Friday, 25 March 2022

Update on Mum’s Recovery – Friday 25.3.2022 (9 months till Christmas)

Dear Friends,

The days are bleeding into each other now.  Which is good.  We don’t have that terrible hour-on-hour uncertainty about what will happen anymore.   Thank God.   Mum’s days are now days of building her up.

Mum has achieved some new milestones.  She is able to eat on her own using her left hand and a spoon.  Her right arm and hand are slooowly beginning to function again.  With a lot of effort, she can manoeuvre her right hand to get a grape into her mouth – but it is still a huge task for her.  She can sit up at the edge of her bed, and lie down from a seating position.  Sheba has been working on getting Mum to stand up using a walker – and by God’s grace Mum has now started walking a bit.  The journeys are very short – from her bed to the dining room table – but we are so glad for this big step (literally) that she is taking.

When our dear friends Tej and Vanaja had lunch with us on Wednesday – Mum was out at the table which is a joy.


And of course she loves Sheba’s wadas

Mum’s days are at this point full of…. well, full of simple things.

Eating.  Sleeping.  Listening to the Bible.  Meeting people.  More eating.  Toilet.  Physiotherapy exercises.  Phone calls.  More sleeping.  Coffee.  Medicines.  Meeting visitors.  Praying.  Talking.  Resting.   Repeat – and shuffle.

It is a very different life from what Mum has been living for the past 5 years – one where she was very independent and able to do everything on her own.  She currently has been in our home for the past 2 weeks – and has been in only 3 rooms (including the bathroom).

Today much of her life is dependent on others.  It is never easy for anyone to have such a large change take place – especially for someone who has lived life as fully as Mum has in her beloved Shanti Kunj in Mussoorie.   A person who is fiercely independent and loves going on her 1 hour walk along the Mussoorie mountainside every day. As you can imagine, life here it is not always “happy, happy.” 

The pictures that we have included show her in an upbeat mood – but there are other times too.  Yesterday Mum was quite tired.  We found out that she has a UTI and have started her on some meds.  She found her physio-exercises hard and left her very tired.  She slept a lot during the second part of yesterday and during today too.

But overall we have seen so much to be thankful for. In all of this God’s word keeps helping.  Mum has been listening over and over to the Gospel on John in Hindi.  Over the last few days she has started listening to the German audio bible too from her mobile. 

Mum repeatedly tells visitors how grateful she is to be here and for the care that she is getting.  And that she is glad to be alive.  She has told a number of people that she is also very ready to meet Jesus – and that she must still have work to do since she is still here.

And so we start each day anew.   Sheba and I are slooowly getting ready to get back to work again.  We still have some areas where we need help and appreciate your prayers in this. 

If you would like to call Mum you can do so at +91 6371338132 or by Whatsapp at +91 9557267515.  

Thanks to everyone who has continued to pray for Mum – and for all who have come here to visit.

-        Andi and Sheba (for Eichers everywhere)




Saturday, 19 March 2022

Update on Mum’s Recovery – Saturday 19.3.2022

Dear Ones, 

For the last 4 days we have had a team from the Anugrah project of Herbertpur Christian Hospital visiting us (https://anugrahprogram.org).  It has been wonderful to see the 2 Physiotherapists and the senior Occupational Therapist at work – assessing the condition of 25 children who are living with disabilities (primarily Cerebral Palsy).   The team met with the children and their families on 2 days here at the Asha Kiran Hospital and each day also did village visits with our Caring Communities staff.  We also had a 1 day seminar for church leaders on God’s love for people with disabilities.

Sheba was able to participate in this special visit because we had our dear friends Hannah and Jamuna come for 2 days to look after Mum during the day.  What a blessing God’s people are!


One of the themes that came out of the whole experience with the Anugrah team was just how much God loves each one of us – regardless of the challenges we may be facing – or what society thinks.  We are precious because God’s signature is on us.  And how much love He has for us.   Jubin – the spritely leader of the visiting group – made a comment at one point:  we are all going to be disabled… because we will all age. 

How true.  Mum has repeatedly marvelled at how Sheba and I are now looking after her – when half a century ago, I was being lifted in Mum’s arms, and Sheba was being cared by Amma.  How the tables turn.  And what a privilege it is to care.

And so we come to the progress Mum is making.  

We are so glad so share a number of milestones achieved by your prayers.  Mum is now able to eat on her own, using her left hand and a spoon.  She drinks normally (we ditched the straw 2 days ago) and is able to sit up for extended periods of time.   In the last 2 days we have stopped dragging her around in a chair… she now ‘walks’ with support from us for short distances.   We have started having her sit at the dining room table for lunch with us. Amazing grace!

We are also glad to report that her right arm is gaining strength and a bit of control.  Just over a week ago, when Pritam our wonderful physio-therapist was doing his last set of exercises with Mum, he asked her to lift up her whole right arm using her shoulder joint.  She could not.  He lifted her it up for her and asked her to hold it in place.  It kept flopping down.   But now Mum can hold her right arm straight and move it right up and hold it.  It is amazing to see the difference.  Her right hand has gained some control as well.  

But there is still some way to go.  Please do continue to pray for fine greater strength in her right arm and for fine motor control in her right hand.

Mum has also been doing some processing of her emotions.  She has been teary at times for various reasons, and has brought up things from her childhood (in German) and put them into the Lord’s hands.  She is slowly piecing together her experience and is curious about the time that she does not remember.  How grateful we are for the luxury of being able to ‘remember’ those fraught times (which were bathed in your prayers!).


Mum also enjoys a stream of visitors here.  The darling mother of the family below – who speaks only Malayalam – has come twice and prayed and sung with Mum in the heavenly language.  A young boy came this afternoon – she had taught him a bit of German the last time she was here – and he was so happy to tell Mum all about his new baby brother.   Our Caring Community team members had a practical lesson on Physiotherapy this morning with Sheba showing them the exercises we help Mum do, and the flexing and helping of her body to achieve these goals.  And of course many prayers – with almost every visitor interceding for her.

Next steps?  Well.  We would like her to be strong enough to get up on her own – and be able to walk.   We hope that this week will see some steps (literally) along this line.  It will of course help with her toileting and other self-care needs.   But we don’t want to push things too fast.  This is a time of rest and recuperation and rehabilitation.  Your earnest prayers are continued to be cherished.   

Onwards!

- Andi and Sheba (for the far-flung Eichers)

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Update on Mum’s Recovery – The Ides of March - Tuesday 15.3.2022

Dear Friends,

The golden rays of a beautiful Odisha late afternoon are flowing into the room.  Mum is sitting up and chatting with Sheba’s sister Sarah (who lives next door to us!).  Anyone walking into the room will hardly imagine Mum’s condition 2 weeks ago.  We are living in a season of grace.  Each day is precious.  Each day is a reminder of how precious our lives are… and how fragile.

By God’s grace, Mum is living well. She is processing a lot and has been sharing about how grateful she is to be alive, and for the care she is getting.  Earlier today after her morning physiotherapy session with Sheba, she took a nap.  She went into a deep sleep.  When I woke her for lunch she told me that she had been a bit cold to start with, but had a lovely warm red blanket put on her, and that that warmth and coziness was like the Father’s love around her.  

Mum has also been talking about having new revelations about the suffering that Jesus went through.  As she has been thinking during these days, the thought of Christ on the cross has brought her to tears – of sorrow and of thanksgiving.  

The last 2 nights Mum has slept without waking up at all.  Last night Sheba said that Mum moved on her own, turning on her side when needed.  What a huge step forward from where she was before, unable to move, with us having to shift her every 2 hours as we did not want her to get bed-sores.

Perhaps even more than in Mussoorie, we have a steady stream of guests coming to see Mum.  She is able to recognise so many of them from her previous times here at Asha Kiran – and is happy to make new friends as well.  The prayers continue in person – and from far away.  This is a blessed season for us in so many ways.

Is Mum out of the woods yet?  Well, she is able to sit without us supporting her.  She is able to eat with her left hand.  Her right arm is regaining some mobility – though there is still a way to go….   We continue to be concerned for her heart condition.  She is mentally sharp and is able to converse with a variety of people (though she has a bit more of a German accent than before).  Most of all, she is bringing herself to the Lord, and drawing strength from Him.  We know that all of our days are numbered, and are blessed to spend these with Mum, helping her on a road to recovery.  

Next update coming in a few days… till then – here is a picture of Mum taken this afternoon!

Blessings, 

Andi and Sheba (for the Eicher family in all corners of ye olde globe)

Saturday, 12 March 2022

Update on Mum’s Recovery – Saturday 12.3.2022

So the big milestone has been achieved - Mum is safely here at our home in Asha Kiran Hospital after that long trip across the country (borne by so many, many of your prayers).  

Today was a day of setting up the room for Mum - and of Sheba helping Mum in so many, many ways.  There are just so many things that we take for granted in our lives - for which we need help.   Mum is now sleeping peacefully - while Sheba is taking her Saturday evening Geriatric Course lesson on zoom.

Overall a good day for Mum, and she is very grateful to be alive.  Mum said a number of times that she is very ready for the Lord to take her home, but that she knows that God has a plan for her.  She also said that she is amazed that she has lived to be this old, and we are of course so grateful that she is still with us!  As the first visitors have come to welcome her back to Asha Kiran, we have already seen her minister to others - even as she is being blessed too.

Mum still needs much prayer, as do we.  Will you pray for Mum to keep getting stronger and learn to do her activities of daily living.  In the meantime, please ask the Lord to bring a lady to help Mum at home in the coming days.  Finding the right person is always a big ask, but the Lord can do amazing things.

As we ease into this new life here - for the next few months at least we think - we will probably start staggering our reports on Mum’s condition a bit more.  You may not be getting a daily update about Mum, but please do continue your kind prayers for her.  We are just humbled by all the love Mum has received so far… and know that the road ahead will have plenty of times when these prayers will continue to be needed. 

Thanks for being with us so far.

Onwards!

Blessings from Andi and Sheba (on behalf of the extended Eicher family)

Friday, 11 March 2022

Update on Mum’s Recovery – Friday 11.3.2022

Hello Everyone!

It’s 8.30 PM at Lamtaput Odisha!  We arrived here 2 hours ago after a looooong journey from Mussoorie - very tired of course, but grateful for the miracle of making it out here!

Mum has already had a bath, her supper, her meds, and after a short prayer of thanksgiving she is asleep. 

We are grateful for all the many prayers said on our behalf during this long trip across our country! 

We started out in the cold darkness of a Mussoorie night, exactly 24 hours ago.  We carried Mum up to Sisters Bazaar in a stretcher and then had her sleep on the pushed back seats of an innova.  Mum found this part of the journey hard, as she is naturally claustrophobic and being strapped in the seat and having the lights of cars and lorries shining on her all night was disorienting.   

We got to Delhi airport at 3 AM and were really helped by Mr. Sudip, from Indigo who assisted Mum with the wheel-chair.  Checking in was fast and we were through security soon - and came down to the exit gates only to realise that there were a lot of people there and no open chairs - and we had 1.5 more hours before take-off.  

So Sudip took us up by lift to another area where there were less folks and more chairs.  We put a shawl on the floor for Mum and she took a nap before Sudip came by at 4.15 to help us board.  What an experience to have Mum brought all the way to her seat in the wheel-chair.  

Mum sat the whole 2.5 hour flight - which is such a miracle considering where she was 10 days ago.  It was not comfortable the whole time but she managed.  

On landing in Vishakapatnam we were met by Victor and Sarah and drove over to Amma and Appa’s home which is only 20 mins from the airport.  

We imagined how it would have been if Amma and Appa were still alive - how excited they would have been to have us and care for Mum - and what meals Amma would have been cooking to welcome us.

The home stay for half a day gave us a needed rest.  After a clean-up, a breakfast, and some hours of sleep, we had delicious Andhra Thali lunch and then started our drive towards the Eastern Ghats and Odisha.   

We left Vishakapatnam just before 2 PM and drove up the now familiar roads towards Lamtaput: through the Andhra villages on the coastal plain, and then up the beautiful steep hills to Araku (the Ooty of Andhra Pradesh) and then an hour into Odisha to our home on the Asha Kiran Hospital campus.  

Sarah and Sheba and Mum were in one car (driven by our friend Rabi) while I drove Victor in our vehicle (which Sheba and I had left in Vishakapatnam when we drove down post-haste on the 21st of Feb).

And so we have come full circle.   We are home. Back to Asha Kiran after 2.5 weeks.  We left in haste, not knowing what would happen.  We are back with the miracle of Mum alive, mentally alert, and responding to the physiotherapy needed for her to overcome the effects of her stroke.   

So many prayers have been answered - and as we learn a new normal as an immediate family of 3 for the next couple of months at least - we cherish your on-going intercession on Mum’s behalf (and for the extended Eicher family too!). 

A very thankful good-night to all!

Andi and Sheba Eicher (for the Eichers all around the planet / and in heavenly places)

In the air!

4.57 AM:  

And we have lift off! thanks for your prayers, just about to leave Delhi airport for Vishakapatnam. Mum has done really well, but is obviously tired.

11.47 AM:

We are safely at Vizag and are at Appa's home near Autonagar.  We did not sleep much last night so have taken some rest. Victor has done to get lunch. We will leave after lunch for Lamtaput

Thursday, 10 March 2022

On the road!

Hi Friends, 

We have started from Mussoorie. Mum is sleeping peacefully in the taxi. We are in a small traffic jam, but have budgeted plenty of time to get to Delhi airport for our 5 am flight. 

Thanks for your prayers as we go forward on angels wings! 

Will keep you posted! 

Blessings,

Andi and Sheba Eicher

10 minutes later....

 p.s. we are out if the traffic jam... smooth sailing now thanks to our cool headed driver Shiv!