So I have been watching a ton of YouTube vlogs of interabled couples like this one, to normalize my situation and it has been extremely helpful, So, I had the idea to start my own. Would anyone watch? Also, if you would watch do you have any ideas about what we should call it?
Hey everyone, and happy belated one year anniversary of my accident. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank EACH of you for praying for and diligently thinking of and supporting me this last year. I can’t believe I’ve been so diligently presented to my Lord for healing and protection. When I get to heaven I’ll be sure to mention you all.
Like usual, my where-with-all to respond to the gifts and cards is not back yet. But I cannot overstate the love each one gives me. I feel so utterly alone in this battle 99.99999999999999999% of the time even though I have an amazing husband, friends, and twin sister to get through this all with. I really can’t stress what your messages and cards saying that you’re STILL praying for me means to me…
I’d like to give you some updates:
- Ryne and I recently went on a cruise together to quickly find out that we’re not cruise people. There were way too many kids for us to really relax. Not enough pools and not enough hot tubs. The alcohol (that I didn’t spill) and comedy were SO good though.
- At the end of our vacation we met two of our very dearest friends ( the Mocks ) with my sister and bro in law in Philadelphia to climb the Rocky Balboa steps. Unfortunately, the steps were closed (with no exception) for Jay Z, Cardi B, and Lizzo. Personally, I think if Jay-Z knew that “I was here” by Beyonce was one of my theme songs he probably would have let me climb the stairs. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i41qWJ6QjPI grab some tissues, you’re going to thank me later). Thanks to Ryne I was able to climb stairs TWICE as high anyway.
- My new therapists feel like my long lost family members! My Physical Therapist, Steven, is kind and super challenging, my favorite combo of a person. If that wasn’t enough he loves Jesus and loves being a father to his many kids. Like, actually loves. He fricken raised them, went to PT school, and homeschooled them at the same time so that THEY could receive full ride educations. And many of them did. So there’s that. He’s definitely my long lost father. Rachel, who is my Occupational Therapist, and meeting me TO RIDE HORSES in like an hour, has already made it possible for me to do photography again AND cook a meal. Ally, my speech therapist, reminds me SO much of my twin sissy. She fiercely advocates for me and protects my sleep. I mean come on, could I be any more fortunate? Plus Kathy, my social worker, and Dr. Gabara, my physician, will literally go to bat for me on just about anything. I wish everyone could receive care like this…
- Based on the love and support (which sometimes feels supernatural) coming in from friends and family I often wonder if God is using them to speak love to me right now.
- I am astounded and so grateful to be back at my old job at the Klump lab where everyone seems to value any capabilities I still harbor. I officially came back on Monday of last week and I was happily surprised to find cards and gifts showering my desk. Honestly, for some reason they love me sooo well. I still have to stew on the love to believe it’s real life. Fortunately, my supervisors at Hope are allowing me to work from home some days further mimicking the schedule I used to keep. Finally, my supervisor at Hope mentioned that Kelly is still willing to supervise my tllp (temporary licensed psychology) hours for me. omg!
- Lately, per my speech therapists urging, I’ve been trying to journal again. If you knew me well before the accident, then you would remember that journaling was my main way of speaking to God and sorting through my thoughts. So as illegible it can be sometimes, I ultimately think journaling is going to benefit me coming back to myself in the long run.
Finally I have a few prayer requests:
- The cloud of sadness over my head never lifts.
- I thought for the good part of this year that I’d been miraculously healed of my eating disorders only to hear that voice of self hatred roar it’s ugly head again.
- Couples counseling is great but I seriously don’t feel like letting Ryne into the depth of my pain.
Thank you all for continuing to follow my progress and support me and my family, it’s appreciated more than you’ll ever know!
I sincerely apologise for my lack of responses bc I’m so busy and far too depressed to be spending energy dotfully responding to each of you. Though, I wish I could. I still joyfully spend hours paging through responses like it’s the first time I’ve read them. With that being said, I cannot thank each of you enough for whole heartedly and continually caring for me. I can’t see that I’ve done anything to deserve such a wide spread show of genuine support.
My birthday was bomb. I spent most of my time with my identical twin, her husband Al, and my sweet sweet husband, Ryne, on a beach near tc. I loved spending time reminiscing of memories I made there in my adolescence.
I also loved moving to a new apartment. I tell everyone that it’s super booshy bc they serve Starbucks in the lobby.
I recently began therapy with a new speech therapist. She’s amazing. She makes everything practical and purposeful for my life.
I will also begin couples therapy with Damaris soon. She is my long term personal therapist. She is very wise and compassionate! I hope she can begin to help me understand this trauma through rynes eyes.
I was approved for a terratrike bike last week!
I cut two onions this week!
I began salivating again!!
I passed my swallow study last week meaning I can finally share a stout on the porch with my love!
Kelly Klump is willing to take me back to work and Grace ( her RA) is my caregiver!
I can put my education to use on the care team at riv.
That the staff at hope would have a gentle re-understanding of the population they are working with.
That the governor and the people who live in the state of Michigan would feel safe and taken care of.
That my depression wouldo be lifted. That every day would be filled with the joy of Jesus and that I would deeply get what role grace plays in my every day life.
Finally I’d like to share a poem my friend Kelsey Hudson wrote:
“And yet I sit here, in the pit of my soul, in the depths of my being, in unbelief
Unbelief in myself
Unbelief in my worthiness
Unbelief that my progress will cover up all of my hurt, shame, and regret
When will the shadows stop being a constant companion?
When will I feel like I can breathe in my freedom?
When will the waters of salvation clean my sackcloths?
When will it end?
I don’t know
And I don’t know that I need to know
I can only move forward, and adapt, and tell myself I love myself until I believe it
Fake it until you make it, that’s what they say, right?
Well then damn, I’m about to be the fakest happiest sunshine bitch ever
I’m about to radiate the stars and the moon, running through fields of lavender, jumping in piles of leaves, like I’m in a tampon commercial
Like I’m empowered
Like I’m someone
Like I’m me
Like I’m my own home
Someday it will connect
I’ll be safe in my own home, in my temple, in me
And I look forward to that day
Because I know it’s coming
But for now, I’m choosing to be here
To feel everything
To set good boundaries for myself
To have coffee with a friend
To ready a good book
To dance like no one is watching at a friend’s wedding reception, when everyone is watching
To know that not all days will be fully good or fully bad
To embrace embodiment
So I breathe
I breathe in whatever today has for me
Even though I’m exhausted
Even though I wake up and have to crack my hands and unclench my jaw because I’ve been grinding my teeth all night
Even though I have set no less than 12 alarms to make sure I don’t make it to work late
Even though I’m going to spellcheck the hell out of this poem, and obsess and overthink every little phrase and paraphrase
Even though I feel intimidated by today
By the prospect of having another panic attack at work
By the possibility of feeling melancholy, and my tendency to play depression detective and connect all the pieces
But here goes nothing
Well, here goes everything
Here goes today
For today is a new day
Because I am here
And so are you
Take a deep breath, and I will too
And thank today for being today
And thank you for being you
And me for being me
And do the damn thing
It’s only here for today “
Hey all, it’s me, Angie. As most of you know, I lived and from my vantage point, it’s kind of like I took a really long nap and woke up to a whole new body that can’t walk safely, talk long, or eat/swallow the same. The only things I don’t have a recollection of is the weekend before the accident and when I was in a coma and the accident itself.
Every day I spend 8+ hours in therapy working on my fine and gross motor skills at Hope Rehabilitation Center where Ryne, Nola, and I currently live. Things, like folding laundry and doing my hair and makeup, are challenging for me
I want to thank EACH of you for lifting my literal life up to our Papa in a desperate plea. I’m forever indebted to each of you individually for taking the time out of your busy lives and personal problems to ask our Papa to find a way to help me live.
As with every post I want to give you each a detailed update of answered prayer and the things I’m still looking for prayer and support in.
- We finally were approved for an accessible apartment and Ryne will be moving our things from our old apartment to the new one on June 1st.
- I discharge from Hope Networks inpatient facility on June 8th.
- I have been upgraded from a full-time wheelchair to an (almost) full time standing walker.
- I plan on walking a 5k with my PT soon.
- I’m still hurting because I feel my physical has changed a lot but not my psychological hasn’t necessarily.
- I’m not feeling God’s closeness to me in this, as much as I pray and read His word.
Feel free to email back or text or send me any questions you may have. Right now I plan to regularly update this myself.
With thanks and love to all of you,
It’s now been three months since the accident.
We’re still blown away and amazed at God’s grace through all of this.
Not only are we daily thankful for God having spared Angie’s life in the accident, we’re continually reminded that it is He that is sustaining her and each of us with each day. There’s no reason we should have the strength to get through this pain apart from Him. There’s no reason we should find joy in the midst of this hardship apart from Him. We can’t help but point to God for the endurance and hope we’ve been given to face each new day.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Moving to Hope
Back in mid-October, Angie passed all the metrics she needed to reach in order to be released from care at Sparrow Hospital. From there we moved over to Hope Network Neuro Rehab Center here in Lansing where we’ve been for the last month. Moving to Hope has been refreshing as it feels more “homey” than Sparrow, but it’s still a reminder that Angie isn’t truly home yet.
Here at Hope, Angie has been keeping busy with her speech, occupational, and physical therapies. Each day she spends a couple hours in therapy, intermixed with the much needed rest that her body continues to need to repair itself. Angie has been focusing on improving her cognitive skills in recent therapies, especially on her information processing skills and attention. Her enduring strength continues to shine through as she’s been taking more supported steps and regaining balance.
One of the most enjoyable things for Angie has been re-introducing solid foods into her diet. We’re so happy to have congealed liquids behind us (if anyone has experienced a diet of congealed water and pureed foods, they’ll know how tiring that can be) and even more so happy at the evidence of Angie’s throat continuing to heal and regain swallowing control.
A week before the accident we got a dog, which is absurd timing looking back, but living with Nola has been such a blessing. Nola is living with us in our apartment at Hope and has been such an encouragement to us and the other patients. The other day Angie said “isn’t it amazing that we got Nola a week before my accident?!” What could have been another stressor in this season has lead to greater joy and comfort.
Nola also was the star of our Halloween group costume. Even though we couldn’t throw our annual Halloween party this year, we were still able to partake in some festivities and bring the spooky season into our little apartment.
The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes.
He is close to those who trust in him.
While some people have commended our stamina to withstand these circumstances, we truly do step back and point to God and give Him all the glory.
We thank God:
- for all the lessons He’s teaching us through this season
- for the character built in Angie over her life to get through this struggle
- for how He’s teaching us through Angie’s example
- for the strength He has exerted through Ryne
- that He is a near God, walking with us through trials
- for preserving Angie’s life, and blessing us with her presence
- that our identity isn’t in the things we can do or how we communicate, but in Jesus
- for all the truths of Scripture
Joy and heartache
Walking in joy and heartache has been a new normal in this season and a recent pang of reality was Ang saying “I feel like I should be able to do this.” It’s these moments that remind us of the very real pain of this situation, but also bring joy at remembering just how far Angie has progressed.
It is by holding onto that perspective and clinging to God’s strength that we continue to walk forward in hope, resting in His grace.
Please continue to pray for:
- mental strength in Angie
- spiritual closeness to God
- strength for Ryne to be the husband he’s called to be
- God’s continued comfort
- reminders of the truth of Scripture
- God to meet all of us in whatever brokenness we’re walking through
- God to do immeasurably more than we could imagine
- a miraculous and total recovery
This week Angie is transferring facilities, so we’re not going to be meeting up at Sparrow for our weekly prayer time. Please continue to pray at 8:00pm whether it be by yourself or with others. And we’ll let you know about group prayer times moving forward. Here are some current prayer requests:
- Boldly ask for a full recovery
- To give God the glory in all of this right now and through the rest of our lives
- For God to continue to instill in our hearts a desire to point to Him in all of this
- That we would trust in God’s love
- For strength to work through our fears and joys and all the blends of emotion we’re going through
- Continued healing for Angie
We often find ourselves without the words to pray, but take comfort in the fact that God asks us to come to Him with our requests; and when words fail, the Spirit is praying on our behalf.
Thank you for being family and friends who likewise are praying on our behalf over Angie and trusting in God’s sovereignty over this all.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Sorry for the delay in posts the last couple weeks. As we walk through each day with Angie, sometimes we forget how all the little steps add up to some major improvements over the course of a couple weeks. Thank you for continuing to pray over Angie and send us texts and notes of encouragement! Even when we’re unable to respond right away, it’s such a comfort and encouragement to hear from friends and family. Please keep those notes coming along as you think of us throughout the day!
Angie has been continuing in her rehab at Sparrow, and she continually blows us away with her strength to push through the exhaustion and physical exertion that each task demands of her. This past week Angie gained a new roommate, which has brought such joy to the whole environment!
The biggest thing we’re thankful for is that Angie has started to find her voice. Initially it started as some groaning and wheezing, but this week was a turning point as she’s pulled out the strength to form words! It is such a blessing to start to hear her tone of voice again even through the strained words. Each word and phrase really takes all of her effort, but it’s been such a relief for her and she sometimes repeats what she’s saying just to hear her voice and practice the movements. While she was just communicating through Sign she expressed how frustrating it was to not be able to produce sound with her voice, so this is a huge answer to prayer.
In addition to her voice finding strength, Angie’s personality is shining through stronger and stronger as her laugh is coming back and she’s often giggly (mostly at Ryne and Alex’s dry sense of humor). This peace is such a tangible answer to prayer for God to protect her from anxiety and continued frustration.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Through all of this we really can only point to God for the miraculous healing that is happening in Angie’s brain, body, and voice. He truly is the God of restoration and seeing Him work in this way, all we can do is step back and give Him the glory.
We give Him so many thanks:
- We’re thankful for God being good and loving through all of this.
- We’re thankful for God being with Angie even when we aren’t physically present with her in her room.
- We’re thankful that Angie passed her swallow test and has been able to slowly introduce liquid foods into her diet.
- We’re thankful for God having preserved Angie’s life in the accident and His bringing her back to us.
- We’re thankful that we can witness God’s power in the heights and depths and fullness of this story that He’s writing.
- We’re thankful that we can lean into God in the midst of the confusion of emotions and unknown-ness of our situation.
- We’re thankful for the grace that God has given us and that His grace is sufficient.
Help our unbelief
With each improvement we witness, it’s also hard; wondering if each skill gained will be the end of her improvement. Will her speech improve beyond this point? Will her walking improve? Will her full ability to eat improve? These doubts and questions strike the reality of the situation and how long this road will be. Yet despite, and in light of, these doubts we are fully confident in God’s character and goodness. We pray boldly for Him to fully heal Angie, but will give Him the glory no matter what the outcome.
In these moments, we call out to God and ask Him to help us believe. Much like the man that brought his son to Jesus to be healed, this is our prayer:
“I believe; help my unbelief!”
Please continue to pray with us for our Angie!
- For continued high and hopeful spirits for her
- For peace for Angie
- To avoid anxiety for Angie and the family
- To cling to God in this time and point all glory to Him
Today is four weeks from the accident.
We were reminded again this week that it truly is a miracle that Angie’s life was spared in the accident. Speaking with the doctors and emergency responders, we can only point to God for the gift of Angie’s life being preserved through the trauma her body experienced. God is good and He is loving and we give Him the glory for saving her life.
On top of the miracle of her life, these past couple weeks have shown us how the mercies of God have permeated so many aspects of this journey. The first week in the hospital the doctors could have fostered in us a false hope, but they were honest and presented us with the facts of the situation. In hindsight, we’re so thankful for the doctor’s wisdom both in caring for Angie and for guarding our emotions from over-expecting results from her recovery.
These past 28 days Angie has progressed in so many ways both mentally and physically. In the Mary Free Bed facility at Sparrow, Angie has been participating in daily rehab exercises in physical, occupational, recreational, and speech therapy. On average she’s working three hours a day regaining strength and mobility, and outside of those sessions she’s been mostly resting (during which we’ve all enjoyed a Harry Potter movie marathon and best-of episodes from The Office).
Angie is increasingly cognizant each day and has been able to communicate through thumbs up and down, multiple choice options with numbers, and surprising us all, hand-lettering with Sign (which we completely forgot her and Amanda had learned when they were younger). The other day we witnessed a beautiful moment as Angie woke up from a nap and after Ryne said “I love you” she hand-lettered back “I L-O-V-E Y-O-U.” While there’s still some uncertainty how much of her memory and knowledge is still foggy, it’s evident Angie is aware of relationships and their significance in her life.
The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
With Angie’s increased communication, we’ve seen her frustration at the inability to communicate verbally with us. Yet even with her limited means of communication we’ve seen her personality and humor shine through. We’re praying for peace for Angie in this area in particular that she not be discouraged with slow progress.
In her increased mobility and strength building through rehab, Angie has been quite exhausted and is also experiencing what’s called Neurofatigue. This is due to the fact that her brain is having to overwork to do tasks that each of us take for granted each day. Different parts of her brain are compensating from the trauma as well as rebuilding connections to carry out daily functions. This is a natural part of rehab but it can still be tough for us to see her so tired out.
This next phase in Angie’s journey will probably be longer than our time in the NICU and it’s been a transition for us as that had become a bit of a norm. We’re so thankful she’s moved into therapy, but it’s a bit challenging moving from what we were used to.
If you’re looking to pray for us, here are some specific prayer requests and things you can do:
- Pray for strength and rest for Ryne
- Pray that Ryne doesn’t get sick
- Pray for all the doctors, nurses, and Ryne to carry out their respective roles well
- Pray for our navigating each transitional step in this journey
- Pray for Angie not to be discouraged or frustrated
- Pray for God to heal Angie
Please text when you think about us or Angie. Angie’s phone is on and working and she’d love to hear from friends and family (we’ll read to her any texts that you send). There’s a decent likelihood we won’t respond right away (or at all) but know that we’ll read your texts to her and that they’re really encouraging to each of us!
Click here for some opportunities to support us financially and with meals. These continued gifts have been a huge blessing for us all – thank you!
Send us a Note
We love reading your notes and stories. Keep sending those in and know that we read and cherish each one!
Thanks again for all your continual prayers, support, and hope you’ve shown in so many ways.
Today marks fifteen days into our long journey toward recovery.
To the many friends, family, and yet-to-be-met acquaintances who have been walking alongside us in this journey, thank you so much for the prayers, notes, and continued hope for Angie. In the last two weeks, we’ve been wading through many unknowns as we’ve witnessed the immediacy of Angie’s condition and questioned the many different paths the future may hold.
Through this time we’ve so appreciated the space you’ve given us and the respect for our somewhat vague and brief updates on Angie’s condition. With so many initial questions and our emotional rawness, that margin to sort through everything was really beneficial in getting to where we are today. In conjunction with the doctor’s evaluations, we feel that Angie is entering a transitional stage of her recovery and we’d like to divulge a few more details of the situation.
In the accident, the trauma was largely isolated to Angie’s brain. She has a few fractures in her skull (which amazingly allowed the brain to swell as needed for its healing process to begin), a broken shoulder bone, and a few stitches on her ear, but avoided any other major bodily injuries.
We’re so encouraged at Angie’s increased responsiveness and awareness. It is evident that she recognizes family (Ryne and Amanda in particular) and responds with smiles when they are near. Angie has also been communicating through squeezing hands and nods – which is so encouraging for us to see her express her feelings in this way and be increasingly able to connect with us.
Angie has been participating in regular physical therapy during which she’s been able to move her arms and legs and is able to stand with some support. She’ll be continuing to work on these exercises daily.
For the last two weeks Angie has been in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit at Sparrow Hospital and, having passed a number of benchmarks with physical therapy and being cleared of any infection, was moved to Step Down ICU earlier this week, which is indicative of her needing less constant monitoring. This is also the stage between ICU and entering rehabilitation. With her current trajectory of improvement, and infection again ruled out, the doctors gave Angie the go ahead to move into rehab today!
Angie is now staying in Mary Free Bed at Sparrow which offers inpatient rehabilitation care. She’ll be partaking in at least three hours of therapy a day while she continues to regain mobility and strength. Angie will be here for a few weeks, after which we’ll be deciding on the next best location for her continued recovery.
While all of these are little steps in and of themselves, collectively they’ve shown us how far Angie has come and how fervently she is fighting her physical trials. We continue to thank God for the graces He’s shown us through all of this, and continue to trust in His sovereignty.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
Opportunities to support us
In just these two weeks, we’ve experienced so many of you reach out to us in selfless ways and continue to offer support and help in this time. We currently have three tangible opportunities for you to partner with us in the journey to recovery. Please pass along these links and opportunities to anyone you believe may be interested in helping out as well.
God calls us to lift up our prayers to Him. Acknowledging who He is, surrendering our fears, and presenting our requests, there is power in coming to Him in prayer. Please continue to pray for Angie’s complete recovery, and click here for our most recent prayer requests.
We’re entering the long haul of recovery and along the way there will be many expenses both expected and unexpected. If you’d like to contribute financially toward this journey, the best way is by donating to our GoFundMe Recovery Fund. Thank you for the already amazing generosity you’ve shown us in this area
Meal Gift Cards
Getting food can be difficult and happen at odd hours for us, and gift cards are a really practical way for us to ensure we’re eating. If you’d like to send us a meal gift card, these are our preferred restaurants: Jimmy Johns, Qdoba, Starbucks, Chik-fil-A, and Domino’s Pizza. Please send any gift cards (and only gift cards) to:
c/o Ryne Weber
3585 Willoughby Rd
Holt, MI 48842
We’re humbled by your partnership with us in this journey and the continued love, care, and support we’re receiving.
Holding onto hope and resting in God’s sovereignty as we take this next step.