Showing posts with label Spinal Cord Injury. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spinal Cord Injury. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

For the boys

Cole got a replacement vehicle tonight.  Only problem is that it started smoking 10 miles from the dealership and they had to come back and get it.  There was a leak under it causing it, so we're thinking it could be the cooler line.  But, since it was a dealership, they paid for the towing and are keeping it a couple of days to fix.  I'm planning on asking for an invoice in case it doesn't get fixed properly.  I hope it was just bad timing.  We got a good deal on it and it was adult owned and looked well cared for inside and out, so I don't think there was any malice, just bad timing.  He's a little disappointed he doesn't have it yet, but hopefully it will be worth it in the end.  We're hoping this will be his vehicle for awhile and are putting full coverage on it.  He's helping pay for it so he has some ownership in taking care of it.  Then, when he's older and insurance is cheaper we'll transfer it to him.

Jaemin was told to go to bed tonight at 8:30.  Same time as usual when he stays home the next day, but he was in the middle of Ice Age, so I, as usual, gave into my little man and told him he could watch it a bit longer from his bed.  So spoiled my man is.  But school will start soon and he'll be introduced to the real world soon enough.

At the dealership....Cole's new baby.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Never crossed my mind

I belong to a support group for Tetralogy of Fallot (Cole's heart condition).  It's comprised of mothers-to-be with a diagnosis for her baby, parents of minor children (such as myself), parents of adult children and the tet adults themselves.

Mostly, I belong, for the same reason I keep up with adoption support groups, because you never know when something will change and it's the best way to find out.  Sometimes I pose questions to adults hoping for a glimpse into Cole's future, praying for evidence of a happy, healthy one for him.  Sometimes the other parents post asking about pediatric cardiologist opinions, and sometimes, mostly mothers-to-be post because they're terribly frightened about the diagnosis they've been given for their baby to be born.

First, I did not know Cole had this when I was pregnant.  I did have an inkling something was wrong with his heart because of a mistake the sonographer made by making a comment, but she obviously never followed up with my OB.  I'm glad I didn't know.  I see the extra worry these moms go through and truth is you cannot do anything until the baby is born anyways.  And few of these kids are born with such issues that they must be addressed immediately upon birth.  Meaning, rarely do you have to have the child born in a hospital with a PC on staff.

I had not even thought of this aspect until a mom posted last night asking if others' marriages were devastated by the disease.  Granted I was very young (almost 23) when I gave birth to Cole, but it never crossed my mind that this could be difficult on a marriage.  By the time Cole was born it had been 1 year since we lost our first child.  After finding out Cole had tet and breaking down for a few minutes until the PC ensured me Cole would survive, I was just happy to have a healthy baby.  Albeit, not perfectly healthy according to everyone's standards, but it was fixable over his lifetime and he was with us, so I was content.  I remember freaking out a bit when he would have a cyanotic episode.  God just must have been with me the whole way. Always, the words of his PC stayed with me.  Treat him like a normal child.  He IS normal.  I only remembered he had a condition when he was sicker than usual, which was rare, had an episode or we had a doctor's appointment.  I guess I took it to heart.  When the day for his surgery came I was very calm.  It never really entered my young mind to worry.  I don't know if God was just with me the whole day or if I'm just like my mom and put on a brave face, only reserving my worst for real crisis?

I answered this other mother back, but had to really think back.  Did his condition ever put strain on our marriage??  It's been a long time.  But, honestly, it never ever did.  The loss of our child did.  Our pregnancies did from time-to-time.  Brian's accident, definitely did.  But, Cole.  He never did.  For a second I thought, wow lady, you should be so lucky for this to be the strife in your life so awful to not have a marriage left after it.  But, then I reminded myself.  You never know.  Maybe she had a terrible husband who only wanted the perfect family (though this disease is far from devastating in most cases).  Maybe this really is the hardest thing she's ever been through and has never had any disappointment in life and didn't know how to handle disappointment or fear.  Maybe their marriage wasn't good from the start.  Plenty of couples, statistically, divorce when one becomes a paraplegic or quadriplegic.  It changes more than just abilities to walk, never running again or changing the way they can or can't do simple tasks.  I kind of have a glimpse into understanding these family's breakups and crumbles more than anyone I know.  At the  same time you never actually really know anyone.  We are far from what we look like on the surface.  And even though I share enough in common with these people to want to judge them, I have to remember there are commonalities between us, but plenty of differences as well.

Our marriage is far from perfect.  I pray my kids' handle their disappointments better than I do.  But, we have enough love in us to always fight and work through the things (not disappointments) that have been thrown at us.  Life will continue to change and hopefully we will as the right way.  Everyone changes as they age and grown.  When you go through such shifts in your core as we have and countless other families, it sends you in directions you never saw on the map you had outlined in your head.  That's when it's truly amazing that couples stay together.  I mean if you live in a fairly perfect world with little disappointment and unsolicited change, life's a breeze and marriage should be too.  But some don't just get a little ripple or bump, they get the whole earthquake.  Support those with the earthquake.  You never know when it could be you and don't judge them, or try not to, for the way they respond when they're in the middle of the 9.0.  It's all instinct.  And sometimes, some don't even respond in the middle.  Some are like me and they don't respond until all of the tremors and aftershocks are gone.  In the quiet, they realize their life has been turned upside down and they finally feel free to scream and be scared and try to find some control in their new world.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Vacation? Let the planning begin

So, we had planned to use my mom's timeshare for a little localish vacation.  Just something to get away.  With the crazy schedule of 2 full time working parents and 5 crazy kids ages 3-14 I thought we'd need it.  But, then mom said I could look into an exchange.  Hmmm....sounds interesting.  Well, we have a limit.  Brian can only take being in a car for so long.  He was kinda always that way, but even moreso after his injury.  His muscles get bound up, so-to-speak, and it can cause his neuropathy and spasms to get worse just sitting in a tight, confined area for so long...even with short breaks.  So, I looked to get over the first hurdle of distance since we can't afford to fly all 7 of us anywhere.  Then, after I narrowed it down to a day drive (long day, but only 1) I needed to narrow it down to places with a room big enough to hold all 7 of us.  There aren't as many as you'd like to think.  Not all 2 bedrooms are made equally according to their rules.  I thought San Antonio TX sounded interesting.  I've never been there and my last stay in TX was very short and I was only 17.  Looked like there was lots of free things we could do.  Mom didn't think she'd get this place, but she got an email the very next day that we could go.  So, YAY!  We get to vacation again this year and it looks awesome!  Without mom, I'm not sure we would have ever had a family vacation.  Even when there were only 3 or 4 of us, we had no money to take any cool, fun vacations and taking the whole night stay cost out of it makes an enormous difference.  We're still hoping she can get a suite for her and Joe, 'cause it's kinda fun all vacationing together.  But, we're still thankful for the chance for anything.

And, I know some people are thinking if you're trying to save for Korea so bad, etc. why are you going?  Well, here's my answer, in case anyone thinks it's there business.  We don't know if we'll ever really get to go to Korea.  It's getting to be more of a dream than a goal.  The plane tickets are getting out of range for a family of 7 on our income.  I mean, you have to admit that almost $2,000 a ticket x 7 is a lot.  Do I still want to try to go?  Absolutely.  But my point is that I also know how short life is after Brian's accident.  In case we don't get to go anyways, and the little we'll have to spend without hotel costs is minimal, we want to make as many memories as we can with the kids.  Soon enough Cole will be grown and gone.  There's a decent possibility Brian will continue to lose muscle function.  I know I am not the only one that notices his walking is getting harder for him and way more noticable that he is having trouble.  There is a reality that a lot of spinal cord injury patients that recover their function after their accident will actually end up losing it again.  Some people manage to make it 20 years before stenosis, etc. and some don't.  We're enjoying life and doing everything we can before what life did to him 4 years ago decides our borrowed time is up.  We do NOT want to regret a second and just wishing and dreaming our lives and our memories away and having no time left.  It's not like we have to take a loan out to do this, and we wouldn't if we did.  That would be irresponsible.  We're going to grab every chance we have to have fun together and are fortunate mom is giving us yet another chance to do something as a family on a limited budget.

So, I'm cautiously excited to plan our sight-seeing vacation and just chillaxin' by a beautiful pool for a week!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Site to List for SCI

I'm going to find a spot on the blog to list this site;

For the most part, Brian's spinal cord injury is just something that happened to him and, of course, our whole family.  Most people assume that because he walked again and regained some of his other motor functions everything just goes back to the way it was, a sort of normal, for our family.  But, any SCI patient or family knows that's not really true.  It's something the patient will live with for the rest of their lives and it's not a static state.  Meaning just because they gain it back doesn't mean it's permanent.  Brian has lost some very minor simple functions.  Mostly we noticed the right end fingers.  But, over time things can happen within the spinal cord because of the injury that can cause him to lose more of what he gained back those months after and in rehab.

I won't get all technical here, but I've known for some time that he, in all reality, will likely end up disabled in 10-20 years.  At our age now, that's pretty young.  I say disabled only because the job he is trained to do cannot be done if he loses function.  Thankfully, I think he may be able to find something to do at his current employer, just not what he does now, if he ends up with a walker or wheelchair.  Honestly, I tend NOT to think about this.  It makes me a bit sad at our lives changing once again.  But, I do know it could happen and keep it purged away so that the shock doesn't hit me like his accident did. 

Anyways, this site is a great site with lots of great information on spinal cord injuries.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sad Reality

Chelsi and I were just sitting here watching tv when she told me that her friend A was going to Disney.  I knew this already, but didn't want to tell her because I knew I'd have to explain.  I asked if she was upset because she's been BEGGING for Disney for awhile.  She REALLY wants to see the princesses.   REALLY REALLY REALLY.

She understood enough not to be mad, but she was sad.  I told her I already knew, but that we couldn't go because her dad can't handle that level of walking.  And if you want to enjoy the parks you're going to have to walk.  I know he could rent a wheelchair, but there's NO way he'd do that.  He just wouldn't go.  I never even broached the topic with Brian because there was no need to make him feel bad for Chelsi not being able to go.  She asked why he couldn't walk and I told her the accident affected his legs.  She asked me what accident?  I asked if she remembered Brian's accident.  I mean she was only 2 1/2.....literally 1/2 her age.  She said mean when he broke his neck.  She didn't quite understand that a broken neck would affect legs.  Not to mention how bad the nerve pain is for him and walking does NOT help that at all.

I hate this reality.  I don't hate that we can't go to Disney, but I hate that we have to rethink what we do or want to do because of what happened......oh my gosh....3 years ago tomorrow!  Don't get me wrong.  I'm completely thankful for it is instead of what it could be.  It's just the sad reality of it all sometimes.  And then when I really think about it I feel bad for forgetting to recognize Brian's ability to not whine, not say a word and get through HIS reality every single day and do construction work while he tired and his feet are burning.  I don't think you will ever see too many people like him.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's been one year tonight

I got the call that Brian had fallen playing basketball...almost at this exact time.  I was told to come to the gym, but not to be too worried.  Luckily, Jay's pretty calming.  :)  So I drug four kids with me to the gym where Jay sat with them in the van while I went inside.  I remember so well our friend Kevin saying he thought it was just a stinger like in football and he'd start moving soon.  Then the paramedics arrived and within minutes said he had to be flown to the hospital.  That started the tears.  I was terrified.  Lifeflight is never good. 

We spent the rest of the night filling out paperwork and waiting for MRI's and xrays to come back.  I remember an orthopaed coming in and explaining a bit of what he thought, but I had to wait 'til the next day for the official word.  I distinctly remember my dad and Nancy taking me to his house at 11:00 pm after visiting hours were over and crying so hard when he pulled into his garage.  I had family with me and everyone was still in my life, but I'd never felt so alone that night.  I had no husband and no children.  I think in the first 3 months of his accident I'd never gone through such a vast range of emotions in my entire life.  That was harder on me than anything.  I don't think our bodies are really set up for that.

In a way, with it being the one year anniversary I feel this weight lifted.  Like our bad year is officially over because of that.  Sounds silly, I know, but after his accident everything seemed to keep happening and adding to the stress.  I'm glad we're one year post now.  He's doing great for a year post.  It could be so much worse and we're all here.

Just can't believe it's been a year.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Life changes and rearranges

and you have to keep up.

I couldn't sleep anymore and didn't want to wake anyone, so I got out of bed.  I've been googling all morning for something to help Brian gain some more function/strength.  As I was doing this I was thinking about how much our lives have changed.  Not just since his accident, but ongoing changes.  I think outside of anyone's family/relationships people assume other people's lives are better than theirs or perfect.  I know I do sometimes.  It's, most times, impossible to know the complexities in someone else's life.  Never be too quick to judge that person's life.  I have realized, more and more, through our experiences that, like Brian told our son the other night, "if you think you have it bad someone else always has it worse".  VERY TRUE!

I know we have it good.  In the scheme of life and important needs and necessities we have it all.  I think others outside us would think we had a perfect life.  For the most part, a quick judgement would make our lives look extremely easy.  I know that others have had it much harder, but I also know the reality of our life and that it has NEVER been easy.  We've had to constantly adjust to our ever changing rules in life. 

When I thought we'd just get married, have kids and live happily ever after I was wrong.  I would never say life is bad; it's just constantly rearranging my thinking, goals and expectations.  The kid part came hard when our geneticist told us we would most probably not have mentally healthy children.  That was a blow that changed the way I planned to go about having or not having our children.  So, 15 years after she told us that we have 4 children.  They were never easy to have, but we have them just the same.  We just had to reroute our plans on how to have them.

When I thought we'd just have healthy children, I was wrong.  I thought mental health would be our own real obstacle.  When Cole was born with Tet, I was devastated.  My healthy boy wasn't healthy.  He never will be a perfectly healthy child.  To us he is, but when you can't even get him nonrated life insurance you know society doesn't consider him perfectly healthy. 

One more boy with a birth defect, subsequent surgery, and two adoptions later Brian's accident takes the largest toll on our lives.  Our lives have been changed and rearranged for 15 years.  We should be used to it by now, but you never get used to it since it's, obviously, never anything you could plan for.  Not the stuff we've had.  I mean, I can handle sick kids, multiple UTIs on one, annual heart care of another, the 4 surgeries between 2, the birth related issues of another and yes even the seizure, but Brian was hard.  I don't know what it was about the accident; the threat of life, life as we knew it, being separated involuntarily?  I don't know.  I just know we've always been able to work our way through the other stuff with, relatively no issues.  Maybe it's just because those other issues, though large to a lot, they weren't.  We adjusted, we grew stronger.  And while, "we're" fine, it's been a long road and we've still got some road to go.  It changes the way you look at each other.  Your dreams in life become different.  How can they not?  You see your spouse go through something at a, young age, that is hard to watch.  Very few know the residual effects left from the accident.  Most people assume he's 100% again because outwardly he looks that way.  No one knows the hurt he has for himself or I have for him because he doesn't think he'll ever run again or have a comparatively normal muscle strength in areas he's lost.  It's changed what we worry about, think about, dream about. 

He's still new to SCI world.  One year post-injury isn't that long, but when you're in construction and strength and movement is your livelihood, it's a tough one to deal with.  You just want it to be a little more normal everyday and when it stops improving or is improving so slowly you can't really see it, it's harder to take.  We work so hard at our marriage and kids.  Part of all this makes us stronger, but I can't help but think part of it makes me weaker.  I'm a worrier by Type A trade, so this gives me more to worry about through life.  It does make us parent differently, which can be better.  I just hope God gives us the grace in life to continue to deal with life-long changes such as the ones we've had.  I pray He shows us what to do and others continue to give us the chances we need to make it and continue with lives as we knew them. 

And I pray God gives others the chance to see past the outward appearance of someone's life and realize that no one's life is perfect and they are more blessed than what they think.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More good news..

Brian went to see his surgeon this week.  It’s been 7 months since the accident and he said the film looked great.  He said it looks like the graft is taking really well.  He has to go back in 6 months to see him and in 1 year to see the physiologist.  He seems to think that in another year he won’t be able to tell he had an accident.  That’s truly amazing!  I mean right now his fine motor skills are still behind and his strength is just over half way to full power….80 lbs in each hand.  We were told normal male is 125 lbs.  Since he’s construction, she said he was probably more originally.

Even if he’s never perfect it’s all so amazing how well he’s done.  I’m in awe at what God, prayers, luck and hard work can do.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Have you counted your blessings today?

I was just reflecting on the past six months this week.  The 14th marked 6 months since Brian’s accident and I was thinking about how much we’ve been through in these past 6 months and how friends, family and even strangers have crossed our paths and made a difference in our lives.  I know so many days I, personally, would not have gotten through without some of these people. 

Some of our friends and family and yes, even strangers, gave us some spare cash and gas cards to help us through as we paid for medical deductibles and expenses to see each other during Brian’s hospital stay.  It’s pretty hard on the kids to be 45 minutes from their father on a daily basis for 6 weeks by no choice of anyone of us.  I will never forget the night Meg brought the kids up so I could visit with them and then she could, in turn, visit Brian.  She suddenly came back down the elevator and said Brian needed me NOW!  That was the story of the nurse from hell…..if you remember from our caringbridge site at the time.  I had to run upstairs suddenly and it left Chelsi screaming for me in the lobb of the hospital.  She hadn’t seen me in a couple of days, just phone calls to say goodnight.  I was crying on the walk to the elevators.  It was about 9:00 pm and some young girl sitting in the lobby grabbed me as I was getting on the elevator and said “I thought you could use a hug”.  Such a simple gesture that still brings tears to my eyes today.  Such a nice thing for a stranger to do.  She recognized the pain my family was in.  I have a friend who I called while staying at the hospital one morning.  I told her I just needed someone there with me and she dropped everything to come.  All of this means the world.

We also had friends who drove me to see him once I returned home.  It may not seem like much, but I was so exhausted with parenting, working full-time and worry that I don’t think I could have safely made it on my own.  My mom or sister road with me and the kids on the weekends so I could have help with the kids….since again I was worn thin.  Some people brought over food.  Such a blessing I’ll tell ya!  Some friends even bought Brian clothes to wear for rehab, so he could really workou comfortably.  Brian’s work….they were nothing short of awesome from the administration to his co-workers.  He’s been there for so many years, but that doesn’t guarantee treatment like this in bad times.  They made sure his insurance stayed in place, co-workers donated their leave time to get us a paycheck and they let us use his work cell phone (I only have Tracfone) to enable Brian and I to talk to each other every night once I returned home.  The ability to communicate with my husband during this was a gift!

On top of this, we had so many prayers.  We had prayers from so many across the United States.  We had heard about him being on prayers lines everywhere.  Even the rehab facility wondered if it wasn’t those prayers that allowed him to recooperate the way he did.  People we didn’t even know took time out of their day to think of us and pray for our family.

I think it’s his accident that made Cole’s appendectomy and Chelsi’s seizure, just four months later, both stressful and easier for me to get through.  I was terrified through Chelsi’s seizure, ambulance ride etc., but most of that fear may have been because we were so far from home. 

It’s so true that you don’t know who your friends are until you really need them and they’re either there or they’re not.  They’re there to take care of you and your kids when your husband can’t, give you rides when you just can’t do it, nurish you and your children and just be there.  We had no idea how rich we were in friends. 

Do what you can for your friends when they need you.  They will never forget the little things.  During those times, it’s the little things that really count.  We have a lot of blessings to count in our lives.  Six months of stress and six months of blessings.

Count yours.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Journal (and comments) from Brian's Caring Bridge Site

Photos from this journey

In the hospital, three days after surgery.


6 Weeks Post Injury and 5 Weeks Post Surgery - Rehab Release


The pup (Lucky) that found us.


Identifying Info from Comments Have Been Removed.


Welcome to our CaringBridge site. It has been created to keep friends and family updated about our Brian.  This week has just been the week from %@^^. We're slowly getting through everything, but it's difficult. Brian was playing basketball one week ago, as he has for the past 15 years or so, mos Monday nights. He got his legs tangled with another player when he went in for a foul and hit the wall (there was concrete down there and no pads). He was life flighted from there about 1/2 hour later and arrived at the hospital within 15 minutes of lift off. Upon arrival to the hospital, we found he had crushed his C5 vertebrae and fractured his C6 vertebrae. He was supposed to have surgery the next evening because his improvement had plateaued, but he was bumped due to emergencies. In the mean time he, very slightly, improved and the neurologist decided to wait until Friday instead. So for 3 days Brian laid flat on his back letting the trauma to his cord heal a bit and wait for surgery.His surgery went off great on Friday. He now has C4, 5 and 6 fused together. The surgeon, at this point, is thinking he won't need a second surgery for that fractured vertebrae, but they'll do another xray in a couple of weeks to make sure the fusion doesn't slip. So we're holding our breath. Up until late yesterday, the movement he's had has been; full usage of his left leg, his shoulders, elbows and wrists.Pray for us all as we go through this and pray for complete healing of my husband and the father of our four children. We all desperately want him back home with us and miss him terribly.Lisa
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TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2008 09:57 PM, CST
This CaringBridge site was created just recently. Please visit again soon for a journal update.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2008 10:08 PM, CST
Brian's right leg began moving yesterday and a little more today. Still no control over his foot or toes on that side, but his knee bends and with a lot of concentration he can move his leg over a little. Still no improvement on his fingers, although he can squeeze just a tiny bit on his left and can now pick up a large roll of gauze. PT and OT came in today finally, since he didn't get to go to rehab as scheduled and worked him over a bit. He sat up for 25 minutes, which they say is outstanding. They seemed to be very impressed by both what he can do and his determination to do more. I pray that the muscle spasms, tingling, etc. in his non-moving limbs are a good sign as everyone says they are. By the grace of God he never lost feeling, but does feel a little numb in some fingers and toes (furthest extremeties). Everyone says all of this is to be expected.We're trying to remain optimistic that he'll be home soon and be able to settle into our lives once again.Please continue to pray hard for him as he goes through this. He will have good times and bad as have I. They've told us this is normal and we need to lean on others when it settles in on us. I just want my husband home, but know this rehab is his best chance at regaining functions. Now if insurance would just review the stinking request so he can leave the hospital for the rehab hospital, life would be good.Lisa

We got to talk to him tonight. My dad was there and held the phone for him. He said he's all settled into the center and we should find out next week what the game plan is. Tomorrow is more evaluations and tests and Friday he begins his real work. I asked if there was any improvement and he said he is moving his right leg with a little more strength, but still has no strength to pull his right foot up if it drops.He got to talk to the kids tonight and it does all of us good for that. Chels actually had a little bit of a conversation with him. They did their usual animal sounds together. It's starting to hit her harder. The rest of us are just trying to pass the days until we can see him. I get to see him alone least that's the plan. So, if you're reading this and planned to go up Friday night, please don't. I just want to sit with him alone. The kids will come up sometime this weekend. I'm not sure which day, but they will spend a good amount of time with their dad as they both need.They did tell him today he would walk again. No one's sure how well, but he will walk. As usual, they say the hands and fingers are the last to come along, so we must be patient, but it IS hard!For now, we just wait for the day when we can all be together permanently and not a disconnected family.Please continue to pray for his progress. We live for these little changes.Lisa

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2008 10:36 PM, CST
As you can imagine the last couple of days have been terribly busy and I try to spend them with the kids and on the phone with Brian. We're making the most out of little time.As of yesterday, he had a full evaluation and they let him walk with a walker. He said it was really hard and he was mostly stumbling through, but it's progress nonetheless. His right leg's muscles are extremely week so they don't support him very well yet. I got to see him tonight and he looks really good. It's nice to see him not hooked up to things anymore and sitting up. He's in a manual wheelchair, which is great. They're giving him a good work out for him and, in my opinion, a manual means he has a ton of potential or they wouldn't be doing it. He said he's pretty darn sore tonight. All of his muscles hurt and he definitely feels them. We've probably got a long wait for the nerves to his fingers and toes (on his right foot) to grow back and/or heal. I think he's learning way more about the body than he ever thought he'd have to know. He was able to give me a hug as soon as I came in tonight and that felt really good. We really don't do anything other than hold hands and talk, but it so nice to do that. I know he's hurting in so many ways right now. I know he's physically hurting and I know he misses us and I know he worries because he knows I'm sad without him. I miss him terribly and it doesn't seem to get easier. I'm thankful I have him coming back to me as so many people don't in worse situations, but at the time it doesn't feel so good. He's worried 'cause he knows I can't eat right now and I'm trying my best, but my nerves are a mess. I try to be strong, but I'm completely exhausted! It's not easy, even with the help from grandparents, getting kids fed, bathed, house somewhat kept up, bills paid, go to work and try to get time to talk to your husband. I know, again, that there are others who have it worse and I know it's for the most part temporary, but it's still my own reality that I have to deal with for now.I had to tell him tonight that I can't come up alone at night anymore. I want to spend time alone with him, but the drive tonight was hard. I was so tired after work, it was a miracle I made it there and then leaving is hard and even leaving at a decent time, you're just too tired to drive for an hour. I'll have to go up with others so I can see him a couple of times a week. I don't want the weekends with the kids to be it.But, in case anyone was wondering, this is where we're at right now. Thank you all for your prayers and the unbelievable help we've been getting. All of the little things are meaning so much to both Brian and I so we can relieve some stress that we both very much feel. Please keep the prayers coming!Lisa

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2008 09:21 PM, CST
Mom and I brought the kids to see Brian today. They had a hard time sitting around for 4 hours, but I wanted to really let them spend time together. The girls got to sit with him for a bit. I think it did Kae a lot of good. We got to go to one of his therapy visits, which was nice to see what he has to do, but this was a very light one since it was the weekend. I think his right leg is getting very strong, but he said it feels terribly week and definitely cannot support himself on it. I had my leg next to his while he was in his chair and I started knocking my knee against him and he started knocking me back pretty hard. I've never seen anyone with a more positive attitude or someone who tries harder to get better. I always knew he was strong. I got to lay in his bed with him for a little bit today and for just a bit I forgot what was going on and everything felt okay. Then when you go home you realize that it's still the way it is and it does make you a bit sad. After being away from the house for almost two weeks, I worked tonight to get it the way I like it. It makes me feel better. Laundry's actually almost caught up. Mom has done some laundry while I was gone or the kids wouldn't have a stitch to wear. I finally set foot in a grocery store for the first time in two weeks. The boys and I just picked up some quick, easy, healthy snacks that won't go bad. It's amazing now that Brian's not here to eat and I'm not eating much how quickly things go bad. Thanks again to everyone's support. The cards, emails, etc. have been very uplifting. I haven't had time to get Brian to a computer to let him read, but I hope to this week and I think he'll be amazed! We appreciate everyone we've been able to lean on during this time. We wouldn't be able to get through it all without you and we love you all for it.Keep up the prayers. They seem to be slowly working and we'll take all we can get.Lisa

MONDAY, JANUARY 28, 2008 08:35 PM, CST
I will be seeing Brian tomorrow evening (thanks Mic for the ride). I talked to him for a bit today and this evening and he's doing really well. He made some pretty darn good progress today and though we know progress of this magnitude won't be a constant we're extremely thankful for it.He said that when he was walking with the walker at therapy his PT asked him if he was really using the walker. They weren't so sure he was so she put a safety belt on him and he walked on his own. He said a couple of times it was iffy, but he thinks he walked about 60 feet. He promised he'd count the tiles for me tomorrow. :) His right knee is hyperextending since he doesn't have the greatest muscle control yet and his foot still drags, but it's slowly getting better. He said he's even got a little more foot and toe movement on his right today.Brian also began getting out of his wheelchair to a standing position on his own, getting in and out of the simulated apartment bed and even on and off the toilet. Soon, he might get to try all of it for real, which is going to be awesome. He said his fingers on his left hand are moving a little more. He has enough grasp to hold a fork without the handstrap. To honor his wife's wishes he will use the handstrap on his right hand tomorrow to begin trying that. However, they said today he has no triceps on his right side and they can't feel any muscle movement for what should be pulling his fingers. We're still hoping something will come back with time, but there's no given.For his injury, at this level, he has done outstanding. We're very fortunate for what he has gotten back and as quickly as it has come back. A lot of people who get this sort of movement back takes months to do so....not days. I found out his ASIA score was D, which is unbelievable. That puts him at better odds, which may explain his recovery so far.Please continue to pray as we know they're working and we're living for them. His little updates to me (as little as they sometimes are) is what makes my day. When I talk to him for a few minutes my worries don't feel like they're quite so overwhelming. I'd like him back, but I know this progress there is going to continue and we have to do without him a bit longer for him. Pray hard....storm the Heavens.....He'll listen.Lisa

TUESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2008 09:49 PM, CST
I have nothing to update as far as Brian's progress. He's pretty much the same as yesterday, but I got to see it. We're keeping up the hope that someday most of his function will return, but only God knows and we have to trust Him to take care of us.The reason I logged in tonight is to post our little financial miracle. This may not sound like a lot, but it was too ironic not to post. Brian's car had an antifreeze leak and the week he got hurt was when it was supposed to get fixed. Jay brought the car there for us and we found out it was worse than we thought. The radiator also had a leak. Our mechanic called me today to let me know the car was ready and it was $599.98. Today, and I kid you not, various people gave us cash to help out totalling $600 even. This was just a little reminder to me that He is watching us and will take care of us. I just have to keep my faith even as hard as it's being tested.Keep praying.....He's listening.Lisa

THURSDAY, JANUARY 31, 2008 08:08 PM, CST
Nothing major to update. Brian still says he's getting stronger everyday. He did get some pool therapy yesterday and he said that felt really good and gave his muscles a good burn. Everything from here out is such a wait and see. Wait and see what comes back. Wait and see how strong. We're all trying to wait patiently.Things on the homefront have been good. We're getting into a new routine and everyone's been great about bringing food. I think I have food for the next few days which makes our nights so much easier. The kids are doing good and of course, we have Jay and everyone else to help out. Hopefully the next 3 weeks will go quickly and be very productive for Brian.I taped Oprah today and it gives a lot of hope to hear Kevin Everett's story. I know his isn't exactly the same in that they explained his vertebrae were dislocated and Brian's were shattered, but Kevin's were higher (C3/C4) and trauma to the cord is trauma....overall. I hope Brian comes out as functional as Kevin. I was really surprised to see the amount of movement Kevin had. Of course, being a football player probably gave him a good up on getting great therapy. Hopefully, the next months of Brian's will be as good.Keep praying.Lisa

We got to go see Brian today. His fingers on his left hand were amazing. I have to admit I was a little disappointed Tuesday. I don't know what I was thinking, but I guess when he said they moved I expected a lot more than was really humanly possible. I just wanted it so bad. But, today, they really moved. He could move them individually!His right side (fingers and triceps) are still not responding. They're going to start trying FES this week and see if his fingers will eventually respond. This electrical stimulation will send a signal to his brain that there are still limbs there that need to move. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't, but we're remaining hopeful. He looks good and was giving Megan a hard time, so like she said, he's back to normal. He's having his annual Super Bowl party tomorrow, just a little smaller and in the hospital. I'm not going, but his buddies are and it will be nice for him.We've had some kinks at home as well. You know how it is....when it rains it pours. Our daycare emailed to say she needs the kids picked up by 4:15 daily for awhile and well, that just can't happen unless I rely on other people daily when I pay her daily for a 'til 5:00. Because of that the kids will be going to Brian's moms. She has agreed to take them and help us out. I went back to our daycare to get our February check back (for the entire month) and write a new check for two weeks notice and she said we owed her two weeks vacation on top of two weeks notice for vacation she's never taken in two years. We've only been there for 18 1/2 months. Not to mention I have taken off for her to be off. At least now, we know where the kids will be daily and we have no worries. That in itself, is worth a lot.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 04, 2008 08:40 PM, CST
Still no changes as far as what's moving, but he had his cath removed today. Now, they're really bladder and bowel training. He's no longer hooked up to anything, which is great for the chance to have independence again. So far today, his nurse told me he's done really, really well! Three weeks on a cath is hard on the muscles in the body. He said he asked the PT how far he walked today and she said about 1500 feet. That's a long dang way. After he walked all that she put him on the stair climber and he said it didn't kick his butt this time, so he's obviously getting pretty strong. They did FES therapy on him today. He said his muscles reacted in his fingers and triceps, so we have to just wait and see. Hopefully, one day, they'll come back, but there's no way to know. I'm bringing his disability continuation papers up this week for the doc to fill out. That will keep that coming for a bit longer....depending on whether the doc says he's partially or fully disabled and for how long. We fully trust the doctors there and they seem to know Brian's potential, so we go with it. In any case, he'll be home soon and we can get on with phase 2 of our lives with SCI.Lisa
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We had a family team meeting today. This included Brian and I, the staff pyschologist, PT (the OT was sick), the attending and the resident, as well as his primary rehab nurse and case manager. We got to ask any questions we had and they told us what they thought so far. His injury is just over 3 weeks old and every one of them are amazed at the progress that has already been made. The doctor said it helps a little that the impace was running (basketball) and not thrown, such as the speed from a car. But, the trauma can be similar. He's coming out at a fairly quick speed as far as gains. The doctor also told us that 100% recovery is not a reality with SCI, but he feels 90-95 is well within realm of reason for Brian. He felt he was already at 70-75% with still 2 1/2 weeks in therapy to go. He will NOT have to return inpatient. He can continue everything at home because he's doing so well. He just has to return for some follow up visits. We don't know the meds or DME products he'll need yet. They have an idea, but until closer to discharge they have a lot of possible changes. The PT seems to think he'll need very little as his endurance is very high. Balance needs a little work, but she said it's improved drastically in the last week. They're already testing him on uneven walking surfaces and stairs. He rides the stationary 3 miles and still uses the stair climber and other therapies after that. That's more than I could do.They told us it's going to be another adjustment when he arrives home because this has been the biggest thing to happen in our lives, but they obviously don't know us very well. I don't doubt things will change, but we will make things work. Not to mention the support we have. I doubt everyone has the support we've been given over the weeks. Now for the big news. Don't get your hopes up too far because it's really early and weak and there's just no way to know if it will progress, but we think there's a good possibility. He moved his right fingers last night and more today. I got to see them and his thumb took a lot, but it moved quite a bit. His other fingers are starting to curl when he wants them to a little as well. They thought today his tricep might have moved, but they're not 100% sure on that one. It could have been his shoulder muscles as they're extremely strong, but they think it was his tricep waking up. This is big. He has almost every muscle doing at least something and this is very early in the game, so this gain is HUGE!He will have a lot of strengthening to do once he gets home and I have no doubt he will work hard. Hopefully, he can even start driving once his neck brace is removed....that's what they're telling us at least. No plans for the future, just day by day.Lisa

Oh, just so anyone who plans to visit knows. He won't be there on the 16th. We're taking him out for the day.

Little miracles today. Nothing to do with Brian's progress, but calls I got that made us happy. The girl that normally cuts his hair, called to see if she could cut it while he was in the hospital. She said she'd be in the area anyways and has done this before. That's great, 'cause he's late! :)I had to call Brian's work to find out what insurance they were going to have in March. The long of the short is that they were getting ready to change companies in February, but due to the accident they kept the coverage for another month to cover his inpatient rehab. We knew this coverage was expensive for his employer so they were going to go ahead and change in March so that's what his outpatient therapy, etc. would fall under. I called today to get his outpatient stuff going and they are keeping the same insurance for the rest of the year to help us out. This means he's met his deductible already. Luckily, me and the kids are on mine, so he just has an indivdual deductible, so this is BIG. This was such great news to hear. They are really doing everything to take care of us and a lot of employers would not do this. They, of course, were thrilled when I updated them on his progress.Then, last night I had mentioned to a guy he works with that we need to get Brian a new lab pup for while he's home for a couple of months to keep him busy and it would be great training/bonding time for a new duck dog. I said I'd been looking for a free one, but hadn't seen one yet. Chris asked what color and I said black, just like our older one. He called today to tell me that when he walked into clock in there was an email hanging up next to the time cards that said there was a 10 week old black lab that needed a home ASAP or it would be put down. We're picking him up tomorrow! I hadn't okayed it with Brian yet, but I called tonight to make sure it was okay and he was thrilled! He's been wanting a new duck dog for awhile and he said even if he's not trainable he loves the idea of having a pup around while he's home. This will be good for all of us and I think the pup needed us as bad as we needed him.So that's today's update. A little different than the usual, but it's interesting to watch God's work here. It started off so bad and we were all so scared and it's working things out in different ways. It always has before, I don't know why I worry sometimes, but I guess it's human to be scared.God is listening.Lisa

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 08, 2008 09:28 PM, CST
Go to the photos and check out Brian's therapy for when he gets home. The close up isn't a great picture, but he's a great looking pup. He's gonna love this dog.Lisa

We're dwindling down on visits...YAY! Anita brought me up tonight, but she didn't lie about going to Sam's (Mic). He's getting really excited about our day out this weekened. More excited about busting out next week! He did squeeze my thumb with his right hand as I always have him do.....I don't let him squeeze with his left anymore 'cause it hurts like you know what. I could actually feel the squeeze with his right this time.He said they're sure his tricep is starting to work. He can't completely keep his hand from hitting his head if he raises his arm, but he can control it enough to slow it down. His hand doesn't look as tired when he opens and closes it repeatedly either. He even wrote a note to me on my Valentine's card with his left hand. It may have taken him awhile, but it was pretty neat. It was nice to go up on Valentine's Day. Thanks so Anita for bringing me and Nancy for getting Brian some cards to pick from for me.When it was time to go he walked me to the lobby. Yep, that's right, no chair. His PT said as long as he's inside and careful he can go on his own now. He's got a pretty good gait. Only if you watch real close can you tell that his right foot doesn't flow as fluidly as his left which is completely natural and when he tries to hard he looks like he's strutting. :) I'm still amazed as is everyone at the hospital. They said very few people get these kinds of returns at all, let alone in such a short period of time. He truly has gained so much and has all the hope in the world for what we had to be back. We just have a new found appreciation for life and are just thankful for everything we do have. We are the luckiest people ever.Lisa
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This is it. Our last night without my husband and the kids' dad. It was nice having our nightly talk and not worrying about when we'll talk tomorrow. The weather will probably cause it to take me longer to get to him, but he's packed and ready to go. The kids are so ready to see him home. No more small talking with him. I can just see him and get tired of him like before. :) Send him on his way fishing....that's as sportsman as I'm gonna be letting him get for awhile. I think we have everything as prepared as we can right now. Amy made us some soup and Jay's mom made us some lasagna, so we're good with food for a bit and Brian's aching to get into the kitchen again. We have a hog in the freezer now, so finally we have food again. I just have to stop tomorrow and get him some night lights for the bathrooms, so there's not tripping around the house. I can't think of what he called the test, but he got a 55 out of 56. I think it means he's basically staple to sit and stand/function on his own. He said the nurse has all his paperwork ready to go, so hopefully as soon as I get there....shortly after anyways, I can spring him.Thanks for all the prayers we've gotten here from around the states. We've truly appreciated them. Now just pray that I can get him home safely in this nasty weather tomorrow.Lisa

BTW, I just added a picture from the hospital....not rehab, so it's about 1 month old. I'll eventually get a new picture of him up and about....even if it is with the neck brace still.

We made it home safely. It took a little bit longer to drive since the passing lane wasn't cleared at all and then it started snowing again, but it really wasn't too wasn't icing, right. We didn't get back to town until about 11:30, by the time he said good bye to all of the staff and we got every bit of paperwork we needed to go on. When we got back he wanted to go to work and say thank you for all they'd done and that took a bit. We went to DMV and got a handicap tag for the bad days. Then we went to Target to try to fill his scripts....oh my was that a mistake. They're usually super quick and we had to go there to get him a yoga ball and weights anyways, so we thought it made sense....wrong. They told us they were behind when we got there even though the scripts had been there for over 2 hours. We went and picked up the stuff we needed and came back and waited some more and finally she says "oops....we ran out of labels". They had no idea when they would get the problem fixed and if you have no labels they can send you home with a prescription. So we asked for the scripts back and went to Gerbes. Brian waited in the car this time. He was pretty tired. It only took 1/2 hour there to drop off and wait, so that wasn't near as bad as I thought they'd be. They're usually terribly busy. So we were able to get our groceries we absolutely needed first.We had so much stuff to put away when we got home. We weren't done with everything until 4:00. It just felt nice to get all of his stuff from the hospital back in it's place and begin settling in. We couldn't even get out of our driveway once we got home. It had snowed enough after I left in the morning to make our driveway bad enough to need shoveling to get out since it's so steep. Not to worry....I just called Joe and he picked the kids up and brought them to us. Thanks Joe! We had a nice easy night. We put the lasagne that Mary made in the oven, cleaned up and were able to lay around and enjoy the evening. No late phone call to the hospital. That was so nice. It's good to be home. We'll see what each new day brings. He's still got quite a bit of work on that right side. Other than having quite a lot of function in his left leg he has pretty typical Brown Sequard Syndrome. Hopefully the new hand therapist he'll get next week can help him out, but they don't have FES treatment, so he won't have that advantage. The doctor also gave us paperwork to read over about a drug in clinical trials, but I'm not sure yet. We haven't had time to read the info and when it's still in clinicals, they don't know ALL the side effects yet and will those be worse than the alternative of the function he doesn't quite have. That's what the drug is meant to help with and he said it's showing to be pretty promising, but there's always a tradeoff....almost always. They said it doesn't matter if we wait and decide or do it now, the results should still be the same, so we'll probably wait and see what comes back with a little more time. 5 weeks post-injury isn't long. Most of what you'll get back can still very easily happen for another 2 months and then you can still get some more for another year. We'll probably see how we feel about the drug in 2 months or so and how his finger function is. That's really the only major things that's left as far as what the drug will help and he just got them back a little over a week ago, so he can progress yet on his own. I'm not a big drug person unless the alternative to not taking it is worse, but that may not necessarily be the case for him since he's doing so well. Also, I know they say it's good to have the spasms, but sometimes I wish he were healed enough for them to go away. I hate watching him freeze up everytime he gets up for the first time and watching his hand and leg and back on his right side just stiffen up. I hate thinking that it might hurt at all. I know that's nothing considering, but I so badly want to see him better.Thanks again for the prayers. We're together again and the kids are thrilled! Chels wouldn't hardly let him go last night. It was great! BTW, I thought this was kinda funny. You can never get your kids to do anything for you and our 11 year old is no different, but he was so anxious for dad to come home that when I got up yesterday morning at 6:30 he had already gotten up and salted our driveway so I could get the van out. How good is that?!Lisa

SATURDAY, MARCH 01, 2008 09:36 AM, CST
Brian's been home one week. We are starting our own routine. It's so nice to have another parent in the house again....and adult. He started outpatient therapy this week and it should continue through March. We're not sure after that. He may be well enough to do exercises at home. Hopefully, in the next couple of months he will return to work part-time. He wants to badly, but he gets tired pretty quickly. He has to build his stamina back up. That's probably the hardest part right now. On another good note, right before he came home his aunt and uncle were nice enough to process a hog for us. We needed one pretty bad as our freezer was empty! We're still getting cards from folks which is so nice. Even the kids' school gave us a card and a gift card the other night when I took Kae up there for kindergarten round up. We never in a million years expected this, nor have we expected any of the extreme kindness we've received over the past 2 months. We really are doing okay now and things will be okay. We know that. We just have to adjust our lives to the event. Adjust to Brian walking very slowly, not writing (very well anyways and slow), some pain and spasms, etc. Things that do keep him from the life he had, but we will adjust and have been. Hopefully, it will get much better as far as his abilities, but you can never know an dwe're taking what we've got and thankful for it.Lisa

TUESDAY, MARCH 04, 2008 07:06 PM, CST
Brian had his follow up visit with the surgeon. It's about 6 weeks or so post surgery and about 7 weeks post accident. This is the first time the surgeon has seen him in about a month. He was pretty darn impressed to see this many returns in 7 weeks. We also asked if he could drive and/or if he needed any sort of evaluation first, but he said he definitely is fine to drive. So he drove us home today. That was "my" little drivers test for him. He did fine, btw. Brian's pretty excited to be able to drive already. We were thinking closer to May.He also got his neck brace off already. That one really surprised us. He said he still has to be pretty careful and if his neck gets tired or anything he needs it back on for a bit, so we're keeping it around. He can't put his head too far down and isn't supposed to make any sudden side to side movements yet, but he can start building up the strength in his neck muscles. Brian says he has a pencil neck now.This is good to have another parent that can run some errands, of course he has to abide my "my" rules for a bit. :) I'm a little over protective, I know, but oh well.Lisa

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2008 10:37 PM, CST
Thinking of both of you. I am looking forward to more amd more positive outcome posts, Lisa. I know it is scary for both of you. Keep yourself well and GET SOME SLEEP!Cheryl from the Holt BB

Cheryl D

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2008 10:44 PM, CST
Lisa and Brian,I am an old Holt BB member, now an addicted lurker. I've been looking for your updates every day, and praying for you both. I truly believe there are no mistakes in this life, and I hope you will be able to find peace of mind as you continue to figure out where life is taking you both. Prayers for continued healing, both physically and emotionally.Julie 
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2008 11:37 PM, CST
We are members of the Dillon family- glad to see you post today! We are praying for full recovery, and for your family to be united again soon! John Luke & CourtneyS

courtney s
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2008 11:53 PM, CST
Hi Lisa & Brian! I have been following your journey on the Holt BB. Many prayers being said for a fast and speedy recovery. If there is anything at all we can do please let us know.

Lisa,I was shocked to hear about Brian's accident. I'm so sorry for all the fear, anxiety, sadness, and separation you guys have experienced. I'll be praying for a wonderful peace that only God can provide, and especially for healing!Libby(Dillon family)

libby s

Hi Lisa,I have been following your story with the Holt BB. I can somewhat relate to what you are going through. Last July my 4 year old little boy was diagnosed with leukemia. Things like this change your life forever. I am praying your family finds your new normal quickly and that Brian will be back at home soon. I have learned to truly take things one day at a time. God has performed many miracles throughout treatment with our son so far, and we are believing and trusting that God will see us through the rest of the 2.5 years of chemo. I am praying for your whole family, but as the primary caregiver to your husband and your children, I am praying specifically that God will give you a peace that can only come from Him. It is amazing how much strength and motivation you can have when you are put to the test. May Brian recover quickly and be a living testimony to even more miracles from God.Lisa mom to Keelan, Kylei, Keédance, Kambryn (diagnosed 7/19/07 with pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia), and

Lisa L

I've been keeping you all in my prayers since reading about Brian's accident on the Holt BB. I'll keep praying for his full recovery. (((HUGS)))

NJ Karen

We are all praying for your family on the Bethany BB. Prayers for guidence and patience during this long process. May God guide you and keep you during this journey to health.Tami


Sending lots of prayers from New Jersey !!!!Hugs,LisaNJ from the Holt BB

Lisa G
Thinking of you, Brian, and your entire beautiful family as he recovers. KEEPING YOU ALL IN MY PRAYERS!! Sending get well wishes from Jersey! Mommy2HaileynJosh on the Holt BB

Jolie D.
Lisa and family - We are thinking of you daily. We are praying for a quick recovery and peace in any life changes that may occur.Jennifer in MT (Holt) and JenniferJo (Dillon)

Jennifer J

Praying for healing for Brian and peace for your whole family.Linda (Robin'sNest from Holt BB)

Linda C

Lisa,Sending warm wishes from Florida for a quick recovery!!BetsyinFL from the Holt Board

Betsy G
Hope today is a better day and he gets moved to the new place soon.Tami


Lisa,Your husband, you and your family are in my prayers. My dh plays basketball every week and we are so saddened by what has happened. Keep us posted so lots of people out here can pray for you all.Tricia (TrishNY from Holt bb)

tricia p

Lisa,Lots of continued prayers for Brian and your family. Thanks for making this site. I think about you guys all the time.AmyH(Dillon Mommy to Kaden and Kacie)


Our thoughts & prayers are with you all ~ and we hope each day Brian is better & better.Jane

Jane C
Brian, Lisa and Family - I continue to give praise to God for the big progress made in every single little movement and step! Thank you for letting your faith be real...even during the hard times. Praying Friday will be "magical" gift from God - to heal some pain and re-connect! Continuing to pray in W MichiganRowen

THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2008 07:35 AM, CST
Each update sounds more encouraging. Brian seems to be making good progress although I know it is hard to be patient when all you want is for him to be better and to come home. Know that your whole family is in our prayers and we are sending positive vibes to you all!Kathy (loveourboys, Holt BB)

Kathy R

THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2008 07:35 AM, CST
Sending you lots of prayers and hugs from another Holt family at the Jersey Shore. We've been following your journey and celebrate each milestone with you. Wishing you strength on this difficult journey.

Gloria and Harry A
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2008 07:41 AM, CST
Each update sounds more encouraging. Brian seems to be making good progress although I know that it is hard to be patient when all you want is for him to be better and to come home. We continue to keep your whole family in our prayers and will continue to send positive vibes your way!Kathy (loveourboys, Holt BB)

Kathleen R
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2008 09:58 AM, CST
Dear Lisa,I am so encouraged to read about Brian's progress.Praying for a complete recovery and for strength for you and your children.Hugs,Kelly

Kelly H

THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2008 10:03 AM, CST
So glad Brian is in the center now. I'm sure he will work real hard and be very determined. Praying that you keep the strength. Praying for your family. Have a great weekend with your children and Brian.Hugs and prayers,Kristine (NJ03 from BB)

Kristine P

THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2008 10:48 AM, CST
My mother had a dens fracture on the C2 from a automobile accident in 2004. She spent 5 weeks there. She made incredible progress, especially for a 71 year old woman. I believe miracles happen every day there. The staff is so skilled and caring. With God leading them, Brian couldn't be in better hands. Keep the faith and laugh when you can. My prayers are with your family.

Marguerite H

THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2008 02:08 PM, CST
Brian, sorry we haven't been able to get up there to see you. Know this, you're in our prayers daily, along with Lisa and the kids. I talked to your mom a little while ago and she's holding up well. Keep your good attitude and it will aide in your recovery. Now is the time to be selfish and only think of yourself, so do it. Take care of you. Love: Leroy, Leigh Ann, Eric & Adam

Leigh Ann F
FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2008 02:57 PM, CST
Hey Lisa,Sorry I haven't contacted you earlier. I didn't know when it would be a good time to try and call you. We have been praying for you all and for Brian to make a quick, full recovery. I know how hard it is to not have all your family together day to day. If we can help in any way, Please let me know...I will be home the next two times the kids get out of school early and are off. in Feb. Take care of yourselves and give me call anytime if you need anything or to just talk.Julie, Ben, Josh, Kaitlyn and Hannah W

Julie W
FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2008 03:03 PM, CST
Brian: Your Mom has told us of the progress that you are making at Rusk. We are rooting for you! Keep up the good work. You are in our thoughts and prayers!

Sharon R
FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2008 03:11 PM, CST
Brian,You know we have been worried sick about you. W e have been saying lots of prayers for you. Hope you are up & around real soon. We are going to try to see you this weekend. Keep your spirits up. God still has plans for you. Love, Norman & Brenda

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2008 08:15 AM, CST
Brian and Lisa,I just received an email from a family member telling me what had happened to Brian. My first thought was it had to be a different Brian, but after receiving this email, I know it isn't. Your family is in our prayers and please let me know if there is anything we can do for you. I know the kids don't know us well, but I would be glad to take care of them for a while. Also, Lisa, please call if you need anything. If you need a ride there sometime, please let me know, I could always find something to do while you are at the hospital with him. I know what you guys are going through having gone through Cale's issues recently and I know that friends and family are very important at this time, so please don't hesitate to contact us for help.Take care,Sarah L

Sarah L
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2008 10:55 AM, CST
Hey Lisa and Brian, I just wanted to let you know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. If any couple can get through this victoriously, I know it will be you two. Stay strong and be assured you have many prayers. Keep pressing on and know God is in control. Much love, Belinda

Belinda B
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2008 12:33 PM, CST
Hi Lisa & Family! Way to go Brian on the progress you are making, that is AWESOME! Many hugs and prayers being sent your way. Take care and again if there is anything you need or I can do please just let me know.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2008 06:42 PM, CST
Brian and Lisa, I am so excited for the progress. I am continuing to pray for your whole family thru this, as well as financial freedom, complete healing and comfort from The God of all!!

Wendy Rowen
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2008 09:21 PM, CST
Lisa,Thanks for posting the latest on Brian. Even though the recovery so far has been painful, every small step is a victory, and that makes me smile. I'm encouraged by what you've written so far. Please keep updating when you can, and know that MANY people are keeping your family in their prayers.{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}} from Texas.

Cathy TX
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2008 09:27 PM, CST
Hi Lisa,Thanks for giving us the link to keep up with and pray foryour dh's recovery. I'm still praying for your whole family.

Carrie Holt BB
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2008 11:26 PM, CST
Keep Going Brian!!!Your positive attitude is apparent in Lisa's update. So glad you saw your kids today. Praying for you and thinking of you often,Amy, Ryan, Kaden and Kacie (Dillon Family)

Amy Hoselton
SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2008 06:12 AM, CST
Lisa and Brian, I was in tears regarding the knee knocking, the time to lay in bed and feel like "normal" for awhile...what precious, precious gifts. And Brian for his courag....precious gifts from our gracious God! I continue to pray and am glad you're sharing this burden so that we can continue to wrap you in love and prayers!

Wendy Rowen
SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2008 11:36 AM, CST
Lisa and Brian,Margie W. called me last week to let me know about the accident. After my initial shock and sadness I realized that if any family can pull through this it is yours! Brian has alot of determination and will power and Lisa will rally to support him as much as humanly possible while he heals. With all the prayers and devoted energy of your extensive network of family and friends you two will make it through this! I know it is hard for the kids to understand what is going on right now however they will adjust and be OK.Take careMeg L (Dillon)

Meg L
SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2008 03:05 PM, CST
Lisa,Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your whole family at this time. May God bless you all!Kellie D (Dillon family)

Kellie D

SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2008 07:47 PM, CST
Brian-Lisa, When I opened this page and saw the heading "One Step at a Time, I thought how fitting. One step at a time is how your family will overcome and persevere. Brittney and I will continue to keep you in our prayers. Lisa- if you need anything please give me a call. Hang Tough!!Lois

Lois S
MONDAY, JANUARY 28, 2008 07:47 AM, CST
Brian- You and your family have been in our prayers. We have been kept updated by your mom and mutual friends and are so happy to hear about your progress! I'm sure the rehab is physically and mentally difficult, but it sounds like you have a fantastic attitude and outlook right now and the end result will be worth it. Keep it up because we look forward to hearing more good news!Matt and Sarah

Sarah S
TUESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2008 07:30 AM, CST
WOW!!! You're last update was wonderful news. I'm so glad things are going well. I'll make sure and pass the word along to Lawrence & Lillian this evening. Our best only to you, Lisa, Brian and the kids. Our prayers are always with you all. Take care of you and if you need anything at all just call me. Leigh Ann, Leroy & the boys

Leigh Ann F

Brian, I am praising God and just thrilled for all the fast progress you are making! I am praising Him for how hard you are working and for keeping your eyes on Him, with your head up. Lisa, Brian and family - praise God also for the recent update of the finances! I continue to pray for financial freedom and WOW - God answered right away! I continue to pray as well as pray for complete healing, for encouragement thru the storm and peace in your hearts. I am still so sorry (lack of real words to fit this) for this time you are facing, but I praise Him for your courage and strength...and ask Him to provide more in abundance!Love from Michigan!

Wendy Rowen
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 03, 2008 02:41 AM, CST
I just wanted to say we are continually praying for you Brian... you are strong and you will get thru this, both you and your family. Lisa, keep your chin up. I keep reaching for the phone, but then I think I'm going to be a bother and I know you are probably already being bombarded with phone calls. Just remember, Dwayne and I are thinking of you guys. I will keep checking on this website to keep track of Brian's progress. Amy and Dwayne

Amy V(fl)

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 03, 2008 01:01 PM, CST
Hey Brian,We are cheering you on from the land of OZ. My fiancee' (Lisa) and I were just reading up on your progress and it sounds like you are battling hard and making great progress. Lisa and I are continuously praying for you full recovery and our families have been saying prayers as well.I really enjoyed visiting with you the other day and had some good laughs remembering back and hearing about some of your funny stories. Keep up the great attitude and hold your head high because you have already accomplished a lot in the little time since the accident.Lisa - as I mentioned to Carolyn, my company supplies medical equipment and we deliver a lot of things to the facility, so if there is anything that they need for Brian, please call me, we do not carry everything, but we have a variety. I would be glad to help if I can, especially if it comforts Brian in any way. Brian I hope you have a good time with your friends watching the Superbowl, I will speak to you soon. Love,Brent and Lisa

Brent F

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2008 08:29 AM, CST


Sounds like things are improving slowly but surely. I know it seems like a long road but at any minute you could turn the corner and see something breathtakingly beautiful. May Brian keep improving on a daily basis. Our family is thinking of you.

Cheryl D

Brian and Lisa, I felt like I was holding my breathe, then let it out and then let some tears many wonderful emotions as I see God working....not only as the Great Healer but also as the Faithful Sustainer of your family....I continue to pray in W Michigan!

Wendy Rowen

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 08, 2008 09:42 PM, CST
What a cutie. I'm sure he will be a great motivation for the whole family. Continuing to pray for your family.

TAMI BethanyBB

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 08, 2008 09:49 PM, CST
He's ADORABLE ~ Brian is going to love training him and the kids will love him too.Hugs to you all,Jane, Jay & Jared C

Jane C
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2008 08:24 AM, CST
Keeping you in our prayers for continued healing. Praying all is going well for your family.

TAMI Bethany BB
Hi Brian! Long time no see. I heard about your accident and have been very worried about you and your family. I am so glad that Lisa is putting updates on the computer on a regular basis. I have been reading the updates and talking with Amy V about your progress. It sounds like you are working very hard to make things happen quickly, which doesn't surprise me at all. You have always been one of the most determined people I know. Please know that there are many people praying for you and your family and rooting for a full recovery. Keep your head up high, and I can't wait to see you at our 8th grade reunion in May (if not before). Tina

Tina P

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2008 06:49 AM, CST
THANK YOU GOD!I keep praying for you, Brian, for a miracle...for complete healing and God is doing it!Lisa, that's probably one of the best Valentine's ever, huh?!Praising and still praying, to the Ultimate Healer!

Wendy Rowen
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2008 07:10 AM, CST
What a wonderful update! Your family must be ecstatic over your progress. I'm so happy for all of you!Our family will keep you in our prayers as you continue on your road to recovery!Kathy (loveourboys, Holt BB)

Kathy R

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2008 08:57 AM, CST
I use to work with Brian and was devastated when I heard about what happened. Austin has been keeping me up on his progress, and I just heard about this website. I wish Brian and his family the best and know things will work out cause Brian's too stubborn to let this keep him down.


Family and Friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly. It's amazing the obstacles the good lord challenges us with. You all will get through this. If you need anything just give us a call we'll be there.

Jason and Jenn S
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2008 07:52 AM, CST
Way to go Brian! You're an inspiration for everyone, we pray that you stay motivated and continue your speedy recovery!Love, Jacob, Jennifer, Alex, Mya and Adah Z

I was so hoping for an update.....but maybe it'll come from HOME!I continue to pray that homecoming is as planned...TOMORROW!

Wendy Rowen
WOOOHOOO! I am so glad you are getting spring Brian tomorrow! I am thrilled for your family. I can't wait to hear all about his homecoming and what the kids think! Have a great day tomorrow!

Matt Sarah Jaxson Hannah
Awesome Brian.....glad to hear you're going home! That's wonderful. Take care and keep up the steady pace you've been setting for yourself. I'll be seeing you all in May for the reunion! Amy and Dwayne

amy v (fl)

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2008 06:26 AM, CST

Wendy Rowen
WELCOME HOME!Thx for sharing your heart, I cannot imagine watching my beloved dh struggle like that..Continuing to pray! And praising God for the progress thus far!

Wendy Rowen
Welcome Home Brian! Thanks for the update Lisa!

Matt Sarah Jaxson Hannah
Still {{{{{PRAYING}}}} for your family, Lisa...I'm so happy Brian is home and progressing well. Keep us posted.Love, Cathy

Cathy TX

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2008 08:57 AM, CST
Lisa I am so happy to hear Brian is home and doing so well. I had lost your site in a computer crash and had to post on the Holt BB to get it again. Your family has been in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be.Corrin Ia Holt BB friend

Corrin Blandin
So glad that you are home and out of the snow!!! We think of you everyday and know Brian will keep making tremendous strides!

Cheryl D

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 05, 2008 10:12 AM, CST
WOOOOOOOOOOOOW!Speechless!! I have continued to pray for miracles in his healing and God keeps providing!And Lisa, you should be a little extra protective - wink.GREAT UPDATE! THANK YOU!Praying alongside your family,Wendy

Wendy Rowen
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 05, 2008 03:59 PM, CST
Lisa - I just read a note you posted on the forum...I had no idea. I'm so sorry you all have had to go through this and I wish I could have done something. What I could do from down here in Texas I don't know (lol) but I still feel bad that my friend was going through hard times and I was clueless. We love your family!! I pray that every day brings more improvements and lots of love and laughter for all of you!Love,The Weldys

Sunday, February 24, 2008

It's been two months

since I last wrote here. 

There was just nothing new the first couple of weeks of January and after Christmas you're just too busy to write and take pictures, so no posting.  After that.......

Brian fell while playing basketball and hit the wall behind the goal.  His legs were completely paralyzed as well as his hands.  They guys he was playing with immediately called an ambulance and they immediately called in the helicopter.  We were fortunate that the guys he was playing with kept him very still and kept him from moving his neck at all.  The EMT's immediately gave him steroids. It's not proven that steroids help a spinal cord injury (sci), but most doctors do believe.  According to most doctors the first 3-8 hours are the most important and he was given them in the first hour.  When we arrived at the hospital they started doing MRI's, CT's and xrays.  We were told he crushed his C5 and fractured his C6.  The first day after his accident he was able to start moving his left leg and toes some, but his right side and left hand were still completely paralyzed.  When things weren't progressing the 2nd day the neurosurgeon was going to go ahead with surgery.  After being put off for emergencies he made a little more progress the doctor decided to wait until Friday (accident was Monday) for surgery.  Waiting allowed the swelling and pressure from the trauma to go down on it's own.  The surgery would cause more and at that point he felt it would be better to wait.

Brian had tongs screwed to his head for traction of his cord.  The rest of Tuesday night, Wednesday and Thursday were spent flat on his back in a bed that tilts from side to side all day long.  The bed was to keep things moving with his lungs as sci victims are at more risk of pneumonia.  It was also to help keep him from getting skin ulcers.  Finally, Friday morning he had his surgery.  It started at 8:52 a.m. and they called a little after noon to say he was done.  The doctor said it had gone as well as could be expected.  He had a lamenectomy (replaced his C5 with a plastic vertebrae), 3 screws were put into his C6 and he fused C4-C6.  Slowly over the next couple of days they were able to adjust his bed up so he wasn't lying quite so flat.  About 3 days later a friend of ours who's a PT stopped in and got his nurse to move him so he could at least sit on the side of the bed and try to work on core strength.  You lose so much muscle strength and stamina when you have a hospital stay of this magnitude. 

Just under 1 week from his surgery he was moved to a rehab facility that specializes in sci.  The day of evaluation they put him up to a walker just to see how bad his legs were and he began to walk.  Normally, walking is the last thing a rehab facility works on.  They want you to work on getting the skills back (as many as you can) that allow for independence.  Because he was able to walk somewhat they focused on it all.  Within a couple of days he was dressing himself.  His fingers were still not moving, but his right leg had begun to move some.  His right knee hyperextended most of the time and his ankle was very weak so foot drag was a big problem.  They taught him how to use his wrists to open and close his hands since his wrists were working. 

Within a couple of weeks in rehab he was walking with only a gait belt with his therapist and was beginning to move his left fingers.  By the 3rd week and a half they were taking him for walks outside and he had just begun to move his right fingers a bit.  4 weeks after being admitted to rehab he came home.  That was two days ago.  He can walk pretty well, although very slow as his right side is lagging just a bit in strength.  His left side is doing extremely well.  His right fingers are still progressing though very slow.  This we expected as it's very typical of Brown Sequard Syndrome.  This means the injury impacted one side more than the other.  He no longer wears a brace on his ankle and can move his toes and ankle much better on that side.  His fingers move, but they're extemely weak.  He's doing very, very well with this sort of injury.  The amount of returns he's had in a very short amount of time post-injury is nothing short of a miracle.  He's doing at least as well as Kevin Everett. 

Now our lives are a day at a time, but all really is well.  We're all happy to have him home permanently.  Most times you have to go back to inpatient rehab after a rest at home, but he's doing too well for that.  Every muscle is working which is truly the miracle.  Even his right tricep has starting coming back.    Our lives have changed immensely with this.  We know how much we've taken things for granted and are very thankful for what we have.  We were always thankful to an extent, but everyone takes life for granted from time to time. 

So, take some time to hug your loved ones.  Time can be very short and we got a chance at life.  It could have been so much worse.  If you actually hurt your spinal cord just right you can actually affect your lung function, etc.  We got life.