Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kris update: The results are in!!

Dear ones all!

The results are in: Kris will not need to have the shunt implanted. After inserting the lumbar drain into her lower back Monday afternoon and monitoring her since then, Dr. Teff decided this afternoon there was simply no marked change. He removed the drain tube but decided to keep her in ICU for another night. Had there been a major difference in her physical and mental state, implanting the shunt would have been a good thing. Since she evidently does not have excess spinal fluid, however, it just isn’t necessary to subject her to more surgery.

That having been said, we can move forward again with a plan. The plan includes having Kris return to Health South RIOSA for at least two weeks, possibly a little longer to rehab her and get her going physically again. Beyond that, she may still be admitted to the Audie Murphy Poly Trauma Center. We don’t have a date for that yet and there must be another evaluation meeting, but a decision is close. We are headed in the right direction anyway!

Several good things have come from the “testing.” First, just knowing there is no excess fluid brings a sigh of relief in itself. Second, a pharmaceutical doctor was called in on Monday to look at Kris’s list of medications she has been receiving. It is huge, far outdated, and simply had to be scrutinized. That has been done now and many of the unnecessary medications have been eliminated. This is something I’ve wanted to have done for some time, and we are so hopeful it will make a difference in her countenance and in physical and mental abilities.

Finally, Kris will return to RIOSA as an inpatient this Friday, which will change her therapy status back to what it was last winter when she was really on top of her game in rehabbing. She will have more therapy, some of the former therapists will work with her again (and that’s a plus!), and she may even be able to go back into the therapy swimming pool. Since she is an avid swimmer, Kris truly loved that last winter.

We are hopeful for so many reasons now. To have had the “overnight change” (had the shunt been inserted) would have been nothing short of a miracle, and I suppose we are a little disappointed. But God’s miracles come in His time and in His way, and sometimes they are little ones which add up to bigger ones. We are assured of that by His Word, and that’s good enough for all of us!

So... thank you all again for praying through. Your love and faithfulness on Kris’s behalf is such good medicine and, truly, just what the doctor ordered!!!

Blessings and love,

Carol and George

The Saga of #1 and #2

I have a story to tell that started yesterday morning very early and I have discovered that I can share the pictures here, that I have posted on FaceBook.  So, instead of re-telling the story, just follow these links for all the excitement.

Once upon a time…

And they lived happily ever after (I hope)

I’m an emotional mess, but I’m now happy that there was a happy ending.  There were prayers prayed and God answered.

Rest In Peace, #2.#2 - 2

I guess, for this story to be a saga, I would need to follow-up on #1, but I’m not sure I can handle that, emotionally.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

God’s Condition for His Full Blessing

from devotion by Dr. Charles Stanley

Romans 12:1-2

New Living Translation (NLT)

Romans 12
A Living Sacrifice to God

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

And version: (keep reading)

Romans 12:1-2

New Life Version (NLV)

Romans 12

1 Christian brothers, I ask you from my heart to give your bodies to God because of His loving-kindness to us. Let your bodies be a living and holy gift given to God. He is pleased with this kind of gift. This is the true worship that you should give Him. 2 Do not act like the sinful people of the world. Let God change your life. First of all, let Him give you a new mind. Then you will know what God wants you to do. And the things you do will be good and pleasing and perfect.

(keep reading)

Romans 12:1-2

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Romans 12
Dedicated Service

1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.


Romans 12:1-2

New King James Version (NKJV)

Romans 12
Living Sacrifices to God

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Dr. Stanley writes:  (good stuff)

The Lord wants to give each of us an abundance of blessings. Let’s explore what is required so that we may enjoy all that He has planned.

Today’s passage clarifies the one necessary condition for receiving His best: full surrender. Every aspect of our being—body, soul, and spirit—is to be a living sacrifice. This may sound dreary, but contrary to human logic, true freedom is found only when we fully yield to Christ.

In the Old Testament, sacrifice was very common. To atone for sin, a person could bring a lamb to the altar. The animal was set apart for God’s purposes as a holy offering, and through its death, restitution was made.

When we give ourselves as a sacrifice, there is, thankfully, no need for our blood to be shed. Jesus died to atone for all our sin. But out of love and gratitude, every aspect of our lives should be dedicated to Him.

What does a surrendered life entail? Most importantly, it involves complete commitment to Christ, unaltered by the world’s influence. Our desires and old ways of functioning are no longer driving forces. Instead, His Spirit guides, and His will is the goal. Yielding to Him means following His way in attitude, words, thoughts, and deeds—and doing so unapologetically, unwaveringly, fearlessly.

You have a choice—either be content with less than God’s best, or give yourself fully to Him. Complete surrender is not an easy road; it means dying to your desires and selfishness. But remember that the Lord is willing and able to do more than we can even imagine.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Kris update–Prayer alert

To all... a prayerful update regarding Kris!

Just wanted to let you know that Kris was admitted to Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio this morning, and the procedure was performed late this afternoon by Dr. Teff and his associate, Dr. Park. Kris was mildly sedated in addition to receiving a local anesthetic at the base of her spine. The lumbar drain was effectively inserted and she is now attached to a sophisticated monitoring device which essentially measures the amount of fluid being produced in her brain during one-hour time intervals. This will be continued for 72 hours, at which time an assessment of her physical and mental capabilities will be made. If they are remarkably improved, the shunt will be inserted on Friday by Dr. Teff.

If no improvement is observed, the lumbar drain will be removed and Kris will continue with therapy in hopes of continued progress.

We are asking everyone to please pray for that “remarkable change.” The decision to have the shunt inserted will be based on those findings, and our hope for even greater progress for Kris lies there. It is in God’s hands!


Carol and George

~~~ Odor, with a capital O ~~~

Rather than re-write the adventure, I got lazy and just will just copy and paste the whole thing from FaceBook.

275822_1153473108_2373970_q[1]LaVon DeRusha Baker

We have a phantom odor in the Q! It's not the black tank. It's not the grey tank. Do any RV'ers have any suggestions? It comes and goes, for about 4 days now, and tonight it is worse than it's ever been. · · August 25 at 9:34pm

    • DeAnn Hoover: Bruce is thinking hard. You don't have a slow water leak someplace do you?

      August 25 at 9:37pm ·

    • Danielle Irene:  mom said check the drain pipe in the kitchen,the seal around the toilet,or something in the crawl space. August 25 at 9:39pm ·

    • Danielle Irene: or the vent pipe on the roof. August 25 at 9:39pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker:  No. It's a gas-y, chemical type odor.  August 25 at 9:44pm ·

    • DeAnn Hoover: not propane is it? We had a little leak around the regulator and it smelled off and on. August 25 at 9:44pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker:  We put a Cyclone on the toilet vent. Replaced the vent under the bathroom sink. Flushed out the black tank thoroughly. August 25 at 9:45pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: It's has be fine for about 2 days and now tonight, it's back!!  Grrr. August 25 at 9:45pm ·

    • Danielle Irene:  i hated weird smells in are camper. August 25 at 9:46pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: the odor is in the living area... no odor in the bath/bedroom area. August 25 at 9:47pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: no odor from the kitchen drain. August 25 at 9:47pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: we've checked the refrigerator, too. if it was constant, but it's not. August 25 at 9:49pm

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: DeAnn, did you smell the propane inside your rig? Don has checked both tanks and can't smell anything out there. It's not the same smell as when we turn on the burner, but it gets really strong and burns our eyes until we open the Q door and windows. August 25 at 10:00pm ·

    • Rita Bigley Knight-Shaw: Is your tank low? propane has an "odor" added to it to let you know if your tank is low or leaking....August 25 at 10:04pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker:  Rita, Don thought about that, but it's been low before and even ran out and we've never had this odor before. He's going out now to turn the tanks off for the night and see if that helps. August 25 at 10:08pm ·

    • Rita Bigley Knight-Shaw: Any possibility of "critters" in the walls,ceilings, etc.? August 25 at 10:26pm via ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker:  Shouldn't be. Underneath is completely closed. If it was something dead, the smell would be worse when it's in the heat of the day and it didn't start until about 8:30 tonight.  August 25 at 10:34pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: It's seems to be better sense he closed the propane tank we were using and opened the other one. (we have dual tanks). We'll how the night goes. August 25 at 10:35pm ·

    • John E. Elzner: not familiar with this, but could it be from the pipe from which you dump your lines as in, the parks system have challenges with the heat and all, could it be seeping from cracks or broken seals in their lines and permeating to the surface? don't know if you have soil that cracks where y’all are but that could be something to look into. anyone else having that problem?  August 25 at 10:38pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: ‎*since* he closed the propane tank. I should go to bed. Maybe the odor is getting to me. :-) August 25 at 10:40pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: We'll double check that tomorrow, John. But it's not bad outside, just inside. Such a mystery! August 25 at 10:41pm ·

    • John E. Elzner: if you have underpinning that could contribute. Lake, Google detectors for explosive gases, only thing propane won't get picked up as it pools in low places. It's heavier than air, but if by chance there's some methane leaking, it'll pick that up and go off. I don't know if they even make one for propane, August 25 at 10:49pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: No underpinning. August 25 at 10:51pm ·

    • Robin Umatum: Need more info. Is it a sewer smell? Could be your tank vent line is plugged up. Is it an animal smell. Check for expired critters in all the wrong places. Could have been electrocuted. It has happened you know. Give more info as to where the smell is coming from or near. Neil Umatum  -Friday at 12:06am ·

    • Robin Umatum: Are you experiencing high winds in the area?? Friday at 12:07am ·

    • David Sutton: Do you think it could be LP gas order? Check the batteries in your Carbon Monoxide detector to be safe. Friday at 5:58am ·

    • Jon De Rusha: Whatever you do, don't strike a match! Friday at 6:09am ·  (my brother was so helpful. Smile)

    • Rita Bigley Knight-Shaw: Good, was really hoping that could not be the case.... Friday at 9:07am via ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: Well, it wasn't the propane tanks or propane. Don closed the grey tanks this morning and that did it, so we will have the vents checked next week. The Q has 3 4 sewer vents on top and one must be plugged with something. We've exhausted everything else. We slept with the windows open and fans going last night. Thank the Lord for the rain shower we got yesterday afternoon to cool things off a bit. Was 68 here this morning. Damp, though. Friday at 9:20am ·

    • Rita Bigley Knight-Shaw: ‎68 and even wet sounds wonderful.......maybe there is hope yet that temps will cool down before Christmas this year.....glad you slept 'vented" last night....may be a bird nest in the top vent.... Friday at 9:26am ·

    • Snookie Quinn: LaVon, do you leave the gray tank open? Saturday at 9:12am ·

    • Snookie Quinn: Do you have an island sink or is it up against the wall? I know you have the island but I can't remember if your sink is in it or not. I'm overdue for a visit I think! Saturday at 9:20am ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: ‎@Snookie... you ARE overdue for a visit. Saturday at 12:45pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: The Phantom Odor Mystery Saga continues! With the gray tanks closed, all was well and good until 11:30 PM last night. I flushed the toilet, as usual. Within seconds, I begin to smell Odor again. (Yes, now Odor is capitalized) NOOOOOOOO! Where is it coming from??? Saturday at 12:47pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: Well, I walked up the 3 steps to the bedroom/bath area and got a stronger whiff while on the steps. Putting my nose to the wall where the sliding door is, BAM!!! There it was, enough to burn my eyes. This wall is directly behind the toilet room and above the black tank. The vent to the roof is also in this wall. Saturday at 12:49pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker": So, we are presently focusing our attack in the area of the black tank and pipes. Prayers would be appreciated. Saturday at 12:50pm ·

    • Rita Bigley Knight-Shaw: Prayers for sure ....hopefully the problem is resolved and SOON!!!! Saturday at 1:26pm ·

    • Peggy Bullock: I hope you get this solved. Have you talked to the mfg. or anything? Scares me when you said it burns your eyes! Good luck & prayers being sent! Saturday at 5:56pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: Thanks Peggy and Rita. If we haven't resolved the problem by Monday, we will call the mfg. then. When the odor starts, we open up the Q. Saturday at 6:11pm · [Peggy liked this comment]

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: Like clock work... at 10:30, the Phantom returned!! Stronger than ever. Not the black tank. The only thing left is the 12-volt battery…. a dry cell or two or three. Will check it in the morning. For now, opening up the Q again and turning on the super vent. Positive side: electricity bill will be less. :-) Saturday at 10:53pm ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: Thanks to Bob Quinn.... mystery is solved!!! It's the battery!!! Bone dry. The battery compartment is directly under the toilet area and the wall where the odor was coming from.  Sunday at 8:10am ·

    • Rita Bigley Knight-Shaw: Glad you found the source.....battery acid stinks to high heaven itself.... Sunday at 8:17am ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: New battery installed. Odor conquered!! Praise the Lord!Sunday at 3:16pm ·

    • Rita Bigley Knight-Shaw: Amen!Yesterday at 3:37pm via ·

    • Peggy Bullock: Glad it's solved! That darn Bob Quinn!!! He is just so smart!!! Snookie is lucky to have him! about a minute ago ·

    • LaVon DeRusha Baker: I know, Peggy! We should have called him first thing!a few seconds ago ·

And that brings us up to date regarding the Phantom Odor Saga.  Except, there is two other things I want to say. 

THANK YOU! to Jim Hibbitts, park camper, for helping Don connect the new battery.  We couldn’t do this RV thing without the help of wonderful people.

Last, but not least… Thank You, LORD, that the battery did not explode and burn the Q up!

We will be careful to check the water in the battery from now on!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

When I look at the person in the mirror, square in the eye, do I see Jesus?

If I can’t say, “Yes, I see Jesus,” is it because, perhaps, I really don’t believe what He says:

Matt. 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. …. 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

Joshua 1:3-5
I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you ... No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Romans 8:15
For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Hebrews 13:5-6
For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

If I really believe what Jesus says is true, I will be able to joyfully look in the mirror and say, “Hello, Jesus, I know You are in me.  I know You are with me.”

If I truly cannot “see” Jesus in my reflection, and have doubt about His presence with me, maybe an examination of my heart is needed.  Have I given my heart and whole life to Him, seeking forgiveness and making Him Lord and Master of my life?  If so, have I asked forgiveness for my “today sins?”

Have I forgiven today?

Have I read His Word today?

Have I talked to Him all day?

Have I listened to Him all day?

“Hello, Jesus, I see You,” is a great way to start my day.  However, the real test comes at bedtime.  Can I still say, “Goodnight, Beloved Jesus, I still see You,” when I look in the mirror.

Dear Jesus, I am Yours and You are mine. I know that if I can’t see you in me, no one else will either.  Help me to always see You in me.  Amen.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Logan starts season with a “W”

Logan scored 13 points today and helped Bixby Red to a 35-0 win today.  Stephanie captured #12 making a touchdown and posted it on FaceBook.  I love technology!Logan  8-25-2011 touchdown

This athlete loves football.

Kris Update: “These Few Days”

Hey, LaVon and Don!

We so enjoyed the Opa’s sausages today.  Came home to make dinner and George had the grill out all set to grill ‘em for me.  They are delicious.  Gotta thank ya again, Don!!
I’ve attached a couple of photos: one taken yesterday when Kris decided to “boogie” with Dad after she had walked up and down the steps,Kris & George 8-26-2011 and the other taken today when she “rang the bell!”  Kris 8-27-2011They do that when they are leaving.  Since she’ll be discharged Monday, she was able to ring it today even though she may come back for a week or so for rehab before going into the VA.  (Still not sure that will work here, but we’re going somewhere!!!)
Have to tell you, though, these past few days have been remarkable.  Haven’t seen her this animated or involved or “up” since December when she was doing so good.  Actually, she is even better now.  When she went in to have the endometrial ablation on Wednesday, they put a patch behind her ear (the kind used for motion sickness, etc.) to keep her from having nausea during the procedure.  It must be something they do now.  Anyway, it seemed as though that must have triggered something or reduced the fluid in her ears and her glands (which it’s supposed to do) which likely (I think, anyway) reduced some of the fluid in her head.  If that’s the case, we are surely on the right track for next week! 

Kris has been walking better (still assisted) and just so focused and together with everything since Wednesday.  Even Thursday when she was still resting and getting over the anesthesia from Wednesday, she was letting the nurse know to add more water to the Jevity so it won’t stop up the feed line (she points), and she was just so sweet and agreeable!  Friday, she just blew everyone away with her PT abilities.  She walked (again assisted) up and down the steps so well, and then she walked all over the place, then she got in her wheel chair and “walked” herself out into the hall, over to the cafeteria and nodded when I asked her if she wanted some yogurt.  When Dr. Onghai was saying good-bye (in case he didn’t see us Monday), I gave him a hug and she held up her arms (both of them!) for him to give her a hug, too.  She has never done that before.  She’s alert!  She pointed to my hands last night and we decided she must want her wedding ring or one of her rings to wear.  When I asked her, she shook her head yes.  I took a ring in to her this morning and gave it to her, and she wanted it on her finger.  She pointed to the lesions on my cheek with a questioning look, and I told her “yes” they’re getting all better. 

There’s just so much more to tell, but... well, I wanted you to know because I do believe God is telling me Kris is going to make great strides next week.  I am just so excited!!!  Had to share it with you all.
See you on the 7th!  Not sure where we’ll be yet, but we’ll figure it out.  What time is Don’s appointment?
Love you both!
Carol and George

[As I was reading this email to Don, I got so choked up with joy at Kris’s improvement, I had to stop a minute to rejoice and regain my voice.  Praise God!  We all continue to pray and thank God for how marvelously He is working on Kris’s behalf and expect to hear even more wonderful news in the future.]