Walking and waking…

December 28, 2010

Lately Mark has been hearing little voices wandering out to the kitchen calling for Papa Mark. As he is the first one up and can be easily found over a cup of tea and the paper, grandsons Matisse and Soren are the first to ask for pancakes.

Although Mark goes for long walks in the neighborhood he is avoiding the crowds that we found last night at the McCormick Railroad Park. It is just too stimulating for him. He is still having to limit his visitors as he becomes very drained still.

Thursday will be Mark’s last day for antibiotics. He will have the PICC line removed. The doctors feel sure that the infection will not return or they wouldn’t be ending the medication. While he will still need to make sure he doesn’t get too run down, Mark is healing well and continues to get stronger every day.

Thank you for your notes and continued prayer. We both feel very loved and cared for! ~ Kristina

Post-Christmas Mess

December 27, 2010

We have Philip and Moriah and their two little boys here for a week. Our granddaughter Ava has gotten to spend a little time with us. Our house is a delightful mess. We step carefully because Legos hurt our bare feet. The furniture gets rearranged to make room for wooden train tracks. We have run out of clean mugs for hot chocolate several times. The washing machine runs as often as the dishwasher. Turkey and soup leftovers are eaten at any time of day. Mark sits on the sofa playing Scrabble against our daughter Kathryn and Moriah, each on their own laptop or IPad. We all know he doesn’t like to lose so we won’t discuss that here. The post-Christmas mess is in full swing and we are delighted!

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2010

We have had a wonderful day with our family. Thank you all for your love and prayers. It has been another good day for Mark. Bless you all ~ Kristina

Christmas Eve

December 25, 2010

We have had a blessed Christmas Eve. Church was so awesome. My son Philip and wife Moriah joined me. We sat in the very full balcony. The worship was incredible. David and Lance did a great job. Then we can home to our traditional minestrone soup with extended family and some friends. Mark even loaded the dishwasher. Such a blessing to have him alive this Christmas when it could have been very different. Thank you for your love and prayers. Merry Christmas to you all!

Sternum Precautions

December 21, 2010

One of the most important things about recovering from open heart surgery is remembering that you have “sternal precautions.” Since your sternum is cut in half and all of your chest muscles are attached to these two pieces, you must not move your arms in such a way as to disturb this alignment.  Each piece is wired together to prevent separation, but clever patients find a way to stretch the wiring or break them.  Mark saw his surgeon today who literally pressed on his chest and did a little pounding to see how well his has grown back together. I am so relieved to tell you that he got an A+ on the pounding!

Mark can reach up for cups in cabinets and put his arms carefully behind his back. He doesn’t need to walk with “Wilson” anymore either. He can even play a little pool again. He still can’t bring in firewood, take out garbage or pick up his grandkids. He is anxious to do the later but it may take many more months of recovery before he is back to his old chores. As if he thinks he can get away with that!

Scheduling Appointments

December 20, 2010

Today we received a call to confirm a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. I asked for a clue as to their location beyond their actual address. When I specifically asked if they were on the east or west side of the street, I was told it would depend on the direction I was coming from.  She must have moved to Arizona recently.

Every year Mark has gone Christmas shopping with Bruce Utterback on Christmas Eve.  In order to beat the rush and press of the crowds they decided to go today with more coupons in hand. It was a short outing and Bruce had to carry everything. I can’t wait to see what they got.

One year Mark brought home two sets of bright green polyester running suits. Remember those? These were both Women Small and intended for Kelly (8) and Kathryn (4). When I held up the green pants next to little Kathryn they were actually taller than her. I looked accusingly at Mark,  he smiled and countered, “She’ll grow?” Eventually, we (the royal we) made a rule that if you buy it, you take it back. It certainly has made for shorter shopping trips.

We hope you are enjoying Christmas week. May the Lord bless you with the desires of your heart and wisdom while spending!

Sunday Hike

December 19, 2010

Mark’s color looks so good that it is hard to think he just had surgery a little while ago. Today we did the “big loop” in the open space behind our house. It is mostly flat and Mark monitored his heart rate. We passed lots of mountain bikers and people on horseback. The weather is so perfect and the air so clear. For the desert, it really does seem like Christmas is around the corner. Fireplaces burn inspite of “No Burn Days” as tradition seems more important than air quality.
Last night someone added two lit artificial Christmas trees to our front yard. It was a sweet idea and added some color to the yard.
Friends made a Trader Joe’s run for us so we are having a relaxing day together. We hope that you are able to relax as the weekend is drawing to a close. Love you all ~ Kristina