Thursday, September 30, 2010

funny words...

Thank you SO incredibly much everyone for praying for me, encouraging me, and being willing to talk if I needed to. It's such a blessing to know when those really hard days come, I am not alone as far as people to turn to! Thank you!

I had a really great prayer time this morning, which is always a perfect way to start my day. :) When I got to the hospital, I was walking down the hall and saw Cale farther down. At first he didn't notice me with all the other people around, but as soon as he saw I was coming his way, both arms flew in the air, his face lit up, and he headed my way! So sweet! I gave him a huge hug and asked how his morning had been so far and he said "the morning was horrible.", "oh no!" "why?!" I asked as my heart was dropping..."you were gone." oh man! I wanted to make sure that was why so I was asking for his nurse, and he told her the same thing! Poor guy. It would be horrible for me too if I was stuck in a hospital.

Cale worked so hard today. In OT they had this big board that lit up with the lights off. They had Cale try to touch the buttons that would light up (while standing) with his right hand. He is still having so much trouble getting his right hand to do what he wants it to do, but it's definitely getting so much better. There were a few times that he would just quickly do it with his left, but for the most part it was all his right and even though his arm got so tired on the last round, he still made it til the end!

There were a couple funny things in ST. Patty started off with giving Cale some Mt Dew. Everyday he's taking more sips of thin liquid! After, she started asking him questions. One of them she asked what he had eaten for dinner. He couldn't remember so I gave him two choices. "Lasagna or Beef Stew?" Cale said "Beef Stew" yay! Well then after a couple questions, she asked Cale what he had been drinking with her and he said "Beef soda" haha! It was really funny because he said it with such a straight face. I was thinking, if he only knew what he was saying...Later, Patty was pointing to different objects and having Cale say what they were. He usually doesn't do too well at these questions, but it's usually a word we can't understand that comes out rather than something random. Most of the time we can give him two choices and he can get the right answer. Well, she showed him the chap stick "What is this called?" Cale said "a freezer" Oh goodness! That was completely random! I would love to say that it was Cale messing around, but he was truly having a hard time today. One day I know that the two of us will be able to laugh together about all the silly things that have happened!

Pat (PT) came and talked with me today. I missed his pt session, but Pat said that Cale is doing so much better as far as balance, except that he's so afraid of falling that it throws him off. This isn't the only thing that Cale has been saying he's afraid of. Recently, he's been saying that he's afraid of messing up on something or doing something wrong. Yesterday I was working with him trying to write his name and he kept saying "I'm afraid." when I asked why he said "what if I mess up" I would say in every therapy right now, that's something that is coming up. Even in ST with eating, Cale has been afraid to swallow in case it hurts. He's also been saying he's worried. When I ask what he's worried about he says "everything". I've been talking to him a lot, trying to encourage him and let him know that it's ok if he messes up, or doesn't know how to do something. If he tries then that's what helps him get better. The therapists have talked with him too. It just seems to be more constant lately, or at least it feels like it since he's talking more (I still can't believe he's talking!).

I'm praying and asking you to pray with me against the spirit of fear! He does not need to battle fear and worry along with all the physical things he's already having to battle. He belongs to the Creator of the Universe, the King of Kings, the Great I AM, the Alpha and Omega, the Lord of his life!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

...and the flood gates opened.

The flood gates have opened. Since Friday I seem to be on the edge of tears every moment. There are so many things that are going on right now and so many thoughts that all I seem to be able to do is to let the tears come. I find so much comfort in knowing that the Bible says that Jesus wept (John 11:35). He understands the emotion that comes along with the flow of tears. It doesn't show lack of faith or that I don't believe He's in control, rather that I can bring myself to a deeper place of intimacy with Jesus. I can bring myself to think about the pain he felt, the anguish He experienced. I know that I will never completely understand, but in these raw moments when my heart is fully open, I can allow myself to surrender to Jesus with out guilt from tears-because He completely understands me.

With everything that's going on, I feel the Holy Spirit continually pressing on my heart "Do not worry" through scripture, devotions, prayer, and so many more things! Of course my first reaction is "But God..." I was in a meeting today that made everything seem to spiral out of control, followed by a phone call that made me a very frustrated Kathleen. I wanted to sneak away to have some time on my knees about all that's going on. I was reminded that I have to not only trust that God knows what's best, but also that He knows what's ahead. It's so easy to get wrapped up in a conversation and forget everything that I know about God and Who He is!

That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you." Solomon answered God, "You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?" 2 Chronicles 1: 7-10

As I went before the Lord feeling like there were so many things that I could ask for in Cale's healing, details about what's next for us, the future; all I am able to ask for is wisdom and knowledge to understand and fight for the very best for Cale. As my husband, he is unable to step up in his role as leader of the family, which means that for this season, and maybe always, I will have to lead our family. I told Cale last week that I don't know all the right answers and I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing, I can only do my best. I of course want a full recovery, I want Cale to get better, I want to be in the best facility we can be in, I want his brain to heal, I want to see continued progress, I want a future and wonderful life with him, but aside from all my "wants" that may not all line up with God's plan, I want to have the wisdom and knowledge as I face every step that we come to, whether it's what I want or not. This isn't the first time through this journey that I've had to come before the Lord and completely surrender everything, trusting that His ways are higher than mine and His thoughts than my thoughts (Isaiah 55:9) and I know it will not be the last.

I felt a deep need to surrender-like when you take a deep breath and try to picture getting rid of everything. Surrender is not always a good thing; like at war-but with the Lord, like I've written before, you can find freedom in surrender. I'm so thankful that I can give it all away and not have to hold on. I'm so thankful that it's ok that I don't know all the right answers, but He does. He's on our side rooting for us! Downfall of the day...puffy eyes.

Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:7

Surrender.






Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Ultimate Sacrifice is not forgotten

Love is such a sweet thing. I used to stay up late talking with Cale about anything and everything, a lot of times we'd talk about love. "Why can't other people be like us and love each other so much?", was a question we often asked. I feel like, even now, Cale and I can have that same conversation! I love him so incredibly much and he loves me the same. When I walked in the room this morning, I gave Cale a huge hug and said "Good morning Handsome!", "How are you?" Cale so sweetly replied "Good now!" Awe :) I love him.

It's been really fun with him talking more. Things are getting very interesting and extremely funny now that he's able to express his thoughts. When I got there this morning, he hadn't eaten yet, so I walked with him to the fridge to see if there was any fruit. All they had was a container of peaches, which he loves lately so I thought we were good to go. Our conversation- K: "Here are some peaches" C: "No" K: "but you love peaches!" C: "there are better things!" haha! Ok...if you say so! I had a little instant maple flavored oatmeal thing, so I heated that up for him. What was I thinking giving him peaches for breakfast?! Geez Kathleen...get with the program! haha!

In OT Cale did some work on his wheelchair. First, Monica had him sit on the side of the bed and wash it. Last time, this was so hard for him because he wasn't able to keep his balance. This time, he did so good! It didn't seem to be a struggle at all. Monica also adjusted the height because Cale has such crazy long legs, they're having a hard time finding a chair that fits him good. I think maybe this adjustment will help good enough. of course I'm hoping he doesn't need it soon! I know he'll need it for long periods but how nice it would be not having to fit that thing in the Honda!

In ST, Patty started with questions again. She was trying to ask questions about Saturday, but that didn't go over well, so she was asking questions related to it, like has he ever been on a boat. I brought up the cruise we were on and when asked he said that he remembered. When she asked him if we saw any kind of animals on the cruise, he said "dinosaurs" Hmm...I think he meant dolphins! He also graduated to a cup today! When he would get any kind of liquids, so far it was just with a spoon, but now he's able to control his intake of fluid so right out of the cup! She's working really hard to get him on thin liquids too!

At one point today, Cale said "Hey" K: "What do you need?" C: "I need better and better" K: "better and better what?" C: "everything" I bet he does! Hospital life isn't the grandest!

Last night I was told that he pulled off all the cords so they weren't able to get a reading on him for sleep apnea. I knew it wasn't going to last with him! He's been very good right from the start making it very clear to everyone if he doesn't like something!

I asked him tonight "Who loves you very much, the most in the whole world?" He said "Kathleen", "and who loves you even more than I do?" he said "Jesus". "What special thing did Jesus do for you?" he said "sacrificed himself"-There might not be a lot that Cale remembers now, even from before the accident, but he does remember that Jesus gave himself as the ultimate sacrifice for him! Praise God!


This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10

Monday, September 27, 2010

Poor Guy...

September is almost over. It's hard for me to believe (and I'm sure a lot of other people!) that October is this week! Yikes! It's strange for me to think that the last thing Cale was seeing in stores was a bunch of red hearts and lots of chocolate. The seasons are passing by, and we're still in a hospital. I'm excited for fall though, I love getting to wear scarfs and boots :) I thought it was going to start cooling way off here...but, today it was over a 100! I forgot I was in CA instead of NY! haha!

In OT, Monica had Cale working on more writing and memory stuff. I'm not a fan of the lack of short-term memory Cale has now. I already know it's going to be a big struggle...it's very much already started. Everyone was thinking that Saturday when we were on the boat, that it would be a big enough thing, that maybe he'd remember more. When I talked with him about it Saturday night, Cale didn't remember the boat, or even leaving the hospital. Blah. It's a daily thing, but I'm praying that God will restore that to Cale's body! It just gets sad when we have special moments or do fun things, and he doesn't remember. All of these things, are being stored so nicely in my heart, but for him, it's in and out.

For the first part of the session in PT, Patty started off with getting Cale to talk and answer questions. He did good; I just feel like that kind of stuff is a day to day thing. He's not consistent with making progress in that area, but that is all cognitive, which is where Cale is having the hardest time. The last half of the session, Cale ate from his lunch tray! It was some kind of turkey-chicken burger thing, and Cale ate almost half of it! He also ate some veggies (woohoo!). I keep explaining to him that every meal he has is like a therapy, it's helping him get better so he can come home with me!

His schedule was mixed up today, so between 2-4, Cale and I went to the store. It was fun taking him along so I could pick up the few things I needed. He really enjoyed it too :) Before getting to the store, I took the Honda to a car wash. When Cale and I were dating, we would go to the car wash for something fun to do. We always loved getting to watch the colorful soap on the windows (we were young and silly!), so that made it special going together today.

When we got back, it was time for a late session of PT. We were only in PT for about 10 minutes, and Cale started saying "all done" three times really fast. After giving him a small break, we tried something different. He was acting really strange and wouldn't let go of his walker at all. I was thinking maybe because it was a new person that worked with him, he didn't trust her. Well, it didn't take long for Cale to say he was done and wanted to sit. At that point I knew something wasn't good...after checking his vitals and getting him back to his room, we decided he was dehydrated. I felt so bad for him. He was saying he was dizzy and felt like he was going to fall. he didn't want to eat dinner either. Until now, he's been getting his tube feeds and any liquid through his tube. Yesterday was the first day that he started having thickened liquids with meals. Now I'll be able to give him lots more water through the day. When I told him it made me sad that he didn't feel good, he said "I don't like it either." By the time I left tonight he seemed to be feeling better!

He was feeling better, but hooked up to a bunch of stuff! They're going to be testing Cale for sleep apnea. It's very common with TBI patients, so we'll see. Even though it's common and can be treated, I don't want him to have it, but if he does, it will be good to get him started on the CPAP device. He looked so sad after they hooked him up and I said goodnight. Poor guy!


My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Psalm 73:26

I read something today that seemed to fit so well with the foot ball season. I'm not a sporty person at all...I can pretend, only until someone watches me play! I always loved the idea, but some how I was born with two left feet. When I try to kick the soccer ball, I think it purposefully moves right when I'm going to kick. If I try to throw, the ball seems to go in it's own direction-maybe it's just always windy? I don't enjoy playing much either. I never know which way I'm supposed to be going...Cale still loves me :) Anyways, I love that even though I may be going all crazy ways on the field, God is rooting for the Darlings and He's on our side!

"God is for you. Turn to the sidelines; that's God cheering you on. Look past the finish line; that's God applauding your steps. Listen for him in the bleachers, shouting your name. Too tired to continue? He'll carry you. Too discouraged to fight? He's picking you up. God is for you. Our devotion may falter, but God's never does."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Praise and Thankfulness

I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. Psalm 7:17

I'm thankful that Cale came home safe and unharmed from Afghanistan.
I'm thankful for the time we had together from December 26, 2009-February 10, 2010 and how wonderfully perfect it was.
I'm thankful that I didn't get pregnant in January like we had been hoping.
I'm thankful that Cale is alive and has breath.
I'm thankful for the people that were there when the accident happened and that it wasn't in the middle of nowhere-and Cale wouldn't have made it.
I'm thankful that none of the surgery's went wrong.
I'm thankful for all my family and friends that were able to come visit the first few weeks.
I Praise God for the overwhelming peace he poured over me.
I'm thankful that I wasn't injured and was able to be by his side everyday so far.
I'm thankful that we were able to celebrate our 5 year anniversary (even though Cale slept through it!)
I praise God for holding me through all of my hard times, all the moments in ICU that I felt useless, all the times of feeling so alone.
I'm thankful for all of the amazing care that Cale has had through all of the hospitals we've been at.
I'm thankful for the blessing of Cale's medical expenses being paid through the Army.
I praise God for the supernatural strength that He's given me through this journey.
I'm thankful that Cale has sight out of his left eye. Even though we don't know how much, at least there is some vision!
I'm thankful that Cale has voice and can communicate with me.
I'm thankful that his first word was "stay" and not a swear word (which I've been told several times that it's very common to be that way)
I'm thankful that Cale is eating. Today he ate the most that he's eaten so far of real food and not just ice cream!
I praise God for the woman that He's molding me into through this.
I'm thankful for progress. Everyday there is progress!
I'm thankful that I have a room so close to Cale right now.
I praise God for the joy that Cale and I have through this that only comes from Him.
I'm thankful that Cale remembers me, loves me, and is able to express and show it.
I'm thankful that God blessed me with Amy and Katie. I treasure our friendship.
I'm thankful for laughter and playfulness with Cale.
I'm thankful for this blog and that I'm able to keep everyone updated and that God is using it as a tool for His glory.
I praise God that His love has been seen through Cale and through me. That even when the darkness and gloom threatened to hang out, His love shined brighter.
I praise God for knowing every detail of this journey and for all that He has done, is doing and is going to do in our lives.

There are so many more things that I am so thankful for and that I'm praising God for, but here's a small list :)



I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:2

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Delightful Yacht Ride :)


Today was the Wheelchair Regatta. Every year a yacht club donates there time and yachts so that veterans in the area can go for a ride. These lovely boats aren't quite set up for wheelchairs, so some very nice firemen donate their muscles and lift the wheelchairs over the side. You can read more about the event here http://wheelchairregatta.homestead.com/

This outing has been one of the goals set for Cale for the last month or so. The outing was going to be several hours and Cale hasn't been able to tolerate too much stimulation so far. Katie and I wanted to go in the same van, which already was going to be interesting! Ben had to go in the front seat, Katie wanted to be right behind him, his wheelchair had to go behind the drivers seat, so that put Cale and I in the very back! With a little scooting, Cale made it to his seat just fine :) He's a good sport!


I had no idea there were going to be so many people, so when we first got there, I was a little nervous. How is Cale going to do? Will he make it? The first person we met was a Pearl Harbor survivor! He was really nice, and later became a dance partner for Katie and I ;)


Not only was there a lot of people, but they were also playing music...so much noise! Again, I was nervous about how my husband was going to handle all of this, once we're on the boat he can't just get off! I didn't have to be nervous for long. Turns out, my husband still loves to dance! He was dancing and singing for most of the time we were in line!

Ignore the blonde in the purple...but be excited about the fun Cale is having! Yes! He had so much fun!



...and so were we!



When it was finally our turn to get on the boat, they gathered around Cale and up and over he went! It was so cool to watch...and a tiny bit nerve-racking!



It was so nice to get away and enjoy the beautiful day! Katie and I were expecting it to be cold so we brought sweaters and blankets. Instead it was so sunny and warm the whole time. During the boat ride, Cale was waving at any boats that went by and laughing and so joyful. Towards the end, he did hit a point that he wanted to be done and even asked me "Why are we still here?" That was after we were about to head back in, but something happened at the dock so they asked us to stay out for another 45 minutes. Cale still handled getting back to land, eating a pudding thing at the BBQ, and the whole drive back. It was about an hour drive too! I'm so proud of him!


Yay for a boat ride on the bay!



"Jumping for joy is good exercise." ~Author Unknown

I saw this quote today and had to laugh...I must be getting lots of exercise lately from all my jumping with joy I've been doing! There are SO many exciting things happening with Cale's progress! I was telling Katie today that when I was getting ready for the outing today, I was reminded that when Cale and I first got to Palo Alto, I couldn't wait for him to get to the point that he could go on outings with the group. I wanted it so bad! Well, off we went! It's so exciting! I can hardly contain my joy! We're at a whole new stage in this journey, and just last week we had entered into a new stage! I am totally supportive of the idea to keep this progress going! :)

As Cale would say "YAY!"

Friday, September 24, 2010

Walking on Sunshine!

The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior! Psalm 18:46

I can hardly keep my eyes open, but I have to stay awake long enough to share a little about the day...

This morning I went to ride horses like I do every week. Last week I started trotting(which was fun!) and today, I was cantering! Katie came to ride today so she would get her horse going and then my horse, who was wanting to be lazy, would get going. It was so much fun! I gave Katie and Joanna(the trainer) quite a laugh, but yikes! There's a lot going on at once when you get going! It's such a blessing to have that little time away from the hospital and have fun on a horse! Towards the end, my horse Ranger, bucked me! It happened so fast, but at least I stayed on! When I got to the ranch today, Joanna had brought me a pair of boots! By the time the session was over, she said I earned them :)

My first pair of boots :)


After riding, I got back to the hospital as fast as I could so I only missed the first few minutes of PT. Pat had Cale do a few things on the bars, got him on the bike, and then it was time for walking. He was using the normal walker, and this time he let go of Cale...completely! Yep! You read right :) Cale was walking all by himself! For the most part whenever Cale would lose his balance, he was able to fix it on his own! It was so amazing to see and only one of the super great things of the day!



Tomorrow is another exciting day with a really fun outing planned! Can't wait to show pictures!!

Good night! :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Working Hard to get Home!

Have you ever been in the middle of doing something and all of a sudden this crazy idea pops in your head, and you suddenly feel like you have to do it? Well, that's what happened to me while I was getting ready this morning. I could feel my breath get heavier and my mind started to turn-very quickly. There's a couple things that my heart has been trying to figure out lately and I started to just go ahead and make my own plan. Something needed to be done so I better just do it. Well, as my mind was going, the conversation with the Lord started...Lord, is this you? I have a few verses in my bathroom that are there for me to read while I'm getting ready for the day. As my heart started to pound I looked up, and there were a couple verses that said exactly what answered the sudden craziness in my head. Ok...change of plans (nothing new!). Before I left for the hospital I was reading my bible and another very important scripture stuck out.

Amos 7:14-15 But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’

There's another thing that I've been praying about and have been telling God over and over "I can't do that!", "I'm not special enough!" and "I never went to school for that" but if I look at the notes in my Bible, next to that verse, I wrote a few years ago, it says "The Lord wants to use me and can for His glory, even if I don't think I'm special or know everything." I was reminded that I just have to be obedient. When I take the time to listen and obey, God is faithful and whatever it is that He's calling me to do, He's already prepared me. It was a full hour of lots of stuff in my head, but I feel like I've gone another step in my walk with Jesus. :)

Before Cale's therapy's started, we had a very special phone call. Deirdre (ST), Carolyn (OT), and Susan (PT), from WakeMed in NC have been staying updated with Cale's progress and also had sent the ice cream maker. They are three special women in my life. They saw my good days and my bad days, saw me smile and cry. They jumped up and down with me and heard all of my squeals! Today, Cale talked with each one of them. I know he doesn't fully understand and I tried to explain a little with him before the phone call and after, but to know that they were such a huge part in how far he's come is so great. I can't wait to take him back to Wake with me so they can see him!

Cale did so great in his therapy's today. It's amazing to look at him do some of the things that not too long ago were so hard. In OT, one of the things they did was use these close pin things and clip them to a medal bar. Last time he did this, he mostly used his left hand and when he did the few with his right hand, it was very hard and he got really frustrated. Today, he did the whole thing with his right hand and it was so easy for him! Amazing.


Also, in PT, he had to get up on all four and again, last time they had him do this, it was so hard for him he wasn't able to do what they wanted while he was up. Poor guy looked like he was so uncomfortable too. Today, he was up on all four, and he did everything that was asked! This was after he had already been standing and working so hard!


On top of him doing each therapy with out rest time, he's now walking to each therapy in his walker thing, rather than using his chair. OT and PT also had him do a lot of things standing so he was tuckered out! Here's him at one point looking very cool! His shirt says "Welcome to the Gun Show" :)


He did well but made it very clear that he was tired. For ST he didn't want to do anything but sleep and Patty and I had to talk to him quite a bit to get him to eat. He finally did and worked hard to the very end of the session. It was like that with all of his therapy's. We came up with a new thing today that seemed to help him keep going. I say "Therapy's help you get..." and Cale says "better!" and then I say "and when you get better, you get to go..." Cale finishes with "home!" He did get to try MT Dew today! It didn't go to well today, but I think a lot of it was because he was so tired. We're trying again tomorrow! He was also officially put on the new tray today. Praying he'll start eating!


I kept telling Cale that at 3:30 he would be all done with therapy and I would take him away to the Fisher House and he'd be able to nap. He loves getting to nap in my bed now so it's a big treat :) After a really good nap, we got to skype with his mom. After my computer crashed in June, I was never able to get it back on my computer, but when I tried today, there was no problem! It was so much fun! Cale loved getting to see Kathy, Dennis, and the pets! He actually understands now! So great!


When it was time to take Cale back to the hospital, he would not go! He put his feet down and would not budge. I tried to explain and he kept saying "why", "so", and "no". to everything I was saying. He wanted to stay with me and didn't understand anything different. Finally we came to an agreement and he stayed another hour...Oh the joys of voice! haha!
Thank you everyone that has been praying for all the decisions I have to be making. I can feel all the prayers! Especially this morning!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Visit to the Garden

I woke up this morning, and rather than jump in the shower and get to the hospital as fast as I could, I spent time with just me and Jesus. I didn't want to pay attention to the clock or think about getting to Cale, I only wanted to sit at my Father's feet. Every day is so crazy busy here; feels like non-stop, but I always try so hard to make time with the Lord priority. I'm guilty of too often, thinking about all that needs to be done, or trying to squeeze in time rather than "just being".

Please take the time to watch this video. I watched it a couple times in NC after the accident and it's just amazing. The video was done by Hillary Hopper and the song was done by Jenny Hopper. They are both beautiful wonderful women and I love them so much!



James 5:11 (the Message) says that God cares right down to the last detail. I had to press in to the Lord even more today. I spent some extra time through out the day, reading his letters to me, talking with Him, listening to what He wants my heart to hear. When there is a time that my heart feels heavy, all I need to do is press into Him, seek Him, hand all my cares to Him because He promises in His word that if we are weary and carry heavy burden that He will give us rest. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
"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 28:30

Today ended up being such a great day! Cale is still doing so many big things! I talked with him this morning about how there are all these steps that he needs to take before he can come home with me. Through out the day, I was then able to point out all the steps he was taking!
The schedule was all mixed around today so PT was at 9 am instead of at 1. I got to the hospital right before 10am so I had missed it. Bummer! When I got to his room, Debbie (PT) had him standing in another contraption. They're still going to work with him using the walker, but this new thing will give him more independence. He walked around for so long today, and when we asked if he wanted to sit, he said no! the goal is that he will be able to walk around in this through the day instead of using the wheelchair. Here's a short video of him walking...all by himself!!!



In OT Cale was writing with his right hand! I had to hold back his left hand only a couple times, but for the most part he was doing so well! It's so crazy to think that a few weeks ago, he wouldn't use his right hand at all! When he was all done, I even asked him what hand he did all that work with and he said his right hand. When I told him how great that was he said "Yay!"

Here's Cale tracing numbers...


In ST he ate some more peaches and drank some more milk. Tomorrow Patty said she was going to have him on mechanical soft trays so that maybe he'll want to eat with a different consistency. I bought him a few things to try, so we'll see! I'm wondering if he's not going to eat until he can have a steak!

On Wednesdays he has a group session that is RT and ST combined. Last week they played Go Fish and today was round 2. Cale is getting a lot better and talking on his own with out cues of what to say. It's fun seeing the group play together! Cale seems to really enjoy it! He tied with Ben today, they both got 5 matches! :)

When I was at the store picking up a few more things for Cale to try, I had grabbed a few things from the baby isle. They have small containers and the perfect consistency for what Cale needs. The cashier asked me how old my baby was...I think at one point that would have felt like a horrible kick in my gut and so sad to me when I had to reply that it was for my husband, but today, it filled my heart with so much hope! One day, I will be able to say it's for my baby! I'm not sure if the baby will be from my tummy or some other persons tummy, but I do know Cale and I will have a baby some day! The look on her face was quite unforgettable though...haha!

Tonight was Bingo! I've been going to the Wednesday night Bingo since July 28th. The first time I brought Cale with me, he lasted about 15 minutes. The next time it was about 25 and he was way past done. Another time he stayed the whole time, but the week after he stayed like 5 minutes. Last week was the first week that he stayed the whole time and played! He didn't just sit there and get over stimulated, he actually played! He even called out "Bingo!" when he got one. He went again tonight! It's so much fun playing with him! He loves it! It's another reminder of how far he's come, something that was just me going for awhile, he now gets to enjoy it too :)

*I figured out how to do the videos the right way...go me! ;)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Land of Milk and Honey...or Milk and Peaches :)

Busy day! No breaks for Cale today, but he did so great. "You worked really hard today, didn't you?" and he said "yes". "Thank you for working so hard!" "Why?" he asked, and I told him "because you working so hard in therapy's and trying to get better, shows me how much you love me!" From 10am to 2:30 he was non-stop in therapy, and worked so hard through each one. I'm so proud of him!

In OT, they worked on counting money and a few other things. In RT they played the Wii again. Today she did a brain game with him. He struggled with some of it, but also did really good on some of it. Rebecca wants to continue working with it, and hopefully we'll start seeing exciting results!

ST was so good today! Cale ate another container of the diced peaches, but instead of only taking one little piece of peach for each bite, he would take 3 or 4 little pieces. He loves them now! Patty is trying thin liquids too, and so far he's doing well when he's given it in small sips. He did a little bit of water, but only by spoon and then she gave him milk. He drank quite a bit from the little plastic medicine cups. I just kept thinking about the Bible and reading about the land of milk and honey...today for Cale, he was in the Land of milk and peaches :) He loved them both and did so great! Of course, when Patty left, the lunch tray was ready and Cale took one bite and spit it out. He sure did manage to consume (very easily) 2 containers of ice cream! haha!

But I said to you, "You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am the LORD your God, who has set you apart from the nations. Leviticus 20:24

Pt was extra special today! Pat is from Buffalo, NY and talks hockey with Cale all the time. I had told Pat about how my brother was shipping Cale's hockey stick, so Pat said we'd have to make it a part of PT. I was thinking about how much Cale would LOVE that! Well...he sure did!



Pat wants to have it be a big part of PT from now on because it helps with Cale weight shifting, using his right hand, balance, coordination, and not to mention, he has so much fun!

After all his therapy's were over, Katie and I headed out. What do two girls with husbands in the hospital do?

We get Pedicures of course! ;)


The finished product :)


After our feet were all prettied up, we went to dinner and made our tummies happy! :)


When I got back to the hospital, I cuddled right up to Cale. I love our cuddle time and so does he! I talked with him for a while, and as much as I tried, I couldn't hold back the tears. We're working on learning to read and the book we started is "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie". There is nothing easy about watching my husband (the man that I married that protects and provides for me, the man that loves me and leads our family) struggle to read a children's book. When we were talking, I brought up a couple things from our past that he said he doesn't remember. They were big things for us, sweet precious moments. There's nothing easy about hearing that he doesn't remember them. I miss him. I hate that this happened to him. There's nothing easy about leaving the hospital every night and sleeping in a bed alone. Aren't I married? Aren't I supposed to share my bed with my husband? My heart is heavy with missing him and us and all that we had, even with all the excitement that's been going on with all of his progress. I also have to make some important decisions soon and I don't know all the right answers (and it's a good thing I can lean on the Lord!). I have so many questions I need to ask Cale and have him help me with, I don't understand so much. As all this was on my heart and the tears were flowing, first Cale said "What did I start?" at first I was confused by his question and then realized he meant about my tears! Poor guy!

Through the whole time we were talking, I felt like Cale was encouraging me so much! At one point I felt his scar from his trach and asked if he knew he had a scar there. He said yes and then I asked if he knew why. "No" he said. When I explained why he had the scar and how he wasn't able to breathe out of his mouth, he took to big deep breaths. I told him he can do that now, but before he couldn't and he said "YAY!" He did that over and over with things that we talked about that seemed so sad to me. By the end of the night when I left the hospital at 9pm, we were both laughing so much. I love him so deeply and Christ continues to show me His love for me through Cale. It's beautiful.

I asked Cale last night what he was thankful for when we were praying, and he couldn't think of anything. He first said "You" and I asked him if he was just saying that because it was an easy answer. I went over a whole bunch of stuff that's in his life and he finally said "going outside". I knew that he had just heard me say that he gets to go outside, but I also knew he was tired so we prayed. Tonight when I asked him what's one thing he's thankful for, he said "Kathleen". I know he's thankful for me, but he had also spent an hour with me going over so many things that are different and better now since the accident happened that he was saying "yay" about. We have so much to be thankful for! Tonight, I'm very thankful for the man that my husband is, not just who he was before the accident, but for who he is right now.

So even though Jesus was God's Son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered. Hebrews 5:8

Monday, September 20, 2010

We're going to be Ice Cream Chefs! :)

Cale and I are both exhausted. When we got to the hospital this morning, Cale was already awake, but within 30 minutes he was wanting to go back to bed...and so was I. As soon as therapies were over, we snuck (well, the nurse knows!) away to the Fisher House and we cuddled in my bed! So nice...

Cale didn't have much therapy today, because he was in appointments! They're trying to evaluate and see how he's doing as far as his vision. He's still keeping his right eye closed so much. They have a couple ideas of why and will continue to work with him. His pupils aren't reacting when she shines the light in his eyes, which explains why it hurts to be in the sun!

While Cale was at his first appointment, he had to say good bye to his mom :( It was so sad to watch him hug her bye. When he looked at me, his eye was red and watery. This is sad and I know it made it harder on Kathy, but it was so good to see! Before, he hasn't understood when people leave, but today he knew it was sad. It was such a wonderful weekend with her and I know she'll be back!

Today was the family meeting. It was supposed to be Thursday, but they had to change it for this week. It was a good meeting and I got some good info. I love going around the table and hearing everyone talking about how good he's doing! Of course I see it every day, but when the pros say it...awe! Music to my ears! :) I was able to talk to the social worker for a while after the meeting and he really listened to my thoughts (and I always have so many!) and concerns. I know that I don't have to worry and everything is going to work out just fine. It's a little nerve racking when the discussion of Cale getting to go home (at some point down the road) and we don't even have a place to go! I know we will though. One of the things brought up was that he might have to go to a long term facility until I have something ready. I don't want this to happen so I've been having a chat with the Lord ;)

In ST this afternoon, Cale ate 32 bites of peaches! It's the little diced peaches and he only would take a bite if Patty only had one little piece on the spoon! He ended up eating the whole container! He's still not eating anything on his trays and I think he's going to end up skipping the pureed tray altogether! He did so well with the peaches (and struggled so much last time!) that Patty says if he has a few more good days like this, we'll be able to eat more things! I wouldn't eat the pureed trays either! yuck!

Speaking of eating...even though Cale can eat lots of other soft things besides the pureed tray, all he's wanting is ice cream! I walked in my room this afternoon and had a package from his therapist from WakeMed in NC, and guess what it was...


An ice cream maker. You guys are so great! When I had Cale open the box and he saw what it was, he said "YAY!" haha! He wanted to take it out right away and make some! "Weren't you wanting a nap?!" I asked. Cale shrugged his shoulders and smiled :) We'll be making some soon!

Along with the ice cream maker, there were a whole bunch more cards and a few more packages for Cale! As soon as I opened my door, the tears came. Thank you so much. There really are no words to describe how blessed we are. Cale has felt so special. We opened a bunch more cards before he conked out, and so many times I would ask, "do you know that person" and he would say "no" and I got to share with him over and over about how many people that he knows and doesn't know are praying for him! Thank you!

Even though Cale was so tired all day and just wanted to sleep, he was still so happy and full of laughter! I love it! He's so sweet! Cale has always been a fun guy to be around and always so silly. I am so grateful that he has all the goofiness back! He makes me smile all day long! :) He's so much fun!



For those of you that don't know, or maybe have questioned when you've seen/heard, Cale calls me "girl" and I call him "boy". I'm not sure how it started, we just both remember it was shortly after we started dating. :) Since Cale has started talking, he's been calling me "Kathleen", it's my name so it's good, but I missed him calling me girl. Tonight when i was leaving Cale's room, he said "I love you Girl."-heart melter! My goodness! I had to run back over and give him such a big hug! He remembers! It was so great! I'm going to bed smiling tonight! heehee!

We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. Psalm 66:12

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Storms Do Not Have To Overcome Us.



I was telling Kathy today, that everyday there are so many new things and always so much to write! I hope you don't mind reading! :)

We didn't get to see OT today, but Monica said Cale did great! He's been doing really well with learning ADL's (activities of daily living). I know I've mentioned before about brushing his teeth and washing his hands and how hard it can be for him. He's getting so much better! This afternoon, he washed his hands and I only had to cue him twice. He's doing so great! yay!

After OT Cale had PT. Mitch stretched him and then tried something new with Cale. One of the biggest things they've been working on is weight shifting. Today, they had him get on this thing that looked like he was playing a video game :) There were different levels and ways that Cale was supposed to shift his weight. Almost every one, Cale got 100%!! Go Cale!



After therapy's were done, it was time for church. Right now, we're still going to the chapel at the hospital, but I'm hoping very soon that we'll be able to go to church outside of the hospital! There's a few in the area we can go to! I would love it so much, but I want to make sure Cale is at a point that it's a good experience and not miserable. One of the things the Chaplain shared was really neat so I asked for a copy so I can share with you! :)

Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks? The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm. When the storms of life come upon us we can rise above them by setting our minds toward God. The storms do not have to overcome us.

I loved that! "It simply uses the storm to lift it higher" Yes! That's what I want! I want this "storm" to strengthen us, to change lives, to encourage us and others, to draw us so much closer to the Lord! Cale has a lot against him, but that doesn't mean it has to overcome him! I will say that if we knew this storm was coming our direction, we probably would have run a way! Good thing God knows all and not us! How many other things would we run from?

When church was over, Cale was ready for a nap! He ended up sleeping for a couple hours which is such a good thing! Usually he gets woken up so much. That gave Kathy and I time to run to a store and find Cale some comfy pants that are long enough. The weather is starting to change and all I have for Cale is shorts! When we got back, Cale was awake and sang "You are my sunshine" to me! It was so sweet! It was with help from the nurse, but still so sweet!

Today we had a pass to go out, but ended up staying here and hanging out at the Fisher House. We played two games of Sorry! and had a blast! It was so much fun! All three of us were laughing so much! Cale did amazing playing! He was counting and reading some of the cards. He even made a couple plays that I thought were pretty impressive. We played for over an hour which in itself is huge! Cale so far has a very short span that he can be apart of something that's constant like that with out taking breaks. After we finished the first game, I thought he was going to be done but he wanted to keep playing! So fun!


He did finally hit a point that he was done, so we all went back to my room to lay down. We put a movie in, but I thought either he's going to get worked up (so far TV is a no go...which is not a bad thing!) and we're going to have to stop it or he's just going to fall asleep. Well, Cale watched the WHOLE movie! It was wonderful! He didn't seem overstimulated at all and it was just nice for all of us to be cozy and lazy watching a movie, especially since it was a gloomy day outside! When it was over I said "you watched a movie with me!", "It was your first movie and it was a chick flick!" haha! It was about desserts, so maybe that's what kept him watching... :)

Cale has been talking so much more! He's using sentences now instead of just one word answers. It's really neat! Sometimes it all comes out in a slurred mix, but for the most part, he realizes it and starts laughing! He knows it's not supposed to sound that way.


I was thinking about how so much has been happening lately! I keep trying to remind Cale everyday about how he's doing things now that just a few days he couldn't do! It's so amazing! I know we still have a long way to go, but jeepers! I sure do love how much is happening!

All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. 2 Corthians 4:15

Tonight when we prayed, Cale said he was thankful for "Jesus" and "My mom" :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Cale!!


Yay for the Birthday Boy! :)

It was such a fun day! Lots happened and Cale did great! I was praying that it would be a super great special day for him...and it was! :) He had OT at 8am, which is early for him and I thought it was going to end up being miserable, but Monica (OT) said when she walked in his room, he was awake and ready to go. I even woke up about 20 minutes before my alarm went off because I was so excited for him!

We started the morning with the birthday board! We've been counting down since 33 days before his birthday! We made two goals, that nursing staff, therapists, and even me, were unsure if we were going to reach them, but I went for it! Today, I was able to talk to Cale about them and we checked off both! Yay! Thank you Jesus!


The day was filled with a few fun things, first, Ty (Cale's brother) called from Afghanistan again to say Happy Birthday. Cale was sleeping, but as soon as I said Ty was on the phone, he smiled real big, then as soon as he heard Ty's voice his face lit up so big! Also, his lunch tray was decorated with birthday cheer :) He wasn't in the mood for the food, but at least it looked fun! haha!


Pat (PT) asked Cale in PT, "Do I need to be nice to you because it's your birthday?", "do I need to go easy on you?" Cale said, "no" so, Pat worked him! Cale did so great too! Pat tried a few new things trying to work on his weight shifting. I am so proud of Cale! He really did work so hard and he could have had a break! That's my man! :)


This afternoon after all therapy's were done and Cale had some time to rest, Kathy, Cale and I loaded in the Honda and drove to Milpitas. We went to the Andrion's (family who is also taking care of Basil for us!), where Cale had his first visit to a real house! They were so sweet and decorated with balloons and a banner thing in front of the house that said "Happy Birthday". Cale saw that and was smiling right away! We opened gifts and cards (so many cards!), and had a yummy ice cream cake! So much fun!


Cale's hockey stick was in the Toyota when the accident happened. I wasn't sure for a while if it had even survived. My brother later told me that it was on my side, and had survived! He shipped it for Cale's birthday. This afternoon in PT, we were talking about it and I had said it hadn't come yet, so it wouldn't be there for the party. Well...Cale opened I think two gifts, and then we heard the doorbell. Kristen said "who is that?" It was the delivery man! Cale's hockey stick came at the PERFECT time! What a surprise!


TJ also got to come up for the weekend which was another exciting thing! The whole day was just so great. Cale, got to be in a house for the first time, sit on a comfy couch, pet/play with Basil-out of his wheelchair, have a wonderful birthday, and have his mom here too! I feel so incredibly blessed!


Thank you everyone for helping me make it such a special day for Cale. I think he's going to be opening cards for a couple days! he had so much fun opening gifts and reading the cards. It was such a blessing that so many of you cared enough to be a part of his special day.

I love him so much. He really is so strong and I love so much that he is joyful. I was talking to Kathy today as we ate lunch about how in ICU, they said his first words might be swear words. I remember thinking, "I've never heard him swear!" I was told lots that it's a common thing, and I believe it. Cale's first word was "stay" and when he used voice it was him singing "Happy Birthday". So far (and i know it could still happen...), nothing negative has come from him. I'm going to hold on to this blessing and stand in awe of the mighty work that God is doing in my husband!


When we prayed tonight, Cale said he was thankful for "Jesus".

Friday, September 17, 2010

Airport Surprise!

What a day! Busy and wonderful :) As far as therapy's, Cale didn't have the best day, but that's okay! Some days will be better than others. The great thing is, they all help him progress!

Today they had a military ceremony with color guard at the hospital at 2pm, but Cale and I were going to be out of the hospital so we got to meet them this morning. It was really cool! Cale got excited when he saw all the men in their uniform :)


So...Tuesday I had written that something really exciting happened and I wanted to surprise Kathy so I couldn't say anything. To start from the beginning, here is what I wrote Tuesday night that I couldn't share!

On Friday the plan has been to get approved to take Cale to the airport (just the two of us) and surprise Kathy. While Rachel was here, the three of us were able to leave and get ice cream, but they allowed it because there would be a third person. Over the last week, details and all the steps that have needed to be taken have been dealt with and plans were in motion for the surprise! This afternoon, I needed to run a couple errands, but Cale didn't want me to go. I knew I needed to either go today or tomorrow, and I knew either way he wasn't going to want me to leave him. I finally got him to settle down, and asked if he wanted to lay in bed or stay in his chair. All Cale kept doing over and over was point at himself, then to me, then out the door! "Do you wanna go to the store with me?", "yes!" Cale replied loud and clear. "You can't go with me!" , "why?" he asked. "Hmm...good question. Let me see what I can do!" and so I asked the doctor. For Cale to leave the hospital, a pass has to be put in the computer and approved by the doctor before anything can happen. Well, I had to get the passes for this weekend, so at the end of our chat, I added "What's the chance that I can get a pass for...like, now?" and we got it! It was so amazing! I feel like a gitty girl (Oh wait...I am one! hehe!) that can't stop smiling! God is so good! This is another one of those big mountains in this recovery and I'm so grateful we made it! This changes so much of how things are going to be. I remember the very first day I was able to take Cale outside with me! I felt like I was on top of the world...and now this. We ran errands, music played, we danced like silly kids, and it was absolutely amazing. A day I will never forget. Cale did awesome too! We went to two stores and he even read my list and helped pick out part of his birthday gift. Me is a happy girl! :)

It was so great and SO incredibly hard not to share with everyone! I didn't want Kathy to know that I was cleared to take him out though!

Here is a picture of us at the airport waiting to surprise her!


I really wanted to get the surprise on video, so I went to the information desk and asked the two women if they were allowed to video for me. One of them was very sweet and willing to do the job! She did great too! Kathy was so surprised! I'm not sure if you can see her face all the way, but at first, she just smiled at me and then suddenly her mouth dropped! She said she couldn't get down the escalator fast enough and almost lost her bag! haha! It was fantastic!

Here's the video! Do you see how happy Cale looks?! Beautiful.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC-w0tyGats

When I was getting Cale ready to leave for the airport, he was trying to put his sock on his foot and was struggling a little. After a minute, he took the sock and pretended to put it on his head! He was being silly! We both laughed so hard! He cracked himself up :) It was the best! I love that I have my silly man back!

Tonight was the Friday night Family Dinner. Revellie sponsored tonight and brought ice cream for Cale! He had a big bowl and they sang Happy Birthday to him! At the end of the song he clapped! :) He was also given his first birthday gift by one of the patients and his mom. It was so sweet! He showed it off nicely :)


Tomorrow Cale is the birthday boy! I'm so excited for him! There is a huge stack of cards and packages from all of you! I can't express enough how thankful I am for everyone that has sent something! It's going to take him more than just a day to get through it all! :) You've blessed us so much!

Tonight when we prayed, Cale said he was thankful for himself, me, and his mom :)

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

*To view the video, highlight the link, copy and paste into the web browser :) I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong for it to show on my page, but this works for now! :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Better When We're Together :)

Wow.

Today was so awesome in so many different ways! My fingers are confused on what letters to type! Where do I start?!

First, I'm not sure what crosses the line of being appropriate, but I have to share this story, and Cale being the kind of guy he is, I don't think it would bother him...
So...right now, Cale is not fully independent on anything. One of the many things we need to do to take care of ourselves each day is taking a shower. I have been cleared to give Cale his showers since his second one here in CA, which, I just think it's better that way :) Cale has a lot of trouble with sequencing so that's been a big thing we're working on (showering, brushing teeth, washing hands...). Well, today, Cale had the best shower he's had since the morning of the accident! He did pretty much all of it by himself! I had to cue him quite a bit, but still, he did such a good job! Funny part of the shower (please try to picture with out actually picturing...!), right as I was standing Cale up in the shower to get all of him clean, the lid from the feeding tube popped off...so, I'm trying to balance Cale while feed is coming out of his tube spraying everywhere! It was the funniest moment ever! Cale and I were laughing so hard! Oh dear...the adventures we will have!

After getting him all ready for the day, I went to ride a horse. Usually I ride on Friday's but we had to switch days this week. When I got back from riding, Patty (ST) said that Cale took 15 sips of juice (not thickened!)! Yesterday, he did 5 I think! That's quite a big jump! After the great shower and then so many sips...he was on a roll!

In PT, Pat had me walk with Cale again and as of today, I'm officially cleared to walk with Cale around the unit!!! I can't hardly believe it! Even with the struggle he has with controlling his right leg, and the pain tolerance on the left side, I get to walk with him! It's amazing! The board in his room now says "Kathleen may ambulate Caleb"-Yes!

Here's the video from yesterday! Sorry it's so long...there's nothing different at the end, so don't worry about watching the whole thing! :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXg0nOI8cwA

And here's a video of Jesus Loves Me (I hope you can hear him good!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7HX4iomLaI


He's been having a session most days of Speech at 11:30 and again at 3pm. he did so well with the first session with swallowing, and for the second session, Patty asked a bunch of questions. She's asked him before and he usually gets them all wrong, but today he did so great! I was surprised with how many he was getting right! Go Cale! At the very end of the session, Patty asked Cale "If you could have anything in the world for your birthday, what would it be?" and he pointed to me from across the room! Patty and I both got tears in our eyes! He's so stinkin' sweet!

After all of his therapy's were done, I brought him to the Fisher House and we made a smoothie. I had him pour in the berries and yogurt :) It was so much fun and he ate almost half of it! The swallows were so quick too! I can't wait to tell Patty!

With Cale understanding more and using his voice more, it's going to make things really interesting...today I was asking Cale what he wanted to do next. I was saying get in bed or stay up in his chair and Cale said "go home". My heart broke for him. When I told him he couldn't go home yet, he asked why. I had to go over all that has happened and how he's getting better still. I left out the part about how we don't even have a home to go home to! Poor guy. Another time today when I asked what he wanted to do, he said "figure out where you live". We were in his room so it was exciting for both of us for me to show him again that if he looks out the window he can see where I sleep. he was so happy to see I was so close. His smile was big and he started clapping, "yay!" he said!

The best part of the day for me, was being reminded that we're together. I do miss how he was before and this is hard, but, Cale and I used to have these long talks about how he wished that he didn't have to leave so much and that he would rather get a big cardboard box and the two of us could live in it and everything would be better because we'd be together. Eventually the song, "Better Together" by Jack Johnson became one of our favorites. The song kept playing in my head today, so this afternoon, after we were done with the smoothie I played it for Cale in his room. It was such a precious moment! We were sitting on the side of his bed, dancing, laughing, and being silly while it was playing. All of this gets hard and some days it feels so heavy...but I get to be with him. All day we had so many times of just getting to love each other. It was so wonderful! All of January seemed so perfect for us, we were so happy and in love. Now, it's different and what a blessing that we're still so happy and in love! It felt like one of those perfect days...
"Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genisis 2:18

When we prayed together tonight, Cale said he is thankful for "Kathleen"

Better Together by Jack Johnson

There's no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard,
No song that I could sing
But I can try for your heart,
Our dreams, and they are made out of real things,
Like a shoebox of photographs,
With sepiatone loving,
Love is the answer
At least for most of the questions in my heart ,
Like why are we here? And where do we go?
And how come it's so hard?
It's not always easy,
And sometimes life can be deceiving,
I'll tell you one thing, its always better when we're together

[Chorus:]
MMM, it's always better when we're together
Yeah, we'll look at the stars when we're together
Well, it's always better when we're together
Yeah, it's always better when we're together

[Verse 2:]
And all of these moments
Just might find their way into my dreams tonight
But I know that they'll be gone,
When the morning light sings
And brings new things,
But tomorrow night you see
That they'll be gone too,
Too many things I have to do,
But if all of these dreams might find their way
Into my day to day scene
I'll be under the impression,
I was somewhere in-between
With only two,
Just me and you
Not so many things we got to do,
Or places we got to be
We'll sit beneath the mango tree now

Yeah, it's always better when we're together
MMM, We're somewhere in-between together
Well, it's always better when we're together
Yeah, it's always better when we're together

MmMMmm MmMMm MmMMm
I believe in memories
They look so, so pretty when I sleep
Hey now, and when, and when I wake up,
You look so pretty sleeping next to me
But there is not enough time,
And there is no, no song I could sing
And there is no combination of words I could say
But I will still tell you one thing,
We're better together

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yet I still dare to HOPE.

Cale started this morning with Psych Therapy. I think I've decided that for psych, Cale does much better with Dr. Howe when I'm not there. I don't like to admit this, but...I do believe it the truth. They went outside for the session so I got to hear all about it when Cale got back. Dr. Howe said Cale did very well. He's still having a really hard time with memory-sometimes what's said, a couple minutes later he doesn't remember. I told her the story about him going back for my purse and she was really impressed! We also talked about some of the speech problems Cale is having.

I mentioned before, one of his struggles is Perseveration(-is the repetition of a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of a stimulus, usually caused by brain injury or other organic disorder.[1] If an issue has been fully explored and discussed to a point of resolution, it is not uncommon for something to trigger the re-investigation of the matter. This can happen at any time during a conversation. This is particularly true with those who have had traumatic brain injuries.)
When he's talking, sometimes what he's meaning to say doesn't come out. Sometimes he doesn't notice, but gets frustrated that we're not saying the right thing, even though we're saying exactly what he's saying. Sometimes one persons name will stick and so everyone after that will be that name. Cale gets frustrated a lot with it, but Patty (ST) said it's a good thing because again, it's more awareness of what's happening. I just feel so sad for him! He finally has voice (a good strong one too!), but so many challenges with it. He's doing good and with time-We WILL conquer! :)

In ST Cale ate a slice of strawberry with a little juice on it! He did so well! He chewed and swallowed with out any cues! Woohoo! He only did one bite, but at least he did that one bite good! haha! He had a few spoonfuls of juice that I had bought, and he swallowed that good too. it wasn't thickened either! this whole eating thing is going to be slow going, but that's okay :) I have a couple suggestions that were emailed to me, so we'll see what we can do!

Today was another HUGE day! Goodness! These days just keep coming!! Of course I can't say anything about yesterday ;) In PT, I walked with Cale! He used the walker and I walked with him...no therapist holding him or standing with us! In fact, Pat was videoing the big moment! I would have a video to share, but we have to figure out some HIPPA stuff...a couple patients ended up in the video. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have it! If not, you can just know that in that moment all I could think was that Cale really is a walking miracle. As much as I've hoped and prayed for it, I wasn't sure that I was ever going to be able to walk with my husband-just the two of us again...but we did! Praise God!

We also went to Bingo tonight! Katie and I always joke about what that must say about our life when the big event of the week is Bingo! :) It's a fun time! Cale has come a few times, but only one other time he's been able to stay the whole time. Tonight he did it again! He did so good playing too! He would look for the number and cover them up. He got two Bingo's and both times he yelled out "Bingo!" and raised both arms in the air. It was so fun playing with him!

Along with all the up's this week has brought so far (and there's many!!), my heart has been hurting so much for my husband all day. I hate so much that he has to go through all this. He was a young active strong man that now, even with all the progress is facing so much. There was a moment today that he had a hard time with something that only once before, I've seen him react so defeated and embarrassed. I had to reassure him like I always do that it's ok and he's doing so great and working so hard. I also let him know that I was with him-his wife, and that I'm so grateful that I get to be the one to help him in those moments (not that it's easy...). I could feel the tears threatening to spill over to my cheeks. Ugg. I had another one of those moments of asking the Lord what it would have been like if Cale would have been fine and I would have been the one to take it all. I would have in a second. I know God knows why everything happened the way it did, but it gets so hard watching Cale go through it everyday. I'm always thinking how can I make it easier for him? How can I take any of what he's going through away? Those thoughts lead me back to ICU and how I felt so stuck...not able to comfort Cale the way I so desperately wanted. I love that now I can do so much for him and encourage him to keep going. He needs it a lot more often now! I know he's making progress and one day I'll be able to look back and think it's crazy we went through all of this and see how far he's come, but right now, in the midst of this-I just want to take it away from him.

The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.
Lamentations 3:19-22

Tonight when we prayed together and I asked Cale to say one thing that he's thankful for, he said "angels"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Prayer

It was such a good day! I can't say everything that happened because I want to surprise his mom on Friday, but it was definitely a good day! I will explain later ;)

RT and PT were combined today. Cale played the Wii again but this time standing up! First they had him get on the balance board and played the game that has soccer balls, cleats, and panda heads coming at him. The special thing about the Wii is that for my birthday (Jan 2), Cale surprised me with a Wii! We played so much the whole month of January and had so much fun with it! It was in the Toyota when the accident happened so I'm not sure if we have all the pieces still, but it's so great watching him play it now and we still are having so much fun with it! After the balance game, we played baseball again and Pat had Cale stand the whole game! His legs are getting so much stronger-woot!

One of the big things today was that Cale was officially put on the list for meal trays! He gets pureed food and they will adjust his tube feeding with whatever amount he ate. Out of the three trays, he took three bites of a jello fruit thing. He's not wanting anything to do with it. I don't blame him at all! For dinner I was trying to get him to eat even a tiny bit so I took a bite of the mashed potatoes, and boy were they yucky! I did get him a few jars of baby food because that's all pureed, but we didn't have a good start with it this morning. He did eat some mango puree and loved it! :) This whole food thing is tough unless it's a bowl of ice cream! He always manages to dig and destroy whatever amount given! He loves it! I'm going to try to get an ice cream cake for his birthday!

Grow flowers of gratitude in the soil of prayer. ~Terri Guillemets



There were so many blessings today! My heart is so full of thankfulness for ALL the Lord is doing! I'm asking Cale to think of one thing he is thankful for every night when we're praying together. Tonight he said "you". Awe! So sweet :)

Thank you so much, everyone that continues to pray for us and ask how we're doing. The power of prayer is not a small thing and I don't take it as a small thing when I hear people say they're praying for us! So many miracles are happening every day in Cale and me! I was able to talk to him about (the surprise!) and how it's a miracle...so amazing! Thank you for praying!!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Played Baseball Today...On The Wii!

Everyday Cale is taking a step farther. He really is at a point right now, that everyday he's doing something new; something better than the day before. I asked him the other day, "Cale, who is proud of you?" and he said "Kathleen" :)

In RT today we played on the Wii! It was really fun! Cale was enjoying himself so much! He was smiling through the whole game. He made it very clear when he was done, but he did play for a while. Rebecca (RT) seemed pretty impressed that he did so good!

Here are a few pictures of our fun!




I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone that has sent a birthday card (or package!) to Cale! I can't wait for him to see all the cards! There are some exciting plans in motion, we just have to get them all figured out. The therapists are working with me on things I'll need to know how to do away from the hospital. All the staff here have been so supportive of all that I'm planning which has been such a blessing! It's going to be such a special day for Cale! He deserves it!!

On top of all the cards I've already received for him, here's what was waiting in my room this afternoon...


Such a blessing! Thank you!!!

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my (Cale's) body and knit me (him) together in my (his) mother’s womb. Thank you for making me (him) so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me (him) as I (he) was being formed in utter seclusion, as I (he) was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me (him) before I (he) was born. Every day of my (his) life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:13-16

I asked Cale today who loves him more than I do, and he said "Jesus". I love Cale so much. I can't imagine loving him anymore than I do...how much more the Fathers love for him? The Creator of the Universe, designed Cale's body, put every part of him together when he was in Kathy's womb. He connected every neuron in his brain, hooked (funny word to use) everything together and knows every little detail about Cale's body and brain. He saw Cale before he was born! As I read the verses and was getting so worked up in picturing a sweet infant...I read the last verse.

Every day of my (his) life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Lord, you knew. The day Cale and I met ice skating, the moment I started to get butterflies in my tummy when I saw him, when I said "yes" when he asked me to date him, our first kiss, the sweet (and crazy!) moment when we decided to get married, when we said "I do", the pain I felt when I watched him leave for Basic Training and Afghanistan (and every other good bye), during all of our times of sharing dreams for a family, the morning of February 10th-You knew.

When I read that last verse, I can feel in the pit of my stomach, the feeling of betrayal. Until I reread the previous verses and remind myself-Cale doesn't belong to me. He belongs to the Lord. The same God that created me, created Him and loves him even more than I do. As quick as the yucky feeling came in, it went right back out with awe and amazement for my precious Jesus. How wonderful are all the works he's doing in my beloved.