It has been a long time since the last real update on Peters condition. There are a few new things to report but generally speaking we are in kind of a plateau in his recovery process. The doctors have told us that Pete may have plateaus in his short term healing, but that it doesn’t necessarily indicate a long term plateau.
Peter has been really tired and sluggish due to allergies for the past few weeks. The congestion prevents him from sleeping which in turn makes him less responsive to therapy during the day. In spite of this, he is still making somewhat steady progress at people recognition so we have expanded our exercises with him to include object and picture recognition.
Pete is not as consistent on object and picture recognition yet as he is with people, but he’s still progressing. For instance, we might tell him “Pete look down the hall!” and he might seem confused, buy if we say “Pete, look at the refrigerator!” we get more consistency. This has obviously been a very familiar object to him in the past!
Peter has made some larger motor movements recently, but its still very early on and he doesn’t have any control over it. We have frequently pulled him up to a standing position so he can bear weight on his legs. He seems to try and keep his legs straight for a while, but eventually they buckle. But it does seem that he tries!
Pete is also moving his mouth more frequently. There have been several times where he has taken food from a spoon that was pudding-like consistency (although he does make faces at the taste since he is so unused to tasting!).
In other news, after much encouragement mom has begun to write a book about this journey with Peter. Right now it has the tentative title of “Peter’s Sermon”.
Here are the things you can pray for:
1) Pray we will not give in to discouragement when we don’t see frequent advances. An encouraging thing one neurologist’s nurse told a friend of ours that she had under her care a young man who was minimally conscious for two years, who then “woke up” and asked for pizza and made a recovery.
2) Pray that Peter would be able to continue rest and healing. Many people are having respiratory problems right now due to things in the Fort Worth air. This is mulitiplied for people with trachs. Since Peter has been coughing so much, it disturbs his healing sleep and makes him drowsier during the day, hindering therapy.
3) Pray that we would see the “breakthrough” that would open up the opportunity for Pete to have serious rehab.
4) Pray that the family would continue to have strength and encouragement for the task before us.
5) Pray that we could establish a form of communication with Peter.
6) Pray for the Lord’s provision and wisdom regarding Peter’s care. Andrew will be leaving for school at Notre Dame in a couple of months to continue his studies there. He will leave some big shoes to fill and we have yet to figure out how to even attempt filling them! There is nothing like a loving brothers care.
Thank you for your prayers, and may you all have a blessed week!
For the family,
My son, though he cannot speak, encourages me still. This, an entry from his journal two days after he turned 16, in his own humble and honest style:
“It is Wednesday, the 13th of August, 2008, but it has been a relatively boring day, even though I managed to write a poem. However, because of this fact, I will instead record the event of two days previous: August 11, which was my sixteenth birthday, and the day before, on which I celebrated an excellent 16th with my family. On August 11, I got to celebrate with my Scout troop. It was Monday, exactly five years ago, that I joined Scouts, and it has been an exciting ride ever since. I have learned hard lessons, made good friends, and reaped the rewards of hard work and grueling endurance.
But even more exciting than going to Boy Scouts on my birthday was spending a large part of the day in that which nourishes the mind and inspires the soul: reading. Rosie Watson, homeschool mom and co-founder of her speech/debate club, said ‘If you can’t read, you can’t write, and if you can’t write, you might as well stop dreaming.’
Why are reading, writing and academics in general so important? It seems that our culture undervalues pure knowledge. It is important because God is a God of order, wisdom, and knowledge and because He has impressed a burning desire in our hearts for what is truly beautiful.
The book that I had such good fortune to finish was ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I recommend it to all aspiring readers who would like to see un-euphemized descriptions of depravity, and unmollified condemnations of human nature in general, and who would like to have their hopes on one character’s redemption, raised to the heavens, then only to see them turned around to journey in the right direction, however encumbered they remain by their sin nature (Dimitry).
Life is no rose garden, as much as we would like for it to be. And life for the daily protagonist of heroic feats or mundane drudgery does not even end up a rose garden at the end of the day. As I finished ‘Brothers K’ in my bed at about 11:30 p.m., I gradually began to see that the end would leave a lot of things unanswered, unresolved, much like the discordant final note in the final track of ‘The Village’ (M. Night Shyamalan movie), which I perhaps providentially was listening to as I read. Frankly, the last chapter left me feeling a little depressed.
I picked up my Bible and read Isaiah 26, one of my favorite chapters in all of the Bible, primarily because of verse 3: ‘You will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.’ But as I read on, a later verse grabbed my attention, one which in so many words, said, ‘Deliverance is not found on the Earth.’
What? Are we really to believe that we shall end our lives without ultimate fulfillment, with loose ends still untied, with emptiness ahead? Not with emptiness ahead, certainly not!! No, instead, we look forward to the Final Culmination. We, as Isaiah 26 proclaims, trust that ‘your dead bones shall live!’ We, like Kolya and Alyosha grieve the deaths of so many loved ones, but with them, we look forward to the glorious Resurrection: ‘O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come; Be Thou our guide while life shall last, and our eternal home.’
God, our eternal home! Praise Him and thank Him for what He does on Earth, and what He will do at the end of all things!”