Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Sleeker Model

Brian continues making needed progress. He had the smallest trach inserted today, which most importantly means he is breathing all his own air through his own mouth & nose. If all goes well the next two days, the trach will be removed entirely!

My dad said it well: In about a month, Brian went from countless tubes (while on the brink of death) to needing no tubes. For you, when you read this Brian--God is being faithful to you!!!

Though he wasn't happy about it, he spent a good two hours in the "sleeker" wheelchair today, one that doesn't recline like the monster truck model does (for dizziness, which he didn't have at all in the sportier version today). It really hurts his back because it provides him with a lot less support but it's the progress he has to make in order to move on with his life. He swears he's not getting in it again but thanks to trauma fog & such, we doubt he'll remember when they get him to do it again tomorrow.

He still doesn't like eating, though I know he ate an entire meal for Eli the other day (& drank half of that awful Ensure they're always sticking on those plates, now that's a miracle) & my dad got him to eat a good breakfast and some lunch earlier today after not doing so hot on this assignment yesterday.

From what I hear, he seems to be growing more aware of what's going on each passing day & in a more depressed, frustrated sort of way. They are trying to get him interested in doing some things other than just watching tv & hope to have his laptop up & running here soon.

Brian remains so blessed to continue to be the recipient of such generous outpourings of support...a fairly steady stream of Charlotte & Raleigh visitors, financial donations, & nameless other vital provisions meeting his numerous needs.

Speaking of outpourings of support, thank you all for your prayers, comments, & support for little Savannah. My heart has been so touched to see those of you reaching out to another family in need of your love. It has honestly been one of the high points of this current step in Brian's recovery thus far.

Savannah is hanging on, they think her most recent severe episodes were the result of septic shock, which can be fatal though hopefully they've caught it soon enough for it not to be so. The doctors also are becoming more convinced it is an underlying mitochondrial disease. They are sending a frozen sample to be tested at a larger hospital, which isn't quite as accurate as a live sample, but a start. Savannah just isn't stable enough to travel to the out of state hospital that specializes in this sort of thing & her family will have the financial burden of the testing & travel to consider when the time comes as well.

I've been reading a little bit recently on the biblical perspective of suffering. Now might be a good a time as ever to share one verse that really speaks to my husband & me.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials (James 1:2).

Greg Laurie gives the example of Paul & Silas to help us understand what it means to have "joy" in trials.

Paul & Silas were traveling, preaching the gospel, & starting churches. They ran into trouble when sharing the message of Jesus Christ resulted in some shady business guys losing their means for profit. They were beaten severely & basically chained in a dungeon.

Rather than sit there & curse God asking him, "Why?," (Which is what I probably would have done initially.) they chose to pray & sing hymns Acts 16:20-25 (You really ought to link to the whole story, it's a pretty intense, but quick read from start to finish).

The point?

Having joy in trials doesn't just happen. It isn't because Christians freakishly look forward to trials; however, what does make us different is that we have a hope, a hope unseen by those living by the standards of the world (Romans 8:24), which is probably why we might look like freaks sometimes.

It is a:
Hope not seen but known in a Loving God who sent His Son, saved us, & in this gift comforts & sustains us (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17). Hope that lives in us every day through the Holy Spirit, bringing us joy & peace (Romans 15:13). Hope that draws us closer to Him in mind & in our actions, providing for our every need (James 1:3-6).

Yes, Hope sustains. Hope brings us joy, even in trials.

I know Savannah's family would agree, that it is a blessing to have support from others seeking to maintain the joy in life's trials.


  1. I would like to thank everyone for their prayers for Savannah and our family. It means so much to us to know that prayer is going on around the country even with people we never met. I am confident after all the years with her medical problems the Lord brought us here to finally find out all that is wrong with her. I hate she has to go through all of this but if that is what it takes to get all the doctors together on one page then I think it is best. I know that the prayers will continue to help her and that we will find an answer.

  2. Keeter, stay with it dude! The daily task you are being asked to perform (as trivial as they may seem right now) are the groundwork for the bigger picture. I couldn't ever imagine how tough this is on you, but you know the daily support you have, and how many people depend on this blog daily. You have encouraged so many already. Do work, son!

    I'm still laughing that they are asking you to drink Ensure. Remember your freshman year at NCSU, you asked me how you could get stronger and gain some weight? I gave you an Ensure, you took one swallow, made a face, and said it tasted like "garbage." Well, well, looks like that little can does have some stuff to make you stronger. Drink up, buddy boy! I can't wait until you get back to Raleigh! I can mix you up something that will taste a lot better. I'm thinking a Met-rx will do you right. I miss you, man.

  3. Hey Brian! I'm still thinking about you and praying for you everyday. I'm planning to come see you on Monday! I'll try to think of some fun things we can do to give the TV a break :) Can't wait to see you!

    Love you, miss you,

  4. Keet,
    So glad to hear your new progress. Srah and I are coming on either Saturday or Sunday to come hang out for a while. Get ready buddy cause BIG FLEE is comin! See you then

  5. Brian,
    Dont get down on this we need that persistant attitude we all know you have like uncie smeador said it might seem trivial now but think towards the bigger picture so we can get you back on your feet and back to living your life keep on the current trends of working hard we all got your back buddy, miss you man


  6. Brian,
    I can't come close to imagining what you are going through right now, mentally and physically, but I do know that you are tough and determined and you will get through this. I do get a kick out of the fact that people are trying to encourage you to do something other than watch TV. It has always been a challenge to get you to break away from watching TV and playing video games!! Good luck!! I think this is a sign that our Brian is back!! :)

    Love you,

  7. Brian,

    I got a great report from Sean and Evie after they visted you last, which makes me very happy! Continue to impress us all with your daily improvements and strength. Can't wait to see you soon!