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    Update Ten

    June 23, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    6/21/09
    Dear Family and Friends,

    Greetings on this Father’s Day. This was an extra-special Father’s Day for our family, as you can imagine. And we are thankful to the Father in Heaven who spared a husband for me and a daddy for our four small children.

    Today, our whole family {save Siah, of course} went to church together. Then, we headed over to the hospital for a visit with Si. He was very tired, but pleased to see everyone. We spent some good time there, and the children had made him some bookmarks for his books. {Yes! He once was blind, but now he reads!} Everyone made sure he knew how much we loved him.

    And then we did something totally normal: we went out to eat. Actually, we never do that, so it was something totally special. Cataldo’s Pizza had heard about Siah and donated a meal to feed our family, including all of our out-of-town guests. So we had a wonderful time together.

    My afternoon visit at the hospital was pretty exciting as well. First, Si’s kidney doctor had told him this morning that they expect no permanent damage, and that dialysis is no longer indicated. Also, for physical therapy today, he was able to walk {using a walker} four times farther than just yesterday. To see him regain his strength exponentially is encouraging.

    Si is beginning to get restless in the hospital. He tells me time goes so slowly there. He is mentally writing newsletters for work and dreaming of the day when he can go back to his normal life. He is now ready for familiar visitors, as long as you call first and make sure you don’t catch him in the middle of plasmapheresis or other procedures.

    Prayer requests for tonight would include positive results from the EEG tomorrow and neurological healing. Most of his brain trauma was on his left side. He is still occasionally having hallucinations on that side. His neurologist says he expects this to clear up as everything else has already done so, but Si, of course, would like that to happen now.

    All through this journey, we have been reading three Psalms: 30, 46 and 57. Today, as I spoke with my husband, I realized he has new resolve to extend God’s kingdom, to live his life in honor of his King. And I was reminded of Psalm 30:9:

    “What gain is there in my destruction,
    in my going down into the pit?
    Will the dust praise you?
    Will it proclaim your faithfulness?”

    I remember praying this Psalm. What good is it for my husband to die when he still has strength in him to praise the Lord? God had mercy, and I pray His kingdom benefits from all of this.

    Thank you, once again, for the kindnesses of the day. The cards and emails keep pouring in. I’m sorry I don’t have time to return each phone call or email, but please know that I savor every one and they are precious to me {and now Si as well}. Often, I read them at exactly the perfect time, right when I encounter something discouraging. Thank you for being our faithful family and friends.

    Much Love,
    Brandy

    6/22/09
    Dear Family and Friends,

    Today was a strange day for me because I didn’t really see my husband. I went to visit, but he slept through almost the entire time I was there. This was a reminder to me of how much healing he needs. It was also a reminder of how sleepy Benadryl can make him! The nurses call it his “Benadryl coma.”

    But others saw him also, and so I do have news. The best news of the day is that he had another EEG and though it is not yet normal, it was much better than the last one he had. So we are still seeing slow, steady healing in each part of his body.

    This week, he begins to be weaned from the plasmapheresis. Today, he did his usual rotation where he received 14 bags of plasma. But this week he will only have the procedure Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We’ll see how he does. If you are in town and have the ability to donate plasma, there are now two patients at the hospital who are receiving the plasmapheresis three times per week. That’s a lot of demand for plasma beyond the regular recipients of the procedure who do this on an outpatient basis.

    Prayer requests of the day would be continued healing of his brain, liver, and kidneys {of course}; comfort for our four-year-old who has begun to regularly refuse food other than milk and sweets; and ability for Si to swallow pills. Now that he is more alert, they are doing much less by IV and bringing him lots of pills to swallow. He absolutely hates taking pills, and he’s begun gagging on the bigger ones. He also says that taking so many makes him full and causes him to have difficulty eating and drinking enough.

    Today was another day of blessings, with Tiffany bringing a yummy meal, and a local dad named Steve mowing our back lawn, and then weeding his heart out. In addition to this, we received a mailbox full of love and encouragement. We have been baffled as to why so many people have been so kind to our family. Some of these people have never even met us. And yet God has taught us of His love through them.

    We hope that all of you are doing well. May the Lord’s blessing be upon you.

    Love,
    Brandy

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