Tuesday, March 27, 2007


It seems the times are getting longer between post and I'm sorry. But the reason is good. Much is going on and we are all busy trying to regroup and make up for lost time, both with our lives and helping Jim each day.

The week-end, and Monday and today has been somewhat eventful. With waking up, Jim is discovering more items to mess with. Like his trach(he decided on Friday to yank it out. Sorry Dr Culp!) Bill Culp had just been so kind to put a shorter one in on Thursday. Fortunately, Joe, our son, was there to help; and fortunately, I wasn't! It was no easy task getting it back in. Mr Independence also decided to try to take a walk on his own and gave the nurse and I a good scare, not to mention aging me more than he already has. He now has a companion to keep him company at night.

Therapy is going fairly well, although he is having a lot of back pain so it's harder to walk for any length of time. His therapy team, Andy, Connie, Toni, Jolyn, Grace and Mike, have immense amounts of patience, skill and compassion. They treat him as they would a family member and we all see their dedication.

We have been able to enjoy a few outings in the courtyard, due to nice weather. I can't imagine how it must feel after being cooped up so long. Jim's smile blesses all of us and he already has most of his nurses wrapped around his finger... in the nicest way.

Jim's halo, for his broken neck, comes equipped with a wrench for emergency. I saw him eyeing it and trying to unscrew a couple of bolts. I forewarned the nurses he has a construction background and they'd better hide the wrench! They took heed. Dr. Young was summoned to make sure Jim didn't make any headway on his de-haloing project.

Yesterday, I walked in as Dr. Young was examining Jim's work on the halo and I pulled him aside to ask when he thought the trach would be safe to come out. "It's out!" he announced. Boy, things happen fast around there. Apparently the pulmonary Dr agreed with Jim and thought it should come out. (Surprise, Bill!) That husband of mine has always been one step ahead of his time.

One more thing to share. I was with him all afternoon on Sunday and he didn't utter a word to me. I was getting ready to walk out the door, said good by as I heard, "Where you going?" I looked back to see Jim smiling.

This truly is a walk of faith and surprises. God is so good.

Love to you all....please keep praying.

For those interested, I sometimes post about our journey on my own blog.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

An Easter Miracle

The miracle of Easter has never been more real to me than it is this year. The King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords has visited my life in the most amazing ways thru this experiance of Jims accident. He has, for reasons I may never know, chosen to show us in the most personal of ways, his power, might and deep love. Many weeks ago, I asked God to just let me see my husbands eyes. Not only did he answer my prayer, but in more ways than I can number, provided miracle after miracle, and love abounding. A week or so ago, Jason numbered the many answered prayers we received, against all odds. Many, many of you have been the angels arms of comfort, encouragement, love and practical needs. But today, I was given a gift for my heart, from God, thru Jim, to me. I heard the words, " I Love You," come from my husbands own mouth.

If you have followed Jim's story of recovery from the beginning, and the chances of this ever happening, you will celebrate with me this miracle of love. God is so good, all the time. Alleluia!


Monday, March 19, 2007

New things each day...

Our apologies for the length of time between posts. Dad is improving one way or another each day. Since the last post, here are a few of the things that have taken place: he has walked with a walker -- by himself -- from one end of the hall to the other; he has had his trach capped and no longer has extra oxygen used; he has started saying words here and there; and some of his words have turned into sentences.

We have been working on getting some of the more "automatic words" to come out with hopes that it leads to purposeful speaking. An example would be a phone conversation between him and one of us where we would say often used phrases like "hey dad, it's jay" and he would respond with "ya" -- it even got to "hey dad, i've gotta go, have a good night; could i please talk to joe" to which he would respond with "ok, goodnight" and then hand the phone back to joe.

Now, with all the good stuff comes some tough stuff. Over the weekend, dad looked mom square in the eyes and said, "I don't know what happened". He is finally coming to the realization of what is going on. With this realization comes tough stuff to deal with. Dad seems to be more down over the past few days, we are assuming that he is realizing what is going on and dealing with it. Please pray for his courage and encouragement to keep fighting.

Finally, there are some unresolved administrative issues that need to be worked out and we'd appreciate the prayers for wisdom. Thanks for your love and encouragement.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

afternoon adventure..

What a beautiful day it was! Andy, Jim's therapist, worked Jim hard yesterday. Connie, occupational therapy and Toni, speech therapy did, as well.

As I entered the room, Jim was resting on the mat. The energy he is expending to complete the simplest of task that you and I take for granted every day is enormous.

I have gone back to work in the mornings and look forward to rushing to the hospital each afternoon to see the latest progress. Yesterday, Andy had a surprise for Jim. It had been 55 days since Jim had been outside of the hospital walls. I had asked, and been given permission, to take him out into the fresh air.

As Andy got Jim back on his feet to complete the final stage of his therapy for the day, I could hear groans coming from his newly capped trach. This, also, was a new milestone. Capping the trach means Jim is breathing completely on his own. It also allows, with the help of a passover device, him to talk if he can. Speech therapy has worked diligently on getting him to form a word. As I sat and watched Andy get him in position for the parallel bars, I suddenly heard a familiar voice saying, "Oh, boy." I turned to look at my sons, Andy and Joe and new instantly, they heard it too. Praise God! All of the therapy staff responded. Yeah! It is the beginning of, hopefully, more to come.

With Andy encouraging Jim to complete his work, with the promise of a surprise adventure to come, Jim painstakingly walked the few necessary steps on the bars, then stepped up one step on the stairs.

Work completed, and back in his wheelchair, we headed for the elevator and down to the main floor of the hospital. I could tell from Jim's expression he realized something was different. When we reached the main door and wheeled him through it, the biggest smile came to his face!
God gave us a beautiful sunny, warm day to enjoy. We walked to the court yard and sat, just enjoying being alive. Of course I can't speak for my husband(nor would he want me to) but I believe with all my heart, he was thankful for the moment and breath!

Thank you Lord.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

great determination...

Today was very similar to most days at the hospital. Speech and Occupational therapy come in the morning/early afternoon to work with dad and then dad gets a slight break. After dads slight break, Andy(the therapist) begins to work with dad.

When i walked in, dad was sitting at a table with one of the therapist. She was trying to get dad to pull on a plug that is pushed into a hole, pick it up and put it in her hand. Dad was more interested in sleeping. This has been a normal thing in a way. She continued to try to wake him...he would open his eyes for a sec and then fall back to "sleep". He finally grabbed a hold of that plug and pulled it out of the hole....6 times! The therapist was very thrilled with this. When he was done, he rested for about 15 mins and then it was time to get up into his wheelchair and go over to the parallel bars. This is where Andy can lift dad up and dad can support himself on the bars. Dad did this several times and one time while he was standing, the therapist told dad that he could sit now...they even tried to help him sit, but dad was determined to stand. It was the look on his face that "this is killing me, but i am going to get out of here!" He ended up standing for 4 mins. This in itself is a huge task, but it doesn't end there. When they finally got dad sitting in his wheelchair, it was mentioned to dad that he needs to start using his legs and move himself around in the chair. Dad gave another look of determination and started moving his feet as if he was trying to move his wheel chair! This is a huge thing. That meant that he understood what was asked of him. This is great news.

Please pray specifically that dad will get very good rest at night so that he can work during the day and be awake. Please also pray that dad doesn't lose the determination and get discouraged. Be thankful for all of the progress that has been made! We will attempt to update you during the end of the week.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Work in progress

Today was hard work for Jim. His therapy team, Andy, Mike, Connie, Toni and Jolyn, as well as a few others,(sorry, not sure of every ones name yet) gave their best effort to help Jim start to recover some of his lost functions. When I arrived, he was sitting on the edge of the bed in the physical therapy room, surrounded by this marvelous team of people encouraging him to try to sit up and respond to simple commands. I am learning quickly that a brain injury is a complicated and frustrating recovery. God created us and our brain in such a way, no man can duplicate. Trying to fix or heal the brain without his divine intervention and blueprint would be impossible. These highly trained and dedicated team of people use all of their skills, creativity and muscle to help that process along. I am in awe of their skills,compassion ,dedication and sense of humor. There is no doubt, they care about Jim's recovery.

It is so hard to watch Jim struggle with the simplest of things, that just a short few weeks ago, he did without thinking. But I, as well as the rest of our family, am so grateful he is in the struggle. We have been blessed from the beginning of his accident to be surrounded by compassionate, highly trained, caring medical staff. While at Parkview ICU we were privileged to have wonderful nurses such as Tom, Randy, Linda, Chuck and many, many more. When Jim was at his most fragile, they nursed him as if he was their own. They also put up with our multiple questions, concerns, my crying spells and fears with much patience. There is no way I will ever be able to let them know how much they all mean to us.

May our mighty God bless each and every one of them for their dedication, skill and compassion.
If you happen to see one of them or have the privilege to be under any of the above mentioned staff, please let them know how grateful we all are.

As for all of you dear friends and family, I want you to know, we do not know how we would have survived the past 7 weeks without your support and love. I know we have said this many times but I can't say it enough. You are the best! And we are so blessed.

The days and weeks ahead will be grueling, trying to learn to live this new life. Jim has to fight to learn the tiniest thing, we all can do without blinking an eye. I know he has it in him, but it hurts so much to watch. I don't know what the future holds, but, I do know who holds the future and I will try to rest in that.

May God bless you, each and everyone.


God is Good

X-rays show no fluid today, no fever. Waiting on the results of other cultures taken, otherwise all is good today. Praise God!!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

New Complication

Yesterday Dad started to run a 102.6 fever, he now has fluid on his lungs. Because of the halo they cannot do the procedure to remove the fluid. Please pray for the healing of Dad's lungs and that his fever will subside.


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Watching the Grass Grow

This has certainly been a long process. As mom was told by the prior medical staff, Dads progress will be like watching the grass grow. We can all say that is true. We praise God daily for each little thing that Dad has accomplished.

Everyday we have friends, family, co-workers and neighbors that are part of our daily routines. We smile at them from a distance, hug some, talk and laugh with others and some we could be a little mad at for a moment, however that's our expected routine. We take for granted that any of these people that make us who we are, could tomorrow be missing from our routine of which then creates a void in our lives. Sometimes that void is easy to deal with while other times very difficult. We as a family are feeling such a huge void. We all are blessed that Dad is still a part of our lives and that we can hold his hand, tell him our day, laugh at a joke, watch a show or just sit quietly next to his bed, however the Jimism's, comebacks, words of wisdom and hugs are truly missed. I personally want to shout from the Chase Tower how much I MISS MY DAD!!

Dad had a way of making each person feel like they were the most important person in his life. Each child, grandchild, family member and friend has something that they shared with our Dad in their own special way that at this point is leaving a huge hole in each of their hearts. Although we all know that God works in his own time, and we all pray daily and thank God for the miracles that God has done, we wait with patience and impatience for the completion.

We are thankful daily for each new thing that Dad has accomplished. We watch the struggles and pain that Dad endures to regain his strength and his mind. This has certainly been an eye opener as to the daily movements we all take for granted such as getting out of bed, eating breakfast or just walking.

So to close I ask that we continue to pray, specifically for the void in each person out there that their heart be lifted with encouragement, that when we grow impatient watching the grass grow we are given strength and for Dad that God continues to keep his hand on him to endure the pain and frustration each day brings. We appreciate each and everyone of you that follows this blog, encourages our family and does the loving things that you do for us. You have all indeed been a testament of faith.


Saturday, March 3, 2007

Reflecting on God's Goodness...

so this morning i was laying in bed thinking back over all of the things God has done through this process. i thought that it would be good to remind everyone, so hopefully you will be encouraged. i am sure that i missed some things, but here's a start:

1) didn't know if dad would make it out of surgery --- he did
2) mom really wanted to see dad's blue eyes again --- she did
3) dad got some weird infection on his hand which the doctors said could be as fatal as the brain injury --- it just "went away"
4) there was a constant fear of high ICP numbers --- it subsided
5) he had a fever for an unknown reason -- went away
6) dad's blood pressure would not be controlled without IV meds --- became completely under control with other meds
7) after making improvement, doctor says "can't do the trach, we have no options" --- Dr. Culp was able to do the trach without any problem
8) we were told that dad was not a candidate to go to the Select Hospital --- out of the blue, they decided that he was a candidate
9) dad had to share a room once he got there with a man that was hard of hearing (his tv was on full volume all the time) --- dad got to be moved to a private room

Well, this is a decent list of problems that have been answered. I am sure that some have been left out. Praise God that he answers prayer. I am encouraged and as this process continues, i am reminded to continue to present my requests to Him because He will answer.