Friday, January 2, 2009

Day 215 - Jan 1, 2009

Yesterday was not the normal day. I have been watching Kevin's determination and attitude decline over the last couple of weeks and I really didn't know what to do. I have tried cajoling, bribing, threatening, you name it. Each and every day has been a struggle to get him to do anything. There has basically been no therapy at all lately because he won't do anything. He has been declining meds, refusing showers and baths and it takes hours to get him out of bed and some days he just won't get out no matter what we do.

So yesterday, I had had enough. I had just came back from Subway and Kevin had eaten and when the nurses came in - he wouldn't take a shower. He was fine with everything just a minute before (when he wanted to do something), but all of a sudden he was not interested. Well, I snapped. I yelled at him and told him that enough was enough. I was not sticking around (yeah right) if he wasn't going to work at getting better. I asked him if he wanted to stay in the hospital forever and he said "yes". I told him then fine - you can do it alone because I'm not sticking around for that. I then told him that he was going to get a taste of what it's like to be alone so that he could decide what he wanted and I grabbed my purse, ushered my parents out the door, kissed him goodbye and told him I would see him tomorrow. This was at 12:30 yesterday afternoon.

You have no idea how hard it was to walk out and leave him in that hospital by himself. And all day long I had such a heavy heart because I didn't know if he was like that because of the brain damage or because he was just giving up like I thought. But I did it. I stayed away all day because this was my last resort to get him out of this funk I believe he is in.

Now I will admit two things. One - I did call so many times it was pathetic. And two - I actually did cave and go back late last night, but he was already sleeping. I left him snoring and returned home to worry the night away. I just second guessed myself all night long and felt like a horrible parent for doing what I did.

BUT, I am so happy to report that Kevin was a changed man today. After we discussed things this morning, we agreed to work hard together so that we could go home. He then took a shower using the chair instead of the shower bed (a first) and he joked and carried on all day. We were able to leave the lights on for the most part and he watched tv quite a bit. We also got out of bed - not once - but twice today and we went for a ride to look at the house again and then we had a nice dinner. It was an amazing transformation!!

He also stood up with complete ease 4 times today and just stood there for a while while we were transferring him to and from bed. I actually think he can do it himself for the most part and when I told him that I thought I was more in the way and that he could do it better himself, he nodded his head. I had to explain to him that we can't risk him falling yet. Once his flap is back in, we can though. He chuckled over that, I guess cause it sounds like I said it's ok for him to drop to the floor once his head is fixed.

Oh well. It sure was a wonderful day with my wonderful son!

And speaking of a wonderful day - I will say that other than my heavy heart, we did have a great day out yesterday. We went to St Pete to see Chrissy (my niece) and we ended up going on a dolphin watching cruise. We then went to Treasure Island and drove up the coast to Clearwater. It was a sunny 77 degrees and we couldn't have picked a better day. And it was nice because neither of my parents have ever went on any kind of cruise like that and we were all so excited to see the dolphins. Matter of fact - here are a few pics:

And to end, here are some pics of the new van (and look closely at the house across the street in the 2nd picture - hint, hint - hehe):


Alison said...

Leslie, I know that must have been tough to leave him for the day but it seems that it did the trick! I can't imagine what Kevin is thinking but maybe a swift kick in the pants was what he needed to get out of the rut he was in. I'm glad that today was a better day for you all and great photos from your day out.

I'll be gone all weekend - mini vacation to the mountans - so EXTRA THOUGHTS and prayers coming your way from SoCal. Hope this weekend is GREAT for all of you!

Don't worry Kevin, soon enough you'll be standing up all on your own and rocking that Steelers helmet and showing them all who's in charge. :D

LISA said...


You are Kevin's Mama and no one knows him better than you do. No one knows what is right for him and what is wrong for you do.

You are such a strong lady..I would have stayed outside of his room and kept peeking in all day but not let him see me, but let him believe that I was gone.

You knew JUST what to do that would work for Kevin, but you've always known what to do.

No one knows a child..better than his or her own Mother.

I love the van. You will be so glad you have it and have the space.

Enjoy having your parents there..what fun to see dolphins and go on a cruise. I'll bet Kevin had a great time too.

Thanks for sharing the pictures with us. Thank you dear special camera man, once again too.

STAY STRONG and remember many prayers are always being sent to Kevin, you and Brianna.

God Bless..

Jodi said...

Hi Les,

Good for you! I bet it was difficult, but obviously that is what he needed. I am glad to hear he is doing better now.
Thanks for the pics! Hey, even though I do NOT like minivans, that is not a bad looking vehicle...could be worse :-).
I like the house! I sure hope you guys get it! Glad you had fun on your cruise.

Hope you have a fantastic day today!

Healing and positive thoughts for Kevin.
Strength for Leslie and Breezy.
Safe thoughts for all military personnel and strength for their families.
Andrew's Aunt Jodi

Kris said...

WOW what a post. Leslie, you truly are superhuman! And, you're a mom. Does a mom know her baby or does a mom know her baby. Leaving him had to have been one of the hardest parts of the whole thing. But you were spot on! Awesome. Just awesome.

Happy New Year Leslie, Kevin and Breezy. I can't wait to watch and see the amazing things that Kevin is going to do this year. We'll get that flap on and we're gonna watch him flap his wings and begin to fly again. And we'll all be out here praying for you, praying with you, and cheering you on every step of the way.

God bless you all. Thoughts, prayers, support and loads and loads and loads of angel hugs are ALWAYS coming your way.

Anonymous said...

Hey Leslie

In the van pictures, it looks like the front of the van is hitting the cement in front of it - maybe you should let Kevin drive!!!! LOL.

You're doing a great job!

Lisa Damrosch said...

I have tears of joy in my eyes for you. I can't imagine how hard it was for you to do, but as usual your Mom instincts were right on the money. I'm so happy that you have a new start for this new year.

Anonymous said...


Sometimes all it takes are a little tough love! And no one knows that better than you :) Keep up the great work and stay strong!!

Lots of prayers and hugs,
SA from MD

alalli said...

Hi Leslie,

Loved your strategy yesterday. I had to do the same thing with Mark at one point, and it too, made all the difference in the world. I can understand how they get down, but you can't let them give up. I told Mark he could have a 24 hour b*tch and whine period and that was it, he had to move on from there. I left the floor and the next day, it was a completely different story. Good girl. Miss you all and praying for Kevin, you, and the HOUSE!

Love, Ann

Lisa in Minnesota said...

Happy New Year!!!! What a great way to start! Sounds like maybe Kevin needs a dose of "Drill Sgt." from time to time, hehe. You really handled that SO WELL!!!
By the way, you are a very good writer. Your posts are so descriptive & emotional, it's like being there. I wish all the best for you and your family!
The van isn't as bad as I thought. It actually looks a little SUV-ish & I love the color. Maybe you could fix it up with some window decals. Kevin would probably have fun picking them out.
Have a great weekend!!!

Vicki C said...

Oh.. I cant image how hard it was for you to do that Les...but like I've said before.. you know him better than anyone! were right! Way to go mom!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Les, Tough love. Way to go. You just have to do want you think is best and it worked. Now ease your mind honey. The house is beautiful. Hope that it comes through soon. Take care and love ya. Pam

Anonymous said...


As a mother of a son I know how excrutiatingly difficult it must have been to leave Kevin for the day! I'm so impressed with your strength and courage in your journey with your son! I'm very happy to hear that Kevin had a marvelous day since then and your instinct proved to be perfect! Mother's intuition is amazing isn't it! Love and good wishes to you all! Ellie

armyparents said...

I can imagine it must of been hard for you to say those things to Kevin. I am sure that you knew deep down it would get him out of this funk he was in. We know all the little tricks with our children. That is great that you had a wonderful day with your parents as well. I am sure that means the world to him and of course you that they are there.You will have to post a pic of your Kevin with your parents for us.
Sending lots of prayers and thoughts your way
PS. Pretty van lol Just kiddin I have a van myself.

Anonymous said...

I got a notice today that my U.S. Air miles are about to expire. I won't have enough miles to take a trip so I want to donate them to the Fisher House and Make-a-Wish. I didn't see how to designate the Fisher House ones to your family, but if you know how I can do that, I'll be happy to do so.

Pat said...

Mama's gotta do what Mama's gotta do! Sometimes it's really tought, but it sounds like it was the right thing to do!

Jessica said...

You are anything BUT a horrible parent, and even though you felt like one, you did the right thing. I'm so glad that Kevin has a positive attitude again and is standing on his own. That's fantastic!
It must be hard to know how to treat Kevin, as you said, not knowing when his attitude is affected by his brain injury or just despondency. You're doing a great job working with him and getting results.
Praying for you and for Kevin's attitude, that he would get back into his therapies and work at getting stronger. Take care!