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

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