Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Pirate and the Princess

In my mind, Halloween = candy-and I am now in a sugar coma. I for some reason, every year, feel like I some how have the right to completely indulge in as much candy as I possibly can! I never no when to here I lay in bed and may not be able to move for a couple days ;) The hospital had a Halloween party that we had fun at. Cale dressed up as a pirate and me a princess :) I think it's really funny that he ended up being a pirate because that was my nickname for him at WakeMed for awhile because he would try to take every one's jewelry!
The Rec therapist gave Cale a joke to tell everyone, so, everyone he told! He was so excited and happy about it, he wanted to share it! We even made calls to our moms so he could give them a laugh!

"Why are pirates so mean?" "Why?" "because they just Arrrr!" :) He did the Arrr! very good!!

We played a few games, one of them being "guess the number of candy corn" I had to take a picture of how creative the staff were...don't worry it's clean ;)

The party was the afternoon fun, but before that we had went on a trip to Park Victoria Baptist Church. It's Kristen's church and a sweet church family that has been praying for Cale from the beginning. I have gone once before, but today was a super special treat...Cale got to go with me! It was so great! He didn't just get to come, but he walked in with me! On Friday (not sure if I had written about this), Cale was upgraded to a walker with 4 wheels. This has been something that PT has been working with him for a while, but it was quite a challenge for Cale to be able to balance and control the walker. He was able to do it perfect on Friday, which makes it a lot easier to go places. He still gets tired really easy so for the most part off the unit we still use the wheelchair. On Wednesday he had a dentist appointment and I asked PT if instead of his chair, if I could take the walker since we weren't going to be going far. He said sure and it was a go for walking to church too! I felt like I was going to explode when we walked into the church! Just to think about how there was a time when I never thought it would happen, hoped-but wasn't sure, and today it happened. They sang Amazing Grace for one of the worship songs, and Cale sang right a long. It was honestly the best sound that my ears could have heard, the sound of my husband worshiping God.

The sermon was about Jacob and his dream from the Lord after he ran from his brother Esau. The Lord said to him in Genesis 28:15 "What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. I will someday bring you safely back to this land. I will be with you constantly until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.” God was going to be with Jacob and protect him. He promised Jacob that he would never be alone. The pastor at one point said that the same God that was with Jacob then, was in the room with us this morning. As he was saying that, I started to claim the promises for Jacob in my life now. It's going to be long, hard, painful, exhausting, emotional, and challenging, but we are not alone and the Lord is with us. He has made those promises to us when we surrendered our lives to Him so we can claim them and be strengthened and encouraged! Yeh!

After church we went to a yummy Mexican restaurant with Kristen and her family. TJ and Kristen were in the car in front of us, and Cale was asking who was in all the cars around us. I told him I didn't know about the other cars, but said that TJ was in front. Cale said "Yay!" and then I asked, "Is TJ your best friend?" C: "No, but close", K: "No? Who is your best friend?" C: "Taylor." Haha! Cale is the only one in the world that calls TJ, Taylor! He's so funny! He used to always tease me, saying that I said it wrong! At the restaurant, Cale told the waitress what he wanted to drink when she was going through the list, and after giving him some choices off the menu, I went over with him how to order, so when it got to his turn, he ordered! I was really impressed that he remembered what to say even after waiting for everyone else to order. It was a nice change from the hospital food and we enjoyed every bite!

On the way home, I found out that Cale is fascinated with Amelia (our GPS). I'm not sure that he's really noticed her before, but today he listened to everything she would say and repeat it and then make sure that I followed what she was saying. "Turn right" he would say after her and point so that I knew which way to turn :) Even with the gps, I get lost...a lot. She's always yelling "recalculating" at me, so I guess it's a good thing I had Cale to help me out! Cale also just started letting me know when the light is red or green. He has fun with that and would get excited when our red light turned green. "Green Go!" he would yell out! It was so much fun being in the car with him, going to church, and having some what of a normal moment with each other. Driving down the highway we sang along to Jeremy Camp and waited for Amelia to give us the next command.

This afternoon, Cale was saying that he loved me lots and lots. I asked him why he loves me and he said, "You're cute, hot, sweet, pretty, and fun." We've been working on word finding (something Cale really struggles with), so it was great for him to come up with the answer by himself, but I'm just wondering what it means that he didn't include "smart" in the list...hahaha! ;)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Great Day :)


It's been such a busy day! I woke up this morning and decided I need to make myself take the time to get a few things done. I always wake up, shower, and then get to the hospital as soon as I can. A lot of days, I don't get back to my room until I don't get much done outside of things I absolutely have to get done. I need to though! At about 10:30 I got a call from the hospital from the Recreation therapist letting me know that 4 tickets to the San Jose Sharks game were donated for us! 1) Oh my goodness! Thank you Jesus! We've been wanting to get Cale to a game so bad!! and 2) I couldn't wait to tell Cale!

About 1:30pm, TJ and Kristen were coming to pick us up to do pictures. Thank you to everyone that prayed for good weather! It was perfect! It wasn't too cold or hot, and there was no rain! We had a fun time too! I think TJ was able to get some good ones! I can't wait to see :) I think even if he didn't get any good pictures, the afternoon would have still been perfect. Cale loved it! He got to spend the whole afternoon with his best friend! It was so great to watch him and see how much fun he was having and how normal it felt! Thank you TJ and Kristen SOOOO much for such a special day! We love you both!!

Right after pictures, we came back to the hospital and got ready to go to the game less than an hour later. I can't even describe how perfect the seats were! Sharks won which was fun. I asked Cale, "When the Sharks play the Red Wings, who is going to win?" he said "Red Wings!" That came is the end of November and plans are already in motion for us to go!!

Sleep is calling...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Caleb-a special treasure

Happy Friday!

Cale is a cool dude! :) We've used the tandem bike before, which Cale has loved, but today he was on his own bike! He did so great and loved every minute! Before he started going, the man that was getting him all set up was explaining how everything works. He told Cale that when he does the break he needs to do both hands at the same thought was that this is going to be interesting! Cale still has problems controlling his right hand. The other part was the steering, because it takes so much coordination. Well, Cale did so good with both steps that we thought were going to be so hard for him!

Here is a short video of my talented husband! :)

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24

Tonight I feel blessed beyond measure. My sweet husband is one of the many reasons! I've been asked a lot lately if Cale is talking normal and with full sentences. The answer is no. He's getting there and everyday he's saying new words! Sometimes one sentence comes out all slurred together so it sounds like one word. When I get him to slow it down and say one word at a time, usually, I can figure out what he was trying to say. He still mostly responds to a question or comment and doesn't initiate much. He's really working hard though!

There are a few things that he says very clear...everyday he tells me how much he loves me (over and over!). He's constantly telling me I'm beautiful and pretty (and hot!). He tells me good job all the time (and good job cheat!). All through out the day he tells me thank you, and when I leave and come back, he always tells me how much he missed me.

What an amazing husband I have! The Lord has truly blessed me with a perfect man to grow old with me. My heart feels so full of love for Caleb Michael Darling!

I can laugh with him, cry with him, be silly with him, cuddle with him, talk with him, dream with him, feel passion with him, plan with him, love with him, pray with him, sing with him (even if I'm singing off tune!), dance with him, be excited about the future with him, be happy with him, me myself with him, and be the best wife I can be for him.

I love him.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A New Kind of Ball Game!

Today was another day of Cale working SO hard! I feel like I can say that every day because he does every single day! I'm so proud of him! He keeps telling me and all of his therapists it's because he loves me and every time I hear him say it, my heart turns into mush!!!

The morning started with Dr. Howe for Neuro Psych. It was such an exciting session! Cale has been making crazy good gains physically, but cognitively, he's been going kind of slow. It's kind of hard trying to make it easy to understand through the blog, but it's really where Cale is struggling-a lot. Well, today he showed that he's starting to come around! Dr. Howe asked him where home was and he said "Washington State" then Dr. Howe made a comment about it, and Cale said it's up. I asked him if WA is north, where are we? and he said, "California." Dr. Howe had told him 5 minutes before but that's the first time Cale remembered and was able to say it! He was only able to repeat if it was less than two five is big! Also, she asked him how his mood was today and Cale said "boo". "Why?" she asked, and he said, "I'm here" and then he turned, pointed at me, and said, "Kathleen makes it better!" Oh my goodness! SOOOOOO sweet!! Dr. Howe and I had a cheesy gushy girly moment! :) Cale must be the sweetest man alive!!! Before she left she brought up how Cale is initiating more which is another sign of progress and healing!

My day started with lots of smiles!

Next was OT and because of a meeting, Pat combined PT. Cale was worked to the max! Pat had Cale walk (with out the walker!) all the way to the basket ball court. I'm not sure how far it is, but just know it's far! He had to help some, but when he did, it was not a lot and Cale was having to focus so much. It takes more than I knew just to walk! Cale had to think about balance, weight shift, good steps (using heel to toe), bending his knee, posture, and still so many more things. When he finally made it to the court, he sat on a bench and threw the basket ball for a tiny bit. After a while, they had Cale stand and do some more passing and once he was balanced and doing good, they let him shoot hoops! He LOVED it!

Here's a video of Cale's first ball game...

...and here's a video of now!

Cale is all done with the testing in ST! It was slow going, but he finally made it through! Patty wrote up for me some of what Cale is struggling with and goals to help him. I thought I would share it so you can see specific areas to pray for and so you can see where he's at. We did some new exercises today and he did pretty good already! Patty also said that there are different classifications of aphasia, but she hasn't classified him yet. His testing was very inconsistent at times.

SPEECH (muscular control): C’s speech style is most consistent with a "hypokinetic dysarthria." This is marked by rapid speech rate, tremulousness in his voice, flat melody, imprecise consonants (undershooting/reduced movement of the articulators – lips, jaw/teeth and tongue). The growth in C’s nose is also reducing the airflow out of his nose, making "nasal" sounds such as /m/ sound more like /b/, or /n/ sound more like /d/. Goals will address: making articulator movements BIG and EXAGGERATED, slowing rate and possibly increasing melody/volume variation to emphasize certain words.

LANGUAGE (understanding, producing, and using language): C is still having significant problems with receptive language. He is understanding about 30-50% of more complex information (e.g. multi-unit commands, paragraphs) being presented to him verbally. His ability to comprehend what he reads is also significantly reduced (at this time, reading out loud is very difficult for him in addition to understanding what he is reading). Expressive language was more difficult to assess because of his speech problems, so there is a possibility that he might be able to use more language than what is shown on the testing. He is undoubtedly still having at least moderate difficulty with word-finding, and sometimes his words come out wrong ("paraphasias") or he gets stuck ("perseveration"). Writing was also difficult to assess because his handwriting was small and often illegible, but he may have some ability to use a spelling system to help supplement his communication. Goals will address: word-finding, trialing augmentative/alternative communication strategies, etc.

In RT we played Skip-Bo. Cale's new thing has been to say "cheat" if someone beats him, or does something better. Rebecca was telling him that instead he should be saying good job. When I made a really great move, Cale said "Good job cheat!" hahaha! He's so funny! Haha-he makes me giggle! :)

The Darling's were beyond spoiled today! A couple weeks ago, I was given a certificate for a spa package. One night I was looking through the booklet and saw the spa offered couples massage...hmm! I talked with Dr. Sigford and she said Cale would be able to. His tube is out so now he can lay on his belly. I called and made the appointment and today we got our massages! It was wonderful!! After we were done, I asked Cale what he thought of it and he said, "It was great!!" The lady that did Cale's massage was so sweet and gave us big hugs afterwards. We are both very relaxed and will hopefully sleep like babies! :)

Cale has turned into an even pickier eater(is that possible?!)! It's "Ewe!" to everything. Right before I said good night, I told him he's not allowed to say ewe anymore and then he said "Ick!" -oh dear.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So very thankful!

I Am Thankful

I am thankful for everything I have experienced
In this life of mine
For in all I have found
That in His Word-the answers I find

I am thankful for all the tears I have cried
For they have taught me to appreciate laughter
They have given me the ability to see the
The joy that comes after

Through my tears I have come to know
His Holy Spirit in my life
How He is always there
And comforts through the strife

I am thankful for the storms I have encountered
Knowing that the rainbow is at the end
Realization that they are only temporal
That with time all will mend

I have learned that I don’t need to be strong
For Yahshua supplies the strength for me
He shoulders my burdens
Regardless of what the circumstance may be

I am thankful for all the relationships
For the good and yes, for the bad
For they have given life to my emotions
An appreciation of what I have had

My most valuable relationship
Is that with Yahweh, my Father
I know that I can trust Him
As I can trust no other

I am thankful for the pain I have known
It has given a compassion for the suffering
An ability to reach out to others
An appreciation of little things

I understand the greatness of Yahshuas love
And the pain He has suffered for me
How He endured all things
So that I could be set free

I am thankful for the hunger and thirst
That I have had to go through
I appreciate having food before me
And sharing it with others too

He has given himself as my food and drink
To make sure that I was fed
His Blood shed for my drink
And His Body broken for my bread

Most of all, I am thankful for His Grace
For the provisions that it brings
How it has provided for
Me in all things
-Kathleen Shelton Poulson

I am so very thankful for how far Cale has come and for how much the Lord has done! Today was a busy non-stop day from 8:30am-8pm for Cale. He had therapies 9:30am-3:45pm with only a break for lunch. After therapies were over, I took Cale to a dentist appointment that lasted almost three hours! As soon as we got back from that, we went straight to Bingo! He was so tired and the day was so full, but he kept pushing on and did it with a great attitude! I'm so proud of him! My post I had written that Cale yawned for the first That was such a big deal. I remember Kathy and I being so weirded out when it happened, wondering if that was a good thing, normal, what was it? haha! I am so thankful for so many things! I read this poem and it seemed to fit with how my heart was feeling all day :)

On Saturday, TJ is coming up and is going to take some pictures of me and Cale. Please be praying that we will have dry skies! It's supposed to rain, and the place we have picked out is outside!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

living with my eyes closed.

The hardest part of writing this blog for me, is figuring out where to start after each day. I picture my brain packed full of thousands of words to describe the day, full of thoughts, images, phrases, reminders, jibber jabber, and lots of randoms that have nothing to do with today.

Where do I start?

My week is very thrown off already. Most of today it felt like Monday, and for some reason the other part of it felt like Thursday. I think only once did it really click that it was Tuesday and that's when one of the other patients asked if I was going to Bingo tonight. "Bingo is tomorrow! It's only Tuesday."

Dr. Howe asked Cale this morning, "What would make you being here better?" Cale said "Playing games." "What kind of games?" "Sports!" Well, today there was a fitness bazaar near the main entrance to the hospital, so for RT, we went to check it out. It was so nice and sunny so it felt really good to get outside.

Cale played a little basketball...

and some football :)

PT and OT were together today and they worked on lots of walking! Cale was so tired by the end of it. He did really great! They had him walk outside with out the walker, on grass, sand, and up and down a ramp. Even after all the walking, he was still up for walking around the unit!

I decided today that it would be so much easier to live with my eyes closed to reality. If I could just live in my own little world, and be set that Cale is going to make 100% full recovery and that things will go back to normal, I wouldn't have to think about the house that we're going to buy and what things will need to be adjusted for Cale. I wouldn't have to think about how this situation changes things for us having babies and what that "new" life will look like. I wouldn't have to think about finances and figure out how I can make sure I can take Cale home with me. I wouldn't have to think about the challenges that we may face if he doesn't heal to a functioning level. Of course I'm praying for a full recovery and that in time Cale will have his life back, but I have to have my eyes open to what we are facing and the realities of that-I have to be prepared for the physical, emotional, and mental scars this accident has left on us.

The amazing thing about it is, that I do have to think about those things and begin making the plans, but as long as my eyes have to be open, I can have them looking at Christ. I don't have to take it all by myself, and that, is pretty stinkin' amazing!

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5

At some point in the last couple years, I have written in my Bible next to this verse,

"God must be our everything because if He's only something then it's only a matter of time before our flesh allows something else to take His place. He must be our everything.- David Hayner

Lord, I pray that You would be my everything!

Here are the pictures with Basil from the other day that I had mentioned! It was fun :) Thank you Kristen for taking them! :)

Isn't he huge?! Basil that is ;)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just What The Great Physician Ordered!

Heal me, O Lord, and I will healed. Rescue me, and I will rescued. You are the one I praise.- Jeremiah 17:14

What a trip! Rachel said before I made it to Washington that it was going to be a whirlwind, and a whirlwind it was! Yikes! So great though. I needed it more than I knew. It was just what I needed! Thank you to everyone that was able to be a part of it and that made it so special! If I wasn't able to see you or spend very much time with you, I'm sorry! I will be back though! :)

The meeting today was...interesting. There's a whole lot of stuff up in the air and I'm wondering how things are going to unfold from here. It was a productive day though! It was really great for me to go and talk things out. When I know more I'll put more details on here, so ya'll know specifics to be praying for!

It was an incredible feeling to walk into Cale's room tonight. I was afraid since it was so late that he would be sleeping, but I had to go see him. When I walked in the room, I couldn't tell at first if he was awake or asleep. After a few seconds his head turned and our eyes met...beautiful. I love that man so much. Hugging him fills like it's instant coffee! I love it! He's so sweet too! I looked quickly in the green journal that the therapists write in when I leave the hospital, and from what it looks like, he had a great 3 days! I'm so proud of him!

I feel so special when I think about how I get to be a part of this miracle that God is working in Cale. He is healing Him more and more everyday and I get front row seats! Of course, there are a lot of other events I'd be perfectly fine with having front row seats at...this wouldn't exactly have been my choice!

Do you think Cale will be jealous?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hugs, Pizza, and Pumpkins!

Shout To The Lord

My Jesus, my Saviour
Lord there is none like You
There is no one that can come close to hold me like You do, to heal Cale like You.
All of my days I want to praise
The good days and the bad days...always
The wonders of Your mighty love

My comfort, my shelter
Only You really know how I feel and what we're facing and only You can be our true comfort.
Tower of refuge and strength
You Lord, are my strength to get through every day, to hold me when it feels like everything around me is falling and it gets hard
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You
I pray that my eyes never leave You and my heart will continue to worship You through every season we're in

Shout to the Lord
All the Earth, let us sing
Power and majesty
Praise to the King
Mountains bow down
And the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name

I sing for joy at the works
Of Your hands

Thank you Lord for all the miracles You've already done!
Forever I'll love You
Forever I'll stand
Nothing compares
To the promise I have
In You

There is nothing this world can offer that compares to the promise I have in You

When we sang this song in church this morning, all I could do was smile. I am continually amazed by the love of God and His children. Also, the love of His children! I was crazy blessed with a church family that smothered me in precious hugs! Thank you!! After service, we had Pizza & Hugs :)

This afternoon we headed over to the pumpkin patch! Have I said yet how much I love fall?! I do! :)

I was tempted to get a tiny one and take back for Cale, but I wasn't sure what security would think of it...

When I talked to Cale today he said he was trying to have a good day. When I told him how great of I time I was having he said "YAY!" I can't wait until one day he can come home with me!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blue Skies

I went in to say good bye to Cale this morning and it wasn't so easy to leave! Last time I left for a couple days, I had gone in to say bye, but I wasn't going to wake him. First, he already has a hard time sleeping so if he is getting good sleep, no matter how much I want to wake him-I won't. Also, I knew he wasn't going to let me go so easily. I walked past his bed to grab the white board and leave a note for him, as I was walking by, he started to move a little. I froze. When he settled, I moved to the other side of the bed and started writing. Cale, opened his eyes and looked right at me. Oops. I've been caught! As soon as I told him I was there to say good bye, he quickly turned on his panic face. Poor guy. It doesn't matter how many times I've told him that I was going to be gone a couple days, he doesn't remember. Finally, I got him to be ok with letting go of my arm and letting me kiss him bye. I told him I would call often and would see him Tuesday morning!

My flight went well, but I was definitely ready to land. As soon as I landed and stepped off the plane, I took a really deep breath and smiled, "I'm home." The air was chilly on my face, but I was loving it. I walked into the airport and was greeted with lots of hugs! Yay! It was wonderful!! I also have already gotten to visit with very special people and spent the day at a wedding. It's been great.

Since Mama's flight was cancelled on Sunday, it's been a running joke that I prayed and that it would happen and it did. So for today at lunch, the ladies were asking me to pray for no rain for the wedding. We were being silly because of course it wasn't really me that cancelled Mama's flight, but I prayed that God would bless Jerry and Debbie with blue skies even though it was cloudy and rainy, and He did. The ceremony was really pretty!

Thank you Jesus for blue skies!

I was thinking as the vows were being said about how many times people will say their vows and not hold to them. You never know in your marriage when something is going to happen and the vows will be challenged. In that moment when the words are said, everything is so happy and perfect, but what if they were more specific? Like what if it was included that your child may die, or one of you ends up with TBI, or you lose your job and have to sell your house, or one of you gets diagnosed with cancer or something else really bad? Would they be said so freely? Of course, that would kind of ruin the perfect moment...! It was so beautiful to watch this couple have such a special day. I'm very happy for you both and love you!

Even though I just saw her a few days ago, it's great to be with Mama again :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Off I go!

It was a great day! This morning in Psych I told Dr. Howe about something Cale said in the garden the other day. I was sitting with him and after a while he said "I'm ready to leave now." This is huge! I was so surprised that he had said it and had forgotten to talk to her about it yesterday. She was saying that it is a big deal and that shows that he's becoming more aware of his surroundings and he's carrying over more memory. Before, it was like every second was something new, but now he's beginning to recognize that he's been doing something for a time and is ready for the next thing. She also tested him a little and said that his visual memory is stronger then his verbal memory. I'm just excited he's still making progress!

In OT we worked with trying to get Cale to walk with the walker around his room and be able to control his movements and balance. He made his bed, put clothes away, brushed his teeth, and opened the door to the bathroom. He still needs lots of help with this right now, but how great that he did it out of his wheelchair!

I had gotten some blocks back in NC for him to use. He didn't have any kind of interest then, but when I pulled them out today, we had so much fun! It's amazing how far he's come! I know the staff at Wake would have HUGE smiles if they could visit him! The blocks have letters, numbers, and pictures. I put out 4 blocks with letters and had him try to make a word. Each time he would move the blocks, switching the letters around and eventually end up spelling the word that was in my head. After a while of doing it, I told him we were done and he said "Thank you! That was hard." Of course then I get to point out that even though it was hard for him he did it, and did it good! :)

He did some more walking today! The goal is that before we leave here he would be walking with out the walker for short distances (or can I just say, we're just going to root for long distances too!). Basil came to visit today (I will have pictures soon!) and after I talked with Cale about how great it's going to be when we get to go home and take Basil for walks!

I'm leaving in the morning for Washington! Yay! I'm very excited about going home. I need a couple days of lots of hugs! After getting to have two great days with friends and family, I have important meetings on Monday. I'm going to be visiting a possible next facility for Cale. Please pray for wisdom for me, clarity of the direction, and peace. I don't feel nervous about it yet, but I can't say that I'm not going to Monday morning. I want it to work. I want it to be great, but I also want Cale to have the best. Also pray that my heart would be open to the way the Lord is leading and that I wouldn't be blinded by my thoughts and desires.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

Thank you everyone for the encouragement!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

No matter what you ask me Jesus...

I Want To Be Like You Jesus -Rita Springer

I want to be like you Jesus
To walk in all your holy ways
No matter what you ask me Jesus
I’m willing to obey

Set my face as flint before you now
My life I recommit here as I bow
I love it when you gently kiss my brow
And whisper it’s all right

I need to see more of Jesus
Just to feel your presence moves my soul
I will follow where you lead me
And simply ask for more

I will serve you
I will bow
I will put all my hope in you

Cale had his first bite of pizza. We are big fans of the yumminess and it was a very common addition to date nights at the Darling house :) It was exciting to get to enjoy it with him! He loved it, and I loved it, so it will be happening again! About 15 minutes after lunch Cale had PT. I asked Cale if he could tell Pat what he had for lunch and Cale couldn't remember. A lot of times Cale can't get his brain to give him the right word even if he knows what to say, so we have to give him choices. Even with hearing pizza, he couldn't remember. It's our new life of living in the moment...we have to enjoy it to the fullest because in a few minutes it will be gone.

I know his tummy enjoyed it for a while after!

I've been taking a look at my thoughts and my heart today. For those of you that know me well, you know that I'm an open book (and of course, everyone that reads this blog!). If I'm sad, it's easy to see. If I'm excited, everyone around will know it. If I'm bothered or have a heavy heart, it's right there on my sleeve. I also have a tendency to share what I'm thinking with out first processing whether it's a good idea or not. Most of the time, it's with things that are more embarrassing for me then anyone listening! Well, I'm the same way with God. I always share with Him exactly what I'm thinking-even if it's me not being fond of what He's got going on at the time! I had to ask myself today, do I honestly desire to walk in His holy ways, no matter what He asks of me? Do I really commit to live set a part for Him, even when I'm being slammed every day, reminded of what was and what could have been? Do I fully trust God with my whole life? I do. I really do. His love is tender yet powerful and I choose to walk with Him all the days of my life.

I've started confessing some of the struggles I've been having out loud-it's not easy, but necessary. The Lord is faithful to meet me where I am, over and over, He picks me up, dusts me off, and pulls me into His embrace.

I know I've said it before, but I can't say it enough how thankful I am for everyone that's praying for us and reading this blog. It means the world to me! There are times that I still wonder how many people are praying for Cale, how many people have forgotten or get to busy? I know it's crazy that I still think that, but it's there-ugly, ridiculous, and silly. The Lord uses all of you when those thoughts start to enter my mind. I get a message, comment, email, or someone shares a story with me about someone that's been following Cale's recovery and it blesses my heart so much! I feel like if I were to send out a thank you card to everyone that has blessed us through this, I would be writing for years! If I haven't been able to tell you in person or through a card, please know, Cale and I are so incredibly thankful.

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. John 1:16

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Man That I Love...

So...the sleep over lasted until 12:30am. It was exciting to stay while Cale fell asleep and then myself...except that I kept waking up wondering if I felt sweat or pee. Now, it wouldn't be a new thing for me if it was pee, but my mind was stuck on making sure he made it through the night. I had worked out a plan with nursing so my alarm was going to go off at 1am to let me know it was time to help Cale to the bathroom. I started to feel Cale move and quickly out of my mouth came "Boy, lets go to the bathroom!" I think he thought I was crazy-but that's not new either ;) After getting him back in bed, I leaned over and gave him a sweet kiss and said "Can I go to bed?" because he is the best husband ever he said, "yeah it's okay".

Here we are, all ready for bed! :)

Cale did amazing in therapy! I was so impressed with how hard he was working. In OT they worked on some more writing. Usually Cale will do a few words and then he's done and wants to move on to something else. It gets so hard for him because his left and right hand still battle each other. I was a little late getting into OT and when I walked in, there was a stack of papers that Cale had already worked on and was still writing! He did it for 50 minutes! I'm so proud of him! When he was all done, we looked back through each of the papers to look at what he had done. Cale said "I suck." What?! I was sitting there completely amazed by what he had just done! He started pointing at all the ones he messed up on and said "Ewe!" Oh goodness! I pumped him with some encouragement!

Look at all he did!

He also worked crazy hard in PT! Pat first tried to get him to walk with out anything, but Cale was having so much trouble because he was so scared. Pat gave him his hand and Cale's confidence shot way up! Pat was making sure that he wasn't giving Cale support, rather just something to hold. Here's a video for you to see how great he's walking!!:)

I had another meeting today. Plans have changed again (and of course will probably change again), but we were at least able to come up with an idea that I feel so great about. All of it is still up in the air, at least until after Monday when I visit the other facility. It really helps that there's such a great team of people here working with Cale! We're blessed!

A pair of star-crossed lovers. -William Shakespeare

Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be. -Robert Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight for the ends of being and ideal Grace. -Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Tonight was Bingo! Together we had 8 bingo's and Cale won a hat! He picked it out and had the biggest smile on his face! He put it on right away and wanted to show everyone. It was so great!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In Your Arms


I was sent a song in an email that I wanted to share. It was in response to the post I wrote on Sunday about prayer. I've heard the song before, but just listened to it again and I'm reminded how quickly I can let my thoughts get ahead of me.

Waiting for one last thing that's being checked into, but it does look like we're going to be going a different route. I think the part of it that is the hardest, is that I had gotten it in my mind that I was ready to settle. I thought about bringing Cale home and starting a family-moving on with life. It's an exciting thought! It's just not that easy, and it's going to take time. I want whatever is best for him, whatever direction the Lord is leading, it just means me handing over all of my "wants" that have been building up the last few weeks. It's going to be better for Cale so I'm not complaining...well, maybe not complaining a lot ;)

Tonight is going to be a HUGE night! I haven't stayed the night with Cale in a very long time. I had promised Mama when she left NC that I would go to my bed every night and try to get a good night sleep. Over the last month, we've been working on a goal with Cale and when he could make it, the prize was me getting to stay all night with him! I'm really excited and so is he! The staff will still have to come in through the night, so I may not get great sleep, but it's ok! I won't have to say good night to him and then leave...I'll get to stay in his arms! :)

...and the whole Cale eating veggies thing-it's over. He says "Ewe!" to everything now!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, October 18, 2010

Funny Things :)

Yesterday after PT, I told Cale "I am so proud of you! You did so great!" and Cale said "Go Cale!" heehee!

In PT today, Mitch was having Cale walk a little with out the walker. Cale has been so afraid of falling, so at one point, he started to lose his balance. I said "See we didn't let you fall! We caught you." and Cale said "barely!" Haha! He was just slightly leaning...

I found some boots today while out with Mama. I wanted to try them on for Cale today so he could tell me if he liked them. I was wearing my cut-off sweats, but when I put my boots on, Cale said "You look hot!" Haha! Um...not so much!

Mama, Cale, and I were watching a movie this evening. Cale was silent through the whole movie until it showed the guy and girl kiss. Cale pointed at the TV and said "Ooh! Ooh!" We laughed SO hard!! I asked him, "Was that you saying it was gross or good?" and he said "Good!" :)

After the movie I told Cale I needed to take him back to the hospital. C: "Why?" K: "Because that's where you're staying right now." C: "Why?" K: "You're still getting better" C: "I'm all better now!"

By the time I got him back to his room, Cale was really tired and could hardly move. I had to get him all ready for bed still when we got to his room. I walked with him to the bathroom and when he sat down, he looked at me, shrugged his shoulders and said "What do I do now?" I said "You're on the toilet so you can go to the bathroom", his reply... "Oh!" Poor guy was just wanting his bed!!

It was a good day. Mama and I went out for some girl time this afternoon. I found a really cute pair of boots and got them on sale! Oh Yeah! Mama searched for a magnet and couldn't even find one!

When we got back to the hospital, it was time for PT. Mitch was having Cale work on a lot of balancing and doing some of the walking. Cale was being sneaky and finding every short cut that he could. Part of the problem was that his arms are so long, that he can reach rather than take more steps! It was giving us a good laugh :)

I received a call today that might be changing all of our plans around. This of course is not a surprise! I only know that they all might be changing not anything for sure.Of course, it's not like we really knew what the plan was going to be anyways...The family meeting is tomorrow so we'll see whats said and see what the new plans might be. I'm not worried or upset. I know that God is taking care of us and I just need to trust and let Him lead as I've been praying! Of course I always make sure that He knows that I would like Him to share all the plans with me asap! ;)

I'm driving Mama to the airport in the morning. We'll see if she's actually leaving!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy Sunday!

This morning the three of us went to church-outside of the hospital! Cale has been doing really well with stimulation, so I talked with the therapists to see if today we could try a church close by. I thought it would be perfect that Mama would be here and could help out if needed. Cale did so great! I transferred him out of his chair, and he joined right in with us. The first song we sang, everyone was clapping, I looked up at Cale and he had the biggest smile and started clapping too! Through the whole service, he was able to focus and participate. At the end of the sermon, the Pastor asked everyone to think about a couple points that were pointed out, and then to pray about them. Cale closed his eyes and put his head down and kept it there. After a little bit, everyone started singing and Cale's head was still down. "Are you sleeping?" I whispered to him. "No, I'm praying!" he said! haha! It was so funny how he said it. :)

Matthew 6:6
"But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private."

The sermon today was on prayer. Part of it was about needing to go away by ourselves and shutting the door when we pray. This isn't just a physical door, but a door to the distractions around us. We need to come focused and allow ourselves to enter into the presence of the Lord-not just come with mindless thoughts and babbling (6:7) I've been talking for a few weeks to myself about how I need to work out a better schedule and I need to start balancing my time better with being at the hospital and making sure that I get meaningful time in prayer and reading my Bible. So often, I read or pray while thinking about what time it is, how I need to get to the hospital, calls that I need to make, meetings that are going to happen...and so on. It's my challenge this week to really sit at the Father's feet, drink from the cup in His hand, lay back against Him and breathe, feel His heart beat.

Cale is doing amazing with walking! I think pretty soon, he's going to be walking around the unit without the walker. He's still very afraid of falling, but if he could get passed that, his balance is great. I'm so proud of him!

So...I was only teasing when I wrote last night that I was going to keep Mama here. Well, it really happened, she's still here! I dropped her off at the airport and drove all the way back to the hospital. When I got back, I looked at my phone and had two text messages from her "My flight was cancelled, not leaving tonight." and "Can't leave until Tuesday" haha! I started the car and drove back to the airport to get her! Am I sad about it? Not at all! :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lots and Lots of Laughing!

Last night I was exhausted. I love Mama here, but boy do we get a little crazy when we're together! :) We are always laughing! It's so great. Cale fits right in with us like he used to, sometimes he laughs right along with us, and other times he just looks at us and says "what?" because he has no idea why we're laughing so hard...and neither do we most of the time! ;)

The day started with a beautiful Mama&Cale duet. It was decided between the two of them, that I can't sing and they're going to audition for American Idol :)

Tonight was Cale's first time going out to dinner! The 3 of us hopped in the Honda, and drove to PF Changs. There was a bit of a wait for our table (Should I have been surprised? Saturday night-dinner time...) so we sat outside and had a good ol' time! When we were finally seated, all three of us were so hungry! The Chicken Lettuce Wraps were the first item on the table! :)

Here are a few pictures to capture our good time!

Mama is supposed to fly out tomorrow, but my plan is to "accidentally" miss her plane...shh!

So...last night, I was so tired, but at least wanted to write something, so I asked for prayer for peace. I'm honestly not really worried about any of it, but it's on my heart and I know that I just need to let it go! For good!! Well, all day, the Lord has been giving me so much peace! It felt so great to not have it on my mind and in my thoughts all day. Thank you so much for praying! I even had a minute to talk to Cale about a little of it today. He's so sweet and always says the sweetest things :)

I started my morning reading my Bible, like I try to do every morning, and this is what the Lord gave me...!

So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Hebrews 12:12

After all these months...I'm tired. Physically, emotionally, and mentally. The battle isn't over yet, we've got a long way to go, but I can be confident and be refreshed, like I've written before, God has already won the fight! He's conquered death so that we can claim victory!

Caleb and Kathleen, hold your head up high and stand like a soldier! Take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen those weak knees. You have a battle to fight and the Lord has already gone before you! March with power not with fear! Do not be distracted by the things of this world-the enemy, but keep your eyes focused on the King of Kings. Claim Victory in this dry desert! Stomp on discouragement and destroy worry. Be filled with God's glory!

...and remember, the greatest of these is love.

Friday, October 15, 2010


It's wonderful having Mama here. I'm also loving the progress Cale is making. I know he still has a long way to go, but he's really doing so good. I'm enjoying being his wife and having fun with him! I know both of us are longing to go home and start our new life...and I know that time will come!

There's a battle right now inside me. I'm trying so hard to quite the noise and listen for God's voice and not just my own.

Please pray that I will have peace. Miraculous, amazing, perfect, comforting peace! For Cale too!!

Thank you everyone for praying for us.

Good night!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Treats! Lots of Treats!

Mama is here! I left this morning to pick her up and managed to get lost at the airport...twice. It took me an hour to find her! Her and I together are a terrible mix. Haha! At least we're always giggling! :) It's such a treat to have her here and I know it is for Cale too!

For RT, Cale and I played the Wii again. He did so much better than the last time we played! He did get really frustrated towards the end because he was losing. When I told him the point is that he's getting better, he said "No, the point is to win." Well, what do I say to that? He's kind of right, BUT for us, it's the greatest thing to see how he's making progress! It was hard not to laugh at all that he was saying. I know it must be crazy frustrating for him to play and not be as good as he was before.

Another special visit today! Congresswoman Speier came to meet Cale and I. I've missed putting a couple visits from "Important" people up here, but there have been quite a few since we've been here!

Another really BIG treat today was getting to watch Cale walk all by himself!!!! There was NO walker and Pat and Miguel were standing close by, but only touched Cale if he was starting to lose his balance. It was amazing. I've been waiting and waiting for this day to come! It's really hard for him and takes so much energy to go even a short distance, but that's how every step has been. When they first started him using the walker, he struggled so much and now, he pretty much can do it with just someone walking close by. For a while now, we talk about walking on the beach just the two of us and how that's a goal. Today I was able to talk to him about how much closer he is to that! Yay!! :)

Here's a video! It's kind of long and slow going but he makes it all the way to the goal! Woohoo!!

One of the yummy treats today was homemade Strawberry Sorbet! After all of the therapy's were over, the three of us headed to the Fisher House to use the Ice Cream maker.

Cale helped too! I was able to help him stand for some of the time. He would lean against the counter and hold on with one hand. He seemed to LOVE getting to help! Thank you Wake staff!!!!! :)

While the sorbet was getting made in the handy machine :), Mama had made dinner. For those of you that didn't know Cale before the accident, I want you to think about the pickiest eater you know, and then multiply that by...a whole lot! Cale was honestly the pickiest! Tonight he had a salad (this would never have happened in a million years!!), Beef and Lima Bean Soup (again...never!), and Almond Milk (I tried so many times for him to just give a tiny taste and it was always "No way!") to drink. He also had Asparagus (what?!) for lunch.

Who took my husband and what did they do with him?

It's great though! I'm ok if his new eating habits stick for life ;) After dinner, of course we had our dessert! It turned out really tasty. By the time we were eating it, Cale didn't remember making it, but that's ok we took pictures to remind him of how great of a job he did!

...and there was lots of laughter through the rest of the evening!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Putting the Pieces Together

Just for the record, I hate puzzles. I've never been one of those people that can sit and work on a puzzle for hours. Cale loves them, in fact one night, pretty late, he had me go to WalMart with him to see how much a card table would be! He wanted to be able to work on a puzzle and not have to move it from the dinner table. He also has loved every other kind of puzzle he can get his hands on!

Anyways, I'm not a fan. It takes so long and you spend so much time looking for one piece and then another...wouldn't making yummy brownies that you can actually eat be more fun?

It's been some what of a tough going day. I'm pretty sure that every time we have a really great day with Cale, it feels like right after I'm getting slammed. The song that goes "I get knocked down, but I get up again..." was stuck in my head for most of the afternoon.

Patty did some more testing today. I've been watching everyday and finally asked how it was really going...she said not so great. I had to quickly remind myself that the test is not the final answer. If the results are bad that doesn't mean that Cale isn't making progress! It doesn't mean he's not going to heal more. After talking to her about how the test went, I could feel myself getting slightly discouraged. Along with hearing that the test isn't going so well, I've still been trying to work on details for the next facility. I know that a lot of you have been asking what's next and when, and honestly I have no idea. On the 25th I'm going to visit an out-patient rehab in Vancouver. They will keep Cale for a couple months to transition him into be bringing him home. Right now I'm fighting to keep him here as long as possible because as long as he's here, he's able to get more therapy. The scores on the test are showing where he's at cognitively, but if those aren't great, then that's where I lose my fight. He's making tons of progress physically, but they want to see it in the cognitive side too.

I really want the best for him. If that means him leaving here, going to the transition facility and then home with me, that's great. I just don't want to keep him from any opportunity's that are there for him. It's been heavy on my heart and even though I keep taking it to the Lord and surrendering, I find myself picking it back up every day. Anyone else guilty of that?

After talking to Cale's mom tonight, I started to think about how all the pieces will come together-they will! It takes time and the Lord will continue to lead me every new step just like He's been doing through all of this. As much as I hate doing puzzles, the end result is always so beautiful-and that's what the Lord is promising if I TRUST Him.

It doesn't mean I like the process though.

As for something very exciting...I get to pick Mama up from the airport tomorrow!!! Yay! I can't wait to see her! There's nothing like having your mom around to make everything better :) She always seems to make me laugh when no one else can and she happens to be a very good cook! Heehee! I've been eating hospital food for too long! So has Cale!

When I don't know the answers or what to do next, the Bible says to do what is good, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God. Micah 6:8

So for now that's just what I'm going to do! :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Wop Bop A Loo Bop She Bop Bam Boom

Wow! What a day! I'm not even sure where to start! Yeehaw! :)

First things first, I love Fall. I love the smell, the colors, the yumminess, the clothes, the feel of the air...I love it all! I went running this morning, and even though it was in the 90's (this is what I've heard, but since this morning I haven't walked outside!) today, this morning really felt like sweet fall was here again.

This is us in 08' apple picking with the Hoppel family and the Souls family. We finished the day with an elephant ear....Mmm!

So on to the big events of the day...It started in ST when Patty upgraded Cale to thin liquids!! Yay! He can now drink in whatever cup he wants, and whatever he wants! This is SO nice! I'm so proud of him. He does need a straw for now, but that's very doable :)

Next, the lady came today and Cale signed the papers for me to be POA! It's a done deal! Finally that hurtle is behind us. I was thinking back to when I was dealing with all of that in NC and how it's continued to me a miserable bump in the road and now, I can be done with it. Cale was so cute when he was signing and when he told the lady he wanted me to be POA. He's so stinkin' sweet! He makes me giggle all day long!

I told the lady that I was going to be a geek and take a picture of the moment ;)

Last but not least...Cale's Peg tube is out! Yes! Dr. Sigford checked his charts today to make sure that he's getting all the fluids that he needs and then set up a date with us at 2:30. I was so nervous for Cale! I've heard how much it hurts and of course I didn't want Cale hurting! We all gowned up and I took Cale's hand. I new I wasn't going to be able to watch so I kept my eyes on his face. When she started to pull, Cale's face changed so quick and I was the one squeezing his hand...maybe I'm what caused his pain! haha! His mouth was open so wide and I could see the pain he was in, but no sound came out. When it was all over (and I started to breathe again!) I yelled out "Scream Boy!" and he said "Owe." Then I shouted "It's out!" and Cale smiled and with a laugh said "YAY!" I'm not sure too many people laugh after that...I heard screaming and swearing usually occur! He was sore after, but both of us were so excited to have that darn tube gone!

This was right after she pulled it out! Do you see his happy face?!

Another moment of remembering for me-When Rachel was here, I had just had a family meeting where they talked about me needing to not feel bad about eating in front of Cale because he may never be able to eat real food and I am not going to be able to hide that from him for the rest of our lives. I told Rachel how I knew that it might be like that, but how I hated the thought and I longed to cook for him again. Well, look where we are today! Thank you Jesus!

Now all glory to God, who is ABLE, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20

I don't know why this has all happened, and I may never. I do know that if God gives Cale 100% (It is still possible through Him!) full recovery, I'm going to be so incredibly thankful. If not, I'm going to keep on loving and serving God anyways. I will stay right beside my amazing husband and have beautiful children with him. Every day, I will continue to press into my Savior, stay wrapped in His arms, and thank Him for every miracle that He has made and I know will continue to make. <3

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lazy Day :)

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." Albert Einstein

Today was the first day since July that I've had a lazy day with my husband. Every day here is filled with therapy's, meetings, phone calls, organizing, and so much more. Even when Cale and I do get to sneak away to my room, I usually have a bunch of stuff I have to get done while we're cuddling! It was great to have a break. The morning was still a little busy, but after lunch we took off to Fisher House and there we stayed until it was time to go back to the hospital for dinner. So nice!

Tonight before I got Cale in bed, I was talking to him about the accident. This time, he asked me if he had gotten hurt. When I explained everything he said "Oh no! How sad." I reminded him again of why he's in the hospital and how he's getting better everyday. When I was talking to him about how much of a miracle he is and all that he's doing now, I thought about how much of a miracle it is that I was talking to him about it and that he's understanding! It was a miracle that we were talking about him being a miracle!

Every night before I leave after our special cuddle time, we always pray together. Usually it's me praying and I've been trying to ask him every night something that he's thankful for. Tonight Cale prayed too.

"Hi God! Hi! I love you." - How precious those words must me to the ears of the King!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Our day was filled with a trip to the San Francisco Zoo! Cale and I had a blast. It was SO much fun! I needed it after the hard time I was having last night. The Lord always knows what we need and has perfect timing!

Lots of pictures were taken! I won't put them all on here...but there are some that I really wanted to share. Part of the fun we had today was a game that I thought of last night and Cale agreed to it! :) As we went around the Zoo, we were supposed to make ourselves look like the animals. Here's the animals we tried to look can see them in the backgrounds of each picture!

Here is Cale being a Giraffe-

Here we are being Gorillas-

We're supposed to be Penguins...but I'm not sure what we look like ;)-

This was the only Elephant in the whole Zoo!-

Do we look like chimpanzees?


Us being Lions!-

It's so much easier to put on a mask! :)

"Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s." 2 Chronicles 20:15

"You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem (Caleb and Kathleen). Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you." 2 Chronicles 20:17

"Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever." 2 Chronicles 20:21

I am so incredibly blessed that I am able to have a blast with my husband. It's not fake or pretend. It's not miserable or mopey. It's a real amazing crazy blast with him. I love him so much! I'm also incredibly thankful that this isn't a battle that I'm fighting alone. The Lord is fighting for us and with us! His living Word says over and over that we are not to be afraid or discouraged! Cale and I both need to start each day with confidence and know-truly know that God is with us and not against us! His love endures forever! Not just a little while but forever!