Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Smaller Than Baby Steps

I walked into his cold dim lit room and immediately heard the different, almost musical tones, of all the machines surrounding his bed. He lay there, eyes closed, barely covered with sporadic breathing. I didn't make a sound, but my presence filled the room and he opened his eyes. I'm getting used to the fact that it takes him a long amount of time to focus.
"Hi, my love" I said.
"Mom" he lifted his head and winced. I think he still has that instinct to stand up whenever I enter the room, I definitely react to the instinct of expecting a warm hug, and my arms feel the emptiness. I have to don the blue rubber gloves and a face mask. He is extremely contagious with a staff infection in his lungs, that he received from the hospital. Leaning over his bed, I said, "How are you, babe?"
"Mom, I've had the most miserable day!" And the tears fill his eyes.

This is the average entrance scene that takes place, so far, for the last nine days and more than likely, there will be many more to come. Marks fever keeps rising and his pain increases daily. He had another CT Scan on his abdomen today because the doctors were a little concerned. We are all sitting in the waiting room expecting the doctor's update. We chat, discussing best case scenarios, when the doctor enters and ushers in the formalities.

Marks spine and thick skin kept him from tearing in half. Basically, all of his muscles and organs did split, they just didn't end up on the outside of his body. The Scan showed that his intestines are extremely swollen, as well as his stomach. This 2nd Scan showed that his lungs were very bruised and that he has a severe case of pneumonia. He needs to sit up, cough and work on the breathing machine every hour. Soon, he should be standing up to sit in a chair for awhile and hopefully, eventually, go to the bathroom on his own. He has no sounds coming from his stomach. so they are still in a paralyzed healing state. The question is this?

Sit up with his one and a half foot infected incision wide open? Sit up and down with a broken back? Get out of bed and settle in a chair with a broken back? Walk with all these issues AND a broken foot that can't have a cast? Cough and use a breathing exercise machine with bruised lungs and pneumonia? My eyes were welling with tears just thinking about these tasks. I am panicking as I imagine myself forcing Mark to try and stay encouraged while inflicting serious pain on him. So, then I hear these words...6 to 8 weeks....

6 to 8 weeks in the hospital? Possibly...yes. The doctor turns to go and I'm stunned...6 to 8 weeks, 6 to 8 weeks...and that doesn't include his recuperation time living back at home with us...WoW! He was in a severe, lucky to be alive, accident. What was I thinking?
I was thinking baby steps...small, but regular sized baby steps.................wrong. ~ Mark's steps have to be even smaller than that. Smaller than baby steps...smaller than baby steps...smaller than baby steps.

Is there such a thing as asking for advice, but you don't know exactly what for?

My EMAIL is now back on my profile and I am getting a P.O. Box for Mark. I will post it tomorrow :^)


Blogger dd said...

To endure all this, my God, he will need lots of encouragement as will you all. When I was reading, I kept thinking, can he cough with all this pain. What the heck...

May God's love and presence override these difficulties and bring miracle healings to Mark.


10:01 PM  
Blogger Chulita said...

Oh my God, I just can not imagine the pain, Mark's physical, and yours emotional! My prayers continue to all of you. I just keep asking God to be with you all, to sustain you all through this, to help you all pull through this a much stronger and more loving family than you already are.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Pink Granite said...

Aside from the enormous emotional and physical pain, it is so encouraging to read how long range the doctors' plans are for Mark's recovery and recuperation! I hope you are able to continue to draw strength from all of us "out here", as well as from you circle of family and friends. Do try to take good care of yourself, Darlene. - Lee

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for a miracle. May you both feel peace tonight. Love, L

11:15 PM  
Blogger Libbys Blog said...

At least, these are steps, baby steps maybe but in the right direction! The pain and difficulty ahead, well, if it gets you to where you want to be then it has to be worth it!!! Sadly there is always someone worse off!! My thoughts as always are with you and your family!!

11:30 PM  
Blogger angela said...

As Libby says they may be baby steps but they're carrying him in the right direction...
Please look after yourself; eat, sleep well because you're going to need all your strength, all of you.
Thinking of you constantly,

11:35 PM  
Blogger Turquoise CRO said...

What can I say Darlene to all this? It is almost too much to bare, I will have to pray overtime! I keep imagining my children with all this , a broken back, broken ankle, now pnemonia, a gaping wound,fever, I can't imagine how he is going to sit up with a broken back either, we will keep praying for Mark and you, I remember at the first of this year when my dad was on death's door, my mom and I was just there every day, every night we were dazed with exhaustion and at the end of the day we were left with our thoughts!and emotions and it seemed like we were very alone! We were in another world, the hospital, nursing home world, May GOD bless everyone who is going through sickness, pain, and sorrow! You are not alone. Don't give up HOPE and I will keep praying for angels to be at your side fervently and pray for angels to keep watch over Mark too! and I pray for strength for Mark to do all these things to get stronger and to keep his lungs clear! LOVE and prayers, Cinda xooxxoxoxooox

11:45 PM  
Blogger Nic Bridges said...

You all have such a long road to travel together, but as long as you are there to hold Mark's hand I know you can do it - one tiny baby step at a time.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Alexandra G said...

Hi Darlene,
Yes, you have a long road ahead but I look so forward to one year from this week, next Christmas, when you will be able to look back at how far Mark has come. I know there will be many tough days and moments ahead, so many, but intangible, miraculous healing is taking place every single moment to get to the point where the doctors are even talking about his eventual release from the hospital. This sounds very promising and hopeful. What a brave, strong son you have. He must have gotten it from his mother! I pray that he has more and more relief from his pain and that renewed hope, faith, and self-awe for all he is going through and enduring to be his companion. He-and you- are so inspiring, reminding me of the gifts and loyalty of family.
-Alexandra G (Marvelous Madness)

12:21 AM  
Anonymous mo said...

Alexandra G is so right- that you will be able to look back and marvel at how far he has come- how far you have all come when he is finally home. He just needs to get some footing here, and though it seems like an eternity, his healing has just begun. My baby girl had open heart surgery at almost two and, while not the same, the similar feelings were there- of helplessness and frustration that she was "broken" and I , her Mom, couldn't really do much to help that. Except be her Mom and love her and comfort her and feel what she needed until she got better, just like you are doing for your beautiful son.
I also have to say that until last year when my Mother in law had a huge surgery that cut her open from one side to another horizontally across her belly, I had never heard of leaving a wound open. I will tell you though that it healed well and it really worked, though it seemed the most bizarre thing at the time. I continue to keep you all in my prayers.

12:31 AM  
Blogger gena said...

One day what seems impossible will be possible and you will marvel at how well Mark is doing and how far he has come,he must be a very strong young man to have survived such a terible accident, and this strength will get him through.You are doing so well, your family must be so proud of you Darlene xx

12:51 AM  
Blogger Jemima said...

Oh, Darlene, what can I say? I was a little, shall we say, surprised at the walking round and coughing part. But there is a future, they are planning out his future, and he has one, I'm so glad you use the word 'lucky' that you can see beyond the pain and uncertainty to realise how very much worse this could easily have been. I'm thinking healing, helpful, supportive thoughts across the ocean.

Take care, Mimey x

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Advice. I don't know if anyone can offer advice. Baby steps at first but also acceptance that this is real and that the reasons are beyond our understanding.

Advice. To heal yourself also Darlene. To allow yourself time to grieve, to let go of the guilt. To be strong for Mark and at the same time accept your own needs.

All of you need time. Take it one day, one hour, one minute, one second at a time; the 6-8 weeks will be gone before you know it.

On a personal note Darlene, I am posting the poem and a link to here today along with an audio recording of the poem for you.

Please know that I think of Mark all the time and pray for your family.

1:30 AM  
Blogger deni said...

I try to think of words that will bring you comfort, but mere words seem inadequate.

Just take one day at a time, one moment, and think about how strong Mark's determination and will are to live, for surely it is a miracle that he made it this far.

One day you will all look back and think, "I made it, Mark made it and we are all stronger for it."

May God bless you, I am still praying.

2:06 AM  
Anonymous Suzie Q said...

I can't find any words today, Darlene, but I want you to know that I'm here every day and that you & your family are constantly in my thoughts & prayers. Looking back, 6-8 weeks won't seem such a long time. Like everyone says, take those baby baby steps one at a time & try to keep your strength up.
Much Love, Suze xXx

2:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my prayers still for you and mark and your whole family...

he is alive..he is alive..

5 years from all will look back to this and hug each other with joy in your hearts...

smaller than baby steps...true...but steps of life they are..

take care


2:56 AM  
Blogger Shaz said...

My Healing Confessions Scripture.
These I pray for MARK

1. Thank You, Father, for sending Your Word to deliver me from destruction (Psalm 107:20).
2. Jesus bore my griefs (pains) and carried my sorrows (sicknesses). He was pierced through for my transgressions and crushed for my iniquities. The punishment for my well-being fell on Him, and by His stripes I am healed (Isaiah 53:4-5; 1 Peter 2:24).
3. Father, your words are life to me. They are healing and health to all my flesh (Proverbs 4:22, AMP).
4. Since the Spirit of Him Who raised Christ Jesus from the dead dwells in me, that same Spirit also gives life to my body (Romans 8:11).
5. Thank You, Father God, that I prosper and am in health even as my soul prospers (3 John 2).
6. Lord, You restore my health and heal my wounds (Jeremiah 30:17).
7. Thank You, Lord, for forgiving all of my iniquities and healing all of my diseases (Psalm 103:3).
8. Thank You, Father, that my light breaks forth as the morning and that my health springs forth speedily (Isaiah 58:8).

3:05 AM  
Blogger V-Grrrl said...

I've been following your story--coming over from Amber's site and praying for Mark.

My elderly parents were in a bad car accident years ago and transported to separate hospitals, 60 miles apart and more than 3 hours from my home. I remember the pain of their pain and the physical and emotional exhaustion of trying to deal with the driving, the doctors, the shifting ground beneath my feet.

I know about the horrors of an open wound too. My son had surgery when he was a year old and developed a post-op infection that kept us in the hospital a long time. I remember realizing with grim resolution that he wouldn't be able to released from the hospital until I mastered the monstrous task of cleaning and packing his wound at home. I still remember the panic of wondering how I'd manage to do this with a TODDLER. I did it. We made it through. He's 11 now and fine.

Mark's injuries and your experience are overwhelming and the only advice I can give echoes that of Brian's--not one day at a time, ONE MINUTE at a time. Inhale. Exhale. Soak up every good thought and act of kindness that comes your way and savor it.

You'll get through this even if it feels like you're dying inside. It won't last forever.

I'm glad that while his injuries are horrendous, at least Mark came out of that car with his brain uninjured, his personality still there. No matter what else happens, no matter the pain, you have your son's MIND and SPIRIT.

3:24 AM  
Blogger Awareness said...

Hello Darlene.

I just wanted to let you know that I have been reading your updates on your beautiful son....and have been sending warm thoughts your way. Mark's progress will be tiny baby steps........moving forward to healing, as will yours....

May you continue to feel hope, and may God's grace filter through to you in moments you need it the most.

3:27 AM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

His ongoing life is a miracle. His life force just amazing. With such a difficult and daunting road looming before you, you have described better than any doctor could. Tiny smaller-than-baby steps are indeed what he will have to take... and these steps will eventually fuse -just like his broken tissue and bones- to form a strong path -Mark's precious lifeline.
As always, I admire your strenght, and send you more...
All my love,

3:33 AM  
Anonymous Sophie said...

With every 'smaller than baby step' we all we be here to support you, mark and the rest of your family.

I can't imagine what you are going trough, what mark is going trough...I can only pray and hope that it will give him strength to take all the steps he needs to take for recovery.

Sending lots of love, Sophie

3:56 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

I first learned of Mark's accident from Red Shoe Ramblings (I'm a lurker),
and have been following Mark's recovery over the past week. I am in awe of strength and courage that you and your family display.

Is there a public address where we bloggers could send Mark a Postcard from where we live - as a way of showing Mark just how world-wide his support base is?

Keeping Mark, you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

5:01 AM  
Blogger brittany said...

wow. How DO they expect him to sit up? did they tell you? How DO they expect him to cough? To get up and go to the bathroom? That sounds like an impossible task.

I tell you what, if Mark makes it through this, he will definately have Superhero status. He will need a Superhero name that we can refer to him as.

The thing that keeps coming to my mind, I'd rather not comment on in this forum, but I don't have your email address...I realize that you don't have much time, but if you think of it, shoot me an

In the mean time, sweets, it seems that the only thing you can do is throw out all of your expectations, take a deep breath, and find a way to pace yourself. You can do this, and so can Mark. I have no doubt. And the other end has more beauty, peace and joy than you have ever experienced before. The rewards are worth it.

love and strength to you, friend.

5:16 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Just sending you every loving thought I can for strength for you and your family, and especially Mark.

5:22 AM  
Blogger JoyceAnn said...

Praying that Mark will find the strength to do what is needed to heal.
Believe in MIRACLE !

Praying for a speedy and full recovery !

5:28 AM  
Blogger twitches said...

One day at a time, one moment at a time...think of only of the next baby step, Darlene, that is all you can do.

5:43 AM  
Blogger Constance said...

"God I pray for supernatural ability to do the necessary and required things for Mark's healing. Give him the stamina and endurance needed to help his body to heal. Father we are thankful that you have spared his life. It is to Your glory that he is still with his family. We ask for a touch from You,for whom nothing is impossible. We continue to ask for wisdom for his team of doctors and nurses. We continue to pray for your ministering angels to protect him and guard him from satan and the powers that might take his life. We pray for restoration of not only his physical body but for his soul, mind and spirit after being so deeply traumatized. Strengthen and guard his mind and body and for those who love him as well. I pray for encouragement, peace & comfort for everyone.Thank you God for your mercy and grace that surrounds us and cradles us in our times of helplessness. In Jesus' holy, righteous, redeeming name I pray.

6:05 AM  
Blogger maggiegracecreates said...

As his caretaker, it is your right and responsibility to ask the questions of the medical personel. I remember sitting with my Grandmother as she slowly died - 7 months - almost evey night.

The respiratory therapist told me, make a list of every question you want answered. Pin people down and insist they answer it - good, bad, or indifferent. She said people forget and then try to find out later, so writing it down is important. At times I even copied my list and brought it up over and over until I got an answer.

I continue to pray - for Mark, for you and your health and strength, for your entire family, and for the medical people around you. I too would love to drop a card in the mail for you guys.

Does the hospital accept mail delivery for patients?? Or is there a friend who would take the items for you?

I hope you find a grace moment today. Record those too. You never know when you may need to recall that to give you an extra boost.

Many prayers.

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

My only 'advice' would be to try to stay present. If you can stay in the moment, it will help keep the fear at bay. Try to stay present on what is TODAY instead of what's down the road. As one of your other commenters said (and I know first-hand the power of 'one day at a time'), break it down in even smaller increments. And truly, that's all any of us have at any time--just this moment. My only other suggestion would be to find something positive in his recovery to celebrate each day--no matter how miniscule--it will help boost his and your spirits. He's going to need you to be strong. And he will undoubtedly get angry at certain points (a friend's family is on a similar journey right now). Take care of yourself, so that you can care for him. I'll continue to hold him in the light and send him loving, healing energy. Blessings to you.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

I believe that you need to ask the hospital staff everything as much as you need "annoying", be a "pest"--if your questions can get answered, that is what matters. They will understand this very real need. I continue to hold you in my thoughts...there is no true advice I can offer for this--other than, "present moment, only moment". That Buddhist this very moment, though he is in pain, though he is in the hospital quite broken--Mark is alive and could have just as easily been otherwise. Your "smaller than baby steps" already gets at this wisdom...ONE at a time. That's all you have to do. Not days, weeks, months of recovery...just moment by moment. I wish you strength and peace through each of them.

6:20 AM  
Blogger Sheila said...

Darlene those 6 to 8 weeks will fly by for those of us who go about our every day business. We will take for granted each day and complain that we have so much to do and not enough time, things that you wish you could complain about I'm sure.
Instead you will be beside your baby boy, and like you did 20 some years ago, you will help him learn to walk again. He will look to you for support and help, and to comfort him when he falls. You will be tired, frustrated and scared.But you will also be happy, proud and so full of love your heart will want to burst. You will find strength when you thought you had none left, and with the help of the doctors and all the other medical staff you are going to meet, with specialties you never heard of until now, together you will get Mark well again. Then as someone here said, next year you will be able to enjoy Christmas and look back with pride at the accomplishments you have made. We are praying that God will help you, comfort you and stand beside you, while all this occurs.

6:23 AM  
Blogger Julie H said...

Darlene my heart goes out to you. I am going to tell you a little of my story in the hope that it helps.

At 16 I was crossing a road when a drunk motor bike rider doing twice the speed limit hit me and threw me across a lane and a half of traffic where my head hit a tree and my pelvis was shattered across a curb.

The doctors said I would be in hospital for three months and perhaps not walk again. Trainee doctors were shown my x-rays, their general consensus (until introduced to me) was that it was a waste of time discussing my case - I was obviously dead.

Through the power of prayer I was out of hospital in six weeks. And had abbandoned the cruthes within another three. It was a long road and there are still some little niggles.

But, of all my time in hopital all I have been able to remember for years is:
Ordering Pizza with the guys from the next room
The amazing effects of too much pethadine
The fabulous staff who made me laugh while dealing with my personal needs.
The only pain I can remember is from the constipation!!! I was tractioned and did not move off my back at all for the first three weeks.

My parents tell me you will remember all of this, your darling son will remember little.

If you have your handsome boy home in eight weeks then someone better at maths than I will work out what a tiny percentage of his life that is. The pain you are all feeling now is real, but it will go, it really will.

As to questions, don't reject any. Ask anything that comes to mind as often as you need to. Ask the nurses if there are others at the hospital in a similar situation, but further on in the healing process.

I feel so rude telling you all of this when I don't 'know' you. I feel like I know Mark ... and I know the great big God who is going to get you all through this.


6:26 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

Ah, sweetie, as I read your words it all seems so unimaginably hard. I can't quite figure out how all that's going to happen either. Yet I find myself encouraged by the fact that the doctors are telling you all this instead of just saying "wait and see." They're making plans for Mark's future recovery, so no matter how bizarrely difficult those plans sound, they must think he has it in him to do all those things.

And I feel sure you and your family have it in you to do whatever you need to do too, one task at a time. You may not see how you'll do it right now, but you don't really need to. The future will happen whether you worry about it and plan it all out in your head or not. And as it unfolds, you'll make decisions and adjustments, and you'll do what needs to be done. One day at a time, one moment at a time, one breath at a time. {{{Darlene}}}

Prayers, white light, good thoughts...they all surround you.

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Erin from Boston said...

I found your journal yesterday and read your and Mark's story. I haven't been able to think of anything since. My thoughts and heart are with you! I know it seems insurmountable now, but with the heart and strength that I see you and your son have you can't do anything but grow stronger still. I pray that God gives you the fighting spirit of an Amazon and the strength to conquer death itself. We're all here for you.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the moment I was sent to your story through a friends blog, I've been coming back everyday to see the progress of your son. I've been hoping and praying that you will all be okay. Have faith in a higher power - keep strong - remember things happen for a reason, we may not know what the reason is while we are going through it, or how it will effect our lives, but years from now you can look back on this time and you will know what the reason was/is.
My prayers are with you and your family.
A friend!

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Loretta said...

The first steps are the hardest. Remember, the doctors are clinicians and some are more cold cut than others. The hardest part of the work will be Mark's, but you are all there as a team: doctors, nurses, and family, which I think is the most important component of all.

My sister was in a serious car accident 18 years ago. She had internal injuries, surgery, and complained about her back the whole 2 weeks in the hospital. It wasn't until she had come home that the hospital called and said she had to come back because her back was broken! The only thing that got her through the ordeal was our family.

All of God's grace to you, to Mark, to your husband, daughter and your sisters. May you all have the strength and courage to support him in this extraordinary time. I so hope you are feeling physically a little better. May heart goes out to all of you.

6:51 AM  
Blogger Lisa(oceandreamer) said...

Dearest Darlene, we are preparing to leave this morning but I had to check in. I am at a loss for words at all that Mark has endured so boggles the mind. It's going to take endurance above all imagination for all of you...but especially for Mark...yet I know he has the strength for it within himself. (as do you). Baby steps, however small they are, are still steps and that is the hope, the healing, the possible. I keep you and him with me at all times - praying all the while for healing, healing, healing.
Feel the love surround you.
Much love and warm, gently hugs,

6:53 AM  
Blogger gerry rosser said...

My thoughts are still with you and Mark and your entire family.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Trish Ryan said...

That sounds too daunting to endure! Bless you and Mark - I will continue to pray that Jesus take this heavy load from you and exchange it for his comfort and peace. As much as you love Mark, God loves him more, and preserved his life for a reason. He will be there in the sitting up, the coughing, the walking when it shouldn't be possible, and all the other unimaginable things that lie ahead. What is impossible with man is possible with God. Hang on to that, it's a promise.
Much love,

6:59 AM  
Blogger Fern said...

It seems to me you are already doing everything you need to do. Some days it may seem like it is not enough but I think your impact is far greater than you know. Look at the impact you have had on him as a man already and the impact you have had on all of us. You are an Amazing, Strong, Loving, Wild Woman.

7:07 AM  
Blogger bee said...

oh, darlene.

i'm SO GLAD he's alive. and i cannot imagine what you are going through - just know that i am watching out for you, sending you all the energy i can.

and yes, it is possible to ask for advice without knowing for what.

7:10 AM  
Blogger PaintingChef said...

I cannot imagine the pain and the fear you must have. I read it through your words, through your updates that I look for almost hourly. But what I feel more than anything is this intense and all consuming love. Your sweet, sweet Mark is so lucky to have you along for every step of the way. My thoughts and prayers and healing energy continues to flow to your family.

7:13 AM  
Blogger Sauntering Soul said...


I am not trying to make light of Mark's broken back at all, but would like to share a story with you to perhaps give you a bit of encouragement. In the middle of October, my father suffered a fall from a ladder and fractured his back. I realize it's not a complete break like Mark has suffered. My dad is 66 years old and not in the best of health. The doctors wanted to send my dad home in a back brace the night he fractured his back! He was sitting and walking the night he fractured it. The only reason they kept him overnight was for observation because he is diabetic and they wanted to make sure he handled the pain medication okay. He came home the following day. They decided to do surgery the next week because the fracture site was compressing further and he was in severe pain. He came home the day after surgery and within 2 days he was only taking aspirin for his pain. On Christmas Day - a mere 8 weeks later - he was walking around just fine without even a brace on. This is a 66 year old diabetic man (who doesn't ever watch his blood sugar or take care of himself) with high blood pressure. Your son is so young and strong so I have a good feeling his back will heal just fine.

I realize your son has many other things in addition to his back to recover from. Again, I am in no way trying to make his broken back seem like it's not a big deal because it's a VERY big deal. I am simply sharing my experience to perhaps give you a bit of hope (and maybe even a tiny sense of relief?). The body is an amazing thing and doctors can do amazing things with seemingly insurmountable injuries.

I continue to pray for you and your family. It seems Mark is in very good hands (and I don't mean just the doctors). His fighting spirit is apparent - and so is yours.

I pray for his continued healing. I pray for you to feel a bit of peace somehow in the middle of such a horrible situation. I pray for strength for your entire family for the long road you have ahead.


7:19 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

It's easy to advise after you've read the wise comments of 33 people before you...:)

I love "present moment, only moment." That seems like the only helpful approach: to accept and be with what's happening this moment, only.

I also love the analogy to Mark's infancy; although those days could be brutal and sleepless, remember the bursts of pride and love and joy that also came to balance the difficulty.

I too would like to send you all some mail!

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Erin in NC said...

Remember through the tough times that every step is a step in the right direction. Cherish every smile, every hug ... and remember that there are people all over the world that are there to support both you and Mark during this recovery.

With every step, however tentative, imagine all of us letting out a big, loud cheer for your baby.

7:29 AM  
Blogger dd said...

Asking for advice when you don't know what you are asking for....

Is to me...asking for something other than your best estimate, best guess, of how to proceed, how to handle all this, how to deal with this overwhelming situation.

We are at our strongest when we have no idea and no concept of what to do next. That is when we invite in whether consciously or not, all that God is, to be present and take over and do his will. It is only when we are truly humbled by having no idea of what to do or how to do it, that the spirit of God can move in our lives and make the rough places smooth. This is a sacred place to be, right where you are asking for advice, because you have opened wide for God to come inside.

You have, in essence, invited God to be part of this experience and where God is, there is only Good. All the prayers in the world fall short in their power compared to the realness of just being willing to have something greater than yourself take over and advise.

Loving you,

8:15 AM  
Blogger luzie said...

I cringe just thinking about the pain which the exercises suggested by the doctors will cause.
But as has been said before.. just keep telling yourself that Mark is on the right track, even if this means moving forward in micro-babysteps and a longer stay in hospital. I'll continue to send you lots of strength and Mark more healing vibes.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Triller said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and Mark and all your family.
I read your postings with tears in my eyes. I can so relate. Not as a mother with an injured child but as the child.
Life seldom goes the way we plan and it takes us on roads we would not chose to travel.
May God be with you on this journey and reveal to you His blessings along the way.

8:33 AM  
Blogger LEstes65 said...

If I could physically bottle love, I would send you cases to pour over you, Mark and your family. I will continue to add my prayers to the rest for you and your whole family. God will give you all the strength and grace to endure. It will truly be a miracle that you may only see in hind-sight after this horrid ordeal is done. But God is with you. And so are we all.

8:36 AM  
Blogger daisies said...

baby steps are steps forward ... you will all get through this and your love and strength will take it one day at a time, each day, one more step towards life's healing ...

i know all to well that each day in icu is like a lifetime and i send you warmth and love and you are always in my prayers ...

8:54 AM  
Blogger Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

My advice lovely one ... just continue to walk aside with him, Dar. Be the loving beautiful momma you always have been, take strength in your family, in your blogging family and in God and the Universe. Find some healing music and ask the hospital staff if it can play in his room, so the machines are not the only sound. And when he's feeling stronger, let him pick more upbeat music. Know that we are ALL here praying for you, sending healing energy to him and your family, and walking alongside with little baby steps that will start to grow.
Much love to you my friend, Deborah

9:31 AM  
Blogger Georgia said...


6 to 8 weeks sounds like an eternity... But every moment that passes brings you closer to the end of his hospital stay, the end of his reliaance on you for help through this, the end of his injureis being so new and painful. One day you will all wake up and suddenly it will be time for him to get back to his normal life, and you to get back to yours. You will all look back on this and cherish each other for what you have in eachother, for the love you share , and the life he still is living.

Love to you!!!!!

9:53 AM  
Blogger Star said...

The very first miracle was Mark surviving. The progress may be slow and painful, but each bit of a step forward brings him closer to the goal. I am confident he will regain his health and he will laugh and play with Breezy again.

I have cut a bright pink heart from a sticky note, written Mark's name on it, and placed it on Valentine's Day on my calendar--this will be seven weeks from the date of your post. This will be my mental goal for his return home to you.

My candle burns for all of you again today, it's flame carrying prayers that will light the path to Mark's recovery and sustain you (his family and friends) as you perform the important work of encouraging him and loving him without reserve.

Miracles happen every day, keep expecting them, Darlene!

10:01 AM  
Blogger Dotee said...

Sending you much love Darlene. You are constantly in my thoughts. Baby steps may be all Mark can take right now but they are steps. And eventually they will be huge , striding ones when he is back on the mend.
We are all walking with you in our hearts.

Thanks for getting a PO box organised for Mark. I think it is going to overflow!

10:08 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

baby steps, yes, i can see this, but oh Darlene, you will be there to hold his hands and help him heal. in hospital he is safe and where he needs to be, close to medicine and the experts. then when his body has started to heal properly he can be at home with you where your love will work its magic. 6 to 8 weeks will go so quickly, my love, and we'll hold your hands all the way xoxox

11:22 AM  
Blogger a m y said...

Oh honey, this is going to be tough. But in the grand scheme of things 6-8 weeks isn't so bad...someday, it will feel like a little blip on the radar of Mark's life. You guys will pull through and pull together...I'll continue praying for your strength and continued improvements.

Love to you...

11:29 AM  
Blogger hepmomto3 said...

You've gotten so much great advice. I just keep adding my prayers. I hope you feel us all holding you and your family through all this and that it's bringing you some sense of strength.

12:48 PM  
Blogger LDahl said...

"Is there such a thing as asking for advice, but you don't know exactly what for?"

My advice would be to talk to Mark's charge nurses.... they will know what is going on the most, and they will have the best advice.
Make good friends with the nurses. Learn thier names and let them know they are appreciated. Take a card and a box of assorted teas or a plate of cookies to them. You want these people in your corner and if you do this, you will be making Mark's care personal to them.
They are probably tired, understaffed and overworked... but if you show you care, they will more than likely go the extra mile for you and your son. They will look out for him in ways that you can't.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

Darlene, you must be feeling so incredibly overwhelmed, I can't even imagine. You have to think in baby steps for yourself as well - what can you do right now, this minute, to help? and try not to think about all the details and all the things that will happen down the road. If you remember when Mark was a baby, you probably worried so much about things like walking, and toilet training, and going to school, and all those things happened and he survived and so did you. His recovery will happen too ~ of course it won't be as easy, but he'll do it with the love and help of his family, just like he learned to walk, run, ride a bike, and recover from all hurts children inevitably suffer.

I agree with others who have said to stay on top of all the medical professionals. Ask questions, write down everything that concerns you. It's your right to know.

Praying for strength and courage for all of you. xo

2:21 PM  
Blogger blackbank said...

Darlene, we don't know eachother, but I'm hoping some of my prayer reaches Mark and you. BB

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be as kind and gentle with yourself as possible. Yes, the tears will continue to fall and that is okay. There are many people who while not there are praying for you, Mark and the rest of the family. I agree with Idahl about making friends with his nurses. I know that you are probably too exhausted to think about a card and candy for the nurses but have someone pick it up for you to give to them. They are most likely overworked and many seem uncaring but a simple act of acknowledgement will probably go a long way.

Smaller than Baby steps...I think that you will find a new way of measuring growth and it will be difficult. But take it a minute at a time (or even a second at a time). Remember that baby steps involves much falling down. But Mark will get there. I have often wonder how do we measure growth. We can see when a plant is growing but it is harder to see when people are growing because we measure so much against other people other than just the growth itself. I guess the only other thing I would say is that we are here cheering Mark on. We are cheering you on and praying.

with many prayers,


4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I deal with the medical world daily. Seek a second opinion from another hospital as soon as you can. It is unethical to leave him or have him do anything with a broken back or leg at this time. Smaller than baby steps is exactly what he is going to be doing.

I am praying have been asking many to pray for Mark. Praying for the Drs to make the right decisions in regards to his care short and long term. Prayers for all of you to have the strength needed to get through all this.

4:34 PM  
Blogger samuru999 said...

I shall keep you in my prayers...
you and Mark!
May God watch over both of you!


5:36 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you!! It is my wish that Mark heal and live a beautiful long life!

7:51 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Aw, sweetheart. *sigh*

I just got back from the Bay Area, and I am checking in with you guys...

I wish I had words that could speed up this recovery, and take the pain away!! You are right that it will be tiny baby steps. Both for his poor body and for his spirit. But he has YOU and his dad, and all his family to love him through it!! He has just what he will need, you must believe it.

For now, more than anything I am just praying that this infection can get cleared up! Poor sweet Mark...



8:06 PM  
Blogger Jonna Barnett said...

My heart is breaking for you and your family. I have a 25 year old daughter and I just can not imagine having to go through something like this. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

8:20 PM  
Blogger deirdre said...

Sweetie, I don't have any words to offer, other than to remember to take care of yourself as you move through this. And I know how impossible it must be to think of yourself while your child is enduring terrible things. Try to rest when you can, pester the doctors and nurses to tell you everything you need to know. Nurses are a godsend and will help you through this. And remember to breathe deeply.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

He is so blessed to have you taking care of him and watching over him. My prayers are with you both.

9:00 PM  
Blogger KFblogger said...

Praying for you & your son. Your pain is something I can barely make myself think of. My heart breaks for you. I am in awe of your strength and wish you serenity in the coming weeks. Love & prayers to your beautiful son.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take heart in the mantra: If God leads us to it, then He will also lead us through it. The strength and courage of this recovery will surely be a trial for Mark and for all your family but know that God is there beside, inside ,above, below and before you every step of the way. HE is in the words of all these strangers, in the sunlight that shines in the window each new morning of life, in the competent and skilled hands of the doctors that brought him back to you, in the doggie kisses from Breezy. You will learn to trust all these little aspects of everyday that are the messages of hope and strength from God.
May each day continue to show improvement for Mark, and that the healing both physical and mental come swiftly and steadily. Blessings to your whole family.
-Tammi R., Columbus, OH

9:58 PM  
Blogger Kim G. said...

So many good things said by the tribe . . . I echo all of them.

When my husband was having serious health problems that were affecting our lives so harshly I cried out to God and said, "You know, I didn't sign up for this God! I signed up for the happily ever after marriage!" He very clearly spoke to me and said, "But you did sign up for this, you said a vow, you said 'in sickness and in health'."

"But God, this is too hard. I can't do this," I cried.

"But I can. And I'll be with you," he said.

I suppose it's like that as a parent. None of us get any guarantees. We take what we're given and lean on HIM for the strength we don't have for the heaviest of burdens that might find us. I'll keep praying for HIS strength and wisdom and boldness as you face the days ahead. We'll be with you during those 6-8 weeks - cheering you all on!

10:02 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I love to see so many people coming together to comfort you. It renews my spirit, lovely, it truly does.

My heart goes out to Mark as his pain is obviously off the charts. I cannot imagine the hurt in your heart as you visit your baby. It's okay to feel helpless, and it's okay to want to run and hide for a bit. Just remember that we are all here for you, praying for you and your family, sending tons of comfort and strength for that baby boy.

I love you, Darlene. I do.

10:31 PM  

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