Sunday, October 16, 2005

Update 10/16

Hello All—

The doctors have decreased a lot of Kari’s medications, so she has definitely become more alert over the past few days.  She always knows who people are, but still has a lot of confusion about what is real and what is not.  She will often look at a picture on the wall or just think about somebody and think that they are here, so we took all of her pictures down off the walls and ceiling.  It has helped a little bit, but Kari’s mind still races, especially at night.  I think what is happening is that she imagines things happening, things that are usually bad, and then believes that they are real.  Often she will be very panicked about something because she believes that someone is in danger.  Kari also still has a lot of trouble making sense when she talks.  Generally, what ever she is looking at makes its way into the sentence she is saying, and then she gets frustrated that no one can understand her.  This keeps her from sleeping a lot, although she has gotten some in the last few days.  Spasms too get worse at night and will keep her up for a number of hours.   She has had a resurgence of some of the pain, but overall it is still better than it was before.  I’ll be interested to see how this next week goes.  It has been 18 days now since Kari became confused.  She is so fragile mentally that much of her time is spent just managing stimuli and trying to keep her relaxed.  I’m not sure what the plan is this week as far as therapy or medications.  Although she got up in her chair today, she did not get up for therapy except for Monday last week.  

My brother Rick and his wife Desiree were here this weekend, and we got to go to the mountains Friday because Dustin (Kari’s brother) was out here for a day too.  Pictures should be coming soon.  Still feeling like we’re never going to get out of here, but at least we’ll get to see some beautiful winter scenery!  Monday makes it 3 months since the accident.



Anonymous said...

Hi there,

After reading the updates last night I decided to fast and pray for Kari & Aaron this morning before my daughter got up and for breakfast. I have been praying for Kari since the beginning and recently along with this morning I felt like maybe God was bringing some ideas to my mind. I realize you may have already gone down these paths, but wanted to mention them in case God wanted to use them in some way…

1. play worship music in her room to just bring God’s presence even to her subconscious and for the sake of those who are supporting her who are growing weary
2. bring Kari’s doctors and nurses together to pray for Kari and her progress
3. organize a meal or day for her church and supporters to fast for Kari and Aaron and the staff there (Mark 9:29)
4. have local elders or her elders come and anoint her head with oil and offer a prayer to God for her and Aaron

I also thought Richard Guzman’s response to Kari about her pain (and Jesus having defeated it) was perfect and how awesome it is that God’s spiritual truths are tools that help the mind and physical body as well. I also wondered if the fact that she is bringing up stuff from the past is something that needs to take place. I could be totally wrong, but maybe there is something that needs emotional or spiritual healing inside of her that might be able to come to the surface with her in a mentally unguarded state.

I just want to encourage you again that God sees every act prompted by your faith and love! I don’t even think we can imagine the blessings God has is store for all of you and others who are being touched through this.

Phil. 4:7 …and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

In Him,
Alicia from Naperville

Laurie Haessly said...

I believe Alicia is on to something. I really like her ideas.

Aaron, does Craig have support groups for family members? Being able to talk about what you are going through with others in similar situations would be helpful for you and the other family and friends who are Kari's caretakers. Of course, a support group would be helpful for Kari, too, at some point.

Do take care.

Anonymous said...

Bless you Aaron, Your thoughts are so very concrete and to the point. some times heart wrenching for we who care so much,but it helps us to pray more effectively.I am amazed at how God is keeping you steady.He will and IS bringing Kari through this.Kari ,my dear,just rest your HEART in Jesus,when the moments of clarity come to you.The faithful Holy Spirit will HELP you do this.lovingly to both of you.Me.

Charlie + said...

Dear Kari + Aaron,

The first week of January 2002, Derin, Kari, and the Praise band, before church, Layed Hands on me for healing. At that time I was only managing to work 12hrs a week. (No disrespect, Aaron, as your schedule back then was not always to be there Sunday mornings to play bass, and beyond Kari and Derin, our pastors, I don't recall all who were there.) A lot happened that year.

First, there was Moose Show with the Praise band. (The CD is such a blessing to have and someone will find a way to make it available to anyone who wants to hear Kari's so angelic voice.) I did become disabled. You and Kari were married. Cyndi and John were married.

In October, I was hospitalized with exhaustion and beyond. This would have been the sixth time in my life. This past May I was hospitalized again for the same reasons.

I have a life time illness that was triggered in 1975. Again, by simple exhaustion.

Has it kept me from being effective for God ? Of course not. Has it affected me from raising a solid, "blended" family, working since 10yrs of age on a paper route to the age of 47yrs, working with Kari in the Praise band 7yrs, and with you and Cyndi not quite so many years ?

So, now, I ask, was that laying of hands on me "effective"...? Of course it was. Since mid June I have sent out over 3,200 outgoing emails encouraging people who have a "illness".

Right now, for 18 days, periods of the day, and night, Kari has "symptoms". I am not a professional. I said a few days back doctors study a decade or more to understand some of the words used to describe Kari's symptoms.

Moses' Law says "Sabbath"... The New Covenant says "Do this in rememberence of me".

I paid very dearly for my exhaustion in 1975. Certainly, God has always been with me.

I want to make a very clear distinction I am qualified to make, even though I am not a professional. "Symptoms" are different than an "Illness". My allowing exhaustion and lack of nourishment over months became an "illness".

Just leave it at that. Get the rest, both of you. All you can. Same thing for the nourishment. A minor note in a blog entry indicated Kari's appitite improved. God will heal. I have said before, the victories will return.


Charlie +

Rita Bramhall said...

Hello Aaron - We don't know each other well, and Kari and I don't know each other at all but I have read this site almost from the beginning and want to offer my positive thoughts for this stressful situation. Some have made a suggestion of some counseling offered at Craig and that is an excellent suggestion. I also wondered whether you'd considered a speech/language pathology consult and possibly language therapy? While my specialty is in the schools, the clinical SLP focuses on reality orientation-type therapy (esp. with stroke victims but others) and s/he might be able to give you some strategies for those times when Kari is not focusing on reality. Possibly some language therapy might help. I hope this gets through to you - don't know your email addy or I would have used that. Know that you're both in my heart and my thoughts. (I'm the speech/language pathologist at Gage)

jan barrett said...

Greetings from the UP michigan
I was thinking of you two as we drove into town to Newberry today. Our goals? dentist, groceries and swim at a friendly motel that is allowing me to use it when the lake is too cold, and the ultimate purchase...a snowblower!
I have been thinking about the Halloween that you, Aaron, and Blake and the girls went Trick-or-treating on a very cold night in the snow!!!dressed in women's formals. YOu would not wear a coat because no one could see your costumes.Whjat fun you had, and will have again in the future.
This is a good time to share some of those memories with each other and have a few laughs and share a few tears.

We are keeping you in our thoughts.

ps I believe that the music is a great idea for all of you.
Love, Mom Barrett

Emily Hartley said...

I'm not sure I've met you, but I remember Kari from her time at Greenville College. My father, Dr. Hartley, told me about Kari's accident shortly after it happened. I've been following your updates since the end of July. I wish I could offer greater words than these, but at the moment, I don't know of anything else I can say.

You are all in my prayers and my thoughts--and I continue to pray for a miracle.

Tara Giebelhausen said...

I just felt compelled to let you know that you are both still in my prayers and that I wish I could do more to help. Even still, though, God will guide you through these hard times and I admire you so much for how strong you have been through all of this. May the peace of God go with you.

Anonymous said...


Praying for you and thinking of you today.

Your brother,


Paul Alf said...

Hey buddy, I thought you would like this story. Tiffany and I were watching our wedding video not too long ago and the great thing about it was when we exited the sanctuary sing take me out to the ballgame by Harry Carrey, Right when you yell out Cubbies you see Kari put yell it out really loud and you hear her over everyone. I love you guys and praying for you daily. My heart hurts for you guys. If you have any time, give me a call and we will chat.
God's peace,
Paul Alf

Tammy said...

Hey Aaron - I keep up with you and Kari several times a week through this blog. I'm starting to feel like I really know you. I appreciate the time you take to update this blog -- i love you guys. praying for you ...