Patience

One of the tricks of daily wound care is removing the scars and dead skin. Usually, we do this with warm washcloths. It’s a slow process, and it’s tricky to keep Max warm, comfortable, and not riddled with pain. Today, Max took a bath for the first time. We were amazed at how easily and effectively the scars and dead skin floated off. Swim pools are out, but the doctors say baths are in. Life is good.

Patience hasn’t been one of my virtues. I like to “make things happen”, be a part of breakthroughs and progress, and just get things done. This whole experience is teaching me to trust the process more and truly be patient. While I want the skin to be all closed up and look normal in a day, that’s not a reality. What I do see however is line upon line, little progress here and there. Thank Heaven for the progress, growth, and healing we are all having today. It truly is a miracle. Bottom line is if this experience brings me nearer to my God, it’s a success.

“Nearer my God to Thee” has been one of our favorite through this experience and this arrangement by our dear friend James Stevens is lighting up our world!
Feel this: http://goo.gl/vFpud8

Family

Family

Thank heavens for family – seems to make all loads lighter!

This “every day trust fall” we are in continues. Relying on Max’s words tonight, “if I could do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
I trust. Here I go falling again.

Prayers are welcome for:
Open wounds to heal, his new skin to be flexible, his full range of motion & full energy to be restored (45% of his muscle mass was lost to atrophy)

Tender Mercies

Tender mercy: Today, I showed Max the chain he was wearing when he was burned a month ago. Max said that his counselor had given it to him at camp. His counselor had asked him to remember the phrase “in totum” which is Latin for “be whole”. Then it hit me that the first mantra we used in the hospital when Max woke up and was having dreams of his body parts all over was simply: “I am whole’. We repeated it and taught Max to say it with us through a few dark days. Today putting the pieces together helped us see more of God’s hand in this experience. Max spoke of how that phrase resonated and brought him peace amidst the confusion, darkness, and pain.

Miracles and tender mercies surround us.
“I … will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all .. because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.”
Max even went to sacrament meeting today! Beautiful Sunday together with our sweet family  🙂

TenderMercies_Bednar_5x7

Blessed

The miracles today:
-Max walking up our front stairs and driveway. He is getting stronger. 
-When anyone else would just feel tired & justified, Max so wants to start school at the end of the month. He wants to do rigorous physical therapy and challenge himself daily to get there.
-I am grateful to be alive, here together at home, our little ones having joined us again after playing with cousins for the week. I remembered being in the hospital and praying to be home. I will remember the miracles and blessings no matter what.
-I am grateful to be done with wound care for another day. I am grateful he’s another day closer to healing.
-My body is tired of waking up in the night and remembering the essentials for healing in the day, but my heart is full of hope for my brilliant boy.
-Max wrote for the first time today. He picked up a pen and this is what came out- unassisted. “I am blessed. I am empowered.
I am strong. I am healing.
I am inspiring. I am inspired.”

I am
Love this thinking! Grateful for mental healing.

Pray for continued healing of the open wounds and the perfect healing for Max. Pray for rest that we may all be renewed and get the pain managed in a healthy way. Pray that his grafted skin can operate as much like his normal skin as possible. Pray that Max will be ready to go to school when the time comes! Pray for strength for others that are in pain.

New Normal

Even though today felt a bit normal, it was sprinkled with miracles. I’m leaning into this new normal:)

  • Awesome haircut by Alona here at home (to clean up that hospital cut)
  • Physical therapy at the burn unit- it’s a miracle to get out of there without full on sobbing several times:)
  • One of our main concerns has been hand and arm range of motion – in the past 3 days Max has gone from 110 degrees to 150 on his trickiest skin graft. Miracle!
  • Wound care at home (found 5 more staples and praying that’s the last of them)
  • And we even dropped in on a going away party for our dear friends the Huddlestons. (Max wanted to go, did great with questions & hugs, and did well recovering from all the excitement.)

Friends

Every day feels like a metamorphosis, using the best of natural medicine as his skin evolves over time. During wound care, Max asked, “Do I scare people?” He wants people to be close to him. I told him, “People want to hug you, but they need you to take the lead. They may be worried that they could hurt you.”

friends

Today, Max’s friends (Angela, David, Sierra, & Hyrum) came to visit him. Max was super excited before they came. He gave each of them a big hug when they came in. They all talked and laughed together for an hour. Max even bragged about the diamond texture of his new grafted skin.

Right after they left, he hugged Nat and started to sob. I thought he was embarrassed, that he was finally grieving for himself. Then he spoke about how sad he was about Katie’s death. “How can people be gone so fast? I didn’t even get to know her.”

Tonight, he prayed, “Thank you for the things we have learned, the things we have gained, and the things we have lost. Thank you so much for time we get to spend with loved ones. Please bless the Hancocks. Thank you for death and suffering.”

Divine Design

Burrito

This morning we drove to the hospital for our our first outpatient therapy and wound care. We got there at 8 am, and left at 1 pm (5 long hours of wound care, physical therapy, & cast making and sawing). While we were there, they took out the feeding tube, so now Max is totally wireless!

Up until now, the doctors have wanted to see Max’s skin grafts & burns every day to track their progress and healing. After looking at them today, they told us they only need to see them once a week!

On the drive home, Max was quiet for a long time. Then he said, “I’ve been thinking a lot about the accident. If I could go back in time and change it, I wouldn’t. I’ve gained more than I’ve lost.”

Maybe being whole isn’t about living the life you expected. Maybe it’s about loving what is.

“Let the kaleidoscope of life’s circumstances be shaken, again and again, and the “true believer of Christ” will still see “with the eye of faith” divine design and purpose in his life.” – Neal A. Maxwell (Full Speech)

Facing Fears

Here’s a shot of yesterday’s homecoming:

Homecoming

All of our other children went to play at their cousin’s, so Nat and I got to spend the whole day with Max! It was such a joy! The peace in our home is so rejuvenating. Max’s voice has been a whisper. We talked for over an hour after dinner, and Max got his voice back! He shocked himself when he heard his normal voice again.

Max definitely has his appetite back, too! He had some of his favorites today: omelets, deviled eggs, and Café Rio burritos!

At dinner, he shared his perspective on the accident, and we got to share ours. We took a walk outside, and he said, “I want to go look at the place where it happened in the garage. I need to face my fears.” And he did it.

Home

Miracle of miracles: HE’S HOME!!!!
We brought in a bed so we can care for him. We are in our own beds in our own home rejoicing that our sweet family can be together again! Miracle of miracles. So grateful for this new stage of healing. 

Praying that the healing will continue.

impossible

Everlasting Kindness

Natalie and I were asked to speak on Strengthening Testimony in sacrament meeting today. It was a sacred gift to be able to share the miracles with our ward family.
Natalie’s Talk: Audio | Text
Andy’s Talk: Audio | Text
In between our talks, a young man sang a moving rendition of My Kindness Shall Not Depart from Thee

Then we rushed to the hospital to do wound care. We celebrated these miracles:

  • Max ate 1200 calories yesterday!
  • Max had his best physical therapy session yet – thank you Mark!
  • Max has hit every benchmark and is healing so well!
  • Nat and I are now certified to do his wound care, and (drum roll please)
  • MAX COMES HOME TOMORROW!!!! He starts a new phase of his healing.We are all super excited to be together again!! So so so grateful!!!

Love

Nat and I want to thank the army of angels (seen and unseen) who have supported our family:

Susan, Kathy, Mason, Lorene, Markus, Anna, Daniel, Mindy, Katelyn, Laura, Andrea, Bryan, Kathleen, Angela, Quinn, Randy, Cara, Danny, Nicole, John, Narelle, Matt, Seantay, Brianna, Ashlee, Justin, Eric, Julie, Nick, Tiffany, Kelly, Brittain, David, Tammy, Carol Ann, Christy, Mark, Roy, Marjorie, James, Chelsea…

Nurses:

  • John-Nathan
  • Mary
  • Colby
  • Laura & Laura
  • Lisa
  • Julie
  • Martina
  • Amy
  • Alex
  • Jennifer
  • Jason
  • Mary
  • Barbara
  • Halle
  • Jenn
  • Jill
  • Liz
  • April
  • Brad

Doctors:

  • Dr. Lewis
  • Dr. Cochran
  • Dr. Morris

Other Angels on Staff:

  • Kristen
  • Walter
  • Daphne
  • Bret
  • Ray

All who brought meals, sat with Max, watched our kids, prayed for us, fasted, shared our posts, visited, sent cards…

Max has inspired us beyond words. He gets to prove his strength through daily physical therapy over the next 6 months. Thank you in advance for your prayers for him to have the will power and patience to endure.