Sunday, July 31, 2005


     A couple of you have said--and I know many, many others feel the same--that you sometimes feel like jumping in a car or onto a plane to come out to support Aaron and Kari during the gaps when they might be alone.  We're working on a calendar function that might help us coordinate such visits, but that probably won't be up for a while.  Also, we're waiting to find out what kind of lodgings the Craig Hospital will provide when Kari is admitted to the 90-day rehab program.  And what will the routine of rehab really be like?  How do visitors fit into this routine?  We don't quite know any of this yet.
     That's the wait now.  When can Kari start the formal rehab process?  We're thinking a spot will open up sometime mid- to late next week, but that's not for certain yet.  Meanwhile, though she still struggles to get comfortable with breathing, she IS getting stronger.  This morning the fever of yesterday was gone.  It kept creeping back some of the day, though never quite as high, and her arms felt just right to the touch, whereas yesterday they were very hot, especially in the morning.  They plan a scope of her lungs tomorrow sometime to help remove any stubborn pockets of mucus that might be low down and making it harder for her to adjust.  The ventilator is still very low--the exhaling pressure especially--so she continues to breathe pretty much on her own.
     What she got a little tired of today was people!  She is so gracious to all of us, and she loves seeing people, but that's tiring too, as you might expect.  Today people were in from various places in Illinois.  She has visitors scheduled Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, some of them kids from St. Charles and Brookside who are at IYC.  She'll be excited to see them, but Shona and others are keeping those visits short so as not to tire her too much.  Still, even with all the visitors, Aaron will now be shouldering most of the hour by hour responsibilities of just being there for her. Linda will be with him until Thursday afternoon.  Hold them up in prayer, please, especially during the down times when visitors leave.  Hold up Sarah in prayer.  She heads back to California early tomorrow.  What an angel she has been.  Along with Kari's Mom she knows more about caring for Kari than any of us and has done better than any of us will be able to do in the next few weeks.  Pray for her and all those who are going on the Ethiopia mission trip so dear to Kari's heart. 
     Today they changed Kari's bed to an air one, which will help prevent bed sores and shape itself more to her body.  What a job the transfer was, and then the adjusting to something else new.  It tired her out, and at one point as she was being lifted and adjusted, she said, "Don't drop me," and "Does the bed have rails?"  She also told her Dad that she felt like her hands were full of electricity.  That hurt her.  Then again, we can't help but think that might be a good sign as well.  Pray for God to heal her completely, for the C5 - C6 area to come back to life more and more each hour.  Pray also for peace of mind.  Kari has great faith, but things go fast, then they go slow, things swirl around you, then become almost too still, and these moment by moment changes, the struggling to be weaned off the ventilator, the tiredness, the fever which comes and goes--these cause tension and frustration.  Pray that she can relax as much as possible, that fears of being dropped fade away quickly.  Her body will need more and more rest as she works harder and harder to get stronger, but her spirit will need even more rest.  "I heard the voice of Jesus say, Come unto me and rest."  I pray that she hears her Lord's voice saying this over and over to her. 
--Richard R. Guzman  


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your update. Again, waiting is so hard for all of us, we want to Do something!! But will continue to lift Kari and Aaron, and the rest of the family and friends in prayer. I am one of those who want to come and help if there is something I can do. Right now I think bathing everyone in prayer is my most important help. Please let me and others of the St. Charles FM Church know if there is anything we can do, or if you need us to come.
Vicki Ainsworth
St. Charles FM Church

Katie (Bost) Heuer said...

Mr. Guzman,
In my experience as a physical therapist, patients in rehab must be able to tolerate 3 hours per day of therapy. That usually includes physical, occupational, and speech (PT,OT,SP) therapy. If or when SP is not needed, an hour of the other (usually PT)is added to the day. When working in the rehab unit, I encouraged family to attend sessions with their loved one and when appropriate to participate in therapy (i.e.learning transfers/ wheel chair use, etc.).

The patients I worked with had very long and often tiring days. Rest is definitely a necessity. The schedule for the week was decided on Thursdays and posted in the patients' rooms. Then the patient and all visitors could see the schedule for the upcoming week and plan visits accordingly. This may vary from the Craig Rehab. Unit, but hopefully it gives you an idea of what Kari and Aaron may encounter in rehab.

Please let me know if I can help with any other questions about what may lie ahead regarding rehab.

Keeping you in my prayers,
Katie (Bost) Heuer