Update Page for David Hanson - May 2013
To contact David Hanson's family, please use the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
5/3/13 (Annette Hanson) "I love the LORD, because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live."
Rachel was due to deliver on April 22nd, so we planned our trip to CA in order to be able to help her with David after delivery .... hoping and praying about the timing. Then God blessed us all with little Jocelyn's birth on April 20th! Just one example of the kindness of our Lord. Rachel was able to rest ....a little.... and we had some very special time with David.
Another blessing of the Lord came as David was uneasy about his move. As we continued to pray about this, the Lord gave a great sense of comfort and peace to David (and to his mom who was empathizing with him). Thank God for His word and for my steady husband. :)
The move went well. David is settling into his new place, which is much more home-like, but still not quite home. He and Rachel really look forward to the day they can really be home as a family with their new little one.....which reminds me..... Jocelyn is the most beautiful, wonderful, sweet, smart "newborn" redhead in the world! Praise God for her arrival!!!
I know that it is nice for you all to learn about what David can do. His gains are slow, and physically, his limitations are great. We love "tapping into" his thoughts. He expresses his love for the Lord, Rachel, Jocelyn, and his family. He also shares his heart for other people he knows, and he prays for many...as many are praying for him. :) When we read Scripture to him, Joel usually ends with "Amen David?" and gets a thumbs up. One morning Joel forgot, so when we asked David if he wanted to add anything to the reading, he spelled a-m-e-n.
David's smile is becoming more and more spontaneous. He was happy when he saw that I was playing Rook. (I don't play Rook) Then he was REALLY happy when he and Rachel creamed us. Just seeing his big smile made losing actually fun. He smiled when we remembered his carrying Rachel up 101 steps at Wedding Rock after they got engaged, and Joel joked about carrying me up those steps (which he didn't and wouldn't do). But his nicest smiles are about his wife and baby. He looks into Rachel's eyes and smiles. He just loves to look at Jocelyn and hold her. Each time Rachel puts the baby in his arm, she settles right down and just snuggles there quietly. I can't describe how special it is!
We continue to pray for David's swallowing and speech. He is making progress with eating and swallowing. He was also able to use his voice to express pain and sometimes just to hum. It is encouraging to see how hard he works for each area of therapy.
Looking back to one of Nathan's earliest posts on this update, he shared the need for prayer and that this situation is beyond the control of medical experts. A "supernatural miracle" would be needed. We are grateful for the energy, expertise, and time that several medical experts have contributed to David. We also recognize and want to give glory to the Great Physician, the Lord Jesus Christ, for His mercy upon David and our family. He has truly given us the "supernatural miracle" of physical life for David and has preserved David's mind and spiritual life as well. Now He has added another supernatural miracle in the birth of a child into David and Rachel's family.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort"
5/6/13 (Rachel Hanson) This week has been overwhelming. David moved to another rehab facility out of the hospital on Monday. It seemed that he was getting a really slow start and they didn't see David's potential but I guess they just needed a couple days to let David transition, rest and get to know him. He is getting a lot more rest than at the hospital but it seems to be good for him. The nurses and therapists are kind, knowledgeable and excited to help David reach his potential. The new place is peaceful, set in beautiful Marin County and is much more homey than the hospital. Of course we miss all of the loving staff at SCVMC that became like our second family but I think it was time to move on. We get to sit out on the deck and watch caterpillers inch along the siding or railing, listen to birds and running water in the creek and wait until we see a deer. :)
David is happy and rested which makes him do well in therapy. I haven't gotten to witness much therapy yet because of my new responsibility and commute time but I'm going to try to see what's happening this week. I like to be there to cheer David on and see how well he's doing and be able to give the therapists insight as to the best way to communicate with or help David and hear their thoughts and comments as well (sorry for the major run-on sentence!).
David is so excited to be a dad. He just loves being near his "little dears" and holding Jocelyn. He communicates that he loves us as much as he can in a day. ;) David's happiness and contentedness are so encouraging to me. He communicated to Nathan and Ashley that "God is perfect" this morning. Wow. David still has his sense of humor for sure. Yesterday, Nathan suggested we play 20 questions with David. So David picked his thing and we started in with questions. He switched things a little into our questioning and when I caught him, he smirked like a kid with his hand caught in a cookie jar! Then he tricked us. We found out it was a woman whose name appeared in the Old Testament but lived in David's time. We were thinking King David and so started in with a battery of queries of different women's names that lived in that time. Turns out it was "Rachel". ;) Yes, her name appears in the Old Testament but David was thinking of a Rachel that lived in his time. :) He loves to hear funny stories and memories of childhood. I love to see him smile, and I've gotten to see a lot of smiles the last couple days. Val got a smile out of him today when she teased him about the deer hearing he was coming to the facility he's at and deciding to make themselves scarce, but if they saw Val with a gun, they would just come close and stick their tongues out at her! lol
5/13/13 (Rachel Hanson) Maybe this is too late, but if you had in mind to send a baby gift, please refrain. We appreciate so much everyone's kindness and generosity but we have more than enough baby things. There are people in much more need than us out there, so please pray about your giving and maybe the Lord will lay someone else of greater need on your heart. Your prayers are still needed and appreciated greatly, especially with a new baby.
I'm exhausted and still adjusting to my mountain of responsibility, but God gives me strength for each day.
David seems to have adjusted well to the new "home". With a lot of rest integrated into his schedule, he is doing really well cognitively. Although not speaking, his communication has improved significantly. His strength is still very slow to improve. Last week, an orthotist came in and is going to make some dynasplints for David's right elbow/hand and left ankle. They should help him fight spasticity and gain range of motion so he cab be more functional. I love the occupational therapist here. She's excited to work with David and sees potential in him. She's like me and likes to try anything and is working on a whole host of things with David. I think today I'll get cleared to take Jocelyn and David for walks in the neighborhood. It's soo good to get outside and it's so much more beautiful than San Jose!
I really don't know how people get through something like this without the Lord and hundreds of people praying for them.
5/19/13 (Rachel Hanson)No big changes lately. It seems progress really hasn't gone anywhere in the past few weeks. Although, David's handwriting is getting better. The bank decided to stop accepting his checks the way I've been sending them in so he had to get good at endorsing checks quick!
I'm continually struggling with speech therapy, it seems. I've been trained to feed David probably by 10 different therapists and have been by his side through every complication and they still treat me as though I'm completely incompetent...so frustrating! Nursing and OT and PT are all great so I'm thankful for that.
I hardly get to do anything for or with David except be in his room with a screaming baby. She is very awake and doesn't really nap much so my hands are tied. Today, my sister was with me and Jocelyn decided to actually take a nap so I actually got to participate in David's therapy today. I really enjoyed that!
I get a lot of reminders of God's goodness and healing thus far with David. We really do have so much to be thankful for because I look around and see others less fortunate, some that haven't gotten the healing that David has.
It's been a little over 11 months since we got married. The last couple days I've been recalling part of the message to me during our wedding. The passage used was in John about the Last Supper when the "disciple whom Jesus loved" was leaning on Jesus. The gist of what I remember was that my husband would probably, being only human, at times, fail my expectations, fail my needs or desires. So I would need to lean on Jesus to totally satisfy me. Then I was thinking about John, the disciple who Jesus loved, and what an intimate position he had there, leaning on the Son of God, the Creator of the Universe, King of Kings!! But there was a fair amount of suffering in John's life too. It seems that with suffering comes a joy and intimacy with Christ, a special relationship, that can't be compared to anything else. The trouble is, am I willing to suffer for Christ's sake? Is it worth it? In Jim Elliot's words, "He is no fool that gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." Anyways, I don't really know where I was going with all that...I guess just the need to lean on Jesus because there's a lot of moments lately when I'm worn out. I don't think I'm really suffering but it's just encouraging to know all this has purpose if done for His glory.
Pray for David. He's been extra tired the last two days and has a sore throat today.
5/20/13 (Rachel Hanson) Today was a new day and with the morning comes His mercies and faithfulness. David got to hold Jocelyn a lot today. We got the opportunity to take a walk as a family in the gorgeous sunshine. Jocelyn and I helped David bicycle and do a bit of oromotor exercises. David seemed to have more energy today but still had a mild headache and sore throat. I'm kind of wondering if his frequent nasal congestion and sore throats are from the seizure medication, as these are common side effects. I'm excited to talk to his physiatrist this week because she has a very good reputation in the area and may have some ideas how to help David progress faster.
I often peer into David's thoughts by asking what he's thinking. Lately, it's been a lot about creation, God's love for him, and his "little deers". Today he was thinking about raising children. I asked him if he still wanted more kids after all this. Yep, FIVE more! I laughed and told him he better get well soon then because I would need his help! :) this evening he seemed sad. I asked him why and he communicated that he was discouraged because people don't respond to the gospel. His love for souls challenges me. His passion for people to come to accept Christ as their Saviour is still so strong. We pray daily that God would loose his tongue so that he will be able to tell people about the Good News again! It was kind of interesting, the other day the speech therapist said she had a dream that David started talking again. :)
5/29/13 (Rachel Hanson) Every day is a different story with David. I never know what a day will bring forth. Friday, the therapists had me somewhat nervous and worried because they thought they had noticed a little decline in function. I think David's physiatrist had them on high alert just because she wants to do some testing to see if she can figure out why David isn't progressing very fast. But then today the speech therapist was excited because David did better with the Dynavox (a special computer that utilizes eye movement and blinks to perform commands instead of a mouse or finger). The physical therapist was also excited because David was able to do a few revolutions on the bike by himself and was standing by the mat without the standing frame but with a therapist and a CNA supporting him.
Tomorrow David is scheduled for a CT scan of his brain as a follow up of the one they did right after his seizures in January and to rule out hydrocephalus. Next Tuesday he is scheduled for an EEG to look at brain waves to make sure there are no suspicious spikes that could turn into seizures before the doctor slowly decreases his anti-seizure meds. Then she wants to perform another EEG in a week or so after that to make sure the meds are controlling seizure activity still. It is scary because none of us want David to have another seizure but The Lord knows all these things. "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
David seems discouraged the last couple days. He is tired and has a bad headache today. He says he wishes he had more "patience to listen to preaching". I told him he does amazing for the amount of brain damage he's had and the quantity of sedating drugs he's on!
5/30/13 (Rachel Hanson) For the first time in almost 10 months, I sat down a really reviewed David's initial MRI and CT scans. Sometimes it takes moments like this to really appreciate the miracles God has done in David's body. He had severe damage in his frontal lobe which is responsible for using intelligence stored elsewhere in the brain, emotions, and spatial orientation. He seems to have no problem using his intelligence! The activities director came to me the other day and told me that earlier that morning, David had schooled everyone in Texas Hold 'em...even guys that supposedly have nothing wrong with their brains! :) Although his emotions are shown a lot more subtle on his face, he still definitely has appropriate emotions and is able to get humor. He also had extensive damage to his mid brain and thalamus. These are responsible for temperature control, sleep cycle, alertness, motor control, vision and hearing. His motor control, vision and alertness are not great but I think his alertness level has to do with the heavy amount of medication he's on. There were countless other less specific areas of damage too.
Sorry for the science lesson but sometimes on days like this when I can't see progress and I'm discouraged at how utterly slow this is, I look back and see the hand of God and His mercy. There has been healing. Just sometimes it doesn't feel like enough or fast enough. I was gently reminded to be content in whatever state I find myself in by Philipians 4.
5/31/13 (Rachel Hanson)
Good news today: CT scan of David's brain showed no hydrocephalus and no negative changes since last scan in January. Sooo it's still a mystery why the sharp decline in function after the seizures in January. Hopefully, the results from the EEG next Tuesday will allow for a slow decrease in anti-seizure meds. Pray for David's headaches. They are pretty severe and he has one every day now.
To contact David Hanson's family, please use the e-mail email@example.com