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Friday Update: 12/2/05

Blessings for the day:
Well, our big, BIG blessing is that God truly does answer prayer. I have felt it time and time again, but never as much as I did today.
Let me back up a little and explain just how awesome God is…on Tuesdays, the therapists, nurses, and doctors all get together and review Matt’s progress. This past Tuesday, they all talked about how great he was doing, how much progress he was making, and how much more progress they thought he could make if he stayed at Younker for a while longer. They even talked to my insurance company and found out that he could stay longer, as long as he continued to show improvement. In their eyes, this was a great opportunity…in Matt’s eyes it was not. They thought they could send him home for one night over Christmas weekend, and then keep him here until the 30th. Well, he just couldn’t see the point in coming back for only one extra week. We thought long and hard about all the options, but ultimately it was Matt’s decision. He was very, very adamant that he go home on the original discharge date of December 21st. He has been so motivated, and has worked so hard to get home on that date, and doesn’t want to wait any longer. Needless to say, we all had very strong feelings about this situation. We all have Matt’s best interest in mind…and want him to get as strong as possible. It was hard to be in the middle…cuz there was nothing I could do to change Matt’s mind…and this was a decision that was his to make. Everyone was worried that he wouldn’t get as much therapy doing it outpatient…and that his progress would slow way down. The last few days, we have all been mulling over the options and the scenarios. I had pretty much decided that we would just pay for any extra therapy we could, if my insurance would only pay for a few sessions per week…or if they cut him off after so many days of therapy. I knew it would cost us a lot, but also knew that the most important thing was good, solid therapy for Matt.

I was praying about it a lot. Praying for peace, and for the right path to be made clear to us. I just felt unsure about what we should do, and it was such a huge decision to make. Well, today I received my answer. This morning, his occupational therapist asked me if I had ‘heard about my insurance’. She could tell from the puzzled look on my face, that I didn’t know what she was talking about. Well, she told me that they found out my insurance will pay for UNLIMITED amounts of outpatient therapy!!! I couldn’t believe it! I jumped up out of my chair and ran over to her, tears filling my eyes! I just couldn’t believe what she was telling me!!!! They will pay 80% of the therapy charges, until we pay $1000 out of pocket…then they will pay for the rest 100%...for as many visits as he needs, for as LONG as he needs. This is something that apparently few other insurance plans offer for patients. I didn’t know what to say…I was speechless, and so relieved. This means that Matt can come home and enjoy being at our home together and STILL receive as much intensive therapy as he needs to keep his progress going strong. It is the best of both worlds!!! I have always, always appreciated my job and the many benefits that go with it…but this whole experience has really amplified my gratefulness at working for such a great company. The flexibility I have had with my work schedule, the support I’ve received from my colleagues, the income I’ve earned, and the insurance…I am truly, truly blessed.

In other news, Matt has been doing very, very well. His speech and swallowing progress have everyone jumping for joy. He is talking very, very well these days! Now, if you haven’t heard him talk for 3 months, you may not think so…but to go from not being able to talk at ALL…to communicating nearly 100% (we me at least) verbally…that’s just HUGE progress! The sky is the limit on what he can do in time! They have also stopped all tube feedings (effective last Sunday). We started the three meals a day on Monday and he did so well, and continues to do well, that they are no longer tracking his calories. In fact, they are making plans to remove the feeding tube in the next few days!!! (Maybe even later today!) He is on a normal diet, eating pretty much whatever he wants! Tonight, I am bringing him his Silvestrini’s pizza!!!!!!! His parents, sister, and my Aunt Barb will be here tonight for this commemorative event!!! He is excited…as am I. We have so much to celebrate…this wonderful news about the insurance, as well as the fact that he can sit down and eat himself a couple slices of his favorite food.

He has been working hard on his walking too, and is showing signs of improvement all the time. He still has a long way to go, but his strength and perseverance are starting to pay off. We sat down with his physical therapist and came up with some more goals to be working on…namely getting his walking better and working on the stairs. She has been seeking his input a lot on things he wants to work on…and that has been so good for us. The therapy is so much more meaningful when he can help decide what to work on.

As these next few weeks go by, I ask that you continue to hold him up in your prayers…that he’ll continue to make great strides with his therapies. He wants to be able to walk well again soon, so please be praying for that. I can’t tell you how much it means to us that you are all so faithful with your prayers and support…you all mean so much to us.


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