Friday, April 1, 2011

Yes and No, Great News!

Today is 3 months to the day; as I look, almost to the hour of that night.  Well, today, all day, for several folks, Rachael raised her arm for yes and lowered it for no.  RACHAEL HINKLE IS COMMUNICATING!

She has been laughing at things funny and at appropriate times.  We have seen bits and pieces of her cognition raising, as I said an 'upward trend' but today is a day to celebrate a milestone.  We are prepared for a dip in cognition and then a pop back.  It is the way of this injury and healing.  Yet, we had today!  We do hope that God will bless this as something consistent, a new stage.

Nancy called me throughout the day with updates.  It started out as another difficult morning.  Each morning when Nancy shows up, Rachael cries aloud.  She will mellow out after a while then the day will don one of three options: teeth grinding, responsiveness or laid back Rachael.  Yesterday was a grinder.  She was impacted by the storming outside and inside or so we think.  She had a very high heart rate, around 130 at peaks but very erratic.  She was sweating with expressions of fear and hurt.  Today it was a complete turnaround for her.  We think that maybe these neuro-storms are part of the healing.

Here is some background regarding staying in God's will and accepting what he offers.  When we were moving Rachael from Health South Ridge Lake, we had really tried to get her into Health South Rehab.  We met with the CEO of HSR after being declined. Following that meeting, the management level staff from several departments reviewed Rachael and decided that she could not benefit from their services at that time.  We were quite sad at that result.  We had prayerfully sought the Lord's will and all the doors closed with the exception of Heartland.  We looked at that as the bottom shelf option.  Honest.  We sat at Living Word (a local Christian bookstore) and placed the call to Heartland to initiate Rachael's transfer.  The first person we met on the phone as we spoke turned out to be a sister in Christ.  We both revisited the fact that  God is in charge.  Wow, does he get the best result!  TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

The staff at Heartland are excellent.  They are compassionate and loving.   There are more than just a few born again believers Heartland.  We have been blessed with meeting many of them.  Most of the folks there had very little experience with someone in Rachael's condition.  Trache care had to be trained.  There were some jittery nerves working around her.  I have not mentioned this before but her doctor has suffered an injury that kept her off her feet for the past 2 months.  She is a wonderful person and doctor, married to a very supportive husband, both dutifully supported by their aide.  So our doctor has been physically absent.  Heartland is not an acute care center.  Rachael was still at a level that required more monitoring than a the average patient at Heartland.  So the setup was:

  1. Sick doctor

  2. Inexperienced staff.

  3. Lack of critical care resources for monitoring and metrics.

Sounds like trouble, eh?  Looking at it in the 'horizontal', looking at it from a non-God point of view, there would be little hope of great result.  Keep vertical!  We kept resting in our Lord, knowing that he was in full charge.  God has set up such a compassionate staff at Heartland Intermed.  The nurses really care. There are several CNA's that go way beyond their call.  One of them is John.  He has been checking in on Rachael and playing games with her.  One of them is a peek-a-boo game where he gets her to close her eyes.  If she opens them he says "you peeked" and she closes them tight again, laughing all the way.  This has been going on for a few weeks as well as other private jokes between them like 'searching for Elvis'  We had no idea of the stimulating interaction and play that John has brought to the table.  As soon as he walks in and greets Rachael, she smiles or laughs and tries to talk.  We believe that part of the result of today is due to John.  Another person that has been huge in all of this is a woman named Susan.  She works in speech therapy at Heartland.  She has connected with Rachael.  It was Susan that got the yes and no from Rachael today.

So with Rachael we were able to get her to raise her hand for Yes and keep it lowered to her stomach if she wanted to communicate 'no'.  Her responses are nearly immediate.

She is trying to speak as well.  When asked to laugh she fakes a laugh,  when asked to do it louder, she repeats it but louder.  If she is asked to raise her arm she does, if it is stated "do it again"  she raises it again.  She knows what 'it'  and 'again' is!  Today she tried to say Mom, Hanna and one.  It was obvious that she was trying to repeat those words. It was such a huge day.

Pray for a restoration of her eye sight.  We have no indications that she can see.  Even today with some 'yes' and 'no' tests with lights, there was no evidence she sees.  The only thing we have is that she squints at facing the sun.

I am going to check spelling and ship this out as I want you  guys to know.  Friends, this is a miracle.  This is way beyond expectations set forth by her Doctors prior to her current doctor.  She had faith from the start that Rachael would improve.  This is an answer to YOUR prayer!  We know this to be true.  So please:

POUR ON THE PRAYER!  Keep it going.  I will shoot some video and get it up here when I can.

God bless you all for the prayers!!

Oh yes, one of the questions was "do you love Jesus?"  Her arm rose up, launched by a smile. YES!



Christine said...


pamela said...

Oh, what JOY we all have with you !

I truly understand the joy of having communication and knowing
she understands. I have this with Chad. We have an Awesome God!!!
WE love you all , praying

Amy said...

Oh yes yes yes yes!we are praising God with you!!

Margaret GLodowski said...

Yes, Me too! My arm is up and I am saying I love Jesus too. I drove 6 hours yesterday through the snow cap mountains in Idaho and wow, yes, I love our God who made this earth and sky and His name is I AM, Jesus, the beginning and the end, prince of peace, might God...

crystal said...

just got chill bumps!!!!

Caitlyn said...

OH MY GOODNESS! ohhhh my goodness! wow!

Natalie Letterio said...

Praise God, what an amazing testimony! Thank you for always updating us through all of this. I am always looking forward to hearing what awesome work God is doing in Rachel's healing.

Tom & Sharon Headlee said...

Our God is an AWESOME God...He reigns! We continue to lift Rachael & your family up in prayer.

Alex Morris said...

I love Rachel and miss her dearly, praise God for how He is showing Himslef! Praying for your family.

The Russo Family said...

We miss and love you so much Rachael , we are glad to hear that you are getting better ! We are praying for you and your family and your in our thoughts .

love the Russo's