Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I am very happy to write to tell all the VERY good news we received yesterday (on Brady's 23rd Birthday) regarding Mom's health condition. Since last May, my mother, Carol Kuenning, has endured one serious health crisis after another.

A first she became severely anemic. She had no energy and was often dizzy and nauseous. When she learned of her anemia, she worked to bring her iron levels up in every natural way possible (she found that liquid chlorophyll worked wonders). Eating big leafy spinach salads and liver seemed to be bringing the right results.

Then, in the process of getting my grandmother's home on the market, she flew down to Virginia and back with the family. The combination of her inactivity due to the anemia, the plane flight, and a family predisposition gave her deep vein thrombosis, or a blood clot in her leg. They put her on blood thinners, which are effective, but wreak havoc on the body. They also restricted her diet from anything with vitamin K in it (a natural blood clotter) which meant that though her anemia was still categorized as severe, almost all of the natural iron-rich foods (also naturally rich in vitamin K) were off limits to her.

When she felt tightness in her chest in June, she had Dad take her to the emergency room where a CAT scan revealed that the blood clots had moved to her lungs. There, they were only a hiccup away from blocking major arteries and killing her. After a five day hospital visit, she went home where we watched her like hawks. Kind people brought meals, but her dietary restrictions were driving everyone a bit nutty. Her regular doses of blood thinner also made simple cuts and nicks an extreme hazard as there were few blood clotting agents in her to stem a flow of blood. A kitchen accident could be a serious problem.

A few months later, Mom passed out on the kitchen floor which brought an EMT crew to the house. All tests showed nothing wrong with her blood sugar, heart, or other first guesses. However, an ultrasound revealed painful gallstones (the source of the back pain that caused her to faint). Surgery was impossible until Mom was off the blood thinners, and the gallstones restricted her diet even further, preventing her from eating dairy and any rich foods.

* * *

I have to just say that in the midst of all of these scary conditions, while their daughter was a bit of a wreck at coming so close to losing her mother, Mom and Dad showed remarkable peace and faith through it all. Mom would tell me, "I don't know why I'm going through this, but God has gotten my attention, and I'm listening." While she was in the hospital, my parents prayed together for God's will to be done. Separately they told me how God's peace and protection was almost tangible after they relinquished Mom's very life to God's will.

As for me, facing the possibility of losing one of my parents made me treasure them both even more. I am thankful for their wise council, their generosity, their friendship, and their mentoring in so many areas. It would be devastating to lose either one, but I'll learn a lesson from them and leave all control to our omniscient God and His good will.

* * *

So when her follow up CAT scan was scheduled for last Friday to see if her lungs were clear of the clots, we all wished more than believed Mom to be free of the pests that have kept her from being active, able to travel, and plagued her with occasional tightness in her chest. Praise God, the CAT scan revealed her to be free of clots! Gradually her iron levels have come up too so she is at almost normal levels. Now the only monsters to tackle are the gallstones. Lord willing, those will fall like Jericho to God's mighty hand. Please keep her continued recovery in your prayers.

Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.

2 Corinthians 1:9-11

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