Toddler Times – Playing in the Wind

Where we live, we may be blessed with 300+ days of sunshine a year (although a lot of times I wish we had more rain!), many of those days come packaged along with wind.  Sometimes, the wind brings lots of dust and allergens, but there are a few rare days that it’s just breezy enough to be fun. 

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I’m part of an online knitters mama group where all of our babies were either due in, or born during April 2011.  We try and do a swap every six or so months – we send off packages of knitty goodness and treats to a secret partner and receive one from someone else.  It’s always very fun to see what things you get.  The last swap box we received came all the way from France!  LP was thrilled (and so was I) with the pinwheel and windsock that came along in our swap box, because these were new things we could use to play outside on windy days when it’s not fun to play in the water because it’s too cold. 

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We like to stick to the front yard, because the grass is nicer and there’s a bit of shade from our one little tree.  When it’s windy, we like to play with our pinwheels, our fish windsock, and bubbles.  I haven’t found a homemade bubble recipe yet, but LP got a huge bottle of strawberry scented bubble solution for her first birthday and we’re still using that for the time being. 

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What do you like to do with your toddler when the weather isn’t quite perfect?

Toddler Times – Sidewalk Chalk Paint

LP loves playing outside.  We have a water table, and a tiny tiny kiddy pool for her to play in, but sometimes I want something creative for her to do as well.  We’ve discovered the joys of homemade sidewalk chalk paint.  I love this stuff because she has painted on everything outside and herself and it hasn’t stained.  Not the sidewalk, or her skin, or the front door, or the windows.  Usually, she just gets to run around in a diaper and paint, but if the pool/water table are out, she wears a swimsuit.  The recipe we use for our sidewalk chalk paint is 1/4 c cornstarch, 1/4 c water, food coloring until it’s the tint you want.  Luckily, cornstarch and water don’t taste very good, so I don’t need to worry about her ingesting a ton of it.  The first time we painted, we used sponge brushes.  I don’t recommend this as the sponges just got seriously clogged with cornstarch and didn’t paint too much.  Brushes worked much better.  And cleanup of this is easy!  I’ve used both baby food jars and muffin tins to hold our colors.  And I put it on a rimmed baking tray to carry in and out of the house.  We even used this at playgroup one week and it was a big hit.

Toddler Times – Zucchini Bread

I’ve been keeping a journal for LP about everyday life with her and lately, she’s started asserting independence.  Which means, I might have to spend a bit more time thinking about what to write other than ‘ohmyword you were crazy cranky today and nothing made you happy.”  I’ve been trying to find at least fun thing to do with her each day, and I’ll try and share some of them here.
We had some leftover zucchini from a recipe a few nights ago, so I decided to make some zucchini bread.  We try to avoid white flour around here, so it took a bit of searching online to find a recipe for 100% whole wheat zucchini bread.  And then today, I realized I had no idea what LP and I were going to do together.  So I decided to let her help me bake.  Since she’s only 16 months, her part was pretty much just stirring and eating.  I set all the ingredients out and pre-measured them into bowls so she could dump them in.  She wasn’t interested in that.  Of. Course.  But she was interested in stirring.  Our table is covered in DH’s work stuff and things for me to put away, so we utilized the floor.

 

 

 

Of course, we had to bring our goldfish crackers to help us stir…

 

LP also helped me put them in the oven by pushing the “start” button on the timer.

Wow, I didn’t realize how disgusting my oven is.  (We have no self-clean option so I’m lazy about it).  Guess I’ll have to get on that.

 

Then we had to wait for it to cook, and cool.  But finally (after naptime) we got to the best part – eating!

 

Big, big hit.  We’re definitely going to try cooking time again sometime.  The recipe we used was this one from King Arthur Flour – 100% Whole Wheat Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread, and I substituted coconut oil for the vegetable oil.  This recipe is a keeper.

Assurance

Just a bit of an update on the whole insurance escapade.

 

As of last week, our insurance company has stated they are not covering my surgery, or my hospital stay in Spokane.  No word on the airlift coverage, beyond the fact that they decided to cover the doctors in the helicopter.  Our medical bills at this point are near $150,000, including the airlift.  Why are things not covered?  The insurance company has decided the brain surgery that saved my life, as well as my entire stay at Sacred Heart in Spokane were “not medically necessary.” It’s okay, you can take a moment to be upset, we’ve been there.

 

We’ve had an overwhelming response from friends and family concerning this.  Several people in several states have helped us figure out the best plan of action to appeal, appeal, appeal.  We’ve even had offers from a state representative to get all up in our insurance company’s business about the entire issue.  We don’t want to post a whole lot of details here because we don’t know exactly how far this is going to go, but our current plans are these:  We have a request in to several doctors who worked on my case in both hospitals to give us a letter stating the necessity of my airlift, surgery, and recovery at SHMC.  We have contacted SHMC and asked them to re-submit our claim to our insurance and work with them.  We’re gathering as much information as we can about my heart condition, my stroke, and the procedure in case we need to further defend my treatment.  We’ve established a giveforward account to raise money.  And we’re working to trust God throughout all of this.  He brought this to us for a reason, stroke, insurance company, everything – and He’ll bring us through it.  Even if we don’t like how it turns out.

 

In the past, our insurance company hasn’t fought us on issues like this past a note from a doctor.  They refused coverage on my pacemaker a few years ago and all we needed to clear that up was my cardiologist talking to them.  We’re hoping something similar happens this time.  Also, it looks like the surgery may have been submitted as an exploratory procedure because a scope was used to guide the “clot-catcher”, so that may be what’s causing a lot of the confusion on the part of our insurance.  We’re trying to approach this situation with tact, grace, and gratitude that we even have an option to get all this paid for somehow.

 

RE: My Brains

So what is recovering from a stroke like?  I can sum it up in one word – tiring.

 

I’m so tired.  I wasn’t this tired after my pacemaker surgery, or after having LP and was getting no sleep.  Tired in the way that I take a shower, get dressed and think “I’m ready for the day…time for a nap.”  I’m trying to sleep when LP sleeps, which is great in theory, but she seems to be moving from two naps to one, so I never really know how long she’s going to sleep or when she’ll zonk out. They’ve told me this exhaustion will continue intensely for at least 2 weeks as the swelling in my brain subsides, and then I’ll still be “moderately exhausted” for up to three months while new pathways are formed in my brain to replace the ones damaged by the stroke.  And honestly, moderately exhausted is sounding appealing after the past few days.

 

We haven’t found any part of my memory or day to day life that I cannot do, which is an enormous praise.  However, it takes much more concentration to knit and type (you would not believe the number of typos I’m correcting as I go), and is sometimes more frustrating than walking.  My reflexes are visibly slower – as playing Mass Effect 3 multiplayer has revealed.  My right hand and leg will shake, often near the end of the day, tired from trying to overcompensate for the weakness in my left side.  I have to be very vigilant in gauging my energy levels – I walked to get the mail one afternoon (a two block walk) and that was it for the rest of the day – even getting up off the couch sounded impossible afterwards.  I find it hard to focus while reading or following conversations.

 

There are upsides to this.  Sleep has never been so refreshing.  I was told by my doctors that while I’m asleep is the only time my brain can work on repairing itself, so I’m trying to get at least one hour long nap in a day, going to bed around 9 pm, and sleeping at least 10 hours at night.  Husband has been fabulous at getting up when LP wakes, feeding her and entertaining her quietly so I can continue to sleep.

 

Another upside is that I’m getting a glimpse of what daily life is like for my husband, who suffers from MS.  Down to the mental fatigue and the side aching.  At least I don’t have to suffer from the shots.

 

Thank you again for all your prayers and support.  We have felt overwhelmingly blessed throughout this entire journey by all of you, and thank you just doesn’t seem adequate.  We are so grateful for all the prayers, the meals, the encouraging comments, and the support.  If I could give each of you a hug, I would.

Home.

Yesterday afternoon Sarah was cleared by all four relevant departments (Neurology, General Surgery, Physical/Occupational Therapy, and Cardiac – if I’m remembering right) to be discharged from the hospital.

We arrived at our home at about 5:30pm last night. (It’s ok – you can do a little dance, shout, or even tear up a little bit if you want. We did.) We’ve hugged our daughter, caught up with family, and Sarah got a nice long shower. We slept in our own bed, which is a blessing in and of itself. We are very, very tired, but happy to be home.

And now, of course, comes the hard part. There’s no more doctors or nurses, no more on-call buttons, no more monitors attached to her that reassure us that everything is ok. Now that we’re home we get to worry about every dizzy spell, every little itch or tingle, every little normal thing that might possibly indicate that somethings wrong. We get to begin building a new pattern of life, one that lets us take care of our daughter AND help Sarah slowly get back up to fighting strength. (That’s a figure of speech, by the way. As far as I know, Sarah no interest in competing in any sort of fighting sport.)

We still need your prayer. Maybe not the “every second/all night long” sort that you’ve been showering with us this whole week (though, we’d appreciate that too), but certainly the “keep us daily in your prayers” sort. We’ve seen many miracles this week, and we’d like to keep them coming. We also… need your help. Sarah and I are both very stubborn, and dislike asking for things. But, stepping back, I know we are probably not going to be able to do this alone. And, we probably shouldn’t try and do it along. So, we humbly ask for your help for the next few weeks as we work on taking care of Sarah and helping her to get better. I’ve listed a “ways you can help” section below. I’m sure some further needs may become apparent as we work through this, so I’ll try to keep people updated as we go.

Ways You Can Help

  • We would appreciate meals being made for us.  Sarah is on a special diet, so we would prefer things without potatoes, white flour, and/or sugar.  If you’d like to bring us a meal, feel free to text or call me (husband) to set up a date and time.
  • Prayer – we have a long road of healing before us.
  • Yard work – Even though we have a small yard, the heat prevents me from keeping it mowed as often as it needs to be with my MS.  If you have a teenager who would like to make a few bucks, let us know.  We have an electric mower they can use, as well.
  • Errands – we’ll know more about this as we settle into a routine.  Sarah gets tired very quickly, so sometimes going to the grocery store may be too tiring.  We work on the Dave Ramsey cash envelope system, so we can hand you the money and the list if you want to go for us.
  • Coffee. Decaf anything. (Sarah especially likes Dutch Bros and Roasters.)

Ok. Pride has been swallowed, help has been asked for. Praise and prayer time.

Praises

  • We are home today, instead of having a funeral. This sounds overly dramatic, but this could have turned out very differently. Praise God that Sarah is home, safe, and on her way to becoming healthy.
  • Sacred Heart – I praise God for every single person there. Even the coffee stand people. (ESPECIALLY the coffee stand people?) Every single person at that hospital was committed to keeping Sarah healthy, making sure she was comfortable, listening to our concerns and (sometimes inane) questions, and laughing and rejoicing along with us.
  • Our friends and family – on top off all of your amazing prayers, we’ve had friends and family come to us at the hospital, help out with LP, and come up to help with Sarah this weekend. Thank you. Thanks for sharing our statuses, blogs, and prayer requests. Thanks for liking our Facebook updates. Thanks for your comments – both the ones that encouraged us and the ones that made us laugh.
  • Being home with our daughter is such a relief. Also, she LOVES Sarah’s balloons from the hospital. She’s very happy her Mom and Dad are home. And so are we.
  • Sarah’s wedding rings were found! They may have been here at home all along. Or, God transported them home from wherever they had fallen on the floor in the hospital back here to our house. (The last one is my theory. In case you couldn’t tell.) Either way, it’s an answer to prayer, and we’re happy that they’ve been located.
  • Sarah has been able to knit, and even played a little bit of Xbox last night before she got too tired.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray that Sarah’s brain stays healthy and safe. There’s still swelling, so pray that goes down in a safe and timely manner. Also pray there’s no further bleeding.
  • Pray that Sarah can get the rest she needs to fully recover.
  • Pray that there are no further damaged areas of her brain. We’ve joked that while it’d be ok if she had somehow lost the memories of a few college classes (*cough cough* Intro to Missiology *cough cough*), but we’d really prefer it if all areas of Sarah’s brain checked out to be healthy and happy.
  • Pray Sarah’s physical therapy goes well.
  • Pray for the insurance coverage. Now that we’re out, we begin the fun waiting game where we try and guess what they’ll cover and what they’ll refuse. They’ve already left one automated message for us telling us to call them as soon as possible, but they’re closed until Tuesday. So now we get to stress out about it all weekend. (Yay!) Pray that it’s all covered, because a long insurance fight sounds really exhausting. And stressful.
  • Pray for my brother and his wife, who lost their pregnancy a day before all of this happened. While we’ve been out here in all the craziness they’ve been quietly mourning the loss of their child.

We Have A Room! With a View!

Hi. It’s Jason (Sarah’s husband.) Ready for some good news? We have a lot. First of all, Sarah has been moved out of the ICU to her own room on the 8th floor. It even comes with a window. There was a small scare last night where, for a while, it looked like we’d be in the ICU for a bit longer. They had performed a CT scan that ended up showing some blood in her brain. If this was a bleed, it’d have been bad news.  However, they did a second scan this morning, and the amount of blood was about the same – maybe even diminished a bit. This means the blood was likely from the procedure itself, and not from a bleed in the brain. The doctors and nurses assured us that this wasn’t something to be too worried about, so we tried to stop worrying. They are, of course, still watching Sarah closely but she just. Keeps. Getting. Better.

It’s been a day of recovery for both Sarah and I. We were both able to a get a semi-decent amount of sleep last night, and Sarah has been able to take a few naps today. She had meetings with physical therapists, and they tested her physical and mental recovery. Her left side is indeed a bit weaker – especially her left leg – but her progress is nothing short of astounding. Less than 48 hours ago Sarah couldn’t move her left leg or arm at all. She couldn’t even make a finger twitch. And now she’s typing, tweeting, talking on the phone, and even walking.

Her heart is also doing great – the doctors even used the word used the word “perfect” when talking about how it looked after they got her results back.

We are enormously, amazingly blessed. We are blessed by God’s healing, by the fantastic staff at both Sacred Heart and Kadlec, by our incredible families, and by the overwhelming love and support from all of you. Thank you so much – we have been blown away by the response this has gotten.

We are also very tired. We are ready to go home and see our daughter. We are ready to eat something other than hospital food. We have both reached that three day wall – that level of weariness that always seems to hit sometime in the middle of the third day of a long hospital stay.

I’ll answer a few questions we’ve got from people, and then we’ll go over praises and prayer requests.

Was the stroke caused at all by Sarah’s heart condition?

Actually, no. They’ve run a plethora of tests on Sarah, and her heart is fine. There’s zero evidence that her heart contributed to the stroke in any way. The most likely suspect at this point? Birth control.

Was Sarah on blood thinners before this?

No. She was on them for a short time after some complications from when she had her pacemaker put in, but she’s been off them – and not needing them – for years. She may have to be on them after this, but we haven’t heard for sure one way or the other.

What happened to the wedding rings?

We have no idea. We’re pretty sure they were still on her fingers when she was airlifted. We didn’t notice that we had no idea where they were until well after Sarah had been moved to her room in the ICU. No one in either hospital remembers seeing them or taking them off, so… who knows? All we know is Sarah didn’t take them off, because she couldn’t move her left side at the time. The nurses are launching a fresh “find the rings” mission tomorrow, so we aren’t out of options yet.

Is Sarah the most awesome person ever or the most awesome person currently roaming the earth?

I’d put Jesus at the top of the “most awesome person ever” list. And right after that? Sarah. Right behind her? Chuck Norris. What’s that? You think Chuck Norris should be higher? Well, maybe when Chuck Norris goes from being paralyzed on the left side of his body to walking within 24 hours we can talk. Until then he has to settle for third place.

Ok. Praise and prayer time. Prepare yourself – I’m busting out the exclamation marks.

Praises

  • Sarah’s not dead!
  • Sarah continues to get better!
  • We’re out of the ICU!
  • Sarah’s talking and joking with the nurses!
  • Sarah is up and walking!
  • Sarah can still knit!
  • Sarah’s Dad was able to come up and see her!
  • There’s no bleeding in Sarah’s brain!
  • We have amazing family who’ve helped out a lot, so I can take breaks and take care of myself.
  • Our room has a great window.
  • Bioware is releasing a free expansion pack for Mass Effect 3 multiplayer on Tuesday! This sounds out of place, but it’s not – it’s something Sarah’s really excited for, and using her hands to control the game while keeping track of different objectives and such will actually be really good for her recovery. That’s right – videogames ARE good for something.
  • Lucy has been doing well with my family. Every time we’ve called to check up on them she’s in the background laughing, which is a huge relief to us.

Prayer

  • Keep praying that there’s no bleeding or further damage to Sarah’s brain. She’s out of the high risk time period, but there’s still some danger.
  • Pray that Sarah’s recovery continues to advance. She’s come a long, long way, so pray that we can keep this progress going.
  • Pray that there aren’t any damaged areas of her brain that haven’t been discovered yet. They’ve done mental and physical tests, but it’s possible that some damage will only make itself known as time goes on.
  • Pray that Sarah’s physical therapy goes well. She has some leg exercises that she has to do several times a day.
  • Insurance, Finances, Job, etc – These are all about the same situation as last night. Keep praying! I have had an overwhelming amount of support from work, and that’s been a huge blessing.
  • Lucy – we miss her. Pray that she’s safe, that we will get to go home to her soon, and that she doesn’t drive our family crazy in the meantime.
  • The wedding rings. We’d really like to find them. Pray that they turn up!

To close, I’d like to share this picture:

 

Those are the first rows Sarah knitted after the procedure. I think they’re pretty miraculous.

Thanks again for all the prayer – please keep it coming! And, of course, feel free to leave any questions in the comments below. We’ll keep you updated!

The Meadens Went to the Emergency Room. It Must be Tuesday. (aka, The Stroke Post)

This is not Sarah posting – this is her husband, Jason. I’m sure most of you have heard by now, but Sarah suffered a stroke yesterday and had to be airlifted to Sacred Heart. I’m going to try and write a semi-coherent post about everything that happened, which should be fun because I’m running on nothing but the after effects of adrenaline, several cups of coffee, and about 1.5 hours of sleep I grabbed this morning. Buckle up, and don’t freak out.

Tuesday afternoon I came home from work to help my wife get ready for my parents coming to visit. I volunteered to watch Lucy while she ran some quick errands with my brother Scott. A while later, my brother Scott opened the door and asked me to come quick, because something was wrong with Sarah. I handed him Lucy, and went outside. Sarah was on the ground next to the car, conscious, but really *really* out of it. She kept asking to go inside and lie down, and kept saying that her right side felt weak. I realized quickly that this was going to need an ER trip, because her right side was fine – but her left side was completely limp. She had no control over her left leg, or foot, and the left side of her face looked less responsive as well. I kept talking to her, asking her questions about how her day went and what she bought at Target to keep her awake and responsive, and pulled her up to a semi standing position, and from there was able to get her in the back passenger seat. I buckled her in, left Scott with quick instructions for Lucy, and drove to the ER at Kadlec as fast as I could.

When we got there, I ran in and got the ER team. They brought her back to the ER and quickly ran tests. Several members of our family showed up, along with our Pastor. Things did not look good. Sarah wasn’t able to feel anything on her left side, and had little to zero movement for her left arm and leg. The doctors asked for permission to start her on tPA, which is a drug that can be effective for strokes, but only if it is administered in the first three hours. It was now that they started mentioning the chances of death, along with other scary side effects. We agreed, and they began the treatment. It appeared that she was getting a bit better, but then her symptoms changed for the worse. It was around this time that they told me she’d be airlifted to Spokane. (Though, I’m now told that this was the plan all along, they just didn’t tell me because they didn’t want to freak me out.)

There wasn’t room for me in the helicopter. I would have to drive. Meanwhile, this whole time Sarah has been reaching up to stroke the side of my face with her hand, and saying she loves me, and that moment happened – you know, the moment that happens to anyone who takes someone they love to the ER. It’s the moment where you realize that this might really be it. And that there’s nothing more you can do about it except wait and pray. I had told myself I wouldn’t lose it in front of Sarah, and I didn’t. As soon as they took her to be airlifted though, I lost it. It wasn’t from a lack of hope – I knew God was in control, I knew Sarah was in good hands, and I knew that we had prayer support. I just felt weak, and completely unable to handle this.

My Dad took me home, and I quickly threw together some clothes, cell phone chargers, and meds and toiletries. Lucy had woken up crying, so I was able to hold her and comfort her (this actually helped immensely.) I said goodbye, and we then began the drive up to Spokane. None of us knew how Sarah was doing, or even if she was still alive.

We finally got there, and I asked at the ER check-in what her status was. They said that she was in the middle of a procedure, and that when they were done she’d be moved to a room in the ICU. We sat and waited. Finally I was brought back to see her – she looked like she was asleep, but she soon opened her eyes, saw me, and smiled. She was able to move her left arm a bit, and lift her left leg as well. We were told that they had gone in through an artery in her thigh, and ran the scope all the way up to the blocked artery in her brain. They then broke it into pieces and removed it. It was successful, and she showed immediate improvement. This is a newer procedure, and Sacred Heart is (supposedly?) one of the flagship hospitals performing it. Don’t quote me on that, though, since it might just be the (admittedly awesome) nurses from up here bragging.

I stayed with Sarah through the night. She joked with the nurses, held my hand, and slept when she could. So far, she’s doing great. She’s not out of the woods yet, but there was a definite miracle done.

Most of you know me. And most of you know that Sarah and I are Christians. Most of you also know that I’m very critically and scientifically minded, and this has caused confusion for both our believer friends and non-believer friends. For the nonbelievers, they often wonder how someone who’s otherwise very scientifically minded can believe in a “pie-in-the-sky fairy tale” like Jesus. And for our believer friends, this has often caused frustration when my scientific, political, or social views don’t line up with theirs. I completely understand both sides – but I hope events like this can help show both of these two sides how awesome our God can be. I was terrified, but I had complete faith that our God had Sarah in His hands. I knew this because He has not only promised it, but He has shown this, time after time. The set of circumstances that have kept Sarah and I alive for our lives has long surpassed the “unlikely coincidence” threshold. In every one of our fights for our health one thing out of thousands could have resulted in our death. In every circumstance, God has provided. Some will still call this good luck, or medical skill – and yeah, I can see that. But what I see is a loving God using science, knowledge, and the love and care of others to work miracles. Sarah could be dead. In fact, judging from some of the reactions of the doctors up here she SHOULD be dead. And not only is she not dead, she’s regaining movement and body functions every hour. Not only did Sarah have some of the best medical care available in the Northwest, she had hundreds – yes, literally hundreds – of people praying for her throughout the night. I had to stop checking facebook because the support, love, and prayer kept making me tear up and cry. This is what defines true Christian love – not the messages of hate, bigotry, and power that is becoming all too associated with the Christian church, but this overwhelming outpouring of love, support, and prayer. We had people willing to drop everything and drive to Spokane if needed. We had people who, even though they had jobs they needed to get up for, stay up through the entire night just to pray and support us. We have people we’ve never actually met in person (aka, internet and message board friends) praying for us. And that prayer and support, and our faith in God, and the doctors and technology up here all melded together and formed a miracle.

True, she’s not out of the woods yet. But you know what? She’s still alive. She’s laughing. And this was not the likely outcome. This could have turned out very differently. But it didn’t. And I’m not going to turn this into a soapbox moment, or even a come to Jesus moment. You guys know Sarah and I. I’d like to think you know what we stand for. And I just wanted to let you know a little bit of just how our faith was tested – and reaffirmed a thousand times over – in the past 24 hours.

I’m going to list a few praises and prayer requests, but first a few notes.

  1. I apologize for my many grammar and spelling mistakes. This is, frankly, not me at my best. If you catch any mistakes, let me know and I’ll correct them. (This is especially for you, Tami 🙂 )
  2. Our Pastor preached a sermon on Sunday on the topic of what to do when you’re faced with impossible situations. It was highly relevant for our situation, and God kept bringing bits and pieces to my mind throughout this whole experience. If you’re struggling, I’d highly recommend giving it a listen. It was called “When You Don’t Know What To Do”, and it’s available on iTunes and from our church website here: http://thefirstfamily.net/sermons
  3. The music of David Crowder Band, Gungor, and Rend Collective Experiment has encouraged me beyond words. They’re all bands that avoid the shiny happy Christian music genre, and instead make music that is creative, challenging, and refreshingly real. In normal days, they’re awesome bands making great music. In times like this, their music becomes something much, much more vital. I realize I sound like I’m geeking out here, but go to Spotify, make a playlist, and start listening.

Ok. Praises and prayer requests time.

Praises

  • My brother Scott was home to watch Lucy while I took Sarah to the ER.
  • My Mother and Father were here to help watch Lucy / drive me to Spokane.
  • We got Sarah to the hospital within a half hour of the stroke. This, I am told, was vitally important. If you suspect someone of ever having a stroke DO NOT WAIT. Get them there as soon as you can.
  • We were able to administer the TNA within three hours of the stroke.
  • The helicopter ride up for Sarah (and car ride for me) was safe and noneventful.
  • Sacred Heart is one of the hospitals doing a new procedure for stroke treatment. They were able to perform it within 6 hours of the stroke. This procedure likely saved Sarah’s life.
  • Sarah has shown remarkable improvement in her left side mobility. She can lift her lift leg, move her foot, hold her phone well enough to text, and is able to grab and squeeze my hand with her left hand.
  • She’s also talking clearly and alertly, and is pretty much completely coherent. Except when she’s asleep.
  • There are hundreds of people supporting us in prayer and encouragement across the world. (Yes, world. We have people in other countries praying.)
  • Sarah wants to leave the hospital. This is good, because it shows that she’s back to her usual attitude regarding hospital stays.

Prayer Requests

  • Sarah’s still at risk of brain bleeding. This would be very, very bad. She’ll be out of the biggest danger zone tonight.
  • She’s also still at risk of the artery that the blockage occurred in collapsing. This would also be very bad.
  • Ongoing symptoms – There is brain damage. So far, Sarah looks great. But there could be areas of damage that we haven’t seen yet. Physical ability, memory, personality… all of these could be affected. Please pray that we can deal with whatever comes up in a hopeful and positive way.
  • Physical Therapy – Sarah’s going to need it. Please pray that this goes well. Also pray that it will strengthen her and help get her back on her feet.
  • Our daughter, Lu. We have family watching her now back at home, but she needs her Mom and Dad there. Pray that we can be with her soon. And pray for our family as they watch her.
  • Insurance – in theory, this is all covered. However… insurance companies like to argue. And with the airlift involved, this could get complicated. Please pray that the claims will go through without a fight.
  • Sarah’s wedding rings are missing. They were there when she got in the helicopter, but no one knows where they went after that. Pray that they find them!
  • Finances – We are ok. But if I have to take time off from work to help with Sarah, or if the insurance refuses to cover something, things could get real bad real quick. God has *always* provided for us in this area, but please pray that we can trust Him in it so we can focus on getting Sarah healthy and well, instead of worrying about money.
  • My work situation – pray that I can balance caring for Sarah and Lu with my job so I can continue providing for them.
  • My own health –I have multiple sclerosis. Things that can trigger attacks or flare ups include lack of rest, stress, and overexerting yourself physically. Pray that I stay healthy so I can take care of Lu and Sarah!
  • And finally, pray that Sarah will still be able to knit, use the computer, and play xbox. I know it seems small, but these three things all require dexterous use of her left hand, and she’ll be crushed if she can’t do them anymore.

I’ll update this post with praises and prayer requests as time goes on. Let me know if you have any specific questions.