We're all back in SC. Andrew is doing so very well. It was so encouraging to see him doing so well. He's now able to even transfer himself from his wheelchair to a car. I'm so amazed! His surgery should be early this coming week. They told us they cannot nail down a definite time. There was a rather larger helicopter crash a week ago in Afghanistan and unfortunately, a large group of marines have just arrived at Walter Reed. Andrew's surgery will come after these marines have been helped. Please pray for them and their families. I remember so clearly those first few days. Thank you all!
|SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2007 10:18 PM, AST|
Andrew has been hanging out here in the apartment for the last few hours. We've just been relaxing and enjoying the evening. We met him early this morning at the hospital to attend an all-terrain wheelchair demonstration. Andrew will probably get one of these; he'll be able to use it outdoors to go up hills etc. He attended a fly fishing exibition this afternoon that he really enjoyed. I believe it was hosted by occupational therapy. It is very therapeutic for him to learn to do everyday things, as well as enjoyable activities. I hope you all are enjoying your weekend.
|FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2007 09:57 PM, EST|
Andrew is doing so well! We got in early this morning and spent most of the day with Andrew. I can't get over how good he looks. He gets stronger and more independent every day. He had a EMG today in order to test the integrity of his nerves. He said that it was the most pain he has been in thus far. They had to poke him with needles. It didn't sound fun. Later on, we all went out and enjoyed a nice dinner together. It was also so good to see him out and about. When I was here last, he had not yet left the hospital. I'm so encouraged to see him doing so well!
|THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2007 04:47 PM, EST|
I am leaving tomorrow to spend the weekend with Andrew, along with my dad, husband, Charles, and daughter, Caroline. It should be a fun weekend. It sounds like Andrew is continuing to do well. I posted a new picture of him in the therapy room. As you can see, he's already looking and doing so much better. Here he is learning balance and hand-eye coordination. I was told that he did 80 push-ups yesterday! This is compared to the barely one push-up he did when I was there less than a month ago. The doctors did meet yesterday to make the decisions regarding his surgeries. His HO (leg bone growth) surgery will be on either Monday or Tuesday. They estimate the recovery time to be less than a week (which is much better than I previously thought). Also, it is very neat to note that some of the bone growth on his left side (about half) is actually helpful. They will leave it so that it will provide more support for a prosthetic on that side. I thought that was exciting! The other surgeries should be able to be handled all together in one large abdominal surgery. In this surgery they hope to repair the fistula and damaged ureter and reverse the colostomy. If I haven't explained it clearly enough before, the fistula is a tubular-like wound that serves as an unnatural passage between his ureter (which is the small tube from the kidney to the bladder) and his colon. As you can imagine, that can cause a lot of problems. They will perform this surgery in a month or so, hoping to give him time for it to heal as much as it can on its own. All in all, he's doing great. He is gaining weight and strength and remains very positive. Thank you for all of your prayers! ~Katherine
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
A colonel came and met with Andrew today. He told Andrew that he was the one holding his hand in Al Asad, Iraq as he was being transferred to the plane to go to Germany. At that time, Andrew was alert enough to squeeze back. The colonel's wife told my mom that he called her very upset because of Andrew. She said that this was the first time he had ever called home regarding any injuries. They were very happy to visit with Andrew today and to see how well he is doing. When I think back to the weeks after Andrew's injury and everything that he went through, I am in awe at how well he is doing. He should not be here on this earth. And, he definitely shouldn't have all of his brain capacity. Other than his great physical injuries, he is completely Andrew. I forget sometimes that he stepped on a very large bomb (buried a few feet beneath the sand). I forget that he cardiac arrested at least 4 times. He is our miracle for sure. We are very blessed to have him here still. I really can't wait to see how God's plan for him continues to unfold.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
|MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2007 08:26 PM, EST|
Today has been a pretty rough day for Andrew. He lost about 2 1/2 units of blood (which is a lot). They performed the endoscopy and found a bunch of clots, but did not find the source of the bleeding. They will keep him in the ICU overnight in case they need to rush him in to surgery. He is also not allowed to eat anything. Emotionally speaking, things have just been very overwhelming for him. He has always loved to play guitar and is very talented at playing. He tried to play some last night and couldn't. It is still up in the air as to how much of his hand and finger abilities he will be able to recover. Please lift him up. I know he belongs to God and He is taking great care of him. I keep saying this...but, I truly cannot imagine what my brother is dealing with. He has been blessed with encouragement from various sources. He has made friends with all of his old nurses from NNMC and they, along with other friends, have been very encouraging. He's gotten to meet a lot of neat people. Oliver North spent a few hours with him today. He also went to the Naval Academy and so they discussed their days there, the war, etc. I am so thankful for all of the outpouring of love Andrew has received. The prayers that I know are being lifted up to Heaven mean more than anything. If you think about it, please lift up a special prayer for Andrew tonight. Please pray for his heart- that he will trust God with all of this. Thank you for your prayers!
|MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2007 10:46 AM, EST|
My dad just called and told me that Andrew is dealing with a lot of intestinal bleeding. They started to take him in for his ear surgery this morning and discovered the bleeding upon transferring him. He is in a unit right now being prepped for an endoscopy- where they will go in with a scope and search for the source of the bleeding. Please pray for this procedure. The GI docs and urologists will be on hand and I believe this will be taking place in a little over an hour. What happens next will depend on what they see when they go in there. I know Andrew is probably so worn out from all of these continuing issues. I know that my parents are tired and worn out as well. Please lift them all up. Pray for strength, encouragement, and healing. Please pray that Andrew will feel God's presence in every setback and know God's goodness through these trials. Thank you!
Monday, February 12, 2007
Is a huge issue in counseling and often times you will be called to ask her to forgive (either obey or disobey God’s word)
- There is no way to imitate Christ more than when we forgive!
- Helping women forgive others is the biggest think we can help women to do. Call them to forgive
- Women do not practice forgiveness (mother-in-laws, example of Mindy)
- You must forgive _________ and all the ways she has sinned against her. There are no buts you must forgive to move on
Forgiveness Does Not Mean:
- That what happened to this woman was no big deal
- Or that we are just excusing it
- It is not based on if the other person apologizes
- Does not mean that the relationship will just go back to the same way it was (consequences are still there)
- It IS something you have to do even when you do not feel like it (ex. “when I have healed I will forgive
- Realizing who she is in Christ and how much she has been forgiven
- Matthew 18:21- Have them read it out loud and take their sin seriously. Who are you in this passage?
- We can never pay God back our huge debt.
- Jesus calls us who do not forgive wicked
Facts on Forgiveness:
- It is not based on feelings! (I will forgive when I feel like it)
- It is a decision of the will. It is part of the fight of faith!!!!! of obeying God
- Ask her and yourself are you going to obey God or not? It is so powerful when we obey God. It is life changing. Not waiting on peace until you forgive
- It is giving someone mercy instead of wrath that they deserve, in the same way that Christ gave you mercy
- It is to be given repeatedly for same sins (how many times 7 times 70)
- Future Grace is a great book by John Piper. Know that God is a God of justice and one say he will settle her accounts more justly than she ever could (Hell) “If you hold a Grudge you doubt the Judge.” The greater the offence the greater glory He gets! Vengeance is the Lord’s. Look to the Cross
- When you are counseling listen for unforgiveness
How can we help her Forgive?
- Have her list all the ways that person has sinned against them. Do one person at a time. With the list look out for language such as he mad me feel this way. The other person can have an influence but it is not the determinative. Explain things on the list.
- Pray through this list and forgive them by stating I am forgiving him or her for___________ For example Pray: God I forgive my dad for not helping me Today I forgive him before you God.
- This can take days and tear up the list after
- Help her understand the Sovereignty of God over her life and her past. He is working for her good and his glory. God is at work even now. Forgiving a person is part of his work and it surely shapes her to the image of Christ
- God will give her the grace to do it, it is not by her own strength
- Making 2 commitments before God (I think this is from a book Peace Making Families)
a) You are not going to bring it up again to others. It is forgiven. You can bring it up in a testimonial situation
b) You are not going to bring it up to yourself. If it comes to your mind filter it out Do not let you think about it twice. Fight!
- Do not focus on if you really did forgive that person (It is important that you forgave to the best of your ability)
- Be in the habit of praying through forgiving someone (it would be good not to have to make some long list every time)
Sunday, February 11, 2007
|SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2007 07:45 PM, EST|
Andrew will have his ear surgery tomorrow. Please pray that this will be successful. Andrew is able to hear fairly well in a quiet hospital room, but as he gets out, it is harder for him to hear. They will be working on his most damaged ear tomorrow- the right side, which is completely deaf. They will work on reforming his tempanic membrane, which sounds pretty complex to me. I am really hoping that this will go well; this could be one less worry that he will have to deal with in life. Thank you all for your prayers!
|FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 09, 2007 10:26 PM, EST|
Some hand specialists came in and studied Andrew's hands today. They were looking to see what all needs to be worked on surgically and what they want to work towards. It looks like his ear surgery will be this Monday. He'll also have his leg surgery sometime next week. My dad is now up there again for the weekend, which is always very encouraging for Andrew. He's doing really well and is so thankful for all of your prayers!
|THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 08, 2007 07:25 PM, EST|
Andrew is continuing to do well. There is a possibility that he will have surgery on his right eardrum tomorrow. We're not positive on this yet. This will happen very soon if not tomorrow, and hopefully he'll be hearing a lot better. Andrew asked again for prayer for his phantom pain. They switched his medications hoping that that would help with the pain. It helped a bit, but he is still experiencing a lot of that sort of pain. He also found out today that he will need some plastic surgery on his arms in order for his fingers to be able to work normally. As you can see from the picture above, he cannot fully open his hands, which makes it hard to do a lot of things like writing, typing, etc. The scars on his arms had meshed with his tendons, which caused the movement in his fingers to be impaired. It is very overwhelming for me when I think of all of the various medical issues he is dealing with besides his legs. I know very soon a lot of this will be behind him. Thank you for your continued love and support!
|WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 07, 2007 10:05 PM, EST|
I spoke with Andrew for a little while this morning and he sounded great. Though disapointed about the upcoming surgery, he told me that he knew from the beginning that it would be three steps forward and two steps back. He told me that his HO (bone growth) has actually broken through the skin on his right side. I also learned that the Iraq war is the first time doctors have ever seen this phenomenon. The surgery to remove this growth should be very soon. I asked him if there was anything specific we could pray for besides his upcoming surgery. He asked that we pray that his phantom pain will get better or cease. It wakes him up in the middle of the night. He told me that it feels like he has his legs and feet and that someone is drilling into his feet. This continues to be his greatest discomfort. Thank you for lifting him up!
|TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 06, 2007 11:48 PM, EST|
Today was a little dissapointing. As I have said before, Andrew is having some heterotopic ossification on both residual limbs- which is essentially continued bone growth where his legs used to be. That is not necessarily unusual and can continue for several months after an amputation. His team of doctors had wanted to wait on this surgery until this ceased completely. Unfortunatly, it is getting to a point where it needs to be dealt with immediately. With a surgery like this, the same old problems (fever, infection, soreness, etc.) can show their faces. Please pray that this surgery will go well and that he can recover from it quickley. It will mostly likely be very soon- probably even this week. I just cannot fathom the strength that it takes to deal with all of these continued setbacks. Andrew has been so strong and has truly faced all of this like the man that he is. I know he will continue to handle everything that comes his way. I just would love for him to feel like he has all of the surgeries and healing behind him so he can focus on therapy and prosthetics. I thank you all for your prayers and love for him. He is being built up and supported by so many.
Friday, February 09, 2007
The 4 month check up went well. He was 15 pounds and 11oz and in the 50 percent in weight and over the 50 in height. His head is in the 25 percent though but it is growing---haha. The doctor said that as far as food goes I can wait till he is 6 months or so. The key is that they need to learn to eat by 1 year because baby/real food is their main source of nutrition by 1 year when they go to whole milk. He did run a temp. after the shots. I do not handle it well when he is sick because he is so helpless. Right now naps are the hardest thing for us and he still is getting bored and wants me to play with him all the time. I am not going to try to be real strict with the whole food thing till 6 months (mainly because Katherine always told me 5 months was the easiest when they eat 4 times a day and if you do not start food). Also, some doctors say their stomachs are not ready until 6 months. When I do offer cereal I mix it with 2-4 tablespoons of formula and 1 tablespoon of cereal (that way he does not get choked)
Eventually Baby Wise II says:
Breakfast (): cereal and fruits----Lunch () Vegetables and fruits----- Dinner () cereal, vegetables and fruits-----then one last bottle at . That would be my perfect schedule in a perfect world----haha!
Before you start fruits or vegetables offer you baby Rice Cereal or Oatmeal Cereal (if they struggle with constipation) for 2 weeks three times a day. Baby Wise recommends this but the doctor says you do not have to do it. It takes a while for them to figure out how to swallow. At first, they will only take half of the fruit or vegetable (make sure you buy 1st food not 2nd or 3rd).
I do know that for the first year of their existence they need at least 24 oz of formula a day and no more than 32.
I have tried cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner but it is so time consuming---it took like 45 minutes! He still wants to spit it out. He has major constipation problems recently so the doctor said to do oatmeal rice cereal and go ahead and try pears and apple sauce. She said that it did not matter if we started vegetables or fruits that they are all gross and have no good taste. She said to try a new food (it just needs to be a first food---it does not matter if it a fruit or veggie) for 3 or 5 days in a row to make sure he does not have any food allergies. We tried pears today and he gave this terrible face like this taste terrible and spit most of it out. I usually try the food after about 4 or 5 ozs of formula so that way he is not starving but not completely full. That has worked best for me but as you know every baby is different.
As far as naps I know at 6 months it is ideal for them to have just two big naps a day from 1 1/2 to 2 hours---one in the morning and one in the afternoon. So little Sophie is doing great! Before that they say 3 naps (at at least 1 1/2 hours) once they hit like 12 weeks I think The one in the afternoon does not need to be too close to bed time, Our naps are hard right now. He will only sleep for 45 min for the morning nap (probably because he sleep so late) and then he has one at 1 that he usually sleeps for 1 1/2 hour and then another nap at 4 ish for another 45 minutes. After he has been up for like 2 hours or so he gets so tired. We are trying to get read of the last mini nap at 7-7:45 but it is hard because he is so fussy. The first nap of the day he will go into the crib and fall asleep but the rest of the naps I swaddle him and put him in the middle of the bed and he goes to sleep fine.
He is a big grabber now and I am glad I read that Baby Wise II book because I am not letting him play with our phones and stuff because I will not let him play with other people's phone when we go to their house. The book said it is fine to let them play with the remote, your phone, etc but not to punish them when they do that at other people's house because they do not understand. He also plays and rolls around in the pack and play every day because that is a safe place for him. Once he does start crawling I am not going to let him have rule of the entire house he will be limited to certain room----I guess I will get some baby gates. They say that that is just too much freedom to let them crawl around the entire house. He is rolling over on his stomach and yesterday he rolled back over to him back to get to something he wanted but that is the only time he has rolled back over.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Next Monday Jackson will be 5 months old! He was born on September 12, 2006. Hopefully this weekend I will have a post on his recent 4 month doctor visit, introducing solids, etc. I have read Baby Wise II (5-15 months) and it has helped me with introducing solids, and with learning about the new fun challenges we are about to embark on. I will be blogging about what Baby Wise II has to say soon. But for now enjoy this pictures. As you can see we have a lot of fun right now, and from what everyone tells us 5 months is a wonderful easy time with your baby.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
This is Kristie Marchman my first cousin Mitch's wife
This is Alice, Britt (my first cousin)'s wife--she is pregnant and due this May with a boy!
This is Wade my first cousin
This is Britt my first cousin
This is Garrett (Mitch's son) and Mitch Marchman my first cousin
Monday, February 05, 2007
|SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 04, 2007 05:47 PM, EST|
Today Andrew attended his first church service since leaving for Iraq at McLean Bible Church (his church while he was at the Naval Academy and in training). I am very encouraged to hear that he is out and about a lot more. That has to be therapeutic in and of itself. It is amazing how busy he is staying- just in therapy and now in a few outings. He's also had some really fun visitors. He told me that Justin Timberlake came to visit him recently and they talked about barbecue for an hour. :) The support from all of you and others has just been staggering! Thank you for the love you send his way. He tells me he appreciates it so much!