Saying “goodbye” to the CIRU

Anne and her primary PT

Anne and her primary OT

Anne and her primary SLT

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Pray for our transition to home…

It’s interesting how the dynamics between Canon and Kate have changed while Anne has been away… Canon and Kate are both more easy going and fun loving than Anne. Before, Anne was the little “director,” telling Canon and Kate just what characters they would play in that day’s version of pretend. Canon and Kate rarely fought. It was typically passionate Anne that sparked conflict with either Canon or Kate.

Now, Canon and Kate fight constantly. There are obvious reasons for this – as their world has been turned upside down – and all the grief and anxiety plays out in their bickering. But alot of their conflict simply comes from Anne’s personality not being here to direct them. It’s as though they are lost without their director to tell them how to play…

I think it will be equally difficult when Anne comes home…

Physically, Anne is the equivalent to a six-month-old baby (with only one working hand). She sits, but is still wobbly. She explores with her hand – grabbing everything and putting it directly in her mouth. She can feed herself with her fingers, but can’t use a spoon or fork. She requires diapering and has to be carried everywhere.

Cognitively, Anne expresses herself with the simplicity of a two-year old, yet has more advanced people skills than even her old self. She has lost her shyness, has impeccable manners, good conversation skills and a sweet smile :-)

Please pray for our whole family as we make the transition to bring Anne home. I will have to lean on Canon and Kate to help me keep Anne safe. Kate might have difficulty having more of a “big sister” role with Anne – especially dealing with her physical limitations. Please pray for us all to adapt to our new family life.

Despite the challenges that are ahead, we’re still very excited :-) Two days ’til Anne comes home!!!

Expectantly, kathryn

Happy Father’s Day!

I’ve never been more grateful to be married to Eric than I have during this trial. He has been such a steady, calm influence on me and the kids. He never complains and remains thankful for all God has provided for Anne and our family. God has ordained it so that the times I am tempted to despair, Eric seems especially hopeful. Eric has been a tangible, living rock for our family because of his unwavering faith in the goodness of God. He is an amazing man!

Anne continues to make progress little by little. My current challenge is not to compare her to before the accident, but to accept this new version of Anne. She is sweet and witty – a real joy to be around.

Another challenge for me is to stay tethered to my saviour. As Anne has improved, my constant awareness of my need for Jesus has wained. This morning we sang one of my favorite hymns… The last stanza is my prayer:

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Eric and I have been deeply impacted by the way our church and community have cared for and supported us. Attending church and seeing how many people know, love and care for Canon and Kate is such a gift. This is God’s covenant family caring for their own. How humbling and rich it is to be the one cared for. We are forever changed because of it!

Thank you for praying and loving us so well…

Looking forward to Thursday (Anne’s homecoming)! -kathryn

An end to fussiness

Anne has had an especially good few days. She’s sitting and standing better. She’s also got more fluidity in her walking movements.

I think the largest improvement has been in her fussiness. Over the weekend, Eric thought she might be constipated, and boy was he right! The cork came out on Monday and now we’ve settled into a rhythm… Each afternoon, she gets fussy; we give her a supository; she has a bowel movement, and voila – she’s calm and quiet the rest of the evening. It’s amazing actually!

Originally, today was supposed to be her discharge date. I’m thankful she has one more week… She’s improved so much just in the last week. I think I’m ready to bring her home.

Our prayer requests from Tuesday are still relevant today…

  1. that Anne would gain more control over her thoughts so that she is better able to focus in therapy and communicate her needs,
  2. that Anne would continue to make strides in her sitting and walking. She’s doing much better in these areas…
  3. Currently, Anne puts EVERYTHING in her mouth. Pray that she will be able to inhibit this impulse and gain appropriate function of her right and left hands.
  4. That she would be especially aware of God’s presence and peace as she struggles through her recovery.

Gratefully, kathryn

Thank you…

I’ve been much more encouraged over the last two days.

I realized yesterday that Sunday (6/13) marked 2 months since the accident. Anne has made an amazing recovery for only two months! Many people have told me that they are praying for my emotional and physical perseverance. I feel like God has given me a second wind :-)

Thank you so much for your prayers.

Please continue to pray…

  1. that Anne would gain more control over her thoughts so that she is better able to focus in therapy and calm herself at night,
  2. that Anne would continue to make strides in her sitting and walking. She’s doing much better in these areas…
  3. Currently, Anne puts EVERYTHING in her mouth. Pray that she will be able to inhibit this impulse and gain appropriate function of her right and left hands.
  4. That she would be especially aware of God’s presence and peace as she struggles through her recovery.

Thank you! -kathryn

Overactive

Over the last week, little Anne has been what we are calling ‘over active’ with her movements and her speech (and thoughts). She has trouble controlling her movements, her emotions, and what she says. She is the opposite end of the spectrum from where she was when she entered rehab several weeks ago. We know this is part of the healing process, and it is progress, but has its challenges. This activeness is physically and emotionally draining for us – and Kathryn has been in the trenches fighting with little Anne daily in her rehab. Pray that God continues to send fortifications for the two of them.

Anne was particularly fussy this afternoon and this evening, so Anne and i decided to sing this song together tonight:

Lord, you are more precious than silver
Lord, you are more costly than gold.
Lord, you are more beautiful than diamonds, and
nothing I de-sire com-pares with you.

This really calmed her while we were singing.

Kathryn and i continue to be so blessed by all of you who are reaching out to us by praying, and by giving of your time and resources to help us. i so look forward to telling Anne’s story over and over and over in the coming years. A story to tell to my neighbors now, to my children as they grow, and to my grandchildren when i am old and grey. A story of how in little Anne’s time of need, God provided healing, and how God’s family showed up with a mighty force of support, help, and care. i knew God’s strong arm of healing and support was there in theory, but to experience his help and such a tangible way continues to be amazing. i find it difficult to pray any prayers but thankful ones these days – we are just so grateful that so many are on the journey with us – it makes no logical sense that all of you would be reaching out in this way – but in God’s economy, what seems foolish to man is wise (1 Cor 1:18-21).

-eric

Our therapeutic “outing”

Anne on her outing

Anne did well on the outing. It was emotionally difficult for me – which took me by surprise… We went to “story time” at a book store. Several toddlers were there. Being around ‘normal’ children highlighted the fact that my Anne is very much a ‘special needs’ child.

We’re still in limbo. We don’t know what Anne’s endpoint will look like. She’s still very much “progressing” in her recovery. It makes it hard to grieve, because if I grieve what Anne’s lost, well – she might gain it back a few months later. We just don’t know.

I strive to stay thankful for the present. God is so faithful and so good to our family. Yesterday, Canon said, “Mommy, today has been a blessed day. God is humble enough to do kind things for me.”

Good words from a 7-year-old boy.

-kathryn

New Discharge Date

They’ve extended her stay one week to June 24th. They say it’s because she’s making such great progress.

She does seem more herself. Tonight, Pastor Pete visited, and Anne was interacting with him like he was an old friend. She just seems more “with it” every day.

Tomorrow, Anne and I are going on an outing! Each week, the rehab unit plans an outing for patients who are able. This is Anne’s first time, and I’m excited. We will go to story time at a bookstore, visit Target and eat lunch. I’m sure she’ll be exhausted when we get back to the hospital!

-Thank you all for walking with us on this journey… kathryn

Anne’s passion emerges.

For those of you who know Anne well, you know that she is a passionate young lady – which is sometimes displayed in a very fiery temper :-)

This morning, when I was combing her hair (which she has always despised…) she yelled out at me, “Mommy, I’m so mad at you I could punch you in the face!” I’ve never been so happy to see Anne mad! I hope it’s a foretaste of her person coming back to us, bit by little bit.

God is so good to orchestrate our lives so that we might know more fully His love and compassion for us. He has brought encouragement to Eric and me in very personal ways at just the right times. He knows us intimately and Anne is in His strong hand constantly. We are grateful for the prayers of the saints, but especially for the prayers of our Great High Priest, Jesus, who sits at the Father’s right hand interceding for Anne!!

-Gratefully, kathryn

Feeling weighed down…

I’ve put off updating the CaringBridge site because I don’t feel like there’s anything exciting to report… I guess that’s the nature of Anne’s injury… recovery is slow. I’ve been struggling with impatience lately :-)

I still feel weighed down by the fact that my sweet girl has such a serious injury. Today she looked at a picture of a black dog, and she called it a sheep, and then a horse, but couldn’t find the word “dog.” She has to concentrate so hard to answer such simple questions.

She’s working just as hard physically. Today her PT asked her to bend her left leg. Anne was laying down flat on a mat. You could see her jaw clench in concentration as she raised her left leg straight up, and then after a few seconds she bent her knee in a jerky motion. She repeated this for the therapist a few more times – each time having to concentrate like crazy just to bend her knee.

As I watch her, I feel this strange mix of joy and sadness – I’m so proud of her, but grieved to see her struggle so…

God does give me glimpses of joy. Yesterday evening, a bunch of family came to the hospital to eat dinner together. There was cheerful banter as everyone ate burgers and fries in Anne’s room. Anne just sat gazing at everyone with a content smile. The only reason we were together was because of Anne. That’s a gift that’s come out of this tragedy.

And then today… I took Anne for a walk. Anne can reach up and touch all the buttons for the elevators. I thought back to Anne’s first day in rehab. Her therapist asked her to push a HUGE yellow button. We all cheered as the therapist had to place her hand on the button and she was BARELY able to press it down. She’s come a long way to be able to so easily find and press the elevator buttons! That was a sweet reminder from God.

Perseverance – emotional and physical. That’s our need right now :-)

Please pray:

  1. That Anne would gain endurance and not tire so easily. When she tires, she gets extra emotional, so also pray that she would be able to regulate her emotions.
  2. That Anne would make great strides both cognitively and physically in the next 10 days before her discharge date – specifically that she would be able to sit unassisted and communicate consistently what she wants and needs.

Thank you! -kathryn