Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 1065 - Apr 29,2011

Kevin went to the docs today and got all of his stitches removed. He looks fabulous! I don't think I ever mentioned that I tried REALLY hard to talk him out of this surgery. To me, it just wasn't necessary, but Kevin was determined. I can understand where he's coming from. I can't imagine going to work one day and waking up months later looking totally different - and not in a good way. But my standpoint is that any surgery is dangerous and I didn't want to risk it for something that wasn't life threatening.

But it's done and Kevin is very pleased, as am I. He made the right choice.

And tonight we went out to dinner with some of my friends from work. We had a blast, like always, with this group of people. Here is a photo of all of us:

And that's pretty much it for tonight. If you didn't read my post from earlier today (and you are a local), read it below this one. We are all getting together tomorrow night, going between the St Cloud and the Allstars. On that note, I won't be posting tomorrow night as we won't get home until late.

I sure hope all of Kevin's friends can come...

I forgot to mention...

We are having a combined get-together for Moe's birthday, my other 'daughter' Jess's birthday and a place for Kevin's friends and acquaintances to meet him at the St Cloud dining room in East Brady at 6pm tomorrow night. Nay has lots of goodies on the menu if you want to dine in and later in the evening there will be a DJ/Karaoke.

We hope lots of people come and have fun with us! We sure love being home and seeing all of our friends.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 1064 - Apr 28, 2011

Today was another quiet day. We pretty much stuck around the house until dinner, at which time we went with Lorraine (she comments here often) to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Lorraine had never been there and knew it was Kevin's favorite so she wanted to take him. It was a wonderful night. Super food (of course) and superb company. It was so nice to see her!

I really do miss talking with all the folks that used to come to the video store to BS.

After that, Kevin just wanted to rest for a bit. He gets tired from being out so I am still limiting our adventures. Tomorrow will be a bit more of a hectic day, but he will have time to rest in between his doctor's appointment and our dinner plans.

Wish us luck at the docs. I don't think it's any major appointment - I think they are just removing the stitches, but one never knows...

Day 1063 - Apr 27, 2011

We had a nice slow day today, pretty much only going out of the house for dinner. Tonight we drove up to Kittanning and met my sister, Dawn, and her family for dinner. It was really great seeing everyone again and Kevin had a blast with my niece and nephews.

There really isn't much else to say. Kevin is still feeling well, but he did need some Tylenol in the wee hours of the morning. No biggie there, considering the circumstances. He's in his room watching a movie right now - I could hear loud guns so I assume it's an action flick, lol.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 1062 - Apr 26, 2011

I was right - I couldn't keep Kevin down any longer than yesterday. Today he was determined to go to Walmart to look at their movie section as new movies come out every Tuesday. Nothing good today though, but we did hit the mall for a while. He had a blast there - it's somewhere we just rarely go to.

So believe it or not - Kevin has not needed any pain meds at all. He took a pill yesterday before leaving the hospital to head off any pain, but that was it yesterday. He also took one dose of Tylenol today when he sneezed and it hurt. His belly and thigh areas aren't black and blue or sore from the liposuction and his eyes/head aren't black and blue from the injections either. He did end up pulling out a stitch that was just on the tip of his mouth when he was eating, but hopefully that's ok. Frankly, it's gonna have to be ok - it's gone, lol.

And that pretty much wraps up our day. I made him stick around the house the bulk of the day because he did just have surgery, but he didn't like it much at first. He realized I was right though when he got real sleepy on the way back to the house from the mall. Short trips, kiddo...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Surgical Update

Kevin is out of surgery and looks flippin' fantastic!!! He is eating our "after surgery" ritual of broccoli and cheese soup and a baguette from Panera Bread, which is right around the corner from the hospital and the Family House.

He already wants to go to Walmart and I have a feeling he won't be tied down for more than today. I might be wrong - tomorrow he might really be feeling the effects, but he's chomping at the bit to run around.

Man...I just can't keep up with him, lol.

So while they were in there, they decided to fix a few other scars on Kevin's head, face and neck. As of right now, it looks like we won't need to do a separate surgery on his one eye (although we all know that could change) and some of his scars already look much better so it could have alleviated a lot of stuff. Wouldn't that be great?

So anyway, here is a pic of Kevin sitting here eating his late lunch. He has some bandages above his right eye, so ignore them. Doesn't his head look great though?

And I think this will be my post for today. I won't come back on until tomorrow as I am flat out exhausted.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 1060 - Apr 24, 2011

We have to be at the hospital at 5am tomorrow morning so I am going to just post a bunch of pics from the last couple days and try to get some sleep. I doubt it will happen, but I am sure gonna try.

Anyway, last night we went to the Allstars and the St Cloud in Brady and met up with a bunch of friends. We are having an official get together next weekend (assuming Kevin feels well enough) at the same place for anybody that wants to come.

So here are a few pics from last night:

Today we were having dinner with Kevin's grandmother Kammerdiener. On our way to her house though, we drove past my friend Diana's parents house and you could clearly see that the whole family was there. We stopped in and Kevin loved seeing all of his old friends there too as we were all neighbors for a while there. Here is a pics of him us with Diana and her daughter, Lyn. I didn't take one of him and the rest of the clan and I wish I had:

Then we went to Louise's and here is a great photo of the two of them:

I just love how that turned out!

Then on our way back to Pittsburgh we stopped at my Aunt Mona and Uncle Bob's. Here is a pile of pics from there. You may remember seeing pics of Elizabeth and her husband Jake when they visited us a few times in TX. That's their baby Breaden that I had photos of with Chrisitan a while back:

And last, my nephew Anthony, also popped in at Bob and Mona's. Here is a photo of the two of them as well as a pic with Anthony's girlfriend.

It was one busy day, but we had a blast seeing everyone! Thanks to all!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 1058 - Apr 22, 2011

We had a relatively lazy day today. I spent the bulk of the morning on the phone and Kevin watched movies. Neither of us got showered and moving until early afternoon - which was quite wonderful.

We did meet up with Kevin's uncle John and his cousin Trista for dinner this evening though. We had a great time and Kevin got a real kick out of John's "racing" truck (total guy thing, lol).

After that, we watched a movie together and then I did some laundry. It really was a quiet day - the weather here is kinda cold and rainy - so we didn't really want to go out and about.

And I am going to skip writing tomorrow night. We have plans for the night and we won't be home until pretty late so I will just check back in Sunday night.

I hope everyone has a great Easter! To leave you, here is a very poor quality photo of our darling baby with the Easter Bunny. Breezy took a picture of the picture with her phone so it is REALLY grainy.

He just looks so old and so big in the pic, doesn't he? Geez...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 1057 - Apr 21, 2011

We had yet another busy day today. First we had an appointment at the doctor's that lasted about two hours or so and then we had to go to the hospital for blood work and an EKG. Unbelievably, they were able to get blood the very first time. I was amazed. I wonder if it's because he hasn't been in-patient for a few months and he hasn't had much blood taken. Maybe his body is recovering in this regard. Wouldn't that be great?

After we were done with all of our responsibilities, we grabbed some lunch and headed to Walmart. I foolishly forgot to pack Kevin's sweat pants that he will need after surgery. From what they said, the liposuction area is going to be pretty painful and he wants all the fat to be taken out of his belly. This means he won't really be able to wear jeans so sweats and pajama bottoms are in order.

Anyway, we picked those up, as well as some new pain meds. The anti-inflammatory that he has been taking all of these months that FINALLY alleviated all of his pain will not be able to be taken after tonight. I think it thins the blood too much. I am so hoping we don't go back to him needing medicated 13 times a day. I know it's only a short while, but still...

And after this, we went to East Brady and had dinner at the Allstars with Moe and her son's girlfriend, Brittany. We got to see a bunch of friends and we really had a great night. We did come back to Pittsburgh early though. I am just so tired and didn't want to drive an hour too late at night.

This sums up our day. I should mention that if I don't post a night or two, don't panic. The internet here is spotty at best. It took me almost an hour to get this page to load and so far it's not saving the drafts. If I can't get pages to load, there's nothing I can do. Just wanted to give y'all a heads up.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 1056 - Apr 20, 2011

We made it! It has been an incredibly long day so I am going to sign off and get to bed. We have to be at the doctor's office pretty early tomorrow for a pre-op appointment.

Day 1055 - Apr 19, 2011

Ok, so I musta been drunk when I wrote last night. Clearly Roman is not the size I mentioned, lol. He is only 6 pounds, 8 ounces. Duh.

And Kevin is here and downstairs packing. I am upstairs still doing laundry and packing as well. He is so excited. He wants this surgery in the worst way! Oh - and by the way - I talked with them about asking all of those depressing and personal questions and they agreed to run the list past me first and we won't ask the ones that make Kevin think about things that he doesn't need to think about (ie; are you embarrassed to be seen in public, etc). I am so thankful to them for this!

I did have a bit of disappointment today though. I had a meeting scheduled at the Vet Center here in SA to try to start dealing with some of the unresolved emotions and depression that I can't seem to claw my way out of anymore. It has been a struggle to even get this appt, but they did finally agree to see me and we set it up almost a month ago.

So I went there today and was immediately taken to a room with two people in it where they, once again, told me I don't fall under the guidelines for the Vet Center to be able to help. Now it's for wounded veterans and their family members, but I guess I just don't fall into either of those categories? Hmmm.

From what I gathered though, the wounded veteran must go there personally and be treated for PTSD or sexual trauma and once they have been diagnosed they can give permission for their family to go for counseling. Since Kevin can't be diagnosed with PTSD, I just can't go there.

But hey - they did suggest that this could be something I could work on to try to get started across the US. Umm...Yeah. In my spare time I guess. Let me tell you though - there are many things that need fixing in the VA, but I sure don't have the time to take them all on. And frankly, why is it my job anyway? Why aren't the powers that be saying 'ya know - there is a need to help the family members deal with their grief of our most critically wounded. Let's help them.'


Ok - I have to get back to packing. I believe they have internet at the house we will be staying at so I should have no problem checking in tomorrow night. We don't get to Pittsburgh until about 9 or so, so it'll be late before we actually get to the Family House.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 1054 - Apr 18, 2011

This afternoon I had to hunt all over San Antonio for a new battery for my laptop. It wasn't holding a charge at all and hasn't for the last few weeks. Found one though...after multiple stops. Yay! I was afraid to travel without it being fixed.

I didn't really do much else today. I skyped with Kevin for about an hour. He was all excited because he wrote "HI. KEVIN KAMMERDIENER" on Facebook all by himself. I was so glad to see people responding to it.

After that though, he wanted to write "We're not worthy, we're not worthy, we're scum" from Wayne's World. He couldn't do it, so I wrote it out on a piece of paper and held it up to the camera for him to copy it. It took him about 20 minutes to type it all and he did very well except he didn't see the Y in WORTHY and he typed WORTH instead. He told me that he didn't see it because it was too far to the right. I hadn't even thought of that. He did good though - he doesn't know his alphabet much so it had to be hard to find all of the letters individually on the keyboard. He's trying - that's what counts.

I did pick up little guy from day care though. Here are a couple of pics of him with Breezy after work:

You just have to love his hair, eh? I keep telling Breezy he needs a haircut already, lol.

And to end, we must welcome my great nephew to the world! Roman Ryan was born this evening and he weighed in at 8'16 and was 20 inches long. My niece had a rough labor, but it all worked out well. He's a cutie! Here are some photos I snagged off of FB:

Congratulations, Chrissy and Josh!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 1053 - Apr 17, 2011

Today was a kinda lazy day. I didn't go anywhere, do anything or talk to anybody. I just watched tv, scrapped some more and napped. Pathetic, huh? When we get back from PA, I think I am going to have to force myself to get out and do things. That's weeks away though, so I guess I'll just deal with it then.

Day 1052 - Apr 16, 2011

I am going to skip again tonight. I'm sure you are all catching on that I am not writing as often, but Kevin isn't here and this blog is about him so there isn't a whole lot for me to say - especially on a daily basis.

So I have been scrapping for the last couple of hours and I want to continue.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 1051 - Apr 15, 2011

Kevin came down tonight with one of his aides from ResCare because we had tickets to the community college production of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown". We had a really good time! Kevin really enjoyed it and he got quite a kick out of snoopy in particular, lol.

Here is a photo of him with the cast after the show. They were so wonderful to him!

Thank you, Aly, for the tickets! You rock!!

Here also are some photos of Kevin with Christian. He was just so happy to see the baby!

Other than that, my kitchen and bathroom are FINALLY done! I can only hope that when I take a shower tomorrow there is no water in Kevin's room. I think I'll just cry if there is. Especially as I won't have time to get anything done before we leave for Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Keep your fingers crossed, lol.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 1050 - Apr 14, 2011

I had a meeting today with the neuro-psychologist at the VA that did Kevin's testing. At about 20 minutes or so into the meeting I knew he was not really hearing anything I had to say so I grabbed my purse and left right in the middle of it. There was just no sense in wasting my time and at this point it doesn't really matter anyway. It's done and it's on the record that - according to this very important doctor - Kevin will see no real gains in his life. He pretty much won't get any better because he is now 3 years post injury and people really only get better within the first year.


Honestly, sometimes people just can't see the forest through the trees.

It just ticks me off though that someone so narrow minded can have such an effect on someone else's life. I really regret allowing this test to be done. I should've known better.

So as you can see this is still a very sore subject with me. I think I mentioned a little bit about it, but it just mainly said that Kevin can't accurately be tested because he can't speak, but that he doesn't understand what's going on around him most of the time - if ever. The doc reiterated that today, but if that were true there would be no way that Kevin could do all that he can do, could respond as he does in conversations, could remember exactly where each DVD is in a book that holds 300 of them and he surely wouldn't be able to run circles around me on his phone and his iPad.

Now I'm not saying Kevin understands everything - we still have a long way to go - but he knows a lot more than this guy gives him credit for.

Frankly, this is the last time I am going to think about it. I know what I know about Kevin as do all of the people that are around him at any given time. WE are the people that matter. Not some doc that saw Kevin for two hours of his life and will probably never see him again.


So now I'm all riled up again.

But honestly, I sat outside the VA hospital today waiting for the car and just felt so tired and dejected. I am just so exhausted at having to always deal with so many issues on so many different aspects of Kevin's care. I shouldn't have to go see a neuro-psychologist and tell him that he didn't see things clearly. He can't fathom that he's maybe not 100% correct because it's what he's been taught. In a book. Not in life - but in a book. Well Kevin isn't in a book. People like Kevin aren't alive. They die when this type of trauma occurs.

So I say "let's rewrite the damn book!!!" Since there appears to be proof - let's all agree that you CAN get better - significantly even - after a year, or two or even twenty!

Maybe folks should at least not put it in someone's record that they have no potential. Heck, a comment like that could cause all of his therapies to be stopped. I mean...why spend the money on OT, PT and speech when he isn't going to gain anything, right?

Ok. I need to stop because I am just ranting here...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 1049 - Apr 13, 2011

I am scrapping tonight so I am going to skip writing.

Day 1048 - Apr 12, 2011

So the kitchen people were here about 7 hours today and it's almost done. They have to come back Friday to paint. The shower enclosure people came also and removed my shower, but nobody really knows why it's leaking. I guess they will come back on Friday too and put a new enclosure in thinking that might have been the problem. Who knows. I guess we'll see when I take a shower on Saturday if there is a ton of water in Kevin's bathroom again.

I didn't really talk to Kevin today. He called one time because he wanted chinese food and he couldn't say the name of the restaurant that he wanted. I am gathering that he and whoever was working with him today went to Panda Express because I didn't hear back from him. He really loves chinese food lately! I'm not complaining - it's much better for him than Subway.

And to end, here is a video of Christian trying his darndest to roll over. He's almost there, but not quite. He reminds me so much of Kevin when he was a baby - constantly on the move! (except Kevin started rolling over at 4 days old.)

As you can see, he gets soooo mad because he just can't do it. It's so cute, lol.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 1047 - Apr 11, 2011

I had a long skype session with Kevin today and we talked about how much he really needs to try to stay up at ResCare. He has decided to give it another week and then we will discuss it more while we are in Pittsburgh as we leave next Wednesday to go there for 3 weeks.

He does understand that they can really help him, but I guess there was a problem on Saturday. I had told them that often when Kevin doesn't want to do something you need to use whatever resources you have - bribery, guilt, whatever. Mostly he doesn't need anything like this, but there are times...

So I guess they were going bowling and Kevin didn't want to go. From what I am gathering they all come at him and tried too many things and it made him mad. He was feeling pressured. So he locked himself in the bathroom and flat out refused to go. He just didn't want to. Truthfully, there's nothing wrong with that either. Sometimes you just don't want to do something.

I think it's just difficult for them to know when to stop and when to keep pressing. Obviously I know because I have been with him the whole time, but they are struggling with it. I feel confident they will get it soon. I hope so anyway.

And today the plumber came and said that the bathroom issue wasn't a plumbing issue but a grout issue and he wouldn't touch it. Now tomorrow I have the kitchen folks coming as well as the shower enclosure people. Man...I sure hope they get it fixed. This is just ridiculous. I found a water leak in the third bathroom last night and I noticed that there are water stains around the vent in my bedroom.

Crazy, huh? And this is a brand new house!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 1045 - Apr 9, 2011

Diane and Mary Jo went home today. Too soon if you ask me, lol. We had a great visit though, I just wish it could have lasted longer.

And Kevin called me this evening sounding very depressed and telling me he wants to come home for good. I drove up to talk with him and I asked him to give it a few more days. It's really all about the home repairs that will be done this week. They are finally coming to fix the kitchen and now we also have the mess in his and my bathroom. I want to talk to everyone involved first anyway. I wish he would stay, but I just don't think it's gonna happen. He has times when he is happy, but too many times he's just not. No matter what - I just can't let him slip into a depression.

And that's pretty much all that happened today. I think I am going to skip tomorrow night and just take the day off. I will be back on Monday night.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 1044 - Apr 8, 2011

We had a really good day today! We met Kevin for dinner - one of his aides drove him down to San Antonio and we got together at Texas Roadhouse - and we really had a blast! I'm not going to write tonight, but here are a bunch of pics:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 1043 - Apr 7, 2011

Ok - so I am finally getting around to Kevin's goals while at ResCare. Some of these are short term and some are long term, but they all will help him function better.

The most important part of Kevin's therapy schedule is speech for both him and me. My most immediate goal would be for him to learn everyone's names at ResCare. He needs to know whose name to call when he needs help.

They are also working with him on learning his alphabet verbally and cognitively as well as learning to say the time. He has been able to say the time on the hour and half past, but struggles with just saying something like 4:39 - an exact time. Kev and I have gotten some of the alphabet down too, but I realized he was learning the song and not the actual letters. When we discussed it a while back, he agreed and I was happy to hear that he remembered and told the therapist that he didn't want to learn them in order.

He is also to learn the names of 25 functional objects in his room and the kitchen.

As for other goals, he is learning to follow a schedule without help. They keep a schedule for each patient on the wall and Kevin must learn to both read and follow it. He was already kinda doing this at home so it should be no problem.

He also must learn to cook 3 simple meals a week and be safe in the kitchen.

Another thing Kevin has really struggled with is the names of his body parts. It is also on the agenda to get all of those down pat.

Of course there are physical goals as well - they are really making him use his right arm and I love that! He is also building up his stamina again. Every time something happens he loses so much ground and when his knee was hyper-extending he lost everything he had gained while walking around the neighborhood. He has went to the pool once this week already and is working hard at building up the muscles that he can.

I haven't been able to really talk to Kevin privately this week to see if he is feeling better up there, but I think he is. He isn't calling as much and that's always a good sign.

And I have some friends here that came down for a quick visit from PA for a few days and we are getting together with Kevin tomorrow so maybe I will get to talk to him. I know he's excited to see Diane and Mary Jo! We aren't really doing much, but it's nice to just sit and talk with them!

And today I went into Kevin's bathroom here at the house and found quite a bit of water on the floor. I couldn't figure it out at first, but then I looked up I saw that it was dripping from the ceiling. Damn, I hate this house! What a total mess. Apparently my shower (I am guessing anyway) is losing a lot of water through the floor somehow? I don't know...but I am sure glad I don't own this house. I hate the fact that I have to deal with all the problems though...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 1042 - Apr 6, 2011

Ok, I hate to do this two nights in a row, but I am going to skip again tonight.

Day 1041 - Apr 5, 2011

I know I said I was going to share Kevin's goals with you guys tonight, but I am just so tired that I will do it tomorrow night. It's been a long day and I just want to get some sleep.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 1040 - Apr 4, 2011

The meeting today went very well! This makes me so happy because we really both need this. He needs to bust his butt working at getting better in a more intense fashion and I really need and am enjoying the break.

I was so thankful that they were willing to work with me on our issues. I first discussed that Kevin seems to be in his room too much and they decided to spread his daily activities out more. He works hard throughout the day and is kept busy, but as soon as evening rolls around he just goes to his room and is alone all night long. This leads to depression for Kevin and goodness knows we don't want to go back to that.

So they are going to start doing "PT" a bit and go for a walk in the evenings. They are also going to do some speech therapy homework after dinner and play some games.

My second issue was that Kevin wasn't getting all of his therapies five days a week like we were told he would have. We decided to bump up speech to five days a week with an actual therapist, but we are going to stick with less time with both OT and PT therapists themselves and do more homework for a little while. He will be going to a pool and swimming now and taking more walks for PT. For OT he now has to try to eat at least 10 bites of food using his right hand at each meal. He also has to do chores with it - wipe the table and things like that. The therapist is also teaching him how to peel fruit and do more in the kitchen with just one hand.

I felt much better when I left there and although Kevin called me numerous times tonight, I think he felt better too.

Tomorrow night I will share with you guys the list of goals that ResCare put together with both my help and Kevin's. I would do it tonight, but it's upstairs in my purse right now and I am just too lazy to go get it.

Now I have to finish watching Dancing with the Stars. Really...isn't Hines Ward just the cutest thing? Y'all know I don't watch football, but he can really bust a move, lol! And to see all those terrible towels at that 'arena' was funny...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 1039 - Apr 3, 2011

I went to the theater today and saw "Lights in the Piazza". I loved it! It was just a local production in a small theater, but it was still wonderful. I hadn't planned on Kevin being home so I had Breezy come over and spend the afternoon with him. I guess Kev and Chris went to see a movie though, leaving Breezy and Christian home alone.

Tomorrow I will be taking Kevin back to ResCare and having the meeting with the team. There's not really much else to say so I'll catch you guys tomorrow night.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 1038 - Apr 2, 2011

I am going to skip tonight. Kev and I had a good day, but we didn't really do much of anything.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 1037 - Apr 1, 2011

Kevin's home for the weekend! He called me a few times again today and for the last few days he has sounded so forlorn. So depressed and despondent. I asked him if he wanted to come home for a couple of days and you could just hear the relief in his voice when he whispered "yes". I drove up and picked him up and brought him home where he went to his room and reveled in his stuff.

I am trying to be cool about this whole thing, but I am a little worried. He is left alone too much in his room and that is the one thing that can't happen. If he's given too much idle time he gets depressed so it's on my list of things to discuss in our meeting Monday. (Did I mention all this already? Sorry if so.)

So that's pretty much it for today. I am going to sign off and get to bed. He is sound asleep already and I want to crash too.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 1036 - Mar 31, 2011

I am going to skip tonight. The garbage disposal quit working and I have it all torn apart trying to figure out what the heck's wrong with it. Have I ever mentioned what a POS this house is? For a brand new one - EVERYTHING has gone wrong in it. All of our showers leak water all over the floor, I have fixed 2 toilets so far, cupboard doors are falling off, my bedroom slopes so badly you can feel yourself walking downhill, the garage door opener only works when it wants to, the thermostat does what it wants to too and I could go on and flippin on...

Anyway, I wanted to take a break and just let you guys know I'll write tomorrow night.