Dear friends and family,
It seems like ages since I’ve written on the blog! I guess in some ways that’s very good, perhaps indicating that we’re all busy and moving forward with our lives. In other ways, however, I feel badly to be somewhat ‘disconnected’ from many of you who have been such faithful supporters and prayer warriors for all of us during the past 2 1/2 years.
Kaitlin actually encouraged me to write this blog while we were on a recent Spring break trip to Florida where we visited my dear mother, Becky, and my Florida siblings. While traveling together we had many great conversations and she suggested that I post a blog.
We are all doing well. And we thank God for His many blessings over the past few years. Thank you for your prayers and sincere inquiries regarding Kaitlin and John. We are encouraged by your love and your sincere interest in their progress. In fact, Kaitlin and I were talking about our varied replies when we are frequently asked, “How is everyone doing?” I was telling her about a recent Bible study I attended with my close girlfriends where we were discussing a chapter from Dan Stone’s book titled, “The Rest of the Gospel” and how greatly it impacted my personal response to that very question. When asked about Kaitlin, I would typically say something like, “God has been faithful and blessed us in many ways, but she hasn’t had feeling or movement return below her injury sight.” At the Bible study we discussed another way to ‘frame up’ the exact same response. I’ve begun calling it my “… but God..” statement. The same words are spoken, yet an entirely different message is conveyed: “Kaitlin hasn’t had feeling or movement return below her injury sight, but God is faithful and He has blessed us in so many other ways.” Can you hear the difference? Do you sense the hope and thankful heart in my second response? Do you see the praise and glory given to God? It’s all related to the order in which it’s said. Kaitlin loved that concept, and she asked me to share it with you! I challenge you, therefore, to try to personally incorporate “…but God..” statements into your life everyday. I have, and they have helped me to become more positive and to serve as a reminder that God is indeed faithful to us in so very many ways.
That being said, I would like to ask for very specific prayer from all of you. Kaitlin was in a car accident earlier this year (which was not her fault) but the impact of the airbag explosion has greatly increased her nerve pain and muscle spasms. Nerve pain can be common in cases of paralysis. It is pain felt below the site of the injury. Even though she cannot feel gentle touch below her injury line, she can feel extensive nerve pain which she says is similar to feeling a scratching sensation over a severe sunburn. Unfortunately, experiencing nerve pain does not indicate that any nerves are actually being rejuvenated or healed. It sounds similar to ‘phantom pain’ when one loses a limb. Kaitlin’s nerve pain has become chronic and extremely painful requiring lots of daily medications. There is, however, a treatment available called a Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) implant. The SCS uses low voltage stimulation of the spinal nerves to block the feelings of pain. It could help her to better manage her pain and potentially decrease the amount of pain medication. Stimulation does not eliminate the source of pain, it simply interferes with the signal to the brain, and so the amount of pain relief varies for each person. The goal of the SCS is a 50% - 70% reduction in pain; however, even a small amount of pain reduction would be significant if it helped her to perform daily activities with less pain and reduced the amount of medication she needed to take.
Before a permanent stimulator can be implanted, the patient must undergo a trial to see IF the device decreases their level of pain. The surgery is performed on an out patient basis in two stages: Stage 1 is the trial stimulation and Stage 2 is implantation of the permanent device. The trial stimulation is very important to determine if the procedure will be successful. It will tell if stimulation is correct for the type, location, and severity of her pain. Kaitlin has her first appointment with a doctor on, to learn more about the SCS and to perhaps move forward as a candidate for the implant. We would very much appreciate your prayers regarding this medical decision. Please join me in praying for:
God’s wisdom and blessing in moving forward with this procedure.
Pray that Kaitlin would be a candidate for the implant.
Pray for a great response and decrease in pain. I am boldly praying for a 100% decrease in nerve pain!
As always, we appreciate your prayers and we believe God answers them! Thank you for taking part in our journey. We love you all!