Monday, December 27, 2010

Post Christmas Update from David

Aloha to our Ohana,

We hope a wondrous and spiritual Christmas was had by all.  For Theresa, the morning was music filled, starting out with a harmonious violinist playing festive tunes.  Theresa even gave him a thumbs-up salute when he stopped at her door.  Other than music, what Theresa loves about Christmas is the varied abundance of food and drink.  However, this Christmas it was not to be as the menu plan was not so different from the past five weeks, a bottle of the Jevity tube-fed nutrient solution.  When God has healed Theresa to the point where her level of consciousness improves and she is able to pass a swallowing evaluation, then I'm sure she will relish the pleasure of real food or even a hospital-bland diet would suffice.

Theresa's mom Rosa really wants to come out and make "jook," a traditional Chinese dish usually cooked for those recovering from pretty much any illness.  Jook is basically a mixture of white rice porridge with pieces of pork, fish, beef, chicken, 1000 year egg or whatever suits the palate.  It's been said that the difference between a Westerner and a Chinese is that at a zoo, the former will look at the animals and admire them while the latter will wonder how they taste.  Hopefully by the time Theresa is settled into the rehabilitation phase of her healing journey, Rosa will be able to join us and prepare some of Theresa's favorite dishes, and mine too.

I really wish Theresa could have savored the traditional English dinner of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes and Christmas pudding (aka plum pudding) that our dear friends Benjamin and Laura served when they invited me over for Christmas dinner.  If Theresa had attended, there wouldn't be any leftovers to deal with.  She once even out ate my 240 lb best man at a Jasper Park Lodge brunch.  So let's make a promise: by God's will, for next Christmas we both plan to be here to share Theresa's secret slow-cooked rib roast recipe with friends and family, and everyone is invited; might need to make an early order to Hart & Vold, our favorite butcher shop back in Wisconsin.

In the last update, I pretty much said that our Lord, Jesus Christ had already granted the best Christmas present I could hope for, Theresa's miraculous healing thus far.  Well it turns out that was only the first of His gifts to us, and on His birthday too.  Upon arriving at Theresa's room bright and early, the report from the overnight nurse said Theresa had pulled off her left wrist splint again.  This puzzled me as Theresa's right arm was restrained, so how did she do it?  It turns out she has regained motion in the left elbow sufficient to pivot far enough for that mischievous right hand to grab ahold of the splint, undo the numerous straps and use it as her favorite noisemaker.  I can only pray that Theresa reaches the next level of consciousness before regaining full use of her left arm, otherwise it may need to be restrained too.

Part two of the Lord's gift arrived in the form of a brain injury rehab specialist from one of the top hospitals in the country.  For now I won't mention any names until my health insurance provider decides whether they will cover the cost of this intensive rehabilitation program or the medflight transfer.  This physiatrist (MD specializing in rehab medicine) just happened to be in Honolulu over the Christmas week and through mutual friends, an evaluation of Theresa was arranged for the morning of Christmas Day.  The physician spent over two hours examining and testing Theresa, and discussing with me her current status, how she was functioning both pre and post aneurysm, and what we could expect from their treatment program.  While the results are not in yet, all looks promising for Theresa to be a good candidate for that hospital's brain and spinal cord injury program.  That this prominent physician would take time off from Christmas vacation, along with the brain surgeon and neuroradiologist that were there for Theresa on Christmas Day two years ago on Maui, is yet another sign of the grace of God for which I am truly thankful.


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