Monday Update at 6:00 pm CT
Heather has had a very good day. She was able to stand again with the stand machine for 15 minutes while getting pegs out of some silly putty with her left hand. Later, they did the electrical stimulation on the right arm again; by stimulating the muscle with electrodes it caused the right hand to move a little higher in the air than before. She tolerated it very well. I asked the therapist if she has ever seen a patient where there is no movement with the stimulation and she said, "Yes". So, getting movement is better than no movement. As I was watching the hand move with the stimulation it occurred to me that her MRI showed that Heather had a stroke on the left side of her brain during her surgery. The surgeon said he had to compromise a blood vessel in order to complete the removal of the left hemisphere, and expected to see it show up on the MRI. I was wondering if the right sided paralysis was affected in a greater way as a result of this stroke. It just may take a little bit longer to get those muscles awake, and for the brain to form new connections before we see significant movement. However, we will gladly accept any small and gradual movements she is able to make on that right side for now! If you have noticed in the pictures we have made of Heather, she has a crooked smile. If she is really tired, it is more prevalent. Sometimes you will see where the right side of her mouth gives a little, and you get more of a complete smile. Her right eye at times will drift, almost like it is being left behind, but will correct itself if you ask her to close her eyes. Some patients have more extreme facial paralysis, and once again we are thanking the Lord for even the smallest of details. After her first brain surgery in 1996, her smile was very similar, but in time, corrected itself to make it not as noticeable. The physical therapist had a company come by and custom fit her for her very own power chair! Heather has asked them for a red and black one, because she was born in Georgia, and is a Georgia fan! She has really enjoyed the one they are letting her use here at the facility. She does very well with it. But, I must admit that though she hasn't had any accidents, she has had a few close calls with it. All I can say is that you want to make sure you are paying attention when she is turning it around in the elevator, AND you must make sure that she hasn't put it on the highest speed. If it is on the highest speed, she becomes very dangerous behind the wheel!!! This chair has given her a sense of independence. She has something that she can control, when there are several things about herself that she can't control right now. It has helped to give her confidence. She has one that she uses at our Church that was given to her by one of our members, and she was pretty dangerous with it until she got the hang of it. She only uses it at Church. I'm excited for her that she will have her very own, custom made, "set of wheels" for her to use until she starts WALKING!!! Prayerfully she will start walking even before the chair gets delivered, and wouldn't that be just like the Lord!! As you have read the posts, and you have been able to read about the different ones that the Lord allows to cross our path, it is a continual reminder that the Lord continues to be very good to Heather. Our lives can change in a matter of moments. It is how we accept the change, and what we do with what comes into our lives that matters. I will be honest, with each change that we have faced, it hasn't always been easy to accept. Sometimes you just need time to process what is happening. But I can honestly say that not even one time have any of us been angry at the Lord. Having a great attitude about the Lord being in CONTROL of your life, even when it hurts and you don't understand, is the key to accepting the change. Remember, it was the Lord who asked Satan if he had considered his servant Job. And then the Lord gave Satan instructions as to what He, the Lord, would allow him, Satan to be able to do with Job. If the Lord was calling the shots for Job, I believe He is calling the shots for each of us today. The Lord told Satan about Job, "...there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" Job 1:8b The point of the Lord calling attention to Job was the fact that He knew He could trust Job in the midst of his trials to remain, "a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil." I am so thankful that the Lord is in control of our lives no matter if it hurts. When my heart hurts, it just makes me want to get a little bit closer to Him so I can try and see His heart. As we have mentioned in previous posts, Heather has been painting a ceiling tile that when it is completed will say, "God makes no mistakes". As I looked across the ceiling of two different gyms here at the facility, I jotted down a few sayings of others who have been here due to some need for rehab. Let these sayings of others who have been in the halls of this rehab hospital speak to your heart as they have spoken to mine.... "You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it." "If God brings you to it, He'll bring you through it." and "Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." So, why are we complaining??
"But he knoweth the way that I take:
when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."