Monday, June 20, 2011


Two years ago today, our lives were changed forever. Before this happend I never really understood when people would say, "it feels like forever ago, but at the same time it feels like it just happened yesterday." Well, now I understand. It feels like it just happened yesterday because I can think back to that night, that phone call, that drive, that wait, that awful news, and the emotions are still as strong as they were that night. It feels like forever ago because of everything we've experienced in two years. I mean, have you ever had to set your alarm clock for 395 days straight? I did...I had to be at the hospital or rehab every day for 13 months solid...and I'm no worse for wear. The break last year was so awesome, lots of rest for everyone and we all needed it. The return to TLC in Jan of this year wasn't so great and once again coming home has been the best medicine. I can tell you what I miss about those first 9 months or so of Rick's injury...I miss the relationship I had with God...oh I still pray and stand on the promises he made, I'm still at peace and know he's got this. What I mean is the feeling of his presence right beside me...the intimacy of knowing him on that level is not even something I can put into words. It's the only way I survived...He really does comfort the broken hearted.

I am writing in detail what happened when Rick got hurt in a note on Facebook. I'm not sure how many notes it will take, but I'm writing it in parts and you know, it's a long story! I'll try to copy it to the blog, but I'm not sure if I can.

Nothing is impossible for God." Luke 1:37


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Has it really been a month since I've posted? Well, we got Rick home as you all know, and it was absolutely the right thing to do for his state of mind. He is happy to be here even though there are days we wear him out dragging him to all our activities. Usually at the end of the day he asks, "What do I have to do tomorrow?" And I'll give him the rundown of whats going on...some of it he can skip and stay at the house...he does pretty good by himself for 45 min to an hour so if I just need to run one of the kids somewhere he doesn't have to load up. The kids have been playing baseball and softball and we ususally find a spot in the outfield for him to park his wheelchair at and pull up to the fence and Rick will alternate between standing and sitting. And of course he socializes and enjoys seeing everybody at the ballpark.

He had a rough week last week and I'm not sure why. His tone seemed higher than normal even though we haven't adjusted the pump at all. He couldn't keep his balance just standing let alone walking with his walker. Tim noticed it at PT too. This week has been much better and I was reminded by a dear friend that Rick relearning everything is just like training a young colt...they are gonna have their good days and bad days. When we're at home he usually walks with his walker to the bathroom which is a pretty good ways and I may have to help him balance twice on the way there and back. He is getting much better at using his walker, but hopefully we'll be able to get rid of it soon. On the lot behind our house we plan on building the longest set of parallel bars you've ever seen. The thing about parallel bars is that its more of a natural walking motion since you can swing your arms as you walk and you can't do that with a walker. It's just something I can't get out of my head and feel like we need to get this built ASAP. Rick's cousin, Darrell, is going to build it for us.

Rick has been seeing Tim Nix here at the hospital in Seymour 3 times a week and will start back at North Texas Rehab June 16th. He may not be getting as many therapy hours as he was at TLC, but his attitude is so much better and that makes the quality of his therapy so much better. He's even sleeping better since coming home which makes all the difference in the world!

So, we just take it day by day, always keeping our eye on the big picture. God has provided for our every need and he holds the future in his worries.


Thursday, May 5, 2011


I know I haven't posted in awhile...truth is, it's been hard to find a whole lot to blog about. Rick has been holding his own, but continues to be frustrated by the daily grind of TLC. He's tired of people telling him what to do and when to do it. And, no matter how hard he works during the day, he can't catch a break in the evenings and it makes him really mad. Our DARS money will pay for about 48 more days, but we made a decision on Tuesday for him to be discharged...tomorrow! I don't see how keeping him there for 48 more days would be a good use of those days. He is flat wore out, still not sleeping well at night, stressed and missing home. It's hard to get better when you've got all of that working against you. So, we'll rest up a few days and then start seeing Tim again here in Seymour and hopefully get to go back to NT Rehab, too. I cannot tell you how relieved I am since making this decision. The team at TLC agreed...even when Rick does something or hears something funny or something he would otherwise enjoy, he doesn't have the energy to enjoy it. After seeing him on Saturday, I prayed and prayed for God to send me a clear sign about his rehab stay. I don't always ask for a clear sign, but this time I did...and I got 2. First, Riley woke up on Sunday morning and told me she had a dream that she and Cade took the golf cart in the middle of the night, drove it to Lubbock and busted daddy out of TLC! Then, when we got ready to leave, the passenger side back window in Rick's truck had been busted out...somebody tried to break in. These were clear signs to me that it is time for us to get out of Lubbock and back to Baylor County. I have always felt like we were in limbo with Rick in Lubbock and us in Seymour. Almost like we couldn't get on with our lives until he got home... and now we can. Thanks for all you have done for us and all the prayers for us. Praying that God continues to bless us and all of you as well.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

A couple of weekends ago the ABC Pro Rodeo was in Lubbock and TLC took the patients on an outing to the Sat afternoon performance. It was bittersweet for us. Rick enjoyed it, but knew several people there that he couldn't go talk the pick up man and the stock contractor. Two people he's known for a long time and, if he could walk, would've gone behind the chutes to visit with them. And all I could tell him was, "someday you will." Last weekend he was home and Kim, Phillip and Kelsey came by to visit. Rick walked outside when they left to see Kelsey's VW bug and we got a good laugh at Phillip riding in the backseat. My mom continues to spoil him and brought over buttermilk pie. Justin and Colby (TA's at TLC) stopped by on Sunday on their way back from Denton and had lunch with us. Rick has had a frustrating week...I'm not sure why, but he got really frustrated with me on the phone last night because I didn't call at 5:30. I know it's tough being there and he doesn't want to be, but geez, I never figured he'd get mad over what time I called. I talked to him again this morning and he was better. Last night when we went to bed, Cade prayed, "Dear Lord, Please heal my Daddy so he can get back to doin' the things he used to playin' catch with us, and kissin' Mama." I thought that was just about the sweetest thing I've heard in a long time! Cade & I are going to go to Lubbock tomorrow and come back late Saturday. Riley is staying in Seymour for the school dance and then on Sunday we'll be in Vernon for Doans practice and pictures. Hopefully Rick will have a 3 day weekend over Easter since TLC has a holiday on the 22nd...praying that will happen because that would really help his attitude. I have another prayer request. Rick's cousin Pee Wee needs prayer for his wife and new son born yesterday about 15 weeks early. He weighed 2lbs 2oz and is doing good, but has a long road ahead of him...and we sure know what that's like. And prayers make the road a lot easier. Thanks and God Bless! Crystal

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Being confident of this very thing. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. Phil 1:6 I'm starting the blog with this verse because I have to remind myself that God's not done with Rick yet, and more importantly Rick needs to know that too. This weekend he came home and we didn't do much...he rested a lot. But, each time he needed to go to the bathroom we walked...usually I push him in the wheelchair, but this time he walked and he concentrated on taking quicker steps. Sometimes he takes such slow steps that he's balancing on one foot for too long and of course he loses his balance. Weekend before last, we spent in Lubbock and we took Rick out to Blane Chapmans house. Blane had a project for Rick to work on. He had a hay ring that he needed the legs cut off of. So, he fired up the cutting torch and handed it to Rick and he proceeded to cut the legs and a metal wall out of the hay ring. It was great...he knew exactly what he was doing. After that Blane got the roping dummy out. Rick stood up and with Blane supporting him from behind he swung his rope trying to rope the dummy. I posted a video of it on my FB page. Rick even has a little smile on his face...he's finally proud of something he can do. It was the best day we've had in a long time and Blane is so awesome for making it happen. Other improvements made are that Rick got to get off of 2 of the meds he's been taking for quite awhile. So, that means he only takes 3 meds now plus his baclofen pump...when he first got hurt he was on 15 different meds plus a tube feeding! His left arm and shoulder are showing improvements especially since I specifically asked his OT to concentrate on them more than she was. I'm not sure if we are going to get to go to the Zion Bar B Que on Friday or not. Originally Rick's case manager said he could, but that was when she thought it was his weekend to go home...and it's not, so I'm waiting on a phone call from her to let me know whether or not they'll let him out. Also, our kids are going to be part of the court for the Doan's picnic and Rick is out that weekend, so he should get to come to Vernon with us for Doans...May 7th. Thanks everyone for your continued support. I can't believe how many people our blog has touched and the changes it has helped make in their lives. The music alone is awesome enough and I have to thank and give credit to Ronda Thompson for that! God bless you all! Love, Crystal

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We are on Spring Break and finally getting to unpack a little bit. I have been very fortunate that the school has asked me to sub quite a bit since moving in, but that also means I haven't had a lot of time to unpack. When I was packing this stuff up, I was in such a hurry and also not really emotionally ready to deal with a lot of things. Unpacking is a different story, however, and even the kids have had some challenging moments. I cried when I unpacked the picture that I took of the cowboys praying before a ranch's an awesome picture, even the horses heads are "bowed". Sammie framed it and put the scripture from Matthew 18:20, "For where two or more come together in my name, there I am with them." on the frame. I cried when I found the water jug Riley always tied to her saddle when she went with Rick, I cried when I found the book Rick was reading when he got hurt, "The Lions of Iowa Jima" and the book I was reading, Joyce Meyers' "Never Give Up" appropriate. And, man, my kids were so little...all their clothes are so small, and they look so little in all the pictures. I also know how blessed I am that these are not just memories that have to put away and mourn. We still got alot of living to do.

Rick had a first last week. For the first time since his accident he was able to swing his rope. He had given up on swinging it because he would get stuck and couldn't figure out how to get it all the way around. Sarah talked him into trying, and first thing, he swung it all the way around...and kept swinging and swinging...and smiling! She was so excited she called to tell me and I knew it was something good when she called, cuz her voice was about 3 octaves too high! We have increased his baclofen pump again, and it seems to be doing the trick. We have a team meeting on Friday and I can't wait to hear what the therapists have to say. We had a great visit from Guy, Tammy and Trinity Wilhelm this weekend. Guy helped me get a few more things unloaded and even got our lawn mower's been 2 years since it's been used, so I was surprised it started.

Thank you to Alvin and Rita Lingnau for going to visit Rick today. Alvin said Rick's face lit up when he saw them. He loves to have visitors so if your in Lubbock, please take a minute to go by and see him...he needs some encouragement, and he needs to know that he hasn't been forgotten. We also made plans for Rick to be at the Zion Bar B Que on April 1st...Alvin already got it cleared with Rick's case manager for him to get out of therapy early that day to make it to Lockett!

One thing I'd like to ask is for everyone to specifically pray for Rick to walk...we are getting close to the end of our rehab time at TLC and I want him (and more importantly, he wants) to be walking before he comes home.

Thanks so much for everything!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I know it's been awhile since I've blogged, but we have been busy around here. Busy moving in! We finally got moved in to our new house on Saturday. And we had so many people show up to help, I think I only carried one thing into the house. We even got the beds set up and stayed the night on Saturday. Rick was here and he pedalled his wheelchair from one end of the house to the other....wherever he wanted to go, he got there. I think he was a little overwhelmed and was really tired at the end of the day, but very glad to get this behind us. Now, I have a ton of boxes to unpack, but that's okay, I'm just so glad that we're able to have a home, because there were times in this journey that I didn't know if we ever would. We have never lived in town, so thats different, but luckily we're on a big lot away from the road and I aslo bought the vacant lot behind the house so it's not so bad. There is still not a horse on the place, so we're not quite back to where we were, but we are one more step closer.

Rick is doing so good. We had his team meeting on Friday and everyone had marvelous things to say about him...especially about his attitude and motivation. Both are much better and because of that, he has made a lot of progress. PT is now working with him on using a cane to walk. He was opposed to it at first because he sees it as a weakness, but we were able to convince him that it is just a part of the process. In ST he's working on his "s" sounds and just being able to get the volume turned up. In OT his money managment is a lot better. I can't remember if I told y'all or not, but he originally told the OT he didn't need to work on money mgmt because he's married to a CPA! Ha...he'll say anything to get out of work. His handwriting is better, too. We are still concerned about the range he has in his left shoulder, but hoping it will get addressed with an increase in the baclofen pump and some more attention to it.

We also got a visit from some one we haven't seen since Sept of 2009. Olivia Zokai was Rick's PT at Baylor Rehab. We thought she was so awesome...she was so intense and determined to beat the tone that Rick has. WEll, nowadays she works for Medtronic which is the company that makes the pump that Rick has. She goes all over giving seminars on tone and spasticity managment and she is a wealth of knowledge in this area. Well she had a seminar in Lubbock on Saturday and flew in on Friday night. We have kept in touch ever since we left Baylor and I have sent her videos of Rick along the way. She uses these videos in her presentations. Rick doesn't remember her, but was happy to see someone who believed in him from the minute she met him. It was wonderful to see her. Rick's therapists from TLC attended her seminar on Saturday and took the time to visit with her about Rick afterwards. Based on that, they decided to increase Rick's pump which is something I've wanted to do for awhile. I'm still amazed at how God works these situations out...even after all He has done for us, He still amazes me.

I don't know if y'all saw the comment from the last post made by Martha Marsh, but we met her in Dec '09 at Trustpoint and she transferred to TLC too. She has made an amazing recovery from her TBI and has discharged. She is another great example of how you can recover from a can happen.

Thanks again to everyone who helped us move in....I think Rick promised a few of you a case of beer and I'll try to make good on that promise! But, you may have to take a chocolate cake instead! Hopefully it won't be so long between posts! Love y'all and appreciate all you've've prayed us through this.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Went to Lubbock yesterday and picked up tired of Hwy 82 West! Before we left Lubbock I had to run by Home Depot (again) and when I told Rick he said, "you've got to be kidding me!" Sorry, not kidding...but at least it was a quick trip and he was able to sit in the car with Riley. He has been at TLC for 6 weeks and this is the first weekend that I can honestly say I see a big difference in how he is doing physically. When I help him walk or stand he uses me very little and his balance is great. And, yesterday his case manager told me that his attitude is a little bit better, so that is good to hear. Blane Chapman has been going up to visit him some in the evenings and I think that has helped alot, too...just having a friend stop by and offer some encouragement and just shoot the bull and tell re-ride stories is great for Rick. Today the kids have basketball games in Wichita Falls, so we will spend the afternoon over there. And then take Rick back to TLC Sunday afternoon.

Our house has been moving along, but we ran into a snag yesterday. The floors are stained and are now being sealed, but the second coat of polyurethane bubbled up when it dried and now has to be sanded off and reapplied. I am so amazed at how much a coat of paint and finishing the floors has made a difference in that house. Hoping we'll get to start moving some stuff in on Wednesday.

He's recharging in the recliner right now...aka napping! He's so tired, bless his heart. Can't wait to see what the next 6 weeks hold for us.

God Bless All!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I went to Lubbock last Friday and spent the afternoon with Rick and then we came to Seymour for the weekend. He got to see the progress on the house and also got to see his brother, Bryan. It was a great visit for both of them. Other than that, he napped most of the weekend...he was so exhausted on Saturday that he napped for a total of 4 hours. On Sunday we took him back and he did NOT want to go. When I got ready to leave he begged me to take him back home...even made the puppy dog face and said "please?" Oh, it's so hard to tell him no. He continues to climb his mountain, but he's not doing with a happy face on. This week he walked 430 ft and they have been working alot on his posture. He tends to slump and lean forward a little when he walks and that is causing most of his balance problems. But, just like anything else, he doesn't want to work on his posture...he wants to walk. And you can explain it all to him until your blue in the face, and he gets it, he just tired of hearing it.

The weather that blew in (and I do mean blew in) this week has brought all work on the house to a grinding halt. My brother and the other guys working on it all live in Wichita Falls and they got it worse than Seymour did. All we lack is painting trim and sanding and finishing the floor and finishing the kitchen cabinets.

Please continue to pray for our family. I know your prayer lists are long...I just can't imagine us making it this far and Rick giving up...that's my biggest fear right now is that he'll quit...which is totally out of character for him, but he's getting harder and harder to convince that he's getting better. We appreciate all you've done for us and will never forget it.

Thanks and God Bless,

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rick's attitude seems to be getting a little better. We spent the weekend with him in Lubbock. On Saturday he had therapy until 4 and was pretty tired, so he took a nap and then we got burgers (from Five Guys) and watched PBR. On Sunday we took him to see True Grit...he said it was pretty good, but you can't beat John Wayne. I thought it was a great movie. We had to take him back to TLC and head for home and he didn't like that, and told me he wanted to come with us. It's hard to leave him like that. Yesterday he got a visit from Phillip Graf and Tommy Burnett...that made his day a lot better. He asked Phillip what he was driving...I'm not sure, but I think he was feeling him out to see if he had enough room to load him up and bust him out of there! Later in the day Shauna (my college roommate) and her husband Nored went by to see him. It was quick visit, but it's so good for his attitude. When I called last night and asked how his day was he said, "well, it wasn't good, but it wasn't bad either." So, that is progress...usually he says, "it's the same ole, same ole" and often throws in an explicitive or two! He continues to walk without his walker every day...usually twice a day with only the help of his PT. And yesterday he went farther than he's ever been able to go at one time. I can usually understand him on the phone, but sometimes have to ask him to repeat a word, talk a little louder and occasionally he has to spell the word for me to understand. He would love to hear from everyone...the # at TLC is 806-281-5400 and it's best to call after 5. If you'd like to send him a word of encouragement, the mailing address is TLC, 4000 22nd Place, Lubbock, TX 79410.

We have started working on the house and have all the walls textured a couple of rooms painted. I've also been stripping and sanding the kitchen cabinets and am thrilled to see the beautiful pine that had been painted over.

Rick gets to come home this weekend so come by and see us if you get a chance.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oh, this is gonna be a long row to hoe. Rick is having attitude problems with all of his therapists except for his PT. So, we had our first team meeting on Friday and while they all had wonderful things to say, I also had to hear about Rick's attitudinal problem, and that was hard to hear. His OT has pinpointed some cognitive areas where his is still a little deficient. Nothing that can't be overcome, but it's things that he doesn't want to work on, so he just half-asses it when his in OT. His left arm and shoulder are coming along as well and he's getting his strength back in this left hand and arm. His ST is working on not just speech, but memory as well. His memory is pretty good, but still needs some work. His speech is great, especially when he's not tired. His PT says that he'll be walking from class to class with the assistance of a TA in about 3 weeks, and should be walking independently in about 3 months! WOW! We also met with the neuropsych doctor and y'all know how I feel about neuropsych doctors...a just put a wall up immediatly, and I can't help it. Basically he said that Rick is at a crossroads right now. The fact that Rick is self-aware (he understands his injury and just how bad it is) is a huge step in recovering from a TBI. And, self-awareness is a very complex brain function, but it's up to him whether he gets better or not. If he has a bad attitude its going to hinder his progress and Rick understands that, but still can't seem to overcome it. He was pretty mad at me yesterday when we left, and said I was mean for making him stay. So, I guess this is where the tough love comes into play...he'll thank me later.

We are working on the house and hope to be moved in about 2 weeks. This weekend Rick has to stay in Lubbock, so we'll spend the weekend there.

God Bless,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Well, I don't know where to start first. How about PRAISE GOD!!! First of all, we took Rick back to TLC on Sunday, stayed a few hours and came home. It was hard to leave him and he didn't want to stay. On Monday evening I called and he told me his day "sucked". On Tuesday evening I called and he told me his day was "sh*%ty" and that he wanted to come home. So, I went to see him on Wednesday and gave him a combo peptalk/swift kick in the rear. I got to go to his therapy with him just like old times and really enjoyed it. In PT he walked with his walker turned backwards so that it forces him to stand up taller and not lean forward so much. Then, Kevin (PT), took the walker away and had Rick walk with just Kevin helping him by holding on to his gait belt. Rick was able to go 30 feet and I was very excited. Then today I got a text from his TA, Justin, telling me that he had just walked 200 feet without his walker and he did 100 feet all at one time! This is CRAZY!!! How can it be? Am I that good at pep talks? No, no, let's give glory where glory is due! This weekend he has to stay in Lubbock, but doesn't necessarily have to be at TLC...he can get day passes when his weekend therapies are over. This weekend therapy is something new they've started since we left. I don't like it at all, but he has to get at least 6 hours of therapy between Sat and Sun. He is getting all of his done on Saturday so he'll be able to leave Sat afternoon and Sunday. If we lived closer we could actually come home, but 5 hours in the car is just not worth it.

More good news...I'm just about on overload with this good news thing...we are definitely closing on the house tomorrow. I wired the funds today and you know when they ask for the moolah it's a done deal! There are no words to truly express how I have felt today. And when I talked to Rick this evening he said his day was "good". Mine was INCREDIBLE!

We couldn't have done all this without you, thank for all of your support.