Kari breathed on her own for about 10 hours today, but because that was tiring, she is now back on the ventilator for the night. Monday she is scheduled for a tracheotomy, though there is some talk that if she seems to be strong enough, the doctors may consider not doing one. It takes a few days to a few weeks for someone to be weaned off the ventilator, however, and so they will probably go ahead. This will allow them to remove the big tubes that have been going down Kari's throat. These are very irritating and have caused her much pain and frustration ever since she came to the hospital. These have caused so much agitation that they have had to keep her more sedated than they, or the family, would like. On the whole, the tracheotomy is probably a better, safer idea, though it would be wonderful not to have to have one.
Jan Hirschy of Richland Center, WI, said she appreciated these updates because it helped them to pray. There are so many forms that can help focus our prayers. At the St. Charles church Friday night, pastor Derin Fowler used the ACTS form: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication. Sometimes our pastor at Friendship UMC, Rev. Jaimie Hanna Williams, will use a centering prayer based on concentrating on our breath and body. In this case in particular that might also help us focus. As you pray relax and be aware of your breath; then focus especially on your upper spinal cord. Pray and imagine Kari's spinal cord renewing and healing at the C5 vertebra, then imagine this renewing, this healing moving downward to the cord enclosed by the C6 vertebra and lower and lower. Ask the God who created us, saved us, and sustains us to meet Kari just there at the place of her injury and heal it, moving with renewing, wakening mercy downward inch by inch, millimeter by millimeter.
These are just techniques, of course. Though they are good and profound ones, they must be driven by our earnestness, by our love for God and Kari, by the deep trust of children approaching a gracious parent. Abba, Father, we say and put our faith there. Thank you for praying so earnestly no matter how you are moved to do so.
--Richard R. Guzman