Sunday, January 28, 2007

On the way home

(Written yesterday, 1/27)

We’re sitting in foggy San Francisco, halfway home! What an amazing two weeks we had in Dallas. After Abbie and I went for our final hyperbaric dive yesterday afternoon, she had another MEAD test done, to check her voltage.

During the first week we were thrilled to see the three circuits, or meridians, that the brain is on go up into the healing range of voltage, 50-70 millivolts. And, we were shocked to see her total body voltage go up to 43, since that’s about the ceiling, as total body voltage never gets up into healing range itself.

Ooops!! Did Abbie just hear someone say “never”? It seems that she did, because in her normal fashion, she has proven that word should never be used in connection with her. On Friday, her total body voltage was at an astounding 53!! Healing range! Dr. Tennant has never seen body voltage this high, and really never expected to….then he met Miss Abbie. It was fun to watch him react to those numbers. In addition to that Olympic-level overall voltage, 8 of her 12 circuits are also in healing range, with the other four hovering just below that threshold. Her three brain circuits all remain in the healing range, which Dr. Tennant said is also very unusual. He normally sees 2 of the 3 at one time, but never all three. Ha – another “never” Abbie gets to kick to the curb.

As I thought more about what this all means, and wondered if Ray and the boys would see big differences when we get off the plane, I realized that this truly is just like a pregnancy. When the EPT test stick turns pink, no one else can see anything different about you, and until you end up repeatedly hugging the toilet, it may not even seem like a reality. But, the process has begun, and over the coming months life begins to blossom and the evidence becomes abundantly clear that a baby is on the way. These voltage tests were our stick finally turning pink – the outward signs are just beginning, but the healing process leading to Abbie’s complete re-birth is definitely underway. And, the great part is, I can still eat anything I want!

As we were leaving the clinic on Friday Abbie was playing around with Debbie and giving her beautiful smiles. Jean’E, one of Dr. Tennant’s nurses, wanted to capture this on film, but by the time she got the camera Abbie wouldn’t smile at all. After we gave up and put the camera away, Debbie noticed a tear coming down Abbie’s cheek. She asked her if the reason she wouldn’t smile for the camera was because she didn’t want to leave all her new friends in Dallas, and Abbie immediately started clucking. I think she realizes as much as we do what a special and important trip this was, and how incredible the people are that God blessed us with in Dallas.

Abbie also developed a new love while we were in Texas…the fireplace. We were so blessed to stay in the home of some precious friends while in Dallas, and they had a gas fireplace that was on every moment Abbie was there. If she wasn’t sleeping in her bed or getting a bath, she was lying in front of the fireplace. When Debbie asked her if she wanted to take it home with her, Abbie immediately and forcefully indicated ‘YES!” Alas, it would not fit in the suitcase, so we’ll just have to make do with votive candles at home.

While we were at the clinic we found out that Dr. Tennant will only be teaching one Level 1 Biomodulator course in Honolulu, rather than two. It will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Waikiki, February 15-17. The evening of the 15th will be a free lecture about healing and voltage, while the 16th and 17th will be the training course for the Biomodulator. If you live in Hawaii and have been thinking about attending, I can’t encourage you strongly enough – for two reasons: now that we’ve spent time in Dallas I am even more convinced about the potential this technology holds for true healing, and since it will be the only course offered in Hawaii this year I would hate the opportunity to pass you by. For more information you can contact Barbara at 817-939-8188. Of course, if you can also email me with questions (

There were many heroes in this trip, but the one that rises above them all is Debbie. She has been “on-duty” for two weeks straight, taking care of little details, big diapers, and always making sure Abbie had what she needed. There’s no way in the world we could have done this without her, and we will be forever indebted to her.

We went to bed around midnight last night, and my alarm was set for 5am, but around 4:30am something very interesting happened. I was awakened by two urgent cries from Abbie, and looked to find her rolling off her pillow, heading toward the floor. When I reached over to grab her I could feel her holding herself for all she was worth, trying to keep from falling. This is a huge step in many respects: she realized she was falling and was able to quickly alert me, and she used muscular protective responses to keep from falling. She couldn’t do these things just a short time ago. Even scary things are giving us rays of hope these days – what incredible days these are!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Into the Second Week

Aloha from Texas! The weather has warmed up and we've even seen the sun recently. Abbie is doing wonderful things for us. Her face is changing every day, so much so that she very rarely drools any more, even when placed in prime drooling positions, like on her back with her head laid to the side. She is also requiring suctioning very rarely now, which makes me think she is controlling her secretions much better. The other night she slept without any oxygen, as Dr. Tennant suspected would happen soon. As her voltage rises, there is more oxgyen dissolved in her blood so that even when her voltage dips in the middle of the night, as all of ours does, she is able to maintain her sats.

Last week Dr. Collins made another observation about hormonal imbalance in Abbie, having to do with her legs. She normally keeps her thighs together, with her knees together in sort of a knock-kneed position, and then her calves are apart in a "V" shape. I always assumed this was just because of her tone, and while that is what is partially causing it, a hormonal imbalance in the underlying root. He said that if you look at anyone who walks from the knee down, sort of shuffling along, they will always have a hormonal imbalance. Dr. Tennant was not present when we had this discussion. The next day he was looking at Abbie laying on the floor and said, "You know, I am beginning to wonder of the position of her legs may be related to her hormones..." I smiled and said that Dr. Collins made the exact same remark the day before. So, I am even more hopeful that correcting her hormones will help her in a variety of ways. For those therapists out there, Dr. Collins said that hormonal imbalances greatly affect the IT band (making it tight, like Abbie's), and with correction the tension will release and the external rotation will be eliminated.

Dr. Collins spent some time working with Abbie's feet and legs while she was recieving Light treatments. In just a few minutes, using gentle movements, he had Abbie's legs and feet looking like my little Abbie's legs and feet -- the ones that used to run around my house hunting for mischief and love. The power of seeing that familiar, but long-missed sight was overwhelming.

Abbie has just recently begun to use her arms more purposefully, with extension (stretching out) movements, rather then just jerky movements where her elbows remain bent. All these things, and this is really just the launching pad. As I talked with Dr. Tennant about the meridians that are in the healing range (50-70 millivolts), I wanted to know what I had to do to keep them that high, and for how long they needed to stay there. He remarked that what he is seeing is that people get up into that range for a week or so, to begin the healing process, and then revert back to normal operating voltage as the healing progresses. In other words, the healing voltage is like the boost to get a rock rolling down a hill. Once it is going, it just needs normal momentum, or voltage, for the process to continue. Abbie has never had the momentum, or voltage, to get the healing rock moving down the hill. Now she does, as we can concretely see in her voltage tests. So, the rock is rolling, and now it's just a matter of supporting her through the process while her body does the work. She has crossed the threshold! I am still absorbing this, because it changes everything.

I mentioned in the last posting that I've been affirmed in my belief that Abbie and I are linked. This was evidenced again late last week. I wrote about her voltage going up to 42, and both of us feeling awful. In the days that followed it dropped to about 35 and we both felt much better. Then, one evening I was getting the same sensations -- room spinning, head hurting, and I mentioned to Dr. Tennant, "I would bet her voltage is up again, just based on the way I am feeling." We did a test, and sure enough, she was back up to 43. Dr. Tennant said he really never sees total body voltage higher than that. This solidifies the fact that I need to trust myself, trust my intuition and the guidance I receive about Abbie. If you see me out and about, looking pretty sick, rejoice! It means Abbie is doing lots of healing work.

This trip has been a whirlwind of blessings, and I have learned so much. It is hard, though, being away from Ray and the boys. Thanks to all of you who have brought meals, and who have prayed for them in my absence. Our family is definitely a team, and it's difficult when we are apart.

I will try to post again before we head home on Saturday morning. But, if I don't make that happen, thank you for all of your prayers and support throughout this unique part of Abbie's journey. We are blessed indeed!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

We're Here!

Sorry for the overdue update, I've not been able to keep a connection long enough to post. So much to tell...Our trip was a definate adventure, but I'll get to that later. I want to start off with all the great things that have happened in just the first two days here.

Abbie's recovery is all about voltage - remembering that normal bodies function at around 22 milivolts. A couple weeks ago we measured her at home and she was up to 11, an improvement over the 2 she'd been at two weeks before. Well, we arrived in Dallas on Monday afternoon, and both Dr. Collins and Dr. Tennant worked on Abbie quite a bit Monday evening. We went to the clinic Tuesday morning, and when Abbie's voltages were checked we got two pieces of very good news. First, her overall body voltage was up to 30! This was an amazing jump. The test that gave us that number also measures 12 specific meridians in the body. You can think of meridians like copper wiring in your house, they wire certain organ systems together just like your wire connects several appliances. Dr. Tennant brought in the test results with 3 meridians circled. These three meridians had voltages that reached into the healing range of 50-70 millivolts. I was happy about that, but didn't grasp the import until he said, "These are the three meridians that the brain is on. There is certainly healing going on in her brain right now." I was stunned. The hope so long deferred is becoming a reality!

Abbie and I then went for our first hyperbaric dive in the clinic. I enjoyed the soft-sided chamber because it allowed us to lay down and snuggle together, and because the oxygen was delivered through a cannula, I didn't have to struggle to hold a mask on her for an hour. Coming to Dallas I felt that HBOT would be one of the primary benefits, and was already trying to figure out a way to continue once we return to Honolulu. As we talked that evening, however, Dr. Tennant explained that if we can keep Abbie's overall body voltage in the normal range (above 20 millivolts) she won't need HBOT. Wow! That would be a load off my shoulders -- one more blessing.

I guess I should explain who Dr. Collins is. He and Dr. Tennant have been working together for the past few years in developing a specialized light diode, which is what they are using to treat people in the clinic. Like Dr. Tennant, Dr. Collins is extremely brilliant and it has been our good fortune to be here concurrent to his visit (he lives in Columbia, SC). He has been very helpful in giving us concrete steps to begin Abbie's journey back. For example, the first night he saw her he noted that she didn't have much of a sucking reflex. He said that we had to get that back before we tried to move further down the road -- Abbie's needs to meet the developmental milestones in order again. So we started working hard on that while she was receiving Light treatments, and by the next day she was sucking hard on my finger. His insistence on the importance of the milestones makes me think that we will go back to the neurodevelopmentalist, whose specialty is creating programs to meet milestones in order.

Dr. Collins also made a couple interesting observations. Just last week Matthew asked me why Abbie's face looks so different now. I told him it is because her muscles aren't working quite right yet, so it makes her face look chubby. Dr. Collins thinks her face looks "steriodal" -- puffy like someone taking steriods. This is due to her having excess cortisol in her system because her body is still in "alarm mode". He noted this on his initial examination of her -- her body still is splayed out, arms to the side, back a little arched. Our goal is to get her out of alarm mode and back into a fetal position, so she can relax and heal. We spent yesterday collecting saliva to send off for a hormone test so we can see exactly where she's at. Dr. Tennant has found recently that dealing with hormones is critical to recovery.

Yesterday we awoke to SNOW! I couldn't believe it! We also awoke to find that Abbie and I felt terrible. She was subdued and somewhat cranky towards dinner time, while I had a horrible headache and felt like the room was spinning. We measured her voltage after dinner and found it to be an incredible 42! Dr. Tennant said that explained why she felt so bad -- someone with that much voltage is bound to have a headache. I asked him how we could support her through this and he told me that when he has adult patients hit levels like this and they need to be functional for work he actually has them drink a caffeine-free Coke to bring the voltage down a bit. So, it seems that Miss Abbie is taking off like a rocket ship, which is exactly how she arrived in this world the first time, so it seems fitting. Dr. Collins explained that I feel so awful for two reasons: I have been treating Abbie so I get enough of the frequencies to stimulate my body to begin dumping toxins etc, but I don't get the full range to help my body do this work. Also, I am very tied to Abbie, and her journey affects me physically. He has found that in every child he's treated, there is always one parent who is physically tied to the child and helps/hinders/experiences the process with the child. As I thought about it later I realized that I've always known this, and recalled writing about how Abbie and I were like E.T. and Elliot, whose heart rhythms were in synch at the end of the movie.

I have learned so much more from getting to spend time with Drs. Tennant and Collins, but I feel like I should stop rambling for now, and tell you more in the next update.

Our trip here was an adventure. We flew from Honolulu to Seattle, where we were met at the gate by my long-time friend Wendy and her friend Stan. His "United Crew" credentials had allowed them past security as standby travelers. What an effort to make for a ten minute visit at 5am!! We then took off for Denver. Abbie did very well on both flights, although I am so glad we had coordinated oxgyen. She required 4 liters to Seattle and 3 liters to Denver. As we were landing in Denver, I thought "This trip is going so well..." Ohhh, the danger of thinking that thought!

We waited on the plane for the wheelchair to be brought up. It finally arrived -- in pieces. Despite being covered with "Do NOT Disassemble signs", the ground crew in Seattle had done just so. Fearing that may happen at some point, we had also gate-checked a stroller. Unfortunately, it had been lost. The captain, seeing our predicament, went down to check the belly of the plane himself in the snowing, 3 degree weather. No luck. I told him we would have to let it catch up with us because we had a tight connection to DFW. He got a funny look on his face and picked up the jetway phone. After a moment he quietly replaced the receiver and slowly turned to me, hating to say these words, "I'm sorry, they just closed DFW for the day because of ice." So, we had a broken wheelchair, no stroller, and no flight. Wow.

We ended up at an empty gate area across the way and I set off to find how to get a new flight booked. I found the end of a 400 person line, and realized I couldn't leave Abbie and Debbie that long. So, I returned to them, and figured that I could at least start trying to coordinate oxygen, because I'd learned it sometimes requires a 24-hour notice. I called the United Medical Desk to begin this process, and the sweet woman on the other end of our line saved the day. She asked "Is no one from United there helping you??" Ummmmm - no. She then told me about the "Special Services Room" for handicapped passengers. I found a skycap to direct us there, and behind a silver Star-Trek door lay an oasis. Power outlets for Abbie's pulse-oximeter and suction machine, and even better, an agent to rebook our flight. An angel named Jan spent two hours on the phone and got us booked in first class seats for the next day. She also gave us $70 worth of meal vouchers. I spied a twin mattress leaned up against a wall and asked we could use it. When they said "OK" we began to set up camp. We ended up just staying overnight at the airport rather than trying to find wheelchair transportation (impossible) and claiming all our checked baggage. Abbie did wonderfully, and it was not bad at all. Debbie was a real hero in this whole ordeal, basically going with no sleep for three days. But, in the end we got the wheelchair back together, got to Dallas, and are pinching ourselves that we are actually here. Miracles happen, and Abbie is one of them!

Will keep you posted as we go. God has been so good to us, and has sustained us throughout Abbie's journey. But, this year feels like the gates of Heaven opening and blessings unnumbered streaming down upon us.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Please Pray for Our Trip

I spoke with Dr. Tennant a couple of hours ago, and I'm glad I 'd just checked the weather forecast for Dallas so that what he said didn't completely throw me for a loop. Dallas is in the midst of an ice storm that is predicted to last through Monday. I am concerned about the drive from the airport to our hotel, and even more curious about how weather that cold is going to affect Abbie. And, those worries are all predicated on the assumption that we actually make it to DFW tomorrow afternoon.

We are alse scheduled to go through Denver, and with with images of stranded travelers at that airport fresh in my mind, there is a temptation to delay our travel plans. However, coordinating oxgyen for each of our three legs (to Seattle, then Denver to Dallas) takes more lead time than we now have so we are going to push ahead and stick to our current itinerary. I think God is reiterating that not only did he tell me "Go" last Sunday, but he also told me "Trust".

When I talked to Dr. Tennant he shared with me that many other children will be in his clinic next week. I am excited to meet families in person whom I've only corresponded with, and look forward to seeing what will happen with those children while in Dallas.

We're pretty much all packed, and we don't even leave for the airport for another five hours, so I am pretty impressed with myself at this point. Actually, Debbie did most of the packing for Abbie so that I didn' t have a complete mental meltdown. Please, if you would, raise up extra prayers for us tonight and tomorrow. I will update from the other end as soon as we get there.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Nick's gift

Nick looks on in anticipation as Abbie opens her gift from him.

I couldn't write this update until I had pictures to do it justice. Nick is Debbie's great-nephew and he spends every Friday night with her. He and Abbie have become quite good pen pals. They met in person last summer when he brought over a Build-a-Bear (that is actually a dog) that he made for Abbie. A few months ago he decided that he wanted to make Abbie a quilt for Christmas. So, he picked out fabric, came up with a pattern, cut it out and learned how to sew. Each weekend he and Debbie would work on "the project." Did I mention he is six?? At Christmas time he came over to present the fruit of all that labor to Abbie. I had tears in my eyes looking at how much love and thoughtfulness had gone into the quilt. He had picked a bright yellow ladybug fabric, since we've called her "Ladybug" since she was a baby. Nick was quite proud of the fabric that was a comic strip about the Kool-Aid man. But the best square of all is the one pictured above, his signature block. Have you ever seen anything more precious? We take this quilt everywhere with us, since it literally wraps her in love.

Catching up on good things

So many things have been happening lately that I've not really written about the small, sweet things that are filling our days. One is the frequent visits by the Tooth Fairy. This picture was taken on Christmas, and the gap in front widened considerably the next day when Abbie lost her other front tooth. As you can probably see, she already has a permanent tooth coming in, and it's just as enormous as I thought it would be. Is it because I am from Oregon that I and all my kids have front teeth that resemble a beaver's? We will probably have to do the same thing on the top that we did on the bottom, having the other two front baby teeth extracted to make room for the two front permanent teeth. And, you gotta love that dimple!

She loved Christmas this year, and that made it so much better for all of us. As I was tucking a wide-awake Abbie into bed on Christmas Eve, I told her, "You know, Santa won't come until you are asleep!" Her eyes fluttered for a moment and then shut tight. For a selfish moment it made me think about telling her Santa comes EVERY night for little girls who go right to sleep.
This past Sunday she was able to go to Sunday School again, and I knew she had a great time by all the goodies that came home with us. Every girl in her little group just had to get something from the goodie box for Abbie. She held on to the little fish keychain all day, and when I went to put her to bed I found a bookmark folded into her blanket. But, until today I didn't know how well it had gone! I talked to my friend, Kathleen, who is Abbie's "Sunday School Auntie" -- her first words were , "I can't believe the changes in Abbie!" She went on to tell me how much Abbie used her voice, which matched what we've been seeing, or rather, hearing. At one point she said something to Abbie and immediately Abbie turned her head all the way around to look at Kathleen in the face. RJ came out of the service to blow his nose, and when Kathleen told Abbie that RJ was out there, Abbie started making all kinds of noise. At the end of the session they were taking prayer requests from her little group of kindergarteners and first graders. Kathleen had previously told them that Abbie would really like to get up and play and talk with with them, so it was very sweet when one of the little girls asked that they pray that Abbie could "get out of her wheelchair and play with us." When Kathleen asked Abbie if that is what she wanted to do, Abbie vocalized immediately. I guess the looks on the faces of the girls communicated their happy surprise and their realization that Abbie really does understand what is going on and really wants to get up and play with them.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Big D

An amazing window of opportunity swung open this weekend, and we are going to jet through it, courtesy of United Airlines. This Saturday, Debbie, Abbie and I are going to fly to Dallas to spend two weeks at Dr. Tennant's clinic. This has all materialized so quickly, with the help of some very special angels, that my head is spinning. Of course, my dizziness could be due to juggling two phones and a computer trying to coordinate all the details of the trip.

I have wanted to take Abbie to Dallas for quite a while, but this trip snuck up on us, and I don't know that I've fully absorbed that we are actually getting to go so soon! I look forward to seeing what a visit to Dr. Tennant's clinic will do for Abbie, and I am anxious to learn even more from him.

Although this trip is something we'd planned to do at some time, we still had to really think through the possiblity, to determine if this was the right time for our family. Not as easy a decision as it would seem. The idea first surfaced on Saturday afternoon, and I wrestled with it all night. I went to church on Sunday hoping for confirmation one way or the other. As we sang I got two words, "Go" and "Trust". I was happy to hear the first, and glad to hear the second. There is always so much more that we want to do for Abbie than we can realistically do, and "trust" told me that this trip is the right decision, and God will provide other things down the road.

So, you'll be glad to know that our hotel room has high-speed internet which will allow me to keep everyone updated during the trip. We'll arrive in Dallas this Sunday afternoon, and will visit the clinic for the first time on Monday afternoon. We've done inter-island flights with Abbie, but have not taken her to the mainland since she was injured. I covet your prayers for a smooth trip for her, that she would be comfortable and healthy. We have coordinated in-flight oxygen, but hope she doesn't need it (although at $100 per leg, I may use it if she doesn't!!)

She had a wonderful day in PT/OT today. People with Cortical Vision Impairment see best when that is all they have to concentrate on, when they are not having to manage head control, posture, etc. Well, today Miss Abbie sat on a bench with just a little hip support and used her vision to make fashion choices for the dress-up doll. It was incredible to see her sit up so strong and tall and still be able to use her eyes -- a big step!

Still so much to do to get ready, so I have to go for now. All I can say is that God hears the prayers of our hearts, and so often he sends people to help those prayers come to fruition. What a place of rest and comfort!

Friday, January 05, 2007

New steps in a New Year

Sometimes the days run together and it seems like nothing much is happening until I sit down and try to write about it. This blog is a personal blessing because as I distill the past week into a few lines of words, I realize things are happening and I need to give Abbie credit and celebrate each step.

The highlight of the last several days was Abbie saying RJ's name. I had her up on my bed, and he walked in to join us. She said what I thought was his name, but I never believe something the first time. So, I asked her to say it again, and she did, much to RJ's delight. With raised eyebrows and a huge grin he asked her to say his name, and she did it again! Three times in a row left me no room for doubt, and much cause for joy!

I noted lately that it's getting even easier to elicit smiles verbally. For example, when I asked her if she wanted a bath she smiled broadly, dimple and all. Her smile is also changing. Debbie first noticed it, but now I've seen it too - the dimple on the left side of her face. I've not seen it for over 2 1/2 years, because that side of her face has been too weak to smile strongly. I recalled the first time I saw her right-side dimple again, in response to desperate prayers Ray and I lifted while she was in rehab. It was the "sign" that we asked for to assure us she was in there and coming back to us. For that reason, seeing the dimple on the other side seems so much more significant to me than just a stronger smile.

We had her standing up during therapy yesterday using a tilt table. For the first time she stood with her ankles flexed past 90 degrees. This is a big step and will make it possible for her to stand up from a sitting position as well as making it easier to walk. At the moment when I am trying to load her back in her wheelchair, gather all her stuff and get home therapy "firsts" sometimes don't sink in. It wasn't until much later that I realized this is a step we've been working towards for a long time and I need to celebrate the victory, no matter how incremental it is.

This is a pretty business-like update, and there is much more on my heart, but at the end of the week I find it hard to summon the emotional strength to communicate it. Perhaps on quiet Sunday afternoon I can dig a little deeper.

Praying that your new year is off to as great a start as Abbie's!