Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Small Signs of Progress

When there are a long series of experiences that build hope and then squash it again and this happens over and over there is a tendency to look for small signs of progress, reasons to keep hoping, reasons to keep trying, reasons not to give in to discouragement or fear or pain or suffering. Today was such a day!

This afternoon and this evening there were some of those "small signs of progress." The first was when Tolan arrived from work. Jodi responded immediatley to his presence. See the picture below. Tolan is, as most of you know, a little bit crazy. He thought Jodi would be better off if he jumped onto the hospital bed to keep her company. He did! She said, "Wait! Wait! WAIT!!! You are on my IV's!" That got fixed and then she said, "Wait! Wait! WAIT!!! You are squishing me!" That got fixed then she said, "That's good!" That is when I snapped the picture.

The next was Jodi asking Tolan and me (her Dad) for another blessing. It was beautiful and encouraging. Tolan was the mouthpiece and spoke under inspiration.

The next was Jodi saying she was hungry...even though she wanted to be very cautious given all the nausea and vomiting of the past several days. She's now had two cans of Ensure, some fresh raspberries, some grape juice, some apple sauce, some water, and some Rachel's Exotic Cherry and Black Currant yogurt. Not a lot, but she's kept it all down. She has had enough to drink that they are going to take her off of the IV, because they think she is hydrating herself sufficiently.

The next was the willingness to try to go to the bathroom...that is to get up out of bed and walk (for the first time in a week). She did. It hurt her head and she was a little dizzy, but she did it and she was glad she did.

The next was when Jodi wanted me to read the comments that had been posted to the blog since yesterday. I read them all to her...dozens...trying as best I could to imagine the way the authors might have wanted to say the words themselves if they had been standing next to Jodi. She smiled. She laughed. She cried good tears. Then she said, "This is always the best part of my day...hearing the comments from the blog! I love these people, even the ones I don't know! It's all so amazing!"

The next was Jodi saying, "I think I need to rest. I need to sleep." That's what she has been doing for several hours now...peaceful sleep...not like the past several days where the expression on her face was one of pain...but rather a look of peaceful, quiet, comfortable sleep. We pray she enjoys that type of sleep through the night.

So yes, with the many ups and downs, we look for small signs of progress and they are there. We are grateful! We continue to be grateful that each of you have been, for so long, part of those signs of progress. You see, it is true. Hearing what you say is the favorite part of each day! Thank you again...from Jodi, from Tolan, from all of us!

Tolan keeping Jodi company and Jodi loving it!


Flints Facts said...

What a great day!!! Keep it up...lots of baby steps, right?! Sleep peaceful my friend!!!
The picture is perfect!!!
I love ya, Kelly

Brandi said...

I'm glad that you had some good moments today, Jodi. You got up, you ate, and you were even able to get after your hubby for being, well, a boy. ;)

I pray that you will get a lot of rest tonight and that tomorrow will be even better. Better days are definitely on their way!


Anonymous said...

jodi, we are so happy to hear things are going better for you. The girls check your blog daily. They cry when you are having a bad day and jump for joy when it's good news. You are always in their prayers as well as mine. Keep progressing. We love you
`Shalyce, Hydee, Jessica Weeks

Greek Goddess said...

I'm so happy to hear your small but encouraging progress. I haven't written in a long time, but I've been keeping up with your ups and downs and hoping and praying for you and your family. Every time I get low about this that and the other and I check in with you and think, wow, that lady is fighting and having such faith-I need to do better. I need to have more courage.
So, thank you for your good example. May the progress continue.

Dorothea (btw-pronounced Dor-taya)

April said...

Jodi I am so glad you had a good day, what amazing progress! All those small steps will add up to something big and amazing and we all know you are ready for that :) I hope the small steps continue and that the nurses let you get some more peaceful sleep tonight ;) Love, April B

Anonymous said...

Rachel's Exotic Cherry and Black Currant yogurt,,, ummm sounds delicious! Good to hear you enjoying some normal food other than IV food. So happy to hear you feel even slightly better. Keep up the good work. Get plenty of rest so your body will heal and you can come home ASAP. We'll keep the prayers coming on our end.
Love, Joyce Read

Jodi said...

We are so happy to hear that you have had these wonderful signs of progress. Your dad is such a fantastic person and a great inspirational writer he always is so positive and hopeful and faithful and that helps us all to be! We keep praying that things will get better each day! Jared says to slap Tolan for us we havent seen him in so long and he needs a good slap!
Love Jared and Jodi Howell and family!

Anonymous said...

I was going to respond to the last blog, and then this new, more encouraging blog appeared. My response to the last blog would have been, "Hang On!" and check your email. I sent you a song. Music can say more than what I can express. As for this blog...It is by small things that great things come to pass. I am happy to once again hear about your steps of progress. Keep it up. Love ya, Wendy T.

Anonymous said...

Jodi,we are so happy that you have had some good moments today! Time was spent this morning, around ten fifteen or ten thirty, just mediating, praying and sending love to you! We love you somuch and continually pray for your speedy recovery - now especially after your many ordeals and long stay in the hospital! We want you OUT OF THERE! We are looking for more good moments tomorrow, many more!
Love you!!!

Susan said...

Uncle Von,

I really smiled while reading this post... much more so than any other! I laughed about Tolan hopping into bed, and was so happy to know that Jodi loved having him there. The "small signs of progress" are BIG signs of improvement, and I'm impressed (as always) with Jodi's strength, faith and commitment. What an example she has been throughout all of this!

WE LOVE YOU, JODI... and are praying for your continued strength. (((HUG))) If anyone can do this, YOU CAN. Hang in there, darlin'!

With love,
Susan O.R.

Jeni said...

Jodi, I have been so amazed by your strength. I'm glad you were blessed with some joyful moments today.

Nichole Giles said...

And so it goes that you're finally on your way to making them kick you out of that place.

Now let's keep this kind of thing going, and you'll be home before you know it.

Lots of love.


hartleyhouse said...

Yay! We're so glad you had some good moments today. We think of you often and pray for you everyday. Here's to lots more good moments tomorrow!

Clark & Laura Hartley

Kelly Pia said...

I am so glad you've had a great day! I check the blog everyday to see how you are doing. You are in my thoughts a lot and always in my prayers. My kids don't know you and they ask about you when they see the blog and my 9 year old daughter has fasted for you the past couple of months. I hope that you continue to have good days, even if they are few and far between. My the Lord continue to bless you, your husband, kids and your sweet family for taking care of you.
Kelly Pia

Anonymous said...


You continue to amaze me on a daily basis. I love you so much and am so proud to call you sister. You have had me on my knees with many tears the last few days sweetie.

I have typed two very "heartfelt" messages the past two nights. Both times I tried to post them, they magically disappeared!!

Needless to say, I cried quite a bit. I had poured my heart out to you. I am thinking those words weren't supposed to be on the blog for some reason, so I am preparing a card to send you.

I love you hon. I miss you like crazy and can't wait to give you a hug. I am so sorry for all your pain. I would take it away if I could...I know we all would. Yet, you still continue to demonstrate Heavenly strength and faith. Thank you Jo. Thank you for being an inspiration to your family and to so many other people around the world.

When things get tough, tougher than you think you can handle...remember Heavenly Father is with you Jodi. He is in your very room, at this very moment. He is holding your hand and cradling you in His arms.

I love you. I am in awe of you and all you are becoming. Remember when we spoke on the phone about this experience changing you forever? Yes, it is true, you will never be the same. But, you will be stronger. You will appreciate each day of your life. And, you will be able to relate to so many people who have gone through similar situations and need your help and strength. So, though the change is difficult, it will be worth it.

I love you my sister. Be strong when you can and cry when you need to. We are hear crying with you and praying for you.

All my love and continued admiration,
Your sister Kristi

Sharon said...

Yahoo! I'm so happy to hear that you guys had a good day. Maybe you'll have a few more bad ones (let's hope not) but its so encouraging to hear about days like this one. I hope more than anything that things continue on this road and you get home soon!!

Love you, Jodi! Keep up the good work!

Love, Sharon

P.S. Happy Birthday to Kristi!

Anonymous said...

Praise God for small mercies! I hope today brings more of them, Jodi.

Sarah ONeill

Pam said...

A peaceful sleeping face--I will carry that image of you today, and pray for many more.

Rachel said...

Yay! Whoever knew that Ensure, juice, the bathroom, and blog comments could be such lifesavers? By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. I'm so glad that there is improvement, no matter how small it may seem. You are still in our prayers morning and night. Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Sweet Jodi, I am very happy to hear that there is some progress. Baby steps are all you need to worry about right now, so you can get all your strength back. You are amazing. I love you Jodi. I hope you have another day with more progress. I will check with you later. Love, Sue Davis Hi Von and Sherri - love you too.

Anonymous said...

Yippie!!!! Finally some pain free sleep! We love you Jodi, and hope that you have more good moments today.
Love Deanne,Steve& family

ljy said...

I work at O.C. Tanner and have spoken with Tolan just a couple of times. Sandra Christensen shared your challenge with our team and sent us a link to your blog. Just want you to know that you are in my prayers. I admire the courage and strength of your family. God bless, Lori Janes-Young

britt said...

that is all you need right now, SMALL signs of progress. Those put together make for great accomplishments in your situation. So glad to hear of the small and simple things, all in the right direction :)
love ya and keep up the good work.
By small and simple things, shall great things come to pass!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you are dong a little better.
I really miss you.
I love you so much && I am keeping you in my prayers.
I know that's what everyone is telling you, but it's becuase we all love you so much && just want you to come back home.

I love you.
-Brittnie Packard.

Teresa Knight said...

I found a blog that may help inspire you. This woman has much in common with you. She is LDS with 4 young children and a wonderful husband and is going through a slow painful recovery of an airplaine crash where she sustained burns over 83% of her body.

Anonymous said...

Hello SUPER HERO, how are those brain enhancements coming along? I know you really will be the stronger for it all. I tried calling your room after the second surgery when I thought things were on the up. I didn't realize they had moved you back to the ICU. A friendly man answered the phone- I couldn't tell the from the hello if it was Tolan or your Dad. I said "Hi, this is Mindy" "Hi Mindy" came back the happy voice. I could tell though I didn't know the voice and he had no idea who Mindy was. Probably should have chit chatted with the patient a bit to brighten his day. I look forward to talking with you when you are feeling stronger. Kynlee keeps making you things she wants me to mail- mystery sealed envelopes. I know one of them has some pennies in there she felt the need to give. They might make their way to Riverdale for entertainment. Get home soon! We all love you!


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hear you are feeling better. My family and I are going to be in Utah 4th of July weekend and plan to stop by if that is all right. Keep resting and recovering. We all love you!

Amy Barclay

Debbie Rhoads said...

Everyone needs a good snuggle once in awhile. That seems to fix a lot of things and makes everything just a little bit better.

Glad to see things are slowly improving! Its so exciting for us to hear that you are maybe getting just a little relief from your serious suffering you've been experiencing for the last month. Its funny, but when you feel better we feel better. We love you and hope great things continue today!

The Rhoads

Anonymous said...

I prayed all day that you would have some sunshine in your day and it sounds like the rays peaked through. That is wonderful! What an awesome gift it is to have friends and family who love us so. I can see that you have both. The picture was great. Hang in there and know that there are lots of people (some like us that you have not met yet)who are pulling and praying for you!
The Fishes (Jon and Shauna)
Orangevale, CA

Julie M said...

Jodi we are so glad to hear of your progress...whether small steps or giant all leads to healing!!! Our prayers are still going for you morning, night, and meals. :)
Julie Morrow & Family

Joni said...

Jodi, so glad to hear things are looking up! I continue to pray for you and your sweet family! You are loved by so many people and have so many prayers out there for you, you will get better each day! Hope today is even better then yesterday!

Cynthia said...

Progress! So happy to hear of it! Love you!

Belinda said...

It makes me cry - the small signs of progress are truely miracles - they are wonderful. We love you!
The Jacksons x

gary.peterson said...

Fantastic! A much better day. Such a relief to read, and no doubt incredible to experience. I pray, I pray, I pray this is the start of something great!

Anonymous said...

I am a friend of Tamra's. I have been following the blog from the beginning, but have never left a comment. I just wanted to let you know what an inspiration Jodi has been to me. I have recently had surgery myself, and when I'm feeling especially down I get on here. It helps me to realize my blessings, and Jodi's attitude through all this has really been an example to me. I always remember you in my prayers and hope to hear good news the next time I log on. Hang in there and know that you are doing some good--even as you lay in a hospital bed far longer than you expected to. You have given strength to me in your weakened state. I am happy that you are seeing some small progress. I will continue to pray for you and check in on your progress.

Cathleen Sparrow said...

So glad to hear some good news for you! Looking forward to more good signs. good wishes to you - Cathleen

Steve said...

"... Tolan is a little crazy..."! I have been saying this for years. I am glad someone else is carrying this torch for me. I could go on-and-on with stories that prove this assertion. For example, ask him about 'going painting'.

Hopefully the silliness and laughter will increase the 'ups' and temper the 'downs'. We love and pray for you!

Steve, Laura, Michael, Aimee, Lindsay, Daniel, Ryan and Sinjin (first dog comment on this blog?).