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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Inspirational Meeting

Yesterday Jared and I met Kathleen for coffee. We were introduced to her through someone Jared works with at Microsoft. Kathleen was in a horrible car accident in 1980 and was paralyzed from the waste down during the accident. At the time she was 20 years old and had an 18 month old baby. She is now walking with braces on her calves. It was so wonderful to meet her and talk to someone who actually understands everything that I am going through right now. I know people can imagine how it must feel, but she really gets it.

Kathleen spent 6 months in the hospital before leaving in a wheelchair. While she was in the hospital the doctors told her family she would never walk again. Around the 3rd month after her injury she was able to move one toe. By the 9th month after her injury the doctors had changed their minds, and that's when she was told that she would walk again one day. It has been a very slow process for her. It was encouraging to hear that she saw gains even last year, almost 30 years after her injury. The doctors told her the same thing they told me - after one year they would not expect to see any more changes. And here she is, continuing to improve 30 years later. It felt so good for me to talk with this lady, to hear about her story and her recovery. It gives me so much hope to know that she walked again after the doctors said she wouldn't.

The doctors won't say either way as far as my prognosis goes. But I know that I will walk again, whether they say I will or not. The hard part is learning to be patient and learning how to do the things I love while I am in this chair still. Today was hard, as I want so badly to work out in my yard, but at this point that's something I'm not able to do. I will be so excited to get back out there one day soon.

Thank you, Kathleen.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend











Well the patio table at the canal has been taken over by baby bouncers - and we love it! We had a great weekend sitting in the sun and relaxing. Roma enjoyed herself too, playing with Ryder, Midas, the neighbor's dog, and chasing a a deer along the water. We played with babies, ate ice cream, and the guys put the boat in the water for the summer. And as you can see, we amused ourselves by having Anthony hold Lucas for awhile....

Rehab Update

Well this week started out badly for me - I was frustrated and discouraged and just sick of doing all of this. As I told Jared, I wished I could just lay in bed and wait for this to all go away. Sometimes it just seems so hard to do anything. But that obviously isn't my typical attitude, I'm certainly stubborn and a fighter and it's not like me to want to give up. Today, towards the end of the week, I'm feeling much better. I feel encouraged and excited - this is certainly changing my life, and hopefully other people's as well. This entire experience is unbelievable - that's the word I think of every time I want to describe it. Unbelievable. I'm 27, went in to the hospital to have a baby, and came out paralyzed (temporarily of course!).

Yesterday I took another strong dose of hypericum, the homeopathic remedy, and am hoping that it continues to speed up the healing process. I have been noticing changes in my hips/butt, like I'm starting to feel when I'm up against something or when I'm in a weird position. Hopefully that means I'll be regaining control of my hips/butt again soon - one more thing to check off the list. Yesterday I discussed my prognosis with my PT, and she said that basically no one knows what to expect because it's an unusual situation, and that they need to just watch and see what happens. I'll be meeting with my spinal cord rehab doctor next week, and am excited to share with her the things that have changed in the last 1.5 months. Last time she saw me I didn't have control of my abs, and I'm hoping she'll have positive feedback. Though I certainly won't hold my breath....;) I can't imagine being a pessimistic person in a situation like this, because I certainly don't hear many positive things from the doctors. I thank God that He has given me a joyful spirit!

Today I am overwhelmed with thanks for all of the wonderful things that I have in my life. Jared and I are just so blessed. Our son is an angel - sleeping well and so happy when he is awake. My husband is dare I say perfect. He is a hard worker so Anthony and I don't have to worry about anything. And Jared has been great at keeping me laughing throughout this process. He still looks at me like he did on our wedding day, making me feel like I'm not even in a wheelchair and showing me his unconditional love. When you say in health and in sickness, you certainly don't imagine something like this will happen 9 months into your marriage! We have wonderful friends and family who support us, bring us meals, take me to PT, visit me when I'm alone during the day, and pray for us constantly. I have everything I could possibly want in life, and for that I am forever grateful to Jesus who has blessed me so.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

2 Month Pics
























Mariner's Game


We took Anthony to his first M's game on Sunday - he didn't seem to mind the noise at all, and slept for most of the game.

Friday, May 15, 2009

2 Month Visit

We took Anthony in for his 2 month visit with the doctor today - he turned 8 weeks yesterday, and will be 2 months on the 19th. He weighed in at 12 lbs, 13 oz and is in the 75th percentile for weight. He is 23" and in the 50th percentile for length. His head was 42 cm, in the 90th percentile! Still with the large head, just like his dad. Anthony received 3 shots today and screamed his head off. We are so blessed to have a perfectly healthy little boy, and we are so thankful he doesn't cry very often!

Anthony's first visit to Luke's house






Look at how much hair Lucas has! He does not like to have his clothes off - Anthony doesn't seem to notice a difference. We are obviously not underfeeding our son, check out that belly! Kaitlyn and Caleb are loving the new additions and want to hold them all the time. Caleb is quite rambunctious around the two newborns! Lucas is 2 days old, and Anthony is 8 weeks.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Physical Therapy Update

I finished home PT today and will start outpatient PT at the UW on Monday. I'll know more next week regarding how often/how long they'll have me coming in for. Jared is planning to go back to work soon, and Lynda will be taking me in for appointments once he does that.

Today I had a great conversation with my home physical therapist. She typically sees the most return in people 3-6 months after the injury. I'll be at 2 months next week on the 20th. She thinks it's a great sign that I've already had some return (control of the abs/back muscles) and she expects me to regain much more. She said that she does not tell that to everyone because a lot of the people she sees will not regain function and she doesn't want to give them false hope. The inflammation from the surgery won't go down until 6 months after the injury, so it will take awhile for my body to fully heal. Function/sensation will return slowly most of the time so you barely notice it's happening. The PT also said that my window for healing is probably longer than most patient's because of the way the injury occurred, gradually over a long period of time. She also noticed today (which I had been noticing for a few days) that the swelling in my ankles has decreased, a sign that my circulation is improving. My PT thinks I will be walking again, and thinks that my attitude and motivation will have a lot to do with it. It was a very encouraging conversation and helps to motivate me to continue on this long road knowing that there will be an end, and I will be running around again before you know it. Until then I will keep praying and believing.

Cousin Lucas





Our nephew Lucas was born on Tuesday and he is sweet as can be. Anthony weighs 13 pounds now, about twice the size of his cousin at almost 2 months old! Lucas and Colby are both at home now, doing well and perfectly healthy. We are so excited that Lucas is here!

Mother's Day

Cousins are in town!



Lounging with Dad

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lazy Saturday

video

I think we finally have Anthony on a sleeping schedule! Jared and I had a great night's sleep last night. Anthony went to sleep at 9:30, got up at 2:30 and at 7:00, and then Jared and I finally got up for the day at almost 10 AM! We needed that extra sleep, that's for sure. We've had a rough day today - a trip to Target & Starbucks (we actually brought a wallet to starbuck's today so we were able to get coffee, unlike yesterday - so sad!), and now Jared is watching This Old House.

Rehab Update

Well by now I think we have met with every type of doctor imagineable to try to give my body the best chance to heal. My regular spinal cord rehab doctor cannot believe how proactive and on top of things we are. I have no idea what type of people they must deal with on a regular basis - I can't imagine that anyone who has had a traumatic spinal cord injury wouldn't be exactly like us, doing everything you can to help your body recover. Right now physical therapy comes in to the house three days per week and occupational therapy comes in one day per week to work with me. The middle of the month I'll start outpatient physical therapy at the UW again.

As far as progress goes, my body is having significantly more spasms than it was even two weeks ago. Though of course the doctors say this isn't necessarily a sign that function will return. My physical therapist pointed out to me yesterday that I now have control of my ab muscles, something I didn't have when I first came home from the hospital. So I can flex and suck in my abs, and I can feel some of my back muscles (I know this because I now get uncomfortable when I sit in one position for too long, something I wouldn't have noticed before). It's exciting to see even this small bit of progress, to know that my body is trying to recover. I know that I will walk again, it's just a matter of time. All of this is happening for a reason, hopefully one day I'll know why.

Things at home are getting easier. I'm now able to get up in the middle of the night with Anthony to feed him, and I'm able to get in and out of the shower by myself - the small pleasures, right?! This week I was able to cook dinner, do laundry, and vacuum. I was also able to get into the SUV - something that seemed absolutely impossible the first week I was home from the hospital! I hope that I'll never take anything for granted again, and that I'll always appreciate the simple things in life.

I'm getting very antsy to get out in my gardens, so let's pray I'm walking before spring is over! Until then, I am enjoying this quality time that I get to spend with my husband and son. The first year of our marriage we are facing probably one of the hardest challenges we'll ever have to face. I fall more and more in love with my husband as I see his love and devotion for Anthony and I. Jared has had to do things for me that I never thought he would have to do, at least until I was 90 or so. He is such an amazing guy, and I thank God for him every day. But I don't know how much longer he'll be willing to take me on shopping trips to costco and target, so I'd better start walking soon....;)

Beautiful Spring Day








We took a trip to Saltwater State Park yesterday, just a few minutes from our house. The weather was beautiful - 70s and sunny.