Saturday, July 26, 2014

10-Month Anniversary

We still get asked frequently by people we don't see regularly on how Adam is doing, so I figured we were due for a blog update. We have passed the 10-month anniversary of Adam’s accident.  The one that resulted in trauma to his spinal cord and broke his neck in the C4/C5 area. Oh yeah, that accident. 

Sometimes my mind and heart still go back to the early moments and days. The shock of it all and the emotions can still seem very fresh. The needing to be present enough in mind to make decisions about how to proceed and having to choose whether or not to move forward with surgery not knowing how much it would help - and risking that it could cause more damage to his spinal cord.  The pressure I put on myself to be put together and presentable for those stopping by to lend their support and prayers – and the feelings of desperately wanting to have them there so I didn’t feel alone.  The moment of looking at my boys in a quick trip home and not knowing how to parent them and just simply feeling like I had nothing, NOTHING, left to offer to them.  Having to watch my life partner needing aid for simple, everyday tasks as well as needing to have others care for him in personal ways in which no one wants to have someone else do.  Conversations with God, not out of anger, but with desperation and human certainty that I could not handle being the caregiver for a husband that could not function from the neck down – and if that was the case, the guilt of my admission that life would be easier if he had instead died. 
(Gulp. Yes, I thought that.)

But, here we are.  God saw it necessary to allow Adam a level of healing that most professionals would say was not possible.  We’re humbled, but also incredibly grateful. Strangers would have no idea there was anything different about him.  He is doing so much.
                In late June, he led a missions trip to New York. He drove the church bus for long hours. He participated in construction projects (not to the same level he used to be able to, but his skills and knowledge still lend him as more capable than most).

                He’s riding his bike. He’s never rode for more than 6.5 miles, but he says he thinks he could and he’s noticing its getting easier. He’s started wearing his bike shoes again – the kind that clip into his bike pedals.

                He mows our lawn on our stand-up riding lawnmower that requires a decent amount of hand/grip strength.

                He carries Heath, our 25-lb toddler, when needed to.

                He does all of the old stuff around the house that he used to. I honestly cannot think of anything that I need to pick up the slack on these days.

                He no longer takes any medication.

So, is he completely back to his old self? Well, no.

Here’s where we still notice some differences:
                He doesn’t have some of his fine motor ability/feeling back. Recently, he had some french fries in a bag from a fast food restaurant. He was trying to reach his hand in and be able to distinguish in being able to feel and pick out just one french fry. He couldn’t do it.  If you watch him do anything with fine requirements, it might look a little awkward.

                He made the comment last week that he doesn’t like going to bed. Its at the end of the day when he finally feels like his body has loosened up and able to function a little smoother. He wakes up in the mornings with everything feeling like it has curled up and gotten tight and sore. 

                He still can’t do anything that requires quick, graceful, or of anything with decently athletic movements.  He got a bit lazy with working out for a bit, but he’s back at it again. He’s noticed that it takes a lot longer for his body to recover from a workout where he has pushed himself. He says it is different than how it used to feel and the soreness sticks around longer than it used to.

We are still just blown away and thankful for how we are really back to a pretty close resemblance of how life was before the accident.  We won’t forget what we’ve learned and what we’ve gone through. And we still hope to use this to point others to Jesus.  Human support was beautiful, abundant, helpful and so appreciated.  We still run into people that we don’t know….but are friends of friends – or heard about Adam from someone that they knew – who say they were following his story and recovery and had been praying for Him.  Um, WOW. Always makes me feel that the world isn’t so big after all. 

But it was the hope we have through Jesus that made all of the difference for us. Despair never stuck around for very long – even in the early days. God granted us peace in most of our moments – even when there was so much uncertainty and unknown. We would come to Him and He would comfort and deliver.  I knew in my heart that no matter the outcome, He was going to supply what we needed and get us through – in His power, not our own.  And even if things were overwhelming and difficult, I knew that this frail life was just temporary and if we could just make it through our numbered days here on earth, we would have an eternal, perfect, heavenly dwelling with no more suffering and hardship.  We would be face-to-face with the Savior who loves us beyond what we can imagine.  There’s nothing that can compare with that.