Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Quick update tonight...
Adam had an ICU kind of day. I am going to start with my continued rejoicing in Adam following commands! I am still so thrilled that he has consistently been following commands. I am so proud of him!
Adam was able to rest for a good portion of the day, but he also worked a good portion of the day too. His bed converts into a chair position and he sat up for several hours. Speech therapy came by and rounded on Adam today. She worked with Adam to swallow ice chips. He opened his mouth and received at least one of them, but swallowing is still inconsistent... but he's working on it! I believe in him and one day he will be swallowing consistently to be able to try foods again!
This evening Adam took a little turn... I was bathing him and he started to throw up. The nurse and I worked to get his vitals under control, because his oxygen level dropped and heart rate was all over the place... once we got him comfortable we let him rest to catch his breath we went to finish getting him cleaned up and he started throwing up again. Poor guy. The blessing is because we were right there both times, Adam did not aspirate! We are waiting results to figure out what the cause might be, the doctor ordered an xray, and blood work. If Adam's neurological exams change they will order a CT scan for the morning. So far no change in Adam's exams. Despite how upset his tummy might be, he has still continued to follow commands tonight!
I am so excited to see Adam's progress and to see him following commands. He is working so hard and I could not be more proud! He's such an incredible fighter and his strength continues to amaze me. I know God has Adam in His hands and will continue to carry him through this season. We are committing to the Lord all of this, and trusting in Him... and this too shall pass.
Monday, August 30, 2010
After talking with Dr. Ewend today I do believe I have convinced him of putting in a programmable shunt for Adam. This is a victory because for whatever reason UNC does not like to use programmable shunts, but in Adam's case I believe it's necessary. Still, he is going to watch and monitor Adam over the next week and decide what he thinks will be best for the long run.
Another praise of the day... physical therapy and occupational therapy came by Adam's room today and sat him on the edge of the bed, and for quite a while Adam held his head up all by himself! He was working so hard on balancing and he did awesome!!! I am so proud of him!
Part 5 of "Our Story"
That first year, God continued to grow me and teach me to be Adam’s wife. I wanted to learn everything I could in regards to being a Godly wife. I am pretty sure I read every scripture that had to do with my role as a wife, marriage, and becoming a gentle and kind woman like scripture calls us women to be. This was not an easy thing for me; I had become a strong, independent, feminist… that I had lost my true femininity in the process. I was more concerned with being able to do things on my own and my way that I never learned to embrace the way God made me. To be a submissive, soft, and gentle woman doesn’t mean I can’t still be strong and independent, as long as my independence doesn’t mean being independent from God or my husband. I have found over the last couple of years, that when I embrace my femininity and the role of a wife and mother they way that God has intended those roles to be I am stronger and feel more comfortable in my skin then I have ever been before.
I spent the last 2 and half years researching, reading, studying, praying, and interviewing what I perceived to be Titus 2 women. I have gathered a lot of my research and personal notes and compiled what I call my “love notebook”. Adam has always called it my diary, but I don’t see it like that… I see a diary as a secret and this is no secret. Any time that I have come across a friend in a difficult season of their marriage, I am able to share my notebook and use it and our story to encourage them. Adam and I have faced difficult times in our marriage, though we have not been married long. God used those times to draw us closer to Him and to grow deeper in our marriage. We became students of God’s plan for marriage and I became a student of my husband.
Both Adam and I had been married before and we wanted to protect our marriage the best we could to protect us against the odds stacked up against us. Adam and I had heard a statistic that radically changed our marriage… only 1% of marriages who pray together daily, fall apart. Adam and I looked at this statistic as God’s insurance plan for our marriage. We took this very seriously and became very intentional about our time together. Every morning we would sit over a cup of coffee, have our devotion time, pray together and for each other, and talk about our day. Ever since Adam’s accident I have tried to maintain this time between us… I believe it is so incredibly important. Nothing has ever made me feel more loved by my man then when he has taken us into a time of prayer, especially if we are in a moment of intense fellowship (we don’t argue, we have intense fellowship). Nothing is more attractive than my man spiritually leading our family, that is my favorite quality.
Ladies, I challenge you to become students of your husbands. Affirm your man and compliment him… let him know how much you appreciate him. If you find this hard, start by taking your negative thoughts captive and ask God to give you a new love for your man and ask Him to let you see your husband they way God sees him. Men, I challenge you to take 5 minutes before you leave the house, find a quiet place with your wife and pray for her and over the day… this will make her feel cherished. This might be difficult and awkward at first, but surrender to Him and He will guide you. Remember our marriages are a calling from God and ministering to our spouses is vital, so live your life worthy of the calling you have received. Ephesians 4:1 &2 “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
When I began my journey of having to take my negative thoughts captive and start from that point, I never even imagined in my wildest dream that my marriage would or could ever be anything better than what Hollywood shows, but when I let the Holy Word show me how my marriage could be and I allowed God to guide me into my role as a Godly wife… never in my wildest dream could I ever dream marriage could be as wonderful as I have been able to experience it to be. God has given me a new love for my man every day, He has allowed me to see bits and pieces of my husband through His eyes. He has guided me with His Word and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us, the best is yet to be.
I want to leave you with this… every once in a while Adam would leave notes for me to find (I have kept every single one of them). The one I want to share with you tonight only had this scripture on it… My beloved… “How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride. How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice.” Song of Solomon 4:10.
I love my man more with every passing moment and I am so thankful and grateful that we are enduring this difficult season in our life without any regrets. I am so blessed to have a man who loves his Savior, who continued to draw close to Him and in return allowed us to grow deeper in a more intimate, passionate love than I ever knew was possible. Adam I love you with all my heart, always and forever.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
So part of our new normal is getting used to spending our family time, the 3 of us in Adam's hospital room. There is something so normal about the 3 of us being together. Today we spent the day by Adam's bedside, encouraging him, sitting with him, praying for him, taking care of him... just being with him. I have watched so many tender and sweet moments where Mackenzie is at Adam's side just talking to him about whatever happens to be on her mind. Without reserve she climbs up next to him and lifts his arm to set it around her as if he's holding her. I am so proud of both of them and my heart is full, they have both worked so hard to have such a special relationship.
Adam had a very quiet day, he's still resting quite a bit during his day. Last night Adam didn't sleep well, and therefore led him to be asleep most of the day today. Dr. Ewend ordered another CT scan, he wanted to see if there has been any changes with the amount of fluid on Adam's brain to help decide what type of Ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VP Shunt). Normally our bodies make about 500cc's (or about 17oz) of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and our bodies reabsorb it. Adam's body is still producing, but it doesn't reabsorb any of it and this is what the shunt helped with. The EVD (extraventricular drain) is replacing the shunt while it's out, and with the EVD we are actually able to see the exact amount of CSF Adam is draining.
Adam's CT showed no change, he's still showing large ventricles so they can't even adjust the EVD to see if Adam would be able to absorb some of his own CSF, because if they did it would cause too much intercranial pressure for him. So the good news is this will help them to prepare and decide for the right kind of VP shunt for Adam. This will be Adam's third, the first one that was a non-programmable one failed, the second one was a programmable one and this proved to save us because the doctors can adjust it, and the third is undecided. I let Dr. Ewend know my opinion and I know he is taking it into consideration, but no decisions will be made as to which one he will choose for several more days.
I have to laugh about this... I have been trying to get Adam' to take vitamins for the last year and a half and he has just refused, so I was talking with Adam's neurologist (Dr. Jordan) and asked him about vitamins and he ordered vitamins for him... this makes me laugh. He's now getting vitamin C and I am waiting to hear if he can get vitamin B, E, and D... but hey, we're off to a good start.
Tonight I had the awesome privilege of watching our good friend (and a member of our small group) and his daughter get baptized. It was such a wonderful joyful celebration to watch someone surrender all that they are to Him. God is glorified when we come to Him and surrender our lives. Being able to surrender is a daily sometimes moment by moment choice. To surrender is a voluntary act on my part to hand everything over to God, remembering that I am his sheep and He is the Shepard. I wrote awhile ago that sheep cannot physically carry loads because it will cause their spinal cords to collapse. I believe there is a reason we are His sheep, we are not to carry our loads and burdens on our own. I am learning daily to surrender my all to Him. Surrendering to God involves a relationship, and this relationship involves trust and faith.
This is something I found in one of my quiet times, its served as a good check up for me to ask myself am I fully surrendered...
Surrendering is an act of worship. Ask God to change your viewpoint so you can worship Him through a surrendered spirit.
Surrender is a form of humility. James 4:6-7 says, "But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:6-10).
Surrender your mind, will, and emotions. This is often the toughest part of surrendering. Romans 6:13 says, "Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness."
Surrendering to God is life-changing and freeing. God desires that we be over-comers! 1 John 4:4 says, "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
Like I mentioned above, to surrender it all is something I am always having to work on. God has shown me that when I truly surrender, He is there and it's for Him to carry the weight, it's my responsibility to have faith, to trust, to believe that He is in control. One thing I have learned on this journey, I cannot worry, have doubt, or fear AND completely trust and be sold out, surrendered to Christ trusting and believing He is in control... fear and trusting cannot coexist... I can't worry and trust in Him at the same time. I am choosing to believe, trust, and hold onto my faith, because He is enough for me. I have to allow Him to guide my steps... Jeremiah 10:23 says "I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps." Psalm 37:23 (NKJV) "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord"... I can't even imagine where God will take my family if I continue to surrender and allow Him to guide our steps.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Today Adam was given a new PICC line. This time in his left arm, they were going to put it back in his right arm, but when they did the ultrasound of the veins they discovered a blood clot in his right arm. The doctors told me this most likely is in direct result of the removal of his last PICC line. They are treating this blood clot and will be monitoring it with ultrasounds. Adam was given a double the dose of morphine than he usually gets when they were inserting his PICC line, this was to help him relax his left arm. He tends to keep the left arm flexed because he has so much muscle tone it just tenses and is very tight. Several hours after the insertion of his PICC line he was given another dose because he was showing signs of pain, so Adam spent a good portion of the day resting comfortably. Every time I would say something or touch him he would flutter his eyes to look at me, he's so amazing, it just blesses me so much that he knows me.
Part 4 of "Our Story"
This is a difficult post for me because it is so personal, but it's such a huge part of our story. I contemplated whether or not to even share this part of our journey, but God reminded me that He brought us through the first year of our marriage so that we can comfort others who are facing difficult seasons in their marriages. This post is me being completely vulnerable, real, and raw.
Our first year was not easy. I think I can honestly say it was the toughest year of my life. On our first anniversary Adam and I had talked about how we almost didn't make it that first year, this is no exaggeration. This is when God really grabbed hold of me and began teaching me what it meant to be a Godly wife. What most people take years to build up (kids, schedules, careers, debt, ect.) Adam and I faced this the second we said "I do". It was a whirlwind. I remember thinking that our marriage was going to be all romance, date nights, long talks in the evenings... ect. After getting married I looked to Adam to fill me up and to make me happy. In doing that and having that attitude I set Adam up to fail (and boy, did he feel it) and I was left feeling miserable and wondering if I had made the right decision. How quickly the enemy was trying to devour what God had intended for His good. I entered marriage with a "what have you done for me lately" kind of attitude, instead of "what have I done for you lately" kind of attitude. I was so self-centered and was so frustrated and Adam was just as frustrated feeling like nothing he ever did or could do was enough.
One night after being married for 9 months I finally fell to my knees and surrendered my marriage to God. I had no idea what it meant to be a wife, let alone a Godly wife. I spent that night on my knees in prayer the entire night asking God to teach me what it meant to be a Godly wife. I asked that He would teach me to be the wife that He had in mind for Adam. I asked Him to teach me how to love, something I thought I knew how to do, but looking back I had no clue... I only knew what a superficial kind of love was. That night my life changed forever. God showed me so clearly that it was me that needed the attitude adjustment and it was me that He needed to work.
I want to share with you something that God spoke to me that I wrote down in my journal... "You rely too much on human flesh to make you happy. That will only lead you to feeling empty because human flesh will only ever let you down, but I will never leave you nor forsake you. For I am the one who gave you life, I AM YOUR GOD. Be careful with the power you are giving to others and to the enemy for you cannot worship both the world and Myself. For in order to know Me, you must make Me the priority in your life and over your life, that is the only way to true happiness." God was showing me that I cannot rely on Adam to fill me up and make me feel loved and happy all the time... but when I seek that from God then and only then I am filled. When I seek God with all my heart, and allow Him to fill me up like only He can... then the littlest things that Adam does just fills me beyond and truly makes for an amazing marriage. When I am seeking for Adam to fill me up with out spending time and taking it to God first then I hurt both Adam and I and we're both left feeling empty.
I had to learn to make my man feel like the man he is. I prayed that God would teach me to love and respect Adam the specific way he needed it. God has continued to show me daily how to love my man, how to appreciate my man, and how to be a Godly wife. I had to learn that I was created to serve my man, to be his help-mate, I was created to be his crown. I love the scripture in Genesis 2 when God created woman for man. I love Matthew Henry's commentary, he says "Woman was made of man, for the man. That the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved." When I was able to see this perspective of how we were created, it was easy then to embrace serving my man. As I completely surrendered to God, He drew Adam so much closer to Him. The amazing thing, when I started making the changes that God revealed to me and studying biblically what it meant to be a Godly wife... God did amazing things in our marriage and for our marriage. As we were both seeking God and drawing closer to Him, we inevitably drew closer to one another. Adam and I talked regularly how we knew God was preparing us for something because God taught us so much about marriage so quickly.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Part 4 of "Our Story" will continue tomorrow. Tonight is going to be a quick update.
I am in love with my Savior, today I have been so blessed to be overwhelmed with His presence. My heart has been full of worship. Adam and I spent most of the day with worship music playing in his room on and off throughout the day. He tolerates about 20 minutes of music at a time. One song that really spoke to me today was Everything Falls by FEE. Please take the time to listen to the song posted below. Here is a sample of the lyrics "When everything falls apart, Your arms hold me together. When everything falls apart You’re the only hope for this heart. When everything falls apart and my strength is gone, I find You mighty and strong. You keep holding on, You keep holding on." God is our hope, He is the source of our hope, He is holding us every moment of this journey.
Today Adam kept me busy, while I was stretching him and doing his range of motion exercises with him I am pretty sure I got more of a workout then he did. He may have lost 60 pounds, but he’s still a big guy. Adam was cleared by the speech therapist to where the Passy Muir valve again (this is what fits over his trach and allows him to have a voice) and while I was stretching him today I put the valve on and he had a lot to say regarding me stretching him. I haven’t heard Adam’s voice in almost 2 weeks, so it was so good to hear.
I truly believe Adam is becoming more and more aware; he has had so many more facial expressions in the last couple of weeks. Not usually happy ones, but he definitely shows when he’s sad, in pain, or not happy. While I am rejoicing in seeing facial expressions, it breaks my heart to see when he’s sad and upset… he honestly looks like he’s trying to cry. Please pray for him as he becomes more aware.
Tomorrow I will continue with part 4 of “Our Story”, but tonight I am exhausted and need to get so much needed sleep. Exodus 33:14 "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Adam update... This morning when I got to Adam's room, the nurse and the occupational therapist were working with Adam and he was not happy about it. He was extremely tense, his heart rate was up, and his blood pressure was elevated. When I walked in and said good morning and saw his vitals on the monitor I walked over to his bed and got in his face and started to talk to him. He relaxed almost instantly, his heart rate came down, and his blood pressure returned to a normal zone... I was so honored that he knew I was there to comfort him and take care of him. The therapist and nurse noted and documented Adam's response to me... praise the Lord for such a wonderful gift, with today being our anniversary, I was touched to see such a response shared, but also documented.
Adam was a popular guy today... he had physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, infectious disease team, the neurologist team, and the neurosurgical team all round on him today... not to mention the moment by moment nursing care, he was busy. The infectious disease team have been keeping a close eye on Adam's CSF infection and drawing blood cultures to make sure the e-coli bacteria is responding to treatment. One 2 of the cultures they drew from Adam's PICC line came back positive for infection. So the infectious disease team decided it would be best to remove his PICC line... argh. Adam's veins are so week and collapse easily and having the PICC line in was so nice because they weren't having to change out his IV every 4 days and poke him over and over again just to try and draw blood. The doctor did say once they clear the infection and identify it they will replace the PICC line, but until then they had to put in an IV so that he can continue to get his IV antibiotics, and they will just have to stick him every time they need blood.
So please pray for Adam, he hates being poked and stuck so many times... pray also for anyone who has to draw blood from him, pray that they will be able to get it with the first try. Please continue to pray for Adam's spirit, that he will continue to keep fighting so hard. He is amazing and so strong, I am praying that God will continue to give him the strength that Adam needs moment by moment.
Tonight while dining on UNC's finest (cafeteria food), Mackenzie and I reflected on our year. Adam and I for the last 2 years included Mackenzie in our anniversary celebrations. After all we are celebrating that God joined the 3 of us together as a family. We spent the whole afternoon and evening together as a family, just the 3 of us... I loved it. Today was a weepy day for me, I am just missing Adam so much, some days the pain is so intense it feels like it could be the end of me. Please do not worry, in these moments, my joy and hope are not gone at all... just the sorrow and pain are so real. Oh how my heart aches and longs to have my man next to me. I miss him so much. With today being such a special day, it was just a little more difficult... praise God that His mercy is new every morning, and that we can start fresh every day.
Part 3 of "Our Story"
We decided early on that we were going to have a very short engagement. So 3 months after Adam proposed we were married. We were married at Heceta Head Lighthouse on the coast in Oregon. They had turned the innkeeper’s house into a bed and breakfast and we rented it out for the night so that we could enjoy the company of our family and celebrate with them. We had a very private ceremony, only our parents and siblings, and our closest friends were there to celebrate... it was perfect. It was so small and intimate we truly enjoyed the company of everyone there... so many wonderful memories.
Throughout this journey I have recited and read our vows to Adam. I would like to share a little from our ceremony as well as our wedding vows...
"I charge you both to always put your spouse before yourself. For husbands and wives who realize that God has joined them into a single entity will not foolishly try to hurt each other; they know they would only be hurting themselves. Each partner remember to express genuine love and understanding to the other, for one's mate is really part of one's own self. Always remember, a great marriage is when husband and wife walk through life together, trying to out bless one another."
"What you promise today must be renewed and redecided tomorrow. At the end of this ceremony, you will legally be husband and wife, but I challenge you to decide each day that stretches out before you, that you want to be married."
"I Amy, offer myself completely to you Adam, to be your wife in marriage. I promise to love you, honor you, and cherish you; to be faithful and true; to be kind and forgiving, and to be unselfish in this love. I promise to stand besides you always... in times of joy and in times of sorrow. I dedicate our marriage and home to the Lord Jesus. I pledge myself and all that I am to you and you alone. With this ring, I commit all my love to you. As I love the Lord, so do I love you. I receive you as God's gift to me. As God empowers me, I will seek to follow your leadership and support you in every challenge that life may bring. All that is mine is yours, until death and death alone shall part us."
I want to challenge all those who are married, when was the last time you thought about your vows? Or even recited them to your spouse? I challege all the wives... I kept a copy of my vows in a journal and pulled them out regularly before the accident as a way to evaluate myself as Adam's wife, I oftened read them and asked myself if I was upholding my vows... I challenge you to do the same. If you find yourself failing (which many times I do) pray and ask God to make you the wife for your husband that God had in mind when he created your husband. He will. Walk in His ways, He has already set forth the path.
This scripture was read at our wedding, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 "Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back to back and conquer."
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Today Adam has been the most alert I have seen him in days. This morning when the doctors rounded Adam slightly moved his big left toe on command twice! I was so ecstatic! If he responds to command tomorrow as well then they will count it as him responding to command, so please pray that Adam will respond tomorrow as well. The doctor put in an order today to lower Adam’s amount of oxygen he is receiving… he was receiving 60% and he has been weaned down to 28% so he is making good progress and his pneumonia is improving! I was able to do all of Adam’s routine care for him today, any time I can do his care it makes me really feel like I am a part of the team. I like to tell all the nurses and doctors that I need to be included in their teams because I was apart of Adam’s team before any of them.
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. ~Henry Ford
Its official I will be finding out this year if I am truly smarter than a 5th grader. I asked Mackenzie, when did this happen… when did she grow up to be a 5th grader, she said when I grew up to be old enough to be 30… touché. This morning was a difficult morning, I was really overwhelmed by all that needed to get done for Mackenzie at school and it was the first time I had seen some wonderfully familiar faces in a long time. It was just too much this morning. As I was a wreck, Mackenzie was all smiles and loving the fact that she was on safety patrol and was given the privilege to walk the kindergartners to their classrooms. With the help of many wonderful staff members and friends at Apex Elementary Mackenzie had a successful first day of school!
I left off from yesterday at the end of our first day. Adam and I prayed and talked about the direction we wanted to take our friendship. For me, being a single mom did not allow me to date just to date, nor did I want to. I truly wanted to experience God’s best. By this time Adam and I had both come to realize that God brought us together of a reason and a purpose, and we knew it would be long term. Adam and I decided we would court, rather than date. Courting for us just meant that we were dating with the intent of marriage.
During our courtship we enjoyed doing so many things together. Adam is extremely talented and creative when it comes to building and creating things. He decided he wanted to paint the entire inside of his house, do all his own trim work and crown molding, remodel a bathroom, texture the ceiling… and probably more than I can remember. He taught me how to do so much and I worked along side of him, we would spend our days off working around the house and then making dinner together. Adam and I both really enjoy cooking. Being next to each other working together is something we have always enjoyed and continue to enjoy. I am sure he knows that while he is working to get better, I am working at his bedside doing most of his care to aide him in getting better.
Adam had prepared Mackenzie and included her in our engagement. Without me knowing, he took her ring shopping and gave her a special job for a special day. Nine months after we started dating we were on our way home to Seattle from a weekend down at his parents’ house in Oregon and Adam decided to take a detour and road trip. I love day trips and scenic routes; this is something that Adam has grown to love throughout our years together. Anyway, we decided to drive along the coast on our way home. We had stopped and grabbed beach toys and every time we stopped that day we got a magnet to remind us of the day. So many wonderful memories from this day, I remember laughing so much and so hard this day. Along our journey we came to a covered bridge that was so cool, after driving through it we had to stop for pictures, then we moved along to a beach town in Washington called Long Beach. We were able to drive right out onto the beach and so with our 2 dogs and Mackenzie we played for hours. Mackenzie and I were working on a sand village when out of the blue Adam came over and grabbed my hand and stood me up, I thought he was just going to give me a sweet kiss, but instead he pulled out a ring and asked me to be his wife. I know I have said this many times, but I am truly honored and cherished that he chose me. I love my man.
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man."
Mackenzie was our personal photographer, Adam had already told her about our special day and asked that she take pictures.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Adam had a ticklish kind of day... this made me laugh so hard... while I was bathing him today, I was scrubbing his stinky feet real good and he kept pulling his foot away and trying to move away from me trying to scrub and I do mean scrub his feet. I would barely touch his foot and he started to pull it away... it was so funny. He used to have a negative reflex in his foot when he was being tickled it was called the Babinski's reflex, but today he actually had a normal reflex... God is healing Adam!
Adam's inter-cranial pressure (ICP) today was high (inter-cranial pressure is a result of fluid build up on his brain). The external ventricular drain (EVD) is helping to drain the fluid. The drain has different levels, the lower the level the more it drains and also shows Adam's brain is having a hard time absorbing his on fluid and continuing to show signs of damage. The higher the level the more Adam's brain is doing the work on it's own. So since his ICP was high the doctor ordered another CT scan. His CT scan showed no difference from the one done on Saturday, still shows a good amount of fluid sitting up there. The doctors said this is a reaction from his infection and his fluid will start to decrease once the infection clears. The doctors also found out that the strain of bacteria that was found in his cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) was e-coli. The doctors have already begun the proper antibiotics for Adam. Everyday he's looking better. Today Adam was a lot more alert than the last couple of days. Physical therapy even got him up in a special chair called a cardiac chair and he sat up for a couple of hours. So he's doing great!
Since our anniversary is coming up on Thursday I thought I would tell you all "The Story of Us". Adam and I met 4 years ago, this is horrible, and I can't believe I am admitting this... but I don't remember our first meeting. Adam and I met while working at Microsoft together... and he remembers meeting me the day he interviewed, I have no recollection of this meeting.
I do however remember his first day at Microsoft, he stuck out like a sore thumb. Microsoft has a wonderful laid back dress code, extremely casual... and in walks Adam in pin stripe slacks and a long sleeve button down shirt in the middle of summer. I remember thinking... "newbie". I teased him relentlessly that first week because he dressed up everyday, he would give me a smile (the Adam full grin smile) and not really know what to say back. After his first week on the job, I didn't see him for another month or so. It was this time that I remember Adam taking my breath away. We ran into each other in the hall and I saw that he had figured out the more casual dress code and asked him how he was adjusting. We talked for several minutes and I can still remember how incredibly handsome he was on that day. (My man still takes my breath away with his handsome good looks)
A couple weeks went by and we continued to run into each other and would always chat, we discovered we had a lot in common. We started taking walks together at lunch to get to know each other more. I was working long hours on a project and we would always bring by an apple or orange for me to keep going. He is so incedibly thoughtful. When Adam has his mind made up on something he has a hard time taking "no" for an answer. He tried for months to ask me out for dinner, but I politely declined each time.
At the time I was a single mom and I had just gave my life to Christ 14 months before I met Adam. I was trying to figure out how to life my life for my Savior on top of keeping up with a 6 year old and working full time... it was not easy. Adding a dating life to the mix seemed complicating, especially because if I was ever going to date again I was going to do it God's way (meaning no physical relationship before marriage). Adam was so persistent in asking me out and one day he caught me when I was too tired to politely say no again. Agreeing to have dinner with him was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
On the way to meet Adam, I prayed the whole way that God would close the door right away on this friendship if it was not going to be glorifying to Him. That first date was unforgettable, not because we did anything special, but because our conversation and time together was so amazing and comfortable. We were talking about our pasts and not always making right decisions in relationships and before ever having to say anything, Adam mentioned he wanted a different kind of relationship than he has had in the past. Adam let me know that if we were going to date, that he didn't want a physical relationship. I remember thinking, is this guy for real?!!! That night on my way home, I called my mom and told her I met the man I'm going to marry. I pretty sure she didn't believe me. That first date was so special being able to talk openly and freely and to have found that we really had so much in common and most importantly a common faith.
Song of Solomon 5:14 "This is my beloved and this is my friend"
Part 2 is coming tomorrow.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Matthew Poole wrote in 1690, "Thou keepest me, as it were, with a strong hand, in thy sight, and under thy power."
Thank you for all your prayers. Today has been a day of worship and praising God for all that He has done for us in this journey and continues to do. He truly is walking before us every step of this journey, sustaining us on this long road, and overcoming us with his power and love.
I am leaving you tonight with this song, if you have never heard it before I encourage you to read the lyrics. And let go so you can let God overcome you.
Overcoming Me By: Kutless
Some say it's crazy
That you'd stay here by my side
I don't want to spend a day
Without you in my life
Maybe I'm a dreamer
And it seems that I'm lost within my mind
Searching for the moment dreams and destiny collide
I just need you to love me
I can't stop you from overcoming me
It's brought me to my knees
I don't want you letting go of me
I'm standing in the pouring rain
I can't believe you'd do the same
I can't stop you from overcoming me
I am not deserving
Of the way you see me in your eyes
You take me for who I am
I guess I wonder why
Is all I can do in the meantime
And none of this can change the fact that lately
I've needed you around
I just need you to love me
I can't stop you from overcoming me
It's brought me to my knees
I don't want you letting go of me
I'm standing in the pouring rain
I can't believe you'd do the same
I can't stop you from overcoming me
I can't stop you from overcoming me
It's brought me to my knees
I don't want you letting go of me
I'm standing in the pouring rain
I can't believe you'd do the same
I can't stop you from overcoming me
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Psalm 118:28 “You are my God, and I will give you thanks, you are my God, and I will exalt you.”
Thank you for your prayers today, Adam’s surgery went well. The good news is they finally found the source of the infection… Since his ventricular shunt was exposed to the outside world and the incision was open it led to the cerebral spinal fluid being infected. It’s relief that the doctors finally figured out the source of infection and we can move forward with a plan of action. With this said the doctors removed all the hardware the installed on the right side of the brain. So that included the ventricular shunt and the subdural drain. When the doctors removed the shunt they were able to tell that he was starting to fail and was only going to be a matter of time before it was going to have to be replaced, so it was good that they had to go in and remove it before it caused a neurological decline. They put in an EVD again (external ventricular drain) to keep the cerebral spinal fluid draining and not accumulating. Adam will remain in ICU for a min of a week while they monitor and treat the infection. Once the infection is cured Adam will go back to the operating room to have his hardware replaced and they hopefully then we’ll be on our road to recovery again! He was heavily medicated for the procedure as well as afterward to rest to get rid of these infections. Thankfully he has been able to rest very well today and this evening.
When I was finally able to see Adam this evening it was good to see him looking so good, his coloring looks great. Adam is truly the strongest person I know. He is such a fighter, I am so proud of him. I can see how hard is continuing to fight and I know he's fighting for Mackenzie and I, he is my hero.
Please pray that Adam will be able to recover quickly and make a huge leap in progress.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
If you witnessed someone sacrificially lay down their life for you would you live differently after that? Would you be more intentional about making the most of every day? Would you look for the good in the situations instead of focusing on what’s missing? Would you forgive easier? What about your life would look different? How would you live day to day knowing that you were here because someone saved you? That someone thought enough about you to lay down their own life for you…
This morning I asked myself every single one of these questions. I asked myself am I living being intentional about living each day to the fullest, focusing on the good, forgiving easier, does my life reflect a significant change… am I living my day saying God, you created this body and all that I am use me for your glory no matter how much it may hurt.
God is the only one who has the answers to these questions… it’s He who will be the judge. After reflecting on these thoughts this morning I was in awe of the price God paid for me. He loved me so much, He gave His one and only son to sacrificially die for my sins so that I can have a personal and intimate relationship with him that will lead to eternal life. I hope every day I am changing and growing, I want to be consumed by the Holy Spirit daily, I don’t want to wake up tomorrow and be the same person I am right now. I want Christ to manifest Himself daily through me. He died so that He can live in me. What a gift, that I am so unworthy of.
This all transpired from me listening to a song with the following verse…
You bought my life with the
Blood that You shed on the cross
When You died for the sins of men
And You let out a cry
Crucified now alive in me
It just really made me think, do I see what Jesus did for me and the price that he paid for me the same way I would if I would have witnessed it. Is my life reflecting a life that has forever been changed and is continuing to change? If not something has to change.
Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” We are called to seek Him with ALL our hearts, then and only then can we find Him. I challenge you and I too am being challenged… be intentional in seeking Him. Remember “seek” is a verb. I am praying that my life reflect a life that has forever been changed by the blood that was shed for me.
Adam update: The doctors and therapists have really decided to give Adam the week and weekend off. They want him to rest as much as possible to maximize the healing from his body having rested. He spent all day sleeping, fighting to regain his strength and health. He amazes me how much he endures and perseveres through, what an amazing man he is. I am madly in love with him, today when I was looking in his eyes, I can honestly see how much he loves me.
Please pray for his fever to break and not to return. The antibiotics haven’t been able to help with the fever and so the doctors decided to start a different antibiotic in hopes that it will help with the fever. Adam hasn’t been storming so the fever is not looking like it’s a neurological fever… and with him not feeling well, the doctors just want to make sure that they are getting every source of infection. Pray also for Adam’s rest to bring healing to his body. Thank you all for partnering with me in prayer. God hears you.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I forgot to mention in my update last night that Adam had a minor surgical procedure yesterday, the doctors thought it would be best to put in a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter). I had asked about doing a PICC or central line on Monday because Adam was having to be poked a dozen times in a 24 hour period and most of the time they were unsuccessful at drawing blood or putting in IV's. I am so happy that they decided to do this for Adam, it's nice not to have to watch him in so much pain trying to get a blood sample.
God is using Adam's journey to touch so many lives and I am so honored that God has chosen Adam and I for such an incredible journey, difficult and hard, but wonderful and beautiful too. Psalm 67:1-2 "May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations." About a week ago I received a phone call from the assistant nursing manager from the Neurosurgery ICU at UNC letting me know the unit would like to present a special blanket to me in honor of Adam. I was so honored. The nurses and management wanted Adam to have what they call a comfort blanket so tonight I went over to UNC and was presented with the blanket.
I was able to see Jen while I was there too (she's the rock star social worker). It was so good to spend time chatting and having a cup of tea together.
We are so blessed and honored. I continue to pray for those who have taken care of Adam and for those who are taking care of him now. I pray that with every touch to Adam they can feel the presence of God that lives within Adam. Thank you so much for all the hard work you all have done, both at UNC and at WakeMed. We are truly appreciative.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Please keep praying... Adam's fever went back up to 103. His chest x-rays showed a decline since Monday. Adam's pneumonia is in both sides of his lungs, he;s so weak he is unable to cough up his secretions and he's having to be suctioned often. Please keep praying for his health to improve and for his neurological progress to continue.
Adam is starting to look better to me, his coloring is returing to his face and he is making good eye contact with me. The nurse even documented in her notes that he is consistently responding to me and to my voice.
Adam and I had a great prayer time this evening. Tonight we read Psalm 42:8 "By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life."
So I happened to turn on the radio this evening at the most amazing sermon that was on hope. Truly God's timing was perfect. In this sermon the pastor quoted a professor at a university in California... "Don't deny the diagnosis, defy the verdict." I immediately wrote it on the white board in Adam's room.
God gives us hope to wait in this season. Hope is keeping the dream of Adam's full recovery alive while we wait. Hope is what gets me out of bed each day. Hope is being confident of better things to come. God reminded me this morning that this season of the journey is the most difficult, He reminded me that there is so much more to come, so much more to rejoice in, the best is yet to be. Despite the difficulty and the sorrow, I am so excited for what God is going to do and what is yet to come. Hebrews 6:19 "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Please know I am covered with God's peace and His grace has shown to be sufficient for today. He has given me strength that truly is supernatural, and His peace that surpasses understanding. I am leaning on Him for my comfort and strength and will continue to do so. Only He can sustain me and I know He will continue to do so.
I will write more tomorrow, but I just wanted to send out a quick update so you all know how to pray for Adam. Thank you all for your prayers.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I am missing Adam so incredibly much there are no words to describe the intensity of the physical pain, sometimes it does feel like this pain will defeat me, that’s how intense it is. I know Jesus knows my sorrow, my grief, my pain. I can’t help but to think of how he felt when he went to Lazarus after finding out he had passed. The Bible says “he wept”. I am resting in the comfort of the arms of my Jesus who is holding me ever so tightly this evening. I take comfort in knowing, He knows.
Adam is such an amazing man, and I just love him so much. I was recalling the night before Adam’s accident… Adam was grilling dinner and I was outside setting the table on the deck chatting with him. As we were both in and out from the kitchen to the deck we made the most of every passing moment with a kiss or a sweet tender touch. After dinner, Adam and I sat outside and chatted for quite some time. Together we watched Mackenzie run around the back yard with a Mason jar trying to catch fireflies and I so clearly remember thinking… my life is perfect. How does it go from that perfect moment to this painful place in such a short amount of time… Oh how I miss my man. I love that he is MY man.
I want to share something that I carry around with me… and tonight I am clinging to this.
As He Protects You in the Storm by Nancy Guthrie
“I hear the longing in your heart for security and safety, especially as you live in a world that is being shaken by so much difficulty and heartache. Don’t be surprised by the hardship, and don’t let your heart be troubled by it. Trust in God, and trust in me. You can find real peace and lasting security only as you find your home in me.
I can give you a solid foundation to build on so you can withstand the storms of life. Come to me, and really listen to what I am saying in my Word. Read it, think it through, dig deeply into it, and then work it into your life. Let it shape your thoughts and values, your priorities and your day to day conduct. If you do, you’ll find that while storms still blow into your life, you won’t be destroyed by them. Your world may be rocked by difficulty and disappointment, but your faith will hold firm.
Find comfort in the truth that I am preparing a place where you will be safe and secure forever with me. There will be no storms, no threats, and no fear… only perfect peace and safety. This sure hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for your soul when the winds of difficulty are blowing in your life. It is a promise you can depend on. Take hold of it and live like you believe it.” (Adapted from John 14:1, 16:33, Luke 6:46-49, John 14:2, 2 Timothy 4:18, Hebrews 6:18-19)
I will remain dependent on God for Adam's recovery, for hope and strength to continue on this journey, and for growth along the
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Adam endured a couple of storms today, I felt like his storms were not nearly as severe as they have been this last week. It seemed easier to calm him and get him relaxed. Adam was able to have a very restful day and relax. He started his day very rigid and tense and as the day progressed it was much easier to move him, his muscles relaxed and he wasn’t nearly as tense.
This week’s specific prayer requests:
1. Please pray for progress in Adam’s recovery
2. Please pray for the staff that takes care of Adam, that they would be diligent in their work
3. Please praise God for how far he has already brought Adam
4. Please praise God for the work He is doing through Adam’s journey
5. Please praise God for who He is to you and what He has done in your life
Nehemiah 9: 5 & 6 “Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.”
Friday, August 13, 2010
I have been missing Adam terribly and I am so grateful and blessed to have so many friends who have been here for us and have been such an amazing and wonderful support. I am also thankful for so many amazing brothers and sisters in Christ who have been wonderful encouragers. Thank you all so much.
Today I was reflecting back on this journey and was reading my journal entries and I am so grateful for what God is doing in mine, Adam's, and Mackenzie's lives. He is working in a mighty way and for as much as He has brought us through and has so faithfully continued to provide for us has made me want more of Him. I praise Him for taking care of the details, He is so faithful and I continuing to trust in Him. When I trust completely and whole heartily then there is no worry, no doubt, and no fear... only hope. Thank you God for being my hope, my comfort, my all in all. Hebrews 10:22 & 23 "let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith...Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
1 Chronicles 29:11-13 "Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name."
When I read this passage today, I just wanted to exalt Him, I wanted to fall to knees and bow down in full submission, to the giver of life, the giver of strength. He is so worthy of all my praise, and I am praising Him for changing my life and giving me life.
Today, Susan (PT) and Carolyn (OT) took Adam into the gym to work him out and stretch his muscles. We are seeing improvement with his muscle tone in some muscles and more tone and tightness in other muscles, so Dr. Ng (Adam's doctor) told me he was most likely going to increase his medication, again. Since Adam has been at WakeMed now for a little over 3 weeks it has given the staff plenty of time to get used to Adam and myself. The nurses and staff have been fantastic and have been wonderful about training me along the way. Today I was cleared to get Adam up and ready for his day, including getting him out of bed. I also got cleared on doing Adam's tube feeds and fluid flushes. All this is great because I don't have to wait for a nurse to be available to help assist me or to get Adam what he needs at the right times... I can just do it. I have learned how to do so much and I will continue to learn.
Please continue to pray for Adam's muscle tone and his storms. He had 2 really horrible storms today. The storms are so hard on his body and it usually takes his body quite awhile to recover. Please, please pray for continued, consistent progress. Your prayers are making a difference and God hears you. Please continue to partner with me in prayer for Adam's FULL recovery.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I find it a little disturbing that I was told by the Guardian Ad Litem and by another attorney today that this court hearing was going to be a breeze and easy compared to everything else we have been through. I was appalled. This has been the most difficult part of the journey this far, emotionally speaking. Today solidified too much of what my reality looks like. Watching the judge mark Adam as an incompetent person and then being sworn in as legal guardian was extremely emotional and has been one of the more difficult issues to go through. I miss Adam so much the pain seems unbearable tonight... it's been a weepy day. I love that man so much, that even after a weepy day to walk into his room and to be with him brings so much joy and happiness to my heart, oh how I am madly in love with that man. Still when I see him he makes my stomach flutter... I am so blessed he chose me to be his wife.
I know you all have been praying for me because I have no fear, no doubt, and I am not discouraged. I am upset with the system, and sad because I miss Adam more that I would ever be able communicate... but I know God is in control and I am holding onto the peace that he has given to me this entire journey. I am continuing to wait patiently for Him to work all this out for His good in His timing. In the mean time, I know God knows everything... and I am trusting Him. Psalm 130:5 "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope." I am so thankful that God's word is alive, it's the Living Word and it's speaking. There have been so many times that I have read a scripture verse a hundred times and then all of the sudden it just pops off the page and it's a "wow" moment... it's in that moment that I know God is writing it on my heart and this makes His word alive. He is alive and he will fix this broken life... I am waiting and my hope is in Him.
Today the doctor downsized Adam's trach!!!! This shows great progress and shows that there are no surgical procedures in the future!!! Praise the Lord I am rejoicing in this progress! God is so good! Adam had a significant storm this afternoon and was given pain medicine so therefore he slept the afternoon and evening away. He worked hard today with his boots and stretches and with that storm so he really needed the rest, and I am so grateful he was able to not just rest, but sleep deeply.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
We sang "The Stand" and all day I have thought about, meditated, and sang over and over the last part of the song...
So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You
So I'll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
So I'll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours
God my heart is yours, have your way in me. Lord, we trust you with our circumstances and know you have plans that are good. God, I thank you for choosing Adam and I to be your vessels, use us Lord. I am in awe of you and we ask God that you continue to transform my heart, mind, and life daily. Conform me to your ways, make me more like you. Lord, I surrender! I surrender my thoughts, my ways, my plans, my aspirations. I surrender everything, Lord, into your hands. Show me your ways and lead me on your path. Amen.
Normally Adam doesn't have any therapy on the weekend, but since Dierdre (speech therapist) is having to go out of town unexpectedly, she came in today. So Adam had 2 sessions with her. First one he was pretty sleepy, but the second... she was putting different scents under Adam's nose for him to smell to get some kind of reaction. I brought in several of our favorite sauces (mainly hot sauces) and today he was noticeably smelling!!! His breathing patterned changed when he was smelling the hot sauce and when she took it away his breathing returned to normal... it was so great!!! She did this several times and was able to get the same reaction every time!
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Adam had to endure myself and my lovely assistant (Mackenzie) cutting his hair and shaving him. Mackenzie is quite good at assisting and really enjoys getting to help. Adam received another buzz cut tonight and I shaved the goatee so he is back to a clean cut look. He is so incredibly handsome and with less facial hair it really brings out his eyes... I love those baby blues. I like it both ways, and it's been amusing mixing it up because that is what he always does. I am thinking about opening my own barber shop... just kidding, but I'm sure you smiled :) This is what happens when I finally sit down to write an update at 1:00am.
I know you all are already, but I am going to ask for it anyway... please pray for me, I am really missing Adam. Please also pray for my court date this week, and pray for continued progress in Adam's recovery, miraculous progress. Thank you all so much in supporting our family in prayer.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Romans 15:4-5 (NKJV) "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus." I am so thankful that my hope comes from God, being able to have hope that comes from him has also provided endurence beyond comprehension. Praise God, that He cares enough about us to give us our hope and to be the author of our faith. I love God's word.
Today was an uneventful day, which was a good thing for Adam. He needed a break and some rest. He only stormed one time today! The doctor increased Adam's medications again this last Monday, and today Adam's muscles were noticably easier to move! This is a big awesome deal! His muscles still have a long way to go, so keep praying that they will begin to loosen up more and more on their own so that Adam's medication doesn't have to keep being increased. Our God is bigger!!! I am rejoicing in every step of this journey, and I am so grateful to rejoice in improved muscle tone!
Susan and Carolyn (physical therapy and occupational therapy) got Adam up on the fancy tilt table this morning and stood Adam up again... I love being able to climb on the base of the table and stand next to my man. I started singing to him the old Tammy Wynette song "Stand By Your Man" This song would play every time Adam would call my phone for the last year, this was his ringer. I love being able to stand by my man! I love Adam and I am so proud of him.
Sometimes it's hard to be a woman
Giving all your love to just one man
You'll have bad times
And he'll have good times
Doin things that you don't understand
But if you love him You'll forgive him
Even though he's hard to understand
And if you love him
Oh, be proud of him
Cause after all he's just a man
Stand by your man
Give him two arms to cling to
And something warm to come to
when nights are cold and lonely
Stand by your man
And show the world you love him
Keep giving all the love you can
Stand by your man
Stand by your man
And show the world you love him
Keep giving all the love you can
Stand by your man
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- Another ICU Kind Of Day
- Part 5 of "Our Story"
- Working On Surrendering It All
- Part 4 of "Our Story"
- His Presence
- Part 3 of Our Story
- First Day of Fifth Grade and Part 2 of Our Story
- Our Story Part 1
- Let God Overcome You
- Recovering From Surgery # 11
- Another Trip To ICU at UNC
- TOMORROW PRAYER NIGHT CANCELED
- Price That Has Been Paid
- God Sustains
- Difficult Day
- Dependent On God
- Praise God From All Over
- One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
- A Reason To Praise
- Praising God, Even Now
- So Deeply Humbled
- My Heart Surrendered
- Barber Shop
- A Special Moment
- I'm Standing By My Man
- Believing, Trusting, and Resting In Him
- Believing In A Better Day Tomorrow
- Taking Refuge In The Lord
- Embracinig My God Given Roles
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