The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

Update – I’m Home From 7 Days in Hospital at Last!

Hi, friends,


Thank you so much for the many prayers that have been offered up on my behalf.


As many of you know I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia and was due to have hand surgery before a tendon ruptured in September. Instead, in late September, I ended up with a bad case of cellulites on my ankle that abscessed to a staph infection, surgery was postponed. And due to all of this, I've been off my main arthritis drug, Humera, since August (it's one of those where the commercials say, "fatalities have occurred.")


I'd been going to wound care weekly and any further infection was ruled out with MRIs and x-rays, but the hole in my ankle still wouldn’t heal. They basically said it would be VERY slow since I was on steroids. But then last week, a day after my regular appointment at wound care, it started itching and getting red. I knew by that night it was infected again, spent most of the night up and then called wound care first thing in the morning. By the time I got to my

1 pm

appointment, the redness had swelled almost to my knee and around my whole ankle. It was completely infected again and they put me in the hospital Wednesday.


I had another MRI, another x-ray, etc. and by Friday my night they got the culture back just before my third antibiotic was started and the wound was diagnosed as being Strep A. – a.k.a. the "flesh-eating-virus." SCARY!


I have to say I am grateful now I did not have internet access because what I’ve read about this toxic infection and how easy it is to lose a limb over it, I’m glad I didn’t know that at the time.


After 7 days, I came home Tuesday, Nov. 11th and have 3 weeks of IV antibiotics. I carry my pack around which is kind of a pain since the arthritis is flaring so badly and now I have 3 more pounds to lug around and sleep with at night, but whatever it takes to get better! The “PICC” line isn’t really fun (as many of you know!) and my “computer” unit that runs the IV has had multiple errors each day. We’ve spent 2-3 hours per day with Home Health helping us try to figure out what it wrong with it. My husband has been a lifesaver doing it all for me, but he’s feeling a bit stressed.


I’ve basically been fielding calls from doctors, home health, pharmacies, and a few friends since I got home. “Wound care” at home fell through the cracks so it took a lot of calls to remind them I needed a basic lesson in treating it correctly. Don’t you love all that red tape? We just hold the phone and it rings…


If you have emailed me and I’ve not responded, know that I’ve read just about all the emails and how much I appreciate the encouragement. If you emailed about a more pertinent matter, I am answering them ASAP.


I knew God was going to work on me and the issue of control/surrender this autumn when my much-needed surgery was put off, but I am beginning to realize He had a bigger project in mind than I knew!


My mom is here now, dad drives down from


next week to join her and "stay until I am well." and through the holidays. My son, Josh, 5, is handling it all pretty well, but made his 2nd trip to the principle’s office last week for “hitting.” It was the 2nd time, and both times were directly following my infections and all the ER visits/hospital trips, so please keep my family in your prayers too. As a mom it’s an area I don’t have control over and it makes me sad I can’t completely assure him. Frankly, we have all felt like hitting something or kicking the last few days, so who can blame a 5-year-old who decided to follow up on his instincts?


This was my first visit overnight in a hospital (we adopted our son, so I didn’t even have maternity ward experience), so I guess in a weird way I made the most of it. I’ve learned a lot from all of you. I got to wear my own jimmies, I had my own pillows! And I tried to spread a bit of cheer into the lives of all the nurses and doctors who came to my room.


I shared some copies of my book “Beyond Casseroles,” magazines, etc. and told everyone my strength came from the prayers that were being offered up on my behalf. I ask that you pray that those who do not know Christ will somehow remember the gal in room 414 who tried to keep a smile on her face despite wherever they stuck her or the news they gave her. We never know what is going on in someone’s life and I hope I encouraged someone. I say that not to brag about myself, but because I only recognized how important that was based on all the stories you have shared with me over the years about how you have done that very thing. I tried to live up to the standards you have set to gracefully say, “Thy will be done.”


I don’t know what the coming weeks hold. Orders placed at

Rest Ministries

are still being shipped. My whole family is either taking care of me (or my arm with the medication) or my ministry. I have my first visit back at wound care Monday. I pray 3 weeks of medications will clear this up, but I anticipate the wound likely won’t heal for 2-3 months based on what they told me.


I’m a bit scared and having no clue about when I will really be “out of the woods” but I know God is in control and for some reason, this is the current journey he’s taken me on.


I know this was a lot of personal information, when I typically send out the ezine HopeNotes. I will try to get it back next week. Thanks for being with me on this journey!


Much love and thanksgiving,

Lisa Copen


  Lorie wrote @

Hi Lisa..
I’m glad to hear that you are home. My sister who also has RA went through the same experince with the steph infections, the same one you are experiencing. I was also surprised to hear about children getting this, 2 of my grandsons had it and it started off as a bite and for worse, they had to go on antibiotics and some kind of skin cream. I will continue to lift you up in prayer for God’s healing touch upon your body, and for a speedy recovery. Alos for you husband, I know it can be stressful. With my chronic illness it’s a big help to also have my hubby’s help.
Hugz Lorie

  Kimberly Farmer wrote @

Hi Lisa, we have so much in commom, I cannot believe it. I too have RA and Ankylosing Spondylitis, among other things, but I have just spent the last 11 weeks recovering from a Staph infection. I too spent several days in the hospital and had home health care for 11 weeks. Just got released. I had two open wounds, one on my butt cheek and the other down the middle of my back.
I had a Neurostimulator Implant aka Spinal Cord Stimulator, put in on July 1st, for pain management. It took 75% of my pain away I loved it. But, 6 weeks after surgery, my body rejected the stimulator, via staph. It was removed, that is why I had these open wounds.
Of course, there is so much more to the story, but too much to put here. I would love it if you would visit my blog at and see how I am coping spiritually with all of this.
I am facing 3 spinal fusion surgeries in the New Year and have a long way to go, but I know God will guide me.
Also, the way I found you, was through Cafe Chronique. I have just finished my first book and wanted to get some tips on it. I am also getting ready to start a 2nd book. My first time ever,but God is leading me in this direction.
Hope you are feeling much better and I am praying for you.
Looking forward to getting to know you better.

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