Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 Update

Dear Family and Friends,

Kerry's laser surgery, on her left eye, on September 2nd was a complete success. The procedure took only about 15 minutes and then Dr. Miller had Kerry sit out in the waiting room for about 30 minutes. Dr. Miller wanted Kerry to look around moving her eye in all directions to loosen any hanging fragments. While waiting, Kerry was amazed that for the first time in about 20 years she could read the label on her Arrowhead water bottle. Dennis was reading one of his engineering books and so Kerry looked to see if she could read the print. She could read it but had no idea what any of it meant. :-) Kerry went back in to see the doctor and he said that everything looked good. Dr. Miller said that Kerry would have floating fragments in her left eye for about one to two weeks. When the floating fragments disappeared, Kerry was amazed on how clearly she could read her giant print Bible (13pt font). She can bring it to church again for the first time in 20 years! Kerry's vision in her left eye tested 20/60 -2 (which means she had difficulty with two letters on the “60 line”) on Sept. 17. God is an AWESOME God!! What a humbling experience the last two years has been for Kerry. Kerry's vision in her right eye (the only eye that she could really see out of) was completely lost (there is a tiny amount of light perception) in January 2009; however, more than eighteen months later vision in her left eye was restored.

Kerry had her Echocardiogram (ECG) and Cardio Pulmonary Exercise (CPX) Test on Sept. 14 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. The Echocardiogram shows that her heart shows that Kerry’s heart has an ejection factor of approximately ten percent; her ejection factor had been approximately 20 in July. Kerry’s heart has not changed in size since last summer. When a person’s ejection factor is ten or below they are usually put on a heart transplant list. In Kerry’s case, the doctors are holding off on this course of action since she still has some functionality.

As for the other test, Kerry was able to ride the CPX bike for almost 6 minutes. She was absolutely exhausted and needed to rest for about two days. Kerry saw Dr. Moriguchi at Cedars Sinai on Nov. 19. The CPX test showed that Kerry scored an eleven, but, because she did not achieve the threshold speed and oxygen level, the doctor estimated her true score to be closer to 13 or 14. When a patient scores a ten (or lower) on the CPX test he or she is automatically put on a heart transplant list.

Kerry's energy level remains to be low, but her emotions are doing better.
Kerry and Dennis have made the decision to have the surgery for implanting the defibrillator on December 7th.

Kerry has been having some abdominal pain; she has had two CT Scans performed to determine the cause. It was indicated from the scans that there is a small aneurism in her right renal artery (she doesn’t have a left one) and a hernia in the area where she had her left kidney removed. The doctors feel that no action needs to be taken at this time, but Kerry has been referred to an vascular surgeon for further evaluation.

God has taught Kerry many things during this time. God is patient. God is comforting. God is strong when she is weak. God gives joy in the midst of sorrow. God is a healer of body and spirit. God is sovereign and knows what is best for her. God gives her peace to move forward and rest upon Him. Kerry feels that she knows God better for going through this experience; He is trustworthy and true. She knows that without her precious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ she would not know how to handle life. Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!

On this Thanksgiving Day, 2010, we would like begin our prayer requests by lifting up a joyful thanksgiving to God for sustaining Kerry and the rest the family during the course of these remarkable trials.

Prayer requests:

1. As always, we ask that God would be honored and glorified through this situation; that His name would be preeminent and exalted.

2. Please pray that Kerry would maintain a God-honoring testimony with those around her, especially to the medical care professionals.

3. Please pray that the defibrillator implant surgery on December 7th, at 12:00pm. Pray for peace of mind and that there would be no complications or infections. Pray that the recovery would be swift.

4. Please pray that the renal aneurism and hernia; that there would be no need to address either of these conditions while Kerry recovers from the defibrillator implant surgery.

5. Recently, Kerry has had some difficulty with her potassium levels (it has been too high). One of the heart medications that Kerry is taking has to be reduced because a side effect of the medication is that it causes the body to retain more potassium than normal. Please pray that her potassium level could be kept under control without having to reduce this important medication.

6. Please pray that Kerry’s ejection factor would improve and that she could gain more energy to do daily tasks and function more normally.

7. Kerry has been having on-going trouble with her memory and speech, possibly due to the small strokes she suffered several months ago. Please pray that her memory and speaking ability (she sometimes struggles with pronouncing long words) will improve.

We , would like to thank all of you who read this blog for your faithful prayers over the many months through which this ordeal has transpired. Your prayers, love and encouragement mean very much to all of us.

God bless you all.

Love, Kerry and Dennis

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;

Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases Psalm 103:1-3 NASB

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