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Showing posts from October, 2005

Saturday Update: 10/29/05

Oy Vey…these past few days have been a whirlwind of activity!! Matt has settled in here at Younker really nicely. We have spent most of these first few days just getting to know the therapists, as they evaluate him and his abilities. They all seem very nice and helpful; I think it’s going to be a great environment for him.

He took several walks with the PT ladies these past few days. They are evaluating how he does and so far, I think he’s doing great. He practiced standing up and sitting down several times in a row and did great with that. The occupational therapy is going to be great here too; they’ve been working a lot on the everyday stuff like dressing and grooming. It’s hard for me not to help too much, but I know he needs to do as much as possible. He got such a good start with these therapies at Fleur Heights that he’s really just perfecting what he’s already started relearning. Every morning the OT therapist comes in first thing to help him get ready for the day. It…

Wednesday Update: 10/26/05

Blessing for the day:
We made it to Younker safe and sound and are all settled in!! We got here a little before noon. Matt is in room Powell 469. You can get to it easiest by going to the south entrance, off Woodland Ave. Go in the Powell doors, under the big blue awning and take the elevators to the 4th floor. From there, turn right and go left around the divided hallway. We are down the hall a little ways.

We were visited by the physical therapist and occupational therapist this afternoon. They were just checking him out and getting their initial evaluation started. They wrote out a schedule for Matt and posted it in the room for him. It’s going to keep him pretty busy most of the day, up until 4:00 PM. While he is going to have a few breaks during the day, he will need them to rest up. It is best to visit Matt between 4-8 PM. Right now, he gets pretty tired around 7:30 or so. Hopefully, as he gets stronger he won’t be tired that early and will be ok having visits later…

Tuesday Update: 10/25/05

Blessing for the day:
WE ARE GOING TO YOUNKER REHAB TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Pause while we all do our happy dance!) The representative called today to let me know that she had recommended Matt for their program, the Physiatrist there agreed, they got it all lined up with my insurance, and were arranging for him to be transferred tomorrow! We were SO excited!!!!!!!! Matt asked me this morning ‘Tell me what u think my chances of getting out of here are’. I told him 100%, but that I didn’t know for sure when it would be. It was a real treat that she called and said it would be tomorrow! What a HUGE milestone for us, we are thrilled!

The therapists are all pretty sad that we’re leaving; they were full of hugs and warm wishes. They completely understand though, that Matt needs to be in an environment more geared towards this type of recovery. I know he will thrive there. These therapists have all played a very important role in his rehabilitation, and we will ne…

Monday Update: 10/24/05

Blessing for the day:
Here is a message that Matt spelled out for me to put on the blog to all our friends and family – ‘Hi everyone! I am not really talking to you, but thought I would say hello. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. I really appreciate it.’

I thought you would all enjoy reading a message straight from Matt. He was happy to do it and I’m sure there will be more as time goes on. He has been asking me to read the blog and also to read the many cards he has received. I think he really takes comfort in the many kind words you have written to him. Your love and support strengthen him daily.

He worked hard today in therapy and continues to make strides in the right direction. He sat on the physical therapy mat while doing speech therapy today for a solid hour. He worked to correct himself when he started to lean one way or the other. They were quite impressed that he was able to multi-task so well. He is pretty exhausted right now, taking a nice snooze in b…

Friday Update: 10/21/05

Blessings for the day:
Matt has been increasing curious about his injury and the past few weeks. The other night as I typed my last post, he spelled out ‘would u read me the blog’. So, I spent the next hour reading him all the posts I had written. We both got emotional a few times, reading over what we’ve all been through. We talked about those early weeks back in the CCU. I told him that I spent the first week and a half sleeping in the hospital, as did my mom. I told him how his dad, sister, and my mom took turns staying up all night with him…that someone was always watching over him. He was so moved by that. I told him about the generous gifts, acts of love and kindness, and many prayer chains he has been on. Today we read through some of the many cards he has received and he spelled out ‘I m so blessed’. He was very, very emotional listening to the kind words that so many of you have written to him.

Yesterday, he wrote ‘I just want to go back to work’. He just loves his …

Wednesday Update: 10/19/05

Blessing for the day:
Matt used his letter board to tell me ‘I would be lost without u’. That’s the best thing I’ve heard him ‘say’ to me yet! It has been so darn good to have him be able to tell me things and discuss stuff with him. I’ve had to make some very big decisions throughout the course of this journey and some have been very hard to make without him. It is good to talk about them now and see that we are in sync with each other.

Matt had a bit of a low day today…just feeling a little down about things. I know he’s going to have moods like this, so we aren’t going to make a big deal about it. He tried his first bite of food, vanilla pudding. It was very hard for him to swallow it. Most of the weakness is in the front of his mouth, pushing the food to the back. Once it’s back there, he is swallowing very well, but getting it back there is the struggle right now. He was very disappointed that it was so hard to eat it. He felt like this first attempt was a failure, whic…

Tuesday Update: 10/18/05

Blessing for the day:
Matt has been communicating a lot with the letter board! It has been so great! I can’t even tell you how wonderful it is for us both to be able to really communicate. I don’t have to interpret everything or guess at what he needs. This morning when I told him that we may have to stay here another week or two before going to Younker he spelled out ‘Can u talk to them about speeding things up’. I was impressed with that long of a sentence. I told him he just needs to work on his therapies and keep improving and getting stronger and we’ll get there. I think their goal at Younker is to get him to the point where he can go home and be fairly independent and if he were to have any kind o plateau there, they’d have to send him back to a place like this for a few weeks…and we don’t want that either. So, if that means we have to stay here a little longer than expected, we’ll do it. Whatever gives him the best chances for getting back home, and getting there with as …

Monday Update: 10/17/05

Blessing for the day:
Matt got a letter board from his speech therapist today. It has the alphabet on it so he can spell out words and communicate with us better. What a HUGE asset this has proved to be already!! Of course, I being the spelling wizard that I am struggled with the first thing he tried to tell me. It went like this…DR (pause) IN (pause) K. I was baffled….Dr in? Dr Ink? Dr in, K? Or…DRINK!?!?! Jeez, how stupid am I!? I was so confused! HA! Once we finally got it figured out, I was overjoyed! I got some water on a soft sponge for him to suck off and swallow. He did really well with that! Our first real communication (besides yes/no questions) in weeks, it felt so good.

I have also learned from this letter board that his biggest frustration right now is lack of sleep. He told me that he has been having bad dreams. That right there just about broke my heart. There’s nothing I can do to help that. I always hated leaving him at night, and I worried that he…

Friday Update: 10/14/05

Blessings for the day:
Matt did AWESOME in his physical therapy today! Well, he did great it all therapies today…but he walked a LOT in PT today. They had him walking between the parallel bars, which he did twice. The bars aren’t very long though, so he can only get a few steps in before they have to sit down and wheel him back to the starting point and do it again. So, today they got out a big walker for him. It goes up chest high and he puts his arms up underneath his chest to hold on and push it forward. He walked across the PT room…TWICE! The second time, he was switching feet so fast that the therapist had a hard time keeping up with him. I think it finally started to feel more natural to him and the movements were just coming back to him easier. After that they had him down on the mat doing other strengthening exercises. He did 10 tummy crunches! The therapist sat at his feet and held his hands while he pulled himself up…and he was a trooper, he did 10 really good one…

Thursday Update: 10/13/05

Blessings for the day:
I got to break away and have lunch with some friends from work! It was so good to see them and eat at one of our favorite ‘usual’ places downtown. I really had a good time seeing them in a familiar and happy environment…and it did my soul some good to spew a little bit about my own personal frustrations, anxieties, and stresses. Thank God for good friends, I am grateful for you everyday!

Matt also had a good therapy day today…each day is better and better. He took more steps today and stood very tall and straight with little assistance supporting him. He did a lot of the work himself! The therapists continue to be so proud of Matt and his determination and willingness to keep it up. He’s just so awesome!!! His mother said last night how amazing Matt is…and it’s true, he’s one strong guy. I think after all this is said and done I won’t roll my eyes quite so much when he gets all macho on me and brags about how tough he is! Not everyone would be strong eno…

Wednesday Update: 10/12/05

Blessings for the day:
Matt took his first REAL steps today!! He spent over 2 hours with the physical therapist this morning and she had him standing up between the parallel bars again, then this time he took some steps. He had his brand new Nikes on and took three little walks…about four or five steps each time! He did really well and was standing up nice and tall pretty much the entire time. The best part is, that Matt really WANTED to do it! Usually when we ask him if he wants to do something, he’ll shake his head no…but when we asked him in between walks if he was ready to stand up and do it again he’d shake his head yes and get his hands and arms ready to go. He’s getting so much stronger and so much more balanced!

In OT (occupational therapy) we practiced putting his shirt on and off again, and he is getting better at that all the time as well. He can pretty much do it all by himself. He’s been helping to comb his hair and brush his teeth also. It’s these little things t…

Monday Update: 10/10/05

Blessing for the day:13 years ago today, I met Matt. I ventured down to Boone with some girlfriends. One of them knew Matt and his group of buddies. We all met up at his friend’s house…and the rest is history. He sauntered in with his ‘I’d rather push a Chevy than drive a Ford’ t-shirt and I was instantly smitten. Thirteen years later, our love is stronger than ever...that there is a huge blessing.

Sunday Update: 10/9/05

Blessing for the day:
Matt gets the day off of therapy to rest and catch up on some much-needed R and R. Matt has worked his little booty off all week, so he really needs the day off.

We took Matt outside again yesterday and walked down the road a bit to sit in the sun. He really enjoyed that a lot! I think he’s going to spend most of the day in bed today, however, so we probably won’t get the opportunity to go outside and enjoy this beautiful day. I guess there’s plenty of time for that down the road though.

Matt had all of his therapies yesterday! Two therapists came in special primarily just to work with Matt. They have all really taken to him and are so excited to see his progress. We continue to be thankful for these wonderful therapists and their dedication to Matt and his recovery. I will be visiting with the people from Younker Rehab this week and seeing their facility and what the exact requirements are for admission. Matt is working so hard here, I am pretty sure he’ll…

Friday Update: 10/7/05

Blessings of the day:
I actually have time to write! Phew, it’s been a busy couple of days. The therapists have been hitting Matt really hard these past 3 days and it shows! He’s resting pretty peacefully right now after a good 4 + hours of therapy. I am so happy with the therapists and their programs…they have been fantastic.

Also, Dad is coming back for a visit this weekend!! Yahoo!! Mom and I can’t wait to see him!

Matt got started bright and early this morning at 8:30 and we were on the go until about 12, then had a 2 hour break before the last therapy. We took Matt outside today! That’s another blessing! It was so sunny and nice out. Cool, but a beautiful fall afternoon. Mom and I shimmied ourselves outside with Matt in his chair and Mom pushing his food pole. They are starting him on different food tonight and will be feeding him only at night from now on so we won’t have to maneuver around with that pole anymore. It will help a lot with the therapies not having to mess…

Wednesday Update: 10/5/05

Well, we have sort of settled in here at Fleur Heights. It is…well…a nursing home. Our options for this intermediate level of care were pretty limited and we knew we’d most likely end up in a special section at a nursing home…but it was still a bit of a shock. More so for me, than for Matt. They have him in their ‘skilled’ section…which is set aside for folks who are here to get stronger after a surgery, fall, illness etc and are just not quite ready to go home. So, we’re trying to tell Matt he’s only here temporarily…hopefully no more than just a few weeks. He seems to understand that he just needs to work really hard to get stronger, so I think it’ll be fine. There are just a lot of differences between the hospital and here. Some good, some not so good…we just have to adjust. They are still working on getting all of Matt’s medications etc worked out, so hopefully by later today we’ll really feel like they have got his schedule going. Right now, it feels a little like we’re…

Tuesday Update: 10/4/05

Lots going on…not much time to write. We are moving Matt this afternoon to Fleur Heights Care Center. I will post the address/room etc later when I have a chance. Just wanted you all to know ASAP. Please pray for a smooth transition and that this move will be a BIG step in the right direction!!!!!!!!!

Love you all!

Sunday Update: 10/2/05

Blessing for the day:
I was able to go to the grocery store. I know that doesn’t seem like much of a blessing…but for me it was. I’ve needed to go for so long now, and doing something as mundane and normal as grocery shopping felt so good. Matt’s mom was here watching a Jim Carrey marathon with him and I knew he was enjoying her company. It has been a blessing to have the support of Matt’s family and mine. I am so glad to have them all close by and able to share in the time spent with Matt.

Matt had a fairly uneventful day today. He was up in the chair for 2 hours this morning and they’ll be getting him up again this evening. It is so good for him to get up and use those muscles to support his head and shoulders.

We had a few visitors from our church today as well. It was very nice to see their smiling faces and share hugs of love and compassion. I continue to be amazed at the outpouring of love and support we’ve received. People are amazing.

Matt has been a little more emotio…

Saturday Update: 10/1/05

Blessings for the day:
The internal medicine doctor stopped by this morning and said that Matt’s white count was NORMAL!! They haven’t been normal since he got here, so that is absolutely wonderful news. All his vitals are good and normal, so we are quite thankful for that!! It really just confirms that medically Matt is in top shape and will be ready to move on from the hospital soon! Yahoo!

Matt had a good morning. He sat up in the chair for 2 hours and I washed his hair for him. He is doing better every day at holding his head up and building the strength up in his neck and back. Dr. Struck said that if he continues to perk up and show signs that he is able to hold himself up for longer periods of time, we may be able to take him out for a ride in a chair sometime this weekend. Matt thought that sounded like a great idea! I told him he’d have to be good and work hard to show he’s strong enough! So, we’ll see how the weekend goes with that.

We’ve been watching/listening to t…

Friday Update: September 30

Blessings for the day:
The EEG results came back and nothing to worry about there!! The wires are still connected right now, but they’ll be coming to get rid of them soon and then he’ll be able to scratch his head and face to his heart’s desire! (Something he’s wanted to do this entire time.)

Physical therapy went so well today…he actually stood all the way up and had his legs straight and his back straight!!! The PT folks were so excited, they asked him to try it again for the tech and he did!!! I was out running errands and missed it. I was bummed that I didn’t see it for myself, but I was also thrilled that he did it without my presence. (I worry that he won’t respond as well to the therapists as he does to me.) It was reassuring to me that he did what they asked even without me having to interject comments.

Sometimes I have to remind myself to stop and really take this all in. I often feel so rushed, just running from place to place and never feeling truly rested. Today, …