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Showing posts from September, 2006

Tuesday Update: 09/26/06

Well, it has been a few days since Matt’s surgery, and he’s hanging in there. It has been a long few days for him. The surgery was pretty intense and really took a lot out of him. The doctor said he would be more sore than the typical patient and I’m looking at Matt now going ‘NO KIDDING!?’ His eyes are still incredibly red, and his eyelids are still somewhat swollen. They have gotten better, but he still looks pretty beat up. I called the 24 hour doctor number last night to ask about the texture of his eyes. The ‘whites’ of his eyes are also somewhat puffy and look like they are covered in red gel. I wasn’t sure if that was a common occurrence, so I called to ask. The doctor explained that in performing the surgery, they have to peel up the top layer of the eye, and when they put it back in place it is not uncommon for fluid/blood to build up underneath. He assured me that it will go down, and the fluid will reabsorb in time. I just hope he’s feeling better before the weeken…

Friday Update: 09/22/06

I just wanted to update everyone on Matt’s eye surgery. We went to Iowa City on Wednesday for pre-op appointments with the doctors performing the surgery and also the anesthesia department. We went out to dinner and sat next to Derek Lee (a Chicago Cubs baseball player), and didn’t even know it until someone came up, got his picture and autograph. Small world. We spent the evening relaxing in a hotel…nothing too exciting.

Matt’s surgery went well. It was a long one though. He went in around 12:15 and was done about 3:45. George came out to sit with me during surgery too, so I had some company. We got to go back and see him about 4:45 or so. He was pretty groggy, but was in good spirits. He joked to the recovery nurse that the next patient she had coming in wouldn’t be as nice, or cute, as him! He had an ice pack wrapped around his eyes, so he couldn’t see, but he was fairly talkative. When they changed ice packs, he did open his eyes a little…but they were very red and irritated, so he…

Monday Update: 09/18/06

Today it really feels like fall is here. It’s cool…in the 50’s and cloudy. There are leaves starting to change, fall, and blow around in the breeze already. I find myself feeling somewhat sad today. Matt thinks maybe it’s because he’s not able to be out in the yard doing stuff with me like usual…and that may be part of it…but mostly I find myself thinking about what I was doing a year ago. It is really hard to grasp…that a full year has passed us by. I look up at changing leaves and suddenly I see myself sitting in Matt’s hospital room, watching over him with fear and trepidation. I see our families strewn about the waiting room, exhausted, terrified, anxiety-ridden. I am flooded with memories of washing my face in the sink of the waiting room bathroom, of sitting and staring at Matt’s vitals on the monitor and panicking at each random change in the numbers, of restless nights spent curled up with the teddy bear a friend gave me to help comfort me, of endless hours spent waiting…

Tuesday Update: 09/12/06

I just wanted to post a quick update after our trip to Iowa City. Today we met with 4 different doctors…and it was a looonngg day (left at 6:00 AM…home at 5:30 PM). The first half of the day was spent with the Ophthalmologists, discussing the problems Matt has with his eyes. They worked him over with a battery of tests and exercises, but he was a trooper through it all, as always! What we found out is that Matt’s eyes have remained stable, and that the only real option we have to help improve the double vision and misalignment is surgery. Matt’s hemorrhage has caused multiple issues with the way his eyes move, focus, and work together. The goal of surgery will be to reduce the double vision as much as possible, and hopefully align his eyes together. The doctor explained that it could take more than one surgery to completely get rid of the double vision…but we all agreed to give it a shot and we have scheduled his surgery for next Thursday, September 21st.

This afternoon we vis…

Monday Update: 09/11/06

Phew…well it’s been a busy few days and I’m not sure where to start this update! We had another great weekend here at home. Friday afternoon we spent a lot of time out in the garage…cleaning, organizing, and getting things picked up and put away. Of course, in order to do so, we needed to move the TA out of the way. So, our Matt decided to give it a try himself. He transferred in to the TA, warmed it up, and backed it out of the garage himself! I asked him what it felt like to be behind the wheel of THAT car…he said it felt like it had been a long time. I think it felt pretty darn good! We spent the majority of the afternoon and evening out there, just messing around. Then later we grilled up supper and ate out on the patio. It was a beautiful evening and we thoroughly enjoyed it, just us.

Saturday we ran some errands…buying oil for the TA and some things for the yard at Menards. It was the first time Matt has been in a Menards in over a year! Of course, he’d say it was no big deal. We…

Friday Update: 09/08/06

Our first therapy evaluations went pretty well. Matt’s speech therapist was ill yesterday, so we didn’t get to see her, but we met with the OT and PT to talk about things and came up with a game plan with them.

First we sat with the OT and went over the notes from Omaha as well as what things have been like for Matt at home. We discussed the kinds of things he worked on with his OT at QLI, as well as some of the projects we’ve got planned for him at home. She thought the things we had planned for him to do, as well as some of the home exercises she had given him before, would be great for him. She was glad to hear that he’s able to perform all of his daily routine tasks independently, and that we are trying out different things in the kitchen as well. He wasn’t really sure what else he wanted to work on with her in structured therapy, and she couldn’t really see that he would benefit much more from anything she could do with him there right now either. So, we all agreed to hold …

Tuesday Update: 09/06/06

Well it has been a week of big changes for us! Yesterday was Matt’s first full day at home…alone! We had practiced different things all weekend, preparing for him to do them completely on his own. We are so glad we had the extra long weekend at home to work out some of the kinks and get ourselves better prepared for this new transition. I had to call him a few times during the day to check on him, of course, but he was doing fine. I don’t think I could have imagined him having this much independence just a few months ago. I had hoped that after coming home I’d be able to maybe work half a day in the office and then run home…but to be able to work all day and know that he is able to take care of himself, fix his own meals, get dressed and ready for the day, and maneuver the bathroom on his own…well, he far exceeded my expectations! I could see him gaining strength and mobility each weekend in Omaha, but it was hard to envision how it would carry over into our life here at home. Bu…

Sunday Update: 9/03/06

Well, it’s our first weekend back at home together…and it is WONDERFUL! YAHOO!!!!

Matt’s last day in Omaha was fairly uneventful. We had one last staff meeting to just go over where he is at and the therapists’ recommendations for Matt’s continued therapy. There weren’t any surprises there…just making sure we are all on the same page. We stopped and said good bye to a few staff members and residents and then we headed home. We came home to a little welcome home surprise…a few friends had baked a cake and left a Welcome Home Matt sign with balloons and some cash to order pizza with. It was very thoughtful and sweet…we were both touched. Once we got unloaded, Matt settled in on the couch and took a snooze. It was beautiful out, the windows were open and the air was fresh and warm. Matt was so happy to be home…happy to be in our town, happy to just be in his normal environment. We ordered the Pagliai’s pizza that Matt had been craving and we just relaxed watching TV.

Saturday we slept in,…