Sept 26, 2004

We continue to try new things with Jenny to see what she is capable of. As with every day, life is a struggle and rarely a time without some degree of suffering. We look forward to any success and progress to be hope and joy. Typically, Jenny becomes tearful as she tries new things and they don’t work as well as she she would like. For instance, I had her try to hunt and peck at a key board to see how well she could do. She was able to push keys, but her hand or fingers would accidentally push other keys or functions that would hinder her efforts. Aside from her frustrations, the good news is that she has the rough ability to use a key board!

The other good thing we tried was to have her sit in her wheelchair without any head support. Jenny easily watched television and the only reason I put it on after about 30 minutes was because she needs to be tilted back in her chair every 30 minutes to prevent pressure sores. She indicated that she could have done it continuously for much longer.

Jenny has also been without her catheter for the past week (which Jenny is so pleased that she does not mind me telling). She came home from the hospital with the catheter, trache, and feeding tube. All she has left is the feeding tube, and that is really only there for convenience. If we needed, Jenny could take all fluids, medicines, and foods orally. Since the fluids are given orally by a small dropper right now, she is better off with the tube, but her fluid intake is increasing orally each day. Not having the catheter has presented difficulties with restroom visits. Helping her is not a problem, it is getting my attention that was our first big obstacle. The door bell on her chair seems to help, as well as sign language. The second obstacle is getting she and I into a public restroom together. So, until we figure where all the family restrooms are, and work out a more efficient bathroom routine, we do not stray from home as long.

I wanted to catch the new CSI New York this week, so I watched it after Jenny went to bed. It was about a woman forced into a “locked-in syndrome”, so I am glad Jenny did not watch it. Anyhow, seeing this actor portrayal of a locked-in person reminded me of how much progress Jenny really has made. I could list pages of things Jenny is doing since she was first in the hospital that she is not supposed to be able to do. After seeing her MRI, other than a pure miracle, I do not see how she is able to have the voluntary movement that she has with all her extensive damage. I continue to believe that we have been blessed with so much since her stroke.


  1. Jenny and Mark…
    Happy Sunday…..
    I am so encouraged to hear about your trials..there have been may obsticles along your way, and you have been full of grace, wonderful grace. May your beauty and grace lead you down this road with fruitful peace.
    God Bless you and keep up the good work.
    In Love and Faith
    P.s..don;t woryy, my fingers don;t type without pushing the wrong buttons, everytime I type!

  2. Jenny and Mark,

    We don’t send a message very often, but we do read the news on the site regularly. We want you to know that you continue to be in our prayers. We believe in miracles and the power of the priesthood. We know that you are under the watchful care of our Father in Heaven and so grateful for the progress Jenny is making individually and you are all making as a family. What a blessing to know ‘this life is only a test’ and the rewards that await us surpass our greatest expections.

    Keep up the good work and the smiles. You continue to be a strength for our family!

    Cathi and Larry Chipman (Dee and Lois Ann’s daughter and son-in-law)

  3. Jenny and Mark, I want to share something with you guys. Today in Sacrament, when I was conducting opening music (We were singing “I am a child of God”) I had such a rich experience. I was conducting, facing the congregation, with all the Primary behind me and on either side. With the children singing, about halfway through the hymn, I happened to glance at you, Jenny, (As chorister, I get a wonderful perspective of the Ward) and it seemed like I could feel, for just a moment, the Spirit that you’ve undoubtably felt on many occasions. I was almost instantly blinded by my tears and had trouble finishing the hymn. THe power and majesty of these little ones is awe-inspiring considering how close they are to the Master. You know that though, don’t you.

    Mark and Jenny, I’m always stepping on my words, but I just want to tell you something I’ve wanted to say for a long time. Your love story– for each other, for your children, and for the Savior is one that I think many people need to know. You’ve been a source of inspiration for me and who knows how many else. Not because of your stroke, Jenny, but because the struggles you have been allowed to undertake — you are a blessing to me. I am thankful to know you two.

  4. Jenny and Mark, I’m Laurie Sellers’ mother, and Rebecca and Ethan Sellers’ grandmother. I’m a member of Fishers Ward, and a former member of the Muncie Stake Primary presidency.

    Jenny, a couple of years ago you gave Rebecca a CD of Primary songs. She was thrilled and showed it to me. I was so impressed I called you and you were kind enough to e-mail me careful directions for how to do the same thing for the Primary choristers in my stake. I’ve followed your lead and your wonderful directions twice now, and our choristers have been delighted with the CD’s. We’ve also made and delivered CD’s to our less active children throughout the stake with wonderful results. What would I ever have done without you?!

    I came to the Primary Sacrament program yesterday and saw all your beautiful Primary children perform so well. They sang their little hearts out, didn’t they? Without help I picked out your son and daughter…they look like you two, and they knew every word of every song. Laurie confirmed to me that I had guessed right. How proud you must be of them, and of all the darling Primary children. What a blessing you are to your ward!

    There were too many people crowding around you both after the meeting for me to approach you, so I’ll just take this avenue to say thank you for all you’ve done for Becca and Ethan, and the wonderful example of love and steadfastness and courage you are to all of us. We’re watching your example with awe and appreciation and we send our love and prayers to you and your precious family.
    Carol Reynolds

  5. Jenny’s father use to be our Bishop. When I pulled up this website, I recognized Jenny immediately as the “little” girl I knew when we lived there about 20 years ago. Still the same sweet little person I knew then.

    It is such an inspiration to read of your progress and our prayers, love, and admiration go out to you all. May God continue to bless you all. Love, the Grant Meier family in Minnesota

  6. Jenny, I just learned of your “growing experience” that the Lord has given you and your family. I pray that you will all continued to be strengthen and inspired. I already greatly admire you and your family as I have read through this site. Thank you for sharing in your joys and sorrows. You are incredible.

    Mark, what a blessing you are. I admire you too. You seem so attentive and loving.

    Thank you for your example,


    P.S. Jenny, I knew of you through the primusic yahoo site and greatly benefitted from your love for your calling and your wonderful ideas. Thank you.

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