Occupational therapy (OT) made a new splint for Matthew’s arm today (see picture). The purpose is to keep his left hand and upper arm immobile and in a position that will help keep the finger joints from locking up. OT showed us a few finger and wrist stretching exercises, which either we will do or Matthew would do using his right hand. His right arm is still showing signs of pinched nerves. He can use it for the most part, but cannot raise it above his shoulder or move it in certain positions.
We are so grateful for Dolores Park Church in downtown SF for letting us use their guest cottage while Pam and the kids are here. This morning it was lovely weather, and Daniel and Ariela did a great job entertaining themselves by playing (see picture).
Our car rental was due to run out tomorrow, but we still really need to have it to get around. I received a text from the dear people who had already paid to extend the rental for two weeks from my last return date, and they said they wanted to pay for another two weeks’ extension. These saints had never met us before they came to John Muir hospital to visit us, but they are friends of friends, themselves on staff with Family Life ministries.
When I left Croatia suddenly to come to be with Matthew, I didn’t know how long I would need to be here, so I chose the somewhat arbitrary date of tomorrow (2/11) to return. It is clear that it is way too early for me to return to Croatia, so, just before the deadline today, I rebooked the flight for May.
The following is what Pam and I are praying about doing. Please pray for wisdom as we make many important decisions. We need to consult with our missions leaders and work out a lot of details, but here are our thoughts at the moment:
The next step for Matthew is to be in the hospital while his skin graft and chyle leak heal. In a few more days, they will check the skin graft to see if it is taking. I think a best-case scenario is that Matthew would be discharged from UCSF by around 2/25. That will only happen if he is stable with his skin graft, pain management, circulation (blood pressure, pulse, blood thinner), and chyle leak under control. Pam and the kids will return to Croatia 2/19. When Matthew is discharged, he and I will need a place to stay in SF so that he can be an outpatient at UCSF Mission Bay at the Peripheral Nerve Center, so they can run tests to determine the best course of action for his arm. These tests and surgery may take a couple of months.
Before all this happened, Pam and I had already planned to come to the US July 9 to take a six-month home assignment. (This used to be called furlough [though that is a misnomer!]. It is the time when we are back in the US every couple of years to visit and report to our financial supporters and see our adult kids, parents, and extended family). We are hoping to move that date up for Pam, Daniel, and Ariela to come back to Kansas City in early April, hopefully during Kirsten’s Spring Break from BFA in Germany, so she can be with us for that move. (She will need to go back to BFA after Spring Break to finish up the school year.) Hopefully, in April, Todd and Matthew would be able to move to KC to be with Pam and the kids.
Todd will go back to Croatia for a couple of weeks at the beginning of May for our next Bible translation consultant workshop. This will be a time for checking the translation work that has been done by the Roma translators and taking care of details with our house, car, bills, etc., at the Croatia house so that everything is prepared for us to be gone on our home assignment. Thankfully, there is a new Pioneers couple coming to Slavonski Brod soon, and they will be staying in our rented house, which is a huge answer to prayer since we did not want to leave the house empty.
Someone has graciously offered that we can stay with them for several weeks when we first arrive in KC. However, we will need a place after that for the six of us to live in KC, most likely for 12-18 months beginning in mid-April, during the time that Matthew will need to live with us for nerve growth, rehab, and occupational and physical therapy.
These are educated guesses at this point of what we will need to do. Please pray for the Lord’s guidance, wisdom, and provision for Matthew and us over the coming months.
We are very grateful for all of you!
Todd for all of the Prices