I’m really encouraged with the progress over the past couple of weeks, I can’t wait to tell you all about it!
Firstly, could I ask if you have forwarded one of these updates to anybody – at whatever stage of this journey, whether just the one message or more – whether you could send this particular update onto them once again? A couple of people seem to have lost touch, particularly since Mum and Dad lost their email database a couple of months ago, and I hope people will be encouraged to hear how things are going. Remember all the latest updates can be found online at www.luke-wood.org.
Being a walking man again doesn’t take much getting used to – I love it! I seem to have progressed from the gait of a wobbly toddler to a man who looks slightly inebriated. I feel so much more stable than I did at first – that’s not to say that I don’t still have my wobbles, but I’m certainly not so much of a falling risk as I used to be. I’ve been walking outside too, although my physio has ordered me a walking stick and suggested I use it whenever I’m outside as a signal to others that I need a bit of extra consideration. Without a stick, I do need someone to hold onto when not at home.
I have been practising driving too, aiming to get at least one small journey each day. Ironically, taking the slower routes actually wears my leg muscles out much more quickly; motorway driving (albeit in the slow lane) is a lot more manageable. My blue badge came this week which will make it possible for me to start to make trips out in the car on my own when the time comes.
God has blessed me in many ways throughout this season – not least through putting experts around me who are able to directly help with aspects of my rehabilitation. My Aunt Tracy is a nurse and, probably without knowing it, has given invaluable advice about getting started in the mornings. This has been so important on the days when the pain of getting out of bed seems too much. Esther Hatcher (my old housemate) from Life Church Southampton is a swimming teacher and she joined us in the pool at half term, giving me technique advice which has pushed me up from from the ‘medium’ lane to ‘fast’, along with other exercises to try in the pool. Clare Hughes is a neuro rehab physio, and has been faithful in coming round every week or two to give extra exercises, practice and general encouragement – particularly helpful in the long gaps between NHS physio appointments!
All of these people have had a real impact in different ways – thank you guys so much for your interest and help! And thank you God, for them, for the loving family and friends God has put around me and for the many prayers that have gone up for me throughout this condition.
I also have Janet, my NHS physio, and Dr. Chaplin-Rogers, our family’s GP who seems fascinated by the condition. Please pray for these two, that God would give them wisdom.
A direct answer to your prayers over the past weeks has been that my energy levels seem to be stabilising. The fentanyl patches (the most addictive drug I’m on) seem to be affecting my physical ability considerably less than before, so much so that a week today when I next see my GP I will be asking him to reduce my dosage. We have been praying that we would be in a position to resume the weaning process for months – it is great to see an answer! Please pray that the sustained energy levels would continue, along with continued strength in my legs, arms and core (middle).
If you do pray for me, please don’t forget to thank God for everything he’s done so far. Many of you will remember the fact that I was told at first that I could be in ICU for 12-18 months, and here I am 7 months later swimming in the fast lane and driving on motorways! Without your commitment to prayer and His faithfulness to answer I would not be where I am today.
I am a big history fan, so I read a lot of historical books, both fact and fiction. It occured to me the other day that, if my fanciful wish to have been born hundreds of years ago came true, I would be dead. What a privilege to be alive at a point in history where it is possible for a machine to take over your breathing, and in a country where such first class provision is available, free at the point of need. Another cause for thanks to God!
I’ve been reading the book Job recently; the following (frrom chapter 22) struck a deep chord in me this week:
“Is not God high in the heavens?
See the highest stars, how lofty they are!
But you say, ‘What does God know?
Can he judge through the deep darkness?
Thick clouds veil him, so that he does not see,
and he walks on the vault of heaven.’
Will you keep to the old way
that wicked men have trod?
They were snatched away before their time;
their foundation was washed away.
They said to God, ‘Depart from us,’
and ‘What can the Almighty do to us?’…
Agree with God, and be at peace;
thereby good will come to you.
Receive instruction from his mouth,
and lay up his words in your heart.
If you return to the Almighty you will be built up;…
For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty
and lift up your face to God.
You will make your prayer to him, and he will hear you…
You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you,
and light will shine on your ways.”
Thank you Jesus, that when we’re in agreement with You, we know Your peace in our hearts.
With love and thanks,