Journal

Journal entry by Steve Gregoire

Hello again prayer warriors!!
  
  Praise and thanks to all that have responded with hearts and comments!! ❤️❤️
Also want to give thanks and praise to medical team here at Vibra. They have been great with Gail’s care!!


   We are getting close to the end of our stay here at  Vibra!!  Doctors are talking about moving her back to St Cloud within the next two weeks. The neuro-surgeon will do his own neurological assessment and then maybe he will start looking into the details with brain tumor removal and replacing the flap, this stage will be a little unnerving for all of us. There is potential for complications so we’ll nd lots of prayers during this time, I will have more details when we get closer to this happening.


  Gail has lots to do in the morning, they start anywhere from 8:30 - 9:30  ot/pt and than some speech therapy. This morning in her speech session she was given more ice chucks and a spoon full of water, she really likes the ice it feels good on her throat and then she was given some pudding to eat, ohhh she liked that!! Was able to eat the whole cup of pudding and swallowed without any problems. May not seem like much but this is huge!!! They are leaving the trach in case there is an issue during or after her pending surgery and if there are no issues I believe they will be able to remove the trach shortly after. This is a very big step in this journey and is probably the most scary, pray for Gods will through all this! I guess the rest of her recovered will be just as scary, so many unknowns, but I believe with all my heart the bumblebee WILL again fly!! Some of you will know what I’m talking about (the ladies in the pink bubble)!!!
The afternoons are for rest, she fell asleep right away after her hard work she did in the morning, brain needs lots of rest but is getting better also.

  The kids and l are doing really well I believe, naturally there are some moments that are harder than others but that can only be expected. Phil. 4:13 comes to mind at this time. I try to stay content on one day at at time, we can’t worry about tomorrow!!!
    
Until next time     
     Steve

 
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Journal entry by Steve Gregoire

Hello again praise warriors,
  
 Thank you again for all prayers and support, we are very blessed!!!

  I have spent the last 2 1/2 days with Gail, well I’m just going to use Gail’s response after her pt session today, wow!!! There has been steady progress but still small steps, she is most alert in the morning, Her speech is clear and her thought process is on cue but after a while she does get confused so that’s why they want her  visits to be low key and low stimulation, this will improve in time. 

Yesterday she had a pt/ot screening, they had her sitting up on the side of her bed!! Praise God! It was amazing to see!! For about 3min without much help at all, she would try to correct herself from falling over, such a thrill I can’t even describe!! This morning her speech therapist was in, was checking her throat and her ability to swallow, she gave her some ice to chew and swallow, Gail was able to do these things without any problems (more progress) Her doctor is talking about removing the trach, there is some issues with her trach wound, it is not healing as it should be, he feels it may be time to remove it and is consulting with Gail’s neuro-surgeon in St Cloud, may be this week some time, we will need some prayers in that area! This afternoon was more pt, they had her sitting up again, this time with a little more help for about 6min, Gail’s heart rate was up in the 80s and her breathing was pretty labored but she did it!! Amazing women!!! God is so Good!!!


Up until now I have  chosen to not ride the roller coaster of emotions through all of this, but this morning I was reminded of the story of Jesus telling Peter to step out of the boat and walk toward Him, as long as I stay tethered and my eyes are focused on Him I will be ok!!

 ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Keep praying!!!

Journal entry by Mary and Kurt Krenik

Hello Purple Nation, Prayer Warriors, #fightGailfight--

I just have to share a bit more about our trip to Fargo and our visit with Gail!  It was hard to leave, for sure.

As the miles ticked by and the distance between us grew, I had thoughts of just how far she still has to go... I had thoughts of the brain tumor and possible future surgeries, and I had thoughts of what if this and what if that!  I was in my van heading home -- but I was definitely on the "roller coaster."  ...clinging to "cautious optimism."

Kurt seeing my tears reminded me of a favorite verse in Matthew, the one about: Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries of it's own.

So for today, Gail was up in her chair again. She was sporting her newly decorated helmet which includes flowers, hearts and the verse-- "Nothing is impossible with God!" when Steve arrived she greeted him with a kiss.  :O)  When Gail and I were interacting, she knew Gabbi was sitting to her left and kept looking over to her :O)  It seemed to me that she had more head control today than yesterday. Little by little, precious baby steps!!!!

We applied her essential oil to her feet and neck. A sweet gift from one of her dear friends.

When her Physician was in today he spoke of decreasing the dose of steroids she's on. This is possible because her swelling is truly gone!  He feels decreasing the steroids will assist with other healing that she is doing.  The Dr and her nurses are pleased to see her more alert and attempting to communicate more.  For example, when asked did she want to stay up in her chair or go back to bed--she said "back to bed."

Specific prayer requests: healing for her trach site, functional participation with her therapists, prayers of thanksgiving for all of the love, encouragement and support from so many.

Psalm 118:24  "This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!"

Journal entry by Mary and Kurt Krenik

What a mighty God we serve!  Greetings from Fargo, ND.

It was such a joy to visit Gail today :O)  Kurt and I drove over yesterday.

I wanted to share her new mailing address: 5225 23rd Ave South rm #701
                                                                Fargo, ND 58104

She was up in a recliner type chair for a little over 2 hours this afternoon.  When she is out of bed, she has to wear her helmet, otherwise she has that off. Her hair is growing so fast. The incision site on her head looks good. All of her swelling is gone. It's been 4 weeks and 2 days.

She has Happy Easter decorations on her window -- bouquets of flowers and a pretty blooming plant. Her cards are taped up all over.  She has her cozy soft Mary Kay blanket, that she loves.

She has respiratory therapy twice per day to manage her trach. (clean it, change the bandage and so on) Her other therapies will kick in more as she is able to participate more.

As I visited with one of her nurses today she explained a bit of the healing strategy they have for Gail.  I think the goal is to keep things "low key," nothing too exciting, too loud, too long.  She said it's kind of like a new born baby's brain, you don't want to over stimulate a healing brain.  I observed Gail to have times of deep sleep, lighter dozing times and times of alertness. During her more awake times she enjoys holding hands. She answered multiple yes / no questions with a whispered yes / no or head motions. At one point, I could tell she was looking at the clock- I asked her what she was looking at.  She whispered" "the clock."  I asked her what time it was and she said the correct time!

One of her meds is an anti seizure medicine and of course she has her feeding tube going. She has more purposeful movement in her arms and feet.  She moves her head but is not really in full control of it at this time.

Today her cousin Jason Borgrud from Fargo visited and her cousin Michael Engwall and his daughter visited from the cities. She responded to conversations with head movements, smiles and a few words. The progress she has made since my last visit is amazing. She made a chuckling face when Kurt was teasing her about coming to Montana to help him with his shop building project.  He said he had a shovel with her name on it and this prompted a large grin.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

Journal entry by Steve Gregoire

Hello again warriors, (Gail Gregwarriors)

Gail was transferred to Fargo on Friday, she is at Sanford Medical Center in west Fargo on 23d ave s.  7th floor rm701, it’s real easy to find. Jazzi and I drove up to see her on sat morning. Ramzi was their today and Gabbi, nice weekend!!

there is not a lot of change to report since my last update, I believe she was a little tired on Saturday from the transfer the day before 
her  vitals look really good, they keep a close eye on lungs making sure the trach is cleaned and phlegm and fluids are maintained until she can get strong enough to manage that herself. ( ssllllooooowwwww process) I feel her lung health is really critical at this point so I need visitors to be smart when they are their. She can’t afford to catch a cold in the next few weeks, there are some stipulations for visitors as well which might make visits a little more difficult especially for those that have some travel time. The doctors want to focus on her brain to get ample rest so the visit time is limited but there are smart ways to handle that also. I’m not discouraging people from visiting, I’m just voicing caution. Praise God for all the prayer warriors!! In several states I might add!! It’s really overwhelming, thank you!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️!!!

        Bye for now.  Steve

Journal entry by Steve Gregoire

Hello Purple Nation and fellow Prayer Warriors 

First I would like to say thank you—thank you—thank you!!! for the overwhelming flood (no puns) of support for Gail and I and our family. Words cannot describe how it feels, I am blessed and humbled!!  Praise God!!!  Love you all!!


We did get the go ahead for Gail to be transferred to  Vibra Hospital in Fargo,that will happen Thursday or Friday weather permitting. We chose Fargo because our daughter Gabbi goes to school at Moorhead State, she would be less than 10min away. The other options were Minneapolis/StPaul, for me it would be 3hrs either way. Please pray for safety and protection in that. 


Gail continues to show progress though it’s in minute increments, still positive improvement, she opens her eyes about half way, and yes she can see, without the air tube in her mouth she has started to form words. So I will have to learn how to lip read for a while! Her heart rate continues to climb as well and blood pressure seems to be more stable, a near normal status.   Nonstop prayers for God’s will and protection from other complications, and as Gail becomes more aware of her status, she can keep her positive attitude, which is a gift from God and a learned behaviour from her mom!!


As for me, It’s ok if I’m not ok. Every day I seek HIS guidance and pray for the wisdom to make decisions, I choose not to ride the roller coaster of emotions on our new road we are on. But yet I still have moments of doubt and frustration when I allow myself to feel. I know this road we are on will have lots of curves and many bumps (cautions) I am very thankful!! Praise God for the strength He has given me and continues too!!
My verses for the day are Romans 12:11-13.

thank you again!!!

Journal entry by Mary and Kurt Krenik

FYI:
Gail is still in St Cloud as of this evening. She has moved from ICU to the "Progressive Care Unit," room # South 628. 

She had her therapy today and one of her caregivers was working with her hair. (cleaning, combing and braiding it)

:O) Her color is good. She is breathing on her own --with a gentle stream of moist air supplied through the trach to assist with her comfort.

Stay tuned for transfer updates. 

II Corinthians 5:7 "For we walk by faith, not by sight."  🙏 

 

Journal entry by Mary and Kurt Krenik

Hello,
I got the best card in the mail today, it had a poem by Annie Flint:
God has not promised skies always blue,
flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God has not promised sun without rain,
joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God has promised strength for the day,
rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
unfailing sympathy, undying love.

Gail updates include:
Still responding to some commands, but eyes not open. So, neurologically about the same....
Feeding tube went in on Thursday.
Tracheotomy was Friday. She is breathing on her own with just a little support.
Hopefully staples out of her head today.

There is a good possibility she will be leaving St Cloud ICU soon. (early next week??)
Exactly where she is going is to be determined...one idea is an advanced care type hospital in Fargo.

Prayer warriors, there are only a few places available --with the amount of care that Gail requires right now...please pray that she will go to exactly the place that God has in mind for her. Please pray for her safe travels and as always lift up Steve, the kids and the grandkiddos.  :O)

Thank you for your love and faithful support. xxoo

Journal entry by Mary and Kurt Krenik

Dear Purple People,
Thank you for your calls, texts and other messages. Most of you know that I am Gail's sister and that I live in Montana. I have spent the last 2 days traveling back.  It was so hard to leave!!

Before I left yesterday, Gail was sitting up in her special recliner type chair.  It is very supportive and she seems to really like being out of bed for awhile.  When her surgeon came through--He spoke of getting the final drain out of her head and the possibility of a helmet to protect her head as she becomes more active. He once again emphasized: "that this process is a marathon, not a sprint."

Her physical therapist (a UND grad) was super friendly and Gail was trying very hard to do the things the therapist asked. So far she is having Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.  The Speech Therapist will come on board as time goes on.

The plan is for Gail to get her feeding tube out of her mouth and into her stomach.  This will happen at the same time they do her tracheotomy. The tracheotomy will help her to manage her saliva/"protect her airway." This will happen soon, it is being scheduled and set up.

She does enjoy and respond to visits...with a head nod--she has not opened her eyes yet. Just remember to use the hand sanitizer and that she is working very hard to heal and restore.   Shorter visits are good.  You can always check with her nurse. (they wear the black scrubs)

Everyone asks what they can do to help and the #1 thing is praise and prayer...the #2 thing is remember marathon... and in God's time, He will reveal something that you can do.

Journal entry by Mary and Kurt Krenik

Attention Purple Nation and all Purple Prayer Warriors!

Rejoice in Gail's great testimony and God's amazing graze. Dr. Kennedy quote of the day: "She is light years ahead of my initial expectations."

We have an additional team of support and coaching as of noon today, Steve and I met with the palliative care bunch: Dr. J., Nurse and and Pastor.  They answered many questions and gave us much to think about for what the weeks and months ahead may look like. Their assistance with communication and coordination about the future steps in Gail's unbelievable journey will be so beneficial.

As I write, Gail is sitting in a chair!  Much supported of course and all tubes still in place. But seriously, what a difference a week can make. She is taking an additional antibiotic for a bacterial infection in her lungs.  They brought a portable X Ray machine into her room. 

Her Occupational Therapist paid a visit this afternoon:  Gail nodded her head to answer several questions about what her life was like before. They worked on range of motion to her arms.

There are many things to continue to be in prayer about...but we would request targeting this new infection and focusing on her breathing/airway.  It's so complicated: her machine is now on a "cpap setting" but to protect her airway/manage her saliva etc. is very important to her right now in determining what to do about a traceotomy.

Your love and prayers are everything to Gail and us. Thank you for all you are doing, keep moving
soldiers.  :O)

Journal entry by Mary and Kurt Krenik

Gail's family thanks each and every one of you for you outpouring of love, prayers, and support.

Gail had a routine surgery in Willmar on Wednesday and was to go home on Thursday. Things were going well until Wednesday late evening when she started to feel ill. Overnight she was vomiting and complained of a headache.

On Thursday morning, these symptoms continued and the decision was made that she would remain in the hospital. Late Thursday afternoon she was found unresponsive in her room. Her physicians believe she had a massive stroke which caused her to slip into a coma. She had a CT scan of her brain, where a brain tumor was found and the stroke was confirmed. She was rushed by ambulance to St. Cloud Hospital. She had an emergency surgery to relieve pressure on her brain and to help with swelling.

After surgery, she was placed in the Intesive Care Unit (ICU). Her condition was stable throughout Friday. Friends, family, and her church community rushed to be by her side to encourage and pray with and for her and her friends and family.

Today, Saturday, she is resting peacefully in the ICU. Her team of physicians and nurses are outstanding and providing for her every need. During her morning assessment, there may have been a slight improvement.

Gail's family asks that you use Caring Bridge for updates.

We ask for continued prayers for Gail, her healthcare team, her family & friends.
Gail’s Story

Site created on February 23, 2019

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. 
Additionally, Swan Lake Church has set up a location to donate, which will go towards helping Steve and Gail with any monetary needs that will arise.  https://www.swanlakechurch.org/giving

Thank you for your continued love and prayers.

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