Hebrews 12:1-3

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas. 
As Christmas came this year I really didn't feel very merry about it. I felt that so much had been taken away from me. I was looking at all the things I couldn't do, the traditions that I've done with my girls seemed like they had been stripped away. It's been incredibly hard to sit and watch, yet I'm thankful to be alive and be still apart of there lives. 
Mike has stepped in and is becoming Mr. Mom, things I thought I would never see him do, he is doing with ease. This Christmas morning seems to be harder than I thought it would be, the feeling of sitting on the sidelines. My girls have been amazing through this all. Watching them take on some of those traditions has been a blessing to see them grow and mature. Instead of looking at what I can't do, I'm trying to think less about the traditions and more about what really matters. What has brought me through and will continue to bring me through this journey I'm on. What really matters is Christ. It's Him who I need to cling to. His promise that He would never leave me nor forsake me. It is Christ that gives me what I need for the day. God has a plan for everyone of us but we must be prepared to wait, wait on His timing. When Jesus came to this earth it was a normal day nothing special other than the special plan that He had. The plan to come and give all of us the opportunity of a life time. Jesus came as a baby, lived on this earth and died for us all. So that we would have the opportunity to accept Him as our Lord and King. He paid the ultimate cost. The punishment and pain He endured for me so that I would have the opportunity to know Him and to have a personal relationship with Him and one day to be able to stand and see Him face to face. I pray that all of you have taken advantage of this opportunity that God has given to each of us and have accepted Him in to your lives. I pray that this Christmas will be like no other and that you will be able to get closer to your King of Kings and Lord and Lords. It's only because of my relationship with God that I am able. 
Sometimes we easily forget during these busy days that we have a Savior that cares so much about us the love that He has, grace, mercy, dependable, strength ... Jesus, who was a baby once and is always a forever God. That is what holds us keeps us whether or not we can carry out our traditions. May our decorations, gifts and festivities or lack of them never block our views of him but always point us toward Him. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. Hugs Sandra

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Acupuncture ??

Well today Sandra is going for round 3 of acupuncture. It is something I never considered before but with no side effects we thought it is worth a try. It is early in the process but it seams to be helping with her temperature regulation. The highs aren't as high and the lows aren't as low. It is hard to tell at this point if it is the actupuncture or if we are starting to catch on. We are also hoping that it will improve the nerve pain and reduce spasms. This will be well worth it if Sandra can remain off medication as we want to avoid "dulling" the nerves.
Not to sound like a broken record but Sandra continues to see improvements however slow it might be, changes keep happening and we take them as improvements. A strange one is what we call "creepy crawlers" it feels to her like spiders are crawling in her back and butt. It comes and goes but I look at it as at least she is feeling something, and it is different then it was.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Assessment Day!

What a time in Detroit. It was nice to see everyone again, its amazing how you build a relationship so quickly. They are a great bunch of people and its been fun getting to know them all. They had no mercy on me. Monday they got me right back into it. I started off with a lot of core exercises and one of my tuffest trainers was impressed with my strength. Tuesday my therapists from Ottawa joined us and the trainers we're happy to show them how they get me to crawl around the track (toucher me). It was nice to have them come and see how they do things here. I believe both benefited from there experience in the field. Today was a big day, assessment day. My core had an increase of 5 to 20% depending on where they were measuring from. I now have both muscles on the inside of my thighs. On the left they rate it as a 1 which means I'm able to flex the muscle, on the right a 2 which means I'm able to initiate movement. One of the tests they do is to see if I feel movement in my feet/ankle. How they do this is simple, I close my eyes and they move my foot slightly up or down. I then tell them which direction they moved it. I was able to get four out of four correct this time on my left foot, last time I got four out of four correct on my right foot. All in all I was pleased to come back and be better than when I left. God continues to answer prayer. I am so thankful for His healing hand on my body and continue to pray that He will heal me completely. Thank you to all that continue to up left me in pray before our heavenly Father. Hugs Sandra 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Here we go again!

Here we go again, back to Detroit. It's been three wonderful weeks at home with the girls getting back into life. Mike has been working full time again, well almost. He goes in everyday but might leave a little early here and there to help me with appointments and the kids schedules. He's been able to get back into hockey and even started to attend church board meetings again. Between work and home it's like he's working two jobs and doing it with a smile. Its been nice to be home with the girls and get back into there daily life. They have been a huge support to me and have been helping out, Mike and I are so thankful for them and there response  to all of this. God is definitely at work in there lives.
 l have my van now with hand controls, so I'm starting to gain a little bit more independence, which I love. Its amusing to watch people watch me, as Mike picks me up and puts me into the drivers seat.  I've even been able to pick Emily up from school a few days. This is just one of the little things I've missed, its part of being a mom. 
With Christmas fast approaching we, I have been having to figure out what it's going to look like this year. I had a dear friend come over and help me decorate my home, the girls decorated the tree this year placing all there special ornaments front and center. It's been hard letting go of some of our family traditions but praying that God will gives us some new ones that we will hold just as close to our hearts. 
I received my standing frame on Friday and was able to stand for 40 minutes. I was so pleased, I haven't been up for three weeks and I wasn't sure how long I would be able to do it for. The goal is always 30 minutes. This week I will be getting another assessment and I am anxiously awaiting to see how I'll do since I've been away for three weeks. I'm also excited as my two therapist from Ottawa will be joining us. 
Mike and I have received so much encouragement and support from so many of you and we are so grateful. It means so much and it helps us to keep on pushing. I'm continuing to pray, hope and believe that God will heal me completely. Thank you to all of you that have been praying and supporting us through this journey, I can't imagine doing it without you. One day I would love to be able to sit no stand and have coffee with every last one of you. I will rise ... when He calls my name. 
Hugs Sandra

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Big Week!

We have a few things to report this week. It was busy so sorry for the delay in posts. First of all Sandra had a birthday on Monday, she had a great time with family and friends. Time keeps marching on, I can't believe how old she is! 
On Thursday night we picked up our van that has the hand controls added. We are very excited to get her back on the road, it gives her one more step of independence. We still need a few more items added but as it is I can send her off on her own and she just needs a little help getting her chair out at her destination. When the rest of the equipment comes in that will be another exciting step.
I have saved the bests for last, in theropy on Friday and today Sandra has had a little voluntary movement, a true answer to prayer. It has occurred when she is in a supported standing position, able to weight shift to aside then move her opposite leg forward and back approximentally 2 inches and was able to do this with both legs. The movement is instigating with her glutes but also appear to be involving her quads, it isn't a functional movement but a movement none the less. We are excited for this and continue to be thankful for every bit of recovery made. 
So please keep in prayer these few things, 
1) the movement is including the quads and that it continues to gain strength
2) Sandra's nerve pain and spasms to decrease so she can remain off medication and sleep better
3) keep her spirits up as it is easy to get down

Have a great night, Mike

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Are you ready for some football?

Today is a great day, instead of driving down the 401 I'm sitting back enjoying some football. This is our first week of our new schedule and we are excited for it.
Things on the home front are as good as they will be in this home. Most things are organized, as in most homes it is a journey not a destination. Sandra can get around the main floor, the kitchen is probably her biggest issue as she misses cooking and my culinary skills are a little week, however I do take directions. For a home that wasn't designed to be accessible it is workable, and it will be a great day removing the accessible equipment when it is no longer needed.
The message this morning at church was A Walk of Faith; and the final note was "God wants you to walk by faith in every season of Life". So Sandra and I were challenged by this today and it is our desire to seek God in every season of live including this one.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Next Step!

It's amazing what our bodies can go through .... We are so fragile yet so strong. My body was fragile when I injured my self, but it's been amazing to see what its been able to go through over the last six months. Especially the last three in detroit. Its been hard physically and mentally but by the grace of God, He strengthens me. Just as Mike said I'm moving forward, slowly but forward. So many things to be thankful for... My shoulder has been holding up and even starting to get stronger, with every assessment I have made a gain. We wanted to go to Detroit for three months to see what could be accomplished through there intense program, be reevaluate and than make a decision as to what we should do next. It has gone really well in Detroit but hard being away from home, making it difficult to be a long term plan. So between my physiotherapist in Ottawa and in Detroit we have been able to come up with a program that we will be doing here in Ottawa 3 days a week. Once a month I will still be going to Detroit to have therapy and an assessment to make sure I'm staying on track and progressing well. I've been wanting to get a little more independent and one way of doing that is to get driving again. In Ottawa it's a 8 month waiting period to start the process of getting my hand control license. But our wonderful case manager told us about this place in Toronto that I would be able to get into much sooner. So for the past several weeks on the way home from Detroit we've been stopping into Drive Again and I've been having a driving lesson. It's been fun getting behind the wheel again. It's amazing how freeing it is. I was excited today when to my surprise I was being tested to see if I was ready to receive my learners permit, which allows me to drive on my own. It's like having my 365 again or for those young ones out there a G1. I passed and I'm looking forward to being back on the road in the next few weeks. I want you all to know how much we appreciate you. Knowing that your praying, cards of encouragement, your encouraging words on the blog and dinners (yum). It's been a huge support mentally, physically and spiritually. THANK YOU. Hugs Sandra 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

6 months today!!

Well it is anniversary day again, 6 months since the accident. When I think about it sometimes it feels like a bit of a blur spending  2 1/2 weeks in trauma, to Ottawa rehab center, renovating the home, buying different equipment and now the last 3 months being in Detroit every week.
We are excited going forward spending more time at home with the kids and just getting a better family routine.
Today is also reassessment day in Detroit. With these reassessments we have always had progress, hoped and prayed for more progress but progress none the less. Today we have the abductor on the right leg to add to our list of functioning muscles. This muscle is the inner thigh, we were hoping for her quad but that will just have to wait for another day. Her hip flexors and glutes continue to get stronger but not enough yet to get voluntary movement.
See you all soon, Mike

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Showing my age

Time for a short "mike post" to the point! We had a good couple days. Sandra was feeling strong and completed her workouts (crawling and core) well. She continues to have changes in sensations but no confirmation if the changes are good or bad so we will take any change as good. 
I have prayed since the beginning that we will see continued progress and we are, just not as quickly as our impatient selves want. Now to the title of the blog, we are getting ready to watch an 80's tribute band in the casino. P.S if they play Wham or Culture club I'm leaving.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Here we go again!

Well here we go again, it was nice to get out of the routine of life and take a trip to California with the girls and our dear friends the Martins. While we were away we got to celebrating Julia's 14th birthday and enjoy some warmer weather. Arriving home on Sunday we had about 15 hours before I was back on the road to Detroit, this time with my sister in tow. We had a good week catching up and spending some time together.  I was glad to see that my body didn't take long to get back at it. I was able to pick up where I left off, which I was really thankful for. Mike and I have been talking with my physiotherapist in Detroit and in Ottawa about what we should be doing long term for therapy. We have decided to try to have therapy in Ottawa for 3 weeks and 1 week in Detroit. We have looked into purchasing two pieces of equipment for home, the standing frame and the FES bike. Also, Jacquie my therapist in Ottawa has offered to come to Detroit to observe what they do so that she can adapt as much as possible for me. We are hoping that this will really work out. It will be much easier on our family and I really look forward to getting a more normal of a routine established. So my last consecutive week in Detroit will be November 14th. I'm looking forward to this week and have been praying that the muscles that have started to contract on demand will continue to get stronger and that my quads will start to contract. Some moments are harder than others but it always seems that God sends me just what I need when I need it. Thank you for your continued support, love and prayers. Hugs Sandra 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I've Got a Hope!

It has been my incredible pleasure to accompany my sister to Detroit this week.  I will admit that although I was really honoured to be asked and very excited to have some uninterrupted time with my Buddy (something we haven’t had since her accident really) I was also fairly nervous.  I have only recently learned how to lift her and I am not nearly as strong as Mike!  She is a very patient teacher but I’m sure after an exhausting time in therapy she has probably missed the routine she and Mike have established and his knowledge of her needs.
She and Mike and the girls arrived home from their trip in the wee hours of Sunday morning due to technical issues on the flight out of Toronto.  She did not get a full sleep and then she and I left around 5 pm on Sunday.  We drove through lots of wind and rain as we felt the effects of Hurricane Sandy. We obviously arrived safely and have had a really good week even though I think she’s been pretty tired. It has been very good for me to see her in action (another thing I wasn’t really looking forward to) She does her exercises with a smile on her face.  The staff working with her are amazing, one of them a very outspoken Believer.  I have noticed that many of them just flock to Sandra.  Even though they may not be working with her, they seem to be drawn to her and spend a lot of time chatting with her.  There is a lot of laughter and a lot of sweat!  Yesterday I chatted with the mother of a young woman who was paralysed at 17 in a car accident.  It was really interesting to hear her perspective on the process and how similar the situations can be.  She talked of the years of finding the best way to help her daughter and balance family through the process.  I was struck by the reality that the only thing we can control is our responses to our circumstances.  Sandra and Mike have chosen to respond to this situation with a strong leaning on God believing that He will work this for good.  There are definitely difficult days and dark moments…she is human but once she is done with this…the resolve is there and she presses forward…smiling.  I’m sure that is why people around her flock to her.  She smiles because she has a hope.  She doesn’t force the smile onto her face it comes from deep within her spirit where the Holy Spirit fills her.
Even though I was nervous I really wanted to be here and I am so glad I came.  I have learned so much more about what my Buddy is going through on a daily basis and it helps me to pray.  As I write this she is crawling around the track with much difficulty.  It also reminds me that all my sadness over not being able to do something for my sister is really pointless ( I need to turn that into praise and prayer)  none of us can really “do” anything but we also don’t have to be hopeless…we do have a hope and we must keep on hoping…the past is sealed but we know who holds the future and I am determined to HOPE IN HIM!!
I have had the privilege of singing at our church and close to this time last year Pastor Reed requested I sing a song performed by Carolyn Arends and written by Pierce Pettis &  Eric Fiedor called "I've Got a Hope"  I have been given permission by Carolyn to share that with you here.
I pray that as you listen you will be reminded of the Hope we have and how sometimes we don’t even know what the hope means.  We all hope my sister will walk and loved ones will be well…but the truth is we are hoping in a God who is bigger than we can think or even imagine.
Please continue to pray and hope with us.  We leave here to head home after therapy today.  I am really hoping that this weekend will be restful and peaceful form my Buddy and her family.
We treasure each of you.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” ~ Ephesians 3:20

Saturday, October 27, 2012

wow a week already!

We had a great week enjoying the coast of California, it was uneventful as far as Sandra was concerned. We had this holiday planned before the accident and I am thankful we did because we most likely wouldn't have planned it after. It is a beautiful place to visit, great views and scenery. We went from San Francisco to San Diego doing most of the sites in between. It was a great time to connect as a family plus spend some time with friends. Although it was a great time together it was still difficult for sandra missing out on a few events (trolley cars in San Fran, beaches, kayaking etc...) and just life as it was. We are always "on" looking for accessible solutions, "where's the ramp", " is the rental car shuttle accesable", the days of winging it are on hold for a time things have to be planned out well.
This coming week will bring a few more firsts as I will be staying home from Detroit and Carla (Sandra's sister) will be going with her. We are confident things will go well but pray for a great week at rehab and continued progress. Mike

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Where do the days go?

We have had another week fly by. Detroit went well, focusing on strengthening my core as much as possible but also working on my hips and glutes. Although Mike and I are spending a lot of quality time together we are missing the girls and finding hard to jam 7 days in to 3 when we get home. October is always an exciting month for us, for starters our first born Julia was born on October 25th and second we for the past few years have been able to take a week of holidays and spend it with our dear friends the Martins. Well we had a trip planned to California prior to my accident and the plan is to leave tomorrow morning. I have to say I've been a little anxious, scared and maybe a little fearful of all of the unknown that awaits me but I look forward to building some wonderful memories with my family and friends. So I cling to Gods promise that He will only give me what I can handle and that He will always be with me. We don't know what tomorrow holds but it does make it easier when we know that He's the one in control. Please be in pray for safety traveling that all will go well with the flights, for me as I transfer from plane to plane. Pray that I will continue to trust God for all my needs. That we will build great memories together. Psalms 121:1-8 Thanks to everyone for your love, support and encouragement. Hugs Sandra

Monday, October 15, 2012

Crawling again

Well here we go agin, sandra is doing some crawling this afternoon and working on her core. Things are going well. This past weekend we got a new bed and bedroom set that works for the old living room now bedroom, she is happy to get rid of the hospital bed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tough night good assessment

Well we had a rough night last night, Sandra's tone was bad and wouldn't stop made for difficulty sleeping. It is a crazy injury as it affects everything, nothing is as it was and spirits are being tested. Now this morning Sandra had  her assessment and had some good results. Her core is getting stronger probably 2/3rds of what it was. What I have learned is it all starts with the core.
Sandra's hip flexors are stronger and she was able to contract her glutes (butt). This is exciting as it is a new muscle found and her recovery is moving down as anticipated. The next find we need is for the quads as that extends the knee and with alot of stregth gain this will allow her to stand.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

At it again

So here we are again, not much new to say. Sandra continues to work hard on her core and this morning she is doing tall kneel crawl. Not really her favorite but I think it is very beneficial.
Tomorrow is assessment day and we are excited to see if she has any new muscle contractions.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Missing Lots BUT Giving Thanks

Families will gather this weekend to eat, enjoy each Others' company and to give thanks.  We too are gathering with our family and as I have contemplated all that I have to be thankful for, I have battled with thoughts of what I used to take for granted.  Sadly there are so many things in life that we don't even think to be thankful for, like sliding into a warm bath, standing so that our clothes hang and sway the way they were designed to, giving a full hug, driving, prepare a meal for my family, tuck my girls into their beds, just Mom & wife stuff.  Being able to access any building shouldn't be so hard.
Yet I am so thankful for so much. I literally have given thanks many times in the past 5 months for my life...For my brain...and my arms. Mike & I are aware of how different things could have been. I am thankful for my amazing husband and that he is able to be with me each mile of this journey. I am thankful for my girls and the strength , courage and maturity they have exhibited, while never allowing their hearts to be hardened. I am thankful for our extended families and the many ways they have and continue to support us in this process. I am thankful for praying and supportive friends and for a church family that is behind us.
I pray everyday that God will heal me.  I know without a doubt that He could speak and I could stand up without any hint of injury. I know this.  The question is never can He...but will He?  So we wait to see what the answer is choosing to remember to be thankful. Because He is good and He is God and one day He will call my name and I will rise.  Until then we thank Him and bless His name... and eat turkey.
We want to remind you all how thankful we are for you and to wish you a blessed Happy Thanksgiving from our overflowing hearts to yours!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

State of Detroit

Some have asked about what Detroit is really like. Well it depends where you go, the down town 5 square blocks look ok, but when you look close the offices in the high rises are empty. As soon as we get out of those blocks it gets very nasty. Most buildings don't have windows in them and I think it resembles a war zone, 20% of houses are boarded up, we get asked for money a lot. Now 12km outside of the down town core is Grosse pointe, we went there yesterday and wow what a nice neighborhood 4 million plus for a house, you can see a line where Detroit ends and gross pointe starts. Middle class is 1/2 hour to 1 hour drive outside of Detroit. Some suburbs like Troy and very nice. The booming economy is the casino, sports teams and the big 3 automotive are coming back.
The casino is always full and a little sad seeing people there that really can't afford the kind of entertainment.

More core training

This week has been more of the same, core and balance training. Sandra shoulder is holding up well this week which is encouraging. She is getting a lot of tone (spazams) which interrupt her sleep and are uncomfortable for her, thankfully Sandra does have the gift of sleep, anyone else would be up 1/2 the night. Looking forward to, picking up Nanna in Toronto and getting home.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Stretching works!

So Sandra has been doing a lot of stretching since her accident and I think she is up to 6 foot now!haha no really that is the height of her therapist in Ottawa, small but mighty. We measured Sandra in her chair on the wall where we are tracking the kids growth over the years, she is 4'1" same as Emily when she was 8.
We continue to be encouraged here in Detroit, we are getting progress even though it is slower then we like and it is very taxing on Sandra physically plus it is difficult leaving the kids every week. I compared it with a friend of mine who travels a lot for work, the 1st few times it was fun getting away, staying in hotels and eating out etc.... But it does get old and all the restaurants start to taste the same. Mike

Monday, October 1, 2012

What in the world is Sandra "up" to?

Two weeks ago Mike and I got home to see my Nana who is visiting here from Newfoundland. She is now in Toronto for the week but we get to pick her up on Wednesday and bring her back home with us. It's been nice to be with her, I love her to pieces. We are on the road again, rain and all. Looking forward to a amazing week. We are really hoping and praying that God will give me some voluntary muscle movement. I
Oh what a feeling!
cant believe its October tomorrow, we are already half
way through our time commitment in Detroit. They have been working me hard, I know they still have a lot up there sleeves and look forward to seeing what they can through at me. Friday I had physio again in Ottawa, Jacquie (therapist) supported me but had me standing beside my bed. What a crazy feeling to be able to stand but not feel it but oh what a feeling.
Some of you must be wondering what I really do with my time in physio and as much as I try to explain I'm sure its hard to picture so I've attached a few videos for your pleasure. Some feel it's hard to watch me struggle, especially at tasks that come so easy to you all. It's not pretty but it will give you a good idea. You can now understand why this is exciting for me as I am working muscles below my injury level. It's amazing.
Daily Prayer ... Complete healing, that my shoulder will hold up to the work out, voluntary muscle movement over all strength. Safety on the road to and from Detroit (we're in traffic now) be with the girls as they head into another week of school that all will go well.

We love you all. Hugs Sandra




Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Back Home!

How quickly the time flies. Monday was a little difficult for me this week for some reason, I couldn't get my rhythm but today I was able to tall kneel walk around the track making up for my lack of ability on Monday. It's frustrating when you know you can do it but your body just seems to give out on you. This week they seemed to really focused on exercises that would strengthen muscles in order for me to be able to go from a sit to stand position. This is done with the help of blocking my knees so that they don't buckle. My shoulder was a little sore on Monday but it seems to be holding up, thank you for prayers. Mike and I are continually reminded of the many blessings God has given us. Our families have been amazing. Parents that will stop everything to do what ever is needed. Friends that are continuing to encourage and up lift us in prayer. Meals that just keep coming, thank you. And all you my followers of the blog, thank you for your encouragement and support it amazes me to see how many people (100,000) have kept me/us in there thoughts and prayers. The flexibility that Mike has to be able to come with me back and forth to Detroit. Our amazing girls, Julia and Emily. God has supplied all our needs and has been giving us the grace that we need for each and every day. Thank you all so much for all you do, your encouragement and most of all your prayers. Please continue to pray for complete healing (I'm ready to give this chair away to charity any day now). Pray for Mike as he goes to work that he is able to complete all that he needs to do. For the girls that God would continue to stretch them in there faith and grow them into amazing women for His glory. Hugs Sandra 

Monday, September 24, 2012

At it again

Well we made it to Detroit this morning, had a good drive up dropping James and Jen off in Woodstock on the way. It was nice to catch up with them before they are off to New Zealand for 6 months. Sandra's shoulder is feeling pretty good today we will see how it holds up.
Off for dinner with the persads tonight

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Looking forward to being Home!

We are on our way home. I had a pretty good day, my shoulder held up better today but is still a little tender. They gave me some excersises to do at home to help strengthen it. My core continues to get stronger.  I'm praying that my lower core would really start to kick in and help me with my balance, helping me with my transfers (moving from my wheelchair to bed, chair, etc.) Daily prayer.... Please continue to pray for Mike and the strength that he needs to do all that he does (which is a lot), for the girls that God would continue to work in their lives through this time, that they would continue to do well in school. Pray for both Mike and I as it's hard to leave them week to week. Please be in prayer for my continued healing, praising God for all that He has done and what He is going to do. Hugs Sandra 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Worn out!

Today was more difficult for Sandra, her shoulder began to give out again. There is a lot of strain on the joints she can move but she worked around it and was able to get the full workout in. Tomorrow is another day of workouts. Please pray her shoulder doesn't slow down the progress and for safe travels tomorrow coming home. Mike

Monday, September 17, 2012

Just finishing up

Sandra had a good day, she crawled all the way around the track(180ft) which is a huge feat!! It is really hard work but she gets stronger all the time. It is easier to be here when we see progress. It is a great atmosphere with trainers really pushing her and have her best interest in mind. Tonight we will have diner with the Persad's and back at it in the morning Mike

Detroit here come ......Again!

It was nice to be home catching up with the girls, going to church and being encouraged by so many of you. The girls are settled in with Grandma and Grandpa and we are on the road again. We had a great sleep in Woodstock and now heading to Detroit. Looking forward to God's plan for us this week. Please pray for continued progress and for complete healing. This has affected so many people in our lives, please be in prayer that all will be used for His glory. Hugs, Sandra

Friday, September 14, 2012

4 months today

Well here we are at the 4 month point, we have had some great progress but continue to reach and desire for more. A few weeks ago I was listening to the message and the song it is well with my soul was playing. Wow talk about things having new meanings, I have know the song since childhood sang it hundreds of times but never before have I though so much about the words. I was asking my self is this truly well with my soul. I like to focus on "God will give you the desires of your heart." and other verses like that to give me comfort in difficult times. Where my thoughts have settled in at are, I want to be in God's will and if this is where it's at then it is well with my soul but I will continue to beg, plead with God for Sandra's complete healing and wow what a story we will have!
Have a great weekend and Sandra will blog Sunday in the Van again on the way to Detroit

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.
    • Refrain:
      It is well, with my sou It is well, it is well, with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul

  4. And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Good results!

Finished up my therapy today, got on the road and we are hightailing it home making great time. Today I had my assessment to evaluate my progress this month. Diane my PT used a machine that measures the amount of force I'm able to handle through my core. It applies pressure to the front, back and each side individually and gives you a numerical measurement. The average healthy person would be able to do 30 without any assistance, originally my average was 13 with assistance holding my legs for balance. Today I was able to do 30 with assistance and 15 without assistance. Which means I'm able to to do half of what a average healthy person can do.  She was able to confirm that I have some muscle contraction in my hips. They measure this from 0-5. 
Zero being no movement at all and a five being able to contract move and resist weight. My hips are at a one, I'm not able to move my leg but I'm able to contract and hopefully strengthen it to eventually be able to move my leg when I do contract it. This was all good news we are seeing great gains and are looking forward to the day that I have voluntary muscle movement. Mike and I have decided to commit to two more months at Detroit and reevaluate at the end of that time. I will still do Physiotherapy in Ottawa as well on Friday's. This is a big commitment for our family but feel this is the best opportunity for my improvement. The girls will be staying at home with our parents taking turns week to week being with them. We have had to make a lot of hard decisions but we are thankful for God's presence and guidance in them all. He has given us so many promises that we cling to daily, My grace is sufficient, He will never leave me nor forsake me, He will give you the desires of your heart. I'm thankful He is a forgiving God that is full of grace and mercy. Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusted in Him and I am helped. Therefore my heart greatly rejoices and with my song I will praise Him. Thank you all for your continued support, love, encouragement and most of all your prayers. Daily prayer... Continue to pray for voluntary muscle movement, complete healing, safety back and forth to Detroit, Mike's strength and ability to be able to complete the work he needs to do to keep things going, pray for the girls as this is still a lot of change for them, that they would be able to focus on school and have a great year. Hugs Sandra

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday report

Well we have completed another 2 days, all set for tomorrow morning's session then back to the 401 and home. Monday and Tuesday sessions were good, more hard work but I can see improvements especially in core strength. Tomorrow is Sandra's reassessment date, we are excited to see what measurable gains she has, not just my observations. Please pray for great measurable gains and clarity for our next steps.
We have a little running joke to see if we spend more at the outlets or rehab, too much down time isn't a great thing.
Monday night the Persad's came to Detriot for dinner with us and tonight we met with Kenton and Laura Kamp in Toledo Ohio ( home of the Jeep plant) for dinner. Both night's were a great time to chat and catch up. It has been several years for the Kamps and us to spend time together.
See you all soon, Mike

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Looking forward to a great week!

We had a great week at home. The house is almost all done just a few things here and there to complete but certainly livable. It was fun getting the girls settled into school life again and catching up with family and friends. I was also able to squeeze in a few physiotherapy appointments as well. We are on the road again to Detroit with a little excitement of seeing a bear on the 416, having to come to a complete stop. Mike and I are excited to get going again, looking forward to see what gains can be made this week. On Wednesday they will assess my abilities which will be interesting to see the differences in the numbers from when I was originally assessed 5 weeks ago. Life has been full of challenges but we are starting to figure it out slowly. I'm thankful for a God that is full of grace and gives us what we need for the day.  You start to realize just how much you need Him when your struggling through a trial, I just wish we could realize that prior to having the trial. Thank you to all of you, who have kept us in your prayers we so appreciate it. Praying for all of you! Big Hugs Sandra 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Home this week

We are staying home this week to get the girls settled in to the school routine. They are all ready, and we are too. Last week Sandra had an additional physio at home and this week she will have two more. We are excited to get another set of eyes looking at Sandra's progress, we do find a large difference in her core which enables her to do much more in the day to day things.
We continue to have good days and also hard hours, missing how life was. Looking forward to continued progress.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Home Sweet Home!

We are on the road again. It's been three and half weeks since we've been home and can't wait. I've had a pretty good week working hard on my core. The stronger I can make my core the stronger and more stable I will be. The stronger I can make my core the higher the potential for me to have overflow to my hips, glutes, and eventually my thighs. Today, I was doing an exercise the trainer could feel a small contraction of my glutes, lower ab and groin area. This is very exciting, in my first week they told me that they can't make a muscle contract but if it does they can make it stronger. This is a positive gain.  As the weeks go by I have more confidence in my abilities, I'm able to do more on my own. We are looking forward to having a week at home and getting the girls comfortable before school starts. While at home I will be doing some physio as well. I've been in contact with a therapist and she has been speaking and working with my therapist in Detroit, it will be interesting to see what she can do. Daily prayer .... Voluntary muscle movement, complete healing, strength (my shoulder held up really well this week, thanks for praying) pray that we will be able to establish a good family routine and that the girls will start well at school, Julia starts grade 9 and Emily is starting grade 7, we've had a few delays with our home so please be in prayer that it will be completed quickly and for Mike, he has a lot on his plate that God would give him the physical and mental strength to continue. Thank you for loving us and for continuing to keep us in your prayer. Hugs Sandra  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Detroit Here We Come!

We are back on the road again after spending a great time with family at the cottage. The girls our on there way home to spend some fun time with Warnholtz family until we return on Wednesday night. We are hoping to return to a home that is complete and ready for us.  We are looking forward to another great week, praying that its filled with a lot of gains and voluntary muscle movement. Daily prayer ... Safety on the road, complete healing, for both Mike and I that our strength and stamina will hold up and that the girls will enjoy there last week of  summer holidays. With much love. Hugs Sandra

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cottage Life!

Cottage Life. We are back, Mike is traveling back and forth to work for the next two days. Thanks to all of you that prayed us home. Our week went well, we are both tired but will catch up on our sleep over the weekend. Emily had fun with the Persad helping out with VBS at there church and Julia had a blast with her friend Tori in Wonderland. Now we are spending time with my Mom and Dad here at the cottage. Every week I feel a little stronger and encouraged by the many people that we meet. These people all have had a spinal injury of some sort, they have been so kind to share there experiances with us. Daily Prayer... Voluntary Muscle Movement, I would love to be able to start to feel or see some muscle movement in my hips or legs. This would be a sure sign of things to come. Please pray that my shoulder will continue to heal and be strengthened. Continue to pray for complete healing, I'm so looking forward to that day that I will be able to stand and take my first step again. Hugs Sandra

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Every Day

It amazes me that everyday they have new exercises for me to do.  I was a little concerned or even disappointed yesterday that my shoulder was acting up. After icing, rest and prayer...today, I was pleased that I was able to follow through with all of the exercises with out pain. It was weaker but I was able. Everyday Mike and I are reminded of God's blessing on our lives and how He has gone before us. We don't know sometimes why things are happening to us at the time but I look back and see how He has prepared and has given us the grace for the day. Today we had a surprise. Friends from Ottawa (Rudd's) were dropping their daughter off at University and on there way home stopped off in Detroit and had lunch with us. God gives you that extra boost of encouragement when you need it.
Daily Prayer... Please continue to pray for my shoulder that it will get stronger and be able to handle what ever they throw at me. Pray that I would start to see voluntary muscle movement. We are meeting a lot of people, pray that Mike and I will be the example that God would want us to be and that we would have the opportunity to share His love with them. Pray for safe travel back to the cottage. Please continue to pray for the girls as we prepare for school coming up and the daily routine of life. Much love, Hugs Sandra

Day 2

Day 2 was good Sandra is just finishing up, did some new exercises and her shoulder held up for the whole morning. Looking forward to lunch. Mike

Monday, August 20, 2012

Good day at rehab

I forgot the iPad so it's back to my phone, so I will be brief . Rehab went well today, Sandra stayed on the standing frame for 45 minutes, ( 5 minutes first time and 30 second time) this is a very good accomplishment. Her left shoulder is sore after the workout so keep it in prayer so she can do all the activities required the next few days. Mike

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ready to go again

Well we are in Sarnia again, ready to cross the boarder in the morning. Sandra's  body has mostly recovered from last week only to do it over again. Please pray for Sandra's stamina and progression in her healing. Mike

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Long road

We have a long road ahead, both in terms of the 401 and in Sandra's recovery. It was exciting and difficult to see Sandra go through her sessions. On the bright side there are people there who have gone through the program that have seen significant gains, but it was difficult to see Sandra have to work that hard. One of the therapist came to me and said "Most people don't finish, they stop and just cry the first time", well she finished and at least we waited to get to the van for the cry. The atmosphere is very upbeat and positive, with patients and staff cheering others on when a new accomplishment are made. Our down time is Tuesday afternoon since Wednesday we just want to get home. This week we met our girls and the Persads at the outlet store for a few hours. Next week might be the Detroit zoo and at some point I will take in the Walter P. Chrysler Museum. Other then that not allot to do in Detroit until the Red Wings start to play. Mike 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Week One Complete!

We have picked up the kids in Sarnia and we are on our way back to the cottage. It was another day of trying new things. When I went to Detroit originally for my assessment I was able to use a piece of equipment called easy glide it enables me to stand. This is good for me on several levels. At that time, I was only able to tolerate it for about 5 min. My body was already not use to being upright and all the blood rushed from my head to my feet making me feel light headed, sick to my stomach and I start to feel like I was going to pass out. Today I was able to stay up for 30 minutes, this was very exciting for me. It's normally a requirement to be able to do, to even be in this program. There goal is to strengthen your arms and core so that you can than work on moving your hips and eventually your legs. So for the first 2 hours of my rehab I spend a lot on, just that. My arms feel like there going to explode or fall off but they push you through it.  Its extremely hard but the reward is worth every minute. Mike is there right beside me every step (had to put that in) of the way. He has been an amazing support and encouragement to me through this, I'm so thankful for him. Daily Prayer .... That I would start to see signs of voluntary muscle movement. Pray that my core would continue to strengthen so that I would have more control of my balance. That all the renovations at home are getting done on time for us to come home to.  Thanks again to all of you for your continued support and love. Hugs Sandra

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day Two!

Second day in and they are giving me a run for my money. Today they did completely different exercises but I was exciting that they were able to get me up and crawling.  After wrapping up my knees and feet to protect them they attached a harness for support. By weight shifting and tightening my core and the help of the therapists I was able to complete one lap around the gym before collapsing in a tired heap. It was exhausting but felt amazing at the same time. I have to say I was extremely tired today and my arms felt a little sore from the 3 hour work out they got. It's a positive atmosphere, as time continues I feel more and more encouraged. Daily Prayer...strength would have to be at the top of the list, that my arms would hold up and continue to get stronger. Feeling extremely blessed. Hugs, Sandra

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Day!!

We thought it was kinda cool that
this is sponsored by Chrysler!!
WOW, what a day! Mike and I started of with a relaxing morning getting ready and than we headed over to the center for our first appointment. I spent the first hour working on my core strength, which included me getting up on my knees and hands moving side to side keeping my balance. The second hour I spent doing exercises that allowed me to weight bare on my legs and work my core at the same time. The last hour I went on the FES bike. It was exciting and exhausting all at the same time. We met a fellow Canadian, Mary. Mary injured her T4 just like my self and for three years she was told by several physiotherapist that she would never walk and that she was wasting her time doing any exercises. She read one day in the paper an article on RIM. She gave them a call and went to see them the following day. They told her that she should walk. Well it's been a year and she is walking. Amazing! Mike made a comment that as we looked around the spinal cord injury rehab centre there were more people walking than not. God has a plan, I really feel that He has directed us to this place for a reason. Thank you to all of you for praying me here and for my continued recovery. Daily prayer....Please continue to pray for complete healing. Strength and energy during my Physiotherpy sessions. Pray that I will be able to establish a good routine traveling back and forth from Detroit and home. Pray that the girls will continue to feel Gods comfort. That God would be glorified through this all. Thank you all for keeping us in your prayers. Hugs Sandra

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Road to Recovery

The van is packed and we are on the road to recovery. We are hoping to make it to Sarnia in time to have dinner with our dear friends the Persad's.  The girls will be spending the next 3 days with them while Mike and I will be spending the night in a hotel in Sarnia and than heading over to Detroit in the morning. I starting my first rehab session at 1pm. I'm very excited to get started. I know God has some exciting things to show me and I am so ready. 
We want you all to know how thankful we are for all your prayers and support. We definitely feel the blessing that God has supplied us with family and friends we need to help us through this time. A few of you who will remain nameless have stated that you would like me to blog more specific prayer request and maybe even more often, so I will attempt to do just that. Daily prayer... Safe travel as we drive to Sarnia and Detroit. Boarder crossing will go well and quickly in the morning. That both Mike and I will sleep well as the next few days are going to be both physical and mentally hard. That I will be able to see gains/progress this week. God promised that He would only give us what we could handle. I'm so thankful for that promise and for the daily reminders that He is in control. We Love You All. Hugs, Sandra

Thursday, August 9, 2012

getting packed up

Well this week has flown by working and driving kids around (normal stuff). Sandra has had some good visits and even made it out of the house a couple times, her social calender hasn't changed since before the accident.  On Wednesday evening she got her upstairs (carried), to go pick out some of her stuff she was missing and I couldn't find. It was of mixed emotions, great to get back to that part of the house, tuck the kids in etc... but it was also difficult missing the ease of life she had and more things we took for granted.
Tomorrow we will pack up and be gone for some time. We will be living between Detroit and the cottage as the renovations on the house get finished up and we save 1 1/2 hrs of driving each way being at the cottage. It will be great to have the house complete which will make life allot easier.
Sandra still has no voluntary movement in her legs. We were told that the first movement will be in the big toe however doing more research and talking to different professionals it seams that the muscle control will move down from the point of injury. Her injury is at the chest level but she has considerable muscle control in her trunk which we get excited about being below the level of injury. When we are in Detroit they will work on strengthening her trunk and activating her hips and thighs. Sandra's continues to have spasms which are uncomfortable but we take it as a sign that her nerves are trying to reconnect, and these spasms are continually changing which again we are encouraged by things not staying the same.
Romans 8:24,25 For in this hope we are saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Long weekend at the cottage

We are having a great time relaxing at the cottage, great weather, spending time with family.
We actually got Sandra swimming with a little effort and ingenuity this afternoon. She really enjoyed it was able to get around, wash her hair andjust feel the freedom of the water. For those who were wondering she was wearing a life jacket.  Mike

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Plans are made

Well we are excited to report Sandra is registered to start rehab in Detriot starting August 13th. Our plans are to be in Detriot Monday to Wednesday for the next 30 to 90 days. This will allow me to work Thursday and Fridays and have some family time on the weekends.
Our time in Detriot was very beneficial, and we are excited to the possibilities that lie ahead. The therapist said Sandra is a good candidate and should see improvements. We are excited with every improvement we have seen already. Sandra's injury should be chest level but she is gaining more trunk control and can tighten her abs on her own, these small steps are exciting but remind us we have we have a long way to go.
Keep us in your prayers as we will get to know the 401 very well.  I imagine we will get tired of the drive so I've started looking for flights already

Friday, July 27, 2012

Heading Home

Mike and I headed back into the rehab center in Detroit today to trial the FES bike. I was able to go on it for a good 45 minutes. It by passes my spinal cord and activates my nerves to than stimulate and contract my muscles which than move my legs to move the peddles. This is good for many reasons, circulation, muscle strength and my range of motion. They are recommending rehab three times a week for three months, they would assess me after each month making any changes to my treatment plan. We have a lot to consider before we make any decisions. We are looking at what can be done here in Ottawa and completed in Detroit. They are very willing to partner with our Physiotherpiest in Ottawa which could make travel a little easier. As we speak we are on our way home and are looking forward to seeing the girls tomorrow and hearing about there adventures camping with the Martins. So please be in prayer that God will continue to guide us as to what we need to do. We believe God has directed us to Detroit we are just not sure as to the logistics of how it will work. Malachi 3:10 "Test me in this ... And see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it" God's ability to perform is far beyond our prayers. We ask for a cupful, while He owns the entire ocean! So I am asking for the Ocean, complete healing. Hugs Sandra

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Detroit Update!

Upright!  Oh What a feeling!!!
Detroit was very different from Chicago, from the paper work to the evaluation. We met for 9:30 to start the paper work and by 10am I was sitting with Diane the Physiotherpiest. Diane started by explaining the phylosipy and protocol that RIM has and how it would work for an out patient like my self. They normally break treatment down into three one hour sessions mat work, gate treatment and FES functial electric stimulation but with in those sessions they individualize it for each patient. What they are capable of and the potential that they could gain from that type of activity. Than it was time to gather information. Medical and functional. She did similar tests as to what I had done in Chicago but she added more and was diffiantly more thorough. She was happy to see that I was able to tighten my abdomin, this was a positive showing movement below my level of injury. She was confident that I would be able to gain a lot of strength and would benifit from working those muscles more and more. This would be done primarily during mat work and gate training. She also, used a machine that would measure the amount of force I could handle in my trunk area. This gives her a numerical measurement that can be used when they reasses at the one month mark to see if there is improvement. I was able to try out a standing machine. It was the first time I was upright in 9weeks oh what a feeling that was. We were able to arrange for me to try the FES bike tomorrow morning. Diane is confident that my nerves and muscles will react to this and it will be very beneficial. I'm very excited to try it. We still have a lot to think about and decisions to make as to what would be best for the whole family. We are very happy with Detroit and the treatment plan that they have come up with thus far. Tomorrow we will know even more.  Please continue to pray that God would direct us as to what would be best for our whole family. We are continuing to pray for complete healing. I was reading in my devotional the other day that reminded me that this to shall pass and right after it said but now would be great. So I'm praying that not only will God heal me completely but that He would do it quickly. Thank you to all for your love and prayers. Big Hug, Sandra

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chicago Update!

Well we made it to Chicago and have settled in. Traveling has a few challenge's but Mike and I are becoming educated on what to look and ask for. Accessible doesn't always mean that it's easy. Challenging to say the least. After a relaxing day motoring down magnificent mile we went out for an amazing dinner and headed back to the hotel for a good night sleep. In the morning we walked and rolled just two blocks down to the rehab center. Met with the doctor and the Physiotherpiest. After discussing my medical information and reviewing my records he recommended a few test to establish a base line. For example, a bone density test. Which was made available to me right away. (you gotta love the us) The Physiotherpiest reccommended that I start utilizing a standing machine that would be beneficial for my over all health of my bones, digestive system and many other benifits. She also felt that it would be very good for me to go on a machine that is much like a bike (RT300 Functional Electrical Stimulation Bike) that stimulates your muscles and nerves. The one problem with that is they only have one and inpatients have priority and I would be a outpatient. This was disappointing because this is why we are coming to the us to be able to take advantage of such equipment. Both the doctor and the physiotherpist after completing several tests felt that I would be a good candidate for further treatment. Mike and I are excited and the potential and are looking forward to thursday and seeing what Detroit has to offer. The girls are having a great time with our dear friends the Martins. We were able to face time them tonight which was amazing just to see there faces. We know that God is in control of everything and in all things we want to give Him the Glory. I can't tell you how much it means to me to know that you all are keeping me in your prayers. Hugs Sandra

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Magnificent mile

Well we are here in downtown Chicago, drove by Soldiers field, and a few other sights. We fought traffic even on a Sunday afternoon. Tomorrow we don't have any appointments so we will do some sightseeing. It is interesting how broad the term "accessible " is with these hotels. It hasn't been a problem for the two of us and we are learning what questions to ask when booking a hotel. Mike

Saturday, July 21, 2012

1/2 way to Chicago

Well we made it to Sarnia today and supprized The Persad's for a little visit. Tomorrow we plan on getting into Chicago settling to our hotel. Traveling goes pretty well, sandra is comfortable in the van and we don't have to make any extra stops. The girls are spending the week with the Martins at camp and I'm sure they are having a great time. Mike

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Some encouragement

Earlier this week, Sandra met with her new therapist in Ottawa. Two friends of ours in the health care field refered her to us. The friends don't know each other and it was amazing to see Gods hand giving us clear direction on who to hire for the best results. The therapist did a few tests, some old and some new. Of the new tests it appears there are some improvements although only little but improvements none the less. I have been praying for continued improvements as it would get discouraging not seeing any progress. Mike

Latest updates

Well today was a good day some plans are coming together. Saturday it looks like we are leaving on our road trip to cover 3 rehab facilities in Chicago, grand rapids, and Detroit. They are using some exciting technology that we would like try and see how Sandra's body reacts. We want to strike while the irons hot and be proactive in her recovery. The basic plan is to check out each place and see where to best fit is then go with it. Sandra is packing for a possible extended stay. Also today Sandra's own wheel chair came in. We are very thankful it is here before we leave on our road trip, it has some great technology and weighs only 22lbs compared to the loaner at 55lbs. This will be a great help in getting around. Mike

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mike @ work, Sandra @ Home

Well the day had to happen sooner or later, I have taken alot of time off and I'm thankful to those that have filled in. I'm still working a shortened day and just doing enough to get by. I have always enjoyed work and still do however their is a stong pull keeping me home. It is also official my bike is listed for sale here is the link for those interested http://arnprior.fivestardealers.ca/used/Kawasaki/2009-Kawasaki-ZX+14R-7978a64c0a0a006501a9bced8d690772.htm Mike

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Made it to church

Well it took us 8weeks but we made it to church today, not even late! It was great to be back, one more step back to normality. Things went very smoothly. This week we will continue to make plans for alternative rehab possibilities. Things are starting to come together and we are excited about that. Sandra is starting to feel more comfortable at home, we continue to live learn and adjust to try to make things easier for both of us. Mike

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Big church multiplies!!

Long have Christians debated the merits of the size of a church. Each have their own pros and cons from large to small. The knock on a large church has always been its not personal, you are just a number, you get lost in the shuffle. This may be true if you aren't plugged in, it is easier to slip in and out with no one noticing in a large church. Our experiance the last 8 weeks is, if you are plugged in things get multiplied. If I needed help anytime of day, I have countless people to call on( yes John, I would call your generation for early morning and mine for late evening). It is such a blessing to have so many behind us and wanting to help, we actually have more help then we require. The freezer is full, furniture has been moved, kids entertained and I am so thankful for everyone's help. Mike

Great to be home

Well it's Saturday morning at 8am and Sandra is still sleeping, she has a gift. All the noises of the hospital and rehab center it was difficult to get a good sleep although she did better then most. Today will be a day of relaxing at home and still organizing the house to best work for her. It seems we have too much stuff, with her chair the key is creating more floor space so Sandra can get around. We are hoping and praying that this is a temporary situation and will make due with our current house with a few modifications. Mike

Thursday, July 12, 2012

She is home now

Sandra got home this afternoon. Wow it's great to have her home and is a relief not to have to take her back to the rehab. This weekend we will be home just getting organized and trying to set things up to be as easy as possible for Sandra. Home sweet home!Mike

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Last night at rehab!!

Well if all goes according to plan this will be Sandra's last night at rehab. She has flown through the rehab program at lightning speed, learning how to get by in her chair. We have got allot of things done lately, from moving furniture to clearing space to get the bathroom redone to just trying to make life a little easier at home for her. Next week we will have some time at home to settle in, please pray that it all goes well, we are excited but also a little apprehensive. The week of July 23rd we are hoping to do a road trip to investigate additional rehab facilities. The girls are away that week so the timing would be perfect. Mike

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How are you doing... No really how are you doing?

So this is the question we get asked allot. Sometimes it depends on when you ask what answer you might get. Under the circumstances we are doing very well. We do have the comfort that God is in control, he has a plan for our lives and this will somehow work out. Probably the best way to sum up our state is we have bad hours not bad days. There are things you don't even think about that Sandra misses, like having her clothes hang instead of always feeling bunched up, having a real sneeze or cough since they come from your lower abs the list goes on and on. Every day is better than the last and we look forward to what the future holds for us. Mike

Monday, July 9, 2012

How is rehab going, when's discharge, what's next?

Rehab is going well, they are teaching Sandra all she needs to know for daily living. From working in a kitchen to getting around to using a public washroom and transferring from her chair on to the bed etc...the other part of her day is in the gym working on her cardio and strength . Sandra is getting close to discharge from the Ottawa rehab center. It may be sometime this week or early next. We are looking at getting additional rehab but are still trying to figure out what is the best place to go for Sandra to get the greatest gains. We know the great physician is able to heal, we have to our part so he can do his. Thankyou for all you thoughts and prayers as we still have a long way to go Mike

Friday, July 6, 2012

Is Mike going to continue to ride?

I feel like an aged athlete that knows its over but is having a hard time admitting it. I love bikes and always have, they get my adrenalin going. With the recent events my level of responsibility has risen dramatically and it is looking like I will have to take a break form riding. So keep your eye open for a 2009 ZX14R Special Edition for sale in the next few weeks. I will miss it but am certain that this is the wise thing to do in this season I'm in. Mike

Thursday, July 5, 2012

How are the kids doing?

We get asked this allot and we appreciate the concern. The kids like most of us were in shock the first few weeks. I right away told them everything i knew, shared my concerns with them and it was good. It was difficult for them as they were shipped from friends and family's homes for over 2 weeks. As time has gone on and sandra comes home more it is feeling almost normal again. Our best times as a family were probably spent in the cafeteria having dinner together, it felt more normal sitting around a table then sitting around a hospital bed. The girls realize that Sandra is still the same mom as before, she just currently can't walk. Mike

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Surgeon happy with progress

Today Sandra and I went back to the civic for a follow up appointment with her surgeon. All went well and he was happy with Sandra's progress. We had some concerns about some tightness in her back and he explained that it was healing and would feel better in the months to come. We also talked about future rehab options and he offered his email to get his opinion. It was a little emotional being back in the place that there were so many firsts. Little things like the first time in her chair, outside, ect...Also the place of allot of personal turmoil, wondering what our future would look like and how we were going to get through this. Most of these questions are still to be answered but at that time the wounds were still fresh. We continue to pray for complete healing and are comforted in the fact that God is in control and he will turn this for good. Mike

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What does Sandra feel?

This is another very common question. I have learned allot since her accident. I assumed that everyone in a wheel chair had zero feeling below their injury, this is not true. Sandra has has muscle spasms, burning sensations and twitching which are uncomfortable, we are praying they are all  good signs of nerves connecting. She also can feel temperature cold and warm. this was interesting yesterday as she was wearing capri pants and she could tell her shins were cold and her upper legs were warm. Most of these sensations are new as time has gone on, which gets us cautiously optimistic. We are still waiting for her to move even her big toe on her own. This is typically the first step of recovery. Please continue to pray for that big toe to move. Mike

follow up with surgeon wed. afternoon

Sandra has a follow-up appointment tomorrow with her surgeon. Please pray he is happy with her progress. She will get to have a visit with the trauma team at the civic that took such good care of her. Mike

Monday, July 2, 2012

Most asked questions

We had a great weekend at the cottage, enjoying Canada day. On the way home the 4 of us were discussing the most common questions we are asked and I will try to answer 1 per day. So let's start with, how did the accident happen? Well it was Mothers day we had just finished mothers day lunch (restaurant of course), had a few things to do in the afternoon and around 6pm we were able to get out and enjoy a great evening. I was on my bike, Sandra on hers and her brother Rob was on his with his friend. For those who know the area we were on river rd just past Hurst Marina, came to a stop sign checked with Sandra if everything was ok she gave the nod of approval and off we went. The very next corner was a left, We were riding staggered and I had the left side of the lane, Sandra had the right. She had some gravel and had to change her line, caught a tar strip, possibly some gravel and she got too close to the shoulder and went off the bike. We were travelling at around 70km/hr. I was ahead of her and lost vision of her in my mirrors when I saw Rob who was behind her pull over I got terrible feeling in my stomach and quickly turned around. At the scene we had no idea the extent of her injuries but took the proper precautions. At first Sandra didn't want us to call 911, she said "let me just catch my breath and I'll be fine". The one time in our marriage I didn't listen to her I was right and called 911. The ambulance was there in less then 10 minutes and we were at the civic very quickly where we got the bad news. I still am a little perplexed at the extent of her injuries for the rate of speed we were at and the fact that she didn't hit anything on her way to the ditch. By the damage to her gear it would appear she landed on her head around her hair line and compressed her spine. Sandra's jacket has a small scuff on the shoulder and that is it, the back doesnt even have a scratch. Wow I think this is my longest post. Mike

Friday, June 29, 2012

Laughter is such good medicine...music so healing.

If there is one thing our family is known for, it's the ability to laugh!  We laugh when no one knows why we are laughing, we laugh when it probably inappropriate, we laugh till we cry sometimes and our Mom has been know to laugh (uncontrollably) in CHURCH!  We keep praying for her! *winks* 
This week was one of those weeks, we spent time together at the centre laughing hysterically and then our brother Glen showed up and we were slayed!  I'm pretty sure the moment we reach that point is the moment Mike wonders how he ever got himself into this mess...but then we just laugh at him!
One of those Hysterical moments
Devoted Mommy & Daddy
Just missing our big brother Robbie

We love to laugh!  I am reminded that the week of Sandra's accident one of the nurses named Rachel (not assigned to Sandra) came into her room one day to thank her for the light that was coming from Sandra's room and she shared a verse with us, "He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."~ Job 8:21
This promise has been been proven to be true many times for us through this process.  We have been given the gift of laughter to lift our spirits and sooth our wounds and help us keep a clear perspective. I believe that our family was blessed with the ability to laugh together for this reason.
Proverbs 17:22 says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
This reminds me that we still have a choice in all this.  My sister and her husband have clearly chosen joy and its infectious.  There is joy in this journey and hope for the future.  We are praying unceasingly that God will make Sandra walk again...and nothing else!  A dear, wise friend reminded us that we must cry out to God for our hearts desire...not doublemindedly either.  So we are praying BELIEVING and ask you to do so with us.
We as a family had the privilege of attending the Johnson Family Concert last night at the Gladstone Theatre.  This was Sandra's second major outing but the first one without her neck brace.  She informed me when it was off that she has the most beautiful neck and she is right!  Never seen one more beautiful!  The Johnson family if you don't know them, is one of the most ridiculously talented families ever!  They have a beautiful way of sharing their God-given talents mixed in with sweet humour...so we laughed some more and sang along. "Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” ~ Psalms 126:2 
I have been camping in the Proverbs these days and amazed by the nuggets we can uncover for each stage of our lives each time we re-read God's word!
So as we head into this long weekend and celebrate our freedom in this Nation may we remember to celbrate the freedom we have to choose Joy in the journey as we live out this blip on the time-line of eternity...looking forward to continued Grace from God's hand and seeing my Buddy walk again! 


Great night

Last night we (all 4 of us) made it out to the Gladstone to see the Johnson family in concert. Had a wonderful time and again nice to get out and enjoy some time with family and friends. Some things are still a learning curve. I found a place to park on the road but when It was time to get sandra out the curb was in the way. As I have learned to biggest advantage of a handicap spot is the width of the spot. Before this journey I assumed everyone with a spinal cord injury had no feeling in their legs, this is not the case. Sandra like others has some sensations in her legs, it is changing maybe not daily but certainly every 4-5 days. We are praying that the changes continue and at some point they lead to voluntary movement not reflex etc... I continue to do her range of motions so she doesn't stiffen up and her body will to walk when her spine is ready. We are off to the cottage for the weekend to enjoy Canada day. Continue to pray for healing, what our next rehab options are, Sandra to get into the drivers hand control course so she can drive, Most likely minimal blogs over the weekend, everyone have a great weekend Mike

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sandra has a good neck

Just minutes ago Sandra was allowed to take off her C-collar for her neck. Wow what freedom she now has. It will be off and on as her neck gains strength. She is very happy and appears to have good movement,and it isn't stiff.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

we are back, waiting for results

Well the x-ray is complete, just waiting on the Dr to read it. It is amazing how timing has all worked. I was supposed to be at work this morning but things came up and I had to be there tonight. So I was able to come this morning and be with Sandra for her x-ray. He is in control !!!

Good Day but frustrating

Sandra had a good day yesterday, her swelling in her legs and abdomen are going down and she is feeling less bloated. The body continues to amaze me, at the scene of the accident I noticed the swelling  starting and it was just protecting her organs now that she is stable the body knows to let the swelling reduce. This is more proof that their has to be a creator and it would be impossible for us to evolve to this complex being. The spinal cord is about the size of your pinky finger. It is amazing the information that travels up and down it. One Doctor I spoke to said the brain and the spinal cord "freak him out" because of the complexity and that we only know a small portion of what is going on in there.
Yesterday Sandra was to have an x-ray to hopefully get clearance to remove her neck brace. We were told 4-6 weeks and it was 6 weeks on Sunday. Unfortunatally the X-ray was only ordered yesterday so we have to wait for an opening, not sure on how long this will take but we are praying for a quick turnaround as she is tired of it. Wow God answers because I have to go she is on her was for an X-ray see ya Mike

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Great graduation and party

We had a great time at Julia's grad, plus had her class come up to the cottage after. Thanks to my mom and dad, and others for making this happen. I think her class had a great time, the weather was perfect. Sandra was able to attend both for which we are thankful. It has been difficult for her to have things done for her as this is not her nature, she is typically the doer. The simple things we do everyday are proofing to be difficult and very time consuming, however we are both learning new "systems" to make life easier. Tomorrow Sandra has an x-ray scheduled for her neck to see how it is healing. She has been wearing the neck brace 24/7 since the accident and has just about had enough of it. Once the neck brace comes off her shoulder can properly be evaluated. Please pray for the doctors wisdom and that Sandra can get the neck brace off. Mike

Friday, June 22, 2012

Yahoo summer is here

Kids done school today, and I don't have to make a lunch they don't want to eat until September!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pray for wisdom and healing

Today we spent the afternoon looking at wheel chairs to purchase. It is difficult to know what options and features are worthwhile and how adgile vs comfortable to go. We will get a demo over the weekend to try and make sure we have made the right choices. Thankfully I have a customer conval-aid to help us navigate through this. Sandra's discharge from Ottawa rehab is getting closer, possibly mid July with a few more hurdles to get over. A nurse was saying that Sandra is the quickest person through rehab she has seen. Always tring to get better everyday. Please pray for us as we have decisions to make in what our next steps are. We want to actively persue therapies that give Sandra the best opportunity to improve her condition and ultimately walk again. Tomorrow is Julia's grad ceremony and we(Sandra included)will be heading up to the cottage after. The cottage is a bungalow and actually is laid out better then our house. We can all sleep on the same level there, check up on the kids, tuck them in etc... Something sandra has been missing. Probably no blogs till Saturday night or Sunday Mike

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Julia's grad dinner

We had a wonderful time at Julia's grad dinner at the school. It was awsome for Sandra not to have to miss out on that. Looking forward to the grad ceremony Friday night. For those who have followed the blog for a while, attending Julia's grad was one of the first goals. It is hard to believe our little peanut is going to high school. It seams like yesterday she was in kindergarten, ok now I'm starting to sund old. Tommorrow we will be looking at wheel chairs to buy. Sandra has been using the rehab loaner model. Mike