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Showing posts from May, 2008

Saturday Update: 05/31/08

It's our last day before we leave...YAHOO!!!! Matt is just preparing for his herbal soak treatment, which will be his very last treatment here in China. This morning he had exercise as usual, and then his final acupuncture treatment.
This is the hallway to the gym. Every morning we'd have to weave our way through the crowded hallway to get there. Just thought I'd share!

I have to say that I think the exercise here isn't all that challenging, compared to what he's done in the past with his previous physical therapists. He rides the bike, slowly (they are big on doing things slowly here), for about 20 minutes. Then they usually spend the rest of the time with him laying on a mat while they work on stretching and flexing his right hand.
They had him doing a few stabilization exercises, and occasionally he would stand up and do squats...but most of these exercises weren't that difficult for Matt. He didn't get to work with Dr. Lu today, but since it was h…

Friday Update: 05/30/08

Oh joy of joys...I was finally able to take a HOT shower this morning!!! The past few mornings it has only been lukewarm, and by lukewarm I mean to say that it is BARELY not freezing. Apparently they only have hot water during certain hours of the day, and we haven't been able to see a pattern of when they have it on or it's a crap shoot. I was prepared to wait a little longer for the hot water to come on, but when I went to wash my hands and felt the warm water I grabbed my stuff and quick hopped in the shower. They also have times during the day when they turn the water off completely, and we've also not seen a pattern there...just went to wash my hands and water. They also did turn the air conditioner on to the building, but they've only been running it from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM...after that, you just get a fan blowing room air. AND they only run it Monday through on the weekends you're screwed! Thankfully, we only have one …

Thursday Update: 05/29/08

Well, it's almost 8:00 in the evening and for the first time since I arrived I'm not completely comatose! For some reason I have had a much harder time adjusting to the time difference this trip than before. I was just wiped yesterday and ready for bed at like 7:30!!! Maybe it's also because I've been waking up at around 4:00 AM...who knows? Either way, I'm sure Matt is tickled that he's not having to put up with a whiney tired Emily tonight!

We had another full day of treatments and visits with other families. I took some short videos of the cupping and massage treatments, as well as Matt's morning acupuncture with Professor Shi (the head honcho)
today and posted them on I hope it helps everyone better visualize what they're doing here. I think it's been good for Matt to see it from another perspective too, since much of it happens where he can't see it.

Tonight we said good-bye to Michael and Debbie from Australia, their son …

Wednesday Update: 05/28/08

Greetings once again from China.

Matt and I are just hanging out, waiting for supper to come and then may make our nightly rounds to visit other folks...or just hang out here, we haven't decided yet. Today was another interesting day for me, another routine day for Matt.
Have I mentioned how happy he is to be going home? How ready he is to be done? Well, that would be the understatement of the year, possibly our lifetime. Matt is very ready to be ending this experience and get back to life at home in the new house. We've spent a lot of time talking about things, including the many things which have annoyed him over these past few months, and how happy he will be to leave them behind. I can't say I blame'd be pretty overwhelmed with it all too. Matt was elated to say bon-voyage to Bob on Monday...and I can't blame him for that either. While Bob did a good job of keeping Matt safe, he also did a good job of driving him nuts. Matt said this is his time to ve…

Tuesday Update: 05/27/08

Well, I survived...after a long, crazy trip, I finally arrived in Tianjin around 6:45 last night. The flights were fairly uneventful, other than a few strong episodes of turbulance where a bunch of us actually spilled our drinks. There was a large group of students behind me who all let out a loud gasp in unison when it happened. All the flight attendents scurried about trying to get napkins to everyone, while trying not to fall over. That was pretty early on in the flight, and the rest was smooth sailing. (Random thought #1: You know how annoying it is to listen to the flight attendents do their little schpeel every time you get on an airplane? When you are on an international flight you get to hear it all in English and Chinese...for every announcement...much more annoying.) I arrived in Beijing around 3:00 in the afternoon...the muggy, sticky, HOT afternoon. It has been in the 90's here recently...which was quite a change from the 50's and 60's we've been havin…

Saturday Update: 05/24/2008

Well it’s nearly D day…departure day…and I am finally feeling like I am ready! This will be my last post from home…without Matt. I’m really looking forward to posting from China WITH Matt, and then when we get home as well. Thank goodness this time apart is nearly over!!!

Yesterday, I took the day off to do some yard work with my friend Gina. We spent all day working on stuff at her place, then working on stuff at mine. She helped me put in downspouts, transplant stuff from her place, and mulch, mulch, mulch my new front flower bed. It was a busy day and we were dead tired at the end…but it really felt good to get it done, and to have some help. My friend Jami also helped clean up when we were done and we all hung out together, eating Chinese food and watching a movie…until we all three started falling asleep. This morning I finished mulching (after yet another trip to Menard’s) the front bed, and will work on adding more mulch around the house when we get back. It feels so good t…

Monday Update: 05/19/08

In only one week I will be back in China with Matt. It seems like we’re so close now, and just have to hang on a little longer…but for some reason these past several days I’ve found the wait harder and harder. I think I’m just feeling sort of lost…in limbo. Tonight I find my thoughts drifting back to that day. Some of the memories once so vivid and raw have faded…I can no longer remember all the details of what I saw, heard, felt, and said the day I walked in and found Matt laying on the floor. They have blurred themselves into the things I recounted to other people over and over, but the tiny details which used to haunt my thoughts at night have faded. Certain things, however, remain. The sound of Chad sobbing over my shoulder as I cried into my hands, Matt on the gurney in the emergency room, fitful and uneasy…and unresponsive, me standing in the corner in a daze, just willing him to wake up, look at me, and say he was fine, calling my mother in a state of shock and confusion, s…

Earthquake Map

I had taken the map off the blog because for some reason my most recent post wasn't showing you may have to scroll down to see it. Here is the map again - Matt (thankfully) didn't feel anything from it, though some people apparently did.

Thursday Update: 05/15/08

Phew…what a week. It seems like it’s been full of ups and downs and STRESS and I’m so ready for the weekend!!! Thankfully Matt was far enough away from the earthquake that he didn’t even know it had happened. It hasn’t been talked about much to the patients, it seems. And since Matt only gets two channels in English he hasn’t been saturated with the coverage like we have here. It is a catastrophic event for China, and I am just so very thankful that Matt is safe.

Yesterday I was in super-freak out mode as I searched frantically for my passport. Matt had suddenly started worrying that my visa wasn’t going to be for enough days and I would have to make changes…and while I was fairly confident it was fine…I couldn’t for the life of me remember WHERE THE HECK I HAD PUT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course, when I came home from China the first time our house quickly imploded with boxes and moving mania…and there were other people helping me pack, so I was asking Mom and Hope if they had rememb…

Saturday Update: 05/10/08

Well, it’s 9:30 on a Saturday night and I’m sitting here in my pjs with a mask on my face, listening to the rain and wishing I could fast forward these next few weeks. It’s hard to imagine what it will be like when Matt comes home…but I have no doubt it will be wonderful. While we will need time to adjust to the routine in the new surroundings, I can’t help but think about how we struggled at the old house. It’s amazing how time can give you a new perspective on things.

I remember agonizing over whether or not Matt was ready to come home from the hospital and if we would be able to manage things on our own. I remember the many small victories we experienced those first few months and how happy we were that I could rearrange my schedule to be at home and help with Matt’s needs. I remember how much easier things were when he came home after spending twelve weeks in Omaha with new skills and more confidence. We celebrated our independence, but as time went on, we slowly became keenly a…

Wednesday Update: 05/07/08

Today I really miss Matt. I think the closer the time comes to go back the more I really, really miss him. Thankfully there are a lot of things for me to do in the coming weeks which should help fill up the time and hopefully make it go by quicker…but in my quiet moments, I just miss him. I’m so grateful that we can talk as frequently as we do, but most times it’s hard to say good bye. Our schedules are so opposite that we never have time to talk very long. And there are so many ‘happenings’ in the day to fill him in on that it’s hard to pick and choose which things to talk about…and still feel like I’m getting all the lowdown on what he’s been up too. It’s hard. It’s just plain hard, I won’t deny it. I am getting by – getting through it – but I do just miss him so much.

Yesterday I discovered that China Connection has updated their website to include patient pages. This is something that they talked about a while ago, as a way for people back home to see what’s going on with the…

Monday Update: 05/05/08

21 days and counting!!

Matt and I are finally on the homestretch now and hopefully these next few weeks will be full and fly by for us both. They’ve had some new folks arrive at the hospital last week, including a few that I had previously e-mailed. Hopefully they get a chance to meet Matt and share in their experiences together. Matt did get a chance to meet Devin and his brother Doug who will be filming the documentary while in China. I’m really looking forward to meeting them and Doug’s wife. It will be something to talk to someone who has been through so much of what we have. I hope that they find improvements while in China as well.

Matt has been feeling a little under the weather the past week or so. At first they thought he had a cold, but it’s not really improving much. He has a cough and runny nose. He doesn’t have a fever though, and for the most part is feeling pretty good…so he thought maybe it was a touch of pneumonia. He was going to talk to the doctors yesterday ab…