Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Update from David

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou (pronounced how-oh-lay ma-ka-hee-key ho) to our Ohana,

For those that haven't figured it out yet, that means Happy New Year in Hawaiian, and the year started with a bang as this is the last time that non-commercial fireworks are allowed in Honolulu.  Being so close to the downtown area and Waikiki, the official fireworks display was spectacular and lasted at least 15 minutes.  It seemed like some of the locals were trying to outdo the pros with their consumer and homemade versions of bright lights and big bangs, rattling windows and setting off car alarms all over.  Not much sleep was had amid the noise and smoke but if I really have to blame anyone, it would be one of my ancestors for mixing sulphur with charcoal and potassium nitrate to produce gunpowder.  Thanks to our Lord, Theresa was able to sleep through most of the commotion but the noxious smelling smoke did find its way into the ventilation system and likely caused at least one incriminating stare.

We did receive a pleasant surpise on New Year's Eve and that was an unannounced visit from our friend Danny Akaka (not the senator, just his son.)  Danny and family were in town to welcome the arrival of a new niece and dropped by shortly before the fireworks started.  Theresa responded well to them with a hand wave, a smile and even some tears.  The eight of us held hands as Danny led us in a pule (prayer) in the Hawaiian language, thanking our Lord and asking for peace and goodness for all in the new year.

Aside from the festivities of the past week, the daily schedule for Theresa hasn't changed too much.  The OT/PT sessions are coming along however I get the impression that Theresa is ready to do more than sit on the edge of the bed for up to 18 minutes while performing leg and arm flexes.  She's beginning to open her eyes more (notice that's plural) and look around the room but only long enough to catch her bearings.  This too will improve with time and faith in the healing powers of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Theresa's other nemesis here is the cardiac chair, or as I'd think she would call it if she could speak, the chair of unending pain.  Not so far-fetched as Theresa previously had a hard-driving physical therapist that she not so affectionately nicknamed Mean Jean.  While innocuous looking, (the chair, not Jean) once the patient is transferred and belted into what appears to be a heavy duty stretcher, levers are thrown and the surface contorts into an uncomfortable economy class seat; but in Theresa's worst nightmare, the recline button is missing.  Theresa has always fidgeted on airplanes so with the upright chair now using gravity to exercise her posture, it must be causing unbearable soreness in all those fractures and torn ligaments that aren't as painful when laying down.  Theresa can tolerate the chair of pain for 1-2 hours by which time she's restless and shifting around, has undone the seatbelts, and pretty much made herself into an impression of Stephen Hawking.  While no one wishes to see Theresa suffer this way, it is strengthening her endurance for the long journey ahead that will likely include a transpacific plane ride.  Even for this pain and suffering that Theresa is enduring, we are most thankful to God for it is another milepost on her healing journey.

Maybe Theresa has a sense that something is changing and she needs rest to build up her energy reserves because for the past two days, her dark path of agitation seems to have run its course.  While still participating in the therapies grudgingly (not that anyone enjoys it), Theresa is so much more peaceful back in bed and is sleeping better through the day and night.  Even when she is conscious and responsive, her movements are subtle -- no more wild waving of the arms or kicking of the legs, almost like she's in hibernation and exerting the minimum energy necessary.  I truly believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is watching over Theresa and reassuring her that all will be well.


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