Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 611 - Jan 30, 2010

My dad is still in ICU and it looks like he might be for a while. Today I left Kevin with Parshall for about 6 hours (she picked up the extra 12 hours a week until they can find a 21 year old) and I went to the hospital and spent the afternoon with my dad. My mom went home and had dinner with the rest of the family that is still here and it was a much needed break for her.

Kevin handled it pretty well too. He didn't call me for about 4 1/2 hours! I keep saying that I am going to really work on the separation issue, but I rarely go anywhere to do so. This next week or two may be different though. Kevin can't handle being at the hospital long so I will be leaving him home while I visit my dad some of the time.

And even better today - he only needed pain pills twice all day long!! Yay! I don't expect these new drugs to take ALL of the pain away, but if it takes most of it I will be a happy person (as will Kevin!).

Day 610 - Jan 29, 2010

It looks like my dad will be in ICU for at least the weekend as he got pneumonia. He's been keeping us entertained as he is pretty doped up. He is also demanding great grandchildren 'before he dies' (his words), but I told him none better come from either of my kids. I did take Kevin over to see him today and Kev did pretty well for the most part.

I also took Kevin to see the doctor today because he has been grabbing the bridge of his nose for a few days and sure enough - he has a sinus infection. I am so hoping that the new meds they put him on take away all of the pain he has been having. This could so be the reason as we all know how painful those things are. I think the meds are starting to kick in because he hasn't asked for any pain medication for hours now. Thank goodness!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Oops I forgot...

I forgot to mention the article in USA Today. I think it's great, but I do want to point out that it kinda sounds like I said the Federal Recovery Coordinators aren't doing their jobs and I most definitely need to point out (for the millionth time, lol) that our FRC is WONDERFUL!

I will stand behind me saying that the military doesn't do anything for my mental or physical situation though. But I don't think the FRCs have any control over our lack of health care. Unless you're holding out on me, Mary? LOL!

USA Today

Day 609 - Jan 28, 2010

Today has really been a rough day. I don't really want to talk about my dad, but I do thank everyone for the comments.

So I spent some time with Kevin taping some more videos tonight. They may seem redundant to you, but that's the way it is in this household, lol. We do the same words and activities every day so that they stick.

One example is Kevin finally learned how to say his name correctly. You will notice though that he forgot what it was. He knows it. Honestly. But sometimes things just don't come to him. I am just happy that he can finally say it. It's always been "Kenin" and not "Kevin" so this is a major improvement and has only taken him 8 months to perfect. The first time we tried to get his name said was in May when we were on our way to PA for our first visit home. We have worked on that word nearly every single day and he just now got it the night we went to the hospital. Finally!

So here are some videos. The first one is Kevin just walking out of his room and acting goofy:

video

The next two are of him just practicing words:

video

video

And now Breezy and I are going to watch America's Next Dance Crew. Oh and Sue - Breezy is just here for the week. The whole family came here for my Dad's surgery.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Dad

My dad made it through the surgery, but unfortunately they could not remove the tumor. It had grown into the bone and the surgeon was afraid he would bleed out if they cut into it.

So we have been granted some extra time with my father, however, he will go through a very slow and painful time toward the end.

Gotta run. Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 608 - Jan 27, 2010

I don't really feel like writing anything tonight - I am just too upset, but I do want to thank everyone for the well-wishes for my Dad's surgery in the morning. (Diane - I got your text but didn't have time to respond until now and it's too late.)

I will quickly tell you all that Kevin has been just fine all day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 607 - Jan 26, 2010

Kevin was sick all night again last night, but he woke up today and was completely fine all day long. Keep your fingers crossed that he stays this way.

I did take him off the medication I talked about last night and I know it could be a coincidence, but no matter what - he is feeling great tonight. He even ate a very healthy portion of turkey, stuffing, yams, homemade noodles, mashed potatoes and garlic green beans. A VERY healthy portion, lol.

So like I said, he was feeling really well. My parents brought the baby with them today and here are some pics of Ellie with Kevin and Breezy:

In this first one, Kevin somehow managed to get down on the floor to lay with her. Let me assure you - it takes a lot more to get up than it does to get down. He couldn't do it and I had to basically lift him off the floor (thank goodness this was before dinner, lol!)

And Breezy was learning how to handle a baby that is getting a tooth - haha.


And last, here's Kevin just holding her. You should hear him talk 'baby talk', lol.



And that pretty much sums up our day. Dinner was really nice and that was really important to me. I wanted to make sure my dad had a great meal before his surgery. He won't be able to eat tomorrow at all so this was it.

And now I am going to go and scrap for a while. Hopefully anyway...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 606 - Jan 25, 2010

I had hoped to get on here earlier today and let y'all know what the docs said, but Kevin has been sick all day long and I was on the phone all day long trying to get things figured out.

So the docs at the emergency room last night told us that Kevin doesn't have any signs of an infection. His blood and urine were completely clear of any possible problems. He had a CT scan as well and they came back and told us that it was completely fine. I'm not sure what that means as I know there is fluid building on top of his plate, which is why I spent the day on the phone.

We didn't get home this morning until close to 4am and neither one of us could sleep until almost 9am. I had a ton of phone calls to make so I got up within a few hours and got started. After MANY phone calls and after watching Kevin still throw up all day long, I decided just to take him to the VA. I was concerned about the hospital we went to last night not having a CT to compare to, kwim?

So anyway, I called the head doc at the VA Polytrauma (whom I really like) and he felt that Kevin could try to make it through the night tonight. Like me, he doesn't see any 'real' signs of ICP except the vomiting. If there was more buildup of fluid, he would probably be showing some of the other signs.

So after I made Kevin some soup, and he was able to keep it down tonight, I was just sitting here thinking about his symptoms. All along I felt it was a bug, but it could also be his stomach just rejecting something. Kind of like it's agitated. He hasn't really been eating anything, which made me think of his meds.

Ummm...hello...?!! Years ago I was on an anti-inflammatory and after 2-3 months it was eating my stomach alive. Kevin has been on that same med for about 3 months now. I remember thinking when they started it that I was going to have to watch for signs of it bothering him, but I completely forgot about it until tonight.

What I realized was that for the few days Kevin was sick earlier last week, I was only giving him the emergent meds so that he had a better chance of keeping them down. I left this drug out. Once he felt better, I gave it to him again and he started vomiting the next morning. I didn't give it to him tonight and he feels just fine now. It could all be coincidence, but then again - this could be part of what it making him ill.

I am anxious to talk to the docs about this tomorrow.

So right now he is in his room watching Family Guy and he feels fine. I am going to sleep in the living room tonight though just in case and we'll see how he does through the night.

And on to other news...my mom went to two docs today. I don't think I mentioned it, but there was talk of her having Blood Cancer. She does not have that - YAY!! She still has to have the cyst on her kidney checked out, but we are confident that it will be fine.

And last, I had the chance to do an interview last week with a reporter from USA Today and they are running a story on Wed about Caregivers of Veterans. She is a super nice person and I look forward to her story. I wanted to give a heads up for those that may want to read it.

And now I have to 'prep' for dinner tomorrow. It's the last meal my dad will be able to eat before his surgery on Thursday so we are having the big turkey dinner - just like Thanksgiving.

Here's hoping that Kevin is well enough that we get to eat it! (because really - if he's not - I won't even be here to cook it!)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day ???

I have taken Kevin to the hospital as he started vomiting again tonight. We are still there so i will update as soon as I can.

Mary ~ I will call you tomorrow.

Day 604 - Jan 23, 2010

There's nothing much to tell you tonight. My sister and her family made it here today and everyone came down for a nice big dinner. About 7 of us played a few hands of Uno with Kevin and let me tell you that it sure is different playing with 8 people as opposed to just the two of us. It was sure fun though!

Kevin did really well with everyone here. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't, but he really did fantastic tonight. Thank goodness.

And that really sums up our day. We really just did nothing until everyone came over. Just a couple of boring folks...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 603 - Jan 22, 2010

Kevin, Parshall and I went to the Manatee Viewing Center today. It was a beautiful 75 degrees and sunny here so I figured today would be a good day. Unfortunately, Kevin just hated it. I guess it was just too boring for him, lol.

Here is a photo of a few of the manatees:



I suppose it is kinda boring, but something else that needs worked on is having Kevin realize that it really isn't always about him. This is not an easy thing to change because when he's miserable he makes sure everyone else is. But, I'm still going to keep working on it.

And thankfully, we both feel better today. I guess it was just a little bug. We feel better just in time too as my sister and her family will be here tomorrow. They will be staying with us for about 10 days. Breezy will also be coming next week and my brother came yesterday. If my nephew can get off work to be able to come down, the whole family will be here. I sure hope he makes it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 602 - Jan 21, 2010

Kevin was still sick this morning and I was starting to second guess myself. I kept thinking that maybe it was his head and started trying to find someone to take him immediately. Sue, a great person at the VA, worked hard and finally found a neurosurgeon that would take Kevin - but not until next Wed.

This made me really sit and think about things today. Even though I still feel really crappy, I had to run to the VA pharmacy to pick up Kevin's meds and I left him home with Parshall because he was still sick. This gave me hours to think and discuss things with Mary (wonderful FRC).

So here's what I came up with:

We are not going to Texas. And we are not going to that doc on Wed. The situation is that if we go to that surgeon on Wed, we can't go to Dr H. on Feb 10. It's already been how long without any action so what's a little bit longer? I also researched Dr H. fully months ago and feel strongly that he is our best choice. The hospital he is associated with has a new neuro-science ward that focuses on brain tumors and injuries. He also works alone - no physician's assistants and no residents. He is hands on and knows his patients inside and out. This is exactly what we need. I hated new residents rolling in every few months and us having to teach them Kevin's issues all over again. I want to be able to call the doc and say 'hey - this is going on' and him know that that's not the norm and not have to run all these tests to make sure I'm telling the truth.

So I am going to just watch Kevin (just as I have been) until Feb 10. I had already talked to a previous doc and asked if I should put Kevin back on the MRSA antibiotic just in case there is an infection so he is already being treated proactively.

I know that if I do see any signs of potential problems I will call an ambulance and take him to the emergency room of Dr H's hospital (hoping he will be on call if we have to).

Which brings me to why I feel confident doing this. Kevin isn't showing any signs of infection. I check his temp often and there is never even a low grade fever. If he had problems with the fluid buildup, he would be lethargic (nearly non-responsive), his leg would be shaking uncontrollably and he would be vomiting constantly (which btw stopped this afternoon and he is back to eating and drinking normally so I assume it was a bug - now if I could just get over it). I can also say with extreme sureness that he most definitely would not be talking better than ever. His cognitive state would have been sliding backward - not forging ahead.

I do know that I might be wrong. Heck the whole thing is a crap shoot as really - no one knows how to really fix things with Kevin because what he has come through is a miracle. So I am going to roll the dice and hopefully win the game. If I'm wrong, the guilt will eat me alive so please keep your fingers crossed that I'm right.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 601 - Jan 20, 2010

Today was not a good day. Kevin was up ALL NIGHT sicker than a dog. He vomited all night and has been sick all day today as well. At first, I was worried about it being his head, but then I started feeling nauseous and I felt almost as bad most of the day. It still might be his head, but it could just be a bug too. Hopefully he feels better tomorrow. Hopefully we both feel better tomorrow.

As for his head, we still haven't heard from a neurosurgeon here. I thought we would today, but no go. I think I might just get on the phone myself tomorrow and see if I can find someone. I'm just scared of getting some quack that doesn't know how to handle his issues.

And to Jo and Jessica - I really like the idea of the electric toothbrush. I will look around Ebay after I finish posting this. And Jo - I just did a layout the other night of Levi when we went to Busch Gardens (you can see it at my scrap blog link in the right column). Tell my buddy I love him! And I love you too!

And I think I will head to bed myself. I 'slept' (and that term is used VERY loosely) in Kevin's room last night as he was so sick so I am pretty tired (but what else is new, eh?)

Day 600 - Jan 19, 2010

Today we managed to get Kevin into the dentist. Let me just say that he was not a happy camper. They took him for X-rays and I looked in the window of the door and could see he was just livid. To be honest, I don't know how I even got him to go. He refused for almost 2 hours to even get out of bed because he just was not going.

He did finally go (after so much prodding and bribing), but he absolutely refused to brush his teeth or wear deodorant. I was like "WHAT?" He is so good with his toiletry habits that I couldn't believe it. This just shows you how mad he was that he had to go to the dentist.

So anyway, no abscess. He does have 12 (YES - TWELVE!!!!) cavities though! I am sure some of it is his eating habits, but I don't know if the blast had anything to do with it too. I remember in the beginning his teeth had turned a dark grey color. They did eventually go back to a shade of white, but I do wonder if damage had been done.

So now he refuses to get them filled. We are going to go outside of the VA as he will need to be put to sleep for this and I can only hope he will let me take him. Once all of that is done, we are discussing braces for his teeth. This will be down the road a bit though; once we get everything else taken care of.

I also called Maxim today and set them straight. And I want to say 'thanks' for all the ideas for a companion for Kevin. With everything else going on for the next couple of weeks, I am going to wait and see what Maxim can do. Once we get through my dad's surgery and all of the company, I will sit down and make some phone calls.

And now I am going to leave you with some photos that Ronnie just emailed me from when the boys went over to St Pete for the afternoon last Saturday.

This is my favorite! What a great picture, huh?


This is Kev and Chrissy (my niece) at The Columbia Restaurant on The Pier. She works there and the boys went there to visit her.


And this last one is Kevin in his new recliner. He sits in it quite often and I am so glad. I just hated him always laying in bed all the time!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 599 - Jan 18, 2010

I was very disappointed tonight. I think I told y'all a while ago that Maxim had found us a young guy that was going to come and play video games with Kevin and take him to do 'guy' things. Things that a normal 21 year old would do.

Well geez. Tonight was going to be the first night that this young man was to come and I spent the whole weekend building Kevin up for this only to find that the guy that showed up tonight was a 47 year old man that didn't even know what an XBox was or even what UNO was. SAY WHAT?!!

I mean seriously?! I even talked to the guy at Maxim today and they told me he was a little older than Kevin and that I should keep an open mind. An open mind? HA! He's older than me! Kevin was so bummed out and I can only hope that I was able to hide my feelings. What a waste of time. What a waste of priming Kevin to be ready for this. Now Kevin won't be as open to it the next time. And I'm just curious how long this is going to take. It took them months to find this 'young' guy!

This was just so disappointing. And truthfully, I don't really like being put into a position where I have to tell someone to leave and not come back.

Well, it looks like I need to make a phone call tomorrow and let Maxim know that I want a skater punk that plays Halo! I really don't know how I can be any more clear than I already have been. I guess I'll have to talk S L O W E R. (Yep - a little bit of sarcasm)

And I can hear Kevin in there snoring so I am going to bed too.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 598 - Jan 17, 2010

Kevin and I didn't really do anything today so I am just going to skip writing tonight.

I do want to quickly say that I have been reading all of the comments about the videos to Kevin and he is getting a real kick out it. I promise to do this more often!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 597 - Jan 16, 2010

So I am dumb and just figured out that this computer has some great video software. I really don't know why I didn't think of this before, but I had Kevin sit down tonight and we recorded a couple of videos.

Here is the first one and it is of him counting to five. He can actually count to 15, but it takes some prodding and he wanted to only do the fluid numbers:

video


I can't even begin to tell you how many tries it took for us to get this right. Kevin had to approve the videos and he expects perfection, lol.

This next one is of us showing you some of the words Kev can say. Let me just say that this one will really show his funny personality!

video


Can you all tell how far he has come cognitively? Today we were coming home from dropping Ronnie off at the airport (BUMMER!) and Kevin was reading all of the "OPEN" signs he saw on the expressway. It's the first time that Kevin has ever read out loud. I almost cried, lol.

Today the boys went swimming. It has been warmer here the last few days so I turned the heater on for the pool about 3 days ago to get it warm enough for them to swim.

And now I am going to leave you with some pics of them in the pool. It's a sure thing that we are going to miss Ronnie!




Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 596 - Jan 15, 2010

I am feeling a little bit better than last night. It's just going to all work out the way it should, I guess.

So we couldn't get a neurosurgeon to see him today. To be honest, we can't get him in before Wednesday (and even that's not a sure thing). Because we wouldn't even be able to get a flight from the VA before Monday, we are just going to stay here and see what we can find out. If they can't get us in Wed or Thurs, then I will make alternate arrangements.

I will say that Kevin's face is getting a little bit swollen, but he has no other signs of ICP (intercranial pressure). My mom wondered if he might have an abscessed tooth and I have to admit it's a possibility. He hasn't seen a dentist since being wounded and they say IED blasts have a definite effect on teeth. I'm not sure though if that would have anything to do with the fluid buildup though.

I guess we'll see how the weekend goes. If something really bad happens, I do have the option of taking him to the emergency room. It's just that right now the two doctors at Tampa General that aren't on vacation are the two doctors from the VA. Let's just all keep our fingers crossed as I will probably drive him to Sarasota before I will let either of those two touch Kevin.

So to some great stuff - Kevin and Ronnie have been wandering around the world. Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but they have been heading out every day and doing 'things'. Yesterday they went to dinner together at Olive Garden and today they drove over to St Pete to The Pier to see my niece, Chrissy. They also went to dinner tonight too and I can't tell you how awesome it was to see the boys go out and do fun things. I so wish Ronnie lived here! Kevin has been having such a blast and it's going to be so sad to take Ronnie back to the airport tomorrow evening.

But, we have no choice. Tomorrow he has to go home...

Day 595 - Jan 14, 2010

Well, we didn't really learn much today. The doc here called the new neurosurgeon we were supposed to see in Feb, but he never returned the call. In the interim, Dr T from Texas, called and told us that if we can't get seen immediately by a neurosurgeon here in FL we need to be on a plane ASAP.

So Sue, one of the wonderful people at the VA, got on the horn and faxed all of Kevin's records to a different doctor here at Tampa General and we are waiting to see if he will take Kevin on.

It would be different if his issues were simple, but goodness knows - they most definitely are not.

So I feel like I am being torn in two. I know you all think I am a strong person, but I am sitting here with tears running down my face just wondering what the heck I'm supposed to do. My parents told me just to go. Just take Kevin and get this fixed. And of course I want to. BUT like I said last night - it's just not that easy.

Just the thought of losing my dad sends me into a tailspin and thinking that I might not even be here is ripping me apart.

I know, that in reality, I will have no choice but to take care of my baby. No matter what, I know this. But damnit! I really just want this to end. I want Kevin well. I want my dad well. And I want my mom well. That's really all I want in the world.

Can somebody please PLEASE make this happen?!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 594 - Jan 13, 2010

Well, I got some very upsetting news today. Remember how we went for some tests and found there is some fluid buildup on Kevin's head? Well, one of the docs from the VA hospital called tonight and told me that we need to get to Texas pretty quickly. I think he said that the fluid is inside the plate, not outside like we were originally told. Frankly, I was in shock and didn't really hear much after he said that we needed to go back to TX.

So I guess they all had a conference today - the docs here and the docs there - and that's what they decided.

The problem is that it is not just that easy to leave right now. My WHOLE family is coming in a week or so for my dad's surgery and with Mom possibly having cancer too, it's just not a good time.

But what choice do I have?

I did tell the doc everything tonight and he agreed to call the neurosurgeon we have an appt with on Feb 10. I am hoping that a call from another doc will spur him to get us in early. It's really our only alternative.

And on that note, I am going to quit early tonight. Tracy is leaving early in the morning and we are trying to get everything packed and ready to go.

Day 593 - Jan 12, 2010

Kevin was in a much better mood today - MOST of the time. He and Ronnie went for a couple of walks and then I took them to the mall and dropped them off for a bit. After that we went to Target and then came home and the boys watched a movie while Tracy and I got through organizing more of the den.

I had hoped to go to the Manatee Viewing Center today, but we didn't make it there. Maybe tomorrow. I just want to do something fun while Tracy and Ronnie are here.

And speaking of Ronnie, it's so wonderful to hear Kevin say "Hey Ron" when he wants Ronnie's attention. He can't say Ronnie, but he can say Ron pretty clearly. It's almost like...for one second in time...Kevin is normal. Just talking to his friend. KWIM?

And unfortunately, I am not feeling too good again - I so hope it's just today. I just feel so tired and I can barely keep my eyes open. Tracy went outside to talk on the phone at about 9pm and I crawled in bed for just a second and took an hour long nap. I really should have just stayed in bed, but I hadn't written the blog yet and I knew we needed to get through some more of the piled up mail in the den.

Oh and before I forget - thanks for all the emails and comments about "South Pacific". I was referring to the stage production. I had hoped that Tracy and I could get a night out and it was playing tonight and tomorrow night here in Tampa, but it's not looking like it's going to happen. Bummer.

And before I sign off, to anonymous with the grandson that has MRSA - I am so glad he made it home from the hospital! And yes - that MRSA is some nasty stuff! I hope it's the last of it for both of us! Kevin just finished his antibiotic on Friday. He took it for almost four months.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 592 - Jan 11, 2009

Well, Ronnie got here this morning. Unfortunately Kevin has not been in a good mood at all today. I think he might have been tired because he was up all night so excited that Ronnie was coming. I don't know. I just know that he spent the whole afternoon and night in his room by himself. He didn't come out, not even one time.

Very disappointing. And I feel bad for Ronnie. Hopefully things are better tomorrow.

So obviously we didn't do anything today. I am going to sign off though because Tracy and I are each sitting here trying to figure out our accounting software. I got Quicken on Ebay so that I can keep Kevin's budget in order, she got Peachtree for work.

Before I go, an anonymous poster asked that I keep her 1 year old grandson in my thoughts because the baby is in Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh for MRSA. Can I ask that everyone keep the little one in their thoughts?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 591 - Jan 10, 2010

I am going to write early tonight because Kevin, Tracy and I are going to rent a movie and watch it.

We didn't really do much. Tracy got here and my whole family came down and we stuffed a turkey and had all the trimmings.

After that, Kev and Tracy went for a walk and Kevin tired Tracy out, lol. I stayed home. It's just too cold out there for me! Right now it's only 36 degrees out and I even turned the pool on for the night because I heard on the news that pool pipes are bursting all over Florida.

So I am going to leave you guys with a couple of photos of Kevin and one of the cat.

This first one is of Kevin and the cat sleeping. You will notice that Kevin's eyes are still a little bit open sometimes when he sleeps. Not always, but sometimes.


I named this one home therapy. This is Kevin pulling Michael around by the back of his wheelchair. Good exercise, huh? LOL!



And this is just a close up I got of the cat when it was waiting at the door to come in. Kevin wanted me to post this one because it's one of his favs.



And now we are going to watch said movie. We have to decide which one first though...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 590 - Jan 9, 2010

I feel so much better today. Parshall came because her car broke down on Thursday and she couldn't come that day. It made it nice because I was able to get some much needed mail opened and I made a huge dent into getting the den organized. It still needs so much more work, but I am getting there.

And I messed up the day - Tracy is coming tomorrow, not today. Today my nephew Scott came though. I think he is planning to get a job and stay here, which will be great help for my mom and dad.

And I also scrapped all night tonight. Kevin has only called me a few times and I managed to get 4 layouts done. In one night even! It's early too, so I think I am going to continue scrapping. I haven't felt up to it due to being sick and I set a goal for myself to do a minimum of 2 layouts a week in 2010. I am now caught up (pretty bad that the first week of the year I failed at my goal, huh? LOL)! I think my creativity is back because Josh got my stereo hooked up up here and I can finally listen to music!

OH! I almost forgot! Kevin went for 3 walks around the block all by himself today! (and yes - it's frigid here! It gave me an excuse to make Hot Cocoa though - which I bought forgetting that I now live in Florida!). He was so excited and I was so proud of him. At first, I watched him as far as I could out the window, but he has made such great strides that I believe he can be trusted to go around the back end block. There's basically no traffic back there so I felt safe letting him go.

Oh - and I decided to not make any decisions this week about detox and OT and just enjoy the fact that Ronnie will be here with Kevin and Tracy will be here to help me get things in order. It's gonna be a mini working vacation.

So I will leave you with a question: Has anyone seen the Broadway show South Pacific? I would love some reviews...

Day 589 - Jan 8, 2010

We went to the VA again today to discuss the pain issues and when to begin detoxing Kevin. I guess I am a little confused because the last time we were there we were told that the docs would use Suboxone to detox Kevin as it takes away all of the symptoms of withdrawal, but then today we were told that only extreme addicts that are to the point of robbing people to get their drugs can get the Suboxone from the VA. Say what? I think that is just nuts! Once again, I think this system is totally messed up. You've got these guys and girls being wounded in combat, needing narcotics to handle the pain that their injuries cause and they can't get help with drug rehab? Yet some junkie that is wielding a gun to get his fix can? I honestly just don't understand this!

So I guess I need to figure out what to do on this one. I just wish something could be easy. It seems to be a foreign concept though, huh?

And although I am feeling better, I still don't feel super great. I took a four hour nap (and so did Kevin) after coming home from the VA today and you would think that that would keep me up all night, but I am still so tired. My mom tells me that it's because I'm run down and I suppose she's right.

And speaking of my mom, she now needs to go to the doctor because they found a tumor. I think my family is falling apart. I already told her that she's not allowed to have cancer because we already have enough on our plates. She goes to the docs on Monday so please keep her in your thoughts as well.

And since Kevin is already sleeping again too, I am going to bed.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 588 - Jan 7, 2010

I feel much better today. Still not up to par completely, but way better than yesterday.

We did take Kevin to the VA today, but it didn't go over too well. He was in a lot of pain while trying the brace on and they want him to go back to OT before attempting this again. I have to give this some thought because it means we go back up to 4 days a week of therapy. I am really just not sure what to do because the occupational therapist that we were going to told us that the therapy really hadn't been making any difference. Yet when they turned the e-stem on, I watched his hand begin to open.

I just really don't know which way to go. I think I want to talk to the therapists at BAMC before making any decision. They were the ones that worked with him last and they may be more in-tune with the reality of the situation.

And Tracy is coming on Saturday - what a surprise! It's good timing because Kevin will be busy with Ronnie and Tracy and I can get the rest of this house in order.

Poor Tracy and Ronnie. Wait til they see that it is freezing here! It's definitely not vacation weather. We are wearing sweatshirts and winter coats! Yuk!

And now I am going to leave y'all with some photos of Kevin today. The first three are him at physical therapy. The last one is him sitting on the floor checking out his MySpace page. (oh - and if anyone local to Pittsburgh recognizes the therapist - that's where she's from!)




Day 587 - Jan 6, 2010

I still feel really crappy. I didn't even get dressed today. I had Parshall take Kevin to therapy and although he was a little upset about it, he went. Such a far cry from a few months ago when he would NEVER do something he didn't want to do.

Other than that - nothing. I haven't moved from my spot on the couch and Kevin has pretty much just lay in his room all night. I ordered him a pizza for dinner - thank goodness they deliver around here - so at least he had something to eat. I feel kinda bad that I don't have the energy to get up and play some games with him or something, but I just don't.

And I think I am just going to end here and go back to bed. Hopefully my chest doesn't hurt as bad tomorrow because we have an appt at the VA to have Kevin's arm sized for the robotic arm brace that will do electronic stimulation and range of motion. It's our only shot at getting that arm to work. I just need to feel well enough to get us there. It is always so time consuming going there and it tires me out just thinking about it...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 586 - Jan 5, 2010

We both thought the movie was really cute. Kevin laughed quite a few times and truthfully, so did I. A worth-see if you like those kind of movies.

I really haven't been feeling well today. Neither Kevin nor Parshall woke me up until almost 2:30 this afternoon and I still didn't want to get out of bed. I also took a nap after we came home from the movie and am actually ready to get to bed now.

On that note, that's what I think I am going to do. Kevin hasn't called my name in about an hour so I might just be able to sleep.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 585 - Jan 4, 2010

Did you ever just have one of those uber-productive days? My mom and I got so much done today. We will be having a lot of company this month so we really need to get this house in order. Kevin's best friend, Ronnie, will be coming down on Monday for a week and my whole family will be coming down toward the end of the month for my dad's surgery. Breezy will also be coming then.

So anyway, Kevin allowed Parshall to take him to therapy again and my mom and I stayed home and got the tree taken down and all of the spare bedrooms completely cleaned, organized and ready. I also cooked a nice big meal and even made cupcakes for dessert.

And the best part of all of it - I never left the house today. I just LOVE days like this.

So Kevin was very excited because he learned a few more words today. He learned orange, corn, car, boring and butter. He is really picking up a lot of words, but the problem is getting them to stick. Learning to say them when he needs to. It's something to work on and it's something we always DO work on. We'll get there. I know we will.

And tomorrow we plan to go to the movies. This is the one area where Kevin is still child-like. We are going to see Alvin & the Chipmunks. He just LOVES animated kiddie movies. I do too, but I'm a woman and we like stuff like this, lol. Previous to Kev being wounded, I couldn't pay him to see anything like this. So anyway, that's on the list of fun things to do for tomorrow. Here's hoping it's a good movie!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 584 - Jan 3, 2010

We had a pretty good day today. Kevin and I had to run to Lowe's again and get the fencing for the other side of the yard. I had not intended to fence in the side on the road, but after seeing what a difference it makes I knew it would benefit us.

After that we went and purchased a recliner so that I can get him out of his bed. He lays in bed probably 3/4 of the day and I want him to understand that that just isn't the way it is supposed to be. I sure hope this helps. He picked out the one he liked so it should have some effect on his wanting to make the change from bed to chair.

After that we went to my parents' house and visited with them for a while. It was a nice visit - Kevin was in a good mood the whole time, but we couldn't get him to play any games, which was a bummer.

And I had a chance to read the article in the PPG today and it is wonderful! You can all read it here:

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

That Mike is just a fantastic writer. Just as much as Rebecca is a fabulous photographer. What a good team, huh?

And I think I am going to get some scrapbooking in tonight so I will catch y'all tomorrow.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 583 - Jan 2, 2010

Today my niece Chrissy and her boyfriend Josh came over and spent the day. Josh got all of my stereos and other electronics fixed and hooked up and it's just such a good feeling having all of that stuff taken care of. Between Josh and our handyman, things are really starting to take shape in the house. It's about time, right?

And Kevin was in a pretty good mood all day too. He was out of his room more than he was in, which was such a treat.

Oh and before I forget - those local to Pittsburgh may want to pick up the Post Gazette tomorrow. I believe my dear Kevin will be on the front page. Mike has written another article on how far Kevin has come in the past 6 months since he and Rebecca have seen him.

I have to tell you that Mike and Rebecca are truly such wonderful people. Out of this horrific experience came the chance to get to know so many new people and I am so happy to consider these two as true friends.

And speaking of Rebecca - check out this link:

2009 Year In Pictures

The photo of Kevin and Breezy has made it as one of the favored images of 2009. (It's my fav too so I can understand this, lol). Anyway, if you click on it you can hear Rebecca talk about taking the photo.

And I will post a link tomorrow so that we can see what the article is all about. I am anxious to see it.

And in other news, I might have had a light bulb moment today. Granted the light bulb might be blown, but we shall see, lol. So anyway, it has been cold here a lot the last couple of weeks. Kevin has also had a lot of pain in his head the last few weeks. I wonder if the two are connected? I think I need to really start paying attention to the weather and to the air conditioner. This may not be it at all, but it's worth looking into.

And now I am going to watch an episode of Cold Case. I just love that show!

Day 582 - Jan 1, 2010

We didn't really do anything at all today so I am just going to skip writing tonight.