Saturday, January 12, 2008

Home & Advent HOPE

I am very happy to be posting this latest entry from the comfort of my own home. Not to mention, I am typing after attending Sabbath School at Advent HOPE. No, I am not discharged from rehab yet. I was granted a six hour day pass today, and I was able to leave the hospital for the first time since I was admitted three weeks ago. My official discharge date is Friday, January 18. I was admitted to the hospital in Minneapolis on December 19--one month in the hospital is long enough!

Once again, I was thoroughly amazed by all the people who knew about my condition and have been praying for me. My soul has been warmed to hear various persons, many of whom I am but vaguely acquainted, share how my ordeal has brought about renewed prayer and earnestness in their faith. If my sickness may be the influence that leads some wandering soul to Christ, what a small price to pay in light of eternity! Truly, from the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you who has continued to uplift my health before the Lord.

Improvements to my infirmity continues to be sure and steady. Therapists all have agreed that they've noticed marked advances to my strength even in the one week that I've been in rehab. Many of the nurses and therapists joke that I'm doing so well that they should start using me as a therapist!
One of the PT's uses me as an excuse to take walks around the hospital outside. I'm largely independent in regards to activities of daily living now even though I still can't lift my arms above my head. (I've come up with some rather creative adaptations to get stuff done, many of which tests the flexibility of many other parts of my anatomy. :-) After I'm discharged, I will be continuing outpatient rehab for sometime, but I will be living at home.

I'm eager to get back to living "real" life, but I've realized more than ever that a life worth living is a life with Jesus--no matter what physical infirmity I might have. Hope you, the reader, may also experience the most abundant life! Happy Sabbath.

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. [John 10:10]

Monday, January 7, 2008

Greetings from Loma Linda

My family and I arrived back in Loma Linda on Friday and I was admitted into the Loma Linda University Medical Center East Campus Acute Rehabilitation Center. Since being here for the past 3 days, I think I've had at least 100 visitors. I am thoroughly deluged with love and care from all of my friends here. In addition, I've already noticed improvements to the strength and range of motion in my upper arms too. My shoulders continue to be extremely weak, but nearly all other muscles are working at a "functional" level now. The therapists and nurses all are hopeful for a very quick discharge. Currently, I am expected to be a patient here at the rehab center for two weeks.

I also received another unexpected blessing today. The facility where I am at does not have wireless internet for the patients. Unbeknownst to me, Nick Tay, and old friend from the Loma Linda Chinese Church works in the IT department here. He was given clearance by the director of the rehab center, also a family friend, to let me borrow one of the IT department's laptops so I can get online. So here I am updating my blog. (For those of you who care, the computer they gave me is not a Mac...it's an IBM Thinkpad. :)

Congratulations to Luke and Audrey Whiting on your wedding yesterday! A piece of me was definitely there with you guys. Have a great time on your honeymoon! May the Lord bless you as you combine your forces for His ministry.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

We're Going Home!

It's official. We're going home tomorrow. Loma Linda, here we come! PTL

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Lord Answers Prayers

For those of you who have been keeping the three specific items I listed in my previous post in prayer, here's a brief update on all three fronts so you can be encouraged at how the Lord continues to work:

1. Blood Tests - I underwent a trans-esophageal echocardiogram on Monday (a procedure where they stick a hose down your throat to take images of the back side of the heart), and the doctors were impressed at my very normal, and healthy heart. All but one of the blood tests for abnormal tendency to form blood clots have come back, and they all look normal. So far the Lord has answered prayer request number one!

2. Departure Home - As previously mentioned, the attending neurology physician caring for me intended to keep me indefinitely (until he found the cause of my condition, to use his words). This was a major blow to my family's morale, and we were getting terribly discouraged. He said that on Sunday, the day of my last post. After much prayer and a re-surrender of my life to the Lord's will, I had peace about the situation. Miraculously, the following morning my case was switched to the care of an entirely different neurology attending physician AND an entirely new team of residents! The new attending was much more understanding and has enthusiastically worked toward an earliest discharge possible. Currently, we have plane tickets to California from Minneapolis at 11:25am on Friday! Unless something unexpected occurs, we will be back in Loma Linda this Sabbath. The Lord continues to answer prayers!

3. Full Recovery - There are still gradual improvements to my condition noted every day. Tim Riesenberger took it upon himself to request several consults from some trusted physical medicine/rehabilitation doctors on my case. One of those physicians have worked specifically with spinal cord injury patients before and having heard the amount that I've recovered in the amount of time, was confident that I would have a full recovery. The occupational therapist who has been working with me the past few days (today was the last day she would be seeing me) also expressed high hopes for a great recovery also. One of the new neurology residents also commented that my rapid recovery so far is a great prognosticator of a very successful recovery. Of course, the Lord ultimately is in control of my healing, but I believe that He allowed such words to encouragement to help us not faint in our trust of Him. The Lord continues to answer prayer!

As of this post today, I have walked over 10 laps around this entire unit, and have also walked up and down a flight of stairs. The only two muscles that are still too weak to oppose gravity are my deltoids and biceps (I still can't lift either arm up). I have either full or near full use of all other muscles in my body. Rehab is going to be a lot of hard work, but I'm confident that the Lord will add His grace to my deficiency.

Thank you all for your continued prayers. Hope to see many of you back in Loma Linda very soon. Happy New Year!