“Time” or “Update on Chase 5”

Had a good talk with my brother over lunch. In addition to giving me an update on Chase’s condition, we talked about a lot of “bigger” things, like what this all means to our family and reasons why the Lord might be walking us through this valley.

Eric said that Chase is continuing to improve–that he’s more awake now than he was the other day and that they’ve removed the respirator. But along with Chase being awake has come awareness to his discomfort. I guess brain trauma patients often go through an “aggravated” state that can last from days to weeks; Chase appears to be working his way through this. And it’s hard on my sister and the rest of our family to see him in discomfort.

He can’t really talk right now and he isn’t completely alert. He fades in an out. So it can be hard sometimes to hold his attention. My brother and I are both concerned the next few weeks or months could be the hardest time to work through–the time when Chase is “back” but not completely, conscious, but not the “old Chase.” It could be a long process.

Eric also revealed that they detected some brain damage in his front right lob, though they haven’t determined the extent of it yet. They feel it is minor and regional. Eric did some research and found that damage to this area can affect personality and social and motor skills. Obviously, we’re praying against that and claiming the life and health Christ says are part of his Kingdom.

Doctors may move Chase out of ICU as early as Sunday. This is both good and bad. While it’s encouraging to see the little guy not in need of intensive care, it also places a larger burden on our family. He probably won’t have a team dedicated to his care, but rather be part of a unit’s “rounds.” And while we’re committed to seeing him through this, we haven’t even scratched the surface of what this will really look like. Andrea and Grant can’t do it alone; we’re all going to have to make sacrifices and lay aside our agenda.

And while this will be hard, it will also be tremendously good. I find it no coincidence that I wasn’t at peace with several commitments I was considering making this fall. I felt the need to be free and available, though I wasn’t sure why. This is certainly part of the reason, if not all of it. God’s forcing us to take our eyes of ourselves and growth will surely result.

By Joel Maust

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

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