All the right equipment! (by a football Mom)

I miss my son, Trevor, like crazy.  He left for his first year of university in September and, although I know he’s exactly where he’s supposed to be, there is barely a moment that goes by that I’m not thinking about him and wondering how he’s doing.

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There is one thing, though, that I don’t miss about his absence and that is doing his football laundry!  Every night after practice a load had to go in – socks, under-armor, leg pads, pants, belt, jersey…And then there were the pieces that couldn’t go in the wash but definitely needed airing out – his cleats and shoulder pads, helmet and mouth guard, knee brace…

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I was thinking about all of that today as I read a couple of verses in Hebrews 13:

“May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him…” (verses 20-21)

It hit me that all Trevor’s football gear (sized and selected for the uniqueness of his body type, playing position, individual needs) equipped him for playing his best out there on the field.  Similarly, God has equipped ME with “everything good” for doing His will!  He has placed within me everything I need (my giftings, my personality, my life circumstances, my relationship with Him) for walking out the individual call He’s given me to be uniquely me in this world.

And, “HE (will) work in us what is pleasing to Him…”  His Holy Spirit within me – that Artesian Well of Living Water that flows out of my inmost being – will work in me and through me what pleases Him!

Wow, what an Amazing God – equipping us and empowering us to be and do what pleases Him!!  So, our only job today is to receive all He has given to us and remain wide open to His flow through us!  Look out world, here we come!!

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Deep Calls to Deep! Current For Women in Tulare, CA.

Tulare_C4W096f84After months and months of prayer and planning, we just completed our ninth Current for Women Weekend Away, this one in Tulare, CA at Tulare Community Church on September 27-28!  There were approximately 375 in attendance, including our team members, and we were all in awe at the sweet Presence of God from the very start!!

Deep Calls to Deep

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” Psalm 42:7
Pause.    Listen.    Receive.

We were delighted that, even before the official opening note at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night, many women were milling around the coffee and cookie bars, chatting excitedly while watching a team of aerialists doing stunts in the courtyard.  Many others had already entered the Meeting Room and were participating in the dozen or so prayer reflection stations – from the foot washing station, to exploring prayer postures, a Brokenness Mosaic station, Bowl of Tears, Sculpting the Psalms and Tree of Light journaling station – pausing, listening and receiving from God from the very beginning!

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The rest of the weekend was a continuous flow of worship from many expressions – aerial dance, worship music, lyrical dance and ballet, painting, real life women’s stories on video, teachings from the Word of God, opportunity to respond to God in prayer, receiving of Communion, and, best of all, unrushed time and safe space to meet individually, intimately with God our Father.

Even having seen God do this so many times before, our team was amazed and astounded by the movement of God’s Spirit in that place, as women – including each of us as team members – were indelibly imprinted with the overwhelming Love and Grace our Father has for each of us.   We will never be the same!

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One woman wrote: “I didn’t want to come actually, but my friend so generously bought me the ticket so I had to come.  And God, I cannot believe it!!  This is what I have been craving for.  God used you all to bring me happiness in worship and to fall in love deeply with God again.  I hunger for the Almighty.  Please keep these C4W’s going.  It will surely help restore many broken souls.”

The ladies wrote page after page of thoughts and prayers as they took the time to call out to their Father, their deep calling out to His Deep. And then they listened for what He might say to them, receiving it all, writing it all down in their journals and on their hearts.

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I was thrilled to once again labor with my friends from all over the country (some 68 team members) as we joined with Jesus in His work and in unity of spirit – as with one heart – we offered our gifts up to put his heart on display.The months of preparation were so worth it. We watched as women worshipped, prayed and took the time to listen to their Father’s voice. It was beautiful to see them truly connect with their God.

Women are longing for connection. We are, by nature, oriented toward relationship. It’s one of our “deep” parts that are made in our Creator’s “likeness”. But we are busy. Our lives are full and sometimes we get soul weary. I love these C4W weekends, when ladies can press the pause button and regain their physical, emotional and spiritual equilibrium.

That’s what I long for. It’s what I need. And it’s what my Father offers me freely as I come to Him. Forgiveness, Grace, Know-ness, Restoration, Acceptance, Joy and Peace. In a word, Relationship. I love it that He knows me and just what I need from Him. He is the Current.

The Path to Fulfilled Resolution

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More than a new resolution or self-help program or list or plan or religious zeal or…

What’s needed is a forgiveness, a cleansing, that is based on us being known and valued; on reality. That’s where God lives. That’s where He calls us to join Him in community. That’s where our former way dies, and a new life gets to be born. A new beginning can only start when we face the truth and accept His invitation to wholeness. Though not necessarily in that order. He doesn’t wait for us to change before embracing us. He embraces us first as we are, then walks with us down the Life-road, revealing us to ourselves along the way, straight into Holiness and wholeness of relationship. Mysterious stuff, yes, but completely understood by the heart longing for Home.

If we have a part, it is to speak of such things to the world.

“Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 MSG

A Gift for the Present

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“[An Event for Everyone] There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.’ At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: ‘Glory to God in the heavenly heights. Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.’” Luke 2:11-14 MSG

Good-bye. I hugged each one, whispering in each child’s ear that we loved them and would be back soon. I told Erin, the oldest, to call if anything came up she couldn’t handle. Turning to Trevor, then a 17-year-old 6’1”, 160 lb. wide-receiver, and our only son, I told him I loved him. Then I said, “ You’re the man of the house now. Look after this place, lock it up at night, and look out for your sisters. They’ll need you. Be patient with them and make them feel secure. I’ll be back soon. I’m proud of you son. It’ll be ok.” Of course there’s no way to know if it’ll be ok.

It’s just what a parent says to a child in times of crisis.

That drive to Mayo Clinic, starting with tears and us driving out of sight, my arm out the window with an “I love you” sign aimed back toward the house, ended 32 hours later as we pulled to the front of the Hilton Building at Mayo Clinic for Jill’s first appointment to test her blood. I think angels carried us, kept me awake and kept us between the white lines on the highway. One “angel” showed up in the form of our friend Bobby Downes, who flew into Vail, Colorado and took a 12 hour shift driving. A Godsend, as I don’t know how I could have kept going for the last leg of the trip.

We have blogged about our journey throughout the subsequent months. Honestly, some of the most difficult of our lives personally. We faced months of pain and fatigue, which challenged our trust and, at times, our hope for the future. It’s hard to put all that really transpired into words. But I think it’s the way life is, isn’t it? Life happens. Muscles get weaker over time because age happens. Body parts sag because gravity happens. Wrinkles get deeper… weight fluctuates… hair gets grayer… sleep eludes… because stress happens. We all face futures that are unknown, pages of our life-stories that have yet to be written. One of the great challenges of life isn’t just to avoid the subject or change the channel, habitually dull the pain or psychologically compartmentalize, creating an alternate reality in which to retreat, but to face the truth of our life situations with honesty. I have witnessed God’s presence in the moment, in the middle of my crisis and moments of weakness.

The angel appeared to the shepherds while they were out in their fields. They were going about their normal ordinary lives. God opened up into their normal moment a world-wide, history-changing event. He announced to them in their real-life, just-as-they-were moment, that He had arrived on the scene. And everything changed.

Referring to our past history as a place from which to gain perspective (although not to live in), and the future as a location to bring focus on our hopes and dreams, we look to the now as a space into which we surrender our story to God. We have found Him here in the field with our stinky sheep, in the middle of the night.

However the page of your personal life-story is reading at the moment, our prayer for you this Christmas Day is to invite the Saviour into your moment, into this chapter of your life as it is being penned right now.

Our Saviour is born. Vulnerably arriving on the scene in the barn out back, and mercifully bringing gifts of life in abundance, freedom from the imprint of shame and relationship restored. Rejoice! Celebrate! Our Saviour is here!

Merry Christmas!

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Left to Right: Aubrey, Jill, Geoff, Erin, Trevor and Allison

Rest in the Quiet – Jill Ludlow

It’s absolutely astounding to be sitting at my desk today, free from pain and full of hope and energy for the future.  I told my mom recently that I still have flashbacks from the couch where I spent almost 4 months this spring, barely able to function and so uncertain about the future…No one, besides my family, could ever really appreciate what a miracle it is that I am more than just functioning now – I’m thriving!!  I am deeply grateful to God for His grace and for the hundreds of family members and friends from across the world who surrounded me like an army with their prayers, their love, their encouragement and their support!  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being used so dynamically by the Lord in my life!

There were a number of times throughout the difficult spring when people would say, “I can’t wait to hear the teachings that will come out of these hardships!”  And I would think to myself, “What teachings?  I barely know how to process what’s happening to me?  I have nothing profound to say at all.  Only God knows what is going on right now.”  There were moments of doubt and questions and fear.  I found myself often whispering, “God, what do you want me to do?  I feel so weak and alone. How do I respond to what’s happening to me?”  And what I’d hear, over and over and over is, “Just rest.  I’ve got you.” Period.

Now that I’m on the other side, I’ve had time to reflect back with hindsight.  One thing I know – I feel very different inside.  There is a freshness, a deep-seated joy and rest that I have a hard time explaining.  It could be in part because of the great Hemoglobin numbers I’ve been getting the last 3 months – in the normal range for the first time in 7 years!!  (Amazing how your body feels when everything is getting oxygen!!)  It could also be because of the sheer hours of consistent sleep I’ve had over the last 9 months – a forced sabbatical, but a sabbatical nonetheless!!  However, this freshness and ease of soul is coming from beyond just those logical explanations.

I was asking God about it the other day.  Sweetly, He gave me a picture of a recurrent event in our home.  It seems I never use enough cooking spray when baking a big roast or a cheesy casserole; inevitably I have the same problem.  My dish is covered in baked-on goo that won’t come off, no matter how hard I scrub or how many SOS pads I use.  My last resort is always to fill the pan with water and let it soak overnight.  The next morning, a quick rinse in the sink, and off comes all the crud I couldn’t get off before with all my efforts.  As I reflected on this picture, I sensed the Lord whispering into my heart.  The last 9 months, during my medical crises, He was simultaneously soaking me in Him – His deep rest, His unchanging love, His secure grip on my life.  And despite zero effort on my part, I sensed Him saying that in some of those areas of my life where I’d been asking Him for change and working HARD for change for so long but just hadn’t seen breakthroughs – a good long soak in His Living Water took care of what my efforts couldn’t.

He’s got us. He says His yoke is easy and His burden light.  “Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest, relief, and ease, and refreshment, and recreation, and blessed quiet for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29, Amplified Bible)

A New Day

We got up at 3am, had the Suburban loaded by 4 and headed up Highway 99 to the Fresno International Airport, a trek we have made countless times over the years. I dropped Jill at the curb so she could get in line to check her bags while I headed off to short-term parking. When I found her again she was in line with her paperwork and ID, and chatting with a young business woman who was heading off to Denver. Within twenty minutes we had her suitcase checked and were standing at the beginning of the TSA line. A kiss, and a hug, and she was off.

No wheelchair, walker or cane.

After being scanned and clear through security she picked up her things, gave me a wave with an “I love you” sign, then turned and for the first time in almost a year, walked away from me while pulling her carry-on, and beside a slight shift in her walk, a subtle change in her gate, exactly like she’s done a hundred times before. I stood there and watched from the opposite side of the security glass doors, alone and very grateful. A few months ago we wondered if this would ever happen again. Well it is, for God’s pleasure and for a group of women in Pennsylvania this weekend. God has been with us. He is with us. The future is bright. We welcome it with open arms.

I turned to drive home in time to make breakfast for our two high school students and then help Allie with her English. All is normal, and we are not the same.

The Summer Summary – Geoff

When I was a kid, my family would take summer holidays to Prince Edward Island. Travelling mostly by car and some by ferry, we’d make the trek across the island and to the mainland in our station wagon loaded up with boys, bulging suitcases, bologna sandwiches and a mom (often my dad would stay home to work and fly in to join us for part of the time). The hours of driving would be a mix of laughter, endless games of “eye spy”, and the odd charlie horse. I have vivid memories of lying on top of the luggage in the back of the car and staring out the window at the sky or the countryside as it whirled by. Sometimes I’d stare at the clouds and find animals in the various shapes of cumulus, or catch sight of a bird flying and imagine myself joining her as she floated high above earth and all its…stuff.

One of my favourite things to do was to play visual games, like locking my focus on a tree in the distance ahead of us and keeping my eyes on it as it got closer and closer, raced by us, and then stay focused on it until it went out of sight far behind us. Electric poles were easier to stay connected with because they stood out more. Picket fences were the hardest to keep focus on at high speeds because the pickets were so close together they just blurred into what looked like waves. I could watch for hours.

This summer has been a blur.  Each day on its own held multiple challenges which, when added to other days and weeks and months, flowed together into a motion of conflict, resolve, relief, and healing. Here it is in broad strokes.

Our Great Blessing!   June 15 – July 28

Erin’s roommate during her freshman year at Azusa Pacific was Sylvia LePoidevin, a sweet, little blonde girl whose family are missionaries with Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in Mozambique. Because she needed to work during the summer to make money for her tuition, we invited her to stay with us from May through August. This really helped her gain the ground she needed financially but also set up an unexpected blessing for us. Her parents, along with her 17 year old brother and 2 year old sister, were coming back to the states in August for their oldest daughter’s wedding and decided to take additional furlough time to spend with Sylvia. They emailed us and asked if we knew of a cheap place to stay for the two months they were going to be in town. Clearly this was a no brainer for us. We were lamenting the fact that, because of Jill’s illness, we hadn’t been able to work with missionaries internationally this year. Now it was as though God was bringing them to us. We invited them to stay in our home! Friends and ministry partners pitched in and provided piles of food from Costco, a car seat, a portable crib, a high chair, even the loaning of a new car and gas cards for while they were here. We were blown away! Their stay was a direct answer to prayer! Our Father brought the nations to us!!  Directly in line with goals for overseas outreach! We were able to meet a very practical need (a much needed family time) for our MAF friends, but we believe we received the greater blessing.

For more info about Dave and Gerd LePoidevin and their ministry.

https://www.maf.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=578

July 6-8

We had special friends visit from Washington (Danielle Carter and her son Benjamin) and from Toronto (Jeremy and Lalitha Viinilaas with their kids Priya and Daniel). It was great to share with friends form many years back and notice that, though we had many changes in life, we were all still much the same, like no time had passed.

Though Jill was 30 lbs. lighter than a few months ago, her strength was increasing and so we thought we were ready to start with some “baby steps” back into ministry opportunities. We were asked to lead worship at our home church in Visalia, Neighborhood Church. It was amazing. Jill could actually sing from a stool and made it through the rehearsals and both morning services. She had very little shortness of breath as she had in the spring. It was awesome, but it left Jill WIPED out. It took days for her to recover. Lesson learned, but a great first step.

July 13  – Love

We celebrated 27 years of marriage! We are grateful for the love in our lives. We laugh about the ways we’ve changed. Right now Jill, unbelievably, is thinner than she was the day we married, and I am… less so.

July 14 – August 5  Back to “The Rock”

We went to Geoff’s home in Newfoundland to celebrate Geoff’s parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. Several of the grandkids sang for the 65 friends and family members at their party. It was particularly sweet because of the health journey we’ve been on, and we happened to be there in between Geoff’s mom’s surgery, cancer diagnosis and the start of chemo. We had the most time together with Geoff’s side of the family in several years. We laughed a lot, cried some and tried to have courage for the road ahead.

A milestone! Finally weaned off all pain meds!!!! By the time we left Newfoundland, she only needed antibiotics and blood thinners.

We also met with friends and church leaders to explore the possibilities for C4W coming to Newfoundland in the next year or two.

August 7  – Miracle blood!

Back in Visalia, we had our first doctor’s appointment and blood work done. The test results showed Jill’s hemoglobin levels to be the best they’ve been in 8 years!!  Also, the physical therapist said he sees tremendous improvement in Jill’s knee!!  Though she will likely have to settle for reduced flexibility, her leg is getting stronger and her therapists are showing her little ways to improve her walk and ways to take the stairs more than one step at a time.

August 12  A Milestone for Allison

In keeping with a Ludlow family tradition, we had friends join our family for a great celebration of Allison’s 13th birthday.  Several people shared encouraging stories, notes and anecdotes of Allie’s life, and we were amazed at how our little “surprise” 13 years ago has become a gift of great worth to our family and many people around the world. We love you Allie-girl!

It was a HUGE weekend, but Jill was not wiped out! Praise God! She felt like herself again!

August 15 – Trevor (Senior) and Aubrey (Freshman) started school at El Diamante High School and it felt like a fresh start for them and a time to “turn the page”. Allison started home school for her eighth and is already enjoying being our only home student.

August 18-20

Jill flew to Portland for a gathering of Klipple-Trenaunay Sydrome patients, a kind of support group for people with KT . She loved it. She was able to meet over 10 people with KTS and their families and was amazed at the diversity of symptoms. Her form of the KTS didn’t seem so bad compared many difficult conditions some live with. She was able to gather much medical information and gained a greater understanding of her own body’s condition. She loved getting to know some new friends and listening to their stories and getting to share her personal journey with several of them.

August 25

Erin left for school. Azusa Pacific is a wonderful place for her. But we really miss her.

August 26

We have had the month of August in mind as the time we’d be able to make decisions for the direction of ministry ops for the future. Jill’s healing has progressed beautifully and we believe we are ready to start planning for the future. Stay tuned. We’re very ready and believe the possibilities are endless!!

That’s the summer in a nutshell.

A New Spring in Her Step!

On Monday, our meetings with the cardiovascular doctor went well. He discussed the challenges, the options and the risks involved as we proceed with the plan of the how and when to remove the filters. We agreed that if Dr. Sim, our Orthopedic surgeon, concluded that Jill’s knee was in kneed (sorry) of any kind of invasive procedure that we should hold off for several weeks before removing the filters in Jill’s Iliac veins, in the off chance that more clots could form in her legs as a result of the procedure. If Dr. Sim decided that she was making good progress then we would go ahead and schedule the OR for Thursday morning to remove the filters.

On Wednesday, it was so good to see Dr. Sim and his team again. As he examined Jill and looked over her X-Rays he was very encouraged at her progress thus far. A man of great skill and few words said he was “very pleased!”. He told Jill that she should keep up with the PT she’s doing and to be patient. “Draw a smiley face on your knee. If that face is in pain, stop what you’re doing. Take it slow. You’ll get there.” As he left the Infectious Disease doctor came in and updated us on the bacteria cultures that were growing from the samples taken from Jill’s knee during surgery.  She confirmed that they are 99% sure there is no infection but that to be safe we should continue the antibiotic regimen for another two months. Whew!

So, all this meant we had a green light for surgery on Thursday morning. So we reported at 6:30 AM for pre-op prep. The outpatient operation went on, or off, I guess, without a hitch. By noon we were leaving the hospital with a renewed sense of hope and purpose. And ready to turn the page on this chapter.

There was a new spring in Jill’s hop-a-long step. She felt…free.

Mayo – Act IV Parts Inspection and Dump Filters (Geoff)

We’ve been counting the days! It’s been over six months since surgeons put two “filters” in Jill’s Iliac veins and as far as we know that have been working very well. The doctors made the decision that they wanted leave them in until her knee surgery and then after her first orthopedic post op check up in case they needed to do any more invasive procedures. This week we find out how her knee is really doing and if we can have the filters removed.

The flight was a new and great experience for Jill. Even though she still needed wheelchair assistance for the long distances for the check-in counter and the gate, she could stand and walk through the TSA security check. By doing so she got to forego the awesome experience of the “wheelchair pat down.” A very thorough experience, shall we say. But, she had very little pain and for the most part an uneventful trip.

It was hard leaving the kids again. Though they are all grown up and capable young adults, there are still in need of their parents. I think. It’s going to be an eventful week with some challenges for them. A few days before we left, Erin was diagnosed with Mononucleosis and has spent several days in a pretty much bed ridden state. Trevor and Aubrey are immersed in football, volleyball and dance practices. Allison is trying to fly under the radar and just have fun with friends. Sylvia, Erin’s roommate from college who is living with us is busy with her three jobs. She is also getting ready for her parents, with her baby sister and brother who are missionaries in Mozambique, to come and live with us for the next six weeks as well. Crazy times. We are really hoping that this week is uneventful and we can get back home on schedule. Please God.

 

A Mudder Note

As we pulled into our friend’s home town, Byron, MN we stopped to call my folks to check in on my mom (Mudder). She had her knee replaced about a month ago and was progressing fine until this weekend when she started having stomach pain. At first she thought she’d just overdone it in her PT sessions during the week. However, as the weekend progressed so did the pain. On Monday the doctors ordered a CT Scan of her lower abdomen to see if anything showed up. Once my dad got on the phone, he could hear in the seriousness in his voice that something wasn’t right. His dad said, “Well, it’s not good. She has a tumor around her ovaries. It’s big and has tentacles. The doctors took a biopsy and they say it’s cancer. And it’s at stage three.” In the space of about 30 seconds everything changed…again. He continued on with details about the doctor and how they think they’ll proceed with more tests, a colonoscopy and chemotherapy. But as I listened, my mom’s life, at least the part that I’ve known, flashed before my eyes. I thought of all that she has selflessly given to others over her lifetime and how now she’s in such need for help herself. I felt helpless.

So much of life is beyond our control.  All of life is within his control.  Again, we trust.

The Recovery Dance

How to best describe the past few weeks of recovery? “Two steps forward, one step back.” The post surgery healing process can be that way.  Jill has made great progress and we are so encouraged. Yet, the fact that she is not the same person physically is not lost on us. One area of frustration has come from starting to feel better but not being able to make her body do the things she wants. Physical Therapy (PT) several times a week along with several hours per day on a Constant Passive Motion machine (CPM) is slowly loosening the muscles and ligaments around her knee. Sometimes, likely because she gets impatient, she pushes too hard and her knee swells and gets inflamed. This requires her to increase the pain meds again which increases the side effects and makes her feel like the process is being prolonged.

Her therapists are amazing, patient and tenacious people, and are so encouraging to her. One day she started the PT session weak, tired and sore. Even before I gave them the “heads up” by saying “This is a weepy day”, as I sometimes do, they read Jill from across the room, comforting her by being sure she has enough tissues at hand.  Sometimes I wonder if healthcare workers that get to deal with people like us understand how valuable they are to patients and their families just by being considerate like that. We feel very fortunate. A great day happened about 2 weeks after surgery when Kevin, Jill’s primary Physical Therapist looked at her and said, ” I think we can lose the walker and start just using the cane!” Music to Jill’s ears! She walked in with the walker and walked out with a cane. Liberation!

One of the surgeons’ concerns was that she wouldn’t be able to get her knee straight but that came pretty quickly, as she gently worked the muscles and adds pressure to the joint to get it flat. While in surgery they were able to get her knee to bend at a 90 degree angle but we have since found that her thigh muscles especially her “quads” have atrophied a little and it will take regular exercise and therapy to get it back. But the doctors say that much of what will help Jill the most will be getting her normal, functional routine back. Oddly, housework and cooking will act as good PT and exercise as well as help her emotionally because it will give her the sense that she is back to her old self again. I’ve volunteered to not pick up after myself more or just sit around so she has more to do. You know, I’d hate to get in the way of her progressing medically or emotionally. She didn’t go for it. I was worth a shot.

The day we went to our local Visalia doctor to get her staples removed for her knee (all 41 of them) was a great day and we have been amazed at the way the incision was healing. The scar is a very fine line on her leg. Some very impressive knife work there. I’m a highly skilled poultry carver so I appreciate the line made by a steady hand.  It’s possible you could look at Jill’s leg and at a glance, not even notice the incision. When the staples were all out Jill said she felt, “Free!”

The next thing the doctors want to do is to slowly start weaning her off most of her medications. Her body has gotten used to the dosage of pain meds she’s needed so as her need lessens we will begin to reduce them. So far so good. The hope is that as she gets off meds, especially those pain, her appetite will return. Her weight is still down and we continue to try most any high caloric healthy foods. We really think she’ll start gaining soon.

So the dance goes on. We’ve discovered that with the two steps forward, one step back routine, if you add a little side to side movement and move your hips a little, it’s a little more fun.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!