Gas prices are zooming and it's a 16 hour drive from Naperville, yet it seems strange to me not to be with Kari in Denver. At least Rick, Aaron's older brother, and his wife Desiree are there now, and he sends lots of details for me to report. The first is this:
Kari, along with Brittany, has been moved to another room: 314-A.
Don't know why, but the room is bigger and nicer. Someone asked if Kari was reading the blog, and the answer is Yes, though she might not read every bit of it every day. For the next day she probably won't. Aaron has his computer with him, but the internet outlet in the new room is like 12 feet from the bed, and Aaron can't get any closer than four feet from Kari. Rick and Aaron will try to find a longer cord tomorrow or the next day. Tomorrow Desiree is staying with Kari while the two brothers go to a Cubs-Rockies game. Great seats: 8th row behind the Cubs dugout--and Kari is glad Aaron will get this break. I made the mistake of taking all the kids to Wrigley field practically before they could walk, and now they appear to be hopelessly devoted to that team. I remember carrying Aaron in to try to get three of us in for the price of two, but when the man at the turnstile saw Aaron's feet dangling down below my knees, he said, "That's the last time for that, Dad!"
All other moves were like a three-ring circus, and I suppose this one was as well. Rick reports that, like the times before, it made Kari very anxious. This comes at the end of a very rough couple of days. Last night, though, Kari had a good night after two really hard ones, and today was OK--though it started with a very high fever of over 102. They iced her down, however, and the fever went away quickly. It could be infection, but it could also be that the spinal cord has not returned enough yet to regulate body temperature. Several hallways in the hospital have names on little street signs. One is "Will Avenue." Another is "Lizzard Way," a reference to how lizzards and others like them don't regulate their temperatures internally.
Kari has had a couple of days of just feeling weird and a little disoriented, probably because they are trying new combinations of medications to help with pain and other things. Now they appear to have found a combination that makes her more comfortable without the weird feeling. They plan to get her back on her regular schedule Monday. They don't do therapy on the weekends anyway, but for the last couple of days Kari has been too tired--from the fever, the shoulder pain, the generally unsettled feeling--to even do some weaning sessions. Hopefully, Monday she starts again. Still, she was so far ahead that she's still ahead of normal schedule, though not as ahead as she was. Pray for some return of stability and the departure of such intense pain.
Kari now has consistent sensation in her right forefinger down to the second knuckle, and also in the important nerve nexus between the thumb and forefinger. She's been dreaming a lot too--dreaming of being back home and walking around and just doing things on her own. As Aaron said earlier, the doctors don't expect a lot more functions to return, but they wouldn't be surprised either. The Ethiopia team reports that at a recent prayer meeting for Kari the pastors gathered there pretty much simultaneously had a vision of her walking again. Several people have expressed to me there sense that she will be all right--as in completely healed physically. Between her dreams of walking and people seeming to see it a lot I take much hope, as we all should. It wouldn't surprise the doctors, and we--we would experience what C.S. Lewis experienced when he titled one of his books "Surprised By Joy." It's not like we doubted God, but the intensity of the joy makes it feel like a surprise nonetheless. I'm ready for that kind of surprise.
--Richard R. Guzman