Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 671 - Mar 31,2010

Kevin was able to get up today and we made it over to the Family Center to rent a movie, but he was hurting too bad to spend any time there so we went back to the hospital without one. We tried though, right?

We also realized today that the anti vertigo medication fell away so he hasn't gotten any since the first day. We put him back on it this afternoon so hopefully we see a change.

We are going to be messing with his meds over the next week; taking some away and adding others, to try to get him to a better place. Wish us mega luck on this, please.

One really awesome thing today was that Kevin had acupuncture done for his nauseousness. Totally cool, as I had only seen it done in the movies, and I have to admit that we had no bouts of nausea at all tonight. The jury is still out on it in my eyes until tomorrow though. We have periods of a few hours where he is fine, but we haven't went a full 24 hours since the plate was removed.

And two good things happened today - first, we can get the key to the apt this Saturday instead of next Thursday. I am glad because this will give me time to get things organized before Kevin comes home.

Second, I opted to rent a washer/dryer instead. Way cheaper as I couldn't find a large capacity set on craigs list (where I had been looking for almost a week). People just aren't getting rid of large capacity sets, that's what everyone is buying right now.

As for the hospital bed, we are thinking it's not going to be a problem. All of the docs are in line with the need for it. Now we just need to figure out which insurance carrier is going to cover the cost.

Oh, and before I forget - can someone tell me what the dark green beret means? Kevin saw a guy wearing one when we left the hospital today and he was in total awe. Not being military myself and him not being able to talk, I couldn't even begin to guess what he was trying to tell me. I assume the guy was something special...

And now I am going to leave you with a very grainy photo of Kevin with Daniel, the other soldier that survived the attack that took Andrew and James from us:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 670 - Mar 30, 2010

Kevin spent the bulk of the afternoon alone today. I had to go and buy furniture if it was ever going to be delivered on time. I hate having to do this again, but when weighing the cost of packing up and moving things from FL to TX and then back again, it ends up being substantially cheaper to just buy new and just sell it when we leave.

One thing I will say is that the apartment will be on the sparse side. I am only purchasing the necessities and that's it. No curtains, no decorations, nothing. I got a couch, chair, ottoman, tv stand, tv, table and 4 chairs. I have a bed at Breezy's I can get and I will have to buy another if Kevin can't get a hospital bed. That's it for furniture and then I need to get all the normal stuff yet from Walmart - towels, plates, silverware, etc. I can't get any of that though until the day I get the keys (April 8). My car is already loaded to the gills with some of the stuff I had my sis bring when she brought the car.

So Kevin was pretty sick most of the day today and although the anti-vert worked well yesterday, he really didn't get up much again today. It's just such a bummer. He has also been in extreme pain today too. I am noticing he needs more and more to get through the day. This worries me some. I haven't seen anyone from pain management since the time Kevin was in ICU, but I am thinking it may be necessary soon. I guess I will check into it tomorrow.

And now I am going to get packed up to go home from the hospital. I gotta get up early and try to find a washer/dryer. I looked at a few used ones today and now I am going to head to the Sears Outlet. I could care less about dings/scratches/refurbished, I just need high capacity because Kevin vomits all over his bedding so frequently.

Send those 'good appliance deal' vibes my way please...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 669 - Mar 29, 2010

The PA gave Kevin some anti-vertigo medication today and I am so happy to say that Kevin was able to be at the FH for almost 2 hours! We only had to come back to the hospital because he really can't lay down on a flat bed and he needed to rest for a while. He had sat up nearly all that time watching one of the "Die Hard" movies, but it took 2 minutes of him laying down to create a problem. I tried so many pillow variations too, but nothing worked.

So I am battling getting sick. I feel so drained, so sick to my stomach, so woozy. I am going to end now and go to bed. At 12:04 no less!

Day 668 - Mar 28, 2010

I never cooked dinner and I just can't get Kevin to even try to go over to the FH. Frankly, he decided a few days ago that he is just going to stay in the hospital until the plate is put back in. He seems to understand when I say he can't be in-patient for 5 months, but he just doesn't care. This is going to be a really rough transition. I don't know if they can keep him there until the apartment is ready or not, I guess we'll see. I am really worried about all of this - more worried than I was when first taking him home.

At this point, I am just hoping that we can get him to the apartment and we'll take it from there. If he ends up being home-bound, surely I can get some help so that I can at least run for groceries. I feel confident that we can, I just really hate that we slid so far backward. He was doing so well, damnit!

In the meantime, I asked our case workers if there was a chance that Kevin could get a hospital bed for the apt. He has such extreme fluid issues that I worry about him laying flat. Now that I think about it, I believe the neurosurgeon mentioned keeping his head elevated some, so maybe they will get us one. I think I can pretty much guarantee that the VA isn't going to allow me to spend Kevin's money to buy him a bed that can elevate like that, so this is our only hope.

And I think I am going to go and just sit here for a few minutes. I am sitting outside in a rocker and if I close my eyes, I can forget the fence around the post and I won't see the checkpoint only 60 feet from my chair. I can just pretend I am sitting with Moe on the stoop at the video store, drinking a Pepsi and gabbing about how crappy (or good) our days were. Little did I know that those days can't compare to how crappy life is now...man, I would do anything to go back to those days...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 667 - Mar 27, 2010

I am not going to write too much tonight. I didn't finish packing and loading the car until 5am and then I couldn't get to sleep. I had to get up early today to bring everything over to the new FH and get it all unloaded too. Truthfully, I should finish unpacking everything, but I am just too tired.

Breezy is coming tomorrow to sit with Kevin and I am going to clean the previous room then. I also plan to cook a nice dinner - I so hope Kevin can come and eat with us.

As for Kevin, he was given an anti-nausea medication this morning and it knocked him on his butt. He slept most of the day and he was just drifting off again when I left at midnight. I only got him up long enough to shower this morning and he did take a ride over to the new FH tonight. We were only here 5 minutes though as he was in extreme pain. I honestly think it's a fluid issue and I asked the PA if it could be likened to motion sickness. We are going to discuss using a medication that is used for that and see if it works (that's if the docs ok it). Wouldn't it be wonderful if that fixed everything? Because to be blunt - I am worried sick that he can't even handle a 1/2 mile car ride and our home is like 15 miles away. If it ends up that he can't handle the ride, we will be totally 100% home-bound. He won't be able to go to the grocery store or anywhere.

Oh please...please don't let it be like that...

PS - thanks anonymous for letting me know that stressor was a word. It underlines it in the post telling me it's not and it didn't show up when I checked at an online dictionary. Strange, huh? I was so sure it was so thanks for assuring me that I wasn't cracking up (anymore than usual anyway, lol)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 666 - Mar 26, 2010

I am so happy with our new case manager. She was able to get us moved from the one Fisher House we were in to an older one that only has 8 families in it. I went and checked it out today and it was just so quiet over there. I think there are only 4 families there right now anyway and only 1 of them has children. I am led to believe the kids are older so it should be a better experience.

So at midnight I will be heading over to pack our things and get it all moved. Tomorrow night I will have to clean the room that we are currently in spotless so I may not write too much tomorrow night (or tonight really).

I am hearing that Kevin will probably be discharged early next week. I sure hope this FH works because we can't move into our apartment until April 8.

Yep - you heard me! I found an apartment! It's beautiful, in a secluded area, has an elevator, has hardwood floors for his wheelchair, has a walk in shower in the master, we are on the top floor so no noise from above and they have something in the walls guaranteeing you won't hear your neighbors on either side. It's expensive, but they all are that can fit all of Kevin's needs. I am just thankful to have found one and now I can put this stressor (I am making up words apparently this week, lol) to bed.

Gotta run - it's midnight exactly!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 665 - Mar 25, 2010

I had a chat today with the PA, one of the doctors here and the new case manager and we all agreed that Kevin needs to begin TBI therapy here at the hospital when he is discharged. YAY! Cognitive therapy here we come! I am really looking forward to seeing what accomplishments come forth from Kevin having regular TBI therapies.

We also discussed that Kevin should be able to go home pretty soon, but I don't have anywhere to take him yet so he will have to stay put for a bit. His kidneys have improved about 5% bringing him up to an 80% function level. They have removed him from IV fluids and the nephrologist believes that Kevin's kidneys will get back up to 100% soon and I so hope he's right.

Kevin did feel better overall today too. He did vomit some this morning and he was nauseous a good bit of the day, but his mood was much improved. He's still not the Kevin he was before the plate was removed, but I guess I shouldn't expect him to be.

And now I am so going to bed. I only got an hour and a half of sleep last night and I am so tired that my eyes are droopy.

Day 664 - Mar 24, 2010

Kevin had a better day today - most of the day anyway. We did go down to the cafeteria for lunch and he also went and did PT today.

We were given permission for him to go to the Fisher House for a few hours a day and that is when the day turned around for us. Breezy picked up dinner and I sent Kevin in to sit in the dining room while I went and parked the car. By the time I got into the house (it is very far away to the parking lot) Kevin was just overstimulated beyond belief. There is a small child in the house that isn't very well disciplined and he just screams all the time at the top of his lungs. Well, he was left to run screaming up and down the hallways and through the kitchen and it was just killing Kevin.

Now let me be the first to say that it's not that I expect everyone to be quiet just because we are around. Nobody should have to be silent and tiptoe around the house...BUT...when 21 families live together under one roof - everyone should at least be respectful to the rest of the families. You should at least consider the fact that most everyone here is wounded or ill in some way or another and people may be resting at any given time of the day or night.

But, it just doesn't matter because I will not be bringing Kevin back here. We had to pack all of our food back up and rush him back to the hospital to his room so he could shut the door and turn off all the lights for a while. I think it was a good hour before he de-stimulated (probably not a word).

It was just so sad. He was sobbing and crying while Breezy ran to get the car. His good leg was just bouncing off the floor and he started screaming and screaming in agony. It was just so heart-breaking.

He did get back to being better after a while though, but he never did eat his dinner. He really hasn't been eating much lately at all. (Yet he still gained another 5 pounds - he weighs 190 with his clothes on!!!)

And I was told today that we will not be able to go back to FL for a good year or so. I am hoping we can go in June for my niece's wedding, but we'll see. The docs are just worried that we don't have any doctors in FL and Kevin never shows advance signs of infection - never a fever, white blood count is always good - no signs at all.

So I don't have a choice but to find somewhere to live and fast. I am looking at two homes tomorrow (if Kevin feels well enough for me to go), but I am actually leaning toward an apartment that is in a definite good area of town. I am being open minded to the houses, but I was told tonight by a nurse that the area of the one is questionable. I'm still going to look though...you never know...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 663 - Mar 23, 2010

Not really anything much to say today. They did start Kevin on some sort of iron program where he will get IV iron supplements for 5 days and that may clear up the anemia. That would be nice as it's been an ongoing problem for about a year and a half now.

So Kevin didn't get out of bed at all again today. He just is not feeling well at all.

One good thing - we got a new case manager today. Yay! She worked all afternoon on finding an apartment for us but she is struggling too. We are at the point that we are trying to find out if we can go back to FL in between all of our appointments, procedures and surgeries. It's going to mean a substantial amount of money in air travel, but it may be our only option.

I have to admit to not feeling overly comfortable being in FL without a neurosurgoen, but I can't torture Kevin in such a noisy environment. I am probably going to just have to get over it and take him home.

It won't be anytime quick though - he really isn't doing too well...

Day 662 - Mar 22, 2010

Kevin was pretty sick all day today. He never got out of bed until dinner time (7pm) and even then he went in his wheelchair to eat. He did feel well enough when he got his antibiotic at 11pm to walk down to the grab-n-go and get an ice cream, however, he didn't eat it. We just brought it back upstairs and put it into the freezer. (he has to stay in an upright position for 30 minutes after taking this medication so it's becoming a ritual to walk down every night).

I did talk to the nephrologist (sp) today and he told me that Kevin's kidneys are functioning at about 75%. They are staying right in and around that range, so they are trying to figure out what to do. They are discussing steroids, but they know that reduces the immune system and Kevin's not really in a position to handle that well. I guess we are going to discuss it again on Wednesday.

So that's about it for today. Hopefully I have something good to post tomorrow.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 661 - Mar 21, 2010

I am going to skip writing tonight. I am just too tired. Kevin has been pretty unbearable to deal with lately and it's quite exhausting.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 660 - Mar 20, 2010

Kevin's kidneys are on the downhill slant for sure. We are so going backward. He really didn't feel well today either. Breezy came and stayed with him while I went and looked at another apartment and I am not sure, but I don't think he even got out of bed. The nauseousness did go away though, so the Nexium did do the trick for that problem anyway.

It is the weekend though, so we will have to see what everyone says on Monday.

The apartment I found today will work, kinda. It is still 20 minutes away (I think anyway - gotta re-drive out there when I leave here at midnight to make sure), but the traffic isn't AS bad in that direction. It is VERY expensive - what our mortgage is in FL - but at least it fits the bill in size (almost 1400 Sq Ft) and shower needs. I made sure there are no children above us, but the tenants above do have a small dog. I have asked for a clause in the lease that if the dog makes too much noise, we can break the lease without penalty. The complex is going to get with their corporate office on Monday and see. I also need VA approval on renting here, so we will see if it works out or not.

Long-time RN - you had asked if the hospital here has a list of apartments for these types of situations and I have two things to say about this:

1) We would normally get something like this from our burn case manager. We have only seen her 1 time in the 5 or 6 weeks we have been here. I believe we are supposed to be checked on nearly every day, but that doesn't happen. If you remember - the last time we were here - she didn't help us find a place then either. I just feel bad for those that have no one here to help them. What do these guys/girls do?

2) Because many of the other wounded also have her as a case manager, we have learned to help each other out. Many have given me names of some apt buildings that can accommodate Kevin, but they are all filled up. Too many wounded military personnel.

So we are basically on our own. It's ok though, I'll find something...or die trying, lol.

Day 659 - Mar 19, 2010

Kevin was pretty sick today. I am hoping it's just the Nexium loss, but we'll see. They did put him back on it tonight so tomorrow we will know for sure. He couldn't even get out of bed today at all though. He was just nauseous and drained and flat out sickly - poor kid.

Unfortunately his kidneys went backward a bit today. I'm not sure why and I didn't see the nephrologist (sp) today so I'm not sure what's going on. Maybe it was just a fluky thing so we'll see that tomorrow too.

They did start him on the other powerful oral antibiotic so I suppose it could be that.

He hasn't been eating much at all either. That right there tells you there is something wrong - that kid eats like a horse.

I asked the PA today if he thought the docs would allow me to take Kevin to look at an apartment next week (if I find one). He thought it wouldn't be a problem if a physical therapist could go with us (Oh Pam? Our favoritest therapist...?). This way I will see if Kevin is going to be able to handle the ride to the one I choose. If he can't, well we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

And speaking of Pam, yesterday Kevin went on a 'date' with her, lol. She came in to do therapy at dinner time so the three of us went down to the cafeteria together. She made a joke about it being a date and Kevin pretended they were holding hands and acting all lovey dovey. It was so funny. She sure holds a special place in his heart - you should hear him clearly say "I love you, Pam".

And that's about it for tonight. I want to go watch some TV on the internet so I'll catch y'all tomorrow.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 658 - Mar 18, 2010

Kevin's kidneys are looking much better since they took him off the anti-inflammatory, but he is back to being in pain often times throughout the day. We will have to figure out an alternate plan for that. They also removed his Nexium and I can say - that one will have to be put back into his diet. He has been nauseous all evening and I would bet he will be vomiting by this time tomorrow.

Kev also had a CT scan yesterday and it appears that the infection is gone, at least enough to remove him from the IV antibiotic and start him on an oral one. Yay! That Vancomycin was rough!

I did take a jaunt out to that apartment complex today and 1) it's just too far away and 2) it's just way too expensive. I know I may not have a choice but to spend a small fortune on an apartment, but it's just got to be closer. If you remember, the last time we went to Breezy's, Kevin couldn't even get out of the car. That was only a 20 minute drive and this apartment was 40 minutes without traffic.

I have to admit that I am starting to really worry about where we are going to go. I have called about 150 or so apartment complexes so far and probably looked at about a thousand floor plans online - no exaggeration.

Oh well, I have a week or so to find something and get it figured out. In passing, I heard someone say that Kevin will be in the hospital at least that long.

Day 657 - Mar 17, 2010

Kevin was pretty grumpy today. I think he's just tired of being in the hospital, tired of being sick. His kidneys still aren't getting better like the docs had hoped they would. The doctor did remove another of his meds today - an anti-inflammatory - that they think may also be causing the problem. I guess we'll see tomorrow.

We had to change the picc line today too. The old one was giving him problems so they put one in his other arm. Not sure, but that might not be working. He seemed to be in pain in that arm a lot today, but I want to wait and see how it is tomorrow before saying anything.

I know I have not been writing much lately, but I am just so very tired. I am trying to find us a place to live and it's just not easy so it's taking up A LOT of time (and this is just me scouring the internet for one that will handle his needs). I did leave Kevin this afternoon for a bit and ran and looked at one apartment. It's so darn tiny and so darn expensive. It was really too small for him because he would be able to hear me clearly from his bedroom no matter what I was doing.

I did get a referral from one of the nurses today though and looking at the website it looks perfect. HOWEVER, there are no prices listed and that scares me. I will call tomorrow and maybe even run out there if they are open in the evening once Breezy can get here to sit with Kevin.

So keep your fingers crossed that this one works. It's looking like we will be here at least another 6-8 months consecutively. I do hope we can go home for a week or two and visit with my parents, but I'm not sure yet. I also hope we can find a decent place here and maybe (if my dad feels well) they can come for a visit too. We'll see...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 656 - Mar 16, 2010

I am just too tired to write tonight so I will catch you tomorrow.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 655 - Mar 15, 2010

Still no word on what the plans are for the vanc. Our neurosurgeon is on vacation and the on call docs are wanting to discuss what to do with him before making any changes.

We did meet with our plastic surgeon and we did come up with a plan of action though. In about 3 months, we are going to insert the skin expanders and they will stay in for about 2 months. At that time, they are also going to fix the scar edges from the neck/chin graft, fix the one eye and Kevin also has a 'growth' of some sort on his one ear that we are going to have removed.

Once the skin has been stretched for two months or so, we will then put the plate back in. This is all assuming that there are no infections between now and then (and assuming we got rid of the one we are currently treating).

And today we went on two walks around the hospital. Both lasted over a half hour and Kevin did exceptionally well. I don't know when they are planning to release him yet, but he is at least working up to being able to move around once we do get discharged. Last week he could barely get out of bed so I am happy to see him up and around.

Maybe he can even make it over to Breezy's again (without pain)...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 654 - Mar 14, 2010

Kevin's kidneys haven't gotten any better since yesterday so they are discussing eliminating the vanc from his 'diet'. I didn't see any doctors today, this is just what the charge nurse told me, so I am anxious to see what they say tomorrow.

Other than that, nothing exciting to tell you today, so I am going to just sign off early.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 653 - Mar 13, 2010

Kevin's kidneys are doing much better today. They are flushing his system with fluids and it has made quite a difference. They did start him back on the vanc, at a much lower rate and it will only run 2 hours instead of 24. I believe they plan to slowly increase it to where it needs to be to combat the MRSA.

He was feeling so much better this afternoon. We went down for lunch (and he even walked and it's pretty far to the cafeteria) and he did really well. He only had one pain pill both yesterday and today too - both times when he was up out of bed. It really just looks like he is going to be doing a lot of laying around until the plate is put back in his head. I can only assume it's a fluid issue, but who really knows.

And due to the laying around - Kevin has gained 14 pounds in the past month! He needs new pants again, but I haven't been able to get to the store to buy them yet. Maybe I can go one day this week.

I am going to answer a few questions tonight too. I have been slow to do this lately and I apologize.

First Janna - you sure may visit once you get moved to New Mexico. How exciting that move will be for you!

To the anon person whose sister was on Methadone - I am so sorry that she was hurt so badly. Thanks so much for the info, I always like hearing bits of information as you never know when you will need it.

Armymom - I asked Kev if he remembered Josh, but I didn't have any pics with me to show him who that was. I backed all of my photos onto an external drive and they are all in FL. Kevin did say 'hi' back though, lol. Is Josh still in Germany? Or was he deployed again?

Debbie C Beham - Breezy is out of town with her boyfriend this weekend, but I will have her check her mail on Monday. I am anxious to see what book you have sent.

Ok, going to watch a movie with Kevin (The Replacements - love it!) and then head back to the Fisher House. I am still leaving him at night here by himself, but he called me all night last night. I didn't sleep a wink, but obviously neither did he, lol.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 652 - Mar 12, 2010

Kevin was readmitted to the hospital today. It turns out that his kidneys are not working correctly and we need to keep a close watch on him and also try to figure out what is going on.

I wish I could tell you what this really means, but at this point, I just can't. Infectious Disease is hoping it's just due to the amount of vancomyacin(sp) in his system, but we don't know for sure (especially as he's been off of it for 2 days now). Today we are running fluids through him to see if it makes a difference - I sure hope it does.

So that's really about it. I felt bad because the hospital had been calling all morning to tell me to bring him in, but I had to have my phone on silent overnight because of Kevin's over-stimulation. I never even thought about it until almost lunchtime and I looked at the phone. Duh!

But I guess it didn't make much of a difference anyway. He's here and all hooked up to the IV now so all is good. As good as can be, anyway...

Day 651 - Mar 11, 2010

Today was another rough day. It started out ok, but we decided to go to Breezy's and have a nice dinner there. We started out and found that due to all of the construction, the roads are very bumpy. Kevin was in so much pain due to all of the bumps - just like the last time he had no plate in his head.

So it was so bad that he wouldn't even get out of the car once we got to her house. He didn't think he would be able to get up the few steps it took to reach her door. I really was at a loss as to what to do. I knew if he just lay down for a bit the pain would go away (with the help of some pain pills), but I really couldn't see how to get him up the steps. I also knew that it was rush hour and it would take over an hour to get back to the Fisher House - re-hitting all of the bumps.

We decided to just sit in front of her apartment in the car for about 45 minutes and we hoped that the pain would go away. It didn't, but it was close to 6pm by then so we left, hoping that the traffic might have died down. It was actually pretty good and we made it home in a decent amount of time.

But then we came into the house and there was a birthday party for one of the little girls that is here. First I felt bad for Kevin because I knew he couldn't handle the noise, but then I felt bad for the little girl because she had no other kids at her party.

But, Kevin's my priority so I just got him into the room and into bed. I tried to be so quiet stumbling around in the dark, but he was so overstimulated at that point that I knew it was best for me to leave the room. So I did.

I went out to the living room and had a little pity party. It really just does suck that we can't catch a break. I would say both Kevin and I have accepted what has happened to him/us, but all the other crap just needs to go away. We just want to get on with our lives and not have all these medical emergencies and not have to deal with all the red tape.

But, it is what it is, I guess. So suck it up, Les, and continue on. Right?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 650 - Mar 10, 2010

Today has been a pretty crappy day. Kevin is feeling somewhat better, I think because they realized he had too much of the antibiotic in his system and we stopped giving it to him. I have to take him over for a blood draw tomorrow afternoon. Once we find out his levels, we will begin again.

But I had a VERY trying day. I don't want to talk about it really, but I will say that it is very tiring and very frustrating having to fight everyone to get Kevin taken care of the way he deserves to be.

Anyway, I am not really in a very good mood so I am going to just go to bed early.

Before I go though - Janet - we did go look at the Operation Homefront Apts today and we almost ended up next door to Matt! We had to decline though because it only has a bathtub (instead of a walk-in shower) and Kevin really struggles to get into one. It was also on the second floor and I worried about "having to" do the steps. Bummer, as I was hoping to adopt Matt into the fold and make sure he was well fed, lol.

Did you all know that it's nearly impossible to find an apartment with a walk-in shower?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 649 - Mar 9, 2010

We didn't do much today. We had to go to the hospital and have some blood drawn and that's about it. Mostly we just stayed in our room and Kevin slept while I watched tv on the computer. Luckily this time our beds are set in a "T" placement so if I am on the computer it doesn't shine any light his way.

So I am just going to sign off and go scrap for a bit. I am getting smarter by bringing some supplies when we travel now, lol.

Day 648 - Mar 8, 2010

Kevin did a little bit better this evening. He tried to get up this afternoon, but he was really dizzy. I did talk him into trying again though by bribing him with the restaurant of his choice for dinner and it worked. He did get up (slowly) and he and I went to eat (we are back to going at 'off' times so the restaurants are not busy). He handled it well, but he was soaked with sweat by the time we got home and he was in some pain. I'm just not sure this new pain regimen is working. And I just wish I knew what the pain was stemming from too. Is it a fluid issue? Or sinus pressure? Or just general surgical pain? I just don't know.

And to change the subject - we did end up giving Princess away. My niece took her as a trial run and I haven't heard yet how it's going. Kevin was quite sad, but the cat had been home alone for weeks now and it was ripping the house apart. It really just wasn't fair to the cat and we know we won't be home for quite some time so it was the right thing to do.

And that's about it for today. I hope he feels even better tomorrow...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 647 - Mar 7, 2010

Kevin barely got out of bed today. Breezy and Chris came for dinner tonight and he wouldn't even leave the room - we ate without him.

I see him sliding backward a little bit. We were making great strides toward him handling noise and light better and we are now going the other way.

I did get him up for lunch though and while we were in the dining room he was so angry because people were talking on the phone and kids were screaming and it was just generally busy. He was screaming at everyone and you could see him 'flooding' - something I haven't really seen much of in a long time.

He also can't handle getting up out of bed hardly at all. I am hoping this is all just a fluke and that he feels better in a day or so, but we'll see.

I will say this - if this continues, this part of the journey is just going to be so rough. I just wish Kevin could handle all this stuff; noise and people. I hate that things are so hard for him.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 646 - Mar 6, 2010

I am going to skip writing tonight. I don't really have anything to report as we didn't do anything anyway.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 645 - Mar 5, 2010

Kevin was finally discharged today! The Picc Line instructions seem simple enough so I should be able to handle it all. We'll see tomorrow if my thumb can handle it too. So he has this little softball sized and shaped piece of plastic that has his meds inside and it is released by gravity into his arm. He carries the ball in a fanny pack (He was soooo not crazy about having to wear that, lol. Totally uncool!) and it gets changed every 24 hours or so. This means we can travel about the area and do whatever we want.

We didn't do much of anything today though. Kevin still hurts when he is up and about for too long so we are limiting what we do. We did go visit Joel for a bit and a General Thurgood came to visit the ward today. Here are some photos of the General with both Kevin and Joel. I was so excited because it's the first time I had seen Joel up out of his chair. He was fitted with a prosthetic leg and he can walk and everything now. So proud.


This next photo is Joel, Maritza, Jose, Kevin and myself.



I would say it is just like old times, but back then none of us knew if our boys would ever wake up from their comas. Or live through the night. How far we have all come, huh? Not that we are medically stable by any means, but hopefully we are getting there and we are most definitely out of the acute stage.

And that's about it. Kevin is watching "The Jetsons" right now. He so loves his cartoons, lol.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 644 - Mar 4, 2010

We are still in the hospital. I guess things weren't lined up for us to go home so we had to stay another night. I have an appt at 9am tomorrow though to learn how to handle the Picc Line and meds. From there we will head over to the Fisher House and continue on.

I have been working on lining up a place for us to live. Now that Kevin is discharged from the Army, our only option is the FH and that really just doesn't work for someone that has Kevin's disabilities. It's a wonderful place though and soooo appreciated, but, since we will be here for quite a long time, another plan is in order.

And guess who else showed up at BAMC last night? Remember Joel and his parents Maritza and Jose? Yep! Joel flew in from FL yesterday and is here to have some graft work done. Kevin and I went and visited in Joel's room both last night and today and it's just so nice to all be together again. We haven't seen them much at all since we left the VA hospital in FL last May.

Anyway, that's about it for today. I think I am going to go and finish my newest David Baldacci book. Goodness that man can write!

Oh and to those that asked - yes, please send all mail to Breezy. I don't know how long we will be here and I know Breezy will be there for a long while yet, lol.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 643 - Mar 3, 2010

Kevin got moved back up to the fourth floor today. Yay! It looks like we will be discharging tomorrow too.

Now I move on to more concerns, a couple of them being staying at the Fisher House because we know Kevin needs his room super cold and can't handle a lot of noise (did I mention there is a newborn baby next door? Acckk!!) and also the fact that he will be on 24 hour IV antibiotic drip. I am concerned about this because it appears you need two thumbs to hook/unhook the thing and I did something to my left thumb back in December. I believe it's broken, but with no insurance I can't say for sure. There is definitely bone sticking where it shouldn't be and my one joint keeps coming out of place. Who knows, but I definitely can't do much with it.

And now I am going to leave you guys with a video of Kevin opening Jesse's gift. It was taken with my phone so it's not real big.

video

Day 642 - Mar 2, 2010

Kevin has been much better today, but he is still in ICU. We need him to be 'normal' for 24 hours before we will move him back up to a step down ward.

I can't begin to tell you how scared I was yesterday. We had replaced Kevin's Oxycontin with Methadone over the past week and it appears that he did get too high of a dose(or too many doses and maybe it all caught up to him). He was totally out of it. I don't think he knew who Breezy or I were at one point and he was angry and screaming at the top of his lungs. He was vomiting, we couldn't wake him most of the day, his body was having tremors and his vision was completely out of whack. I honestly thought he was dying.

My first instinct was that he was over-medicated, I even alluded to it on the blog here (I think?) previously, but the nurses all were concerned with ICP. Oddly enough, I hadn't even thought about that. Probably because he had moments of lucidity and you typically don't with ICP.

So anyway, they didn't give him his Methadone last night and when they went to this morning I asked them to wait until Pain Mgmt came in. They did end up cutting his dose by 25% so we will see what happens. I understand that we can't just pull him off completely; first because he would go through withdrawal and second because he would be in too much pain, but I just didn't think he should be given the same amount?!

I guess we'll see how tomorrow goes. I will let you all know as soon as I can.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Update

kev is still in ICU, but he is doing much better. I will update as I can via my phone, but it will be intermittent.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 641 - Mar 1, 2010

I am writing very early tonight because we will be heading down to ICU for a bit. Although we are unsure at this time, we are thinking that Kevin is 'overdosed' on pain meds. He is barely responsive and he is vomiting all over the place. His CT scan looks great, so we don't feel it is a neuro situation.

I probably won't be able to update until tomorrow, but I didn't want anyone to be upset in the interim.

Day 640 - Feb 28, 2010

Kevin pretty much slept all day today. He did wake up long enough for a few visitors - a group from Operation Military Embrace came to visit all of the wounded warriors and my cousin Elizabeth and her husband Jake came down from Ft. Hood today too.

Kevin really wasn't in a great mood though. I don't know if he just didn't feel well or if he was just tired. We'll see what he's like tomorrow.

My sister also flew home tonight. It was nice having her here and it gave me a chance to run some errands while she stayed with Kevin for a bit yesterday. It was definitely a whirlwind trip though. And it sure was nice of her to bring us my car. Thanks, Kim!

So a couple of you were wondering why we would need to be in TX the better part of 2010. Let's see...we need to be on IV antibiotics for 6-12 weeks. While we are on them we need to have labs done during that period to test for the MRSA, meaning we need to be here at our neurosurgeon's office. We also have to meet with our plastic surgeon because Kevin doesn't have enough skin on his head to have the plate put back in. There just isn't enough to cover it and what is there isn't all that healthy due to the burns. I have been told prematurely that there are two options for this. The first is basically a graft, but this means Kevin won't be able to grow any hair. I can't even begin to tell you how devastated this will make Kevin. Truthfully, I fear he will give up totally if this ends up being our only option. The second possibility is to have a 'balloon' type implant placed under his scalp and (don't ask me how) it gets 'blown up', stretching the skin little by little. I don't know how long for sure that this takes, but it's at least a month and the surgeon that mentioned it told us he wouldn't do it for at least 6 months after this last surgery to remove the plate.

There may be some time in between the third and the six month for us to go back to FL, but honestly - I just don't feel comfortable being there for any real length of time without him having a plate in. If something should happen, I don't know where I would take him, kwim? It's just such a scary thing to not have a neurosurgeon on hand. I had been so petrified for the month or so leading up to us coming here and I don't think I can do that again.

We also need to have some other surgeries to fix some things and we are hoping to have Botox in his hand this week. This will require some therapy after the fact and it's an awful lot of paperwork to go back and forth to different places for therapy - not to mention the expense of traveling from FL to TX all the time.

And we can't forget that we want to detox Kevin at some point and I also still want to send him to that TBI facility. That's here in Texas too.

Wow. I am only touching the tip of the iceberg here. I can't see all this happening over the next year, so some of it may end up being through 2011. Especially because I can pretty much guarantee that some unforeseen emergencies will pop up. Yep, I can pretty much guarantee it...