Urgent!!!! Please stop now and pray for my dear friends Mike and Kim Underwood - Mike has chest pains and a 10 out of 10 pain level- he is in a paramedic unit en route to the hospital. They don't know exactly what this is. Pray for healing, wisdom for doctors, and comfort for their family. I will update as often as I can!
I am not sure who is still following this post. I am sorry for the delayed update. My parents left for California Sunday morning and I have been going nonstop since.
I came home Sunday to stay with our four kids. Mike stayed with my cousin's family until yesterday. (Thank you, Eddie & Jana! More than words can say. Love you guys!)
I took Mike to his dad and step-mom's house last night. He still needs time to recover, but is continuing to progress. He is slowly walking around without a walker now and is enjoying spending quality time with his dad. I'm visiting as I can to help with certain tasks. I fear I've become quite the bossy nurse, but he can be so stubborn and I don't want him to set his recovery back at all by pushing himself too hard. It feels weird to be apart, but there is so much to be done now at home and with the kids' school and activities--and Mike is being pampered where he is.
Mike has an appointment to possibly have his staples removed on Thursday and I will ask the doctor whether or not he is past the risk of infection. Then we will reassess when he will come home.
The kids are holding up better now that I am home. It has been a long few weeks for them and it was time for me to come home.
Sunday night, after the busyness of taking Blake to his soccer game and trying to cram in haircuts for the boys and school supply and shoes shopping for all of the kids in one night, there was a moment when the kids were asleep and the house was quiet. And the thought came to mind...this is what life would have been like if Mike had passed away. Thankfulness overwhelmed me. A few people have asked me in person about what happened and then they say, "But he's okay now, right?" Yes, he is. Praise God! I think it is hitting me a bit now, the reality of what a close call it was. I keep seeing the surgeon and support surgeon coming across the room, sitting down, and breaking the news. I'm praying God will help me "get over it" and look ahead with new purpose and joy. I hope that didn't sound too dramatic.
I will try to get a photo of Mike tomorrow. I also have a photo of the kids with my folks, first day of school photos, and a few first soccer game photos to share.
Thank you for your encouragement and for continuing to pray for healing!
Mike said to describe himself in this update as "chipper".
Funny story from 4am this morning:
Handing Mike his meds and water cup in the dim light of a nightlight, thinking the cup felt light, "Is that enough water?"
Mike, slowly turning the cup upside-down, "Maybe a little bit more."
He is cracking more jokes, so I know he is starting to feel more like himself. He still uses a walker to shuffle around, but he is much better overall. He does still get fevers, but his meds bring them down.
Mike stayed with my cousin's family today while I went to Maggie's first ever soccer game. My folks leave tomorrow morning, so I also spent a few hours with them. I'm so thankful they were here during this time! I cannot imagine how it would have been without them.
Thank you all for your continued prayers, encouragement, and support! I'm not sure you'll ever know what a blessing you are to us!
Thursday, 9/5 - from Kim:
I will post about this again in the near future when I have had more sleep, but I want to say THANK YOU all so much! The outpouring of love we are feeling is humbling and we are so so thankful!! I have no words to adequately express the gratitude in our hearts for your kindness, generosity, and support. You all are truly amazing and we appreciate each and every one of you. We love you guys!
Mike and I are actually staying at my cousin's house in Bothell/Mill Creek until my parents leave on Sunday and then we will reassess. Our house has some issues and we want to be sure Mike is in the best possible environment for healing and infection prevention until his staples are removed. Our littles are used to climbing onto our laps and jumping around, bouncing everywhere and I was worried they would accidentally hurt Mike--especially in our small house. My folks are with them in Lake Stevens and bring them over to visit.
I'm so thankful God planned in advance for my parents to be here at just the right time! The kids are doing well considering. Maggie and Kaleb are still very emotional and like to video chat with us when we're apart. It's hard. Mike and I have not gone on overnights without our kids--apart from previous medical stays. Thank you to everyone who has offered rides to school and activities! You are a godsend!
Mike is getting stronger every day. There is a window of time during midday when he is most awake and it gets better each day. His fevers are staying under control with ibuprofen. His pain crept up tonight, evidence that he was pushing himself too hard today. This photo is of Superman taking one of his daily walks around the house. There is a fitness box on the ground back to the left with a picture of some buff guy on it. Mike likes to joke, "That will be me soon!" Please continue to pray for healing. It is so hard for Mike to rest!
I seem to be hitting that famed wall of sleep deprivation where everything slows down and your brain becomes muddled. I'm sorry I haven't been updating as frequently!
Thank you again for your prayers and encouragement!
He's free!!! Mike was released from the hospital unexpectedly tonight and we are thrilled! So proud of him for putting in the hard work to check off all of their boxes! Mike has a long road ahead, but we are thankful to God for His healing and grace.
I packed this shirt the day before Mike's surgery and didn't pay attention to what it said. When I took it out of the bag to help him get ready to go home I started laughing and Mike just shook his head. Definitely showing this to his surgeon!
Thank you for all of your prayers and support. This has been a surreal time and your prayers and encouragement have seen us through!
P.S.- Kim wrote the post above... but I (Michelle) would like to add the following- THANK YOU for all your prayers, love, and support! We praise GOD that Mike is home now! While this is a HUGE victory, we all know that the hard work is just beginning for Kim and her family. Adjusting to life at home that includes caring for Mike and his medical needs while he recovers (which will likely take a couple of months), while Kim is balancing their business and homeschooling their 4 kids, is no small task. And we know that Mike wont' be back to work for quite a while. If you can give even a little to help them in this season of transition, I know that it would be a blessing. :)
Good morning, friends! Mike is sleeping, so I thought I'd give a little update about how things went yesterday, Monday, 9/2:
- The surgeon said he is aiming to discharge Mike on Wednesday!
- White blood counts are still within normal range--praise God! His temp continues to be back and forth, which is normal for post-surgery healing4
- Mike's oxygen scores are above 92, so he doesn't need to be on oxygen anymore! Yay!
- He is still coughing gunk from his lungs and hugs a pillow for support.
- He got his incentive spirometer up to 1,125 today!
- He is eating more of his meals--so necessary for regaining his strength.
- He had his first shower today and while it completely wore him out, he also looked so refreshed.
- He sat in his chair twice.
- He took two walks through the halls today, continuing to use the walker.
- He shuffled into the bathroom without a walker!
So, awesome progress on all fronts! We'll see what the day brings.
Your prayers, our prayers, are working! THANK YOU!
Good morning from the tenth floor, Room 1051. Yesterday (Sunday, 9/1) was a busy day and the lack of sleep caught up with me before I could post an update. Mike is having quite a few gains. I'll post more as I can, but here is the rundown. (Just so you know, I have asked Mike's blessing in advance on anything I post.)
His fever continues to go up and down, but the best news is that his white blood count is back in normal range!
Those numbers are the biggest indicator of infection. The doctor said considering the state of his organs, running a fever will be normal for awhile.
His oxygen levels had continued to hover around 90, give or take, so he needed to use oxygen. However--last night he had a coughing spasm that got a lot of gunk out of his lungs and his levels went up to 95 for the first time without assistance! Praise God! He is able to get almost to 1,000 on the incentive spirometer.
He was able to sit in the chair for a bit and then took two walks, including the farthest distance he has gone so far--down the hall to look at the view of the Cascade Mountains and back. Our pastor walked with us and he was able to stand the straightest and walk the fastest he had yet, too. I told him he was trying to show off.
He couldn't, um, release the contents of his bladder without assistance. Because of that and his lethargy, they cut his oxycodone down from 10mg to 5mg and added a muscle relaxer and lidocaine patches placed near the incision sites. He was finally able to go, but not empty his bladder, after his second walk--but then later in the evening he was able to go on his own. I catch myself cheering on my husband every time--I guess it's the mama in me.
His pain is down. He hasn't given a pain score over 5 in almost a day.
He is on the transition diet, and was able to eat a few bites of each item in his meal last night. He ordered apple juice, jello, pears, half a banana, and mashed potatoes.
I have been able to assist Mike to the bathroom and to his chair without the assistance of a nurse. They taught me how to have him sit up so he won't injure the incision sites. Speaking of incisions...he got the dressings removed yesterday and those staples are quite a sight. He will have quite the battle scars!
Your prayers are working! He has come so so far and I am praising God for every gain!
We had lots of visitors yesterday, and the kids finally saw their daddy. It was hard on my heart at the end because Maggie and Kaleb begged to stay. I have a few photos to share. The photographer in me wants to document this journey for my family, but I'm trying to keep it to a minimum so I don't get annoying. I've caught myself ridculously asking my husband to "smile" for a photo and he will be a good sport and try. I love him.
Love you all!
Mike had a lot of visitors today (Saturday) who made us laugh and were the perfect distraction. We were able to speak at length with his surgeon--who is really such a nice guy. When he came in, he sheepishly asked Mike if he wanted to punch him. Apparently everyone knows Mike's name as his case is quite epic. He will be Mike's follow-up doctor and wants Mike to spend as much time here as it takes to get him feeling better before discharging--which I'm relieved about since he is in so much pain.
They gave Mike antibiotics and got him sitting up and then he even took a little walk! He is still clammy and coughs, but his temp has been going down which is a good sign so I think prayers and antibiotics are working!
Tonight, Mike was transferred out of ICU. Praising God! Mike is missing that little pain button, but he couldn't take it with him so he is now on pills every 3 hours. The surgeon said this is the most painful incision you can have, so it is going to take some time before he is up and back to lifting anything heavier than a jug of milk.
Today, God showed me in incredible ways just how much He loves us. He saved my husband from death. This was not a surprise to Him and He has all of the details figured out. Being able to trust that God sees what we are going through, that He will heal Mike, and He will provide for our every need is easier said than done--but God has shown Himself so faithful time and again. I believe in my heart that He has us right where He wants us and He is holding our hand.
Thank you for all of your love, prayers, and support. You are amazing and we love you!
The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.