Thursday, September 15, 2005

Update from Aaron 9/15

Hello All—

Since my last update, Kari has been doing a lot of weaning off the ventilator.  I think I last reported that on Saturday, Kari had done 7hrs 20min off the vent.  On Sunday, she did 8, Monday, 8 ½, Tuesday 10 ½ and today she did 14 ½.  It was only 9 days ago that she went for an hour and 15min, was completely worn out and begging to be put on the ventilator; today she told me that she feels like she can breathe better without the vent and she has to get used to going back on it.  Tomorrow (actually today now) she is supposed to do 18-20 hrs, and then go for 24 on Friday.  If she does 24 okay, they’ll extend it to 48 hrs. Immediately—meaning that by Sunday she could be off the vent.  She has also been able to stay up in her chair 4-7 hours each day.  

I am so proud of how she’s doing, especially since through all the forward progress with the breathing, her shoulder and neck pain has been almost debilitating.  She is in basically constant and extreme pain now, which makes her shake, takes a lot of the strength out of her voice, and zaps her energy.  When they are able to get her pain down, the heavy narcotics she is on usually knock her out pretty good.  She hasn’t really been able to drive this whole week because it is too painful to extend her arm.  The pain is caused by the overworking of her shoulder and bicep muscles which also inflames her tendons.  Because the only muscles in her arms that work are her biceps, they tend to stay contracted, which, if you could imagine continuously flexing a muscle for hour upon hour, you can imagine leads to a lot of pain and inflammation.  Also, her neck has been in a brace for almost two months now, so the muscles affected have become very hard and stiff from lack of movement.  It is sort of a vicious cycle: less movement leads to more pain which leads to less movement.  The good news, though, is that the reverse should be true too, and I have seen more of Kari’s old self—strength, determination, and desire to reverse this cycle and get moving more comfortably.  I have been so proud of my wife with how she has worked so hard this week and has still been graceful in handling her pain.  When her parents left on Tuesday, she cried to them, “I’ll try to get better,” and I could visibly see how much it pained her to see them hurting.  “I’m sad because it just broke their hearts,” she later told me.  

On the spiritual side of things, we’ve noticed a few trends in a lot of the emails that we’ve been getting.  First, there seems to be a large number of children that seem moved to pray for Kari.  We get emails almost daily in which the person writing it tells us that at bedtime or meals their child asks if they can pray for Kari.  Second, a lot of people have been telling us of a sense, message, or word from God that they have gotten regarding us.  All these messages have a very similar theme, and more specifically the same exact word being used all the time.  I don’t want to say what it is, because I want the holy spirit to lead you in your own prayer, but the same words and sense that my father had from the very beginning are the same that keep coming up.  Kari today told me that she has always felt this way too, and although I did not use that one word to describe it right away, it was also the overwhelming sense that I had that first 20 minutes waiting under the car for paramedics to arrive.  As for the fear thing, we had a great prayer time with friends of ours from Cali tonight that dealt with some specifics of spiritual oppression.
Kari and I have accountability partnerships with this couple, and we were able to pray through the cell phone.  What was really great was that Kari could talk, so our conversation was able to go deeper than would have otherwise been possible.

Lastly, in the days right after the accident, Kari told us that she saw angels under the car with us.  At first we assumed that they were there to protect us, but as Kari was able to communicate more in the days to come, she explained to me that they were angles that appeared as children to take her home to God—but that she told them to go away so she could stay here with me.  This week, Kari has seemed more herself, with the same spirit that I have always known her to have.  And even though it hurts me to see her in pain, I am thankful more than ever that we can do this together.

May the grace of God be with you in abundance.



mom barrett said...

Dear Aaron and Kari,
Thankd you for the updates. We have not been as frequent in our respomse to you, but that doesn't mean that we have not been thinking about you daily. We have an angel on our stoop here in the UP that was a gift to me from a dear friend. Every time I come up the steps I think of you two and the many friends in whose hearts you are now being held.
Kari, your courage is an inspiration to all of us. Take each minute at a time and don't worry about the next one.
Every Sunday on the radio, the program that I listen to as I drive to church plays, "Count Your Many Blessings". It seems that we all must do that, each little one. You and Aaron are blessings to one another.
We are delighted to hear that you are weaning so well. I pray for the lessening of the pain in the shoulder.
God bless you both,
Mom Barrett

susan colby said...

Aaron and Kari,
This email is so powerful, I am full of emotions, all kinds, just reading. Especially since I dreamed about you Kari last night. It was so real, I wanted to get to work to post it on the blog because you were up and moving around. You were changed, but you were happy in my dream. I really miss you and I am looking forward to my visit. I have this overwhelming feeling that great and powerful things are coming. Aaron thank you for your writing. It really makes me feel hopeful. I love you, Susan

John said...


I am humbled by your words. You are truly an amazing man. I have to agree with Cyndi, "You are the very best person that Kari could have as a husband."

Looking forward to seeing you both ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!!!

Love you guys.


Charlie + said...

Dear Kari and Aaron,

"This is the air we breathe..."

Kari sang that many times, but we have it on CD. She has always known how "spiritual" that is to me. Being "away", and seeing the dramatic improvement of breathing on her own in less than a week... Your long post "not" mentioning "transfer trauma" out of bed. Such blessings...


Charlie +

Katie (Bost) Heuer said...

Dear Aaron and Kari,
You are both so blessed to have each other! That is apparent in all of your updates, Aaron, and in the pictures of the two of you on the website. What great triumphs you have overcome together. I know that God will continue to be there with you for many, many more! Your love and faith is such an inspiration!
May God be with you always.


Anonymous said...

Aaron @ Kari-

So good to know you've had a couple of good days here. We are believing, believing, believing.

See you in SIX days! YIPPEE!


Anonymous said...

Aaron and Kari,
WOW!!! That is how I feel each time I read one of your updates. The way you word things, the power of the Holy Spirit in your lives, the deep commitment you have to each is all so awesome. Total inspiration! Thank you.

Linda Bonifas-Guzman said...

Aaron & Kari,

As I read tonight's update aloud to Richard, I was again brought to tears and could barely keep reading. What a powerful message...

We are barely home from our last visit and already long to come back for the next!

We love you both and think,pray and speak of you very, very often.

You are always near,

Andy Anderson said...

My love goes out to both of you and my prayers go up to Him who is full of grace.

Andy Anderson

Anonymous said...

Aaron your updates are awsome!!! Kari I'm sooooo glad to hear your weaning off the vent. so quickly!!!It will take time but it is amazing how far you've come so far!! You both are in my thoughts & prayers daily. I play the CD from Moosheart daily & just to be able to listen to your voice & really hear your true faith in your voice it's just amazing!!
You are truely a beautiful person inside & out! God will pull you through this, for that I am sure.
Blessing to you both
Donie STFM