Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jaybins 4th birthday

Thursday night we celebrated the fact that Stephen's heart attack was one year ago and Praise the Lord... this year is over! We went to eat at Half Moon Restaurant. They serve VERY good hamburgers there and we ordered one to celebrate that Stephen has gone an entire year eating healthy and watching fats...but not tonight! We ate a hamburger and french fries! We were good...we split one meal! Actually the hamburgers are so large there, that half a hamburger was more than enough for both of us. Stephanie made dessert - so we then ate pumpkin cake.

Friday we went to Indy to go to the Children's museum for the King Tut exhibition. Wouldn't you know it...Friday the kids were out of school and there was no place to park and there were kids everywhere, so we opted to go to circle center mall downtown Indy. It had been years since we have been to the circle center, so that sounded like fun...well, until we realized that the FFA convention was going on and there were 40,000 high school kids running around the mall and over the streets. They were all dressed in blue pants and blue "FFA" jackets. We spent about 30 minutes in the mall and decided to get out of that chaos. So, then we decided that we would go Christmas shopping for the grandkids at Toys R Us. That didn't work out either. A semi truck had crashed into the bridge on the corner of Highway 69 and 465, so all traffic was re-routed past the mall. We turned onto 86th street and soon discovered that the traffic was so congested that it would take hours to get to our destination, so we left town and came home!

Saturday we went back to Indy to celebrate Jaybin's 4th birthday! We went bowling! Yes, Stephen bowled for the first time since the heart attack. He was pretty slow at first, but the second game he got his "mo jo" back...he beat everyone that game. Jaybin and Kinsen used bumpers and Grandma got to bowl on that lane! (I'm embarassed to say that even with the bumpers Grandma only bowled 78 pins!) We did have a fun day bowling and watching the Notre Dame game. Then Jaybin got to open his presents and we all got to play with them!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Let's Celebrate

On Thursday of this week, Stephen will be celebrating the fact that one year ago he suffered the massive heart attack - AND, blessing upon blessing, he is still with us. Mom and Dad Beutler, Jason, Kendra, Kinsen, Jaybin, Stephanie and Daniel are coming over to Kokomo and we are going out to eat to celebrate!

I would have to say that 2009 was the most difficult year of our life - if I think about it very long, I get overwhelmed. October 22, he suffered the heart attack. Because the heart attack was so massive, we waited 10 days before the doctors thought he was strong enough to endure surgery. Nov 1, 2008 Steve was recuperating from open heart surgery. Amazingly, one month later Steve preached at the Christmas services. That's about all he could do, but he got up there and proclaimed the message of Christ once again. That was a milestone for us and we celebrated big time by taking a 4 hour nap that afternoon!

The first of January Jayna's father was diagnosed with Alzheimers. February Jayna's mother had surgery which resulted in blindness for 7 months, so Jayna was traveling back and forth to Plymouth IN to take care of her parents.

February and into April, Steve was going to therapy and getting stronger every day. Except for the great pain in his left arm, he was doing well. The doctors thought that perhaps the muscle tissue was damaged during the heart attack, so we treated him with therapy for months. In May we went to Disneyworld and Stephen did very well. He couldn't hold the grandkids because of the pain in his arm that was creeping into his jaw by this point, but Steve did love being with the family. After Disneyworld, things began to fall apart. The pain became greater...his arm, his jaw, and now the chest hurt him so badly. We kept going to the doctor, and finally in August after Steve did not pass the echo stress test, Dr Ritchie did another heart catheter and discovered that two of his bypasses had failed and Steve had 2 more aterial blockages that needed opened. We also learned at that time that the lower portion of his heart was completely dead heart muscle tissue that will never regenerate itself. He will forever function on 30% heart function.

In July Stephen's mother had a total knee replacement, so our life consisted of traveling back and forth to South Bend. No sooner was Mom beginning to recover from her knee surgery, Jayna falls off of the front step and breaks her foot in three places and is on crutches for 12 long weeks. You can only imagine the total frustration for both Stephen and I as we struggled once again to survive. We thank the Lord for our church family and good friends that helped us once again through this time.

As soon as Jayna gets the cast off, 10 days later (obviously not walking very strongly yet) she trips and falls on her chin - creating the need for 4 stitches in the chin and treating the sprained jaw with heat/ice and a mouthpiece to keep the jaw in place at night. (of which she is still wearing and has a doctor's appointment next week to see how the jaw is doing)

Can you believe such a year? It's been crazy and we certainly are celebrating the fact that this year is almost over! Surely we will not have to endure two such chaotic years in a row.