Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 884 - Oct 30, 2010

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.

Day 883 - Oct 29, 2010

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.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 882 - Oct 28, 2010

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.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 881 - Oct 27, 2010

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). Video

USF Article

WTSP News Video

ABC News Video

Bay News 9 Article

Bay News 9 Video

Tampa Tribune

Tampa Tribune Article 1

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.

Kevin just grinned all night from ear to ear!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 880 - Oct 26, 2010

This is going to be a quick post as I am flat out exhausted. I had the ambulance take Kevin to the hospital last night and we were there until 10:30 this morning. Nothing showed up at all, but Kevin was not only vomiting, but was also having spasms in his right leg and arm. That was something new to me and I didn't want to put him on a plane without him being checked out first.

So we went and nothing showed up on his scans or blood work or any other way. The docs do want to do a seizure work up when we go back to TX, but I was told he was good to go. They did give us an anti-seizure medication for the flight though - just in case.

And Kevin did fantastic on the flight. And WOW! What a welcome he was given at the airport and on the way home. I have hundreds of photos to download, but if y'all don't mind - I will share tomorrow night. I haven't slept a wink yet and Kevin really hasn't either so I am hoping he will go to sleep right quick so that I can too.

In the interim - thanks to all the supporters at the airport and on the motorcycles. It was awe-inspiring and humbling all at the same time. And thanks to Mike and Deb at Operation American Pride for setting this up. Kevin was really excited and hamming it up for everyone.

And how nice to be home around our own things - especially our family...


This is Kim Leslie's sister, she wanted me to write to inform everyone they just got home from the hospital and Kevin is doing well. They don't have time to do anything other than pack and get to the airport she will post more tonight.

Quick Post

I am taking Kevin to the hospital right now as he is vomiting uncontrollably. Will update when we get home.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 878 - Oct 24, 2010

Kevin's pain was slightly better today, but still not as great as it was the other day.

And I finished the audit completely tonight. Finally!! All of the paperwork came back from the banks yesterday so I was able to get everything together to be mailed tomorrow. What a relief. Now it won't be hanging over my head while we are home in FL.

And that's pretty much it. We didn't do anything worth mentioning at all today so I guess I'll sign off early once again.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 877 - Oct 23, 2010

Today was a little bit of a rough day in the pain department. I believe it is because of the weather as it was overcast here the bulk of the day, but who can say for sure. I'm hoping tomorrow is a better day.

Kevin and I just finished watching a movie a few minutes ago, so I am (once again) going to sign off early. There isn't a whole lot to say anyway as we didn't really do anything today.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 876 - Oct 22, 2010

Yes! The Advil seems to be working. Kevin only took pain meds 3 times today and none of them were Oxy! Wouldn't this just be so wonderful if Tylenol and Advil do the trick totally? The doc called me today too, to check up on Kevin and we decided to look into the TMJ situation more when we come back to TX. He is as excited as I am!

We didn't really do much today though so I think I will just end here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 875 - Oct 21, 2010

I talked to the doc today about Kevin's pain issue and we discussed trying Advil and seeing if the anti-inflammatory might make a difference. I know that he took some tonight and it was seven hours before he needed anything else and that was a larger time span than has been normal the past couple of days. This really could be it. It makes some sense as he is still swollen some on the cheekbone and the doc mentioned possible TMJ. We are going to see how it goes over the weekend and go from there.

Oh - and Jessica - yes, the pain is a headache. Or some kind of pain in the head anyway. When he yawns he screams in agony just about every time.

And Kevin and Johnny went to see Jackass 3 (in 2D though as Kevin couldn't handle 3D) tonight and it was a nice evening at home by myself.

And today we went to the CFI (Center For Intrepid) to get Kevin's new wheelchair, but it wasn't the right one. It was ok, because while we were there Kevin spent some time talking to another soldier and it was just so awesome to see. They were telling each other their 'war stories' - only I had to say what Kevin was motioning. I truly believe Kevin understood everything. The young man mentioned being a sniper and stepping on a landmine and Kevin gasped appropriately. This guy really spent some time with Kevin and it made me wish that Kevin could go there for therapy - just to have that 'brothers in arms' atmosphere. I know we tried to get him to go there in the beginning, but there was some reason about the VA that he wasn't allowed to. I might have to check into that.

Kevin and I also watched a movie tonight after Johnny left and I am so glad he is out in the living room more and more. He is making great strides, isn't he?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 874 - Oct 20, 2010

We had a pretty good day today - in between all the pain Kevin was in. Yes, I don't know if it was just a fluke (I so hope so) or if it's because there is finally not one drop of methadone in his system, but Kevin really struggled today. He got more Oxy and Tylenol today than he has in a long time. I'm not calling the docs yet as I want to see what tomorrow is like, but if he is in this much pain again tomorrow I do plan to give them a quick call. It defeats the purpose of detox if I am having to keep giving him Oxy.

Other than that, Kevin had a dentist appt today and, like always, he and Dr. Craig hit it off immensely. I do believe they are two peas in a pod, lol. Here are a couple of photos:

They honestly have so much fun together. And would you believe Dr. C has a hat collection too? shoulda seen the picture of him in his chicken hat. It's hilarious, lol!

After that it was just a few minutes shy of 5pm (which means it was rush hour) so we decided to just grab Breezy (the dentist's office is near her house - not ours) and go for dinner. It takes a good 1 1/2 hours to get home during that time so it was worth taking the time to eat and bypassing all of that.

Here's a picture of Breezy that shows how much my grandson has grown. She is close to 7 months now and getting baby bigger every day. I don't think she's really gaining weight anywhere else, but that's my opinion.

And here are a couple of pics of the kids together:

And I want to quickly thank those that mentioned how well acupuncture has worked for you. Kevin wasn't really open to it, but I read all of the comments and emails to him and he has agreed to try it. We will begin that treatment when we come back to TX from Florida in a few weeks.

And Jessica - you mentioned me sleeping in the other day and would you believe I didn't wake up until 4:19 in the afternoon?!! I couldn't believe I slept that late, but apparently I needed it. Of course, I didn't go to bed until roughly 6am as I was working on that audit, but still...

I sure wish I could do that for a week straight...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 873 - Oct 19, 2010

We made it home from the hospital today!! Kevin is doing really well, but I am going to skip writing tonight. We have been watching a movie and we have both been drifting off to sleep while it's been playing, so we paused it and we are each heading to our own beds.

It has really been an exhausting week...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 872 - Oct 18, 2010

Three really great things happened today!

1. Kevin took his very last dose of Methadone at 9pm this evening!

2. I pretty much finished audit #3. Just gotta wait on the paperwork from the banks.

3. And Kevin moved his right arm downward today. He has been able to kinda move it upward, but he has never been able to move it down. You should have seen the look on his face - he was so shocked and excited. The Botox has really made a difference and the therapy even more so. His hand is much looser - it is often open now instead of being clenched so tightly you can barely pry it open. His arm is also hanging way lower than it used to. Yahoo! It would be so great if we could get even a small amount of use out of it.

And we are discharging from the hospital tomorrow. I believe Kev will be ready and waiting when I get to the hospital - although that is definitely not a given, lol.

Tonight I had to request a different nurse. We had someone that we had never had before and the guy wasn't patient enough to handle Kevin. Kevin does things in his own time and when he didn't take his meds fast enough for the nurse, the nurse started lecturing him about 'stealing time away from his other two patients'. That wasn't flying with me. Kevin was upset because the nurse just wasn't listening to him at all and I could see that Kev wasn't going to get the care he needed. He does require more time to process and do things sometimes and if a nurse (or anyone) can't understand that then they need to step away. It's nothing personal - he just wasn't a good match for Kevin.

Truthfully, I can say that both Kevin and I really love this hospital and pretty much all of the docs and nurses that work here. Everyone treats us like family and it's much appreciated when you, in a sense, live there.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 871 - Oct 17, 2010

I am going to skip tonight. Just too tired.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 870 - Oct 16, 2010

Kevin is still doing very well today. We spent some time learning a new phrase - "I'm hungry" and we also went for a really long walk tonight after dark. Kevin is able to go out on the hospital grounds so we went outside and really pushed the envelope.

One thing I have noticed since he is taking less narcotics is that his walk is sturdier. Today we went downstairs to dinner and he didn't even take his cane with him. He walked very well and didn't lose his balance at all.

And tomorrow Breezy is going to go in at the beginning of the shift and I am hoping to get the bulk of the new audit done. I also seriously intend to sleep in. If anyone is thinking about calling me tomorrow - DON'T!!! Lol!

And that's pretty much it. 2 more days though, and there will be no narcotics in his system. YAY!!!

Day 869 - Oct 15, 2010

Wow - what a busy day today! We had all kinds of company and Kevin was even given a gift from Cat and Mike. You guys are gonna love this:

Yep. Another ugly hat. I believe Mike said this is official Army gear though, but I still think it's ugly. Kevin, of course, loves it!

Lea also came to visit today and her and Kevin went for a walk with the therapist. It was so nice of her to spend the afternoon with him!

Kevin continues to do well with the detox. I had a chat with the doc today and we are starting to think that the methadone hasn't really been doing anything for Kevin. He told me that narcotics rarely help a headache and if that is all Kevin is suffering from the meth may have been unneeded all along.

And we are discussing acupuncture for the headaches when we come back to TX from FL in a few weeks. There is always the Tylenol, but I am open to trying the needles too. Not sure how Kevin is going to feel about giving it a try, but I think once he hears that it may take the headaches away completely he will be up for it. We shall see...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 868 - Oct 14, 2010

Kevin is still doing fantastic! Matter of fact, he didn't need any additional Tylenol or anything for roughly 11 hours today - woohoo! He has seen a 33% decrease already and is down to 21 mg a day now. Wonderful, eh?

I am excited because I actually went to sleep at 2am this morning. Amazing! And I slept completely uninterrupted until 8:40 when my phone rang (and it wasn't Kevin - he didn't call one time!).

I was glad for the wake up call though because I was able to go and get the oil changed in Kevin's car before going to the hospital. It needed it quite some time ago but it's not easy to do things like that.

And now I think I am going to go take a nice hot bath before going to bed.

Oh and Janet - I am so happy that Matt is home for good! I hope we can get together when we go back to FL for a visit in a couple of weeks. Maybe you guys can all come over for dinner. Stromboli sounds good...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 867 - Oct 13, 2010

Kevin is doing much better than I expected (phew!!!!). They reduced his methadone by 15% today and he did pretty well. They did have to give him Tylenol a few times and one time he even needed Oxy, but that could have just been a normal day. We also expect that he will always need Tylenol so I didn't even blink when he needed it.

Ironically, Joel ended up being admitted again yesterday too and his dad, Jose, came and took Kevin for a walk today. I think they walked for a good hour and the distance was probably a little more than a mile. They took one lap around the burn gym and ICU and then Kevin had to go back to his room, get his iPad and walk the lap again to show off his toy. He really loves that thing!

In my eyes, I think if we keep Kevin busy while he is going through this it will give him less time to focus on his pain. With the help of Jose, we got him walking a few times today and Breezy and I also had him come out of his room for dinner. We always try to eat in the waiting room if no one is in there and it worked out tonight. It just kinda keeps it like eating a normal family meal as opposed to trying to eat sitting on his hospital bed.

So anyway, maybe tomorrow will go just as well. We can only hope so anyway...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 866 - Oct 12, 2010

I feel like I just took my little lamb to the slaughterhouse. Seriously. Kevin has no idea what is in store for him. Truthfully, neither do I. Maybe this will all be easy...I don't know. I am just scared to death that he is going to suffer unbearably this week (and later) when he has already suffered so much.

It's hard too because I am always honest with him. We always talk at length about each and every thing that we go through. We touch on the pros, the cons and everything in between. It was just so hard for me to not say 'Hey bud, this could be a bit rough' and give him a little warning of what could be coming his way.

But I couldn't. I knew if I did he may not go. I can't force him - he has quite a bit of height and weight on me so it's not like I can pick him up and put him in the car, so I just had to bite my tongue and not give him a reason to back out.

But I feel dishonest. And I feel sneaky. And I worry that he is going to realize that I was dishonest. And sneaky. I sure don't want to break the bond we have - if that happens we might as well give it up now, because going through everything we go through requires trust and understanding, as well as compassion and patience.

I have never done anything to break the trust of either of my children...until now. And it hurts my heart. It was the hardest thing to drive away from the hospital tonight knowing he will get a lesser dose with his morning meds and could possibly be feeling the effects before I am allowed to go in for visiting hours tomorrow.

What if he is in pain? Or is suffering like addicts do on TV when going through withdrawal? The what ifs are killing me.

This whole thing just really hurts my heart...

Day 865 - Oct 11, 2010

Not too much happened today. Kevin wasn't up to going to therapy again today, which does concern me a bit. He did feel better later in the afternoon though so we went for a long walk outside to make up for it.

Breezy and I went to a movie this evening while Johnny was here with Kevin. It was nice getting out for a while and I wanted to try to spend time with Breezy before Kevin goes into the hospital.

I know my posts have been a little...I don't know...disjointed or unfocused or something. Even I can tell my thought process is off, but fighting the VA on top of taking care of Kevin is taking its toll on me. I won't give up - even though that's what they want me to do - because I would never give up fighting for my son's rights or dignity or whatever they are trying to strip at whatever time. It is exhausting though and it makes me wonder how vets that are wounded or ill that don't have a family member to fight for them do this? It's just such a sad thing.

And I don't know if anyone is interested, but here is an article I found showing other people's problems with the fiduciary folks:

VA Watchdog Site

Sure is eye opening, huh?

And tomorrow is THE day. Kevin is being admitted tomorrow afternoon for detox. I sure wish I knew what this is going to be like. I am purposely not saying anything to Kevin because I don't want to instill fear in him. Maybe this will be easy, but I just can't imagine that being so.

And at this point I don't plan to stay overnight, but we'll see how it goes. I didn't get the audit done because I need one bank statement and the banks were closed today so I have to come home at least one night and try to get it done.

Anyway, wish us luck - Kevin mostly. I have this horrible feeling we are going to need it...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 864 - Oct 10, 2010

Last night we went to the zoo. We went with Breezy's work as it was their 10th birthday as a company and they had a private party after the zoo closed. We had never went to the zoo here before and because it is getting dark so early now, it looks like we will have to go back during the day. We had such a short time there in the daylight and what we saw was a really pretty place. I look forward to going back, but have to admit that it is really hard for me to push Kevin up all the hills in his wheelchair. It is what it is though, so I'll adjust. And Kevin did enjoy it while it was light out so it will be worth it to go back.

Today we didn't really do much. I have been working on that darn audit so my eyes are kinda buggy and I am really just flat out tired. I just want to try to get it done before Kev goes into the hospital on Tuesday. Once he's in - my time will be very limited to do things like this.

And that's pretty much it for today so I am going to sign off.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 863 - Oct 9, 2010

It's been a bit of a rough day so I am going to skip tonight.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 862 - Oct 8, 2010

Today we had a woman from a splint company meet us at therapy to discuss ordering some splints for Kevin. We are interested in getting his elbow straightened so that his arm hangs down to the side and we also want to stretch his fingers and open his hand.

She also mentioned one for his right leg as it doesn't quite straighten completely and yet it also doesn't bend at the knee hardly at all. I guess they make a splint that can fix both? I'm not sure how that works, but I am hoping we have the chance to find out. The VA has to approve the purchases so we shall see...

And that's pretty much it for today. Kevin was a little bit tired all day and I can only assume it was because he was out of bed for so long yesterday. He didn't even do much at therapy, but they still got a bit of a workout in.

I hope he feels well tomorrow because I have something planned for him in the evening...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 861 - Oct 7, 2010 infection is visible!! Yahoo!! The neurosurgeon can't see any reason that Kevin's cheekbone is swollen. We looked at his scans together and there is absolutely nothing there. Even his sinuses are clear and I took him off the allergy medication a week or so ago. I don't really know what this means, but as soon as I heard no infection and no fluid build up - I was good to go.

We are going to keep an eye on it though while Kevin is in the hospital next week.

So after we went to the docs we stopped at Walmart on the way home. Kevin needed a few items and although I'm not sure I should be glad about this - he bought himself a new hat. I will say I do believe it looks somewhat better than that other thing he likes to wear, but not by much. Geez. Kids today.

And just so you guys all see what I see - here is a photo I took of him this evening after we got home. It's his 'reflective' pose, lol.

And amazingly enough - today I got served with the papers telling me of my court date two days ago. These were the papers that were to be served on Aug 24. A little late, huh? It's a good thing that we already had the hearing while we were in PA or I wouldn't have shown up for the hearing a second time. I think it's nuts that Kevin has to pay for me to be served and they can't even do it before the hearing date.

And that's pretty much it for today. Oh wait! No, it's not! Kevin stayed out of his room/bed for a full 11 hours straight today. Between the docs and then shopping and then sitting at the table playing on his iPad and then watching Iron Man 2 in the living room - he did something he has maybe never done since being wounded! Isn't that the coolest thing?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 860 - Oct 6, 2010

So Kevin and I went to see one of his docs today to make sure that it's a good idea to go in for detox. The doc did agree that Kevin's cheekbone area is swollen and sent us for a CT Scan. Unfortunately, he wanted a contrast scan done, but no one could get an IV in Kev's arm so after an hour of deliberation between the docs and the radiologists, they decided to just do a normal CT.

Tomorrow we go see the neurosurgeon and he will have the results of the scan so we should know more then.

We are still planning for Kevin to go into the hospital next week, but now the doc doesn't feel Kevin will actually be removed totally from the narcotics. He just thinks we will get Kevin down to a smaller amount. It kinda makes me question if this is even worth it at this point in time because he really isn't on that high of a dose of meth. He rarely takes any oxy at all anymore so I'm just not sure it's worth putting Kevin through all this.

Oh well, it's what they want to do so I am going to go along with it. I am just really nervous about this and I hate to put him through it if the results aren't going to be as good as we originally thought.

(Can you tell I'm just not crazy about this whole idea?)

And we have decided to go back to Florida for a couple of weeks at the end of the month. My dad is not doing so great and we think we need to go home for a visit. Breezy and Chris are going too (but just for a long weekend as they both have to work) so it's going to be our 'family holiday' of sorts.

Kevin is very excited to be going home for a bit. He misses his house and he misses his things. He also can't wait to see everyone - he talks about them all the time. Matter of fact, he called my parents at 3:00 this morning to chat. I'm pretty sure they weren't crazy about the time of the call though, lol.

It makes me wonder how many other people he calls at that time of the night, hehe...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 859 - Oct 5, 2010

I am going to skip tonight. Kevin and I are watching Iron Man tonight as Iron Man 2 will be here tomorrow from Netflix. I have never seen the first and wanted to watch it before watching the second.

Catch y'all tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 858 - Oct 4, 2010

Kevin was nauseous again this morning. So bad that he didn't want to go to therapy and frankly, I didn't blame him.

I called the neurosurgeon today because I noticed that Kevin has some swelling on his cheekbone (more than normal since the surgery). It could be an infection, it could be a tooth that's been bothering him and it could be nothing. I can't be sure, and with the nausea I figured we better get it checked out. Unfortunately, the surgeon didn't call me back today so hopefully he will tomorrow.

In the interim I emailed a different doctor because Kevin is tentatively scheduled to go in-patient for detox on Monday. I am concerned that he is also having extreme pain at the swollen part of his face - especially when he yawns and stretches - and I wasn't sure if this is the right time to take the narcotics away. This doc wants to see Kevin so we will know his plan of action pretty quickly.

And Johnny came tonight and Kevin didn't even get out of bed hardly at all. Only to eat dinner and that was it. I sure hope he feels better tomorrow.

And something I haven't mentioned yet is that there is going to be another baby in the family! Yes, my niece Chrissy is expecting in April! Unfortunately the dear girl has given us quite a scare as she has been in the hospital the last 5 days. She has digestive problems normally and hasn't been able to keep anything down for 10 weeks - since she got pregnant. She has been in and out of the hospital since then for dehydration and they put her on Zofran recently. It turns out she was allergic to it though and it was making her symptoms worse. We were all so scared for her life and the baby's. But today, the girl managed to keep solid food down for the first time in a LONG time and it was just so nice to hear her sound normal while we were on the phone tonight. She was discharged finally and is doing much better.

It's so funny because Breezy and Chrissy made a pact as young children to both have babies at the same time. Oddly enough - it wasn't planned, lol.

And I think I am going to go scrapbook for a bit. Kevin is struggling again tonight so I need to keep myself busy to stay awake.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 857 - Oct 3, 2010

We had a really good day today. Maritza, Jose' and Joel came over for dinner, along with Breezy and Chris, and we all had so much fun. They are always fun to be around so I guess it's not surprising, lol. So here are a few photos:

I wanted to touch on a couple of questions tonight.

Barbara B - Kevin does have Zofran tabs - although he wasn't given the ones that go under the tongue until we came here in Feb. He had been on it as a scheduled dose for almost two years, but it really wasn't making a difference as he wasn't always nauseous. I never knew about the ones for under the tongue and once I did, I pulled him off the scheduled doses and went that route. There has been no difference. We do use it when Kevin knows ahead of time that he is going to vomit, but sometimes there is no warning and it is projectile and you just need to run for rags and a bucket.

Also, some of you have asked about writing letters and going to various people about the VA problem I am having - please feel free to do whatever you guys think will work. All help is welcome.

At this point, the VA has decided to call off the review of Kevin's TSGLI and personal payments and now want me to do an audit for the past ten months. In some ways I think I should just do it, but then I think 'WHY?'. Nobody else has to do four in one year and there is no reason why I should have to. I think it's redundant to do this many in so little time. I have already had to do two of them and another will be due in January. Honestly, why not just wait until then?

And y'all will love the fact that the IG's response was for me to go to the local fiduciary office for our problem. Apparently they didn't even read the letter or they would know that they are part of the problem. It's just a really sad thing when veterans have nowhere to turn to for help. It really scares me that there is such a breakdown of care and communication and it just tells me that any VA employee can do whatever they want without fear of losing their job. Apparently they are all completely safe in employment no matter what they do. This had been said to me numerous times while in Tampa as some of the nurses did things that would curl your toes. I guess I hoped it wasn't true, but apparently it is.

It has to be so frustrating to folks like Mary that do their job honorably and well. It would be to me anyway.

And speaking of Mary - to the anonymous person that mentioned possible vitamin D deficiency - that is something Mary has mentioned before and I have to admit that it keeps dropping from my list of things to do. I will have to discuss it with her again, but admit that he has been taking a walk outside quite often so it may not be as bad as it used to be (if in fact there is a deficiency).

And now I am hoping to get to bed. Goodnight!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 856 - Oct 2, 2010

Today...we went to Six Flags!!!! Johnny works there during the weekends and told me that the park really isn't busy at this time of the year so we decided to go for it. We didn't get there until almost 5pm so that we missed the hot, afternoon sun and I would say a lot of families went home by then too.

I can't say it was the most fun day we ever had, but it was still better than just sitting home like we normally do. I am really trying to find things to keep us busy, things that would make Kevin happy and we did have some really fun moments while at the park.

I do have to call the neurosurgeon this week because Kevin is determined to ride the Tony Hawk roller coaster and I didn't allow him today because I didn't know if he was able to or not. I also will not EVER get on a roller coaster so either Moe has to come and take him or someone else will have to.

(so ok - this makes TWO things that I won't do for my kids. I won't have a dog and won't ride a roller coaster)

I did, however, ride the ferris wheel. I should tell you that I REALLY don't like heights. But I did it and was scared to death the whole time.

So here are some pics of the day. I didn't want to lug my camera around so I had to use my phone. Not the best quality, obviously...

And we had a few minutes that really broke my heart. Do you remember the rope ladder game? Where you have to try to get to the top and ring the bell? Well, Kevin was determined to try it. He knew he only had one arm/hand and that his one leg really doesn't have any feeling and is very weak, but he was gonna try anyway.

Well, he got up to the ladder and couldn't even stand on the first rung. He tried...oh, how he tried, but he just couldn't even move his body to get onto the ladder from the balloon, more or less up the rungs.

It was heart-wrenching. Here are two photos. They are blurry because I was none too steady as I was crying. The lady next to me was too and I think her husband even had a few tears in his eyes. Kevin drew quite a crowd - we all know why - but when he gave up, and myself and the attendant managed to get him up off the balloon, everyone cheered. At least he tried. That's what counts, I say! But should have seen the look on his face when he realized he really wasn't going to be able to do it. It just broke my heart right in two...

Sad, isn't it? But he did try...

But other than that, we did have a good day! And that's what we'll remember.