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Dramatic Insights News

All the latest goings-on with Greg and Jenn Wright, Hollywood Jesus Books and DIM.

About Greg & Jenn Wright: Greg and Jenn Wright are Managing Editors of Hollywood Jesus and Past the Popcorn. They both hold degrees in Literature and Theology, and have written and published a number of books. Greg is an internationally-known lecturer on film, Tolkien, and Narnia.
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Spiritual Disciplines Reborn

Through the first several years of our marriage, we were pretty rigorous -- as teachers should be -- about our own spiritual development. We prayed together regularly, fellowshipped weekly with a local body of believers, participated in small group studies, and made a point of working our way through the Bible once each year together through daily readings.

When the chapter of our life called Health Issues began nearly five years ago now, we were just wrapping up our third time through the Bible. For our fourth tour of duty, we decided to do something different: copy out the scriptures by hand. Not long into this effort, the very idea of "normal life" got derailed, and every sense of predictability along with it.

Many of you have no doubt noticed how "flaky" we became, how unable we were to follow through on the simplest of commitments, how once-vital friendships came to seem as mere afterthoughts.

Relationships and such weren't the only things that suffered. For better than four years, we have also failed to maintain any kind of regular spiritual disciplines. It's all been about surviving, and about keeping Jenn in the workplace.

Well, that's changed. Our new routine is to spend a focused time in Scripture and reflection three times a week, barring interference from health emergencies. Jenn is working her way through Scripture with the help of Take a Closer Look for Women, and I've picked up my transcription of Scripture where I left off four years ago -- a third of the way through Genesis.

We're going to start sharing our studies and reflections here. Through them, I think, you'll get a better picture of where we're at and what we're dealing with.

And you'll get much more frequent updates than once every eight months!

The Latest on the Health Front

Okay... So, what's happened since last Easter? Well, yes -- there was an iron deficiency there, and we got that treated with an eight-week series of iron infusions. But as the summer wore on, it became apparent that Jenn's lack of energy (and her increasing propensity to fall asleep at the drop of a chart) was not going to be solved by stable iron levels. By the end of August, it was plain that she needed a sleep study -- but because of simultaneously-worsening failure of her intestinal tract, and the need to, shall we say, clean that up so Jenn could stay in the workplace, the sleep study didn't happen until December.

By that time, Jenn was on temporary medical leave from her job at the hospital because of an inability to stay awake through an eight-hour shift. Her hours had been reduced to 32/wk. by the middle of July, but four days a week were still just too much.

And then we found out, through the sleep study, that Jenn had been suffering from chronic sleep deprivation due to a vaguely understood underlying sleep disorder whose symptoms are similar to narcolepsy. The upshot? Even with some symptom alleviation with a treatment of ritalin, Jenn would not be going back to work on any kind of regular basis.

In the middle of all of this, just after Christmas, Jenn also came down with an infection to her Portacath, which had to be surgically pulled -- and then came another bout of sepsis. So Jenn spent New Year's Eve in the hospital this year. Whoopee! And she's still on antibiotics to treat unrelated infections (and an abscess) around her J-tube site, which also had to be replaced... All while nursing Greg through some unknown intestinal virus a week ago. Still in the offing? A surgery to place the new Portacath so Jenn can get the temporary PICC line in her arm pulled...

As of today, all of Jenn's paperwork is in for recognition as a long-term disabled employee of The Regional Hospital. The disability insurance we carry through the hospital provides a 60% salary benefit, which should just about keep our medical insurance costs covered for the foreseeable future.

So Jenn expects to merely volunteer a few hours a week at the hospital now that her medical leave is exhausted; long term, those out-of-the-home volunteer hours will probably decrease. Her primary job will now be Past the Popcorn, which has continued to go strong through all of this. (Greg will be shifting more of his focus to the job with Hollywood Jesus.)

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