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.


Professor Dr. Charles Scheide said...

Rachel, we (the staff and student body at Word of Life) continue to think of you and pray for you. From the letters your Mom has sent it sounds like you are improving. How delighted we are. May God continue to give you the strength necessary to continue to improve, and we will contine to pray.

Nathan Haskins said...

Awesome news I cant wait she's almost fully healed

Christine said...


Lisa Miller said...

We continue to pray for you all and send our Love

Ken & Kathy Kasper said...

Nancy, Burt, Daniel, and Hannah - I just heard of this today! Our prayers are with all of you. Rachael - I loved your father dearly. He was a little, humble guy, with a whole lot of spirit. I assume you are the same way. Continue on in the progress and hard work to recover and be blessed by God along your journey. God bless you all! Kathy and I are praying for you.

Sharron May said...

Hi Rachel, Think of you often and an so-oo encouraged by your determinaton and the love I see in you and your family. Pray for you often. Did my son Dan May tell you he is going to be a grandfather? Boy he is getting old. (not me). I am also a leftie. I am thinking that is in your favor. We are awesome. God watchover you. Will try to keep in touch. <3

Lisa Miller said...

Hello Rachael,
I heard you had a difficult night last night. Praise the Lord for Doctors and Nurses! I know it gave your Mom a scare. She was Johnnie jump in the car and get to you! What an awesome Mom you have.
Dan and I have been praying that your fever has gone down and you are keeping food down also.
Gramma sure loves to come and see you. She had to make sure she got her hair done last thursday before we came to see you.
It sure cracks me up when I heard you were holding a bouquet of broccoli for Mom when she walked in on Mothers Day! :0:0:0:):):) teehee, too funny.
It won't be real long now before you get to come to home sweet home. How great will that be?!!!
Uncle Dan and I took the kids to Lowrey Park Zoo on Sunday. It was packed with people, but still was a great day. Seeing all the awesome animals God created. The kids really enjoyed it.
We'll keep praying and lifting you up to the Lord for complete healing.
We love you girly girl
Aunt Lisa