Assistive Technology

Jenny was introduced to a communication device that allows a motion sensor to detect blinks in which she can select from a pick list of letters, words, or phrases that are arranged in catagories. A small sensor is mounted to her glasses and picks up blinks. There are some drawbacks. Any blink is registered and her double vision requires her to use an audio list that reads the choices. Once picked, the computer voice says the selected word(s). She was not resistive, but was emotional when it actually came to relying on other ways to communicate aside from her voice. She is getting better at making noises and her tiny muscle movements (which are relatively huge for her condition) are increasing, but ever so slowly. I fear that I write of the positive things to the exclusion of the trials and hardships. Each day she suffers from discomfort, pain, emotional concerns, and general fear. Her life is so scary and she often becomes emotional when I have to leave. Missy tells me she cries when I go and I hate to leave, but I am torn between caring for Jenny and the needs of our kids. Jenny realizes this, so she will tell me to be with the kids, but she is still sad. We celebrate Jenny’s successes and try to ease her daily struggles as much as we can. Thank you for all your prayers.

5 comments

  1. Mark and Jenny,
    Thank you so much for this site. Mark, you write really well. It is like we can hear you talking!
    Us old folks know that things in life don’t happen in isolation. Your lives are a perfect example. In the past month many of us have increased our sincerity in and testimony of prayer, remembered to appreciate the many simple things we all enjoy, realized again that what seem like trials to us are really not of much importance in the true scheme of things, gained a greater appreciation of how important family is while watching you care for Jenny, Mark and you both care for your children, and again turned to those we love to tell them so. We’ve realized that life is fragile and that we aren’t as ‘powerful’ as we often think we are. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing with all of us what you could have chosen to be a private ordeal. You have given us another good example of what love really is by not being selfish in any way with your time and efforts in helping us learn from and resolve within ourselves what has happened. Your faith and hard work help us to try to have more faith and to work harder ourselves. Many tears have been shed, Jenny, because we love you and Mark and your family. We always wish those we love didn’t have to suffer. Isn’t it wonderful that Heavenly Father doesn’t allow us to control things and stop suffering when we learn so much from it? And when we become so much stronger ourselves and others become stronger from watching us? I just keep thinking that when we all get to the other side, Jenny is going to keep us all enthralled with her stories and descriptions of what she got to go through here that none of us did!!! She’ll be able to tell us some about it here, I’m sure, but over there she will be able to remember all the little details and have the time to tell it all. Won’t it be great to hear answers then, too?
    Our family has kept the computer and phone wires hot trying to find out how things are with you and so this site is a wonderful thing. Thanks!

    Keep up those smiles and the jokes and laughter you two. We love you all. Lois Ann and Dee Lynn (the missionaries in Detroit Michigan)

  2. Jenny & Mark,

    I just wanted to drop a note & say, I am just so proud of you two. Together you two can accomplish any thing & this is one of them. Thank you for showing us your love for each other & our Heavenly Father. We really appreciate it.

    Jenny – you amaze me on your strength & energy to overcome this. Just like when we were kids always motivated & wanted to accomplish all that you can. Keep doing what you are doing & many more miracles will come for you. That I know.

    Mark – Thanks for keeping this journal of our dear Jennifer. You are a wonderful man & I am so proud of you & your strength & spirit that you have.

    Our prayers are with you & your family. If you need anything please let us know.

    Love always,

    Maureen & Arthur Tyczka (Miller)
    & Miller Gang

  3. Mark and Jenny,

    I, as others, are constantly thinking about and praying for the both of you to have the strength and courage to endure this tragic journey you have been sent upon. Please know that if your friends and family could, they would share at lease one day in Jenny’s place to ease her discomfort and pain. You know, sometimes there is just no reason for life’s events and it makes me angry to think that the two of you have to suffer in this way. On the other hand, your devotion to one another gives me great comfort in knowing that the two of you are truly blessed with the gift of faith. I encouraged you to constantly focus on those successes. I hope in doing so, some of your discomfort, pain and sadness will be relieved. With prayers and love, Pam Kinney

  4. I’ve know Jenny for many years having worked with her Dad for more that a quarter century. I send heartfelt greeting from my family and convey our message of hope and faith as Jenny is included in our prayers. My own children are a few years younger but do remember Jenny for stake youth activities.

    I hope that combinations of the small progresses will add up to huge rewards.

    Prayerfully,

    David Clark

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