Quick update

Hi, friends. Dashing off a quick note from my tablet to let you know what’s new:

The good news is that the path forward is clear now. The bad news is that it’s a lot longer of a path than I thought it would be. The details:

  • I’m still in the hospital, but will probably be released tonight.
  • They’re actually pretty anxious to get me out of the hospital now that I’m on treatment. Evidently the flu hit Austin all at once a couple days ago, and my floor is filled with coughing, wheezing people with pneumonia, nasty strains of the flu, and other potentially contagious stuff. It would be a disaster for me to catch something that caused lung congestion, so they want me as far away from sick people as possible.
  • I’m on treatment, my condition has stabilized, and I am expected to recover. However, my symptoms aren’t much better. Just walking down the hall with a nurse today sent my pulse into the 140s and left me gasping.
  • Evidently this is to be expected given the size and number of the clots in my lungs. In fact, the doctors say that I should think of recovery in terms of weeks, not days. The hematologist said it will probably be at least three months before I’m back to anything even resembling normal.
  • Needless to say, Joe and I have a lot to figure out in terms of how to run a household of seven people when I can only breathe well if I’m sitting still like a statue. Luckily we’re blessed with a great support system and wonderful friends.
  • Interestingly, I have been feeling rock-solid mentally and spiritually this week. In fact, I can’t remember a time I felt more peaceful or closer to God than I do now. I am positive that that is due to your prayers.

Thank you all again for everything. Also, please also keep Kelly in your prayers, as she’s a fellow mom of many who’s hospitalized and in a tough situation.

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  1. Ashley says

    Thank you for updating! I can only imagine figuring out the logistics for your family over the next several weeks is daunting but I’ll pray about that. How inspiring and encouraging to hear about your feelings of peace!

  2. says

    Praying for both you and Kelly, Jen! Hope you get better soon, and that Jesus and Mary comfort and shepherd you and your family through this ordeal. God bless!

  3. says

    so thrilled you are going in the right direction. Two nights I have been woken up to pray for you. God is certainly on the case. You were prayed for by name at my Anglican church in the UK. Will go on praying for you and your baby son. May the Lord continue to give you peace.

  4. says

    People to bring dinners and one person coming by once a day to throw laundry in the washer and get the dishes out of the sink and into the dishwasher can have an amazingly salutatory effect on your frame of mind. Wish I lived closer! Except that I couldn’t deal with the scorpions…

  5. Connie Gardner says

    Hello Jen,

    I am Katie Kolodzy’s mother, I saw a retweet yesterday and felt like I wanted to add my prayers and well wishes for you and your entire family. We live in Fredericksburg, TX and when I saw how close we are I felt a connection and having our daughter, Katie, a fellow mother of five, I can understand all the challenges you are dealing with.
    I will continue my prayers for you and your family and will be watching as you update. God Bless you.

  6. Jane says

    Dear Jen, God bless you, I don’t know a stronger woman. I am continuing fervently and frequently with The Memorare to Our Blessed Lady for you and baby boy.

  7. says

    Glad to hear an update and wonderful news on how you are doing spiritually on the path god has you on. We will continue to pray.

  8. Elizabeth says

    Dear Jennifer, thank you for updating us! I’ve been anxious. Praying for you. I know you have the strength to get through this big obstacle.

  9. says

    Jen & Joe, I’m keeping your entire family in my prayers. Thank you for taking time to update those of us far away who are so very worried about you all. Thank God for your support system! We love you, and will continue to pray for you all.

  10. says

    So glad to hear this. Long ago I used to receive a magazine for stay-at-home moms (sadly, they turned into a lobbying group and I never heard from them again) called “Welcome Home” and I’ll always remember a piece by a woman hospitalized with walking pneumonia. She said that a serious illness makes you realize how much you think is necessary is really optional, and it sounds as if you are discovering that in a BIG way. I will pray for your and your family. Even the worst things end, this will end too!!!!

  11. Abigail Benjamin says

    Wow! That last thing, I totally get.

    I was getting really scared for you. I went to Daily Mass (with all the girls) and took communion for you. When I finished, I looked at this beautiful picture of Teresa of Avila that my parish church has on the back wall. Teresa is gazing up at Mary–of the Brown Scapular–and looks so happy. I remembered how much she talked about the grace of being sick–she actually begged God for it. I don’t know how to describe it in word, but it was just a feeling that your sickness was okay–all wrapped up in the cozy mantle of Mary.

    So happy to hear you are feeling “rock solid.” That’s what I got out of praying for you too!

    I remember once you ask me how things were going and I said “all awful, except for my prayer life.” And you said “well, what else is there!’

    So same back to you! Everything is awful about your life except for your prayer life–and what else counts? 🙂

    You can do this. Sitting still like a statue is good for YOU and your whole family! You’re going to get your life back in 3 months and it is going to feel EASY, and everyone else will be mentally healthier too.

    Oh, and I wanted to encourage you. I’ve been praying hard for the baby–and feeling a little scared for him. Then Jesus reminded me DUH–my Tess had super crazy exposure to radiation, strong meds, the whole works. She had a live x-ray session–where there was a straight 62 minutes of strong radiation–at only a few weeks older than your son. Now she’s totally fine. So it’s crazy. There’s all this stuff that we avoid during a normal pregnancy, but when it’s life saving stuff that on the line–then God gives extra grace and protection.

    So every time I see Tess running around my house for the next 3 months, I’ll be praying that you’ll also be blessed with God’s grace and protection too!

    Hugs and prayers!

    Abigail Benjamin

  12. SteveG says

    We’ll continue keeping you in our daily prayers, asking God for a full recovery as well as grace, strength and wisdom to make it through the challenges you are facing.

  13. NMMyers says

    My heart felt prayers for you and your little growing boy. I have not been able to get you out of my mind since catching up on your blog last night.
    On a practical note, when I went on bed rest during my last pregnancy, my church organized a schedule of helpers to come and take care of the other children during the most critical times when my husband was at work. Many older retired members of our community chipped in and the result was that I relaxed and actually remained recumbent and carried to term. You may want to consider honoring one of your closest with the task of organizing such a detail 🙂 It made those weeks go by so smoothly.

  14. says

    I’m a Catholic convert/pastor’s wife. The congregation at First Christian is praying for you, your baby, and your family. I thank God for this good news. Will continue praying. God bless………

  15. Sara says

    You and your family are in my prayers. I only wished I live nearby so that I could help out. The commute from PA is rather long!!

  16. says

    Jen, You’ve been in our prayers here in Ahern land. Continuing to hold you up! It’s so beautiful–I, too, have never felt closer to God than at those moments close to death. He is with us always!
    in Him,

  17. says

    Praying for you, precious baby boy, and the whole clan. Your comfort and health have been on my mind. Thank you so very much for the update.

  18. says

    “…Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more? Let nothing else worry you, disturb you…”
    Our Lady to Juan Diego
    You remain in our prayers!

  19. Jen G says


    I’m glad you’ve been checking in so frequently. I’ve been doing some reading about PE and recovery. I’m continuing to pray for your quick recovery and for peace in your family’s hearts.

  20. drustee says

    I offered my Communion for you today Jen, and will keep you in prayer.
    I have been there, with bilateral extensive PEs two years ago, in my case post partum . Your hematologist is right, but it does gradually get better. Like others have said, i only wish i could help you with the dinners and the laundry, but i’ll certainly be paying for you. Thanks for keeping us updated.

  21. says

    Praying for you and the baby–at Adoration and will continue!
    Our Lady of Guadalupe look after Jen as you looked after the Baby Jesus in your womb and please help her family!

  22. Ed says

    I’m a complete stranger to you (from the UK) but i read your blog.
    Just to say i’m praying for you.
    Rather than losing any trust in the Good Lord, i pray you gain more, and more peace and more joy than ever before.
    Also, praying for your family.
    God bless,

  23. Ed says

    Also, Jennifer, not only am i going to pray for you, again, i’m going to think about the trust in God you’re demonstrating now, and try and inject more of that trust in my own life. So i want you to know of the positive, rippling effect your trust in God has on other people, including complete strangers like me. And, also, you’re an example how to trust in God in general in times like this.
    Again, God bless you and you’re family, Ed (UK)

  24. Teresa says

    Prayers for you. I know you don’t know me but I live in Austin and if there is anything there is anything I could do to help please let me know!

  25. Darwin's Mom says

    Glad to hear that your condition has stabilized. I’ve been praying for you and offered my Communion for you on Sunday. Will continue with the prayers.

  26. Carey says

    I can’t be the only one who’s spouse thinks their a little weird for praying for you….no, I don’t mean the easy “i’ll pray for you” that you might say in passing to someone you barely know but show love and kindness too. No, I mean the intense, gut wrenching praying that you might do for a longtime dear friend who live next door. :). I’m betting there are many like me. We might not be blessed to know you outside of yor blog, but we do, in fact, know you. And we are checking constantly for updates and praying for you incessantly. I live in Ohio, but sure wished I lived Texas right about now! I wish I could help…all except the scorpions, I might be pretty useless there :). Lots of prayers coming your way!!

  27. says

    I am so glad they’ve figured out treatment for you and that you’re on your way home. I’ll keep you in my prayers. 🙂

  28. says

    We’ve been on vacation so I haven’t had much of a chance to write you a little note. But, I just wanted to tell you that the Hines family is praying for you. And your bud Hallie is taking very good care of you 🙂

  29. says

    Hi, Jennifer. We met at the CNMC. I just heard via Twitter that you are ill. I am praying for a total recovery for you. I am so happy to hear you are on the mend, albeit slowly. I was on Twitter sharing my good news, when I heard of your medical dilemma. I am being confirmed this Saturday. I, after 50 years of yearning, will become a Catholic in every aspect. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  30. RAF says

    Hi Jen. Blessings, blessings, blessings upon you and your family. So sorry that you have to face such challenges in the new year. I am visiting the Blessed Sacrament just for you. St Michael will fight for you don’t you worry.

    P.S. I tried the Saint generator and got St Margaret Clitherow. Her causes are businesswomen, converts and martyrs. I am looking forward to 2013 whatever it may bring. You truly inspire me Jen. God bless you!!!!!

  31. LindaO says

    Praying for both you and Kelly, whose post I just read. Tough situations for both of you but I’m praying to St Gerard Majella and St Gianna Molla for their intercessions, for you, the babies, your husbands and families.

  32. says


    I arranged to have a Mass said for your healing. The Mass is Wednesday, Jan 9th. Fr. D’Emma at the Army War College Chapel in Carlisle, PA will say the Mass. I will be there praying for you and your baby.

  33. Pauline says

    One more thing I just remembered… I recently saved something like $100 on a prescription from my dermatologist. My insurance didn’t cover it and since it wasn’t completely necessary, I wasn’t going to fill it. My pharmacist recommended an online discount prescription card. You just go to the site, print it and take it in. Very easy. It kind of looked like a scam but I thought it was worth a shot and it worked! I think I just had to give them my name, address and email. I would ask if your pharmacist recommends a site but I did a quick search for Lovenox and a bunch came up. It says you can save 25-75% and on $4,000 that’s a lot! 🙂 Maybe it’s worth a try the next month? You could even see if you can get some money back for the one you just filled.

  34. Cristina Almanza says


    Hang in there and trust our Lord. When it gets tough focus on the wounds of Christ. I have had asthma for a long time and to my surprise, the more I suffered the more I become united with him. I am sorry you are going this, you and your family are in our prayers.


  35. says

    Hi Jennifer, my husband and I are praying for you too. He has Factor V and acquired multiple pulmonary emboli this past summer. He too had the same symptoms you are reporting, and it took some weeks of rest and time for them to dissipate. He’s a Dad to young kids too, and also a cardiac anesthesiologist with a theology degree, so we understand a bit about your symptoms, we imagine your desire for God to carry you through or lift this nightmare, and especially feel for the helplessness of wanting to be well for your kids. We can only imagine how much harder it is being pregnant also. We will continue to pray for your healing and strength, and for your family. We have befriended Blessed Jerome Lejeune and we are asking him to intercede for you as well. http://jeromelejeune.org/the-man.html May God’s grace and healing be abundant for you now, and your family’s every need in the coming days.
    In Christ, Shelly and Bill

  36. says

    My sister is an epileptic an expecting her first in May. Her neurologist jumps through every hoop in the world to make sure she stays on her name brand drugs. And they say generic is just as good…

  37. says

    Wow. I just caught up on your blog. After nearly dying of pneumonia, I have SO much sympathy for shortness of breath and the way low oxygen makes you feel. I’m glad you’re getting stabilized. I’ll be praying for you!