06.25.13 | | Comments
Medical update: It's been over two weeks since my last post but even though it seems quiet there's been a lot going on underneath. My recovery continues to go well. All the doctors and visiting nurses tell me things are good - the VAD is working as it should, the outboard gear is fine (which is good because if an alarm were to go off, I would go off). The bloodwork and other tests they do several times a week show my heart and kidneys are functioning well. I can walk further and don't have any respiratory issues and last Thursday I had a major accomplishment...I walked up the stairs to the second floor of our house. I realize that may not sound like much but the surgery was only eight weeks ago and I've been home six weeks. There are 14 steps, each with a 9" rise. So, accomplishing that is a big accomplishment.
On the downside, measuring those accomplishments is difficult. That was a specific goal and I met it. But most days the improvements are very subtle. Sometimes it's three steps forward, one back. Other times it's only one step forward and three back. That's hard to navigate; before the surgery I just assumed the progress would be slow but steady. Measureable. Something I could feel. Well, it is. But on a much broader scale. Two weeks ago I couldn't walk as far or get up the stairs; now I can. So, instead of looking at the micro view I need to widen my lens and look at the macro view. Then I can definitely see progress, even if it seems elusive day to day. And I'm learning that recovery from something as major as open heart surgery is as much a mental process as it is a spiritual one.
As always, thank you for your ongoing prayer support. This phase of the process isn't as dramatic as it was, say, in December, but your prayers are still both needed and greatly appreciated. Thank you again.
Other news: A number of people have emailed asking about the book. Here are some more details. I've been writing for years and blogging for the last five. I've also kept legal pads full of notes from the last year, things I haven't published on the blogs. So, the purpose of the book is two-fold: first, to offer readers, their families and friends and loved ones, a kind of guide through the different aspects of this type of experience. I know before any of this began in 2009 and as we faced each new challenge I had no experience or context to put it in. Hopefully the book will help allay some of those fears and provide thoughtful encouragement (along with some humor) to readers.
The second goal is to offer deeper insight into some of the specific areas of life that we struggle with - physically, mentally and spiritually. What are things that confuse us, that inhibit us, that influence us and how do we make sense of it all in a crazy, complex world. It will include some earlier blog postings, original prayers and song lyrics and select scriptures. It will be readable, encouraging and challenging. There's more work to be done on the manuscript but the first few chapters are already being edited.
One change regarding funding of the project. After a lot of thought and prayer, I have decided NOT to use Kickstarter as a funding vehicle. This isn't just because they've had a few negative stories in recent news cycles and I believe they provide a helpful and needed service to many writers and artists. But the more I looked into it, there are some aspects of their procedures that make me uncomfortable. Plus, it's possible - not likely but possible - that people might feel obligated to give and that's the last thing I want. So it will be direct-funded by people who wish to donate to see the project come to fruition. I can't offer a tax receipt - despite some appearances I'm not a non-profit corporation - but I'll make sure people who support the project get discounted books or something.
I'll post specific contact information next week. And again, no pressure from me to get involved. You've already been involved by reading the blog and praying. But pray about it. I believe God's given us a story to tell but this isn't really about me - it's about Him. Thanks.