Dear friends and family,
I am enjoying my usual morning time in the corner of Steve’s hospital room, chatting with Steve and his physical therapist while she does his morning stretches with him, which involve moving his arms and legs in a daily range of motion routine. Since 6 a.m. we have already had blood draws, medication, breakfast, respiratory therapy, a doctor’s visit and physical therapy. The day starts early here.
Yesterday was a very good day. Thanks to a generous friend, Steve and I got iPhones. While this is a fun and wonderful gift for any technology lover, for Steve this is a window into independence. By pushing the buttons with his knuckles he is able to either call someone using voice activation or gently hit the buttons to activate a phone number. Other than myself, his first call was to his mother! It was wonderful to see him enjoying this new-found freedom, and selfishly, I look forward to being able to call him while I am away and know that I can find him. Though we spend so much time together, we always miss each other when we are apart. This was always how it was and how it remains.
But I saved the best for last. Yesterday morning, while doing the same PT session I am now witnessing, Steve managed to slightly move his lower leg so that it was gently hovering on the bed, as his therapist supported his knee in a bent position. Later that afternoon, while doing errands, I received a video clip where Steve was able to actually lift his lower leg almost a foot off the surface! I almost broke down weeping in the Apple store!
For context, Steve is still unable to move his legs when they are simply lying on the bed or when seated. He still does not have that kind of practical mobility against gravity. However with some gentle assistance and support at the knee, he is able to move his lower leg significantly. We cheer on these small progressions as if they were Olympian feats! And for Steve, they are! The right leg continues to significantly outperform the left, unlike his arms where the left is stronger than the right.
Last night a few of us gathered in the room the cheer and laugh with delight as we watched him do it again!
I am so bold to continue to offer up our prayer requests, because I believe that they make a difference! I will continue to tell you over and over again how grateful we are for these! Please continue to pray that Steve remains free from infection and that he continues to regain function. Please also pray that we negotiate the dizzying and often depressing education about living with spinal cord injuries with strength and hopeful hearts. As we approach the midpoint in our hospitalization, the transfer home looms, with its own set of challenges, as the elaborate hospital support system disappears. Finally, while I have been immersed in other details until now, I will begin to focus on the boys’ schooling for the period that we are here in Seattle. Please pray that we find the perfect school and teachers to help them negotiate this major change in their lives.
I will sign off with the verse that has rung out in our hearts so many times over the last month: “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory… forever!” Eph. 3:20-21