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Power of Prayer

Did I say Friday was a good day?

Monday was better.

We celebrated with homemade waffles at dinner.  Afterwards, I got to show off some of my card tricks to the kids, and even told them about one I pulled on my brother (thanks to Penn and Teller) 20 or so years ago.  It’s still funny, and he’s still trying to figure it out.

Peyton yanked out a tooth at bedtime.  The tooth fairy has already come.

So, the weekend had a little bit more activity.  Anissa’s sister spent the most amount of time with her.  Including getting the word from the neurologist that he thought Anissa would surprise a lot of people in this hospital.

It’s about time he realized this is Anissa Freakin Mayhew we’re talking about.

Sunday was a day of rest.  Anissa was in and out mostly.  As simple as it sounds, I actually got a hug from the wife Sunday.  I was stoked.

Been waiting almost 3 weeks for that.

Then came Monday.

She got a feeding tube installed.  I was hesitant at first, based on her progress so far, but, even if she were to be able to eat, she wouldn’t be able to eat enough to sustain a grown woman.  So, they rolled her into surgery for about 20 minutes and rolled her back out, groggy the whole time.

Why groggy?  Well, they gave her a bath at 3 AM.  Not exactly conducive to “quality rest”.

Shortly after surgery, the speech therapy girl showed up.  They did a swallow test with her on Saturday, and it wasn’t all that great.  Which is why they put in the feeding tube.  But, it’s a temporary thing, so I suggested she try it again.  We talked about ways we could improve/stimulate Anissa.  Earlier, we made half a laptop screen green and the other half red (for yes and no), but didn’t have much success with that.  We wound up trying a spoon of water.  Anissa swallowed it on command.  Next we tried pudding.  She swallowed that on command.

Swallowing.  That’s a big deal.

That’s a huge step forward.

Anissa was pretty tired from the late night bath, surgery, and speech stuff.  We figured she’d rest most of the day and be in and out like she has been.

Understand that the moments of activity that I’ve been writing about are small flickers of activity surrounded by long periods of waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting some more.

Physical Therapy showed up a little bit later.  Anissa was in a real deep sleep.  The therapist worked on her left side.  Anissa groggily went through some motions, responding slowly.  Then she woke up and started doing things she hadn’t done before.  Look up here and reach my hand.  Done.  Point your toes to the floor/ceiling.  Done.  Kick your leg.  Kicked.  The therapist said that 10 was the magic number we were looking for, so if you watch Sesame Street, 10 is the number of the day.

Anissa gave her a sarcastic look.  Head cocked, eyebrows furrowed.  Slight sneer.

That was the left side.

Up until today, that’s where all the movement had been.

Yep, I said up until today.

The therapist went over to her right leg and did passive movements, asking Anissa to push back.  Nothing.

Anissa looked exhausted.

They took a break and re-adjusted her in bed, moved her up a little, put a binder around her to cover the feeding tube.

She then raised Anissa’s arm perpendicular to the ground, held it by the wrist, supported it at the elbow, and asked Anissa to raise and lower her arm.

She asked if I wanted to feel.

I went over and held her arm the same way.  It was faint, almost imperceptible at first.  But, it was definitely there.  She was pushing and trying to raise and lower her arm.

After that, she fell asleep pretty hard.

I couldn’t stop bouncing.

The paralysis has been a growing concern of mine.  I’ve seen occasional twitches, but never more than once, and always out of the corner of my eye, so I haven’t really been counting that.

At dinner time, Sandi called and said Anissa was ultra awake.  We put it on speaker phone and let the kiddos talk to her.  She responded to each one of them right down to showing Peyton’s teddy bear that she sent up while Peyton was talking.

She blew them kisses.  Actually puckered.

She held onto that bear for over an hour.

Next up is the right leg, then her speech.

Your prayers are working absolute miracles.  She’s getting stronger daily.

Apparently my little undeniable force of nature thinks she’s ready for rehab.

195 Comments on “Power of Prayer”

  1. #1 Miranda @ Keeper of the Cheerios
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 12:22 am

    I’m so glad that she’s doing things that she hadn’t before. How awesome that she’s showing signs of improvement. 🙂 Anissa and your entire family remain in our prayers.

  2. #2 LisaLisa/Caringmom
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 12:46 am

    OMG….We serve an Awesome God..Thank you Lord for each improvement in Anissa life. We pray that you continue to Bless her and her family giving them strength and guidance.

    What a great story…let’s keep praying!

  3. #3 Zakary
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 1:13 am

    What great news. She can do this!

  4. #4 amy
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 1:38 am

    Love how through it all she is stills showing her spark! Go Annisa, keep on fighting girl. So many of us out there rooting for you!

    So happy to hear she is so responsive 🙂 Great sign.

    Hugs to you and your kids, this cannot be easy and am thinking and praying for all of you.

  5. #5 Ashley Hast
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 2:09 am

    awesome. Awesome. AWESOME!!!!!!!! Still praying!

  6. #6 Diane
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 2:30 am

    Wonderful news!!! Love this:

    …It’s about time he realized this is Anissa Freakin Mayhew we’re talking about….

  7. #7 Kathleen
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 8:20 am

    this is just so great…so AWESOME! keep up the great work hubby! Anissa is strong and so are you!

  8. #8 Sandy
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Love hearing this!! This is why a subscribed to your blog. I don’t want to miss a thing. She is soooo amazing!!
    Have some of her bestest blogging friends made videos for her? I think that would be great. Bet she would love it.

  9. #9 Tricia (irishsamom)
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I’ll say it again – your wife is an amazing woman – except you know that already and have heard it a thousand times I’m sure. You have the most wonderful positive perspective on all of this and have taught me so much about faith the past few weeks. My children and I continue to pray for Anissa and your family, as she forges on and continues to make progress. She wants to be with you and I believe nothing will stop her.

    With love, prayer, hope and support,
    Tricia and family xoxo

  10. #10 Ann
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 11:29 am

    YAY! YAY! YAY! The docs and nurses at that hospital ain’t seen NUTHIN yet! This is Anissa FREAKIN Mayhew, alright!
    Thoughts, prayers and CHEERS continue here in St. Petersburg.

  11. #11 Stacie Haight Connerty
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    This is wonderful news. Thank you so much for keeping us updated!!

  12. #12 Julie
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    I just spent the majority of my morning (at work none the less) reading Anissa’s story after learning about it from the SITSgirls. I will continue to life Anissa and your family up in my prayers — what an awesome miracle you are experiencing.


  13. #13 Lindsay
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Truly amazing! Continuously praying for all of you!

  14. #14 jessica
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Anissa you are unstoppable. Keep going girl. Much love

  15. #15 Jana B.
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Rockin’ it out Anissa!! Prayers are still coming to you and yours! Awesome news, and thanks again Peter for keeping complete strangers, as myself, informed and hanging on every word!

    ~Germantown, OH

  16. #16 Elizabeth (@claritychaos)
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Great news — you guys are kicking butt and we’re all rooting and praying for you. So inspired and encouraged by her strength.

  17. #17 Jessica
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Oh but such good progress! Not to tell you what to do but I’ll just do it anyway – this is would be a great time to bring in an acupuncturist. My mother moved her toes on her affected side the first time an hour after her accupuncture treatment. She had been completely locked up on her right side up until that moment. I feel that accupuncture unlocked her. Don’t know if the hospital will go for it but you can but try. The rehab center my mom was in was baffled by it but just fine as soon as I said that we were private paying. They were just worried about having to pay. And the chance for Anissa and the kids to connect. So important! I am praying the intention that Anissa will be in a rehab center, speaking, thinking, planning for the future and hugging her family this Christmas. And that you will be physically strong and mentally joyful.


  18. #18 JaniceNW/CrazedMom
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    I do not know your wife. But I’ve been following along. I’m just a newly licensed nurse. But I am a researcher/learner by nature. The signs your wife is showing indicate incredible progress! Because she had her stroke on the left side speech is going to be one of her toughest challenges. Her memory seems to be pretty intact which is fabulous. Don’t ever be deterred by a doc’s prognosis because they do not know what Anissa can do. Will is paramount. The fact she can swallow pudding is a huge triumph!

    There’s a book out by a Harvard brain researcher who experienced a stroke herself at a young age. It gives some insight to those who’ve never been there. I can’t remeber the name but I bet if you google Harvard researcher and stroke it will come up. I gave my copy to my nursing program or I’d send it.

    Your faith in your wife and prayers amaze. Keep up the awesome work!!!!

  19. #19 CatatonicEyes
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Praying for your wife. Don’t give up hope. Every little thing is huge right now and make sure she gets lots of praise & encouragement with every milestone! I have seen people make dramatic recoveries. It will take lots of time, lots of work, lots of frustration, lots of ups and downs but she is a fighter and has a great support system!

    For encouragement: **One important fact to know in this case is that about 50% of persons suffering from an intraparenchymal hemorrhage die during such an episode. Of the other 50% who survive the hemrrhage, most have fair to good recovery, depending upon various factors such as age, treatment, etc. Pontine Hemorrhage has better prognosis in younger patients. The volume of the hematoma also matters. Chances of recovery are better if the volume of the hematoma is somewhere near 3.3 ml. ** Another fact to note is that the hematoma usually does not result in death of the brain tissue surrounding it. That area of the brain can resume functioning gradually. with physiotherapy and occupational therapy interventions.

    Will definitely keep her in my prayers.

  20. #20 Christina Gleason @ Cutest Kid Ever
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Go Anissa! Peter, I’d like to get in touch with you because I’m putting together a Boobs For Anissa calendar that I think she’ll get a chuckle out of eventually, and I’d like to set it up so that your family gets all of the proceeds. If you see this comment, please email me. If not, I’ll find another way to get in touch with you!

  21. #21 Katherine Gray
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    I CANNOT WAIT to meet this woman. Go Anissa!

  22. #22 Stimey
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    She is a rock star. A total, total rock star.

  23. #23 Elizabeth
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Go Anissa Go! Thanks so much for the detailed update, it’s the best news I’ve read all day!

  24. #24 Kate
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Hi there, I followed a link from Redneck Mom when this first happened and have been checking in and praying for all of you daily. You guys are doing amazingly and its awesome to see such a strong family.
    On the talking thing, not sure if this will help but if she is willing to try maybe you could do what we did to help my friend’s deaf son learn to make sounds. He used to sit with his hand on our throats while we read him stories, feeling the vibration helped him learn the sensation and relate it to his own throat.
    Always in my prayers

  25. #25 Kaza
    on Dec 9th, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    I just found out. Anissa and I have known each other on Twitter for the last year and a half or so, and she is one of the most awesome people that I have never met (in person, anyway)!

    When I saw what happened, I thought, ‘Anissa, a massive stroke? WTF???? Impossible!’ Thank you so much Peter, for blogging her progress, because it is awesome to see that she IS fighting hard and is making the journey forward. My thoughts and prayers join the large and growing group around the world for Anissa and your entire family. Her virtual friends like me will be waiting faithfully for the day when she can tweet right back at us, but until then, we’re right behind you, and I hope that helps in some small way.

  26. #26 Colleen
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Peter – This is such a huge responsibiltiy for you. You are not the writer, yet you are writing, and doing a fabulous job at it, I might say. You have been such an inspiration to me in terms of what it means to love someone and to support someone and to live in the moment and appreciate life. I know this is tough. Especially for a man. I don’t mean that in a condescending way. I mean that in a “I get it” kind of way. Please don’t feel overwhelmed by the estrogen pouring through our supportive posts. Please get help elsewhere…from men. You can do this. You can do this.

  27. #27 Two Makes Four
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 12:47 am

    I’m jumping up and down, I thrilled! I know, don’t get too excited and all. But this is wonderful! I’m sending so many prayers, so many hugs, so many good thoughts to your family. Keep on working, Anissa!

  28. #28 Kavita
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 1:11 am

    Amen, amen!! Let’s go Anissa! One day at a time sister!!

  29. #29 Michelle @ doudoubebe.com
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 3:17 am

    Great news! I don’t know if this has been suggested to you before, but check out this site and the documentary about this neuro-scientist. She tells a really fascinating story of her own experience of a severe stroke and the long recovery from it:


    I haven’t read her book, but the documentary about her experience was deeply moving and her insights are amazingly interesting and unique.

  30. #30 Carrie
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Not that I had any doubt…but Anissa – you are AMAZING!

    As is your wonderful family!

    Keep up the good work woman!

  31. #31 Adventures In Babywearing
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Oh my GOD this is so wonderful to hear.


  32. #32 mariah
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Peter!!! This is fantastic news!!


    Keep fighting anissa!

    Praying, always praying.

  33. #33 ciara
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    this progress is great news indeed! and you’re right…she is anissa freakin mayhew. no doubt about that. she’s a tough lady :0)

  34. #34 petalsyoga
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Still praying and sending hugs to you all. Go Anissa Go!

  35. #35 lisa
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    I don’t know you or your family but found this site through a carepage that I follow. I wanted to let you know we are praying for your family. My daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor almost 2 years ago and I believe through the power of prayer we were given a miracle!! She is alive and doing well. Keep up the prayers and just believe, MIRACLES CAN HAPPEN!!!! We wish you all the best of luck and will continue our prayers for you and your family!!!
    The Hemberger family from Pa
    Lisa, Andy,
    Andrew,Brielle,Cody,Brett,Brayden and Cory!!

  36. #36 Lorrian
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Woooo Hoooooo! Go Anissa Go! Go Mayhews Go!

    I’ve got goosebumps and tears in my eyes. Good thoughts and energy continue to flow your way from CA.


  37. #37 Auburn
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    It makes my heart so happy to read good these glimmers of good news. Keep on keeping on Anissa!

  38. #38 followthatdog
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks for keeping this so up to date. All of this is such good news. She is amazing.

  39. #39 georgie
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    any flicker is a ray of hope and progress…we are praying for your Beautiful wife and family!

  40. #40 Erin
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    she’s doin’ it, she’s doin’ it, she’s doin’ it well!!! yay team anissa! i’m stoked just reading this post and bouncing off the walls for what this progess means. she’s fighting so hard. you and your children are fighting so hard. we are praying harder than you can possibly imagine. go you guys, go! all love and strength juju coming your way 🙂

  41. #41 The Maven
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Go Anissa, go! What a strong mama she is. I’m impressed! She’s going to set new records for that hospital, I’m sure of it.

    Still sending warm thoughts from Ottawa, Canada. Keep getting better, girl! Much love to the entire family.

  42. #42 Fran
    on Dec 11th, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Pete, I don’t know you but you and your family have been in my prayers. Remember, no matter how intelligent your doctors are, they do NOT know what your brave, strong wife can do. My own father was admitted into the ICU here in Atlanta 3 weeks ago. In the middle of chemo he became profoundly neutropenic, septic, raging pnemonia, multi-organ failure, had 2 strokes while crashing and in a coma. We were told he would certainly die on Sunday Nov. 20th, that there was nothing they could do and no way to get thru this. To make a long story short, he has proven them wrong time and time again. Even after he continued to live, his critical care doctor encouraged me to think about “stopping treatment” because his prognosis was “so poor”. Now, in the past few days, his liver and kidneys and lungs are all working again. He woke up yesterday and blinked on command. Last night I told him that I loved him and he mouthed the words “I love you too” back to me. Tonight he was bobbing his head to Christmas carols. It was amazing. Now they are telling us that he will recover, after they had totally written him off. The power of prayer is almost incomprehensible. I repeat your Romans verse every day. You updates have given me hope when I desparately needed it. We shall continue to pray for Anissa.

  43. #43 Ali @PickleSugarPlum
    on Dec 11th, 2009 at 1:32 am

    I’m overjoyed for you, Peter…to the point of tears! A HUG!!! I bet that was the absolute SWEETEST hug you have felt in your life, after waiting and praying so hard for it! I am so happy to hear about her progress, and I know she is going to prove to everyone just how much of a SuperWoman she is. As always, I am constantly thinking of you both and your children, and sending my warmest, most loving thoughts directly to you!

  44. #44 Amanda Benjamin
    on Dec 11th, 2009 at 2:02 am

    Does anyone else hear ” I will survive, I will survive, well as long as I know how to live I KNOW I’ll STAY ALIVE!!!!”

    Prays GOD! Thank you Lord for giving her the FIGHT!!!
    I love you Anissa, Cant wait to see you!!!

  45. #45 Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    on Dec 11th, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Amazing!!!! She is so hardcore. I love it.