my day to focus on Jensen and Deb on Jacob. Yesterday was the opposite. We had one appointment yesterday that ended up being a longer day. Dr. B (the main plastic surgeon that we have been seeing for his thumb) did some debridement and called Dr. E out of surgery to take a look. Overall it looks incredibly good. The focused on three areas. Two toward the tip of the thumb is where the bone was showing through. That is healed and good. The one area toward the palm is about the diameter of a nail. He went in and chipped away at the bone there to aid in the skin growing over and not around. He drew blood which is a healthy sign. Dr. E was also excited to see hair growing on the thumb as it means the thumb is healthy enough to grow the follicles. 

So the big decision yesterday was if Jake would get the picc line out or not. Dr. P the Infectious Disease doctor is pushing Drs. E and B to have it come out. Jake is off the Vankomycen and a dry picc line is not good. Dr. E wanted an extra just to make sure that they are not missing something before they say "yes." They also wanted to take a look at the pins in his thumb (they hang out the tip about an 8th of an inch and go clear passed the joint.) The pins are securing the thumb so that it fuses. Jake will basically have a post - not able to bend the thumb joint. 

It took about an hour and a half to wait for the X-ray and then we went to a coffee shop to try to do homework (no seats - sitting out the cold did not last long). We waited for a phone call from Dr. B to say come back and get the picc line out. By 4 we were ready to head home and get the line out today. Jake had to go back anyway for an appointment. I think I wanted it out yesterday more than Jacob did. He had already figured it would not happen as they had said last week. He was right. I think I just see this as such a huge step - a huge celebration of forward motion. 

So today Debbie and Jake are getting a splint made to increase the stretchability of his right arm. He can raise it to be about even with his shoulder now - huge increase. The underarm was the worst damaged area. It reminds me when I think about it how thankful I am that he has his arm - even his thumb. The answered prayers are there. 

Monday night I had the amazing opportunity to conduct a funeral for a beautiful lady. I did not know her but know her family. It was a ministry to me to hear them describe their mom - to catch a glimpse of her life and to see the consistent love those she touched had for her. Grandchildren, children, friends, neighbors - even someone from the hospital she met - applauded her humility, selflessness, compassion, kindness, gentleness, her gentle spirit, and how she quietly overcame adversity. Though I did not know Doris before her death - I got to know her after death. I got to see her in the faces of those that she touched. I was overwhelmed. I was also thankful. Thankful that God had allowed me to not yet see the funeral of my son. That we have an opportunity to work on and display before God and others these same qualities. It is easy to slip back to non-loving behavior. I keep thinking and wondering what the world would be like if we increased the love that is described in 1 Corinthians 13. 

Love is patient, love is kind. 
It does not envy, it does not boast, 
it is not proud. It is not rude, 
it is not self-seeking, 
it is not easily angered, 
it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil 
but rejoices with the truth. 
It always protects, always trusts, 
always hopes, always perseveres. 
Love never fails. 

Everything that is not love that we strive for is an obnoxious noise that strives for attention but irritates and disturbs those who hear it. I needed and continue to need this reminder that I might be a blessing to those that I see and that it might be a sweet song to God in how I care for and love him and others. God truly sees how I treat people as how I treat him. I got some work to do. 

We are blessed to be a blessing. 

Tom (daddy)