Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Report of Her Blindness Was Greatly Exaggerated

Rachael Can See!!  All the Glory to our Lord!!

On Thursday, May 26th Rachael was moved back to Heartland until she gets the Baclofen pump and the house is ready.  She began yelling aloud as is common for her to communicate discomfort.  Nancy figured out that Rachael was saying "eyes", "eyes".  Nancy wiped them clean and Rachael calmed down until I showed up.  Then she started again.  We did the normal inventory of irritants, ""is there something in your eye?, Do they burn?, Do you have a head ache?  All of which were "No" from Rachael.  Then I did the quick check of moving my hand quickly at her face,.  She winced.  I did it again she winced.  On the third try she laughed and on the 4th she was a bit upset.  I said "You can see me?" and she replied "Yes", I then held up my fingers and she was able  to tell me how many fingers I had up.  After her repeating this several times I freaked out!  Daniel, Nancy and I were present and blown away.  I was very excited and she started laughing hard.  She could see!!!  We praised God and thanked Him for this healing.  When I got back to school that afternoon, I shared the story with several teachers.  Mrs.  Beauchamp, the 1st Grade Teacher at Calvary Chapel School was thrilled and we shared it with her kids.  They had been specifically praying for Rachael to see.  Later, Mrs. Beauchamp told me that the kids were very excited and were asking what they should pray for next!

Your prayers continue to help make these impossibilities a possibility through Jesus Christ who makes all things new.  Nancy has thought that Rachael had some sight.  We knew that she would wince when the sun met her face.  We never could verify that she was actually seeing anything more that light and dark.  Now we have!

I know that there are those of you reading this that think we are hopeless Jesus Freaks and get a Hallmark Channel rush out of how we have been dealing with Rachael's recovery.  I also know that supernatural healing by our Lord is beyond your belief system.  That is great.  I am so happy you are keeping up with what is going on with Rachael.  You might pray, maybe to God, maybe to 'the universe'.  Like the radio telescope at Arecibo, prayers go up hoping to find something that will respond.  I think we can agree that order never came out of an explosion.  If even then there is doubt, if there was a big bang, then the question that needs answering is who made the big bang go boom?  You might think that faith in God does not make sense.  Try making sense out  of the fact that there are people that say we came from monkeys.  Before that we came from some fish and before that some cell that happened to kick start itself to life that was in a pool of water that just happened to have the right amino acids that just happened to exist that happened to be ignited by a meteor that just happened to be there, at the right time striking a planet that just happened to be tilted at the perfect 23 degrees that happened to be the perfect distance from the perfect sun to produce life.  Faith in Christ is a whole lot easier than faith in that.  Look at the design of the simple leaf.  It took the Navy a long time to figure how to make Oxygen out of Carbon Dioxide.  Look at the cell.  There are so many dependent parts to the cell, each one requisite to the other that evolution could not have made a working cell.  In other words, it had to happen all at once for without the parts, the whole would not function.  Look at yourself.  We have learned over the past few months how fragile yet how incredible is the human brain.  Such work shouts that there is a designer.  There has to be something behind all of this.  The Bible tells us that:

15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.  He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.  He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.  Everything was created through him and for him. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Colossians 1:15-17

Jesus Christ did it and holds it all together. He is the maker of the heavens and the earth.  He made you.  There is so much that our Lord wants to do in your life but he loves you enough to let you make the choice.  Choice.  It is about responding to His call.  You can choose to ignore.  Romans 10:9 says "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." If we hold ourselves up to the standard He set, the moral code of the 10 commandments, we can see where we have broken one if not all and do so regularly.  If the wages of breaking those commandments is death, hell, where do you stand?  God calls it sin and the result of sin is death.  Hell.  Yet, if we trust in Christ as told to us in Romans 10:9, we accept the gift for Christ taking our punishment for us.  The only one to free us from this problem of breaking the law is the lawmaker himself.  He took our punishment for sin, rose again to beat out death and lives.  He also has provided us with the Holy Spirit, God, living in us if we are saved.  Please, heed the call.  You ain't perfect and you are a sinner.  Also know that you are never too bad to come to Jesus.  He loves you.  The Bible says that our lives are like withered grass, like a vapor.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  We are very fragile.  Yet what we do here has eternal ramifications.  I hope that you do not wait another moment to open your heart to Jesus Christ.  God on earth, God in us, God the Son.  All you have to do is realize that you are a sinner destined for death beyond the grave and without Jesus Christ you can do nothing about it.  With Jesus Christ you have life beyond the grave with Him.  Not bad.  To be with the creator of the heavens, earth and you.  How awesome that day will be!  Believe that He died for your sins, He did, believe that he rose again, He did and make Him the Lord of your life, the boss.  Call me if you do this.  941-545-0713

God bless you and let the Glory of Rachael's healing go to Him, to God!  Praise the name of the creator of all things, Jesus Christ.  On Thursday Rachael's eyes were opened.  Now let God open yours.

Trying to get Jesus in a trap the Jewish leaders questioned a man healed by Christ:

John 9:254-25  So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.”  “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More A tweet Than A Post

Just a quick note.  We have been running day and night with Rachael, resources surrounding her recovery and agencies for support.  Thanks to my fellow teachers at CCS for giving me some lunchtimes to make calls.  She is moving back to Heartland today as we prepare the house for her return home.  Rachael is doing great and has had extensive therapy at Healthsouth.  She is going to get the Backlefen pump on June 7th to help with removing the contractions in her legs and arms.  She is VERY alert.   Her 'receptive language' is very good.  She still is having problems speaking and moving in bed.  Her legs remain contracted and she is not able to stand or situp on her own.  She has some voluntary control of her right arm.  She is still speaking Yes and No but is working on vowel sounds and blends.  We believe that she is blind.  Please pray for a smooth transition back to Heartland today and continued healing.  When things slow down after next week, the updates will be more frequent.  There is so much to share.

Burt and Nancy

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rachael is at HealthSouth Rehab!

It has been very busy.  Anytime Rachael is moved from one facility to another it is a pretty big weight on us all.  We arrived at HealthSouth on Monday, May 2nd at around 12:00 PM. By 1:30 PM she was in her first rehab session!  The first few nights were tough but she has settled in.  She is in rehab 3 - 4 hours a day!  It is aggressive therapy.  Her cognition is great.  Today we verbally spelled words and she was able to tell us what we were spelling!  She is also responding appropriately to questions.  If you are planning a visit, call either Nancy or I first as her schedule is an active one and we don't want to waste your visit.  With the rehab, bathing, eating (still on tube but see below)  and other tasks, she has a full day.  She still does need folks to drop by and say hi.

We love, I repeat LOVE the folks at Heartland.  That place rocks.  We miss the folks there greatly and Rachael concurs.  HealthSouth has a much larger rehab facility, more technology and our doctor is their most every day.

Hyperbaric treatments have ceased until we are done at HealthSouth.  She needs to remain at the hospital.  The staff at HealthSouth are extremely professional and compassionate.  We look at HealthSouth as Rachael's next mission on this journey.  More lives will be touched for the sake of Christ through Rachael.  She is being used bigtime by God!  She is praying now!!!!!!!!!!!  We pray together then let her pray, either quietly or with sound.  When she is done, she speaks her best "amen" to let us know she is finished.  It is so comforting to know that during the time that she was not cognizant or able to communicate that the Holy Spirit was praying FOR HER!

Romans 8:26 (King James)
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Regarding her contractions, we are hoping to get Rachael started on Intrathecal Baclofen for treatment of her spasms and contractions.  It is a pump implanted that sends a small amount of the drug Baclofen to the spinal column.  Baclofen is an anti-spasmatic/muscle relaxer.  We hope to gain approval for a trial which has to be done first to verify that the Baclofen will be efficacious.  If so, then the pump is surgically implanted.  There is another scale for us to measure her abilities by and that is the Modified Ashworth scale for muscle tone or contractions.  This is it.  I do not yet know what her Ashworth number is but it is probably a 3 or 4 (the higher the worse the contractions - ROM = Range Of Motion):

Scoring (taken from Bohannon and Smith, 1987):
0 No increase in muscle tone
1 Slight increase in muscle tone, manifested by a catch and release or by minimal resistance at the end of the range of motion when the affected part(s) is moved in flexion or extension
1+ Slight increase in muscle tone, manifested by a catch, followed by minimal resistance throughout the remainder (less than half) of the ROM
2 More marked increase in muscle tone through most of the ROM, but affected part(s) easily moved
3 Considerable increase in muscle tone, passive movement difficult
4 Affected part(s) rigid in flexion or extension

Enough science!  I do add that kind of information in the case someone is searching for information on Anoxic Brain Injuries or TBI's.

It is now midnight and we have not had a call regarding her crying out.  I had a long talk with her tonight about the crying out and when I left she gave me a smile.  Yes, tears are necessary.  Who can imagine what this higher level of cognition is like in a body that won't work as you will it?  Now that she is at a higher level of cognition, we are able to get her to respond to long term requests.  We have asked her to pray instead of crying out for someone to sit with her.  She did that tonight.  Last night we received a call that she was crying but once I spoke to her on the phone she was ok.  Tonight, when leaving with her smile, we have not gotten a call.  She is going to sleep through the night!

She swallowed ice today!   The first step is to stimulate the lips and tongue.  That was effectively accomplished at Heartland.  So today she was given small ice cubes.  We anticipate her ability to eat real food in the future.  Swallowing and speaking are parts of similar brain mechanisms and as she increases her ability to speak, so too should she be able to swallow thicker foods.
She is working very hard.  She is very focused on trying to speak correctly when challenged.  She tries to do her best in all things asked of her.

Nancy and I have learned so well that God's timing for things does not come from our flesh desire for action.  Once we find we are striving to do it our way, we stop.  That was the case with HealthSouth Rehab back before Heartland.  We really wanted Rachael to get over there.  Yet, it did not pan out.  We even had a sit-down with Marcus, the CEO, a compassionate and caring man.  After several reviews, it was decided that Rachael would not be able to benefit from rehab there at that time.  We trusted God, as we should and happily went to Heartland.  Rachael and the rest of this family were so blessed by the folks there.  It was their love and compassion that God used to show himself to many as a great healer.  They really loved on her.  Bigtime!  Now the time has come where there was a room, the resources and the ability from Rachael to rehab at HealthSouth.   God's hand moved again.  Had we pushed and striven and gotten into HealthSouth, we would have missed a very beautiful harbor in this journey at Heartland.  Strive not!  Wow, is that ever against worldly wisdom.  Be led by the Lord.

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Ecclesiastes 1:14
I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
(In King James the word for vexation is Strongs #7469 'rauwth' pronounced 'rehooth'.   It means to strive.)
Isn't that how it is when we strive to accomplish our own end?  We are vexed.  Nearly possessed by our desire to attain a result that we want.  In the end it is withered grass, faded flowers, wood, hay and stubble.

The major areas needing prayer to heal are her legs and feet as they are very contracted, her hands and arms as they are not up to snuff yet for functional control and her eyes.  We have no official indication that she can see anything.  Now, she does say she sees light.  There are times when asked if she can see us she says yes but there is no solid indication that she can.  When asked to respond when she sees the flashlight in her eyes, she does not indicate correctly.  Please pray for physical function of her arms and legs to return, for eating and speaking.  Also pray for her vision to return.  Nancy and I are doing great but we remain cautious for any sign of the enemy messing with our marriage.  That said, we all need prayer for our marriages.  Please continue to pray for ours.

There will be lots of changes in the next few months here.  Daniel is going off to Bible College at Calvary Chapel in California, the house needs renovating, Rachael will be coming home and I do not have a job that God has setup yet.  There is something that has popped up and sure looks great.  More on that later if the Lord wills.

Stay in the shadow of His wings, delighting in Him who created all things, authored our faith and will give our hearts the desires he wills if we abide in Him.