Today I broke down and finally went to a doctor (at my parents insistence - geez). I have been really sick and I am just so drained - both emotionally and physically. I really tried not to go - I have no money and I have no insurance, but I was worried about pneumonia and passing it on to Christian when he gets here.
So I did go and the doc told me that I don't have any real problems with my lungs, but that my lifestyle isn't going to let that cough and all the other symptoms go away on their own. He wrote me out 3 scripts and I asked him to put them in their order of importance. I know how much meds can cost and I was pretty sure they weren't all going to be in my budget.
I did manage to get two of them, but I had to pass on the third. I am hoping the steroid and inhaler take care of things. We shall see.
I think I am going to have to sit down with some of the folks at the VA here in SA. I need more help. I just can't keep up at this pace. The VA here refuses to give me more than 15 hours a week and I use those hours to try to get other things done that I can't do while Kevin is underfoot. I should be using them for rest, but there's no time for that. It really needs to change.
And I forgot to tell you guys that yesterday I had to argue with a VA employee who called to remind Kevin of an appt next week. I told her she had to talk to me and she flat out refused. She was determined to speak to Kevin and wouldn't tell me anything. I tried to explain that he can't talk and that I manage all of his appointments, but she wasn't interested in hearing what I had to say. I had to call Mary today to find out if my guardianship papers are on file and they are so I guess I'll just chalk it up to someone not interested in doing their job fully. She really just needed to look closer at our file.
Can you just tell I don't feel good? I feel snarky and tired.
Today we drove to therapy only to find out that the speech therapist had called off. We just jumped back in the car and came home.
Oddly enough, Kevin's iPad quit working today. It was fine on the ride up to therapy, but it wouldn't even turn on on the ride home. I thought it might have needed synced, but iTunes wouldn't even acknowledge it. So I researched the Apple website and found that you can hold two buttons down simultaneously to 'reboot' it. Thank goodness for the internet, huh? That worked and all was right in Kevin's world again, lol.
Kevin and I didn't really do much else today. We played the Wii for a bit and then he went to his room to watch a movie.
And I'm not sure if he called Ronnie or if Ronnie called him, but they talked for a while too. I am excited to say that Ronnie and his girlfriend are coming to visit in a couple weeks! Kevin is beside himself. He is just so excited! He just kept walking around the house saying "YES!" all night long.
And now I really need to get some sleep. I have to take a hot bath first though - I am just so cold lately...
We didn't do too much today. It was rainy and kinda yucky so we mostly stayed in. We did go to the movies this evening though. Kevin and Johnny went to see one and I went to see another. And that pretty much sums up our excitement for the day.
I forgot to mention yesterday that my mom went back into the hospital the day before and it turns out she needed a cardiac stent as one of her main arteries was 80% blocked. She is doing well now and actually went home today.
Breezy is doing well too. Still no Christian though. Soon...very soon...
Today Kevin had to go to speech therapy. His OT and PT sessions have run out and I'm waiting for the VA to 'renew' them. It's been a couple of weeks already so hopefully they get on it soon. I really don't want him to lose any of what he has gained.
We also had the railings installed in the garage today. No more having to spot Kevin when he comes in and out of the house from there. Next week someone from the VA is coming to the house to look it over for other potential problems for Kevin. I can't think of anything else, but they are more versed in the world of disabilities.
And it's so wonderful to hear Kevin in his room playing Black Ops on his XBox. Some of his friends from PA are online playing the game with him and it makes me so happy. He wanted this game for Christmas and I wasn't sure if I should get it for him or not. He rarely plays on his XBox because his pinky finger is permanently bent at an odd angle and he can't use it on that one handed controller he has, but he didn't really ask for anything else so he got it. He has been on that thing for hours every day since Christmas. I love it!
Every day more and more of the old Kevin is back. Now if we could only get his balance back enough for him to skateboard...
Kevin and I did nothing much today. He did go for a walk and that's pretty much it. I haven't been feeling well and slept on the couch most of the day and to be honest, I think I'm just gonna sign off and go to bed already.
Poor Kevin. He went for a walk today and probably about 20 minutes after he left I heard the pitter patter of rain. At first, I didn't think anything of it, but then I realized it was coming down harder and harder and that Kevin was still out there. I hurried up and got in the car and started driving around the neighborhood. In the interim, he was calling to have me come and get him. I found him around the corner and by the time I got to him it was a torrential downpour. He was soaked!
It was funny because when he got in the car - he looked at me, I looked at him and we both burst out laughing. He had the appearance of a drowned rat. It was so comical.
After that, we just putzed around all day. I cooked a nice dinner and Breezy and Chris came over and once they left Kevin and I decided to begin our Star Wars marathon. All 6 movies are on TV in a row and we are taping them. We watched Episode 1 tonight.
Well, I think I am going to go up to my room and read a little bit.
Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope Santa brings everything y'all asked for!
Kevin and I never left the house again today. I think I'm glad we ended up coming home early from the retreat because it gave me a chance to get things done that I wouldn't have had time to do otherwise.
We did get some more cookies baked and then I worked on getting the upstairs a little more unpacked. The main part of the house is finished - and has been for a while, but my area got forgotten about - like pretty much every facet of my life has.
We also Skyped with my family this evening as they were all having their Christmas celebration tonight. Chrissy and her husband both have to work over the holiday so it was best to do it today. It was nice 'seeing' everyone - esp Chrissy as she is pregnant too and is just starting to show.
So now I am going to sign off and take a hot bath and then try to get some sleep. I am cold for some reason tonight and will never be able to sleep until I get warm.
Yesterday Kevin's scooter was delivered! He was ecstatic and took it for a little spin around the driveway area. I was happy to see that he didn't really do much with it today though because it's not going to be for everyday use. The scooter is for long distances, like going to Six Flags and places like that. I was worried I was going to have to pull the 'mean mom' card and forbid it, but Kevin has been really working on his legs by walking as much as he does and he realizes he can't ride it all the time. Phew.
His new arm/hand splints were delivered yesterday too. He has three - one that is worn for a while during the day to keep his hand/fingers opened and the other two are to be worn at night to work on his hand and also to straighten his elbow. From what I understand, the 'tension' will be tightened every 90 days or so to extend his arm further.
So far, he is willing to wear each one about an hour, but we need to get up to all night and as much of the day as possible. It will take some time to get him accustomed to them though, so an hour is good at this point.
And today we baked cookies for Christmas. I hadn't planned on it because we were supposed to be away, but since we are home and all of our appointments had been canceled, I opted to do some baking. Kevin helped a little bit, but the kitchen here is tiny and there really isn't room for two in there. I put him to work at the table though, rest assured, lol.
And thanks for the well wishes on my mom. She is home now, but has a CT scan scheduled for tomorrow and they will go from there.
Breezy is doing well too. She goes to the doctor tomorrow and I'm anxious to hear how she's 'progressing'. I was so sure she was having Christian the other night as her labor pains were pretty intense and only 2 minutes apart. It didn't happen though, obviously, lol.
Well...we are home already. Kevin was not a happy camper at all. First let me say that Ye Kendall Inn was a fantastic place! I loved it, but it was a very quaint inn and not something Kevin would enjoy.
We did go to the welcoming party and the dinner, but there was not one person there that was Kevin's age. All of the folks were married with children and it was just not any fun for Kevin (he did stay at the party for close to 4 hours though). I pretty much knew immediately that this wasn't going to work, but I had hoped that Kevin would at least stay the night and see how it went tomorrow. No go, though. He was miserable so we just came home.
So did anyone see the eclipse tonight? It's foggy here and I am so disappointed. Can't see a thing in the sky, darnit!
And to end, I would like to ask that y'all keep my mom in your thoughts. She was admitted to the hospital yesterday with chest pains. She hasn't had a heart attack (thankfully), but they are still running tests as her left arm is still numb. My dad thinks they will release her tomorrow, but we'll see. Keeping those fingers crossed...
Tonight we went over to Breezy's for dinner. Her and Chris cooked some lemon pepper chicken and we all pigged out. We were thinking about going to see some Christmas lights after dinner, but we were all too lazy to drive to the other side of town, lol.
Breezy is having some pretty serious contractions tonight too, as well as a LOT of pressure. Hmmm...like I said - I'll bet Christian comes while we are gone. It's ok though - it's probably not too much further to the hospital from the retreat as it is from our house. No matter what - we'll be there!
So tomorrow we are headed about a half hour north to Boerne, TX for the wounded heroes retreat that is sponsored by the Military Warriors Support Foundation. I have no idea what to expect, but we are both looking forward to it. It's a 4 day/3 night retreat with different events taking place daily. I understand it's a very quaint and artistic town with tons of things to do. And luckily, it's going to be in the mid seventies and sunny all week too! (did I hear a collective groan from all you northerners stuck up there in the cold? LOL)
I will be taking my laptop and assuming there is an internet connection, will post as the days go by. I'm not sure if there is though as the hotel was built in the 1800s, but I am thinking they have added modern conveniences. If you don't hear from us though - know that that is the situation.
We had company today. Daniel (who was with Kevin during the attack) came over to visit Kevin this afternoon and I know Kevin really appreciated it. It was the first time they ever got together out of the hospital environment and I think they had a great visit. I'm just glad the ramp was put in a few days ago so that Daniel COULD come to visit.
Here are some photos of the guys in front of Daniel's new car:
It was interesting to see the hand gas and brake device that enables Daniel to drive. If Kevin is ever able to drive - it's how he will too.
Here are a couple more pics from the other day too. One is of the hat Moe sent Kevin for Christmas and the other is a shirt that the other Leslie sent.
We ended up having a lazy day today, which was totally unexpected. We were supposed to have an appointment with the burns plastic surgeon, but Kevin wasn't feeling well this morning, so I had to cancel that.
In the interim, his speech therapist has the flu so she called and canceled today's session, leaving us with a totally free weekday.
I made about 3 hours of phone calls and got a LOT of things done. Kevin pretty much stayed in bed all day until this evening. He did get up for dinner and then we took Breezy home and stopped at Home Depot for a couple of things.
I am trying my darnedest to get over a bad cough. I woke up with it maybe a week ago and although it may be slightly better than it was the first day or so, it just won't go away. I am assuming this is why I am so tired, because every time I sit on the couch I start nodding off.
One great thing is that Kevin is letting me sleep some at night now. I am usually out by 3am and he rarely calls me after that so I am getting some quality zzzz's lately. I want to believe that he is sleeping as well, but I can't say for sure. If he's not, he's keeping himself entertained - which is just great. He must also be doing things for himself - which is even better, lol.
As for my decision on whether to post every day - I still don't know what I'll end up doing. I think we just might have more days that I skip as there are just so many days where we do nothing exciting. I do appreciate everyone's input though!
I think, in part, it's also because I am just tired and in that holiday funk. It's going to be weird not having my whole family at the table at Christmas. I have to think that this could be my dad's last Christmas and that makes it hard too.
But, I guess there's no sense in complaining. It is what it is and I can't change it so I guess I'll do what my favorite Airborne guy says "Wipe the sweat and drive on!"
I'm going to skip again tonight. We have hit a very boring time in our lives and it's hard to come up with things to say more often than not. Lately I've been thinking about not writing every night, but this is such an integral part of our lives that I'm not sure I can do it, lol.
Still, it may happen. We are just so predictable lately (therapy, docs, walks, etc) and it has to be just as boring for you to read about it as it is for me to write about it.
Kevin and I just had one of those days today. You know - one of those days where you just get on each others' nerves?
He was in such a mood that he even refused to go in to therapy. I went in and waited, hoping he would eventually get over it and come in, but after a half hour I realized there was no sense in waiting any longer. He just wasn't getting out of the car.
He did take a nap on the way home and it seemed to help some, but honestly - he was just in a snappy mood, which in turn put me in one too.
A question for all of the folks out there that do acupuncture - does it work immediately? And if not, how long until it does start working?
Kevin had it done this afternoon and he did great lying there for the half hour with the needles in his face/head, but he says it has made no difference to his pain level. Apparently, he is always in pain, but it's not so bad most of the time. When it gets that way though, is when he asks for Tylenol.
So I was just wondering if it should be immediate? The doctor mentioned if it worked some we would do it again in 2 weeks, but I never thought to ask when it would work.
Anyway, after we saw the doc, we went to the burn ward and visited all of our friends. We haven't been there for a couple of months and it was nice to see everyone.
After that, we met up with Johnny and he and Kevin went off to go to a skate shop and I picked up Breezy and brought her to our house. I figured our couch was just as good as hers and it would at least get her out of her living room for a couple hours. She is still having minor, sporadic contractions (all of them in her back), but she goes back to see the ob/gyn on Thursday. I'm anxious to see what is said.
Kevin and I are going on a wounded warrior retreat next week, so I will lay odds that she has Christian then...
Well, the docs managed to get Breezy's labor stopped and she has been sent home with orders for bed rest for at least the next week. She is feeling much better and hopefully we have a couple more weeks before Christian arrives.
Kevin and I didn't do much today. I spent the day getting this house scrubbed down and Kevin went for his two walks and then just generally lay around the rest of the day. We did watch some tv together (we are watching the Indiana Jones movies consecutively), but that's really it. It was just a very boring day.
I am going to answer a few questions tonight though. I am so far behind.
Hallie - I see it's cold and windy up there in PA, but let me tell you - it's only 39 degrees here right now. It's been downright cold, but at least Kevin and I had hot cocoa with marshmallow fluff tonight. Still, I'm sure it's much yuckier up there... How's your husband doing?
Bryan - thanks for taking care of the water leak. I knew when the bill more than doubled that something was wrong. I will call Chris tomorrow and discuss the bill. Say 'hi' to JT for us!
Jessica - I had my sister bring my fake tree when they came at Thanksgiving. We decorated it last weekend so it's all ready to go. I have heard that real trees are quite expensive here, but that's coming from someone who lived near the "Christmas Tree Capital of the World" - Indiana, PA - where they were pretty cheap.
Jessica - you also mentioned about the woman who woke up speaking with a foreign accent - that is actually very common in this experience. Do you guys remember the roommate that Kevin got while in Tampa for the one night? The guy that threw his pants at me and was screaming at me and Kevin the whole time? Well, he woke up speaking Spanish. He hadn't been able to speak any other languages but English before his injury, but he couldn't understand a word of English for a while. From what I gather, this is also common. It has always made me wonder about the possibility of reincarnation. I mean...how else can you wake up as a completely different person speaking a different language altogether?
Nicolette, go for it. Kevin was in the Army as part of The Herd - 173rd Airborne Brigade Special Troops Battalion (I sure hope I got that last part right). He is now discharged.
Speaking of...Leslie - Kevin got his hat and shirt! Love them both! Thanks so much!!
Aggie - woohoo!!!! Call me after you get home from work either Mon, Wed or Friday while Kevin is in therapy if you can. We'll catch up then!
Ok - I know there are so many more than need commented on, but I am going to sign off and go read for a while.
We had planned to go to Six Flags today, but it didn't work out. I had an appt for the cable guy to come out and fix the tv, but he didn't end up getting here until really late in the day. By the time he left, it was just too late to go, so I can only hope we have another warm weekend day before Christmas.
So...both Kevin and I have been sitting by the phone all night talking to Breezy because she is in preterm labor. We just hung up again and the docs have decided to keep her in the hospital and medicate her every half hour to get the labor stopped. She has started dilating and she is 50% effaced, but her doc wants her to hold off a while yet. Some docs would allow her to deliver this early (due Jan 12), but the nurses told her this doctor is overcautious. I'm good with that. The longer Christian stays where he's at - the better.
And poor Kevin. He is addicted to Angry Birds on his iPad now and he downloaded the Christmas version and just found out that each level becomes available each day up until the 25th of this month. Hehe. He whaled through the first 11 levels today, but has to wait until tomorrow, the 12th of Dec, for level 12. Hilarious!
Well, I think I am going to try to get some sleep. Gosh knows if Breezy is going to end up needing us or not, so I want to be prepared.
Can you believe that Kevin can count up to 50 now? Yes, he stumbles over some of the numbers (ten, twelve, etc), but he can do it with a few little nudges from either me or his speech therapist. He also has almost all of the days of the week down pat as well. The other day I taught him to say "come here" and he also says "I'm going to walk". I have tried to get him to say "I'm going FOR A walk", but no go. No matter though - I'll take it. And so will he.
He isn't getting frustrated as often as he used to. Partly because he is able to say much more than he used to and I think in part because he has just accepted that he is limited and needs to find alternate modes of communication at times. The therapist even mentioned today that she is seeing a difference in the last few weeks and I totally agree.
All around, really. I really need to video tape him so that you guys can all see the difference too. You would just be amazed.
Today was a really good day. We just stayed home and did things around the house. We had a guy coming to measure the steps in the garage for a railing so we needed to be home. Kevin has fallen there a couple of times and Breezy even fell last week because they just weren't designed very well. I'm not really sure what the architect was thinking, but hopefully the railings will help.
The VA is putting in a temporary ramp as well to the front door, but we always park in the garage. The ramp will be for those times when Kevin just isn't feeling well and can't make the three steps into the house.
So I haven't mentioned lately how well Kevin is doing with the pain. There are often days where he takes no additional pain meds at all - today being one of them. Most days he takes one or two doses of Tylenol and that's it. I think he's had one oxy in the last 10 days or so. This Aleve has really made a difference.
I think it helps too that he enjoys living here much more than the apt. He is able to walk one or two times a day and we don't have to worry about the elevator not working. I think we were nervous every time we left the apartment.
This is really just a more 'homey' place. Much brighter and although the sq footage is nearly the same - it feels much bigger. It probably doesn't hurt to have some of our own things too, eh?
Case in point - I had to purchase Kevin a shelf for all of his movies since my sister brought all of his old ones from FL and after Johnny put the shelf together tonight, Kevin spent FOREVER organizing them. He is such a movie collector and he was just so excited when he opened the box from Florida.
Ok - Moe just called so I am going to sign off and BS with her for a while.
It was a crazy day today. We had numerous appointments at the house through the afternoon (heating, repairmen, blinds, etc) and then Breezy had her baby shower after work. The ladies she worked with threw it and it was so enjoyable. Kevin, Johnny and I all went and I took a ton of photos. Unfortunately, I am just too lazy to download and edit the pics tonight so I will upload some tomorrow evening.
So did y'all know they make Steelers pacifiers? Hehe. Yeah - she was real excited to get those cute little Steelers onesies and binkies. Quite a few of the other guests groaned when they saw them because we are in Cowboys country here and they all must jokingly argue with her about her Steelers fanaticism. It was kinda funny, lol.
But seriously - I believe Kevin enjoyed himself. I wasn't going to take him as it's mostly a girl thing (although there were other men there), but Breezy asked for him to come and he agreed. I had Johnny drive too, just in case they wanted to leave early, but they stayed the whole time.
After the shower, we ate dinner and then Kevin and I went for a long walk. He took me on his 'path' so that I know where he walks every time he sets off. He walks the entire development, up and down every street, around each cul-de-sac and up the path to the elementary school playground. Quite the distance it was, that's for sure. I am very proud of him for being motivated enough to walk this distance at least once a day.
Kevin had therapy today and I was so happy to hear Roz (his speech therapist) say that they have really hit it off and Kevin is willing to now work with her no matter what she is asking him to do. We are working on more phrases (as opposed to single words) to help us at home. Things like "help me" and "come here" and "I got it". I like that we are working together too to keep the same phrases active in his mind on his 'off therapy' days. We keep each other informed as to what we are working on and what is pretty much down pat.
With Kevin, most of the time it is just about repeating and repeating until he has it embedded in his mind. Sometimes though - he just can't get the syllables to work together. For example - you too. I can't get him to say those two little words together for anything. He can say 'you' and he can say 'too', just not one after the other.
And sometimes he needs inflection to be able to say something. Oddly enough - he can say "I got it", but only with a British accent (kinda like - by golly, I think I've got it). It's why he picks up on movie quotes so easily - it's all about the melodic note to the phrase.
No matter what though - he is really doing fantastic with his talking.
Today was a pretty good day. We are both starting to feel better and it's about time. I spent the better part of the day getting more unpacked and organized. I also cooked a nice dinner and Breezy and Chris came over to eat and then we all put up the Christmas tree. Kevin wasn't there to help though because he went for a walk. He went for two today - in the hopes that he will lose some weight. I keep telling him it's more what and how much he eats and drinks, but he isn't willing to go so far as to cut back on that, lol.
He is doing great on the walking too. He didn't take his cane either time and he probably walks between 30-45 minutes each time. His stamina is getting better and better and his balance is too. It's unbelievable how well he is taking the step up onto the sidewalk now. He still has to stop and 'ready' himself to do so, but he doesn't have to use anything anymore to push himself up. I will have to try to remember to take some video soon.
And that's really about it today. I never left the house and Kevin only did so while walking. He wanted to ride his bike tonight, but I won't allow it while it's dark out. Tomorrow is another day though, right?
So yesterday Kevin had a dentist's appointment. I am so sad to say that our fabulous Dr. Craig is retiring at the end of the month. We are all quite sad by this fact, but Kev and Dr C made the best of it yesterday.
Oddly enough - they both collect goofy hats. When we went back to FL, Kevin found his Bob Marley hat and knew immediately he wanted to take it and show Dr. Craig. He has been patiently waiting to go see him and the hat even beat out his iPad in importance yesterday (gasp!!). Well...you know Dr. C had to try it on, right? Here he is:
And here is a photo of the two of them.
It's just so sad to think we will probably never see each other again. The two of them just hit it off so well.
So while we were in the dentist's office, the vision impairment folks called and wanted to get together to discuss vision therapy for Kevin. Apparently they knew we were on the third floor for the dentist and wanted us to go down to the second floor when we were finished to see them. That was mighty convenient and we were happy to do so.
The gentleman that was 'seeing' Kevin did a few tests and decided to have a private firm do an evaluation to see what Kevin could benefit from. He was (at first) more interested in having Kevin learn to 'deal with' his vision impairment, but I told him that we were not going to assume that Kevin could never get his vision back. Sure, he may not, but with all the other progresses he has made, who can truly assume that he couldn't get his full vision back with a little therapy to remind the brain that he has two good eyes?
So now we wait and see when the firm will call to get the ball rolling on that too.
And we do now have an appointment with the plastic surgeon too. I think I mentioned the other day that we were going to start that process as well.
The month is filling up. Our schedule is absolutely crazy for the next few weeks and I may have to start scheduling days 'off', lol.
Although...I did get a small chunk of time to myself today. While Kevin was at therapy, I went to this little bistro that was featured a while back in the news for being such a homey place. I grabbed a cookie and a bottle of water and just sat on the couch and read for about an hour. They had jazz music playing and it really was a relaxing hour or so. I was the only person in there at that hour and I liked that too, lol. It may become my new home while Kevin is in therapy. I haven't figured out if it's worth the drive back home for the few hours he's there. We'll see, I guess...
Today we had to go to BAMC to see the neurosurgeon for a 3 month post-op appointment. He had nothing but good things to say about Kevin's healing process. He commented on how well Kevin is talking now and he said his scar is looking great. There are no signs of any infection at this point either, but the 'danger zone' is a good six months.
While there, we started the process of fixing the indentation of Kevin's left temple area. The doc called a facial plastic surgeon for a consult, with the knowledge that we can't have the surgery done until the 6 month period is past. We know it will take that long to get everything in gear so I am glad we are setting the ball in motion now.
Obviously my fear is having all of this happen again (new surgery, bringing on another infection, causing the plate to be removed again). The surgeon feels there is very little risk (but there IS still risk) to do it this new way - where you basically take fat from your own body and inject it into the dented area. It's done as out-patient too, which is great.
Kevin is demanding that this be done though and I have to go along with his wants. I do understand his feelings, but I will always be fearful. I just can't imagine looking one way one day and waking up months later looking so completely different. Sometimes I catch Kevin looking in the mirror with this horribly sad look on his face. It's so heart-wrenching.
The surgeon also keeps bringing up that he wants to remove Kevin's shunt. My heart flutters every time he mentions it. He somewhat allayed my fears by telling me that he will go into Kevin's stomach first and clamp the tube to see if there is any effect, but still... (if you remember, the shunt tube goes from the top of Kevin's skull, under his skin down his neck, chest and then into his stomach.) I feel better knowing he doesn't plan to just remove it and see what happens, but again - it makes me so nervous. Remember how many shunt revision surgeries we had a while back? Gosh...I don't to even think about doing all of that again.
But...all of this is down the road. As are the few other surgeries he will still need.
We finally did make it to see the new Harry Potter movie! Poor Kevin couldn't see the whole screen though because the theater was on the small size. He needs a large theater and he also needs to sit at the top on the right just to be able to see the whole thing. He basically missed everything that was on the right side of the screen so we may have to go back and see it again at a different theater.
He didn't complain though...but at one point in the middle of the movie when it happened to be all quiet, Kevin exclaimed "I'm hungry" nice and loudly, lol. It's one of the reasons we try to go during the day - he sometimes says things too loud.
And we are both battling colds now. I gave Kevin some NyQuil earlier and he has been sleeping pretty soundly. I can't take anything because I can't afford to be groggy so hopefully it just gets out of both of our systems rather quickly.
And I think I will take advantage of the fact that Kevin is snoring away and will get some sleep myself.
Today was a pretty hectic day. Kevin had therapy and while he was there, I went to clean the apartment. I did the bulk of it, but when I went down to grab more cleaning supplies out of the car, the elevator was broke down. I just gave up.
I was told Kevin did fantastic at therapy today too. The speech therapist was open to making a change to her teaching plan and she is working with Kevin on some new phrases. He is really moving that arm more and more all the time and when we went for a walk tonight I was impressed to see him step on and off the curb with ease. We also 'raced' to the mailboxes and he was able to push his speed quite a bit - although not for long. It's a start though...
And then we got stuck in rush hour traffic coming home from therapy. It looks like that's how it's gonna roll every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from here on out. But we are going to continue to go to Global Rehab - even though it's across town - because Kevin does really well there and that is more than half the battle.
Then tonight Kevin and I decided to sit down and watch the last Harry Potter movie because we are going to go see the new one tomorrow afternoon. I fell asleep on the couch within twenty minutes and Kevin decided to give it up and go to his room. His iPad was apparently calling his name, lol.
I am hoping he goes to sleep soon though. I'm tired...
Well, everything is all moved in. I am still organizing and probably will be for days, if not weeks, but at least we are all out of there. I have to go back Monday while Kevin is in therapy and clean the old apartment, but then we are done.
So my sister and her boyfriend were kind enough to bring some of our things in a truck from FL. They also helped us move, along with Chris and Johnny.
Kevin was most excited to have his bike back. As soon as he got up and moving today he wanted to go for a bike ride. I don't know why I didn't notice it then, but Mr. Kevin didn't have a helmet on. I thought about it later today and sure enough - the pictures below prove it. Kevin's in trouble...
This community is very small and very quiet. It's also very flat, which is perfect for his bike.
And tonight we first had dinner with our good friend, Pam. We haven't seen her in a while and I'm so glad we got together. Kevin picked on her the whole time, but she gives as good as she gets, lol.
After that, we went home and got ready and then we went out for a while. One of the guys at the center that Kevin goes to for therapy is the lead singer in a band and they were playing at a little pub tonight. I think it was their first show and Kevin really wanted to go. We stayed maybe an hour and a half and we had fun. A few of the other 'patients' were there, so we did sorta know a few other people too. Here is a pic of Kevin at the club:
And lastly, here is a photo of Kevin with some of the Atreyu band members from the other night:
I know it's ridiculously early for me to be posting, but AT&T mistakenly turned off our cable/internet at home so I will only be able to post while at the new house. Since we have no furniture or anything there yet, that means I won't really be posting for a couple of days.
So...on that note...
HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!!!!!!!!
We'll be back after we get all moved in - sometime over the weekend.
Kevin had a most wonderful night tonight! His favorite band, Atreyu, was in town and we went down early this evening and spent an hour or so with the guys in their tour bus just visiting. Lucky for me (and my ears), Johnny was able to take him back at 10pm for the concert. The band gave Kevin a couple of tickets (and a bunch of other paraphernalia) and they held a table right in front.
You had to know that Kevin wasn't interested in sitting though, right? No way. Not my boy. Johnny told me Kevin went straight for the mosh pit. Yikes. I'm glad I wasn't there. I guess he did pretty well, but I'm still glad I wasn't there. I am also glad that he could act like a normal 22 year old without him mommy hanging around, ya know?
And man - he was just so excited! He kept thanking me over and over like I did something special. As if I wouldn't have taken him, lol.
So I got some stuff done around the house, but mostly I watched the finale of DWTS. It was a nice, quiet evening at home and I always love those.
It's gonna be a bit hectic here over the next few days so I enjoyed it while I could. But now, I really need to get to bed. It's after 4am and I am whooped. Hopefully Kevin remains sleeping so that I can too...
I couldn't get Kevin up for therapy this morning. I wasn't surprised, so I called and changed the appt back to the afternoon. To make up for it, he took a mile long walk before even going to his 3 hour stretch of therapy. That boy was soaked in sweat when he got back, lol. It took him about an hour and he walked around the apartment buildings twice. He does this frequently now and I have no problem allowing him to go by himself any longer.
While Kevin was at therapy I went down the road about a mile and met Breezy for her ob/gyn appointment. We got to hear baby Christian's heartbeat and it's as strong as ever. I need to take some pics of her soon - she is really popping right out there. (btw, GrannieEv - their color choices for the nursery are navy and green. And congrats on your new granddaughter!)
But, I am going to sign off early once again. I am just so tired and I keep drifting off to sleep while writing this post. I will update our address on the right side though. I know a couple of you have asked for it and I have been meaning to do it for days.
We got quite a bit moved today. Pretty much everything that we won't need for the week is already at the new house and put away. It helps that we don't really have much here as it is a temporary home, but it really is amazing how much stuff you can accumulate over time too.
Kevin has just been a champ. He has been packing like a madman and even better - when we get to the new house he always unpacks the car while I take everything and put it in it's place. He has been able to lift heavy boxes out of the trunk with one arm that I can only do with two. Truly - what a help he's been!
And now I really need to get to bed. Kev has therapy early tomorrow and I need to be up in a few hours. He just fell asleep himself so it's gonna be fun getting him up, lol.
We didn't make it up to see the baby today. I was so disappointed. Kevin was vomiting this morning and although he was feeling better later in the day, I didn't want to risk the 2 hour drive up there so we didn't get to see everyone.
Truthfully, I am just going to skip tonight as I really need to get everything packed this weekend. We are just too busy during the week to get much done and we are moving Friday. I did accomplish quite a bit today, but there is still more to be done.
Geez. Time got away from me tonight. I have been packing all night and just looked at the clock and realized I needed to write the blog and then get to bed. We are going to see my cousin Elizabeth tomorrow up at Ft. Hood. She just had a baby a couple of days ago and my Aunt Mona flew down to visit so we are going up to get together for a bit. Breezy and Chris are going too.
We didn't really do much today. Kevin had therapy, but we were given the wrong time so we missed OT. And I guess Kevin shut down in speech. The therapist is making him finish sentences and he only wants to work on learning words. It made him mad so he just quit doing anything. He and I discussed it tonight and he just won't budge. He's been trying to tell me for days that it was making him mad, but I couldn't figure it out for the life of me. Finally...I got it tonight.
And that's pretty much it so I guess I'll catch y'all tomorrow.
We went to the VA today to pick up Kevin's new wheelchair. We ended up having to leave it though because the arm rest on this one comes up and turns to allow a side transfer and Kevin needs it to stay locked into position so that he can use it to stabilize himself while getting up. They are hoping to come up with a way to pin it into place.
While we were there, Kevin picked out a scooter for use while at amusement parks and other places that require a lot of walking. Kevin was not thrilled with the idea before we got there, but as soon as he walked in and saw this 4 wheel one he was like "oh yeah". He got on the thing and took off for a nice ride. The prosthetics guy walked with him and said Kevin did a fantastic job and he had no qualms getting Kevin this model.
The cool thing about it? It breaks down into 4 parts - none of them more than 18 pounds so I can just tear it apart and put it in the car. Way cool, huh? I don't know how long it will take to get it, but I hope it's soon. We want to go back to Six Flags for the Christmas show and I cannot push him around like I did the last time.
Anyway, they have to rewire it for a left handed driver and make the seat swivel to the left too for Kevin to disembark. It's really amazing the things that can be done to help the physically challenged live better lives, isn't it?
And we got the keys to the new place today. He isn't charging us rent until the first, but this gives me time to get things moved slowly. I also have to have the VA put in a temporary ramp to the front door. It's already been discussed and they are working on it. I realize that Kevin doesn't continually use his chair anymore, but at least it will be there for those times when he does need to.
So hopefully all of these things work out. It would be a nice change, eh?
It's unbelievable how much you can get done when you can't go anywhere. Because we couldn't go to therapy or any other appointments, I was able to make a zillion phone calls today and accomplish a ton of stuff. Yahoo!
The car was also finally fixed late this afternoon and lucky for us they had a shuttle that came and picked us up. It's a good thing too, because we have a bunch of things to do tomorrow.
I also decided to take that townhouse. The location is great for us and the price is less than we are paying now. The most important part though is that there is no elevator. The realtor came up with a couple more homes to see, but they were larger and more expensive so I just decided to forgo looking at them and go for it. I don't really want to wait because it would require us staying here another month and a half and I just don't feel good putting Kevin in a potentially harmful situation any longer than necessary.
So, it's time to start packing. Again. Anybody wanna help? LOL.
Today has just been a mostly crappy day. Do you remember how last November we got a flat tire? Umm...yeah. I think I am going to refuse to drive anywhere next November.
So we were coming back from looking at the house for rent, cruising along at about 70ish or so on the highway and we heard this really loud noise coming from the back. I looked at Kevin...he looked at me...and then he pantomimed his wheelchair, thinking that it must have shifted in the trunk. Honestly, I would have never known we had a flat until I saw the dash telling me I had zero pressure in the passenger rear tire and needed to get air immediately. The car wasn't driving any differently than it had been. Strange, huh? (for all you motor heads out there - could this be because the tires are high performance?)
So we veered over to the shoulder and within a few minutes Johnny texted me and said he was out of school early and was on his way. This was perfect as he would be driving right past us and I called him to have him stop and pick Kevin up and take him home. I had already notified OnStar to send someone and the mechanic called me a while later and asked me to look in the trunk and see if there was a spare. You would think there would be, right? Isn't it standard to include a spare in the trunk when you purchase a new car? Ummm...apparently freakin' not. There was a spare battery, but who would ever even look for one of those?
So the mechanic wasn't able to tow and after close to 45 minutes passing already, I now had to send for a tow truck. You had to know that it was rush hour by then too, right? Yep. It took almost another hour and a half for the tow truck to get there.
So I made it home. The car was towed and I guess I have to call in the morning and have the garage do the necessary work. I have absolutely no idea how to get to the car once it's done, but I'll figure it out. A cab, I guess.
And then I came home and Dancing With the Stars didn't tape! Man! That was just the icing on the cake.
But, I did like the townhouse we went to today. I'm not sure about having to run up and down the steps when Kevin calls me at night though, but it still was really nice. I'm too tired to think about it tonight though.
I'm just going to bed 'cause it's been a long, long day.
Today, for the first time, I left Kevin at therapy and went off on my own. Most of the time I spend the whole time sitting on the curb talking on the phone, but since we are up to three hours straight now I figured I had enough time to take a drive around the area looking for homes for rent.
Since I can't get a response from the apt complex we now live in on moving us into one of the homes attached to the complex, I think we may just have to go elsewhere. I can't stand the thought of moving again, but we just can't live this way. The fact that they won't fix the elevator unless it's during normal business hours just isn't acceptable to me.
So tomorrow we have an appt to look at a home that will actually be closer to Breezy. Right now we are a half hour apart and that's when there's no traffic. It's always over an hour at rush hour and this place is probably only about 10 minutes or so from her at the best times. Let's hope it works out. The man I spoke with couldn't remember if there is a walk in shower or not and that is a must for us. Keep your fingers crossed...
We don't typically do much on the weekends and we stuck true to form today. We did go for a drive as I wanted to get Kevin out of the house, but that's about it. Because I don't really have much to say, I am just going to answer a few questions:
Pattie - The all-nighter was mostly a fluke. He is sleeping a little bit now, but nothing like that one night.
One thing I keep forgetting to mention is that his pain level has been vastly reduced due to the Aleve he is now taking. Today he only took pain meds twice, but it's been about 4 times a day since we started him on it last week. Since we were up to sometimes 12 times a day - we are ecstatic with 4 times!
Aggie and Jocelyn - can't wait to talk to you guys on the phone. Joc - I know you have called a couple of times, but Kevin is still child-like when it comes to me talking on the phone so the time has to be right. Today we weren't home, but I will try to talk to you both this week.
Karen - ask me again about that app in a week or so. His new speech therapist is working with him on the one app that is a lot like the one you have discussed. It may not be necessary for you to make some phone calls. Hope life starts settling down for you soon.
Hallie - how is your husband doing?
Aly - Kevin wants to adopt Anyka! So do I! Let us know if you ever need a sitter, lol! That girl holds a very special place in our hearts.
Well, I guess I better get to bed. I'm wide awake, but I'm gonna try to sleep anyway...
My parents went home this afternoon. Kevin hated it that they left and tried to get them to stay. It was such a bittersweet moment as we pulled away from the airport because it was sad to see them go, but as we were driving off, Kevin leaned out the window and screamed "I love you, grandma. I love you, Pap.". I started tearing all up and he just got all quiet. I doubt my parents heard him because it was so loud there, but it was just so amazing to hear Kevin say those words so fluently.
Really, he is just learning so many words. And he will now be starting to have speech 3 times a week so I expect an even more rapid build of his vocabulary.
And speaking of therapy - can you believe that Kevin handled all three therapies in a row today? Yes. Three hours straight of therapy. Can you guys remember when we first discharged from the hospital and we had to drive to therapy three times a day? We would drive 20 minutes down, do a half hour or so of PT, drive home so Kevin could rest due to overstimulation, then drive back for OT and back home for another rest and then one more trip for 15 mins or so of speech and finally our last drive home. It was so exhausting and it just reminds us of exactly how far Kevin has come. He was never able to do more than 30 minutes of each therapy - usually a lot less than that and now he does three hours straight. Amazing, huh?
And still speaking of therapy, I discussed Vision Therapy with a doc from the VA today. I am curious if other parts of Kevin are starting to work because his brain is still rewiring (we have seen DEFINITE improvements in his right arm/hand), couldn't some/all of his vision possibly return too? I know that it takes working these body parts to remind his brain that he has them so I want to look into getting him into some sort of vision rehab. His brain just needs to remember that he CAN see peripherally to the right. There is absolutely nothing wrong with his eyes - it's just that his brain can't process what is sees on that side.
If you can believe it - Kevin slept ALL NIGHT last night!!! I can't recall when he actually fell asleep, but I believe it was before midnight and I didn't get a call until 6:30 this morning (and even then it wasn't for pain meds)!
We started him on Aleve because the Ibuprofen wasn't working any longer and I realize it could be a fluke, but he did take a good dose before going to sleep. He didn't need any pain medication from 9pm last night until 9am this morning. Fantastic!!!
And better yet, he only took pain meds 4 times today (our days run from midnight to 11:59pm)!!!
We are hoping that as the doses build up in his system it may take care of the pain totally. Wouldn't that be so wonderful?
And tonight Kevin and Johnny went to a movie. My mom, dad, Breezy and I spent the evening making the hard tack candy both Breezy and my niece have been craving and it was such fun to do that together. And then we all had a nice dinner together because my parents are going home tomorrow. They are hoping to be able to come back when Breezy has the baby, but we'll see...
And to end this post - thanks to everyone for wishing Kevin a Happy Veterans Day! He is so my hero!
Kevin had physical and speech therapies today. It was the first time he had speech at the same place where he goes to OT and PT at and I really liked how this therapist worked with him. She spent more than an hour asking him all types of questions and he did fantastic!
I spent quite a bit of time making phone calls this morning to get information on what can be done on this elevator/apartment situation. Between the ADA, the PVA, the Fair Housing Act and many others, I am thinking it might just be best to call the investigative news channel here in SA and see if they can do anything. All of the other options are going to take weeks (if not months) to see any results and I also worry about an emergency and needing to evacuate Kevin and the elevator being down.
So after therapy, we ran my parents over to Breezy's and her and Chris took them out for dinner. Johnny met us there and picked up Kevin and the two of them went off looking for trouble and I was all by myself for hours. I drove around for a while, picked up some candy flavorings as my daughter is craving Hard Tack Candy and then I went home and did nothing. I really wanted to go out and do something, but have no idea what to do. It was dark by the time I got near home so going to a park was out of the question. Oh well...I did get to talk to Moe today and it's been a LONG time since I did that so that was great!
And that's pretty much it for today.
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO HONOR THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED, BOTH PAST AND PRESENT, ON THIS VETERAN'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Today we took my parents and went to the Tea Garden. I wanted to get some photos before they left on Friday and that we did. Both Kevin and I truly love that place. My Mom did too, but it's just such a struggle for Dad to get around. Here are a few pics though:
After we left, we went to dinner and then we came home only to find that the elevator was broken again. Because Kevin had climbed so many stairs at the garden, he just couldn't manage climbing 4 flights of them to get to the apartment. I have no idea how my dad did it, but he did, however, I had to call 911 and have them carry Kevin up the steps. Here's a photo:
Kevin handled it really well, but it infuriated me and I am taking care of it tomorrow. Again. I am taking it to the top this time though as they refused to fix it tonight and are waiting until tomorrow. Totally not acceptable to me. I can't begin to tell you how much I hate this apartment complex...
But we did have a good day and I can say that Kevin is doing very well having company in the apartment. I was worried about it as it's so small compared to his house, but he is managing quite well. Leaps and bounds, eh?
Mom, Kevin, Johnny and I went to the comedy show tonight as planned. Of course Breezy was there too as she is on the Humor For Heroes committee. It was a really fun time, but I don't think Kevin will go back. He did make it through the whole show, but he never does well with a lot of talking and we all know how fast and talkative comedians are.
And we did go to the doctor's today about Kevin's pain management, but I don't think a real enough change was made. I am going to call the doc again tomorrow and discuss it further. He did mention the TMJ again and we are looking into the dentist's report to see if a proper scan was done of the alignment of Kevin's jaw. It does make sense if his jaw is out of whack being that he landed on the side of his head/face during the blast. Hopefully we will have an answer on this soon.
I am going to just answer a few comments tonight as there are so many in my inbox.
Michelle Long - we have no idea how long we will be in Texas. We never 'really' make plans because nothing ever goes the way it should so we just basically ride the wave. I can say it will be at least up through March or so (at least I think so).
Desert Crone - Kevin's right hand isn't bandaged, it's a cloth 'brace' of sorts, that keeps his hand from being clenched so tightly. We forgot to bring it when we came to TX and have been rolling up a washcloth every night to put in his palm. We found it while back in FL and he is back to using it now.
GrannieEv - Kev is on a sinus medication already. A while back he was always grabbing the bridge of his nose frequently and we put him on Zyrtec then. According to his CT Scans his sinuses are clear, so it must be working. Also - I laughed hysterically at the card you sent. And I agree with what you said totally. I meant to email you, but never got to it - sorry!
Miss Em - I don't think Kevin asked for a ride on a bike because I don't think he could actually get on one. His good leg would be the only one that would be able to bend enough to get over the seat, but his bad leg would never hold him up long enough to do so. Truthfully, I'm not so sure he could balance on one either with him being 'paralyzed' on his right side. He has none/or very little feeling on that side in all areas and it would be so dangerous, I think. Of course, I could totally be wrong, and I'm sure we'll find out someday, lol. He is quite the daredevil, eh?
Ok, I know there are plenty more, but I am beat and want to just relax for a bit.
I am so anxious to take Kevin to the doctor's tomorrow. His pain is so extreme at times and today alone he was medicated about 11 times - way too much if you ask me.
We didn't really do anything much today though, so I am going to sign off early. We are just enjoying having my parents here, but we are limited in what we can do because Dad can't get around very well.
Tomorrow night we are planning to go to a comedy show for wounded warriors. Dad's not sure he's going, but he says he doesn't mind staying home alone if need be. I just hope Kevin has a good time. You never know with these kinds of things...
I can't believe I forgot to tell you guys last night, but I finally heard back on my latest audit. Let's just say Leslie: 1, VA: 0. Yep - it passed!! An apology from Ms. Lewis sure would be nice, but I can lay odds it will never happen. So now I have a couple month break before having to do another one.
And going back to yesterday, our flight was fantastic. Thanks to Veteran's Airlift Command once again for flying us all to TX and a special "thank you" to Sara our flight attendant who was so nice and made the trip so enjoyable. Here are some photos of her with us and one of her and her husband, Chip, with Kevin:
What was really cool was how Sara was an avid skateboarder. Her and Kevin hit it off immediately! We love you, Sara!!
And you had to know that just a few minutes after I posted the blog last night, Kevin woke back up. So much for going to bed early, lol.
And then today we had Mary and her granddaughter over for dinner. I wanted Mary to meet my parents while they are here. And Kevin and Anika (sp) had a blast playing 'Angry Birds' on the iPad. Here are a couple of pics of the two of them:
She is just the sweetest little thing! And what fun they had!
We had a huge dinner tonight and said goodbye to our family and friends. We are leaving the house around noon tomorrow and flying out a couple hours later.
I think Kevin needs a truck to take everything back to TX that he wants to take, lol. I know how hard it is though to always be away from things that make you feel like you are home, so I am trying to give him some leeway. I packed light coming thinking this was going to happen so it should be ok.
And that's pretty much it for today. I made a bunch of phone calls in preparation of our trip home so that all of Kevin's appointments and therapies are all lined up already. Gotta stay one step ahead of the game...
We got to see Parshall and her kids today! We had them come down to the house and go swimming and I wish I had taken a picture of Kevin's face when he was walking to the door to answer it. He was just so excited! He just misses her so much; matter of fact - he talks about her all the time.
So here are some pics of Kev and her family:
And I am so mad at myself tonight because the folks at East Coast Pizza gave Kevin a gift card and a free pizza and when we went over tonight to pick it all up I took a photo of the gang with Kevin and the settings on my camera were wonky and the photo didn't turn out (talk about a run-on sentence, geesh). Darnit! Here is my very sorry attempt at fixing the picture:
And in other disappointing news...it looks like we will be heading back to Texas on Friday. Veteran's Airlift Command is going to fly us back again this time and they also told us we could bring my parents if we wanted to. Dad called his oncologist today and was given the go-ahead so they are going to visit us for a week or so.
We just can't get a handle on Kevin's pain. I don't know if it's due to the humidity here or if it's just because of the detox or goodness knows what else, but we have to go back and figure it out. He is having some good moments, but he is really struggling with it and it's just so hard to watch. My heart just breaks for him.
So we will head back on Friday and see the doc on Monday (I think). I sure hope so anyway.
We had a kinda slow day today, but it was much needed. Kevin took a couple of naps and I am glad as he hasn't been sleeping at all since we got here - even worse than normal. I feel bad though because it's also keeping my parents up all night long. I try to keep my phone volume as low as I can, but it has to be up some in order for me to hear Kevin call me. I think we are going to have to leave pretty quickly.
We did go down and visit the place where he went for therapy previously, but the receptionist was off sick today and the therapists he used to have have all left for greener pastures. Kevin was so disappointed.
We have a few people we really want to see while here, but if Kevin doesn't feel better asap we aren't going to be able to. I am going to try to do as much as possible tomorrow, just in case.
Breezy, Chris and Anthony all went back to their homes today. It will be a whole different ballgame with the three of them gone and we will miss all the fun times.
But we still had a great day today. Our neighbors came over for wings before the Halloween festivities began and then everyone got ready to either trick-or-treat or hand out candy. Kevin and I opted to sit outside and hand out candy with my mom and a couple of our neighbors that came over and sat there with us. We all know Kevin loves kids and he really had a blast as he sat there in his Bob Marley hat. He was in fine form tonight too, lol.
Tomorrow we have some visiting to do. It was such a hectic weekend with everyone here that we didn't get much done, but we do plan to begin making the rounds tomorrow. We aren't going to be able to stay too much longer because Kevin must get back to Texas to get this pain taken care of. He also needs to get back to therapy as he is really moving that hand and arm much more than he could a few months ago. And I am excited to say that his speech therapy finally got approved right before we left, so we can get that started again too.
And now I really need to try to get some sleep. Kevin's been calling pretty regularly the last couple of hours though, so I doubt it's gonna happen...
We had a very lazy day today. I mostly slept all day while everyone else handled Kevin's needs and I guess they all just swam and had fun. Tonight we all played a rowdy game of UNO which lasted forever, but was a blast.
I am going to sign off early tonight though, because there really isn't much to say.
We had a most wonderful day today. The WHOLE family went to the beach and spent hours just lying in the sun and swimming in the ocean (even my dad who hasn't went to the beach in thirty years!). We all had a blast. The water was just perfect. The sun was just perfect. And the company was just perfect.
I can honestly say that I probably haven't been that relaxed since May 31 of '08 - the day Kevin was wounded. Kevin did fantastic and even when he didn't want to swim anymore he just pulled out his iPad and played his games. Nobody wanted to leave, but we had to as the kids all had plans to go out this evening.
And that they did. Kevin, Breezy, Chris, Anthony and my sis Kim, all went out and they didn't get home until almost 2am. From what I gather Kevin sang Karaoke and danced quite often. I believe he even shot a game of pool. I thought about going, but I really wanted Kevin to go out without me being there so I opted to stay home and I just watched tv all night long. Total mindless fun. All by myself even.
And I am going to end the post with a bunch of pics from the beach.
It sure is nice to be home. The best part about it is how well Kevin is handling everyone and everything. When we were here the last time (late Nov 09 - early Feb 10) Kevin couldn't handle the family being over for dinner for more than a few minutes. He spent the bulk of the time in his bedroom, by himself, in a quiet place. Sure, he would come out and take a dip in the pool or start eating supper (rarely making it through the whole meal), but he would always get over-stimulated and need to hide for a while.
Now...well...he is a completely different person. First, he understands nearly everything. He is able to have complete conversations because he can either remark or at least gesture a response to everything said. He rarely has that look in his eye that shows he doesn't have a clue as to what someone is saying.
Second, he really is able to say so much more and it's so cool to hear him say 'hold on' while he gets up and gets something out of his room to show someone. And I just love to hear him crack jokes and make sarcastic noises when someone tries to pull one over on him.
Third - he has hardly been in his room at all. I left him at home today with everyone while I took his bike to be worked on and ran to get more medication for him and he went swimming for a long time and then he ate dinner and joined in all the conversations; joking and carrying on with everyone like he used to do.
It was just an all around great day for him. And for me. And for the rest of the family.
Wow. Lots of pictures. Lots of links. I wanted to share with y'all all of the newscasts and links and articles and things that that have been sent to me. If I have missed anything, please feel free to let me know (either through the blog comments or via email - on the right somewhere).
Ok - I apologize if any of these are redundant. I started it a while ago and since then had to run to the airport and pick Breezy and Chris up.
And now here are a ton of photos of yesterday. There are so many, but I narrowed it down to give you guys a nice rounding of events.
This is Mike from Operation American Pride. He was in charge of this whole welcome and he also raised the money for Kevin's iPad. Thank you so much, Mike!
A couple of these photos have a woman handing Kevin a flag. This is a special flag that was flown at Ground Zero and if I am not mistaken Kevin is the first wounded soldier to have the honor of 'holding onto it' for a few weeks. It was presented to him from the new Chief of Staff at the VA hospital here in Tampa.
This was truly an amazing event - ranking right up there with his Purple Heart Ceremony in East Brady!
And it was so nice to meet some of our neighbors! We haven't ever really had a chance to meet many of them before now (who am I kidding - most of these homes weren't even built when we left, lol), but it's really great talking to folks.
But now - it's time to get things taken care of here. Like that sprinkler system that isn't working on one side of the house and the ice maker that doesn't really like to make ice and all those other stupid little things that need taken care of. It's just so hard to do these kinds of things when you are so far away...
But before I go, once again - A HUGE THANK YOU to all of the folks that made yesterday a special day. Apparently even the folks at Southwest Airlines knew of this because they boarded him first and made everyone else wait until the was completely settled (even though he was at the end of the handicapped line) and they announced it in-flight that he was a wounded hero and the stewardess doted on him the whole time. She knew his name and story before we even boarded.
We also had some members of the police escorting us at times and stopping traffic for the procession. When we got close to the house, there were also people standing in the middle lanes of the roads with banners and signs.
This blog is dedicated to my son, Kevin, who was critically wounded in Afghanistan on May 31, 2008. My daughter, Brianna, and I left our homes and our lives to be by his side from that day forward.
Here is where you will learn of all of our accomplishments as well as the trials of his recovery of such serious injuries.
Although we have come through the acute stage of his burns, we are now focusing on the rehab for his brain injury. For those of you unaware, Kevin has lost nearly 85% of the function of the left side of his brain, causing him to not be able to do much (yet) with his right side and he can only say a few words so far. He also has to learn to write and he needs to remember everything in his past life.
Basically, we have 'started over'.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, but please understand that there is very little time for responses. We wish we could email everyone a reply, but it's just not going to happen.
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