Saturday, October 31, 2009

DAY 133

Rick took advantage of the weekend and slept in as usual. The baclofen pump is definetly working as now when I get him out of bed, he's doesn't push backwards or pop up...he stands slowly and then leans on me pretty good for support. We had our choice of KFC or Taco Bell for lunch and he chose Taco Bell. He ate good and Kelly P's parents brought chocolate chip cookies, and he ate his share of those, too! He took a long nap this afternoon and then we sat outside for a while. We had visitors after supper...Jennifer and Mark Griffin. I worked with Jennifer at Wright's 11 years ago and now she lives in a little community called West Minster that is 5 minutes from here! Mark is the captain of the West Minister VFD. He came on a call to Pate last week, and when I saw him, I thought he looked familar, but never could place him. Then she called yesterday and it all clicked.

These bumps in the road are just the enemy at work. He wants us to all give up...quit praying and just give up on God. But we won't do that...we'll pray even harder until the devil gives up instead. God is at work rebuilding, repairing and restoring Rick. Just like Nehemia had to remain focused to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem we have to remain focused on our assignment (praying for Rick) until his complete restoration. I remember some time back, I told Riley to keep praying for Daddy and she said, "well, I had to quit praying because every time I pray, I have a nightmare" And I said, "well, it looks like the devil got what he wanted...he gave you the nightmares so you would quit praying and it worked" Oh she did not like that at all and had never even thought of it like that...needless to say she's praying for Daddy!

Keep the faith!

Friday, October 30, 2009

DAY 132

So, we didn't make it to Baylor. Insurance was not returning phone calls and TLC in Lubbock had already planned to evaluate Rick next week. Since Rick is doing better, we decided it would be best not to muddy the waters with insurance and confuse them about a move to Baylor and then a move to TLC. TLC will be here on Monday and we should know something Wednesday. Rick had a much better day today. He went to bed @ 6:30 last night and didn't wake up until 8 this morning! I checked on him at midnight and he was sleeping like a log...I think the medicine has kicked in enough that he's relaxed and feels good, so he's sleeping good. He did a little PT, OT and ST today. In PT, Christie walked him and she could tell the tone has given because Rick is weak. What happens is tone stiffens the muscles and actually helps you to stand and walk. When you take the tone away, then you can evaluate the underlying muscle. Rick's muscles are weak, and now we have to start building strength. Rick has a huge advantage in being so healthy and strong before his accident...this will help him get his strength back quicker. Bryan came by again today and visited while we had lunch. This afternoon there was a Halloween Party at the rec center and we went and listened to some of the worst karyokee you've ever heard, but it was fun. He took a 2 hour nap this afternoon, cleaned his plate at supper, and is now watching TV, waiting on his first shower since his surgery.

I felt sorry for myself last night watching the World Series all by myself...well not by myself, but not with Rick like was have for 14 years! Seriously...we always watch the World Series and last night he was in bed, so I watched it with Walter! For once he wasn't wondering around and sat and watched 4 innings of the game. Walter also sang "Happy Trails" today at the Halloween Party...he's a good singer.

The kids are in Guthrie this weekend. Jodi is having a surprise B-day party for Riley tonight and then on to the football game. Tomorrow is the fall festival and trick or treating. You can get on my FB page and see some pics of the kids in their Halloween costumes that Lori Moss and Anna Livingston posted...really cute...and thanks for posting those!

I read in my bible last night that you should consider trials as tests...put you faith in God and you will pass your test and not have to take it again! Good advice Joyce Meyer!

God Bless,

Thursday, October 29, 2009

DAY 131

Rick didn't go to treatment today. He is better, but not quite ready for full blown therapy. OT and PT came to the house and worked with him a little bit. I've also stretched him some and I'm not able to tell a difference yet. We're also trying to get back to Baylor Rehab for a short stay just until we get the pump tweeked. I'm just not comfortable staying at Pate and Dr. Konen agreed so he called Dr. Carlile and we are waiting on insurance to approve the transfer. Rick was really tired today, but was able to eat about 50% of his meals and has not thrown up anymore.

We had fruitbasket turnover in the house today. 4 of our roommates moved out and 4 new ones moved in. The old roommates got to move up to the Hilltop House which is actually efficiency apartments for people who are more independent. Kelly C went up there and she was so excited...I miss her, but I'll still see her at treatment.

God will open the doors that need to be opened for Rick and He will get us where we need to be. I'm so thankful to all of those who are allowing me to be here taking care of him.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DAY 130

What a day...Rick has been nauseated ever since the surgery and today it caused some problems. This morning he had a possible small seizure...I say possible because I saw it, and described it to the doctors, and they say "possible" siezure. It lasted less than 30 seconds and his vitals and responsiveness were normal afterwards. The doctors believe it was probably caused by the anesthetic and all the stimulation Rick had yesterday. I also call the Medtronic Nurse this morning (Medtronic is the brand of pump) and she believes the same thing. It scared me. Dr Nguyen (Physical Med Doctor for Pate) came to see Rick this afternoon and thought he looked dehydrated which would also contribute to a seizure so he sent us to Allen to the hospital for fluids, labwork and a catscan. Everything came back normal and we got back to the house at 7:00.

I never thought I would have a worse anniversary than our first one...but we topped it today. On our first anniversary Rick was working for the power plant and had to go to a plant around Abilene for outage...this meant working 7 days a week for weeks on end. I remember I went to Abilene the weekend before our anniversary and spent it with him, then got up early on Monday morning (the 28th) to drive back to Vernon for work. I stopped in Seymour along the way and my brothers were out of school that day for some reason, and Adam was hauling hay...all by himself. And he asked if I would help him. So, I was feeling so sorry for myself that I just couldn't make it to work...I called my boss and stayed in Seymour hauling hay that day! Then on our 3rd wedding anniversary that's when Miss Riley made her debut and we'll never top that anniversary!

On our wedding night we danced to "Keeper of The Stars" by Tracy Byrd. I think tonight we all need to tip our hats to the keeper of the stars for all the blessings He's given us. It's not always easy, but we have to keep trusting.

Thanks to everyone who made Riley's day special with phone calls and gifts...we are so blessed to have such great friends and family.

God Bless You All!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


We got to the hospital a little late this morning...the driver couldn't figure out how to operate the bus, and then that good ole' Dallas traffic! It was like sea of red tail lights! My mom made it around 9:00, she was caught in traffice, too. They had the darndest time trying to start an IV on Rick...he was cold, had a low blood presssure, and had not had any fluids and his veins were hiding! They finally got to operating around 10, and he was out of recovery and in his room at 12:30. Dr. Konen checked in with us around 2:00 and said Rick was ready to go. He said the surgery went so well he should have had it videotaped for teaching. We got back to Pate at 5:30 and Rick was starving...he hadn't eaten anything all day. He ate and then threw up...I think just too much on an empty, queasy stomach. He has an insicion on his right abdomen about 4 inches and one on his back about 2 inches. He doesn't have too many limitations and the doc started him on antibiotics just to be on the safe side. Right now he is getting 100 micrograms of baclofen in a 24 hour period...which is really not a lot. We should see results in 48 hours and then the Physical Medicine doctor can start tweeking on the dosage. Right now he is in bed asleep!

This morning when we got to the hospital, he looked down at his left wrist, pointed to it and whispered, "where is my watch?" I said, "its at the house" and that seemed to satisfy him, but it is great that he is becoming more and more aware...his watch is kind of like his pocket knife...he doesn't leave the house without either one.

Tomorrow is Riley's b-day and our wedding anniversary. Getting through this surgery was the best gift I think that Riley or I could recieve! I expect great things from this. I believe God has bigger and better things for us and I plan on fullfilling those. But, for now, I believe I'll head the way of Rick and get some rest myself. Thanks for all your wonderful prayers...may God give each of you a special blessing.


DAY 129

Praise was a success! The nurse said the surgery could not have gone better! Thank you for all your prayers. God has shown his mercy and grace to us once again and we are so thankful. We should be able to return to Pate later this afternoon and I will post again.

Praise The Lord!


Monday, October 26, 2009

DAY 128

Oh, the PT's poured it on Rick today. He walked and then was stretched and much so that after his last PT session he fell asleep on the mat before we could even get him back in his wheelchair. Rick's brother Bryan came by to see him today and will stop by again on Friday...I told him to expect a different Rick when he sees him on Friday. I'm really putting a lot of hope in the baclofen pump. If y'all remember when we did the trial he responded to it so well it was unbelievable. Today I found out some more info on the surgery tomorrow...the coordinator at Dr. Konen's office didn't know what she was talking about. What will happen tomorrow is the pump will be placed and then Rick will be monitored for 4 hours. If all goes well we will return to Pate and then Rick will see another doctor who will manage the pump and set the dosing correctly. The pump is placed in the abdomen, below the skin but on top of the muscle, and a small catheter goes around into is spinal column to deliver the medicine. He tried to taking the oral dose of this medicine, but he has to take so much orally that it makes him really sleepy and doesn't do hardly anything for his spasticity. With the pump the medicine is delivered straight to the spinal column where it's contained and doesn't cause side effects and he only has to take a small dose. The spasticity is from the brain injury...the message that tells the muscles to tighten fires continuously and the message that tells the muscle to relax is broken. His spasticity has gotten better since the accident, but it's still severe. He has to make 5 times the effort to do something that you or I could do. Most people need the pump the rest of their lives, but not all...and you know how I feel about statistics! Rick has thrown a curve ball at the statistics!

The Lord hears our prayers and will respond. I have a special the morning at 7:30 everyone please say a litle prayer for Rick's surgery to be a success...let's all have the Lord's ear for 10 seconds and ask him be with the doctors, nurses, and Rick and pray for a successful outcome. Thanks so much!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

DAY 127

Rick's been doing a lot of singing today. First, we had a small little cake to celebrate Riley's b-day and he mouthed the words to Happy B-day to her and then helped her blow out the candles on her cake. The kids brought us a CD player today and I turned it on to 92.1 The Possum and Rick started mouthing the words to "Prop Me Up Beside The Jukebox", "There's No Way I Could Make It Without You" and "Mountain of Love"...I was laughing and crying at the same time. And I asked him who sings Mountain of Love and he said Charlie Pride! I love it! I'm so glad to get a radio in the room...some days it's just to hectic to stay out in the living room.

I gave Rick a haircut today and trimmed his mustache and shaved him...he is the hairest man...grooming him is a full time job! Riley will turn 11 on October 28th and our wedding anniversary is the same day...14 great years.

I'm ready to get the surgery for the baclofen pump behind us. Pate will transport us on Tuesday morning. I'm guessing we'll leave here not later than 6 am. I think the drive to Dallas is making me as nervous as the actual surgery!

Thanks to everyone for all your prayers. Keep singing His praises!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

DAY 126

It was a beautiful day here. The kids and I went into McKinney for lunch and then tried to make it out to the Heard Museum to see the Dinosaur Exhibit, but they decided to close 30 minutes early today at 3:30 instead of 4:00...we got there at 3:35! Oh well, maybe next time. Darrell and Lauri and Aunt Chyral made it today, and were so happy to see how good Rick looks. He was a pig today...ate 2 helpings of ham, beans and cornbread at lunch, about 6 cookies, a rice krispie treat, some oranges and big ole bowl of beans and cornbread for supper. Guess what he's doing now...yep...sleeping!

I'm so thankful for a good day...Rick's healing is so obvious and inspiring, and I'm always so glad when other people get to see it first's healing to their hearts, and we all need that.

Love y'all!

Friday, October 23, 2009

DAY 125

TGIF! Glad to have another week behind us...that means we're one week closer to going home! Rick was a trooper today as always. His walking this morning was really good...good gait, speed, and control. His ST made it back today, but I'm not sure what all she worked on with him...she didn't let me know. I did work with him on some writing. He made capital A's that weren't too bad, but his lower case A's did not make a passing grade! He also wrote his #'s 1-10 and they were all legible. We had more visitors today. Don and Susan Grant from Vernon stopped by "on their way to Fort Worth". I don't know if y'all have looked at a map lately, but Anna is actually NOT "on the way" to Fort Worth. It was so great to see them...and Susan baked cookies and rice krispie treats for us. More cards and letters arrived today as well and are such a good reminder that God has angels here on earth. The other thing we (the kids and I) keep telling each other is "this won't last forever". That's something that Lauri Colbert told Riley one day this summer. Riley was asking her a lot of questions and Lauri said, "I don't know the answers to all your questions, but I do know that this won't last forever."

The kids will be here tomorrow...yea! So excited to see them. I miss them terribly. And every time I see them I think..."how did you change that much in a weeks time?". But, the kids believe that the Lord will heal their Daddy and understand that it may take some time, and all of this sacrifice will pay off in the end.

Please pray specifically for the baclofen pump placement to go well, and for it to be the answer to our prayers. The Lord sees the good people and listens to their prayers. 1 Peter 3:12

Thanks again for everything.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

DAY 124

We finally had our team meeting today. I'm getting better and better at handling these initial assesments. The meeting was with the neuropsych dr., Rick's therapists and our case manager. They gave me their evaluation based on Rick's first 5 days here at Pate, and he's made lots of progress since then. With that being said, they say that he will not discharge from here until April. He could possibly be ready for outpatient in December or January, but will need some type of rehab until April. With all that being said, the baclofen pump will change everything anyway, and Rick has always proven everyone wrong up to this point and he will do it again. And that's exactly what I told them...they said they liked my attitude and they hope the same thing, too. Our God is an awesome God!

Glenn and Kimbrew came to visit today. I told Rick they were coming and I asked him "what is Kimbrew's first name" and he said "Robert". Then he said "what about Rae?". Rae is Kimbrew's wife. He also talked to the kids loud enough tonight that they could hear him. Rick's initiation continues to improve. When he drops something he leans over to pick it up, when I push him up to the sink he reaches up to turn the water on. Zakk, one of the techs, taught him a handshake on Saturday, and on Sunday when Rick saw him he initiated the handshake and remembered most of the moves. He can now sit on the edge of the mat or bed withouth anyone behind him. He can hold himself up perfectly, and I make him do it every night when I put him in bed. I sit him on the edge and after he's sat there for a minute, I tell him to lay hisself down. He leans over and puts his head down and then swings his legs up. I've noticed more facial expressions which means his face muscles are getting stronger.

Thank you for your prayers...God Bless You All.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

DAY 123

I just got Rick out of the shower and in bed...he is really tired. He got an extra 30 minute session of PT today, but his primary therapist was out sick, so he got no ST and only the cognitive that I was able to do with him. His OT time was only 30 minutes...he should be getting at least an hour each day. The baclofen pump surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 27th. He has to be at the hospital at 7:30 am, but they can't tell me exactly what time his surgery will be. The surgeon practices at a hospital not far from Baylor called Mary Shiels. After the pump is placed it will have to be adjusted be ensure that Rick is getting the right dosage of medicine. Each surgeon that places pumps works with a doctor of Physical Medicine (like Dr. Carlile) to adjust the pumps and the doctor that will do it for Rick is at Baylor Rehab. So, what that means is that after the surgery he will transfer to Baylor Rehab until the pump is adjusted properly. Hopefully, this will be on Tuesday as well...Dr. Konen said it would be considered an outpatient surgery, and I'm not sure how long we will be at Baylor.

I e-mailed pictures to a lot of people today of Rick's visit with Hank yesterday. I will try to get some posted to the blog as well. My FB is not working for some reason. I can read your comments, but I can't reply to them, or read a message, or confirm a request. I sent the e-mail out to a lot of people, so hopefully most of you got to see it.

Thanks for all the love and support that continues to be shown to us. It is amazing to me all the great people out there that are willing to do something nice for means the world. Please keep praying for Rick. Hope to see you all soon.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DAY 122

Today was really good. Rick did well in all his therapies AND we got to see Julia his OT from Baylor. She came out with a group from Baylor that was touring Pate. It was so good to see her...I miss the Baylor crew ALOT! Rick also got a little something extra today. He got to see the therapy horse this afternoon. We had actually already come back up to the house when one of the techs noticed that the horses were here. So we went back to take a look. One of the patients that is discharging on Thursday actually got to ride. Balie Inglish White came to us and got to meet "Hank" as well. "Hank" is pretty impressive. He is a 4 yr old double bred Hancock horse that is so extremely gentle and willing to do whatever is asked of him that's it's unbelievable. Rick didn't try to jump out of his chair or anything, but he did certainly seem interested in him. He kept pulling on his nose as if he was looking at his teeth...maybe he didn't believe he was 4 either!

We talked to the kiddos who have been staying with my mom and dad the last 4 nights because my sisters girls are sick. They are doing well...really missing us, and we of course are really missing them.

Jesus will heal Rick...he will heal him in every way.

To grant consolation and joy to those who mourn in Zion-to give them an ornament of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a heavy burdened, and failing spirit-that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3


Monday, October 19, 2009

DAY 121

Rick got some good stretching and some walking today. He also did arm bike, leg bike, and standing frame. His primary therapist's last day was Friday, so we met his new one today. She will also be his speech therapist, but he didn't get any ST today because she was trying to figure out how to fit in her new patients. I also found out today that his primary therapist is also supposed to be the cognitive therapist that sits in the office with him to help him with cognitive tasks. However, today I checked on him twice and both times he was in the office long he'd been alone I'll never know. We met the doctor that takes care of patients out here. His primay job is at Zale Lipshy's in Dallas. He just went over Rick's meds and suggested we not change anything until after the baclofen pump has been placed. He was happy to hear that Rick had already had a baclofen trial and was close to getting the pump placed. He can actually manage pumps after placement and said he would be happy to manage it when he comes out to Pate so that Rick would not have to make any trips into Dallas for adjustments...suits me! He also believes Rick is ready to have his tummy tube out, but wants to wait 'til after surgery just to make sure. We will switch him from the canned feedings to Boost drinks during the day to make sure he still gets enough calories, and his meds can be crushed and given to him with applesauce.

And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God constantly. Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that it is granted to you and you will get it. Mark 11:22-24

Still standing on faith and still believing every day that "this could be the day". And when it's not, at the end of the day I say, "well, it must be tomorrow!"


Sunday, October 18, 2009

DAY 120

It was a pretty lazy day for Rick. He slept late, ate breakfast, took a nap, ate lunch, took a nap, ate supper and is now in the shower and said he is ready for bed! His Aunt Doe-Doe and Uncle Bobby came by with their g'kids Kay Kay and Chanceton. Kay Kay fed Rick the majority of his supper and I told him he better enjoy it because she won't be here tomorrow! When they got ready to leave, Linda took Rick's hand and kissed it, so he kissed her hand back and made her cry. It's been awhile since they've seen Rick and even though they read the blog every day, it's not the same as seeing it in person, especially the way Rick has been gaining.

The house was pretty calm for most of the day...I guess everybody was sleepy today because most of the patients stayed in their rooms, but right now it is crazy. There are 2 new trainees on tonight...boy are they in for a surprise! I was really proud for Kelly C today...her son came to see her. There are 2 Kelly's in the house right now. Kelly C is 42 and had a stroke. The only words she can say are "uh-huh", "huh-uh", and "shit". I'm not kidding...and I never knew how many different meanings the word "shit" had, but Kelly makes it work for a lot of things. She is so cute, but she is terribly lonely and was so happy to see her son today. Kelly P is from Amarillo. She is 40 and had an aneurism. Either her mom and dad or her husband have been with her the whole time, but she has a 2 year old son at home. He will be here next weekend. Both the Kelly's are really sweet girls and I say lots of prayers for them to get to return to their normal lives. Kelly C and I stayed up last night watching Medea, and laughing our butts was good therapy!

We're ready for another week here at Pate. Things are going better and I'm very thankful for that! Hopefully I'll hear some more specifics on the baclofen pump this week.

Keep the faith!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

DAY 119

Rick was showered and put to bed at 8:30. Supper was a success...the mac and cheese and the chocolate cake were just about wiped out. Desserts around here are a treat...the regular cook doesn't make desserts. I even made some pudding for Peg whose still on a pureed diet...she needs something sweet, too! The cake I made is the one I make every year for Rick's b-day. Except for the year I made him a German chocolate cake, and Cade was certain that Daddy's cake needed to be decorated. I told him you don't decorate German chocolate cake, but when I wasn't looking he went outside, got one of his big trucks, climbed on the counter, and stuck it right in the middle of the cake...we just ate around it!

Hope the TBMBR was a always is, and it was a beautiful day to have it. Talk about having faith...the Butler's have it. Say your prayers and thank God for all you have.

God Bless,

Friday, October 16, 2009

DAY 118

We have so many things to be thankful for today. Praise God for a good day. The extra staff member is on duty tonight and things have run much smoother. Unfortunately, Walter had to go to the hospital today...not sure what happened, so without him we really have adequate staffing. Rick has had 2 days in a row that he has not had any accidents...he's made it to the bathroom every time he's needed to go. He had tummy time this morning on the mat, and it REALLY stretches him, and it's painful, but very good for tone management. OT time was spent mainly in the bathroom, but it was good work. I didn't sit in on speech or cognitive time, so I'm not sure how those went. The speech therapist eats lunch with us everyday, and has let him try nectar thick liquids the last 2 days, and he has handled that very good. That would be an upgrade in liquids for him. The funniest thing happened when the PT tech was taking Rick back to his office from the gym. The dining room where I stay is on the way and the tech said that as she was pushing him by he started pointing into the dining room. So, she brought him in there to say hi and he was on his way. Tonight he was watching TV and someone handed him the remote. And yes...he knew what to do with it! The funny thing was he stopped on Scooby Doo. I asked him to do his Scooby Doo impression and he did was quiet, but it was there. His level of initiation just keeps improving. It's a great thing to see him do something without someone telling him to do it. He figured out today what the toilet paper in the bathroom was, and I'll just leave it at that! Rick continues to show that his long term memory is in tact, but has difficulty with his short term memory. As soon as he can talk better we'll be able to better assess exactly what's going on up there.

I'm cooking supper tomorrow night for everyone in the house. Anyone is welcome to cook on the weekends and they don't have to stick to as strict of a diet as they do during the week. They told me to fix Rick's favorite...which is steaks and baked potatoes, so they ordered ribeyes for us! I'm also making homemade mac & cheese & chocolate sheet cake.

Please pray for Rick's continued healing...God is still working his miracle in him. Please also pray for the ag teacher from Vernon, Kyle Myers who was injured in a car accident this week. Kyle is paralyzed and needs prayers to heal him physically, emotionally and spiritually. Please pray for the kids and Jenni that were with him...they're all doing well physically, but need to heal emotionally. I know as prayer warriors we can get this done!

Thanks for everything!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

DAY 117

OT came up to the house this morning and dressed Rick. He did really well dressing takes a while, but he attempts to do everything. He walked in PT this morning and then it was office time. I stepped away and each time I checked on him there was someone with him. At one point I checked on him and he had backed himself out of the office and the aide didn't really know what to do with him since he obviously didn't want to be in the office anymore. He still does extremely well peddling his little wheelchair. One of my main concerns about staffing at the house is being addressed. Starting tomorrow there will be an additional person in the house from 6-9 to ensure that all patients are getting the care they need. A meeting has been set to address the other issues I have with his therapy. Again, I'm not questioning their method or that they know what they are doing, I just don't think their plan is being implemented as well as they might think it is. Rick took a pretty long nap this afternoon and is now in the shower.

I figured out that the cell phone reception out here is about like it is at Tongue know...walk out the front door 5 steps, face south, stand on your right leg and lean to the left and you'll get reception! Anyway, sorry if I miss some calls or if you get a message that my phone is out of service.

We recieved more cards and letters today...thank you, and a big thank you to Jennifer Vickers for taking supper to my sisters house...Cade said "it was wonderful!". Thanks to everyone for all the support you've shown. Just to brag on my kids a bit...Cade made straight A's and Riley made all A's and 2 B's...I'm so proud of them.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DAY 116

I got a chance to talk to the case manager today, and she understands my concerns and they will be addressed. I feel better about things today. I looked at Rick's schedule this morning and realized it was not right, so after I got it fixed, and the rehab techs knew what he was supposed to be doing, I sat in the dining room for awhile. I checked in on him a few times and he was never alone and seemed to be engaged each time. At one time I checked on him and he said, "where were you?" I told him I was just in the dining room and told him I wouldn't leave him, but he had to keep working for a while without me. I said "is that okay?" and he shook his head yes. He worked on sit to stands in PT to work on sort of the midway point of sitting and standing. At about midway to sitting down he tends to flop instead of controlling it. Then this afternoon he was stretched on the mat. In OT he was stretched for about 30 minutes, but that's all the OT he got today. He did the standing frame and both the leg bike and arm bike. He continues to do well with bathroom breaks and only had 2 accidents today. He's also feeding himself about 50% of his meals, and could probably do 100%, but we just don't have time.

We got a visit from Eddie Graham today. He was in the area for work and stopped by. We had a good visit and Eddie said a great prayer before he left. We also received our first batch of mail at Pate...thanks to the folks in Munday that sent a special package of cards for not only Rick, but for the kids and myself as special! And the Vernon Daily Record from Devin and Sandra.

I met a very special guy today named Anthony. I've noticed him before because he always has a smile on his face. He was sitting with us at dinner today, and he asked me about Rick's accident and then shared his story with me. He looks pretty young...I'd say 21. He got in a fight with 3 other guys and was tackled and slammed to the ground. After the fight he drove himself home and went to bed...he woke up 3 months later! This happened a year ago. Part of his injury is that he smiles all the time...he can't keep from it...he smiles even when he doesn't want to. He assures me that Rick is going to be just fine. There are so many special people at Pate...and I don't mean special needs...I mean special.

And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it. John 1:5

God Bless,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

DAY 115

Today was a better day. I am a little frustrated by Rick's schedule, but I have plans of talking to his case manager about it tomorrow. I was told Rick would get 6 hours of therapy a day here, and we've been here a week and there hasn't been any day that he's gotten 6 hours of therapy. As a matter of fact he hasn't gotten any OT in the last 3 days except for retaping his left shoulder today (the femoral head is too far foward and they're trying to put it back with tape)., and I don't really count that as actaul therapy. Today he only got 30 minutes of PT because the therapist had meetings. And once again they expected him to sit at his desk and work on worksheets for 2 hours at one time...he does not like being in that little office and certainly cannot sit in there for a 2 hour stretch. I was able to stay with him most of the day other than about an hour. Dr. Dickson acted like a rehab tech would work one on one with Rick when I'm not there, but so far that hasn't been the case...they can't actually dedicate a tech to him full time. And Rick is just not at the level where you can tell him to do something and walk out of the room and expect him to do it. He was very tired today and is napping now...waiting on his shower. I have had to shower him myself the last 2 nights because the rehab techs are too busy with other patients to get to him before 8:30...I told them yesterday he needs to be in bed by 8:30, but they just can't seem to get to him, so I just do it myself. Right now we have 3 other guys in the house that require a lot of attention, and when there's only 5 techs the house it gets a little short handed. One of the guys is Walter. He is a Vietnam Vet and a retired Dallas police officer. You've heard of "Where's Waldo?" well, around here it's "Where's Walter" because he is always wondering off and has to have someone with him constantly. Then there's Dan. He's about 45, 6'3" and 225. He had a motorcycle wreck in February. He is very violent and last week hit one tech and threw another one down the hall. He is sleeping and in his room most of the time, but when he's awake...look out! The other one that's high maintenance is Fred. He had a car wreck 2 years ago, and although he's nice most of the the drop of a hat he's mad...mad at everybody. There's other folks here and I'll eventually tell y'all all about them as well.

I've always believed that God will fix any mistakes I might make in this journey. Coming to Pate may have been a mistake, and if it is, we have other options and we'll get this fixed. This may just be a bump in the road that is fixed in the next couple of days, and we're good, but if not that's okay too...nothing will stop me from making sure Rick is taken care of. And once again all things are possible with God.

We love and miss everyone.


Monday, October 12, 2009

DAY 114

Okay...I'm going to start with the bad and go to the good. Rick's day was fine, but mine was not so great. This morning Dr. Dickson who is the neurophsych doctor told me it was time for me to step back so Rick will be more independent & be pushed harder by the techs. I was told this would happen eventually, but I didn't think it would be so soon, and I didn't think it would be done so rudely. A little notice would have been nice. Anyway, we stepped out into the hallway, and Dr. Dickson suggested that I just come down and eat lunch with him. And I said, no, I was told it would be a gradual thing, and I'm not just going to bail out, and leave him. And by this time I'm crying pretty hard. And he gives me this spill about it's what's best for Rick and "we've been doing this for years", blah, blah, blah. So I told him I'm not questioning that they don't know what they're doing, I would've just liked a little notice. So, then he says, "We'll do it however you want to do you need some time to think about it?" OMG...I wanted to punch him...but I said, "no, I don't need any time to think about it...I think you know what the answer to your question is". After all he is the neuropsych doc, right? I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out what I wanted. Anyway, I put my big girl pants on and went and sat in the dining room, then got my computer and worked on some CPE. About every hour I went and checked on Rick. So, my posts may not be as detailed about exactly what all he's done in therapy.

Now to the good part. Dr. Konen's office called today and insurance approved the baclofen pump....thank you God...that is what I needed to hear. She will schedule the surgery and call me back, but should be in about 2 weeks. YEA!!! Both his OT and PT here at Pate asked me if Rick had had a baclofen trial on the first day they ever worked with him....and both of them, just like the folks at Baylor said it would be the best thing for him. I've been told there are several patients here at Pate with pumps, but because of confidentialty reasons, they can't tell me which patients they are. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time. I can't wait to see what Rick will be able to do with the pump.

Well, it's supper time, so we'll go see if it's edible! HA! If not, I'll make a Sonic run! Thanks so much again to everyone for your prayers and support. We'll get Rick back...we will. Praise God for all his good works, and wait for his time.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

DAY 113

Rick got up this morning, but then laid back down and took about a 2 hour nap. This house has been absolutely crazy today with visitors...too many people for this house. So, we went down to the rec center again. Norma and Edgar Schoppa were visiting their daughter Lisa and they stopped by to see us. The kids left at 5:00...this weekend they wanted to know if they could transfer to school at Anna and stay here with us. As tempting as that is, I told them that hopefully we wouldn't be here long enough for it to be worth the hassle of transferring. Hopefully we'll hear something from the insurance company about the baclofen pump this week, that would accelerate this whole process.

Let us always offer to God our sacrifice of praise. Hebrews 13:15

Praise God!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

DAY 112

Rick is watching the PBR right now, so you know he's enjoying himself. He had a good day. The kids came with my mom and dad and got here this morning. Riley brought Rick's hat to him and he immediately put it on. Then, she got out her clarinet and played "Mary Had A Little Lamb"...he clapped for her when she was done. This house got so crowded today with family and friends coming to visit everyone. So we went to the rec room. It's in a barn and has a pool table, fooz ball, air hockey, and plenty of room for the kids to run and play. Rick played air hockey with the kids and hit the puck pretty good. I was impressed with the way he would follow the puck down the table and try to hit it. Then, we had a nice visit with Greg and Tracy Ray. Cade was playing with Tracy's phone and found Tammy Hatfield in her contacts list. He looked at Tracy and said, "How do you know Tammy Hatfield?" It was funny. For those of you who don't know, Tracy and Tammy are sisters and Tammy teaches in guess who got a phone call from Cade? The kids and I went to Anna and picked up Sonic for supper. Rick ate most of a chicken strip dinner. We're still trying to get settled in and used to what goes on here...this is so different from the hospital. But we'll get it figured out.

It's always great to see the kids and it gives my sister and Stan a break. They have really taken on a lot...they've effectively doubled their workload by taking in our kids. Please keep them in your prayers...especially there's 4 females in the house!


Friday, October 9, 2009

DAY 111

Rick must be singing the song, "There ain't nothin' that can't be done by me and God" because he continues to do amazing things every day. As I'm sitting here typing, he is "talking" to me...I can't make out what he's saying, but he's initiating a conversation and has a voice to go with it! This morning we put him in a smaller wheelchair to see if he could peddle himself around, and you guessed it...he started peddling and turning the wheel as if he's done it before. By noon he was pretty tired, so I put him back in his big chair that's got a lot of support with it for the rest of the day. While they are working on putting his schedule together, we continue to have free time. His primary therapist has asked me to use this time to work puzzles and do some homework with him. The homework today was answering 15 "yes" "no" questions and he had to circle the right answer. The questions were things like "Is an attic underground?". He got all of them right except for 2. Then I had him write the #'s 1-10 on a sheet of paper. All were legible except for the #5 and after helping him with it once he wrote it perfectly. He stood in the standing frame for 20 minutes and was quick to let us know that it was really stretching his legs out. He walked about 175 feet in PT.

Praise God that all is good. There are so many people here at Pate that need a blessing. So many people that are in worse situations than we are. I continue to carry on my constant conversation with God, and I know y'all do too. Rick will get better and this won't last forever!

The kids will be here tomorrow, and I can't wait to see them. Hope y'all have a great weekend.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

DAY 110

Sorry so late, and I actually wasn't stuffing my face. I ran into Anna which is about 7 miles to go to the grocery store. I explained to Rick that I was going to run for a minute and was walking out the door...I turned back to look at him and he was watching me. I waved bye and he motioned for me to come back. He tried to tell me something, but I couldn't make out what it was, but I said "okay, I'll get it" and turned to go again...this time when I looked back and waved, he waved back. We had visits today from Glenn, Freddie Streit, and John Hogue and his wife and daughter Kristin and Casey. As far as therapy today, we didn't exactly have a packed schedule. He did the bike first thing and then we had about a 2 hour break. They gave me some tasks to do with him in his "office" which is a really small room with 2 desks in it. He shares it with another patient named Bob. Then he did speech, and played a game of solitare on the computer. He actually new exactly what to do with the mouse, and the game and had a little trouble clicking the mouse and dragging the cards right, but he actually moved a few cards to the right places...the speech therapist couldn't believe his initiation. He ate lunch, did the standing frame, finished up his OT evaluation, and walked a little in PT using the parallel bars. We had another successful potty run, and a couple of near misses. But it's huge that he's starting to tell me when he needs to go. Supper was nothing to write home about thus the run to the grocery store. He's patiently waiting for a shower right now and hopefully he'll sleep as well as he did last night. He got a longer bed and I never heard a peep out of him.

I don't know if y'all noticed the post from Kyler's Aunt Tanya, but Kyler did not make it to Pate. He had to go back to NM and needs your prayers now more than ever.

I get to stay with Rick and eat all meals with him...they said to make myself at home here. They are pretty strict about visiting hours just because of the close quarters in the therapy gym. Of course this first week nothing is set in stone since we are settling in, but usually he will be in therapy with no breaks from 9 am to 12:30 pm and 1:00 to 3:30. BUT if you are in the area, please come by...the visit may have to be short, but please stop by. If you can, plan to come after 3:30 or anytime on the weekends.

As Ronda would say, "Prayers are going up, and blessings are coming down" so, keep 'em coming! There are so many more stories for me to tell you, but I'll wait until another night.

God Bless You All!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

DAY 109

Well, our first full day at Pate was a total success! Dr. Carlile and the team said to expect a bit of a backslide just because of the adjustment to a new place...but Rick's not a backslider! He would've made Dr. C and all the gals at BIR proud today. We had our first successful trip to the potty today...that is HUGE! He had is OT eval this morning. His OT's name is Leah and she had a lot of time to spend with him. She asked him to take his shirt off...and with a little assistance and about 5 minutes he successfully took it off! And he's using his left hand and arm more and more. He was able to follow every command asked of him, and did a lot of tasks while standing in the standing frame. This has been another thing we worked on at BIR...standing and doing another task at the same time. He performed several tasks while standing today...I was so proud of him. He had his speech eval today too, and handled about 10 sips of water from a teaspoon without a single cough. He didn't have any voice today, but was able to get some good breath sounds. The other BIG thing he did today was write the # 2 on a piece of paper. The speech therapist asked him to write his name, which he tried and as all attempts before it's too small and scratched to read. But then she drew the # 2 and asked him to make one as was perfect! Then he walked with a smaller, less sturdy gait trainer. It had no harness support at all and he walked about 120 feet. He has really impressed everyone here. The other thing that is so funny is that at meal times we now eat in a dining room with everyone else, and although Rick has made several attempts to feed himself and does well, now it's like he looks around and sees everyone else feeding themselves and knows he needs to, too.

I figured today would be a dud especially after the rest he got last night which wasn't much. His bed was too short and his feet were hanging over the footboard. I didn't get any sleep either as I was constantly checking on him...just like having a jump at every little peep!

God continues to bless us and guide our path. Thanks again to all our encouragers.

Our new address is:

Pate Ranch
10057 County Rd 472
Anna, TX 75409

Attn: Rick Kieschnick West Campus

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard for out of it flow the springs of life. Put away from you false and dishonest speech and willful and contrary talk put far from you. Let you eyes look right on (with fixed purpose), and let you gaze be straight before you. Proverbs 4:23-25

I will post pictures ASAP!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

DAY 108

I'm back! Thanks Blake for getting me up and running...I owe you one or two or ten! We arrived safely at Pate around 11:30 this morning. We made it before the thunderstorms hit and I was so very thankful for that. Rick handled the trip well until we were about a mile away from the ranch and then he threw up...could be the bppv thing again, just something we'll have to keep an eye on. It was so hard to leave Baylor. Even though I know it's time to move on and Rick is ready for 6 hours of therapy, it's just very hard to leave such good people. And these folks at Pate have some very big shoes to fill! Rick did have one PT session when we got here. I filled out paperwork and answered the same stupid question "what are your goals for Rick?" that I've had to answer over and over again! I know they have to ask, but it just seems so obvious to me what the goal is. We made it over to the house (about 100 yards from therapy) at 3:30 and ate supper at 5:00. We are now sitting in his room just chilling out and getting away from all the hub bub in the house. He lives in a house with 15 other people, and although the house is big, it can feel like very close quarters at times. And I'm afraid I'm gonna have to get in the kitchen and do some cooking if our next meals are anything like we had tonight...Rick still needs to gain 30 pounds and this ain't gonna cut it!

Thanks to Sherry for updating the blog...hope y'all enjoyed her craziness! God really did have a sky full of angels watching over us today...highway 75 is no fun to drive and I was so glad when we got off of it.

Rick is tired tonight and it's only 6:30. Time for us to unpack and get situated. Thanks for you continued prayers and support. Keep the faith and keep believing. I see more and more of my old buddy Rick every day. We'll get there!

Love you all!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 107 by Sherry

Yes, it is me again!! Hopefully Crystal will be back soon!

I talked to Crystal earlier. She and Julie(her mother) were eating supper while Rick had a shower. Rick will be moved to Pate Ranch near McKinney tomorrow morning around 10:30am. Pate has their own transportation van which will pick up Rick for a 45 minute ride. Crystal and Julie will follow them. Pray Rick has a smooth transition to Pate Ranch on his way road to recovery!!
Rick had a great weekend. He also had a full day of therapy today. He will not have any therapy due to the move. I know tomorrow will be very emotional and a little scary.
Riley and Cade spent the weekend in Guthrie with Jody. Sammy took them out to the ranch on Sat afternoon. Crystal said that Riley told her, "Everybody in Guthrie still loves us!!" Isn't that sweet!! What great friends you all are to the Kieschnicks !!
I know Crystal will have the address to Pate Ranch ASAP.
God bless you all!!
Aunt Sherry

Friday, October 2, 2009

Day 104 by Sherry

Hello all it's Aunt Sherry again. Crystal received her card for her computer, but there was some problem with it! I am sure Blake will take care of it ASAP.

Today Rick had another good day! Thank God!
Rick walked with the gait trainer this morning in PT with Olivia, but he kept pointing to his left shoulder. They have been taping it lately and think it was probably injured in the accident. Because the gait trainer takes alot of effort to push-Rick only worked with it this morning. This afternoon in PT, he rode a bike. Crystal and Rick were very sad today because Rick's PT therapist Olivia will not be @ Baylor on Mon. or Tues. There were tears, and Olivia promised to keep in touch!! If you haven't met Olivia, she is an awesome therapist and has really pushed Rick.
In speech therapy, Rick was given sips of water out of a spoon. This is a big deal because everything Rick usually drinks has a thickener added to help keep him from choking. Rick handled it pretty well! Cool!!
POOL THERAPY AGAIN!!! In pool therapy, Rick had a floaties to hold up his head and waist. The therapist thought the therapy really helped with Rick's tightness(tone). I hope he didn't have those little orange kind of floaties we had as kids!!
Riley and Cade are staying this weekend in Guthrie. They are @ the homecoming game with Jody and Candace. I believe Sammy is going to take them out to the ranch so they go home for a little bit and hang with the TRR kids. I know everyone in Guthrie is loving on the Kieschnick kids as I type.
Please continue to pray for Rick and the whole gang!! I hope everyone knows how much your prayers, cards,and kind words have carried Crystal and family through these last 103 days. God Bless all of you!! Aunt Sherry

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day 103 by Sherry

Hey all Rick prayer warriors!! This is Sherry Smajstlra, Crystal's Aunt. Crystal is waiting for a new card for her computer which she hopes to receive tomorrow from her fantastic friend, Blake. Crystal said it is good to have a "Good IT Nerd Friend" around!!

Rick has had two great days in a row! He continues to walk in the gait trainer. Today he walked a total of 530 feet!! He is pushing the gait trainer on his own and mobilizing it by himself! His PT Olivia only had to keep his feet from crossing in front of each other. Yippee!
Today in speech therapy, he continued to try to speak. He said "HI" to Christina where you could hear his voice not a whisper! In OT, Rick also has had two productive days. He continued to help when he was getting dressed and had therapy with the hand bike.

The most exciting thing happened today-POOL THERAPY!!
Rick was a little apprehensive at first but he soon relaxed. He walked in the pool with weights on his feet to keep his feet from floating up. There is a bench in the pool, Rick sat and then would stand. He was in the pool about 20 min. The pool temperature is 90 degrees-you know Rick had to enjoy it!! Crystal was really impressed that there was a sign that said, "God is Strength" in the pool area. Christian music was played over the loud speakers in the pool area. Crystal said she wanted to stay there the rest of the day!

Please continue to pray for Rick, Crystal, Riley, Cade, Raquel, Stan, Tess, Addison, Gigi, and Jimmy!
I hope everything is clear, and Crystal will be back tomorrow!!
God Bless All Who Love the Kieschnicks!!
Aunt Sherry Smajstrla
PS Pray for Rick's next step at Pate Ranch!!