Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Life in Intensive Care


Jan is more awake and aware of her condition. The physiotherapist asked her to sit at the side of the bed. She did that precariously for a minute. Jan is becoming more expressive with hands and face. She can clearly shoo us away when she has had enough or express irony and frustration at the reality of her condition.

In spite of these wonderful improvements, she is still very ill. She faces important challenges in the days ahead, for example:

-she can't swallow by herself, so she is not able to eat. This means that she is still fed through a tube.

-she still has an infection, so they keep her with antibiotics

-her coughing is improving, but still weak.

-she has not pronounced a word yet... but she moves her lips sometimes as if she wanted to form words. Steve reports hearing a guttural sound yesterday when talking to her.

-One of the residents told me yesterday that in the next 10 days, or so she will recuperate 80% of the functions that were not affected by the aneurysm, the other 20% will come back through various therapies in the months ahead.
We have big questions on this item and a lot of anticipation. Everyone wants to know what can she do and what she will not be able to do. Some of you, like my Dad or some people from our community at RUC, do not see the world only in medical or strictly physiological terms, they have a strong faith (conviction of the things not yet seen, certainty of what is expected) an prefer to wait in The Lord that Jan will be restored totally and will get back all of her abilities. I am glad to be surrounded by such people, and I am sure Jan is glad as well.
However, the waiting time takes it's toll on us. I know that, if you take the time to read this blog, you are in the long haul with us. We are so fortunate to be supported this way. I am amazed at how many people Jan knows and how much she is loved. Please help Jan and us by doing the following:

-reminding us that life has to be lived moment by moment, day by day with an attitude of gratefulness.
-reminding us to be thankful for each day Jan conquers.
-reminding us to be supportive of Jan and encourage her to choose life.
-reminding us about restoration and healing.
-reminding us who we are, and for those who can see it, how this is part of a larger plan that is "making all things new".
- reminding us that it is Jan who is ill, and that she is the one who needs comfort and support now.
-reminding us not to focus too much on ourselves or feel sorry for ourselves, but intead to see Jan and see The Lord working hand in hand.
-reminding us that we have a wonderful community that will be there tomorrow the day after, the week after, the month after...

A new chapter begins for Jan at the ICU. Come, join us in your thoughs, prayers, blogs, emails and cards to let Jan know we love her and are waiting to see her back among us.

Remember we print your notes and add them to a binder so Jan can read them.

Until the next,



Ret said...

Hi Jan!
I am excited to know that you're sitting and able to move your arms and express yourself. Keep it up! You're doing great! GOd is doing amazing things for you and I am looking forward to when you're well enough to receive visitors other than family. It must be so frustrating for you at the moment that yu're still unable to speak, but I know you're going to be just fine. You're going to make it. You are blessed to have so many people who love you, who are praying for you and with you in spirit every step of the way.

orestn said...

It is so wonderful and hopeful to read daily about all the progress Jan has made this week.

I have been asking people I know at my church to pray for Jan's recovery and strength for her family. Ironically, at worship last Sunday, the worship team played two songs that made me think of Jan because I learned those songs at RUC when Jan was the worship team leader there. The songs were Faithful One, and This is My Desire.

Remembering that God is The Faithful One, my thoughts and prayers remain with Jan and her family as this new chapter of her recovery begins.

sharon said...

My dearest Jan,

I thank God everyday for your continued progress! The baby steps you take like sitting up& moving your lips and awareness of those around you continue to be hope to be that God is with you. I love hearing about your progress everyday.

Steve & Fede thank you for the updates. Fede, I know you mean everything to Jan & I am sure that you are a big inspiration to her healing.

I will continue to pray for Jan's gradual healing.

Yesterday I was watching American Idol & one of the singers was singing a Josh Gobin (spelling song. I had tears in my eyes because it reminded me of hearing Jan sing that song at one of our feasts of good cheer. Jan your singing is a Gift from God. I pray that you will be able to sing again soon!

I love you so much

sharon said...

Dearest Fede & Jan,

Fede, I understand that waiting is taking a toll you and the family. My heart goes out to you. I wish there was something more that I can do as Jan means the world to me. I recall when my dad had open heart surgery in 1974 as was intensive Care at St. Michael's hospital for 3 weeks it seemed like forever waiting for him to recover. Eventually he did fully recover & (touch wood) years later is still fine. He goes for annual check-ups at the specialist& did fully recover.

Fede, I will leave you my phone number on your voicemail at home,if there is anything I can do for you or the family,please let me know.


Anne from Lindsay said...

Hey Girl,
I am so happy to hear the wonderful progress you are making. I told Fede you would not let this take you down. You are a very determined lady - I love that about you hun.

It makes me smile to read in Fede's update that you are able to shoo people away when you need rest - we are able to communicate with body language LOL.

Jan - I love you very much and I am so looking forward to sitting on your bedside and chatting like ol' times with you. I will bring the two-bite brownies!

For now I will say chow and have a quiet peaceful night.

Anna Banan

Ret said...

Hi Jan! I am hanging on the edge of my seat in anticipation of every report of your progress. My volunteer position was great today. I am doing filing and gettng sidetracked by all kinds of interesting articles. I'm curious to know what your therapy sessions will be like becuase I read an interesting article bout kids who are non-verbal being encouraged to speak by being spun and swung. I wonder what they'll do for you to get you talking again, if the procedures are any different. If not I hope your first words aren't "Stop it I hafta hurl!" Seriously, I'm confident that you'll be better soon, especially if we can all help you keep smiling through it all.
Big bear hugs,

Cheryl & Paul said...

We want to express our sincere appreciation to those who have created this amazing website. It is an awesome tool for those of us who care about Jan and her health. It is so amazing that we can check in several times a day to see how things are going. It almost makes us feel like we're there with her AND it reminds us to pray -- we feel so connected. Thank you to all involved in setting it up and in providing such moving accounts of Jan's progress and of your journey with her.
Jan, we have wonderful memories of fun times singing together. Didn't we have a great time with our trio with Carol (and quartet when Paul sang along)?
Blessings on all of you.