Tuesday, August 5, 2008

We Have Arrived

We all made it safely to Germany...yeah! The second leg of our trip was delayed some, but not enough to make Bryan wait too long for us. He ended up needing the extra time because, alas, when he went to pick up his luggage from the carosel...it was not there. Ahhh...flashbacks from Disney trip 2007! I hope that his luggage does not take half of the trip to arrive like mine did (at least he is not wearing all white!) The airline called here at the clinic just a moment ago and claimed that they would be delivering his bag by midnight tonight, so we'll see.

The travel for Brad actually went much more smoothly than any flight we have taken over the last couple of years. My wonderful Aunt Karen donated air miles to get us first class tickets this trip. Our seats went back so far...we were almost laying flat...it was WONDERFUL!!!! Brad slept better on the plane then he did the night before in his own bed (during previous trips he hasn't slept a wink). Thank you Aunt Karen!!!!

Another blessing was the nice plane attendent from Continental Airlines loaded Brad's wheelchair directly into the cabin for us, so we had the chair for the layover in Paris. For those of you who have not traveled with someone disabled through an airport...this was a HUGE help!!!!!!! With the delay, we ended up spending 5 hours in the airport and it was so nice to be able to wheel Brad around and not be solely dependent on his crutches.

The second blessing came very unexpected from the airline attendents with Air France. Those attendents actually broke down Brad's wheelchair and spent several minutes trying to find a way to squeeze it into one of the overhead bins. I was just impressed that they tried so hard to accomodate. And, when it didn't fit...they gate checked the item and had it ready for us as soon as we stepped off the plane in Munich. Yeah Air France! (Alright Kathrin...you have to stop bad mouthing that airline now). The reason this was so surprising was due to all the difficulty we had from British Airlines in getting our wheelchair (or any wheelchair for that matter) during our last trip to and from Germany.

The third blessing came at the car rental. Last time when we were here, I went to the desk to pick up our car and the woman behind the counter said she didn't have my reservation. The real problem was she didn't have the car in stock that we had reserved. Even though I had the print-out and confirmation number, she claimed that it didn't matter because I 'could have' canceled it on line (which I didn't) and I would still have the old paperwork. The process was grueling, but we eventually complained enough to get a car. THIS TIME...there was no fuss, no hassle. The receptionist was nice...she spoke English...she had my reservation and she even upgraded the car to a mini van to ensure that we would be able to get Brad's wheelchair into it easily! Thank you National Car rental.

Now, when we got to the car...it was parked between two other rentals with about 8 inches between each vehicle. While there weren't any scratches on the car before I got in...I'm pretty sure there might have been one on the car next to me from trying to sqeeze into the driver's seat. Once I got in...I quickly realized that I would be driving a standard (which I did know...but had forgotten). Now..I don't mind driving a standard...that is the type of truck Brad drove when we first started dating so he had already taught me how to drive one...but that was a good 12 years ago! And...I certainly wasn't thrilled about testing my skills in a new, rental, with three cars surrounding it less than a foot apart, on an incline...not a lot of leeway for an error. And to make matters worse, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to take the parking brake off. So, here I am, in the car...trying to sike myself up to figure out how to drive this thing. Brad and Bryan are patiently waiting.... in the middle of the road with 3 bags of luggage, crutches, groceries, etc....while I try to figure out how to pull out. As I keep putting the car into 1st gear...I am praying that it is not in Reverse so that I don't slam into the car behind. Finally a very kind German man offers his help...which I GLADLY take. The only thing that made me feel a little less retarded is that it took him a few minutes to figure out how to release the parking brake also. Whew....he pulls the car out and then I am able to practice in the road without being pinned in.

The boys only have slight neck injuries from the gear-shifting. When I would complain about my own driving skills (or lack thereof), Bryan just kept saying he was going to continue to keep his mouth shut for fear that I might hand him the keys :)

As we left Truncht Linghen, a town we frequently get lost in and were approaching MB, we were wondering if we might have taken a wrong turn. We continued to drive and question whether we were going the right way. Brad promptly said that he knew how to tell if we were close. So he rolled down the window. The smell of manuer came pouring into the car. Brad turned to me and said, 'yes, I know we are close.'

Ms. Pappenfuss was waiting with keys in hand once we reached her home. It was nice to already be familiar with all the surroundings...that certainly made our arrival that much easier. Driving into Markt Berolzheim gave me the feeling like we hadn't ever left. I guess when you live somewhere for over a month and then return a month later...it feels like that.

Monday's treatment was fairly easy. Brad hadn't taken Celebrex that morning so Dr. Thaller gave him a lower dosage of the virus, which gave him a slight fever, but not too bad.

Today's treatment was VERY hard. The hardest we have ever experienced. Brad's shaking was so bad in the beginning that he was having a lot of difficulty catching his breath. He had to sit up in bed and put the oxygen tubing into his mouth so that he could breathe through he mouth and still get the oxygen from the machine. That series of shaking really scared him. At one point, he looked over at me with panic in his eyes and I knew that he was afraid that he wouldn't be able to calm himself down. Dr. Thaller gave Brad some sort of relaxation medication and after about 15 minutes the shaking slowed and he was able to calm down. It was really quite unsettling. I'm sure that because of today, he will be more anxious about going back into another fever therapy session. Please pray that tomorrow's therapy goes more smoothly so that he will be able to better relax.

Brad is also only sleeping a couple of hours each night & really not any during the day either. His coughing has actually been much better, but now it just seems that he is struggling with getting comfortable and staying asleep. The lack of sleep is making both of us much more emotional. Please pray that he can get into a pattern of better sleep. I know rest will help lift his spirits.

I am so thankful that Bryan is here with us. His company has meant so much to both of us. Of course, I have heard enough fantasy football talk to last me a lifetime, but hey...if it keeps Brad entertained and distracted from all of this...then that is fantastic.

I will write more later. I need to go home and cook dinner for the boys. We love you all.


Nellie's Nuggets said...

God is so good to provide just the right people at just the right times. Praise be to Him!

We'll be praying for sleep for all of you. Rest is so important. So glad Bryan is able to be there with you. We know he is a great comforter and encourager.

Way to go, Jenny! Sounds like you "got back on that horse" and drove that van just fine. You are an amazing woman through whom God is preaching many sermons to the rest of us. Bless you, sweet girl!

Praying for an easier treatment and good reports!

Much love,
Skip and Nell

Perks said...

That was a post full of so many emotions...thankfulness for your restful flight/trip, laughter when I thought of you trying to drive a standard for the first time in a while and imagining the looks and comments from B&B, and then heaviness on my heart when I imagined Brad and his tough treatments. I still wonder "WHY?" but I know God is doing His perfect work.

Know that we are constantly lifting you up...praying for rest, peace, and healing.

our love to each of you.

Trish Osborn said...

I am so glad everything went well for your trip and arrival. I will be saying prayers all day for Brad today that the next treatment isn't so hard on him. When I read your update I just wanted to give you both hugs.

Lisa said...

Leave it to you to first point out all of the positive things about a long trip for treatment. You continue to amaze me. We pray for you daily, and continue to plead with God for healing. Thank you for keeping everyone posted.

Vickie and Debra Sims said...

Jenny so glad you made the trip to Germany in such comfort. Air France is pretty amazing and those first class seats are great. I have never seen any like that on other flights. Good for you guys! We are holding all of you up to the Lord while you walk this walk. I wish you comfort as you sit at Brad's bedside. It is very hard to watch someone you love face what is unknown but God knows all things and He stands beside you both as well. Hang on tight to the prayers said in Brad's behalf they will comfort you and bless your efforts in Germany. No matter what happens please keep the belief close to your heart that you and Brad are in a win win situation because God is there in your lives no matter what may come you will always have life in the love of Christ Jesus. Hang in there all of you we are praying daily for Brad. Prayers are coming from everywhere in your behalf. Trust in the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul, with all your mind and he will give you rest. Hugs from Mumbai India......Vickie and Debra Sims

Anonymous said...

Isa. 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." We're praying that God's presence is very apparent to you and Brad in rest for all of you, Brad's response to treatment, healing, and loving gestures toward you. Jerry and Ann Jay

HeatherJ said...

I'm so glad to hear you all made it safely and that the airlines were so nice. I hope Brad's treatments go well. You all will be in my prayers.

Ronnie and Becky Roberts said...

We share many emotions with you when we read of your daily accomplishments as well as some frustration. Our prayers as well as the prayers from many in Granbury are that 'HE' will provide you with extra measures of strength, comform, wisdom, discernmet,rest,stillness to hear God speak to you, encouragement,patience and perseverence. We pray for complete healing for Brad and we pray for more enduring peace for you , David and Sandra and the kids.

We are studying from 2 books this summer in our 'Victory' class that one (Spiritual Disciplines) focuses on how spiritual diciplins ae avilable to us to help us be transformed in His likeness. The other one is a book that has been a rouund sine '72 and is titled 'Heart Diseaes and Their Cures'. It is amaxing how a book written in '72 is still so applicable in our lives today. It deals with anger, worry, frustration, forgiveness, pride etc ...diseases that can rob many of us of the joys God wants us to have. But through our trials with these diseases we can overcome them by accessing the spiritual disciplines God has made available to us. When I chose these two books, they were chosen for their content with the undeerstanding that many of us experienc difficulties and many of us need help in the transforming of our lives into His likeness....not knowing they were going to be used together so closely. I would like for you to have a oopy of each when you arrive back home...someway we will get them to you.

In your writings I sense a great sense of exhuberance, patience,confidence, hope, tust, and love.All of these come from God. That takes a very special young lady to continue to have such a positive attitude. You sharing inspires many of us....friends, family, acquaitances, and church family.

Just remember the words that Ann Jay has quoted from Is 41:10...he is your source of strength....you and Brad are "Practicing the Presence of Christ to the Glory of God"

Please know we pray for you all daily...


Anonymous said...

Brad and Jenny-
Our church family here in Altus has been praying for you as I view updates on this blog. I'm glad Hanna was able to make the trip. We're with you as we continually ask the Father in boldness for healing and peace for y'all at this time!