Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Rachael!

[caption id="attachment_574" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Rachael at Mine and Nancy's wedding"][/caption]

There has been so much change going on at this house I thought it was a call back to the 2008 elections.  First off:  Friday, in just a few minutes, yes, October 7,  will be Rachael’s 23rd Birthday!  There is much to celebrate.  I will give it to you by the bullets as it is late and we all need to get up early. Nancy is driving Rachael to and from her Hyperbaric Treatments 1 hour 30 minutes each way 5 days a week as we were refused services locally.  Anyone reading this must understand, these treatments WORK!  I was quite skeptical.  That said, here is what is up:

18 Moses said, “Show me your glory, I pray.” 19 And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, ‘The Lord’; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live.” [1]

[caption id="attachment_577" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="A precious moment with sisters."][/caption]

Healing – His Glory Revealed!

  • Tonight she gave us a clear and defined ‘f’ sound on the suffix of the word ‘off’.  She has not been able to use her lips and tongue together to form that sound.

  • She is moving a much contracted left wrist up and down a few degrees.  Prior to today she has not been able to do this at all.

  • She is keeping her knees straight up and not leaning to the ‘tone’ to the right.

  • She is able to arch her back, shift her torso and move her neck quite far to the left.  In the past her chin was constantly pressed to her right shoulder.  For months.

  • We are able to help her move her arms much easier.  It took two of us to raise her arms up just to bathe her.  One person could do it but it was killer on the back and arms of the care giver.  Not so anymore!

  • When turning her in bed she is starting to assist.  She is also able to get herself flat on her back by moving her arm and shifting her weight once she has been on her side.

  • Her ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ are quite clear when she is alert and not in severe pain.

  • She is making decisions on where she wants to sit, when she is hungry and if she wants to go outside for a stroll or remain inside to rest and if she want s pain meds or not.

    [caption id="attachment_583" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Cuddles "Will someone scratch me please?""][/caption]

  • She is great company and is filled with Joy and laughter when not in pain.

  • That said, at times of severe contractions, she still laughs at some absurdity.

  • Her cognition and grasp of abstract thoughts and responses to them are incredible.

  • She gets a joke

  • She says Amen

  • She Prays, though we cannot yet understand her words, she prays!

  • She is eating

  • She is drinking

  • She is starting to raise her legs when we move her.

  • She raises her head when her hair is being washed or a need arises to get to the back of her head.

  • She imitates what she sees, when she sees. There are times when she cannot see.

  • She knows that October 7th is her Birthday

  • She says I Love You every night.

  • She has short and long term memory.

  • She Dreams

  • She sleeps well without waking up 3 or 4 times a night.

  • She is willing to work very hard to get well and has communicated this to us.

  • She is able to decide to take certain ‘as needed’ meds for pain and comfort.  She does not always take them during times of discomfort.

  • She is center focused with her eyes a large part of the day.

  • She LOVES to go to church.

  • Two weeks ago, when Ray White was playing  God of This City, she raised her right hand in praise and mouthed what she could for the words.  That was awesome.

  • She listens to the sermons and responds quite appropriately

  • She can spell.

  • She drinks through a straw and sippy cup.

  • Her latest EEG showed not seizure activity.

  • She is off all drugs but her muscle relaxers, ibuprofen, and an aid to cut back on possible memory or confusion issues.  We don’t think she needs it but we are being obedient to the doctors God has placed in our path.  She was once on 20 drugs.  She is now on 6.

Reality Checks:  His Future Glory!

  • Rachael cannot sit up without support or walk at all.

  • She is ‘bed ridden’

  • She has a vocabulary of about 10 words that are not yet clear.

  • Her legs are in constant painful contraction, knees bent up and never flat out.

  • Her feet are turned inward at a 90 degree angles.  Try it.

  • Her left hand is normal bent or curled down with contractions in her forearm muscles.  The fingers are contracted and cannot open all the way.

  • Her right hand is usually a closed fist that will break the skin of her palm with its force if left unabated.  It is painful for it to be opened.

  • Her right forearm often contracts up when she is stressed causing her to raise her arm up.

  • Her left arm pulls to the right, causing issues with her feeding tube.

  • Her left side appears to have a much higher tactile sensitivity and lower functionality.  Putting socks on her feet or touching her feet is actually painful to her.

  • She wakes up in pain, is in pain all day and ends her night in pain.  Ever wake up from a Charlie horse in the middle of the night?  That is common for Rachael with an uncountable frequency each day and night.

  • The food she eats is ground in a food processor.  She cannot chew well yet.

  • Caring for her is a monumental self denying task.  Nancy handles the majority of it.  I work during the day.

  • She twitches uncontrollably at random times.

In the near future, Rachael is going to require daily focused rehab.  We are hoping that it will be covered by Insurance.  We are not sure it will.  She is going to need this rehab to regain speech and whatever physical movement God will give her.  Please pray for any of the items under ‘Reality Check’ and give praise for those items under ‘Healing’.  Our Lord continues to use Rachael as a Medical Missionary, offering many opportunities to share Christ with others. There is more news coming but it deserves its own post.  This weekend I hope to have all the details. God bless you all for your prayers and thank you for your kind selfless efforts.  We stand amazed at what God is doing. As far as Nancy and I go, we looked across Rachael’s bed at each other last week after changing her and realized that we are starting to function normally in this very abnormal situation.  It was a good moment! Pray for Nancy to sustain and get her allotted daily bread of faith for strength.  Pray for me to not be angry and to control my tongue from words spoken harshly. Pray Hanna for her continued growth in Christ and school, Daniel for success and leading at Bible College. Pray for Cuddles our cat and Joy our dog  not to fight and for Joy to learn that our closet and  under Rachael’s bed are not appropriate places to go to the bathroom.  Just kidding  on praying for that …but wait, pray for all things…so go ahead. Thank you God for your mercies and for giving all of us a way out of the most difficult of struggles.  Thank you for paying the price so that one day we can see your glory, as Moses asked.  Wow, how amazing it will be to see what perfect goodness looks like!

[1] The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ex 33:17–20). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.


Christine said...

Yea! How far she has come since January! Happy birthday Rachael! We love you! (And you too, Burt, Nancy, Hanna and Daniel!) May God give you all the strength and determination, joy and comfort needed to continue down this path.

Sara said...

Happy Birthday Rachael! We love you and trust and pray you will be blessed today!

The Green Family

Susan Hyland said...

Happy, Happy Birthday, Dear Rachael!!

What a miracle to see your progress each and every day.. We love you so..but Jesus loves you more!!

Nancy, Burt, Hannah, and Daniel.Trust in the Lord with all your heart..lean not on your own all your ways acknowledge Him.......Love to All. Susan and Mark

Liz said...

Happy 23rd birthday Rachael!! You are an amazingly strong and faithful woman! We pray that God will continue to heal and comfort you and use you for His glory!

Cameron said...

Hope it was an awesome birthday! We're continuing to pray everyday and giving thanks for continued progress. Keep going Rachael!!!

robin said...

Happy Birthday Rachael! I am so glad you are home and doing better, what a beautiful picture you posted. Blessings to you, on the start of the new year! ( and on the Jewish calendar too!)

Ellie said...

Happy Birthday!!! I am praying for you all the time. I am so proud of you. I love you!!!

Anna Beth said...

Praising the Lord for what He has done- wow! And it is good to know specifics to pray for. Tell Rachael I said Happy Birthday!! Hope it was wonderful. :)

Bo said...

Happy Birthday Rachael!It is so encouraging to know that Gos works in all situations and that he is definently working in this one! Continuing to pray!! It is definently a miracle to hear of the progress she has made! Continue to stay strong Racheal and family!

Darryl & Tom said...

We continue to keep all of you in our prayers and for Rachael's healing. Happy Birthday Rach! What a miracle you are to us all.

Faith said...

Happy Birthday, Rachael! Hope that your day was wonderful! Praying for you!

Jonathan said...

Hey Rachel, just wanted to drop a line to say Happy Birthday! I remember the cheer you brought to WOLBI, and it brought me joy to be around you. I pray that you continue to shine BRIGHTLY for Christ; and stay in there, fight the good fight, and keep on the road to recovery. Hope your Birthday is special. -Jonathan Poole

Myles Jude said...

Hey just want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hope it was an amazing day, and I will keeping you in my prayers! Neh. 9:5b-6

Tammy said...

So glad to get an update as we have been wondering how all is going. I stand in awe of our God, never, ever doubting His power but how He uses all these earthly things for His glory! Rachel is a medical missionary!!! Happy Birthday Rachel! I am so encouraged by your determination and love for the Lord!!! I look forward to seeing you all again. Soon we set a date for a date night again. Feel free to call also if u are ready for one before we connect. Love in Him to you all!

Ronda Kite said...

Happy Birthday Rachael! God laid on my heart to pray for you and your family from the beginning and I will continue to do so. It brings great joy to my heart every time I hear that God has moved in a healing way in your life and how faithful all of you are to our Lord. Much love in Christ, Ronda

Melanie Abernathey said...

Happy day late Birthday Rachael. I am praying for you. I love you and miss u lots. =^)

Yvonne said...

Once again helpful information. I will be in Venice Friday see you then.

Ashley said...

Hey Rachael!! I have been praying for you!! :D HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! :D Sorry I wasn't able to write you on your bday but, I prayed for you!! I miss you so much!!! :D Love your pictures! You are so beautiful!!!

Melissa Boone said...

Rachael, I am terribly sorry for this late comment but Happy Belated Birthday. You are in my prayers often. I am glad to hear these wonderful updates and I praise Our Father for His provision in your life. I'm a tad bit sick myself and the doctors are working on a solution to my small illness. I pray that the Lord will place the right doctors in my path as well. I love you. Our Father is refining your faith, He is glorified by that. Miss you sweet girl.