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Friday, July 8, 2011

So long gone, but back again!

It has been so long, I don’t even know where to start!


Some really neat things happened Tuesday! Cale had a doctor’s appointment that morning, but before having to go, we stopped by the church where all the guys were playing basketball. So…Cale played! He shot hoops with them for about 15 minutes and then we had to get going. I was interested to see how it was all going to go, because I knew it was going to frustrate him. He first started shooting from a good distance from the basket, but he didn’t quite have enough strength to make it all the way. I kept suggesting moving closer, but no way could he have that! I waited and finally someone convinced him to move a little closer. Once he did that, he at least was getting it to hit the rim sometimes. Still no success though; he had the determination, but I wanted him to walk out of there with a basket so bad! As the nervous wife stood by painfully watching each miss, Mike finally was able to get Cale to move way close and then he made a basket! We all cheered and Cale kept going! He kept shooting right until the time I said we had to go.

The last time Cale played basketball with this group of guys was October 2009 when he was home on leave for 2 weeks. It was so neat for me to watch it again. Even though Cale is different and the game was different-they played.

Here’s pictures from before…

Here’s from Tuesday…

When we left and were almost to the appointment, I asked Cale if he liked playing ball with the guys. I hadn’t said anything since we left and wanted to see if he remembered. I was surprised when Cale answered, “Eh.” When I asked why, he said, “I used to be better.” Oh man. First, PRAISE GOD that he remembers and that he is starting to really see that things are different! Secondly, ouch. It’s a good thing and shows progress, but man oh man. It’s hard. It’s hard that he’s so hard on himself and thinks that he’s bad at everything and can remember how he used to be good. He still doesn’t understand why things are different, which has also been really tough.

Tuesday night we went to Joe’s house and had dinner with his family. Mike, Rachel, and Zita were all there so it was a great group of people! We had a blast!!! I had gotten a new game to hopefully help with word finding for Cale. I brought the game thinking it would be something fun to play with all our friends-and it for sure was! It’s definitely going to be played again! :)

Mama and I had our Wednesday morning date. I really treasure those times and always wish they lasted longer than they do. We actually had a good amount of time and were able to tackle some projects together. It’s always so much more fun to do that together! We also spent the day getting things done and ready for family that’s coming to visit next week (YAAAAAAAY!!!!!!). We took our big trip to Costco to get stuff ready for when everyone comes. We’re all really excited and can’t wait!!

We drove to Seattle for another appointment. Cale had to have a follow up appointment with the ENT. I was told a scan needed to be done, but was thinking maybe they were just going to scope him and check things out. Well, Cale did get scoped, but the appointment only lasted 5 minutes! I was a wee bit frustrated that we drove all the way there, waited, and only had 5 minutes with the doctor before making the trip back home. It takes so much out of him to make that trip and deal with the hospital…but anyways…it wasn’t all bad and Cale had McDonalds so he was quite happy about that for a bit! :)

The trip back was interesting for a couple of different reasons. One of them being I have some family stuff going on that made my heart so heavy. Really heavy. In fact, I was really upset at first, but then when I was venting to Cale about it, I cut myself off. “I’m done. I’m not going to complain anymore.” I stated very firmly. Cale being slightly clueless of everything I was talking about asked why. I then began to tell him how God calls us to react and respond differently than the world. I shouldn’t be responding in anger or bitterness. After talking with him, we had an awesome prayer time! I loved praying with him and hearing him agree with what was being said all in Jesus’ name. Awesome.

Another reason why the trip was interesting was because of a conversation I had with Cale about an hour or so from home. We had already been driving for 3 hours and that added with the drive up, I was worn out. Cale was listening to music and I was lost in thought when all of a sudden Cale asks, “How old is Kathleen?” Uh? Huh?
K: “What do you mean?”
C: “How old is Kathleen? I forget.”
K: “How old are you?”
C: “I don’t know.”
K: “Your 24”
C: “Oh so, Kathleen is 24?”
K: “Cale, who is Kathleen?”
At this point I’m really curious what he’s thinking…
C: “My wife.”
K: “Where is she?”
C: “Back there.”
K: “Back where?”
C: “She’s back there waiting for me.”
I’m totally confused and still trying to figure out if he’s meaning to be saying what he is.
K: “Do you miss her?”
C: “Yes.”
K: “Tell me about her?”
C: “She’s small and cute and friendly and everything good. The conversation went on just a little longer and then I asked him to look at me. I knew by then that he wasn’t thinking of me as his wife next to him. When I told him that I was his wife, he clapped and then asked me my name!! It was such a bizarre moment. He was totally fine the rest of the trip. I’m not sure if there was a memory coming back or if he was just really confused at that time. Maybe it just means more healing is happening?!

I had an orthodontist appointment this morning because after all these years I still wear my retainer and for the first time I threw it away on accident. Not too big of a deal except that I did it on garbage day…Oops! I was so nervous that my teeth were going to shift and get messed up! I had to have Cale go with me this morning which meant waking him up early. When we pulled up and before going in Cale asked, “Is this for me?” I told him that it was for me and he cheered! All he knows now is going to appointments for him and him being the one in the chair…! My turn! Haha!

In therapy Cale has been working more on the ipad, picking up and setting up a planner, walking, getting his words out clear, and memory. He’s been really working hard and so far willing to do whatever is asked. Tonight for PT he didn’t like the idea at first. In fact, I wasn’t sure he was going to end up doing anything, but he did the elliptical and did some Frisbee outside. It was a lot shorter session then previous ones, but he at least did something! I think he’s very worn out from yesterday still!

We had some people over for dinner tonight and I hardly did a thing! They did everything! I was very unprepared because of adding a few extra projects to my list and forgetting about Seattle yesterday, so I ended up just ordering pizza with a coupon we had. I really had planned on cooking and was excited to make up some kind of fun dish, but it just didn't happen. Well, Krista brought a salad and made dessert and everyone did all the clean up! After everyone left, Cale said he was tired and was going to lie down, and I headed straight to clean-up duty, but there was none. I have to say, that was preatty stinkin' great of them! :)

Cale is doing great! No joke. Thank you SO much for all your prayers! We are so blessed! It’s been huge to watch just little things that he has been doing (that I would write about if I had written them down like I was supposed to!). Cale is walking with his cane and only his cane since beginning of May! We still have not touched his wheelchair since being home…can you believe it?! He still needed it some right before coming home in April!

He is independent on dressing if I get everything out for him. If I ask him to, he can brush his teeth all by himself!!!! Sometimes he gets confused if he doesn’t put water in the cup first, and sometimes he just goes blank and forgets how to do it, but for the most part, woooooohoooo! He still needs help with showers. He refuses the shower chair, so part of it is balance and safety, but he also has a lot of trouble sequencing still. He can’t figure out what he needs to do for each step. He was also having a really hard time with the bottles and figuring out how to hold them, which one is right, and what to do with each one. We set up something that so far seems to be helping! This is one of the many things we’re still working on to get him to a point that he can do it on his own.

We’ve started a schedule for each day to make it visible what he needs to do every day, but also give him choices. To help with orientation (which he still struggles with a lot!), I put the date on the top, then the blue are things that have to be done that day and then in black is a list of things that he can have control of during the day. This gives him back some control in a way that he can handle. As we go through the day of things that have to be done, Cale will cross off what has been finished. Hopefully it will get to a point that he’ll be able to go to it without me having to ask him. So far he hasn’t said it was dumb! ;)

Outside is a working progress. Some very wonderful men from church have been working to make the backyard safer for Cale. Right now we only have the top part of the railing in, but soon it’ll be all there and that will help make it safer for Cale (so we don’t have another fall!) and give him even more independence.

He’s been feeling really tired the last couple days and still has problems with his eyes and nose. He wakes up every morning with even more hair on his pillow. I keep asking if he wants me to shave his head and every time he says no. This morning when I pointed out that he’s lost even more hair he said, “Eh, I can’t see it.” I did try to give him a mirror, but I guess since he’s not a crazy girl like his wife, it’s not a big deal for him!

Wow. I just typed a lot and have a lot more to share…yikes!

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.- Psalm 5:11-12


  1. Well, at least he's accurate in describing you. You are all of those things. Father has His hand on you in a special way. He will continue to hold you close as things unfold in the future. I love you. I am proud of you. Of course this is just a little of what Father feels for you. Marion

  2. I read this to my husband Sonny and I said "She is such a strong young woman..." he said "No she's not. She has a strong God." I love him... :)


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