May 28, 2012

G Tube

Many prayers were answered and all went well for Jack's feeding tube insertion last Friday. He was calm, had no anxiety attack or breathing problems and the procedure went without complications. (Mind you he said "It was no fun", which of course, we weren't expecting it would be) . Here's a picture of us in the recovery room.

The VON nurse is coming daily for awhile to train me in how to care for the tube and how to do the feeds. One of the perks about having the G tube is that he doesn't have to swallow all those pills now every morning. I can crush them and put them in through the tube. We now have a pole and pump and syringes and cans and dressings and saline added to our growing collection of equipment.

Jack is still able to eat orally and the nutritionist is coming to discuss caloric intake and how to balance his oral and tube feeds.

We also decided that it was time for me to get some help and we are now getting one hour of PSW support every morning to assist with morning care and one night a week caregiver relief. This is a huge step for both of us, especially Jack of course, as this is another step, a difficult, humiliating, very personal one, but we trust that God will give him grace to bear this one as well.

Before Jack went in for his procedure, he received this little encouraging message from two of our dear grandchildren who wanted to cheer up Opa.

Aside:  My mom did not write this in her update, but I just wanted to mention that today, Monday, May 28 is my Dad's 58th birthday!  We are so thankful to God that he is able to celebrate another birthday here with us.  Feel free to leave a comment on this blog :)  They read each and every one of them!!   SB.


  1. God bless you on your birthday, Jack! And Lena too - is it 'gefiliceteerd' with your husband's birthday ? - that is bad Dutch spelling to be sure! The kids will be delighted to find out it's your birthday today - so many earnest little people prayers ascending for you every night. I hope your PSW will be a blessing - I know from my parents that it's a hard step to take, but they can be very lovely people. No doubt the Lord will bless them through you as well.
    tanya b.

  2. Happy Birthday, Mr Westerink. You and your family are in our prayers as you travel this road, coming nearer to your Saviour each day. You and your beautiful wife are never far from our thoughts. We praise Him for your testimony of God's goodness and grace.

  3. This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. Praising God for sparing you for another year and it was such a blessing to see you yesterday. Praying God will continue to uphold you in His Fatherly hand. Praying for you always.

    Happy Birthday


  4. Happy Birthday! May your day be blessed with love and warm wishes from family and friends.
    Dorothy Reitsma

  5. Happy Birthday Jack! We hope you will have a good day with your family. Aren't grandchildren a blessing?!! So glad our prayers were answered for last Friday. Praying for you both!

    Jacqui and Jake VMS

  6. Happy birthday Jack, Lena and all family-members. We were happy to learn about the succesfull insertion of the tube and the joyous time for you all in the trailer up north. Since the holiday we spent there not difficult to imagine... ;-) God bless you all.

  7. Wishing you a blessed day, Mr. Westerink! I'm thankful for your example of faithfulness in loving the Lord through trials!

  8. Happy birthday. It feels very weird to write this down though.
    You and your family will be in our prayers everyday.

    Boudewina Hulter

  9. Dear Mr and Mrs Westerink,

    We like to let you know on this special day, that we feel blessed reading your journey with ALS. We wish you a blessed birthday and strength for the way which lay ahead.

    Fam Stolk (Oxford Preaching Station)

  10. Wishing you, Lena and you family, God's nearness and peace today, and in the future. May you continue constantly to feel His love and support in the time ahead.
    Your open and honest blog is an encouragement to us.

    Bill & Ineka

  11. Blessing to you all and especially to you my former principal and former principal to my children. We read your blog faithfully and are truly blessed by it. It can sometimes be heart-rending I must admit but mostly we are so encouraged to see your unwavering faith. Happy birthday to you and may you know that we love and pray for you all daily. Do you remember teasing me(in fun), b/c I wanted to drive a Corvette and work at McDonalds? You thought that was a little ridiculous and hey you were right! I have many fond memories and so do my kids. Happy Birthday and God bless.

  12. Happy Birthday Jack! Thinking of you today and most days.We also keep you and your family close in our prayers.

  13. Happy Birthday Mr. Westerink!
    May God bless you in the time you have left here and continue to prepare you to meet Him in glory.

  14. Happy Birthday Mr. Westerink!!

    Praise be to God for sparing you another year and being such a blessing and inspiration to all. You and your family are continuely in my prayers and it is amazing and humbling to see God's faithfulness to you each and every day. May God continue to remember you ALL physically and spiritually and grant you peace and comfort in this journey.

  15. Happy Birthday Jack! Your family is always in our prayers and may you all cherish today.
    Love, Garry and Marietta

  16. Happy Birthday, Jack! We continue to pray for you and your family every day. God be with you till we meet again :-)
    Love, Adam and Christine

  17. Happy Birthday, Jack! My former teacher and a friend since those teen years! Praise God for allowing you to witness another year of His grace and mercy. I do often pray for you, and read the blog faithfully. It brings back many memories and I wish you the Lord's nearness as you struggle through these difficult days.

  18. Jack and Lena and family,

    Praying that in spite of what you are going through, that your birthday was blessed, You have so often indicated how good the Lord has been, and is, to you and yours. We do have a wonderful God and He does help us in all our trials for He has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us, and His promises are sure.
    Much courage and strength to you in the days that lie ahead.

    J & M

  19. Happy birthday Jack! Hope you had a wonderful day today with all your loved ones. Your grandkids said it all..God will take care of you, every step of the way, He will take care of you! May you feel his loving arms surrounding you with His love and care, as He carries you every step of the way. Wishing you and Lena and all of your children, His strength and comfort as you travel this journey.
    In Christian love,
    Mark and Wilma

  20. Jack: God's blessings to you and your loved ones as you celebrate God's goodness again today. Tho' the days are often difficult for you ("It was no fun"), you are a blessing and an inspiration for all of us. May God continue to guide, lead and use you for His glory.

  21. Jack,
    Belated congratulations on the occsion of your birthday. Hoping you had a blessed day and praying that the Lord will continue to uphold you and that you all may daily experience the support of His everlasting arms.
    You are daily in our thoughts and prayers.

  22. Happy Birthday Jack! May God bless and strengthen you all in the days ahead. Got all choked up reading all your "birthday wishes". Seeing your grandchildren singing to you that "God will take care of you" really got me going. Glad things went well on Friday. Nice to see Margaret and Henk here to help out for a bit, and that you are getting some other help in. I know our situations are totally different but I remember when my Sarah was a baby/toddler and so many "professionals" were involved, whom we needed...but really didn't want in our lives. (Many coming into our home as well) Always trying to smile through it all and not break down in front of them as I never for a moment wanted them to think that she was anything other than a blessing for us, God doesn't make mistakes and we want the best for her. NOT always an easy thing to do. And I'm sure you all have similar feelings at times. "One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesus" is sometimes the best way because we literally, just can't handle more than that. Grace for the moment is all we can ask..and in His time He WILL provide.
    You are both often in our prayers and never far from our thoughts.
    With love,
    the Hannaford's

  23. Happy birthday Jack! Our thoughts and prayers are continually with you, also in this awaiting year. May God be on your right and left, and give you peace and patience to endure this deep trial.
    Warm greetings,
    Sandra Baron-Keuning

  24. Jack, Lena and Fam.

    Happy birthday to you Jack! We pray that God may give you strength for every day. We appreciate the many updates on your blog. Thank you for sharing it with us and for the wonderful ways you may exalt our Lord! We wish you His nearness every hour.

    Roelof and Ruth

  25. Dear brother Jack, Happy Birthday and may God bless you richly even in these difficult and trying times. May you be "happy" in the Lord and experience His nearness. John Van Woerden
    Als de levensstormen woeden,
    rondom mij op zee of land,
    dan zal ik mijn toevlucht zoeken,
    in de schaduw van Gods hand.
    Hij bedekt mij! Hij bedekt mij!
    En geen kwaad komt ooit nabij mij.
    Hij bedekt mij! 'k Rust dan veilig,
    in de schaduw van Gods Hand.
    Wil Hij soms beproeving zenden,
    is het dat ik smart hier lijd?
    Niet Zijn gramschap maar Zijn liefde,
    toont Hij, als Hij mij kastijdt.
    Hoe de vijand ook moog' zoeken
    mij te kwellen in 't gemoed,
    God zorgt, dat ook zelfs het kwade
    meewerkt, tot mijn eeuwig goed.
    Ja, zolang ik 't kruis hier drage,
    door de ruwste storm of wind,
    wil de Heiland voor mij zorgen,
    Hij beschermt Zijns Vaders kind.

  26. Belated congratulations on your birthday Jack. May the Lord bless you and keep you.
    I am glad that your feeding tube insertion went well and also that you are getting some more help. Decisions to ask for help are not easy to make but it will give Lena some relief,which is important too.
    "Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He will strengthen you"
    Prayibg for you,
    Mary VanD.

  27. Dear Jack,
    Congratulations on your 58th. We continue to remember you, Lena and the family in prayer at home and school. How we all need living grace and dying grace... God be with you.
    Ray and Paula

  28. Belated congratulations on your birthday, Jack. You are continually in our thoughts and prayers. May the Lord be on your right and left in this difficult journey He has called you to go through.
    Hendrik & Sandra (NL)

  29. Dear Mr. & Mrs. Westerink,
    Congrats on the 58th Birthday! I am so thankful to see how God is equipping you both for this difficult journey - a beautiful and supportive family, a loving school community, and the strength of our Father giving you those smiles despite the hardship. May you both be given the endurance for the race ahead; your posts here are an inspiration and show how God uses us to touch others for His glory. Reading the blog today has made me cry, smile, and praise our Father and trust Him for my road ahead - whatever life brings. Thank-you for persevering! Let us run the race with endurance, setting aside all that holds us back, fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. This year I have had the privilege of taking a Hebrews precept course and it has been so encouraging and foundational for my faith. You will continue to be in my prayers - and I look forward to the day where we can all be with our Father and see the face of Jesus in perfect bodies, forever!! That thought is so exciting :) Love Sarah Vlietstra

  30. Hello Jack,
    may the love and dedication of your wonderful family give you the strength,
    courage,and hope in your present battle.
    God bless.
    Bear 1