Friday, February 20, 2009


Chris began an 8 day hospital stay on Feb 10 and
returned home two days ago. The treatment in the hospital was very
difficult and I felt that he needed someone by his side 24/7 for the
first five days or so because he was so heavily sedated and basically
helpless, but still had moments where he would come out of it a bit and
be unable to find the call button for the nurses (who were generally
wonderful but understaffed). Several of you came to the hospital to
visit or take shifts with him, and I can't thank you enough for that.
It meant so much to him and it was a great comfort to me knowing that
you were there while I was dealing with my other responsibilities, not
the least of which was spending time with the kids, who are
understandably a little freaked out by all this. Many of you also took
the kids for certain periods during the hospital stay so that I could be
with Chris, and that was just as valuable to us. Many, many thanks.

We had hoped to see great improvement after the treatment but it appears
that at best we have only slowed down the progression of the disease
(CRPS II). This does not mean that he won't improve over the coming
weeks and months, but it has been a disappointment for us that the pain
has not subsided much. He is currently on an intense cocktail of
medications designed to reduce pain, inflammation, anxiety, muscle
cramping, etc. These are serious meds that currently leave him somewhat
"altered" and give him trouble with memory, motor function, and so on.
Basically he is pretty loopy. Between the pain and the meds he is
unable to care for the kids on his own at this point, so I am in need of
backup kid care on occasion.

He has had good moments and bad moments since coming home. He is trying
very hard to remain optimistic, but he slides back every so often,
especially at night. We both slept well last night though, which has
helped us to start this morning with some energy and hope. We are
waiting for the medication regime to settle in with his body and we
expect that he will get more used to it and that it will become more
effective. We are pursuing physical therapy and other healing
modalities that we hope will help him. And of course we are counting on
the "tincture of time" to be a great source of healing. In the short
term, we are developing coping strategies for each of us that are
designed to minimize stress, which exacerbates his pain.

So that's where we stand today. As for the farm, we are going to take a
look at our plans for this season and we will obviously have to
streamline our activities. But the reality is that the farm must be a
source of income for us this year and the show must go on! The season
is beginning now and there are even some things to start planting over
the next few weeks.

One thing we are going to do right away is build the bedrooms on the
West side of the house. The kids are past being ready for their own
rooms, and we have decided to build a third room that will provide
housing for a live-in farm intern. This week my mom and I are working
on clearing out all the toys and clutter from that side of the house so
that we can begin construction ASAP.


Judy Brown said...

Jenny, I just found out about your recent trials when I checked the blog today--distressing news, and terrible to know that Chris is in so much pain and so disabled by this condition. Definitely healing thoughts are coming to you from our household. I know time is going to be involved, but may the healing come as swiftly as possible!
Love from Judy, Henry, and Brian

Madeline said...

Oh Jenny! That sucks!! Do you know the unschooling mama, Ginger, who lives in CA? I don't know if she was at the live and learn two years ago. I met her there last yr. Anyway, she only stubbed her toe and ended up with something similar. She finally found relief recently and could maybe help you if you haven't already talked to her - some specific kind of therapy for this kind of thing. I'll get her email for you and send it here -haven't looked to see if your email is here. (hugs)

Madeline said...

Jenny, Ginger has good info for help with this disease. Her email is and she said she wrote about it on her blog - You'll have to do a search there for it. Good luck.

Jeff said...

Jenny and Chris - I'm so sorry you're going through this! We know first hand how hard this can be for everyone in the family, and our thoughts and prayers are with you. If there is anything at all you need, no matter how big or small, give Ginger or I a shout at or 760-576-7418. Hang in there.

atoms said...

I am so Sorry to hear about Chris. You guys remain one of my hugest inspirations to "live right". You've shown that it can be done, which is huge and life affirming for all of us. I have no doubt that you'll make it through this, but ugh, what a disaster in the meantime.

Hey, I seem to have lost your email. If you could drop me a line (tony at, I'd be hugely grateful to be able to get back in touch.
peace and healing!
Tony Adams