Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chuck's new room is ready and watiting. I've moved everything into the room but him. As God would have it, it is the room he was FIRST brought to upon arriving at Baylor Specialty. He was assessed and promptly moved next door to the pod. We really have the best of both worlds as we are in a private room, but right next to the case of emergencies! Sometimes God blows me away with his tender mercies!

Wounds are looking good. Please continue to pray for healing...and to praise God for his faithfulness!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Chuck is doing great...running a bit of a fever tonight, which could be from several things: he still has an infection, or it could be from over-exertion from breathing. Please pray his body stays healthy and strong. We will be moving out of the pod soon to a single room. Praise God! Also, Dr. B. advised me to have the care coordinator put the wheels in motion for home-health care...for just in case. We are still several weeks away from discharge...but this is the CLOSEST we have been. Please pray for healing.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Wounds are looking fine, fine, fine. Guess who's on a speaking valve?? Guess who didn't notice and had to have her husband point it out to her by SAYING "I'm talking!"??

I praise God for his wonderful faithfulness! I praise God for the BRILLIANT doctors and their wonderful grasp of the human body. Yea God, yea science, yea perseverance!
Good morning! Chuck stayed on the t-bar all night! I'll update with more info as it comes in...late breaking news.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chuck is simply many of you already know. Of course, every once in a while he takes me by surprise and leaves me speechless. So, guess who moved his right foot this morning? Yep...nonchalantly he said, "Look," and motioned down to his foot. He was wiggling his toes. In awe, I asked, "Are you doing that on purpose????" He just smiled at me.

He went on the t-bar at 6:30 this morning. I'm anticipating a great day. Thank you God!

This was in my devotional this morning. This is in reference to one of my favorite verses about love: "Jesus bore all things, believed all things, hoped all things, and endured all things. Every single one."

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Chuck went 11 hours on the t-bar. Again, he was advised to sleep with the need to rush. However, Chuck was not weary from breathing on his own. Thank you, God!

Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for healing. Be blessed!
This is an ode to our friend, Stacie:

Okay imagine that you step out on a limb and go into business with a brilliant and devilishly handsome partner. This partner is the one who sets up the guidelines which offer you direction and comfort in this crazy new venture. Promptly, this partner becomes debilitated by pain and most of the leg-work falls on your shoulders. Then imagine that this business partner goes in for a surgical procedure with the promise of returning to work within 2 months...a big dose of courage would be needed to make it through those 2 you are left on your own with no direction...and no partner to help shoulder the load. Okay...those 2 months drag on and on to 9 months. What do you do? How do you keep the doors of the business open...especially if your partner is the one who guides the direction of the business and has a flair for drumming up new customers? Well, this is exactly what Stacie has gone through this past year. Not only was she able to keep the doors of Credit Works open, she has single-handedly taken the business in a new direction. She has researched the best business model for their current situation. Stacie has studied, trained, and invested in a new line of work. Starting March 1, Stacie will open the doors to her Allstate business...saving the company that she and Chuck started a few years ago. Yea Stacie! Yea God!

So, if you need auto, home, business or life insurance...go to Stacie Gonzalez at Allstate! Her new office is the old Credit Works office: 3219 Wurzbach...right across from Ingram Park Mall. The number is 210-521-4477.

We thank God for Stacie and ask for prayers for her new business adventure!

Friday, February 23, 2007

It has been a great day for Chuck. He did 8 hours on the t-bar. He stopped because Dr. B. recommended that Chuck sleep with the ventilator. However, Chuck was not tired and might have gone all night!

Dr. D. did the apligraf today. Chuck's wounds are doing super...I can't wait to see the results of this apligraf! Thank you for your prayers for healing. Please continue.

Thank you God for your faithfulness!!

The video is amazing...I believe Vanessa Wheeler put it together...amazing stuff! Chuck just loved it...I loved it...Mom and Dad loved it. A BIG thank you everyone who was involved with producing this amazing gift.
THE video (from the benefit) arrived yesterday! John sent me 8 copies. It was all I could do to waaaaaiiit through the night so I could watch it with Chuck. Oh my!!! What an amazing gift. I couldn't stop is just perfect. Thank you so much for loving Chuck almost as much as I do! We are truly blessed.

He just started t-bar for today. I'll update later....

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Five hours! Chuck went five hours on t-bar. He's on his way home!
Four hours and counting...Chuck has been on the t-bar for four hours! Tomorrow is the apligraf. Chuck is moving right along! He is having issues with pain and how to manage it. Please pray for his physical comfort and for a fresh, new idea for how to manage his pain.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chuck is weak today. He seems worn out. Could be due to lack of a gooooood nap...which he is trying to rememdy as I write this.

He sat up for about 5 minutes today. No t-bar as of yet. Due to a glitch in the system, Chuck did not get the alpigraf today...the "goods" did not make it here to him. Thus, apligraf will be performed on Friday.

Please pray for healing; protection from sickness; and strength of body, mind, and soul!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pretty good day for Chuck. He sat up for a few minutes (about 10) and he did the t-bar for one hour! His medication has been changed up a bit so that he does not have to swallow his pain meds. He threw up all morning, but kept everything down this afternoon.

Liz asked a great question = what's up with Chuck's nausea? The answer is that the doctors do not know and figure that it has to do with his new physique. His organs moved majorly due to the spine-staightening. He has been given drugs to help (phenergan being on of them). The hope is that things will "just work themselves out."
p.s. from yesterday...Chuck kept most everything down until he started putting medicine down! long as he does not eat, drink, nor take medicine by mouth he's fine. Oi!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Looking the lungs more support. Dr. B does not want Chuck to become chronically just resting and no t-bar. Perhaps tomorrow Chuck's body will have rested enough to give it another go.

Chuck sat up for a brief period today. His wounds are stable. He's still a bit nauseous...but has kept most everything down today.

Please pray for healing!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Greg ran what he calls a leisurely marathon. Is there such a thing??? He finished in 3 hours and 26 minutes. Whew!

I forget what a night owl Chuck is until I hang out with him in the late evenings. Last night we watched the NBA Allstar events. It was really fun...Chuck was very interactive and enthusiastic.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Today was a laaaazy Saturday...lots of naps...I even grabbed one! Chuck is nice and stable...working towards weaning off the vent. Yesterday he went 35 minutes on the t-bar. Not too shabby first time out of the chute. He did not feel up to it today. For now, Chuck gets to set the pace for t-bar trials.

Tomorrow Greg runs his fourth marathon. This one is in Austin.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Chuck's back on t-bar...tee hee! I'm all giddy and the respiratory therapist is having to remind me to breathe!
Chuck looks great. Though he is still fighting nausea...he looks much stronger than when I left him.

His wounds are healing slowly. Next Wednesday, he will get another apligraf. Wound care is very pleased with the results of the last one and hopes for continued improvement. The goal is to get his skin to grow across the exposed hardware.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day! Okay, nausea is back with a vengence. Dr. Tate (intestinal fortitude doc) is coming to take a look at Chuck. No blood given today...sorry, my info is spotty...Chuck and I have a system to communicate on the phone...but not all the kinks are worked out yet.

I return to Dallas tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I "talked" to Chuck today. He's excited that OFFICIALLY he does not have to wear his brace anymore. Whew. He's very tired...most likely because he is a bit anemic. Dr. Khetan may give him some blood tomorrow if his count remains low. As for nausea...seems better! Last, but not least, his infection is "contained" in one area (good = not raging throughout the body), and the appropriate antibiotic has been identified. He'll be on the antibiotic for 5 days.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Update from Dad: Chuck looks fine! His nausea has passed for now. Wound care came this morning and all is well there. Chuck does have another drug-resistant infection...which may be why he was feeling so sickly. We are awaiting the appropriate antibiotic (pesky psuedomonis...resists so many drugs)!

Pray for healing...and comfort!

This was my verse for the day...found it QUITE appropriate:

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:7, NLT

Sunday, February 11, 2007

We are on hold for the means a trip across the street. With more hardware showing, now is not the time for a field trip.

Lungs look better (per X-ray and blood-gas results). If there are no more speed bumps, Chuck should be on t-bar within two weeks.

Speaking of speed bump...Chuck is currently fighting eating last two days...tons o' puking today.

I will be in San Antonio this week...tonight through Thursday night. Pray for Chuck's comfort and continued healing.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

To filter or not to filter, that is the question. Chuck has been "bed-ridden" for almost 9 months. He has yet to develop a blood clot...praise God. There is talk of implanting a "filter" of sorts to prevent any clots that may form from going to his lungs. I miss the days when my biggest decision was which color of shoes best matched my outfit. Makes me GREATLY appreciate my friends like Laura...whose daily decisions are life-altering. there are risks with implanting the filter and risks of not implanting the filter...all life-threatening...of course. Oi.

Okay...Chuck is looking GREAT. Dr. B is slowly changing the vent settings...and Chuck's lungs are taking on the new challenges.

The family returns from Jamaica this evening! I can't wait to see pics, hear stories, and sample "some of the best coffee in the world."


Friday, February 09, 2007

News from the wound front: good news/bad news. The yellow, necrotic skin over
Chuck's hardware has sloughed off. This is good...because now new, healthy skin can grow. The bad part is that now more hardware is exposed. Sigh....
Chuck sat up...unasisted by brace or person...for 13 minutes today. He used a bit of arm strength to hold himself up...but mostly trunk strength. Praise man is getting strong!
Mindy is well! flu. Praise God.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

p.s. Good: more trivial bits o' info. Chuck's tube feeds have been changed to a more advanced mix. Previously, he was getting a solution that was already broken down so that his gut would not have break down the food. Because his digestive system is kicking in...he gets a solution that his gut must work on.

p.s. Sad: Mindy got really sick! She packed up the kids and hit the road...afraid that she might have the flu. Please pray for her.
Chuck's looking good and his appetite is returning! This is excellent because everything he eats is just bonus. With the tube feeds alone, he is getting over 1,700 calories a day. This is so good for wound healing!

Dr. B is slowly changing Chuck's vent settings to make Chuck work a little more. He estimates two weeks before Chuck will be ready for t-bar.

To God be the glory, great things he hath done!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Wound care came today. Happy reports: the foreskin graft that was done on Friday has really made a difference. His skin looks so much better. His hardware is still showing, and his wounds are still far from healed...but everything is moving in the right direction. Praise God. I predict that his hardware will be covered within two months. However, the complete healing of all wounds is still a long way off (of course, we've seen many miracles thus far!)

Chuck really wants to get into his wheelchair. However, his ischial wound is not ready for this. Currently, the wound is at about 20% healed. It must be at least 80% healed before the wheelchair is a go. Pray for healing. Pray for patience for us. Pray for creativity for us...perhaps there is something we can do that will give Chuck more independence that does not involve sitting in his chair.

To God be the glory great things he hath done!
The fluid is steadily coming off Chuck. He's looking more normal every day. The weaning process may be quite...again, the muscles get very weak very quickly. Dr. Brancaccio reminded us that you can't force the body to heals at its own pace...such an important lesson to learn!

I heard from Mom and Dad this morning. They are loving Jamaica! While they've been away...I've decided to have a party each I invited Mindy Brouse and all five kiddos to come stay! It has been great. Mindy that has worked out perfectly. They do school during the day, then we play at night. Mindy has been a I'm a bit of a wimp and have discovered that I do not do well on my own. An added bonus is that Duncan, Mom's dog, has decided that I'm not so bad after all. He clings to me for dear life...even sleeping with me at night. However, I know as soon as Mom gets back, I'll get kicked to the curb. But for now...I am his beloved Jan.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Well, well, well...this post is for the author and perfecter of my faith. Well, actually, it's for everyone...everyone who knows God...and everyone who does not. It is for everyone who has ever gone through a character-building experience...or who has yet to go through one...but will soon enough.

God designed this journey from day one. He lovingly set this path before me (and Chuck)...clearing the way for my faith to be sharpened...challenged...broken...restored...perfected. Please know...without "the perfecter" working, this whole experience would have been such a tragedy. I cannot tell you how often I've heard, "You are so strong." I don't quite know how to respond to that. Yes...I am strong. I would never dishonor God by denying his great work in my life. However, I am strong because he has made me strong. He is the author and perfecter of my very life. Before I drew a breath...God planned every day of my existence.

But wait...there's more...there's a lot more to this "strength" transformation...the part I don't often write...the part I'm ashamed of...the part that I fear will make my loved ones weak with worry. So why now? Cause...cause I want you to know how loving God has been to me. Cause I want you to know much I love amazed I am at his patience for the weak and broken-hearted...for those who turn away from him in times of unbelievable it is to me that he opens his arms to welcome us home once we've wallowed in filth for a while.

I haven't wanted to describe how HORRIBLE the journey to faith and strength has been. (Don't get me's been full of blessings, too.) It's hard enough to go through everything...why in the world would I relive it by writing about it??? It has been rough...I pray you never watch your loved one groan, cry, scream, writhe, grow confused, disoriented, frightened, delusional, and helpless. It is hellish. I write this so that you know...God is kind. God is loving. Even though I've accused him of being cruel, the truth is that he has never left my side. He has saved each tear...knowing that this path is for something beautiful...something lovely and pure.

Yep...I'm strong...full of faith, but God brought me to strength by having me crawl on my belly...roll around in shame...cry in despair...deny his love for me...isolate myself from others...drink way too much...I have not been a pillar of strength on my own. FAR, FAR from it. Please know who I am apart from that you can see that without him...I am lost, hopeless, and helpless. This whole wretched event would be for nothing were it not in the loving hands of a kind God. It would be senseless and tragic. All that stuff in the Bible about God and humans and reconciliation and LOVE? True. Hey, if you have not read the Bible as an it. I'm telling you, you will be blown away by the relevancy. My personal favorite concerning the meaning of life is Ecclesiastes. Come on now...tell me that book is not full of truth. I grew up knowing Bible stories...then I studied it some in college...even did some in-depth study as a young adult. However, it wasn't until LIFE hit, that I truly appreciated the beauty...the truth. That God...does he know us or what??? I'm telling ya. Read will find ALL the answers to EVERY question. Can't say that about many books, now can ya?

But I digress...I love God. I praise him for this journey. I pray for continued strength as I'm weary of Chuck being in pain.

Be blessed!
The care coordinator is looking at everything we will need to take care of Chuck at home (Mom and Dads). Tee hee...I didn't think they'd get on it so fast! Please pray about I'm scared to death but also thrilled at the prospect of having Chuck home. Truly, I know he will get better faster, and will be so much happier!

Chuck has started physical and occupational therapies once again. He lost a great deal of strength while in I.C.U. Knowing him, it won't take long to build some bulging biceps. Can't wait!

Breathing is the weaning yet as he still has fluid floating about in his tissues and hanging out around the lungs.

Chuck is much more "Chuck" these days. I really missed him while he was in I.C.U...what with the whole short-term memory loss...then the I.C.U. psychosis...oi!

To God be the glory, great things he hath done!!!! (Yes, I'm hooked on my gospel hymnal!)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Wounds are looking fantastic! On Friday, he had another "foreskin" application. This time, the results are much improved due to Chuck's overall health. Only 3cm of hardware is showing! Praise God.

Chuck's j-tube had to be replaced again. Our dear Dr. Tate made the trip over...once again. The man is a busy surgeon...yet he drops everything and runs to take care of Chuck! He told us it is a labor of love. Could you just cry???

Let's see...I am trying to organize a sit-down with the docs to discuss Chuck's discharge. I want to take him home...home being Chuck's parents. Please pray Chuck can wean off the ventilator quickly. Once he's weaned...hopefully we can get him home to continue healing...later rehab...later San Antonio.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Moving right along! Chuck is making steady improvements. It may sound small, but he holds his own cup now, feeds himself...gradually regaining his independence.

This is the first day in MONTHS that he's wanted to watch TV...could be the whole Super Bowl excitement. Whatever it is, I'm thrilled. We're hanging out, eating popcorn, and watching all the pregame stuff.

Mom, Dad, and the Roaches are in Jamaica this week! They are taking a much needed and much deserved break. They have left me in charge of the Corvette and the Lexis!!! Needless to say, I will not be driving the Ford Focus this week.

Much love!!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Okay - The Blue Cactus is now...officially my favorite restaurant ever! If you are in San Antonio...go, go, go! The food is great, but more important than that, the people who run the place are amazing. They frequently do "eat for a cause" events...just like they did for me and Chuck.

Here are the "cause numbers" from the Fix Up Chuck benefit:
148 adult dinners at $2 each = $296
168 alcoholic beverages at $1 each = $168
Cause total = $464!!!!

To protect the innocent, I will not use names. But some of you REALLY helped us out a lot with all the beverages you purchased! (tee hee) Who could drink for a cause? Seriously, thanks to THE BLUE CACTUS for hosting this wonderful event.
I'm back home with my sweetie. He looks GREAT, better than he has in a month. He is just so precious to me!

Wound care is thrilled with his progress. The lungs are still an issue...struggling to get the fluid off them. This will simply take time. Please pray toward that end.

Okay, I am all weepy with gratitude and joy...thank you Spearman Church of Christ members. They have been sending me cards...just precious. But the BIG thing is that they sent me the hymnal of my youth. Now, for those of you who know little about the Church of Christ, music is BIG! We sing acapella. I was blessed to grow up in a church filled with amazing singers. Singing was my FAVORITE part of church. Needless to say, the hymnal brought forth so many first introduction to faith. Poor Chuck, I just couldn't stop crying...and you know how guys are around emotionally unstable women!!! Thank you my dear, dear church first church family...the people who helped mold and define the woman I have become. God bless you. Thank you. Thank you for shaping my faith. Thank you for keeping up with me and Chuck. Thank you for praying for me! I just love you so much.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The word on the street is that Chuck has NEW skin growing on his back! Praise God. Chuck had Dad call me as soon as wound care declared his back "better" thoughtful is that? Chuck is laid up in bed, dealing with pain and still his thoughts are of me. What a man!