Kevin Kammerdeiner, the story of a Wounded Warrior.

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Chalkperson
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Re: News about Kevin, CMG's Wounded Warrior..

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Dec 25, 2010 4:09 pm

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2010
Day 939 - Dec 24, 2010

Poor Kevin. He went for a walk today and probably about 20 minutes after he left I heard the pitter patter of rain. At first, I didn't think anything of it, but then I realized it was coming down harder and harder and that Kevin was still out there. I hurried up and got in the car and started driving around the neighborhood. In the interim, he was calling to have me come and get him. I found him around the corner and by the time I got to him it was a torrential downpour. He was soaked!

It was funny because when he got in the car - he looked at me, I looked at him and we both burst out laughing. He had the appearance of a drowned rat. It was so comical.

After that, we just putzed around all day. I cooked a nice dinner and Breezy and Chris came over and once they left Kevin and I decided to begin our Star Wars marathon. All 6 movies are on TV in a row and we are taping them. We watched Episode 1 tonight.

Well, I think I am going to go up to my room and read a little bit.

Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope Santa brings everything y'all asked for!
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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:03 pm

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2010
Day 940 - Dec 25, 2010

Kevin has a special message for everyone on this Video, it's pretty amazing that he has come this far, it brought tears to my eyes to watch this, he and his Mom and family have come an incredible way, further than any of the Doctors thought possible...personally, I put it down to the Army and what they teach you about yourself, like never give up, Kev certainly hasn't...

If you are looking at this after the 26th you will need to scroll down the page to find it...

http://www.lesliekamm.blogspot.com/
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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by karlhenning » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:20 pm

Beautiful!

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:40 pm

Looking good!

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by HoustonDavid » Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:16 pm

I thought about Kevin, Leslie and Brianna last night - hadn't caught up for a
while - and was glad they had a good, if wet, Christmas. The pictures were
definitely good to see as proof of how far he has come. Good stuff for the
end of the year and the beginning of a new one, especially for them.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by Werner » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:59 pm

It's been close to three yeats that Chalkie has been posting the bulletins of Kevin's and Matt's journey through the horrors of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. I think I have read just about every daily post.

This issue can't be merged with the justificcation of going to war in each specific instance. On this, convistions will differ.

What matters here is that soldiers in the position of Matt or Kevin are damaged, probably, for life, or, with better luck, merely for an extended period of time. As Ralph has stated early in this thread, this makes clear the nation's obligation to provide for these soldiers whatever help or support they need to make their lives as constructive amd bearable as possible.

I admire Kevin's mother and sister for the loyalty and care through the years, in looking after and caring for Kevin. Not all victims are fortunate in haveing such supportive relatives, but all deserve that level of support.
Werner Isler

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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by Barry » Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:07 pm

Great to see that!
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:06 pm

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2010
Day 942 - Dec 27, 2010

Today Kevin had to go to speech therapy. His OT and PT sessions have run out and I'm waiting for the VA to 'renew' them. It's been a couple of weeks already so hopefully they get on it soon. I really don't want him to lose any of what he has gained.

We also had the railings installed in the garage today. No more having to spot Kevin when he comes in and out of the house from there. Next week someone from the VA is coming to the house to look it over for other potential problems for Kevin. I can't think of anything else, but they are more versed in the world of disabilities.

And it's so wonderful to hear Kevin in his room playing Black Ops on his XBox. Some of his friends from PA are online playing the game with him and it makes me so happy. He wanted this game for Christmas and I wasn't sure if I should get it for him or not. He rarely plays on his XBox because his pinky finger is permanently bent at an odd angle and he can't use it on that one handed controller he has, but he didn't really ask for anything else so he got it. He has been on that thing for hours every day since Christmas. I love it!

Every day more and more of the old Kevin is back. Now if we could only get his balance back enough for him to skateboard...
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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:58 pm

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2010
Day 943 - Dec 28, 2010

We didn't do too much today. It was rainy and kinda yucky so we mostly stayed in. We did go to the movies this evening though. Kevin and Johnny went to see one and I went to see another. And that pretty much sums up our excitement for the day.

I forgot to mention yesterday that my mom went back into the hospital the day before and it turns out she needed a cardiac stent as one of her main arteries was 80% blocked. She is doing well now and actually went home today.

Breezy is doing well too. Still no Christian though. Soon...very soon...
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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:15 pm

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2010
Day 944 - Dec 29, 2010

Today we drove to therapy only to find out that the speech therapist had called off. We just jumped back in the car and came home.

Oddly enough, Kevin's iPad quit working today. It was fine on the ride up to therapy, but it wouldn't even turn on on the ride home. I thought it might have needed synced, but iTunes wouldn't even acknowledge it. So I researched the Apple website and found that you can hold two buttons down simultaneously to 'reboot' it. Thank goodness for the internet, huh? That worked and all was right in Kevin's world again, lol.

Kevin and I didn't really do much else today. We played the Wii for a bit and then he went to his room to watch a movie.

And I'm not sure if he called Ronnie or if Ronnie called him, but they talked for a while too. I am excited to say that Ronnie and his girlfriend are coming to visit in a couple weeks! Kevin is beside himself. He is just so excited! He just kept walking around the house saying "YES!" all night long.

And now I really need to get some sleep. I have to take a hot bath first though - I am just so cold lately...
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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by absinthe » Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:21 pm

Touching and very heartening, Chalkie.
Very best to him and for progress in the coming year.
:)

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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:15 pm

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2010
Day 945 - Dec 30, 2010

Today I broke down and finally went to a doctor (at my parents insistence - geez). I have been really sick and I am just so drained - both emotionally and physically. I really tried not to go - I have no money and I have no insurance, but I was worried about pneumonia and passing it on to Christian when he gets here.

So I did go and the doc told me that I don't have any real problems with my lungs, but that my lifestyle isn't going to let that cough and all the other symptoms go away on their own. He wrote me out 3 scripts and I asked him to put them in their order of importance. I know how much meds can cost and I was pretty sure they weren't all going to be in my budget.

I did manage to get two of them, but I had to pass on the third. I am hoping the steroid and inhaler take care of things. We shall see.

I think I am going to have to sit down with some of the folks at the VA here in SA. I need more help. I just can't keep up at this pace. The VA here refuses to give me more than 15 hours a week and I use those hours to try to get other things done that I can't do while Kevin is underfoot. I should be using them for rest, but there's no time for that. It really needs to change.

And I forgot to tell you guys that yesterday I had to argue with a VA employee who called to remind Kevin of an appt next week. I told her she had to talk to me and she flat out refused. She was determined to speak to Kevin and wouldn't tell me anything. I tried to explain that he can't talk and that I manage all of his appointments, but she wasn't interested in hearing what I had to say. I had to call Mary today to find out if my guardianship papers are on file and they are so I guess I'll just chalk it up to someone not interested in doing their job fully. She really just needed to look closer at our file.

Whatever.

Can you just tell I don't feel good? I feel snarky and tired.
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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:14 pm

SATURDAY, JANUARY 1, 2011
Day 946 - Dec 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!!!

I hope everyone had a great New Year's Eve! Kevin and I decided to go to Six Flags tonight. We got there about 7:30 with the intention of staying til midnight when the fireworks went off, but it was too cold to stay that long so we ended up leaving at about 10:30. We did just drive around for about an hour and then we went to a mall parking lot right next to Six Flags and watched the fireworks show from there.

Although I was expecting a half hour show or more, it was only 5 minutes long - but totally worth it! It was just the grand finale the whole show. Totally awesome! Kevin and I both loved it!

Anyway, here is a video of Kevin playing one of the games at SF:

http://www.lesliekamm.blogspot.com/

And the one on the Merry Go Round? Geesh. Let me tell ya - that boy is so determined. He was just positive he could get on that horse. I was scared to death because even if he got on it - would he be able to a) stay on it and b) get back off it. The horse in front of the bench we were on was really low so he was tall enough to actually get on it from the rear of the horse - not the side like normal. He ended up though actually sitting on the horse's butt and I had to make him try to lift his and I pushed him up and onto the saddle of the horse.

And you had to know that his weak foot wouldn't stay in the stirrup, so it was just dangling there, but it didn't seem to affect him. And you also had to know that the horse did stop as high as it could go at the end of the ride. I was really worried about this, but somehow he managed to get off it. Kudos to him, eh?

We also rode the Hustler and Kevin did pretty well. It spun around pretty fast and I think he was starting to get a little sick, but he kept it under control. I'm not sure if it's due to the TBI or if it's just because he hasn't been on any type of spinning ride in gosh knows how long.

I do know that we do have permission to ride/do anything from our neurosurgeon so I am not worried about that. Kevin is even allowed to ride the roller coasters.

So anyway, that's about it for today. I want to go and finish scrubbing the floor now that Kevin finally went to his room.

I hope everyone has a wonderful 2011!
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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:45 pm

SUNDAY, JANUARY 2, 2011
Day 947 - Jan 1, 2011

Well, it's a new year. A time to reflect and a time to begin anew.

Reflection: Last year was a bit rough. Not rough in the acute phase, but still rough nonetheless. Lots of surgeries, major infections, overdoses, pain and battles with the VA. On the flip side though - Kevin has progressed cognitively to an amazing extent. The fact that we can more than likely get him declared competent in court is nothing short of a miracle. He just knows so much and is so normal in so many ways. He's needy though, but I think (hope) that even that will be changing soon.

His physical changes are amazing as well. He really looks good for someone that has went through what he has. No, he doesn't look like he used to, but his burns are starting to lighten and and each cosmetic surgery makes a huge difference. I am hoping to start the burns laser therapy soon and that will help too.

He is also walking so much better, being more active and having much more stamina than he did last year. His arm is slowly (very slowly) coming down into a more normal position and that will also make a huge difference.

All in all, it was a somewhat decent year that has enabled us to look forward happily to 2011.

To begin anew - I really hope that this year brings even more 'normalcy' to our lives. I want Kevin to be able to just 'be'. I want him to just be a person - not a patient. Just be a young adult - doing young adult stuff. I want him to make friends and get out and about with them.

I also want him to be able to do things more on his own. I have started the process in getting him into some sort of part time job or volunteer position to help him become more independent and give him a sense of responsibility.

He is now also in charge of taking out the garbage and recycling on their designated days and has an alert on his phone to remind him. He also has to fold all of his clothes after I launder them (too hard for him to carry his basket of clothes upstairs so I do that part). This is the year he is going to start doing more around the house to help me - and himself.

I want him to also be able to be alone more than a few minutes at a time. This will require figuring out how to communicate in the event of an emergency. Something I am not going to worry about the first quarter of the year.

And I know that I want him to feel better about the person he has become. This is going to require some therapies in learning how to accept the changes totally, but I think in time he can do it. He has made great strides in this area, but he still has issues and maybe in the second half of the year we can work on them.

All in all, it's going to be another very busy year. I sincerely hope that Kevin can remain in the more elevated medically stable position that he seems to be in right now, but I do know that there are no guarantees and we will obviously deal with whatever life throws at us.

I am feeling confident though that this will be the best year since our lives all changed so drastically. Positive thinking, right?
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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by Werner » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:42 pm

I'm sure we all agree in wishiing Kevin well for the New Year, I can think of no better wishes than the objectives Lesley has outlined in her post. And let's wish her well, too, recognizing how she has stood by Kevin through all these years.

May the coming year and the future bring them both as much in health and comfort as possible.
Werner Isler

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Re: Kevin wishes you a Merry Xmas via Video...Please Watch...

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:30 pm

Werner wrote:I'm sure we all agree in wishiing Kevin well for the New Year, I can think of no better wishes than the objectives Lesley has outlined in her post. And let's wish her well, too, recognizing how she has stood by Kevin through all these years.

May the coming year and the future bring them both as much in health and comfort as possible.
I talked to Leslie today, once again we are trying to make plans to meet up in 2011, she sure is the greatest Army Mom I have ever come across...
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Re: Updates on Kevin, CMG's Wounded Warrior...

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:18 am

MONDAY, JANUARY 3, 2011
Day 948 - Jan 2, 2010

I am going to skip tonight. Miss Brianna is in the hospital again. Dear Christian wants to come so badly, but as soon as he gets to the hospital, he changes his mind. They had Breezy walk for about an hour and then they gave her some sort of relaxant and decided to keep her thinking she might be back in 8 hours if they sent her home. Maybe tomorrow, eh?
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Re: Updates on Kevin, CMG's Wounded Warrior...

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:32 am

TUESDAY, JANUARY 4, 2011
Day 949 - Jan 3, 2011

Well, no baby yet. They sent Breezy home this morning knowing she has a doc appt tomorrow.

We had a lazy day today. Kevin started vomiting this morning at about 7am so we skipped speech therapy and then we had a home evaluation done by the VA this afternoon.

I was so sick and exhausted that I then went up to bed after the VA rep left and napped all afternoon and evening. Johnny came and I did manage to get up and order pizza for dinner because I just didn't have the energy to cook and then we all watched a movie - sorta. I slept through some of it and Kevin slept through other parts. Not sure if Johnny did, but I think he managed to stay awake, lol.

Tomorrow we have a busy day with appointments and I'm just hoping I have the energy to do it all. I tried to go with Johnny and Kevin to the video store for the Narnia 2 movie we watched (hoping to see Narnia 3 this week), but I turned around not a block away and came home sending them to the store alone. I just feel like all out crap.

I think I'll go back to bed now.
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Re: Updates on Kevin, CMG's Wounded Warrior...

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:37 am

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2011
Day 950 - Jan 4, 2010

We managed to make it through this busy day and I felt better as the day went on. Mary mentioned to me about this Mountain Cedar that is killing everyone's allergies here in SA so maybe that's what it is? Who knows. I just know it needs to go away quick.

So we had the vision therapy appointment today and although I really liked the ophthalmologist, it wasn't what I was looking for at all. We did order Kevin some glasses and some prescription sunglasses though.

So if you remember, I was looking for the type of vision therapy that would actually train Kevin's brain to remember that it can see peripherally to the right. Well, the doc said that there is no one in San Antonio that does this type of therapy. Matter of fact, he believes there are only two therapists in the whole state of Texas. Now one of them is in Austin - which is only about an hour and a half from here, but I really can't see us having the time to drive up there two times a week.

But, it is very important so I am going to have to give it some thought. It would also require quite a bit of persuasion on my part to the VA if we went for it because it is very expensive.

But seriously - if other parts of his body can work again due to the brain rewiring, why can't his vision?

I am optimistic about it, especially as I was told recently that some folks are amazed that Kevin does as well as he does. With his vision, he should be walking into walls and bumping into everything. We have none of this.

I guess I just need to do a little research and do some in-depth thinking about it.
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Re: Updates on Kevin, CMG's Wounded Warrior...

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:32 am

THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 2011
Day 951 - Jan 5, 2011

I canceled all of our appointments for today and tomorrow so that I could just stay home and get some rest. We really didn't do much today, so I am going to skip again. Truthfully, I am going to skip tomorrow night too and just take this couple days to get better (hopefully). I will catch up with everyone on Friday night.
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Re: Updates on Kevin, CMG's Wounded Warrior...

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:42 am

THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 2011
Day 951 - Jan 5, 2011

I canceled all of our appointments for today and tomorrow so that I could just stay home and get some rest. We really didn't do much today, so I am going to skip again. Truthfully, I am going to skip tomorrow night too and just take this couple days to get better (hopefully). I will catch up with everyone on Friday night.
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Re: Updates on Kevin, CMG's Wounded Warrior...

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:51 pm

SATURDAY, JANUARY 8, 2011
Day 953 - Jan 7, 2010

I feel so much better. Still not at 100% yet, but I feel better tonight than I have felt in weeks. I plan to try and take it easy the whole weekend as well and maybe by Monday I will be completely fine. Man, I hope so.

So Kevin is doing well. He has been 'working out' and I am happy to say that he is slowly losing some of his belly fat. He is doing a modified version of crunches and with the walks he takes daily it seems to really be working for him.

He has been spending more time out of his room lately too and that is a great thing. We are in the process of watching all six episodes of Star Wars and we are now up to episode four. We watch an hour one day and two hours a few days later and so forth and so on. It's just nice having him in the living room watching more and more tv, ya know?

I really need to find the cards and get back to playing Skipbo and Uno too. I haven't seen them since we moved so I will have to dig them out of a box before Ronnie and Marissa get here.

And now I am going to sign off and work on a scrapbook project that has been calling my name. I also have 26 episodes of NCIS taped that need to be watched, lol. It's my goal for the weekend. Lots of rest. Lots of TV. And lots of scrapping.
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Re: Updates on Kevin, CMG's Wounded Warrior...

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:10 am

TUESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2011
Day 956 - Jan 10, 2011

You had to know that there was a freak winter storm that just happened to hit the one single week a year that Kevin actually has a friend come to visit, right? Yes. Atlanta airport is closed and Ronnie and Marissa's flight was canceled for tomorrow morning.

It took me 7 1/2 hours to get through to make alternate flight arrangements. Did you know that you are automatically hung up on after 60 minutes on the dot of holding? Ummm...yeah. I thought it was a freak thing the first time, but it happened again so apparently not.

So anyway, they are now scheduled for Wednesday morning. I sure hope it happens. Kevin was just devastated when we weren't sure if they were going to come or not. He was just so depressed. He's in a better mood now, though.

And for those that mentioned how good Kevin's skin looks...I...ummm...kinda brushed it with my photo editing software. I also brightened the whites of his eyes. Sorry. I still think he looks good, but sometimes I just touch up the photos a bit before printing.

I haven't learned the art of a lighter touch yet on the editing, but maybe someday. There's just so much to learn.

And still no Christian. Breezy wants to have him tomorrow because she likes the date 1/11/11. I guess we'll see, huh?
Leslie sent me a photo of Brianna last night, she is absolutely huge and ready to pop, plus she has that wonderful glow that expectant mothers have...I can't post it here because the Server is still full...
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Re: Updates on Kevin, CMG's Wounded Warrior...

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:25 am

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2011
Day 957 - Jan 11, 2011

Well...no baby. Darnit. Poor Breezy is just miserable. Tomorrow is her due date and she has a doctor's appointment so maybe they will decide to induce.

So Kevin and Johnny went out running around today. I had some errands to run and took care of them.

That's pretty much it so I think I'll just sign off early tonight.
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Re: Updates on Kevin, CMG's Wounded Warrior...

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:22 am

THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
Day 958 - Jan 12, 2011

Kevin went to OT and PT today and the therapist mentioned that Kevin needs a new brace because he is in danger of destroying his bad knee. I called the doctor at the VA and mentioned it to her so that we can get that rolling.

While Kevin and I were on our way to therapy, Breezy called and her doc was sending her to the hospital because they thought she was in labor. She was having contractions, but they were 7 minutes apart so the hospital sent her home.

HOWEVER...they have decided to help Christian enter the world tomorrow at 2pm. YAYYY!!

And Ronnie and Marissa made it here this evening! Kevin is just loving it and he and Ronnie sat for hours in the kitchen tonight just talking and looking at pictures on Kevin's computer.

What a wonderful thing to see...

So anyway, I will check in tomorrow as soon as I can with photos of our new baby. Hopefully it's a quick delivery! I'm not sure if they are just breaking her water or what their plan of action is. I guess I'll find out pretty quick, huh?
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Re: Kevin becomes an Uncle...Baby Photos...

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:37 am

THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011
Day 959 - Jan 13, 2011

Update

Well...little Christian decided not to wait until this afternoon. We are at the hospital now as Breezy has been in labor all night. They just gave her an epidural (sp) and are helping her along. I will check in as I can.
Another update

Breezy is 10 cm dilated (sp), but the nurses are joking that Christian is holding onto her ribs refusing to drop down low enough to enter the world. We are just waiting patiently for him to get into position.
It's a boy, lol!

Yes! Christian was born at 4:40 this afternoon and weighs a whopping 8 lbs 4 oz! (don't know the length yet) There is so much to say and so many photos, but I wanted to quickly let you know that both mother and baby are fantastic! I will come back in a bit with the rest of the info.[/size]
Wow! What a day!

So Kevin stood behind the doctor and watched Christian enter the world. I know that Chris was a little freaked out by this, but I told him we are part of the medical world and body parts are body parts and nothing more to the three of us nowadays.

Truthfully though, what an experience! I have to admit that three years ago I would have fainted seeing all that blood and yuk, but I am a lot different person now than I was then. And I can pretty much guarantee that Kevin would have never wanted to see his sister's privates, but we sure have all changed.

Oh and before I forget - Christian is 20 1/2 inches long.

Kevin did amazing! Breezy did amazing! I am just so dang proud of my children!
Click this link to see the Photos...

http://lesliekamm.blogspot.com/2011/01/ ... -2011.html
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Chalkperson
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Re: Kevin becomes an Uncle...Baby Photos...

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:09 pm

SATURDAY, JANUARY 15, 2011
Day 960 - Jan 14, 2011

Today the kids went out for a nice lunch and then they went to the movies. Unfortunately, it is rainy, cold and just nasty here. They were planning to go downtown and hit all of the tourist traps, but it's just too yucky here for them to do that. We are hoping they can go tomorrow, but it's not supposed to be any better.

So I guess they went to the movies after that and then goodness knows what they did.

I (and I'm sure this will come as no surprise, lol) went to the hospital and spent the afternoon/evening with my grandbaby. He is doing super and they are both to be released tomorrow sometime.

If all goes well, we are having a big dinner tomorrow and I will get some pictures. I have yet to take any of Kevin, Ronnie and Marissa and I have to do that for sure as they leave Sunday morning. I sure wish they could stay...such wonderful kids!
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fmnewyork
Posts: 125
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Re: Kevin becomes an Uncle...Baby Photos...

Post by fmnewyork » Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:12 am

REPOSTED FOR CHALKPERON
SUNDAY, JANUARY 16, 2011
Day 961 - Jan 15, 2011


We had a great dinner tonight. The kids went to the movies this afternoon (still cold and rainy here) and I worked on organizing my scraproom and just cooking and then we all got together to eat.

We had some fun with Christian and took a few pictures, shot some video. After that, Breezy and family went home and Kevin, Ronnie and Marissa went out for the a couple of hours. They are downstairs watching a movie right now and I am scrapping.

You should have seen Kevin when Breezy had to go home. He was very upset and told her she could go, but that Christian couldn't. It was funny.

And now I am going back to scrapping.
MONDAY, JANUARY 17, 2011
Day 962 - Jan 16, 2010


Although I tried my darnedest to keep Ronnie and Marissa here - they left today. What a bummer. Kevin was just so normal while they were here and it was so wonderful to see. I got so much done while they were here too - even the dreaded audit (yes - another one!).

Today we didn't do much of anything. It's been a busy week so we both kinda just lounged around the house doing a whole bunch of nothing. It's back to the grindstone tomorrow though, lol.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2011
Day 963 - Jan 17, 2011


We had a busy day today. First we went to therapy for a little PT and then we headed to Breezy's house to babysit so that she could run to the grocery store. At one point Christian started crying and I told Kevin to sing to him so he started singing Bohemian Rhapsody (the song he sang in the video a couple of weeks ago - yes...a very odd choice, lol). Christian loved it. He immediately got quiet and fell asleep pretty quickly after that.

Kevin is just utterly and completely enthralled by the little one. I guess you could say that I am too, lol.

After that, we quickly grabbed a sandwich for dinner and then went to Walmart to grab a few groceries.

A boring day to read about, I'm sure
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2011
Day 964 - Jan 18, 2011


Kevin, Johnny and I went to see the Green Hornet tonight at the movies. Now that was one excellent movie! I don't think any of us have laughed that hard in a long while - it was hilarious! And action-packed!

Other than that, we didn't really do much today. Johnny did take Kevin to pick up his new glasses though. I will have to get a photo of Kevin sporting his new look tomorrow. He looks so darn cute in glasses, lol.

And yay! My mom and dad are coming next week to visit. They are also bringing my nephew, Michael. Of course they are really coming to see Christian, but we all get to benefit from it, lol.

I think I'm going to sign off now and try to get some sleep. I'm pretty tired tonight.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 22, 2011
Day 967 - Jan 21, 2011


Today we had to go to BAMC for a H&P (history and physical). Kevin is going in on Tuesday for a BOTOX treatment and we needed to be seen by a doctor first. We are supposed to go in on Monday for bloodwork, but I am going to try to sneak down over the weekend when it's not so busy. I was told there is a special lab you can go to after hours and get your blood drawn. It's worth a shot - Mondays are horrendous at BAMC.

So while we were there, it turns out that the UFC fighters were visiting so Kevin lined up with the guys and I snapped a picture with my phone:

After we left the hospital, we went over to the warrior family center and Kevin was very excited to see Gumby, lol:

After that we just came home and Breezy and Christian were here waiting for us. Mom and Baby are doing well. I will have to get some more photos tomorrow, but to end here is one from the other day:
SUNDAY, JANUARY 23, 2011
Day 968 - Jan 22, 2011


Anita - thanks! The movie was Street Fighter! I forgot to mention it to Kevin until we were at Walmart tonight. He was looking for the movie, but couldn't find it. He did find a different movie with Jean Claude Van Damme though and that reminded me to mention the title and he was so excited that that was it. I am hoping to have Johnny take him to a CD Exchange this week and try to find one.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

And before I forget - to the anonymous person that left 2 vision therapists' info on the blog a couple of weeks back, I called both and neither do the type of therapy that we need. Thanks anyway though.

And to Debbie - I told Kevin that Josh said "HO, HO, HO" and he just grinned and grinned. He clearly remembers him.

And that's pretty much it for today so I am going to sign off and watch some tv.
MONDAY, JANUARY 24, 2011
Day 969 - Jan 23, 2011


We had a completely boring day today. We did nothing but lie around all day and watch tv. We have a pretty hectic week scheduled so it was really just what we needed to do to gear up for it.

I don't really have anything to say tonight so I think I'll sign off, but before I go...

HOW 'BOUT THEM STEELERS, EH?

I would lay odds that my friends fell off their chairs seeing what I just wrote because I am so not a football fan, lol!
TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2011
Day 970 - Jan 24, 2011


We spent the bulk of the day at BAMC today doing pre-admission tasks. I think we were there roughly four hours getting bloodwork done and talking to all the necessary people.

While there, I talked to the doc today about keeping the anesthesia at a minimum. Kev is only having conscious sedation, but I still asked them to keep it low until we see if he really needs it. Most people just have Botox injected in a doctor's office, but Kevin had a bad experience with it once and hasn't really been open to going without the anesthesia.

If he can do it with barely any 'help', then we won't have to go through all of this the next time.

After that, we just came home and both Kevin and I took a nap.

So tomorrow we have to leave at 5:45 AM. Yikes. That is gonna kill us both, lol. I think I am going to try and get to sleep though as we have to get up in a few hours.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2011
Day 971 - Jan 25, 2011


Kevin sailed through the Botox with flying colors! I was worried there for a bit though because we had to be at the hospital by 6:30 and everyone had been taken into their surgeries and we were still sitting there at 9:30. Nobody had even talked to us yet and Kevin was getting more and more angry. At about 9:10 he decided he was leaving. He was going to find a water fountain, take his pills (which he wasn't allowed to do) and he was going home. I chased him down and told him to give me five minutes. I then went to the admin and told her if they couldn't fit us in now, we needed to reschedule. She called upstairs and they said they would be right down for us.

I'm not really sure why it took so long. We didn't need an OR. We were just taken to a room in Burns ICU and the procedure was done right there. It took 15 minutes and it's crazy that we had to come in so early just to sit there and wait.

Ack! Well, at least Kevin did give them a few minutes to come down so we did manage to get through it and he did well. They gave him just enough anesthesia to get through it and we were able to wake him up about 15 minutes after it was all done and it was only maybe an hour later until we were able to go home.

But anyway, he did well and it's over for another three months. Yay!!
THURSDAY, JANUARY 27, 2011
Day 972 - Jan 26, 2011


Tonight I went to a support group of sorts. They meet once a month and there are both survivors of brain injury and loved ones/caregivers that go. Although I may or may not be hiding it from you guys - I am severely depressed. I think in part it's because I am just flat out exhausted. Only having help 15 hours a week is killing me both emotionally and physically. Kevin is just so much work.

I also seem to be crying at the drop of a hat lately too - mostly because we are nearing the third anniversary and moving into our fourth year and I just don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. There is no end to the round of therapies, procedures, doctor's visits, phone calls and battles anywhere on the horizon.

I wonder sometimes if I really have the strength to keep going.

Yesterday when Kevin was under anesthesia, I couldn't help but look at him and think of how tired I am of seeing my son hooked up to monitors, lying in a hospital bed, going through this procedure or having that surgery or going through any one of the million things that have happened to us since May 31 of 2008.

Will this ever end? EVER?

Because frankly - this life really sucks. For both Kevin and I. And Breezy too.

We are all still suffering so much. None of us have really dealt with what has happened to us - there hasn't been time to. We just keep 'wiping the sweat and driving on', but really - at some point shouldn't we be able to just sit down and rest? 'Cause I'm tired. And I know Kevin is too.

I really do try to come on here and be all positive all the time, but in reality - life isn't rosy. Kevin's life is really hard. And so is mine.

An example? I don't think I mentioned that Kevin had to quit walking around the neighborhood - something he was enjoying so much. His right knee is hyper-extending with each step he takes (meaning it's going too far back and pushing his muscle, tendons, etc. backward). He has been in so much pain and is back to using his wheelchair quite often now. He has always walked slow too, but now? Goodness, it hurts him so much he moves at a snail's pace.

Tonight he decided to try to walk to the mailbox though. I was shocked because he hasn't walked in weeks, but I told him to give it a shot. He did make it, but he called me on the way back and I had to run and get him. It's only two blocks away.

This breaks my heart.

It broke last night too when I was cooking dinner and Kevin grabbed his skateboard and decided to try to get on it in the living room. Obviously he fell and I had to turn the stove off and help him. He was so upset. He wants to skate so bad, but he just can't.

And it's just so sad to me that other than Ronnie, nobody calls him. He calls his old friends sometimes and they always have to hang up and they say they'll call him back, but they don't. Every time we go to the movies I tell him to turn his phone off and he always grunts and says 'WHY? Nobody calls'. He's right. Nobody does.

It's just all so heartbreaking to see him go through all of these hurts. And it's taking its toll on me. All of it is taking a toll on me.

I don't think I mentioned this, but when I went to the doctor a few weeks ago, he told me that if I didn't change my lifestyle I would be dead by the time I'm 50. So tell me, folks - how in the hell do I change it? What magic wand can I wave to make my son all better? Who can twinkle their nose and give us our lives back? Or better yet - where is the magic time machine that can take us back to the day before Kevin signed those papers to join the Army?
Werner
One can only read this and feel for Leslie.

_________________
Werner Isler
Chalkperson
Werner wrote:
One can only read this and feel for Leslie.
Yes Werner, I have been helping Leslie get thru this, i'm glad she finally has made it public...I have started a Kevin section on my Facebook Page, i'm slowly adding things, it's getting support from all over the world, but, i'm doing it carefully so as not to freak people out too much, I did post the photo of his co-survivor from the Suicide Bomb who lost both legs, and then I posted the photo with Mean Joe Greene, tonight i'm posting him sweeping his home from a wheelchair, then next week it's time to show them a picture of him in Afghanistan before the accident, I have 600+ Facebook friends and followers, all their friends also get access to my site, you can see photos and read stories about my Rock and Roll past, but, you also have to see photos and read about Kevin and Leslie too...I sent some of the really horrific ones that I never posted here, ones just after he came out of the coma to an old friend who is now a Doctor in Scotland, her co-workers at the Hospital did not think that a human being could take that kind of punishment and live...
SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, 2011
Day 975 - Jan 29, 2011


The meeting yesterday went pretty well, but I am still so skeptical that things will really work out. I know I came across like a witch, but I am so tired of people saying they are going to do something and then never getting the job done. Why waste everyone's time? Particularly mine?

So I guess there's nothing they can do within the VA for more help at home. We are supposed to find some organizations that will send people out to spend time with Kevin, but I am not sure exactly how that works out. It's not like I am going to allow a stranger to take Kevin to therapy or anything like that. It takes time for both Kevin and myself to trust someone for activities and things like that.

We did decide to admit Kevin to the hospital for 3 days in a few weeks where he will have extensive neuro-psych testing done to see how much he really does understand. At that time, they will also work on different therapies and send him to the gait clinic to help him learn to walk better.

I have decided to stay away from the hospital those three days completely. Yes, I am taking a break. Even better, he is going into the hospital the last part of the week that Moe is coming to visit. This will give me some time to spend with Moe and really take a breather. I talked to Johnnie and he agreed to check in on Kevin those few days for me and I'm sure Breezy will too. Now we just have to hope that I really can stay away. I really intend to because I so desperately need a little down time, but it's just really hard for me to trust anybody.

We discussed quite a few more things but I think I will hold off on those for a bit. I am a little tired and want to go veg for a bit.

Before I do though - and this is said lovingly (with no snark whatsoever) toward our loyal readers - FORGET THE DOG THING, lol! Honestly - it is just NOT gonna happen. To put it bluntly, I have given up everything for my son. I will bust my butt to get him better. But I will never in a million years live with a dog in the house. I can't stress enough how much I dislike dogs. Animals, really. But I did break down and get Kevin a cat a while ago, remember? Well, that thing drove me nuts. It was just more responsibility on an already heaping plate and it meowed constantly. Nope. No Dogs. NONE!

Love that y'all suggested it though. I do appreciate you thinking about Kevin, but for once since Kevin was wounded - my needs are coming first. And I need a dog free home.

(Now we'll see how many jokesters are out there, lol. Last time I said this I got a bunch of cards with puppies/dogs on them.)

Also, to clarify - in yesterday's photos, Christian is on the left in the first photo and that is also him in the last photo. My cousin's baby, Braeden (sp) is on the right in the top photo and we laughed that they both have the same outfit.
MONDAY, JANUARY 31, 2011
Day 976 - Jan 30, 2011


This is the blog's 1000th post. Unbelievable, huh? Who would have thought I would still be writing three years later (it was started before Kevin was deployed) and that it would become such an interactive site. I am glad as to how it turned out because I think the bulk of the readers are pretty fantastic and I have enjoyed getting to know so many of you.

I have been toying with setting up a message forum lately though (the blog would still stay and be posted to). Would anybody be interested in this? It won't really be about Kevin - it would just be those that want to "talk" with each other talking. I think that a lot of you seem to really play off of each other and many friendships could be made. It's just a thought really...

And I just looked back at the previous posts because I realized I never mentioned the change in plans that occurred. My parents didn't come to TX because we ended up having to come to FL. We are only here a couple of days and my parents changed their flight to the 15th of February so that they can still come see Christian.

We are here to trade the van in for a brand new one. We were offered an incredible deal - the new van is costing Kevin less than a dollar - literally - and I couldn't see passing it up. There are just so many rebates right now that it worked to our advantage. Oddly enough, our insurance even went down by $14 a month?! I sure don't understand that, but they said something about a new car discount. Really, you have to love USAA for insurance needs.

And now I am going to bed. It's early, but I am exhausted!
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2011
Day 978 - Feb 1, 2011


It's been such a whirlwind week. We were planning on heading back to TX tomorrow, but we decided to wait an extra day because of the storm that is wreaking havoc across the US. It's also so nice here and who wants to head back to SA when it's really cold there, lol?

So yesterday, my mom, Johnnie and I all went over to show Johnnie the beach on the FL side of the gulf. (Yes, Johnnie came with us as he's like part of the family now, lol. He is also helping with the driving). Kevin had no desire to go and I didn't force the issue because I knew there would be a lot of walking and he's just not up to it right now.

Truthfully, I think it was really good for all of us to get out like we did. My mom is my dad's caregiver now and she rarely gets out so it was nice to see her smile and have fun. Johnny works a LOT at his different jobs so it was nice seeing him relax too. Gosh knows I need it so it was an all around good day for the three of us.

Kevin stayed home with Pap (my dad) and I guess they had a nice time talking and relaxing by the pool.

Today, I went and picked up the new van and then we all hung out at the house. Chrissy and her husband, Josh, came over and she is just so cute pregnant. All of the kids swam and had a good time and then the boys went out with my sister tonight while I stayed home and played cards with my folks. Another good day.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2011
Day 979 - Feb 2, 2011


We didn't really do much today. I had to run to the DMV as both of our handicap placards somehow blew out of the car? Don't ask me - but they both have been missing for a good couple of months now.

We had another huge family dinner and then Kevin, Johnny and Josh (Chrissy's husband) all went to a Grand Prix Go-Cart type of place. From what I gather - they all had a lot of fun. They did admit they had trouble getting Kevin back out of the go-kart, but they still had fun.

It was a nice, yet quick, trip home, but sadly we need to hit the road tomorrow. I think I am just going to skip tomorrow night as we are going to try to drive straight through. We may not be able to - it really depends on Kevin being able to handle it, but we are going to give it a shot.

That being said - we'll catch ya Friday night!
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2011
Day 981 - Feb 4, 2011


We finally made it home. What a ride though, let me tell ya'. It just poured the first half of the way and then it turned to ice. In the wee hours of the morning, after seeing a few accidents within a few miles and sliding a little bit myself, we decided to stop and get a room. I am so glad we did, because IH 10 was closed from Houston down and many parts of it were still closed when we left at noon today.

But...we're home. I managed to get the house scrubbed down and then Kevin and I babysat Christian so that Breezy and Chris could go out with Chris' parents as they are in town from New York this week.

And now this exhausted girl is going to bed. I can barely keep my eyes open.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2011
Day 983 - Feb 6, 2011


We had a very lazy day today. We just putzed around, watched some tv and then Kevin watched the game. I half tuned in, but it's not something that can hold my attention long. It's a shame the Steelers lost though.

So last night I saw Kevin do something new. He had to actually log in to Facebook and he amazingly typed his email - only missing the @ sign (he had put a dot there and when I showed him the @ sign he said 'duh' because he remembered). He also typed his password in.

And then tonight he was searching for a movie and typed the first three letters into the search box and then saw rather quickly what he was looking for. I think I just stood there dumbfounded as I had no idea that he could do that now. I remember a month or so ago trying to show him how to type KEVIN on the keyboard and he couldn't really do that. I remember it taking forever for him to look for each letter on the keyboard and he just whaled (sp) through typing it out last night. Aflippinmazing, huh?

I guess I should say that if you are a friend of his on FB, gosh knows if he will write something or if it will make sense or be spelled right. I'm not complaining because at least he's trying, but I'm just throwing it out there because I'm not sure how much he can do.

I wonder if this will be part of the neuro-psych testing? I need to find the time to research what this testing is like before Kevin goes into the hospital.

And speaking of Kev - he's calling me so I guess I'll end here...
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2011
Day 985 - Feb 8, 2011


I was thinking that I had explained the transitional facility idea to you guys, but after the one comment I realized that I hadn't.

So this place will NOT be a permanent home for Kevin by any means. It is transitional - meaning it helps a patient transition to a normal living environment. Now admittedly, Kevin pretty much lives a normal life, but I guess this place would make him more independent.

In this place, he will have speech 5 days a week to help him to talk better. I understand he will learn how to deal with emergencies, how to fend for himself to the best of his ability. I don't know for sure if they teach him how to cook and clean up after himself, but I believe it's part of the agenda too.

We have no way of knowing at this point how long Kevin would need to be at this place. It could be a few weeks or it could be a year. Frankly, he has to agree to it or it's just not going to work anyway, but it's something that could make such a difference to his life.

Truthfully, I already think I do the bulk of teaching him all of these things, but the VA is concerned that I am requesting more help with Kevin. I don't think they are understanding that having someone come to the house is more about getting Kevin companionship - even though it helps me too.

And they seem to think that Kevin has me running errands constantly, but a lot of the times that he calls me is because he is excited about something on tv or that he just remembered or whatever. It's him TALKING. I mean...who else's name is he gonna call? I'm the only person here. And honestly - if he wasn't talking to me then he would just be lying in bed depressed. (not that this makes it any easier to hear the word "MOM" screamed all day and night, but I do understand WHY he does it)

Sometimes I don't think they have a real grasp on what Kevin can do and already does either. But, I know that's one of the reasons they want him to go into the hospital in a few weeks. It's still not going to give a clear picture as they won't be at our house watching him do the things he does, but at least they will get a better picture of how much he understands.

I guess I will just keep my eyes open and see what I think of these two places. Like I said, they really need to be a good fit for Kev anyway. I would never force him to do it because it would ruin the relationship we have. Respect is of the utmost importance in this family - I respect my kids and will always listen to their wants/needs. Not that I won't argue my point if I disagree, but still...
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2011
Day 987 - Feb 10, 2011


Well we went to see the plastic surgeon today to start the process of fixing the indentation in Kevin's head. Apparently the process of taking fat from a person's belly and injecting it into their head is a relatively new and the DOD (Dept of Defense) is doing a study right now to monitor the effects.

We are hoping that Kevin will be accepted into the trial and it appears that he should be a perfect candidate. One great thing? The study is being done in Pittsburgh! Yes, if Kevin is accepted, we will be heading to the Burgh for the procedure and subsequent monitoring.

I don't know anything else about it yet, but maybe I'll hear from the surgeon in PA tomorrow. Please keep your fingers crossed - it is the best non-invasive technique available - even if it is still new.

Kevin also had acupuncture while we were at BAMC today and we are going to continue it on a weekly basis for a while to see if it really helps him. I was surprised Kevin wanted to try it again because he said it made his head hurt more the last time. So far, so good, today though.

We also got the call that Kevin's new brace was already done so we drove to the VA hospital after we left BAMC and picked it up. Kev is struggling a little bit with it yet, but I think it's just gonna take a couple of days to get used to the bulkier feel of it.

And to end, from reading the comment from Tim/Beth on the blog yesterday, sadly it appears that Kevin's grandfather has passed away. Kevin is very sad and has talked about it numerous times today. We haven't spoken to anybody about it (None of my or Kevin's contact information has changed and my email is at the side of the blog so I'm not sure why you couldn't contact us privately?), but I am hoping we are told of the funeral arrangements. I am unsure if I can get Kevin up there in time, but we would at least like to send flowers.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2011
Day 988 - Feb 11, 2011


Kevin and I did end up making it to PA with the help of Veteran's Airlift Command. They were so wonderful in purchasing the airline tickets for me to take Kevin to Fred's funeral. Brianna decided not to come as Christian is just so new to the world and she didn't want him getting sick.

So, we have been traveling all day - just now getting to the hotel - and I am signing off and going to bed.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2011
Day 989 - Feb 12, 2011


Kevin had a great time today seeing all of his cousins, his grandma and his aunts and uncles. He remembered everybody that was close to him when he was young and he handled seeing Fred very well. He did get a little teary, but I was actually glad to see that.

And Kevin really did do fantastic all day. No over-stimulation at all. We got there at maybe 1:45 this afternoon and were there until a bit after 9pm tonight. He talked with everybody and hugged and shook hands all day long. I was quite proud of him. I just wish Breezy could have been here too, but the timing just didn't work for her and Christian.

So after we left, my sister and her family all came down to the hotel for a quick visit. It was nice seeing everyone and I'm glad she could make it down. I took some pics tonight, but I'll upload them in a couple of days.

Unfortunately - to everyone else - it's just not going to be possible to visit with anybody this trip. We will be at the funeral all day tomorrow and we leave Monday to go back home. It's hard being here and not being able to visit, but hopefully we'll be back over the summer sometime.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2011
Day 992 - Feb 15,2011


Today Kevin had another acupuncture appointment. So far we aren't really seeing a difference, but we are told it might take a while.

As we were leaving BAMC though, a man died on the curb of the drive for valet parking. Kevin and I watched them try to revive him for close to ten minutes before they finally got him on a stretcher and rushed him into the hospital. It was a sad thing to watch. Truthfully, I can't get the image out of my head of him just lying on the road with all of the trauma team members doing CPR. It's strange to live a life like we do in a hospital environment for the most part and not really ever see a dead person. I never thought about it until today and I honestly hope I never see anything like this again. His poor family...

But on a personal good note, I heard from the surgeon in Pittsburgh. Everyone involved feels Kevin will have no problem being admitted into the trial and that means we will head to the Burgh for a quick visit with the doctor sometime in the beginning of March. Six weeks after that we will head back to Pittsburgh for the actual procedure and that visit will be for about two weeks. We will also need to go back at the 3 (and 6 I think) and 9 month post op dates for re-evaluation. Apparently sometimes the fat is reabsorbed into the system so they evaluate periodically to see if that is occurring. We are both excited to give this a shot.

And my parents and Michael made it safely into town this afternoon. We had a nice dinner and then we all played cards for a while. I need to get some pics of them with Christian tomorrow. He's growing so fast and is already over 10 pounds and is 22 inches long.

And now I am off to bed. Kevin is watching a movie and hopefully it will keep him entertained until he falls asleep...
Last edited by fmnewyork on Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

fmnewyork
Posts: 125
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:05 pm
Location: New York City

Re: Kevin becomes an Uncle...Baby Photos...

Post by fmnewyork » Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:48 am

REPOSTED FOR CHALKPERSON
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2011
Day 993 - Feb 16, 2011


We went to therapy today and when they asked Kevin about us going to Pennsylvania, he got really quiet. He pretty much refused to do any therapy after that, but the therapists were very understanding about the grieving process.

We decided to just leave as he wouldn't do anything and he didn't speak the whole way home and then he just went into his room to rest for a while.

He did come out of his room for dinner and then a rowdy game of UNO ensued. He was feeling better after that and sat and watched some TV for a while.

I think I am going to sign off and get the dishwasher loaded and go to bed though. Everyone else is already sleeping - even Kevin - so I should be too.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2011
Day 994 - Feb 17, 2011


We had a good day today. We just basically stayed home and visited with my mom and dad. I did spend a few hours on the phone with various medical people and a good bit of that was with the folks up at UPMC in Pittsburgh. It looks like we will be going up to Pittsburgh somewhere around March 14th for Kevin's initial screening. That visit will be for 4 days and then we go back up at the end of April for the actual procedure. That visit will be 2-3 weeks and it looks like we will be there through Easter. Kevin is very excited about this and I am still keeping my fingers crossed that he will be able to take part in it.

One really great thing that happened just a little bit ago is that Kevin told me his head isn't hurting as much as it used to. I can only guess that it's the acupuncture? He says that his head is always painful, but that it only hurts a little now. Wouldn't it just be so wonderful if ALL of his pain went away? Oh, I so hope that happens!

I am going to touch on just a few comments as I am waaaaayyyy behind:

Judy - it was great seeing you and thanks for explaining who Dorothy Lorigan was. Dan - I had no idea, lol. It's such a small world though, huh?

Hallie - I wish you and I could get together and just get a good drunk on. Of course, we'd probably both just be blubbering and bawling, lamenting about how life really does suck. I am so sorry about your new car too. Hope your husband is doing well. BTW, how did the stem cell eval go?

Miss Em - I haven't sat down with Kevin in any artistic fashion in a long time. I will have to get back to it. Thanks for reminding me!

Lisa D in Cali - I just finally got around to looking at the new Tony Hawk Shred game. That just might work and Kevin just might like it! I am so glad they have it for the Xbox. I will look for it next week while he is in the hospital. Moe - remind me, please (you know how dumb I am anymore, lol)

Mark (arctic rec0n) - Kevin's Xbox Live ID is die200O - the last O is the letter O and not a zero. To anyone else out there - find him - he'll love it. (and I know it's a gruesome ID, but he chose it years ago and he is who he is)

Bern - love you and miss you!

And now I need to get to bed. I have a busy day ahead of me. I don't think Kevin's going to let me sleep tonight, but I'm gonna try.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2011
Day 995 - Feb 18, 2011


Today I went with the polytrauma doctor from the VA and our case-manager to the two transitional facilities that are between here and Austin.

The first one that we went to was ResCare Premiere in San Marcos. This place had a more homey feel as Kevin would start out living with two other guys in a duplex. He would learn how to pretty much be self-sufficient; from riding a shuttle to his doctor's appts by himself, to going to a restaurant and ordering his own food, to possibly paying his own bills, to cooking and everything in between.

This one is in a college town with lots of things to do for someone Kevin's age. It had an upbeat and energetic feel to it and as soon as they told me that the guys were going fishing this afternoon and then to Hooters for dinner - I knew Kevin would like it here, lol.

The second place was CORE in Austin and it was totally different than ResCare. This place was rustic with open fields and farm animals abundant. It was more structured and didn't focus on actual reintegration into society as much as the other place did. I felt this one more focused on therapies and schedules and it had a slight nursing home feel to it.

I can't say that I disliked CORE, but I don't think it's a good fit for Kevin. I do feel that someone different than Kevin could do very well there, but truly - ResCare just seems like a place he can have FUN at and that has to be what life is about as much as possible.

So as soon as I got home and mentioned Hooters to Kevin - he was in, lol. Yep - a typical 22 year old male. Truly, he is open to going now and when I mentioned that the guys went to a gym and worked out he pointed to himself as if to ask "Me too?". He seems excited about it and I just hope it stays that way. I so want him to go out and do things on his own. He does too. When I told him he would be taught to take the shuttle to BAMC all by himself his face lit up like a Christmas tree. He was beside himself in excitement.

So now it's up to funding to see how this will work with us running back and forth to Pittsburgh. We aren't sure if he can be admitted within the next couple of weeks or if we should wait until after the procedure in April as we will be gone for up to three weeks. We will know more about that next week when everyone get back to work on Tuesday.

Keep your fingers crossed!
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2011
Day 996 - Feb 19, 2011


Yay! Moe made it here today! I picked her up at the airport this evening and then we came home and ate a huge turkey dinner.

Unfortunately, she has been sick for the last few days so she went up to her room and crashed pretty early.

Downstairs another night of rowdy games of UNO ensued. This family is so competitive, lol. I don't know how Moe slept through it really as everyone is insulting and playfully screaming at each other the whole time, but she did, hehe.

That's pretty much all that happened today so I am going to sign off early.

Before I do though - Sally - I am so anxious to hear how the 9/11 Flag Ceremony went. I am so happy that you were able to put a stitch in the flag in Kevin's name! Thank you!!
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011
Day 999 - Feb 22, 2011


Well...Kevin is firmly ensconced in the hospital. He packed enough stuff for a month long stay, which is hilarious in itself. He always has to take all of his things though - his challenge coins, more than one pair of sneakers (to match his outfits) and every electronic gadget he owns, lol.

We did go to an acupuncture appointment first and all went well with that.

And then we hightailed it over to the VA hospital. So far, so good. Kevin has only called me once and that was because he wanted to order a pizza and the night nurse didn't know how to pay for it with Kevin's debit card.

So, he will be kept busy while admitted. Lots of testing and therapies to see where he stands physically and cognitively. I am looking forward to seeing the results.

And we got approval to go into ResCare, with the knowledge that we will be going back and forth to Pittsburgh. Now we just need to see how quickly it's signed off on and how quickly ResCare can get him in. Who knows...it could be next week even! I just hope he likes it up there...
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2011
Day 1001 - Feb 24, 2011


Moe and I played tourist today. We went down to the Riverwalk and to the Alamo. It was close to 90 degrees here so you couldn't have picked a better day to be outside.

I only talked to Kevin once today, but he seems well. I will be picking him up tomorrow afternoon and he is excited to come home. I know it isn't easy for him to be in-patient, but I really needed the break and he had so many things that needed to be tested and done that it was just easier to do it this way. It was also imperative to get a true neuro-psych analysis done prior to him going into ResCare.

I am anxious to see my boy though. I miss him - crazy as that sounds.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2011
Day 1002 - Feb 25, 2011


My boy came home today. I was told he did fantastic while in the hospital and it was a good trial run of him heading to ResCare. So far, everyone but fee basis has signed off on him going so as soon as they sign on the dotted line, Kevin can get started.

We will be going up on Tuesday so that Kevin can scope it out. I think he is in part excited and also scared at the same time. That pretty much sums up my feelings too. It's going to be hard to let him go, but I must - for his own good.

I will be seeing him often anyway (Jessica - you asked how far it is and it's about 40 minutes from our home in SA). We are going to get started on that vision therapy that I had mentioned a while ago. Our doctor at the VA found someone local that is willing to see what she can do for Kevin. I don't know how often that therapy will take place, but I am guessing at least once a week. He will also need to go to BAMC for his acupuncture, we will be going to Pittsburgh how often and there are other things too (laser therapy on his burn scars, eye surgeries, possible shunt removal and we plan to 'fix' his eyebrows too). In case you can't tell, I'm trying to make myself braver about this, lol. I know I have serious trust issues, but I will have to get over it.

So anyway, sadly - Moe had to go home today. She made it safe and sound and I can imagine how hard it was to go from 80 degrees to 20. And I think I heard that they may get 8 inches of snow tonight? Geez. I sure don't miss that!

Well, it's off to bed for me. Hopefully anyway...
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2011
Day 1004 - Feb 27, 2011


Kevin and I took a nice long drive today. Goodness knows where we were, but we saw some fantastic views. It was a beautiful day for a drive too; close to 90 degrees and sunny.

We didn't really do anything else so I am going to sign off early again tonight.
TUESDAY, MARCH 1, 2011
Day 1005 - Feb 28, 2011


Today Kevin and I babysat Christian as it was Breezy's first day back to work. It was hard - for all of us, lol. I am just not used to having to deal with a baby all day long, Breezy called constantly because she hasn't been away from the little guy much since he was born and Kevin just rolled with it. Tomorrow Christian goes to daycare and we are all so hoping it turns out well.

This evening Johnnie came and he and Kevin went out and about. I was helping out at the newest Humor For Heroes comedy show so I went my way when they went theirs. I didn't get to watch the show as I was working the door, but one of the nurses from BAMC came and visited with me and we discussed Kevin and all the situations for the last 3 years. I learned a lot from him about new medical procedures too; things that are headed our way.

And now I am really heading to bed. I couldn't sleep at all last night so my eyes are drooping really badly. It's definitely time for bed.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2011
Day 1006 - Mar 1, 2011


We had a really busy day today. First Kevin had another acupuncture appointment and then we had to hurry up to ResCare so that Kevin could scope the place out. We were there roughly three hours and Kevin seems to be ok with going up there to live for a bit. I think he is looking forward to getting all of the therapy and doing some of the fun things. This place really seems to think outside the box and I can only hope it's true.

He's a little unsure about some of it, and of course I am too. It's just going to be hard to not have my finger on every pulse. This whole event has only worked because I have - I hear everything, see everything, research everything, analyze everything. All of this has only helped me keep Kevin on track for bettering his quality of life. I just worry that me losing the pulse will mean I don't catch things that need to be done as they come up. There is a LOT of info in my head about things that HAVE come up and things that COULD come up. Little signs and symptoms that I need to be aware of.

Ack! Well, I know he won't be there forever so I am going to just go with it. He'll be fine. Right?

In other news...Breezy had a horrific daycare experience today. She dropped the baby off and the facility's credit card machine wasn't working in the morning. The woman told her to just leave Christian and pay when she came to pick him up. Well, about a half hour later the director called her and demanded that she leave work and either pay her bill or remove Christian from the center. She pretty much called Breezy a liar when Breezy told her what the other woman had said and Breezy called me crying and sobbing not knowing what to do. I couldn't help as we had a full day of appointments so Breeze had to leave work on her 2nd day back and go to take care of the situation.

When she got there, the lady admitted to the boss what she had told Breezy but it didn't seem to matter. Breezy stood up to the director and told her she would not allow her baby to stay there. She said if it's 30 minutes into day one and they were already causing her to possibly lose her job - they were not a good fit. I am quite proud of her. She also told her that she didn't appreciate the insinuation that she was a liar. She works hard, pays her own bills, takes care of her child and didn't deserve to be treated like that.

So she drove around with the baby as her coworkers were all trying to locate other centers around her place of employment and she finally found a small center in a church. She was so happy to see them playing with the babies that were already there when she walked in and they even made her put booties on when she went in so that the floors wouldn't get dirty due to the 'crawlers'. Yes, it's more expensive...but who can put a price tag on quality child care. As long as it's in her budget anyway, lol.

Oh and I almost forgot - last night Kevin had me go over his meds with him. He asked what they were for and the names. So tonight he amazed me. I always get his meds ready for the whole week and he dispenses them himself throughout the day. He also grabs the next day's container each night when he finishes with his 9pm meds. Well, tonight he called me downstairs and showed me that he had filled his own medication containers for the week. AND THEY WERE 100% CORRECT!!!!! You should have seen the look on his face. He was so proud of himself! I had told him that ResCare was going to teach him how to do that, but I guess he taught himself. AMAZING, huh?

Truly, he really is amazing. Don't I just have two great kids?
SATURDAY, MARCH 5, 2011
Day 1009 - Mar 4, 2011


Kevin just woke me up as he was making himself some sandwiches in the kitchen. I somehow fell asleep on the couch and have been sleeping about 4 hours already. I am just going to sign off and go to my real bed and go back to sleep.
SUNDAY, MARCH 6, 2011
Day 1010 - Mar 5, 2011


We didn't really do too much today. I was able to get the bulk of the house cleaned, but I still need to scrub all the floors. Maybe tomorrow. We did play some Skipbo too, but that pretty much is it. It was kinda a boring day, truth be told.
MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2011
Day 1011 - Mar 6, 2011


We had yet another lazy day today. Breezy brought the baby over for a little while this afternoon as we don't get to see him all that much now that she's back to work, but that's pretty much it. I don't even think we left the house all weekend.

Tomorrow though, it's back to the grindstone.

I really hope the VA comes through soon with the sign off for Kevin to go to ResCare too. I have to wonder how long ResCare is going to continue holding a bed for him. They are losing money while waiting and it's already been two weeks since the decision was made. I guess the paperwork is sitting on someone's desk in fee basis (the dept that authorizes payment on services outside of the VA hospital). I sure hope it's soon otherwise we also run the risk of Kevin changing his mind. I am trying to keep him pumped up about it, but I see his excitement waning. I so hope this doesn't take months...
TUESDAY, MARCH 8, 2011
Day 1012 - Mar 7, 2011


Today we went to speech therapy and the therapist couldn't get over how many new words Kevin has picked up lately. I hear him sometimes sitting in his room practicing words he hears on TV and nothing pleases me more.

It was funny because the other day he came out of his room, looked at me and with a smile said "Why I oughta punch you." My response "Why you oughta just try it", lol. It was so funny (he was joking and must have heard it on tv or a movie). The point to this - he said a sentence - even if it is a line from a movie.

Truly, he is speaking so much better. I am excited to see the changes ResCare brings because he will have all of his therapies five days a week.

So let's see...he can now count to 50 (although sometimes he gets stuck and needs a nudge) and he can say all the days of the week. He is able to tell me what time it is when I ask and he will tell people that he was in the Army and was Airborne. He will even say one, seven, three to let people know his unit.

He can say Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Florida, Texas and we are now working on Germany. I suppose I should work on Afghanistan as most people ask where he was wounded...

He can say all of his drink choices; Mountain Dew, Pepsi, lemonade, strawberry milk, Bud Light (yep - ordered it clearly one night at a restaurant - I about fell of my chair), milk, etc.

He can say pizza and Subway, but he still struggles with Taco Bell. He won't attempt McDonalds at all though, lol.

I am also pleased to say that he now listens to the radio almost the whole time we are in the car. He sings too, mumbling mostly, but still...he tries.

All of this just goes to show that some doctors and therapists can just be plain wrong at times. I was told he would never be able to speak and I guess Kevin proved them wrong.

It appears we will continue to have to keep showing some of them though. His neuro-psych exam (which I am just too mad to talk about in-depth yet) said that he will 'unlikely have large gains in terms of traditional expressive or receptive language'. I beg to differ and I told the speech therapist at the VA that when she told me this on the day I picked Kevin up from the hospital. Truly - I just have no time for small minded people. I honestly don't understand why therapists that set recovery limits before working with a patient even have jobs? Makes no sense to me. If I listened to all the folks that told me how little Kevin was going to do - he would still be minimally conscious.

Ack! Well, I am signing off. It just makes me mad so I need to go cool down.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 2011
Day 1013 - Mar 8, 2011


We had a very busy day today. Kevin first had an acupuncture appointment at BAMC and then we had to rush to get to our next appointment across town at the VA dental clinic.

Obviously Julie is just as much of a character as Kevin is, lol.

So anyway, we headed over to see the dentist and it was a little strange to not see Dr. Craig. Sadly, he retired at the beginning of the year. But the new dentist and Kevin hit it off too. Unfortunately Kevin needs a root canal though. After a lengthy discussion, we decided to sedate him so there are multiple people that need to be scheduled at the same time. The dentist is supposed to call and let me know when an appointment is on the books. When the time comes I will just run up to ResCare and pick him up.

After that we came home and Kevin and Johnny went to see a movie. I did a little bit of shopping for things Kevin will need when he leaves.

And Kevin has been packing all night. We got word tonight that the VA signed off for Kevin to head to San Marcos and begin the next phase of this journey. We don't know when he goes, but it will be right quick now that everything is signed. Who knows...maybe even tomorrow...
THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 2011
Day 1014 - Mar 9, 2011


I guess the paperwork for Kevin to go to ResCare was incorrect so it has to be fixed first before Kevin can head up there. They were thinking that he might be able to go on Monday, but we leave for our first appointment in Pittsburgh that day.

I guess we'll just see what happens. I know that our polytrauma doctor at the VA (whom I just LOVE!!) is on top of it, so hopefully it won't take too long.

In the meantime, he will just have to unpack everything he spent all last night packing. I kept telling him to wait, but he must have been excited and felt he needed to get it done.

And that's pretty much all I have to say today so I guess I will go and read for a bit.
SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2011
Day 1016 - Mar 11, 2011


Today we went with Breezy to get Christian's first bout of shots. He did really well and so did Breezy, lol. Christian weighs close to 12 pounds now - he is getting quite large. Tall really as he isn't overweight by any means.

Then tonight Kevin and I babysat while Breezy and Chris went out for a bit. Apparently Christian is going to be a movie buff just like his uncle, lol. Kev was watching The Blues Brothers and when I took the baby in and lay him on Kev's bed his eyes went straight to the tv and never left it for a good half hour. He was totally enthralled by all the music and voices. He's really such a good baby.

As for ResCare, we were told that the person at the VA that needs to sign the new paperwork was on vacation this week. They should have it all signed next week and we are hoping to admit Kevin on Friday, the day after we get back from Pittsburgh. We'll see though.
SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011
Day 1017 - Mar 12, 2011


We didn't really do much today. We picked Breezy and the baby up and went for a little drive, but that's about it. It was just such a nice day today - too nice to sit in the house.

I don't have much to say so I'm just going to touch on a few questions.

GrannieEv - day care is going kinda well. It was a bit of a shock the first time I went to pick Christian up. I had never been in a day care center and it was weird to see all these cribs lined up and babies crying. Honestly, I don't like it, but there's nothing we can do. Although I wish I could, I just can't take on anymore responsibility.

How is your son doing? Was he deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan?

Linda from Sligo - how is school going?

Julie from Grove City - we'd love to see you over Thanksgiving!

Hallie - send me your phone number and when we come to Pittsburgh for the 2-3 week visit in April we will get together. We will only be there 3 days next week and we won't be renting a car so time and travel will be limited. I hope your husband is doing well.

Moe - check your email. I sent you some more photos of your trip here that I played with about a week ago. I'll try to call you tomorrow (today by the time you read this)

Elizabeth, Aunt Mona and Jessica - we will be renting a car when we come in April and we plan to come up and see you guys then. I can't wait to see all the kids!

And now I think I will try to get some sleep. It's close to 5am and my eyes are getting tired. I am watching a good episode of House though so I need to finish it first.
MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2011
Day 1018 - Mar 13, 2011


Today Kevin and Chris went to a movie while Breezy and I just putzed around. It was kinda a slow day for us because I know the next week or so is going to be rather hectic.

I did get Kevin all packed and ready to go to Pittsburgh in the morning, but I have yet to get myself packed. The problem is limiting Kevin, lol. He packs like a woman and I pack like a man. I take barely anything and he takes everything. Seriously - he has a DVD case that holds 270 DVDs. He planned to take the whole thing - FOR A THREE DAY TRIP!!! He also has to take numerous pair of sneakers and clothes out the wazoo. You should have seen his face though when I handed him two small duffel bags and told him that was it. I am not paying baggage fees for a three day trip.

So after all kinds of whining we have one bag of clothes and one bag of electronics with a small case of only 10 DVDs. Poor kid...lol.

And now I really need to go throw my stuff into my carry-on bag and try to get some sleep. I should say that if you guys don't hear from us it means there is no internet at the place we are staying. I believe it's kinda like a Fisher House, but it's called The Family House. I just don't know if it has internet so don't panic if you don't hear from us.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2011
Day 1020 - Mar 15, 2011


We had such a busy day today and we got so much done. We did make it over to the doctor's office and officially signed up for the study. They had to run all kinds of 'tests' to see if Kevin qualifies and I believe he has been accepted. I think we were there about six hours and Kevin did fantastic throughout the whole event.

After that, we came back to the hotel and Kevin's cousin Trista came over for a visit. I could kick myself because I didn't take any pictures though!

While Trista was visiting, Kevin's friends Evan and Nikki came over. Here are a couple of photos of the kids - one of them playing on Kevin's iPad:

Oh - and you can imagine Kevin's excitement when he and Evan together managed to beat Saving Private Sheep level 100 that Kevin has been utterly stuck on for months!!! He had given up totally and is beside himself that he can move on now! Thank you, Evan!!

So I actually left Kevin with Nikki and Evan and went to dinner with Trista and her mom, Judy. We went to a place called Fat Heads on the Southside and the food was delicious! I brought dinner home for Kevin as he wasn't hungry because he was too busy visiting with his friends. You can tell he had a really great time.

We were hoping that Kevin's grandmother could come down to visit, but she wasn't feeling well today. We will see her next month though when we come back and can rent a car and drive to see her.

And lastly, here is a photo of the baby I just found on my camera from the night he and Kevin were watching the Blues Brothers:
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2011
Day 1021 - Mar 16, 2011


Today was another hectic day. We had appointments all afternoon and one of them was a little rough for both Kevin and myself. It was with some sort of social worker and although she was just doing her job, I have made it a point to keep Kevin from focusing on all that has happened to him. She had to ask questions like 'are you embarrassed by how your face looks, or how your arm doesn't work, do you hate that your friends see you looking like this, etc.' She went in depth into the very things I shield Kevin from.

I am quite sure that Kevin thinks about these things on occasion, but I don't think he really thinks hard about it, if you know what I mean. He is usually a pretty happy person and I have always felt it was my job to keep him that way. It was a little tough for a bit in that meeting though, but the therapist was a wonderful person and she really was able to pull Kevin out of the funk. I don't think it hurt what Kevin was thinking about her either. When she left the room he turned to me and said "She's hot!". Yikes! LOL.

So anyway, we did leave that appointment and had to head over to the hospital for a CT Scan and Moe and her boyfriend, Dan, met us there. We took care of business and then we all went to dinner. When we got back, Ronnie and Marissa met us at the hotel and they went to Kev's room while we went to my room and we visited with our prospective friends.

Another great night visiting friends. I can say for sure that both last night and tonight were a lot of fun!

So tomorrow we head back to Texas. We will be back for 3 weeks though next month and we plan to see everyone we can in that time. I can say for sure that we are looking forward to it!

fmnewyork
Posts: 125
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:05 pm
Location: New York City

Re: Kevin becomes an Uncle...Baby Photos...

Post by fmnewyork » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:16 am

REPOSTED FOR CHALKPERSON
TUESDAY, MARCH 22, 2011
Day 1026 - Mar 21, 2011


Kevin is now firmly ensconced in ResCare. He handled it really well and so did I, mostly. Truly, I don't think it's hit either of us how much of a change this is so we shall see how we feel in a few days.

My immediate plans are to rest. I had planned to sleep for the next week or so, but our house flooded yesterday due to a hole in a hot water pipe in the wall behind the dishwasher. Somehow the pipe was hit by a nail when the house was being built and the nail finally rusted and fell out of the pipe. I think we will have work crews here for a while trying to dry the interior of the walls and floors so that no mold forms. Then of course, the house needs to be put back together. They are starting the process tomorrow so no sleeping in for me. What a mess though. There was water running out of the back of the house down the foundation. The walls inside the dining room are soaked and stained and there are huge holes now in the walls. Fun times, huh?

I tell ya - it's always something. I would just love a month with no problems. No issues whatsoever.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011
Day 1027 - Mar 22, 2011


I have to say - I am glad Kevin isn't here right now. My kitchen is ripped apart and there are these huge fans and dehumidifiers running and it is sooooo loud. I can't even sit downstairs and am 'living' upstairs in my bedroom with the door shut just so I can hear myself think.

So they have to run these things until Friday and then I can stop them, but it will probably not be fixed until we come back from Pittsburgh in mid May. They have to order new cupboards and they said that will take weeks.

Grrrr...

And my dearest Kevin only called me four times today! He is missing his HBO. He called one time because channel 800 isn't available up there, lol. Poor guy - life is so rough.

Another time he was trying to tell the story of a General Kammerdiener that his drill sgt dared him to say something to back in basic training. Kevin ran up to him and said "HI DAD!". There is a photo on his iPad of him doing push ups for that little stunt. Always the jokester, Kevin is.

The other two times were just him wanting someone to talk to. He done good for his first day, I think.
FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011
Day 1029 - Mar 24, 2011


So today was the first day in close to three years that I didn't spend time with or speak to my son. It was a little hard for me not to call him because we are all so close, but it's the whole point of ResCare so I didn't contact him.

And since all the fans are still running downstairs, I stayed in my room all day and did pretty much nothing. I didn't even answer the phone today for anyone except Breezy. I did go to sleep kinda early last night, but I couldn't sleep in like I planned. I have no idea why.

And that pretty much sums it all up for today. Kinda a nice, boring day watching tv. They are supposed to remove the fans tomorrow and I am looking forward to being able to be downstairs. I want to rip the house apart and scrub it all down. Such fun, eh?

SATURDAY, MARCH 26, 2011
Day 1030 - Mar 25, 2011


I am going to skip tonight - and the rest of the weekend too. I am just resting this week and have nothing to say. Catch y'all on Monday night.
TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2011
Day 1033 - Mar 28, 2011


It was mostly an uneventful weekend. I did go visit Kevin yesterday. I hadn't planned to, but he called and sounded so forlorn when I told him I wasn't coming until next weekend, that I jumped in the car and headed north. We did go to the movies and then we went out for dinner and it was great seeing him.

He seems to still be doing well, but he's upset that he isn't having as many therapies as he thought he would. I asked about it and was told he is still in the 'evaluation' stage and I told him he needed to give it a little more time before giving it up. He agreed with me, but we were both under the impression that he would have speech, OT and PT five days a week and that's not happening. I know that OT will continue to be only three days a week and I'm not sure why we were led to believe it would be different. It's on my list of things to check about this week.

Tomorrow I have to head to BAMC and get Kevin's medical records released and sent to Pittsburgh. I took care of it with both VA hospitals (TX and FL) today so all is good on that front.

While there, I will be visiting a patient. I'm sure you all remember Andrew's Aunt Jodi...well, we talked on the phone tonight and she told me how one of Andrew's best friends ran over an IED a few weeks ago while deployed. I am not sure, but I think he just got out of ICU this weekend, but nonetheless, I want to visit his family and offer some support. If you guys can keep him and his family in your thoughts that would be great. His name is Roby (Row bee)and his wife's name is Brianna.

And now I need to take the garbage out before I forget. I forgot both times last week as Kevin always took care of it. Maybe I should have him call and remind me? LOL!
THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2011
Day 1035 - Mar 30, 2011


Kevin and I talked on Skype for a full hour tonight. He is doing well, but I am very concerned that he seems to be in his room an awful lot. I have some other concerns as well, but a meeting was set up tentatively for next Monday so I am going to wait until then to address them. I may not be seeing things clearly as I'm not there 24/7 and Kevin doesn't always remember everything correctly.

I had an easy day. I did make a bunch of phone calls dealing with Kevin issues, but that's the only real 'work' I did. I really am just trying to rest and catch up on some sleep.

I also scrapped my first layout of Christian today. I just hadn't gotten around to scrapping before today, but I'm trying to force myself to. I still have to make a ton of thank you cards and get them mailed too, but haven't had the energy yet to get in that scraproom.

Before I forget - Cathy M - you asked about the trip to NYC and I don't really know much more than what I said. I was first contacted to go on a mother's caregiver retreat, but couldn't go because Kevin is getting a root canal the one day. As we were hanging up she mentioned my blog and this trip. As soon as I knew the dates were actually clear for me, I jumped at the chance. I will let you know more as info comes available to me.

And now I am off to watch the Top Chef finale!
FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2011
Day 1036 - Mar 31, 2011


I am going to skip tonight. The garbage disposal quit working and I have it all torn apart trying to figure out what the heck's wrong with it. Have I ever mentioned what a POS this house is? For a brand new one - EVERYTHING has gone wrong in it. All of our showers leak water all over the floor, I have fixed 2 toilets so far, cupboard doors are falling off, my bedroom slopes so badly you can feel yourself walking downhill, the garage door opener only works when it wants to, the thermostat does what it wants to too and I could go on and flippin on...

Anyway, I wanted to take a break and just let you guys know I'll write tomorrow night.
SUNDAY, APRIL 3, 2011
Day 1038 - Apr 2, 2011


I am going to skip tonight. Kev and I had a good day, but we didn't really do much of anything.
MONDAY, APRIL 4, 2011
Day 1039 - Apr 3, 2011


I went to the theater today and saw "Lights in the Piazza". I loved it! It was just a local production in a small theater, but it was still wonderful. I hadn't planned on Kevin being home so I had Breezy come over and spend the afternoon with him. I guess Kev and Chris went to see a movie though, leaving Breezy and Christian home alone.

Tomorrow I will be taking Kevin back to ResCare and having the meeting with the team. There's not really much else to say so I'll catch you guys tomorrow night.
FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 2011
Day 1043 - Apr 7, 2011


Ok - so I am finally getting around to Kevin's goals while at ResCare. Some of these are short term and some are long term, but they all will help him function better.

The most important part of Kevin's therapy schedule is speech for both him and me. My most immediate goal would be for him to learn everyone's names at ResCare. He needs to know whose name to call when he needs help.

They are also working with him on learning his alphabet verbally and cognitively as well as learning to say the time. He has been able to say the time on the hour and half past, but struggles with just saying something like 4:39 - an exact time. Kev and I have gotten some of the alphabet down too, but I realized he was learning the song and not the actual letters. When we discussed it a while back, he agreed and I was happy to hear that he remembered and told the therapist that he didn't want to learn them in order.

He is also to learn the names of 25 functional objects in his room and the kitchen.

As for other goals, he is learning to follow a schedule without help. They keep a schedule for each patient on the wall and Kevin must learn to both read and follow it. He was already kinda doing this at home so it should be no problem.

He also must learn to cook 3 simple meals a week and be safe in the kitchen.

Another thing Kevin has really struggled with is the names of his body parts. It is also on the agenda to get all of those down pat.

Of course there are physical goals as well - they are really making him use his right arm and I love that! He is also building up his stamina again. Every time something happens he loses so much ground and when his knee was hyper-extending he lost everything he had gained while walking around the neighborhood. He has went to the pool once this week already and is working hard at building up the muscles that he can.

I haven't been able to really talk to Kevin privately this week to see if he is feeling better up there, but I think he is. He isn't calling as much and that's always a good sign.

And I have some friends here that came down for a quick visit from PA for a few days and we are getting together with Kevin tomorrow so maybe I will get to talk to him. I know he's excited to see Diane and Mary Jo! We aren't really doing much, but it's nice to just sit and talk with them!

And today I went into Kevin's bathroom here at the house and found quite a bit of water on the floor. I couldn't figure it out at first, but then I looked up I saw that it was dripping from the ceiling. Damn, I hate this house! What a total mess. Apparently my shower (I am guessing anyway) is losing a lot of water through the floor somehow? I don't know...but I am sure glad I don't own this house. I hate the fact that I have to deal with all the problems though...
SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2011
Day 1045 - Apr 9, 2011


Diane and Mary Jo went home today. Too soon if you ask me, lol. We had a great visit though, I just wish it could have lasted longer.

And Kevin called me this evening sounding very depressed and telling me he wants to come home for good. I drove up to talk with him and I asked him to give it a few more days. It's really all about the home repairs that will be done this week. They are finally coming to fix the kitchen and now we also have the mess in his and my bathroom. I want to talk to everyone involved first anyway. I wish he would stay, but I just don't think it's gonna happen. He has times when he is happy, but too many times he's just not. No matter what - I just can't let him slip into a depression.

And that's pretty much all that happened today. I think I am going to skip tomorrow night and just take the day off. I will be back on Monday night.
MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2011
Day 1047 - Apr 11, 2011


I had a long skype session with Kevin today and we talked about how much he really needs to try to stay up at ResCare. He has decided to give it another week and then we will discuss it more while we are in Pittsburgh as we leave next Wednesday to go there for 3 weeks.

He does understand that they can really help him, but I guess there was a problem on Saturday. I had told them that often when Kevin doesn't want to do something you need to use whatever resources you have - bribery, guilt, whatever. Mostly he doesn't need anything like this, but there are times...

So I guess they were going bowling and Kevin didn't want to go. From what I am gathering they all come at him and tried too many things and it made him mad. He was feeling pressured. So he locked himself in the bathroom and flat out refused to go. He just didn't want to. Truthfully, there's nothing wrong with that either. Sometimes you just don't want to do something.

I think it's just difficult for them to know when to stop and when to keep pressing. Obviously I know because I have been with him the whole time, but they are struggling with it. I feel confident they will get it soon. I hope so anyway.

And today the plumber came and said that the bathroom issue wasn't a plumbing issue but a grout issue and he wouldn't touch it. Now tomorrow I have the kitchen folks coming as well as the shower enclosure people. Man...I sure hope they get it fixed. This is just ridiculous. I found a water leak in the third bathroom last night and I noticed that there are water stains around the vent in my bedroom.

Crazy, huh? And this is a brand new house!
Chalkperson
Hi Chalkie!

Although there is NO guarantee, Kevin and I are hoping that we can make the drive to NYC to visit with you for one night while we are up in Pittsburgh.

Of course, this all depends on whether we can fit a couple day's leave between all the doc appointments, how Kevin is feeling, whether I can use my points for a free hotel room in NYC for a night and if you are available.

I mentioned to him that we might be able to do this and he was so excited! He wants to meet you very badly, as do I. Anyway, is there a chance you will be free at all after Easter up through the first 10 days or so of May? And would Carol be in the area? That would be so wonderful.

If this all works out, I'd like to call you soon and figure out which hotel might be best. Do you have a phone number that is best to reach you at? Or you can call me in the evenings (the later the better - up through 3am or so, lol)

I sure hope this works out!
Leslie
This more than made my day, it brought tears to my eyes...
Werner
Congratulations, Chalkie - you've been a friend to Kevin and Leslie for a long time.

_________________
Werner Isler
FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2011
Day 1050 - Apr 14, 2011


I had a meeting today with the neuro-psychologist at the VA that did Kevin's testing. At about 20 minutes or so into the meeting I knew he was not really hearing anything I had to say so I grabbed my purse and left right in the middle of it. There was just no sense in wasting my time and at this point it doesn't really matter anyway. It's done and it's on the record that - according to this very important doctor - Kevin will see no real gains in his life. He pretty much won't get any better because he is now 3 years post injury and people really only get better within the first year.

Idiot.

Honestly, sometimes people just can't see the forest through the trees.

It just ticks me off though that someone so narrow minded can have such an effect on someone else's life. I really regret allowing this test to be done. I should've known better.

So as you can see this is still a very sore subject with me. I think I mentioned a little bit about it, but it just mainly said that Kevin can't accurately be tested because he can't speak, but that he doesn't understand what's going on around him most of the time - if ever. The doc reiterated that today, but if that were true there would be no way that Kevin could do all that he can do, could respond as he does in conversations, could remember exactly where each DVD is in a book that holds 300 of them and he surely wouldn't be able to run circles around me on his phone and his iPad.

Now I'm not saying Kevin understands everything - we still have a long way to go - but he knows a lot more than this guy gives him credit for.

Frankly, this is the last time I am going to think about it. I know what I know about Kevin as do all of the people that are around him at any given time. WE are the people that matter. Not some doc that saw Kevin for two hours of his life and will probably never see him again.

Argghhh!!

So now I'm all riled up again.

But honestly, I sat outside the VA hospital today waiting for the car and just felt so tired and dejected. I am just so exhausted at having to always deal with so many issues on so many different aspects of Kevin's care. I shouldn't have to go see a neuro-psychologist and tell him that he didn't see things clearly. He can't fathom that he's maybe not 100% correct because it's what he's been taught. In a book. Not in life - but in a book. Well Kevin isn't in a book. People like Kevin aren't alive. They die when this type of trauma occurs.

So I say "let's rewrite the damn book!!!" Since there appears to be proof - let's all agree that you CAN get better - significantly even - after a year, or two or even twenty!

Maybe folks should at least not put it in someone's record that they have no potential. Heck, a comment like that could cause all of his therapies to be stopped. I mean...why spend the money on OT, PT and speech when he isn't going to gain anything, right?

Ok. I need to stop because I am just ranting here...
MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011
Day 1053 - Apr 17, 2011


Today was a kinda lazy day. I didn't go anywhere, do anything or talk to anybody. I just watched tv, scrapped some more and napped. Pathetic, huh? When we get back from PA, I think I am going to have to force myself to get out and do things. That's weeks away though, so I guess I'll just deal with it then.
TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2011
Day 1054 - Apr 18, 2011


This afternoon I had to hunt all over San Antonio for a new battery for my laptop. It wasn't holding a charge at all and hasn't for the last few weeks. Found one though...after multiple stops. Yay! I was afraid to travel without it being fixed.

I didn't really do much else today. I skyped with Kevin for about an hour. He was all excited because he wrote "HI. KEVIN KAMMERDIENER" on Facebook all by himself. I was so glad to see people responding to it.

After that though, he wanted to write "We're not worthy, we're not worthy, we're scum" from Wayne's World. He couldn't do it, so I wrote it out on a piece of paper and held it up to the camera for him to copy it. It took him about 20 minutes to type it all and he did very well except he didn't see the Y in WORTHY and he typed WORTH instead. He told me that he didn't see it because it was too far to the right. I hadn't even thought of that. He did good though - he doesn't know his alphabet much so it had to be hard to find all of the letters individually on the keyboard. He's trying - that's what counts.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2011
Day 1055 - Apr 19, 2011


Ok, so I musta been drunk when I wrote last night. Clearly Roman is not the size I mentioned, lol. He is only 6 pounds, 8 ounces. Duh.

And Kevin is here and downstairs packing. I am upstairs still doing laundry and packing as well. He is so excited. He wants this surgery in the worst way! Oh - and by the way - I talked with them about asking all of those depressing and personal questions and they agreed to run the list past me first and we won't ask the ones that make Kevin think about things that he doesn't need to think about (ie; are you embarrassed to be seen in public, etc). I am so thankful to them for this!

I did have a bit of disappointment today though. I had a meeting scheduled at the Vet Center here in SA to try to start dealing with some of the unresolved emotions and depression that I can't seem to claw my way out of anymore. It has been a struggle to even get this appt, but they did finally agree to see me and we set it up almost a month ago.

So I went there today and was immediately taken to a room with two people in it where they, once again, told me I don't fall under the guidelines for the Vet Center to be able to help. Now it's for wounded veterans and their family members, but I guess I just don't fall into either of those categories? Hmmm.

From what I gathered though, the wounded veteran must go there personally and be treated for PTSD or sexual trauma and once they have been diagnosed they can give permission for their family to go for counseling. Since Kevin can't be diagnosed with PTSD, I just can't go there.

But hey - they did suggest that this could be something I could work on to try to get started across the US. Umm...Yeah. In my spare time I guess. Let me tell you though - there are many things that need fixing in the VA, but I sure don't have the time to take them all on. And frankly, why is it my job anyway? Why aren't the powers that be saying 'ya know - there is a need to help the family members deal with their grief of our most critically wounded. Let's help them.'

HA!

Ok - I have to get back to packing. I believe they have internet at the house we will be staying at so I should have no problem checking in tomorrow night. We don't get to Pittsburgh until about 9 or so, so it'll be late before we actually get to the Family House.
FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2011
Day 1057 - Apr 21, 2011


We had yet another busy day today. First we had an appointment at the doctor's that lasted about two hours or so and then we had to go to the hospital for blood work and an EKG. Unbelievably, they were able to get blood the very first time. I was amazed. I wonder if it's because he hasn't been in-patient for a few months and he hasn't had much blood taken. Maybe his body is recovering in this regard. Wouldn't that be great?

After we were done with all of our responsibilities, we grabbed some lunch and headed to Walmart. I foolishly forgot to pack Kevin's sweat pants that he will need after surgery. From what they said, the liposuction area is going to be pretty painful and he wants all the fat to be taken out of his belly. This means he won't really be able to wear jeans so sweats and pajama bottoms are in order.

Anyway, we picked those up, as well as some new pain meds. The anti-inflammatory that he has been taking all of these months that FINALLY alleviated all of his pain will not be able to be taken after tonight. I think it thins the blood too much. I am so hoping we don't go back to him needing medicated 13 times a day. I know it's only a short while, but still...

And after this, we went to East Brady and had dinner at the Allstars with Moe and her son's girlfriend, Brittany. We got to see a bunch of friends and we really had a great night. We did come back to Pittsburgh early though. I am just so tired and didn't want to drive an hour too late at night.

This sums up our day. I should mention that if I don't post a night or two, don't panic. The internet here is spotty at best. It took me almost an hour to get this page to load and so far it's not saving the drafts. If I can't get pages to load, there's nothing I can do. Just wanted to give y'all a heads up.
MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2011
Surgical Update


Kevin is out of surgery and looks flippin' fantastic!!! He is eating our "after surgery" ritual of broccoli and cheese soup and a baguette from Panera Bread, which is right around the corner from the hospital and the Family House.

He already wants to go to Walmart and I have a feeling he won't be tied down for more than today. I might be wrong - tomorrow he might really be feeling the effects, but he's chomping at the bit to run around.

Man...I just can't keep up with him, lol.

So while they were in there, they decided to fix a few other scars on Kevin's head, face and neck. As of right now, it looks like we won't need to do a separate surgery on his one eye (although we all know that could change) and some of his scars already look much better so it could have alleviated a lot of stuff. Wouldn't that be great?

So anyway, here is a pic of Kevin sitting here eating his late lunch. He has some bandages above his right eye, so ignore them. Doesn't his head look great though?

And I think this will be my post for today. I won't come back on until tomorrow as I am flat out exhausted.
Chalkperson
I just got off the phone with Kevin's Mom, she said that Kevin is very excited that they are driving up from Pittsburgh to New York next wednesday to visit Starr and I, as if that was not enough she told me that last week on the Plane from San Antonio, Kevin started to practice saying "Hi Chalkie"... :D :D :D
Werner
A special day for you all.

_________________
Werner Isler
SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 2011
Day 1065 - Apr 29,2011


Kevin went to the docs today and got all of his stitches removed. He looks fabulous! I don't think I ever mentioned that I tried REALLY hard to talk him out of this surgery. To me, it just wasn't necessary, but Kevin was determined. I can understand where he's coming from. I can't imagine going to work one day and waking up months later looking totally different - and not in a good way. But my standpoint is that any surgery is dangerous and I didn't want to risk it for something that wasn't life threatening.

But it's done and Kevin is very pleased, as am I. He made the right choice.
MONDAY, MAY 2, 2011
Day 1067 - May 1, 2011


Obviously everyone knows by now that Osama Bin Laden has been killed. I wish I knew what to feel. I have so many emotions going through my head and my heart - elation and fear being the top two. I don't think I am even going to talk about this subject, to be honest. Not tonight anyway.
MONDAY, MAY 2, 2011
Day 1068 - May 2, 2011


Today was a very busy day for us. I did a quick phone quote late last night for the Post Gazette about Bin Laden and then I did a phone interview for WTOP in Washington DC this morning. This evening, channel 11 News (WPXI) came and did an in-depth interview with Kevin and myself. You can watch that video here:

http://www.wpxi.com/news/27753157/detail.html

And here is the article from the Post Gazette:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11122/1143519-455-0.stm

It's really still just unbelievable that this has happened and I wouldn't have thought that anyone would contact Kevin about it. I'm glad they did though, because he enjoys the spotlight, lol.

So after they left, we went to a late dinner with two other folks here at The Family House. Opal and Sharon kept Kevin entertained all night and he genuinely had a blast with them. What great people!

And now Kevin is waiting for a pizza to arrive. He's hungry, but let me tell you - it's not easy finding a place still open at 12:40 am! I did it though - anything for my baby.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
Day 1069 - May 3, 2011


Kevin and I are taking a little road trip for a few days! We are on our way to NYC and have stopped in a little town just shy of the New Jersey border for the night. We have a couple of friends in NY that we are on our way to visit and we are both very excited to see them! Kevin has been practicing saying their names and I so hope he gets it right for them tomorrow.

So today we went to visit our good friend Mike at the Post Gazette. We actually went to his office and got a tour of what a newspaper facility looks like and a short rundown of how it all works. It was pretty cool. Dear Rebecca is on vacation so we didn't get to see her, but we are hoping she comes back before we leave to go back to TX next Wed.

And sadly, we notice that some of the fat is starting to reabsorb from Kevin's head. I hope it stops soon - we don't want anymore to go away. We did know that some would, but we were hoping it wouldn't happen for us. Time will tell, I guess. No matter what - he still looks great to me!
Chalkperson
Starr and I just spent the evening with Kevin and Leslie, inspiring, uplifting, incredible, no other words to describe it, words alone can't tell you just how awesome this kid is, they can't describe his bravery, his guts, his laughter or the dedication of his mom...quite simply it was one of the greatest days of our lives and a true honor...
WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
Day 1070 - May 4, 2011


We had such a good night tonight with our friends! We grabbed an official NYC pizza (cause we all know Kevin can eat pizza every night and even still...there's nothing like real NY pizza!) and came back to our hotel room and gabbed all night long. It was just so wonderful and Kevin kept right up with everything.

So anyway, here is a photo of Kevin with Chalkie and Carol:

You need to click the link to see what we look like, and that Starr does indeed have a first name...

Honestly - this was so worth the drive! These are some wonderful people!

And tomorrow we are leaving NYC, but we are heading to the Philly/NJ region to see my other best friend, Bernice! I met her the first day of 7th grade and we have been friends ever since. I haven't seen her in like 10 years so this will be a fantastic stop for me - and Kevin too as her son is the same age as Kevin.

And I must say I am proud of myself for really driving into NYC. I was a little nervous this time as Kevin can't really be a co-pilot and when we came last time both Breezy and Kevin could help (we came here for a family vacation right before Kevin left for basic training), but I did it. And it was actually pretty easy. I think if you can drive in San Antonio - you can probably drive anywhere. It's the scariest place I have ever driven!

And that sums it up for today. So glad we came - Kevin had a great night and so did I!
WernerWhat a great story for you all - glad you all got together. Best to Kevin, Leslie, et al - and lots of salutes fo Chalkie and Starr for their steady support.

May the world treat you all as kindly as you deserve.

_________________
Werner Isler

Seán
Posts: 5329
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Kevin becomes an Uncle...Baby Photos...

Post by Seán » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:25 am

That's great work, well done.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

fmnewyork
Posts: 125
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:05 pm
Location: New York City

Re: Kevin becomes an Uncle...Baby Photos...

Post by fmnewyork » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:55 am

REPOSTED FOR CHALKPERSON
SATURDAY, MAY 7, 2011
Day 1072 - May 6, 2011


I hate to do this again, but I am going to skip tonight. We have been driving all night and we just stopped to get some rest. All those hotel points are sure coming in handy, huh?

FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2011
Day 1071 - May 5, 2011


I am going to skip tonight as the Internet is down at the hotel we are at in New Jersey. But, I will say this - we had a most excellent night with Bernice and her family! And I got lots of pics but we'll have to view them tomorrow.
SATURDAY, MAY 7, 2011
Day 1073 - May 7, 2011


Phew! What a fantastic few days we had! I can't tell you how wonderful it was to get Kevin and Chalkie together as they mean so much to each other. I know that sounds cryptic, but it's a personal relationship between the two of them and I am so happy that they were able to finally meet. Kevin was just ecstatic when I told him that I worked it out to drive him to NY to see Chalkie and his wife.

And Chalkie? Kevin is totally speaking with a British accent now, lol. He loves you guys! As do I!

So then we headed to Bern's and that, I admit, was totally for me. Kevin benefited, otherwise I would have never stopped on the way back to Pittsburgh because he would have been miserable, but let me tell you - he had so much fun! And it was just so wonderful to see everyone and drive past my old house and see how everything has changed.

I think it's pretty obvious we had a blast!

So today we stopped in Indiana on our way home from Philly/NJ and met up with Kevin's Grandma K and his uncle John and aunt Julie. John's buddy was also there.

A big 'shout out' to Bob's Pizza for the free pizza and cinnamon rolls! Kevin and I were discussing their pizza when we went to dinner a couple of weeks ago with John and since John lives near them we all met there. They appreciated Kevin's service and offered him free food! Total yum!

And now we are back in Pittsburgh, but only for a few days. We head back to TX on Wed and are wrapping up our wonderful visit home.

And to sign off - I hope all the mothers out there have a fantastic Mother's Day!!
MONDAY, MAY 9, 2011
Day 1074 - May 8, 2011


We had another great day today! We mostly putzed around through the day but then we went back to Brady to have dinner with a bunch of our friends, knowing we won't be back until July.

On our way though, we picked Ronnie up as he was in Pittsburgh at drill (he's a marine reservist). So we took him with us and he is now back here spending the night at the Family House with Kevin. I am so glad because not too many of Kevin's friends have visited him. We waited all day Monday for one of them to come and again all day Tuesday and none of them showed up either. Kevin was very upset, but Ronnie is working his true friend magic and fixing it all.

And thanks for the flowers, Ronnie!!!!
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011
Day 1076 - May 10, 2011


Today we had a long doctor's appointment followed by a CT scan at the hospital. Kevin did really well with both and is cleared for travel back to TX tomorrow. We are sure going to miss everyone here though! What a great trip it's been!

And this evening my friends Diane and Mary Jo came down to Pittsburgh and took us to a Japanese Steak House and what an experience that was! I am so disappointed that I forgot my camera. It was just like in the movies where they cook the food right in front of you with flames everywhere. And who knew Kevin could superbly use chop stix? I didn't! When the heck did that happen? LOL!

So anyway, I am going to head upstairs to finish packing. The laundry is all done and we are ready to roll out. Miss Brianna also has distinct instructions to make sure that baby is in that van with her when she picks us up at the airport! Can't wait to see them both!
THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011
Day 1077 - May 11, 2011


We made it back to TX, but to be honest - I am just too tired to write anything tonight. I'll catch y'all tomorrow...
SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2011
Day 1079 - May 13, 2011


So yesterday Kevin and I drove up to ResCare and packed his things. Although I had asked before he went up there if his benefits would be affected (it makes sense) I was assured it wouldn't. Turns out it does and this just isn't a good time financially for a huge reduction in his benefits.

So we packed him up and brought him home. Here is a photo of him and the guys up there (some are patients and some are employees).

He doesn't seem to mind at all - matter of fact he wanted to come home - and is looking forward to seeing Johnny.

Other than that, not too much going on here. We only went out of the house once today and that was for groceries as the house was bare. I have apparently been hit with allergies and am miserable. I didn't realize that's what I had all this time, but after feeling fine in PA and then within a half hour of landing being miserable, I would guess it's that mountain cedar everyone is always talking about. Blah.
Unfortunately, I knew about the change in Kevin's Benefits if he went into ResCare, everything to do with his recovery is trouble in one way or another, Leslie struggles with it 24/7, please keep them both in your thoughts...

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011
Day 1082 - May 16, 2011


Kevin had to have a root canal done today. Due to the grafts on his face and neck, they decided to sedate him so it was almost like having another surgery. They didn't think he'd be able to hold his mouth open for 2 or more hours and truthfully, he probably wouldn't have been able to.

He did really well for it and we were both so excited to see Kevin's old dentist, Dr. C, that actually was there visiting today after retiring on Jan 1. What a coincidence. You should have seen the look on Kev's face, lol.

Other than that, we had a really slow weekend. I am just tonight feeling much better and have been trying to clean house and do paperwork. Kevin is watching a movie (of course, lol), but tomorrow he's gonna have to help with some of the cleaning. This place is so dusty and dirty from us being gone so long.

And to end, I know this is Kevin's blog, but Breezy entered Christian in the "Cutest Kid in SA" contest and we would love it if some of you could vote. You can vote daily if you want to. Here's the link:

http://q1019.clearcontests.com/front/im ... A28A76577A

Really, he's just so dang cute anyway, right?
THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2011
Day 1084 - May 18, 2011


Kevin and Johnny went to see Avenged Sevenfold in concert tonight and from what I am gathering - they had a blast! I personally opted to pass on the event, lol.

So yesterday while Kevin and I were preparing dinner, Kevin broke out in dance mode. I captured some of it on video and here it is:

Hilarious, huh? LOL!

I also got a bit from our dear baby. He is just talking so much now:

And in other news, unbelievably - the Vet Center called me today and told me that they (with a little prodding from a wonderful friend) have decided that they can help me. I was quite shocked and am relieved to think that there might finally be some help in sight. Although I am feeling somewhat less stressed and depressed, I know that it's only temporary relief as I have yet to deal with all that has happened to us.

The gentleman did stress though that they will ONLY help me with issues dealing with Kevin. My response? "What else is there?"

So I guess we'll see.

I should also mention that the organization 'Give An Hour' had approached me today as well to help with therapy. I am going to go to both and decide which is a better fit with my personality and with the issues at hand.

Wish me luck!

And now I gotta go vote for my cutie grandson...
SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
Day 1086 - May 20, 2011


Although I thought I was feeling better, it turns out that I'm not. I actually called my mom and she is coming for a few days to help me out with Kevin. I have been incredibly dizzy and I even went to the doctor's last night. He says something is 'wonky' with my ears and gave me a nose spray. I am assuming I just have a lot of fluid and need to 'dry out', but in the interim I feel even too dizzy and disoriented to drive.

So I didn't mention yesterday that Kevin got some surprise boxes in the mail. Our dear friend, Chalkie, sent Kevin some movies - about 200 of them!! Here's a video of Kevin opening the boxes:



I knew they were on the way, but I didn't mention it so that Chalkie could get to see his reaction. Kev was floored, to say the least, lol.

Thanks Chalkie - you made Kevin's year!! And send Carol our love too!
It brought a tear to our eyes to see this, isn't he great, look at the sparkle in his eye, the joy sure is in the giving...

SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2011
Day 1087 - May 21, 2011


My mom made it in to TX tonight. I think I am going to skip tonight and tomorrow night and just rest while she's here. I will be back on Monday night - hopefully feeling a whole heckuva lot better...
TUESDAY, MAY 24, 2011
Day 1089 - May 23, 2011


We didn't do too much today. Mostly I have just been napping, but I did spend quite a few hours on the phone lining up appointments to get Kevin's therapies and things rolling again. One thing I want to do is find a handicap accessible pool as Kevin really enjoyed pool therapy at ResCare. He's a strong swimmer and I would love to see him take part in the Paralympic Games someday. I know Mary (wonderful FRC) sent me an email about that a couple of months ago and I made a mental note to keep it in the back of my mind.

And I forgot to tell you guys that Kevin somehow emailed me the other night. I have no idea how he knew my email address, but I did get one with one single word - HI - and I couldn't believe it! I ran downstairs as soon as I got it and burst into his room and he had this look of such pride on his face! I asked him how he got my email and he couldn't remember, but I am thinking it was just too much excitement for him to think it through. We really were both so excited that he sent an email. I hope he gets started back into speech therapy soon so that he can continue to learn to write.

We have an appointment on Friday with the doctor's lined up to get things started so hopefully we can get this stuff all worked out. It's already been over a month since he had any therapies. It's time for another Botox treatment as well...
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2011
Day 1090 - May 24, 2011


Kevin just walked in the door. He and Johnny went to see the new Pirates movie and it was the latest showing so they just got home. It's always so good to see him going out and doing normal things that someone his age would be doing.

That's all for today though. We are really taking it easy this week so that I can get better. I guess it's some kind of bug that's going around. I never used to catch all this crap, but I assume it's because I am so run down that I am more susceptible. At least Kevin's not getting any of this stuff...
FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2011
Day 1092 - May 26, 2011


Today I took Kevin to Dave & Buster's. He loves that place, but we hardly ever go for some reason. I got a couple of coupons in my email from there this morning though and I wanted to take him out and do something fun because he's been a good sport while I haven't been feeling well. He was excited when I told him what our plans were for today.

Speaking of being at D&B, Anita - you asked if Kevin still gets overstimulated from noise and lights and mostly the answer is 'NO'. Thank goodness, huh? He has only had a problem a few different times and that's mostly when he had to be somewhere early and didn't get any sleep. Or if it's just been a long, tiring day. We know that he still needs 'down' times throughout the day where he can just be quiet in his room and I try to make sure he gets enough of it. Travel days are always a little rough because flying anywhere is just such a lengthy experience by the time you get to the airport, wait and then fly, land and get wherever you are going. Surgical days are usually rough too. It sure isn't like it used to be though...remember when we couldn't even sit 5 minutes at a doctor's office? How far he's come...
SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2011
Day 1093 - May 27, 2011


I have been working on a project all night and just looked at the time. Wow - is it late! I think I am just going to quickly post a video here of Kevin in the Gait Lab at the VA Hospital today. This lab makes a digital computerized model of Kevin's body and how it walks. The skeleton you see in this video is actually truly Kevin's body and how his bones are moving with each step.

In order to create this video, they put him in skimpy shorts and attach these little electronic thingies that pinpoint his motion. There are also video cameras completely surrounding the area that you walk on (an area that has pressure points in the floor as well). It was really cool to watch today and it will be a huge benefit to him.

Due to this process, they are ordering him a Bioness brace for his leg. The bioness sends electric stimulation to the nerves and muscles in his leg and foot and while he had it on during the one walk he was actually able to walk almost normally! His foot didn't drop and his knee didn't hyper-extend. It was amazing!

And the best part? This actually retrains the brain to remember how to walk better. We are also looking into it for his arm as well! There have been cases where someone couldn't use a body part for 20 years or so and got some movement back after using the Bioness for a while. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

So anyway, here is a photo of Kevin in the lab and then it's followed by the video:

PS, Keven rang me up yesterday, I could not believe it, he wanted to thank me for sending him the DVD's, Leslie says he keeps telling everyone he meets and all the folks at the Hospital "Chalkie, Wow, Movies...F*ck, F*ck, F*ck"...seems that he loves it that, like soldiers, I swear and curse...the kid is awesome...

SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2011
Day 1094 - May 28, 2011


As you all know, Kevin's ALIVE DAY is Tuesday - the day that he was left alive. The day that he was catastrophically changed for the rest of his life.

It's already been a rough weekend and I imagine the next few days will be even harder. I even had a long talk with Andrew's Aunt Jodi last night and we both cried for quite a while and we discussed the changes in our lives.

I am planning to take the next few days off from the blog and well...basically I think I am just going to cry and cry and then cry some more - maybe finally dealing with the traumatic incident that altered our lives forever.

Before I go though, I want to wish that both James and Andrew continue to Rest In Peace and I hope that Daniel continues his recovery process as well. My heart bleeds for your families. Truly.

I also want to post a tribute that I put together for Kevin, as well as his fellow comrades. This is a blunt, all out showing of what we have faced in the last few years and I want to advise that parents watch the video first before allowing children to.

I also want to thank all those who have served and are still serving their country. Hats off to you all.

I will be back Tuesday night.

Andrew's Aunt Jodie wrote:
Wow. Thank you Les. Kevin and Dan and James and Andrew are ALL HERO'S!!!! No one will ever fully understand what those men and their (our) families have been through or are STILL going through. I cried with you last night for so many reasons. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with me. And thank you for allowing me to do the same. And more than anything, thank you for being you! An amazingly strong and inspirational woman and mother. Kevin has gone through hell and back, and he made it back because of you and Breezy. And Kevin, wow, he has come so far in his recovery. I know he is not the same Kevin as when he left for Afghanistan, but his recovery is amazing. I know he still has a long road ahead too. It was SUCH a joy to talk to him last night. I cannot wait for the day I get to hug you both in person!!
I know things are tough Les and seem hopeless, but please, stay strong and keep taking one step forward. Don't look back, look ahead. Thank God every time Kevin can hug you and give you a kiss. Thank God every time he smiles that beautiful smile at you. :-) I wish I could give Andrew just one more hug, just one more kiss, and see his amazing smile just one more time. But he is our Angel now. And he watches over us.
I am here Les, anytime you need me. Please know that. I love you guys!!!!

God Bless all our Veterans, Troops and Fallen Heros!!! God Bless their families too!!!!!!!! Thank you for all your sacrafices!!

Andrew's Aunt Jodi
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1, 2011
Day 1097 - May 31, 2011


Three years. In one sense it's hard to believe it's been that long since Breezy came to my work to tell me of Kevin being wounded. In another sense, it seems like a lifetime has passed. Do I say this every year? I feel it every year. Every day really...

But anyway, it was a rough weekend, but some good came of me doing the slideshow and of me watching it at least a hundred times. When I first started pulling up these photos of Kevin before he left for the Army and even while he was enlisted, I just couldn't get past what we lost.

The fact that Kevin can't do the things that he once loved doing breaks my heart. The fact that he may never meet a woman that can get past the reality that he can't verbalize his feelings, wants, needs and desires really breaks my heart. The fact that he has one person that spends time with him (and let's face it - Johnnie gets paid to do it) is also heart wrenching. I know how lonely I feel - I can only imagine how it feels for a 22 year old. There are just SO MANY negatives to what Kevin lives now that it's no wonder I just need to cry for him sometimes.

Then we hit the photos of the actual attack. Gosh. I NEVER look at those photos. I had been told a few weeks after the attack that Kevin had been blown 35 feet into the air, his helmet blew off, he was on fire, he went over a billboard and landed on his head. In the second photo, there is a billboard at the top right of the photo. I always envision - every time I see that photo and soooo many other times - Kevin hurtling through the air in flames. That vision has haunted me so often for three years now. (And honestly - if someone out there is 'in the know' - please don't tell me. It's better sometimes to not know everything).

And then we see the horrible disfigurement. There is nothing anyone can say to change the horrors and fears that ran through my body at that time. The not knowing was gut wrenching and I hope I never have to have those feelings again.

And then there's the pain and suffering etched on Kevin's face during some of the moments when it just hurt to get to his feet, to sit up or to take a single step. All of the puking that went on due to the fluid fluctuating in his head...man...it's hard to see your children suffer like that. Did I have time to deal with it then though? NO. When Kev was hurting, I had to be the person telling him to not give up. To push harder. To manipulate him into raising his head high and to force him to 'wipe the sweat and drive on'. Yes, I sometimes turned my head to hide a tear or two, but they had to be quickly wiped so Kevin wouldn't see them.

Then we had a few good days. And many more bad. Then some good. Then some bad. And this went on for so damn long that I lost hope of ever reaching a plateau. Something that I so badly needed just so I could take a breathe and say "I can deal with this". There just didn't ever seem to be a time when I knew it would be the same the next day.

But we finally did make it to that point - last August when the plate was put in the second time. Things have been much calmer medically - we tend to schedule surgeries now instead of them being emergent and frankly - there is calmness in that. Even though we are still traveling and still having surgeries and still needing so much therapy and so many procedures and doctor's visits and so on and so forth...we have reached a better place. And truly - there is no way that the three of us couldn't know how lucky we are.

To the Shields and Finley families - I would do anything to give you one last moment with your loved one. One last smile. One last hug. One last kiss. I would give everything for the boys to be back home with you for good. I can't do that though, but I can tell you that as long as I am alive - they will never be forgotten in our home. They are Kevin's brothers - as is Daniel.

I do want to end this post thanking Butch for bringing other brothers back into Kevin's life yesterday. To be honest, we don't really ever hear from anyone in the Army and sometimes I feel like Kevin has been forgotten. Yesterday though, I was informed of a reunion of The Herd and I talked to 3 members myself and then we met another Herd member today while at BAMC. You have all made me feel that Kevin could be enfolded back into the 173rd and I look forward to cultivating a relationship somehow. I need to make it a priority and I'm thinking breakfast on Wednesdays at The Drop Zone with other paratroopers might be a good start...
TUESDAY, JUNE 7, 2011
Day 1103 - Jun 6, 2011


Today Kevin had his appt with the rec therapist, but it didn't go as well as I had hoped. Kevin gave off the impression that he didn't want to be there and didn't want to do anything. Frankly, it made me mad.

I told him that if he were 82 I would let it go that all he wants to do is stay in his room and watch movies, but at 22 - it's ridiculous. He should want to be up and running around, but he just doesn't want to try new things and keep busy. I typically have to manipulate him into doing things and it's getting tiresome. But if I leave him just lie in bed all the time he could become suicidal again and I hope to never revisit that time in our lives (and I know I never brought that part of our lives to the blog - it was just too painful at the time to throw out to the public).

So we had a long talk on the way home and I am hoping it helps. He is going back tomorrow and I am going to just drop him off at the hospital and we'll see what happens. Jose (the therapist) thinks he may be able to get through to Kevin and I can only hope. There is talk of a rock wall climbing excursion later this month and I am hoping Kevin will play along for that one.

Wish us luck!
SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2011
Day 1108 - Jun 11, 2011


Today was a pretty rough day. It started out ok as we were going to go to the Texas Folklife Festival. We had plans - Breezy, Chris and Christian were going and I invited Kendra and Anthony too (from Kevin's unit).

Well, we were really looking forward to it and when we went to load the scooter into the car - it wouldn't work. It was fully charged, but it just wouldn't go. I researched online how to fix it; I tore it apart a couple of times, reset the master switch, played with levers and buttons - all to no avail.

Unfortunately - this all just ticked Kevin off big time.

After this - he flat out refused to go and that was that. I told him it was no big deal and that I would push him in his wheelchair (although that would have been hard in that environment, but I was willing to do it), but he would not budge from his room.

So we didn't go. Once again - we sat home while others still went and enjoyed themselves. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad they all went and had a good time, but damnit! I am getting real tired of MY life passing me by.

Honestly, I would be real patient with this if I thought it was the brain injury - but I don't. I think it's just Kevin being a spoiled little brat. When he doesn't get his way, he sometimes acts like he's four years old and frankly, I am getting very frustrated with it. Haven't I already done this once?!!

Well, I guess it is what it is and I just need to find a solution somehow. Maybe I should watch that Super Nanny show, but somehow I can't see 5 foot Leslie forcing 6 foot Kevin into a naughty chair. And I sure can't send him to his room cause he's love that!

Ideas anyone?
TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2011
Day 1110 - Jun 13, 2011


Kevin and I are babysitting Christian all night tonight. Breezy and Chris are both very sick and although Breezy handled it throughout most of the day, she just couldn't go any more. So we ran over and picked him up and are keeping him overnight for the first time. Yikes!

And sadly for me, the baby is 5 months old today and I have never had to change a poopy diaper until tonight. Yuck! Breezy always told me that I was the grandma and I should and my response is that I'm the grandma and I shouldn't - that's the momma's job, lol. Grandmas are all about the fun, right? But alas, it all came to an end tonight.

Kevin laughed, but I told him he had to do it the next time. I think I'll make him, lol.

And Kevin himself was actually pretty sick all morning. He was to have his first OT and Speech therapy appts today and I had to cancel them because he was vomiting too. Luckily he felt better later in the afternoon and he's doing just fine now.

That about sums up our day so I am going to try to get some sleep before the baby wakes up.
THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011
Day 1112 - Jun 15, 2011


Kevin was supposed to go bowling this morning, but he was not getting up for nothing, lol. Truthfully, he has been really nauseous lately (which is just tiring him out) and I am wondering if it's from the vitamins the doctor put him on recently. I popped her an email a while ago so we'll see what she has to say.

And today I went to another Vet Center appointment. I really do like this woman and she was even able to get me in again in less than 2 weeks. I still haven't had time to contact anyone at Give An Hour - I really need to do that.

I did have to take Kevin with me and he just sat in the waiting room and played Angry Birds. He did really well - didn't call me once. I think part of the reason that I haven't contacted Give An Hour is that there is no way I am going to get Kevin to sit in a waiting room on a regular basis. There's really nothing else I can do with him so it may have to wait until I can figure something out.

And after that we hung out with Breezy for a bit and then we came home and retreated to our separate spaces. I got all of my caregiver classes completed and am emailing the test tonight. Not sure if I mentioned that we had to read a huge book and take a test to be eligible to be a VA approved caregiver. What a HUGE waste of taxpayers' money. I can safely say that I think we all know that we need to wash our hands, take breaks (there was no real reference as to HOW we are supposed to take breaks without any real help) and watch less tv so that we can stay healthy. Thank you, VA - for wasting my time.

And let me jump in here and say that I think it's great that the VA realizes that folks like me can't continue to do this for free forever. I do appreciate the caregiver's bill - I really do. BUT...

Now I have to wait and have a home visit. I guess since there's a few hundred bucks a month on the table, the VA now has to monitor us caregivers and make sure we are taking care of the veteran. I think that's funny because nobody has cared over the last three years if I was doing a good job, but I guess now that there's money involved - someone will come to our home every 90 days. I guess they also felt the need to hire hundreds more people to monitor something some folks have been doing for up to 10 years already.

Well, bring it on, I say. There's no doubt the kid is taken care of, which will be part of my appeal process. The VA feels I am only a part-time caregiver. I was told yesterday that I will get paid for 10-25 hours a week and that's it. Apparently it doesn't matter that Kevin needs 24 hour supervision - according to their doctor!

The way I look at it the VA can't have it both ways. They can't tell me that I have to stay home with Kevin 24 hours a day because he needs supervised and then tell me that they are only paying for part time help. Don't get me wrong - I don't expect to be paid for every hour of the day, but I do expect to be paid the 40 hours that is being paid to the folks that all have nurses at least 9 hours every single day. After all - it really isn't my responsibility to watch him - it's theirs. And sure, they can put him in a home or in some adult day care, but believe me, that will cost a heckuva lot more than paying me 40 hours a week. I know what ResCare cost and it is 16 TIMES what they intend to pay me on a monthly basis.

I just don't think they are looking at it correctly. It's about time. It's about the time that must be spent watching or caring for the veteran. The time that someone like me can't leave her house without the veteran to get a job or run errands. It doesn't matter if Kevin can shower and mostly dress himself. He still can't be left alone. He still can't cook. He still can't call someone for help. He still can't set up his appointments. He still can't drive himself to his numerous therapies. He still can't order his medications. He still can't figure out that there is more to cleaning his house than putting the dishes in the sink. He still can't tie his shoes. He still can't do his laundry. And he definitely can't speak enough to fight the battles that I fight every single day for him.

Frankly, I could go on and on about the things he can't do, but what's the sense, right? They are choosing not to see the negatives when it suits them, but believe me when I say they have no problem shoving the negatives down my throat on a daily basis. Arrgh!! This just irritates the heck out of me!

I am just so tired of having to fight every single thing...but don't you worry - I WILL! Kevin deserves it!!
FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2011
Day 1113 - Jun 16, 2011


I spent the bulk of the day on the phone and dealing with emails today. The doctor did come back and say the vitamins could be the problem with the nausea so I decided to cut them out of his daily medications.

We also did have the home health nurse come today. She comes once a month and I am happy to say Kevin's blood pressure was normal. Last month it was a little high and it had been the previous time as well. It wasn't high enough to worry about, but it was still a little niggle in the back of my mind. All's well this month though.

And tomorrow we have multiple appointments at the VA hospital so I am going to take the scooter with us and see about getting it fixed. I hope it can happen quickly because I had hoped to go to a neighboring town's festival this weekend. We won't be able to go without it so keep your fingers crossed!
SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011
Day 1114 - Jun 17, 2011


We had a good day today. We first had an appointment with the podiatrist at the VA hospital at 8:30 this morning. That meant that I haven't went to sleep yet. But anyway, Kevin had two ingrown toenails - one of them pretty bad. The doctor cut quite a bit of his toenail off on his big toe and just a corner of a middle toe and he thinks that should take care of the infection. Kevin's big toe is usually twice the size it should be and has been on and off for a year or so. I have been using peroxide to help it heal, but this was a necessary treatment.

We are hoping this is a one time thing, but due to the hemi-paresis it could keep happening.

After that, Kevin and I did some errands at the VA hospital and then he stayed there at rec therapy for a full 5 hours! They shoot air rifles every Friday and the therapist couldn't believe that Kevin was able to hit the bulls eye with a pistol on the first shot and all subsequent shots were in the same vicinity. With loss of half his vision, no less!

He wasn't able to do as well with the rifle, but that makes sense as he only has one arm.

I guess after that he and the therapist went to lunch in the cafeteria and shopping at the store at the hospital and then they played on the Wii.

I think it was Lisa D in Cali that mentioned the Tony Hawk Shred Game a while back? Well, I told the VA about it and they got it for him the other day. He had a blast with it! At this point, he holds onto the therapist for balance, but he was able to jump often at the correct times to ride the rails (or whatever the term is). He honestly had so much fun with it! Thanks so much, Lisa!

After that, we babysat Christian as Breezy had a work event this evening. We waited until dark and then we loaded the baby into one of those little umbrella strollers and the three of us went for a long walk around the development. Kevin pushed the stroller and he did very well. Christian adores being outside and it was the only time he wasn't fussing as he is teething right now.

Oh, and I dropped the scooter off too. There is a known battery issue with it so hopefully it gets fixed soon.
SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2011
Day 1115 - Jun 18, 2011


Today Kevin and I decided to go to a small festival in a neighboring town. We don't have Kevin's scooter so we took the wheelchair and set off. It was pretty hot here (105 degrees), but we still went and we managed to find a parking spot relatively close. When we got to the area of the festival, we found out it was on dirt and not concrete. Kev's wheelchair really doesn't go well on the dirt and we struggled pretty badly. At one point he wheeled away from me while I was standing in line for lemonade and when I went to find him I caught sight of a man trying to push him because Kevin was stuck. Kev was starting to get frustrated so we decided to take a walk down the street and scope out the town.

Unfortunately, while we were walking the front wheel of Kevin's chair busted in half. Just like that. This meant that his chair wouldn't go any further and we were quite a distance from the car. I had no choice but to leave Kevin at the side of the road while I ran and got it. He was so mad by the time I got back that he demanded we go right home.

I tried real hard to make him laugh about it, but he wasn't having it. I guess I don't blame him. It gets real tiring having to deal with issue after issue. He's seeing a lot more now of what is going on all the time because he's so much better than he was a while back and I suppose he's frustrated too. I haven't even told him that we still don't have a hotel room for the rock wall climbing event on Monday. Their computers crashed and for the last two days they have told me to call back on Monday. When I tell them we will be arriving Monday, they just tell me 'I'm sorry'. He's going to be real disappointed if we can't go.

Ack. Oh well. I'm not going to worry about it until Monday morning (yeah right).

That's pretty much it for today. I do need to ask a personal request from Tim - please email me your phone number. We have been getting numerous and repeated phone calls for you for the last few months. I would like to send them your way so that they stop calling our house.
MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011
Day 1116 - Jun 19, 2011


Happy Father's Day!

I am going to skip tonight as we are trying to organize and pack for our rock wall climbing excursion tomorrow (that's assuming we have a wheelchair to be able to go). We are staying in a hotel tomorrow night as it's close to 3 hours away and then Kev will be climbing the next day so I think I am just going to skip tomorrow night too. I will catch y'all on Tuesday night - hopefully with some awesome photos!
FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011
Day 120 - Jun 23, 2011


I can't honestly believe how hectic the last couple of days have been. Yesterday morning we first went to BAMC to see the doctor about getting another Botox treatment done in Kevin's arm. After that, we went to visit everyone on 4E and then we had to leave that hospital, grab lunch and head across town to a low vision clinic near the VA hospital.

The clinic that we were sent to was the one that is going to try to help Kevin get some of his vision back. I really liked this doctor because she is realistic, while still understanding that anything is possible. She did tell us that it has never been done that someone gets their vision back after the optic nerves have been damaged like Kevin's were. BUT - she did say that that doesn't mean it never WILL happen.

She has decided to set Kevin up in some therapies to see if we can at least get a small amount of his lost vision field back and she said we would know within a few weeks if it was going to help or not. I liked hearing that because I don't want to waste time on something that is not going to make a change.

Really - this doctor was quite awesome.

After that, we stopped at the grocery store because Breezy and Christian were coming for dinner and I needed a few fixings. We made it home, I threw dinner in the oven and they showed up with a totally awesome birthday gift in tow. I am not much of a purse/shoe person, but I saw this handbag at a store outside the PX store and fell in love with it. Being the cheap person that I am, I didn't really understand what Coach was all about. I sure didn't understand their pricing structure, lol. Obviously, when I looked at the price I ran right outta there and that was that.

My two loving children went back though and got that bag for me for my birthday. Here is a pic of it. My first (and probably last) designer handbag, lol:

Truly - is that thing not gorgeous? And I already told Kevin he had to start carrying his own stuff because I am not ripping the handles off of this one due to the weight (something that happens all the time because my purse is so heavy!)

So then Breezy left kinda late and I got a phone call from the wife of a veteran that I met recently. Her husband has severe PTSD and he woke up the other day with no memory of her or their children. She is rightfully upset because the VA doc told him to just quit taking his sleep medication and sent him home. She is just beside herself with worry and I don't blame her. He still doesn't remember anything and she has to wait a couple more weeks until his normal appt at the VA. It's just so sad.

Now today was even busier! I will talk about the appts we had tomorrow night, but I did want to say that Kev and I went to the 173rd reunion for a short while. Here are some pics:

The bottom one is Butch! He's been reading the blog for a long time and he is also the person that let me know about the reunion. Great people - he and his wife! As are everyone else we met, really. Kevin was treated like royalty and he hammed it up for everyone, lol!

Unfortunately though, we ended the night with a trip to the ER for Christian. He was running a temp of almost 104 and it turns out he has an ear infection. The poor guy is just so sick and cranky. Breezy can't get off work tomorrow so he will be coming in just a few short hours for me to watch all day so I better try to get to bed. She is leaving work early though because we are going to the 173rd BBQ. Can't wait - and neither can Kevin! He's already packed his challenge coins to show everyone...

ENTRIES FROM HERE ON ARE MISSING FROM GOOGLE CACHE

piston
Posts: 10767
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:50 am

Re: Kevin becomes an Uncle...Baby Photos...

Post by piston » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:03 pm

Why is this here? Who is Kevin (of course, I know because of my long institutional memory, but who is Kevin right now?). How many of you are uncles aplenty, fathers, grandfathers, perhaps even great-grand-fathers? Could someone take charge and delete these absurd permanent threads from CMGF?

You do realize they are absurd, don't you?!
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17635
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Location: New York City
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Re: Kevin becomes an Uncle...Baby Photos...

Post by Chalkperson » Sat May 03, 2014 12:30 am

piston wrote:Why is this here? Who is Kevin (of course, I know because of my long institutional memory, but who is Kevin right now?). How many of you are uncles aplenty, fathers, grandfathers, perhaps even great-grand-fathers? Could someone take charge and delete these absurd permanent threads from CMGF?

You do realize they are absurd, don't you?!
As you posted in this particular thread you obviously want to get my attention...

This is not an absurd thread, it's the story of a young soldier who was blown up in Afghanistan, he suffered terrible injuries.

You start a lot of absurd threads, and multiple replies in the same one, but up till now I never moaned about it...

When you stop posting absurd ones of your own you can criticize this thread about a kid who put himself in harms way serving his country.
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

piston
Posts: 10767
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:50 am

Re: Kevin becomes an Uncle...Baby Photos...

Post by piston » Sat May 03, 2014 10:45 pm

I will not argue, cannot argue, with the author of this permanent thread on one victim of the war in Afghanistan. Memorials for such war victims are invariably not personalized because no single victim can serve to represent all. A member opted otherwise and obtained permission to create this memorial from the owners of this classical music community. That is all that matters.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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