Thursday, April 26, 2007

Perservering Kindness

Things are moving along with Abbie...I still don't have a great understanding of what we are watching unfold, but she is forging ahead despite that. It helps that we have such great companions. Pam Wilson is the grandmother of Jordan, a near-drowning survivor in Tennessee. Jordan and his mom Jeannie were at Dr. Tennant's clinic in Dallas when we were in January. Pam called today and said, "I really need to compare notes!" I asked, "Really high muscle tone, still needing suppositories?" "Yes, and yes" were her answers. Not only that, but Jordan and Abbie's voltage readings are very similar, and we are seeing shifts in the same sequences at nearly the same times. So, to me this means that we are observing a pattern of healing. Jordan was injured much more recently than Abbie, and when we saw them in January he hadn't progressed quite as far into his recovery yet. But, here they are having vision gains, doing new things, struggling with similar challenges, and having voltage measurments that are incredibly in synch. This tells me two things: it doesn't matter where the starting point is, and and doesn't matter how long it has been since the injury. The recovery pattern seems indifferent to both of these variables, which brings great hope!

Speaking of Jordan, I would like to ask each of you to help "Make Room for Jordan"...his family is pretty far through the process of "Extreme Home Makeover" selection. One key factor is a petition, signed by as many people as possible, encouraging ABC to choose them. They have over 18,000 signatures so far, but would like to present 30,000 to the network. Please go to and look for the "Make Room for Jordan" link on the right side. He has an incredible, loving family. But, there are currently 3 adults and 5 children living in a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath house, which is tight even before adding in all his equipment and supplies. I cannot think of a more deserving family, so I pray that you will make the time to add your name and your prayers.

The theme of this past week for me has boiled down to two words, "How's Abbie?" Everywhere I go, whether among strangers or old friends, I have answered that question more this week than in a long time. I went for some medical tests last Thursday, and the technician, Doreen, asked that before anything else. I'd never met her, but she said she and her coworkers follow Abbie's progress via this blog. We spent this weekend at Ihilani, a wonderful hotel, where Ray had a work retreat. I cannot count the times I was asked that the elevator, in the buffet line, at the pool. Yesterday I went to an ICU to be with our precious friend, John, whose father is fighting cancer. John has coached the twins' baseball teams for years, and his dad was often at the games. I arrived to find his father sitting up in bed, but needing lots of oxygen through his mask. John said, "This is RJ's know RJ, the scrappy one." That made me smile, but what his dad said made me cry. From behind his mask he said, "Yea, yea I know RJ...How's your daughter? She's your youngest, right?" Here is this man fighting for his life, in great discomfort and stress, and the first thing he asks me about is Abbie?? This care, this kindness is so mind-blowing to me because it is perservering kindness. It has been almost three years now and people are still asking, people are still praying. It's very human to be kind and caring in a moment of crisis, it is divine to be kind and caring years later. We are so abundantly blessed because of you!

After my women's Bible study today one of the ladies shared a story with me while we stood by our cars. She spoke of an old friend whose daughter, Elizabeth, had nearly drowned at age three. It cost this woman her marriage, custody of Elizabeth, and many years of pain. She told me how this mom eventually got her daughter back and felt she saw many miracles in the 25 years Elizabeth lived after her accident, even though she never recovered beyond tracking with her eyes and making utterances. I could relate to seeing the blessing in all that, but honestly, on the drive home it made me cry out to God. "Please, Lord, if that is your plan for Abbie, would you tell me. I'm not asking when you will heal her, or even if you will...but if you are not going to heal her before Heaven, we will still rejoice in her miracles, treasure having her here and walk every step of this leaning on You...but could you prepare me for that?" I guess I prayed about this for twenty minutes or so before I was clearly impressed that the answer I was seeking would be found in the Scriptures.

As I arrived at school to pick up the kids, I pulled out my Bible study workbook, figuring I could use my waiting time to work on my memory verse for next week. As I opened to the right page, my heart started beating fast, and then I read the verse, knowing it was the answer. I am so thankful that God doesn't expect us to be brave all the time, to walk without ever fainting or doubting, and that when I cried out to Him for reassurance He so quickly answered.
He gave me Isaiah 61:4:

"They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

And Then One Day...

Recently my Uncle Tim and Aunt Lois spent a few days with us, and during this time Lois made a comment about how sometimes it seems that things aren't changing, nothing is happening, "and then one day" things are different. I look forward to many "one days" in Abbie's near future, and this weekend I got a taste of the joy they will bring.

I have been giving Abbie tastes of food for a long time, but we haven't really been working hard on oral eating for a while. I go through phases with that -- putting a lot of effort into it, seeing minimal progress, then stepping down for a while. This past Saturday I was using baby food carrots just to give her tastes of food with a tongue depressor. After a few minutes I noticed that we were actually going through some food. She was confidently swallowing, and if I helped support her lower lip just a bit, these swallows were very effective. By the end of the day, Abbie had eaten three ounces of food. That may not be much for a voracious toddler, but for a girl who hasn't eaten that much in over two years (since she was decannulated) this was a huge step -- one that she didn't really build up to, but rather just accomplished out of the blue..."and then one day"

That day was a great day for eating because she was very clear, and breathing easily. That hasn't been the story for this week. She's been kind of junky, with more secretions, which makes eating difficult. But, that doesn't mean we haven't been doing it, she just has to work harder and trust herself more.

Along with more congestion, her muscle tone has been much higher this week. It increased to the point that we couldn't put her in her stander on Monday because I couldn't get her ankle to bend enough to get into her standing boots. As the panicky feelings were rising from my stomach to my throat, I remembered that sometimes steps forward look almost exactly like steps backward.

To check this hopeful theory, I tested Abbie's voltage. I'll try to make this understandable...On the front of her body there are six energy points that we keep track of, often called "chakras". When Dr. Tennant was here in February we noted that Abbie would test normal on the forehead and the notch at the top of the sternum, but would then test low or very low from there down. That line of separation between normal and low corresponded to her liver, which still had a lot of healing to do.

As I've written lately, her liver has been hard at work and we are seeing the evidence of that in things like a great decrease in the amount of digestive enzymes she needs. When I tested her chakras yesterday she was normal on her forehead, top of sternum, and then high energy in the middle of her sternum and very high energy at the bottom of her sterum. When I measured below her navel I got the first low energy reading. So, it looks as though the "demarcation line" between normal or high energy and low energy is moving down her body. This is in line with Hering's Law, part of which states that healing occurs from the head down.

When I researched what the new low energy epicenter may correspond to, I smiled with satisfaction at seeing pieces fit together. In the past week we've been having to give Abbie glycerin suppositories occasionally, which is very odd for her. She's also suffered from gas and the skin around her nose is breaking out with little pimples. Well, the parts of the spine that correspond to her low energy center relate to the following symptoms: constipation, gas, skin eruptions...Her body keeps telling me what is going on, and reassuring me that what I see is just part of the healing process. I thank her every day for teaching me so much.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Stone Rolled Away

Happy Easter!! I hope it was a joyful and reflective day for you and your family. We had a wonderful Easter, which was such a relief to me. This is the holiday I have struggled with the most since it was the last major holiday before Abbie got hurt, and my memories of that Easter are so happy and vivid.

We enjoyed having church outside today, and even though I was tempted to think "I know this whole story", God brought me a new insight, just as I trusted he would. Pastor was talking about the morning of the resurrection, and mentioned the beginning of Mark chapter 16. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus and Salome bought spices so that they might more properly anoint Jesus' body. On the way to the tomb they turned to each other and asked "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" (16:3) "But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which had been very large, had been rolled away" (16:4)

They noted their concern about the large stone, but they didn't let their inability to move it stop them from going to the tomb. They went anyway. Oh, that we would live like that! One of the biggest stones in our lives has been the statement "There is no therapy that can help this severe of a brain injury." But, we have been called to seek after Abbie's healing, even in places where there is no path yet. And, I am trusting that when we arrive, we, too, will see that the stone separating us from our Abbie was rolled away long before we even began our journey.

After church we went to our holiday standby, the Pacific Club, for a delicious brunch. There was a long line of little girls waiting to have their faces painted by a talented clown. Abbie indicated she wanted to do this, so Ray took her over to wait in the line. After five minutes they returned to the table, with Ray saying the line was too long. I took a few bites of food, then looked over to see Abbie crying. After asking her, she indicated she was upset about the face painting. So, we promised we'd go when the line went down, and she stopped crying. In the interim we were able to get pictures of her with the Easter Bunny, something I'd wanted to do but didn't have the emotional stamina to do at the mall in front of crowds of strangers. Some days you just want to be either normal or invisible.

After the pictures I saw only two girls waiting by the clown, so I rolled Abbie over there. I was stung when the clown said firmly the girl she was working on was the last one. I asked for just a small heart or something simple, but she again stated she was done. I was seething, wanting to scream at her that it wasn't Abbie's fault she couldn't stand in line with the other girls. It also wasn't her fault that she couldn't run, play, hunt eggs and laugh like the other girls. But, all I could do was retreat to our table and fight back the tears. Ray then arrived on the scene, and morphed into SuperDaddy. Mommies ask, but SuperDaddies dictate, and he wasn't going to take "no" for an answer. A few minutes later, Abbie rolled back to the table with a pretty white flower on her cheek. She was so proud, and so happy. What one minute of work and a little paint can do for a girl! I promised her we would try to keep it on her face for school tomorrow, which elicited a big grin. I smiled on the way home, talking with Ray about the meany clown, and Abbie's normal!! Every 5 year old girl wants a face-painting!

There was also excitement for the boys, little and big, at brunch. And, it was evidence of God's protection for us. The parking lot always gets so full that the valets pull cars into aisles, in essence double parking them. Our van was parked like this, behind a small limousine. About halfway through lunch I wondered, "When did they start a barbeque on the buffet line?" Then the white smoke turned black and began billowing. I heard the fire trucks arrive at about the same time I heard, "There's a limo in the parking lot totally engulfed in flames." Well, it was a boy's paradise -- a buffet line of tasty food, candy for the taking, flames and firetrucks all in one place!! But, I was concerned about the van as I began hearing reports that cars around the limo were being scorched. Thankfully, the limo had been moved forward about 40 feet to let people out of a parking stall. Our van was safe, unlike the three cars the limo was parked behind which were melted and scorched. Our van, with its ramp, has been such a blessing to us, and life would have gotten much harder if it would've been damaged by the fire.

Well, Abbie just awoke, so I need to go finish feeding her. When I told her that was writing to you all about her pretty white flower, that got a big response and a beautiful smile. And, yes I do have pictures of it but cannot promise when I will be able to download and post them (I'm shooting for this year sometime).


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Chatty Kathy

That's Abbie's new nickname. She has been so vocal lately, that finally yesterday Debbie asked her "Are you telling me something or are you just talking." She was just talking, just enjoying the sound of her voice. She is also using that voice to demand more interaction, particularly from her brothers. I had a talk with them yesterday about how suddenly it seems that Abbie is changing quickly, and that we have to be prepared to change with her. We have all gotten pretty used to how things have been for quite a while now, but I let them know that she is no longer going to settle for a quick "Hey, Abbie!" as they come through the door.

She enjoys it so much when they read books to her, play with her, even just sit up on her bed and watch movies with her. I think she is now figuring out how to make sure it happens more often. I've sensed for a while that as she improves each day, it is going to squish our comfort zone a little, and that even good things can cause turbulence during adjustment. I am really excited about her forcing us out of our ruts. She always was a little (lot) bossy -- it takes a big personality for a little girl to be in charge of four older brothers! I am thrilled to see this part of her emerging!

Rolfing went well for both of us yesterday. I am so glad I got to experience it so that I can understand what Abbie is going through. I'll write more details later, because I am fading fast right now.

I do want to pass on that Dr. Tennant made a 25-minute DVD that gives an overview of his approach to health. Although he could probably lecture for an entire day on each of the points, Dr. Tennant did a great job at boiling everything down so you can get a complete picture. If you are interested in a copy, please email me at

Also, for those in Hawaii, it turns out that Dr. Tennant will be teaching a Level 1 Biomodulator course in August after all. I believe it will be 8/23-26. for more info.

I hope to be able to post again before Easter, but in case time gets away from me, I hope that it is a very special time for you and your family. Each Easter since Abbie was injured has had such a different flavor for me, and this one is turning out to be pure sugar. We are in a good place, and each day keeps getting brighter!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Things are Changing

In a journey of mostly intangible and unmeasurable advances, it is nice to have a concrete marker once in a while. As Abbie has recovered from the illness she just had (or finished the cleansing she was doing, which is what I think was really going on), she has provided us a good, solid token of improvement. Once I was again able to feed her the normal menu of raw milk and eggs, I found that she only needed half the amount of digestive enzymes we were giving her before. In fact, the previous amount made her sick! So, to me this says that her liver is functioning significantly better, and things inside her are truly changing. Hurrah!

We have been enjoying a visit from my Uncle Tim and Aunt Lois. They were here last February, and it has been exciting to hear their numerous comments about how different Abbie is now, as if "she's just going to start talking to us any minute!" Tim noticed how engaged Abbie is in what is going on around her, and picked up on how much she wants to be part of the kid-chaos that is almost constant around here. Comments like theirs really spur us on to continue to push forward.

And, God showed me once again this week how faithful and merciful He is. You may recall me writing about my special friend Katie Chesire when her husband Walt was deployed to Iraq. She was alone with 6 kids ages 8 and under. During his deployment she developed Grave's disease, and the course of treatment the physician was recommending would've prevented her from having any more children, which was a heartbreaking thought to her. She found an alternative route to regain her health, Walt came home safe, and this weekend they welcomed Iliana Kailani Grace to their litter of kittens. I remembered crying for Katie, and now I wept with joy -- God has heard and answered their cries in the most precious way possible. He is more than able, and His love is unfathomable! That little girl, not even a week old yet, is a powerful beacon in my life, shining out the message "Steady on!!"