It seemed like a bit of a rocky start at the rehabilitation center, HealthSouth. Unfortunately they did not have available the kind of “rocking” mattress he needed right now, and his first full day was spent in evaluation sessions. At the end of that day, his new doctor came in and told him quite coldly that he didn’t think he was ready for rehab, and though he would give Dan a week trial, he expected he would have to go to a skilled nursing facility.
Of course this discouraged Dan tremendously, and when he told me about it, he was so sad. But I told him, “This is exactly the kind of things medical personnel have told us since the first week of your illness! You would never wake up, you had no reflexes, you had pneumonia and might die, one more illness would push you over the edge. . .”
From December 8 when Christian friends (and medical personnel) began having dreams about Dan sitting on the side of the bed, talking, walking – all things that seemed impossible at the time; and when a beloved friend of our family fasted and prayed and then generalized from Psalm 41 that God would indeed raise Dan up from his bed of sickness, I have never believed he would die. I believed he would recover. As I told Ryan early on, and as I told Dan, doctors have information. We have knowledge.
So, many of us set to praying about this current “bad report.” And guess what? After Dan’s first full day of rehabilitation therapy, the same doctor came in and said that he had great hope for Dan’s recovery because the therapists said Dan was doing great!
So what happened? Answers to prayer!
In addition, one of the PTs equipped Dan with a device that holds a spoon (even though he does not yet have the use of his hands), and now he can feed himself. He also has a contraption that holds the extension to a flexible straw, and he can drink unaided. Best of all, Dan now can operate a motorized wheelchair. Halls of HealthSouth, watch out!
And—he got his first showers since November.
All of this has encouraged Dan enormously. He deals with the recurrent pain and tries to manage that as well. In spite of his condition over the last few weeks, he has performed a commitment ceremony in his hospital room for an engaged couple (complete with photographer), counseled a man with family difficulties and according to this man “gave him the courage to mend his family,” and several times counseled others who were weak in their faith and said it was restored by watching his recovery.
One of his greatest joys was when he got to sit in the “day room” of the hospital and eat lunch with two of his grandchildren, Scottlyn and Even. He hopes soon to see his beloved Canaan who is visiting in Houston and his long-awaited granddaughter who is still in utero, Judah Danielle.
Another great day was when his dear friend Keith Lancaster and his wife Sharon serenaded him with an impromptu concert along with Ryan and Kimber (who, unfortunately, does not appear in the video because I am a recording dolt.)
We are so encouraged. And Dan is really, really tired! But the good kind of tired!
If you are in the Albuquerque area, he would love short visits after 3 pm on weekdays, and the regular visiting hours on weekends when he is not having therapy.