GBS Update: Monday 2nd August 2010

Last week was a week of two halves for me. We started the week discussing the fact that it was likely to take me at least six weeks to learn to walk. By Friday I was walking to and from my bedroom and the gym using a gutter frame! I am so excited and pleased to be able to use my legs for the first time. THANK YOU once again for all your prayers and support on this journey so far – I am utterly convinced that without them I wouldn’t be at this point.

When I told my physio that it had been exactly four months from the point of losing the ability to walk, to regaining it, she reminded me again of just how extraordinarily quick a recovery this has been, despite how long it may have felt along the way. Without factoring in the extent to which I became ill along the way, to have GBS and to have only four months without walking is impressive.

If it sounds as if I’m boasting, it’s because I am! I don’t pretend this has anything to do with me; I believe ultimately God has heard the prayers of many people, and shown us all what He can do. At every stage, whether getting worse or better, I have always felt that this has been happening TO me, and all I can do is sit back (or lie back!), join in with your prayers, and see what happens.

It really has been quite remarkable so far – but it’s not over yet! In fact, as we have turned the corner into what feels like it might be the home straight, so another stage is just beginning, which will lead me back into ‘normal’ life, and whatever the future holds for me. With this in mind, please focus your prayers along these lines over the coming days:

Having been ventilated for over two months, I am left with a small wound, which is having trouble healing. The trusty old ventilator was finally turned off seven weeks ago today; a tracheostomy wound normally heals up in about two. It’s not at all painful, but the sooner it heals the quicker I’m free from another possible source of infection (infections and GBS don’t go well together!).

The goals which were set last Monday – to be reached over the coming month or so – were all met by Wednesday (except one), thanks to this sudden spurt of progress. Many of the new goals will now become quite scary, like standing up in the shower. It seems incredible that we are already at that point, and that such simple tasks should look to me like such a big mountain to climb.

In the run up to this sudden burst of progress I was experiencing more and more pain. It was ‘good’ nerve-repair type pain, but if it continues I may have to request more painkillers. My doctor seems fairly relaxed about how quickly I come off the drugs, but I am keen not to need them. We need the nerves to fully repair themselves as soon as possible so that the pain stops and I can be drug free.

In the last four months many people have sent us passages of the Bible to read and be encouraged by. One passage particularly caught my eye when a church in Pakistan sent me a card – someone wrote “Psalm 30 – read every day!” – so I am, and every time I read it, the words become my own:

I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me.

You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.

O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health.

You brought me up from the grave, O Lord.

You kept me from falling into the pit of death.

Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name.

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime!

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

When I was prosperous, I said, “Nothing can stop me now!”

Your favour, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain.

Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.

I cried out to you, O Lord.

I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,

“What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave?

Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness?

Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me.

Help me, O Lord.”

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

With love and my renewed thanks for standing with me,

Luke x

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