Sunday, January 18, 2009

Day 231 - Jan 17, 2009

You would not believe the things we did today. First - and this is a biggie - Kevin dressed himself COMPLETELY WITHOUT HELP!! The only thing I did to help him was to tie his shoes. I offered to do something a couple of times, only to have the hand held up in a stop motion at my face, lol. So I just backed off and cleaned his room a little bit. I was so proud of him. It took him almost a half hour and he was so exhausted by the time he was finished, but he did it! I foolishly just stood at the window and cried because I couldn't believe I was seeing him do this! It was amazing!!

After that, we went to Subway and picked up some subs and went back to the house and ate and then we loaded back up into the m-van and went to the mall. We had to return the skateboard I chose for Christmas so that Kev could pick out the one he wanted. I was really nervous because our last mall experience was horrible, but it went great today! We went straight to the skate store and Kevin picked out his board, trucks, wheels and grip tape. He was so excited to be in there - you could see it in his eyes. And I had to laugh because when the clerk had finished building it, Kevin had to inspect his work and thankfully it was fine. Kevin was so incredibly satisfied with his board that he grinned the whole time he held it in his hands.

After that, we went to the candy store and of course, he went nuts in there. We only had one little bad moment and that's because they had a mirror in there and he caught a glimpse of himself. We were able to pull him out of it within a few minutes so it was okay. I think I am going to have to show him daily what he looks like so he becomes used to it.

And then - and this is another biggie - we went up to the food court and Kevin's eyes lit up when he spied Sbarro's pizza. We ordered and I had intended to take it home, but Kev wanted to eat there. I didn't know what to do because I didn't think we were ready. I didn't have his table, I didn't bring any cups (he had never used a straw yet) and most importantly - his eating habits are still unappealing because of his burns pulling his lips down. He can't even close his mouth while chewing yet. BUT - we did it anyway. I tried to find a quiet corner so that not everyone could watch us and we found a new use for his skateboard and that's a makeshift table, lol. And suprisingly enough - he handled the straw really well and I cut his pizza into very small bites so that it wasn't so messy for him.'s a pic:

I wish y'all could have heard the sigh of contentment when he took his first bite of that pizza. It was like coming home, apparently, lol. (notice that new skateboard upside down on his lap, lol)

I am also happy to report that barely anybody stared at us today. Even with all the staples in his head. That was a nice treat!

So it was a really awesome day! Breezy and I sat and scrapbooked tonight and just relaxed and had a good time and Kevin made HUGE strides today toward going home. He definitely has to be able to handle being out in the public and he will need to be as self sufficient as he can and it looks like he will be, for the most part anyway. Who knows...maybe completely someday.

I am just so proud of him - and Breezy too! Both my kids have had to surpass major mountains in the last eight months.


Xelaxel said...

Ohh that gives me joy to see Kevin as recovered, and with a good face on what seems to me staff is happy, I really think that the calm comes slowly, the pieces will accommodate our Lord and God does his work perfection, we do not know, nor how or why, but today you can say that his heart is stronger every day to love Kevin, received a warm hug from this little corner of Mexico City.

Long-time RN said...

Oh my gosh, what a difference from a week ago! Amazing!

Now that's quite a unique use of a skateboard! It's wonderful reading how you're all out and about and Kevin is progressing daily.

Alison said...

Such a great improvement. I'm so glad that after the troubles of the last few weeks things are finally looking up - and in such a big way. So many big ways. Too many to list!!

Pretty soon Kevin will be up and wanting to skateboard down those hospital halls! Look out, Tampa! :D

Mmm, that pizza looks delicious, too. Now I'm hungry! So glad you all had another great day and are getting closer and closer to recovery.

Anonymous said...

The pics from today and yesterday are great to see;I love seeing the
smiles.Kevin has made such big strides in the past week!!!Love the new use for the skateboard;now I know what to do with all the skateboards in the garage,lol.
You three are getting so close to getting out of that hospital and settled at home.
Enjoy the Florida weather...
we just got out of the below zero temps only to get hit with snow, snow,snow.
Kim S

Patricia said...

Bravo! What a wonderful picture! I am so glad that you had such a successful day. As for your two great children, I could not agree more...of course I will say, that their strength and endurance has been nurtured and exampled by you, their mom. So bravo to the three of you!! May many more terrific days be in store. Love, hugs and prayers. Always.

Pat said...

I am so happy for you and your children Leslie! I am sitting here smiling myself! God Bless!

Jan said...

What a great day, I'm so happy for all of you! I wonder if it's Kevin's new confidence that is keeping people from staring as much?

Vicki C said...

OHHHHH FANTASTIC!!! I loved reading that post.. and the photo is priceless! Awesome Day!

Anonymous said...

So glad you had another really great day!!!! Thanks so much for posting all of the pictures of you guys!
Kathy in Iowa

Grant Grdunac said...

gotta love the makeshift skateboard table! thats not the first that he's used one as a table lemmie tell ya back in the day we had the advantage over the bmxers eating thanks to our skateboard tables. i was happy to read this post not just because of that but of how much i can see he's improved since the first post ive read. i plan to visit once im done with school n if all goes as i been planning for you guys ill have a nice suprise as well when i come. cant wait to see what great things happen tomorrow!!

LisaD said...

I was just reading with tears in my eyes and my 6 year old asked why. I said "they are happy tears, I'm reading about my soldier" and he said "Mom, don't forget that soldiers are heroes"

I'm so thrilled to hear about your day, and Kevin's amazing progress. I hope that you and Breezy know what a team effort this is.

And I'm so grateful to you for sharing your story and giving me the opportunity to show my son what it means to be a true American hero.

I haven't forgotten...I'll never forget...and my son will never forget. Thank you.

Miss Em said...

Leslie, Kevin, Breezy

It's amazing what a hunk of skull {even if it is metal} can do for one's abilities to function.

Wanting to dress all by himself, kinda reminds you of when he was very little and would say to you, "Mom, I can do it myself". At least it did for me, expecially when mine were little. The beginnings of pride re-visited. Get ready there's more of that coming. {{{:D }}}

You got to the mall in 'Big Blue' the m-van SO what did Kevin think of his new 'Ride'. Did he give you suggestions on how he wanted to 'Pimp' his 'Ride' out. I hope that 'Fuzzy Dice' on the rear-view mirror wasn't one of them. That's just so O--L--D it's not even funny.

Subway for lunch...Pizza for a snack...growing young men need lots of yummy foods. Oh, I just realized...NO CHEESE CAKE?
**An out of the way corner, good idea that way Kevin, you and Breezy would not be bothered by people trying to get past the wheel chair. That thing is a monster to maneuver in a mine-field of tables and chairs let alone all the people-legs, bags and small ones roaming around.

Glad to hear that Kevin was able to not only pick out the new Skateboard but was able to know what he was looking at and to understand how it was suppose to be mounted in order to work properly. Yep, sounds like your son is definitly back and regaining ground minute by minute.
OOO---RRR---aaa---hhh!!!! {{{:D}}}

The underside of a Skateboard for a the underside of a frisbe being used as a paper plate holder. Improvise, Adapt, and Mo-ti-vate....Military thinking does make it to the Civilian [Leslie's/Breezy's} world and in doing so makes the Civilian's life easier in many aspects.

"candy store...he went nuts" Leslie, I have yet to send boxes to Marines that doesn't include candy. It's one of their main requests. So Kevin going nuts, well that's just normal for the Military Men and Women when it comes to THEIR sweets. BTW, what were his choices?

In the Mornings, hand him a SOFT hair brush and a mirror and tell him to make himself look sharp. When he get stuck looking at himself and seems to be getting depressed that's when you inform him that he needs to study his face and head in order to be able to tell the Reconstructive Surgeon what he wants and expects him to do with the damage. Get him involved! That should help with the depression and motivate him into the process of healing even more. [Just a suggestion.]

It was nice to hear that you and Breezy had a nice down-time together. Breezy is learning by watching and assisting at the lead of 'Pit-Bull Mom' just as she has all of her life. She is going to be one 'HELL of a Lady'.
(I hope that the male who has her on his arm knows and respects her for it because if he doesn't then "P-B Mom" is going to give his back side a new shape. lol)

Dancing victory jigs in front of the Prayer Alter laughing and yelling "MORE, MORE...PLEASE".

Miss Em
Austell, Ga.

Anonymous said...

great job he is looking and proud of him i might see you some day Abie

Linda said...

Leslie and Kevin
WOW what a difference a week can make!
If people stare to much and makes you uncomfortable....just look at them and calmly say he was injured serving his country, and go about your business. I know it can be unconfortable being looked at. are looking good, happy, and content again! YOU GO KEVIN!! Keep at it!

Anonymous said...

Kevin looks great, keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading diligently and holding my breath, especially being a VA employee myself and hoping the VA would treat you all good. I am so glad that things are turning out better and only hope for the best for Kevin.
Thoughts and prayers from VERY, VERY snowy and cold Ford City, PA .. . .

scsoldiersangel said...


I hope you are all cheering for the Steelers right now! :)

Anonymous said...

I cant begin to tell you how happy I am for Kevin, you and Breezy. You are correct when you say you have 2 amazing children, you have been blessed in that regard and I believe you will continue to be blessed in Kevins recovery. Take Care and I say let the good times roll!!!!!
Vicky K

Anonymous said...

Glad that Kevin seems to be more alert now. The shunt seems to be doing it's job (along with the plate) so well. I also hope that he is able to do all of his therapies to be more motivated in the hopes that he may be able to see or even go to "THE GAME" Steelers vs Arizona for the SUPERBOWL and you guessed it in Tampa Feb. 1st. I also think it would be nice if even his favorite player(s)could see him or sign his terrible towel. Of course thats my opinion, and I know that you will know whether or not Kevin will be up to it. Lots of love and joy comes your way from Pa.
Albie's ((Abie) lol he can't even spell or type his own name)sister, Suzanne

Jessica said...

I'm sure Kevin is just counting down the days until he can get on that new skateboard! What a treat for him to pick everything out just the way he wants. And I'm glad that you and Breezy got a treat by scrapbooking, too! That must have felt good. What are you working on?

Praying for you and praising God for all the improvements Kevin has made in just the past week!

Anonymous said...

Love you Leslie!