Believe, Birthdays & Bananas

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.-Luke 6:45 As Dean's mouth begins to form words, I remind him of this simple truth. For his earthly vessel experienced a traumatic brain injury, not his spirit and heart. His spirit is alive within his body and the Lord is renewing his mind as He restores his body. Dean had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and knew Him as Lord and Savior long before June 15, 2012. Dean believes in the power of God to heal the broken in spirit.The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. -Psalm 34:18 In the beginning, I sought the Lord about the Dean's body and spirit and he settled the truth deep within my soul. I never imagined walking through the valley of the shadow of death so shortly after my dream came true. For those who celebrated with us on our wedding day, you will find on the back of our wedding program a small hot air balloon that I sketched which says, "Dreams come True." The Lord has not forsaken us even in our darkest moments, and I believe Dean will experience the end of Psalm 23 and say, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: -2 Timothy 3:16 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. -Hebrews 4:12 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. - Romans 15:4 This is my comfort in my affliction: for your word has revived me. -Psalm 119:50 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. -Romans 10:17 These verses I committed to heart as a teenager and I believe it is our responsibility to hear the Word of God. Faith will come when we seek the Lord with all our heart. And Jesus said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. - Mark 4:9  Our days are numbered and I pray that each of you may experience peace with God today rather than tomorrow, having ears that hear and tender hearts that respond to the Father's love for you. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8

October 1 - Day 109 
Dean is starting to mumble through phrases as he tries to express himself. He stood for a record time of 17 minutes at the standing table. There is a harness that pulls him up into a standing position and a table to rest his arms upon while he stands. His knees are locked up against a padding and we hold his head as needed. It takes about three people to assist him. His blood pressure remained stable and dropped slightly after standing. Dean's personality continues to shine forth as he figured out that he could rest his chin on his right hand. He rubs his forehead, his nose and puts his index finger on his lips as though in deep thought.The therapist calls him, "the thinking man." Years ago, we both had taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and while dating we found that our personality types still remained the same. Dean loves people and so he was reading books about personality types and trying to improve his interpersonal skills. Dean is an INTJ described as the Mastermind with a Rational temperament and he married an INFP described as the Healer with an Idealist temperament. I came to love, enjoy and appreciate the way God made Dean and the opportunity to allow our strengths to complement one another.

October 2 - Day 110
Dean continues to participate in shaving and brushing his teeth. He stood for about 10 minutes at the standing table. He seemed more tired today and his blood pressure was a little lower which limits his activity level during therapy. He is engaging more in conversation but it is difficult to hear and understand him. 

October 3 - Day 111
Dean stood for about 15 minutes at the standing table. He also ate some pureed roast beef for dinner and said "yes" when I asked him if he wanted more. There are moments he answers with a quick clear response and other times his response is delayed. Please pray for clarity, volume, comprehension, memory and consistency as Dean communicates with us.

October 4 - Day 112
Today is Dean's 31st birthday! In the afternoon, I was talking with him and to my surprise he said "believe." It was so clear but I wanted to make sure it wasn't my imagination so I asked him, "Did you just say believe?" He quickly responded and said "yeah." Many words we can't understand but there are some that come forth crystal clear. During therapy, he stood at the parallel bars for a few minutes, then we tried something new. We placed him on his hands and knees with the support of a large exercise ball for a few minutes. This required 5 people to maintain his position as we rocked and shifted his weight through all four quadrants of his body. He seemed slightly pale when we sat him up and he was completely exhausted.

It was a privilege to trim his hair for the third time since being married. He lifted his head for me while I shaved the back and he seemed to enjoy the process. His family gathered together in the Quincy room and prepared his favorite meal: roast beef, potatoes and Greek salad. Dean was very proud that his niece, Jessica, was born four years ago on his birthday. He enjoyed some of his mom's homemade chocolate ice-cream and his sister's delicious chocolate cake. We are limited on how much he will eat since his appetite his satisfied by his tube feedings during the night. I'm sure he will eat more next year! Thank you for showering Dean with cards, prayers, and words of encouragement on his birthday. Soon he will read them again and be amazed at all the people who remembered him!

I sleep on a chair that pulls out into bed next to Dean's bed. However, tonight I slept on the edge of Dean's bed and part of the chair. I was able to hold his hand through the night and he seemed to sleep better. He is more restless when is alone and grabs at his sheet, scratches his leg, head, and picks at things. He's still turned every 2-3 hours from side to side to prevent bed sores.

October 5 - Day 113
This morning, I sang the "ABC's" three times to him. Then I asked him to say them with me and he repeated after me one letter at a time. At one point he got the correct letter ahead of me. He also said, "I love you" twice. Bananas are his favorite pleasure foods to eat! He nods his head yes in response to whether he's ready to stand. Wow, I forgot how tall Dean was as he towers over everyone! I wonder what it will be like again to stand next to him, hold his hand and take a walk together. He stood well at the parallel bars with minimal support. However, we have to pull him into the standing position and he stands for a maximum of 2 minutes with one hand on the parallel bar. We also placed him over the ball again into a crawling position and he held his head up better than yesterday. He seemed to like being rocked diagonally and when we thought he was done he pushed on the mat with his arm to hold himself there. He also pushed out with is right leg some when told to do so. After about 5 minutes, we rolled him to his side and into a sitting position. Then he sat at the edge of the mat with the support of a therapist. He squeezed a small ball between his knees 10 times and kept going. I can see his determination, in spite of all the challenges he faces. 

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