Monday, January 16, 2012

The Effectiveness of Prayer

I wish you all could feel what it's like being on the receiving end of so much prayer. It was - is - amazing, and incredibly comforting to see and feel the changes, both in Kol's behavior and in my attitude. Kirk's attitude has improved, too. Last time I posted, we were feeling lost, worried, alone. We were tired. We were wanting the comfort of home, and our own beds, and family. We still long for our own beds, and can't wait to get home, but we are feeling better than we did 2 days ago. Thank-you for all of the comments on the blog, for the e-mail messages and for praying. I could definitely feel the prayers, and see evidence of improvement. On Sunday, as they day went on, and as more people heard about Kol, read the blog, and began to pray, I actually started to feel lighter. I actually feel like I'm being carried. It probably doesn't make sense - but it's cool.

On Sunday we took Kol for his treatment, and then were lazy for the rest of the day. It was just what we needed. We saw more evidence of improvement in Kol's health; more subtle signs that he is doing better. He hasn't needed as much morphine in the last 2 days. He finally had a bowel movement - the first in a week (I know - he'll probably be mortified that I'm talking about this) which was a big relief. In more ways than one. :-) He had 2 more today. Morphine causes constipation, which can in turn greatly increase pain levels, and increase the need for morphine. Morphine also makes people groggy, and reduces interest in eating. We don't want Kol to need more morphine.

I was also concerned that Kol wasn't eating much. He just had no appetite, and seemed weak. Morphine works better (is absorbed better, and it's effects last longer) on a full stomach, so we were giving him green smoothies every time he got morphine, but it wasn't enough to sustain him. For Christmas we bought ourselves a new juicer that will juice spinach, kale, and wheatgrass in addition to apples, carrots, etc. It was finally delivered the day we left, so we brought it with us. Saturday evening I found an organic grocery store and was able to get veggies and wheatgrass, so I've been giving Kol a few ounces of green juice every couple of hours all day yesterday and today. He doesn't like the juice, and is getting more vocal about not liking it every time I give it to him (which I think is a good thing) but I know that he's at least getting concentrated, good quality nutrients into his body. The nutrients from green juice are very bio-availabe, and easily absorbed by the body, so he doesn't need to use his limited energy to digest his food. It also works as a natural, gentle laxative. In a day, Kol had the juice from an entire bag of spinach, 5 or 6 carrots, a whole head of broccoli, a big bunch of kale, a bit of wheatgrass, 1/2 of a beet, some Brussels sprouts and 1/2 of a cucumber. I also added some ground up seeds to his juice once today. I'm still not sure he's getting enough calories yet, but I do think that'll come.

Today Kol got another PICC line inserted. We went to a local children's hospital to have that done by an expert. I was really impressed with the staff there - I expected some hassle, or lecture about using alternative, unproven treatments, but they were actually very supportive. I think some off that might also be from the way the system is set up - as long as you're willing to pay, they'll do whatever you want. The person who put the line in really knew her stuff, although it still took her 4 tries. Kol's veins are just so small and fragile that it's tough to get a line in. He's really starting to look a bit bruised. It took 5 tries to get an IV in him in Saskatoon last week, 2 more tries here on Friday to get an IV, and now 4 pokes to get the PICC in. This should be the end of it, though. Before the PICC insertion, Kol sat up, watching TV, with his eyes open for close to an hour, in bright lights. When we got his IV at the same place on Friday, he sat very still the entire time with his hand shielding his closed eyes. By the end of the PICC line insertion, though, he was in a lot of pain and needed a morphine boost. He was not happy at all with the procedure. I can't blame him.

The improvement we're seeing could just be because the blood from the broken vessel is finally being cleared away, and re-absorbed, or it could be more. One thing DMSO is known for is it's anti-inflammatory properties. It can be sprayed on a swollen ankle, and you could literally watch the swelling go down within minutes. Administered internally, it reduces any inflammation in the body. If it does nothing else, it is at least helping to reduce the pain Kol has been having.

Thank-you again - from the bottom of our hearts - for all of your support, positive comments, e-mails, phone calls, and most of all for your prayers. God is doing great things and I'm really excited to see what comes out of all of this. Our attitudes are improving, and we're not quite as tired as we were but we're still feeling the distance. We'll be here at least 19 or 20 more days, and I'm sure we'll have more good days, and more bad days. I'm more confident that we'll make it through now.


  1. Mom
    You picked up the juicer the day you left? We didn't know, and have been trying to figure out why we haven't seen it when we pick the mail up! We thought the shipping was really really delayed or something, and we weren't informed!
    Love you,
    Julianna and Mari
    ps.j wrote this comment: i dont use good grammar when typing(mari)

  2. So glad you are all feeling better. We will continue to pray for more positive results in Kol and strength for everyone. Love you each so much.

  3. This message is strictly for Kol. I know that Mom is giving you the green juice/smoothies because it is very good for you but just between you and me, I wouldn't want to drink my vegetables either! Keep being brave Kol and keep drinking your juice. I think about you every day and am praying for your complete healing. I can't wait until you are all back home again. Everyone misses you all! Love from Mrs.W at BLC

  4. I really appreciate this blog ... so good to hear how you are all doing!! Glad to hear a more positive tone in your message, stay strong! Thinking of all of you constantly.

  5. Always thinking of you and your struggles...lots of prayers and love being sent your way! Glad to see you are seeing improvements.

  6. Continuing to pray for pain-relief and good days for Kol, and that the peace of the Great Physician would just encircle all of you! Thanks for keeping us posted - it's so good to know specifically how to pray.

  7. We are praying also for a complete miracle healing because we know that our God is greater and stronger than any other. I pray for both yours and Kirks strength to get through the next how ever many days of treatment but your strength will rise as you wait upon the Lord. God bless and thank you for posting so we can pray for specifics.We pray for Kol to endure all he has to go through. In Christ love Bj and Christy

  8. The Monday Night Bible Study group met last night - we missed you Kristen! We wanted to do something special for you but sending flowers would be difficult etc. so we are sending you a "spiritual bouquet" - a bouquet of thoughts and prayers. I will try to list all those present last night - Evelyn, Darlene, Bea, Conny, Tia, Elaine, Janet, Margo, Leslie, Catherine, Arlene, Betty. I have taken over the emailing etc. from Evelyn and Arlene, Catherine and Janet will coordinate showers etc. It is time to give Evelyn a break – we are thankful for her good work and hope we can continue. Our next meeting is Feb. 27 so we hope and pray that you are back for it with a healthy Kolbjorn!
    I will leave you with 2 Bible verses – the first because I know that you love the Lord and trust in his plans for you. The second is a benediction and our wish for you.
    “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
    “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” 2 Thess. 2:16-17
    All our love and prayers
    Betty for the group

  9. "Leaning, leaning, leaning on the Everlasting Arms," keeps coming to my mind. God be with all of you in this journey. We are constantly thinking of you and praying for you.

    The Fasts

  10. Thinking of you all, was happy to read you guys were feeling a bit better. I can only imagine how exhausted you all must feel, but thank-you for keeping us updated. We continue to pray for Kol.

  11. The prayers are going on for all of you from around the world. Praise God that you are feeling a bit better! Keep your Eyes on Christ and He will carry You!

    The Clarks

    Can you make a small fruit chaser after the green smoothie maybe :)