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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #61
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s update

8/11/21 60/52/7

Good morning saints, Mike got more sleep than previous nights. But man, he had a strong anxiety reaction to the anti-anxiety meds-including his heart rate shooting up.

This pneumothorax is a real problem. The cardio thoracic surgeon was consulted and it looks like he’ll be getting a new larger chest tube to replace the two smaller ones. Surgically repairing the lung itself is not an option. It’s just too big of a risk at this time.

4:42 update: Oh man-I put the update to pray for the tube placement on the wrong day. So here is the aftermath.

He just had a new chest tube placed and I’m certain it was every bit as painful as giving birth naturally-but his lung reinflated!! I was allowed to remain at his side through the procedure. My husband absolutely amazes me. If he had a voice the whole floor would have heard his yell, but he kept his left arm still and out of the sterile field and didn’t punch the surgeon. Yes, he had numbing-but there are apparently certain things that the numbing agent can’t really touch. I’ve added a video of what a strong chest tube air leak looks like.
08-12-2021 06:28 AM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #62
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s update

8/13/21 62/54/9

Good morning sweet saints. God reminded me last night that He is fighting for us, we need only to be still. As I was preparing Mike that I would need to leave due to visiting hours, his nurse said, “oh, no you have special permission to stay. OIC said you understand his anxiety. But if you need to go, absolutely take care of yourself.”

Well you can guess what I did. He had a calmer night with a total of 6ish hours of sleep and the wake up anxiety was very manageable. He woke up hard at 7:45 after getting 2 straight hours of sleep right into panic breathing. He’s definitely taken some back steps, or side steps, and is a complicated case right now. His mental and emotional state is fragile, he’s still exhausted. Good thing today I’ve got the Jesus peace for both of us.

Keilah will come sit with him so I can get a nap too. Thank you for your prayers. We are all learning about endurance and perseverance.

Keilah will come sit with him today after rounds so I can go get some sleep. He will need a unit of blood, which I’ve been expecting, his kidneys are being closely watched as he is producing urine, but they aren’t cleaning out the toxins, and he’s on a blood thinner for possible PE as well as antibiotics for yesterday’s fever.

Prayer focus: creative wisdom and insight for his treatment team to understand his body.
08-13-2021 03:45 PM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #63
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s update

8/19/21. 67/59/14

Good morning saints- I ended up staying with Mike all night because he wouldn’t agree to let me leave or let Julie or Keilah stay with him last night. So now he’ll hve them daytime so I can get some sleep. His anxiety is still a constant friend but it’s either not as strong or he’s managing it much better. Our new quandry is his heart. His heart rate is constantly high and seems to have a flutter that is not responsive to their preferred med.

His lungs are responding as they gently walk him down on the vent support which is a good thing. Ok, how to sleep-keilah’s on the watch.

6:20- hey saints, I got a nap-not a full sleep, but Keilah was here for rounds and sat with him for the morning and Julie was here for the cardiologist visit. Keilah was super pleased to hear the fellow understanding and guiding all the other docs and recigning that Mike doesn’t tolerate big changes. He’s been sick for a while and all steps have be done gently as well as clarifying that understanding and correcting this heart issue is priority to the next steps. Cardiology is involved and will work their steps from least invasive first. The good thing is he is tolerating this well and his blood pressure has actually come down to a normal range.

More positive steps- Mike has been watching TV and using the iPad to communicate. He even complimented my new headband.

We also got to encourage and be encouraged by the maintenance worker who came and fixed the ice machine at Fisher House today (we didn’t ask, I think this was God’s gift to Julie) but he is a Christian also and we just encouraged one another in trusting God’s word. Always nice to meet a brother or sister!
08-20-2021 07:22 AM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #64
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s update

8/23/21 70/62/17

Mike texted me this morning that he got about 7 hours of sleep. He very much wants to get well and recognizes that finding a strong sleep rhythm is key. He was even willing to try the Calm App! He also told me the docs are wanting to do an ablation in the next few days to correct the atrial flutter. It’s not unexpected.

But he then messaged he’s having a new pain chest tube side. Julie is on her way over this morning and he just said he’s already in his chair!
08-23-2021 06:07 PM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #65
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s update

8/24/21 71/63/18

Good morning saints-first I want to say we have all forgiven the nurse from yesterday.

Mike didn’t sleep much last night. We will keep trying to establish a routine that encourages sleep and keep him awake as much as possible in the day. We are awaiting cardio to come and do his “bedside procedure” what an benign way to refer to an electrical cardioversion. Praying it will be the correction we desire. Cardio Fellow just came by and it should happen around noon.

Mike’s nurse today has cared for him many times and I am happy to see she will be with him through the procedure and this Tuesday.

Last night his O2 was turned down to 30% and he tolerated it super well! We are getting closer daily to coming off the vent settings! What a journey and thank you for traveling with us.

11:30 Mike is receiving Potassium right now as it was low and for an elective procedure they like everything to be as “normal” as possible within his body. So, it may not happen today. Trusting in God’s timing and provision.

1:57 and it’s a go. Cardiovert happening now.

3:28 The Lord is fighting for you, be still.
The procedure is done and his heart rate is below 110 and the flutter is gone.
Behind the scenes it turns out the cardio team planned to do the special ultrasound today to check for blood clots and do the cardiovert tomorrow. Both require sedation, which his MICU team stood up for him and said no-sedation 1 time, and so it all happened today.
08-24-2021 07:56 PM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #66
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s update

8/26/21 73/65/20

Good morning saints. Mike got around 7 hours of sleep last night!! This morning he texted me that both the nurse and resident asked him about moving to the step down unit. I’m here waiting on rounds where it will be discussed some more. I don’t know what the criteria are for moving and am of divided mind, because we have come so far, but when is it far enough to move without risking a return visit? So please pray for wisdom on the docs/decision makers behalf.

As for current medical issues, the majority seem to revolve around his lungs. Vent, chest tube, waiting on valve to block airway, and waiting on culture to see if there is a new infection in his lungs. Still experiencing nausea and needs to build strength.

So, I will express all my thoughts and leave it in God’s hands, where his care has been all along. We have peace, regardless.

Noon: Mike did PT and stood 4 times for 15 seconds each. The therapist did tell me her recommendation is for Mike to go to a Long Term Acute Care- we aren’t to discharge yet, but we are closer than we were and that isn’t unexpected. I expressed my concern in rounds about moving on a weekend and they were receptive, they want a successful recovery as much as we do!
08-26-2021 06:18 PM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #67
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s update

8/28/21 75/67/22

Good morning saints. Yesterday was rough, and I’ve learned that hungry and tired make things much more challenging. I stayed with Mike until his feeding tube was replaced (a very uncomfortable necessity) he will be getting a PEG also known as G-tube Monday or Tuesday, which should help to make his life a little more comfortable as the trach is here for a while. They are working on getting the valve which should help with the air leak that also causes pain. They were able to place an IV last night woohoo!!!! Hopefully this will work for a while! He’s become a very difficult stick-not good when they have to check your blood every 6 hours.

Otherwise, the plan seems to be-get through the weekend.
08-28-2021 06:54 PM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #68
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s update

8/30/21 79/71/26

Good morning saints. I came in this morning to them setting up bedside for his PEG-or g-tube. This will be in for a minimum of two months. I just can’t get over the number of procedures they do in his room! So much better than him having to be moved-which can be challenging and painful.

My sister Michelle sent me this article from Bob Russell about being in “God’s waiting room”, I love that phrase. This article expresses my thoughts so well. His grandson has been placed on ECMO in Nashville. If you would like to pray for Charlie as well as all the unnamed souls filling ICU’s around the country. (FYI-There are no available beds on our ICU-this is happening in hospitals all over our country.). http://www.bobrussell.org/lessons-reinfo...ting-room/

11:00 well that didn’t work. So on to IR to have them make a go of it. If they can’t, then surgery gets a go. The nausea and vomiting are still an issue. The nutritionist is very concerned, if the bed is to be trusted (it’s very fancy and can weigh him as well) he’s lost over 60 lbs.
08-31-2021 06:00 AM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #69
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s Update - Some real progress Mike off Ventilator All Day yesterday

9/1/21 73rd day in hospital

Good morning saints-thank you so much for all your kind words and well-wishes. Keilah is taking morning with Mike today and went prepared to give him a facial. I already know he is having a better day than yesterday because he was texting me at 7:00 AM, He doesn’t remember much from yesterday, other than receiving his anniversary presents. I can also tell he’s feeling better because he’s trying to problem solve problems we don’t have yet. I suggested he work instead on making a list of questions regarding his recovery and the next steps. He also reported no nausea this morning, and feeding has been restarted through his new tube! Still waiting on the valve to come in to try and stop the air leak. He had new pain last night on his right side that had his nurse and I concerned, but his chest X-ray looked good, in fact it was the best I’ve seen! I realized yesterday that even while I celebrate these successes I’m still grieving the losses. Rejoicing and Lamenting at the same time can be quite confusing-and I suspect Mike is beginning to feel these same things only he doesn’t have the same capacity to communicate as I do. Typing all your thoughts because you can’t speak can be quite limiting and exhausting. Even more so when you’re weak from battling illness and brain fog.

4:40. Y’all!!! I need to shout! MIKE HAS BEEN OFF THE VENT ALL DAY!! 35% 10 L O2 through his trach!!!!!! And he stood 3 times for 30 seconds each!
09-02-2021 11:22 AM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #70
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s update

9/3/21 75

Good morning saints, His mercies are new every morning. Yesterday was a hard day for all of us, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Not only was it a challenging healing day for Mike, but his neighbor of two weeks passed last night and another neighbor had a stroke, of which I don't know the outcome.

I am grateful we have a savior that understands every bit of our pain and suffering. Some days I just feel like the Israelite's feasting on manna and quail and complaining about wanting Leeks and Garlic. I struggle to count it all joy when I see my beloved in mental and physical anguish, then someone shares that they have been encouraged to trust God through our story and I rejoice.

We continue to move forward in the painful healing process. Mike's chest tube has been placed on water seal. Now that he's off the pressures, the hope is that his lung will finally heal naturally-time and patience. He will also have a swallow study today! This could help tremendously with his malnutrition and just overall well-being.

Thank you for your love, prayers and support. They truly do carry and encourage us in a way that only makes sense in God's economy.

11:51-we’ll I guess speech came by before I came in this morning and he doesn’t qualify for a swallow study yet, he needs a few more days.
09-04-2021 04:17 AM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #71
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s update

9/7/22 79
Good morning saints-Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. Psalm 98:1

I was trying to look up a different psalm this morning and I remembered the “wrong” number. But this is the one I needed! God has done marvelous things. I was having an emotionally rough night leaving Mike, I had to tell the nurse Mike wasn’t comfortable with him, he felt neglected. The nurse didn’t take it well. In nearly 60 days (120 shifts, there have only been 3 nurses that Mike had an issue with. And he’s seen a lot of nurses!)

He didn’t sleep well and all weekend he’s been battling constipation. This may actually be what’s been driving the nausea and vomiting all along. Saints, pray for poop. Sorry to have to put it so bluntly but the ICU is hard on a body!


12:30-answered prayer! We got poop! Need some more, but a good start!
09-07-2021 04:41 PM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #72
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s update

9/8/21 80

Good morning saints!! Keilah took the morning and she is giving Mike spa treatments, he wants to look his best for his visit from the Chief of Chaplains and Sergeant Major tomorrow. He had a very liquid poo this morning, and they are continuing the “clean him out” cocktail of meds. He does feel less full, but still nauseous. No vomiting so far this morning

Nutrition has been restarted on a trickle which means 10 ml (2 tsp) and hour. His goal is 55 ml (less than 2 oz), using a highly concentrated formula designed for kidneys.

They will begin TPN (IV nutrition) today and continue it “until we figure out what is going on.” They’ve used TPN once before. It’s expensive and not ideal, but I’m grateful it’s available. For the first time Mike said he was hungry and thirsty last night. Before this he’s missed flavor, but hasn’t expressed those sensations.

Nephrology came by and they don’t think he needs dialysis, he likely needs water and nutrition to get his kidneys and bladder to completely “wake up”.

Every new nurse and RT continues to be astounded at the air leak, which is surprisingly the thing that has taken a back seat. We’re waiting for the valve to come in, as it needed special approval and ordering. Meanwhile, his lungs continue to heal as well as his heart, the meds for RV failure have been stopped as his heart continues to heal as well. The heart meds for the arrhythmia continue, however.

Time and Patience, continue to be our mantra.
Please pray also for favor as command completes the official paperwork to defer Mike’s retirement and allow him to recover on active duty.

1:30-Y’ALL he passed the trach valve test! Next-swallow test!!! I didn’t even know that was happening today. It’s a one way valve that forces the air out through his nose and mouth. A victory I wasn’t even expecting today! God is fighting for you, just be still! With the valve on, he’ll be able to regain his voice. (I’ll be making this update a separate post as well.)

4:00 well, this day has been busy!!! He passed his swallow test and had PT! He stood two times (hasn’t been able to do that since last week) Now he’s earned a rest in his easy chair.
09-08-2021 04:42 PM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #73
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s update

9/9/21 81

Good morning saints! I’m continuing to celebrate the victories of yesterday! Mike didn’t sleep well last night and his anxiety is up, which I expected after an eventful yesterday. We have another victory though-24 hours vomit free!!!

Mike had a very encouraging visit from the Chief of Chaplains CH (MG) Solhjem and Regimental SGT Major Martinez this morning. It was an encouraging visit for both of us and they took time to visit with Keilah and pray for us in the waiting room as well.

He’ll be having his g-tube replaced today with a g-j tube, it’s a longer tube that will empty into his small intestine instead of his stomach. He’ll continue on TPN, tube feeding, and bonus nutrition of anything he is able to eat, at least through the weekend. The valve that will hopefully help this air leak heal should be in next week.
09-09-2021 12:53 PM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #74
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s update

9/10/21 82

Good day saints-it’s been a busy morning. I came in and Mike was already in his chair eating breakfast! Our dear friends the Bennett’s from FLW were in San Antonio and came to visit this morning. They each got to spend a few minutes with Mike, then we got a chance to visit in the waiting room. It was as good for me as it was him. I learned some trach care today from the Respiratory Therapist. The main thing is getting Mike more comfortable with me messing with it ?.

The new intern did suggest a move to step down and had inquired about a bed (not available) both the fellow and attending squashed that. The fellow doesn’t want him moved until the valve is placed in his lung. I of course voiced my “not on the weekend” concern. God is continually fighting for him.

These last two days have been such an encouragement to me, as I got to visit I got to relive all that God has done through this journey. He is so good to us!!

4:45-Mike hasn’t really slept the last two nights. I just received this text from him-after letting his nurse know-who promptly notified the MICU team, I’m asking for prayer. As you know the sleep/delusion cycle has been a continuous battle. He is oriented right now, he knows who he is and where he is, not hallucinating, and his ears are clogged up which in the MICU is the very bottom of a to do list.
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2021 06:35 AM by CardinalJim.)
09-11-2021 06:35 AM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #75
RE: Prayer Requests
Some Great News….

Michelle’s update

9/12/21 84

Good morning saints! As yet more evidence of God’s miracle working power, Mike is LEAVING ICU today! He is moving to the step down unit. His ICU nurse warned me that they are very protocol oriented so I should be prepared for people to react to his numbers (his resting heart rate stays in the 110-120,his blood pressure is higher, etc. ) until they learn him. He also asked the docs to put notes in his chart.

So, I’ll update you when we get to the next place!

Not there yet, but I forgot to say he slept 6 Hours!! Answered prayer!!
09-12-2021 02:16 PM
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3BNole Offline
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Post: #76
RE: Prayer Requests
Praise the Lord!!! I can’t believe it but I JUST noticed this at the top of the board. I will start praying now, although late. I am a doctor personally and I’ll just say, Mike making it out of the ICU is an absolute miracle. God has a plan for him and I will be praying that he finds it and follows God’s will. Many praises!
09-13-2021 07:51 PM
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JRsec Offline
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Post: #77
RE: Prayer Requests
(09-13-2021 07:51 PM)3BNole Wrote:  Praise the Lord!!! I can’t believe it but I JUST noticed this at the top of the board. I will start praying now, although late. I am a doctor personally and I’ll just say, Mike making it out of the ICU is an absolute miracle. God has a plan for him and I will be praying that he finds it and follows God’s will. Many praises!

Yes, and everyone needs to keep praying for his full recovery. ICU has the best round the clock care. The step down floor indicates his improvement, but he's still a long hike from being completely out of the woods. I find myself remembering Mike and Michelle in prayer several times a day and will continue to until they are all safe at home.

Thanks for what you do, and yes he's quite a miracle in progress and let's all stay ever vigilant in prayer until this mission is over.
09-13-2021 08:11 PM
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #78
RE: Prayer Requests
Michelle’s update

9/14/21 86

Welcome back to the roller coaster -Mike had a rough night last 24 hours and seems to have taken a little step backwards. His pain has increased over the last 24 hours and he’s been very “out of it” for lack of descriptive words. Right before drifting off he told me “this sucks”. He received two extra doses of dilaudin overnight and called me at 4:30 in the morning to talk to his nurse. Condensation had gathered in his O2 tube causing a rattling noise and spiking his anxiety. When I came in today his respiratory rate is very high 50-70 and he’s satting in the low 90’s and his O2 is up to 50-60 %. He is awake, but lethargic and listless. As far as I know he is still scheduled for the valve placement on Wednesday or Thursday.

10:30 saints this is a spiritual battle. I am suggesting things to help occupy his mind and he said legos “sounds like suffering”, my reply was that wallowing in your misery isn’t helpful. You’ve come too far and I’m not going to wallow with you. I’ll be over here reading until they come to move you to your chair.”

11:30-well it’s always more fun with a hallucination. He did have several doses of dilaudid and the docs are waiting for that to clear his body. I went and asked the nurse if we could check his CO2 levels. We’ll see how long that takes.
09-14-2021 12:38 PM
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