Saturday, October 22, 2005

Update 10/22

Hello All—

We had our third all-team meeting on Thursday.  It was good to get a chance to sit down and talk with everybody about the plan of attack from here on out.  First of all, the doctors asked me and Kari how we thought things were going.  Kari was pretty out of it, but I was able to explain my frustration with things.  It was a month ago that I was at wits end before our last team meeting because Kari had been in constant pain for weeks.  Of course on the day of the September meeting, Kari’s pain disappeared for a few hours, and thinking that the problem was solved, we didn’t get a chance to really explain our frustrations.  I felt that the doctors listened to me this time, and we all basically agreed that in the 11 weeks since we’ve been here, Kari hasn’t really participated in any rehabilitation.  Also, the doctors feel (and I agree) that they are past their ability to deal with Kari’s mental state.  We’ve seen some improvement, but not what they were hoping for, so Kari will be evaluated by a psychiatrist on Monday.  Many people have asked me if this is a normal kind of thing to go through as part of the injury—it’s definitely not normal, and although it is rare, it’s not necessarily unusual.  They doctors are pretty sure about what caused it, but not too sure about what to do from here.  I’ll try to update on Monday when we find out more.  At the end of the meeting, we set a new expected release date of December 20th, assuming that things from here on out go as planned.  Of course they haven’t thus far, so if you’re up for a New Year’s Eve in exciting Englewood, give me a call.  Actually, being here for the holidays doesn’t bother me so much as does the time away from home—my kids at Gage, friends at church, and just hanging out in our apartment together with our cats.  We left for Omaha on July 13th and it’ll be close to 6th months before we get settled into our new place.  (I’m coming home from Nov. 5th-7th to look at apartments.)

As for how the last few days have gone, needless to say they’ve been frustrating.  Kari has been aware of who people have been for basically the past too weeks, but she is becoming more and more delusional, especially at night.  She is taking valium, and three different sleeping medications along with the risperdal which is supposed to slow her mind down, and yet she can’t sleep.  She is so certain that she sees things going on in the room and she started to panic then the spasms start.  I have told here literally hundreds of time who’s here and who isn’t, but all last night and again this morning when I asked her who was here, she named off about 20 people.  Mostly, though, she is just sure that something bad is happening—people are breaking in, out to get us or someone at home is in trouble.  Often she will only whisper or refuse to speak because she is too afraid that someone will hear her.  Even though I know its not here fault, it angers me so much that she won’t listen to common sense, believe me when I say things are okay, or stop talking so she can sleep.  I think the worst part of it is that I feel like I’m taking care of a screaming baby—someone incapable of reasoning who is in a state of panic.  I’m really starting to miss the Kari that I’ve known for over eight years.  The last two weeks she has had one good night sleep and two or three nights with 6 hours or more spread out over about 10 hours.  Other than that, she’s usually only getting a few spurts of an hour or so.  After spending a few days and nights at the hospital when there were no visitors, I began to understand how this must be taking its toll on Kari.  I only slept a few hours over about two days—she’s been doing this for 3 months.  What to pray for?  I’m not sure if I really know what to ask anymore, but patience for me and no fear for Kari sounds good.  


P.S.  My dad did a post a few minutes before this, so make sure you catch that too.


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Diane Brodeen said...

Hi, Aaron & Kari--Thanks for the update. Sorry to hear about continuing anxiety and poor sleep. I'll keep praying for peace and rest, comfort and patience. Keep your eyes on Jesus, Who never leaves your side. Remember, Peter was able to walk on water when his eyes were on the Lord, but when he put his eyes on his situation instead, he started sinking. God bless and keep both of you!
---Diane B. in Riverside

Diane Brodeen said...

Hi, again! It just occurred to me that you might get some help and encouragement from Joni Eareckson Tada and her organization. The website is: It includes Larry King's interview with Joni. Not sure whether you've already looked into this, but you might find help there.--Diane B.

Denise S said...

Brittany (aka Gage Tuba girl) and her mom shared tears to hear what your family is going through. I asked God Why?, and was answered "because of Kari's faith" When I read through my bible, I see people of faith from years ago. (Old stuff) Your faith, shared together, and your trust and belief that God is in control, is a biblical testimony in todays world. People all to often give up on the belief that God is at work in such horific ordeals. It took your testimony to make me realizes that I have spent alot of past moments in selfishness, I found myself quickly conciding to the fact that God had given up on fixing my little problems, until We heard about yours. Your witness to the world is God at work. Your ministry together is the largest it has ever been.
I will continue to pray for you both,and your families, as God works in you and through you.

Brittany is learning how to pray from the depth of her heart as she watches your pain unfold. Just as we cry when we witness the story of the suffering of Christ, We will hurt for Kari and you during this time of pain.
Hold fast to your faith and belief that God is at work in you.

Denise and Brittany

Barbara D'Antonio said...

Aaron - we love you and are praying always for you and the family. Be sure to play Kari's favorite music for her. I hope to see you soon!

Babara D'Antonio

heather velloff said...

Thank you again, Aaron, for your updates. I've been out of town for a few days, but even though I've been busy God still brought you and Kari to my mind to be prayed for again and again. I just want you to know that there are more people praying for you than you know.
I liked what Denise and Brittany had to say. I agree that God is definitely using and is going to use this as a witness. But that doesn't really make it any easier does it? My heart aches for you as you describe Kari's problems. I'm glad that you have so much common sense and wisdom to know that the meds have had a big effect on what is happening to her now.
Please know how much you both are loved and lifted up to the Father for care and healing.
All my Love,]

The Friendly GLL said...

No words to share that will make things easier. You are treading in a place few have come even close to experiencing. Very pitsy.

The suggestion of reading about Joni Earicksen might be a good one. She has a book that is about 25 years old - Reading it helped me with a little of my brother back then- but I remember getting angry, and then feeling guilty because I was supposed to have faith that he would be healed and it wasn't happening.

Try to remember that you are human, and that God knows that you are human and loves you the way that you are. Tears, fears, anger, sadness, longing. All of that, and more. He loves you.

And that someday it will make sense. But that doesn't make you feel any better now, does it? Sorry.

I pray that your precious Kari returns from her trip to the depths very soon. She will. And I pray that you find some way to get rest and peace so that you can help proceed with her treatment when she is restored.

Anonymous said...

"Lord, move in a way that I've never seen before. There's a mountain in the way, and a lock on the door. I'm drifting away; waves are crashing on the shore. So Lord, move..... or move me." This song came into mind as I read your update today. I know you are needing a sign right now Aaron. Everything seems to crashing and nothing is making sense. But hang in there. As hard as it may be to understand at this time, God doesn't give us more than we can handle. Be strong, and give it over to God. Let Him bring you back to shore with renewed strength. Time will heal and God's love is the key.

Anonymous said...

Now when I hear the "Lord Move" song, it is my prayer for you, Aaron and Kari! Peace and rest to you both!

Anonymous said...

What an incredible Witness you are to the Lord. This website is reaching and changing lifes each and everyday as you share your truthful testimony.

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly". Psalm 84:11

Bless You Aaron and Kari.

Diane Brodeen said...

Hi, Aaron & Kari: I was just sleeping this morning after working night shift. A phone call woke me up, so I had to check for updates on Kari. You're both in my prayers often, for rest, peace, and comfort, and even joy! Don't forget the praise songs! As a sleep-deprived night nurse, I'm thankful for one hour of deep, restoring sleep. Power naps are sometimes all you can get! Hoping for a day of rest and happy moments today.
--Diane in Riverside

Charlie + said...

Dear Kari + Aaron, + Richard,

In 1972, in the same town I live now, the high school psychology class did experiment projects on "sleep deprevation". I did not participate, as I was not a senior at that time. Still, I was privileged to witness the final hours of 100hrs of sleep deprevation. Hallucination was rampant.

And, again, my seven hospitalizations, none of which without exhaustion, and usually lack of nourishment. It just adds up.

Old Testament-Sabbath / rest...
New Testament-Do this in memory of me...

Rest and nourishment, she will heal. The psychiatrist in this area is the expert.

Things are much more complex due to the physical trauma, but he or she will be able to factor that in.

My belief in Christ actually "hindered" my healing during my first hospitalization in 1975. The meds they slowly increased made my belief in Christ stronger, and, deliberately or subconsiously, I felt the "need" to "rise above the meds", which I did til they had to take things further.

We all know Kari's faith. She needs to have confidence in the psychiatrist, and "work with" the meds, not see the meds as an enemy as I did. I just continued to fight them, as that is what my faith told me to do. Not to "secumb" to a loss of control of my circumstance.

It is a more difficult surrender to make for those of strong will and faith. Still, in time, with nourishment and rest, and good professional help, you will have her back...


Charlie +

Anonymous said...

Aaron and Kari
We don't know what to say anymore except that we keep praying and will continue to do so. Somewhere in all of this nightmare there is and will be an answer, "for the greater good and glorification of God", but I have to admit as a human I can't always see it.
I can't wait to be with you - it doesn't seem to hurt so much when I am there with you.
Jan (Yessa)