Monday, November 10, 2008

Day 163 - Nov 10, 2008

We had another great day. Kevin was actually in the chair about 11 hours today and we went to the house for a good 6 hours. We played cards again outside and then we had a nice dinner and followed it again by some tv.

I love when I come to the hospital and we have a nurse that really cares and we get him showered, lubed up, compressed and dressed by 10:30. This enables us to have a more normal day. Unfortunately, we have been having a LOT of nursing problems and to be honest, I am getting a little frustrated.

To hit a few of the points - Kev is not supposed to ever be alone, yet for the past two weeks he has been alone when I have arrived nearly every day. Some of those times he has even been given food or drink and he is absolutely not allowed to eat/drink without supervision. One time his bed was the absolute highest it could go and one of our issues is his trying to get out of bed and falling. Then we have had other people's eye meds in his room and I have to wonder how often he has been given the wrong ones. We have also had meds not even dispensed. There are just so many frustrating things going on here. And I do understand that it's probably the norm everywhere, but I have to ask - how can anyone feel comfortable leaving their loved one in this type of situation?

It's actually made my days even longer. I used to leave when he fell asleep and sometimes that was like 9:00. Those were the 12 hour days. Now I have to wait until close to midnight even if he falls asleep early because they did remove the sitter from 4-12 and I was actually ok with this when they did it. But since then, it was proven to me that Kevin knows HOW to ring the call bell - but he doesn't understand WHEN to.

Case in point - while in the middle of writing this post, Kevin threw up. I was in the hallway talking to his nurse because he was trying to go to sleep. I was out there maybe 3 minutes. So Kevin was getting ready to vomit and didn't understand to call the nurse. Luckily - I heard him moaning and rushed in. If I hadn't - where would we be? He could have choked to death on his own vomit as he is usually laying down when it happens and can't hold his head in the right position.

Grrr...I really hate to bitch about these things, but I am just so frustrated and tired of having to deal with it all.

Now see how my moods are just swinging? I started out with this nice happy post about having a great day and ended up with Kevin being severely sick and venting about nursing issues.

Calgon, take me away...

BUT - I am going to revert back to something good (can't end on a bad note, now can I?). The Steelers were kind enough to send Kevin a huge box of goodies! He received a football signed by each and every one one of the team players. He got an autographed framed photo of Troy Polamalu. A personal framed message from the owner of the team. A really nice shirt. A team photo that is framed as well and a whole bunch of other things. Here is a photo of Kev with some of it:

Pretty cool, huh? Kevin was really excited and Breezy was really jealous, lol. I wish I would have caught a pic of the guy on the left side in blue. He is actually the one responsible for all of these items arriving. He called the Steelers home office weeks ago and talked to them. He works in Prosthetics and is in charge of Kevin's helmet. Once it's made - he is planning to have it painted with the Steelers logo on it. Great guy. And the nurse in the pic is a wonderful woman too. Never had a problem with her. I keep telling her she is coming home with us when we go...


Alison said...

WOW!! Look at all that awesome Steelers gear!! That must have been SO COOL for Kevin to get. Big thanks to the guy in blue for making that call, I can only imagine how incredible, and a big high five to the Steelers organization for going out of their way to do something like that. That makes me so happy.

I'm glad today was a better day and you got so much time in the chair, but UGH on the nursing problems. I cannot even imagine what it must be like to deal with that and the dangers that can happen if there was not a nurse around. Don't be afraid to put your foot down and demand better watchfulness, and I'd definitely keep track of things like eye med mix ups and when you find him alone...just in case you need to prove that they're not on the ball.

Don't feel bad about mood swings. If anyone has the right, it's definitely you.

Hope tomorrow is a good day as well!!


Vicki C said...

I bet Kevin was EXCITED when he saw that stuff! It's great to know that there are special people, like those in the photo! I'm sorry there are those issues with Kevins care ..that is scary for a mom. When you finally do get away , you should be able to rest easy that he is in good care.. and SAFE (most of all).
I am glad it was a good day and that you guys got out and had time at your place again.
Hoping for a good day again tomorrow.
I'm leaving soon for Seattle to work the CK show with Sandy. I'll check in as soon as I'm back next week. Hugs!

Anonymous said...


Jeannie said...

Many thanks and many prayers for your and your family on this Veteran's Day! God Bless!


Patricia said...

Kevin ~ Although I think of you each day, today is especially so. I am so happy that each day brings you closer to more healing, until one day you will come back to your home state. But, for today, just know I thank you, for this incredible sacrifice you so proudly chose. Your strength, courage, and love of country is an example for all to follow, although I, for one, would fall, very short. I pray you continue on this healing path, and in doing so, are able to return to the community who loves you so much.

My love to Breezy and Leslie, two beautiful women whose spirits have shown us what it is to watch a perfect love.

Love,prayers and hugs. Always.

Diana Bellman said...

Yeah, I can see why Breezy is jealous-I am too! That's awesome that Kevin got all that stuff from the Steelers! I'm happy for Kevin and I hope you get all the nursing problems straightened out. You all take care. Love you all

Jodi said...

Hi Kevin!


Hey kiddo, I just wanted to say THANK YOU. Thank you for serving our country and the sacrafices you and your family have made for this country and all of us Americans. I am so proud of you kiddo. You have fought and are winning this battle. You have given so many of us out here hope that we can overcome anything. We lost Andrew and James, but you and Dan have showed us what it is about to never give up! You are my hero. Your mom and sister are my hero's. I can't wait for the day to meet you and give you a hug. I have come to care about you and think of you as a "nephew" and I know Andrew would have approved! :-). I have come to care for your mom and sister because they are amazing ladies! You fighting and never giving up and watching you improve each day has made the loss of Andrew a little less painful.

Your accomplishments the last few days have been AWESOME!! I love all the pictures! I am so proud of you riding the bike! Les, thank you for posting the pictures! They always put a smile on my face seeing Kevin! I love seeing him smile....

Right on about all the Steeler's things! That is so cool!!!

To all the vetern's out there and reading Leslie's blog, THANK YOU, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

EXTRA healing and positive thoughts for Kevin.
EXTRA strength for Leslie and Breezy.
EXTRA safe thoughts for all military personnel and strength for their families.
Andrew Shields' Aunt Jodi

And Leslie, I hope you don't mind me putting this below....

In loving nephew, my hero!
R.I.P. PFC Andrew J. Shields
I miss you...

Mattie Levine said...

Leslie -

I have thought of all of you so many times over the years - jesus, it has been such a long time! But, especially today, Veterans Day, I want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with you, and I wish that I could lift even one ounce of pain from you and your family. I love and miss you all, and I carry you all in my heart. Hugs and kisses to everyone, Mattie Levine

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys!!
A HUGE thank you, Kevin, for your service and sacrifice. It's a long road back, but you've shown just how much a fighter you are, and we are so tremendously proud. Our prayers are with you everyday, young man, and God has been answering.
Les, I am so in awe of your strength..guess that's why God made Mom's. As for your frustration, no one said you can't yell, beat the wall n kick the can, but when you are done, march right down stairs to the Administrator's Office and give him a piece of that action. I've found in ECU, gets results! When it doesn't,...march right back down there!! Tell them your concerns and how upset you are to leave him.
Got my fingers crossed!!
You are one heck of a lady, and Breezy n Kevin are a 'chip off the old block'.
God bless you richly, and you are so remembered on this special day.

The Rock said...

Leslie , I think that is terrible for you to have to worry about Kevin being alone ! I mean I can understand your frustration . He shouldn't be alone but I figure they don't have enough people ! But I think that is a shame . You might want to find out about " Caseworkers" . Who is in charge of every wounded Soldier ? Have you asked why there is nobody with him? I would really like to know who is in charge of all that.
We are being told that our Soldiers are taken care of. But more and more I hear about Soldiers like Kevin and I wonder why they are not getting THE CARE THAT HE REALLY NEEDS , when you are not there !
I will check on you guys tonight!
Be strong Leslie, but maybe you have to address this Issue ! It is not right !Right now I have several Soldiers telling me that they have to fight the VA , just to get the help that was promised to each and every Soldier ! I have fought VA with my Husband and it took Years !
What ever happened to his pay ? Did you straighten that out ?

Anonymous said...


Thank you veterans.

Anonymous said...

Leslie and family,

Let Kam know that he is still in our hearts and minds and that him for his dedication and service to the United States, and to you. We from the Ripcord family send our regards and continue to pray fro the both Kam and Daniel. God bless all of you.


Brenda Armstrong said...

Happy Veteran's Day Kevin!! Thank you so much for serving my country that myself and my family may be free!!

Hope you had a great day!

Brenda Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Kevin, I say, when your ready, you, Breezy and I go to a Steeler game and leave mom at home for a boring book reading day.Love ya Leslie, but you can't come. So save out that steeler towel we will do this:) Glad you had a great day and love that smile. Miss you all.
Tracy A. Jack

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being a hero and continuing that on a daily basis! We are all cheering you on day by day!!!

Jessica said...

I don't think you're bitching at all! It's extremely concerning that there are so many mistakes and that he was left alone with food. I think the head nurse would want to know about this, and if she doesn't then surely the doctors would want to know their patient isn't always safe.

No wonder Breezy is jealous! lol! Kevin got some cool stuff. I love to see organizations like the Steelers do stuff like this. It means so much and Kevin deserves it. Thumbs up to the prosthetics guy for making it all happen!

And thumbs up to Kevin this Veterans Day. I could never thank him, or any other veteran enough, for his service to this beautiful country. May God bless him and continue to strengthen him each day!