Tuesday, September 29, 2009

DAY 101

It'll be quick again, as I'm using the hospitals computer. It was another good day. We officially upgraded to chopped soft food. Rick walked 200 ft this morning and 300 ft this afternoon. His steps were sooooo good. He's using a gait trainer which is an industrial sized walker that has a harness in it and comes up to his arm pits. It doesn't take any weight off and he has to push it himself.

Thanks for all your prayers!


Monday, September 28, 2009

DAY 100

I cannot believe it's been 100 days! This will be quick as I have broke the wireless internet card that Blake gave me, and the nurse was nice enough to let me use the computer at the nurses station. I guess all of Rick's antics this weekend wore him out because he's been pretty tired today...he napped at lunch and again when we were through with therapy. It was a good day! Sorry this is so short, don't want to take up too much time. I may not be able to post for a few days.

Keep those prayers coming!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

DAY 99

Rick, Rick, Rick...what are we gonna do with you? His personality really did show today. Riley would bend over in front of him and say, "Daddy, can you kick me in the booty?" and he would over, and over and over. Then my dad was picking on Riley and gave her a, she thinks Rick is going to rescue her so she leans over to Rick and says, "help me, help me" and he reaches over and gives her ANOTHER noogie!

Our discharge date from Baylor is October 6th, and I think Rick will be ready for the next phase. Ready for 6 hours of therapy a day, and on the fasttrack to a full recovery. I really can't wait to get to Pate Ranch and get away from the city. The facility is located in Anna, TX which is a really small community north east of McKinney.

The following is a passage from one of Max Lucado's books, and is reprinted in his daily devotional. It's not todays devotional, but when I read it I knew I had to share it. It's titled
Doing What's Right

Everyone who is a child of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world-our faith. 1 John 5:4

Do what is right this week, whatever it is, whatever comes down the path, whatever problems and dilemmas you face-just do what's right. Maybe no one else is doing what's right, but you do what's right. You be honest. You take a stand. You be true. After all regardless of what you do, God does what is right: he saves you with his grace.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

DAY 98

Big Sherry, Kelce and the kiddos got an early start and were here around 10:00. Rick was happy to see everybody. He reached for the kids and whispered "hi" as loud as he could. We sat outside for a little while, then fed him lunch. After lunch we visited some more and then Sherry and Kelce had to go. The kids and I took Rick to the gym and he did the bike. I told him to show Riley how fast he could pedal and he went from 20 rpms to 54 rpms. Then we did the arm bike...his grip with his left hand is getting stronger and stronger...usually he has to have it wrapped to the bike, but not today. Then we worked on taking some large beads off of a board of tall spindles. About 3 weeks ago he wouldn't even try to do this. Today, he pulled all 20 of them off, and then put them all back on! Then a whole passle of pretty girls showed up to see him...Lauri Colbert, Renee Graf, Judy Miller and Ginger...I can't remember Ginger's maiden name, but these girls all went to school with Rick. It was really good to see them, and I know Rick recognized everyone. Now he's had supper and is back in bed watching Dances With Wolves. The kids and I are headed to the Metro Diner a block down the road to eat. It reminds me of the Herring Coffee Shop (back in the day) or the Dixie Maid...good burgers!

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My life makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble and afflicted hear and be glad. O maginify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34: 1- 3

Praise God!


Friday, September 25, 2009

DAY 97

Prayer is powerful! Today Tricky Ricky showed us some new tricks. In morning PT he walked again using the parallel bars, but when he was done Olivia made him stand with his only support being his hands on the bars...and he stood for 30 seconds all by himself! It was pretty good stuff! Then in afternoon PT he walked 150 ft with Katie and Olivia's cart. And Olivia said it was the best stepping he's done yet. She pointed out how important it is that his steps are equal on both legs and this afternoon he had very good, equal steps. At the end of the session she looked at Rick and said, "You amaze me!". He got the year right in NP orientation and the city. In OT he was pulling pegs out of a peg board, and today she made him use his left hand, too. He actually did pretty good with it. Rick is so funny. After his shower he is back in bed, but keeps acting like he's going to climb out. When Rita says, "Hey, Slick Rick...where do you think you're going?" And she does the "eye got my eyes on you" gesture...and he did it back to her! Hilarious!

This afternoon we got a visit from Romey, Jarrot, and Megan Ferguson. Jarrot was Dr. Carlile's patient 3 years ago. He got to go downstairs and saw see some of his old therapists. Romey has been right here in my shoes, and has been great about letting me know what to expect and giving me advice on how to handle things.

Sure was a beautiful day in Dallas. We sat outside for awhile. It's a great night for the homecoming football game in Seymour and the party at Tongue River. Hope everyone enjoys the weekend. It will be great for us...the kids are coming tomorrow and we haven't seen them in 2 weeks.

You gotta have doubt about it.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

DAY 96

I guess by now y'all have figured out that if I'm posting late, it's because I'm stuffing my face! Matt and Sherry McKenzie came by today and took me out for mexican's a good thing I was with them to tell Matt how to get around big "D"! Ha! Anyway, he told Rick he had 3 used saddles in the car...did he want to trade? The next thing we know, Rick is trying to get out of bed...I said, "Rick, where are you going?" and he held up 3 I'm going to look at these 3 saddles. He had another fabulous day. You can tell he's working hard during the day, because now when therapy is over he's catching a nap. He walked again today, this time using parallel bars and using the side rails for support instead of the cart in front of him. He really worked hard in speech again today, and we actually heard a lot of good breath sounds and some vocalization. He earned a Hershey bar from Julia in OT today. She made a deal that if he told her hi today she would by him a candy bar. So, he told her hi in a loud whisper and he got his candy bar. Of course he only had 3 small bites, cuz that's not exactly on the list of approved foods! But he really enjoyed it.

I thank the Lord for all he's given us...every day we see something new, and my hope continues to be renewed. I read my Bible every night, and even found the opportunity to witness to a boy named Jonathan yesterday. He is 21 and has a gunshot wound to the head. The bullet exited out one of his eyes...he is blind and has been told he will never see again. Yesterday he had to go for reconstructive surgery and his mom and dad told me he was scared. So, I thought and thought about what I could do to make him feel better and before his surgery I went in and read Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong courageous and firm: fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. He told his mom and dad that I had come and they found me yesterday to thank feels really good to reach out to others in their time of need. But y'all know that've done it for us!

Time to get across the street...God Bless you all.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

DAY 95

One day at a time, Sweet Jesus, that's all I'm asking from you.

Today Rick walked 150 feet pushing the shopping cart. Again, he had minimal assist from Katie up top and moderate assist from Olivia with his feet. If he can walk 150 feet consistently, with the aid of only one person, then great things can happen. First, he can quit taking his blood thinner which is a shot in the belly once a day that they have trained me to give. I can do it, but I'd rather not have to! The 2nd thing is he can get a bump in his FIM score!

He was sleepy today, and nodded yes to Julia this morning when she asked if he was tired. He still did really, really good today. In speech therapy Christina held up two objects at a time, like a mirror and a salt shaker. And then she'd say, "can you grab the salt shaker?" and he would. then she'd say "what would you do with that?" and he'd shake it! He did that with a hammer, hairbrush, mirror, dice, knife, etc. The funniest thing was the mirror. He held the mirror up to his face and looked at himself. I said, "your lookin' good Rick, what do you think?" and he crinkled his nose up like "nah"! It was really funny. He's really just so spontaneous now, and so aware of everything around him. If he wants something he'll either reach for me, or if he's close enough, he'll tap on me on the shoulder and try to tell me what he wants.

We have come so far. And he is doing so good...we'll get day at a time. Thanks for all the support. I appreciate the e-mails and cards and reponses on the blog. Please know that I may not be able to respond to everyone of them, but I read all of them.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

DAY 94

Woo Hoo! Insurance approved the 2 week extension! Another answered prayer! Rick "went shopping" again today with his shopping cart. Olivia said today was even better than yesterday. Katie is walking beside him and mainly helps him shift his weight from side to side and Olivia sits on a rolling stool & rolls along guiding his feet. Because of his tone his legs "scissor" and his feet need to be guided into the next step. He was so tired when he was done. He got his trial of soft chopped today, and did okay, but not great. Christina fed him the first few bites and then gave him the fork...he went straight to the pie! It was really funny! We'll try another trial at breakfast and hopefully he'll do better.

Your prayers are so appreciated. We get proof everyday that God is listening and answering. Rick's cousin, Ray Gipson came to visit today after his own doctors appointment. And, he now needs prayers, too. I didn't ask many details, but his cancer has returned and he will have surgery in the next couple of weeks here at Baylor. Please add Ray to your prayer list.



Monday, September 21, 2009

DAY 93

It's a good day. The team asked for a two week extension for Rick. Insurance will still have to approve it and we will know for sure in a day or two. Dr. Carlile and Olivia were both so impressed with Rick today. They had been receiving updates throughout the week, but were still pleasantly surprised when they saw him today. One of the scores used to measure Rick's progress is called the Functional Independence Measure, and up until this week he had not made any gains that could count towards this measurement. Don't get me wrong, he's made significant gains, but nothing we could count towards the FIM score. But, today he got moved from 1's to 2's in memory, bed mobility, and transfers! Yea! This afternoon in PT Olivia had him walking with a shopping cart as his main support. No more treadmill...Katie was by his side and Olivia was helping a little with his feet, but Rick walked about 60 feet pushing the shopping cart! I couldn't believe it...before we started I was praying, "Oh God, please let him be able to do this", but still not believing my eyes when he did. And when we got done and he sat back in his wheelchair, he gave the biggest sigh...he was worn out! He had a swallow test this afternoon, and he will have trial of chopped soft foods tomorrow which is an upgrade from pureed. The transporter that took us through the tunnel to the swallow test is not someone we've had before and he just started talking about Jesus and quoting scriptures and telling me how "this man is going to be okay". And I know he's right...remember what Joyce Meyer says, "God can make bananas grow on telephone poles if he wants to!" AMEN!

The devil, your enemy, goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat. Refuse to give in to him, by standing strong in your faith. 1 Peter 5:8-9


Tonya told me the most wonderful news about Kyler. When he went to the eye specialist last Tuesday, he gave him some eye drops to help stimulate blood flow from the optic nerve. On Thursday they left the hospital again to see another doctor. As they were riding Tonya noticed Kyler's head turn as if he was watching something go by. And then he said, "Aunt Tonya what was that big thing that just went by?" And she said, "It was a truck." And he said, "Was it white?" And she said, "Yes, it was!" Can you believe that? How wonderful. And Kyler is leaving tomorrow to go to Pate Ranch, so we will still get to see them. Please continue to lift him and his family up in prayer.

Love you all!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

DAY 92

Sorry it's so late...I had surprise visitors. Curtis and Jean Graf stopped by to see Rick and then they took me to eat supper...and it was good! Just got back to the hospital and Rick is still awake! Of course, since we are in Dallas, EVERYONE is watching the football game tonight. Rick was really trying to talk to Jean and Curtis, and today on the phone with Riley he said "hey Riley" loud enough that she could hear him! It was a loud whisper, and we've been practicing on it all week. Then when she said "bye, I love you", he mouthed the words, "I love you, too". So, I think maybe since she got to hear him talk, it made not seeing him this weekend not so bad.

Can't wait for Dr. Carlile to see Rick in the morning. Since she's been gone all week, I think she is going to be pleasantly surprised by what she sees.

I'll let y'all know tomorrow when we're leaving Baylor. I know that God will put us in the right place. Thanks again for all your prayers and support.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

DAY 91

Rick is watching one of his all time favorite movies...Lonesome Dove...I can't believe he is still awake at 7:45! Usually, if he's awake all day, he's out like a light at 7:00. It was another great day. The kids couldn't make it up this weekend, and are pretty sad about that. But, Cade had a soccer game this morning and had fun, and then Kelce picked them up and they went to Big John and Sherry's. They are staying the night with my mom and dad. The only consolation I could offer them was that Daddy will be twice as good the next time they see him. We had several visitors today, and we sat was a really nice day today. Can't wait to get to Pate Ranch and sit outside and see something beside buildings everywhere.

They put him to death by nailing him to a cross. But this was God's plan which he had made long ago. Acts 2:23

God's Blessing to all.


Friday, September 18, 2009

DAY 90

We ended the week with another great day. Rick helped get himself dressed and brushed his teeth. He is really getting better about leaning forward...this is hard for him because of the tone, and when he can break the tone and lean forward, he stands easier, he sits easier and just does everything better. The baclofen pump is still in the approval process with the insurance company and could be a few weeks before it is approved. Rick's liver function tests continue to trend downward and are almost back in the normal range...thank you Jesus!

I've decided that Pate Ranch in Anna, TX will be the best place for Rick to go for transitional rehab. A couple of the therapists want us to stay another week here. I will find out for sure on Monday whether or not we'll stay at Baylor, or move to Pate on Tuesday. As Rick progresses, I would like to be able to move to TLC in Lubbock and then home. We'll just have to see how things go, but if they keep going the way they have this week, we could be back to west texas in no time!

Thank you Sandy for putting together the jewelry fundraiser...I can't believe how much money it raised. Sandy put in a lot of time and expense herself to do that for us, and it is truly appreciated.

We are so blessed to have such great friends and family. You've all done so much for us...please continue to pray for Rick's healing...pray that he be restored 100%!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

DAY 89

Jesus died for our sins so that we could live. But he doesn't want us to just live, he wants us to live a GOOD life. I believe that's what God has planned for us... a good life. Rick has really had a breakthrough this week. His initiation of movements and being spontaneous has improved so much. He continues to try to communicate...either head nods, talking (which is still a whisper) or pointing to printed answers. And has gotten so much more expressive with his face...raises his eyebrows, crinkles his nose, smiles. It's hard to believe, but Tuesday could be our last day here at Baylor before we move on to transitional rehab. The final decision will be made on Monday. Dr. Carlile and several of the therapists have been gone this week to Red River, NM for Mile High camp. This is a special camp for brain injury survivors. We've missed Dr. C and Olivia this week, but have been left in very capable hands. I'll be making a decision on transitional rehab tomorrow. The choices are Pate Ranch in Anna, TX or TLC in Lubbock. It's a hard decision to make...I don't think either one would be a wrong choice. Rick will receive 6-8 hours of therapy a day at these places and really get him ready for home.

He stood good again today, walked good on the treadmill, balanced well on the edge of the bed, and has been watching Chisum. I sat him up to feed him and looked at me funny and started pushing back. I said, "Do you want to eat?" and he shook his head no. So I said, "Do you want me to lay you back down so you can watch John Wayne?", and he nodded yes!

Thanks for all your prayers.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

DAY 88

God is good. The day started with OT dressing him. He did so good and probably had the best sit to stand he's ever had. When Julia stood him up to pull his pants up, mechanically, he was perfect. Then he reached down and pulled his pants up as best he could...which was pretty darn good as far as I'm concerned. While he was dressing, I just had the biggest smile on my face. Then in PT Katie put him on the mat on his stomach propped up on his elbows. This is a stretch for Rick and is a little uncomfortable. Katie told him to touch his forehead to the pillow five times and then rest. He did and then I guess he decided he was tired of being on his stomach, so he pushed up with his right arm ( and we're all just watching in amazement to see exactly what he thinks he's going to do) and he rolls hisself all the way over on his back! I nearly started crying, and everyone was hooping and hollering! And very spontaneous today with shaking hands and waving bye. He got to see Hunter the therapy dog again and he was so engaged with him, petting him and shaking his paw.

We were looking at pictures yesterday...these are pictures that our friend Dianna Bullard took when she visited the ranch in March. She blew several pictures up to 8 x 10's and brought them to us. One of the pictures is Riley with Cedar and Cutter Smith. I asked Rick if he remembered scaring Cedar last summer. He scared her, and she hasn't talked to him since...she holds a grudge! Anyway, I told him that Cedar had asked about him since he's been hurt, and he smiled.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto to you; may the Lord lift up his countneance upon you and give you his peace. Numbers 6 24:26

Special blessings to each of you!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DAY 87

Sorry it's so late...the day just got away from me. It was another good one even though we had to miss all of our afternoon therapies to go for a swallow test. Unfortunately, Rick's swallow is still not strong enough to graduate from pureed food and thickened liquids. It's more of a motor planning problem than anything else...but he'll get there. This morning in PT we were working on sit to stands. Katie was having him lean way forward and then push to standing, but she wanted him to lean forward and hold until she told him to stand. Well, on the second time, he just stood cue and very little assist. It was really great. He took an hour nap at noon, and another one late this afternoon, but other than that he was wide awake all day. I'm praying that we get him in the pool by the end of the week...the pool would be great for Rick. He has to be continent of bowel for 3 days in a row before he can go to the pool. It's been crazy in the box tonight. The other 2 brain injury patients are very agitated, and one is about to take his enclosure bed apart! The stroke patient that's in here had a moment, too...and it all seems to happen at the same time...Rick however is chilled out...the day nurses were leaving and said "bye Rick, we'll see you tomorrow." and he gave them the "hang ten" sign. It's great to see him be spontaneous.

For I will turn their mourning into joy and will comfort them and make them rejoice after their sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13

God Bless You All!


Monday, September 14, 2009

DAY 86

Praise the Lord! This is the best day Rick has ever had! Keep praying and keep praising! First thing this morning he ate so good...usually it takes me about 30 minutes to feed him breakfast, but this morning he had it down in about 15. Then OT came in to dress him. He helped pickup both feet to put his pants on, then raised his butt off the bed so we could pull them up under him...usually we have to roll him from side to side, but today he helped us. Then he put his right arm through his shirt and reached to pull it over his head too! So, then we told him it was time to get out of bed and he put both legs off the side of the bed and lifted his head, neck and shoulders up off the was great! In PT we worked on standing and sitting from the edge of the mat and he did really good. In speech therapy he was trying to talk. Then this afternoon he walked on the treadmill for 8 minutes and did some really good stepping. In OT this afternoon he did really good on the handbike and then we worked some more on standing. Julia and I were on each side of him with a table in front of him. She told him to stand up and he leaned forward, she had to pull up a little on his gait belt, but then it was all him, and he stood tall. Chris Mooney and Terry Haynes were here and Julia had Chris hold a cone and asked Rick to take it from him. Rick was holding on to the table and wasn't sure if he could do it, but with a little help he got his hand up there and took the was so awesome! And I wasn't helping him stand at all and Julia was giving only a moderate assist with the left hip...this is so good. AND he's been awake ALL day fighting him to keep him awake. This is so good and I thank God for it. We're getting there...we're getting there!

Praise the Lord! Thank you Jesus! Thank you for reconnecting everything for Rick and for giving him the strength and the heart to keep fighting! AMEN!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

DAY 85

It has rained for 2 solid days in Dallas...makes me sleepy. Rick continues to be alert for the majority of the day...rain or no rain. He's gained weight this week...yea! I've been pretty diligent about mixing in extra calories into his food anyway I can. There are packets called Benecalorie that are about 1.5 oz of paste that can be mixed into soup. It's tasteless and adds 330 calories. I also mix butter into his potatoes, and feed him as much pudding and applesauce as he can handle between meals. And, he continues to receive about 1800 calories everynight in an overnight tube feeding.

We had more visitors today. Linda and Bobby got to see how much Rick has progressed, and we got to see Bubba, Stoney, Matt and Sherry again. Rick confirmed again that Bubba is a loser! He also gave the hang ten sign...the sign that everything is good. Cade was getting a little loud today, so I told Rick to tell him to be quiet, and he raised his index finger to his mouth and made the sshhh sound. It was hard for the kids to leave...Riley asked me if I thought Daddy would be well by day 100. That's such a tough question to answer since we know anything is possible with God. What I told her was that I was certain we are at least halfway through our journey.

Kyler is going to see the eye specialist on Tuesday. He was a little frustrated today because he couldn't tell if he was seeing or not. He's finally doing better with his weight...he's 6'3" and weighed 102 today, and was excited about that! And was requesting fritos and bean dip from Aunt Tonya! Please pray that his eyesight returns and he continues to make gains.

We miss everybody and can't wait to get home. Please keep praying so that happens as quick as possible. We believe!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

DAY 84

It was a good day...mainly because Devin and Sandra brought the kids to me. They'll stay the night and then leave tomorrow afternoon. We've had a really good day. Rick has been awake most of the day which is sooo good. I'm really hoping he doesn't miss the neurostimulants that we had to stop. He waved bye to Devin and Sandra and has done lots of things for the kids including saying Riley's was a whisper, but it was there. We're getting him tucked into bed right now and are going to grab a bite to eat.

God's Blessings To All!

Good night,

Friday, September 11, 2009

DAY 83

Today started off with great things. We had neuropsych at 8 am and Chris took a calendar page and showed Rick the date and day of the week. Then he put it aside and started asking Rick questions. Rick answered by pointing to "yes", "no" cards. Rick got all of the following questions right:

Is it October? No
Is it September? Yes
Is it 2006? No
Is it 2008? No
Is it 2009? Yes

Then he asked him is it Friday? And Rick answered "No", so Chris showed him the calendar again and then asked the same question...Rick immediatly pointed to "yes".

PT was able to test Rick for the BPPV (inner ear problem) and he tested positive for it in his left ear. This doesn't have anything to do with his's fine. There are microscopic crystals in your ear, and if these crystals get in the wrong canal they can cause symptoms of dizziness and nausea. The test requires the PT to put Rick in certain positions in a quick manner and watch his eyes...if they look a certain way, then he has BPPV. The way you fix it is to turn the head in certain positions to put the crystal back through the maze of canals back to where it's supposed to be. If you google bppv you can find more info on this condition...the testing process and the remedy are pretty amazing. So far today he has not had any nausea, so hopefully the remedy worked.

He went to the eye doctor and the eyes are looking better...she said keep doing what we're doing.

In the shower he wet himself down...Rita said he wet the whole bathroom down, but she didn't care because he was doing it himself. He also helped wash his hair, and when they were done and coming out he reached for the door knob to open it. Thing are really starting to click for him.

We had visitors today...Bubba Smith, Stoney Jones, and Matt and Sherry McKenzie. I have to tell you that since Bubba left Tongue River to go to work for the 6666's there has been an ongoing hardtime given from both sides. Today when Rick saw Bubba we told him to give him the "L" sign for loser...and he did! We had a good laugh over that.

Well, it's time now to shave him, put his eye ointment in and tape his eyes shut, and put his splints on, so I better get busy. I've been trying to leave the hospital by 8 o'clock every night so it's not too dark when I walk across the street.

The lyrics to one of Susie Luchsinger's songs popped into my head this afternoon:

Walk through darkness
I don't need no light
My faith in Jesus gonna be my guide
You see, I aint afraid of nothing because I believe
I've got a sky full of angels watching over me.


Good night to all.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

DAY 82

God continues to send blessings and answer prayers. The CT scan of the liver looked good and they found no reason for it to be causing high enzyme counts. The problem is probably the meds, so for now Rick has to quit taking a couple of the neuro stimulants he's on. I'm hoping that since Rick is becoming more aware of his surroundings, that he won't miss the stimulants and won't need them anymore. Rick's eyes are looking better, the symptoms of the c-diff are no longer, and he only threw up one time today. Dr. Carlile is suspicious that this might be related to the vestibular system (inner ear) and there is a way to test for this, and if it's the case there is also a remedy. I praise God for all of these things.

My mom and dad and Glenn and Ray Gipson all came today. It's been a month since my Dad has seen Rick and he was impressed with what's been going on here, and the progress Rick has made. It's been a couple of weeks since Glenn has seen Rick and he could tell a big difference, too. We discussed the baclofen pump and are all in agreement that this is the best option for Rick to give him the best chance we can give him. I continue to pray for God to set my feet upon the right path, and open the doors that need to be open. I only want what's best for Rick.

I visited Pate Ranch at Anna, TX today. This is what's called a Post Acute Rehab facility or a transitional rehab. It's definitely different from the hospital setting. It's centered around therapy and a more homelike setting. It was so peaceful out there...reminded me of Tongue highway noise, no traffic. The rep asked me what I thought of all this Dallas traffic and I told her I'd rather be fighting rattlesnakes in west texas than traffic in Dallas. When Rick is ready to leave Baylor we will be going to this type of facililty. There is also one in Lubbock we will look at, and then make a decision. As for when Rick will leave Baylor, that's hard to say. His original discharge date was Sept 22nd, but with the possibility of getting the baclofen pump, that could change. Because the pump adds a "building block" so to speak for Rick, it could justify a longer stay here which he definitely needs. To go to transitional rehab he needs to be able to handle 6 hours of therapy a day, and right now he's doing good to tolerate 3.

But, if God is for us, who can be against us, right? So, we continue to pray to, praise, and glorify the one who is responsible for this...He continues to show me everyday that He is with us.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

DAY 81

We left the rehab hospital this morning at 9 am to go have a CT of the abdomen done. Rick started throwing up as soon as we got there. They were so backed up in CT that by the time he was done, it was close to time to see the Dr. about the baclofen pump. So, we went to his office and waited and waited and finally got to see him and got back to the room at 1 pm. Rick didn't eat lunch, but kept down about 6 oz of tea around 3 pm and then ate 50% of his dinner and so far has kept it down. The consult with the dr went well...he thinks Rick would be an excellent candidate for the pump. He provided me with a lot of information and a DVD to watch. He performs about 10 baclofen surgeries a month. Insurance still needs to approve the procedure and we should know early next week whether they do or not. Since Rick was feeling bad, he didn't have any therapy today, but was alert most of the day. This afternoon he started kicking his right leg out of the bed and then pulled his left leg over to it. I said, "Rick what are you doing? Are you trying to get up?" And he started trying to sit up in the bed. It was really exciting. And he's just been more active in general...especially with his arms and hands...if he's got an itch, he's gonna scratch it!

Good things are happening, and I thank God for them. So many of you have been on this road with us from the very beginning and are still sticking with us...and of course we've picked up a few more supporters along the way. It would be easy for y'all to forget us, but you don't, as a matter of fact, I think the support has just grown and grown. We don't need anything...God has provided for us through all of you in every possible way we could need...thank you.

Keep those prayers coming!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

DAY 80

We had a lot going on today. OT got him dressed this morning and he did a good job brushing his teeth again. He slept through NP orientation and did good in ST. He's really doing well trying to talk...he just can't get enough air moving to make a lot of noise. But, I've noticed alot of the TBI patients talk in a whisper. Today in morning PT he sat at the edge of a mat propped his arms on his thighs and sat for 26 seconds before he lost his balance. Then he practiced standing and sitting over and over and really did a good job. In afternoon PT he walked on the treadmill and did good, but as soon as we stopped he threw up. Not sure if he was still too full from lunch or if something just didn't set well with him, but he's been fine ever since. Olivia however didn't fair so well...let's just say she had to take a shower! But, this girl is awesome...she has someone else's puke on her and she doesn't run she makes sure that he is okay and on his way back to his room before she takes care of herself. There are awsome people working at this place! In afternoon OT Kaitlyn stretched him in bed to give him a break in case he wasn't feeling well. Then we saw the eye doctor again this afternoon. His right eye is looking really good, but the left eye now has a scratch on it. So, we're keeping it taped closed and upping the doctoring.

Tomorrow we have an appointment to meet the doctor that's putting in the baclofen pump. What I already know about the procedure is that it's a day surgery and Rick should be back to therapy the following day. So, he only misses the day of surgery. The other thing is that Rick's liver enzymes are elevated again. They're not considered in the high range, but Dr. Carlile is trying to stay ahead of any problems, so he will have another sonogram done tomorrow. More than likely it's the medicine he's taking...several meds that he is on plus the overnight tube feeding could cause elevated liver enzymes.

So, prayers needed are for the eyes to heal completely, the liver to be functioning properly, the c-diff to clear up, and for God to continue the miraculous work he has begun in Rick.

Thanks for all you're prayers!


Monday, September 7, 2009

DAY 79

Another boring day...he was awake most of it, and had one PT session and one OT session this morning. Then we just hung out the rest of the day...watched a little TV. He was awake all morning which is good because usually he tries to sleep at some point every morning. The more alert and awake he can be obviously the more he'll participate in therapy. His c-diff symptoms are clearing up and he acts like he feels better. He had a moment of connection earlier. He was following a lot of simple commands. He stuck out his tongue, wiggled his eyebrows, winked, counted on his fingers, pointed to my mouth, and my nose and then pointed to his nose. Lot's of good stuff...I always thank the Lord when Rick has these moments because I know it's His way of letting me know things are going according to His plan and we are one day closer.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

DAY 78

We had a pretty boring day again. Rick slept until 10 and was sleepy all day...I didn't fight it, afterall, Sunday is a day of rest. He didn't have any therapy today, but I did stretch him and give him a massage. We had a lot of visitors today, and it sure was good to see everybody.

Thanks for sticking with us through all of this. People are always telling me how strong I am, but I couldn't have done it without a ton of support from y'all and the Lord pushing me through. Thanks for helping me along.

Hope everyone gets to enjoy a 3 day weekend. We will actually only have 1/2 day of therapy tomorrow so we'll get some more rest time.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

DAY 77

Not alot of excitement to report today. We had a pretty lazy day. He slept in and ate a decent breakfast. Then my sister and brother in law brought the kiddos, so we sat out on the balcony for awhile. He slept most of the time...he slept most of the day, actually. I got him on the bike this afternoon...because it's a holiday weekend he wasn't put on the therapy schedule, but they said I was welcome to do anything I wanted. He was on the bike for 20 minutes and he pedalled 12 minutes. When the kids left, it was hard...again...I don't know if it will ever get any easier...even with promises of seeing them in a week it doesn't seem to help anyone. But Rick had a great response to them as always and that's worth it, and it's great to have all of us together again if only for a little while.

Hard to believe we've been at this for 11 weeks, but good things come to those who wait. I continue to put my confidence in the Lord and wait for Him. Please continue to pray for Rick's healing.

God Bless You All!


Friday, September 4, 2009

DAY 76

Geez...the day got away from me. Rick seemed a little tired today, but didn't do bad. The symptoms of c-diff are clearing up and that's a good thing. We did 2 different sessions of of trunk/core control today and Rick did way better than he's ever done. Each time he was sat at the edge of the mat or bed and then leaned forward on a table. One time he sat for 4 minutes straight without falling! Olivia says she believes some of the tone may be giving up, so he's not having to fight it to do what he wants to do...yea! He's already asleep tonight and looks so peaceful and relaxed.

I think I'll head over to my room and relax awhile myself. Thank you God for a good week, and thank you for all the good things to come.

Love you all!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

DAY 75

Rick had another good day. Started out this morning by brushing his teeth, and I don't mean just a little bit...he got after it. He was brushing so hard and so fast we were laughing! It was really good to see a glimpse of his old self. He walked on the treadmill today, and worked hard in both speech therapy and neuropsych. He had a shower this evening and the aide came to get me to watch what he was doing, and he had taken the sprayer and was rinsing himself off, then he took the towel and was drying his face. In spite of the c-diff his skin still looks okay...he's red, but not broken down. That is such a blessing...he's made it 75 days in the hospital with no bedsores, and no thrush in his mouth...that's got to be a record!

Please continue to pray for Kyler. He had to go across the street this week because of an infection in his stomach, and fungus in his throat. He made it back over here today. He told his grandmother that he sees shades of he can tell where she's standing because she's darker than everything else. Please pray he gets his eyesight back, and that he has no more setbacks.

So thankful to be here, and so appreciative of the "small things"...because small things turn into great things! Also very appreciative of all the huge support that we've received...I pray God gives a special blessing to each of you.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

DAY 74

Back to back wins...that's how I feel about today. Yesterday was a winner and so was today. Neuropsych came in first thing this morning and Rick was able to answer a few questions by pointing to "yes", "no" cards. Chris was pleased with what he got out of him. In OT this morning he was on the hand bike and Kaitlyn said it would probably be too hard for him mentally to cycle with both hands, but he kept trying to put his right hand on, so we quit fighting him and what do you know...he did it with no problem. Kaitlyn was like, "wow, Rick, I underestimated you!". He pedalled the bike today for 14 out of 20 minutes, and in afternoon PT he walked on the treadmill again and had the best posture yet...he wasn't leaning or turning his head to the left, and he took about 50% of the steps with his right leg himself, and Katie could feel him helping a little on the left, too. In afternoon OT he had to take apart 1/2" pvc pipe with connectors...a task to help him use both hands together...he did really good. Still suffering symptoms of c-diff, but hopefully we'll get that cleared up and he'll feel better.

Supper tray just came, so I'm going to feed him and then it's time to get back in bed. He pretty much stays in his chair from the time we get up until about this time of day.

And, yes, Aunt Cyndi, I promise when this is over with, no matter how many roller coasters we ride here, we will come to California to Disneyland! And when Riley and Cade read the blog tonight my sister will have to peel them off the ceiling!

Today, I read the following in my Bible and I just couldn't believe it...I just opened my Bible and this is what page it opened to. This is called a Life Point from Joyce Meyer concerning Zechariah 4:10.

When we are believing God for something "big" we need to remember that great things start small. We need to appreciate the "day of small things," because the little things will grow if we recognize them, appreciate them, and honor them as gifts from God and indicators of greater things to come.

Wowie! How's that for a message from above?

Thanks again for your love, support and prayers...they continue to pour in...God Bless you all.



Tuesday, September 1, 2009

DAY 73

OMG...are we at Six Flags or something? I feel like we're making the rounds, Judge Roy Scream, Shock Wave, Mr. Freeze, The Texas was great! He did test positive for c-diff, but Dr. Carlile didn't wait on the test results, she wanted to get ahead of it and started him on meds this morning and also on buttermilk...grandma's remedy! She also started him on an IV just to push some more fluids to him and keep him hydrated. First thing this morning was OT. He helped push his arms through the sleeves and also tried to brush his teeth. He spit out his mouthwash which is a big deal...apparently the planning of how to spit is pretty complicated, so the OT's get excited when it happens. In ST he was asked about 5 questions and the answers were printed on a sheet of paper. He had 2 options for answers on each question and he pointed to the correct answer each time. In PT he stood a couple of times and as Olivia was counting to 30 we noticed that Rick was counting with her...probably because she counts too slow for Rick! He was also on the bike again and pedalled himself 8 out of 10 minutes he was on it. We saw the eye doctor again today, and his eyes are better but still not good. She suggested putting a weight on top of his eye to help him keep it closed whent it's shut, but not too heavy that he can't open his eye when he wants to. We just put it on and he's sleeping, so I'm not sure how he'll react to it.

His favorite aide is back today. Her name is Miss Ruthie and she is from the island of St Kits in the Carribean. She's lived in the states for over 30 years and has worked in the brain injury dept here at Baylor for 25 years! Can you believe that? I know people who can't stick with one job for 25 minutes much less 25 years! I swear when she talks to him he listens to every word...if she said, "Rick, get up and jump in your chair" I think he would. She was on vacation last week and we really missed her. She's just one of those special people and she told me today that every morning she prays that she can be a blessing to someone that day. She is certainly a blessing to us.

Thanks for all your prayers...they've been working. I know a ton of people prayed we would have a better day, and we did.

God's Blessings to each of you!