Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 164 - Nov 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day to all the veterans and military personnel out there!

So we had another good day. We just had one or two little vomiting incidents and the rest of the day was pretty nice.

We started out with a nice parade here in front of the Fisher House/Hospital. We were able to get Kevin up and ready in time and we even managed to find a nice shady spot to stand in. Here is a photo:

We then went to a BBQ that they had here at the hospital, but it was too sunny and I just can't manage to hold the umbrella and push the wheelchair at the same time yet. They actually accommodated the patients though and had a space set up in the auditorium where you could eat and watch some young dancers perform, so we went there instead.

Which reminds me - keep your fingers crossed for a nice overcast day this weekend because an organization is bringing a van for us to use and we want to go to Busch Gardens. It's the closest thing to do and I knew if we needed to we could get back to the hospital quickly. (and yay! there's a family bathroom there!!)

And then this evening we had a special guest here and he made a special trip down to the Fisher House to meet Kevin. Kevin was taking a nap and didn't want to go up to the hospital to meet this person, so the sports legend Mike Ditka came directly and personally to see Kev. Apparently he is a Pittsburgh area native. Here are a few pics of this event:

And just so y'all know how unsportslike I am - I never heard of the guy, lol.

Oh - and I forgot to tell you guys that Kevin learned to say "Bye" yesterday. Breezy taught him how and he is quite proud of himself. It makes it easier too because he would always say "hi" when he was really saying "bye" and anyone leaving the room would come back in and it could take forever for them to understand he couldn't say 'bye' yet, lol.

So I am going to hit just a few questions and then I want to watch a movie tonight. Breezy is staying up at the hospital until at least midnight tonight, giving me the 'night' off.

Brenda - Kevin is 173rd Airborne.

Jessica - that cafepress site is great too. I will spend some time looking through it but I would think anything would work! And I really like the button you sent the link for.

To everyone that sent suggestions on comments due to the stares - love them all! I will just bet all of them will pop out of my mouth at different times and probably that 'Italian Salute' will be fired off as well, lol.

Petra - as of today, Kevin's pay has not been taken care of. They have 4 days to fix it or my mouth starts opening. I gave them one month and the 15th will be it. I have kept all of the phone numbers from the people that posted here with their info and I will contact everyone. This is just not fair and I shouldn't have to fight this fight.

As to complaining to the caseworkers about the quality of care, I have a meeting tentatively set up with the director of the unit. I have already went through every available avenue and now I am at the top guy for this ward. I hear he gets things done, so we will see...

Leslie - if you want to make Kevin a hat - that would be great. Take your time though. He can't wear one until his cranioplasty is done.

Ok - off to watch the movie. I keep falling asleep a few minutes into it so I am hoping I can make it through, lol.


Alison said...

First off, Happy Veterans Day!! Thank you Kevin for your service and a thank you to all our veterans for their service to our country and her people.

I'm glad to hear you had a good day, and what an awesome, awesome treat for Kevin to get to meet Mr. Ditka. WOW!! That is an incredibly wonderful thing for him to do and the photo of Kevin swinging that Terrible Towel is so great. It really shows that no matter what he might look like on the outside, your son is still there on the inside and feisty as heck!!

Hope things go well this weekend and you can get to go on your trip, and hope the caseworker meeting goes well (and the pay issue!) so lots of thoughts and prayers your way tonight!!


Lisa D said...

Thinking of all of our veterans today...but especially Kevin.

Jen said...

First of all....Happy Veterans Day to you Kevin!!!! Leslie....you and Breezy also!!! Oh WOW!!!! What a great day you guys have had!!! Sounds like it was wonderful!! I'm sure meeting Mike Ditka was just awesome for Kevin!! I am so glad to hear that you guys are having good days!! I hope you have a great weekend!! Take care and keep the pics coming....they are wonderful!!


Paige Tyler said...

Just wanted to leave a quick comment and tell you THANK YOU for your service and sacrifice. You are a true HERO and I am in awe of you and your mom and sister. I know a lot of military guys who always say, "I am just doing my job" and though that maybe true, by doing your job, I am able to enjoy my freedoms. Thanks Kevin!!
Sending prayers and love your way!

Holee said...

A friend of mine gave your blog link to a Mom he knows that has been at Walter Reed Hospital for the past few years with her son and is in just about the same position you are in..still! She has been asked to testify before Congress in a few weeks.

I just wanted you to know you are not alone in this fight and looks like Congress will hear about it from someone who is in this awful situation.

Jodi said...

Wow! What an awesome day for all of you!! Thank you for posting the pics. They are priceless! Kevin's smile and happiness exudes off the pictures! That is awesome!

I am sorry you are still having to deal with the pay issue. Go get'em Leslie! You guys don't deserve for this to be happening.

Here is to another great day!
Healing and positive thoughts for Kevin.
Strength for Leslie and Breezy.
Safe thoughts for all military personnel and strength for their families.
Big hugs and all my love for all 3 of you!
Andrew's Aunt Jodi

Jan said...

Love the parade picture! I am so in awe of the men and women that serve our country that it makes my heart hurt.

As for Mr. Ditka, he now has a lifelong fan in me. Just as I never forget our military, I never forget anyone who cares about them.

I think you mentioned you'd already been to Busch Gardens? My younger daughter and I were there in August and really enjoyed ourselves. It's so pretty! I'm imagining Kevin in that fenced-in section where the birds land right on you. LOL

Thank you, Kevin, for your service to our country. Thank you too Leslie and Breezy for your service as well. There is nothing more important than taking care of our veterans!

Long-time RN said...

Oh my goodness! To us, BEAR fans, Ditka is a hero as well! Great photos. Seeing Kevin's spirit come through in the photos is inspriational. Hope the clouds are out and Kevin can get to the Gardens.
Kevin is blessed to have such a strong advocate. You go girl, with the caseworker and getting the pay issue resolved.

Thoughts and prayers your way.

Lori E. said...

Leslie, you can tell your not from Illinois & that your family are Steelers fans. Here in the Chicago area, Mike Ditka is a lengend! He took the Bears to the Super Bowel in the 80s. He has a restaurant downtown Chicago as well. You gave me a laugh this morning, I thought I was the worst when it came to knowing sports stuff, but this was one (and probably the only one) that I actually knew.
So glad to hear that Kevin is doing so much better these days. My heart & prayers go out to Kevin, Breezy and you. What a fantastic blg you have. Just sad that it's here because of a tragic accident tho. Leave it to you to make good of it, your an inspiration to all of us. You are truly amazing! Kevin is so darn lucky to have a mom like you.

Diana Bellman said...

Les, What a nice day for you guys. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I hope you'll get to Busch Gardens too. It's so nice to see the pics of Kevin and the joy he is experiencing with all of the surprises. I see Mike Ditka in a different light now. It's so awesome that he took the time to come to visit. I hope all goes well with you guys and you all have another good day. I hope you get everything straightened out with the hospital and the nursing staff too. Thinking of you always. Love ya all!
Love, Diana

Diana Bellman said...

Kevin, THANK YOU for serving our country and being the hero and fighter that you are!
Love, Diana

The Rock said...

Wow, it seems that Kevin had a wonderful Veterans Day. Ditka was a Coach for the " New Orleans Saints" We love Ditka ! That was so cool what he did ! Kevin looks good !
This is just a suggestion Leslie ; Get in touch to your Hometown American Legion or VFW and find out if they have a Veterans Officer . Those 2 Organizations WILL help you with that ! You shouldn't have to fight this on your own. Take Advantage of it , that is why these Organizations exist . The reason I tell you this is : They helped us and they will fight for your Son !
Leslie you are not ALONE in this ! I am fighting for a few Soldiers right now ! So, whenever you need help ; and can't get anywhere , please e- mail me .
I be glad to help anytime
Petra Linden
S. A.

Anonymous said...

Clouds and no rain are on my wish list for the weekend! Hope you have a wonderful time.
As far as the stares go, kids I would understand, they are curious and don't know any better. I agree with several of the suggestions. I know you Leslie and you will take care of it as only you can do! LOL.
I hope Kevin and all of you had a great Veterans Day. I too thank Kevin and all our service men for fighting for our country. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Mike Ditka huh? I am sure Kevin was excited to meet him. Great pictures too.
Love ya

Anonymous said...

Happy Veterans Day Kevin, Thank you for your service to our country. You are a Hero! Thanks for the pictures they are awesome. God Bless All Three Of You.

Barbie (Debacco)Lucas.

Linda said...

Kevin, I want to personally say Happy Veterans day to you..and thank you from the bottom of my heart for serving our country so we all can enjoy the freedom we have!!
It was SO great of Mr Ditka to pay you a visit. The pictures are priceless!
And Leslie...to you and Breezy..You both are an inspiration to many for everything you are enduring for your family....My hat goes off to both of you! I hope that each day gets better and better for both of you!!

Martha said...

Leslie, they told of a site on tv for veterans if they had ? its community for veterans.org I haven't had time to check it out also do you think it would help to write to our Senator Robert Casey.gov I have written to him and got answer let him know Kevins problems. Martha

Anonymous said...

A belated Happy Veterans Day! Thank you Kevin and all for your service.

Iron Mike Ditka Rocks! If I didn't love the guy enough already i sure would now.


Leslie said...

Hi Leslie, Great pictures! Kevin looks so much better, I am glad he's progressing so well. I will be happy to make him a hat, and a shirt if you like, all I need to know is what you want it to say. When you get a chance, just email it to me and I can do the art.
Thank you Kevin for your service to our country! You are one of the unsung heros that help us keep the freedoms we are so accustomed to. Thank You!!
(Another) Leslie