Its been a while since the last update, and several people have asked me to post a little something on how Toni is doing in her struggle to overcome Transverse Myelitis. I know those requests come from people who are praying and for those prayers and the encouragement you have brought to her in so many ways, we express our continued and deepest thanks. My delay is due to waiting for test results and for some kind of sense of what we face now in terms of everyday life. Things have been unpredictable. That uncertainty is, at least for now, the new normal.
We received good news with regard to the lesions that had appeared in her spinal cord. According the the most recent MRI results, these have now completely cleared. Scar tissue remains, but the chief culprits wrecking havoc on her nervous system have been banished.
Perhaps it is because of the scar tissue, or perhaps it is simply because of the damage done by the disease, but the lasting impact is still hard to gauge as symptoms of varying strength continue to be present. Most days Toni endures a lot of pain in her neck, hands, and arms, with related numbness in hands and/or finger tips. Some days see her deeply fatigued, or suffering from impaired speech, and eyesight. There was one week when all of these symptoms showed up together, forcing her to bed for as many eighteen hours a day and leaving her in tremendous pain. She was very close to heading back to the hospital. That cloud lifted about as quickly and mysteriously as it arrived.
On the other hand, she enjoyed a two week period of relative strength, able to work around the house, drive to church, enjoy the company of friends, and rest without too much difficulty. Tuesday through Wednesday afternoon witnessed a return to the bad stuff, but then things cleared up last night.
On good days, she can set out to accomplish 'one thing' - laundry, go to church, see someone for coffee, and so on, and then rest; more than this invites a fresh attack of whatever symptoms decide its their turn to come out and play. On bad days, stillness is the only prescription, together with pain medication to soften the impact of the attacks. Thankfully, the bad days appear to be fewer in number now.
With no further treatments scheduled, we are cautiously optimistic that we're pointed in the right direction. We know there will be bad days, and I have to be flexible with my schedule as a result. She's been able to be back in church most Sundays, and together with Anna, she was able to get to the hospital to see little Paisley Barsotti; I know that was the trip she treasured most. Pray for that little girl's full recovery! Toni makes the most of the bad days, allowing her great weakness to be an opportunity for God's power, a new devotion to contemplative and intercessory prayer now her chief activity. We both hope and pray she will be able to take up her work again soon, but we will entrust such things to the Sovereign Savior to whom we belong, body and soul, our only comfort in life and in death.
Thank you again for your ongoing prayers; we need these as the challenges of this recovery roller coaster remain our inheritance.