Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Carol Home Day 3, final blog

Hello dear friends, this is Carol writing.  I am so incredibly humbled by how many people have been praying for us throughout this ordeal.  We have felt surrounded by God's love and by the love of our church family, both local and far-flung.  Thank you all for lifting us up, and for all the encouragement you have given us.  I have loved receiving your letters and your notes and blog comments.
God's hand has been so evident in this trial.  When I awoke from the coma, I was certain I was dying.  All my many doctors call me the miracle patient, and when I went to my family doctor today for a check up he told me I was a celebrity at his practice for having survived such a packet of illnesses.  Thank you, Lord, for your gracious healing, and thank you, friends, for caring enough to pray for me!
I am still fragile and fatigued, but it is wonderful to be home and I do feel a few muscle cells growing again in my arms and legs.  Maybe in a few months I'll be able to do a push-up again!
I don't have enough words to describe the gratitude I have for how you have all sustained us these last weeks.  I hope you can hear my heart in my words.
Our days are numbered and in the caring Sovereignty of God Himself. How well I know this. Being offered more days to live, I cannot live for myself.  All that I (we) do must be done for the Glory of the Lord Jesus.  Colossians 3:17  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
With love, Carol

Carol Home Day 3, final blog

Hello dear friends, this is Carol writing.  I am so incredibly humbled by how many people have been praying for us throughout this ordeal.  We have felt surrounded by God's love and by the love of our church family, both local and far-flung.  Thank you all for lifting us up, and for all the encouragement you have given us.  I have loved receiving your letters and your notes and blog comments.
God's hand has been so evident in this trial.  When I awoke from the coma, I was certain I was dying.  All my many doctors call me the miracle patient, and when I went to my family doctor today for a check up he told me I was a celebrity at his practice for having survived such a packet of illnesses.  Thank you, Lord, for your gracious healing, and thank you, friends, for caring enough to pray for me!
I am still fragile and fatigued, but it is wonderful to be home and I do feel a few muscle cells growing again in my arms and legs.  Maybe in a few months I'll be able to do a push-up again!
I don't have enough words to describe the gratitude I have for how you have all sustained us these last weeks.  I hope you can hear my heart in my words.
Our days are numbered and in the caring Sovereignty of God Himself. How well I know this. Being offered more days to live, I cannot live for myself.  All that I (we) do must be done for the Glory of the Lord Jesus.  Colossians 3:17  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
With love, Carol

Monday, February 27, 2012

Carol Home Day 2

Life can be back to normal so amazing quickly with the Lord's help and strength.  Psalm 28:7  The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.  Carol skyped her family in England and then she slept most of the day.  As the brain swelling keeps diminishing, we daily see Carol's speech improve.  Very exciting. 
In Carol fashion, after breakfast with the girls, Carol gets up to help clean up. I say to her: What are you doing? Cleaning. You have been cleaning up for a month while I was gone. I need to do some.  I told Carol: You must be kidding. Go lie down Woman and rest.  (reluctantly she submitted :)
But at dinner tonight Carol returned to one of her favorite roles, reading to the girls during the meal. Now she is writing thank you cards, but she's wearing down quickly.
There was such a sense of relief in all of us to have Carol home last night. Everyone slept very well b/c we all relaxed from the stress of the past month. Thank you Jesus.
Since Carol's family in England are not as familiar with homeschooling, I've include a photo of one of our homeschool coop classes, called Classical Conversations (Teah and Siena's grammar class) that meets at our church. There are multiple other classes happening too for all ages.
Tomorrow Carol meets with our Dr. Combs for a check up and then Physical Therapy starts!  So, I think it is about time for the blog to end after tomorrow's entry.
Letters continue to pour in for Carol and so our hearts are full.  Thank you all for sharing in the joy of our family, Pastor Craig

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Carol Day 29, Coming Home

Carol is home!  What seemed impossible 20 days ago is a sweet reality. She's a  bit wobbly but can make it around the house and up and down the stairs. Thank you Lord Jesus! Isaiah 54:8 With everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you," says the LORD your Redeemer.
All the girls just sat with Carol on the stairs and talked and talked and talked and talked. It was a blessing.
But the BIGGER NEWS...I dropped Carol and the girls off at home, then ran to the pharmacy to fill a prescription for Carol.
When I returned 30 min later, Carol tells me: Sofie (age 7) and Laili (11 years old) have exciting news.  Tell Daddy your news Sofie.
Sofie: I trust Jesus as my Savior right now.
Me: What? Wow! Wonderful Sofie! I am so happy.  So, what made you place your faith in Jesus today, now?
Sofie: Jesus die for my sin and Jesus brought my momma back home.
And so, today I and our family prayed with Laili and Sofie to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! 
The miracles do not cease with the Lord.  Our family's crisis with Carol will be forever linked with the eternal salvation of 2 daughters!
Thank you all for standing with us in prayer and encouragement.  This day of having Carol home was fought with prayer and tears, love and unity.
I feel that our family took a few small steps of faith and God made the footstep heard around the world, for His Glory and to let people know that Jesus is real and is personally involved in lives, Pastor Craig
 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Carol Day 28

(Photos: Our daughters laying hands on Carol and praying for her; girls with a friend) Carol was proud of her muscles today! There is visible improvement and all the girls complimented Carol too when she flexed. 
We were glad to be outside in the beautiful sun just enjoying visiting with Momma  today. 
Part of the blessing God has brought out of this crisis is the spiritual development in all of our girls. Teah and Siena (age 11, twins) are praying with more maturity and focus than before and even our youngest, Sofie, age 7, continually gives glory to God for His healing of Momma. 
I know what the Apostle John meant when he said, 3Jn 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the Bible's truth. 
It has been a long month of emotions and daily driving. I was pretty excited today thinking that in another day, I'll have regained 4+ hours of my day (2 hours of driving and 2 hours of visiting, & some homeschooling).  Carol will obviously not take on full homeschool duties and she cannot yet drive, so I'll still be available to help, but now I get to return a significant portion of my focus to our sweet church and to missions (rescheduling my Haiti team outreach, and going to encourage the church in Turkey).
Thank you for all who have kept us strong by walking with us in the truth and by being dear friends, Pastor Craig

Friday, February 24, 2012

Carol Day 27

(Photos of Carol's therapy today: practice getting in/out of the car, practice stepping off a curb) Well, I passed my qualification to be Carol's in-home help. Getting in and out of the  car is fairly easy for her, but the curb step was a challenge.  However, Carol did walk around the Rehab facility unaided, so she is really improving on the basics.
4 days ago I felt Carol's muscles and there was only the faintest touch of muscle fibers. I told Carol it reminded me of when I first met her 22 years ago--Carol could not do one pushup (that's right, not one). The average Brit is apparently not known for their upper body strength.  
But today there was a positive bicep and a whisp of a tricep!  Carol's muscles are returning.
So, Sunday Carol is coming home and then we have therapies set up for the next month. The Neurologist today said Carol will need an eye exam and then have to pass a DMV driving test before she is permitted to drive again b/c her depth of perception is off.
But there were smiles all around today because Carol is coming home in 2 DAYS! Pastor Craig
 
 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Carol Day 26

(Photos are of today's visitors) Carol's meeting with the Dr and therapists started 30 min ahead of plan, so when the girls and I got to the Rehab center and found Carol in the meeting with 15 specialists, the meeting was winding down. Everyone agrees that Carol will be home this Sunday after church. They are even fine with Carol walking up and down our stairs by herself, as long as she holds the railing.
Tomorrow the therapists want me with them so that I can see exercises that I will do with Carol at home.  So there will be a few hours of training for Carol and me tomorrow.  For the next month Carol will need all 3 therapies three days a week, right in Temecula though.
You can tell Carol is more herself today and ready to come home: she was in Homeschool Mom mode, asking the girls about anatomy questions, French, history essay, Shakespeare drama, etc.  I can just see Carol next week with all the girls around her on her bed while she reads and asks comprehension questions.  And yes, the Dr. did mandate breaks for Carol during morning and afternoon to let her rest.  But therapists and Dr seem happy to let Carol do as much as she desires next week.
Spiritually, Carol is doing well. I had a full day yesterday of squabbling, selfish pre-teens and was worn out when I phoned Carol last night. Carol sweetly prayed for me.  Still had squabbling, selfish pre-teens this morning, but I was feeling better :)
I'm continuing to squeeze sermon prep on the Gospel of Luke into the brief openings of the day. This intermittent Bible study brings such refreshment that it is like fortified mini-meals throughout the day.  And the Book of Isaiah continues to steady my heart and mind and spirit over this month. Isaiah 26:4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. -Pastor Craig

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Carol, Day 25

Carol was overwhelmed by the amount of cards she received. I left them unopened so that she could enjoy them tonight. 
Before we left, I asked Carol if we could take a photo of her showing some of her improvement and Carol said: Let's stand up! 
I just got off the phone with Carol this evening and her speech is really improving. Carol cannot form a "b" or "p" sound since the coma but tonight there was a good advancement.
One of Carol's Occupational Therapies yesterday was reaching up into a cupboard and taking down spice and herb bottles, getting the muscles adjusted to cooking practice.
Another was getting laundry out of a dryer. She had to reach in the dryer, grab a towel, fold it and place it on a table.  Carol said: Why do I need to practice this? This is my husband's job!  :) 
While I snuggled with Sofie tonight, our little 7 year old Sofie was processing Momma coming home.  Sofie asked me: Is Momma going to sleep upstairs?  Yes.  Is Momma going to sleep in her bed?  Yes.  Is Momma going to sleep in the bed with Daddy?  Yes.  Momma and Daddy sleeping in the bed upstairs? Yes.  Good.  
How precious.   Thank you for your continued prayers, financial support, encouragement, dinners, love, Pastor Craig

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Carol Day 24

Carol had 5 separate visitors today. This was clearly encouraging for Carol. A few dozen cards arrived in the mail today for her also. Thank you!! And Carol is reading her novel regularly now. The music in her head has gone. Her body is stronger daily. She has lost 15 pounds and is at 113lb now, but Carol does eat well. We are talking with the Dr about high protien diet for muscle strength.  She cannot still get around very much without assistance, but she can do some walking on her own.  
Our daughters were really encouraged by Carol's progress and attitude today. Siena said: Momma is REALLY doing well today. She seems like our Momma.
Those who visited Carol today say she is as she always has been, lovely, concerned for them, wanting to hear what is happening in their lives.  That's my Carol, Pastor Craig 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Carol, Day 23

Carol can smile again, at least on the right side. Her eyes have a yellow ring around the pupil that is only present when she is happy. There was a yellow ring today :)  We love getting into bed with Carol and putting our arms around her and talking.  (Actually, I fell asleep on Carol's lap while the girls were sharing about their day at the beach--school holiday today!)
Many of your cards have come in the physical mail these past days and I've taken them to Carol. These have touched her deeply. Thank you.  We continue to be stunned by how God placed Carol so deeply on people's hearts for prayer. So many people have never met Carol but God's Holy Spirit used Carol's story to awaken many people's spiritual lives.  
Our role: struggle through a challenge.  God's role: glorify His Name and bring blessing to people.
Today a friend wrote a card to Carol letting us know that 4 people had placed their faith in Jesus through following Carol's story and miracle. 
I'm gathering courage to look at my blog from the first week so that I can incorporate it into a sermon on how God has been so real, personal, and loving through this trial, Pastor Craig
 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Carol, Day 22

Today was a rest day for Carol, no therapy. We had a sweet hour or so with my lovely just chatting and hugging. We have been married for 22 years this year and I still thrill at her hugs.  Carol is greatly encouraged by our church praying for her and everyone's cards that have arrived in the past few day. Thank you for sending the physical cards. For an English woman there is nothing that suprasses the handwritten note. 
I was so excited about 2 things today.  (1) the faintest feel of muscle is in Carol's arms and legs. They are not jello anymore. (2) yesterday after we left, Carol had an hour of Physical Therapy outside and she walked up and down 5 steps unassisted and then walked around a fountain at the center, again unassisted.  I did not even know she was standing more than a few seconds. So, yesterday the sweet Lord Jesus answer more of our prayers and greatly strengthened Carol, Pastor Craig 

Carol Day 21, Saturday

The Mom in Carol is desperate to be home with her little ones.  But Carol's spirits were a little brighter today. Right away she lifted her left eyelid all the way up (a first!), though it would not stay up. Still, this was greatly encouraging to Carol.  And I was encouraged to feel some muscle in her legs for the first time.  The Therapists and Doctor keep saying Carol is doing well and this week should be rapid progression.  We are thankful to Jesus for never leaving Carol and for strengthening Carol's body and thankful for the therapists for their knowledge and encouragement.
However at this point, Carol still cannot stand at a sink and brush her teeth. Her legs give out.  Carol cannot sit in a wheelchair for 2 hours yet.  Her ab and back muscles are not strong enough.  But those are exercises she is working on daily.  Our goal is to have Carol home and using a wheelchair and walker.
On a chart in front of Carol's bed, written in large handwriting: Discharge day, this next Sunday! -Pastor Craig

Friday, February 17, 2012

Carol, Day 20

For those who wondered when I would hit a wall, it happened today. Several people commented that I looked "frazzled." Carol's travails, 20 days of driving, homeschooling, life, homeschooling (!how do you mom's do it!), church, bickering pre-teens, happy huggy pre-teens, bike rides, GCM missions admin, etc, finally got to me. 
Then when we saw Carol so discouraged and exhausted today, it took the stuffing out. We were able to encourage Carol in her Physical Therapy this afternoon (see photo).  But when I kissed her and told her she was my beautiful wife, the look in her eye said otherwise. So, we continue to pray for encouragement.Heb 3:13 Encourage one another daily.
I am amazed at how rapidly her muscles atrophied. 13 days of no exercise made her muscles like water.  There is basically nothing there. Carol is starting over from scratch rebuilding her muscles. Thank Jesus that her mind/body connection is fully functioning (except for the facial issues). This is helping Carol gain great ground daily in physical strength.
Carol did ask to see a book of the blog reports (a book was given to me at church by Laurie Durling last Sunday). I recommended that Carol not see it earlier b/c I don't remember all I blogged but know it is emotional and wasn't sure Carol was ready.  She did thank me for withholding it but today she said she is ready to read what she (and we) went through.  I still weep in the mornings in my time with the Lord as the  deep pain continues to surface. I get a small glimmer of how God the Father endured the pain of His Son Jesus on the Cross for our sins, though He knew the outcome would be life.  The pain of the crisis is not erased despite the joy of the outcome.
 
I've been taking your blog comments to Carol each day and she is so encouraged. Thank you for all who have sent love gifts to help financially. Most of you we do not even know. How truly unified is the Family of God through faith in Jesus Christ and how encouraging to walk together with brothers and sisters, Pastor Craig  
 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Carol, Day 19

Carol continues to have more energy but she has very little muscle. Today the girls and I watched Carol climb one step and then down, then up and then down. Carol is clearly humbled by her physical inability but her attitude is wonderful and she gets on with her therapy. Looks like the Dr and therapist insist on another week there but then they feel confident Carol can come home and with a walker, she can get around the house.  The in-patient therapy cost $2500 a day, so Carol and I continue to evaluate need and progress. Thankfully our insurance covers 70%. So, we'll just tag this on to the Lord's $390,000 ICU bill :) 
It was sweet and satisfying to climb into bed with Carol as a family today. Our daily visits to Carol are a blessing to her and to us all. Mt 11:4-6 Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the one who does not fall away on account of me."  -Pastor Craig

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Carol update, Day 18, Feb 15

Carol could not get enough hugs today. The photo is our Laili with Carol. Carol does not look as happy in the photos as she was. Her facial muscles do not allow her to smile properly, and Carol is very exhausted. But every daughter had 2 turns in bed with Momma giving and getting hugs. I had my turn too :)
Carol was able to raise her left eyelid today on her own. She was thrilled. She cannot keep it raised yet but the muscle is building. Keep praying please!
Unfortunately, when I phoned Carol this morning she could not hear me. It was not until she put the phone to the other ear that we realized Carol cannot hear anything from her left ear. So, we were able to alert the Dr and see what can be done.
Hard to believe that just 20 days ago Carol did bootcamp and kickboxing and weights 3x a week plus daily home exercise. Now, it was a huge success today for Carol to stand at the sink and brush her teeth, and to sit at the edge of her bed and balance. 
 
On the homefront, I'm up at 5am and working on Sunday's sermon, the girls get up about 6ish, breakfast and Bible at 7am and then they play and dress while I have a short workout. Start homeschool at 8am sharp (as Carol always did) and we review all our subjects, then focus on Math and Reading and Science. Around 10am all the girls and I drive down to see Carol and I do French conversation in the car with Teah and Siena.  Then back after our visit and have lunch at home and then there is piano or children's Awana at church or music theory or more school or...
It is still a great blessing to receive dinners. (Thank you!) I love sitting around the table for dinner with my daughters. Lots of laughing and crude kid humor. Then flashlight tag or uno and bed at 7:30pm. Snuggles with each one takes us to after 8am. Then blog and sermon, then collapse.
 
Tomorrow morning the 3 therapists meet with Carol's Dr. for the first time and we will get their united assessment. Probably they will want Carol another week or so to stay in-patient rehab, since Carol will get the most therapy in that way (out-patient therapy has a max of 1 1/2 hours a day, but in-patient has a 3 hr max). Each therapist is very positive about Carol's recovery and daily increase in strength and mobility. Carol will probably call a halt sometime next week and insist on being home, I predict. 
For now, we are thankful to the Lord for ALL He has done for Carol, in our own family, and in our church family, Pastor Craig

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Carol Day 17, Rehab day 1

Big day for Carol! Carol arrived in the San Diego Rehab facility at 10pm last night and was ready to go to work this morning. When the girls and I walked in, Carol grabbed my arm and first thing she said was: My eyelid is raising!  She was visibly excited and encouraged.  So, thank you for praying specifically for that.  The therapist has given Carol exercises specifically for her eyelid. Carol has 1hr Physical, 1hr Occupational, and 1hr Speech therapy every day until Friday. 
 
We all kissed Carol and wished her Happy Valentines Day and then the Physical Therapist came in.  She did an evaluation of Carol and then said: You seem fine just weak!  (That's right, FINE just weak!).  Carol shot a look at me that was so encouraged and hopeful.  Praise the Lord for how He alone in 7 days restores a person from such trauma to "fine just weak"!!
My emotional thrill was seeing Carol get herself into the wheelchair.  For 9 days of coma I was told and had to think through that my wife would never wake out of a coma and that would be the remainder of our years together. But today Carol was dressed, out of bed and exercising in the rehab gym! Ps 89:8  O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you. -Pastor Craig

Monday, February 13, 2012

our address

If you would like to send a card to Carol, our home address is: Carol Poston, 42946 Corte Abanilla, Temecula, CA 92592
Thank you!

Carol update, Day 16

Well, it took all day but Carol was  finally transported from Hospital to the San Diego Rehab facility. She had to go by ambulance for insurance issues.  Carol was REALLY ready to go b/c she is ready to start working on rehab and getting back home.  Thankfully my wife is not only beautiful but she is disciplined.  She ate a ton of food today and I asked if she were hungry.  Carol said: No, I'm not hungry. I'm trying to get my strength back, so I'm forcing myself to eat.  The rehab people will love working with Carol :)  Our insurance helps cover 5 days, so that is what we will start with.
One of Carol's concerns was the expenses, of course, for the ICU, etc.  So, I manned up and asked finance what our hospital bill is up to today.  $390,000. Even the finance person said: That's a big bill.  I didn't cry or faint but just sent a prayer to the Lord.  Our insurance deductible is about $9000 for family and then we pay 30% of total bill.  Good news though: we pay on the "contracted" rate (which is unknown but less than the hospital bill).  Bad news: they do not work with us any further than providing the "contracted rate".
I told Carol that God in His good Sovereignty allowed you to go into this terrible infection and coma.  And God in His merciful Sovereignty woke you up from your coma.  So, we can trust God in His caring Sovereignty to help us financially.
 
ON THE HOME FRONT. While the girls were at the Homeschool coop at church (Classical Conversations) and I was at the hospital with Carol, an entire army of servants came to our home and redid our entire home: (xtreme yardwork, fence work, planted my delightful garden with new plants, trimmed rose bushes and made the yard shine!  And inside they cleaned a years' worth of accumulation (ever since we adopted our other 3, we have prioritized them and ministry and our home suffered in tidiness.  But with this crew working today, our home looks better than when we moved in (and it is shining with love). And Rick Peterson worked so patiently for days repainting our front doors! Thank you to EVERYONE. We are so very blessed. Can't wait for Carol to see this.
 
My heart continues its happy beat as I think of how God has stood right there with us and continues to.  Crisis is difficult, but for those who have a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, there is a very real peace and presence of God that is most precious. -Pastor Craig
  Ps 41:1Blessed is she who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers her in times of trouble...The LORD will sustain her on her sickbed and restore her from her bed of illness.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Carol update, Day 15

Carol was sleeping when we came in today after church, but she quickly came alive when we woke her. She was very excited to have had her first hairwash in 15 days this morning. Looking very cute. Carol was very chatty today, talking about her transition out of hospital, which she is eager to do. 
We did decide, on the counsel on many friends who are knowledgeable, that Carol should go to an inpatient rehab for a few days starting tomorrow (Monday). She needs 3 therapies (Physical, Speech, Occupational) which can be found at this one center in San Diego.  And Carol needs to continue to rest.  At home, I fear our girls will be too noisy and that Carol will want to be homeschooling, rather than resting.
So, tomorrow starts another adventure with rehabilitation. Carol gains strength each day and is noticably more herself. In fact, her left eyelid was halfway up today! A partial answer to prayer. So, Carol continues healing from her severe trauma and we begin the happy thought of having our home with Carol back with us, Pastor Craig 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Carol update, day 14

Carol's spirits were low today. She said she was discouraged b/c her left eyelid still will not lift and her speech is slurred b/c of her paralysis on the left part of her mouth.
But, the girls and I encouraged her and told her how we love her. I kissed Carol repeatedly and told her how beautiful she is.
This morning with the physical therapist Carol used a walker and scooted around her hospital room.  She gets exhausted quickly and after our 1 1/2 hour visit (interrupted 3x by the nurse, case manager, and a hospital dietician) Carol was ready for us to go so that she could sleep.  The music in her mind is softer today but still present.  But Carol continues eating well.
We are still scheduled for her departure from hospital Monday and are will determine then if Carol goes to inpatient rehab for a few days in San Diego (Sharp Rehab) or comes home and then I take her to outpatient rehab in Temecula.  I would appreciate your prayers for wisdom regarding that decision. Warmly, Pastor Craig

Friday, February 10, 2012

Carol update, Day 13, Feb 10th

"You are our miracle patient," said the Doctor today to Carol. Yesterday Carol felt so weak that she said she needed to stay in the hospital a while. Today, Carol had energy and life and said: I'm ready to come home.
The dramatic improvement today was so exciting to see.  Carol walked around her room and can fend for herself (dressing and brushing teeth, orientation, etc, which are signs the Doctors look for before discharging a trauma patient from the hospital).
The Doctors said: You are progressing so fast, we cannot keep up with you, Carol.
Neurology has discharged Carol.  She is ready to leave tomorrow (!) except for insurance issues with ongoing Rehab. B/c tomorrow is Saturday we have to wait until Monday for Carol to be cleared by our insurance.  But, medically Carol is doing well enough to leave hospital!  Amazing.
Carol's left eyelid continues to be closed, and her left side of mouth does not properly work, so her speech is slurred. Occasionally there is slight confusion and Carol is not sure what is happening around her. But today we talked about homeschool issues and Carol wanted to know about the girls' schedule.  She is still the homeschool mom.
One praise: the music in her head has gotten quieter and Carol was able to sleep through the night.
 
So, it looks like Monday I will drop our girls off at their homeschool coop at our church, then go to the hospital and Lord willing bring Carol home in the afternoon.  Hospitals work slowly but that seems to be a reasonable expectation.  Then, we will begin outpatient speech and physical therapy for several hours a day until we have our Carol back with us.
Thank you all for standing with us through this crisis.  Most of the days I think: What hit us?  It came so quickly and traumatically. Warmly, Pastor Craig

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Carol update, Day 12, Thursday Feb 9

It was another encouraging day with Carol. The girls and I were in the car at 6:30am again. Takes 1 1/2 hours to drive to the hospital. Our girls have been true treasures with our grueling schedule and drive. I am very proud of them. Somehow we are keeping up with homeschool and Shakespeare drama and other things, as well as snuggle time with Daddy.
Carol was eating yogurt and had scrambled eggs when we walked in. Tired but very happy to see us. 
Her big joy was that we brought her toothbrush and toothpaste and for the first time in 12 days Carol brushed her teeth! Very satisfying. Our daughters were more comfortable today and Siena combed Carol's hair.  Laili was very affectionate in holding Momma's hand. Teah put lip balm on Carol's lips.  I kissed Carol's lips. We all have our role to play :)

 
This morning with her Physical Therapist, Carol walked in the room!  Her body is responding well but Carol is very weak.
She has not been sleeping well b/c she has auditory delirium. Carol keeps hearing music in her head and it is disturbing her from sleep. When we walked in she asked me to turn the music off. I told her there was no music on. The neurologist wants to evaluate her tomorrow morning regarding this issue, as well as her eyelid.
 
Another effect from the lesions in the brain (dead brain cells) is that Carol's left eyelid will not lift up. Her eyes are fine but the left eyelid stays down (the nerve that controls this is dead or blocked). This may be stimulated again with therapy or may not ever raise.  Carol's left side of mouth is not fully responsive either but should be corrected by speech therapy.
So, for prayers please:
That the music in Carol's head stops.
That Carol sleeps well and gets stronger.
That Carol's left eyelid and left side of mouth are fully restored.
That Carol is home this weekend!
 
Carol is in a regular hospital room (praise the Lord) and my prayer is that Carol will be home by Sunday and we do her 3 hours of outpatient Physical and Speech rehab in Temecula starting next week!
Last Sunday was very low and difficult.  Today we stand in awe of God's restoration of Carol, Pastor Craig
Mt 20:32-34 Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. "Lord," they answered, "we want our sight."  Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Carol Day 11 further update

(Day 11, continued update on Carol) The doctors said Carol would never come out of the coma and so we should do a tracheotomy. But Carol came out of the coma 16 hours later.
The doctors said Carol's breathing tubes would not come out for 3 more days. One hour later Carol was breathing on her own and the tubes were out.
The doctors said Carol would not be able to recover her speech for 4-5 days. She was speaking the day she came out of her coma (Monday).
The doctors said Carol would maybe be able to drink chicken broth in another day. The nurse just told me tonight Carol is eating solid food.
The doctors said Carol would not leave the ICU, but tonight they are transferring her to a regular hospital room.
We are so very grateful for the excellent care the doctors have given but when they reach their end and can do no more, we know God our Creator is our Great Doctor over our bodies and brains.
God put Carol in a position where everyone said Nothing more can be done for Carol. So Jesus alone gets the glory for His restoration of Carol!

Carol's brother Martin, a medical doctor in England, shared the following verses at our Children's Awana last week. With praises, Pastor Craig
Mk 5:26-29 A woman had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

How can we help?

In light of recent events, many have expressed a desire to give a financial gift to the Postons to help with practical needs and to offset the costs of Carol's medical bills. Donations can be made as follows:

. Craig and Carol already receive a monthly income as part of their
missionary work with Global Church Ministries.

. Financial gifts to offset their medical expenses can be made through that same organization. HOWEVER, please include a note that identifies your donation as a SPECIAL GIFT to be used towards medical bills and other expenses related to Carol's illness. This may be helpful to Craig and Carol for tax reasons.

. To make a donation by check:
. Go to globalchurchministries.us
. In the top menu, click on "Donate"
. Follow the instructions to make a donation by check.

. To make an electronic donation via PayPal:
. Go to globalchurchministries.us
. In the top menu, click on "Donate"
. Click on the "Donate" link opposite "Poston Family"
. Specify an amount and sign in to your PayPal account
. On the PayPal screen there is an opportunity to add a note for the
Poston Family. Please enter the specific language regarding special gifts as noted above.

Global Church Ministries (GCM) will provide a donation receipt at the end of the year. GCM is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, and all donations and contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

If you need additional information or have any questions, please contact Rob Foster at Temecula Hills Christian Fellowship (rob.foster@temeculahhills.org). Rob serves as a volunteer board member for Global Church Ministries.

I will also be posting more information on ways for people to help out with meals for the Postons within the next day... Stay posted!! And thank you everyone for all of your prayers and offers to help!!! The Poston family is loved and we are going to pray Carol home fully restored!! :)

Katie

Carol update, Day 11, Feb 8, 2012

(Carol, Day 11) Woke girls up at 6am and they washed and dressed and we were in the car heading again to hospital at 6:30am this morning, with oat bar in little hands. It is a grueling drive and early mornings and is taking an emotional toll on girls. Plus the emotions of seeing Momma. We leave at 6:30am, return at 9:45am and start homeschool at 10am. Days are full and long.

These hospital visits have stirred our Filipino daughters' memories of their train accident last year (when a train hit their taxi en route to US Embassy for the adoption and an orphanage worker died in the taxi). Last night as I snuggled in bed with them all three were telling me of when they were in hospital.
I still sob in the mornings getting through the emotions of last week and the seeming certainty of Carol not being with or being in coma (thinking of her pain and of life without her). I knew God could raise Carol, but did not know if God would raise Carol. The joy of now is sweet but the pain of the last 9 days went deep.

This morning we had a good visit. Carol is tired but said she felt stronger. She was not strong enough to leave the bed yesterday and sit in a chair but hopefully this afternoon. There are more tests today to evaluate the lung infection.
The infection on Day 8 (last Sunday, a horrible day) was very bad. Dr. told me today that Carol's white blood count went from 12,000 to 34,000.
That explains why so many antibiotics and why Carol said today 3x: When I woke up I thought I was going to die.
I told Carol she had stopped breathing and was on a path to die...But God had mercy on her, and on me.
I know exactly what the Apostle Paul means:
Phil 2:27 Indeed my friend was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.
Carol continues to be astounded by everyone's prayers. Today she said: I am honored that so many people would pray for me.

This morn the doctor said they hope to transfer Carol tomorrow out of ICU, if her lung infection stabilizes. And they hope to put Carol on chicken broth--another great sign.
Isaiah 40:28 The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak...those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.

Big question is how much physical rehab and speech rehab Carol is able to do now and if it can be done from home (yeah!!) We will know more tomorrow. --A much lighter Pastor Craig
(Photos: Girls praying for Carol this morning, homeschool coop celebrating that Carol woke up!)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Carol, more from Day 10 visit

(Day 10 visit with kids) Our daughters were clearly shaken to be ICU and see people's condition and then shaken to see Momma so weak. None of the girls would touch Carol, so I had to encourage them to hold her hand.  Carol was so thankful to have her girls with her and her family holding her. But she is very weak and tired.  The girls cried with sorrow for Momma as we each took turns praying for Carol and thanking Jesus for His mercy.
From my perspective, I am leaping for joy!  The nurses and Doctors are astounded and smiling with our joy.  I let Carol know how many people were praying CONTINUALLY for her all around the country and world.  Carol replied: THAT IS ASTOUNDING!
The photo shows the blanket many ladies made with their hand prints sewn on so that they are laying hands on Carol as she is covered with the blanket. Carol was blessed by this lovely gift.
For me, to see Carol without the tubes in her or the 5 antibiotic lines into her veins and arteries is so wonderful. And the Doctors will be having Carol sit in a chair today and continue to strengthen her brain and body muscles. Hope tomorrow to have a plan to move Carol from ICU.  YIPPIE, Pastor Craig
 

Carol update, Day 10, Feb 7th

(Carol, Day 10, 7am) Thank you for your prayers. I just spoke with Carol's Nurse who said: Carol woke up at 5:30am and did not know where she was and slurred her speech.  But by 6am Carol knew where she was and IS SPEAKING NORMALLY!!!!!!
I am heading out right now to bring our 5 daughters to see their mother, first time in 10 days.  
Lament 3:23 God's mercies are new every morning. Great is God's faithfulness! A very excited and Jesus-thankful Pastor Craig

Monday, February 6, 2012

Carol, more good news

Carol has more good news. She has been on the breathing machine for 9 days, after she stopped breathing. Since the brain was not sending the right signals, Carol needed help to breath. It is 2 tubes going into each lung and a tube to her stomach to feed her.
The Dr was hoping in the next few days to take it out if Carol was able to breathe on her own.
Nurse just rang me and said they HAD ALREADY TAKEN THE BREATHING TUBES OUT and Carol is doing well and breathing on her own!!!  Keep praying.
At our church prayer time for Carol I shared that Jesus told Lazarus, who had been dead and buried for 4 days, to come out of the grave. And that day Lazarus went home and had dinner with his sisters. Full restoration!
God can do that for Carol, we pray, Pastor Craig

Carol Poston Update, Day 9, AWAKE

Day 9.  The Doctors said "prepare for long term coma. After a person has been in coma this long, she will not come out."
Chronicles 16:3Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns!"
This morning Carol awoke from her coma!!!  One eye is open and Carol was looking me in the eye very alert and just squeezing my hand (and her brother Martin's hand) as she looked.  Carol can respond to questions: Are you hot?  (she nodded) and she can move her toes and feet.
I have never cried so hard or violently as my sorrow was cast off.
Yesterday Martin's flight to England was canceled b/c of snow in London. God wanted Martin to share this joy!
Yesterday I preached from Luke 15, the Prodigal Son.  My wife was lost and now she is found.  My wife was dead and now SHE IS ALIVE. Thank you Lord Jesus!!  Thank you all for praying.  Celebrating with tears and much joy, Pastor Craig
 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Carol Poston update, Sunday night, Feb 5

(Sunday eve, Day 8 of coma) Went to the hospital this morning at 6:30am. Could only fall upon my beautiful wife of 21 years and sob. The doctor came in and discussed long term coma situations that need my attention (such as tracheotomy) and the Dr was preparing to take Carol into surgery to drain more infection in her lung. 
My heart breaks to see Carol in a coma and it is like a knife in the gut to know that my precious Carol is also continuing to go through these invasive surgeries. This Scripture has sustained me today: Ps 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Rushed back to pick up my daughters and off to church. I broke down while praying with my worship team and felt totally worn out just before service started, but everyone was so caring that it strengthened me.
 
During our prayer time, I gave a brief report of how things had come to happen with Carol but broke down again while remembering that exactly that time the previous Sunday I was in ER with Carol and a few hours later Carol had stopped breathing and went into the coma.  But, I finally made it through that report.
 
Then, as I was preaching through Luke 15 my cell phone rings during my sermon and it is the Dr who needed my consent to do another procedure on Carol.  Absolute torment.  And the Dr. asked consent to do a tracheotomy today. I absolutely refused and was sick to my stomach with the direction things continue to go for my sweet wife.
 Our church family was praying while I was on the phone and I was able to somehow regroup and continue my sermon. I really needed to continue my ministry of preaching to distract me from the emotional toll of Carol's pain and to focus on the Lord and to serve the church family.  Only broke down once during the sermon.
Thank you to my sweet congregation for your patience and support. 
This afternoon I was able to have a precious time sitting on the bed with my girls and we talked about Momma, answered their questions, prayed together.  They wanted to know if Momma was going to die and if we would have to move. I let them know that we are a family and that God is good and we can trust Him with Momma whatever happens.
Tonight, Dr. just rang again for my consent for something else they need to evaluate with Carol.  My poor darling wife.  The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, Pastor Craig
 
 
 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Carol Poston update, Sat eve, Feb 4

(Saturday eve, Day 7 of Coma).  It is challenging to stay uplifted today after seeing Carol this morning in same state and Dr's call this afternoon saying they went ahead and did a spinal MRI just to try to find something to explain why Carol will not wake up. But nothing is revealed.  Another lung infection hit Carol today.
Unfortunately, every day forward minimizes expectation of Carol waking up.
God's will is being done and if God chooses to wake Carol up tonight, to God be the glory.  If not, to God be the glory.
 
At our sweet church prayer time last night we had about 50 gather and it was wonderful. Someone mentioned our church prayer theme I set this year is GLORIFYING GOD. 
Another mentioned that our Filipino daughters' hearts must be heavy to consider having lost their first mother and now their second is in hospital.  This is very hard and emotional on all the girls.
Our needs for meals and other things are being sweetly met. Thank you. This week we are taken care of.
May the Lord strengthen me and awaken my lovely Carol.  With heavy heart, Pastor Craig

Friday, February 3, 2012

Carol Poston update, Friday eve, Feb 3

Friday eve, just came from the ICU and there is no change in Carol, sadly.  The head of neurology told us that the MRI and MRV reveal dead brain cells in the part of the brain that wakes a person up. 
So, we continue to plead for mercy from Carol's God and Father for complete restoration.  I thank Jesus for the spiritual strength (grace) to continue to trust Him in all of this and to be with my daughters.
 
ICU visitation is restricted to immediate family. So, no visitors to Carol please. Pray for Carol from where you are throughout the world. Our God is Spirit, is everywhere and He hears you.
 
Psalm 34 ministered to Carol's brother Martin and to me today. Those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
We desperately want and need Carol restored to us and I miss Carol passionately, but God is good and we will lack nothing that is good for us, as God sees best in His Sovereign timing.  With aching heart, Pastor Craig
 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Carol update, Thurs eve, Feb 2

Hi Everyone, thank you for your prayers and fasting. We continue to seek God to do a mighty work to restore Carol.
As of today, Carol continues in her coma.
Carol's ICU Dr. said he had hoped for change today.  The Doctors do not understand why Carol's brain will not respond. The MRI which assesses brain tissue did not reveal much to explain her state. They scheduled Carol tonight for an MRV (assesses brain vessels) to see if there are blot clots.  The Strep Pneumonia bacteria hits hard and quickly and flooded Carol's body Sunday morning and by the time we arrived at ER about 9:30am Sunday, meningitis hit her.  The bacteria infected Carol's brain so quickly it is staggering.
 
Carol's lung and kidneys, etc that were badly affected by the bacteria but are now clearing up.  Just waiting on Carol's brain to be restored.
It is good to stand by Carol's side, pray for her and let her know I am committed to her regardless of what happens.  I thank her for being my wife and I thank God for the sweet blessing of being Carol's husband.  God will do what is good for Carol, for me, for our girls.  I trust Jesus with Carol.
 
Ps 84:11
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
 
Our church family has responded so immediately and overwhelmingly with help and love and meals, that I am greatly encouraged and assisted. We have received prayers from Turkey, Bermuda, Australia, England, Canada and all across America. Thank you. 
God have mercy on my Carol, Pastor Craig

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Carol update, Wed eve, Feb 1, Craig

I continue to be overwhelmed by all of your love, care,  meals, offers for help, prayers.  Thank you.  In answer to  your prayers, God has not for one second made my heart waver from Him. I committed Carol into His care Sunday night when she stopped breathing and continue strong in trusting Carol into the loving hands of her Heavenly Father.  May the Lord give me His grace to continue faithful to Jesus.
 
It is so good to have Martin, Carol's younger brother here with me. He has a strong faith in Jesus and is an elder in his church, as well as a medical Dr. 
It was heartbreaking to both fall upon Carol's bed and weep for her today, but one of my precious memories will always be Martin holding one of Carol's hands and me other other hand and taking turns praying over Carol.
Carol continues in the coma and the Intensive Care doctors still cannot say what will happen next with her or in what timing. So, we entrust Carol to the Lord continually.
As terrible and tearful as it is to see Carol in her state, in the ICU, breathing from tubes down her throat, I treasured standing by her side, holding Carol's hand and kissing her forehead and telling her how special she is to me.
I do not yet have emotional energy to read Scripture to Carol but still can only cry to the Lord, Please Have Mercy!
Those are the only words I can find to say to God.  But I trust Him. God will be glorified through this whole horrible tragedy.
 
Learning to run our home as a single parent. It is challenging. I got home from the hospital and the girls are clinging to me. No personal time possible. Then to keep their routine we went to Awana children's program at our church.  At home last night and tonight, they are acting out their pain for their mother in individual ways.  Pray for me to be patient and loving please and to hold each girl closely during this season.
Praying for my beautiful wife to come out of her coma, Pastor Craig

Carol update Wed Eve, Feb 1, Carol's brother Martin

Hello Everyone,
 
This is Carol's younger brother, Martin. I arrived in Temecula from the UK last night and it is just good to be here. For those of you who don't know, I am a doctor and so when Craig and I went to visit Carol this morning I was fully of questions, wanting to understand Carol's situation as best as I could. She continues to receive excellent medical care, and is well looked after. The big issue remains that she is in a deep coma despite being on no sedation, and this is little changed. The ventilator continues to assist her breathing, although she does have the drive to breathe for herself, and she does respond a little to pain, but not much more. She is on the right treatment and we can only hope and pray that she will start to wake up. We don't know if this will change from day to day, or if it will take much longer.
 
Other than this I was encouraged to see that the rest of her body is fighting the infection well - her lungs are coping ok despite the pneumonia, her heart and kidneys are doing fine and her fever has settled. If she were awake, she would be able to come off the ventilator without a problem. The doctors were planning to drain some fluid from the outside of the lung where she has the pneumonia, but this is not a major thing for them to do.
 
Having to look after his 5 beautiful daughter's brings a need for normal routine to life at home, and this is important both for the girls and for Craig, and is only possible with the huge response of the loving friends and family that surround Carol and Craig. The church are living out the Gospel in this place and it is humbling to bear witness to this.
 
With best wishes, continued prayers and tears, Martin