Friday, July 31, 2009

DAY 41

Well, day 41 is coming to a close and we're still here at the hospital...just makin' lemonade! Rick was a good boy today. There were a few times he really tried to much so that the speech therapist will come evaluate him on Monday to see if he's ready for her. He's really been alert, and I would say is awake about 70% of the day. Dr. Valencia stopped by today and was excited at how alert Rick was and said it was excellent progress.

Rick watched Gunsmoke and Bonanza today. He does try to look at the TV when it's on...the other thing he will wake up and listen to is Skip McBride and the weather forecast...some things never change!

And so faith, hope, & love abide, but the greatest of these is love.

Thanks for loving us so much!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

DAY 40

Got started on the new meds today...I can't see much difference yet. He had another productive day. New trick today was sticking out his tongue...6 times. The sweetest moment came when Riley was telling him bye and she leaned over to kiss him and he tried to pucker his lips to kiss her back...we were laughing and trying not to cry. His nephew Tanner came today. Rick was holding a ball and I said, "Rick, Tanner's here you better shake his hand", and he dropped the ball in his hand and stretched his fingers out.

Yesterday after I already posted the blog, Dane Mount came by and was talking to Rick. He said, "Rick, I know you're going to be alright." and Rick said...not audibly of course, but mouthed the words, "I'll be alright". It was so wonderful. When he is truly alert and awake he can do amazing things.

The doctor said that Baylor said they will be here in a week to evaluate him...of course we've heard that before, and I'll believe it when I see it...but it does confirm the fact that they think he is really close to being accepted.

Cade is headed to Arlington with Devin and Sandra to a Rangers game, and Riley is in Seymour with my sister. Every time I see them I just can't believe how much they've changed in just a few days...can you imagine how Rick will feel the first time he sees them?

Keep the faith and keep believing!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

DAY 39

Okay...this is not what we wanted to hear...the nurse from Baylor did not come evaluate Rick because based on interviews with the therapist and nurse she feels that he is not ready. I'm a little disappointed that she didn't talk to me...afterall I'm with him 12 hours a day, and I see him do a lot more than anyone else around. Baylor says he needs to follow simple commands more consistently, and track with his eyes better. The tracking is just now coming around. They also suggested a neuro stimulant... a medication that stimulates the brain and helps wake it up. Hopefully, we will get this started and see even more progress than we've got. Today he wiggled his toes on command and tried to throw a ball during therapy. Kiran also said his neck control is matter what position we put him in, he is able to control his head and neck. He also nodded his head "yes" today in response to a question. So, I still have a lot of positive things to be thankful for...Baylor will come in time.

We continue to recieve so much support that I'm astounded...every day someone else does something that amazes're love for us is so great...I sometimes wonder how I will repay all of these acts of kindness. I know that's not what you want...repayment, but I promise if there is ever a time you are in need, we will be there for you. Thank you so much!

I am the Lord your God, who holds your right hand, and I tell you, "Don't be afraid. I will help you." Isiah 41:13

May God Bless each and everyone of you.



Just a quick note...
Still no word from Baylor...the therapist here and the nurse from Baylor are playing phone tag.

I messed my phone up this morning...I think it's out of commission. I'll try to get it fixed this afternoon. If you need to get a hold of me the direct line to Rick's room is 940-763-7937.

Keep the faith!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

DAY 38

How great is our God? Let me tell you how great he is...Rick smiled today...5 times!

1st time was early this morning before I was here. Tricia told Rick that she isn't quite the talker that Sherry is, but figured Sherry could tell a pretty good story...Rick smiled.

2nd, 3rd and 4th times were during a visit from Kerry and Tammy Wrinkle. Rick was sitting up this morning when they came and was pretty awake. First I said, "Rick, Kerry's here, and I know the first thing you would ask him if you could is 'How's the power plant?'"...Rick smiled
Then Kerry said, "Rick we've seen Riley's picture and she sure is tall...gona be taller than you...Rick smiled. Finally, I told Rick that Kerry had brought a forklift over for him to drive and he had plenty of targets around here...Rick smiled. That's a joke that goes back to 1994 when Rick first started at the power plant. Kerry had an old pickup he was fixing up and it was THE ONLY vehicle in the parking lot, and guess what...Rick ran into it with a forklift! He just wanted to die.
5th time was this afternoon during therapy, Reno told a joke...What do you call 10 lawyers buried up to their necks in sand...not enough sand...and Rick smiled. It was wonderful to see him smile appropriately...just like he would have normally.

He also tried to clean his mouth out again this morning by himself, and a nurse was in here to see him do it, so now that's on the chart as well. The Baylor nurse MIGHT be here tomorrow...hopefully I'll know for sure by the end of the day. Please pray we get into Baylor.

Thanks again for all the support that continues to pour in...y'all are remarkable!

God Bless,

Monday, July 27, 2009

DAY 37

Rick was weighed first thing this morning, and praise God...he's gained 2 pounds!!! This is so good...he'd already lost 30 lbs and y'all know he doesn't have 30lbs to lose. So, looks like we've got his nutrition needs figured out. He wasn't very impressed with us during therapy today, and really acted like he wanted to be left alone and go back to sleep...which is what he is doing now.

I have also decided to put the kids in school at Seymour. At this point I feel it's the best place for them to be while we're at Baylor...I know we're going to get in there. Riley will be in 5th grade, and Cade will be in 2nd grade, and I know my Seymour family (blood kin and otherwise) will take good care of them. Hopefully Seymour won't be too big of a shock to their system...afterall they only have about 8 kids in each of their grades in Guthrie!

One day at a time Sweet Jesus...


Sunday, July 26, 2009

DAY 36

Today has been a much better day than yesterday. Another patient in the hospital had her church choir in her room singing, and they were soooo good. We walked down the hall to listen, and they were singing "Jesus will fix it"...yes he will. I realize yesterday was a blessing in disguise...the nurses said that now we know that if he is in pain, he will let us know. He communicated in so many ways yesterday...he tried to talk, he nodded his head, and he pointed his finger when I asked him if he was hurting...God has his plan, and nothing is impossible with Him. Today Pastor Bersche came in and said "Hello Rick" and he dropped what was in his hand and stretched his fingers out almost as if to shake hands and tried to say's just amazing...sometimes when I see these things I think my eyes are deceiving me, but both Pastor and Sherry saw it too, & they aren't crazy...well at least Pastor isn't! I was cleaning Rick's mouth out earlier and when I got through he was trying to take the stick out of my hand, so I gave it to him to see what he would do with it. He moved it towards his mouth and opened his mouth like he was trying to put it in...of course he couldn't quite get there, but it is just wonderful to see him connect the dots! Thank you God for letting us have a joyous day. I know we will have many more to come, and so many people to celebrate with us. God is good, and people are good, too...that doesn't always make the news, but there are so many good people out there.

God Bless you all...thank you for going on this journey with us.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

DAY 35

I don't even know where to begin today. I think I'll start at the end and go backwards. The doctor just changed out Rick's catheter. It was causing problems, and for most of the day Rick was in pain from bladder spasms. Every 10 minutes since 11:30 this morning Rick had been in pain, and we couldn't figure out why. When it first happened this morning, he really woke up, and at first we thought "this is it" he's waking up and he's hurting and scared and we just need to reassure him that everything is okay. But, around 1:30 it turned into these scary episodes of double overed pain, and I knew something wasn't right. He was in tremendous pain, and he wasn't waking up like he had earlier. He was given pain meds and muscle relaxers, but nothing would soothe him completely. Finally, we figured out it was his bladder...he is resting peacefully now...he's wore out from fighting the pain. Two great things came out of this...this morning his nurse asked him if he could hear her and he mouthed the word "yes". A little bit later I asked him if he could hear me and he nodded his head yes.

I can't tell y'all how relieved I am to get this figured out...he's been doing so good, I just couldn't imagine getting this far and having a setback. I thank the Lord that this was minor and praise him for getting us this far.

Count your blessings!


Friday, July 24, 2009

DAY 34

Day 34 has given us progress yet again! We are so thankful for it. Yesterday Rebecca asked Rick if his mouth was dry. In response he sucked on his lips and then moved them around for her to moisten his mouth with a sponge. Last night I was doing his oral care, and usually I have to pry his mouth open and sort of force the sponge in to clean, but instead of doing that I asked him to open his mouth...and he did! He did it today for the nurse and the therapist. Last night Sherry worked with him to hold up his fingers in the form of an L to say "Love You". He did that little trick for me this morning, too.

The nurse from Baylor will be calling on Wednesday and will come to see us on Thursday or Friday. She felt like this time frame would give Rick even more time to become even more alert and responsive and therefore ensure his acceptance. Please pray hard for him to be accepted.

The kids are here today, and everyone is tired, and also a little grumpy. Boy does the brotherly/sisterly love wear off fast! We're waiting on Linda and Bobby (Rick's aunt and uncle) to get here so we can get out for awhile. Hopefully a good nights sleep will make everyone feel better.

We once again praise and thank the Lord for continuing to show us the way...Rick has the will, and the Lord has the way.

God's Blessings!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

DAY 33

Rick was "awake" most of the morning and therefore was a little tired during therapy this afternoon. Instead of the usual hour we only got about 45 minutes out of him today. When he gets tired you can tell. At the end of therapy he did the funniest thing. My uncle TJ had made a pair of split reins for him about 24" long that are fastened together with an o-ring. Rick's been playing with them and had them in his hand during therapy. Kiran decided to use them to help during an exercise. She would pull them toward her and then wanted Rick to pull them back. When she decided to use a therapy band in place of the reins, Rick wouldn't hold the bands...he wouldn't even close his hand around them. So, I handed his reins back to him and said, "ok Rick here's your reins", and he closed his hand immediately. We got a good laugh out of that. TJ also cut some rope for him and he likes to hold that, too. He's funny...if he gets anything in his hand, he doesn't just hold it, he feels of it.

Baylor Institute of Rehab in Dallas is where we want to go as soon as Rick is ready. They are sending a nurse to evaluate Rick. She was supposed to come tomorrow, but had to reschedule. Liz (social worker) faxed overRick's chart to the nurse today, and hopefully she will come on Monday to evaluate him. We are really praying hard that he gets in at Baylor. They are see about 175 brain injuries a year, and are on the cutting edge of brain would be a fabulous place to be. Please pray that he gets accepted.

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24

That verse was on a card that Pollye appropriate for the day. Thanks to everyone for all you've done. I look forward to the cards, e-mails and posts every day...they provide such a mental boost.

Love you all!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

DAY 32

Rick continues to show such good progress...every day we see something new from him. Today during afternoon therapy he held his head up on his own for about 15 minutes. This is wonderful...just 9 days ago he couldn't do that. Every day he seems to have more moments of "wakefullness" that a word? Anyway, he opens his eyes more and moves his hands and arms alot, and he does it more and more often. When he's awake I try to reassure him that everthing is going to be ok. I don't want him to be frustrated or scared...I tell him just like I tell Riley and Cade...if you're afraid just ask the Lord to take away your fear and give you comfort.

Some days I pray so's become second nature to me. But sometimes, I'm so tired, I just can't find the words to seems like I say the same thing over and over again, but I've found that The Lords Prayer is a great prayer to pray at anytime.

Thanks again for all your will never be forgotten.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

DAY 31

Another good day. Rick resisted with his right leg this morning during therapy. He has been resisting with both arms really good, but hadn't shown any resistance with his legs. All of these small steps are moving the mountain...slowly but surely we'll get there. Afternoon therapy went well, too. Kiran is such a good therapist and has a genuine interest in Rick...she wants him to get better just as much as we all do.

Riley made it to Tongue River today, & was very happy to get there. She will be staying a few days with Ty & Lacy & the four little Smith kids that she adores. From what I hear they were pretty happy to see her, too. Cade is in Vernon with Devin and Sandra...he is so minute he wants to be here the next minute he doesn't!

Seek the grace of God and you will find it.


Monday, July 20, 2009

DAY 30

We haven't gotten Rick to point yet today...a little wiggle, but not like the all out finger pointing we had yesterday. Kiran (therapist) put a lemon swab in his mouth today and he made a funny face. He opened his eyes really wide during therapy, and resisted on both sides at the same time when we were working his arms. After therapy he was so tired and has been resting peacefully ever since. After he rests I'll work on the finger point again.

Thanks again for all your prayers.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

DAY 29


No, I wasn't hallucinating, and I had plenty of witnesses. We needed Rick to respond to a voice command, and today he did it! We had decided to be consistent and always ask for the same thing which is "point your finger". Everything I've read about brain injuries is to ask them to do something and then give them at least 30 seconds to process and respond. We'd asked several times today and would get a wiggle, but late this afternoon he finally pointed his finger. He did it 4 times in a row and when he was done he was sweating like he'd worked out. The nurses thought we were having a party (and we were) because they could hear everybody hollaring down the hall.

I'll let y'all know tomorrow what the doctors think about this the meantime I'm going to be praising the Lord! So stop bawling and pick yourself up off the floor and praise him, too!

Woo Hoo!!!!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

DAY 28

Sorry I'm so late posting something today...I have a good excuse. Both of the kids made it today and we left the hospital for a couple of hours. It was nice to be together again. Now we're sitting in the room at the Rathgeber house watching Shrek while Aunt Cyndi and Uncle James are taking care of Rick. He had another good day. We had a lot of visitors today that brought many prayers with them. Today is 4 weeks since the accident and it seems hard to believe...but I look back to where we were 4 weeks ago at this moment...waiting in the ER for the helicopter to get to the hospital, all the bad news that followed and then I look at how far we've come and I have to say "Thank you Jesus."

Wish we were in Guthrie listening to Cody Cochran at the revival...I know he's putting in a good word for all of us! Thanks again for all your prayers.

God Bless You All,

Friday, July 17, 2009


The day went well. The therapist worked him this morning and then sat him up for an hour. She showed me how to work the bed so I can sit him up over the weekend and work with him. This afternoon while she had him sitting up she put a styrofoam cup in his hand & he held it the whole time. She also rubbed his lips with ice and he made a funny face. She took his hand that the cup was in and brought it up to his lips and he would move his lips funny. He kept his eyes open most of the time, but was pretty tired after 45 minutes. I've noticed the last couple of days he seems to move his arms a little more than he used to, and opens his eyes more frequently throughout the day although not as wide as when he's in therapy. Another positive is that he hasn't ran a fever in about 4 days...I feel like that's a sign his brain is healing.

I thank God everyday for all He's done for us...remember to thank Him for all he's done for you.


DAY 27

Rick had a good night, and I think he still loves me even though I left him with Reno all night! The nurse said Reno did such a good job, she might try to hire him on! I have to reiterate what Ronda said...friends are a gift from God, thank you to all our friends who have stood in agreement before God, stood in the gap for Rick, and said countless prayers on his behalf. We have the best friends and family anyone could ask for.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

DAY 26

Rick had another good day. After his morning therapy they sat him up in the bed. We put Riley's i-pod in his good ear, and he listened to music and sat up for an hour. I checked the i-pod often to make sure I skipped over the Hannah Montana songs! This afternoon they sat him up again and started the stimulation. He opened his eyes and kept them open pretty good. He especially opened them wide when the therapist leaned him forward and massaged his back. I know that had to feel so good. We had him up for about 45 minutes.

So, it's the end of another day...but that's one day closer to his complete healing. I know God will heal him and He is never late.

Love you all!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

DAY 25

Another good day for Rick...Praise God! First thing this morning at 5 am he opened his eyes really wide. The nurse and Sandy watched him and for 20 minutes he kept his eyes open. We sat him up again this afternoon, and have just been amazed at what that does for him. He opened his eyes again when he was rocked back and forth, but unlike yesterday, he continued to keep them open even when he was sitting still. I knealt down at his feet and talked to him, and he found me. He looked down at me and really focused on me and what I was saying. I just talked to him about the kids and the ranch and things going on. He stayed focused for a few he was really trying to listen to's amazing and I know it's all because of the prayers...God is listening.

This morning I opened the daily devotional called Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado. Today's entry said the following:

More Than Meets the Eye

Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. HEWBREWS 11:1

Faith is trusting what the eye can't see.
Eyes see the prowling lion. Faith sees Daniel's angel.
Eyes see storms. Faith sees Noah's rainbow.
Eyes see giants. Faith sees Canaan.
Your eyes see your faults. Your faith sees your Savior.
Your eyes see your guilt. Your faith sees his blood.

Your eyes look in the mirror and see a sinner, a failure, a promise-breaker. But by faith you look in the mirror and see a robed prodigal bearing the ring of grace on your finger and the kiss of your Father on your face.

The verse from Hebrews is going to be "my verse". This verse has been put in front of me so many times through this journey, that I'm going to officially adopt it as mine.

Keep's working!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

DAY 24

Sorry it's taken me so long to post something today...we've had a big day. Rick had his therapy this morning for about 30 minutes, and this afternoon the therapist decided to sit him up. This is so good because when your body is in a sitting position it tells the brain that it should be awake, and really provides a great stimulus. The therapist has such a great personality and is such a positive person...she is great to be around. He was able to hold his head and neck up for the most part...he needed a little assistance at times. Then she began doing all the exercises on him. When she grabbed his shoulders to pull him forward at the waist, we began rubbing a very cold washcloth on his back and he opened both of his eyes really wide...the widest I've seen them open. He didn't focus on anything and didn't seem to be any more aware of his surroundings, but I just thought it was the greatest thing ever! She left him sitting up for about an hour. His aunts, uncles, brother and Glenn were here, and we didn't get more than a foot away from him, but he did good. This is the kind of therapy we can expect every day, and it's very important right now that he receives this type of stimulation. I'm so proud of can I not be strong when I have him as my inspiration every day?

Riley decided to go to church camp at White River Youth Camp and will be there all week. Cade actually has strep throat, but we caught it early, got him on anitbiotics and he will be staying in Seymour for a few days.

Please pray for Rick's healing...I miss sitting on the back porch at Tongue River with him and the kids.

With God all things are possible Matthew 19:26


Monday, July 13, 2009

DAY 23

The occupational therapist came in and evaluated Rick. She began by doing about 30 minutes of therapy and stimulation with Rick. She has decided to put him on a Total Care bed. This bed will be able to put him in a sitting position and this help stimulate his brain to "wake up". It is also an airbed and can reposition him without the nurses having to do it. After the evaluation they decided that Rick will receive therapy twice a day for about 30 minutes a day.

First thing this morning I met a lady named Liz, and she is in charge of discharging patients. I thought it was funny that I was meeting the discharge person and we just got here. But, she's making plans for our next steps already and is making sure everything will go smoothly. She shared with me that before this job she worked on the brain injury floor at Baylor Rehab! She still has connections there and is checking into the criteria for getting Rick there. God puts the right people in the right place at the right time!

Right now we have to focus on therapy and good nursing care. So please pray we get both.

My Aunt Margaret is here and she is taking me for a home cooked meal at her house while Aunt Tricia stays with Rick. My family is wonderful...I don't know what I would do without them!

Thanks for all your prayers.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

DAY 22

A very uneventful day so far. We've had lot's of visitors on their way home from Waurika. Tongue River won 2nd place, and qualified for the world since the first place team has already qualified...yea!

The nurses came in to reposition him and he opened both eyes partially...still doesn't seem focused on anything. They will do an evaluation on him in the morning and decide what and how much therapy to do for him.

There is an article in the Parade section of the Times Record News today that addresses Traumatic Brain Injury and how cognitive therapy is so beneficial. Only the state of Texas mandates inurance coverage for cognitive rehab following brain injury.

We're still hanging in there and sure do appreciate all the love and support we've received.


Saturday, July 11, 2009


We got moved to TSH, and got settled in around 3:00. The ambulance trip was uneventful, but seemed to make Rick really tired. He rested peacefully until about thirty minutes ago when the nurses came in to change his bedding and gown. Both of his eyes came slightly open, but didn't appear to focus on anything...more of a look of "what's going on?" They are now shut again and he is resting peacefully...actually snoring through his trach.

I knew today was going to be a hard day with the move, so this morning I opened my bible randomly and slipped a purple piece of silk in as a bookmark. I told myself when I felt weakness coming on, I would open that page and see what God wanted me to know. When Rick left in the ambulance I felt that weakness, so I opened my bible in the elevator, and here is what I found:

II Corinthians 1:3, 4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of sympathy and the God of every comfort. Who comforts us in every trouble so that we may also be able to comfort those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

So many people have comforted me, and now I would like to pay that forward by comforting some others. 3 weeks ago tonight this accident happened and has changed our lives forever. There were many people at the rodeo that night...I wasn't one of them. I want to say thank you to everyone who helped that night. Friends of ours that just jumped in to help in any way they could. I know there were many prayers said that night, too, and for that I'm grateful. I wanted to especially thank the Quanah EMS and hospital staff for everything they did. If you hadn't responded the way you did, we may not have been given this opportunity. So thank you for
taking care of Rick...someday he'll be by to thank you in person.

God Bless you all.



Looks like we're moving! In the next hour or so we should be getting moved to TSH. Visiting hours are daily from 8 am to 8:30 pm. The address is 1103 Grace Street and the phone # is 940-720-6633.

DAY 21

You may have read an earlier post...I've deleted it, and you can disregard. I'll explain later. We're ahead of every infection, and Dr. Mercer has given his assurances about it.

Please continue to pray for Dr. Mercer, the nurses and medical staff that are taking care of Rick...they've done an excellent job.


Friday, July 10, 2009


We're still moving today, possibly tomorrow, but for sure Monday. I've learned to go with the flow, so it's no big deal.

To give you an idea of where we're at with his state of consciousness there is a scale called the Glasgow Coma Scale that assesses the severity of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It provides a score in a range from 3-15 based on 3 categories. A score from 3-8 is considered severe, 9-12 is considered moderate, and 13-15 is considered normal. When we first came in the hospital Rick was MAYBE a 3. Today he is about a 7, still severe, but he's slowly creeping in the right direction.

Rick yawns, smacks his lips, blinks his eyes (even though they're closed), moves toward pain stimuli and sometimes moves for no reason. The nurses are getting a little tired of the one sided conversation, but they have quickly found that it is absolutely fine to kid around with him and give him a hard time...just like he would want us to do. The girls on the 6th floor say he's their best patient! LOL

Hope y'all have a great evening. Rick's date tonight is Sherry...God Bless Him!


DAY 20

Rick is doing good today and looks good as always. His color is good, his cough continues to be strong, and all vitals are good. We MIGHT move to Texas Specialty Hospital today. They have a bed ready for him, we're just waiting to make sure Dr. Mercer wants to move him. My prayer is that TSH is a stepping stone to rehab, that Rick will make enough progress there that rehab will be sooner rather than later. He has to be at a certain level of consciousness before rehab will take him, and we all know that once rehab starts, there will be no stopping him.

Miss Riley is in may have seen her at TJ's yesterday. I'm sure she was socializing with anyone and everyone! Cade is in Vernon again with Devin and Sandra and the boys.

Tomorrow will be 3 weeks since the accident. In some ways it seems like a long time ago, and in others it seems like it just happened. I firmly believe there is a reason this happened, and though we may not can figure out why just yet, I believe the Lord will show me in his time.

Please continue to pray for Rick's healing and recovery and for God to open all the doors we need opened.

Love y'all,

Thursday, July 9, 2009


The surgery to put the feeding tube in the stomach was very routine and did not take long. Dr. Mercer said his stomach looks good and is doing what it is supposed to be doing. Today, they also deflated the donate around the trach. What that means is now air can move up past the trach and into his mouth and nose. The majority of his breathing will still be done through the trach, and this is the beginnings of stepping down to smaller trach tubes...I don't know EXACTLY what all that means, but the respitory therapist said it's a step in the right direction.

We are one day closer to his complete healing. One day closer to having Rick back.

I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel. Isaiah 45:3

DAY 19

I continue to be amazed by your generousity. People are so good. Thank you for continuing to support us in EVERY way...we don't lack for anything right now.

This morning we are waiting on the surgery to move the feeding tube. The timeframe I've been given is between 11:00 and 2:00.

The Tongue River boys are up at Waurika this weekend, and Rick will be missing the cow riding! His favorite event. Last year he giggled all the way down the arena while he was riding and had so much fun.

I'll post again this afternoon to let you all know how the day went.

I cry out to the Lord and he heals Rick-PSALM 30:2


The awesome thing about prayer is that we can do it anywhere, anytime and God hears, it is something we are all doing in unity and the results are amazing....for those of you who are praying for Rick and Crystal and their family but are unable to physically visit, please know your prayers are powerful and penetrating...Rick is another day closer to waking up, healed in the name of Jesus.
It was such an awesome blessing spending time with Crystal today...she is so strong, the Lord is carrying her...your prayers are being answered. Her faith is outpouring and a blessing to all those around her. To the human eye it appears that Rick will rise and shine any day now..."Declare what is to be..." Isaiah 45:21
Just want to encourage you prayer warriors to keep praying..."Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12
Your comments on the blogsite, fb, cards, calls, visits, and especially your prayers mean so much to Crystal...With all the prayers and her obvious love and devotion to Rick, miracles are happening and we praise God and give Him all the Glory!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Dr. Mercer said the catscan looked good...all of the blood is almost resolved and the contusions appear to be steps. He also said the ulra sound of Rick's legs showed no blood clots (thank you Jesus), and has ruled out many things as the possible cause of the fever. He said they are used to chasing fevers in the hospital and he is not that worried about it. He plans on putting the feeding tube in the stomach tomorrow, and possibly moving us to the LTAC on Monday. Rick seems to have had a lot of movement today...whether it's purposeful, reflex or otherwise I don't know and I don't this point I'm just thrilled to see him move.

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

DAY 18

This morning Dr. Reeves (neurosurgeon) came by and tested Rick's reflex to the neck trap again. Usually Rick raises one hand about half way or just presses both hands down and back, but this morning he raised BOTH arms towards the pain...Dr. Reeves said we get extra points for that! Praise the Lord! He went for a catscan this morning and are still awaiting the results of that and the results of the tests yesterday. His fever is undercontrol today...thank you God.

Paul Stone sent me a link to a message that I think everyone will enjoy. Make sure you have 20 minutes or so to watch it. It's a great analogy to our situation. We're in the storm, but we're going to make it to the otherside.

Hope y'all enjoy it.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

DAY 17

Again, not much going on today. Rick is running a fever and the Dr. wants to find out why, so their doing several different tests to try and find out. He will also be moving the feeding tube from his nose to his stomach for ease of care.

A lady from Texas Specialty Hospital (LTAC) came to visit and is starting the paperwork to get him moved, but it will still be a few days before we go. Luckily it will still be walking distance to the Rathgeber House and I will continue to stay there. The Rathgeber House is such a wonderful place to stay...if you ever have a chance to donate to them, please do so. They operate only on donations and provide a wonderful, wonderful place to stay.

I'll try to send one more update before the day is over.

Please continue to pray for Rick.


Monday, July 6, 2009


Just talked to Dr. Mercer and he wants to move Rick to a Long Term Acute Care Hospital. This is really good news to us. His exact words were, "we think he has a good chance to recover, and an LTAC facility will be better able to meet his needs". One thing great about LTAC's is the amount of therapy he will recieve there...he'll get an hour of therapy every day, whereas in the hospital he only gets about 10 minutes. Therapy really stimulates the brain so this will be a great move. The best thing about it is, there is an LTAC across the street from the hospital, and Dr. Mercer will still see him every day! I can't tell y'all how excited I am about this. We don't know when we'll move, but probably in 3-4 days.

It's funny how yesterday I nearly had an anxiety attack (seriously) over moving from ICU to the 6th floor and today I'm ready for the next phase.

I've received a lot of cards and letters, & pictures of Rick...thank you so much for sending the pictures we have posted them in his room & it helps to have a reminder of his smiling face...the nurses like looking at "such a handsome man", too!

Thanks again to everyone for everything!


DAY 16

Nothing exciting to report today. Right now we have Bonanza on the TV for Rick to "watch"'s one of his favorites. The nurse just came in and said a bigger room became available and we will be moving to room 637...thank goodness, we are packed in this little room like sardines.

Still waiting to talk to Dr. Mercer to see what our next steps will be. Hopefully we'll have some answers before the end of the day.


Sunday, July 5, 2009


So we end the day by moving to a new room. We are now in room 630 and yes, it is good that Rick has progressed enough to leave ICU, but the nurses in ICU are so awesome, and always just 10 feet away! Y'all know what I mean. We've developed a relationship with everyone there, and even Riley asked if we could go by and visit them every day. We've also left our friends JD, Jane and Cheryl on the third floor. JD is doing a lot better and even smiled at Cheryl today when she came in.

Thanks again for all your prayers. When I feel myself having a weak moment I just remember to take another step of faith and God will be right there with me, as will all of you.


DAY 15

I don't have alot to report so far today. The catscan was done first thing this morning and it looks like the brain is doing what it is supposed to be doing with the spinal fluid. The contusions are resolving, but that doesn't mean there's not still damage. We will probably move to the 6th floor, but there isn't a bed available right now.

As excited as I am about him being stable, I'm also apprehensive about the next steps. We've gotten very comfortable with the nurses in ICU and Dr. Mercer. Of course, as long as Rick is here, Dr. Mercer will continue to be his doctor, but the day will come when we move on from here and as much as I wish he could, Dr. Mercer can't come with us.

Riley is here today, and it is so good to see her. She needs some mom/daughter time, so we are going to eat at Chili's in a minute. Since Dr. Mercer said Rick is stable, I don't feel so afraid to leave.

Dr Mercer reminded me again that we are in a marathon. Thank y'all for continuing to send me messages and inspiration.


Dad I know you are going to be okay.And plenty of people are praying for you.Every Sunday more than plenty of prayers are going up to the Lord.You will heal and this won't last forever it just seems like it.LUV U.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Talked to Dr. Mercer a little while ago and he believes that Rick is stable enough to move to another floor tomorrow. A catscan will be done first thing in the morning, and after he reads that he'll decide whether or not to move him. He feels like Rick is finally stable. He also said that when people have injuries on both sides of the brain (like Rick does) it takes longer for them to wake up. Dr. Mercer said he'll go over the catscan with me in the morning...and then I'll update the blog.

It's amazing what prayer can's moving us along and I couldn't be happier.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Happy 4th!

DAY 14

Rick got new boots today...not the kind he would want, they're not high tops with cool stitching, they're rehab boots to help prevent foot drop and other issues that tend to happen when you lay in a hospital bed. We continue to be vigilant about keeping him turned, and moved and making sure nothing rubs him. Dr. Mercer is the intensivist today...that just means he'll be in the ICU unit all day, and that's a good thing.

Thanks again for all your prayers...I know God is listening. I have a Joyce Meyer Bible and was reading this morning how people always have plans for their lives...we plan our career, family, retirement...we plan, plan, plan. We have to be prepared to follow God's plan whenever it leads us in a different direction than our own plan. So, that's where I'm at right now...following God's plan.

Love y'all,

Friday, July 3, 2009

Blogging Details

So many have attempted to leave comments for Crystal, Glenn, & family and are not able to finalize your this is an attempt to help...and I apologize for the technical difficulties.

1. Under the blog post click on comments then click on choices and highlight your ID format (choices are Google Account, Live Journal, Word Press, Type Pad, AIM, OpenID), if you do not know what yours is or do not have one the google acct seems to be easy)

2. type your message in the white box

3. preview comment, in this screen to the right do your actual sign-in to the acct you highlighted above (example: google account: sign in if it is your first time or enter e-mail and password if you already have a google acct)

4. post, you must type in the word verification and click finish, your comment should post, if not please try again and if it still doesn't, I encourage you to pray, as no detail is too small for God to take care of.

**Please take a moment to send Crystal a note of encouragement, a special verse, a prayer, anything you feel led to share...I know from experience how much your comments mean...the days get real long for Crystal and the laptop (thank you Blake) is a means of connection with all of us who care so much about this family...the power of prayer is definitely at won't be long and we will all be celebrating with Crystal and Rick and praising God for His Glory...until then, keep praying..."PRAYER CHANGES THINGS". God Bless All of You this 4th of July weekend...and please keep our military and their families in your prayers as well...

Rick, Crystal, Riley, and Cade would have been on their family vacation this week.......this is not the vacation they had planned....every moment we have is precious and in times like this we learn not to take anything for Rick approaches the two week mark, many miracles have taken place and we know many more are yet to come and we are grateful and at peace in knowing GOD IS IN CONTROL. I have learned through the years that we can make our plans but the final outcome is in God's hands, knowing that, we can rest assured that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us and He promises us a future and a hope. Pray and believe that the Kieschnick's will soon have the best family vacation ever...even if it's at "Home Sweet Home"!


Although this morning was "exciting" as far as taking out the bolt, the rest of the day was uneventful. But boring is good in a situation like this...I'm glad to be bored, but oh when THE day comes, boy will we be celebrating. And all the glory will be GODS. I have to tell y'all about a girl that came into ICU today. She's 24, had a seizure on Wednesday, and was brought in. The doctors found a tumor the size of a softball growing in between the 2 sides of her brain. After a 7 hour surgery yesterday, she is sitting up in her bed talking to her husband today...I think God hangs out up here, and we are keeping him busy!

Thanks for all the offers to keep up with my kids. They've both been in Vernon the last few days with family and friends there...but not together, heaven forbid they stay at the same place! If you happen to see them, give them a hug for me!

If good things come to those who wait, then great things are going to happen for us!

Love y'all,

DAY 13

The bolt is out! Dr. Reeves came in this morning and looked at the 24 hour trend of pressures and didn't see anything that alarmed him, and feels like the spinal fluid is circulating in the brain correctly. He'll do another catscan in 2 days to check again. Please pray that Rick continues to handle the pressure and that his brain continues to heal.

Thank you GOD.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


The doctor didn't come talk to me today, but he did read the catscan & left a note that basically said the catscan showed improvement. So high-five to GOD...that makes me feel so good. Everyone that comes to visit says Rick looks better than the last time they were's hard for me to tell since I'm always looking at him.

Y'all read Heather Greenwoods comment that was posted after this mornings hits really close to home and I can't wait to read the letter from her mother.

There is a family here that's been here almost as long as I have. They are from Cooper (about 4 hours from here), and her husband had a heart attack while in Wichita Falls last week. He met his grandson from Wellington here to caddy for him at a golf tournament. He suffered a heart attack and is having trouble recovering. Please say a prayer for JD Sheers and his wife Jane from Cooper, and their daughter Cheryl Orr from Wellington. They are such good people, so pleasant to be around, and believe me when you sit in this hospital day after day, it's nice to be around pleasant people.

I thank God for continually renewing my strength day after day, and I thank him for all of y'all...for every single person that's lifted us up and provided me with inspiration and hope.


DAY 12

Rick had a good night and the doctor is testing the pressures in his brain again this morning. So far he is handling it well. Around 1:00 they will take him for a catscan. Doing a catscan while the bolt is clamped off will allow the doctors to see if certain channels in the brain are circulating the spinal fluid like it should. If it's not, Dr Reeves will take the bolt out and replace it with a shunt. He says the bolt is another possible source of infection and he would rather have a shunt in that is covered and drains into the stomach.

I was reading my Bible this morning and found a piece of paper I had written a quote on and stuck in there some time ago. It's a quote from the Rooster Cogburn movie, and when Katherine Hepburn says it at the end of the just reminded me of how I feel about Rick, so I wrote it down. I know this isn't word for word, and some of you cowboys may correct me, but this is the jist of it, "your a credit to the whole male sex, and I'm proud to have you for my friend".

The Lord is my rock, and I refuse to give up, be discouraged, or be negative. I BELIEVE!!!

Love y'all,

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


So, we handled coming off the ventilator fabulously, but taking the bolt out is something that's going to have to wait. They started testing the pressure this morning, but by 2:00 decided that he couldn't handle it. So, the bolt stays in for now. But I am not discouraged. He seemed to be in a little more pain today, so the dr upped his pain medicine a little bit. Other than that no change for the day.

Thanks for your prayers...they mean everything.


DAY 11

Rick was weaned from the ventilator last night...PRAISE GOD! He is now wearing a trach collar that is supplying oxygen, but every breath he takes is his. He looks so good. The doctor is testing the pressure again on his brain, and will possibly take the bolt out today. This is such a victory for the day...and I will gladly take it...sometimes we don't get to celebrate for too long.

Thank you God for hearing my prayers, please fill Rick with your healing spirit.