“Back” or “Update on Chase 9”

Well, after scraping bottom a bit this weekend and doing some soul searching, the Lord’s brought me full circle. My faith is renewed and I’m again confident and peaceful about Chase’s condition and the strength and resilience of our family to work through it together.

Mom and Dad and then I covered for Andrea and Grant today while they ran errands and spent some time together. We were glad to spend time at the hospital with Chase and allow them to escape a bit. Andrea says it’s hard to go home and spend such a short time there, only to have to return to Ann Arbor for another week. I understand what she’s saying, but probably don’t understand how hard it really is.

I guess this coming week, they are going to start Chase on a medication to increase his neurological stimulation. Doctors say patients can really “take off” when placed on this medication. We could see dramatic advances. They’ll give Chase this medication a certain amount of time before his therapy sessions to help him concentration and react better to the therapy. He can’t take it after a certain time in the day or he will be over stimulated and not able to sleep.

So, we’re all pleased with the progress he’s making, though for the record he is still unable to eat or strategically control his extremities very well. When I was alone with him today, I tried walking him through some photo collages, reminding him who the people were and what certain objects were. He handled it for a while, but then started to get irritated and frustrated. I’m not sure what was really going on, but it seemed to me that he wanted to say something or react to the pictures somehow, but couldn’t or didn’t know how.

I took that as a positive. If that was the case, it shows that those images were stirring something in his mind–either the names I said or the images themselves. When he started getting frustrated, I pulled the collage away because I’m certainly no professional in that area and don’t know what Chase is ready to go through at this stage. But it reminded me that he’ll probably have to go through some very hard and frustrating rehab. It will be frustrating for both him and us.

I don’t know for certain, but it seems like a lot of the information in Chase’s mind is in tact, but the network is jumbled. Two analogies that come to mind are: highway construction between cities and messed up networking between computers. In both instances, the primary points are ok, but the transport system needs repair. This takes time–and many of us Michiganders can REALLY connect with the highway construction example.

On a personal note, I don’t feel bad at all for grappling with my faith these past few days. I don’t feel bad for questioning where I stood on the whole thing or if I really believed. I don’t feel bad for wondering if God would really come through.

I want an authentic relationship with our Lord and authenticity in relationships often requires bickering and frustrating moments–moments where we question if the person is really who we think they are. And God can handle it. It’s not like I’m going offend him to the point that he’s going to turn his back on me and give up. Not that I think he should become my punching bag or anything, but I feel refreshed and rejuvenated after opening up to him about my questions and frustrations. And just like I asked in my opening paragraph: what does God do with crumbling faith? He gave me the desire of my heart: an extra dose of grace.

Joel Maust

Joel Maust is a blogger, marketer and photographer living in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.

1 Comment

Darrel Yoder

about 13 years ago

Joel, Thanks for your comments on your newphew Chase. I called and talked to your Mom after I read through your web site just to let her know we are praying for your whole family. God bless....Darrel

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