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  • Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Joanne and I’ve been blogging for many years under the name The Simple Wife (you can see all of my old posts under the archives or by clicking on any of the categories that interest you). I love receiving comments from you and try to respond to each one personally. I hope you’ll visit often!

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I thought I might make a suggestion. I read that Joanne is on Ambien and I know many people wake up after 4-5 hours with plain Ambien.(I wasn't sure what version she was taking) Often to stay asleep through the night those people who awaken do much better on Ambien CR since it's continual release. I'm not sure if this is an option for her or not but I thought it might be worth mentioning since all three prayer requests are sleep. Hope this helps.


Another option for heating bags is to fill it with flax seeds. They are small so it's comfortable to have under a body part. I have put them in a piece of cotton & sewn it closed. The weave of the cloth is small enough for them not to escape. Just a thought in case another is needed or something happens to the one she has.

Rebecca -just a friendly silent reader in Montana.


Dear Toben and Joanne,
Prayers, prayer and more prayer!!!

Heather Clement

Praying for a sweet sleep tonight. And so much more. :)


will be praying for a full nights sleep! Liked your little joke!


Ask to read the side effect literature for the sleep medicine(s) they are giving her.....sometimes drugs can give the opposite effect.

There is a fancy term for this effect but it escapes me.

I know Versed was given as a pre-surgery tranquilizer to one of my kids and it instead resulted in that kiddo having complete detailed memories of the operating room and all that was done before actually being put to sleep....that was a disaster for future hospital procedures, the fear followed for a long time.

Will pray for rest. Happy to hear that a change in schedule provided much relief.

Crazy Me

Just a side note...Icy Hot has a new kind called Vanishing rub it on and then the smells is suppose to go away. I think you can buy it at any walmart, target, or grocery store. I stopped using it because of the smell then read about the new stuff last week. Might give it a try!

Prayers for sleep!!


Praying for sleep and sweet dreams for all!

Holly Smith

Praying...trusting God to hear our pleas for her good night's sleep. Praying she will be fully rested for tomorrow and the girls!!

And yay for the corn smells good, too :)

Love y'all much!


Biofreeze works better for me than icy hot. And has alot less smell. Plus it is rollon and it doesn't get on your hands. I started using it when I messed my knee up playing Wii.


I debated even posting this, because I am sure someone where you are has already mentioned or thought of this, but possibly ask about adding a healthy dose of melatonin to whatever sleep aid she is already getting. Sometimes the extra kick of that keeps peeps asleep longer.

Or, possibly adding in a narcotic pain medication that is controlled release at bedtime would help her sleep through that pain and let the sleep aid do it's job.

Just a thought. I'm a pediatric RN, so not of much use here, but thought I'd throw in my two sense. Praying for sleep for Joanne!

melissa irwin

Praying for sleep!

Child of God

Praying for sleep and pain relief and quick healing!!

I am so happy to hear that you were able to spend sometime with your daughters and you felt engerized when you went and saw Joanne.

Praying and praying,

Sharon Brumfield

I am going to go ahead and thank God for a restful, deep sleep. He knows what is going on and I thank Him for stepping in to occupy her dreams with sweet visions of Himself and His angels. (That is what we have prayed for our children since they were little)
Still praying in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina.


Praying sleep for you!!! All of you!


praying for you Joanne! Keep up the awesome work!!!

Kathleen Jaeger

Is there any way someone can stay with her through the night? Sleep at the hospital? And take turns?

Prayers for restful, deep sleep.

...for He grants sleep to those He loves... Psalm 127:2b


That sounds like a much better schedule. At least you get to spend some time with your daughters - even if it is just car trips and dinner -- that's still great. I will pray for some good sleep for Joanne.


Use those latex gloves -- I'm sure there are tons of them in that place -- when you do the Icy Hot. Not only do I hate the smell, but I can 't stand the feel of it.

Chandra Marrs

I know I do not know any of you, but your family is frequently on my mind. I wish that I could somehow help in a tangible way (like overnight visits with Joanne:-)). Too bad I live in Seattle. Know that you have my prayers for the continual strength and healing that our Heavenly Father provides.

CJ Marrs

PS...We use Tiger Balm Liniment. It does not have the DRASTIC change of hot and cold, and does not smell as strong/bad. It has helped a lot with my chronic tension headaches.


Praying for sleep for Joanne! And Toben!

Kim Oaster

So this is what's on my the new schedule! No sense having you ragged and living on the edge - then you are of little use to anyone. Sorry about the Eau de Icy Hot. I'm sure J. thinks it smells hot. Sleep well my friends!


Praying for a great night of sleep for Joanne..."In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone LORD, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8


Sleep is so hard to get in the hospital! Praying that she'll get some, and that you will too (without the 2 a.m. texts...)


Also, I'm so glad to hear you had a slower day today. With a loved one in the hospital and lots of recovery time ahead, you have to take care of yourself. As you know, recovery is a roller coaster that does and will continue to require resilience and much emotional energy from all of you.


Praying for sleep for Joanne and for them to find something that will help. I am glad to see you still have a sense of humor left. Some people (even Christians) become so bitter after a disaster like Joanne's and never recoup.


Am wondering, Toben, if you read the comments after you blog. There are many good suggestions given that might really help Joanne - people speaking from experience, etc. Re Icy Hot, I agree with Poster Cassie - BioFreeze is much better and comes in a "roll-on" so it does not get on your hands. Pls. get it for her (& for you so you don't have to smell it on your hands). Re Ambien, I took this RX, 1 of my relatives took it, and 1 of my friends took it, & we all had the same experience. I was up at 3, 4 am sending emails and shopping online; the next morning I would rec. a confirmation email about something I ordered, & I had no memory of doing it. I sent many emails to people that I should never have sent. Ambien can affect people that way. Maybe Joanne really doesn't even realize she's texting you, as I didn't realize I was sending those emails. It's just not a good RX to help people sleep CONTINUOUSLY through the night. Just suggestions. My prayers are with her and with all of your family. P.S. I have a 5 yr old granddaughter who has had 6 strokes before she was 5, 3 brain bleeds & a craneotomy (sp). They fitted her (someone came to her hospital room and made a cast of her foot and lower leg) with a brace to keep her left foot flexed while she was in the hospital bed. She wears braces during the day now & sleeps in her "boots" (braces on both feet) so that her muscles can remain flexible & not painful to her. She was completely paralized on her left side after 1 stroke, but is doing great now. God is good! So - you might ask about Joanne being fitted for a brace to keep her left foot flexed or else she will have alot of pain later when she does try to walk.


Praying for the soundest and most restful sleep for both of you.

S. Oregon

Treasa MI

BIOFREEZE is the best, coming from a chronic pain sufferer!!
I have had back surgery, as well as a neck fusion, and have found it to be the BEST!!!
I get mine on EBAY, and the Roll on is great.
Just another thought Toben~ I see that Jo is SO sick of needles(poor girl) I was on a picc line for over a year and had weekly blood work (daily for a bit to)
They can draw her blood VIA the picc line, so no more poking your sweetie. You can DEMAND it is done this way!
Love and Prayers from MI


Do you know there is an Icy Hot SPRAY. You can get it at any Walgreen or CVS type stores. Praying for the bone flap to be done ASAP so Joanne can have this behind her and be able to be one step closer to being at home.


Good to read have so many practical bloggers! i never thought of medication!

I only thought of HE GIVES HIS BELOVED SLEEP n thats what I'm Claiming for ALL of You's



Toben, I have a suggestion. I do not use Icy Hot, but do use Capsaicin (made from hot peppers). In order to keep it off my hands, I use a small, cheap foam paint brush which can be replaced or washed out when needed. I keep it in a baggie, with the handle sticking out of the baggie, so all you ever have to touch is the clean handle.

By the way, the Capsaicin has no odor.

Hope you both got good rest last night.

Lisa Chandler

Prayed for you, Joanne, at 3am on Thursday morning (yesterday) knowing you might be awake and that you would get some good sleep!

Praying for more steps to get things behind you and to look at what's ahead, so praying the bone flap surgery is sooner rather than later.

One day I certainly hope our paths cross. I've never met you - just Toben and the girls at UFO (hope that makes sense to you) when ya'll lived in AZ. I work at Truefaced and briefly worked with Toben. And then you moved here. And I read your book about Living Simply, which I loved!, and now am walking alongside this journey of yours and praying for you thru this time as we are the same age and I am deeply connected to you and love how your faith is evident in all you write, say, and do.

Thank you for your life, example, and heart.

With love and gratitude,
Lisa Chandler

Rachel Pate

I am so glad you are able to keep your sense of humor through this..Proverbs 17:22 says A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Praying for good sleep...for all of you...
Rachel in Atlanta...

Mindy Howell

Toben, I laughed out loud at your little funny (it really was funny). I am glad you can keep your sense of humour through all of this.
In 2009 and the begining of 2010 I was the one needing care and I saw the stress and toll it took on my husband and daughter, so my prayers have been for Joanne yes of course, but also for you and the girls. I understand how hard it is for you all. Keep yer prayin' teeth in, as my momma used to say. Only God will get you through to the other side of this dark valley.


I am amazed by the complete and utter devotion you have towards your girl and girls. I have been blessed to read a bit of your marriage blog- WOW. You and your wife remain in my continued prayers.


I pray for the blessing of sleep for Joanne and the ease from pain in her head and shoulder. Love and blessings to you all for strength and rest.


Good to see you cracking a joke Toben. I am sure it must help relieve a bit of the stress?! I will pray for sleep for your entire family...I can only imagine how exhausted you must be too! I bet you feel like some days you are running on fumes! Prays and (((hugs))) from Canada!!

Jean Hurdle

Try BioFreeze Rollon instead of Icy Hot. You don't have to touch it; it actually smells pretty good, and it works extremely well. If you want me to mail you some, send me your mailing address, and I'll send you a good supply.
Read your blog every day -- praying for all of you.
Never doubt in the darkness what God has told you in the light!

Kim Feth

Prayer, prayer, prayer for sleep, sleep, sleep. On it! Sleep is one of those things you don't know you need regularly until you don't get it regularly. And also praying for you and the girls and the g'parents to sleep, as well.
Kim Feth
Apex, NC

Jamie Patano

I would suggest Ambien CR or request it be given later, maybe 10:00 or so, especially if Joanne is awake and visiting or watching television during the evenings.


I will second the Biofreeze suggestion! It's SOOO much better than anything you can buy at Wal-mart! I get mine at the chiropractor or the PT office. It's pricey but totally worth it. Praying for all of you--for peace and REST!

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