Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mother's Day on May 14th

I think if we can change Bryn's birthday party to a couple of weeks later we can change Mother's Day from Sunday to Wednesday. Wednesday the 14th is when Jess gets to come home! It was a great day to get her discharge date because today was also the day I met with her PT/case worker/doctor to talk about what I need to do to make the transition easier on her. To be honest I was ready to tear up the entire house and rebuild it. At the very least I was willing to tear out a tub and put in a walk-in (or wheel-in) shower. However, it looks like just one ramp for the front (thank you Dad), one ramp for the garage (thank you Alex), lower our bed by taking it off the frame, one cabinet gutting under the kitchen sink( so her wheelchair will fit under it making it possible to use the sink), one car switch-a-roo, and a widening of the bathroom door frame from 24" to 30." I think I will have to pay for a remodel on the last one-- I kind of like how the house is still standing and don't want to change that. We will also have to sell the van and buy a sedan. The van has been a huge blessing-- when Jadyn was in her body cast for her hip surgery it made transportation so much easier. Now, however, it is too tall for Jess to make a transfer from wheelchair to car chair. There are going to be some changes at the Kaylor household and I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What's right with this picture...

Happy Sunday to all of you!

Well, I saw that Jake filled you in on our fun Saturday, so I will just say that the Bryn's party at "moms" house and Katelyn's friends, all beautifully dressed up, and their wonderful moms coming up to see me was the highlight of my week!! It was so fun to see everyone.  Bryn and I played with her new Cinderella and Bell dolls along with Prince Charming yesterday.  I loved listening to her dialog.  "May I have this dance"...to Belle. "I have a prince, the Beast"...to P.Charming. "Then I should not dance with you!"...to Belle, and then turning to Cinderella "May I have this dance." Quick moves Mr. P! I, for the life of me, cannot remember the song they dance to in the movie; does anyone know?  I keep singing "I know you, I walk with you once upon a time", which is from Sleeping Beauty! Still, it was a precious time of make believe fun.

Last night, I had some pretty severe back pain.  I would ask for prayer for this: that the pain would go away or controlled better with medicine. Thank you :)

Devotional for the day: When any "bad" situation happens in my life, or when I am in a very difficult or dark time, I am going to "Flip it".  I am going to ask myself "What is right with this picture?".  I find this to be an awesome thought.  As I began to write down some things in my life that seemingly have everything "wrong" with them, I was able to make a whole list of "rights"!  When I took off my tunnel vision glasses, I was able to find God at work in difficult situations.  My devotional makes mention of a friend that constantly talked negatively about another person that she refused to hear anything good.  No matter what she said, the person would twist a potential positive into a negative one.  Nothing can change her mind. Yet, seeing things from God's perspective and asking what's right with this picture, you counteract the tendency to feed jealousy, hatred, gossip, and prejudice.  Even little things can be flipped to find the "right" in them.  We are out of cereal because I could not get to the store...well, I never make eggs, here's a good opportunity for something yummy!  Bryn does not get to have her party on her birthday, which makes for a confused 5 year old.  I told her that now she gets to celebrate her birthday twice and she is elated.  So, I encourage to join with me to flip all negatives in your life to find at least one positive.  It might be hard with some very bleak situations, but if you ask, God will reveal them to you. And, you might have a long list like I did! I learn from this devotional book every day!!

Often when we pray, God answers our prayers in a different way than we expect.  I have a prayer for decreased back pain.  I expect God will take that away or give wisdom to doctors to get the right treatment plan.  That's my little plan.  But God might answer that in a completely different way.  So I need to be open to hearing God, even if it does not line up with my plan, with tunnel vision.  I need to ask "What's right with this picture?" and I might find my answer right there!  

I am always so blown away by your love and care, and prayers and support that I hear about daily.  I can always, in any hard situation that affects any part of my life, add you to my list of "what's right with this picture?".  

Much love,

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bringing it to Jess

Bryn turned 5 today and Katelyn had a dance. The Yikes have started calling going to the hospital, "going to mom's." Well we went to "mom's" today. Jadyn and Bryn made a cake last night( with oven help from me) and frosted it this morning. We brought the cake plus opened presents. Then Katelyn, her friends, their moms, and her cousin Corbin showed up in their dance attire. They brought with them hors d'oeuvres and sparkling grape juice served in champagne glasses. It was pretty cool and to top it all off they sang a song they have been learning in choir complete with dance moves. What a day!

After we got home and got everything put away-- I went around taking measurements. I am hoping to get the house modified by the time Jess gets home. My dad is going to make us a ramp for the front door and mail it from Maryland which I think is pretty cool. At least the garage will need a ramp too, possibly the back door. I'm not sure yet what I will do with the tub-- either buy something where Jess can be wheeled directly over it-- or take out our tub and put in a walk-in shower with a bench. I'm going to talk with Jessa's PTs and OTs this week and hopefully they can give me a plan of action because I'm pretty sure there are things they will mention that I wouldn't have thought of.

Let me close with a Bryn story. As we were leaving the hospital earlier this week-- I told Bryn to walk on the inside of the sidewalk with Jadyn, so I could walk on the side closer to the street. Bryn always observant said "That's so I won't get hit by a car and die right, daddy?" I was a bit taken aback at the death part but I managed to get out something to the effect of yeah, that's right. Then Bryn looks up and me-- realized I'm now next to the street and says, "But that's OK if that happens to grown-ups though, right?"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Improvements every day

Hi all!

I have had three good days of therapy.  I am increasing my standing time. Monday, I stood for 4 minutes, took a break, and 4 more minutes! Yesterday, we only had time for one time, but I stood for 6 minutes 30 seconds in a row.  And, each time I am needing less and less help.  Yesterday, for example, once I got balanced, the person behind me let go completely.  I still needed the person in front of me to block my knees. Whenever she let go, my knees buckle.  But, I am learning to flex the muscles I need that we never even think about when we can walk.  But, when you are relearning to walk, you have to constantly remind yourself until it is second nature again: shoulders back, stomach in, bottom tight and pushed forward, and thighs flexed. It's a lot to think about.  Often, I am saying these things out loud to remind myself of what to do!  

I am getting better at transfers from bed to wheelchair and wheelchair to exercise table.  I had a little setback yesterday at the end of the day and I could not move back in the wheelchair.  It is frustrating to not be able to do something that I have done before, but my PT assured me it was normal and that I was tired after a long day of therapy.  I did much better today.

Sometimes my normal therapists are out and I have a substitute.  They always bring a little something new.  Today, I did much more of my own dressing and learned a few new techniques for moving.  Yesterday, I learned how to lift my leg up and onto the other in the wheelchair to I could put on my own shoes.  I also had a great therapist who gave me new arm exercises that I really felt!  So "new" brings its own great opportunities.  

New devotional lesson I liked a lot: God knows where we've been, He knows where we're headed, He knows where we're supposed to going, and He knows how to get us there.  He gives us the light we need for each moment. Thank you God for this moment.  

Thank you all, you are awesome!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A day of rest

Today was a day of rest with no therapy. I enjoyed my time reading and catching up on some various things I'd been wanting to finish.  I also got a nice visit from my mom and cousin Ashley this evening. Ashley was on her way back home from a trip, and surprised me which was fun! It was good to catch up.  

I have been in rehab now for one week and am excited with all that has happened in this short time. It makes me more excited to find out what I will be able to do with three more weeks!

I had a great and tearful time with God this morning with my devotional.  The chapter was "Refusing to be afraid of the dark". It talks about how believers will never be in total darkness as the light of Christ is in us forever.  It relates God's truth to having a baby and knowing with certainty that when the doctor says, "It's a girl!" it is truth.  You don't wake up the next morning and say, "What did we have?". You don't call your friend the following week and ask, "Do you remember if I had a boy or girl?" Once the heart knowledge of Jesus has penetrated your heart, mind and soul, God wants you to have the same certainty about Him.  No doubts; you have his light and you can never be in total darkness again.  Which brings me to another truth that is meaningful to me right now which is sometimes God allows things to grow dark in our lives in order to grow us up and teach us about Himself.  Some things we accomplish in the darkness cannot happen in other settings.

This is so true. I have learned so much about God's complete provision. Even when we are headed down an unknown path, God provides a way before we even get there, meeting our every need. I have learned about surrender, and letting God have control of each part of my life. And SO much more about the strength of family and protection of the girls, trusting God takes away fear, how to love God above all else, and trusting completely the path He has set for me...lessons learned in the dark, which is actually filled with a very bright light. My devotional says, "The treasure we find in the darkness is Him."  I love it!

Isaiah 50:10 "Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God."

Much love,

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Therapy days...

Hi all!

Today in PT I did two new things. First, I did a "transfer" mostly by myself from a wheelchair to an exercise table!! It was slow and steady, but I did it! Also, I stood up!! With much assistance with someone on front and behind me, I stood for 1 min and 5 seconds! Yea for new accomplishments.

Thursday and Friday in therapy have been both good challenging. I am seeing growth in muscle strength every day.  This is very encouraging.  For example, we will do an exercise daily that has me try to pull my knee to my chest, lying down.  The first couple days, I could see the muscle twitch like it was trying to move.  The last few days, I can see the while leg come up about an inch. Not much, but improvement.  It encourages me to know that each day could bring more and more movement and strength back. 

One prayer request is that I am increasingly uncomfortable in my brace, which I have to wear when I am up.  I am not sure why the last few days have been quite difficult.  I am working with the ortho department to see what adjustments can be made. They have already cut it down some, but they are going to work on it again Monday.

Bryn said something funny last night when she came to visit.  We were coloring a picture of Cinderella, Jasmine and Snow White together and as we were finishing, she said, "Hubba Hubba!" I looked at her and asked he what she said, hoping I heard wrong.  "Hubba Hubba!" she said again.  I was hard to not bust out laughing and I asked where she heard that.  She said from a commercial with a girl and a football player.  Great! Now my 4 year old is oogling Disney princesses saying "Hubba Hubba!" Hopefully, she will not be repeating that one again!:) 

This week has gone so smoothly at home due to the help of so many people.  Thank you for taking such an active role in helping our family.  I am continually blown away by the support and care of each of you.  Yesterday, I was blessed with a big care basket from Jadyn's kindergarten class along with being able to read letters from each of her classmates urging me to get well soon complete with colorful rainbows, hearts, and cute drawings.  It was a treasure.  

Hope you are all doing well today!
Much love.,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Outside time

Today was a great day of therapy. I felt more confident in the transfer to the wheelchair and back to bed. I still don't think I am doing much, but they say I am. I did some great exercises and can see my strength improving.

The best news is that while I was doing some wheelchair mobility training, I got to go outside!! It was perfect weather and I just strolled up and down the large walkway/atrium of the hospital. It felt amazing to be out in the fresh air. My big goal is to stay straight in the wheelchair as I veer to the right because right now my left arm is a little stronger than my right. Lean to the left, wheel to the right...it is a delicate balance that will come soon I am sure. I already felt some success with our time today. I also need to learn to pick up the speed as when we were heading upstairs, I missed one elevator for going so slow! That will come too.

I might have mentioned my arm pain in a past post.  There is a pain that make it difficult to extend my arm fully, or bend to my shoulder all the way.  I have just dealt with it for months now.  As my arm strength is vital, the doctors looked into it further.  My Rehab doctor, Dr. Mendez, looked over my past scans and found that my last bone scan revealed a tumor in the area of my pain. I never knew about it.  The tumor itself should not necessarily evoke pain, but I might have some swelling and/or fluid build up as well as some muscle soreness. She sent a pain management doctor to see me today.  He was very nice and told me there are some things to do now (I am starting a low dose of Celebrex) and he is going to review my scans and talk to Dr. Haley about some other potential treatments.  I am just glad to have some answers and doctors who are on top of it.  Another reason I am so blessed to be in this hospital for rehab with all the doctors able to both see me quickly, do scans, and all work together. 

My BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) small group came to see me for lunch fellowship today. It was so great to see them and they were so sweet to make the long drive up. It was a great break to my day to see them in between therapy. I will always have off from 12-1 for lunch.

My group also presented me with MANY gift cards to restaurants for Jake and the girls. Several other groups like our Sunday school, Jadyn's precious basketball team, and the girl's schools have done the same thing. It is a huge blessing as each night is different for Jake so gathering meals would be harder. Jake and the girls have been eating out a lot. Jake decided that they were going to start making healthier eating out practices, like no more french fries. Katelyn told Jake yesterday at Chick-fil-A, while eating chicken and fruit, "Dad, it just doesn't feel like we're at Chick-fil-A without the fries. It is just like eating... chicken... and fruit." Jake said, "Katelyn, you are eating chicken and fruit." I am very thankful to hear that news, as I am all for making it as healthy as possible during this time.

A friend emailed me for specific prayer requests I had for a prayer time she was having. Since I wrote them all out, I thought I would post them for you too. I love praying specifically and boldly presenting my heart's desire before Him. So, they are long, but here they are:

Physically, I am praying for specific healing of my nerves, that they would begin re-firing to each muscle group. Also, strengthening of my muscles in my legs as well as arm strength to accomplish daily tasks until my legs start working better. Also, we are doing very little right now to stop the cancer growth. I will be able to get radiation in 2-3 weeks to several areas which will help. I will then hopefully start some type of treatment/chemo with low side effects as I need all my strength for rehab right now. So, I am boldly praying that the cancer is slowing despite the lack of chemotherapy. Lastly, pray the treatment the doctor is giving me is correct and effective for my arm pain and I gain more mobility and strength in this area.

Emotionally, you can pray that I continue to have God's peace that passes understanding. I pray that I do not take one step without His help and lean not on my own understanding, but follow Him down the path He has paved for me. I am grateful for the extra time I have been able to spend in the Word and in Bible study while I am in the hospital.

Pray for my family to be taken care of completely in my absence. Pray for calmness and routine in the house and good attitudes all around. Pray that Jake is able to be both mom and dad during this time, remain calm under pressure and be able to have moments of down time for himself. Pray that the girls, Katelyn, Jadyn and Bryn have the ability to cope with all the changes and be stronger because of them.

Finally, pray that we as a family would draw closer to God during this time of struggle and challenge. Pray we would grow stronger as a family because of it. And that we would be a testimony to God's faithfulness, provision, grace, healing and peace.  

Thank you!
Much love and blessings,

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A shower!!!

Today was my second day of PT and OT, and it was definitely a harder day today.

Yesterday we worked on arm strengthening and getting into a wheelchair, which I did twice. This is quite a challenge. First, I have to log roll into a brace, roll onto my side and push up to the side of the bed. I can do most of this myself, people are now just moving my legs for me. This is the easy part. However, this is what I have been doing for a few weeks now. That gives me great hope that in a few weeks the following will be easy too. Putting a rectangular board under one leg making a bridge from the bed to the wheelchair, then lifting and moving myself over the board to the chair. It is not sliding, which sounds more practical. And, I feel like I am doing none of the work. Pray for more upper body strength to come soon with all these exercises as there is definitely a need for them in every task I do. Whew! So that is getting in. Then, once I am there, I am fairly comfortable. I am learning how to control the wheelchair, make turns, and try to keep going straight instead of my typical veering to the right. I also from the wheelchair go into a big gym to exercise. They have great machines and gadgets to help my progression. So, then the ardorous process of getting back into bed. I did that twice yesterday!!

But, today was even more amazing. I got into the wheelchair at 11:00 for PT and when that workout was over, decided to stay in the wheelchair until OT at 1:30. That is the longest stretch I've been up. I was quite proud. The best news is that when my OT Kathy came in, she said that she would give me a SHOWER! Okay, first shower in 5 weeks. Yippie! Sponge bathing is only so good. There is nothing quite like the water hitting you for the first time in a while. I was so grateful for it. I can tell why we did it in therapy, it was hard work to move to the shower chair (imagine the wheelchair move above while wet!). But, well -worth the effort as I am now SO clean and comfortably in bed for the rest of the night. It was a successful day.

Thanks for your continued prayers and support. Progress is being made each day. It's great to have the success toward reaching my many goals. Lastly, I received a tentative time of stay here at 4 weeks. I will trust that each day brings me closer home. God's grace, strength, and hope has covered me daily, giving me just what I need to take one day at a time.

With big smiles and much love,

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Picture update...

Okay, I am updating a long time off from pictures. I hope you enjoy them. I tried to make them in order from the present, but if not, you'll still get the idea. Today was a good day of rest. I will start tomorrow full force. They decided to wait to get into a wheelchair until the PT develops the right way to do it for me. I am sure I will have a lot to tell you tomorrow.

One funny. My sister Hope came to visit with my nephew Austin and niece Ella Grace. Austin did just great, and was in such tight quarters. Every once in a while Hope and I wanted to talk about something and would ask Austin to go out and slowly get a drink of water to give us a minute or two alone. He would, but after a few times, he said, "No, the nurse keeps asking me questions." We wondered what questions, and he said she asked if he played soccer (he was wearing an old uniform) or what grade he was in. But later the comments were, "you sure are thirsty!" And then finally, "Would you like me to get you a cup?"!!! Okay, we did not make him go out after that! Poor thing.

Happy reunion...the most wonderful feeling in the world was to have my family together.

Jake with his grandparents who live right in San Diego. It was a blessing for us to see them so much.

Here was a photo taken of Bryn talking to me on the phone from the hospital. This was a common thing as I loved just hearing their voices.

Here are a few pictures from when Katie got to come visit me in the hospital in CA due to a very generous mileage ticket given to us. As she is 13, she is the only one who could come. She was the best medicine ever!

My wonderful cousin Zander was baptized a week ago. I wish I could have been there. I did see a video and he was so brave following just what Jesus wants in publicly showing others that Jesus is the boss and Lord in his life. I heard our family made up an entire section of the sanctuary! Praise God!

My mom and Jacque helped make Easter special for the girls. Easter was my big surgery day, and I knew that the girls were having fun and going to church back home. It was difficult to be away for the holiday. The girls look so happy. Katelyn was enjoying vacationing with a friend in Midland. Her sweet friend and their family wrapped their arms around Katie and made her feel like family. I am so blessed by their help that week keeping Katelyn. Here are some fun Easter pictures of the yikes, and at an egg hunt at MeMaw's with cousin Austin.

My family worked live a village to get Bryn ready for Kindergarten Round-up while I was in the hospital. I am so grateful that Bryn felt so special on her special day. Round up is her first experience as a student at Wood Elementary where she will be in just a few months this fall. I can't believe my baby is almost 5! She looks so big in these pictures.

This is Sandy and myself the first night in beautiful Torrey Pines Resort and Spa. There was an amazing sunset from our view of the golf course, rolling hills and a forever ocean. Such a tranquil start.

My dad visited us in Texas for a fun weekend. Here are a few photos from that visit.

This is a picture of me in Florida at the Young Survivor's Conference. I had a great time and SO enjoyed lunch at the beach with two new friends and fellow survivors.

Jadyn had open house at her school to show off all the great work she has been doing. She has the best kindergarten teacher in the world, Mrs. Maurer, whom Jadyn adores.

Bryn really had a great soccer season. She went from the back of the pack last year, to kicking the ball a lot more. She is learning to run faster and kick harder, and we are so proud of her.

Jadyn is a good little soccer player. Jake loves coaching her team.

Jadyn's basketball team had a great season...go shooting stars!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New home

Well I am all settled in here at Zale and it is so good to be onto the next step. I am in a different room than I originally thought, 814.  I have a prettier view and nicer room than before.  Also, the nursing staff is great.  My nurse also told me that the nurses during the week work M-F so I will have much greater consistently.  

I will start my rigorous  PT and OT on Monday. I don't know what I am in for, but I am ready for the next step.  They already brought in my wheelchair and say they can get me into it tomorrow. If that happens, they really are moving fast! I will continue to trust that they know just what to do.  

I will post more soon, but I just wanted to let you know the outcome of your prayers! Thank you God, for this moment.


Friday, April 11, 2008


I have had a great couple of days with lots of visitors and good news from doctors! 

The best news is that a bed opened up at the rehab hospital at Zale Lipshi, so that will be my new home for a time beginning tomorrow!!! I am supposed to transfer at 11:30 to room 812.  I will let you know if that changes.  I will also let you know tomorrow about their policies, etc. I am hoping that since it is in the same hospital system that I will still have cell phone/computer access, but we will see. One thing for sure is that I will have a lot less down time as I will have rehab 3 hours a day.  I am looking forward to the challenge as each step will bring me closer to my goals.  Have I mentioned that I am not sure of my goals yet?!?

 I am assured by my PT and OT that they will make big plans in rehab.  Sometimes I slip into charting the plan by myself.  Today, I realized that other people have had my injury.  And there was a plan.  I have a realistic vision now that they have met at least one person like me right there at Zale! But I am most assured by my God who knows all plans.  

"You will show me the path of life; In your presence is the fullness of joy; At your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11 

Each day, I ask for enough light and grace, blessing and courage for that day.  I ask for the path in front of me to be clear and obvious.  And then I am filled with the peace that He is directing my steps.  

Thoughts of what the next days will bring are sometimes heavy and always unknown.  I wish I could talk to someone who has been there ahead of me to tell me exactly what happened to them.  Thank you for praying for me to be okay with the unknown and remember constantly Who knows it all. 

Two requests:

Pray for any anxiety: "Do not be anxious about anything.  But in everything with prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4: 6-7

Pray for tomorrow: "The path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day." Proverbs 4:18

I love you all and am constantly encouraged by your email, calls, visits, prayers, support... you are an amazing group to be with in this journey.  


Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Ilium and the Odyssey

Why not do hip surgery? Several doctors answered that today. Jessa's hip break is in the Illiac crest. I didn't know what the Illium was (if you want to know here's a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilium_(bone) ). Jessa's break is in the top of her hip not the socket. What that means for her is that she probably won't have surgery before they radiate the hip. She had her last back surgery two weeks ago which means radiation is at least still two weeks away. Jess is all set to go to rehab at Zale Lipshy hospital (http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/patientcare/medicalservices/hospitals/zalelipshy.html) but they are not ready for her yet as they are waiting for a bed to open up. I'm going to pray for that person whose bed she will be taking-- the way I see it that's a win-win situation.

I got to see Jess twice today, but I'm going to bring the kids tomorrow since they're off school :) This week in the midst of being tired and uncertain I have been amazed at God's timing and provision. There have been many, many things that have worked out just perfectly. I think people often call God by the wrong name when they call him coincidence! One final word-- blogger will update you when there is a new post if you click on "subscribe to posts (atom)" at the bottom of the page.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Scans and the Return of Yikes Stories

Yesterday, the Dallas doctors wanted their own MRI and CT scans to compare with the ones at Scripps. What this meant for Jess was leaving her room at 5 PM and coming back at a quarter til 8. Jess is an amazing person because she was more worried about us (friends and family) waiting than she was about being uncomfortable for almost three hours. She was supposed to have an x-ray last night too-- but she told them she had enough and got the x-ray done tonight instead.

Leaving Scripps was a bit like leaving family-- everyone had fallen in love with Jess by the time she left. Jessa's amazing spirit is starting to be noticed at St. Paul, but I'm not sure she will be there long enough to make those same bonds she had in San Diego. It's quite possible she will go to a rehab hospital soon. There is no email a patient service at St. Paul, but there is Internet in the patient rooms (Yippee!), so you can email Jess directly at JessicaKaylor@yahoo.com. She's not always up for returning emails, but she loves to get them.

I am so glad I can share Yikes stories with you again. Jadyn and Bryn were talking in the car about what president they wanted to be. Jadyn said she wanted to be George Bush. Bryn didn't know any other presidents than Abraham Lincoln (though he would have been a fine choice), so she asked me who the first president was. George Washington I told her. Not to be outdone, Jadyn told her than I'll be George Washington D.C.!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Thank you, thank you!

Hi all!

It's great to be home!!!! 

Thank you, thank you for your prayers, support, and help in getting me home to Texas! I am beyond words to say how filled my heart is for all of you with overflowing gratitude and blessings that made this al possible.  

Here are a few pictures from the flight, from my dad who saw us off in CA.

I know Jake told you of the flight, but I wanted to reiterate how nice it was, and how smooth the whole flight was, especially the landing.  It also went so quickly, and I was able to sleep and be without pain for the whole trip!  

Today was full of new doctors and a long evening of testing.  I had been waiting on the scans all day, and they finally came about 5 PM!  Tomorrow, the doctors will be able to review the scans and make some recommendations.  They are all treating me nicely and I feel comfortable here. 

But, the best part of today was seeing some familiar faces of my grandparents, dad (Mike), mom, Shannon, Leann, and Jake with the precious girls.  Yea!

I hope to see you all. My rehab hospital will be decided soon, and I am excited to be on the the next step in the plan.  

Love you,

Monday, April 7, 2008

Home Sweet Home

The time stamp on this blog will be right for once as we are back in Texas! Here's what happened today:

The ambulance was due to arrive at 10:30, and for me it felt like at least a day passed from when I got up at 7 to then. The EMTs didn't arrive until 10:45 though and those fifteen minutes felt like a day as well. Although there was an airport close our flight crew preferred another airport, so it took about thirty or so minutes to go to an airport next to the Mexican border. When we got there, I thought the plane looked big; Jess thought it looked small. I guess I wasn't the one on the gurney. We found out that Don Johnson used to own the plane, but now with the redo the inside looked like an ambulance with wings. The flight nurse told us that without the med stuff it takes up to eight passengers. The flight was really smooth, but boy you could really feel the wind sometimes, especially as it took off and later descended. It felt a bit like when I am driving in high winds. The second ambulance was right there when we landed and brought us quickly to the hospital. The only glitch came when we got to the hospital. Jessa's name didn't come up when we tried to admit her, and they said they weren't expecting us. For once my brain didn't freeze up and I remembered the name of the admitting doctor, Dr. Bagwell. They looked up her name again on a different computer-- they found it this time and after a bit of a wait while they cleaned her room admitted her with no further problems.

Unlike Katelyn, the Yikes hadn't seen me for almost three weeks. I got to see them while Jess was being admitted. They both ran up to me and I took turns picking them up and giving them huge hugs over and over again. Kids don't get tired of that kind of thing, but my back did. Katelyn is taller than Jess now and thankfully settled for a hug with her on the ground. It's been over three weeks since the Yikes have seen Jess. When they walked into her room they briefly hesitated when they saw that she was lying down in a hospital bed. Then they raced to her. Bryn got there first and flung herself into a hug. She kept holding on and didn't let go. Then Jadyn started nudging her, "Hey, it's my turn!" They both ended up getting plenty of snuggle up time with mommy.

Unlike this morning when we were waiting for the ambulance this time the minutes flew by until it was the kids' bedtime. I didn't like leaving and neither did the kids but there was a bonus when I got home-- putting the kids to bed; I really missed that. Good night and thank you for your prayers for a safe, comfortable flight for Jess.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Phillipians 2:3-8

I got to go to church this morning that is just getting started here. It's pretty neat because the family that is starting it also helped start the church that Jessa's sister, Jennifer is going to in Grandbury. The lesson this morning was on putting others first instead of focusing on your own selfish desires. This lesson is lived out in you dear reader. As you take time out of your day to focus on us instead of yourself, you become a bit like Jesus who is the ultimate example of putting others first. If you want to read the passage, here's the link: http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults.php?passage1=Phillipians+2%3A3-8&version1=31

The rest of today was spent packing up. We will have a limited amount of space on the plane so we threw out quite a bit of stuff. Jessa's dad is in from Portland and he did a lot of the work as his personality is bent towards organizing. I am super excited to get this done as it means we are one more step to getting closer to Texas. I love to think that at this time tomorrow we will be flying towards Dallas.

Jess and Jake at Scripps Hospital

Feeling Yellow

I just have one quick thing to say before I let you read Jessa's note. The first night that Jess comes home is going to be reserved for our daughters. I think she will be worn out Monday but she really wants to see them. Here's Jess:

Hi all. I had a good day with lots of visitors. It is amazing how many people I get to see even though I am so far away from home. The nurses are starting to think I am pulling their leg about the Texas bit.

Okay, about the yellow. Background first: you should know that when I spent my week in room 11 of the surgical ICU, there was a man in the room beside me that had “special precautions”. A common topic of conversation with Jake, my mom’s, and myself was to figure out his illness. Every time anyone went into his room, they suited up with purple gloves and an additional yellow disposable robe, sometimes donning masks. We knew he must have some communicable disease, etc… but we never did figure it out.

Well, you know I am now up on the 4th floor, still in my pretty room, as I have been since Monday night. Flash to tonight, and since the night shift everyone has been coming in my room wearing what else…yellow robes and gloves!!! Each time someone comes in, they are all suited up. I asked a nurse, who was not mine, what the deal was, and she said that she would tell my nurse to come talk to me all about it. All about what?? Why am I yellow?? When my dad and Jake came back from a break, I told them, “I think I am yellow!” Jake went outside my room to look and said I had a precaution sign by my door just like my ICU neighbor. My dad went out and said it looked more like a precaution sign on an inadvertently placed cart beside my door.

Either way, I decided pushing my call button for my nurse would get to the bottom of it. Before my nurse could arrive, a mentor nurse came to do her normal rounds. I asked her about my yellowness. She went on and on to explain ALL about infections and non-resistant strains of such and such. I am, at this point, slightly scared as NO ONE has told me about this. My dad asks the mentor to go check my chart and get back with us with more information. He is still about 10% sure that this is all a mistake.

I am now thinking I am yellow for a good 10 minutes, wondering what that means as far as going to a new hospital, airplane… My mind was spinning through potential scenarios at a fast pace.

BUT, in walks the mentor and my nurse without yellow to explain it WAS an inadvertently placed cart, and I am NOT yellow anymore!!

My nurse did say that the yellowness would actually protect me more, and it was not all bad. I am just glad to know that I am my own color again.

It does, also make me want to get home. Even more so to my own home, which is a lovely brown.

Love to you all,

Friday, April 4, 2008

Counting Down the Days

You can look forward to a post from Jess tomorrow. She has had a big day and now is eating dinner while I post (I'll grab something later).

Jess has PT in the morning. Her balance has improved, but she was limited in the amount of time she could sit up because her back was hurting where her drain was. I say was after PT Dr. Yoo came in and took out her drain. Her back looks good but you can pray for no spinal fluid to leak out of her spine. Then with the OT (occupational therapist) she was able to sit up for a long time-- a record twenty-five minutes. Today was also the first day I noticed a big improvement in her leg movement. She is now able to drag her leg from left to right on the bed with assistance. Dr. Coufal came by to say goodbye. That guy dresses as well as he performs surgery. The first day we saw him was the day of Jessa's surgery on Easter Sunday. We attributed his dressing well to perhaps coming right from church. However, every day we have seen him since he has been dressed up too. Then Dr. Abidoye came in to talk with Jess for about half an hour. He has been very compassionate and he is always thinking of what Jess can be doing here but also in Texas when we get back. He mentioned a few chemo medicines that Jess had not heard of and she has not tried yet. At the very least we will ask about those medicines when we get back. I have also been exercising Jessa's legs. It feels good to her to but also wears her out. My one break today was finally going to the beach. It was pretty cool because I got see some seals including a baby one and I brought Jess back a cupful of sand.

The thing I am most excited about is Jessa's trip home. You can see the aircraft Jess will be flying on at http://lgaeromed.com/ Click on "aircraft" and then "Citation 500."

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sitting in San Diego

Jess wanted me to fill you in the details of the day, but she wanted to write a note too. Jess did really good sitting today. She hasn't been able to sit more than 15 minutes at a time, but today she was able to sit with no support. We finalized some of the details of the plane trip today. Jess will leave the hospital by ambulance at 10:30 in the morning. Then she'll get on a medical jet and fly to Dallas. There they will transfer her by ambulance to St. Paul hospital. ETA is 5 PM. Jess and I can't wait to see our girls.
Here's Jess
Hi all,
It is amazing to sit in this hospital bed and think of all of you praying for me. If I ever have a fleeting thought of denial of my situation, I am swept up immediately by this overwhelming hope. It is beyond anything I have ever felt. It is a hope that fills my whole mind and my whole body. It is hard to put into words, but it is as if I am on a being lifted in a blanket of clouds, like a big deep breath. I have had a good day, with lots of smiles and successes. I am reminded of you always with calls, emails, cards, and flowers. Amazingly, each one mentions of so many other’s prayers, it’s like 1=100! Thank you for keeping me close to home so far away.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

From Jessica

Jess does not have Internet access in her room, so she typed up a message in Word on her laptop which I have copied and pasted here.

Hi guys!
It has been a surreal experience in the hospital. The days just blur by. Per the “plan”, I will be coming home Monday which will be three weeks here. I remember well the moments before this all started. My aunt Sandy and I were in the most beautiful hotel room I have ever been in, with the perfect view of the beach and I got up to get ready to leave. Sandy was SO calm when I fell. I was thinking, what are we going to do! She was, I am sure, retracing five potential scenarios in her head! Good thing Sandy journals so I can recall all the funny parts later.

I think that by the time you have been in the hospital for two weeks, they let you upgrade to the best room in the place because I am in the penthouse of the hospital. I have one of the “new” beds, a huge room with a couch and dining table with big chairs. I have pretty wallpaper and crown molding. I even have a nightstand with a lamp. There is a shower and bathroom in here to, making it easy for Jake and others. But, the BEST thing is the view. I realized I had not seen out a window in two weeks, and that does a lot to a person. In my other rooms, they had windows, but they were behind me, and small. Now, I am facing a wall of windows that overlooks beautiful La Jolla, CA. I see rolling hills and blue skies. It is a huge blessing to be in this room.

It was wonderful to see Katelyn this past weekend. Nothing makes me smile quite like the girls. She was beaming all weekend too. She brought family pictures, which are a treasure to be able to see right now.

Having Jake here is invaluable too. He is cutting down my hospital expenses by helping the nurses whenever he can! He also gets plenty of me telling him to do things I can’t do, “Honey, can you scoot my left leg down?” “Can you throw away this paper? “Can you put away your shoes!!”

It has also been so great being able to see my mom, dad, and step-dad here in California. Having them here is almost like being at home. There is nothing like seeing your mom when you are sick that just makes things seem like they will be okay. And, Jake has some family right here. He stays a lot with his Grandpa and Oma who visit daily, and his aunt Sherry and Uncle Ron who live outside of LA have been here for every surgery. I also got a special visit from my cousin Krista!

I have LOVED each of your emails and beautiful flowers and fruit and cookie bouquets and cards. The food here is, well, hospital-esque, so the extras are yummy.

All of these things have kept me feeling not so far away.

Can I also say that knowing that the girls are so well taken care of at home is a huge relief. I remember that the first days I was here, I was trying to tell my aunt Sandy all the girls had to do the next few days. First, it was exhausting and second, it made me know I needed to be home. I then realized that God could control all these details and that the girl’s lives would be different, but okay with any plan. Whew! They have been and I am a lot less stressed! Thank you, Thank you for loving them.

Okay, I know there is more to say, but just know I love you all so much and that everyone in this hospital thinks that I am some greatly famous person back home with all the love poured out on me here. And, even far away, there are plenty of times I have said, “Thank you God for this moment!”

I am often brought to tears and filled with so much emotion when I hear of the rally to support to make coming home possible, as well as getting family to me, and support when for my family when I get home. It is truly a great, overwhelming gift of which I have no better words to say but thank you.

Even far from all of you, I see a definite reason for my being at this place, at this time. Now, I just ask God to give us the next step toward getting home.

One God moment…Saturday night before Easter, I was lying in bed asking God to move my toe. I couldn’t and was getting increasingly worried. Sunday, doctors and nurses and scans revealed that more was wrong with me than my broken hip, and I still could not move any part of my legs. Dr, Coufal, the neurosurgeon, was examining me, asking me to close my eyes and respond to his touch. When he asked me to move my toes, my eyes were closed and I could not feel it or see it, but I moved one toe on my right foot! Everyone in the room saw. It was then that Dr. Coufal said that I had a partial spinal cord injury. Partial, because I could move my toe. But, God moved my toe!! Since the surgery, you know that I now have more movement. I can move my left toes fine, but my right is actually still not as good. It just needed to move that once for me… at that moment. Thank you God, and thank all of you for interceding in prayer on our behalf!

Love to you all,

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Quick Post

Jess would like me to thank whoever was praying for a nice room. She got moved into a spacious, private corner room with a great view. It really brought up her spirits today. She would also like me to say that she has really enjoyed your emails and even though she can't write back to keep writing to her. Here's that link again:http://www.scrippshealth.org/emailpatient.asp I thank you for your prayers and keep it up!

Starting the Week off Right on Monday

You may remember there were several things I wanted you to pray for as we were prepare to come back to Dallas. The first thing was the doctors to be in total agreement about Jess being able to travel safely home. I am happy to announce that Jessa's team of doctors here and in Dallas agree that she is good to go. She is coming back Monday! That's not 100% of course but things have nicely lined up and things will come together by the end of the week for that to happen. I was planning on playing tag team with Jessa's grandma with me leaving on Sunday and her coming on Monday, so I'm very glad I can stay an extra day and fly with her home.

Jess got some modification to her brace yesterday and she was able to try it out this morning as she sat up. It feels good-- or as good as comfortable as something like that can feel. I have been calling it her Breastplate of Righteousness because it looks a bit like a Roman Breastplate. Jess got to come out of ICU at 3 this morning. I was a bit sad as her nurses there have been so good, but she has a fabulous nurse right now who is making Jess feel like her only patient. I also got to see Jessa's surgery site today-- it looks so much better than I imagined it. It's about eight inches long with about forty staples and looks like it is healing really well. Pray for there to be less drainage from the site though.

I have enjoyed my late dinners and nights at my grandparents (my Oma and Opa) but I have one complaint-- their poodle, Lincoln, is too good of a dog. Now all Katelyn has been talking about is getting a poodle. I can just picture Katelyn attaching wings onto a couple of pigs just in case. She is doing the hurdles and pole vault at the city track meet tonight-- I think she has a good chance of getting over in the pole vault and winning city. A big thank you to those of you who will be there cheering her on. Bryn also has "Kindergarden Roundup" tonight. Jess is going to really miss not being there for Bryn and Katelyn so pray for her spirits tonight.