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Showing posts from March, 2008

Sunday Update: 03/30/08

It’s the end of another week, and a good chance for me to think back on the week behind, and look forward to the week ahead. I was reminded, yet again, this morning just how wonderful my church family is. While it may be easy for some to forget all we are going through, especially with Matt gone, this family continues to hold us up faithfully in prayer and loving support. I was talking to a woman about how I just can’t say enough how wonderful the church family is…she said ‘well, that’s what we’re supposed to be’…and while she was right…I can honestly say that this church does a much better job of supporting each other than others I’ve attended in the past. They blow me away. They are just so warm and caring…and 100% sincere. I couldn’t ask for more. They inspire me to be better, to want to reach out to others more. I’m so thankful we found this wonderful church!! Of course many folks always ask me how Matt is doing, and our Pastor mentions Matt in his pastoral prayer (which …

Friday Update: 03/28/08

After talking to Matt last night I decided to go ahead and make my plans to return to China and bring Matt home in June. We had been on the fence about whether or not I would need to come back, and thinking maybe he could manage the journey on his own. Well, we both decided that regardless of whether or not he ‘could’ manage…we both just want to be together as soon as possible. He wants to have some time alone with me, before coming home where he’ll have lots of friends and family waiting to see and talk to him. And we both just want to have some time to catch up and just be together. So, I made plans to fly back on May 25th and bring him home on June 1st. While I’m not super thrilled with having to make that long trek again…I kind of think it will be nice to see and thank the nurses and doctors again and make sure everything is adequately documented in photos! I also thought maybe I might be able to bring them back a little something from Iowa, which I know they’d all be tickled…

Thursday Update: 03/27/08

It’s hard to believe we’re closing in on the end of Matt’s first month in China! At times it seems that it has gone quickly, and other times it seems like June 1st is an eternity away. It helps that we are able to talk to each other a couple times a week, and of course we e-mail each other everyday. Did I mention that I need to thank Al Gore for inventing the internet? It’s really helped us a lot! (ha)

All in all, I’d say Matt and I are both doing well…keeping busy and staying positive. But, we both also have our moments…moments when we just miss each other so much. I might see something or hear about something and want to show him or tell him right away, but I can’t. I just miss having him around…to talk to, to hug, to share funny thoughts from my day with…I will be so happy when he is back home again…completing our little family. In the mean time, I am determined to fill my time with friends, family, and fun!

Tonight I have someone coming out to measure windows for blinds and …

Monday Update: 03/24/08

Just a quickie to post some pictures here at the house...and also to let you know I finally uploaded my last two videos from China...my drive back to the airport. If you search for Karwoski blog, they should all show up.

Here is a picture of Steve looking out the cat door. This is so he can go in and out of the laundry room and no doggies can:


Here is looking into the kitchen:


The dining room:


The living room:


Our bedroom:



I'll post more when the rooms are more 'presentable'! Still have quite a bit of organizing to do!!

Sunday Update: 03/23/08

Happy Easter!!

Although it wasn’t much of a springy Easter…I just know that it will be spring soon enough. Today I spent the afternoon up at my sister’s house, celebrating Easter with lots of family. It is always good to see everyone and visit, though I sorely missed Matt and my parents. Family get togethers are never the same without my parents…and it was especially odd without Matt. But I was able to share photos from my trip and talk about how things are going so far for Matt and for me here at the new house…which is all good and positive.

Matt and I talked again tonight and things are going well for him. He said that Mary went out and got some DVDs of TV shows that they are going to start watching. Matt said they plan to get together every other evening and watch some shows together on Matt’s laptop. Tim and Mary came over Saturday night and watched one of Matt’s movies with him. I think it’s just great that Tim and Mary are there – not just to look out for and help Matt…but …

Thursday Update: 03/20/08

We officially closed on the sale of our old house yesterday!!! YAHOO!! It feels so good to have that piece of the puzzle finally completed! I met with the bank this week to talk about our options for the mortgage on the new house and hopefully we can close and get that wrapped up next week. While I’m not really looking forward to the bigger mortgage…it is sooo worth it!!! Plus, I just got a promotion at my job so the extra money will help with that too! It really feels like things are falling in to place…and again I feel so grateful.

Last night was my first evening/night alone in the house. Mom left yesterday morning. I just have to say…she was great. Having her there meant so much to me, especially since Matt was gone. To me, there is no one like my mom. She knows just how to help me out, and I appreciate it so much. I came home from work Monday night and she had been to the store and was fixing supper. We had spent much of last week eating fast food here and there and it…

Monday Update: 03/17/08

PHEW!!! What a week! I’m really not sure where to start…I know I haven’t posted much since returning from China and I’m sorry…but holy cow have things been crazy around here! Just nuts! I’ll try and remember all the things I wanted to write…

Matt is doing pretty well. Treatments are going pretty much the same, with Professor Shi performing several of his acupuncture treatments last week. Apparently, the wound on his knuckle is finally healing up, but now he has some sort of scrape on his foot that they’re watching. Last week I think I wrote that they had a little party for the patients…well, apparently it was hosted by the nurses and doctors. They brought in KFC and McDonald’s and served Coke for them! It was a nice time to relax and just enjoy visiting with everyone in a casual setting. Matt sent me a couple pictures which Mary took. Looks like they had fun!
This is Matt and Tim, with one of the nurses:


Matt has also met a nice Polish couple there who have agreed to teach him so…

Tuesday Update: 03/11/08

It’s my second day of work/life back in the swing of things after returning from China and I think that I’m finally starting to adjust. The first few nights back home were rough…my body and internal clock were just all mixed up. I was up all night and couldn’t sleep. Last night I finally slept all night – YAHOO! It’s amazing how much faster I am in the mornings too, without having to get Matt up and around. I’ve been to work at least ½ an hour earlier each day! Of course, I’m sure that’ll change next week when I begin my commute from the new house.

Speaking of the new house – things are in the final phases and everyone is running around like crazy trying to finish up in time for the move on Saturday. Mom arrived last night from Texas and will help me finish packing and cleaning at our old place and the new one. I’m SO happy to have her help and her moral support. It still feels very strange to be moving without Matt being here.

I talked to Matt again on Sunday evening and he …

Saturday Update: 03/08/08

Greetings from Iowa!!! I am sooo happy to be back home!!! Of course, it was a bittersweet feeling, wanting so badly to be home, and yet not wanting to leave Matt. I didn’t take the time to post before I left, there were many details to square away and I just wanted to have some time with Matt as well. I did get the new videos up on YouTube though…one of the ‘wound’ doctor coming to check on Matt’s knuckle…and one of Matt having acupuncture treatment with Professor Shi. Professor Shi (pronounced Sure) is kind of like the guru over there. He designed much of the program and all the other Professors and Doctors study under him. He places needles in areas which no other doctors do. The woman doctor with the long straight hair, who gives Matt most of his acupuncture treatments is Professor Bian, who is one of Professor Shi’s protégés. Doctor Shen is Matt’s main attending doctor who has performed most of his cupping treatments and attends all his acupuncture treatments and follows up on…

Thursday Update: 03/06/08

I can’t believe it is Thursday evening and my time here in China with Matt is drawing to a close. With each passing day I feel more and more comfortable with the arrangements here in the hospital, as we work through the kinks and establish our ‘system’. It seems unfair that just as I’m getting into the groove, I have to leave. Two days ago I was ready to run screaming back to the airport, desperate to get us back to our home and our comfortable surroundings. Today, I feel much, much better. I attribute that in large part to the many prayers I know are going up for Matt and me. Thank you! I could not be more grateful for the support we’ve received through e-mails and prayers!!!

Today started with a pleasant surprise. As we were laying in bed getting ready to get up…Matt said ‘I have to tell you something’. I jumped up, ready for it to be something bad…and he proceeded to tell me that he discovered this morning that he could lift his right arm straight up next to his ear and behind…

Wednesday Update: 03/05/08

Well it is the evening of another day here in China and we are surviving. I think I should just name this section of the blog ‘Surviving China’! Today had its ups and downs, but we are settling in to the evening relaxed and more peaceful about things.

Matt’s treatments went well again today. He usually starts the morning with acupuncture (after 20 minutes of the air purifier thingy). Today he had a break after that, followed by the herbal soaking treatment just before lunch. Unfortunately Matt’s tremor was acting up during the soaking and as he had his hand in the bucket of water he was rubbing his knuckle against the bottom of the bucket. Of course, he has diminished sensation on the right hand, so he didn’t know it was rubbing a pretty good bare spot on his middle knuckle. After the treatment, the nurse noticed it was bleeding and boy oh boy, did this send everyone into a tizzy! I think he must have had 5 different doctors and 7 different nurses come in and check it out…tal…

Tuesday (holy-cow-am-I-glad-this-day-is-over) Update: 03/04/08

Today was a weird, scary, frustrating, upsetting, unsettling, head turning, did-I-just-see-that type of day. It started out much as the others have, with the usual treatments and they went well. The cupping session went much better today, since we shaved a bunch of Matt’s hair. A different doctor (I really need to learn all their names) performed the treatment today and he really got the cups to stick. As you can see from the pictures, each one sucks up quite a bit of skin and it turned purple. Those purple circles are still there on his back and arm! He says they aren’t sore though, so I guess that’s good…they just look pretty bizarre!

The acupuncture treatments went really good today as well. I put another video out on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPmNUl1oWkQ

In the afternoon session though, Matt’s tremor was acting up more and I had to sit and hold his hand to try and calm it down. We have discovered that a little Norah Jones helps sooth him as well, so I always pl…

Monday Update: 03/03/08

The first day of treatments…went a little something like this:

6:25 – The nurse came in for her usual blood pressure and temperature check.
7:10 – Breakfast.
7:55 – We had our first visit with one of Matt’s doctors. We briefly went over the medical records and notes I had submitted and talked through some of Matt’s issues.
8:08 – Dr. Lee stopped by with several nurses and doctors – there must have been 8-9 people standing around.
8:30 – 3 nurses stopped by to clean the room…along with 2 housekeepers mopping the floor while the doctor came in and told Matt to lay down on the bed to prepare for the upcoming treatments.
8:55 – The nurse stopped in with this mysterious air purifier device, which she plugs in and runs for 20 minutes. We haven’t figured out why they do this…but we’re just going with the flow.
9:15 – The hoard of doctors and nurses came in to evaluate and do the first acupuncture treatment. Dr. Han, the President of the hospital had Matt do various things like lifting a…