Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring 2014

It's been a while since our last post. We have had the garden made accessible. Andy designed it so that there is a path going from the top to the bottom with a bridge linking the two parts; there is also a ramp up to the decked area. We are both really pleased with the results and it adds another accessible 'room' to the house in the summer months.

We mentioned in our last post about a course of further rehab being provided by the NHS. We were disappointed with what was actually offered as it wasn't the intensive therapy, we had expected. Instead it was a series of assessments which concluded no NHS therapy would be provided anymore. So from hereon any therapy Andy receives must be funded privately.
We have various breaks booked for the year ahead, which we are very much looking forward to. We are going to Jersey in May with Paul and Katie (Andy's brother and sister-in-law). We also plan to have a break in October with the extended family in an accessible holiday cottage on a working farm in Wales. Andy will also be getting back to his climbing roots in June when he will be going to the O2 arena to abseil down the side of the dome!!! Photos to follow!!! We try to get away for  a night somewhere each month just the two of us and we normally pay for a carer to just come in for a couple of hours in the morning to assist Emma in getting Andy up.

We have had some challenges once again with our carers as all of our regular carers have left over the past few weeks for various reasons. We do have one new carer who we feel comfortable with, who is willing to become one of our regulars but we still need at least one other. Andy has been quite anxious about the situation as he feels vulnerable with new carers. Please pray.

Andy has been to university multiple times this year. Since we last wrote he has also had some more grades and is doing really well on his assignments. Now he is facing two exams and two research papers, which all need to be completed in the next few weeks so he needs to remain focused. He is really enjoying his studies.

We asked for prayer in the last post for Andy's right ankle position. We now hope to be able to improve the position of Andy right foot through serial casting using a different technique to what has already been tried. If this works, he shouldn't need to have an operation to lengthen his tendons. Please pray that this is successful.

In therapy, Andy is still making improvements. There has been a noted improvement in Andy's torso control, which had diminshed following the fitting of the baclofen pump. We were especially encouraged in today's physio session, when Andy was able to isolate movement in his left knee and did forty or so reps of bending and straightening the knee with his full weight going through his leg. We would hope that this would also be possible with the right leg, however his foot position is preventing him from trying this at present.

We thank you for your continued love, support and prayers.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Happy New Year!!!

We really enjoyed Christmas and New Year. With Andy being that much stronger we were able to enter into the festivities much more than the two previous years!!! We spent Christmas itself up in Burscough with all the Davies side of the family. It seemed like Christmas went on and on as we had various pre and post Christmas get togethers with both sides of the family and friends at our house. Andy has always enjoyed entertaining and one of his favourite 'days out' is to go to Costco to choose party food for his guests and so we made a couple of trips.

An encouraging highlight of Christmas was that Andy was able to enter into conversation at the dinner table when sat upright in his wheelchair. Previously his speech had only been intelligible when he was reclined. On top of this Andy managed to have some drinks without thickener with the crescendo being him enjoying half a lager at The Hopvine, which is Barbara and Trevor's local. One of Andy's Christmas presents was a coffee maker and he has taken great pleasure from buying an assortment of coffees and syrups. We have created our own Starbuck-like-haven in the corner of our kitchen for when friends visit.

We would appreciate your prayers. Andy has been granted the funding for another programme of therapy through Birmingham Neuro Rehabilitation. Please pray that Andy is able to noticeably improve during this time.

One thing we really want prayer for is for Andrew's feet. Andy had new splints made in the summer but the ankles haven't significantly improved since. We have been praying for this for months, especially because Andy will need an operation to lengthen the tendons if they fail to stretch through splinting. After six months of little or no improvement,  it seems inevitable that he will need the operation but we also believe in persistent prayer, so please pray that his ankle position improves such that the operation isn't needed.

After finishing a part time course at university, Emma has gone back to work part time. The job works well as paperwork can be done from home to fit in with Andy's routine. On the two days that Emma is teaching, Andy has his study facilitator visit and also continues with some therapies. We are both thankful for the way this has worked out and that Emma's  previous employer has accommodated her in her return to work.

We had quite a frustrating time at the beginning of January with the arrangement of carers, as one of our regulars was off sick and this coincided with Emma going back to work. A carer, who didn't have English as his first language, was sent to us and, because of communication issues, Andy was left very vulnerable and so the carer had to be replaced at short notice. The replacement carer was good but he was unable to handover to our new regular carer because he wasn't familiar with the regime so Emma had to assist. This new carer has picked things up really well and so we now have three carers, who are able to alternate. Having these carers, who Andy feels comfortable with and trusts is imperative to Andy's care and well being, so thank you for your prayers for this.

Psalm 18:28-29
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
    my God turns my darkness into light.

With your help I can advance against a troop;
    with my God I can scale a wall.