Saturday, July 31, 2010

i love him.

"So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." Matthew 19:6

In case I haven't said it before...I am completely head over heels for my husband! I love him so much! He has been giving me so many hugs and kisses, and it NEVER gets old! Every time is so exciting! He's with me, loving me! He's at a point where even more than before, he's not wanting me to leave...ever! As I walk away, he follows me with his eyes and if I tell him that I'm going to leave, he nods "no". He's so sweet! He always wants to be holding my hand too. Before the accident, we had a special thing that we would do if we were around people, he does it now! Oh goodness it makes my heart jump! He remembers! I love, love, LOVE him! A car accident can't keep us a part! Okay, enough with the mushy... ;)

The day started off a little rough. He's getting so frustrated if he starts to struggle with something. When he finished OT, we had some time before lunch, so I asked if he wanted to go outside with me. He was in a bad mood and didn't want to do anything, but I made him come outside with me and get fresh air! At first he was still grumpy, but as time went on he cheered up :) I think part of it, is that his body is really tired. He has been working really hard and I'm sure that he's sore. Also, at Wake he was doing therapy Mon-Fri and sleeping almost all of either Saturday or Sunday. Now, he has therapy 7 days a week! No being lazy here!

When it was time for PT, Pat walked him down the hall and half way to the gym, we had to get the wheelchair. So far that hasn't happened, so I know he must be really tired. After getting stretched really good, it was time to walk back to his room. Cale ended up walking the whole way back, so he's still pushing himself!

Right at the end of PT a special visitor came...TJ (Cale's best friend and the great guy that set up this blog!)! Yeah! It was so great! When I brought him to the gym, Cale was sitting on the side of the mat all by himself. What a shock for TJ! He was with Cale for a month and half after the accident, and hasn't seen him again until now. TJ got to see Cale walk back to his room with Pat. One day Cale will be walking without any help at all!


Later, Kristen and her family came. Kristen hasn't seen Cale since a few days after the accident when he was in ICU. Cale came outside with us to visit and TJ had come up with the idea to play checkers with Cale. They didn't exactly play by the rules, since Cale either just moved pieces wherever he wanted, or moved them where TJ said. ;) It was so great to have him a part of all the fun!


Meet my new CA family :)



My favorite head nods of the day:
Do you love Jesus? -yes
Are we going to have babies? -yes
Are we going to live in a hospital forever? -no
Is my sunburn going to turn into a tan? -yes
Do I talk too much? -no (this one is usually a yes!)
Is your favorite time of the day when we cuddle? -yes

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ready For Battle!


Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! Psalm 24:8

It's a LONG road to recovery...but it's going to be in God's timing! It's going to take a LOT of work, but the Lord will give Cale the strength! There's going to be TONS of waiting, and it's going to be so worth it!

Cale struggled a lot more today with endurance. He's still doing great and good stuff happened today, but he's having to work so hard. I was thinking as a soldier all the training that Cale had to go through so that he was prepared for battle. Neither of us ever imagined this kind of battle, but with God we're not alone-ever. He is strong and mighty in battle! It's okay that we don't have everything in us we need to face this crazy long battle everyday, because God does and He's fighting with us, for us! Wanna know how I know? His word tells me! :)

God doesn't come and go. God lasts. He's Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind. -Message

It felt like with every therapy, Cale was hitting a bump. I could tell his attitude was different at points too. Like I've said before, this is partly good because it could mean that he's becoming more aware and realizing that he can't do everything like he did before. It's hard seeing it and not being able to fix what's happening inside of him. It's another time that I just feel so overwhelmed with thankfulness that the Lord can speak to him in ways that I can't, He can be his comfort when I don't know how, He can lift Cale up and fight for him. He can give Cale (and me!) a fresh strength!!

A really BIG thing...in PT, Pat has been using a machine/walker thing. Today, he wanted to walk with just him and Cale. So far, every day they've been walking, Cale has been doing what they call "scissoring" it's when he crosses his feet in front of each other. The therapists have been trying to work on correcting it, but it's been a process. Well, when Pat got him up and started walking Cale kept his feet apart! For the WHOLE walk to the gym! He did it for the way back too! I am so proud of him! The walk to PT was great and the walk back was great. The in between today wasn't so hot, but that's okay, what he did was huge! Here's a video of the end of the walk on the way back. You can see at the end of the video, his feet started to cross again, but not near as bad! Yay!
video
I can't say enough how thankful I am to everyone who has been so faithful in praying for Cale. Thank you for ALL the prayers, cards, messages, texts, comments, calls, emails, and packages. There's just not enough time in the day and no words will do that express how much all of it means to me. Thank you for being willing to be a blessing!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chewbacca

What a day! Lately, it feels like at the end of each day, I get in bed and the first thought is about how it's been such a busy day! It' s not a bad thing though! Lots of things are happening :)

The morning was busy with OT and RT, lunch in the afternoon, and then it was time for the family meeting. The first moment was a little nerve-racking, when I walked in, and there were 8 staff sitting around a big table, with all eyes on me. I managed to squeak out a soft "hi"...awkward. After the next breath, all was good again. The social worker explained a few things and the meeting started. After each member of the team would speak, they would ask if I had any questions. It was decided that I ask a lot, because for the most part I didn't have any, I had already asked them all :) It was funny because as each person was speaking, they were looking at me and thinking the same thing I was-we've already talked about this. That's okay though, awkward times are good! Haha. We were supposed to talk about where they see Cale is at and what the next little while will hold for us, but decided that they all agreed it was too early to know with him. I'm thinking this might be because of the cold? Not sure.

After everyone was done speaking, the doctor asked if I had anything to add. I talked about what I see as the next 3 stepping stones: 1) Swallowing/getting to eat real food 2) Voice-I really want to hear it! 3) Control bladder-this would just be really nice... :) and than of course I mentioned my overall goal is to get Cale back home with me!! VERY much wanted! I also talked about wanting to get to the point of trust. I know that we've only been here a week; I'm still learning them and they're still learning me. I've been really missing the staff at Wake. All the things Cale has been doing, I wish they could see and be a part of. I keep picturing getting to tell them and wanting to call a million times a day to tell them every detail. I want that again here. I want the staff here to get to the point that they can trust me when I point something out about Cale (like how he's had a cold) and I want to be able to trust them with how they're doing things with him. I think so far it's good and I see that both ways, but again, it's that stage of learning.

Cale did great in speech today. One thing that he did earlier this morning; he's been coughing gunk a lot and I've been trying to get him to cough it out so he can spit. Well, I was making sounds to clear my throat with voice to show him what to do, and he did it...twice! He used his voice! It was so cool! He's done it a few more times since then, but I wouldn't say they were purposeful like the first two times. It's a start though! So in speech, Patricia was trying several different things with Cale. We were able to show off how good he's been with numbers. He's been so great at counting and recognizing lots of numbers. She also started to write words and had him choose the correct answer. The first she wrote his name and a random name, he got his right. Next she wrote my name and than Chewbacca, "Cale, can you point to your wife's name?", Cale looked at each name and pointed to Chewbacca! The next question, she wrote Alabama and Washington, again asking him to point, this time to the state where he was born...he pointed to Washington! What?! You get that one right but your married to Chewbacca?! hahahaha! Oh goodness...I told him I was going to hold that against him for the rest of our lives! We're going to be 88 one day, and I'm going to say "Come here honey, give Chewbacca a big kiss!" ;)

Last thing...well, maybe! In PT today, Cale did so much! He did some balancing, walking with a walker, time on the bike, AND...he stood! It was for at least 30 seconds all by himself! Yes! He still has trouble getting the full balance, but he was standing!!


By standing firm you will gain life. Luke 21:19

Cale and I are not only working on physical strength for him, but we also need to be able to stand firm in our faith through the good, the bad, the hard, the easy, and everything in between. The only way for this to be possible is for us to dig in to God's word TOGETHER everyday, and seek wisdom and grow more intimate with the Lord. It gets hard to do when the days get so busy with therapy's and meetings but we want life-life in Him.



~Just call me Chewie

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hezekiah

I can't say that I woke up this morning, completely refreshed...more like very out of it, but I do feel WAY better today! Thank you everyone that was praying for me :)

Cale still doesn't feel very good. When I walked in this morning, I noticed right away that he seemed to be feeling better, but I thought that a few days ago too. He was stuffed up more today, so maybe the ugly bug is almost to the end of it's course. I do hope so!

There were some new cool things in therapy today! In OT, they've been working really hard to strengthen his right arm. It's very obvious that it takes a lot more work for Cale to use that arm, but he is able. One of the things they worked on today was using a peg board, and trying to get him to use the right hand to do the work. It's funny to watch because I think he was trying to trick us by pretending to use the right hand, like if he was going to pick a peg up, but really, right before he would get to it, he'd use his left hand. I know he'll get it eventually! :)

For RT, we went outside today. The weather was so nice and getting out of the room was even better! She worked with him to do a couple things, one of them was using his right hand to hold a foam paddle and try to hit the balloon. I was really impressed! He did really good, especially with the breeze that was trying to steal the balloon from the game! They also kicked around a soccer ball and did another puzzle.


After his lunch break/rest hour, it was time for PT. Today they had Cale in a new contraption...I had to leave for a meeting before it was all over, so I haven't heard the final report on how it went, but here's a picture so you can have more of an understanding of what I mean...haha!


Cale is doing great with his progress physically, but as far as cognitive, well, he's still struggling quite a bit. For Speech, Patricia asked some more "yes" and "no" questions. He's still having a hard time with getting the right answer. She also put two different objects on the table; like a spoon and a cup, and would ask him to show her the spoon. She tried several like that and he wasn't able to do much. Along with that, she would hand him a hair brush, and show him a picture of a brush and a pig, he also had a hard time matching the object with the picture. There was a few more things like that, and at this point, Cale is having a hard time with that part of it.

I think Wednesdays might be my new favorite day! At the hospital they have a Farmers Market, with booths, music, and...samples! :) It was so much fun! I didn't even go for long, but it was fun to get out and get some healthy fresh yumminess!


Tomorrow is the family meeting. This will end up being every other week and be like my meeting with Beth that I had every Monday at Wake. This time, it'll be me with the social worker, the doctor, therapists, kind of a little of anybody on the team that can be there. Tomorrow is the 'big deal' meeting where we'll go over everything that they've seen with Cale in the last week, and what they see happening during the program. I'm trying not to be nervous, but all the other meetings like this one that I've had so far, have been really hard, and I've heard a lot of things that I wished was so different. I was reading in 2 Kings today about how all the odds showed that Assyria was going to when the battle against Judah. There were many reports against Hezekiah and what God could do; saying that they were not going to be saved.Hezekiah receives a letter, in 19:11 "You know perfectly well what the kings of Assyria have done wherever they have gone. They have completely destroyed everyone who stood in their way! Why should you be any different?". The question "Why should you be any different?" stands out to my heart like a rock. Everything that talks about TBI, even the great recovery stories (almost all), show severe lasting life changes. After receiving the letter, Hezekiah prayed-that's what I've made this whole journey grounded on; time with the Lord. It's too much to write the whole story here (I encourage you to read it!), but I can often put myself in Hezekiah's place, and feel the weight of the facts and realities pull me one way and the hope of the Lord pull the other. I'm so thankful that just like Hezekiah I can call out to the same God, and ask for Him to save Cale from his (TBI) power and that the world will know that He alone is God. 19:19

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Guilty

All last night, I was awake coughing and blowing my nose-NO! I will not be sick and have to stay away from Cale. Ugg. I think I've been kissing him too much while he has a cold ;)

There's signs everywhere throughout the hospital that say in big letters " STOP! If you have any of the following symptoms, DO NOT enter the hospital." Of course everything I was feeling just happened to be on the sign. I'm guilty of breaking the rules. I know why they have those rules, and I know it was kind of selfish of me, but I had to see him...so I did. I stayed long enough to see all of his therapy's, then I forced myself to the store to get some much needed drugs, and I came home and slept...all day. When I get a cold, it seems to wipe me completely out, it's never just a simple cold. All my muscles ache, which I think is my excuse for not working out, after I'm done and my muscles get sore, I feel like I'm sick. Good reason.

The horrible part is I'm such a baby! Cale hasn't been feeling good for a couple days, and he's still pushing himself so much. He's just amazing. He wasn't able to do Speech today, and OT was a bit hard, but he's still trying. Pat walked him again in PT and Cale did the best he's done so far. He was still crossing his legs a little, but his legs are definitely getting stronger. For OT she had him do the arm thing, and again he did the best that he's done with that! It's so great! They did give him some kind of Sudafed-like drug today, hopefully that clears him up.

When I walked in this morning, Cale immediately reached out for me. When I came close, he pulled my head down to his chest-he wanted to cuddle. All I could think is "good job for breaking the rules!", bad I know. We didn't have long because he had to get up and going. The hour for lunch, is Cale's rest break right now, since he can't eat yet. The both of us, sick and miserable, were able to cuddle the full hour! It was soooo nice! It felt like we were at home cuddled up, instead of a hospital room, where he is still hooked up to a tube. God is so faithful in giving Cale and I those moments together. It's a lot busier here, and that time together isn't as often, but oh how I love when they come!

I ventured out in the Honda today. Thankfully, I have Amelia (my gps) to ride around with me. The problem was that I headed out with my destination, but my home button said it was over 2,000 miles away...hmm. I'm lost. It was one of those moments that I felt like I should be on TV. I did manage to find my way home though!

I am now going to hopefully get a deep wonderful night of sleep and wake up refreshed and ready for the day!

Monday, July 26, 2010

He's An Energizer Bunny!

Whew! It was a non-stop kind of day, we were going here and there, and emotions were flying everywhere! It's over now, and I can wrap up in a cozy blanket and relax :)

At 8am I walked into Cale's room and he was out...very loud snoring. Poor guy is still sick :( He can't breathe through his nose at all and he keeps coughing. I know his head must feel like it weighs 100lbs. He pressed on though. About 9am he started to wake up a little, so I helped him get his teeth brushed and than we shaved his face. I had to get him started, but then he took over and did the rest. OT came in at 10am and helped Cale have his first shower! That's a pretty big deal when it's been since February! I know it must have felt so good!

From 10-11am Cale was in OT and 11-12, RT (recreational therapy) was in with him. At this point Cale was already exhausted and looked miserable. She didn't ask him to do too much but still, it's a lot of talking and he seemed to be focused on the bed...

At 12pm he finally was able to lay down and try to rest. I think he ended up sleeping for about 30 minutes until it was time for PT from 1pm-2pm. Today, since Cale wasn't feeling that great, Mitch (another PT guy) stretched him really good and then had Cale walk from the gym to his room and then back to the gym. He's really pushing himself, because again, he looked so miserable-but he still did it.

At 2pm it was time for Speech until 3pm. Patricia wanted to do a swallowing evaluation, but Cale just couldn't close his lips to swallow anything. He did do a couple swallows at first that were right away and not delayed at all. That was exciting to see since usually when he does swallow, it's very delayed. First she tried ice chips and than apple sauce. I think we'll have to try those again on another day. She also asked questions but Cale just couldn't focus.

He wasn't going to get a chance to rest yet...at 3pm he had an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) appointment. We ended up waiting in the waiting room until 4 because they were so backed up. Cale did pretty well, but started to get restless towards the end. I'm glad they called his name when they did...the appointment ended up being an hour of talking with the doctor, him trying to use a scope for Cale's nose, and more talking. For some that may not remember, we found out right after the accident that Cale has some kind of tumor in his nose. This explained why he's had lots of nose bleeds and why it always seems like his nose is stuffy. Well, I was able to look over the ct scans with the doctor, and it's not good. The size of the mass, is so large that it's spreading all the way up to behind his left eye. Another doctor came to look at everything and by the end of the appointment they made it very clear that it's not a simple fix, this is very complicated, since it's so large now. The next step is getting a MRI done within the next week and then it'll go to the Tumor Board at Stanford to be discussed. After that, they'll have a meeting with me to decide what needs to be done. The whole appointment Cale looked so tired and ready to be done with everything. I was trying to comfort him as much as I could, letting him know I was so proud of him.

At 5pm I was saying good bye to the doctors and heading back to Cale's room. I was so sure as soon as I got him back in bed that he was going to be out. After getting him comfortable, I headed home to get dinner, thinking that would give him time to fall asleep. Well, when I got back to the hospital, he was wide awake and the nurse said he didn't close his eyes once! She called him the energizer bunny :) I think that fits him! We did get to spend the next hour and a half cuddling and by the time I was leaving his eyes were finally closing.

I'm really missing him today. I had a meeting with one of the staff to go over things that I'm expecting to see out of this program and what the future might look like. It's hard to hear that the man I married and want back so desperately, isn't going to be the same as the man that's here post accident. She was very encouraging, but it's a fact that aside from the Lord working that miracle out, I'm having to face. I've heard it a lot, and I've heard a lot of other things too, and I know that God is in control. I'm just going to trust Him. With ALL of it. He is God, He created Cale, He's given me amazing peace, and I'm choosing to trust Him. I still really miss Cale though.

But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God." Psalm 31:14

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Sick Boy :(

Poor Cale. He either just has some allergy's attacking, or he's caught a cold. He hasn't been feeling good all day. It started yesterday afternoon and I was hoping by this morning he would be feeling better. It didn't stop him from therapy though! He worked hard for OT and PT.

At 10am it was time for OT and Cale was just waking up. After getting dressed and ready for the day, we headed for the gym. They have a machine that he uses both arms to make it work, which is so good for his right side! Also, she pulled out some putty for him to use with his right hand. It's going to take some time, but we're trying to get his brain to recognize that he has a right side, and it CAN help.

They're also trying to get Cale to be able to walk and not cross his legs. Right now because of tone in his right leg and lack of coordination, every step Cale takes with his right foot, he crosses over his left. They want to fix the problem as early as they can. Again, it's going to take some time, but the more he does it the better! Practise makes perfect :)

Cale also has a new wheelchair. The first chair they had him in was too short for his forever long legs. I think this new one is going to be a perfect fit. He's gotten really good at moving the chair by himself.

My Honda is here! Woohoo! It was so good to see it on the big truck. The delivering of it has been a little bit of a mess, but it's in my parking spot now :) All of the decorations that were in Cale's room at Wake were packed in the car, so that was another event for the day...decorating the hospital room! It's now cheerful and the prayer chain just about goes all the way around!

May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise. Psalm 119:76

Dennis and Kathy are leaving in the morning. It's going to be sad to say good bye for so many reasons. I love when we have visitors, it's so great to be able to share all the things Cale is doing with someone. It's always so sad when they go though. Before, I still had all the staff at Wake to share everything with. I had gotten pretty close to everyone there, and by the time we left, they knew Cale and I very well. This time the staff here, aren't there yet, and I don't know anyone else. I am so thankful that God's unfailing love and His comfort are constant-He never leaves. I also know that it's not going to take very long before I meet lots more people here :)


Hugs for mom :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Doing The Dew :)

Today Cale and I were wearing our matching Mountain Dew shirts. We haven't worn them together since the very first time which was April 1st. I always love to look back at pictures, and see how far Cale has come. Here's a look back for you too :)

Here's April 1, 2010


Here's July 24, 2010


It's Saturday, but even on the weekend Cale will be a busy boy. He's going to be getting therapies 7 days a week. Speech therapy was this morning. She asked him a total of 40 questions, trying to evaluate his head nods some more. Out of the first 20, he missed 3, but two were kind of confusing questions. The next 20 were more difficult, and he struggled a lot more...the fact he's answering any questions is already HUGE! :)

For OT (Occupational Therapy), they did a few more things to evaluate where he's at. One of the things they tried was a board that Cale had to match the shapes, if the piece didn't fit, he would turn them and move them around until he got all of them in the right place. He gets so excited when he's in therapy! I can see it on his face; determination, excitement, focus, and enjoyment.

Lots more walking for PT (Physical Therapy). He's getting better every time. First, he walked from his room to the gym. The gym is set up with tons of different machines and weights. Today Cale was on machine that was like a bike. Pat started with having Cale do 5 minutes on it, but Cale ended up doing 15! He was loving it! His muscles were shaking by the end of it, but he still walked all the way back to his room. He's doing so good!



It's so great to have Dennis and Kathy here. Family is so important for Cale's recovery. I can tell he loves having his mom here with him and how good it is. Tomorrow is their last day here and then they head back home early Monday morning. This is going to be really hard for Kathy so will you join me again for praying for her? Also for Cale, I see him look for her, and hug her. He knows it's his mom, and who doesn't want their mom when they aren't feeling good?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Tough Cookie

Cale and I were officially titled Mr. and Mrs. Tough Cookie today. My reply, "Well, I like to eat cookies!" :)

Cale started this morning with an eye appointment. It was hard to figure out how clear his sight is because right now, he's having trouble recognizing letters, and he he's not talking. The doctor did hold up fingers from the same distance as the chart and Cale was able to copy whatever he was doing. The whole visit Cale would only have his left eye (the one they said he would have NO vision out of) open, so we weren't able to figure out how well he's seeing with his right eye. For most of the day after the appointment he kept both eyes wide open though! It's great to see how they are so on top of things like that. The doctor said at Cale's appointment next week, they want to do some scans and tests to see if there is any damage that needs to be corrected.

It was another day of walking! Cale tried out three different ways, and by the end of it he was tuckered out. We're all really seeing him push himself because after he had already done quite a bit, and it was obvious he was tired, Pat asked if he wanted to keep going and Cale nodded yes. He was tired the whole last lap, but he made it to the finish line!
First Pat wanted to try a divider because Cale has a tendency to cross his legs while walking...


Next was the Arjo. It's a nifty machine thing that had straps behind him if he needed to sit, but gave him a little more freedom...


The last trial was just Cale and Pat walking. It made me nervous when they first started because usually it's Susan and Carolyn together, but it just shows how far he's already come in less than a week!



His Speech session was pretty good today. Patricia (speech therapist), at this point is really trying to see where Cale's at as far as comprehending and figuring out how reliable his head nods are. Between today and yesterday, Cale and I have 3 kids, he's not in America and he's married to Linda. Of course after the session, I had to investigate who this Linda was...haha! Good thing he shrugged his shoulders! ;) After the session today was almost over, she explained two things he seems to be struggling with, apraxia (a disorder of motor planning) and perseveration (the repetition of a particular response). This gives you two more specific things to be praying for :)

During Cale's Speech session he smiled for the first time! I was in a meeting for the first part so I missed it, but Kathy had told me. Well, just a little later, he smiled at me! He's done it a couple times today. I just really love it...talk about making my heart smile!

This evening we had a couple special visitors. I had written about the EMT (Wendy) that I had talked to and her daughter (Susan) that had talked to Cale, well they came to visit for a little while! It was special for me to meet Susan because she is hope and encouragement. She's been where Cale is, and I would have never known just by meeting her. Such a blessing!


Even though it was a busy and draining day for Mr. Tough Cookie, he was so awake and full of energy! He was in the wheel chair around 8 hours! He only had short breaks out of it. Tonight, several times I kept asking if he wanted to lay back down and he kept shaking his head no. Finally it hit him and after transferring him to bed, and getting him situated, I prayed with him, and I think he was almost asleep before I was done, and it was a short prayer! :)

Psalm 86:12-13
From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord; I've never kept secret what you're up to. You've always been great toward me—what love! You snatched me from the brink of disaster!

I'm not only thankful for how far Cale has come and how great he's doing. If I would have lost him the night of the accident, God would still be great. If Cale would have had to go to the nursing home and stay that way for life, God would still be a great God. With all of me I am very thankful that it hasn't happened that way, but today I was focused on how thankful I am that my life has gone the way it has. The accident could have shattered my life. I could have turned my back on God, I could have let myself go, and walked away from my marriage. God rescued me because before my mother held me for the first time as an infant, God loved me and He's never stopped. He has shown me His faithful, unconditional, constant love for me over and over again, and He opened His arms that night and held me, even when my husband wasn't able to. Oh what love the Father has for His children!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!!!

Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! I can't type as fast as the thoughts are coming out of my head! Ahh! CALE IS A 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay...now let's see if I can get this out. There's going to be a few squeaks and squeals during all of this, good thing you can't hear me! :) I've noticed more of a change in Cale today, but more so from the start of the trip. He's been even more aware of whats going on around him, and more responsive. This evening after dinner, the Neuropsychologist walked in Cale's room. She wanted to do an evaluation on him, checking to see where he's at and how much he's doing. After she had been in for a while, she said from what she had just seen, with talking with him and even while she was talking with us, she was studying him, that she felt he was a level 5! Oh my goodness! I was stunned. I think it had to process a little, but as soon as she walked out, I felt like I was about to fly! Thank you Lord! She did say that the scale is just an outline (which we've been told from the beginning) and that he can go back and forth BUT tonight he's a 5!

Today was another busy day. Cale had x-rays of his knee and abdomen done, and an ultra sound done on his legs. He started some therapy, I think today was just speech and PT. This first week, everyone is working out the schedule and figuring out how much he can tolerate. Pat the PT guy, wanted to get Cale up and walking. First I gave Cale his shoes to put on. Yesterday was the first day that he put both of them on by himself. Today, he put his shoe on and grabbed the laces to tie them! Yes! He could do the first part, but because he has so much trouble getting his right hand to do what it's supposed to, he was getting it tangled. When he couldn't do it, he got mad. This is a good thing! It was interesting to watch because he just backed off from it and crossed his arms. When I told him he was doing a good job, he shook his head "no". After some encouraging, he tried again with the other shoe. He didn't get it today, but he will!

Once the shoes were on, it was time to walk. I had explained to Pat about Cale's pain in the left knee, and how he has trouble controlling the right knee. He wanted to go ahead and just see what Cale was going to do, and, well...Cale walked! He did 150ft, with out a brace, with out anybody helping him move his right leg, and the whole time he was looking around. He looked at the painting as he walked by, the signs on the walls, and people...he loved it! At one point he was walking pretty quickly too! One day, he'll be walking (with out help!) with me by his side, and holding my hand. I can't wait!


GO CALE!

I'm loving this facility. They are so great with Cale! One of the first things I noticed yesterday, was how they continually referred to him as "SGT Darling" and "soldier". It was really cool. They are also VERY focused on getting him to do everything by himself. It's a constant encouragement here, they were even showing him how to lock the wheel chair by himself. It's very much a mind set of he IS going to do this, not IF he's able. He's going to be having lots of therapies once they get the scheduling figured out. They have PT, OT, Speech, Recreational, Vision, Hearing, and Memory. Also, right now he's getting fed every 4 hours, even through the night. The goal is by Monday, he'll be getting fed; breakfast, lunch, dinner, and than a little before bed. That will get his system ready for when he starts eating real food. Cale seems to be loving it too. I've been asking if he does, and if they're taking good care of him and he always nods "yes", so that helps me feel better :)

Good things...GREAT things! I'm continually telling Cale, that I'm so proud of him, he's doing so great, he's amazing, he's fighting so hard, he's going to get all better, and that I love him VERY much. Cale is such a blessing to me.

Last thing...the address is updated! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Finally Home!

First, THANK YOU FOR PRAYING!!!
We made it...finally! :) Yesterday was another long day, but we're now at our new home. It feels good.

When they came to pick us up yesterday, they took us to the Scott Air Force Base for a couple hours before the flight. When it was time to board the bus to head for the plane, I gathered everything, and the soldiers loaded Cale. After sitting for a few minutes, I was told the flight was going to be delayed, so everyone was unloaded from the plane and we waited...again. Eventually, we did make it to the plane, where we then flew to Travis Air Force Base and stayed for the night. The trip was long, in fact it felt like several days, rather than just 2 1/2, but it really wasn't that bad. They (the military) took such good care of us! I was spoiled so much, especially on the flight. The flight team did so great with Cale. He can be a lot of work (with his busy hands), and not for a second did they make it seem like he was a hassle. They may have felt it though! It's so awesome to see how even with the bumps in the trip, how God's hand carried us all the way. I didn't have to worry about anything the whole trip. They took care of all the luggage, making sure I had food, taking care of anything Cale needed, AND they let me lay down on one of the bed things that weren't being used...it was such a blessing.

When we arrived at Travis last night, I was dead. All I wanted was to close my eyes and sleep, for a very long time. I ended up getting 4 hours, but that was better than the night before! When I woke up this morning, I opened the room door and there were people everywhere. I got a nurse to look at me, and asked if I could use the shower, of course every one looked at me when they heard my voice-bed head and all. :) After getting towels from her and getting all situated, I had to open the door again, this time asking if there was a special button to turn the shower on? With a confused look, she walked back in the room (again everyone turned to look), right away, she turns the knob and water comes out...hmm. As she walks out again, with a smile, she says, "you just need muscles". I'm blaming my lack of muscles on the fact that I haven't lifted weights since the trip started...or since the accident...ever?-ouch.

It was an ambulance trip today instead of another flight! Again, God is so awesome how He works everything out. The EMT that road in the back with Cale and I, shared how her daughter had TBI. We were able to talk a lot about things that I've been doing with Cale, questions I have, things she remembers, and ideas of things to try. A special moment was when she called her daughter and Cale held the phone to his ear and listened while the daughter, now 23, encouraged him, and talked with him about working hard and pushing himself. How amazing!

Arriving at the facility was fantastic! I was going crazy the last little bit of the ride, I was ready to just be there. Dennis and Kathy were there to meet us. It was so great! Cale knew who they were too. Big hugs all around! It's been a busy day; lots of information and meetings. This is right where Cale needs to be. I can already see that lots more big things are going to happen (hopefully voice!). To start, the doctor came in to do his assessment and everything he asked Cale to do, he did it! They're all so impressed already. Exciting stuff!

Sorry if I haven't answered texts or calls. I've kind of been going nonstop today, so taking the time to answer everyone is a little challenging right now, but please know, it means a lot to get them. Every text, email, comment, call, and letter; they all mean so much to me.

Cale did so great with the trip and transfer to this new facility. So far there are no signs of him being set back. I would actually say, even today he's made more progress! So many good things going on! Once again I found myself overwhelmed with how thankful I am of EVERYTHING the Lord is doing. Some may think it's just how things work, and we're just "lucky", but I know it's God and Him hearing the cries of all of our hearts.

This song has been running through my mind over and over the last week...
"Indescribable" by Chris Tomlin

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation's revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God
You are amazing God

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God
Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
Incomparable, unchangeable
You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same
You are amazing God
You are amazing God

Here are a few pictures...


My husband doesn't just get me a limo, he gets me a ride in this!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tired Travelers...

Exhausted. That's the word to describe Cale and I. It's ended up being a very long trip and we're not done yet! I'm sitting here next to Cale's bed, in a hospital in Illinois. When we finally got the update that we were leaving, I was jumping up and down! From how it had been looking for most of the day, we were going to be stuck in Maryland for the night. When it was time to go, I followed right behind Cale's bed rolling down the hallway. We loaded on to a bus, that had beds stacked. Cale was still doing great at this point. The nurse had given him his sleep meds, so he was just about gone from the world. The bus arrived at our next form of transportation...a C17. The inside was empty in the middle, the guys on beds were stacked three high. It was HUGE! All these military people in uniform were walking around, and did I mention it was so big? I really felt like I was in a movie!
Here's Cale in the bus...


On the C17! So cool :)


At first, Cale was sleeping, but once they started to turn everything on, and the noise level increased by a whole lot, I could start to see his hands and feet move...uh oh. He was awake. I couldn't see his face from where I was sitting and it was driving me crazy. I kept seeing him get more and more restless. Eventually, they moved his bed to the ground and placed me in the seat right by him. I'm thinking this was more because of the wife's face and not because of how he was handling it...haha!


After that, he was doing much better. I was so grateful that so many people were praying because, Cale has been in a, for the most part, quiet room, for so long now. Not only was it loud on the flight, but so much commotion! I kept getting down by him asking if he was ok, and he would either nod "yes" or give me a thumbs up. I told him over and over how I am so proud of how great he was doing and kept thanking God over and over, for how He was holding Cale.

Our stop last night was Scott Air force Base in Illinois. Once we landed, they put Cale on an ambulance to the civilian hospital. It took a little while to get everything situated, but finally, at 2am I curled up in the chair by Cale's bed, and said good night. It's been even a rough night here for Cale. I was hoping he would get some good sleep, but...it's a new hospital so they have to check him over. Poor guy. At 3am I woke up to a male nurse saying very loudly "wake up!' and than continued to explain what he was going to do. All I can say to describe the moment is that Cale wasn't going to have anything to do with that guy.

The plan for today is waiting for our flight this afternoon, where we will again head for CA!

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:28-29

The Bumblebee-Update from Monday night

"Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway."


This has been quite the trip so far! I was determined to get to bed early enough last night, that waking up at 3am wouldn't be such a big deal...yeah right! As soon as my head hit the pillow, my eyes opened wide. After tossing and turning like a crazy lady, I almost decided to just throw out the idea of good sleep, and instead, head back to the hospital. I had sent Amy (so hard to say good bye to her last night!) a text about how I was wide awake and my plan. Her text back said, not to go back, but to take that time with the Lord. Well, I had already been praying so I felt that I had that one checked off, but then she also said, "ask God why He has you awake". Hmm...good idea. So, I asked. The very next words out of my mouth were words of praise and adoration. He is a mighty God, a loving God, an all-knowing God, a just God, He is holy, and beautiful. He is the King of Kings, the Great I Am, He's the Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End. He's my friend.


Two hours of sleep later, my alarm blares with "Worth It All" by Rita Springer. Yikes. I knew I was in a hurry, so turning the alarm off and closing my eyes again, wasn't going to work this time. At 4am, I was in Caleb's room gathering all the last little necessities. We were ready; too bad the plane wasn't...it wasn't a bad wait, but amusing in my head because I had to be awake to watch the clock-that's not a fun game. I know how Cale feels, every time he had to wake up at crazy hours in the Army, then just sit and wait. The first flight wasn't so bad. We were in a tiny little plane, with us, two nurses, and of course the pilots. :) We landed in Maryland, about 7am, where once again we found out, we would be waiting. Something had happened with one of the planes, so instead of loading straight to another, we stayed wondering the whole day, if we were going to fly out tonight or be stuck over night. At first it was so nice because Cale and I were able to take a nice nap and we thought it was just going to be a couple hours. Well, that turned into over 12 hours of waiting! It's okay though, at least we're on our way!


I was so proud of how he did with the first transfer by ambulance, and then the flight. He was awake and looking out the window a lot. Through the transfers, and commotion, Cale would look around until we made eye contact, and then he would hold it. I really think it helped him knowing, I was there by his side. Around 10am, he started to have harder time. He went under the sheet, and wouldn't let the nurse give his meds. It lasted a couple hours and finally he came out and was ready to cuddle...which I love!! :)



The military sometimes has a bad reputation, as far as, organization and other things, but it's been such a blessing. Not only with all the things at the beginning right after the accident, insurance, and the whole time we were at Wake in Cary, but also the people that have been caring for him today have been super great, and they've taken good care of me too! This includes a yummy slice of cheesecake!

The damage to Cale's brain is severe. I know that. I know that because of the extent of damage there are lots of things that he may never be able to do again. I also know that he's already doing so much that he's not supposed to be doing! The Darling family has a large mountain that we're up against, but I love that God created the bumblebee, which flies, even though it's not supposed to...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Here We Go!

Tomorrow is the big day! Cale and I are flying out really early in the morning! The waiting is over and now it's time. When I found out that we had a final time, my heart started to beat really fast, and I felt a tiny bit nervous! I'm so excited it's happening...it's going to be so good for him.

Cale and I were able to have church together this morning. I'm not usually at the hospital on Sunday mornings, but since we were supposed to be leaving anytime, I didn't go to Ty and Nikki's house yesterday. Our church that we went to in NY has the service live online, so I got the laptop out and we joined in. It was such a blessing to still be here with Cale, while being a part of service. At one point, Pastor Kirk asked "do you believe the Bible is true?" or something like that, and Cale nodded "yes"! It was so great. :)

He's been resting a lot the last few days, in fact, yesterday Cale was in bed all day. This afternoon, I helped Cale get dressed, washed up, and ready for the day, and then we took a trip to the coffee shop. I talked with him some more about our trip, and getting to the new facility. He nodded yes, when I asked if he was excited. I was told not to worry if we go backwards a little in Cale's progress, because with all the new faces, and new place, he might get a little confused. It helped to hear that, but I'm still going to pray against it! At least now I can be prepared!

Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you, the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

He is our helper. I trust in Him and know that God is leading us, holding us, watching over us, and loving us through this.

I'm not sure how the internet is going to be the first couple days. I will try to update as soon as I can!

Thank you for praying for us!!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Being Still

I've spent most of today, just laying next to Cale. It's been a vacation! When I first laid down, I remembered I needed to make a call about my car, after that, I realized I need to check on something else...the thoughts never stop! Before I could get myself back to Cale's bed, I had so many things I was trying to process and figure out. It wasn't a stressful time, just the constant flow of my mind. Amy and I have been saying, Adam and Cale damaged their brains, and we lost ours!

In the midst of trying to "do", I could hear God's whisper to my heart, that I needed to just-be still. I have had lots of time through these last few months, that I've been able to spend sitting at Jesus' feet and diving into God's word. I have had lots of time spent alone with the Lord, and many quiet moments. This "need to be still", was very specific to the fight that goes on inside me. I miss Cale. Thoughts from the last few days we had together have consumed me lately, even tonight, I was picturing our stop in PA the first night on our trip. We were so carefree, and child-like. After we had gone inside and made the arrangements for our room, Cale and I raced to the car (he only won because of his long legs!) to get our things for the night. I want him back like he was, without the thought of all the things that may be different, or disabilities he might have. At the same time, I'm totally and completely in love with this man, the man that I'm seeing at the hospital everyday, and all those changes aren't such a big deal, because Cale is alive and he's healing! Progressing EVERYDAY! I'm not sure I'm getting my thoughts out clearly...sorry. I ended up allowing myself to lay next to Cale, his arms around me, and surrendered the fight to the One who is in control.

"The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."
Exodus 14:14

Later this evening, I listened to the words of this song that Hannah Hayner had sent me. So perfect.

"Still" by Hillsong

Hide me now
Under your wings
Cover me
within your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are God

Find rest my soul
In Christ alone
Know his power
In quietness and trust

Like I said in my post last night, I'm very encouraged about our future, but at the same time, I feel exhausted with the present. I'm so thankful that I don't have to figure everything out, that I can spend a day laying with my husband, because this battle (physical and spiritual), we're facing, the Lord is fighting and has already won!

I've been asked a lot lately for my email-I will post it, with one condition...the letters in the mail don't stop! ;)
darlingkathleen@ymail.com
Also, the prayer chain is down and on it's way to CA, but will be back up in Cale's new room. If you haven't sent an email to be a part of the chain to let Cale know you're praying for him, email prayingforcale@yahoo.com All you have to do is send your name and location!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Leavin' On A Jet Plane...Just Kidding...

All I can say is...yikes! Plans went from leaving tomorrow, to not leaving until Monday, back to possibly still leaving tomorrow. As of now-we have no idea. Surprisingly, I'm totally fine with it. This whole process; with finding this facility, getting ready to move, making plans so quickly, new adjustments, and now all of this waiting, God has given me so much peace! He's been so faithful from the first night of the accident, and even now about filling my heart with peace that ONLY He can give!

I've been able to cuddle so much with Cale and have so many precious moments with him. He's such a sweet man. I know we still have a long road ahead of us, but moments when I'm laying with him, seem to make everything else disappear. When he looks at me now, I know he's actually looking at me. When he started giving hugs, it was so wonderful! So sweet! Now, he gives lots of hugs, and gives lots of people hugs. When he kisses me, it's my husband kissing ME! He doesn't try to kiss anyone, he only does that with me. When I can tell him how much I love him and how I'm so proud of him and all he's doing, I know he hears me. Tonight, we prayed together for our marriage, that God would continue to bind us together, and that NOTHING would take our focus off of Him. When I think about the future and all that God has in store for Cale and I, my heart starts to beat so fast! God is so good, whatever our life turns out to be like, God is still so good.


This was taken in 2005, when Cale was in Basic :)

I was challenged with a verse this afternoon that I wanted to share. I've been praying specifically, the last few weeks, that I wouldn't be so wrapped up in what's going on with Cale and I. There are so many people that are hurting and facing really hard situations. A friend of mine recently gave birth to a baby, that she will never get to see grow up. I met a lady today, that talked about an old friend of hers that is now quadriplegic. I was talking to a guy this week, his closest friend lost his wife to cancer. Today, I sat outside with Amy, whose having to go through her husband in the hospital for TBI like Cale. Another lady I know, just found out her dad has been diagnosed and may not be alive much longer. There are so many more trials that are going on right now, and when I think of all of them, my heart breaks for each person. I'm guilty of being in my own little world, since the accident, and not making more of an effort to be a blessing and looking for ways that God can use me in their lives!

So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective. Col 3:2 (The Message)

A Mom's Battle

I got a call this morning, we are not flying out today. It looks like it's going to be tomorrow, but we'll see...again, I'm okay with it, and not stressed because everything is ready to go. I do want to ask if everyone will pray for Kathy (Cale's mom). Her and Dennis were planning on getting to see us Thursday and now everyday that we get delayed, it's less time that she gets with Cale. It's been since March that she's gotten to see her son and hug him. I know if you're a mother reading this, I'm sure you know how it must feel, during a time like this not to be with your child...no matter how old they are! Kathy misses him so much. Pictures and videos only do so much to help the battle she faces not getting to be with him.

The plan as of this morning, we will be flying into Travis Air Force base tomorrow, staying two nights, and then taking a 3 hour ambulance ride to the new facility on Monday. They have a hospital on the base that they will check Cale into. We'll see how much changes before the day is over! ;)

Thank you for praying!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

On Hold

I think we are going to be here another day. It was a pretty lazy day for Cale and I, but I know things were crazy for the staff here at Wake, and for everyone that has a part in this transport. Unless tomorrow morning we get a call that says we need to get ready, it's going to be Saturday. It's not stressful or anything for me, because everything is ready to go! :) It does get draining waiting for an update, but, God's timing is PERFECT!

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16

There are SO many things through this journey that I don't know or don't get. I don't understand all the medical stuff...hardly any of it. The words are big, and it's all just way over my head. I don't always know what questions I'm supposed to be asking, and I don't always know the correct way to be dealing with Cale right now. I definitely don't know what the future looks like (we never do!). I have no idea what this next step is going to be like, and I don't know that Cale will ever be able to talk to me again. I DO know that I can cling to the words that God has put together for me to read. His promises are true and constant. He will lead me when I can't see what's happening through all of this and He's going to do it His way, if I allow Him to in my life. I've never had to deal with anything like this, and it's way out of my league, but God's with me, holding me up. This isn't a "fun" time for Cale and I. It's pretty miserable, but God promises to turn the darkness into light. I believe He already has! He will NOT forsake us. I love this verse so much! It's another one of those verses that God gave me while I sat next to Cale in ICU. Amazing. His love is amazing.

Cale and I danced today! He was sitting in his wheelchair; he was holding one of my hands and then his other hand was on my waist. My hand was on his shoulder, and together we swayed. Then, he twirled me around! The first time, I initiated it and then the second time he did. It was so much fun! No music was needed ;) Those moments are a treasure!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Special Visitor and A Double Date!

Cale and I had our first double date since the accident! When I first met Amy, one of the things we had talked about is how one day we would be able to sit outside with both of our husbands. Adam ended up having to go back to ICU, and then they finally just got back, and now we're leaving! Adam is still needing help with oxygen, so we didn't think it was going to happen. Well, the nurse let Adam go out for 20 minute spurts! We first all went to the coffee shop (my little get away), and then we headed outside to feel the sun on our faces! It was so nice! It was Adam's first time, so it was extra special! Before we had to go back inside, the four of us prayed together. God is so good!

While we were visiting outside, a very special man came to meet Cale. His name is Chris. I had gotten to meet him a couple weekends ago, while Rachel was here. He had stopped to help right after the accident happened. This time, he was able to see Cale, and I know Cale looks SO much better than the last time he saw him.

Meet Chris...


I forgot, with all of my excitement yesterday, I had asked Cale last night how many years we've been married, and he tapped 5 times! Go Cale! He knows the important stuff ;)

So...we do not fly out tomorrow. This is not really a surprise, because it's pretty expected by now. It was a little frustrating, having to wait all day to find out something, because I didn't get the final call until about 6:30 tonight, but that's not really a big deal. Everything is ready to go, so whenever the plane comes, we're there! It's actually going to be nice. Today was another busy day, not as crazy though! My plans for tomorrow are to be with Cale as much as I can. I know the first week at the new facility, I may not get to see him as much as I want, so I better get all the cuddling in that I can now :)

The speech therapist told me today that Cale swallowed a tiny bit of thickened juice this morning, but it was very delayed. This afternoon when she came in, he went right under the sheet. He did pull it down when I asked him to, so that I could talk to him about doing some hard work, but it didn't last...he went right back under! PT and OT came in a little later, and again! Right back under. It's not like we can fight with him to come out and do something, because then nothing gets done. It ends with us beaten up, and Cale angry-no good. He's figured a way to be lazy. ;)

At one point when I was laying with Cale this afternoon, both of us were awake, we looked up Jeremiah 29:11. Not just one version, but several different versions, and I talked with him about God's plans for us. I really felt like he was listening the whole time, and when I would ask a question he was nodding back (a few taps too!). It was so neat to feel like we were having another one of our late night discussions while cuddled up and comfy in bed. I've really missed that. I felt so encouraged when we were done, just being reminded that God's plans are perfect and His timing is perfect.

Here's what we read:

I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.-The Message

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. -NLT

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.-ESV

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.-NIV

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.-KJV

Our bags are packed, the car is on it's way, good byes are said, and we are full of excitement!


Good Bye Honda!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Psalm 35:28

I'm singing my heart out to God—what a victory! He pitched horse and rider into the sea. God is my strength, God is my song, and, yes! God is my salvation. This is the kind of God I have and I'm telling the world! This is the God of my father— I'm spreading the news far and wide! God is a fighter, pure God, through and through.
-A passage in Exodus from The Message

I will praise His name on the hard days and the easy days, the good days and the bad days. Today, I'm praising His name on one of the really good days :)

I had to go to Ft. Bragg this morning to get some stuff taken care of. I was determined to make it a quick trip, but it ended up taking all day. At least I tried ;) When I left I still didn't know if we were going to be leaving tomorrow or not. As soon as I got back, I had to meet with Beth and get things figured out with her. It was a long draining day. When I was still at Bragg, Amy sent me a text saying that Dr. Wilhelm had been in with Cale. I was dying to know how things went. When I got back to the hospital, the speech therapist told me that she had gone in Cale's room with Dr. Wilhelm. Guess what Cale did?! He went under the sheet! Deirdre (the speech therapist) said he wouldn't come out! Oh goodness! All I can do is laugh! Anyways, so I guess through the evaluation, Dr. Wilhelm saw what she needed to...AND, CALE IS A 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Praise God! It's truely a miracle, and everyone here recognizes that. He was never supposed to come out of level 3, but by the touch of God's hand on Cale's body, we can rejoice at level 4! Talk about an instant shot of espresso! Whew! My energy level went from negative numbers to through the roof! This is a day to celebrate God's healing in Caleb's body. He's coming back to me. He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Deuteronomy 10:21

I did find out that we are now leaving Thursday. It's a HUGE blessing because after being gone all day, I still have a few things that need to be done. My car is being picked up tomorrow afternoon and being shipped to CA. They said that it should be there on Saturday, so it'll just be a few days without-another HUGE blessing.

I wanted to give some details of what life is going to be like. I don't know a ton, but I've mentioned a few things with out explaining, so here goes...
First thing, I had made the descision that Basil was not going to join Cale and I during the program in CA for a few different reasons. I'm going to be living in the free housing at the facility and they don't allow pets, also, there is a point towards the end of the program that they set up an "apartment" like room, that I will move in with Cale, and they will teach us how to function in our own home, with Cale's disabilities. It sounds really great! I'm believing that Cale is going to make it that far, so I'm going to plan for it. :) It wasn't an easy descision to give Basil up for all that time, but Cale is priority!! :)

Again, another HUGE blessing, Kristen, a good friend of mine, lives not that far away from the facilitly. I just found out today, that her parents are willing to take Basil for me! That means that I will still get to see him, and so will Cale! It's so exciting! God is pouring blessings on me today! Thank you Lord!

I was told that the free (yep another HUGE blessing!!) housing that I will be staying at is right across from Cale's unit. It sounds like it's right on the facility, the lady I spoke with in admissions said she wouldn't even call it a road between the two buildings. It's going to be so nice!

Oh, let me sing to God all my life long, sing hymns to my God as long as I live! Oh, let my song please him; I'm so pleased to be singing to God. Psalm 104:33

Tomorrow is another busy day, but everything is coming together nicely...I think! :)

Please continue to Pray for Adam and Amy. It's been a hard day, Amy also talked with Dr. Wilhelm. Adam is in God's hands and we know that we can trust in Him 100%

I'm going to cuddle with my sweet husband now :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!

It's been a busy Monday! Yikes! My phone has been vibrating like crazy! I've talked with a soldier at Ft. Bragg, had my Monday meeting with Beth (the case manager), spoke to the Social Worker at the new facility, and was on the phone making plans to have my car shipped. After all of that, NOTHING has been finalized! Everything is still up in the air...great thing is, God has given me an unmeasurable amount of peace. I'm not worried about any of it. I know that God has laid out the plans long ago, and each step we have to take, is covered with His provision and grace.

Cale hasn't been himself today. I noticed his left eye was a little red yesterday, and then again today. He hasn't opened it much either. Also, I asked if his stomach was bothering him, and he nodded "yes". He was in bed most of the day, in fact, not much was done for therapy. PT did try to walk him, but his left leg seemed to be bothering him again. He did walk down the hall and back which is great!

Dr. Wilhelm comes tomorrow to do another evaluation on Cale! I started to get nervous today, after I found out she was for sure coming, because he didn't have such a great day. I had to kick that thought right out of my head! Cale is in God's hands, and I'm going to trust in Him! If he has another bad day, that's okay, the results aren't the final answer. Cale is progressing so much, and that's not going to be forgotten! I was encouraged today, from a man that I highly respect,he said that God has already healed Cale, now we wait for God's timing.

I have to make another trip to Ft. Bragg tomorrow morning. I'm praying it's a quick trip and that everything goes smoothly. Things get sticky with out certain paper work, and with out Cale being able to help, the paper work is impossible to get. Thankfully, God is so much bigger than paper work, and the system! :)

Tonight, I'm exhausted. I was dragging already by Friday, and then getting the call that we're leaving a lot sooner, hasn't given me much time for sleep. It's another late night, and tomorrow is going to be an early start. There's a lot of unknowns right now, with the immediate future; with moving to CA, and how this is all going to turn out. I always have lots of questions that I pour out to the Lord continually. Even so, I'm going to bed, feeling so much peace and hope about the future. Looking back through my whole life, God has carried me, He's brought me out of muck after muck. One day, Cale will be fully restored and so will I. One day, we'll both be looking in the sweet face of Christ and all of this will be behind us.

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.
Psalm 71:20

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tears Of Joy

Wow! It's been an emotional weekend! And it's such a blessing that it has been! North Carolina's welcome to Cale and I wasn't the...um...nicest, but it's been wonderful being here. One day, Cale and I will be back and he'll get to meet everyone that has been such a HUGE encouragement and blessing to me. Saying good bye to our family here has been a challenge too. Watching Cale hug all of them makes my heart leap! It's so great! He's come so far!

Speaking of Cale coming so far...he made noise this morning! He was sleeping and had started to move a little, trying to stretch. I looked up, and as he was trying to get comfortable he started to moan! It was short and only like 2 sounds, BUT, that's twice in the last week that he's made sound.

This is going to be a very fast pace week. At 9am the calls start with Ft. Bragg, the new facility in CA, and meetings here at Wake. Lots of details that are up in the air, will hopefully be answered tomorrow. I'm excited!

Here are some pictures of our goodbyes...
A few WONDERFUL women from Salem Baptist :)

Here's Cale and his brother Ty, saying their goodbyes. So sweet.


I also had to leave Basil. Next time I get to see him he'll be a dog and not just a puppy!

This is Cale with my brother and his family. My brother is the one that watched the accident happen, so it's extra special for him to see how far Cale has come!

I am going to miss so many people here. Thank you to everyone that has been here, and that's been able to walk through this with me. I've had people that have taken me out to eat, walked with me, done Cale's laundry, prayed with me, brought goodies :), came and sat outside with Cale and I, joined me for a drive, watched Basil, fixed my computer, worked on my car, ran errands for me, sat with Cale when I was gone, and so many more things. I am so blessed. Thank you.

Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we
are never ever the same.-- Flavia Weedn

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bittersweet

I'm really excited for Cale to get into this program, but it's definitely an emotional step we're taking. Saying "good bye" is a hard thing to do. I have lots to share but my brain is dead.

Before I close my eyes for the night, I have a prayer request...
Cale threw up this afternoon. He has seemed fine the rest of the day, after he took a nap. Last time he had done this, it got into his lungs, caused an infection, and then he had to be put back on precautions. I REALLY don't want to start this next part of our journey with the yucky yellow gowns! Cale doesn't need an infection either! Please pray with me against infection.

Last night,(because of loud noises all around me) I hardly slept, and today has been a little draining. I'm thinking a good night of sleep sounds wonderful! Things with the move are coming along and I should have a ton more information on Monday.

Thank you everyone for praying!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

OH BOY!!

I can't write anything else about the day before I get this out...WE'RE LEAVING NEXT WEEK! Ahh! California here we come! When I was laying in bed this afternoon, I had my phone on silent, and ended up missing a call. 10 minutes later, I saw that I had a voicemail...it was the nurse case manager from Ft. Bragg, calling to let me know that things have happened a little faster then we all thought! As of right now the plan is to leave Wednesday, possibly Friday. I'll no for sure on Monday. Eeeek! It's exciting because this program he's getting into is AMAZING, but I'm going to miss the staff here at Wake, and everyone that I've met here in NC so much! It's also going to be sad to leave my brother, and Cale's brother! I think it's funny that I feel surprised that everything has worked out like it has. Is God not the one in control? Hasn't he promised me that He would provide for us and lead the way? Aren't I supposed to trust Him? All I can do is continue to sit at His feet and be in Awe of who He is. He's the King!

Cale makes progress everyday! As I'm typing this, Cale is currently hiding under his sheet. I was trying to cuddle with him and he pushed me away. After several attempts, I asked if he was mad at me. He nodded "yes"...hmm. I told him I wasn't sure what I did, but I'm very sorry. "Will you forgive me?" I asked. His reply was 3 taps and then he crossed his arms and turned away from me! His whole body! How can I not laugh at that? He has gone from not moving at all, to turning his body all by himself! I finally told him I would just sit at the end of his bed, and he pushed me to move down. Here I sit, while he's under the sheet. He wouldn't even give me enough sheet to cover my toes! ;)

Yay for a praise! Adam and Amy are back! Adam is doing sooooooo good! He opens his eyes and looks around. He's tracking Amy already! So great!

I know that since the accident, I haven't been great about calling people. I'm not always good about returning voice mails, and I don't always manage to answer text messages. I don't always get around to answering facebook messages or comments, and a lot of times, if I do reply, it sometimes takes me a while or it's very short. I know sometimes I've made plans and had to cancel. I'm saying this all to say, I'm sorry if it's been you that hasn't heard back from me or you that I've had to cancel on. Also, thank you so much for understanding and for showing me grace. I feel so incredibly blessed to have so many, beyond amazing, people in my life. Thank you.

In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Psalm 33:21

Here's some pictures from the last time we were in California together! :)



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Shaving, progress, Pavel, and MY husband :)

I was at the hospital this morning before 8am. When I walked in the room, Cale's eyes were both wide open, and when I waved to him, he waved right back. First thought: It's going to be a good day!

PT and OT have been working with Cale a lot trying to get him to brush his teeth, and wash up to get ready for the day. He still gets things mixed up, like, today he tried to eat his deodorant, put his shoe on his head, and when they handed him his razor to shave his face, he first went for his mouth. They said that part of the motor planning is there, it's just not lining up right yet. As far as his razor...he pretty much shaved his face today all by himself!!! Yes! It was one of those moments, that I ran to take a picture with my phone and quickly sent it to both of our moms. :) After, I was shaking my head, yes, I am going to be one of those crazy moms someday that takes a picture for every little thing! My babies are going to have albums upon albums! heehee!

I also talked with Beth (the case manager at Wake) today about discharge plans. It looks like we still have a while before we get to that point, but it will come and we want everything in place. She had some exciting news for me too! Monday mornings, everyone that is involved with Cale's care meets together and then I get report that afternoon, and every Thursday they meet together. In team today, they all together decided to ask Dr. Wilhelm (the neuropsychologist) to come and do another evaluation on Cale because they feel he has made drastic progress...!!!!! Oh goodness! I think she will be coming on Tuesday. It's obvious to everyone that reads this blog that he has made "drastic progress" but the fact that they see it's enough progress to be evaluated again! Yikes! I told Beth, even if he's still at level 3 at least we all know he's a high 3 now. That's not the big thing for me, it's HUGE that they requested it! Music to my ears :)

Something very special happened today. An amazing lady (Michele Siemasko) that I just met in May, found out that Cale LOVES the Detroit Red Wings. She contacted someone that deals with the team and told them about Cale. I received a call today, and they are going to send a autographed picture of one of his favorite players, Pavel Datsyuk, specifically to Cale. She asked me for some details about him even! I know that he may not understand this right now, but one day he is going to be so blessed! It was an exciting moment when I was done with the call! Thank you Michele! :)

Cale is such an amazing man. For those that know him...well your first thought might be to laugh, because he's so crazy and goofy! Aside from that, he has such a good heart, and it never matters to him what other people think. When I first started to date him, he challenged me so much in my walk with the Lord. It wasn't just about tradition, or routine for him. He loves God. We had so many deep discussions, even up until the day of the accident, about God and different people. I loved that we could just talk and challenge each other, openly say we didn't know all the right answers, and dig some more. He was never judgemental. There were times that I was guilty of saying I didn't care for a person, and he would question and point out my flaw in whatever statement I had made. He is a very special man. I've been telling him every day "God is doing a mighty work through you Caleb". I'm not trying to babble, I just wanted to share that I happen to think very highly of Caleb Michael Darling...good thing because I'm his wife! ;)

But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.
Numbers 14:24

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Bubble Is Off Limits!

I didn't get to be at the hospital for most of the day. I had to take a trip to Ft. Bragg to take care of a couple things. I had thought it was going to be a simple and fairly quick trip, but ended up taking most of the day. All I can say about the trip is, there is a reason there are blonde jokes...

Before I left this morning, they were getting Cale ready for the day. He's been really good about showing what he wants. When OT first asked him if he wanted to brush his teeth, Cale nodded "no". Carolyn (OT) put the tooth brush down, and then asked Cale if he wanted to get washed up. He didn't want to take the wash cloth, but he let OT wash, and then she put deodorant on one side, and Cale did the other. Next, she gave him his shirt to put on, instead he rolled it in a ball, then set it to the side. At that point, he let them know he wanted his teeth brushed by putting the tooth brush in his mouth. He didn't move it, but again, let OT do it. Once that was done, she asked about the shirt again, and Cale helped put it on. He was willing to let everything happen, as long as it was the order he wanted.

When I got back this evening, Cale let me give him a hug, but then for the few hours I spent there, he had his whole body under the sheet the whole time. Every time I would try to go under with him, he'd quickly pull it down. I asked if I could join him in his bubble...there was no response. I asked if he would come out and let me say good bye...he pulled it tighter around him. He did pray with me though :)

It's a fun and interesting stage we're entering into. He makes me laugh so much through the day, but at the same time, I look at him, and I can't help but think about the man that he was. How did this man, an Intel Analyst for the Army, end up here? While I look at the website for the facility we're going to, I get so excited for all the possibilities! All the staff at the hospital are all so excited too! It's a big deal. I just know we still have so long to go. I know that the Lord is going to help me rise out of bed every morning to face each day. There will continue to be hard days and easy days, good days and bad days, and He WILL sustain me through them all!

Psalm 3: 3-5 But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me
and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his
holy hill. I lie down and sleep; I wake again for the Lord sustains me.