Archive for July, 2014

This is an update for Day 29; When I arrived at hospital this afternoon Natalie had already had her occupational therapy and was finishing physical therapy. Her wonderful speech therapist/pathologist, Ms. Stephanie, greeted me in the hall and we walked in to Nata’s room togther as the PT was winding down. I could see in Natalie’s eyes that she was tired…movement, exercising muscles she does not control, is not only exhausting it is painful, and takes a great deal out of Natalie’s already slim reserves. However, one of her greatest allies in this battle back is Nata’s own will to overcome this thing called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). Today we watched our tired and pained girl work with Ms. Stephanie and actually say several words using a device that transfers air over the vocal chords…..What an amazing thing! Literally the first words we have heard from Natalie since Jan and I joined her in crying as the doctors placed the life-giving breathing tube down Nata’s throat on July 3rd. As Natalie’s autonomic nervous system continues to recover not only does she have the pain and fatigue, but we are noticing that our simple touch to her skin can feel like fire to Natalie..and more than once tonight she has let the nurse and me know she thinks we left a glove in the back of her throat! Both signs of confused nerve messages so common with GBS at this stage.

Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers for healing, for peace, for decreased pain and for wisdom for Natalie’s entire treatment staff.


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This is an update for Day 27: Natalie has had two relatively uneventful nights here in hospital, meaning she has been able to get a bit of sleep. This morning she slept quite a bit as well. However, by the time Bella and I arrived for the “changing of the guard” about 1pm, Natalie was pretty alert, a good sign. Mid-afternoon, after Bella and Jan left, big sister Allie arrived for a visit. She was telling Natabug about she and husband Cody’s new apartment. Natalie spelled out questions, obviously hoping their new place has a pool…and so on. Longtime family friends Barbara and Michael Schneider dropped by later in the afternoon. Barbara was telling stories about their dog and clearly Natalie was quite interested. When Barbara told Nata that it was time to go she shook her head “no” and had them stay longer to visit. Long time friend Patrick McCurdy topped off the night with his visit in the early evening. Though his visit piqued the interest of hospital staff and patients alike, I welcome our friends in uniform too…For those wanting to visit but feeling reluctant…we just need to monitor visits to keep Natalie rested and moving towards health. Please just check in ahead of time when possible.

Thank you all for your continued care, support and prayers for Natalie and our family. Please pray for Natalie’s continued recovery and healing and for peaceful rest, as well as for direction for the medical staff concerning issues with her feeding tube.

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Evening Prayer on Wednesday, July 30, will be at the church.  However, in order not to interfere with VBS, we will meet in one of the basement rooms.  If you’re not involved in VBS, please join us as we praise God and pray together.

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I wrote a post for yesterday but my laptop fell flat on the cement floor in the hospital room and is trashed. Sorry for the delay. We have some bright spots in our news; Natalie breathed on her own for almost an hour today!  Yesterday she was able to both push and pull her left leg against the physical therapist’s resistance,, another bit of progress.

Prayer requests: please pray for Natalie’s continued forward progress; for a minimization of pain and anxiety; for wisdom and direction for the entire treatment team; for complete and total healing for Natalie and for Jesus to be glorified in all we are and do.

Thank you all.

Jan , Rob, Natalie and the whole Mathis Family

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Attached is the bulletin for this coming Sunday, July 27, for downloading.  7 After Pentecost 07-27-14 (blog)

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(Editor’s Note — Please read this; there’s so much to ponder.)

 Today I have felt like a basket case.  I just hurt so bad for Natalie and what she is enduring, and have just wept much.  In this deep sadness I have been reminded of some things about this life that I want to share;  

One really only has the moment we are in.  Yesterday, last week, two years ago…they are truly gone.  And tomorrow is not here yet…All we have been given is this time called now.  Oh, to love deeply, judge little and hold each other close while you have now.  I see a little more clearly how Jesus lived while here; he just looked past people’s brokenness, failings, shortcomings…Yes, He addressed their sin, because it was and is so destructive.  But He did, and does so by valuing each of us immensely.  My hope and prayer beyond that which is tearing us up is for each of you…that you will put aside what holds you back from forgiving and loving, so you can forgive and can love while you have today.

 “This is an update for Day 22: Today our youngest daughter, Bella (12) sent me a little video clip, taken not long before Natalie came down with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. It is of Natalie lip-synching Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” as she drives down the road. She is clearly so very happy in this video. Today I cried again, wept actually…as I am now while trying to write this. We hurt so bad…because our “Happy Girl” hurts so bad. Natalie’s peripheral nervous system continues to be “out of whack”, with big swings in her blood pressure and heart rate, and she has been struggling with lung and breathing difficulties, as well as significant pain. I wish with all that I am that I had more encouraging news today…But thank you for your continued love and support. We will walk out of this by God’s grace and the love of so many.”

Prayer requests:  Natalie has great pain right now, especially in her legs, lower back and rear end.  Please pray for comfort from the pain; pray for protection for her vital organs as she continues to receive various medications, including pain and anti-anxiety drugs; pray for Natalie’s progression to move up; pray for protection from any additional sickness or clotting; pray for complete healing; pray for spiritual, physical and emotional protection for Natalie; for her spirits to rise and her heart to draw nigh unto God’s place of peace; for supernatural direction for the entire medical staff; for encouragement and peace for our family and for our Lord and Savior to be glorified in all we do and are.

Thank you for walking through this valley with us.

Jan, Rob, Natalie and the entire Mathis Family


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My friend from Florida, Ted had a widow maker heart attack a few weeks ago and is recovering from a triple by-pass.  He is a Christian and has young children.  I would appreciate prayers for his recovery and for his family.

O Lord, whose compassions fail not, and whose mercies are new every morning; We give you thanks that it has pleased you to give, to this our brother, both relief from pain and hope of renewed health. Continue, we pray, in him, the recovery that has begun; that, daily increasing in bodily strength, and humbly rejoicing in your goodness, he may so order his life and conversation as always to think and do what pleases you; moreover, we pray that you will strengthen and encourage his family as they wait and pray for complete recovery of their beloved husband and father, giving them faith and confidence in you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen



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