Status Report on Mary Witmer, 181110

Mary continues to steadily recuperate from aortic valve replacement surgery on November 1. Thanks for tracking along with her progress here and on previous blogs.

Each day seems to be another step in the right direction. Yesterday she had an appointment with our family physician. Dr. Perlman confirmed that she is now back in sinus rhythm. That, and the fact that her heart rate has also now slowed to near normal levels, is very good news. Perhaps she will soon be able to come off the anticoagulant, Coumadin. Her primary wound is healing well but the site of another related incision had recently become red. However the doctor was not overly concerned and recommended some localized precautionary measures rather than prescribing antibiotics at this point, which was just fine with us. Enough pills the way it is.

Vin & Charlene Upham have been AIIA board members for many years. Vin is a retired minister who lives near Utica NY. Upon learning that Mary and I were unable to arrange for our home care needs less than two weeks before Mary’s surgery, on Saturday morning, October 20, at our AIIA Board of Directors meeting in Portland, Maine, Vin informed us that he was willing to serve us in that way. So with his wife Charlene’s blessing, on October 30 he drove 500 miles from his home to ours, arriving just before our seven day stint in Bangor, allowing me to be with Mary during her time in the hospital. Since arriving back in Monson on November 6 Vin has been cooking (some great meals, e.g. spaghetti and meat balls from scratch, stir-fry last night, blueberry pancakes this morning), cleaning, hauling trash, doing laundry, shopping for groceries, helping me with personal needs (Mary can take care of herself in that way with the help of a visiting nurse), and even making a few home improvements. He does all this with a smile, a positive spirit, and a lot of energy. We know that he’s first and foremost serving Christ, but we happen to be the chief blessed beneficiaries.

In spite of our best attempts to allay such feelings, Mary says that she sometimes experiences guilt about just sitting on a chair while meals are being prepared and the house is being cleaned. She knows that those feelings are not based on objective facts, but they’re there anyway, undoubtably driven by years of a strong work ethic and a naturally active industrious nature.

She is now walking short distances numerous times a day, sometimes in our daylight basement, while I sit and worry about her doing steps in her weakened condition and without holding the handrails. She is not to use her arms for any pulling or pushing for a few weeks yet. Try getting out of a prone position in bed with your arms crossed in front of you sometime.

I have finally been able to get back to the office the past two days, catching up on phone calls, emails, mail, and other back-logged administrative matters. But today we woke to about four inches of fresh snow which has not yet been plowed, so getting out and about in my wheelchair may be more challenging than normal.

Mary and I are keenly aware that so many others (perhaps you) are facing trials far greater than our own. We pray that God might use this blog — and the rest of this website — to make known the sufficiency of His grace in every such instance of need, and convincing evidence for His existence that works in even the more challenging of life’s passages.

Until next time.

Daryl E. Witmer

Posted in Blog | Comments


  1. Debbie Falkenburg
    Posted November 10, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    So, so happy to hear of Mary’s progress and all the help God has provided. Has Vin thought of this as his new vocation as soon as you two are not needing him any longer? Probably not, but to God be the glory for his service to you. Love Debbie PS I get a kick out of hearing you say things like, Perhaps she will soon be able to come off the anticoagulant, Coumadin”. Having dealt with heart issues with Paul, it probably won’t be “soon” . I recognize some of the meds and things Mary is going thru and all seems like “status quo” for the way they treat things. Aren’t we so blessed that God is in control?

  2. Gina Plain
    Posted November 10, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    This is great news. Praying for continued healing and for the red incision to go away. It is amazing how God provided way above and beyond with Vin Upham! For so long it seemed like a dead end in finding help, but we knew God would provide and couldn’t wait to see in what way. I bet God was really laughing at the thought of all He had in store. I’m wondering how Vin’s wife is surviving without him! He sounds more like an angel! I mean….blueberry pancakes?! I understand how Mary must feel. Hopefully she will be able to just enjoy reading; there will be plenty to do once she recovers. And I know too, that no matter how well you are being cared for, it will be wonderful for all 3 of you when you no longer need help. We are so far away and feel helpless in being able to help you so this is a comfort to us too. Praising God.

  3. Eugene Witmer
    Posted November 10, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Gina said it all….I wouldn’t know what to add…..our thoughts exactly. Hope to talk on Sunday.

  4. Marlene Groff
    Posted November 10, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    It is so great to hear of Mary’s good progress.So thankful that she’s now in normal sinus rhythm. I know that feeling of watching others your work. It’s so hard but I’m so thankful that the Lord provided Vin to help you folks at this time.
    I don’t envy your snow right now. Please be careful when you do go out. Prayers continue for complete healing and Peace for both of you.
    Aunt Marlene

  5. Paul & Pauline
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Daryl & Mary,
    We’re overjoyed to hear the surgery is over and the healing has begun. We’ve been praying and just got
    Proclamation so went to the blog for and update. Sorry you’re fighting the snow, but know we will be shortly as well. Just want to assure you of our loving prayers for a very special couple.
    Paul and Pauline

  6. Kathy Smith
    Posted November 13, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Glad to hear Mary is healing well. We will be praying for you both!

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