Seven Year Itch

Today is officially the Seventh Anniversary of my son Josiah’s Liver Transplant, which happened 7-30-2013.  It’s been a strange couple of months leading up to this year’s anniversary so my “anniversary” post will take a different perspective than some of those prior anniversary posts have done (links to previous posts at bottom).

Where to begin…I’m going to copy/paste some stuff from other locations, mostly Caring Bridge, to give updates & a flavor of the journey.  I’ll (usually) put the copy stuff in italics so please scroll by if you don’t want All those details, also I’m putting the current writing in purple to ease the reading of this post 🙂  This post’s name comes from all the scratching & itchiness Josiah experienced with the excess bilirubin in his system.  That symptom finally calmed down after a couple of days in the hospital, thankfully…

Medications:

We’ve had some challenges with getting Josiah’s meds.  Some of the hassle goes back to an insurance change for 2019 that led ultimately to some cascading concerns that developed over time.  Here’s where I spoke/wrote about it at Caring Bridge:

Medication Madness

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

It’s been pretty hectic trying to get Josiah’s medication situation taken care of for the last month plus.  We underwent an insurance change December 1st that has left me “scrambling” to get his meds on track.  We’d been “spoiled” since his Transplant by having almost all meds shipped to us on a monthly basis from U of M’s Transplant Pharmacy, with just a monthly refill phone call needed.

The new insurance requires that we get his anti-rejection med, Prograf/tacrolimis, from a mail order pharmacy called Briova.  Of all his meds Prograf is the only one they handle.  Because of having to get Prograf from Briova we can no longer get the other meds from the Transplant Pharmacy.  So, we have jumped through multiple hoops to get his other meds established at the local pharmacy, where we’ve gotten his behavioral meds for like a decade & a half.

Some of his meds were previously provided in 3 month supplies.  The local pharmacy, at least as required by our new insurance, can only dispense these meds on a monthly basis.  We just picked up the first round of meds from them for January.  The ones that aren’t yet ready for refill are, at least on paper (or more accurately in the computer), theoretically set up to get filled in the corresponding months, 2 starting in February, & the final additional one in March.

We received one shipment of the Prograf last month without incident & are on track to get another shipment next week.  The local pharmacy has put all the meds, except behavioral which is exempted, on an “auto-refill” parameter, which is new for us.  Hopefully this will ultimately go off without a hitch.  It’s been very hectic between numerous phone calls, literal hours on hold &/or in stressful conversations, & much upheaval in trying to get the various sources to get the coverage in place with the new insurance & with Medicaid.

Hopefully all this effort will ultimately pay off with a smooth process going forward…but that remains to be seen.  I guess at this point we are slightly more than half-way there!

~~~~~~~

 

Being cut off from using the Transplant Pharmacy was certainly Much less convenient in the process of getting Josiah’s meds.  It ultimately became actually more dangerous when we ran into difficulties obtaining his 1mg Prograf/Tacrolimus anti-rejection med earlier this year…

Well, working forward in time I discovered a med hiccup last year I’d completely forgotten about…yikes…

Some Prayer Needs–March 9, 2019

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

Please pray for my son Josiah to not have Any Liver Rejection complications.  I was refilling his pillbox last night, something I do every two weeks, when I discovered that I’d given him the wrong dosage of his anti-rejection med, Prograf/Tacrolimis, during the last refill.  He’s supposed to get 1.5mg in the AM & 1.0mg in the PM, but I had inadvertently given him 0.5mg in the PM for these past two weeks…He currently takes 13 pills a day–yikes!
He was supposed to get a blood draw in February, they still want these blood draws every 2 months, & I planned to do it at last month’s scheduled hospital/clinic appointment (I prefer U of M’s labs to the local ones so use them whenever feasible/coinciding with scheduled clinic visits).  Well we ended up rescheduling that appointment, due to bad road conditions, to this coming Tuesday so that’s when we’ll get his blood checked.
Please pray that if there are Any rejection issues that they will be revealed in Tuesday’s blood draw.  It has been 5 1/2 years since his Liver Transplant & he has thus far has Zero rejection incidents–Praise the Lord!  He has been fighting a bit of a cold, something he faces seasonally, especially since the transplant, but overall his health seems “fine”/”typical” (for him!)
~~~~~~~

 

So in spite of my med errors referenced above it appeared from labs that things were still OK, thankfully…at least then…

March 14, 2019 Lab Report

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

Good News.  We heard from Liver Transplant about his recent blood draw & All of Josiah’s liver numbers look great!  He did have an elevated white count so they want us to see his PCP if he develops some type of illness.  Ever since his transplant he’s had nearly constant sinus issues (the docs claim that’s unrelated to transplant, but only God knows).  I wonder if he may have picked something up from Brandon who was pretty sick after getting his travel vaccines.  I never asked B if any of the vaccines were of “live viruses” for I think we’re not supposed to expose J to them, if possible.
I’m just thankful that my med refill faux pas didn’t appear to have any lasting negative impact on Josiah.  Perhaps this data could be applied in encouraging his Liver doc to consider J going on the weaning off anti-rejection drugs protocol.  The Nephrologist would like to see his Prograf reduced or eliminated since it’s so hard on his kidneys.  Managing J’s medical needs is quite the balancing act!
Thanks for your prayers on his behalf!  You all bless us so much!!!

~~~~~~~

Appointment, med, & even Liver Transplant Clinic challenges continued…some info:

January 24, 2020 Today’s Liver Transplant Clinic…& catching up a bit

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

Hello dear readers & Prayer Warriors,

Josiah & I are (finally) back at the U of M Hospital to attend a long overdue Liver Transplant Clinic appointment.  I overlooked an appointment last April & this was the first time we could actually get scheduled (barring a Christmas Eve one that I nixed).  He’s supposed to be seen every 6 months, so that was a pretty big oops!

Thankfully, Josiah’s doing very well.  The bloodwork info from today’s visit wasn’t yet available but based on previous blood draws his liver numbers look fine.  His Tacro/Prograf tended to run on the low side so they are not likely to reduce his dosage at this point.

Apparently the generic forms of Prograf are becoming increasingly difficult to source as a component ingredient is in short supply in the US & it’s possible they’ll need to place Josiah on a different anti-rejection medicine in the future.  The one they discussed would likely be a once a day formulation of around 1mg (he currently takes 1.5mg AM & 1mg PM) so we’ll see how that goes.

At the first of the year we had insurance changes so he is no longer getting the Prograf from the mail order pharmacy.  We are to pick up the first dose of Prograf at our local pharmacy today (if all goes well).  I didn’t get clear understanding if we could potentially go back to getting almost all his meds from U of M’s Transplant Pharmacy as we’d done before last year’s insurance change.  If we could that would simplify the medication refill/acquisition process from my perspective.  The Adult Transplant Clinic does NOT coordinate other medications like the peds department did, though didn’t inform us of this difference, so we we had some major medication upheavals this year including Josiah being without his sleep meds for a number of months & having his sleep mightily disturbed.  At least he’s finally making some headway on using his CPAP to help him sleep better.

As it is we’re to come back in “6 months”, though the actual appointment is now in September.  He’s also supposed to get blood work every 3-4 months.  We’ll continue to try to get those blood draws at U of M whenever we are here & probably return to a lab in Dearborn when needed.

~~~~~~~

 

Apparently the med challenges were more pervasive than my recall says…hmmm…

May 18, 2020 Quick Tidbits

We’ve still been having challenges in getting all of Josiah’s meds sorted out. I spoke with the pharmacist in person at the drive-through & she said that this CV thing is not nearly as bad as the flu usually is. They stopped having customers sign paperwork upon med pick-up due to CV so I suppose there is the possibility of easier to cover up fraud. Thankfully the doctor’s office finally followed through on some med stuff so was able to get Most pills…

~~~~~~~

Next up…hospitalization for presumed Rejection (there are numerous details & updates at the Caring Bridge site, URL at bottom):

July 24, 2020 At the Hospital for Josiah’s Liver

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

Hello Caring Bridge Prayer Warriors,

Josiah & I are back at U of M on an inpatient basis because he’s having liver problems related to intermittent lack of anti-rejection meds.  We were blessed to get a single room so that I can stay with him during this hospitalization.  We got here last night & may need to stay for a few days.  We’re not sure how things will go as it’s fairly soon in the process, but the nurse that insisted we come in per the doctor’s request, thought we might be here 3-5 days.

~~~~~~~

So, what happened is that we had some intermittent loss of all anti-rejection/immunosuppressive meds because of difficulty in getting the 1mg Prograf formulation.  We were able to tide him over with excess 0.5mg Prograf for a time but eventually both ran out.  He went without the meds for some time in early to mid June, had an interim of a slightly lower dose of Prograf while we awaited additional meds & then ran out completely in early/mid July.

We actually had a family hang out time at our older son’s house on Friday July 17 & Nathaniel noticed that there was an orange cast to Josiah’s eyes.  Apparently Clarissa had noticed it too on Thursday but forgot to say anything.  Neither Michael or I noticed it on our own.  We had numerous calls to U of M hospital & the local pharmacy & obtained enough Prograf to get Josiah back on the full dose, but only for 4 days.  We spoke with Liver Transplant clinic staff on Monday & Tuesday & they got the prescription for a different med but the pharmacy couldn’t Ever get it.  We ended up getting back with the U of M Transplant pharmacy & they shipped more Prograf (which they were still able to get, unlike our local pharmacy) so that Josiah didn’t miss another dose.  The nurse wanted new labs (finally, no one in the whole odyssey since the first lapse in meds in June had asked for labs) which we got on Wednesday.  Thursday they called back & wanted him in-patient to treat with IV antibiotics & steroids…& we were off to the races…

So Josiah just came home from the hospital a few days ago, this Monday, & is on the upswing from some degree of Rejection of his liver.  Apparently this was an “acute” incidence of rejection & not “chronic” so that is good.  He’s taking A Lot of meds again, currently 28 pills/day, as they try to calm the liver down.  We don’t know how long he’ll be on some of the meds but the steroid that is currently 6 pills/day will go down to 1 pill/day, & even later become a lower dosage pill than the current 10mg dose so in another month & a half or so he should “only” need 23 pills/day.  Technically he takes 3 pills a day that are over the counter so his current Prescribed meds are 25/day & to be down to 20/day in early September.

So, this has been a strange interlude in an otherwise mostly unremarkable post-transplant course.  We hope to never have another hospitalization nor to need another biopsy, like occurred last Friday, but everything still remains to be seen.

Josiah is in good spirits & our household is returning to what passes for “normal” around here.  So this anniversary we really are thankful that Josiah is still with us because according to one of the attending doctors while he was inpatient “we almost lost the liver & Josiah could have died”.  This is a very sobering situation to have recently faced & we’re still not completely out of the woods from it.  We don’t know if there might be long term ramifications from this bout of rejection…We’d greatly appreciate prayers for Josiah’s continued healing as we continue to walk down the strange & unique path of his personal Liver Transplant Journey…

God Bless You All & thanks for stopping by!

~~~~~~

Ever since having this Special Connections blog I’ve done a Transplant Anniversary post so if you might like to dig deeper into Josiah’s Transplant Odyssey here’s how:

~~~~~~~
If anyone’s interested in more details, after we get settled (at the hospital), I’ll be attempting to update his Caring Bridge site here:

https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/josiahcurren

If for some reason the details of our experience on his liver transplant journey would be a blessing to anyone here’s where you can dig in:

Archive of Liver Transplant Journey: https://jazzmanjournal.wordpress.com/about/

Distilled version from above archive: 

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/four-years-ago-today-a-transplant-tale/

Shorter distilled version: 

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/5-years-going-strong-my-sons-liver-transplant/

Even shorter view 😉 : 

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2019/07/30/6th-anniversary-of-my-sons-liver-transplant/
~~~~~~~

Funny, I was planning another “anniversary” post for July 30 & didn’t anticipate to have to weave in the potential rejection issues that appear to be bubbling to the surface now…I guess you just never know what’s coming down the pike. Thankfully we have the Lord to help see us through the rough patches! Well God Bless you guys…

~~~~~~~

I copied all of the above from here the Caring Bridge Journal entry of 

July 26, 2020 Sharing Q-Tree encouragements, 1st Message

but this material above was still a copy/paste from the below original location…

https://wqth.wordpress.com/2020/07/23/dear-kag-20200723-information-warfare-open-thread/comment-page-3/#comment-555499

I’m going to copy a lot of other things from Caring Bridge that give a different flavor to the experience we’ve been going through recently, but also reflect some ongoing challenges…

Mama Bear, Bear Cave, &/or Bear Trap:

Losing the Care Pages service, that we used prior to Caring Bridge, was a significant loss of a supportive team of interested & prayerful people.  We had less than 10% of the people who’d at least periodically followed Josiah’s Journey at Care Pages move to Caring Bridge.  I personally have limited support mechanisms so I felt this loss acutely…

Moving on from CarePages.com

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

I’m so thankful to have now found another site where updates about Josiah’s situation & some of our family happenings can reside.  It will, however, likely be a bit of a learning curve to make adjustments & learn the new “tricks of the trade”.  Thank you for your patience & understanding.
~~~~~~~~
from another Journal entry from the same day:
Since this is a new platform I’m not sure how “interactive” it will end up being for more dialog style communication.  I do know that if you write to either Josiah or I at WordPress.com at any of our websites, as long as you are signed in, we’ll get notifications of your communications & can more easily reply.

Here are sites I manage at WordPress.com that will notify me if you write:

JazzmanJournal.wordpress.com
SpecialConnections.wordpress.com

Josiah manages these sites:

JosiahsFreakShow.wordpress.com
JosiahTheSecretWeapon.wordpress.com

We’d both Love to hear from you & thank you so much for praying for Josiah’s many needs.

~~~~~~~

Still more from another Journal entry that day (I was busy setting groundwork at CB):

Another key part of Special Connections delves into our recent Special Education case & fallout.  That sobering look is found here:

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/commenting-on-only-the-rich-will-have-rights-article/

This below post has a bullet-pointed section containing many of the impacting issues surrounding Josiah’s life:

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/thoughts-on-i-cant-do-this-special-needs-life/

Though Jazzman at CarePages primarily focused on medical needs this next post discusses aspects of the spiritual side of managing special needs:

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/thoughts-on-faith-crisis/

This post is about keeping it real & how our interactions with church(es) have been complicated by special needs:

https://specialconnections.wordpress.com/2016/02/24/special-needs-church/

Well that’s more material than most of us might feel like tackling, but I wanted to make it easy to find out more about Josiah & our family’s experience managing his complex special needs for anyone who might wander by.

Thanks for your caring & prayerful interest in Josiah’s life.  We so appreciate you supporting him & us before that Throne of Grace.  Blessings!  Valerie

~~~~~~~

This is truly just keeping it real & sharing part of what being a caregiver for someone with complex special needs can face.  I’ll share my journal entry & the 2 comments below it & my replies but try to leave out the extraneous “likes” etc.  Mask off warning:

Someone (elsewhere) asked how I’m doing, so I’m sharing my reply…Please pray for me, Thanks…

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

I’m sorry you are carrying such a heavy load.

 

I’m relatively OK.  I’m seemingly “stuck” in some type of quasi-PTSD hopelessness loop over not being able to get any positive traction on my son Josiah’s Special Education case.  I’m still furious about how they broke the law with impunity & how the legal protections for the vulnerable are twisted into butt-coverage for the bureaucrats…it makes one feel so helpless/hopeless.  I did Major work for like a year & a half on Josiah’s Special Education case & when we finally talked with an attorney (after some funding from a family member made such a conversation possible) he basically said “there’s nothing you can do for your son…but I’d really like you to go ahead & be an advocate for other kids”.

 

I’m not fully ready to concede defeat but am still so burdened by the pain & frustration of it all that it is Very Hard to move forward mentally or emotionally.

 

My husband wants me to speak with a Counselor but I am skeptical that there is really anyone out there (besides God) who can grasp the magnitude of what we’ve faced historically with our son, it’s ramifications in our lives & for me personally, & I can’t even muster the energy to attempt to contemplate having such (allegedly) therapeutic conversations.

 

I’m not (obviously) actually very good at “letting things go” & really need the Serenity Prayer conceptually to help with this process.  I hate to “give up” but I also hate to see the “system” escape unscathed & have Zero Accountability.  It’s also still too bitter & unapproachable to try to advocate for other people’s kids (even if I could muster the energy or find the appropriate avenue to do so) when there is still so much that needs attention in my own son’s life.

 

These are like those “first world problems” that lefties mock people for.  Not the basics of food, clothing, or shelter but more the apex of that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramids proverbial “Self-Actualization” BS arena, I think.

 

Sometimes I think I’m just too scarred from all the battles to even begin to know how to live in “regular” society.  I’m in pseudo-hibernation/cocooning in hope that (eventually) winter will end (my fat stores will melt off!) & I’ll emerge a beautiful butterfly with sufficient energy to pump those superfluous abdominal fluids into those nascent but hopefully beautifully majestic wings & somehow manage to soar above before my brief sojourn planet-side is over!

 

OK, so it’s very late & I’m expressing my self in verbose flights of fancy…Thanks for asking how I am…I hope you don’t mind my ridiculous reply!

 

If I may quote you here “I am an emotional basketcase and the pain is brutal and that’s the upside of my grief right now.”  I really do relate…

 

Betty Hogan|Nov 8, 2017
You have done a good job of trying to explain your “pain, frustration, helplessness, hopelessness, and bitterness” which no one but yourself and God can ever really understand. I pray God will help you release it all to Him and let Him heal you and then use you. You have such great talent and ability that you really could help many others as you continue to help your own son. I continue praying for you, Josiah, and individually for each of your family members with love.

!

Valerie CURREN|Aug 30, 2018
Dear Betty, I’m re-checking this blog to see where I might have missed responding to others so am finally getting around to replying. I read your comment closer to when it was written & was just as touched then as I am now. Thank you for taking the time to express these sentiments for I very much value your perspective & insights having tackled autism within your family too. Your prayers & encouragement are truly sustaining! Blessings…

 

Timothy Potter|Nov 6, 2017
Your reply is not “ridiculous.” I have been praying for your healing. I pray you will be able to turn over to God these frustrating things that you can do little to change. I pray you will look to the Lord to guide you into the future He has for you.
Valerie CURREN|Aug 30, 2018
Thank you for sharing these thoughts & for your prayers…
~~~~~~~
Here’s an abbreviated version of a journal entry including an interaction w/ another special needs parent at a Special Olympics game:

Floor Hockey, etc.

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

Josiah has made a decision to attend his Special Olympics Floor Hockey Tournament in Lansing this weekend!  It was hard & conflicting for him to decide & he also really wanted to attend the Football Playoff Game with the Allen Park Bull Dogs.  He said goodbye to the Junior High kids & doesn’t think he’ll be doing this similar coaching type of work next year because the friend who got him into it isn’t planning to coach next year.  He really enjoyed it though!

Michael & I, my mom, Brandon, & B’s friend made it to J’s Floor Hockey game on Tuesday.  It was fun for all of us to see him & his team play…and to meet the young lady he really enjoys talking to at Special Olympics & social events.  Ironically the team’s Goalie is Blind (at least to some degree)–& the score reflected that!

I ended up sitting near another mom of a kid on the opposing team from “Jo Brighton” (a special needs school/facility that the Director of AP’s Special Ed thought J would attend after HS–long story).  It turns out her son & Josiah were classmates in Pre-School & Kindergarten in Allen Park.  We’d actually all attended the same ice cream social event at a park back then (not that we recalled each other).  Her son & Josiah did not seem to recall each other but maybe they’ll get the chance to renew their acquaintance a bit at states.  She initiated trying to find the connection because of Josiah’s name, that she remembered even after like a decade & a half…

The mom & I ended up sharing some Special Ed war stories, etc. & several of the things I shared literally had her jaw dropping.  Thankfully for them their trajectory in that domain has/had been much more straightforward than was ours.  Her son has Down Syndrome so his issues/needs are (perhaps) less complex than are/have been Josiah’s.  I certainly appreciated the understanding & compassion this lady exhibited to me…as well as the hug…

Next week J & I will be meeting with his Case Manager/Supports Coordinator for the monthly face-to-face conversation.  We also are scheduled to see his “Primary Care Physician” for what usually ends up being a very thorough & exhausting overview of his needs & systems.  Eventually she will have to refer him to another care-giver as she is technically a Pediatrician.  Given Michigan’s Special Ed “generosity” of (sometimes) providing services through age 26 I believe this Doctor may carry “kids” up to that time, but I’m not sure.  The last time I inquired about it there were no known Doctors that have practices dedicated to the Complex Special Needs individual in adult care, so we are going to be leery when the time comes to leave her Medical Home style-care–as well as her Christian support.

We’ll also likely be getting Josiah’s liver blood tests done this week.  Hopefully this time we can actually begin the weaning down process from/off the anti-rejection meds.  It would be an ideal time to start this (from my perspective) for we’ll be seeing the Transplant Clinic in a couple of months & they could thoroughly assess how such weaning was impacting Josiah’s liver function & health at that time.  Eventually his Transplant care will also shift from Pediatrics to Adult services.  It seems that they re-assess the appropriateness of such a transfer of care every (other?) 6 month Liver Transplant Clinic visit.  Because of the nature of Josiah’s Developmental Disabilities he still doesn’t function like a “regular” person his age usually does.  Hopefully whenever such care transfer occurs the new Provider(s) will be up to the task of caring for his complex needs (& mother!).

Although I don’t anticipate these care changes coming yet it’s always a possibility.  Please pray for God’s favor & timing of such (potential) changes & that He would direct our steps so that Josiah can continue to receive excellent care & the “totality” of his myriad needs can be addressed, at least to some degree.

Thank you, again, for your prayerful care of our family & in particular Josiah.  God Bless!

Betty Hogan|Nov 11, 2017
So glad for the update as I continue to pray for each one of your family every day and your concerns and praises help me in praying. I continue to be delighted that Josiah is enjoying Special Olympics as it has meant so much to my Willie. Much Love to all from Betty.
~~~~~~~
Here’s some more info about the liver, Special Olympics, family, & challenges, abbreviated–thankfully 😉 :

Floor Hockey Tournament, etc.

Journal entry by Valerie CURREN — 

Well, Josiah came home yesterday following Floor Hockey & he was Very Excited.  His team, The Tsunami’s, won the Gold Medal for their 4 team division!  He ended up scoring the final goal of the game, a game clinching shot to lead his team to Victory 16-14 over their opponents.  He said this was his first “official” goal during an actual game (vs a scrimmage) for the entire season.  He thought when the ref blew the whistle that he’d gotten a penalty instead of a goal so was thrilled when the crowd erupted in cheers at his score.  He used some of the money we’d sent with him to buy a T-shirt commemorating the Tournament event & along the back of the shirt it has the names of all the participants (in very small print) for each region of Special Olympians.

He also ended up having some special times with the Lord while he was away.  At one point, in thankfulness, he snuck away alone to worship & pray & was moved to tears in his brief time with the Lord (he’s so Tenderhearted in that area!).  He & one of his roommates ended up watching some Sunday worship/preaching/church TV & being blessed.  He also had some short conversations with a couple of teammates about the Lord, & it appears that there are several Christians amongst his colleagues!  He’d forgotten to take his Bible so found the Gideon Bible in the hotel room but didn’t prefer to use it because it was a translation he wasn’t familiar with so hopefully “next time” he’ll take his Sword!

His Basketball Season with Special Olympics starts this evening with their first practice.  His Respite/Community Living Supports workers will be juggling scheduling so that the guy, Hamzah, will usually be involved on the Basketball days.  So far the new girl, Colleen, seems to be working out well for Josiah here too!  Please continue to pray for Josiah’s Christian Witness to these workers & beyond!

We met with his Supports Coordinator/Case Manager, Brittany, this afternoon.  For some reason some aspects of our historical battle with the Special Education Case came up again.  This lead to a wide ranging discussion of where we’ve been, where we are, & where we Might be going.  Josiah, thankfully, only got partially revved up here, but just wading through that muck at all is still draining (at least to me)…When we see Brittany next month it will be time to complete some type of Health Assessment so we set that appointment for after the Cardiology visit so that in the event his Heart Needs require further intervention we’ll be able to put that info into the mix.

Thursday should be a busy day for us with Josiah’s blood draw in the morning & that Doctor’s visit in the later afternoon.  In the interim there is a “Book Club” meeting at our local library I May attend.  I’ve never actually been to a Book Club event in my life & “randomly” grabbed a flyer for this one & managed to get through the book in time.  Ironically, or perhaps providentially, this ended up being a Christian novel…so perhaps pray for me that I can muster the energy to attend this event & possibly “fellowship” with the other readers…we’ll see.

Late Thursday Josiah & Brandon are planning to head Up North to the Hunting Shack for Rifle Deer Hunting Season.  As I wrote previously there will be A Lot of comings & goings to that region of Oscoda County in the next few weeks.  Please pray for health, safety, & fellowship with family & friends, & especially with the Lord while the Hunters pit their wits, skills, endurance, & “luck” against the elusive Northern White Tail Deer.  Josiah always Loves to get up to The Shack even if he is not (yet???) a hunter.  Michael plans to head up Friday or Saturday as does his friend Pete & eventually 2 or 3 of his sons.  My Dad & his long time hunting friend Clyde are already there & my brother Mike is heading up this weekend too…I Can’t Wait for all the Fun Tales.  This chance to get back to nature & simpler times (one room, tar paper, hand pump for water, & outhouse facilities) is a vital aspect of our family’s fall into winter season every year.  Each time the hunters return they’ve always left a bit of their heart Up North & need some adjustment time to re-assimilate.  I’m so thankful that this Heritage of Love for Hunting has been passed down for 3/4 of a century & more!  Michael has said that Hunting Season is his favorite time of year!

So thank you for sharing a bit of our journey & for your (continued) prayer covering for Josiah & our family.  May the Lord continue to supply All of your needs according to His riches in Glory, in Christ Jesus! 

Blessings!!!

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