Life just got a bit crazy…

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

I know it has been a long time since I put an update on, but life just got a bit crazy around here. For a while there it was just a lot of the same old same old things. Last week was a crazy week with lots of doctor’s appointments. The same report from every one was that Stuart is doing great. They cut back on the heart medication by half and put Stuart on a mild blood pressure medicine. His blood work came back showing that things are pretty well back to normal. There is no toxification in the liver, and the coagulation factor is back to normal.

Last Saturday Travis our son, his daughter Naomi, and Stuart’s brother Richard with my sister Vanessa came with our van loaded with a bunch of our stuff. They were here until today. We didn’t expect to see Richard and Vanessa which was a pleasant surprise. Our week was filled with activity. We had a family dinners together juggling everyone’s busy schedules to do so which took about 3 different times. We took a trip to the zoo with our grandkids and Tiffany. Stuart rode bike for the first time on the bike trail (with Stuart wearing a helmet, of course) with Travis, Zachary and Richard. Vanessa and I unpacked most of the “stuff” that they brought. So you can see it was a very busy time.

I think that all the stimulation was good for Stuart as by the end of the time Travis noticed that he was speaking better. The most exciting thing event of the week was Stuart’s test that looked at the blood clot in his heart. They hadn’t looked at it since December 1st. Anyway, the doctor came to me with the results right after the test. The blood clot is entirely gone! Talk about the power of God. He never even had any blood thinners to get rid of it. It just reabsorded on its own with the help of our Almighty God. Talk about exciting!

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for us. We are all settled in our new apartment and enjoying it very much. Now we will get settled into a regular routine and try to get back to normal. Stuart and Travis worked on a newsletter while he was here. Travis will finish that up this next week, and hopefully will get it out to everyone by this month.

Thank you so much for your patience in waiting to hear from us. We thank God so much for all of you.

Love from us all, Stuart, Valerie and family


Progress is being made…

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,
This is just a quick note to let you know that all is well here.  We did have some concerns last week as Stuart’s blood pressure was elevated a bit.  However, it seems to be ok now.  He is scheduled to see the doctor on the 7th.

Progress is being made in his speech as I noticed he spoke easier with his brother on the phone this week.  The speech therapist said he should be able to preach again.  The steps he is making now are not going to be as noticeable but should be slow but sure.  Of course, it is difficult to watch him struggle to get his thought out, but he has a great sense of humor through it all.

Pray as we plan to make a trip to Topeka to get a new license for Stuart to replace his lost one, and I will renew mine. We are also trying to get our van out here which is a process.

Thanks again for asking about our needs Marette.  Right now we are working on getting furniture for our apartment which we move into this coming Friday.  We are trying to shop for the best buys which takes time.  We are also grateful for the continuing financial support that is coming in to help with the medical bills and loan taken for the airflight for Stuart.  Thanks to everyone’s help, progress is being made on getting those paid.  God is so good to us!

Pray for our trip to Kansas this next week.  Tiffany will be driving us out there and back.
Love from us all,
Stuart, Valerie and family

Life goes on…

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

Hi, I just thought I would let you know how our first week went at home. We were so thankful that Stuart was able to have his rehab at On With Life. The staff there not only does their job well but truly have a compassion for the people they serve. The patients there are not referred to as patients but as “persons served.” When people leave the facility to go home they send a booklet signed by staff and “persons served.” Stuart will possibly even go back to On With LIfe (OWL) to do some volunteer work.

In the first week home Stuart adjusted very well with no problems. Stuart and I try to get out each day for a nice long walk of about 4 miles. We hike it down to the bike trail and have a nice stroll. One day we even took the grandkids with us in a double stroller which Stuart pushed the whole way.

This week Stuart gets started on his 3 times a week speech therapy. Pray that this will help Stuart to stimulate the brain to process thoughts into words in the proper way. For someone who always had thoughts running through his mind it can be frustrating when the thoughts are just not there.

We also have a praise. God provided us with a nice apartment that we will be moving into at the beginning of April. Now we just have to work on getting furniture for the 3 bedroom duplex. It is located not far from Bill and Tiffany. There is a nice bike trail not 2 minutes from us. Stuart has not tried to ride bike yet, but we hope to try that soon. Also, we want to thank you all so much for your continued financial support for the bills that were not covered by our insurance.

You cannot imagine how blessed we feel to have such a suppotive christian family. Your prayers have surely carried us through. I don’t know how people in the world make it through trials.

Stuart would like to try and put a newsletter together within the next couple of weeks. Of course, I will have to help with this so you can pray for that, too. Thanks again for being there for us.

Love in Christ,

Stuart, Valerie and family

Part 2… Almost finished

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

It is hard to believe that this is the start of Stuart’s last week here at “On With Life” if all goes as planned. There is no reason to believe there will be a change. Stuart is looking forward to this with some trepidation and excitement, of course. He will miss all of the friends that he made here.

This weekend went real well as Stuart did a trial weekend at home. He sailed through it like nothing encountering no problems. He was able to manage the stairs with no trouble. He enjoyed being with his grandchildren and family. We came out of services this morning to very wet snow and the roads were a bit slippery. Hopefully, this will be near the end of the winter weather. At least we enjoyed the beautiful weather last week.

Before people leave this facility where Stuart is they have a small graduation ceremony. His therapists all say a few words and other patients attend. Tiffany will be making cookies for this. They usually do this the day before a person leaves. I know that we feel very blessed to have found out about this place. They have helped Stuart greatly on his road to recovery. I am sure we will come back here to visit.

So, we will keep you updated through this last week as Stuart’s time here draws to a close. Thanks so much for sticking with us through all of this. Your prayers and financial support mean the world to us.

Please pray as we look around for a place (apartment) of our own.

Because of Christ,

Stuart, Valerie and family

Sunny Days…

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Hello again family and friends,

It is hard to believe that so many days have passed without an update. Part of the reason is that things are going pretty much the same as Stuart is nearing the time to leave rehab. Tomorrow he will be coming home with us for an overnight so we can see how that short visit goes. It will give us the opportunity to see how he does the stairs at home. I really don’t anticipate any problems.

Yesterday we were able to enjoy the sunshine with temperatures getting up over 70. In the after Stuart wheeled his friend Walt outside and around the parking lot. We have enjoyed visiting with Walt and his wife. His wife expressed the desire to keep in touch when Stuart gets out. They want to invite us to their home once Walt gets out (6 or so weeks from now). We look forward to that.

Stuart will be going to get his new prescription filled for his glasses. Hopefully it won’t take long to get them. Judy will be coming from Ottumwa to help us get that done. Marette, you asked about needs. For now we don’t really have many needs that I can think of. We will be living with Bill and Tiffany for now when Stuart gets out. At that time we will seriously look for an apartment of our own. So, just continue to pray we find one suitable for us. Thanks for asking. We just ask that you all pray that Stuart’s transition home will be a smooth one and not be too stressful for Stuart. Pray especially for his rehab with his speech and thought processing. Thanks for being there for us through all of this.

Love in Christ,

Stuart, Valerie and family

PS. Although there are no direct needs there is a continued need for continued financial support for at least a time of Mom and Dad’s ministry.  We have to pay off certain things that have not been covered such as one of the flights, and appreciate the continued financial support.  The support can simply keep going to where it has been now for a long time.  Take a look at the Donate page if you would like to contribute but have not in the past.  In Christ,  Travis

Almost There…

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, it looks like we have a definite time Stuart will be coming home. He should be going home by the end of next week. In preparation for that he will be doing a home visit and/or overnight this week. Perhaps he will come home with me Saturday evening. At that time we will see how he maneuvers on the stairs. He should be ok as he has been going up and down the stairs at the church building.

We had conference today and it went well. Everyone is pleased with Stuart’s progress. They just want to observe how he does with regular liquids for another week before considering the removal of the stomach tube. Pray that he can get that out before going home.

Stuart’s time at the library was challenging because Stuart hasn’t gotten his new glasses yet. Pray that we can get those this week. The wonderful thing is that Stuart is on a minimum of medications some of which he will get rid of in the near future. Many people at rehab are on lots of medications. Stuart has made lots of friends at rehab and leaving will be bittersweet. They suggested that Stuart could do some volunteer work at “On With Life.” He would certainly consider that.

Stuart will have to continue outpatient speech therapy once he leaves rehab. That will be done at an area hospital. Please be praying for us as we try to find an apartment to move into in the near future. For now we will be with Bill and Tiffany.

In Christ,

Stuart, Valerie and family

What can I do?

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Hello everyone,

Today was just kind of a regular day without much new going on. Because of Stuart’s progress they are trying to get Stuart involved in some community volunteer work. His therapist had him call a few places to offer his services. As a result he will be doing some volunteer work at a library on Monday. Tuesday he will be answering the phone at a church. The phone work will be a challenge for him.

One man at the rehab, Walt, tells everyone that Stuart is not handicapped. You know physically he is doing very well compared to most of the people at “On With Life.” For this Stuart feels extremely blessed. Many have suffered right brain strokes making their physical impairments more challenging. However, Stuart is struggling more with the thought processing and speech. Of course, this area is very important to Stuart as a preacher. It is frustrating for him as he tries to express himself so please pray for him in this area.

His physical therapist did find an area to help Stuart in. She left him to work on the treadmill. He found out it wasn’t plugged in and got down to plug it in. I guess he was on his knees. Well, he realized it wasn’t so easy to get up. So this is what they practiced during his physical therapy. They pretended he was down on the floor playing with his grandchildren, and then he had to get up to sit in a chair. Stuart told me he was quite surprised to find out it wasn’t that easy for him.

Despite all these challenges things are looking good. We are still anticipating his release sometime in March. That time is fast approaching, and God is due all the praise for this. Thanks again for your prayers, cards and financial help. We are blessed to have a huge christian family who cares.

Love from us all, Stuart,

Valerie and family