Happy Veteran's Day to all of our past and present military! I sure hope everyone had a great day filled with a nice free meal somewhere! For the first time we actually left the house on this day. We know it's usually really busy at all the local restaurants and it was always kinda a struggle with Kevin's over-stimulation, but we rarely have that problem anymore (I know how to head it off now) and Kevin wanted to go to Olive Garden. So we loaded up at about 5:30 and headed out. The wait was only 30 minutes so we unbelievably got a seat at the bar and Kevin enjoyed a Bud Light while we were waiting for our table. He thoroughly enjoyed his Sausage Rustica and I enjoyed the small bill, lol.
So I know I mentioned uploading some pics of Christian as a cowboy for Halloween. Here are those pics:
Isn't he just the cutest little cowboy? LOL!
I also mentioned recently that I would try to get some video of Kevin just rambling. It's not easy to come up with things to talk about into a camera, so I just tried to be normal and have him not think about it. I think you will all be amazed at how well he is talking now. Thinking too. The other day I asked him how much 10% of 1500 was and he didn't even have to think before saying 1 -5 - 0. He's not good at saying one hundred fifty, but he can say the numbers out in a row.
Anyway, the video has taken 6 hours already to upload (and I fell asleep in the middle of waiting so my post is a day late) and it's still not done. I will come back and post a link to the video as soon as I can.
Well I haven't seen Kevin this excited in a very long time! Tonight he (unbelievably) tried something new - he went to a Spurs game. He has NEVER been interested in basketball, but when I suggested he and Johnnie go, he said "ok". Believe me when I say I jumped right to the Ticketmaster website because I can hardly ever get that kid out of his bed. He just has no desire to do anything.
BUT - he did go tonight and had a fabulous time! He came home just about stumbling all over these new words trying to tell me they were tied until the last 5 seconds and the Spurs took it home.
To add to it, he got 2 coupons for free Big Macs and a t-shirt. He loves his Big Macs so he was really happy about that too, lol. He even took a pic of the coupons with his phone and texted it to me!
In other news, Kevin had Botox recently and we had to go today and have his splint reworked. He is making gains on getting his hand opened a little bit. It's always been pretty clenched, but it's actually loosely turned in most of the time now.
We also had our second session of laser hair removal today. That is very painful to watch him have done. He is just jerking all over - I am guessing it must sting pretty badly because Kevin doesn't usually feel pain too much.
So we have company right now. We met a woman named Opal when we were staying at The Family House in Pittsburgh last year. She came down on Tuesday to stay for a week and we are having a great time. Kevin is enjoying harassing her, for sure, lol. We actually went out for dinner and shopping tonight while the boys went to the game and that was really nice for me!
And that's about it. Once I get the Halloween pics downloaded. I'll post them. Christian sure was a cute little cowboy!
Breezy was here last night and lectured me because it's been so long since I wrote for you guys. I am really sorry, but I have just been dealing with the loss of my father. I am still struggling for the most part, but I am functioning. I am now to the point where I don't even cry every day. I just really miss his voice and his sense of humor. Every day I called and asked 'how are you feeling?' and he would always respond 'miserable'. It was a private joke between us because I would lovingly start lecturing him that attitude is half the battle and if he would just say 'great' he might actually FEEL great! We always laughed about it and I just miss hearing the word 'miserable'.
I also just feel horrible that I didn't call him the night before. I usually did every night and got sidetracked and didn't call that night. It makes me mad at myself because I, more than anyone, know that every day could be the last you see the one you love. Please remember those words (I'm speaking to myself too!). We all treat life so cavalierly and we really shouldn't. Geez! I won't repeat - you've all heard me say it so many times, but just remember to hug and kiss the ones you love and make sure they know you love them. My dad did know it. He knew I loved him and I try very hard to think of that rather than the fact that I didn't call him that night.
So we haven't really been doing too much, but we did go to the Botanical Gardens here in SA a couple of weeks ago. Here are some photos:
It was really hot that day so we could only stay a couple of hours. Kevin was a real trooper, but he doesn't do well in the extreme heat.
And speaking of Kevin, he is doing very well. I will have to take some video of him soon so that y'all can see how well he is talking. We had company last weekend and the person hadn't seen Kevin in such a long time. They couldn't believe how far he has come. We are just so lucky, aren't we?
He is still having 'spells' though and I guess I should just ignore them. Nobody else is doing anything about them so maybe I'm overreacting? I don't know, but there's not really anything more I can do by myself so I'll just let it go for a little bit and see if they become worse.
I did get him weaned off of the anti-inflammatory meds. I just started slowly thinking that if he was screaming in pain I would put the dose back to what it was. He is doing well and I can only hope it stays that way.
We also had an appt with Urology because Kevin has some trouble starting to urinate. After doing some testing the urologist told me it is just the effects of the meds he's on and that he has no problems at all in this department. What a relief! One department down - 6 million to go! (ok - that is a slight exaggeration, lol)
And now I am off to get some scrapping done. It's going to be a lazy Sunday...
Sadly, my father passed away this morning at about 1am. My mother called me at about 7am yesterday and told me that while he was already in the hospital for 23 hour observation with a UTI, he had had a seizure and he was pretty much in a vegetative state. They didn't expect him to live even until she could get there - about a half hour drive - but they put him on forced oxygen and that kept his body alive until we could all get there. Kevin, Breezy, Christian and I all caught a flight at noon and my brother, sister and nephew all flew down from Pennsylvania a few hours later.
It was very difficult to see my dad like this. It was so unexpected. Yes, he was dying of cancer and yes, we all knew he would be going soon. But we really thought we had a little bit longer - at least enough time to really see the end is near. We were so hopeful that he would make it through the holidays.
I do suppose that this is better than the alternative. He has been suffering and we knew it would probably only get worse, but it still really hurts.
It was also so hard to first say your goodbyes and then to actually 'help' someone you love die. After fighting everyone and everything to keep Kevin alive, it just didn't make sense to me to remove the oxygen from someone that just looked like Kevin did in the beginning. I just kept saying that he'll be fine - I mean...just look at Kevin, right?
But, my family did decide to remove the oxygen shortly after midnight and although I tried so hard to stay in the room and watch him take his last breath, I just couldn't do it. As soon as the nurse came in and removed the mask, I started crying and just had to leave the room. Kevin stayed though to the very end. After a short while Breezy came out and told me that Kevin was just sobbing and for the first time I said to myself that he is on his own - I couldn't be there to protect him from this.
So my dearest father died very peacefully, breathing one second, just not the next. There was no gasping for breath like we had been warned so I must believe that my father really wasn't there mentally and I must believe that this what was best for him.
And my message to everyone out there - hug the ones you love and make sure they hear the words as well. You really just never know when it will be the last time you see them.
To my daddy - I couldn't have loved you any more than I did. I couldn't have had a better father. And I am so proud to have been your daughter. I love you!
So Kevin ended up in the hospital last weekend for intestinal blockage. He had another one of those 'spells' (the docs don't want to label them seizures anymore) and shortly after he was vomiting pretty badly and had extreme abdominal pain.
I thought it was best to just have him taken by ambulance as he could barely stand up so I called and off we went. We stayed until Sunday and they informed us that Kevin was dehydrated just a little so they pumped him full of fluids and his bowels let loose. No procedure needed - YAY!
I had trouble understanding how he was dehydrated though as he drinks so much water! I guess with his burns it's just not enough so he has doubled up on his intake and he pretty much quit the Mountain Dew. So far we haven't needed any suppositories all week so maybe the added water will make a difference!
So the VA really can't get us in until October. I struggle with this because to me it's just not acceptable to have someone with Kevin's injuries have to wait 2 months for appts. Maybe I'm being irrational? I just think seizures (or spells) are pretty important with Kevin's loss of brain so we have decided to just go to BAMC for all neurologicial issues. They also set the ball in motion to have the infection figured out so we went back to BAMC this week to see the nephrologist.
Nephrology informed me that Kevin has had these issues for 2 years now, but apparently I was left out of the loop. They want me to take Kev off the anti-inflammatory meds so that his kidneys can get back to working properly. I really don't know what to do as he needs the pain meds and I really don't want him back on narcotics. I feel like there's just no way to win in this situation. Is it worth getting his kidneys back into shape, but he be screaming in pain? Which is the worst issue really?
So it's been a rough week. I just can't stop crying b/c I really thought we were past all this. I thought we were in the clear and it became apparent to me that we will never really be out of the woods. I guess I should have known, but he was doing so darn well!!!
It's been a while since I've written and mostly things have been good. I will start with the bad though, so that we can end on a good note.
Two days ago, Kevin was laying in bed and we were talking and he got this very strange look on his face. It happened twice within 2 minutes and it took me almost five minutes to figure out that Kevin was telling me his body went 'paralyzed' for about 10-15 seconds both times. I took him to BAMC and after roughly 11 hours and multiple tests - they sent us home.
Although nobody knows for sure, they agreed with my thought in that Kevin had his first seizure. Luckily they were both very mild, but still...where did these come from? Why now, after all this time?
The docs did find that Kevin must have some sort of infection though because his white blood count was high, he has blood and protein in his urine and his kidneys aren't working correctly. He also had VERY high blood pressure while there and I think it's time something is done about that as it's always just a bit high.
So we were sent home to meet with our primary care physician and now I'm trying to get him in to see someone. The VA clinics can't get us in before 6-8 weeks so I put a call in to our polytrauma doctor to see if she can either get us in to see someone or take care of figuring out the problem herself. My last resort will be to just find a non-VA doctor and take him there.
I will let you know what we find out.
Previous to all this - Kevin has been doing very well! We all went to Florida for a few days (Breezy and Christian too) and surprised everyone by just knocking on the door. They had no idea we were coming and the looks on their faces were priceless. It was a really great trip and I'm glad we went as my dad is deteriorating. It was really great seeing everyone as it's been close to a year since we have.
Kevin has also been accepted into the Wounded Warrior Project's Independence Program. They will be sending someone out to work with Kevin on becoming more independent. I don't know much more than this yet, so I'll have to come back with more info later.
And we were supposed to go back to Aspen, CO for a brain injury retreat in about 10 days, but with the seizure activity, I think I'm going to cancel our trip. I feel horrible as Challenge Aspen has already purchased our airline tickets, but Kevin's safety is much more important.
Other than this, Kevin really is doing fantastic. He is talking up a storm and learning new things daily. I am quite proud of him and can only hope whatever is going on is just a temporary thing.
And to end, here are a couple of pics of Kevin. One with my mom walking along the little boardwalk that was at the hotel we stayed in.
We had our first party at our home last night! It was a smashing success and both Kevin and I enjoyed ourselves. I think roughly 30 people showed up and it was nice to see our friends merge and get to know each other.
We still don't know too many people, but we had some of our neighbors over and some folks from the hospitals and even more amazing - my friend Karen and her husband Mark drove down from Pennsylvania earlier this week.
We are having a blast with them being here. Mark has really stepped in and done all kinds of 'manly' things that I just don't know how to do around the house. I even had him teach me how to climb up into the attic and change the air conditioner filter. Sadly, I didn't even know that needed done.
In other news, we did have an appt with the plastic surgeon at BAMC this week to discuss more surgery. Kevin's wants to have another fat graft done on his head (where they take fat from his belly and inject it over the plate in his head) and he wants to go see the surgeon in Pittsburgh that did it the last time for that.
He also wanted to have the large graft below his mouth down his neck medically tattooed to match the skin on the rest of his face, but while doing a video conference with the surgeon who did the original graft work, we all decided it wouldn't be a good move. We might be doing some more work around his eyes, but it will be a while. We haven't had major surgery in over a year (I think) and I am appreciating this time out of the hospital.
Kevin also had Botox done a couple of weeks ago; this time focusing on his wrist and fingers. The doc usually did about 11 or so small shots of Botox, but this time he did 5 'big' shots of the drug. Kevin's wrist is really turned in quite far so we are hoping this makes a hug difference to getting his arm/hand/wrist straightened and uncurled. Keep those fingers crossed!
That pretty much sums up what's been going on. To end, here is a pic of Kev and Christian. Those two have such a special bond - Christian always grabs Kevin and doesn't want to leave. Kevin is also the only person he will give an actual kiss goodbye to.
I know I haven't written for a couple of weeks, but there really just isn't much to say anymore. I think my posts will be fewer and farther between from here on out and I'll only come on if we are doing something fun or if my feelings just need to be vented. I will come on also if too long goes between posts and just upload some pics of the family and catch everyone up.
So anyway, Kevin went fishing with Johnnie on a trip with the rec therapist from the VA. He had a lot of fun and I guess he caught 7 fish - one of them being the largest on their boat (I think it was a 21 inch trout). This was a HUGE milestone for us as it was the very first time Kevin went somewhere overnight without me. Johnnie has been with us for about 2 years now so I think he is fully capable of handling Kevin's needs and he did well. They had a great time together and I think Kevin only called me maybe 20ish times? This is VERY GOOD for Kev. (although one of those times was when he was about a mile from the house and he called as a joke to tell me he wanted to come home, lol)
Here is a pic of the guys on the boat; Kevin, Johnny and Jose, the rec therapist:
My friend Aggie is here visiting from Ohio this week and we skipped out quite a few days too. We are having a wonderful time and I'm gonna be sad to see her go home tomorrow.
So to end here are a couple of pics. The first is little Christian. I had bought some shelves for my scraproom and he was helping me put them together. He apparently is going to be a builder of some sort because he had an absolute blast.
This one is of Kevin. I forgot to mention that we had went to an Astros game while in Houston with Impact A Hero. It was a blast - we were all in a box suite with a full meal served and Kevin really enjoyed himself.
And to end, I have to show you guys a layout I did with a photo of Kevin when he was a little boy. It's the pic you need to see - he was just so darn cute!
That's pretty much it! We've just been hanging around the house doing a whole bunch of nothing so I guess I'll catch ya next time!
So last weekend was a very special one! Kevin, Breezy, Christian and I drove up to Houston where Kevin was inducted into the Impact A Hero Wounded Warrior's Hall of Fame! It was a most touching event and was made even more so as Joel was also inducted!
Oddly enough, the day of the gala was the fourth anniversary of Breezy and I meeting Maritza and Jose at BAMC. This made it an all the more emotional weekend as it was like we all were back together again.
So anyway, when Kevin was called the three of us went up on stage to make a speech and Breezy and I were all teary. I couldn't tell you what I said, but when they handed Kevin his crystal glass, he held it up above his head like Rocky. You can see a photo on the rolling headlines here:
Today was Kevin's Alive Day! It was 4 years ago today that he was attacked; 4 years of some honestly horrific events and 4 years of some truly amazing events.
I have to admit that I have been in a pretty funky mood the last week just knowing today was coming. Sometimes it's hard to see the good because life on a day to day basis isn't very fun, but I do know how lucky we are! I do know my son is alive and I do know how far he has come!!
This has actually been a pretty good year for us in the scope of things. Kevin is truly stable now and able to travel to some fun places. Do we still have issues when traveling - sure we do, but we aren't going to let it stop us. Kevin still gets overstimulated, but it's not like it used to be. He can go for hours now and we usually just hang out in the room the whole next day.
So to name a few places, we went to LA and met some awesome folks out there, to the Grand Canyon and Last Vegas and Kevin even went snowboarding - who would have ever thought he would do something like that? I can still hear the doctor's saying that he wasn't going to live much longer. Guess we showed them, huh? LOL.
Anyway, today was not your normal day and this day will always have good meaning as well as bad now. You ask why? Well today my daughter purchased her very first home!! It's a very nice starter home not too far from her work and Christian's daycare. She got the call late last night that she was closing at noon today. We hurried up and got all their things moved to the new house tonight and didn't get home until almost 1am. We are all beat!
That being said, I am going to sign off, but before I do - I want to ask Andrew and James to continue to rest in peace. Keep watching over both Kevin and Daniel as I know you have been and I hope your families found some comfort today somewhere. Forever in our hearts!
I just want to quickly come on and wish everyone a wonderful Memorial Day! A special salute goes out to Andrew and James and their families for their ultimate sacrifice. You will forever be in our hearts!
Also thank you to all our past and present military personnel. Life would not be as it is for America if it weren't for each of you!
We had a fantastic few days this past week! We went to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, along with Kev's best friend Ronnie and his girl Marissa and even Moe came along too! This trip was my Christmas present to Kevin and we were supposed to go Jan 4th, but then Kevin's grandma was sick so we postponed it. We decided to wait until Ronnie graduated from college and the weather was nicer. I'm glad we made the decision back then as Louise did pass away.
Putting that sadness aside, we had a really great week! We only went for a few days, with one of them spent in Arizona at the GC! None of us have ever been there and it was so impressive to see in real life. I hope to go back someday and really spend some time there - a few hours just wasn't enough.
So here are some pics and videos:
This first one is of the kids while we were hanging out at the pool one evening. We stayed at the Golden Nugget on Fremont St as opposed to being on the strip. The strip is just too big and too busy. We liked the slower atmosphere down here and the price couldn't be beat - $35 a night!!
Here also is a video of Kevin coming down the waterslide. It was encased in a tank of sharks - they all loved it!
Always joking around!
Here the kids are riding the gondola at the Venetian Hotel. We only went up to the strip for a few hours one afternoon. It was just too much walking/pushing Kevin.
Us just goofing off.
The next day we drove the 4+ hours to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
(Kevin was teasing me because I was too scared to let him get close. I kept holding him back afraid he would fall over - like I'm gonna be able to hold him back, right?)
I wanted to stay so badly to see the sunset, but the kids were hungry so I didn't get to. Next time...
Then on the day we left we were down on Fremont St and there was a charity event there. We got to meet the original Bo Duke (I thought Moe was gonna just die, lol. If she coulda, she woulda brought that man home with her, hehe) and we also got to meet Erik Estrada from Chips. There were a bunch of others there, but these two guys were awesome with Kevin!
And to end here is a video of the Kevin, Ronnie and Moe zip lining over Fremont St. They loved it!!
We had a great time - most importantly because we got to see our friends! I think we both needed that more than anything!!
We had a pretty crappy week! Christian brought something home from daycare last weekend and after he went and passed it on to Breezy, she passed it on to me and then from me it lovingly went to Kevin. It had to be some kind of stomach bug, but it sure has taken days to get better. I know I am still having bouts of a queasy stomach and Kev has mentioned it too so hopefully it leaves us pretty darn quickly.
We did go to dinner tonight down at Tony Roma's on the Riverwalk. I still can't eat too much and Kevin didn't eat as much as he normally would have either, but we still had a good time. We had to at least get out of the house for a while.
There really isn't anything else to say because we both pretty much puked and slept all week. The first time we even left the house in days was last night when I put us both in the car and went for a drive. I think we both had a touch of cabin fever so I wanted to blow the cobwebs out.
I guess I'll just talk to everyone next week. I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day!
Thanks to everyone for all the comments and emails. I am feeling better, mostly because my friend Beverly came for a few days for a visit. We had some girl time; even going out to a nice dinner and down to the Riverwalk for a bit. I think that's part of my problem - I was always a very social person before all this happened and I don't have any friends here. There's just nobody to go do anything with so I just stay home with Kevin all the time.
Anyway, things are going better so we'll just move on.
Janet - I know you asked about Christian and he is doing somewhat better. They did find that his body isn't creating certain anti-bodies so they gave him a special vaccine. I would love to say he hasn't been sick since, but last weekend he was running a temp of over 105. The ER (like always) has no idea why so they just send him home with an antibiotic.
Kevin is doing phenomenally well. He is saying well over a thousand words and is even spitting out some sentences. I love it when he just says things on his own; more often than not he's having to think it through before getting the words out - which is really a good thing.
Anyway, I will write more next week as it's late and I want to get some sleep.
Sometimes you forget, ya know? I mean sometimes you're all caught up in the daily junk that is what we call life that you forget something that changed it all.
We have just been so busy; I am really struggling to take care of Kevin and have a little something for me - my business. But tonight I had a few extra minutes and thought to myself 'let's start unpacking all those boxes in the office - you know the ones full of paperwork and mail from the last 4 years?'.
So I started going through box after box and opening letter after letter, rereading card after card. I came across notes on how to do certain projects at Armstrong Cable when I worked there, Kevin's enlistment papers, I found so many cards and letters from people through the years and notebook after notebook filled with notes about Kevin for about the first year of this journey. Like the day he had his stroke and what we were going to do about the meningitis. Then there was the 'list of surgeries'. That flat out made me laugh because there were only about 12 on there. There was also a ridiculously long list of medications and on and on.
I was doing well really. At this point anyway. Kinda chuckling at some of the stupid things I wrote. And smiling at some of the letters we received. I was thinking about how much more I know now than I did then.
But then I opened this folder and staring back at me was my son, Kevin. In a nice, big 8x10 photo. From before. When he was normal. When life was normal.
IT'S TIMES LIKE THIS THAT I FLIPPIN' HATE WHAT HAPPENED TO US!!!!!!!!!!
Don't get me wrong - of course I am so happy that we have what we have. Kevin is doing unbelievably well, but damnit - why still does it have to be this way? Why couldn't he have just lost a toe or something dumb like that? Why can't he still be in the Army (or slinging burgers at McDonalds - I don't care)? Why can't I have a normal 8 hour a day job instead of a 24 hour one? Why can't we be near our friends? And family? Why can't Breezy be making almost double what she's making now because she had a GREAT job in PA with GREAT benefits! And we won't even discuss how I would be making at least triple what I do now and I sure wouldn't have to have 'inspectors' come to my home to make sure I'm doing it right.
Then there's all the damn doctor's appointments. It is frickin relentless! We are both just so tired of it all that I haven't even called the therapist to resume work on his hand since we came home from Colorado. You know what I'd like? JUST ONE MONTH OF NO HOSPITALS OR DOCTOR'S OFFICES!!!!!!!!!!!! That's all - just 30 flippin days. It is really too much to ask for?
And lawyers - PLEASE dispose of the need for any of them. It is ridiculous how they get tens of thousands of dollars a year from Kevin! Talk about raping an incompetent person; the court system surely does that!
Ack! It really is just too much to bear sometimes. I usually do so well; mainly because I am kept too busy to think much about it, but tonight - seeing that picture just slammed a fist into my heart. It killed me to remember the boy I had before, the life ALL OF US had before. If I could only turn back time...
I can't believe I forgot to write again! My mom called me earlier and asked where my post was - yikes! (got your email too, Opal!)
Honestly, part of it is that we are just living our lives now. Nothing majorly exciting going on at all. We mostly took it easy this week so there isn't much to report.
I do have some pics though! I picked Christian up at daycare one day and the field out front was in full bloom. The one of Kevin is in our backyard. He was standing next to the neighbor's fence.
Other than this, I just don't have anything to talk about so I guess I'll catch ya next week.
So to finish out some pics and videos of our wonderful week in Aspen, here are 2 videos of Kevin climbing the rock wall. Unbelievably, Kevin pulled himself up the wall with his one arm. He now weighs about 217 pounds, add to that all the gear, and he amazed me that he could do it!
The first video is long because it's all but the last darn seconds of him climbing the wall. My finger slipped and turned it off just as he was ringing the bell, but I quickly got it going again. You gotta love his new quote right at the end after ringing the bell, lol.
Piece of cake, right? He sounded like he was dying, lol.
And here is the final photo of our trip. It's Kevin receiving a medal for a job well done.
A big thanks need to go out to the VA for putting such a wonderful trip together for these guys/gals. It was a great week full of fun and camaraderie and I hope very much that Kevin will go back next year!
And on to the real world - not too much happened this week for us. Kevin's taking it easy while his toe heals from the toenail removal. He's wearing a walking boot which tends to slip off rather easily so we aren't doing too much. I don't really know how long he'll have to wear it, but hopefully he can put his sneakers on soon.
That's pretty much it so I'll catch y'all next week!
I hope everyone had a great Easter! I ended up keeping Christian all night as he is very sick again. His whole mouth is full of blisters (something contagious from daycare) and he has not been able to eat or drink for days. He's been pretty miserable, but this morning he woke up and had no fever so I made him not 1, not 2, but THREE scrambled eggs for breakfast!! He's on the mend.
So we did manage to get just a couple good pics of him yesterday. Breezy brought some bubbles up and we played outside for just a bit:
And here he is finally sleeping at about 2am. The doc suggested we give him some Benadryl to help him sleep and I gave it to him at about 1am. He was just playing away in Uncle Kevin's room with one of Kevin's stuffed angry birds animals and he just set it aside, laid down and in one second was sound asleep. This was the first respite the child had for two days - poor thing!
But back to Kevin - I have more photos and videos of our fantastic trip to the Winter Sports Clinic. Here is the gondola that we went up the mountain in in the town of Aspen (pic taken from inside so excuse the glare). It was one of the day trips:
And once we near the top of the mountain we got to ride in a snow cat to the very top of the mountain. It was a very bumpy ride and Kevin didn't want to get out so I snapped a pic of him still inside.
And the view from the top:
So the next day Kevin went snowboarding again, this time with his new buddy, Tim. Tim was a great instructor and the two of them hit it off wonderfully! Here are some pics and video:
This is Tim clobbering Kevin, lol. What fun they had!!
Rene' - here's one for you! It's Kevin with Sarah and Ted!
And here's some video of Kevin and Tim snowboarding:
Ok, I think this post is long enough too. I will come back next Sunday with the rest of our fabulous trip!
I do want to quickly say that we finally got in to see the podiatrist on Friday. Kevin's ingrown toenail was very infected and I asked them to just remove the nail. This was the third time it's gotten infected and with his weakness in his right leg/foot, I can't see it getting better for good. This will take care of it once and for all!
It's obvious Kevin had a great trip, right? YAY!!!
Well we really had a great week! Yes, I can be honest and say that Kevin didn't want to go when it came down to it and the first few days we were there he said he'd never go back, but by the end of the week he was having a good time and he started telling folks he would be back next year!
Y'all would have been really proud of him! I try so hard to keep Kevin active and entertained, but he generally just doesn't want to do much of anything. But he did agree to take part in the activities this last week and it all started with some snowmobiling! (Oh - and he picked up MANY new words and phrases while we were there!!)
First though, here is a pic of Kevin in this huge chair that he just HAD to climb on, lol (some guy walking by helped me lift him up onto the chair as Kevin was struggling to do it himself):
And now here are some snowmobiling pics:
This next photo is of Kevin with Jose', the rec therapist from the VA hospital here in SA.
As you might have noticed, we tied Kevin onto the snowmobile as there were so many bumps and with his right side being weak, we didn't think he could hold himself on it. They are hoping that he can drive one solo next year too, but we'll see.
The next day Kevin got to snowboard! I wish I could say he had a great time, but he didn't. Unfortunately we were given an instructor that just didn't understand the needs of someone like Kevin. He just kept saying that snowboarders were lazy and he kept putting Kevin down. I was keeping my mouth shut, but Jose' actually saw it too and he made sure that Kevin had a different instructor for the other two days he got to board.
Honestly, Kevin actually quit after this day and turned in his boots and his board. He just wanted to go home. It took everything I had to get him interested enough to try again.
There is one little video here of Kevin boarding by himself that day though. I had to beg the guy to let him try on his own. I don't think the instructor realized that the 100+ falls were mostly his fault as he was running next to Kevin and couldn't keep up with him so he was pulling him down. Ack! It doesn't matter, but it was just so frustrating at the time:
And some pics:
I just can't believe that my son was actually on a snowboard!!
This is the bottom half of the bunny slope that Kevin boarded down.
Ok, so I think I am going to have to come back and finish up with more videos and photos another day this week. I am uploading a video and it still has over an hour to go, so I think I'll end here - halfway through the week and get the rest either later this week or next Sunday; depending on what our schedule ends up being like.
And I'm sorry, but I am not editing these photos yet. I'm too tired, lol.
This blog is dedicated to my son, Kevin, who was critically wounded in Afghanistan on May 31, 2008. My daughter, Brianna, and I left our homes and our lives to be by his side from that day forward.
Here is where you will learn of all of our accomplishments as well as the trials of his recovery of such serious injuries.
Although we have come through the acute stage of his burns, we are now focusing on the rehab for his brain injury. For those of you unaware, Kevin has lost nearly 85% of the function of the left side of his brain, causing him to not be able to do much (yet) with his right side and he can only say a few words so far. He also has to learn to write and he needs to remember everything in his past life.
Basically, we have 'started over'.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, but please understand that there is very little time for responses. We wish we could email everyone a reply, but it's just not going to happen.
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