Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Update Wednesday afternoon 1/18

We have been enjoying some unusual weather here in western Washington.  We're known for being a rainforest, but, for the past few days, it has actually snowed quite a bit!  Hooray!!!  The snow began falling lightly on Saturday, continuing through the night so that we woke up to a white Sunday.  This made driving and walking just tricky enough to keep some folks away from church that day.  (This is not a criticism---I have a good friend who lives just three minutes from church, and she refuses to drive in anything scarier than rain!  ;-D)  My husband was born here with these same weather conditions to deal with.....rain, rain, and more rain.  I grew up in a part of North Carolina with weather very similar to this.  However, we met in Bible college in Indiana, right outside of Chicago, IL, so we learned how to drive in near-blizzard conditions!  So, we made it to church for both services.  The snow continued to fall off and on throughout the night and into Monday, but school was already out on that day due to MLK Day.  We really thought we would get a day off on Tuesday because the weatherman was predicting more snow and icy road conditions; instead, we got a 2-hour late start.  My girls said half the school didn't show up anyway!  I kept Dale home on Tuesday; our school's 2-hour late start schedule calls for classes only 35 minutes long, and I didn't see the need to make him navigate tricky footing to get into the school building, only to leave two hours later.  Emily, our youngest, also stayed home because K5 only goes half a day anyway; she usually stays at school for a nap in the afternoon, but we were home anyway.  The roads were actually quite clear on Tuesday, with the snow melting off the roadways pretty much by the afternoon.

Then came "the big one."  Meteorologists were predicting a huge storm system to move in early Wednesday morning, dumping a good bit of snow in our area and nearly burying some towns.  That is a slight exaggeration.....but close!  We got six inches, I think---nearly unheard-of for us.  The foothills got tons of snow.  I don't want to think what the mountain passes looked like.  I guess this system is supposed to continue moving through all day today, reaching as far as Montana.  By 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, the deciding heads had heard enough dire warnings and cancelled school for Wednesday.  Whoo-hoo!!!  I'm glad they did because this storm turned out to be as bad as they had predicted.  I had to cancel Dale's PT appointment for 8:30 this morning---there was no way we were going to even try to navigate those roads.  About 9:00 this morning, I received a call from Dale's SP therapist with whom we were supposed to meet at 2:00 this afternoon.  She and I decided to cancel that appointment as well so that neither of us would have to be out.  My husband made a short trip this morning to visit some former coworkers; he reported that the roads were still snowy and icy.  They may unfreeze a little over the next couple of hours, but I believe they will freeze back over by late this afternoon/early evening.  Looks like church attendance will be sparse tonight as well!  Our preacher has stated, "We never cancel church for any, holiday, Superbowl, whatever."  But then he hastens to add, "Please use discretion when deciding whether or not you can get here."  He jokes that, if no one else shows up, he'll just preach to his wife!

My kids have been out in the snow for short periods of time.  Emily got to go out yesterday, but she has developed some coughing and wheezing, so we nixed the idea for today.  Dale went out in the snow yesterday as well---for about 30 seconds!  He wanted to---but not really.  I helped him across our small backyard; we then turned around and headed for the back door.  He stopped part-way to throw a snowball at Emily, hitting her plop on the head.  She laughed and returned fire.  Then we went back inside, having gotten our fill of fresh air.  Frankly, it's just too cold out there to warrant spending any more time than absolutely necessary outside.  I'm perfectly content to curl up on the couch with hot cocoa and a good book.  Or a good movie.  Or a good nap!  And popcorn.....except we're out.  (Sniff.)  I thank God for the snow, but I will be thankful when we don't have to worry about sliding everywhere.

Well, praise the Lord, He has made clear that Dale should start taking the anti-seizure medication.  Dale made it through two weeks without a seizure, even with several falls.  Early Tuesday morning, Chad and I were awakened by a loud thump, followed by Dale crying out.  Apparently, Dale had gotten tangled up in his blanket and had fallen out of bed.  At least this was a slowed fall, due to his legs not being able to leave the bed as quickly as his head.  He bumped his cheek but sustained no further injury.  We gave him a minute to orient himself, then helped him get up on his knees before standing.  He was so tired (it was 1:30 a.m.) that he could not get himself scooted onto the bed properly.  We tried to help him, but he had already begun shaking and jerking.  Dale called out to us in some fear; we got him standing, thinking this would help his brain realize he was all right, but we were too late.  While Chad and I were holding him up, Dale screamed and then went into a seizure.  He said he doesn't remember this one, but I think he realized what was happening and couldn't stop it.  His scream may have been his last effort to alert us that the room was "closing in on him."  We eased him to the floor and held him until the seizure passed.  This one didn't seem to last as long, and his limbs seemed to lose their posturing more easily.  When he was finished, we made him comfortable on the floor, putting a pillow under his head and covering him with the problematic blanket.  We figured Dale would finish sleeping through the night, so we left him there on the floor and checked on him periodically.  Around 4:30 a.m., I checked on him and found him in his bed.  His pillow was still on the floor, but he seemed fine.  I assumed my husband had helped Dale get into bed at some point.  In the morning, I asked Chad about it; he denied it, saying he thought I had helped Dale.  I guess Dale woke up, got up, and climbed into bed by himself!  Praise the Lord for small victories!

So we had Dale start taking the medication yesterday.  I explained some of the side effects that we need to watch for, telling Dale that he would be the one to notice them first.  I told him to be on the lookout for vision trouble, rash of any kind, hives or swelling due to allergy, trouble thinking, dizziness, trouble walking, etc.  I was good---I didn't scare him to death, just let him know some people had had these problems and the doctor needed to know if anything like that happened.  Last night while getting ready for bed, Dale's speech was a little slurred; Chad and I both immediately thought, "Oh, no!  He's having a reaction!"  But Dale was probably just tired and not thinking about speaking clearly at that point.  We'll see.  Please pray that this medication either (1) does nothing---so we can take him off of it, (2) produces major side effects---so we can take him off of it, or (3) works beautifully with insignificant or no side effects---so that Dale can be seizure-free, so that Dale's brain can outgrow this seizure-having habit, so that Dale is not shaky or unsteady which will give him confidence and strength.  We know God can do anything; we know He loves Dale even more than we do; we know God is all-wise, able to make all things work together for good.  We trust that He will hold Dale close as he climbs this next mountain and will make Dale into the wonderful young man that He intends him to be.

Thank you for all the jokes, riddles, and silly stories that you all have shared to make Dale laugh.  The one about "pea soup" was a big hit!  Thank you to everyone who continues to pray for our son.  His journey is not over yet, but then, neither is ours.  God has a purpose and a plan for each of His creations, and He is limited only by what we think He cannot do.  May we trust Him more fully and love Him more deeply with each day's breath that He gives us.

Ezekiel 36: 26 - 28  "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:  and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.  And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God."


  1. Thank you for the update. I was wondering how you and your family were making out in the snow. As for my part, I wanted to go to work just to get some Starbucks, but decided against it. Home brewed coffee will just have to do. May wife and I did take a walk through the nearby park and saw snow on the beach. I do not recallever seeing snow on a saltwater beach before.
    I must confess. I had rather hoped that Dale would go out and play in the snow, have fun, and now worry about falling. I was thinking that perhaps God's great, white blanket would give him some needed confidence. I will pray about the medication.
    In the meantime, here is a joke for Dale:
    A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss his use of the car. His father said to him, “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your Bible a little, and get your hair cut, then we will talk about it.” A month later the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss his use of the car. His father said, “Son, I’m real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your Bible diligently, but you didn’t get hair cut!” The young man waited a moment and replied, “You know Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. You know Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair.” His father replied, “Yes son, and everywhere they went, they walked."

  2. Good luck with the medicine. I hope it works as well for dale as it did for us with our daughter when she was taking it.

  3. I'm glad to hear that you and your family made it through the storms OK Kirsten. As a transplanted New Englander now living in Florida, I admit I have gotten a little soft where winter is concerned lol, but I never forget the storms we get up in the Northeast. I will continue to pray that the anti-seizure meds do the trick without any major side-effects, but I know that God will do what is best for all. And once again, thank you so much for continuing to keep us up to date on not only Dale but your whole family, I feel as though I have known you all forever. All my best, Eric

  4. Thanks once again for the update! Its fun to see you with some joking the last couple of times! Seems like the stress and anxiety that you were feeling has lifted and you are being natural again instead of living on the edge. praise the LORD!!! I hope the meds work for Dale. If his speech is slurred (i have noticed that with my meds) you may want to talk to the doctor about a lower dose during the day, or an extended release that he takes at night (thats what i do) and then i sleep with my slurred speach and wake up and you cant tell that i have meds in my body even though they are their because of the XR! Goodluck. I know this is a hard step for you. Its difficult to make the decision to place your child on meds of any kind but when you can better their lives thats what we all want as parents, including our FATHER GOD!! He only wants whats best for us, even if its hard for us. Please keep the updates coming. HUGS LOVE AND MANY PRAYERS SENT YOUR WAY!!!

  5. My son the truck driver (along with one of his boys) chilled in Coburg, OR, during that storm.

    I appreciate so much the details you give. So long as my memory holds I'm tucking them away for future reference. How we learn fascinates me.

    Keep on keeping on.

  6. Just wanted to let you know what an inspiration your blog is to me... Our 22 mo old son nearly drowned this summer just a few weeks before Dale's accident, and since some of our circumstances were similar, our friends emailed us your news story. We were swimming at a friend's pond with other church friends when Miles came up missing. He was found a few minutes later by some boys who didn't even know he was missing. We do not know how long he was underwater but probably not more than 5 min. The pictures of Dale's limp body look so familiar to me. :/ Thankfully, I was surrounded by praying people, and we immediately felt God's peace. We did CPR on him for about 10 minutes before he started breathing. He was then careflighted to a Childrens Hosp where they did not give us much hope. They were almost certain that if he did survive, he would have brain damage. Well, God wanted him to live and he bounced back to a healthy little 2 yr old pretty quickly. We are so thankful! Anyway, I enjoy reading about Dale's progress and how God is working in your lives and just wanted to encourage you to keep on. We serve an awesome God!

    The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing, Zeph 3:17