After having a stroke on March 19 I spent 4 days in ICU and another 12 days in a Rehab hospital. Once I was released from the hospital, I started outpatient rehab at another nearby center twice a week for the entire month of April. My therapists told me I made great progress and regained much of my left-side-of-the-body strength and mobility, but I wasn’t satisfied. They said I was 80-90% restored, but I had asked the Lord for 110%. True restoration not only recovers what the devil stoled, but more than what you had before, not only physically but in other ways as well. Trials are a part of life, and they should make you better, stronger, and wiser.
Once I completed my rehab at the facility at the end of April, I continued rehab at home in May. You might be wondering what rehab consists of. For me, It covers three areas of therapy:
- Physical therapy: I do a list of 14 exercises to strengthen the left side of my body including balance and mobility, with two reps each about 3 times per week.
- Occupational therapy: I do several left hand and finger exercises such as turning coins over on a table in order to regain my motor skills 3 times per week.
- Speech therapy: I do some facial exercises along with speech repetition of various difficult phrases to loosen my left side facial muscles and mouth, which also loosens the brain, believe it or not.
The Lord has greatly helped me to stay with it, especially during challenging periods within this season of demonic attack.
The month of May marked the completion of another month of therapy and even though I’m doing well, I intend to continue through most of the summer. I’m doing all this while still doing a lot of reading, writing, and praying as well as maintaining my home responsibilities, the most important of which is caring for Carolyn, although at this writing she is not here (more on her in a moment). However, for me the most critical element of all this therapy is getting sufficient rest and sleep because my brain is still healing.
We will run our race, finish our course, fulfill our calling, and be back ministering soon.
Here’s a little more background on Carolyn’s situation for those who do not know. On May 8 Carolyn had outpatient surgery to remove a low grade sarcoma from her left calf (about a 90 minute surgery) . A few days later the pathological findings discovered that the low grade sarcoma had become more aggressive and was now a grade 2 and even 3, and there were more of these cells that remained in her calf area. In other words, the surgeon didn’t get all of it, so he went back in and did a similar second surgery a week later on May 14, hoping he got all of it this time before scheduling reconstructive surgery (plastic surgery) for May 21.
As they began the third surgery they found a little more of those damnable lingering higher grade sarcoma cells and for the first 20 minutes they removed those before moving on to the reconstructive part, which took another 5+ hours. The reconstruction consisted of taking skin grafts from the upper part of Carolyn’s left leg and filling in the hole in her calf. Ouch! It hurts me just to write all this. I must say that Carolyn has been a trooper throughout this entire ordeal and God’s abundant grace and the effectual prayers of faithful, loving friends have sustained her.
Presently she’s in a hospital 90 minutes north of here recovering and beginning a little of her own therapy. Today is her 12th day there. We just got news today that she will be transferred to a rehab facility probably in Concord, NH, which is much closer to home (about 45 minutes), so hopefully, if they allow visitors, I will be able to visit her, because she could be there as long as two weeks [ I just called that facility and the no visitor policy is still in place )-: ]
The surgeon told us from the beginning she would not be able to stand for the first two weeks of her recovery. She’s almost at that point. The recovery from this type of surgery is a very delicate process and much caution must be exercised to avoid tearing the skin, causing any drainage, or a lack of proper blood flow to the calf which could result in a setback, or God forbid, even more surgery to mend it. She is just now beginning to use the bathroom with assistance, which is a huge step forward. She is healing and improving by the day. I sure do miss her and it gets awful lonesome around here at home, but the Lord has provided great company and fellowship in this season of prayer and reflection.
Great news, though! It’s all temporary and it all shall pass. Our beloved son Daniel will be coming home for a lengthy stay and we’ll soon be together and reunited as a family. I can hardly wait.
Our little family will all be together soon.
One note: Daniel who has God-given dreams like his Momma, dreamt some time ago that the devil was going to try and kill both his parents. He made intercession for the situation before he knew anything about it. Praise the Lord!
Finally, we cannot give enough thanks for the outpouring of love, support, and goodness we’ve received from dear friends. From the heart-felt prayers, the long phone calls from a few trusted friends who were privy to the many secret struggles we were enduring, to the groceries and meals some brought to our home, and the flowers Carolyn received in the hospital this week. We’ve always appreciated the body of Christ, but not quite as much as we do now. We need one another.
They say every test produces a testimony. Well, we have a testimony to tell for the glory of God. In time we will tell more of it and see an increase of God’s wisdom and the anointing as we tell it.
Abundant grace and multiplied peace to those who are presently facing divers trials and temptations. We pray for you, and will leave you with these scriptures that have become anchors to my own soul to encourage you:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).
“…He is faithful Who has promised! (Heb. 11:11)!
Warm Jesus love to you all,
Bert and Carolyn
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