An update from Brenna, Elijah’s mom:
“I love the Lord because He hath heard my voice and my supplication. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.” Psalm 116:1-2 KJV
–This has been a favorite verse this year, even before May 8th. (the accident). The NLT says “because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath”. I love the picture of a loving Father bending down to listen to the cares of his child. Who wouldn’t be clamoring to pray if your dear Father was bending down to listen?
This week was a bit trying for Randy and I as Elijah seemed less and less responsive from Monday to Saturday. I know it doesn’t seem like a long time but it feels like forever when you are there minute by minute. We both fell into the pit, especially yesterday. Funny thing is, we didn’t even realize we each were feeling that way until the Lord reached down and rescued us today. Read on, you will see that all the while the Lord was listening and did not leave us there. . .
(All of the regular text was written early this morning and the bold was written after the rest of our family visited Randy and Elijah today for Father’s Day.)
We appreciate all of your prayers on behalf of Elijah and our family. Indeed, we are in need of them! Elijah’s vascular surgeon told me when we were in ICU that watching his progress would be like watching someone age. We don’t see someone age on a day-to-day basis; we notice when we haven’t seen them for awhile. This has proven to be true in Elijah’s recovery, and thus our updates cannot be daily. As we look over the week there are some slow changes and prayer requests, and actually a huge change today, after I wrote the first draft of this blog update!
First, prayer needs:
- Sleep: Since last Monday when Elijah was very aware, he has had very little sleep (maybe 7 hours in 5 days). As a result he is more lethargic in the day time and less able to engage. The doctors have tried different sleep aids, some have made him throw up, others had no effect and the meds they gave him on Friday night had such a hangover effect that, although he did not sleep in the night, he slept most of Saturday. It is common for brain injured patients to confuse night/day, but it is the muscle contractions and heart rate jumps during the storms that wake him every 2-3 or so minutes. Update: last night he got a fair amount of sleep and was pretty alert today!!
- Movement: Elijah has some more movement in his fingers and arms but his purposeful movements contain tremors and are very limited. Please pray that he would be able to get more control of his arms fingers and legs.
- Speech: Praise to the Lord we have heard Elijah say “ow” a number of times when they were changing his pic line dressing last Saturday, but also on Thursday he was working arms with OT and actually was able to say “ouch” which takes more motor skills! His trach tube is capped, meaning he is fully breathing out of his mouth and nose and has access to his voice. The doctors have talked about removing the trach on Monday (6/22). (yippee!!)
- Craig: Please pray that as Craig evaluates, they find that Elijah is ready. The OT and PT’s love him and are already “fudging” a bit more therapy with him. He needs more and loves the time in therapy. A smooth transition in the Lord’s timing would be nice.
- Feet: There are 4 pins that remain in Elijah’s feet. He will have X rays this week to make sure they can come out (as planned) on the 29th of June. If they are completely healed he should soon be able to work on weight bearing therapy.
- Our Family/Kids: My daughter Grace (Elijah’s next younger sister) told me when I arrived home on Friday, “It’s like you and Dad are divorced and we share custody. We have you on the weekends and dad during the week”. Although they miss Elijah and understand that we would never leave him alone, they (we) miss our family the way that it was.
- Elijah laughed for Randy (or at Randy, as he put it) this morning. The best Father’s day gift ever! We had a family day together – the nurses were glad to see this and said Elijah is probably used to all of this stimulation. He was in his chair when we arrived and always does very well in his new ride (a cool tilting wheelchair). He laughed for all of us today. It happened when Grace was rolling some essential oil on his forehead (in a little sister torturing kind of way). I said “Give him a break,” and Grace said “Oh Lij, toughen up buttercup!!” He busted out laughing complete with a smile and a look like an annoyed older brother would give his little sister. After that we recounted memories of funny things that we all remember and watched his favorite ‘kid history’ video. He blessed us a few more times with his smile and laugh. Whoohoo!!! Thank you Jesus!
- Elijah has been able to take juice, rootbeer and rootbeer floats by spoonful. He also likes “slushies” made with ultima, water and ice chips.
- Elijah has had 4 days outside! This is a psychological boost as well as a physical one for us as well as for him! The first day I whispered “Elijah, let’s blow this joint and head for the mountains.” Elijah does so well outside that Randy says we should just pitch a tent for him at night.
- We have a neighbor at LTAC who came to visit Friday and perform his music for Elijah. Many times with stroke patients, they are able to get their voice back with music. He sang for his wife, who suffered a stroke this year, and she recovered her voice to his songs. Hopefully we will see him again: please pray for him (Dwight) and his wife (Jeanette) as she recovers.
- We have some really great nurses that are very caring. One nurse in particular takes a special interest in Elijah: advocating for him, helping him range his fingers and arms, just generally spending time with him. They are all very supportive in his healing process and excitedly ran in when he was laughing today to try to catch him in the act.
- Because we love and trust Ashley our nurse, we were able to leave Elijah today for awhile today. We took Randy and Grandpa Bob to Chipotle (a gift from Randy’s coworkers in the Suncor legal dept. **thank you!!**) for lunch. It was our very first time to be together in 44 days. We also walked for a short bit at Lake Loveland. (it was hot).
- Elijah’s trauma surgeon from Cheyenne (his doctor the night that he came into the ER) came to visit last Wednesday. I just love her. She has been a very caring link in the endless chain of doctors that we have had to navigate. She believes he will recover and has helped us have hope when other doctors knocked all hope away. She also was our link to his last words before his month-long coma as she spent two hours with him before surgery. He kept asking her “could you please just put me to sleep, this hurts so bad.” Elijah tried to raise his arm to wave good- bye as she left (a first!).
- Also, he is currently on zero pain medication –no narcotics, no ibuprofen, no tylenol!
[ I Timothy 3:16] “. . . Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.”
[ I John 5:4 ] “. . .For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”
It is this Jesus who we are hoping in.
~Brenna for all