Saturday, June 2, 2018

Josh's 11 Week Update- Thankful for each of you

I find myself looking for something. And in the throes of searching, I pause, unsure of what has driven me to even look. What am I missing? What am I searching for?Sometimes, I realize it is something I haven't even lost. I find myself searching for something I have forgotten. 

These past 11 weeks have been challenging. Josh continues to struggle with severe equilibrium loss, which is called Vestibular Neuritis. Inflammation or swelling is present in his right ear canal and it is pressing on a nerve. He hasn't been able to work or drive and spends his days with many rounds of exercises and short walks to help his brain counteract the imbalance.  He has struggled with discouragement, anxiety due to worsening symptoms and overall fatigue.  There isn't a cure, there isn't medication and there isn't a standard course of treatment that every patient with this condition can follow. Each individual body responds differently and heals in its own time. Some people struggle for a month, some are nine months in to a year and struggle to hold on to their life as they know it. 

Josh continues to build his strength back up, but it takes time.  He has been approved to return to work very part time, and only for sit down job tasks. He didn't pass all three parts of the driving test to return. The Neuro Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy Specialist believes that he just needs to become more comfortable behind the wheel. He hasn't driven a car in so many weeks. He drove Lily and I yesterday to prove to me he could do it. And he did quite a good job.  We focused on blocking out the sun (sunglasses) and limiting distractions (no music and quiet conversation).  He will continue working on driving the next few days so that both he and I feel comfortable with him behind the wheel. 

He knows that he could have a set back returning to work. He is cautiously optimistic that returning to work and having something to focus on will improve his overall cognitive functioning. He also has been very good during this eternal recovery listening to his body and responding in kind, sometimes lying down in dark room, other times increasing his exercises to help his brain perceive balance when it isn't actually present. 

Josh and I know that this challenging recovery is far from over.  But we have continue to pray that he is past the worst parts.  We want to thank our friends, family and neighbors from the bottom of our heart. Without each of you, these past weeks would have been unbearable. Oh the amazing meals. My goodness the amazing meals. My children will now start complaining that dinner isn't up to their expectations and ready on the table at 5pm. Thank you for the cards, the flowers, the groceries and APPLES that we seem to constantly run out of. Thank you for mowing our yard and picking up weird things at the store for us, like goat cheese and beets, sweet potato crackers and plum preserves. And thank you to the Ostlie family for borrowing Lego sets to Josh. This amazing form of visual therapy has aided in his recovery and rescued him from boredom.

Thank you for PRAYING, thank you for your love and encouragement, for your text messages and phone calls. For the timely jokes and late night check ins. Thank you for your hugs, for restoring our forgotten smiles and for enabling us to be a mess and know that it is only temporary. Thank you for accepting us as we are now, not who we used to be. Thank you for not asking how you can help, but telling us what you are going to do. Thank you for being true friends and circling the wagons right when we needed it. 

These coming weeks may be more of the same.  But we will walk forward boldly, knowing that this season too shall pass. 

Hebrews 4:16
Let us then approach God's throne of Grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. 

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Brass Knuckles

         I love telling stories. I also love retelling stories that aren't mine. Stories that have been shared with me. Stories overhear...