It has been several days since we have posted, and time seems to be flying by. Part of the reason for not posting is that there really does not seem to be anything new to say. The other reason is that we are very busy!
Catching up on everything around here and keeping up with the kids seems to be occupying all of my time. We are also trying to get Elisabeth’s ITBS testing done, and seem to have several appointments each week. I guess this is only the second week home, so I should not be surprised that things are not “normal” around here yet.
We also made a trip to the emergency room at 3:30 on Tuesday morning. Mike woke up with chest pain that was different than anything he had experienced. It took some convincing, but he finally agreed that it should be checked out. They did the usual tests: lots of blood work, chest x-ray, EKG, CT with contrast. The only thing that showed up was a small amount of fluid in one lung and around the heart that is consistent with being this far out from open heart surgery. They did say to watch it, though, and see our doctor if the pain gets worse. So far it’s been better, so that’s good.
Mike felt like he had once again put me out. Overall, I am quite calm during these things, and I absolutely do not feel put out. He had no pain when he had the blood clots in his heart and lungs, so we both want to be aware of anything that might indicate that happening. This whole experience has been so traumatic that I definitely prefer that we be cautious.
On a totally different note, Mike is preaching on Sunday! Before we went up to Mayo for surgery, Mike had hoped to be back preaching by Easter. In the first days of speech therapy, he was very frustrated by what he felt were silly exercises. At that point, his wonderful speech therapist, Rebecca, asked what his goal for speech therapy was, even though she knew the answer. He said that he wanted to be back preaching. She then asked him when he wanted to be doing that by. He said, “Easter.” She responded by saying that she thought that would be doable, while I sat in the backgroung shaking my head.
Rebecca had no idea how long Mike usually preaches, or the amount of study that precedes the writing of a sermon. Or the number of books he usually reads. At that time, reading was very difficult. So they talked about it. She said that she didn’t think 40 minutes would be doable, but 20 would. She also did not want him to feel pressure, so she suggested having preaching on Easter be the goal, knowing that it did not have to happen. So began “sermon preparation as speech therapy.”
Rebecca helped Mike think through the organization of his sermon and explain specific points. She helped know what processes he needed to go through in order to write the sermon. She typed out his ideas, and then they would e-mail back and forth as Mike made progress in the evenings. She even said that he could e-mail her if he needed help after we got home.
So, Mike is preaching on Sunday. This is not his comeback sermon, as he is certainly not ready to do this on a weekly basis. The sermon has been in the works for 3 1/2 weeks, not the normal 3 days. God has been so good to us! Who would think that Mike would have a speech therapist who would understand him so quickly and suggest he work on a sermon for therapy! I certainly would never have imagined a month ago that he could even think about preaching. But God knows that preaching is Mike’s passion, and Rebecca knew that, too. Besides, Mike has nothing to lose. Rebecca said she’ll take the blame if it’s a flop!