Friday, April 30, 2010

Walking!

Today Cale walked so far! With help he walked 50 feet! He's still having trouble moving his right leg by himself but he's trying :)

Here's Cale standing tall!


Today was a good day for me! Hannah, her mom, and Jaxon are here visiting for the day. This evening they both prayed for him and sang. It's so encouraging that God is giving so many people peace, specific verses, and words through this for us. It confirms God has plans for Cale! :)


Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Beautiful Feet

Today Cale took steps again! He hasn't been able to since last week. Not only did he take steps today but, for the first time today, he stood tall! He held his head up for most of it and was looking a foot above me again :) I was so excited! I know God has plans for those feet Cale's walking with!

I have sweet puppy eyes starring at me, begging for attention...


How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Isaiah 52:7

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Surprise!

Hospital life...I'm not sure how "normal" it can get, but today up until a little bit ago, was pretty normal I'd say. This morning when I got here, the speech therapist was in and said that Cale was trying to push himself up to sit. The nurse was in the room also and they were discussing how this might be a problem if he were in bed with no restraints, then he could possibly fall out of bed and how they might have to switch his bed again. I realized as I was getting the news that he was trying to sit up, I have been organizing all of his progress since last week! Every time I see something or hear of something Cale has done, I try to decide what folder it goes in, is it expected progress, or beyond expected progress? It's like I put it on a scale of how excited should I be? Well, I'm done with that. He deserves all of my excitement all of the time! With EVERY little step he takes through recovery.

This afternoon they tried to walk him again. Still no luck with weight on his left leg. They did stand him up in this standing contraption thing. He tolerated 8 minutes, which seemed to be a good amount of time. I try to interpret the theapist faces :)


We got to sit outside some more today. It was pretty chilly, but I didn't mind. he always seems to relax when we go out. I did find a bug bite on his leg today! I'm not sure why it seemed like such an exciting thing it this crazy head of mine, all I can think of is that at least his leg is still here, to even get a bug bite! haha!

So, I was sitting here on the computer looking up different facilities and information on TBI patients and all of a sudden, there's Caleb's head! He was sitting up in bed! I gasped really loud and ran to the bed, right away he laid back down and stayed there, leaving my heart racing! It was so weird! I half expected to run over and have him look at me and talk like normal! I didn't want to say anything to the nurse because it's huge seeing him sit up like that and I don't want them to restrain him...well, about 15 minutes later, the nurse walks in to give Caleb his feeding and he does it again! This morning when they were talking about the possibility of him sitting up, they explained it wasn't something that's really unusual at this stage, but his movements are a lot more purposeful so that is a good thing. He's funny and always makes me smile :) I started laughing so hard, what else can you do?

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Job 8:21

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

If You Want Me To

It's been another good day! Cale made lots more sound this morning in speech. Deirdre said this morning was more then she's ever heard. He's starting to use his tongue to help change the sound. Hopefully soon we'll have words!

They tried to get Cale to take more steps today, like Friday he's not wanting any weight on his left leg. They've started him on medication to try to help that out.

The last few months have been a struggle. It's been full of high points, like when Cale moved his thumb for the first time or when he took his first steps. Also, low points, like finding out Cale had pneumonia or hearing the bad news that it looks like he may stay this way forever. Everything has been posted on here, including everything I've been feeling, good or bad. Well, I wanted to share some lyrics to a song written by Ginny Owens. I had first seen her, I think at a Women of Faith conference? I'm not sure, but I remember hearing this song, and many times since I was younger I've come to God with these words, and now is another one of those times. I hope that it can help everyone to see where I'm at in all of this. :)

If You Want Me To

The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Chorus:
Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

ya oh oh no

So When the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley If You want me to
-Ginny Owens

This isn't what I would have chosen for our new life together. It's not fun, but if it brings me closer to God, if it brings everyone around me, watching this and going through this with us, closer to Him, I'll do it. Years ago, I surrendered my life to Christ and that was every part of my life. Honestly, it doesn't always feel like He hears my cries, it doesn't because I don't see the answers I want, but God is so much more then "running on my time"! If He's asking me to go through this, with life like this, I'll do it. I'm going to be clinging the whole way through to His promises that God's not done with me and that He's got Cale in His victorious right hand. I don't know why this happened. I don't understand, but I do know that God loves me, and He loves Cale, even more then I love Cale. I'm trusting Him.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Good Report

Monday is report day. I meet with the case manager and go over the report and ask any questions I have. I went into this meeting a little nervous because I had questions, lots of questions, and I wasn't sure what the answers were going to be. I also felt like my boxing gloves were on and I was ready to fight. I'm not sure completely why I was so worked up, but I knew I wanted to make a point. Point being-I'm not giving up. I have been feeling like all these plans about the future were coming too fast and it really felt like it was giving up on Cale. There's a lot on my plate, a lot of things I have to get figured out and a nonstop whirlwind in my head. Today, my very sweet case manager helped me figure a few things out and helped calm my thoughts. After some great time with the Lord today and the meeting I feel so much better about decisions I'll be having to make. I'm so very thankful that even with ups and downs with emotions, the peace and joy the Lord gives does not waiver, it doesn't just leave me when things get hard. Anyways, enough babbling...great news! On the report it says...vision in left eye appears good. Ahh! I've been praying for that even though there was optical damage and even though everyone was saying there would most likely be no vision with that eye, I knew God could change that, and He did! I realize that they won't really know, until Cale wakes up more, but it says it on the report! That's HUGE!

The report also says that there is increased vocalizations noted, and emerging response to stimulation noted (eye blink, grimace)!! Oh what a good day! I've also been watching for any little thing that would show that he's starting to become more aware, yesterday he adjusted himself in bed and rolled to his side to get comfortable. It was the first time I've seen that and today he did it several times. Also, he played with my hand today and it seemed different then before. He actually was straightening his fingers to hold my hand. Since Saturday he's been moving his tongue across the back of his teeth! My heart is beating so fast and I haven't stop to take a breath! Haha! It's been a good day :)


His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor His delight in the legs of a man, the Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love. Psalm 147:10-11

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday

I wasn't at the hospital that much today. While I was there, I did get to take Cale outside and sit for awhile. I think he really enjoys it. :)

I'm slightly feeling like the plans that are in motion or are going to be in motion are finalizing that this is the way it's going to be. I know I need to stop that thinking it's just hard. It's one of those battles. I just have to keep reminding myself, God is bigger!

Basil and I are cuddling in bed. He had lots of play time today so I think he's going to sleep really good! Hopefully me too!!

Good night!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Unexpected Tears

Last night while I was with Nikki and the boys, I was telling Nikki a story about one of Cale's shirts and all of a sudden I realized, I have no idea what shirt he was wearing the day of the accident! I knew he was wearing his new hoodie that he had just bought, but what shirt underneath? Tears came to my eyes and I felt so desperate to know, I had to find out. I even called my brother to make him check in the bag that I asked him not to throw out, Cale's clothes, cut, and bloody, but I had to know. The shirt wasn't even in there. It must have been forgotten at the hospital. It was so unexpected and I felt silly that it bothered me that way. It was so unsettling not to know. Poor Nikki had to deal with my sudden emotions!

Cale had a good day. He sat in his chair for 3 hours today. I think that's the longest he's been able to tolerate it. This evening he turned himself on his side, tucked his arm under his head, curled up, and fell asleep. This is the first time I've seen him really try to get comfortable and sleep like he used to. Something small but so encouraging to me. He also wouldn't let go of my hand. I liked that :)

This is going to be a busy week and for the next few weeks, I'm going to be having to make some decisions that are going to be kind of hard. Please pray for wisdom. I'm seeking so much what the Lord will have me do, but I have to be willing to have open ears to hear, and right now I'm not sure I want to hear too much.

...and just to clarify :) when I said the other night that I went "for drinks" with a friend, I had a latte, dark chocolate and hazelnut in fact, and she had a smoothie. :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

TRUST

Yesterday, I asked everyone to pray and fast for Cale. Part of me was expecting all day for something to happen, something that Cale would do that would show me that he's going to be healed! Or even better, he would suddenly wake up and say "hi!". That wasn't the thought when God put it on my heart or when I set a date and asked everyone to join me, but from the time I got to the hospital until I left last night, I waited in anticipation. What did happen, was the Lord began to do something in my heart.

I was talking to the nurse about Cale and how I feel like I should be a lot more grateful that he didn't die. I'm so concerned with him getting better and having him back that I forget that he's alive! The nurse looked at me and said "Kathleen, his body is still here, but it is hard, because, it's like the man you married and fell in love with did die. He'll forever be different." She didn't say it in a harsh way or with out compassion, but what she said, helped me realize that yes, he will be different, I don't know if God is going to heal him, and it's okay to mourn the loss. IT IS OKAY. I went on a walk with Basil yesterday, after talking to the nurse, and once again poured everything in me to the Lord. I could feel so strongly him saying "Trust me" there are so many verses that people have given me, or that I've read that are so encouraging but don't have an answer. We just don't know what's going to happen. Right now, there's a lot to think about for the future, a lot of questions in my head and I have a choice, I either have fear or I trust. I can't have both. I have felt so much peace from the very first night but yesterday afternoon, I felt like, hmm...I know it might sound cheesy, but I felt like I was swimming in it. His way is going to be the best and right now I'm going to believe for a miracle and hope for a full recovery.

Cale and Basil met for the first time yesterday! It was so exciting. Robby and Shawna (the friends that gave me Basil) were walking up with him and I was sitting with Cale. I saw them from a distance and my heart started to beat faster! Haha! I was so excited for Cale to touch Basil and for Basil to see Cale. It was really sweet. I think part of the time Cale was just trying to push him away, but...it's okay :)

Today Cale has been pretty quiet. PT and OT were trying to get him to walk again today but Cale for some reason didn't want his left leg on the ground. They said it felt a little warm, so they were going to let the nurse know and make sure it's being watched. For a little bit today he was playing with my hand. He does it every now and then but lately he's always just pushing me away. This time he held on and played with my fingers. It was so great. It's just one of those moments I'm going to hold onto!

I'm getting excited now about what God is going to do. I don't know what but I know it'll be something! I know He's already doing so much, not just in my life but many others. Thank you so much for everyone who joined me yesterday. It's still so amazing to think there are people all over the world still praying for Cale!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Such a Darling Family :)

I have lots to share but for tonight, this will have to do...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sun on his face

Despite today being another hard, emotional, roller coaster of a day, it was really great. I spent the morning being tossed between feeling so much encouragement and discouragement all at the same time, it's pretty interesting the thoughts that come during a time like that. At some points I'm not sure which one I'm feeling. Rachel reminded me today that it's okay that I'm having all these thoughts and feelings because God can handle it. How great that He can! Good news is that even though there is discouragement, I feel way more encouraged then not!

They had to do a few tests along with another chest x-ray to see if there was anything happening with Cale that shouldn't be going on. His temperature was a little high today and his white blood cells were up. So far they've gotten the results for everything except the blood test and so far he's doing fine.

The final test for the infection we've been waiting on came back today...it was negative! Woohoo! That's so nice because now Cale can go outside. Today was really rainy and cold so by the time they said he was clear to leave the room we had to just walk around the hospital, which was still way better then staying in his little room. When the lady came to tell me his room was finished being cleaned and we could go back in if we wanted, I decided to walk just a little longer. As we walked pass the windows in the hall, I saw sun! It didn't feel cold at all outside so we went! Cale's first time getting fresh air and feeling the warmth of the sun on his face. It was such a great moment! Doesn't he look handsome! Hehe! :)


Also, today PT and OT wanted to take some more steps today. He was having lots of trouble with his right leg. When they first started he would move his left leg, pause, and then move his left leg again. It was like it didn't register that his right leg didn't move. As they walked him today, they moved his right leg, but he did the left on his own. He was having trouble standing straight, but that will come :) Here he is...sorry it's sideways...
video

Today is 10 weeks since the accident. I was watching some of the older videos, it's amazing how far Cale has come. Really. We were so excited when he first started to lift his hand and then his arm, and now he's walking to his bed! Everyday, we are another step farther in recovery. I'm so proud of him.

Tomorrow is the day I'm asking everyone to spend the day fasting and praying with me! Thank you so much for coming along side me and encouraging me so much.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Refuge

Well, today ended up being a very emotional day. This whole experience has been a roller coaster but I think today tops it all! I think the thing I'm struggling with the most, is that I miss Cale so much. I was looking at the pictures that are around his room, and I want so badly to have him back. I can also look at the pictures from the couple days right after the accident and be reminded that he's already so much of a miracle.

Today I went and had coffee with a friend. I was at first not wanting to go. I was having a hard time at the hospital and just felt like being alone and having a little pity party (they have to come at some point!). I ended up saying yes and I think partly it was coming out and I didn't know how to stop it! I'm so glad I did! It was such a blessing. I was able to pour out everything that was bundled up inside and she just listened to my babbles. After, she didn't make what I was feeling small, or not important. Part of what I was saying to her is during the first week, I had been reading in Judges and a few other books that were all stories of different battles. As I was reading I felt like I was a warrior and ready for victory! That's kind of how it's been everyday, I wake up and I'm ready to fight. It's been a long hard fight so far, but it was my turn to be the soldier and help fight for Cale's life. This morning I was reading the very end of 1 Samuel when the Philistines attack Israel and Saul was wounded severely. When I read that, in that moment for Saul I could imagine the defeat he felt. then he asks his armor bearer to kill him so he won't be humiliated. When I heard the prognosis, that's how I felt, defeated. I'm not saying that God lost, but the battle I was fighting, the fight for full recovery, I had lost. Later this evening, I was reading in my Bible some more and reading some of the encouragement from everyone, and I realized, my battle is NOTHING like Saul's! God was not with him. Yes, Saul was defeated, and that is how I felt, but I'm not alone in the fight. Thank you everyone who is standing with me and fighting!

I was also reading in Psalms and in Psalm 46:1 it says God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. On the side, a few years ago, I had written a comment about the verse...it says "Do I understand what it means to claim Christ as my refuge in times of trouble?" WOW! Goodness...at the time I wrote that, I had no idea the "times of trouble" I would have to face, but boy am I learning about really claiming Christ as my refuge!

There were also so many verses from Isaiah that God had given me when Cale was in ICU and the doctors started to tell us what they thought about Cale's condition, and the notes I had written a few times was that the doctors do not have the final say. That was all the way back in February. God has already shown how mighty He is.

Tonight as I fall asleep, I feel my spirit so encouraged. The battle is not over. On Thursday, please join me in a day of prayer and fasting for Cale's recovery. I'm not done fighting!

Oh! I almost forgot!! Cale took his first steps today! It was amazing! He did really well I think. They stood him up and he was really wobbly, after a minute they had him sit down again, they did it twice and his breathing was a little heavy. I didn't want them to stop though! After a couple minutes, PT said let's just try a couple steps and see what he can do. He did it! He had lots of trouble with his right leg, but he also has trouble with his right arm. Hopefully this week, I'll have a walking husband! :)

His yoke

Today is a new day! Yesterday, was hard. It was hard looking into the face of so many people that were saying that for the rest of my husbands life, he might be like this. My husband. The man who is supposed to take care of me, hold me when I'm sad, laugh with me, protect me, and miss me when we're apart. He's the man that's supposed to look at me and say I'm beautiful, say I love you. What precious sweet words. Cale and I want kids so bad, we were just starting to try. Ugg. The thought of growing old alone while Cale spends the rest of his life...this way...my heart...HE IS ENOUGH. It just felt like suddenly we were running out of time. 5 weeks and then the fight might be all over? God do you realize we're running out of time-yikes! Silly me! God doesn't run on my time or the doctors! He's outside of time!

I did this morning what I've done every morning since February 11, I've surrendered the day to the Lord. It might be hard, it might be a really good day, only He knows and either way, it's His. Since Cale and I got married, I've wanted to be the best wife that I could. Through all the time that he was deployed, I always asked God to help me be the best wife that I could be for him through it. Nothing has changed, I want to be the best wife for Cale that I can be, even if this is the way things are going to be. I'm realizing it's a possibility, even more now then before, BUT I'm not forgetting that God has Cale in His victorious right hand.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28

Thank you everyone for all of your encouragement. I needed to hear it all. I needed to be reminded before I closed my eyes for the night that it's not too late. God is in control and He's doing amazing things in my life, and Cale's. Thank you!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The cup.

My heart has been screaming "take this cup from me!" since about 11:30 this afternoon. My eyes are burning from the tears that won't seem to stop today, my head is pounding, and my stomach is in knots, wishing I wouldn't have eaten so much for lunch.
On Mondays, everyone involved in Cale's care meet together and discuss his progress, where he's currently at, and their goals for him. This is also when I get the weekly report. Today the neuropsychologist met with me to talk about Cale's injuries and what that means. I'm going to try to interpret my scribbles in my notebook...Cale had bleeding under both layers of the brain. She said there is a soft outer layer and then a thicker leather-like layer. The bleeding and bruising will go away and with time, heal. He had a hematoma in the left frontal lobe, which they did the surgery to fix that. Then because of the severe swelling and only so much room the brain pushed out the back and his brain stem was damaged. A lot of cases this is very life-threatening. Also, the impact in the accident caused cells to break and not be able to communicate. Here is a website that explains what the term she was using for Cale's prognosis.
http://www.brainandspinalcord.org/traumatic-brain-injury-types/diffuse-axonal-injury/index.html
They don't think at this point, that Cale is ever going to be able to care for himself. They're hoping that when he starts walking (which could be this week!) that he can get to the point of being aware enough that he can hold a conversation and know whats going on around him. The last 10 weeks it's been them saying they don't know, they just don't know. Now, they've diagnosed Cale with severe diffuse axonal injury. I KNOW God is still in control and works miracles. I'm not giving up or loosing hope, I'm just realizing that it's not just me saying anymore that Cale might be like this forever, it's reality. As of today they are still estimating 5 weeks left in this program, but at this point are not thinking he's going to make it to rehab and that I should start making plans for our life this way. When they first brought up nursing homes at Pitt, I said no, and that I didn't think it was God's plan. Then, it was just a lightly brought up possibility, now I'm supposed to be making plans. God had laid on my heart to spend a day fasting and praying for Cale and now I understand the need!
He was finally cleared today to put weight on his left leg, so they're going to try to stand him up tomorrow. It's an exciting thing, but now there seems to be a yucky black cloud over everything. Blah.
My heart is so heavy today. I'm so sad for my husband. He's a man so full of life, of craziness, and it's all been taken away from him. Please continue to pray for him. I just miss him so much.
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Luke 22:42

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sleepy Sundays

Not to much to post again. Cale was weighed this morning and he's back up to 118! Hopefully we're done with all the loosing and he can get it back on! He seemed a little more relaxed today.

I STILL haven't slept...ugg. I'm finishing up Cale's laundry and then I have big plans of sleeping. :) Basil is already snoring and it's only 6:30!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Slow days are ok too!

Cale didn't do much today. He made a few noises when I was helping with his mouth care. He did let me talk to him! He actually didn't push me away this morning :)

He did get into a little bit of trouble this afternoon. He some how manages to get the mitts off every 15 minutes and gets into anything he can! He just likes to keep the nurses busy! :)

happy weekend!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A new laughter arises!

You know when you have a mountain of mail that builds up, stuff that you know you need to go through and throw away the garbage but some of it is actually important? It's hard finding time to sort through it all. Well, my brain fills like a pile of mail. For the most part, I like things organized. My brain at this point is not. I don't think it ever has been which is why at age 16 I was having to carry around a notebook in my purse to keep notes of everything, when at the same time, my mom was having to do that too. I just started a lot younger...anyways, I haven't been able to sleep in a week and I figured out last night around 2am that it's because of the chaos in my brain. I have so many thoughts stored up that the warning light is flashing brightly, so I thought I better just take the time and sort it out. So I'm using this nifty blog :) Hopefully, I get it out and for some it's a little encouragement and not a cause of a nap.

Yesterday I was reading Mark 9. A man came to Jesus and was asking healing for his son. After explaining what was happening with the boy, the man asks Jesus to do something if He can. In verse 23 is the reply "What do you mean, 'If I can'?" Jesus asked. "Anything is possible if a person believes." Later, in Mark 10, a blind man yells out to Jesus, and when Jesus asks the man what he wanted him to do, the blind man says "I want to see" and Jesus says "Go your way, Your faith has healed you." I just continue to be so amazed my all the miracles! I grew up reading these stories over and over but now when my heart feels so desperate for a miracle, I can really put myself in the places of these people that lived so long ago. There are so many questions with Cale's condition. There has been since day one. At first it was whether he was going to live, and then every little step is unknown. Now, my thoughts are consumed with the future and how our life will forever be different. I can't hold on to the past and think it will be like that again. This has changed our whole life. It doesn't mean that it will be bad. It's just all unknown. I feel the constant challenge, to just believe and have faith. Because of that I've been able to see Cale go from laying in ICU not able to move to now making noises and holding his head up! Every day I have to come to the Lord and be like one of those people from the stories, and know that HE IS ENOUGH. He will hold me and sustain me. He gives the amount of strength I need, and He's healing Cale more and more everyday. If I choose to believe and have faith, we will see the other side.

This morning I went for a walk with Basil. The alarm went off and with another night of no sleep, I turned it off and had every intention of rolling over and going back to sleep. That was until I realized there was a body next to mine. As I opened my eyes and they adjusted to the dark room, I saw this little face starring at me and then a light whimper...he needs to go potty. If I don't get up now it will happen, and it won't be fun to clean. When we got outside and Basil did his business, I decided a walk with the Lord would be a good refreshment. I did this just a couple weeks ago and I just really enjoy being able to walk and pour my heart out to the only one that can really understand ALL that's on my heart. If you haven't tried taking a walk, just you and the Lord (and a dog if you happen to have one!) and really talking to Him before, I encourage you. It's delightful :) and time spent with the King, is necessary for trials like this. I know that if my life, before the accident, didn't include genuine times with Him then I would be a pile of gunk stuck to the floor, soaked in unstoppable tears.

I'm in the early stages of the agitation, and Cale is not wanting anything to do with anybody, including me. It's in and out, but for the most part, if I get near him and talk he's quick to raise his arm and push me away. This idea of him not wanting me, frightened me when I first heard about it a couple weeks after the accident. I couldn't imagine him not being better hearing my voice or feeling my touch. I know I'm only in the early stages of it, but it's nothing like what I thought it was going to be like. I find myself laughing so much and becoming excited just to see responses! there will be times that it gets hard, but what a blessing to see him be so purposeful!

One last thing before I end, On Thursday, April 22nd, I would like to invite everyone to take the day to pray and fast for Cale's recovery. I'll post about it when it get's closer, but for now, if you would like to join me, mark your calenders!

and...once again the address on the blog is getting fixed. I'm not getting the mail that's coming until way after it arrives because I'm not a patient here so they can't find me!:)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Update - Kathleen

They still weren't able to do the MRI last night. They had given Cale the medication to help keep him calm and it didn't work! He kept moving and they said when they strapped him to the bed he got even more agitated. They ended up doing another CT scan but this time they used contrast so hopefully that will work.

He started making more noises today! It was more then a grunt here and there. I really felt like he was going to say something! I think I keep feeling like that, but that's ok :) One day it will happen! The noises are becoming longer and more frequent now, but so far he only makes them when he's getting worked up.

PT and OT put him on the tilt table again today. I think this time they did it higher then I've seen before. He seemed to do fine with being up, but again he hates being strapped so he gets so worked up. He kept trying to get out of it. We're still waiting to hear if he's able to put weight on his left leg yet.

I have lots of thoughts and things to say but those are just going to have to wait :) I would like prayer for sleep. I haven't been sleeping again...this is an on and off struggle. I just feel so tired but all night I'm on overload with all these thoughts that just don't like to go away. I'm still functioning and I know it will pass just like a couple weeks ago when I couldn't sleep, it's just frustrating.

Here's Cale! One day he'll be standing on his own!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Update - Kathleen

When I got to the hospital this morning the nurse had interesting stories to tell me about Cale. Since the trach is out, they've been trying to leave him unmitted as much as possible but as I wrote before, he gets into so much trouble! Well, he did last night! He pulled out the tube that inserts into his feeding tube, while he was being fed, so all of his meal was all over the bed! He made a really big mess! He also decided he didn't like the bandage that was covering his trach site! I did get to see the area this morning while kit was off and it's already healed! The body is such an amazing thing! It's just scabbed so they keep a gauze with Vaseline over it to keep the area moist. In a few days that will be off and hopefully he'll be a little more restful :)

He was supposed to get an MRI done on his nose yesterday but when I left today it still wasn't done. They found out after the accident that he has a mass in his nose, this explains lots of problems he has had with his nose! They also want to check the facial fractures and see how they're healing.

Exciting thing! When PT and OT were in this morning, again everyday they sit him on the side of the bed, and try to get him to hold his head up and balance himself. When they let go of him, they want there to be some sign that he's trying to hold himself up, today, he did it! They always put his hand on the railing to start and he takes it off. When he does this he starts to tip...
Here's a 15sec video to show you!

video

Also! Today is 9 weeks since the accident and a perfect day to get a puppy! Yes! I got one :) He's crazy adorable! He's a boxer and 5 months old. He's already kennel trained, which is so nice! We went on a nice walk this afternoon, and an interesting run this evening. He's a character! Haha! I named him Basil. I think Cale is going to shake his head at me when he wakes up and hears what I've named out first dog :) I think Basil and I are going to become dear friends.
Here's us!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Update - Kathleen

I just thought of something I should share! The second test results for Cale's infection came back negative! We have one more week to go. Sunday they'll do the third test and hopefully by next Tuesday we'll be done with that whole thing! Thanks for praying!

Update - Kathleen

So far today has been a good morning! He did great with his first night with the trach out! They still have to keep the mits on him when no one is in his room because somehow he's still getting into trouble :)

I forgot to post this picture yesterday, of me and my trachless husband!! :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Update - Kathleen

The trach is OUT!! Woohoo! He was capped all weekend and this afternoon the doctor came in and took the trach out! It's crazy how it's such a huge step but only took a second for the doctor to do! What a big day today!

I met with the case manager today for the weekly report. The time PT said Cale held his head up was 8-10 minutes. My 15 wasn't too far off ;) He's able to tolerate the tilt table at a 60 degree angle for up to 10 minutes with stable vital signs.

They have Cale in level 3 on the Rancho scale:
III. Localized Response
A person at this level will:
* be awake on and off during the day
* make more movements than before
* react more specifically to what he sees, hears or feels. For example, he may turn towards a sound, withdraw from pain, and attempt to watch a person move around the room;
* react slowly and inconsistently;
* begin to recognize family and friends;
* follow some simple directions such as "Look at me" or "squeeze my hand";
* begin to respond inconsistently to simple questions with "yes" or "no" head nods
Cale at this point is not yet attempting to watch a person move around the room, recognizing family and friends, following simple directions consistently, or responding to any command or question with head nods. So, with not doing any of those it may be hard to understand why he's at level 3. He's just at the very basic level 3.

Progress is being made! It's so exciting! Getting the trach out has felt so far away and now it's out! It's gone. We're all done with that part! :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Update - Kathleen

Happy Sunday! :)

Cale had a pretty busy morning. The nurse said that yesterday he had a slight temperature so they did some blood tests and a few other tests just to make sure they aren't missing anything. Everything came back with out any big worries. The chest x-ray showed the same spot they had seen before. The nurse said they might address that tomorrow.

At 9am this morning it had been 24hrs that Cale had been capped! I just called the nurse station and he's still capped! If he makes it through the night, the trach might becoming out tomorrow! That's going to be so nice for him!

They also did Cale's weekly weight and he's down to 105lbs. He's still loosing so much weight even after they've increased how many times he's getting fed. I know he'll get it all back soon enough.

At 11:00 today, I hopped in my car and drove an hour to visit my sister-in-law and my two sweet nephews. :) The idea has been there for a couple weeks to go, but I haven't wanted to even think about driving a whole hour away from Cale. Thursday night, I realized that after 60 days of being in a hospital all day, everyday, that maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a way. It ended up being a really nice drive. I got to play outside with the boys and cuddle with them on the couch watching Princess and the Frog. It was a great afternoon! I was able to get back to the hospital and spend more time with Caleb before I headed for the hotel too. I'm excited for this next week to see what he's going to do next! First, it looks like the trach will be coming out so that is already another huge step, on top of whatever else he's going to surprise me with!

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Update - Kathleen

Busy day today! It's getting late and I'm tired, so I won't be able to get all my thoughts out tonight but I'll try to get the important stuff :)

I got results from the x-rays. I don't really understand what the nurse was saying, so after I talk to the doctor on Monday, hopefully, I'll be able to understand and explain better. Quote from the nurse "Honey, your husband was banged up bad." Good thing I serve a God that loves my banged up husband! :)

As far as the infection...they did three tests and they all came back negative but it turns out that they have to do one test a week for three weeks and they all have to be negative. We will hopefully have the end results around the 20th. I think it's crazy that it's already the 10th!

I want to end tonight with saying thank you. I feel so incredibly blessed. Just since my really hard day on Thursday, there has been people calling and coming to visit at the hospital that I've never met and that's how it's been all along. There are so many people praying for Cale and giving such encouragement to me through all of this. Thank you so much. Just the fact that for the first 7 weeks I was never alone shows how many special people are in our lives. I'm reminded everyday when I look around his room and see the prayer chain!

Good night!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Update - Kathleen

Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!!!! God has smothered me in hugs and kisses today! Today, has been amazing! Oh my goodness! :)!!!!

So...after being here for a couple hours I find out that 2 of the 3 tests for the infection came back negative and we're waiting on the last test results. So far so good with that! Just the fact that the first two are negative is huge!

Next, I found out that Cale was capped for 12 hours yesterday! Woohoo! They wanted to try overnight but the doctor said we'll wait for Monday for that. 12 hours! Oh my goodness! Cale is doing so great with it. I'm so proud of him!

Also, yesterday when the Speech Therapist came in, Cale didn't react at all with the ice chips or smelly stuff. I was trying not to get discouraged because some days are going to be better then others. This morning he was making funny faces and turning his head away! He was reacting so much! Still no sound, but that will come!

Still not done...PT and OT came in and sat Cale up on the side of the bed. They do this almost everyday to stretch him and see if he can hold his head up. He never does, he just gets mad at them holding his head. Well, today, CALE HELD HIS HEAD UP!!! He did it for 15 minutes straight! I'm estimating on the time...I think about that though! It was SOOOOO happy! He just held it up without being asked. They sat him up and he lifted his head and held it up like he's been doing it all along! I'm so stinking proud of him! He moved it a little and opened his right eye. It was so great! After he started to get really tired they put him in his chair and he kept holding his head up! I can still so clearly picture the first time in ICU, when they sat him up and his body was so weak and limp. Today, it was amazing.

What a day! :) Here's a picture of him holding that head. This was once he had started getting tired. I had forgotten about my camera and anything else around me once I saw his head up but I at least remembered in enough time to get a shot! :)

Update - Kathleen

Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning! Psalm 30:5

I went to bed feeling pretty yucky. Today is a new day and I'm giving it all to the Lord!

I just found out they're going to do some x-rays on Cale just to see how all of his fractures are healing up.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Update - Kathleen

Cale has been capped 9 1/2 hours so far! I'm not sure how long they plan to go, but so far he's been doing great. He hasn't been responsive much today. Speech gave him the ice chips and he didn't seem to notice they were in his mouth. He did make a couple grunt noises today! It was exciting!

I'm having a hard time this evening. I just feel like it's already been so long and I know we still have so long to go. Everyday he gets better so I'm going to keep my chin up :) I feel like I might just need to eat some extra chocolate and watch a sad movie so I can get all my tears out. It's been an encouraging day even though I'm having a hard time right now. I was reading in Mark this morning, and Jesus did so many miracles! The two chapters I read were full of them! The happy part of it, is that He's still doing miracles and my husband is one of them :)

Thank you so much for everyone that's still praying for us.

Update - Kathleen

So far it's been a good morning! The doctor came into say that the CT scan showed that a part of his lungs didn't expand all the way, but it's nothing to worry about. His oxygen level has been good so far with the cap.

PT and OT were just in and sat him up on the edge of the bed again. They're working on trying to get him to hold his head up on his own and also try to balance if they let go and he starts to fall over. He doesn't do anything yet but I know eventually he will!

Update - Kathleen

Update on mailing address! It's on the blog now :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Update - Kathleen

I haven't heard results from the CT scan yet. From what I've been told, no news is good news :) They finally got him to sleep and then he slept all day! It was pretty quiet. So not much to report.

Thank you for everyone that emailed prayingforcale@yahoo.com The chain is around his room and I know it's going to be so great when he realizes that every link is someone that's been praying for him!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Update - Kathleen

Cale did great today being capped! They put the cap on at 8:30 am and didn't take it off until 6:45pm! His heart rate for the most part was staying good. I'm so excited for him! He pulled his trach out again...so it'll be nice to get it out! :)

Speech therapy went a lot better today too. He actually moved the ice chips around. She tried to get him to reach out for me and to use sound to get her to stop when she was pestering him, but he's not quite there. He did good though. PT and OT put him on the tilt table again. He didn't do too well with it. He moves around so much so they can't get a good reading of his blood pressure and he seems to get over stimulated with it. They'll continue to slowly work on that.

Hmm...what else? Oh! He sneezed! It was so happy! It was a big sneeze too! One of those little things, but are so big for me to see.

They did the xray yesterday and as far as his lungs everything looks good but they found a spot that they're not sure what it is, so tomorrow they're going to do a CAT scan to look into it more.

Keep praying for negative results with the infection!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Update - Kathleen

I just realized that the post that Beth typed last night was the 100th post! I'm not sure that's significant at all but that's ok :) It's a pointless fact.

I'm sitting next to Cale's bed right now. He's gotten pretty feisty. Over the weekend I knew something was different. I thought maybe Cale wasn't feeling good, or just having those off days that I knew would come, but today there is such a difference in him! He's gotten a lot more aggressive and angry. I also think he's more alert then he has been. Earlier I was sitting by his bed talking to him and it really seemed like he could hear me. I've had lots of those moments, I know, but today was a little different then before. In speech today, Cale wouldn't do anything. He didn't want mouth care done or any ice chips. He's more purposeful. All good things! It's interesting to see the change. His off days weren't because something bad was happening, just that he's waking up a little more. He's also doing a lot better with his trach capped today. His heart rate is staying mostly under 100 and other then trying to pull it out again, he seems fine. They did the chest x-ray but I haven't heard anything about it yet. The nurse said to check tomorrow morning.

Cale also has had an infection since he's been in ICU. They tested for it Saturday night and it takes a couple days for results. I'm not going to say what the infection is, but will you pray with me for the results to be negative? I may have an answer tomorrow.

Tonight is my first night actually being alone since the accident. I've been so blessed to have such amazing people in my life, that have been so willing to come sit with me, even when it's not always very fun. I'll be honest and say that I've been dreading today. I had to take Joe and Beth to the airport this afternoon and I wasn't sure how I would do. I'm very much a people person and I don't do very good alone. Thankfully, I serve a God that's personal and He is able to comfort me in ways that not even a friend or any of my family can. After I left the airport I thought I might just fall apart but once again I felt so much peace. I know it's going to be ok :)

Joe, Beth and I went to church yesterday. It was the second time since the accident that I've been able to go. The pastor was talking about, with all the bad news in the media, with all that's going on, he had some good news for us. He started with Matthew 28:10 and how the first thing Jesus said post resurrection was "Greetings" and then "Do not be afraid". He says do not be afraid many times in the bible, including Isaiah 41:10 which has become a very huge part of my life through all of this. I was thinking about all the things in life that aren't always clear in the bible as far as if it's ok to do or not. Well, one thing that God does say is not to be afraid. Through this time of recovery, and now, being with out company, I will not be afraid. The second point was in Luke 24:39 after the disciples saw Jesus for the first time after the resurrection he said "touch me". He was real. He wasn't a ghost, or someones imagination, He was alive. Again, going back to me serving a God who is personal. He's not my bank account, my car, or a happy place. He's alive! I can have a relationship with him and talk to him whenever I want. Third point, in John 21:19 Jesus says "Follow me". He gave purpose for my life. He didn't just put me on this earth and say "ok, it's all you." He gave me a reason to get up in the morning and live! Even when things happen, like getting in a car accident, and having Cale in a coma, He gave me a purpose, this doesn't end my life. It stinks, but it's not the end. The last point was Matthew 28:20 he says "I am with you always" ALWAYS! Even in the hard stuff. He's with me and I'm not alone.

That's a lot of babbling but it's all in my head, so now everyone gets to hear it :)

I think this week is going to be full of new things! It's crazy for me to look back and think about all those really long days in ICU when there was no movement. Now Cale doesn't stop moving and things can get pretty exciting! Just in the time I've typed this he almost had his trach pulled all the way out. The nurses are so amazed with him. I am too!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Update - Beth

Happy Easter!

We got to start the day off by going to church. It was really great to be apart of a worship service. Today Cale had a rough day. He seemed more restless today than most days. Tomorrow they will be doing a chest x-ray because he has not been able to have the cap on for the last two days. He was only able to do less than an hour. Be in prayer for answers about getting his trach removed. Tomorrow is a new day and brings new hope. In James he says,"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." Some days seem more of a trial than others, but He is working and he is improving.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Update - Kathleen

I'm sitting here with Cale right now listening to music. He seems to like it. I know he loves music, and he said while he was deployed, listening to music always helped him.

He wore the valve for about 3 1/2 hours today. His heart rate shot up and was staying between 122-128. He might be feeling more tired today so we'll try again tomorrow. Every time he's capped it's huge, even if it's only 10 minutes, it's a step.

I've been struggling today about where my focus is. It's Easter weekend, but for me, all the days run together and it's hard to separate any day being different then the other. The only part of seeing anything that says "it's Easter time" is seeing all the chocolate when I go to the store. As I was getting ready this morning I had to take extra thought about what this weekend really means and put my focus on Christ instead of on me and Cale.

The nurse said today that they've never had a patient with TBI that has had the strength that Cale has. He may be way under weight but he's got muscles! :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Update - Joe

Cale had the cap in his trach for about 6 hours today. With it in he has been making grunts and other noises as he gets frustrated. The Doctor said yesterday that by the middle of next week he should be able to have it taken out. The sooner the better as he is starting to become more aware. While Kathleen and I were in his room, the Therapists took the brace off of his left arm as long as we kept him from messing with his trach. His movements were very purposeful instead of just reflex. The prayer chain has been very cool to see come together. We have been adding links daily and it is continuously moving further around his room as we keep getting emails. If you haven't yet, email your name and location to prayingforcale@yahoo.com

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Update - Kathleen

So...Cale did 4 1/2 hours capped today!!! He's cool :) Hehe! The Doctor said hopefully by middle of next week, he'll be trachless! His heart rate was staying between 85-105 compared to yesterday when he was capped his heart rate was hanging around 120 for most of the time. Getting that thing out of his throat is a big step! I like big steps! Well, I like small ones too!


On Cale's first night at WakeMed, they asked that I bring in some larger sized clothes for Cale, so I got him a few sweats and shirts. One of the shirts was a Mt Dew shirt! Before we left the store, Joe found one in my size!