Our Journey to Healing Day 32

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Matthew 6:26-27

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Hello! It is us! Finally writing to you from the Windy City. Sorry for being so far behind but I am excited to catch you up on a few things that have happened since last week.

Ok. Ready? Here we go:

Derek's lungs really started to improve last week and we were given an ICU eviction notice around Friday night. The doctors felt as though he was ready for rehab and could safely travel to Chicago via an ambulance. After a month in the ICU, we were very excited to be moving on to Phase 2.

As usual, nailing down an actual time and date for heading to Chicago took a lot of negotiation from our insurance, rehab facility, the hospital, and an ambulance carrier. We were told we would be leaving anywhere between Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesday afternoon, we then found out we had an ambulance scheduled for 11am Wednesday morning. That night, I barely slept. I felt like a kid going off to summer camp!

Wednesday morning rolled around and we were very excited. We were told Derek would start the discharge process around 9am and the ambulance would leave at 11am. I packed our belongings into our car and walked to Starbucks to grab a drink before we hit the road. That is when we hit our snag. At 10:15, our social worker called and informed us that the insurance had sent the incorrect paperwork and therefore we would not be able to leave until Thursday at the earliest. I was incredibly bummed. I walked back up to our room to tell Derek the news and break it to our families. Side note: The main reason behind the disappointment was because the rehab facility highly suggested coming at the beginning of the week and not the end due to care and evaluations. Hence why we didn't leave the last Friday when we were ready.  Our family was also already heading to Chicago to help us move in.The thought of getting Derek to Chicago and no one to help was overwhelming.

Here is where God showed up and flexed his muscles. 

I went back upstairs and informed Derek of the new time and called our families. I was then reminded that my "Aunt" (my mom's 1st cousin), actually works for our insurance provider specifically for Spinal Cord patients...who are transferring to rehabs in Illinois. WHAT? Ok. So that is crazy, right? She was able to get our paperwork where it needed to go in order for us to catch a 1pm ambulance ride and not have to pay for the previously missed ambulance. BOOM. I drove to Chicago with a huge smile on my face.

We arrived in Chicago safe and sound around 4pm. Derek had an OK ride and was ready for some pain medicines and a bed.  My car was full of our belongings and I was fully prepared to hand off my car keys to my brother-in-law so he could move my stuff into the Ronald McDonald house. We were very blessed to be able to get a room at the RMH and I would be staying there for 6-8 weeks while Derek was an inpatient here. Right before we unloaded the car, a family from my husbands home town called and offered their incredible condo for me to stay in while Derek is at the hospital. I cried. I had been struggling with moving to Chicago and really struggling with living away from Derek. The timing was perfect.

We were able to get Derek settled into his room and then walk over to see my new home away from home. It is BEAUTIFUL and a very safe walking distance from the hospital. I am so incredibly thankful for God showing up and spoiling me through this families generosity. That evening, I took a hot shower and slept in a bed instead of a chair for the first time since the accident.

Rehab has been great and also challenging. This new phase has brought up more fears, emotions, more clarity (which has caused some of the fear), excitement, laughs, and prayers than the ICU phase. Derek has therapy sessions for at least 3 hours a day which includes learning to balance, transferring himself, and  working on gaining strength. With a lot of upper body breaks, he will be using an electric wheelchair until his hands, wrists, and shoulder recoup.

Yes, I said hands. 2 weeks ago, he had been complaining of wrist and hand pain in his right hand (his good side). I asked a doctor to check x-rays and see if there was anything we could do to help with his pain. I then was told that they didn't actually x-ray anything on his right arm/hand. They ordered an x-ray and discovered he actually broke his right hand. The break had already started to heal and they opted not to re-break. He now is wearing a soft cast to help. Pretty frustrating but we are glad the break should not cause any permanent loss of use except until it heals up. So that takes the break count up to 7.

How can you pray? Just pray for us as a couple as we learn to love and embrace this new lifestyle. There is a lot of information being thrown our way and trying to absorb it all can be very overwhelming. Please pray for Derek's bones to heal quickly and that his neck pain will become more manageable.

We appreciate the support!

With Love,

The Lavenders