Some nights, like tonight, I want to snuggle down with blankets, close my eyes and go back to normal, ordinary, even mundane life. Anyone who is walking through heartache, personal struggles, a difficult medical diagnosis or a tough life chapter knows this feeling. But despite being weary, we have strength. It’s a surreal feeling. Nathan said tonight, “Do you feel like we’re still here and this is real?” The feelings are difficult to explain but despite numbness and frustration, we have more faith and hope than we had yesterday and the day before that from the progress and little miracles we see in our son, Hunter but also in the people who surround us, near and far, those we know and do not know.
I asked Hunter tonight if there is anything he would like to share in this update. He said, “I don’t think I have any words of wisdom tonight.” Nathan said, “It doesn’t have to be wise.”
Then Hunter paused and said, “When we serve God, there’s always a chance.”
No matter the path ahead for you this week, month or year, when you serve God, you have a chance to accomplish your goal, overcome the obstacle, grow from a greater purpose or calling put upon you and love others more than you love yourself.
As Hunter has learned the extent of his spinal cord injury he has started talking about it in sports analogies. He said, “It’s like saying I want to win a gold medal in the sport of cricket. But I don’t know the rules of the game of cricket!” There is a lot of preparation and training that goes into accomplishing big goals. Nathan googled Olympic cricket, knowing Hunter had simply picked the most random sport he could think of and doesn’t know. Cricket made one Olympic appearance and only for men in 1900. But, the sport of cricket is surging in global popularity and set to make an Olympic return for men and women possibly in 2028 in Los Angeles. We told Hunter this and he smiled big and said, “So you’re saying I have some time!”
We’re grateful his sparkle and personality are coming back while working through pain and disappointment.
Today, Hunter was in the wheelchair again for PT and OT with alternating repositioning movements. For the first time, we got to show him a little of the beautiful hospital that has been our comfort for the past week-plus. My sister, brother-in-law and their three kids were with us as we walked the halls and we all got a few minutes of fresh air. When we returned back on the neuro floor, Hunter asked to walk him to the end of the hall and he wanted to roll himself. When we got back, he asked to do it one more time. Only this time, he played music on his phone and timed himself. He gave himself two minutes, was a little winded and said, “Tomorrow will be faster.”
When we serve God, there’s always a chance. Will there be down days, more setbacks and difficulties? Absolutely. But with God, we will persevere. You will persevere. Set a goal. Take a few small steps each day to accomplish it this year. We’re chasing after our goals now and they are different goals than we had just at Christmastime.
Medically, Hunter is stable. We learned from his medical team today about the x-rays he had yesterday and they look good. His spine alignment and hardware are all in place. The decompression of the spine is optimal for the spinal cord to heal. The neurosurgeon PA also added he believes we’re “out of the woods” on the spinal fluid leak. Now, we need time and rehab.
We’re anxious and excited for rehab to begin at Craig Hospital soon. Hunter will have up to six hours a day of rehab once he gets to Craig and wants it to be as focused as possible. That said, any visitors will need to contact Nathan or me to see if it’s possible. Mostly, we encourage and ask you to pray for the rehab and recovery journey and to visit Hunter back in North Dakota when we return later this spring.
When we have his new address we will share it here for notes of encouragement to be sent. For now, the best address to use is my sister’s family address in Greeley, Colo. posted in this group under announcements.
Specific prayer requests we have today:
Hunter needs healing of his surgery wound, lungs, and nerves.
Healing of his spinal cord
For a fellow patient, Todd Stoneberg, who is back in ICU and needs healing prayers so he also can get to Craig for his next steps of rehab
Our medical staff, we’ve been surrounded by emergency, anesthesia, neurotrauma, ICU, PT, OT, case managers, administration, chaplains, volunteers and more medical professionals who have touched our lives in a faith-based hospital.
Your prayers, generosity, comfort, care, kindness, checking in, showing up, filling in all the gaps in our everyday lives not only for Hunter but for all of our family and extended family and friends. Thank you.
When we serve God, there’s always a chance. We believe it and are experiencing it.