Jeff’s Ups and Downs

Posted by in Faith | February 4, 2014

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Editor’s Note: This isn’t a post where I’m going to go out of my way to sugar-coat anything. My steadfast belief is that God is at work and that statement is as close as I am willing to come to a disclaimer. This has been a tremendously difficult month for Jeff and Carrie and their family; and it’s worth re-capping in part for the sake of the readers who are concerned and also for the sake of our belief that telling our stories is important because we hope that their impact will exceed our expectations.

As most of you know, Jeff was struck in the eye by a firecracker on January 3rd and air-lifted to a hospital. Since then, he has seen many doctors and had several procedures in an ongoing effort to save his eye, and in the hope that his vision might eventually be restored. Currently, Jeff has very milky vision in that eye, which is very sensitive to light, and does not have full control of his eye-lid (an unforeseen obstacle that is staggering in practical consequence). What many of you don’t know is that the psychological effect of the trauma, and the ongoing burden of a highly uncomfortable life, is very difficult to manage, much less come-to-terms with. Fortunately, Jeff is a strong man and is married to a strong woman. Unfortunately, strength alone isn’t always enough to comfort us. Because our vision is so intimately tied to the way we process thought, in order to imagine the exhausting, confusing nature of Jeff’s injury, you must imagine feeling helpless as your brain struggles to regain its footing and forge new paths that once came naturally. What was once easy is temporarily more difficult; and the adjustment period (though try calling it an “adjustment” or a “period” to someone in the middle of it) is both frustrating and disheartening. And from a physical standpoint, the reality is that some things may never be as simple as they once were. Some things may be lost for good.

The most recent doctor’s visit brought some interesting developments. Jeff’s cornea appears to be healthier than previously anticipated, and he will be fitted with a membrane contact to replace the protective layer that was surgically attached to cover his entire eye in weeks past. His eyelashes are causing some problems and steps will be taken to ensure that they grow in the correct direction and don’t further irritate or hinder his recovery. Although concerned about a possible infection (a very real threat with dire consequences because of the eye’s proximity to the brain), doctors continue to take extreme precautions and seem hopeful that through preventative measures they can give Jeff the best possible chance of his eye surviving. They aren’t out of the woods yet, but every step seems to be forward. At that point, there are many surgical and medical options which become available. Until then, our prayers are for the eye’s survival and healing on its own accord.

Please join me in supporting Jeff and his family. Even the outpouring of love can be exhausting. Telling and re-telling the story and interacting with the endless stream of well-wishers is taxing and I want to recognize that fact. Never-the-less, our prayers are making a difference. Jeff reminds me of that fact almost every time we speak. And the folks who have come out of the woodwork to support his family financially by donating on the website have been some of his favorite stories to share. So I can say with certainty that, the generosity and rapport from his community is overwhelming in good ways as well.

Jeff’s spirits are up and down. I told him I expected it to be day to day; he said it’s hour to hour. So keep him in your prayers throughout the day. God’s up to something, and we know it; and I can’t help but wonder if he’s doing something in each of OUR hearts, without Jeff even realizing. We love you Jeff. You’re in good hands, between Carrie and the doctors and a God who knows pain and heartbreak first-hand. Feel Better!

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