Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Hello From Canada

We arrived in Victoria BC on Saturday via a ferry ride across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It was a wonderful sunny afternoon and it was funny watching the boys try to walk as the ferry rocked side to side. On Sunday we went to Victoria Foursquare church and it was a great service, God is present here in Canada. We went downtown and walked around Victoria, what a wonderful city with lots of interesting architecture. Later that evening we had a chance to meet Leon, yes the same Leon that posts on this blog. It was an interesting first meeting, as I felt like I was meeting an old friend, even though we had never seen each other before. We had a wonderful visit and Leon had a chance to meet all the kids Sue's parents took the kids home on Monday and left Luke, Sue and I to focus on HyperBaric Oxygenation Therapy (HBOT) for Luke.

Luke and I have been in the HyperBaric chamber 5 times. We dive each day at 10:30 in the morning and 4:00pm in the afternoon. Please pray during these times that God will reawaken the dormant brain cells and resurrect the dead ones.

I thought I would describe what it is like to go into the chamber with Luke. The chamber is about 10 feet long and 5 feet wide on the outside. The chamber is a bit like a small submarine, a cylinder with rounded ends. It has a sliding door on the side that creates an airtight seal. Before we go into the chamber, both Luke and I change into 100% cotton clothing and remove all metal. The purpose of cotton clothing is to prevent static electricity and the possibility of a spark that in an atmosphere of pure oxygen would be dangerous. Once we are dressed, we climb into the chamber through the side door and I sit down on a bench and then Sue hands me Luke and I lay him on some pillows on the bench. Luke is wrapped up in a 100% cotton blanket to keep him warm during the dive. Next I connect an oxygen hose to Luke’s mask that covers his trach and then I turn on the oxygen. Then they close the big steel door to create an air tight compartment. The technician then begins to pressurize the chamber and as this happens you can feel the pressure build on your ears, kind of like when you fly in an airplane, only a little stronger. It is normal for the chamber door to make some noise as it settles into place. It takes about 10 minutes to get to a depth of 16-20 feet which is about 1.5 – 1.75 ATA (atmospheres absolute). At depth it becomes quiet as the noise of pressurization stops and is replaced by a quiet hiss of the oxygen being fed to Luke’s trach. Sometimes Luke sleeps, other times he just looks around trying to understand where he is at and what is happening. Sometimes I will work with his legs and arms doing PT, other times I will hold him or just let him lay there on the bench. Today while he slept, I read psalm 119 out loud and prayed that God’s word would bring life to Luke’s brain cells and that God would revive the dormant brain cells. There are 3 round windows about the size of a large dinner plate, one on the door and one on each end. At times it feels a bit like being a gold fish, as Sue and others peer in the windows to see how we are doing, plus I get this urge to eat goldfish food J. After an hour at depth, we begin the process of depressurization and surfacing, this takes about 10 minutes. At this point we climb out of the chamber and head back to the hotel.

Luke and I go for a dive in the morning and then wait 4 hours before going for a dive in the afternoon. At this point it is hard to tell the affect it is having on Luke. At times he seems more alert and at times he seems more relaxed. Yesterday evening he fell into a deep sleep and his arms were out stretched and relaxed. By the end of the week, Luke will have 12 dives under his belt, and this is just the first step on his journey to recovery.

Let me know if there are specific questions you have regarding Luke’s treatment.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Here's Luke with his favorite monkey

I love my monkey, he's so soft.

Luke loves riding his horsey!

Here is Luke riding on his horsey. Before the accident Luke would be on his horsey at least once a day. He really loves it when we all begin to sing his favorite song, "Horsey, Horsey on your way."

We have so much to be Thankful for today

I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving, we had a wonderful time at Gordy's sister Pam and husband Hal's home. As we celebrated a wonderful Thanksgiving day, I was once again reminded how much I have to be thankful for: a wonderful loving husband, the greatest children in the whole wide world, giving parent's, sweet sisters & sister in laws, a nice brother & brother in laws, lots of fun nieces & nephews, kind Uncles & Aunts, some really good cousins, lots of very supportive friends and all our new friends out in Blog land that are praying for our family and Luke each day.

Last night as I was putting Luke to sleep I began to weep once again and thank my Heavenly Father and His awesome Son Jesus for sparing my son's life. I realize that God did not have to bring back Luke to us, He could of very well taken him home to be with Him in heaven, but I'm so thankful that he chose to leave him with us down here on Earth. As I was looking back to this long journey that began on August 30th, I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has always been with us each and every day. Some days are very long and hard, but I'm so thankful for the continued progress Luke makes each day. He is now eating in his g-tube, which means he had food go into his stomach for the first time since his accident. He's done pretty good at handling the food and we are praying that he will be able to continue to handle what we are giving him and that he would soon start eating through his mouth once again. Baby steps are hard at times, but I continue to be thankful for each one we take.

As you can see by the picture of Luke on the horse and with his favorite monkey, he is becoming more alert and focused each and every day. Our prayers for this coming week, as we leave for Canada on Saturday to start his Hyperbaric treatments, are that he will begin to relax his muscles more and more each day. His legs are always very straight and almost impossible to bend, while his are arms are always bent and hard to get straight. We continue to believe that God is going to restore Luke to complete health and are excited to see this happen. We will try to keep you up to date next week on how the treatments are going, as I always say to people that say they are praying for Luke "please don't give up, your prayers are being heard and answered." Once again we say thank you for your prayers and support, they are appreciated more than you can know.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Natalie feeding Luke his dinner

This is the first day since August 30th that Luke gets to eat through his g-tube straight into his tummy. He did pretty good, now we just hope that he will continue to be able to handle it.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Luke is giving Kisses!

We were wonderfully surprised last Thursday night when I noticed that Luke was beginning to give us kisses. I was crying for joy and telling Gordy and the kids to come see and get a kiss as he was willing to continue to give them out. Zeke did say to me "Mommy don't cry be happy," I then had to tell him they were tears of joy. Luke was so happy with himself you could see it on his face. Then later in the evening when our night nurse was working with him he was copying some noises that she was making with her mouth. One other thing that he is doing is looking me right in the eyes when I tell him to. I am so blessed by the Lord waking him up.

I would like to share one of the comments written recently: I am overwhelmed by the greatness of our Lord. I was doing some "Bible time" night before last...I read the following and was struck right in the face with Luke! Then I come here and find your words relating to the physical therapy, the procedure they performed and the incident in the hallway as you were leaving. Luke is waking up...Praise God...here is the scripture which tells it all for me...Romans 13: 11-12...And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed....The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armour of light.This is what is in my heart from those words. Luke is awakening...in his sleep salvation has come to many. It is time for all of us to awaken to the light of our Lord, we have been asleep too long. Luke has already done that in the sleep he has been in and is now showing us exactly how to put on the armour of light. He is relaxing, he is swallowing, he is crying...I believe Luke has been with the Light and in the Light and that is why he is waking up to share it all with us. Praise God for it all. Thank you Jesus for the Searles family and all they have done to serve you. Loving and Praying Honorary Grandma Barbara

Here are some questions people have asked lately: Is Canada your closest option for HBOT treatments? No, actually there is a place about 35 minutes from us, but we felt like we wanted to completely give all of our energies to a full week of treatments. We can get almost 3 treatments in Canada for the price of one treatment in Washington, so that is a bonus also. We have decided to go to Victoria, BC instead of Vancouver, BC so it will mean a Ferry ride for the little boys instead of a train ride.
Will Luke be scared, can you stay with him and will he sleep during the treatments? I don't think he will be scared because it is enclosed in glass so you can see out the whole time you are in there, I won't be able to stay with him because I am pregnant, but Gordy, or one of his older siblings can be in there with him and as far as sleeping I'm not really sure what he will do, so he might fall asleep, we'll just have to see.

Once again thank you for your prayers he is sleeping so much better and looking better all the time. May the Lord richly bless each and everyone of you with a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Out of necessity comes great blessing!

My mother passed away a several years ago. One of my parents possesions that I took was an old china hutch that was in need of refinishing and some tender loving care. I stored the hutch in my garage until recently. Out of necessity to do some remodeling in the garage to make a room for Daniel I needed to decide what to do with the hutch. Two friends from church, Ken and Norm, both excellent woodworkers volunteered to restore the hutch. This afternoon, they brought the hutch over. WOW!!! What a transformation, it truly is amazing! What a blessing! Out of the necessity to clear out the garage, came the great blessing of a restored china hutch. We truly are a blessed family. Norm and Ken, Thank you both so much for blessing us. I know my parents would be thrilled with what you have done with the hutch. Thank You and God Bless You!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

We continue to stay humbled by your prayers

I come to you tonight with a great sense of being humbled. I'm so amazed at how many people come up to say that they are continuing to pray each day for Luke, I know that I've said this before but until you experience something like this you can't even begin to imagine how it feels. Just yesterday I was in Target and I had a sweet lady come up to me and say, "are you Luke's Mom" I said "yes I am" and she went on to say that she is my neighbor and her uncle was the wonderful man who came and knocked on my door that horrible day of the accident. He was the one who we didn't know who he was and he kept the CPR going until the firemen came to ran with him to the ambulance to take him to the Hospital. I remember saying that day I didn't know who that man was or where he came from, but I knew that the Lord had brought him to our door at the exact time that we needed him there. Anyway she said that she has been keeping up to date by reading our blog and continues to keep us in her prayers and then she asked to give me a hug, I was so blessed!

We had an awesome day on Monday when we went to Physical Therapy. We have a wonderful Physical Therapist and she was so encouraging as she said that in just the two weeks that we have been going that she is already seeing so much improvement in Luke. After totally relaxing him again with the message and heating pads, she then sat him up and put a fun toy in front of him and had him reach out to touch the toy and we were so excited when we saw him go back to one little rattle ball at least two times. She said that she felt him relax and almost reach for the little ball, what an encouragement that was, it was a definite voluntary movement, which is amazing and what we look for everyday.

We also had some good news today as I took him into the Dr. to make sure his ear infection was gone. It was gone, which was such good news because we are planning to take him to Canada for Hyperbaric Treatments soon. We are planning on take the whole family up there for 3 days. Amy and I will leave on Friday the day after Thanksgiving and then Gordy will come up with the rest of the family on Saturday, on AMTRAK which the boys are totally excited about. Since Daniel will be on thanksgiving break it will give us some much needed family time, we are praying that this will be a time for our family to have some good times together that are stress free. We've all been through so much these past few months, it will feel good to take a breather. Gordy, Luke and I will come home on December 4th. We are hoping to get in at least 12-14 treatments during the week, we know it will be an intense schedule but we are hoping since this will be the only thing that we will be concentrating on it won't be as stressful as fitting them into our days that are already too full. We are so blessed to already have people offering to help with the kids at home.

For those of you who have been keeping up to date on Luke and you wonder if God is really touching Him, I just want to say that I know without a shadow of a doubt that We serve a mighty God and He able to do abundantly above anything that we ask or think. As I've said over and over again God made his brain originally in the womb and He is able to make it all over again and knows exactly how to repair the damage done. Man says that the brain is the last frontier in our body, Dr.'s can't figure them out, but I know that brains are easy for God to figure out, He makes them everyday, as is evident in my womb right now.

Thank you for your prayers at night they are working. He has been sleeping much better, so please don't stop, when you wake up at night just continue to lift us up. We are faring better all the time. May God bless you with His wonderful love and I pray that you will feel the peace of God as you reach out to Him.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Thank you for your prayers they are working!

Hello to everyone,

Friday was a good day. It began with a trip to the physical therapist, where she was able to get him to relax so nicely that he feel asleep during her session with him. After that we went over to the Hospital for his feeding tube change. After the nurse tried twice in vain to find a vein for his sedation I.V. she called the specialist over to find one, so that actually took longer than the procedure itself. Natalie and I left him in the room asleep and went to get some much needed lunch. I watched the time closely so that we could get right back down to him before it was over, but they beat us and actually brought him up to us in the Cafeteria. The procedure went great! As we were leaving Luke started to breath heavily like he was crying, my sister Cindy said that he was crying and I said I wasn't sure because he had done this a few times before. I picked him up right away from his wheelchair stroller and told him that we were going home, he seemed to almost immediately begin to calm down as I told him that we were leaving the Hospital and putting on his coat to go home. As mentioned before I know that he is aware of so much more than he seems to be. All went well except for the fact that he woke up at 2:30 a.m. and I realized that we needed to flush his new tube and being that this was a new experience for me I went to find all the paper work I could on how to do this. Finally after a little bit I decided to just go ahead and do what I had learned at the class that I had attended the day before. I'm feeling a little more comfortable with it after doing it a few times today. It seems like there is a never ending list of new things to learn, things that I never wanted to learn, but now don't have a choice. He did go back to sleep in my arms as I rocked him in his room and we both slept until about 5:30 when I finally decided I needed to get some real sleep, so after getting his 7:00 a.m. medicine to him and feeding Zeke his breakfast who had woke up during this time I finally went back to sleep for about 2 hours.
We all had a great Saturday as we raked the yard. We have 5 huge Oak trees that are beautiful, but are sure a lot of work in the Fall. We were blessed to have Gordy's sister Pam and her son Carl and a friend Spencer come help us, they were able to get the job done in no time at all.
I hope that you have a blessed Sunday and upcoming week. Just remember God loves you more than you can imagine and He wants to be your best friend.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Daniel's new room

Here is a picture of Daniel in his new room. Thank you to everyone that played a part in making this happen, it turned out great!!!

A business with a heart

Who says businesses don't have a heart? Well, I found out the other day, they do. In March, I took Luke to get his pictures taken as a surprise for Sue. These were the only professional pictures we had of Luke. The other day Sue asked if we had any good pictures of Luke and I thought about the pictures from Yuen Lui's Studio. I called Yuen Lui's and spoke with Melissa and I asked her if I could buy a proof of each pose. I explained to her that these were the only pictures of Luke before the accident. To my great surprise she told me that she would make me a copy of all the files. I was so surprised, all I could do was cry. So when someone tells you that businesses dont have a heart, remember that Yuen Lui's does. Thank You for the gift of the photos of my son.

Update on Happenings at Luke's Home

This past week we finally finished Daniel's new room. As we mentioned before we had to give Daniel's old room to Luke in order for Luke to have a room upstairs that would be convenient for the nurses and right next to our room. Daniel willingly emptied out his room and put all his belongings in storage. We are very thankful to those that came and gave of themselves to help us: Pastor Larry for framing the room and putting up the sheet rock. My father for helping us clean out the garage, hanging the door, mudding, taping, and placing all of the trim. As you can see from the list he put in many hours to this project and we will be continually be thankful for all his help. Tom who donated lumber framing and for the shed floor. Mike for taking an evening out of his very busy schedule to texture the room for us. Thom, Ben and Robert for there help with the shed on that cold and rainy day. I also want to say a big thank you to Natalie who helped paint and to Amy who helped keep the house going and watch the boys during our big project.

Some of you may be wondering where Luke's dad has been lately? He has been very busy at work and keeping track of ordering all our medical supplies, medicines and dealing with our insurance company about Lukes bills. We are so grateful that we are able to meet all the extra costs that have been incurred recently, you never realize how expensive it is having a sick child until you go through it. As I mentioned he has also been busy at his work, they recently reorganized the department he is in and he asked to step down from his high stress job as a manager and go back to being in a technical role again. While they would have been happy to keep him in a management role, they have been supportive of his desire to return to a technical role. While this might not seem like the best career move, after praying about it we are confident that this was the right thing to do for this season. He is now in the process of transitioning into his new role and this is keeps him very busy.

I am amazed at how many people tell me they try to check the blog site daily for updates and am so humbled when they tell me they are praying daily for Luke and our whole family. I always say don't give up praying for Luke, I have confidence that God will complete the work he began in Luke's life the night he brought him back to life. Please remember to keep Luke in your prayers as he goes in for his feeding tube change this Friday and also please begin to really pray that God will loosen his very tight muscles. He never completely relaxes and I can only imagine that this is probably very uncomfortable and painful for him. I do notice that when I give him a bath at night that this helps him to relax a little bit, but as you all know I am 8 months pregnant and this is becoming more uncomfortable for me each day, but I will continue on because I know that it helps him to sleep better at night. If you wake up at night and don't know why it's probably to pray for us, especially for Luke to go back to sleep.

May our gracious Heavenly Father pour out his blessings on you as you continue to keep Luke in your prayers!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Saturday, November 06, 2004

This week has been like a Roller Coaster Ride!

Hi all you wonderful people out there in Blog Land,

Wow, what a week we've had! It has been a week of real highs and very lows. As Gordy stated last week Luke came down with a cold and we had a few nights of little or no sleep. But, Praise the Lord last night and the night before were some of the best nights he's had since he's been home from the Hospital, last night he sleep 6 hours.

On Thursday, which happened to be one of the worst days since we've come home from the Hospital, it was also one of the best. Let me explain. We were woke up by a pounding on our door at 3:30 a.m. from our night nurse saying that she needed us. She was having a difficult time getting Luke to sleep and just couldn't keep him suctioned. Needless to say it is one of the worst possible ways to be woken up, in my mind I thought I was getting up to a child that was not breathing. We had to put him back on Oxygen for the first time since the Hospital last week, so this was not so far fetched. I stayed up with him and rocked him and sang to him until about 6:30 a.m. at which time I thought I would go back to bed only to be woke up again by his alarms going off. Needless to say I didn't get hardly any sleep that night, I was hoping to get some more sleep once our nurse showed up at 9:00 but instead I got a call from the nursing agency around 8:00 saying our nurse was sick and would not be able to come that day, they said they would try to find a replacement, but I told them not to try because I knew I could just stay by his side that day. He was sick that day and was throwing up bile until about 3:30. I decided since I was taking in Isaiah to the Dr. take sure his ear infection was gone, that I would take in Luke and boy was I glad I did. The Dr. told me he had a ear infection and a very red throat, he also gave us a bit of wonderful advice about raising up his crib just 2 inches so that he would not spit out the bile anymore and wouldn't you know it worked.

The best part of the day on Thursday was when the girls brought in the mail, I was wonderfully surprised to find a check from someone who is very dear to us for $20,000. I couldn't stop crying, but this time it was from the joy of the Lord. It is interesting to Gordy and I that when you give how much the Lord will bless you. We had recently helped out a friend in need with $200 and wouldn't you know the Lord blessed us with 100 times the amount we had given away. This person said that they were blessed beyond what they needed and they just wanted to see Luke get the best care he could get, so now we have enough money for many HBOT treatments. We just need to know when the best time to start them will be.

This is way to long already, but I want to let you know that the swallow gram did not go very well. They had told us not to put anything in to his mouth yet so we hadn't done that. When we got there Luke was still not feeling well and was very tired and then he was made to sit in a hard chair, he hates to sit up. He kept covering his trach and was stressed and then the lady doing the test put a thick substance like baby cereal in his mouth, he didn't know what to do with it, she also tried to get him to suck a bottle but once again he just wasn't cooperating. I left there very discouraged, she told us to try to start get him to swallow little amounts of liquid and they would perform the test again in 2 or 3 months. Thank you for all your prayers I know that God heard them but it just wasn't his timing to have Luke pass this test.

Thank you again for all your prayers and support, you are all wonderful people.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Luke's Mommy dropping by with a special request!

Hi, I know many of you are amazed to hear from me. I want you all to know that I just don't have the energy to write often, but I always check the blog a few times a day and am always encouraged to hear from you. I can't even begin to thank each of you for all the prayers that you've sent up to God for us, I know they are being heard!

I have a special request for you: This Friday November 5th at 1:00 p.m. we are taking Luke in for another Swallow test. This will be very important because it will tell the Dr.'s if he is able to swallow and if he can handle eating once again through his mouth. We know that he is swallowing we see it each day, so we are praying that God will allow Him to swallow and that he will swallow it down to his stomach and not aspirate any of it into his lungs. Also on the next Friday the 12th he will be going in for a change on his J-tube. He currently eats 18 hours a day through a tube that goes straight into his lower intestine and completely by passes his stomach. I really believe that a mistake was made in the Hospital because we were told he was going to have a J-G tube which allow him to eat both into the lower intestine and into his stomach, needless to say they will be changing it to a J-G tube on the 12th. We have been told this is a very easy procedure so we are praying that all will go well without a hitch.

One last request I have for all of you is we are calling all prayer warriors to come beside us and do some spiritual warfare with us. If you would like to be a part of a special prayer team we are asking you to e-mail us at howslukedoing@yahoo.com and we will put you on our team of prayer warriors. We know according to the word of God that the devil comes to kill, steal and destroy, but God has come that we can have life and have it more abundantly. We are in need of some mighty prayer warriors to come beside us and lift us up. Please pray about it and let us know if you feel that the Lord would like to use you in this way.

Once again words can't even begin to express my gratitude at your out pouring of love, concern and prayers for our family. May you all be blessed with abundant life!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue