Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Update From ST Louis

Been a crazy past few days. Shabbos in Har Nof with Yehonatan & Malka, and Tuvia. Zoo with Tzivia. Learning shtark. And Ezra made me run today and will forever hate him for it.

But, here's an update on Tehilla and Refa'el Dovid:

Saturday Night, Nov. 25th, 5 Kislev

We have so much to be thankful for. I'm happy to share encouraging news. It is clear to me that we can gain a strong sense of chizuk and appreciation for the power of all the tefillos and mitzvos that have been directed as a zechus (merit) for Rafael Dovid and Tehilla.

Last Tuesday (Nov 21) Dovid had a shunt put in his head to drain the cerebrospinal fluids. The operation was successful and he returned to his room awake and alert after the surgery.
On Wednesday morning he started to respond to questions by nodding his head. I thought I saw it in the morning. Around noon, my wife asked Dovid if he wanted Abba to return soon and he immediately nodded his head yes. This has continued since then, not exactly every time he is asked to respond but a good number of times which indicates his awareness and this level of communication.

On Thursday night my daughter brought her newborn Blumi (still getting use to the name...) to see Dovid. She asked him if he wanted to kiss the baby. He nodded YES and as the baby was brought close to him he lifted his head a drop and shaped his lips as if to try to kiss her. This is HUGE! It brings excitement, encouragement and tears of joy.

On Friday, the Physical Therapist came in with the OK to sit him up and move him to his wheel chair. Last week he was up to 5 minutes sitting up, his head and neck held up of course, and 3 + hours in his chair. Now the goal was to again go for the 5 minutes sitting up and an hour in his chair. As we together moved him to his chair sitting him up he had such a painful distressed look on his face and he let out an .... "AAHHH". It was heartbreaking to hear and at the same time we were ecstatic that he made a sound! This was the first sound he has made! We got him comfortable and he made it well through the hour.

Brocha spent Shabbos with Dovid and 2 friends spent Shabbos with Tehilla. After Shabbos I immediately called Brocha to hear how Shabbos went. She shared this amazing news...
She heard a few sounds from Dovid through the night so she figured she'll try to get more out of him. She told him how much we love him; Abba loves you, Ema loves you and who loves you more than all..... He responded, "HASHEM"!!! Of course it's not his normal voice, it was slow, high pitched, and with stress but he said it! She continued to read to him and he answered a question from the Parsha... I don't remember the question but he answered, "ROCHEL". The Physical Therapist came in to again put him into the wheel chair. Again, something was hurting and he let out a cry... my wife asked him, "Dovid, tell me what's hurting?" He responded, "my arm". The Therapist asked which arm, he responded, "my left arm". It was so...........wonderful. It wasn't his normal voice; he hasn't used his voice in 6 1/2 weeks. But it was clear and tells us that not only is he able to speak but to think and process, B"H!! There were several other words and responses in addition.

I'm trying not to say the word "unbelievable" even as just an expression. It's believable because "Ein od m'lvado" - it's all possible since HaShem runs the world. I just need to think it and live it. This whole ordeal and praying for the kids to be well is so out of our hands that it helps actualize the emunah and bitachon that we know is true in our hearts and minds.

HaShem is always speaking to us and sending us messages. Everything we see and hear, witness and experience is no accident. The lessons and messages comes on different levels. Even if it's a bit far removed from me, if it comes to me it's for me to process.

So many people from so many different places have heard about this "accident" and have responded in so many different ways. It has affected so many, for the good and better. There are so many life lessons and truths that we can think about with hopes of internalizing to change us and raise our spiritual status. This is how we grow. It's so much better (I think) to keep learning from the events and lessons of others before the wake up calls need to ring louder and closer. Ultimately it's all for our good and HaShem knows best for each one of us. Not one drop of pain or suffering, distress or discomfort is without calculation. Just as a parent determines the duration of the "time out" or severity of the punishment that is aimed as being the best lesson for the mistake, so too HaShem runs and controls all the details of everything in life. It's back to basics: He's the Creator, Sustainer, and Supervisor and it's our test and job to live it... (walk the talk).

After the phone call and getting the kids at home a bit settled, I went to the Hospital to make Havdalla for Brocha (and Dovid). We were talking about birthdays so I said to Dovid, "yours is in March, when is Chaim's?" He responded, "APRIL".

Getting past the tears of joy and gratitude, we can see that our tefillos are working and that there is continued improvement day after day. We daven that he'll continue to improve day by day all the way back to a refuah SHELAIMA, a full recovery where he will come back to himself in every way.

Tehilla is also improving beautifully. She is more and more focused and less and less agitated and irritable. She is more and more aware of her comments and reactions. As I've written before, she is totally with it, remembers everything, it's just that she's louder than normal and less inhibited to share her thoughts. Her normal self is very refined, well balanced, good judgement, etc.... she's truly a super star. She'll get back to this but in the meanwhile we are all seeing the process of recovery along with a sense of humor that we have never seen before. Nothing that she says is inappropriate it just uninhibited. She doesn't act like this all the time throughout the day, but at different times of the day. We are limiting the number of visitors she has so as not to get over stimulated and that her visitors come with a specific purpose or plan. Friends are coming to go over school work or to discuss specifics about some school projects. This has been very helpful and therapeutic. The brain is still healing and the everything inside needs to reconnect. We are davening and optimistic that she'll have a full recovery Be"H and the Doctors feel the same. I believe she'll be in the Hospital for 2-3 weeks longer.

We haven't been told clearly but we believe Dovid will be going to the rehab unit sometime this week, perhaps even on Monday. During his time in the TCU (Transitional Care Unit --step down from ICU), he has been receiving Phyical Therapy (more range and motion), Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy. Once he goes to the rehab unit, it becomes intense rehab throughout the day.

We need to get Dovid back talking, walking, and moving all parts of his body. He has his sister's Chasuna coming up on February 1st in St. Louis, he needs to dance and say divrei Torah at the Sheva Brochos. Baseball season is coming up in April. He's the best on his team at any position and doesn't know how to hit less than home runs. With HaShem's help and continued tefillos, he can do it all. The most important is the extra learning projects I am hoping to set up for him.

Thank you for your part in their recovery. Everyone's tefillos and extra efforts to create zechus for both Rafael Dovid and Tehilla is making a difference. Tefilla is the most potent tool we have. It works.

With deep gratitude and appreciation,


Sunday evening, Nov. 26, 6 Kislev

I tried sending out this email last night but it didn't go out.

I'll just add a few things to the above.

Dovid is speaking a little more, slowly, not totally clear yet but clear enough to recognize (most of the time) what he's saying.

The 2 points which thrilled us:

1) The Doctor asked him today which sibling is getting married. He responded, "LEAH". He then asked him who the Chosson is. Keep in mind this is new information in his data bank, he has never met the Chosson. He responded clearly, "REUVAIN".
2) Dovid has learned the first few mishnayos in Pirke Avos by heart. I started saying the Mishnayos and let him fill in the blank... Moshe kebail Torah m.... he said "SINAI". etc.. and several other times he responded correctly. The second mishna: He responded to: al ha.. "Torah", al ha... he responded "haavoda", and he completed the misha "chasadim"

This past week he has started moving his right hand a lot. We are hoping the rest of his body will follow soon with HaShem's help.

There's a lot to be thankful for and there's ever so much to daven for. We shouldn't just daven for our basics when in need or when we are at a loss; we should appreciate our basics of health and family with gratitude and expression every day. How much richer and happier our lives would be with this little effort. I know this and you know this but I have been negligent and perhaps it's worth mentioning.



Post a Comment

<< Home