Apparently this how you re-learn to fasten buttons. I may or may not have felt like I was five.


Just in case any of you might have been wondering what I look like in occupational therapy, this photo is a sneak peak. Who needs dignity when you could have this snazzy vest??

But on a more serious note, as we approach the last week of  April, it truly feels like we’ve been “showered” with reasons to give thanks! Here are some of my most favorite ones:

  1. Goodbye, cane…hello, hands free! Yup, I am now able to get around the apartment solo. This has been a long time coming, and we are so thrilled!
  2.  The left knee is finally straight! This also felt like it was a super long time coming…quite possibly because it involved sleeping in a large and somewhat odd-looking leg brace for a few weeks. I said “odd” because we couldn’t decide if it looked Medieval or more space age-ish. But anyway, having a straight left leg is a beautiful answer to so many prayers…especially since at my February and March ortho visits they weren’t sure if it was even possible.
  3. Ivan is done with his coursework and will graduate in about two weeks! This accident has changed our lives in more ways than we can number, and I’m so grateful and proud he was able to push through and finish well in spite of having so many new “irons in the fire.”

Looking forward to May, here are some needs we are still waiting and praying for:

  1. Return of sensation in my left hand –  it’s stayed consistently  numb since I woke up after the accident, and my neurologist confirmed that this is a result of the strokes, not trauma. Typically most stroke healing occurs during the first three months, so the fact that it didn’t heal during that time means we are now beginning to problem-solve in case that impairment is permanent. The good news is my therapists have taught me that it is possible to control a body part that you can’t feel (this really amazed me!), so I am slowly re-leaning some motor skills in spite of the “dead” feeling. However, unless the sensation returns, my ability to do any activity that involves heat, lifting, sharp objects, or fine motor skills will be significantly impacted for safety reasons. I’m also still not able to play violin at this point since it’s a very tactile instrument and is left-hand dominant. On the positive side though, I have had some successful experimentation with piano since it’s more easy to play by sight and the basic hand movements are simpler.
  2. Continued mental healing. As my body grows stronger, we are increasingly aware of the healing in my brain that is yet to take place. Traumatic brain injuries take 1-2 years to heal, and the time frame for brain healing after stroke is more ambiguous. My therapists are doing their very best to help me face this unseen injury (including giving me homework such as “go into a coffee shop for 5 minutes”). We are slowly seeing improvement here, but my ability to talk to visitors, process information, make decisions, or be in any sort of a crowded or public environment without having a mental episode is pretty limited. I think this is most poignant because I miss being in church every Sunday…but with God’s help and continued healing I hope that worshiping in church will become a reality again.

Thank you all for walking with us every step of the way! I cannot get over praising God for all the progress this month has brought. He truly is powerful! And looking forward to our continued requests, I am confident that His hand will guide us toward His perfect new “normal” for our lives. Whatever that turns out to be, we know without a doubt that He is still good!

7 thoughts on “April showers…

  1. Grace, it is so good to hear from you. Your progress sounds very exciting but it must require lots of patience for you . We continue to keep praying for your healing and your future. Pam and Mike Wass


  2. Thank you Grace,
    I’m continuing prayers that God will give you all the straight that you need to get through this.


  3. Hi Grace,

    I do think the vest is snazzy! =) Whatever it takes! PT and OT are amazing places where hard work brings lots of progress. Go, Grace!

    After all my years on the violin, I won beginner piano lessons. I went on to take piano for two years, thoroughly enjoying it. A great deal of knowledge from my violin training transferred to the piano, and I found it very satisfying. I will certainly keep praying for your left hand to wake up, but I encourage you to enjoy the piano as an outlet for your musical gifts.

    Please congratulate Ivan on his amazing accomplishment. We have a family member who has been very ill since November, and some days are considered a success when everyone just gets fed and shows up where they need to be! It is abundantly clear that both of you have been trusting in the strength of the Lord Jesus, and we rejoice with you!

    Love in Him,
    Samantha Elliott


  4. Such great news and a wonderful outlook. Seriously praying that God will be especially strong in your recovery of every faculty.


  5. It is so clear how God is working dearest sister Grace. You and Ivan have been displaying the kind of faith and attitude that is a model for each of us in such a deep way I don’t know how to thank you. Overflowing love and blessings to you both in Christ,


  6. Dear Grace,

    I am thrilled to hear about Ivan’s accomplishments and for your straight left leg!!! I will pray specifically for sensation and fine motor skills for your left hand and for continued mental healing. God is good and you are delightful in your sense of humor – and willingness to share the journey 😉 You are bringing Him Glory!!!

    Love and God’s Blessings,

    Peggy Londre


  7. Continuing to pray for continued healing. Thank you for keeping us up to date on your progress. Love and prayers


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