Monday, August 15, 2005

Skipping more steps?

     Kari is exhausted.  She put in a hard day which included going to two physical therapy sessions, weaning from the ventilator for almost five hours, and sitting up in her wheel chair for about three hours.  There's a glassed in bridge connecting the two wings of the Craig Hospital, so we spent considerable time out there looking at Pike's Peak in the distance.  Linda took some good pictures of us which we'll send to the photo section of the website soon.  Then when we left the bridge we came to the large family education room where Kari wanted to look at a world map.  You guessed where her focus was?  Ethiopia, of course.  While we were talking about that a young girl and her boyfriend came in the room.  She was in a wheel chair, and though she had no trache tube, she had a large halo collar encircling her head.  She and Kari (and all of us) had a great time talking.  At times it might get discouraging looking at all the people in wheel chairs.  Yet it's also inspiring to see how much they too are working on getting better, and how much everyone is pulling for each other.  Like Kari's room mate, this young girl was 17 and also named Brittany.  She initially came up to Kari because she thought Kari was Brittany.  In fact, several people today called Kari Brittany, and when they got her up to go to physical therapy they initially put her in Brittany's wheel chair!  "I'm way too old to be a Brittany!" Kari said.  Anyway, among the many things that impressed me about this Brittany who came up to talk to Kari was her cheerfulness and openness, and how much control she had managed to get over her arms.  Like Kari, she too had been injured in a rollover.  She too was a C5-C6, and had gained so much control over her arms even though she still could not feel her fingers or thumbs.  Kari can now consistently feel both thumbs, especially her right one, and this morning as I was scratching all over her arms and hands Kari said she could feel the top of her hand running towards her index finger.  In fact, she suddenly said in her whispered shout, "I feel my index finger!" and began to cry.  Rejoice in this as we all do here, and keep praying over her arms and hands.  Her right shoulder continued to cause tremendous pain today as well, so her therapists have taped it.  It feels much better, and as tone returns to her shoulders and her collar is removed and she can actually turn her head more and really move the shoulder area things should improve.  For now, though, pray for the shoulder pain.
     Everyone here is so encouraging and they tell Kari all the time how great she is doing--which she is.  In fact, we had originally thought, as I reported recently, that they would begin a phased step-down in size of the trache tube.  But today one of her doctors said that she was doing so great on her weaning that he might just skip most of that step-down.  He said we might as well keep her on the large trache, get her weaned really fast--because he thinks she's capable--then just go to one of the smaller trache tubes right away and just be done with everything that much sooner, the ventilator the trache and all.  Stayed tuned.  Things change day to day, but on the whole, despite the pain and extreme fatigue and setbacks here and there, they're moving forward faster than most people had expected.  She's already looking forward to being back in some home in L.A., but when I told her last night that her real home was in our hearts, she understood that immediately.  "I feel that," she said.  "I know that that's the best home there is."
--Richard R. Guzman 


Jan Barrett said...

Did you hear the applause on Sunday? When I shared in the "joys and concerns" the progress that Kari is making, the 12 people who were in attendance at this my new home church gasped in surprise and applauded! Way up here in the UP, people have you all in their prayers. You are loved; and home IS in the hearts of those who love you. Tanks for the reminder, Richard!Mom/Jan Barrett

heather velloff said...

Thanks, Richard, for this great update! I always enjoy reading the news from you because you have such a poetic flair for writing that I feel as if I am in the hospital with you!
To Kari~
You are such an awesome woman of God and have such strength of character. You are never more than a second from my thoughts and prayers, and most definitely you live in my heart. I am so proud of you for your hard work and great spirit! Keep it up!
I love you! You're my hero!

Katie (Bost) Heuer said...

Mr. Guzman,
Thank you for your continued updates! It is so encouraging to read of the progress Kari is making. We are so glad you are there with Kari and Aaron. We pray for all of you...for strength, support, and hope.

Katie (Bost) and Ty Heuer

John Wehrle said...

hey...i really have enjoyed reading about Kari's progress on the web. Very efficent guys...nice work.

I'm just curious, does Kari read all the blogs and comments and everything too?

john wehrle

Anonymous said...

Kari, I have never met you but I know Richard's family quite well. Please know that our prayers are with you and that we think of you daily. We are pleased to read of your progress. We will stay in touch with Richard as you continue to heal. With God's blessings, Tom and Sally McFaul (from North Central College)

Anonymous said...

Kari, opps.I pushed the anonymous button. Clearly, signing our names means we are not anonymous. Tom McFaul

Rose Rice, North Aurora, IL said...

I am so grateful for the updates on this blog. If it weren't for these, I would not know about Kari's amazing progress. Thank you!
And, Kari - I have personally seen the strength of your conviction and your faith and have no doubt you will continue to improve. You go, girl!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kari & Aaron,
Just wanted you to know it's been a privilege and blessing to be able to agree with our Lord and the brothers and sisters at the St. Charles F.M.C. in Illinois as you continue your journey of ever-increasing communion in our Lord Jesus. I am thankful for the updates and for the memories of worshipping our God Most High with you, Kari, as you sang the words of "That's Why We Praise Him" during Women's Retreat, full of adoration and praise as together, with other believers, we felt the rythmn of His heart through every word, musical note and beat of the drums.
Both Brian and I send our love in Christ, believing God for your provision and healing in every way.
In Faith with Hope,
Lisa Schnell
Brian Schnell
Both still drumming for Jesus

Larkin Barrett said...

Kari and Aaron,

I have been following these updates from the moment that I heard about your accident. The good news of progress is a joy even when it is mixed with frustrations. I have kept you in my thoughts and prayers and have asked those in my church to do the same. Your strength, determination, and unfailing faith are a true inspiration. I will continue to pray that you will keep experiencing these steps toward recovery and that you remain strong in faith and spirit.
Love to you all,