Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day 256 - Feb 11, 2009

Here we go again. The shunt quit working. This is the fifth time it has stopped working in 6 months. I kinda thought so yesterday because he slept all day, but his head wasn't getting any fluid on it. It's there today though. Matter of fact, the fluid buildup has nearly doubled in the last 4 hours. He fell asleep at my house and I am just waiting for him to awaken enough that we can go back to the hospital. At this point, he keeps waking up to vomit and the bed is just soaked in sweat. He doesn't have the energy to stand up and get into his chair though so we will just have to wait. I do have permission to keep him here all night if it ends up that he has to - so we'll see. I would personally feel better up at the hospital, but I suppose it's something I am going to have to get used to.

I am still very frustrated on the home situation too, but I really don't have the energy to get into it. I have to be honest - I am the most exhausted I have ever been in my life. I can totally handle the situation with Kevin - it's been 256 days after all, but I can't handle so much of my time needing to do all the rest of the stuff. I hate begging for help to get a mortgage. I shouldn't have to spend countless hours a week on the phone with brokers and bankers and organizations and everyone else I have to talk to. I shouldn't have to worry about FL not registering the van because our insurance is still addressed in PA. (and yes - I am driving an unregistered van - but hey - it is insured anyway ;-) )

I am just honestly so flippin tired. I feel defeated by everything that life is throwing at me and I just want to run away...


Holee said...

If our nation was in better shape you wouldn't be having so much trouble. Kevin could have gotten a first time buyer loan. But right now with the banks in trouble, you are not alone searching for a mortage.

You might have to settle for an apartment until the economy gets better. I don't think it matters who you are right now, everything is pretty much locked up since a lot of the problem was mortgages in the first place.

Now that the banks threw the first handout down the drain, it will take sometime for money to become available again. I think people would help you if they could.

I hope Kevin gets some help tomorrow and he starts to feel better.

Keira said...

i'm sorry you are feeling down tonight. i hope it might help just a little to know how many people are out here, pulling for you, praying for you.....
wishing you strength and peace tonight.

Traci said...

Hang in there Les!! I know you have been through so much and the last thing you need is to worry about finding a place to live.
Regardless of the economy, the banks or our own US Army should be able to take care of their own and apparently they are not.

There are so many homes out there that have been foreclosed on and i'm sure that the bank could afford to sell it to Kevin. Like you said, he of all people should be able to have his own home. It saddens me to think that with all the sacrifices our soldiers and their families make that its never enough.

I'm here for you Les!! Hugs!!

Anonymous said...

yo, herd lady...where the hell is your drive-on rag. you're getting sweat in your eyes.

Jessica said...

I don't know what to say other than this really sucks. And I don't know anything about shunts but surely they should work better than this. I'm praying that a solution will quickly be found and that God will provide the right medical staff to do it.

Your frustrations are completely understandable, that you want to get Kevin a stable home, and you're doing the best that you can. Bless you and I hope you can get some rest tonight. I'll be praying that God will continue to give you the strength to get through each day and face each obstacle.

Vicki C said...

Oh Les.. I would have never been able to do all that you have done thus far. I dont know how you do it. You have every right in the world to feel that way. But... I know you.. and tomorrow you will fight the fight harder and tougher than ever... because that's who you are! Sending you big huge fat hugs!! And lots of em!

Jodi said...

Hey Les. I am so sorry you guys are having such a rough time, but you can't run away, and the in the time I have gotten to know you, I know you WON'T run away. You won't run away from taking care of your family. You will continue the fight, and you will win, one way or another. I know I have said it before, but I will keep saying it...HANG IN THERE AND STAY STRONG! You and Breezy are amazing women and Kevin is an amazing young man. Your love for each other will get you thru this.

I hope Kevin is feeling better today. You all are in my thoughts.

EXTRA healing and positive thoughts for Kevin.
EXTRA strength and comfort for Leslie and Breezy.
Safe thoughts for all military personnel and strength for their families.
BIG HUGS (and lots of them) AND ALL MY LOVE TO YOU ALL!!!
Andrew's Aunt Jodi

Anonymous said...

God bless your little heart, Leslie. I keep you uplifted in my prayers each night. I am so sorry for the burden that you are carrying, God give you strength and grace to carry on.

Sorry some people feel you need a lecture - kind thoughts and prayers only, baby.

Kris said...

Gosh I can't imagine how much you must want to run as fast as you can and as far as you can. Yesterday I was on my way home from work complaining to myself about a real crappy week, wishing I could just run away to somewhere tropical and relax with a tall drink with an umbrella. Then I thought of you Leslie and everything you must be going through - honest to God I did. I was thinking that you'd probably give anything on the planet to have "problems" like a bad week at work. It sure did put things in such perspective for me, and I immediately told myself to just shut the blank-blank up and be thankful :-)

It's so incredibly wrong to make our heroes and their families go through such inconceivable BS. I watch the "stimulus package" arguments and see that there are millions in the package to save a field mouse in Wisconsin, millions for cable TV converter boxes, and a plethora of other crap but we can't give any resources to the health care system(s) for our heroes?!?! We cannot get them the top notch medical care they deserve?! Not to get political but geez I just don't understand. I don't know how anyone in the VA (and other agencies) can sleep at night.

My heart bleeds for you all - I pray so hard that things ease up for you. SOON. I pray so hard for your strength peace and comfort, I cannot imagine how much of each of those things you need each minute of each day.

God bless you Leslie, Kev & Breezy, God bless you all. We're all out here praying for you and praying with you each and every day. HUGS.

- Kris, a Soldiers' Angel from RI

Anonymous said...

You're such a strong woman! And a great mother. The things you have to face and deal with everyday is something that no one should ever have to do. Don't ever doubt yourself, because you're doing the best that you can. Things will turn around, I'm sure, and in time- everything will sort itself out. Keep your head up!(=

Long-time RN said...

A rough time indeed. So very sorry you're feeling down and Kevin's shunt continues malfunctioning.
Keeping you close in prayers today. ((Hugs))

Anonymous said...

Would it be better to maybe rent a house or handicapped accessed apartment for now? That would take the time pressure off of you with wanting to get Kevin out of the hospital soon. Then you could jump though all the hoops without the pressure of needing a home right away.

I sure hope Kevin does not need even more brain shunt surgery :(

Is your brother still there to help with any of this?

You really need a break! Like you don't know that already lol ;)

Anonymous said...

The post about renting an accessible apartment sounds like it might be a good option for now. We can all see how stressed you are trying to work through the almost impossible process of purchasing a house in this terrible economy. Surely, in a city the size of Tampa, they must have nice accessible apartments for you, Kevin, and Breezy to live in until your lives settle down, and then you can go about searching for a permanent home in a less frenzied manner. Is this worth considering in order to take some of the stress off for now, and allow you to relax a little and just concentrate on your family? I'm sure if you have a nice place to live, it really won't matter for now if you own the place or just rent.

Sending good thoughts your way....

Anonymous said...


Stay strong my friend, it will all fall in place. We are on God's time. I can ease a tiny little issue, I got your tag today and I will bring it to you tomorrow. You will find a mortgage! I know many have kindly said renting may ease the pressure, but adaptive housing is hard to find. Accessible means his chair will go through the doorways and will not meet Kevin's other needs. I have helped a couple guys look, I know the obstacles you face. Please call that lady, that I gave you her number. She helped another family with housing. I think Kevin, would be top on a list for housing. I pray your answer is coming soon...Love to You all
You Know Who

The Rock said...

Hi , Leslie
First I have a Web site for you .This Group ( Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ) is on Capitol Hill right now, to bring awareness to PTSD , Head Injuries , and the " right treatment " for Soldiers after they come home from War .
I agree with Anonymous , you don't need Lectures ! You need to vent that is why you created this Journal.
You need some loving encouragements ,and prayers !
This too shall pass....


Local vet featured in article

Kevin Kammerdiener of East Brady was the subject of a story in the Arizona Republic.

A big Pittsburgh Steelers fan from East Brady who was wounded last year while serving in Afghanistan was featured in an article in the Jan. 31 edition of the Arizona Republic newspaper leading up to the Super Bowl.

Kevin Kammerdiener, 20, was pictured in the newspaper receiving an autographed football from former Steeler Rocky Bleier. Bleier, who served in Vietnam and was wounded during his tour of duty, visited the VA hospital in Tampa where Kammerdiener is recovering.

Bleier was accompanied on the pre-Super Bowl visit by NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka.

The newspaper article said Kammerdiener spent his 20th birthday in a coma. He spent 10 months in Afghanistan working as a gunner on a Humvee until the day a suicide bomber crashed into his truck. The newspaper said Kammerdiener flew 35 feet and landed on his head; his helmet had already been blown off.

Kammerdiener lost half his brain that day, and 25 percent of his body was burned, according to the newspaper. His mother, Leslie, has been at his side for at least 12 hours a day for the past 243 days, having quit her job with a cable company.

The newspaper said that with the help of doctors Kammerdiener is now able to say about 25 words. The second word he said during Bleier’s hospital visit was “Steelers”, according to the newspaper.

The newspaper article was titled “War and Remembrance” with a subhead that read “Bond Beyond Sports - Super Bowl stars know heroes are not made only on football fields.”