Update Page for David Hanson - November 2013
To contact David Hanson's family, please use the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
11/1/13 (Rachel Hanson)
David had a swallow study this morning and we got great news! The only thing David is aspirating on is thin liquids (like water). This means he can have a full diet of puree to "soft chunky" foods and slightly thickened liquids. This means I have to get busy cooking some nutritional pureed meals for David and not use the g-tube! I find it challenging to be cooking for 3 different consistencies of foods. I eat regular, David eats everything pureed, and Jocelyn eats choosy purees, bottles and nursing! It was kind of funny when the speech therapist doing the swallow study said something about seeing what she had to trial with him, David said, "Leftover candy available!" ha ha....this was in reference to a wife that WAY outdid herself buying candy for potential trick-or-treaters!
We are still in limbo about the next step. A lot of the therapists think they can't do anything more here at home. I think they can do a lot at home and think they just need to stop thinking inside the box but that's just me...and then there's the speech therapist who is doing great things (well, God is doing great things through her!) Please continue to pray for us regarding this possible transition to outpatient therapy, inpatient therapy or staying with in home therapy for awhile. There are several options and I really don't know what's best.
Pray for me for endurance. Between Jocelyn deciding she doesn't like to sleep through the night anymore and turning David/giving medication, I don't get much good rest. There seems to always be some new equipment to train caregivers on or a new task to train them on or a new caregiver. I get stuck with most of the training because most of them don't get it the first time. Sometimes I feel like I'm on a real-life video game where flying objects come out at me constantly and once I've mastered one level, the objects come at me faster and faster. One of these days, I might just fall of this treadmill... But there's not really the option of starting on Level 1 again on this journey. I would like to learn how to be a devoted wife and mother instead of just a wife and mother bound by duty, but still accomplish the necessary tasks for the day. I was thinking about this...the contrast between Mary and Martha. Martha was burdened with much serving and Mary was sitting a Jesus' feet in worship. Jesus said Mary chose the "good part". How do I prioritize between devotion and duty when duty means the difference between a quality life and neglect?
11/4/13 (Annette Hanson)
After several "all-nighters" at David and Rachel's, they finally had a full night's rest. I only needed to re-position him a couple of times, and Jocelyn slept quietly from about 10 PM until about 7:30 AM. It was nice to see the smiles this morning. Thanking the Lord!
David has continued to work hard at speaking. He is easily fatigued, but if he isn't too tired, he can sometimes verbalize an entire sentence, one word at a time. His pronunciation is developing, and we need to listen very carefully in order to understand his words. He is very patient with us! Sometimes it takes a combination of speech, signing and spelling before we get the message, but it is worth it....especially when he comes up with humorous statements and his own made-up sign for "more ice cream."
I have personally really enjoyed the blessing of spending time with Rachel and Jocelyn. The Lord has been so kind in giving David such a good wife. If you could peek into their everyday life, you would see a young family who shares a lot of joy and love with one another......including the baby. She really lights up and can hardly contain herself when her mommy walks into the room, and her daddy loves to hold her in his lap, with his head bent down to feel her soft little head. She is really a wiggle worm! ....like her daddy was as a baby.
Our family, as a whole, has been learning more and more about caring for David. His ability to move independently is very limited, and sometimes there are a few "gaps" in the availability of care-givers. So when we are able to visit David, Joel and the boys have been learning how to transfer and care for him. The rest of us are learning a variety of care-giving activities as well. Even the small members of our family are eager to give him hugs, play thumb war, have stare-downs, and pepper him with questions. They sometimes get the biggest smiles from David...aside from Rachel, of course. Life is very different than it used to be, but God keeps doing good things and showing us His "new mercies." Thank you all for your prayers and encouragements!
A verse from Scripture that greatly encouraged me recently is Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know."
11/13/13 (Annette Hanson) David prayed aloud with us the other night. His words came slowly and carefully. We were able to understand about 2/3 of his prayer, and it was a special time together. He works so hard to try to speak, and his clarity is improving. After a short sentence or two, he gets pretty tired and we revert back to spelling, but that's ok. We are all encouraged with his progress.
Thank the Lord for a good speech therapist for the past several weeks!
It looks like all of David's therapists will be changing starting this week. The in-home therapists have 'dismissed' him, and he will begin out-patient therapy at a local hospital soon. We have all been praying about this, and it seems that the Lord is providing a new 'work program' for David.
Rachel has been getting a little more rest at night as Jocelyn has been sleeping better. (most of the time, anyway) It has been so nice to see their smiling faces!
A few days ago, we walked into their house (after knocking, of course) and Jocelyn was happily helping her mommy in the kitchen....she was tied, facing forward, with some sort of cloth strap and was just as content as could be...hanging there with her bright little eyes, hands and feet dangling and wiggling away. It was such a sweet picture.
Later on Rachel put her in a Johnny-Jump-Up, and she became a wild thing! At another point in the evening, when she started to get fussy, we looked over and there was David looking at her with a big pouty lip. (trying to humor her) It didn't work though. I just share this, because it is good to see the joy of their unique "family life" taking place, and the peace that the Lord is providing. Thank you for your prayers!
11/14/13 (Rachel Hanson)
"Once you choose HOPE, anything's possible." ---Christopher Reeve
I've been thinking a lot on the subject of hope this week in combination with seeking the Lord first above all. Who is our hope in or what is our hope in? I don't know about you but my hope is in the Lord. "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." Jeremiah 7:17,18 I can't hope in anyone/anything else because nothing else is sure or stable. If my hope is in the Lord, the God of my salvation, the One who says I cannot be plucked from His hand, the One who paid for my eternal life with His blood, how can I be disappointed? If my hope is in my husband's healing, I will be disappointed.
Not a whole lot is new with David that Annette didn't cover but if you could pray about these two things: David is a little under the weather with a sore throat today and will be starting outpatient therapy on Monday. I am concerned that he will struggle to have enough energy to do well in outpatient because of the long duration
11/28/13 (Joel Hanson, David's Father)
As I reflect on this past year there are things that have happened that I can definitely see the hand of God working for blessing. Godís blessings are evident, but not all of these can be seen apart from the eyes of faith in His great promises to us.
Last year at this time, we were seeing David progressing far beyond what the doctorís had envisioned. We were told a few months before that Davidís brain was functioning, but that his body was cut off from his brain because of serious damage to the brain stem. Davidís brain stem was seriously injured and would be scarred to such an extent that this pathway from the head to the body would be cut-off. We were told the very best we could hope for was that David would live in a vegetative state unable to connect with his own body and with all of us who love him. This was the medical experts told usÖÖ
However, God had a different idea and a different plan for David and Rachel. One of the early indications that God had a plan was Jocelyn. Although we didnít know her name yet, God was at work in Rachelís womb. David and Rachel had a gift of life from God and the evidence could not be hidden very long as Rachelís increase in visible size. We also began to see impossible things happening to David. He was not supposed to be able to hear us, breath, gain consciousness, wake up or sleep, or move his hand across midline in brain directed movementsÖ.. but he did all these things. Within weeks everything the doctor told us was proven to be a mistaken diagnosis based upon the wisdom of men. A greater wisdom was and is at work. Godís wisdom and compassion was at work to raise up David as a testimony to what God alone can do.
Then came another time of testingÖ. In late January David had a grand mal seizure. It was an awful seizure and it was a hard and difficult time. Much of the recovery that we had seen in David was no longer visible to us. We wept often during this time and intensified our petitions to God to heal David and bring him back to a pathway to recovery. God encouraged us that the He who raises the dead and who heals to sick could restore David, just as he had done five months before. We watched and prayed but the recovery was slow and painful for David and for Rachel and for the families supporting them. Nevertheless, David was progressing and we were learning about the patience of faith in a God who does all things well and who has promised, ďall things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.Ē (Romans 8:28)
The months passed and we saw David emerge again from devastating patterns of uncontrolled movements that were identical to the movements witnessed in the minutes following his 55 foot fall. Davidís spasticity which at times bound him in a power greater than cords or chains was also alleviated by God who was at work and who also allowed doctors to assist Him.
On April 20th another miracle occurred. David and Rachel were granted a gift of life and her name was revealed to us. David and Rachel named her Jocelyn, which means ďgiver of joy.Ē God truly is the giver of joy. Sin brought sorrow, sickness and death into this world, but God did not abandon us because of our sinÖ He sent His only begotten Son into this world to save us. We needed saving because of what sin did to us in the sight of a holy God. God made His Son a sin offering to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and He offers the gift of eternal life to all who believe in Christ. The birth of a child is a common and wonderful blessing given to men and women. The second birth is promised to all who believe in the Son of God and those who believe, God does a miraculous work of rebirth in making those who believe, sons of God.
The months passed and September 13th arrived. Rachel, true to her promise brought David to a new rental home near to Davidís father, mother, brothers and sisters, brothers and sisters in-law, brothers and sisters in Christ and many friends in Wisconsin and surrounding states. When David emerged from the long trip from California he held his motherís hand and would not let it go. He made it back by Godís grace. Not only has God preserved him for a year and three months since his fall, but God has given David and Rachel a basis for hope. God has not deserted them. God has a future for them. He has given them a life to hold and cherish (Jocelyn is powerful reminder of this); but there is more. A greater hope for the future is found as a treasure in the Book of books. Here is a promise for such a hope that only God can deliver and it will be acquired by His almighty power. God cannot lie. The truth of God contains this great promise of hope for us in Titus 3:3-7. In these verses we read, ďFor we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.Ē
God, who gives life, promises to give eternal life to all who believe in Christ. On this Thanksgiving Day we have much to remember and even more to reason than ever to praise, thank and worship God who gives us such gifts as these.
A blessed Thanksgiving!
Picture: David, Rachel and Jocelyn Hanson on Thanksgiving (November 28th, 2013)
11/29/13 (Rachel Hanson) Thankful doesn't really express what my heart feels. God is so good. My mom's theme song for David is "It is no Secret What God Can do."
The chimes of time ring out the news;
Another day is through.
Someone slipped and fell.
Was that someone you?
You have longed for added strength,
Your courage to renew.
Do not be disheartened,
For I bring hope to you.
It is no secret what God can do.
What He's done for others, He'll do for you
With arms wide open, He'll pardon you,
It is no secret what God can do.
David is doing really well. Some of his progress is more personal between the two of us but still progress. He is interacting more and more with Jocelyn which is lovely to see. She is responding more to him too. He likes to hold her, tickle her, say, "hi baby" and even can defend himself from her grabbing his eye balls and picking his nose! Tonight I noticed how much stronger he was in standing. We could even hug in standing without him buckling and me feeling like I was propping him up! So awesome to have a real hug from my hubby!!
We are finally getting a wheelchair accessible van! We are so excited! we get to pick out the color and everything. I've been working on this since June so it's great to have it finally come to fruition.
Sometimes we forget to praise God for prayers that are answered slowly. David hardly has headaches or pain period much at all. He used to have moderate to severe headaches daily for months. Now, he has a headache about once every 2 weeks. We are decreasing his anti-seizure medication to a lower dose to try to increase his energy level. Fatigue is still an issue but he is tolerating outings much better, as he gets out about 5 times a week for therapy, church, family gatherings, etc... versus once a month, if that, a few months ago. If he keeps doing well with food by mouth, I anticipate him getting rid of his feeding tube soon!!
As for me, I'm getting much more rest and free time. This feels like vacation compared to the stress and running I've had the last year. The Lord DOES heal the broken hearted and gives courage and strength to those who have no might. Those that wait on (hope in) the Lord WILL renew their strength.
To contact David Hanson's family, please use the e-mail email@example.com