Lea and I continue to enjoy our days together, realizing that each day is a special God-given gift, provided to us to make what we will of it. We give thanks each and every day for the blessings the Lord granted us in delivering Lea from death’s grip in Hartford CT now three years ago.

She continues to require medication for depression as a result of her bodily functions being suspended so long in the drug induced coma. The dosage allows her to deal with day to day stress, but isn’t so much that it dulls her senses into a false sense of euphoria. She still requires daily dosages of medications and vitamins to maintain a “normal” chemical balance in her body, as her pancreas no longer produces a reliable supply of insulin. This condition requires regular injections to keep the resulting diabetes under control.

Her lungs still haven’t recovered their full capacity, after failing twice in Hartford, but her heart appears to have almost completely recovered from the shutdowns she experienced, requiring only minimal Beta Blockers to keep it functioning correctly. Overall, her physical condition continues to gradually improve, although she has to wear an elastic binder 24 x 7 to act as an artificial abdominal wall to keep her internal organs in position. This condition is not likely to be surgically corrected, since the surgeons we’ve seen feel that the surgery would be life threatening, and that her lungs would not likely survive being put on a ventilator again.

She is still walking with a cane, since her knee surgery was only partially successful. She no longer has the debilitating pain she tolerated for so many years prior to the surgery, but the artificial knee joint is still crooked, and her right leg shorter than the left. Since she can’t get her foot straight enough to place the foot properly on the ground, she has not been able to overcome the drop-foot condition she received in Hartford Hospital. The surgeon told us that the knee would require at least one more surgery to put a wedge in the joint to force her leg into an upright position. Lea isn’t psychologically ready for another surgery if she can avoid it, so this condition is not likely to change in the near future.

Lea, of course, is on Medicare disability, since her company-provided benefits expired over a year ago. Due to the extensive medications she needs, and so many of them have no generic equivalent, our drug costs are very high. We find ourselves in the situation so many older couples face; we are in the Medicare Gap, having to pay 100% of our drug costs, which outstrips our income and drives up our debt.

My health seems to be holding up, praise God, as I have not been able to obtain insurance due to the heart stent I received some years ago. So, I have put my routine health maintenance on hold until I am eligible for Medicare next year. Meanwhile, I am staying very active caring for Lea and the house and lawn, making sure I keep her moving and involved in activities, rather than letting her slump into a depression.

We have joined a growing church that shows a great vigor for reaching out into the community, and is led by a delightful pastor who reminds me a great deal of my bible-thumping tent-meeting-preacher grandfather. By contrast, though, he is much softer spoken, though non-the-less filled with the Word. We are doing pretty well as being regular at church, and Lea has just recently gotten strong enough that we are doing adult Sunday school as well as church services, and Bible Study on Wednesday nights. Praise God!

We have a pending lawsuit against us that has caused me many sleepless nights. I have shielded Lea as much as possible from concern about it, but we are going to have to travel back to Indiana this fall for mediation and trial, and I’m not sure how well she will be able to handle the emotional or physical stress, particularly if we can’t settle in meidation and have to go to trial. I trust that our former family physician will be available to care for her during our stay, but I haven’t contacted him yet to make sure.

Our blessings continue to flow, as we enjoy our grandson more than we would have thought possible not long ago, but revel in the joy he brings us with every visit. He is now approaching eleven months of age, and is, we’re pretty sure, one of the smartest youngsters we’ve ever encountered. Lea gets to babysit with him a couple of times most weeks, and it is a type of therapy that can’t be replaced. Her sense of purpose has improved incrementally as Benjamin has grown, and her sense of worth has grown exponentially as he develops his personality.

The Lord continues to provide for our needs, and we rely on Him day to day for provision. He let me go all through my adult life focusing on how to build my retirement, and then took it all away with the six months of Lea’s hospitalization and recovery. Her maximum lifetime health insurance benefit ran over the million dollar limit twice, and it required all of our cash reserves to cover medical expenses. Since it is still necessary for me to care for her most of the time, I am only able to work part time, and am very fortunate to be able to do that by teaching over the internet from my home office.

We take on faith that the Lord will provide for our needs, and are always open to seeking His will for our lives, that we might better serve His kingdom. We continue our prayer ministry on this site, and with our church family, and welcome opportunities to witness for Him when they present themselves. The interesting thing is that the opportunities are much more common that we ever realized before Lea’s illness. I think the  opportunities come from recognizing that God is always at work around us, and He always invites us to join Him in that work.

God bless!

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