Jan 31, 2007
Ian also seems to be moving his left arm a lot too. He's been reaching for his chin and neck and seems to be scratching. Maybe his throat hurts, maybe his trach site itches, or maybe he's just rediscovering his body. All I know is that any new movement is really exciting.
His mouth is still really sore. Today his speech therapist said, "I just want these sores to go away." Please pray that God would take away Ian's sores, take away any discomfort they are causing, and completely restore his mouth.
This scripture is underlined in Ian's Bible:
"I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage, wait for the Lord."
Believing in that goodness....
Jan 30, 2007
The bad news from yesterday is that, while the sores in his mouth and nose are looking better, we think that the yeast infection has traveled to his throat. He seems to be reaching for his throat trying to scratch it. The speech therapist isn't comfortable forging ahead with certain therapies with his mouth, nose and throat in that condition. Please continue to pray that the Lord would remove the yeast infection.
It's going to be messy this time of year, but we continue to forge ahead with the plans to build an addition for Ian. This weekend I worked on a design for the addition and was in contact with a friend who agreed to help oversee the project. It will be about 20' x 24' and will include a large bedroom for all the special equipment he'll need. It will also include a large handicap-accessible bathroom. The addition will be accessed from the ground level and will include a sidewalk from the front. We're hoping to start next week weather permitting.
I've been meditating lately on the fact that God because of Christ's death on the cross counts me worthy (though I'm not worthy in myself) to be one of his favored sons. All true Christians, those who have by faith trusted God to save them only because of what Christ did for them, are considered by God to be his favored children. I've found real comfort in the fact that Ian is a Christian; he trusts in God to save him only because of what Christ did for him. He's one of God's favored sons. That means that God's power and God's care and God's compassion and mercy and kindness and provision (etc.) are directed to Ian. God cares for Ian more than I do, and God is capable of taking care of him. Ian is in the caring hands of the Almighty God. I'm so grateful.
Pray for Ian.
Jan 28, 2007
Jan 27, 2007
I’ve been finding notecards around Ian's room with scripture on them that he was memorizing. I’m at my parents’ house this weekend and while I was doing devotions I found one of Ian’s cards in his Bible with Psalm 73:25-26:
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
This is truth. Reading this scripture in Ian’s handwriting was so moving and encouraging. This is truth that is in Ian’s heart and I believe that he can bring these truths to mind now for comfort. Ian’s flesh and heart may fail him, but God is his strength and his portion forever.
This affliction in itself is sad. How it makes me long for heaven. But we have the indescribable comfort of knowing that no matter what happens to Ian’s physical body, God is his strength forever. We can delight in God and have joy in this sadness because we know there is something greater than this waiting for Ian.
Jan 26, 2007
Ian can't go into his old room upstairs because of his injuries. To accomodate him, we believe at this point that the best choice would be to build an addition onto the back of our house with a design some have called a mother-in-law suite (a big bedroom and a big bathroom with an exterior entrance). We would then fill the room with all the familiar furnishings from his old room.
Pray for Ian.
Jan 25, 2007
Tomorrow (Friday) we will have our second meeting with the entire team that works with him there. It will include therapists, his doctor, a dietition, social workers, Larissa, Steve, and me. They will try to get us all caught up on his treatment and progress. Please pray that he makes regular progress in therapy because that is what they need to see to justify his stay there. They have to show that it is a real benefit to him.
Although we are looking forward to the day he comes home and we are making plans to accommodate our house to serve his needs we know that the longer he can stay at Children's the more it will benefit him. That is, unless the Lord miraculously heals him, which would be my personal choice.
This morning I found the words of Charles Spurgeon particularly sweet. "Weren't you ever in tight situations before, and didn't He deliver you? Arise, go to the river of your experience, and pull up a few bulrushes, and braid them into an ark, wherein your childlike faith may float safely on the stream. Don't forget what your God has done for you; turn over the pages of your mind, and remember the days gone by. ...Haven't you ever been helped in time of need? On the contrary! I know you have. Go back, then, a little way to the choice mercies of yesterday, and though all may be dark, light up the lamps of the past they shall glitter through the darkness, and you shall trust in the Lord until the day breaks and the shadows flee away. 'Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from long ago.'"
This quote from Morning and Evening especially made me think about the mercies that I've seen in Ian's life before the accident: the many times he sought prayer for difficult situations and was so grateful to see God answer them, the changes he saw in his own life when he humbled himself under the mighty hand of God and the gratitude he regularly expressed for the forgivness of his sins because of Jesus' death on the cross.
Because of His kindness in the past, I know there will be future grace for where He takes us.
Mary (Ian's mother)
Jan 24, 2007
Thanks for praying....
Jan 23, 2007
They're still planning to put him on a medication that will relax his arms and legs, so he's not so tensed up all the time.
I know so many people are praying for Ian. So many people tell us that frequently. On behalf of our whole family and Larissa, thank you so much. Keep praying.
Jan 22, 2007
Ian was very alert this morning, and then napped on and off throughout the afternoon. When he is awake now, though, he's very awake and moving his arms more frequently.
Over the past month, God has answered many of our prayers. Ian's body has responded to nutrition, and he has gained 2.2 pounds. God removed the infection from his sore. God removed the flu from Ian's body. Ian's EEG results showed no seizure activity. His sore is almost completely healed. Let these answered prayers encourage us to keep praying. Pray that God would heal the sores in his mouth and pray that he would be able to close his right eye.
Delay in prayer does not mean that God is denying our request. We must keep knocking.
Jan 21, 2007
This was my cousin Leah's prayer tonight before bed. She's six years old. We can only imagine how many children like her are praying for Ian.
Even prayers from little ones can move mountains.
The morning Ian left to go to work September 30, he asked me to come along.
The night of September 29 he asked me if I would like to work with him the next day. I would have to find someone to do my paper route for me, but I didn’t really want to. The work I would do with Ian was a lot more physically strenuous than delivering papers, that’s probably why I never got around to finding a substitute. The next morning, in his paint-splattered clothes and steel-toed boots, he asked me again if I couldn’t find a sub. I said no and I didn’t really feel like working. Later I found out that Ben could have easily taken the paper route for the day. God’s sovereignty held him back.
I felt guilty when I actually thought about it in the ICU; I could have been there to pick up whatever it was that Ian was reaching for that apparently distracted his driving. My dad let me know that I could have been in the hospital bed right beside Ian. I recently have been feeling a lot less guilty.
I’m writing this to show that, in His holy sovereignty, God knew it was best for Ian’s future to put him in that accident. So that means that I could not be in that car with him. God protected me from physical harm and I’m so glad for that. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” God’s plans work out for His glory no matter how many bumps or U-turns there are. He’s in things that are small, like when you (or I) organize a basketball game with friends, even if it doesn’t work out for your schedule God may want you to see your impatience or selfishness.
I’m seeing that He doesn’t mess things up so my trust in him continually grows.
-Caleb (with alot of advice taken)
Jan 19, 2007
Before the accident I thought death was just news on the radio, something that happens to other people or other families, that death couldn't happen to me or my family. But, when the doctors said death was imminent, I realized it is real and death could happen to me and that I needed to turn to Christ or I would spend eternal life in hell.
For those who have not asked the Lord to forgive their sins I would encourage them to do so, because you never know when you will die. You cannot say, "I'll wait till next year. I don't want to do all the prayin' and stuff." You need to do it now.
- Devon, Ian's little brother
Jan 18, 2007
His mouth looks pretty irritated. His lips have scabs on them, and his tongue has something similar. I know this prevents some of his therapy, and it has to be very painful. Please pray that the Lord would heal his mouth.
I've been meditating on two verses. Romans 5:1 says that, "since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 8:32 says, "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" Christ's death on the cross and His subsequent justifying of us ushered in a lifetime of peace and of God's favor though we don't deserve it. Through his death, he justified us, declaring us not guilty and making us his favored children. So, we can have peace, and we can expect blessings. "How will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" I can't see what the future holds, but I trust that he will graciously do good to Ian and to his family and friends.
Thanks for praying.
Jan 17, 2007
When Ian was getting his feeding today, he started to cough as though something was wrong. His nurse asked him if he was ok and he groaned "uh huh." They asked him again if he was ok and he repeated his response. Wow.
Ian was also working really hard in therapy today to bring a washcloth to his face. It was the best that I've seen him respond to their asking him to do that, and he repeated it several times. It's obvious that it's not easy for him to do it, but he still works hard to do it.
Ian was very alert with me the whole afternoon and into the night. The past few days he has been very awake, and again, I can tell when he's looking at me and that he knows what's going on.
Ian's most pressing need of prayer right now is for his mouth. Because he never closes his mouth, the inside of it has become very, very sore. Tonight I could tell that it was causing him a lot of pain. And because it is so sore, his speech therapist is not able to do everything that she normally would. We have seen time and time again that God answers our specific prayers for Ian, so please pray that God would heal his mouth. Pray that he would start closing his mouth and breathing more through his nose.
"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Matt. 7:11
[It was only three days ago - check the blog entry - that I asked for prayer that Ian would be awake for therapy, and look at him now. Please pray that Ian would be able to close his mouth and breathe through his nose. Pray that the Lord will heal the soreness in his mouth. Thanks............Steve]
Jan 16, 2007
Please pray that Ian would be able to close his mouth more often. It will help the speech therapist to work with him.
God continues to hear and answer our prayers.
Thank you for praying
David, Beth and I spent time worshiping and praying in Ian's room and a few times he opened his eyes to look at us and just seemed very peaceful. I hope he was able to join in with our prayers.
While talking to Ian's nurse last night, I was reminded that Ian is not the only person in that hospital who needs healing. There are many examples in the rooms surrounding him of families walking through trials and affliction- many of them possibly not saved and without the hope that we have. Thinking of it all just points me back to the cross....
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 2 Cor. 1:3-4
Jan 15, 2007
Thankful for the little steps of progress,
Jan 14, 2007
God is wise and knows what's best for Ian, but I pray that he would wake up enough to participate in the therapy.
Pray for Ian....
Jan 13, 2007
Our God is so kind that His goodness doesn't end when He saves us. He doesn't grant us salvation and then leave us to fight our way through this world on our own. While salvation is our greatest need, He continues to grant us mercies, He continues to heal us, and He continues to guide us. There are still endless amounts of mercies and healing on their way to Ian, for the rest of his life. Let that encourage us to keep praying.
"I will sing of Your mercy that leads me through valleys of sorrow to rivers of joy."
The staff looked back at Ian's records and found that a bone in his jaw has been broken since the accident- it was probably just never addressed because of the severity of his other injuries. This break explains why he is unable to do certain things that the speech therapist asks of him and also may explain why he hasn't progressed more in his ability to swallow. They are going to order some x-rays to see what their next step should be in addressing it. Please pray that God would either miraculously heal Ian's jaw or would give the staff wisdom to know how to care for that specific need of Ian's.
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken."
Jan 11, 2007
Several people have asked about the standing "box" or standing "board" that the therapists have been using with Ian. It's actually less of a box and more of a board that tilts and is on wheels. Imagine a 4'x8' sheet of plywood that pivots like a see-saw and can be locked at any angle. The board has straps to hold him on it, and the whole contraption is on wheels.
The purpose of the board is to re-orient him to the upright position. He's been in a prone position for the most part for over three months, and his body thinks that's normal now. Getting him upright again will require a gradual re-education. During the few times he's been in the standing box, he's been at about a 75 degree angle. For those of you who weren't math majors in college we all walk at a 90 degree angle, so he's just a little tilted back. He doesn't like being in it, though. The nursing staff were laughing, apparently, when they put him in his wheelchair from the standing board, because Ian let out a long heavy sigh as if to say, "finally, I'm out of that torture board."
With all this activity in various therapy sessions, he's often pretty worn out. In the past, we've wanted to provide as much stimulation for him as possible to wake him up. But, if you visit these days, don't worry about trying to wake him up. If you visit and he's asleep, let him sleep; he's probably experienced plenty of stimulation during the day. The next day will likely bring just as much stimulation, so he needs to rest up.
Thanks for praying....
Jan 10, 2007
These are just some pictures of the Ian that we know and love. Since there isn't anything new to post tonight, I wanted to take the opportunity to just think about who Ian is and who we're praying for. I'm still praying that God completely restores him, because honestly, life is much funnier when he's around.
"Other people will often express their care and concern [which so many of you have] by inquiring about your health [or Ian's health]. That's good, but the converstation easily gets stuck there. So tell them openly about your sickness [or the latest news about Ian's recovery], seeking their prayers and counsel, but then change the direction of the conversation by telling them what your God is doing to faithfully sustain you with 10,000 mercies."
I want to update people on Ian's condition, but I don't want the conversation to get stuck there.
God is faithfully sustaining us (thank you for praying for us as well as Ian). There really are 10,000 mercies every day that we so easily forget. They're things we don't deserve. God is still good.
Jan 9, 2007
This week in church we were given the article, "Don't Waste Your Cancer," by John Piper. It's a great article with many insights on affliction. To prarphrase one of his points, you will waste your cancer, or other affliction, if you seek comfort from your medical odds rather than from God. It's tempting to look at the statistics of how many people recover from something like Ian's injuries or how quickly they recover. But we can trust in the name of the Lord our God that He holds Ian in his hands and His will must be done. Many times the aim of afflication is to knock props out from under our hearts so that we rely utterly on God. We don't need to rely on medical statistics because we serve a God who is 100% certain to meet us, to come for us, to comfort us and restore love's purest joys.
Thank you for praying...
Jan 8, 2007
It looks like Ian's recovering from the nasty flu he had. He's feeling better lately. He even felt good enough today to do therapy and continue eating.
Thanks again for praying. I remind myself often that God doesn't need my prayer for anything, and he still listens. The prayers I pray for my brother are as much for my benefit as for his.
By the way, this is a picture of Ian bowling. I'm not sure how it happened, but it looks like he's having fun.
Jan 7, 2007
"As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness." Psalm 17:15
Jan 6, 2007
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:13-14
I can apply this scripture that I've heard since a child in a new way. When thinking about Ian, he is fearfully and wonderfully made by God. God not only knows every detail of Ian's body, including the stomach flu and his injuries, but designed them for His glory. But more important than the condition of his body, Ian's name is engraved on God's palms and his soul is entrusted with Christ. Ian loves the Lord and his hope continues to lie in Christ.
Jan 5, 2007
Jan 4, 2007
But, there are hopeful signs, things that he does that help us see that he's making progress. Today, Ian was able to respond to a command to lift a washcloth to his face. It was incredibly labored. It wasn't complete. He couldn't repeat it over and over. He even tried to drop his head once as he was bringing it to his face just to make the connection (pretty clever, huh?).
When we were discussing these things tonight, we had to remind ourselves of the care that the Lord has for Ian. Despite his very serious condition, we believe that God deeply cares for Ian and that nothing is outside of God's control. This situation is somehow the best possible thing for Ian and for the glory of God. We don't understand how this could possibly be the best thing, but we believe it.
Pray for us that we wouldn't grow weary in faith. Pray that Ian would continue to make progress. Pray that he would be able to communicate with us, particularly when he's in pain.
Pray for Ian. Thanks.
The doctors performed an EEG today to see if Ian has been having seizures, but we don't know the results yet. Pray that it will be a good report.
Ian's original neurosurgeon (from Presbyterian Hospital) said that the first six months after a brain injury is considered to be the early stage of recovery. After three months, Ian is halfway through this first stage of recovery.
Although progress may seem slow for those of us who miss Ian, keep praying that he'll recover. But more importantly, pray that we'll make the most of this opportunity to be patient and rely on Christ for every single need. God works his own timing because his timing is much better than ours (Romans 8:28, 2 Peter 3:8-9).
Jan 2, 2007
"We may be certain that whatever God has made prominent in his Word, he intended to be conspicuous in our lives. If he has said much about prayer, it is because he knows we have much need of it. So deep are our necessities, that until we are in heaven we must not cease to pray."
Ian's church will be praying and fasting on Wednesday for him and others in the church. If you feel led to, please join us in a day of fervent prayer.
Jan 1, 2007
He also had the opportunity to go outside a couple times in the last couple days. The breath of fresh air, I'm sure, is good for him.