Thursday, August 21, 2014

God Is A Shelter of Hope In Our Storm

The Lord is faithful to ALL his promises and loving toward ALL he has made. The Lord is near to ALL who come to him, To all who call on him in truth.  He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he HEARS their Cray and SAVES them.  The Lord watches over ALL who love him.  Psalm 146:13, 18-20

I love promises from the God.  I love the guidance from the Holy Spirit over my time in His word this morning.  No matter the circumstance or challenges we face, God is good ALL the time.  He is faithful ALL the time, and He is comforting us in His unending love.

I am so thankful for the peace God continues to pour into my soul, so thankful that even with discouraging news, it doesn't rob me of my peace or my hope.  Because it is not in what the doctors say, but only in the unfailing love of my Savior.  With this I write with tears, because it's the precious truth.

We had a very rough night last night and early this morning with another medical setback.  A pocket of air has developed in Adam's brain. It has put pressure on his brain that has caused Adam's right arm and leg to barely move.  It has caused some other issues as well.  Adam's team of doctors put him on oxygen and put him on a flat bed order, meaning he can only lay flat in bed, other than meals and using the restroom.  They are hoping that the oxygen and laying flat will help the air pocket to dissolve.  They also adjusted Adam's shunt again.  The shunt will help to increase the ventricles making the brain a little larger in hopes to decrease the pocket of air on Adam's brain.  His shunt has been adjusted multiple times since we have been here.  The doctors are really trying to stabilize Adam's brain.

Adam will have another follow up CT scan tomorrow to see if the shunt, oxygen, and laying flat are all doing the trick to dissolve the air.  Adam's neurosurgeon has finally admitted that nothing about Adam is text book.  Nothing.  I knew this from the beginning... there is nothing text book about our God either.  He tends to work in miraculous ways, weaving his plans perfectly in and through our lives.  He is Adam's physician and He is at work in a mighty way.  Not just in Adam's brain but in the hearts of the doctors as they stand by amazed by there being no medical explanation as to why and how Adam is still here... He is still here because GOD is at work in my man!  God is our hope, our refuge, our strength, our healer, our statistic annihilator.  Praise the Lord that He has Adam in the safety of His arms, covered by His grace, and comforted with His love.

The doctors are baffled and I can't help but to rejoice knowing that God is not lost in how to handle Adam.  Thank you Jesus that you are our hope.

Continue to pray for Adam's FULL restoration. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Humbled By God's Presence

The word is so refreshing. Even more so than the refreshing 4 hours of consecutive sleep Adam and I both got for the first time in a week.

I am so thankful for the time God has given me every morning in the hospital to have time with him.  Last time when we were going through all the hospital time I coveted just moments with God.  But over this last week, He has immersed me with His unfailing love every morning. Psalm 143:8-11 was once prayed over us at church on December 30, 2012.  I often go back to this passage.  In the last couple of weeks I have really seen this passage come to life.  God is bringing me word of His unfailing love every morning as I continue to put my hope and trust in God alone.  I pray that He will make us aware and obedient to his will.  Even in this difficult journey God has made His joy so very present.

As I had my quiet time this morning, it truly refreshed me to face the day.  Adam surgery was late afternoon and was a very quick surgery.  On Saturday when Adam came out of surgery he wasn't awake, he was unable to communicate, or take care of is personal needs.  It took Sunday and Monday working again on those and still he isn't where he once was but he was able to communicate, take a very few unsteady steps, and take care of his personal needs again.  I was fighting quite a bit of fear going into this surgery not knowing if he was going to come out of surgery like he did on Saturday.  I cast my fear to the Lord and prayed continuously. 

The hospital Chaplin came in and spent some time in prayer with Adam, Cookie, and I before Adam's surgery.  Adam even wanted to pray and when he did he prayed for all the workers.  Adam's surgery was quick!  When I was able to see him, he was awake, alert, talking, and asking to take care of his personal needs!  Praise the Lord!!!!!  We are back on track!  When I was helping him to the restroom, even his steps were better than yesterday and better than this morning!  I'm rejoicing in all the answered prayers!

Yesterday when the neurosurgeon came to tell me that Adam was once again going back to the operating room, he told me that he operates on people very day that are in unlucky circumstances or situations.  He went on to say that while that might have been the case for Adam in the beginning of all this, Adam is now one of the luckiest people he has come across.  He said that given Adam's medical history and all that he has pulled through, he couldn't believe Adam was still here and fighting ever so hard through it all.  I told the neurosurgeon that luck had nothing to do with it.  That Adam is where he is today and has made it through all that he has because of God's grace and nothing more.

It seems that every surgery Adam has had here we have ended up with a different anesthesiologist every time.  Today when he came to get my consent on the surgery I didn't think anything of it.  Nothing out of the ordinary, just a routine signature.  Usually that is my only interactions with the anesthesiologist.  But today after he finished in surgery he came to find me.  Just to tell me how honored he felt caring for our family.  He said that after reading Adam's medical history and some conversation they had in the OR, he was incredibly touched by the love that Adam and I share.  He said that he's been doing this for years and have seen couples not make it through in far less circumstances than what we have faced.  He said that it was a humbling experience seeing our vows in action (PRAISE GOD).  He intentionally came to find me just to tell me that.  God is working here in Seattle.  His presence is being noticed!  Thank you for praying these prayers for us.  The medical staff here is seeing God at work.

Both conversation with the Neurosurgeon and with the Anesthesiologist were so humbling and encouraging.  Adam and I are getting ready to celebrate our 7th Anniversary, we prayed God would use are marriage and he really is.  I can stand and rejoice and sing in the storms of our circumstances because I can see the hand of God in it all.

Tonight we are finally out of the ICU again.  I am so thankful for the ICU and the staff, but I am glad Adam is stable enough to move out of there! We're hoping to get Adam back working with the hospital therapies tomorrow.  They will most likely have to redo all their evaluations from last week and get us back on our discharge plan.  Thank you all for your continued prayers in our journey.  They are the best gift our family has received.

This evening Adam and I enjoyed dinner with my brother and sister in law, who have faithfully been here hours on end since Saturday... I am so thankful for their company and for the hours they have spent with Adam and I.   Having them around, and Cookie here with Mackenzie has really made feel so blessed to be surrounded by family.  It's been a real comfort for sure. 

Tonight I am recounting all my blessings and thanking God for all that He has done, all that He is doing, and all that He is going to do in this journey.  Thank you Jesus lives are being touched my the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Thank you God for supportive family and friends near and far. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Trusting God As Adam Goes Back to Surgery

This morning as I was helping Adam get ready to go to a CT scan, we had a few moments of waiting... okay more like 30.  We decided to toke advantage of the time and I asked him if I could read to him and he said yes.  I opened my bible and when I saw the passage it opened to I decided to read it to him because it seemed so appropriate.  It's a familiar passage Matthew 6:25-34. We are called specifically not to worry in this passage, we are reminded that God gives us all that we need when we need it.  I was thankful for the reminder again while reading it, but had no idea how important it was going to be as our day unfolded.

Adam is going back into surgery again tomorrow. 

So having read this first and having spent time in prayer for Adam and with Adam I was incredibly touched by how God threw that into our morning before we found out we would even be facing the OR again.  It's just like God to give us all we need.  All day as we waited and waited results, these scripture verses rang in my head.  All day I was reminded not to worry but instead lift into God's hands through prayer.

After the last 2 surgeries Adam had to have a drain placed in his brain to drain off excess fluid, after the first surgery part of why Adam was rushed into surgery is because the drain had already been removed and the pressure kept building shifting his brain and adding lots of pressure.  The drain from this last surgery was going to be taken out today.  The first drain came out smoothly and quick.  The drain today came out half way and then got stuck, so the physician assistant, then got another physician assistant and he couldn't get it out either.  Next came a neurosurgeon, who also couldn't get it out.  So they decided to order an x-ray to see if it was stuck on anything.  The neurosurgeon who performed the emergency surgery on Saturday came walking into Adam's room and instantly my heart sunk into my stomach. 

However, he didn't know any of this was going on, he was coming to tell me the results of Adam's CT scan from this morning and took another look at his shunt.  The neurosurgeon adjusted Adam's shunt yesterday turning it down half way.  Adam's brain has been through 2 surgeries and 3 shunt adjustments.  When I filled him in that we were just waiting for someone from neurosurgery to review the x-ray and tell us the plans he said he would do that.  He pulled up Adam's scan in the room and showed me.  It's wasn't stuck on anything but the drain was in a tight squeeze.  He then decided to give it one more shot, so he slowly and steadily was pulling when it broke.  About 3 inches of tubing is stuck inside.  So back into surgery Adam goes to have it removed. 

His surgery isn't scheduled so I have no idea what time he'll be in surgery tomorrow.  Please pray for Adam all day tomorrow.  He has been through so much and it's only been 6 days since we started all of this.  Pray for his strength, insurance, perseverance, and courage to keep fighting.  After each surgery we have seen some significant setbacks, and we are slipping further from his baseline.  Like I have said before... When God is directing the journey, there are no steps backwards.  Everything is in HIs hands and in His plans.

I am in awe of how incredibly strong my man is, how incredibly sweet and thoughtful he is, and what.fighter he is.  He inspires me to keep my eyes fixed on God,   After all God is the only one that knows what's going on in all of this and my hope and trust is in him.

PS.  I will update more on Adam another time... I am so tired and I need to close my computer and fall asleep.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mighty Warrior Meets Surgery Again

Thank you to all of you who received word or saw my frantic post and got down on your knees and prayed for us.  Today has been a roller coaster of a day. 

Let's start from the beginning... MY MAN IS A MIGHTY WARRIOR!  I have said that since the beginning, he is a warrior in God's army.

Adam slept through the night very well, almost too well, but I chalked it up to him being post surgical and needing rest.  He was easy to arouse when it came to breakfast so again, I took this as a good sign..  It kind of started from here... when Adam was up eating breakfast with my I noticed he was very swollen in the face, but again he just has his drain removed yesterday so I expected to see some swelling.  Next the occupational therapist who worked with Adam yesterday felt that Adam was doing much better today in his session than yesterday and I agreed. He washed himself, brushed his teeth, moved around well... he was doing so good!  After OT Adam wanted to climb back into bed and all he wanted to do was sleep.

Adam's parents have been in town since Adam's surgery on Wednesday and came to the hospital on their way out of town which was around noon.  As Adam continued to sleep and sleep, he would wake up to go to the bathroom and his speech was much worse very quickly.  I asked Adam's nurse to page the doctor so I could ask some questions.  I wanted to know if what I was seeing was typical post surgery and having just taken the drain out yesterday or if I needed to be concerned.  He told me he would like to get a CT scan just to make sure there were no brain bleeds from the surgery, and after asking if he was doing this just for my benefit, he said no it was for his, then I was relieved to know that it would be only a matter of minutes and I would know Adam would be fine.

Only... that wasn't the case.

Thankfully there were no brain bleeds, but instead there was a large collection of fluid, creating an huge increase of pressure in Adam's brain.  It caused Adam's brain to shift significantly in just a short amount of time.  This meant emergency surgery to get the pressure relieved quickly before it could get worse or cause damage.  Adam was in surgery with 40 minutes of the results being shared with me.  Not a lot of time to process all that was going on. To be honest I still haven't processed it fully, my emotions are all over from relieved to a complete sobbing mess.  And. I am sure I speak for Adam's parents too, that they feel the same way... Adam's parents got all the way home (about 4 hours) and Adam's mom came all the way back. (Bringing my kiddo with her)

Oswald Chambers writes "We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties." Prayer requests were sent out quickly and the response was humbling and overwhelming... thank you! I said this morning in my post and I will say it again, you all play a huge role in the "Root For Adam" team, your prayers mean more to me than I could ever express.  It's because of these prayers and God's hand in it all that there was peace as I waited out surgery.  Peace that once again washed over me.  God's peace, His hand was in all of this and just as I blogged about this morning, he has allowed this and I still believe all that the Bible says about how good God is!  God is so good! 

Adam's surgery went very well, neurosurgeon said that he was pleased how things turned out.  He also talked about Adam's shunt, he decided to turn it up to the maximum setting which is going to plump things up a little and hopefully help to stabilize the pressure.  They will be doing follow up CT scans to monitor this significant change.  Adam's shunt was on the second to lowest setting before this adjustment so it is a big change.  The neurosurgeon also said that they were able to catch it quickly enough and said that was very encouraging.

Please pray for Adam to recover quickly and with NO more complications.  Pray for rest and comfort as know he is dealing with pain on top of pain.  Pray also that he will be able to take things by mouth soon.  This is important as he has his seizure medications that he is used to taking, while he is lethargic and unable to take pills they had to put him on a different medication via IV.  So please pray with all these changes and surgeries that there will be no seizures.  Pray for quick stability so that we can get out of the ICU.  I will update more when I can, I am exhausted and still processing all of this.

I am rejoicing again for God's sovereignty and his protection over Adam as he under went surgery again.  God is so good!  My man is a might warrior for sure! 

PS... It felt so good to hug and kiss my kiddo!


PLEASE PRAY FOR ADAM, HE IS IN EMERGENCEY SURGERY.  I will update more later as I process this myself.

Actions Speak Louder

I am really learning throughout my life, whether as a mom, or an advocate for my man, living out my faith is far more important than just sharing with words my faith.  I am not discounting the importance of words and especially when it come to sharing our faith but it all comes down the that old saying "actions speak louder than words". 

Last night I was blessed to see God at work through our actions as a family. A nurse came into Adam's room to thank me for all the help that I have been in taking care of my man.  She began asking questions about Adam and as I shared bits and pieces of our life before and of our journey I explained that I never see Adam's injury as an accident. (If you have been reading the blog for awhile, you have heard me say this)  There has been so much good that has come from Adam's injury, and I can see my own prayers answered through this.  Before Adam's injury I can remember praying asking God very specifically for certain characteristics and God is answering those prayers through this journey.  Not the path I would have chosen but because God did I know it is good.  He is at work in and all the way through this journey. 

As I was sharing this with the nurse, she couldn't understand my outlook.  She said "but it's been so long, why aren't you angry that Adam's not better?". I told her I believe what the bible says I told her the bible says that God has all the days ordained for us and were written before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16). I also told her that God has a plans to give hope and a future.  (Jeremiah 29:11)
I also told her that God knew it wasn't always going to be easy (John 16:33) but that he would supply our every needs (Philippians 4:19) and His grace would be sufficient no matter what we were facing or how long time has passed (2 Corinthians 12:9.  I explained that God has been our comfort and strength through it all (2 Corinthians 1:4, Psalm 28:7).  I can't only believe part of this, if I truly believe the bible I have to believe all of this, trust Him completely, and never giving up on faith but persevere the race marked before us.

Such a sweet moment shared with Adam's nurse.  Not sure she fully understood, but God planted a seed none the less.  Please continue to pray for all those involved in Adam's care, pray for opportunities like we had last night and for showing God's love and peace not just telling of it.

Well, as far as my man... He's amazing!  I just love him.  It doesn't look like we will be transferring to the rehab hospital until Monday or Tuesday, again, this is pending insurance also.  But for now the surgeons are still closely watching his incision and managing his pain.  Please pray for Adam, as his pain has increased, so has his agitation.  His agitation I believe is a result of his pain.  He keeps telling his nurses and doctors that he's not in pain and when I ask him he'll say he is.  He is struggling more with his Aphasia and unable to accurately let them know when he is in pain.

Adam spent the day in and out of sleep, but when he was awake, he's working hard to make sense of everything.  Pray for clarity to come quickly.  He played a game with his mom, was able to take about 20 steps with the assistance of the physical therapist.  Not anywhere near baseline, but we are on the road to get back!!!  He's so amazing and his ability to persevere is truly an inspiration. He worked also with occupational therapy, we are noticing an uninvited, and not welcomed muscle tone.  Adam had a lot of muscle tone after injury and we have spent the last 4 years battling it. Since his injury Adam has really worked through a lot of the tone.  On a daily basis, he battles just a little bit but since Thursday he has had an increase of uncomfortable muscle tone.  This will be something we can we can focus on more as we get into the inpatient rehab.  All this to say, please continue to pray for Adam's complete healing, FULL RESTORATION! 

Thank you all for walking this journey with us, your role as members of the "Root For Adam" team is so valued and appreciated!  We love you and couldn't do this without the love, support, and prayers you have blessed our family with.  Thank you!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rejoicing In The Battle

Oh my goodness, it's been a long 24 hours and yet it has flown by.  I will begin tonight by catching you all up from last night...

Adam's surgery went very well and his bone flap looks amazing.  Like I shared last night Adam was speaking after waking up from the surgery.  Not only did he know his name last night, but he also was able to ask for me by name as well... so much to be thankful for! 

Adam did not sleep well last night at all, he was very uncomfortable and being in the ICU is the toughest unit to be in, he tends to be interrupted the most.  Thankfully today Adam was stable enough to be sent to a step down unit so no more ICU!!!  Adam spent most of his day in therapy evaluations and pain.  All therapy evaluations agree with doctor recommendations for inpatient rehab.  Hopefully we will find out tomorrow if insurance will approve it and if there is a bed available for Adam.  Please pray for these very specific needs.  For Adam to get back to a normal baseline quickly this seems like the best plan.  We know no matter what, God is directing Adam's recovery and wherever we will end up will be by His design. We are trusting Him completely.

We were able to get Adam out of bed this morning with occupational therapy and he did pretty good with assistance.  AMAZING for just having brain surgery!  GO ADAM!!!!  This afternoon was a struggle... He wasn't able to make it through the entire physical therapy evaluation and was very unsteady on his feet, I really think this was because he was so tired and in quite a bit of pain.  Last evaluation of the day was speech therapy.  I was impressed by how well he was able to participate even though he was exhausted.  He has been able to get an hour of sleep here and there but could really benefit from a good night's sleep tonight.  He's relaxed now relaxing and I'm hoping on the verge of sleep. 

Tomorrow we should finish working with the staff here on goals and planning for the days ahead.  Thank you all for praying for us.  It's been an amazing journey to get here.  It's been interesting being back in a hospital setting again surrounded in the Neuro ICU and in the Neuro step down unit by so many just beginning a journey of their own.  Not only has it provided opportunity to share our story and God's love, the power of His healing, and tell of the miracles we have seen in Adam's journey because of God, but it also has been startling and overwhelming to see just how far we have come. 

We have so much to rejoice and a God to rejoice in.  I am laying here next to Adam in the hospital in tears at all that we have to rejoice in.  Jesus loves me this I know! 

All our sickness, all our sorrow
Jesus carried up the hill
He has walked this path before
He is walking with us still

Turning tragedy to triumph
Turning agony to praise
There is blessings in the battle
So take heart and stand amazed

Rejoice, when you cry to Him he hears
Your voice, He will wipe away your tears
Rejoice in the midst of suffering
And He will help you sing

Above are just a few of the lyrics from what has become my favorite worship song.  It's rejoice by Dustin Kensuke