Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday - Nov 30

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This year Thanksgiving was different for us in more ways than one. Most holidays we drive three hours to Sacramento to my moms house, along with my brother and his family, nieces and nephews, great grand parents etc, that tradition has changed. All of my family jumped the sinking ship (Calif) and moved to Washington. I missed the family and the tradition but I gotta say I didn't miss the drive. We had many invites however we opted to stay home this year. I spent Wednesday evening cooking after getting home from Pleasanton. It was nice to have most everything done by Thursday so we could just enjoy the day. Dennis' brother and nephew were going to come for the day however unforeseen circumstances prevented it. We had some friends over, it was a very nice day, watching football and visiting.

Jerry has been passionate about football this year primarily because he, Dennis and I are in a fantasy football league. Jerry looks forward to watching football on Sundays and spends time planning his team players and studying information to enable him to make the best decisions regarding his team. Jerry was in fourth place in league however he was so stoked to beat Rob who is in first place, sorry Rob. It's wonderful to see him get excited about something, who would have thought that football would be the thing to offer him an escape from his reality, even if it's only for a few hours. Go Niners!

There is so much that I'm thankful for, first and foremost my son's life. Even though Jerry's body is different his mind is the same. I'm thankful that Jerry didn't suffer brain damage, I'm thankful that his level of injury was not higher then C4. I'm thankful for the health and well being of my family. I'm thankful that God gives us strength to endure.

I'm excited to share with you that Jerry's arms are getting stronger. Two weeks ago Jerry was finally able to drive his wheelchair with the (hand) joystick, Jerry has not used the chin drive since. It is far more difficult for him to use the joystick and takes a great amount of effort, he does get fatigued if he has far to go but for the most part he can handle the chair with great precision. I believe the FES hand cycle has been pivotal in Jerry regaining strength in his arms. Unfortunately our time to use the FES hand bike may be drawing to an end along with Jerry's PT and OT sessions at Dominican Rehab. Jerry's therapist is preparing the request for the next 90 day session and believes it will likely be the last that will get authorized.

Dennis has finally started tiling the new bathroom, it was an overwhelming job picking out tile and planning the pattern, I'm so glad to have that part done. We are so close now to getting the bathroom done so Jerry can take a real shower or bath. Eleven months of sponge baths has gotten very old it's just not the same as a real shower or bath.

Thank you for the support, please continue to pray for the restoration of Jerry's spinal cord and for guidance with going to China for stem cell surgery.

Much love,
Katie

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday - Nov 5

Winters on it's way and already I don't like it. It's been cold in the mornings and evenings but not to bad in the day. We've had one good storm so far with 11 1/2 inches of rain in Boulder Creek. Ironically I like a good storm, I just hate dreary, overcast, drizzly, cold days. I'm not a big fan of the time change either, it was dark before we left SCI-FIT in Pleasanton yesterday, it makes me tired driving home in the dark. One last complaint, the TVs on but the channel is off the air so they play music, Christmas music. Are you kidding me, Christmas already we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet, Costco's had their Christmas stuff out for at least two weeks. OK, I got all that out of the way, I'm done complaining.

We all had a night out of enjoyment Friday before Halloween, Dennis and I went to a Murder Mystery Dinner at a friends house. The scene was 1929, my character was a socialite dressed in a flapper dress, fish nets and boa. Dennis' character was a pro baseball player, that was an easy costume to come up with. Jessica played a server and served us a delicious dinner (chicken parmasian). We had a wonderful time and got home pretty late. Jerry went to a costume party with some friends, Luke was home from college, Kiki and Natani. Jerry was a prisoner in an electric chair, I know kinda morbid right, at least he's able to have a sense of humor. Jerry got home really late close to 4:00 am but he said he had a lot of fun. The person having the party Sean and his landlord built a ramp so Jerry could get in the house. Thanks guys for making it easy for Jerry to be involved in a fun night out.

Not much change physically with Jer, he's still struggling with the nausea. Jerry had a CT scan which didn't get to the root cause of anything. The CT scan did show that he has two small stones, one in each Kidney however the doctor feels that they are so small they aren't causing any problem. We continue to go to therapy four days a week, Jerry's body is staying strong and he seems to be moving his arms more. Jerry is so close to being able to control his wheelchair with the joy stick as opposed to the chin drive, he can pull back and go left and right he just can't push forward yet. It will be a glorious day when he is able to use the joy stick.

I've been doing stem cell research for some time now which can be very overwhelming. We are looking to go over seas for Jerry to have stem cell surgery. China, India and Portugal are all more advanced in this area then we are here in the States. Stem cell therapy has not been perfected to the point of curing spinal cord injury however most patients get some improvement whether it be bowel or bladder function, or the use of arms, some even have regained the ability to walk but thats a small percentage. I really am leaning toward China, I like what I'm learning. One thing I like is they use your own bone marrow cells and turn them into nerve cells as opposed to using embryonic cells. There's no moral issue when they are using your own cells. Jerry very much wants to have stem cell therapy but is concerned about the cost. He worries we won't have the money to do it or if we do come up with the funds he's concerned about spending all that money on something that may not work. My feeling is we will come up with the money one way or another through fund raising efforts, it's a small price to pay for the hope that it could help him walk again. Even if he could just regain bowel and bladder and the use of his arms that would be HUGE. I'll keep you posted about my research.

The transmission on Janea's car is going out, I've been on craigs list and vehics.com looking for a car for her. I really hate car shopping it's so time consuming. I miss the days when a couple thousand dollars would get you a pretty decent car. It' seems like anything less then $3,000 is a piece of doodoo. The hunt goes on....

I better get moving, I have to get Jerry ready for therapy. Jerry is doing the arm cycle at Dominican Rehab today, that's one of my favorite therapies, I feel he gets stronger each time he does the arm cycle.

Have a wonderful day,

Katie

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Saturday - Oct 18

I've feared the swine flu and prayed it would not hit our home, this week my fear came to be, Dennis was diagnosed with the swine flu. We quarantined him to the bedroom with a mask and gloves. I was very worried that Jerry would catch the bug, and it would spread through our house. I was like a crazy woman disinfecting everything in sight, three different times. Our whole family was treated with Tamiflu and so far no one else has gotten sick. We are scheduled to get vaccinated on Monday.

Things have been going much the same, Jerry is still having nausea in the morning and early afternoon. Jerry is scheduled for a CT Scan on the 26th, they'll be looking for any kind of stones bladder, kidney, etc. He's had two ultrasounds which came back normal, I'm told the CT Scan is supposed to be more sensitive. It sounds weird but I hope they find something, at least if the find stones you know what your dealing with and how to treat it. The whole looking for the needle in the haystack thing is getting old. I think we've tried every medication available, every homeopathic remedy and ran every test available. We're running out of options and really need to get to the root of the problem.

I put together a video of some of the exercises Jerry does at SCI-FIT. It's really poor quality because I took it with my phone but it gives you an idea of some of the things he does there.



I hope everyone has a wonderful week, stay well.

God bless,
Katie

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday - Oct 9

I can't believe we're 9 months post injury, the time has gone so quickly. I really thought at 6 months things were going to start waking up in Jerry's body. I thought Jerry would be further along in his mobility, certainly at 9 months I expected a greater return. The closer we get to the one year mark the scarier it becomes because progress slows after 1 year. The greatest return is in the first year, you can continue to get return of some mobility after the first year but at a much slower rate. I have to keep reminding myself of all the improvements Jerry has made over the last 9 months, he really has come a long way. Although I wish he were closer to his goal of walking I am grateful for the movements that Jerry does have. Jerry's arms continue to get stronger by using the FES hand bike at Dominican Rehab. I wish he could use the hand bike 3 to 4 times per week, once a week slows progress in my opinion. I'm working on getting an FES Bike for our house which may or may not be successful as it is a very costly piece of equipment, $20,000. Jerry can now lift both arms and give a little wave, I'll have to post a video. Jerry has trace initiation in his left tricep but it's not strong enough to be useful at this point. If we could get Jerry's triceps to fire he could get strong enough to use a joystick control for his wheel chair and get rid of the chin drive, that would be sweet.

Life remains busy, Mondays are doctor appointment/errands day. Tue through Fri are therapy days, Sat & Sun for Jerry are chill/recoup days. For me Sat & Sun is get caught up on house cleaning, paper work, laundry, bills, grocery shop, etc. Dennis continues to work five days a week at his job and work on the weekends on the house. We are getting oh so close, I can't wait to get the bathroom done. Nine months of sponge baths for Jerry has taken it's toll on his skin, it's just not the same as a nice long shower or bath. Dennis took a break from the bathroom to get the roof put on since the rain's are headed our way, I'm glad to have that done. Dennis also poured the concrete pad for the AC unit. Although the AC is no longer priority at this point, heat is, they go hand in hand as they use the same ducting and at this point there is no heat in Jerry's room and it gets cold. We are using a little portable heater for his room which is working out OK but not a long term solution.

I think I may have mentioned in a previous post that Jerry was appointed by our district supervisor Mark Stone to the Commission on Disabilities. Jerry is a district 5 commissioner for the COD. Yesterday was the annual planning retreat for projects for the next year. Incidentally my cat Tina was also scheduled to be spayed as well as FES hand bike at Dominican for Jerry, we can't miss that. The plan was to drop Jerry at the retreat, stay a few minutes to get Jerry settled then run Tina to Scotts Valley to drop her at the vet and return to the retreat. Things just did not go well, amazingly we were able to get out of the house by 9:40 am, we had a 10 minute drive to Ben Lomond and everything seemed to be working out well. The street we were supposed to turn on was right off hwy9 in Ben Lomond. This is were things went a rye, we couldn't find the street, we drove all the way to Felton and did not see the street, turned around drove back to BL. Again we didn't find the street turned around drove all the way to Felton again and back to BL. Turns out we were misinformed the street was in Brookdale, at any rate we were 25 minutes late to the retreat, AWKWARD. It's not like you can sneak in unnoticed. Needless to say we missed the appointment for Tina, I had to leave the retreat and take Tina home. We had to leave the retreat early to make it to Jerry's FES appointment, which again was awkward disrupting the meeting to leave early. Jerry was not feeling well because he had been cold all morning and all his muscles had clinched up in his shoulders and neck, however he wanted to do FES. After getting Jerry all hooked up which takes about 20 minutes the bike began malfunctioning. We left feeling a little disappointed and headed to the pharmacy to pick a prescription that was droped off almost 2 weeks ago. This was our third visit to the pharmacy to pick up this script, wouldn't ya know they still don't have it. It was one of those days, just kinda wierd. Today was better but I'm so glad it's Friday, even though it was a long day getting down to Pleasonton it's nice to have the weekend to look forward to.

Please keep the healing prayers coming, we're still waitin on the miracle.

Much love,
Katie

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thank You!

The pizza party was a huge success last night, it was so great seeing the community support. Thank you to JR Curtis (lacrosse) & Doug Morris (football) for planning and organizing the event, you guys ROCK! We appreciate the time you took from your busy schedules to put on this fund raiser to benefit Jerry and Allie. The Redwood Pizzeria was so gracious to host the event, not to mention they have fabulous pizza, I love the organic pizza crust, hmmm. It was my understanding the pizzeria ran out of pizza and it was the most pizza they've ever sold. Thank you again and again to the entire community for supporting our kids.

Much love,

Katie

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Big Pizza Fundraiser Coming Your Way

The San Lorenzo Valley High School football and lacrosse teams are hosting a Pizza Night fund raiser for Jerry and Allie. Thanks guys, you guys ROCK!

When: Tuesday September 29th
Time: 5:00 - 8:00 pm
Where: Redwood Pizzeria
6205 Hwy 9 ♥ Felton

Call in Orders Early 335-1500

You can check out menu options here: http://www.redwoodpizza.com/mainindex.html

Join us for Dinner at the Redwood Pizzeria, come hungry, order early. I'm told it's best to call your pizza in early to avoid a long wait. A portion of the proceeds from all sales will be split to benefit Jerry and Allie. Hope to see ya there!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Friday - Sept 25

I can't believe I haven't posted for two weeks, the time has flown, sorry I know some of you have been worried. Not to worry everything is going well we've just been busy, and tired.

As I reflect on the last 9 months I'm encouraged and discouraged at the same time. I'm so thankful for the speedy recovery that Jerry had as well as the progress he continues to make. My heart sinks a little that we are almost 10 months post injury and there's no leg or hand movement yet. In my heart I know he'll walk again, we will never give up on that, we'll do whatever it takes to help him achieve that goal. I pray for controlled movement in his legs and hands so he has something to work with. If he has the smallest of controlled movement he has the ability to strengthen it for use. Jerry continues to work hard in therapy, in October we go back to SCI-FIT on Fridays so he will again be in therapy four days a week.

My mom and dad came for to visit for a few days from Washington, we had a good visit it was nice to see them. They drove from Washington so they could bring some exercise equipment for Jerry. My mom had a treadmill and Total Gym (like they use at SCI-FIT) that she wasn't using, thanks mom and dad. We can try and set up a harnessing system for the treadmill so we can do gait training with Jerry on a more regular basis as well as do total gym with him on the weekends. He'll have a mini gym set up in his room, I'm glad we went extra large on the room so it can fit all his stuff.

I'd like to give a big "THANK YOU!" to Barbara Lofranco, I hope I spelled that right. Barbara donated an adjustable bed to Jerry. It's hard to believe we are almost 10 months post injury and still don't have Jerry's permanent hospital bed. The loaner bed from the vendor was a big piece of doodoo (sorry, Karl), Jerry had a hard time sleeping in it. Jerry is using the adjustable bed from Barbara until his permanent bed comes in. We appreciate your kindness Barbara, Jerry sleeps much better and is far more comfortable.

Jerry still struggles with the morning/noon nausea it so frustrating for him to still be dealing with this. All the different tests, and nausea meds, acupuncture etc, has not helped or even changed a thing at this point. Despite the nausea Jerry still has an incredible attitude, he remains in good spirits most of the time even though he's down in the mornings. I think he feels a little depressed in the mornings because the morning routine takes so long to get him out of bed, he has a lot of time to reflect on the situation he's in. Not to mention that's when he feels his worst physically. Once Jerry is out of bed and the nausea subsides he's in a much better mood, he returns to the pre injury Jerry, talks more, jokes and laughs, enjoys his computer games and shows.

Dennis is making progress on the bathroom, we are almost ready to tile. I've gone to a few places to check out tile to try and find something I like, I gotta say it's a little overwhelming. A nephew of a friend of ours whom we did not know, volunteered his time to come and hot mop the floor to seal it and get it ready for tile. Thank you so much Matt you did a beautiful job we appreciate the time you spent on your day off to help out. YOU ROCK!!!! Jerry is going to be so excited when he finally gets a real shower, 9 months of sponge baths just don't cut the mustard if you know what I mean.

Dennis is making a lot of progress on the house but it seems never ending. Working on it Saturdays and Sundays makes for slow progress, he still has to get the roof and siding on the house before the rains come. He needs to move the water heater and plumb the bathroom, sheet rock the bathroom, set the tile, tub and fixtures, poor a concrete pad for the AC unit, poor a permanent concrete ramp, build a secondary concrete ramp to Jerry's room, and on and on. Sometimes it feels like it will never get done. Dennis works hard all week and then works hard all weekend, not much break. I'm proud of his endurance and am thankful for all his hard work. I'm also very thankful for his skill to complete the work, to pay contractactors to do the job would have been a huge financial road block.

Well I'm on Jerry duty and I've neglected him all morning I better get rolling so he's not in bed all day. Thanks for all the love and support you all give. I'll try not to let too much time pass before the next post.

Much love to all,
Katie

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday - Sept 8

When things are cruising along smoothly, one can get a little cocky, a feeling of we got this, everything is under control. Along comes the monkey wrench to remind you we're not out of the water yet. Last night Dennis and I were getting Jerry in the standing frame when Jerry got his first real case of A.D. (Autonomic Dysreflexia). Maybe we were a little prideful that Jerry hadn't gotten AD yet as it is common for his level of injury. Shortly after getting Jerry to a full stand he began to have spasms` which isn't entirely unusual. It became unusual however when he began to have full body spasms. It started with the left side of the body spasming and then the right and back and forth. Jerry's arms began to spasm and his fingers started to make a fist uncontrollably, he started to get a headache along with goose bumps and anxiety, all this took about 5 to 8 minutes. Jerry Suspected he was beginning to have AD so I took his blood pressure and sure enough it was dangerously high 166/111, normally he runs about 115/70. We immediately got him out of the standing frame and began searching for the cause. Unfortunately we didn't figure out what brought on the AD however we were able to get his blood pressure down to a normal range within 30 minutes. Another reminder he's more fragile then we think.

Jerry has had two sessions of acupuncture and has decided acupuncture is not for him. I was disappointed because I think acupuncture has many benefits and it was unfortunate Jerry didn't feel the same.

Jerry still is struggling with the nausea, Sunday was particularly bad. Jerry hates going to bed at night because he knows he will be waking up with nausea. I can't believe we are 8 months into this nightmare and are still struggling with nausea. AAARRRRGGGGG!!!!!!!!

We had a wonderful visit with my Aunt and cousins who were here over the weekend, we even managed to get out for a hike at Big Basin State park. Jerry's chair handled the terrain pretty good but he did feel a little beat up by the end of the day because it was somewhat gravely.

Please continue to keep Jerry in your prayers. We are beginning to research stem cell surgery in China and India. Pray for guidance in our search and as always pray that he will be healed and walk again.

I think that's all I got for now, much love,
Katie

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday - Aug 30

We would like to thank Sheri Ross for putting on a wonderful classical concert benefit for Jerry last night. Sheri you did a wonderful Job and you play the violin so beautifully. Thank you to all the wonderful musicians who participated in the concert we appreciate all the time you took to help our family. Thank you!

Yesterday we had a very scary experience with Jerry, just a reminder of how fragile he still is. Janea and I were getting Jerry into the standing frame in hines sight we should never attempt that when it's 96 degrees in the house. Generally Jerry's blood pressure drops when you stand him up, the trick is to get him up as quickly as possible and get his hands strapped to the handles and start the glider while someone pumps his calf and thigh muscles. Once you get the glider going his blood pressure comes back to normal and then it's just a matter keeping the glider going and pumping his legs every few minutes. When the blood pressure drops it can cause you to pass out, Jerry has a pass out scale of 1 to 4, when he reaches 1 he feels light headed and it's time to start pumping the legs. When Jerry reaches 2 he's a little dizzy, 3 he begins to get tunnel vision the beginning of blacking out and his hearing goes, at 4 he passes out. At level 1 and 2 we pump the legs and it brings him back to zero if he reaches a 3 we bring him down from standing to sitting and pump the stomach. If pumping the stomach does not elevate the blood pressure then we raise his legs. Janea and I got him up to standing and he was imediatly at one, Janea started to pump the legs as I had one hand on his chest to keep him from tilting and the other hand holding his two hands on the little table in front of his chest. Jerry went to a 2 so I wanted to get his hands strapped quickly and begin moving the glider that always brings his blood pressure back. Jerry never went to 3, before I even got one hand strapped he passed out. It was scary, because the normal pumping was not bringing him back and I was holding him up so could not push the lever to bring him down. I kept calling him and then started screaming "Jerry come back". I finally got the glidder down and had to unhook his legs and pull them up. He was out for almost a minute by the time we got his legs out of the glidder and elevated, it was so scary to see his eyes staring out but nothing was there, no response. At one point I paniced and slapped him to try and startle him to come back, he doesn't remember any of it. Another lesson learned, no standing frame when it's hot in the house the heat causes him to have blood pressure problems. Secondly don't panic just get the legs elevated as quickly as possible.

Dennis and Jessica are in Hayward yesterday and today, Jess had a softball tournament. They won the first two games yesterday and lost the third. Today they won the first game and could play up to two more games. Go Spin! I will spend the day catching up on chores after getting through Jerry's morning routine.

Have a peaceful day,
Katie

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday - Aug 29

Jerry had his first visit with Dr Zhu's acupuncture yesterday, the session was 4 hours, it was quite a new experience for him. Dr. Zhu inserted about 15 needles into the top of Jerry's head, for the first 45 minutes Jerry sat in his wheelchair tilted back and relaxed, he said it made him feel sleepy. The doc then had Jerry do arm and leg exercises, with the needles still in his head. Next the doc inserted about 20 needles into Jerry's shoulders and arms and he relaxed for another 30 minutes. Dr. Zhu removed the needles from the arms and shoulders and then a trainer did acupressure on Jerry's feet. The trainer would put pressure on certain spots which would make Jerry's legs jump, it was kind of weird. Jerry did a variety of other exercises which included upper body balance work, standing frame and a motorized pedal bike. For the most part I would have to say the exercise portion was a little weak, there was a lot of time in between exercise sessions and each session was very short, Jerry was bored. The acupuncture portion was very interesting, the doctor asked if Jerry had any pain, Jerry said yes in his shoulders. The doc twisted or moved a needle in Jerry's head and then asked again if Jerry had pain he said no. That was crazy twisting a needle in the top of the head removed the pain in his shoulders. Jerry also experienced sensation in his sides below his rib cage, he had a hard time describing what he felt. The doctor wanted Jerry to go home and leave the needles in his head until he went to bed. Jerry was not happy about that and asked the doc if he could remove the needles. The doctors English is not so good and his accent is so heavy there was a bit of a communication gap. The doctor took out half the needles but left 8 needles in, Jerry thought all the needles were out. We left and started loading Jerry in the car, his head brushed the top of van and he felt the needles, he was PO'ed. I think it was a mental thing about needles, he said they hurt but after the doc took out half he couldn't feel the others. Jerry reluctantly decided it would be OK to leave them in until bed but he wasn't happy about it. By 8:00 pm Jerry had decided he really couldn't feel the needles and it wasn't so bad leaving them in. We canceled SCI-FIT on all Fridays in September and are going to go to Dr. Zhu on Fridays. Dr. Zhu is very expensive and of course the insurance does not cover it. I think we will do the 4 hour sessions during Sept but for October maybe we will see about just going to Dr. Zhu to get the needles inserted and then do the exercise at home to cut down on cost. The exercise they did was nothing special and could easily be done at home.

Tonight is the classical concert benefit we are very excited about it, it should be a wonderful evening. I hope to see some of you locals there, come say hi.

katie

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday - Aug 25

I can't believe school has started already, summer is over yet is seems like it just began. I feel sad that Jerry is not heading back to school like most of his friends. This is the time in his life when he should be getting excited about new roommates and classes, worrying about girls and books and what will his professors be like. My heart breaks that his life is consumed with therapy, medication, pain, nausea, fear that he'll never be able to move his arms or legs or walk again. Jerry is so strong and has faced this disability with such courage, he keeps fighting and working hard to regain mobility, I'm so proud of him.

We are thinking of adding another weapon to the therapy arsenal, acupuncture. There's a highly sought after doctor in San Jose who is world renowned in dealing with spinal cord injury and stroke. His therapy is not just acupuncture he also does intensive weight baring exercise. Dr. Zhu's philosophy is the patient should be in intensive exercise program 6 to 8 hours per day 5 to 7 days per week. That's just not feasible considering his cost however we are going to pursue one day a week and see if the doctor would be willing to work with Jerry.

We've been busy as usual, I spent all day Sunday clothes shopping with Jessica for back to school, man my feet and just about every other muscle in my body hurt. I hate getting old. Monday was hectic, Jerry had a massage appointment at noon, while he got his massage I took the babies (kittens) to the vet, Ricco was neutered, poor baby. I rushed home after the vet and had to get Jerry ready and loaded into the van. I had a hearing aid appointment at 3:30 and Jerry had a doctor appointment at 3:45, luckily they were in the same building. We left the doctors office about 4:45 and rushed to get to the photographers by 5:30 to pick up Jessica's senior photo proofs. By the end of the day I needed a massage but we managed to get it all done. It seems like everyday is full with Jerry doing therapy 4 days a week and keeping up with doctor appointments.

Dennis took Jerry to therapy today so I was able to get a few things done around home. It's so crazy keeping up with our schedule, I think it will get better when Dennis is done with the construction. Dennis is helping coach Jessica's softball team which isn't really good timing there's so much to get done around here to finish Jerry's bathroom. However it's Jessica's senior year and we can't neglect her because we're busy, we just make it work and do the best we can. What gets neglected are the dishes and laundry, oh well I hate those anyway.

Simone I loved your comment that you started running again and that thinking about Jerry keeps you motivated. Awesome job completing the "Race Through the Redwoods", you go girl!

We are so appreciative to Sheri Ross for putting together a classical concert to benefit Jerry. Sheri you are AWESOME, thanks for all your hard work. I hope some of you locals will be able to make the concert, we're excited and it should be a wonderful evening. For more info check out the top of the green box on the right.

I feel like my thoughts have been all over the place in this post.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday - Aug 18

Thank you to all of you who are following Jerry's progress though the blog. Whether you know Jerry or us or not doesn't matter. It's comforting to know we are not alone in this and that people care and are continuing to pray for his recovery and well being. We very much enjoy reading your prayers or well wishes, thoughts and comments. Thanks for hanging with us.

Today was a little rough, Jerry had nausea pretty bad today and it wasn't getting any better in the afternoon. We left the house about 12:30 headed for Dominican rehab. It was about 85 degrees when we left the house and Jerry was dressed appropriately. We arrived in Santa Cruz to find it was about 65 degrees and breezy. Jerry got cold and of course I wasn't prepared with a coat. When we got into the gym the AC was on and Jerry started shivering. The therapist got him 3 very warm blankets from the warmer however he just couldn't seem to get warm. Jerry had an issue which I won't go into but it made him feel bad. To top off the day I accidentally pinched Jerry's neck in the chin drive buckle, that was pretty much the last straw. Jerry was not having a good day and I was not making things any better which made me feel like poo.

Jerry did not get to do the standing frame yesterday because Dennis didn't get home with it until after 8 pm and we had to read the manual and figure the thing out first. Jerry wanted to get into the standing frame after PT today but felt to sick. I was so happy when he finally felt good enough to give it a go which actually was about 9:00 pm a very late start. We had to put Jerry in the standing frame then make some adjustments then take him out and adjust the seat them put him back in and make more adjustments. By the time we actually got him standing his blood pressure was dropping. All in all Jerry was in the standing frame about 45 minutes however he was only standing about 15 minutes. Tomorrow will be better because we have it all adjusted now to fit him so we wont have to spend all that time making adjustments. I leave you with the picture of Jerry standing.

much love
katie

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday - Aug 17

Thank you all for the prayers for Jerry weaning off three of his meds, we have been successful with two of them. The third med he's going to have stay on, the weaning did not go so well with that one.

Today is an exciting day, we are getting Jerry's standing frame at 5:00 pm, whoohoo! .....by 7:00 Jerry should be standing. Having a standing frame in the house means Jerry can stand everyday. The hope is that by standing his blood pressure will stabilize, no more sudden drops from sitting up right. Jerry has to wear compression socks that go all the way up the thighs as well as an abdominal binder that is like a corset. The hope is that by standing everyday we will be able to get rid of the socks and binder. The standing frame has so many benefits, here are some of them:
  • improved range of motion
  • Decreased joint & muscle contractors
  • Decreased pressure issues with changing positions
  • Improved circulatory & respiratory functions
  • Decrease muscle spasms
  • Assist with normal skeletal development
  • Improved bowel function & regularity
  • Improved kidney & bladder functions
  • Lessen or prevent progressive scoliosis
  • Help maintain bone integrity
On a different topic, I'm flabbergasted at how thoughtless, rude and selfish some people can be. Jerry went to the movie with some of his buds over the weekend and the story he told when he got home floored me. They arrived at the movie 10 minutes early only to find that two non handicap people were sitting in the handicap reserved seating. Mind you these are not the greatest seats in the house the are all the way in the back of the theater. There were plenty of seating available, in fact better seating was available two rows up from the handicap section, the whole row was empty. The kids asked politely if the two wouldn't mind giving up the seats as they were the only handicap seating available. These two who were in their early to mid twenties and should have a little more courtesy as adults said "NO, we're not moving". The kids explained the seats were reserved for handicap and they were not handicap and they needed to move. Still "NO". Issac informed them at that point if they would not move he would get the manager, the response was go ahead and get the manager. These two people argued with the manager as to why they should not have to move however the manager was insistent. The couple insisted if they had to move they wanted their money back, so the manager gave their money back and they left the theater. UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Jerry has a dentist appointment today so I will rap it up for now. I'll try to post pictures of Jerry in the standing frame tonight.

Much love,
Katie

Friday, August 14, 2009

Classical Concert Benefit

Sheri Ross is putting on a classical concert fund raiser to help offset the cost of Jerry's therapy at SCI-FIT. This will be an enjoyable evening for all ages.  Sheri will be playing Mozart and Bach with pianist Laura Swanson.  Aude Castagna, and others will be performing. Featuring string and piano works by Bach, Mozart Beethoven, Handel and more! If you would like to help Sheri organize or promote this concert please contact her at shero777@yahoo.com or you can also send me an email at katie@followingjerry.com.

Location: Erica Shilling Forum (Bldg. 400) at the Cabrillo College Campus: 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA. 95003

Date: Saturday, August 29, 2009

Time: 7:00 PM

Suggested Donation: $10 at entry





Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday - Aug 10

The last two nights Jerry has slept in his own room. I think he's pretty glad that he doesn't have to listen to me snore, he slept well and likes the new room. I miss our bed time chats or laying in bed laghing about something silly the kitties did, but I do love having my bed back. Dennis is really appreciating not sleeping on the couch. Here's a sneak peak of Jer's room, Dennis and Jessica laying the floor. I'm not done decorating but when I am I'll post more pictures.


Tomorrow we are at Dominican rehab, it will be nice to get back to the routine after taking last week off. I don't have much new news other than we are in the process of weaning Jerry off of 3 of his medications. Please keep him in your prayers that the transition will be successful and these medications can be eliminated.

Thanks
Katie

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Quick Update

Just a quick update to say Jerry will be sleeping in his own room tonight. To be honest it will be a little sad for me as we have slept in the same room for the last 6 months. I've enjoyed our bed time chats and playing with the kitties before we doze off.

Dennis got Jerry's room done so I moved all his stuff in today, tonight will be his first night alone. Well sort of alone, I did get a baby monitor, I need to be able to hear him in case there's a problem in the night. It will be strange sleeping in my king bed tonight, I know Dennis will be thrilled to be off the couch and in a real bed. I still need to decorate Jerry's room but everything but the cabinets are done. Now it's time to get the bathroom and the Air Conditioning done. :-D

A bit of good news we have been dealing with a paper nightmare trying to get a standing frame for Jer and we just found out 2 days ago that it has been approved. The standing frame has been ordered and should be in our home within the next 3 weeks, whoohoo.

More tomorrow.....

Katie

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thursday - Aug 7

I apologize, I've been neglecting the followingjerry community and I know some of you worry when you don't see a post for awhile. Everything is going well it's just been busy, by the time I have free time to post it's late at night and I usually opt for bed.

Things are starting to fall into place. For months now I've been feeling like everything is going to be better when Jerry receives all his equipment ...when Jerry gets into his new room ...when Jerry's nausea goes away. Prayers have been answered, Jerry is struggling less and less with the nausea. I wouldn't say the nausea is completely gone but it's at a much more tolerable level and he does have extended periods of time when he's not nauseous. Jerry does have a bad nausea day on occasion but it's getting better.

Jerry had two appointments on Monday, one with his doctor and the other with his dentist. The dentist was great about accommodating Jerry. We didn't have to transfer into the dentist chair, she moved the chair out to make space for the wheelchair and she worked on Jerry standing up. Both appointments went well.

Jerry's friends from Florida came for another visit and brought their mom along this time. We canceled PT and OT on Tuesday and SCI-FIT on Wednesday so Jerry could spend some time with them. Tuesday we went to Henry Cowell State Park, for those not familiar with the park you can check it out here, the girls loved the redwoods and were amazed at the beauty of it all. It's nice that Jerry was able to do the hike, the trail is flat and smooth and the wheelchair handled it just fine. We left Henry Cowell and headed for the Board Walk in Santa Cruz. We walked the board walk and I gotta say it's a little different experience with a wheel chair. There were so many people, it was a little challenging for Jerry to manuever through the crowd. Wednesday we drove to San Francisco, I was a little surprised they didn't have better handicap parking accomodations. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, parking is horrible for non hadicap vehicles as well. It took us about 45 minutes to find a parking spot, our van was too tall to go into the parking garage which surprised me. The lot at the end of the wharf was full and didn't even have one handicap spot. There was a wharehouse to park in on the pier which only had three handicap spots, of course they were taken. We were allowed to park in a non parking spot which would accomodate us dropping the lift so it worked out. We had a wonderful time in Frisco, we had crepes on pier 39 as well as clam chowder and Ghridelli Chocolate, mmmmm sooo good. The girls were amazed at the hills in frisco, they are so steep and long, we drove up Hyde Street and down Lombard Street (America's crookedest street). There are a lot of tourist standing at the bottom of Lombard Street watching the cars come down. It was kind of funny, the tourists at the bottom of the hill were amazed to see such a big van come down that windy, narrow street, when we reached the bottom the whole crowd cheered and applauded, we kinda felt like celebrities. I'm not gonna lie, it was a little scary when we first started down the hill, the pictures don't do it justice to show how steep it is. I havn't put the brakes through that rigorious of a test, I was hoping they would hold out, we survived.

Thursday the girls went to Santa Cruz with Jessica while Jerry and I went to Dominican Rehab. We had to exchange our FES hand bike appointment for an appointment to pick up and adjust Jerry's permanent power wheel chair. We were bummed for sure for missing the hand bike, it seems like every time Jerry rides the hand bike he gets a little stronger. We were excited on the other hand to get Jerry's permant power chair. Jerry was pretty thrilled with the chair and says he feels so much more comfortable in the chair. The chair was custom made to fit his body and he can really feel the difference. We spent 2 1/2 hours making adjustments to the chair and didn't finish so we have another appointment next week to finish. The chair has some really cool features the other chair didn't have like electric foot rest. The chair also has tilt and recline before he only had tilt, there are some other cool features as well.

Today we are off to SCI-FIT so I will rap it up as I still have to finish getting Jerry ready and out the door in the next 15 minutes, yikes. I'll leave you with a couple pictures of Jer in his new chair.....



Katie

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday - July 30

It's been a busy week and I'm looking forward to the weekend. Last Sunday I was in the emergency room with Janea all night. Dennis, Jessica and Janea volunteered at the Wharf to Wharf on Sunday, for those not familiar it's a 10K run in Santa Cruz. Janea started to feel dizzy about noon and by 2:00 she was vomiting. The strange thing is Janea felt fine all morning. Janea was so sick she couldn't hold anything down, by 8:30 pm her arms were trembling uncontrollably. I took here to emergency and they kept her all night, she was severely dehydrated and her blood pressure dropped scarily low 77 / 21. Three IV bags later her blood pressure was 80 / 50. They were concerned about releasing her but she was able to get up and walk around without getting dizzy and she was fully hydrated so they released her about 7 am. I was really tired because I didn't sleep at all and was sitting in the most uncomfortable chair all night. Janea slept all day Monday and is back to normal, I pray Jerry doesn't come down with it, it was awful. I managed to get about 5 hours sleep but was pretty wiped out on Monday.

Tuesday Jerry had his endoscopy, they didn't do the colonoscopy there was a misunderstanding on my part. The endoscopy went well, the results came back normal with a little bit of acid damage in the esophagus. The doctor thinks the ditropan Jerry takes for bladder spasms is relaxing the sphincter to the stomach so acid is backing up into the esophagus. The doc said that it could be what's causing the nausea so he put him on protonics. I don't think the acid is the nausea causer, he has been off and on protonics since he was in the hospital and it has never had an effect on the nausea. I'm going to request Jerry's doctor to order a stomach emptying study, I think he has a motility problem. We'll see. Jerry has felt pretty bad all week, however today he seemed a little better.

We had to cancel SCI-FIT on Wednesday because I had a doctor appointment. I have been having trouble hearing in my left ear for a few months now. The doctor put me on a steroid for two weeks to try and resolve the issue I'm having with my inner-ear. I had another hearing test and there was no improvement so the doc gave me a shot of steroid. The shot hurt, they poke the needle through the ear drum and inject the cream next to the inner ear membrane. After two weeks there is still no improvement to the hearing so at this point the doc has determined the hearing loss is permanent. I now have an appointment to be fitted for a hearing aid, how ridicules, I'm to young to loose my hearing.

Today Jerry had therapy at Dominican Rehab. Jerry did the FES hand bike. Every time Jerry does the FES hand bike he feels like he gains a little something back. After the FES session Jerry gained the ability to rotate his wrist slightly. This is new, until now he could only pick his arm up and let it fall but he cannot push it down or rotate it. Jerry also had a very slight movement in his thumb when he was trying to rotate his hand. The thumb movement is so small you could hardly see it, but it's there and it's exciting to have something new. I thank God for anything new because it keeps hope alive and renews motivation to keep working hard.

Jerry's friends from Florida are coming this weekend for another visit so I know Jerry is very excited about that. Tomorrow we are off to Pleasanton and then having a BBQ at our house for the summer staffers. Summer staff leaves on Saturday which is a bummer, Jerry very much enjoyed them dropping by for visits.

Well I think we've caught up and the dinner dishes are awaiting my presence so I will say good night.

Katie

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday - July 23

We are so busy with therapy and doctor appointments, the days seem to fly by, I can't believe we are over 7 months post injury. It seems like yesterday and yet it seems like a life time ago, how is that possible. What's even more ridicules is we still don't have Jerry's permanent power wheelchair or bed.

Jerry still struggles with nausea but it seems like it's getting better. Jerry has an endoscopy and colonoscopy today at noon. I know this sounds weird but sometimes I just want one of these tests to come back with a problem. Although you don't want there to be a problem it's obvious there is a problem or he wouldn't be nauseous for 7 months. If one of the tests came back with a problem you would at least know what your dealing with and how to fix it. The fact that every test they have done til now has come back normal is great however it leaves us still searching for the needle in the hay stack. Despite the morning nausea Jerry seems to feel pretty good from about noon on. Jerry's mental state is in a good place right now, there always seems to be someone around to keep him cheery.

We had a party at our house last night to celebrate Dennis' birthday. Jerry and I didn't get back from Pleasanton until 8:30, we were late for our own party. Oh well, we had fun anyway.

Therapy is going well, Jerry continues to get tingles in his legs while exercising. Jerry said yesterday that he could feel tingling in his hands which is new. Pray that this means his body is waking up. I pray several times a day that God will heal him completely and restore his body.

God bless you all for following Jerry's progress and keeping him in your daily thoughts and prayers, until he walks again.

Love always,
Katie

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A great day at the ball park

For those of you who went to the San Jose Giants game yesterday, you all ready know it was a great game and a wonderful time all together. For those not able to make it, the Giants won the Modesto Nuts 1-0, whoot, whoot. I was hoping the following Jerry crowd would all be seated in one section however it didn't quite work out that way. I was a little disappointed that we couldn't get Jerry in the stands. There was a wheelchair seating area way out by the third base side which was full, so we spent most of the time hanging out by the fence on the first base side. Other than that minor issue the day was absolutely wonderful. It was great to see so many of our friends come out to support Jerry as well as many familiar faces from our community.

We had a tail gate party prior to the game and I gotta say that was just as much fun as the game itself. I wanted to stay and hang out with friends, the time was far too short. It was fun having people stop by to say hi on their way into the game. I would have loved to have more time to socialize.

For those who weren't able to make it to the game Jerry went out to the mound with his sister Jessica who got to throw the first pitch. It was a pretty good pitch for a center fielder, the catcher said it was a strike and even had some movement on it. Way to go Jess! Jerry also went out to the field with the summer staffers and a few friends to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game". I can't believe they actually got Jerry to go out there and sing, that was pretty sweet. Some of the guys on the team came over to talk to Jerry, they were so cool. One of the players went in the dugout and got an official ball to sign for Jerry, what a great guy.

I would like to thank everyone who came out to support Jerry in this fundraiser. It was kind of a scary fund raiser because we had to invest $2,500 for tickets. We were nervous about not being able to sell enough tickets to cover cost. Thanks to all who purchased tickets we made our money back. We have not gotten all the ticket money back yet but the estimate is that we profited $2,500. That equates to 2 months of therapy at SCI-FIT in Pleasanton, so THANK YOU ALL!!! I would like to give a special THANKS to Mike owner of Stanford Avenue Automotive on the corner of Stanford and Mission in Santa Cruz. Mike purchased somewhere in the ball park of 120 tickets, thanks Mike for being so supportive. Anyone needing automotive work be sure to visit Stanford Avenue Automotive, Mike is an AWESOME DUDE and will treat you right.

I want to thank the following people for busting their booty to sale tickets: Trish, Leanne, Marci, Kris, Kay (AKA Nana), Karen, Rob, Paul, Josh&Janea, Sharon Ferry, Sharon Fry, Jessica and Amber. Thank you to Becky for working on the flyer and news paper ad. Thank you to Santa Cruz Weekly paper for the free ad space. You guys rock big time! Lastly a huge THANK YOU to Marci for finding and orgainizing this fund raiser. Thanks for working with the Giants staff and coordinating our vollunteers and gettin it done. YOUR AMAZING, THANKS!

OHHHH, I can't forget to thank Paul Firenzi of MVP-Photography for document the day with some awesome pictures, thanks Paul. You can click on the images to view larger size.



Katie

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday - July 13

We have had quite a busy few days. Jessica had a tournament so Dennis and Jess stayed Saturday night in Stockton. Jerry and I went to a friends wedding, Salina. Salina looked so beautiful and is so cute. You know the tradition something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue? Salina's something blue was Jerry's (FollowingJerry) bracelet around her ankle. It was too cute when she took a picture with Jerry with her leg up on the arm of Jerry's chair to show the bracelet around her ankle. I gotta get a copy of that, who do I pay Salina? :-) During the reception Jerry said "Look" as he looked in the direction of his leg. Jerry had new movement, he was able to move his leg about a 1/2 inch. That does not sound like much but let me tell you any deliberate movement below the level of injury is mucho huge. It was deliberate movement that he was able to duplicate about four times. Jerry wanted to show Salina so I went and found her and he was able to show her as well, it was way cool. Jerry has not been able to make that movement since but continues to try. My understanding is the body gets fatigued so something you can do one day doesn't necessarily mean you can do it the next day.


We had to leave the reception a little early as I was having some lady friends over for game night. We got home about 5:30 and my guests were due to arrive at 7:30. I had just enough time to take care of Jerry's needs and get all my hors d'oeuvres ready before the gals showed up. Jerry went to the movie with a friend, it was nice for him to get out of the house and get a break from me. I had a blast with my friends which left about 12:30. By the time I cleaned up and got Jerry to bed it was 3 am so needless to say we slept in until about noon the next day. Sunday Jerry chilled and watched his shows or did computer work all day which is his favorite thing to do since his injury. I finally got an opportunity to pull all the weeds in my yard, I actually had weeds 4 feet tall. The flower beds are now practically empty. I didn't plant flowers this year for obvious reasons and all those weeds almost looked like plants. After pulling the weeds I see now I need some flowers. Ahh well whatcha gonna do? .....tomorrow's another day.

Today we had a massage therapist (Susan) come to the house for Jerry, I gotta say she was pretty amazing. Susan was here for well over two hours and even did a little work on me, it was wonderful. We are going to have Susan do massage therapy on Jerry probably every other week at this point. Part of the goal is to relive pain Jerry has in his neck and shoulders, hopefully to reduce the need for the pain meds. Any one local looking for a good therapist look no further, Susan Handloff Hammer of Harmony Massage does wonderful work. Thanks Susan!

After the appointment with Susan we had to load up and head to Santa Cruz. I had an appointment with the ear doc which was not pleasant. I've had a significant hearing loss in my left ear over the last 3 months. I took a steroid for two weeks which did absolutely nothing. Today the doc put a needle through my ear drum and injected a steroid near the inner ear. OK that was not fun, hopefully it will help to regain the hearing loss.

Our next appointment was with Jerry's doctor. I took all the charts that I've been charting for the last two weeks. Food chart, blood pressure chart, bowel and bladder chart, we're looking for a pattern and sadly the only pattern is something we already knew. Jerry's nausea level starts out between 5 and 7 every day, by mid day he's about a 3 or 4, by late afternoon he's at a 1. No correlation to bowel or bladder, blood pressure or food, the quest goes on. Jerry had major blood pressure issues today, we learned something new. Jerry wears compression socks to help keep his blood pressure up. On occasion he has gone without the socks and been fine. The socks is not something he will have to wear for life he can eventually get rid of them. Today was pretty hot so we thought Jerry would be more comfortable without the socks and as he has on occasion gone without them I didn't give it a second thought. So we found out today that when it's hot is when he needs them the most. Jerry could not sit upright without starting to pass out and stayed in a tilt position until we got home. The nurse took his blood pressure sitting up and it was 58 over 31 just as he was about to pass out. He went back to tilt position and his blood pressure went back up to 90 over 58, much better. Now we know.

Dennis was installing an attic fan in our house this evening. He was testing it out and went to adjust it and his hand slipped, he almost chopped off the tip of his finger. It was rather gruesome, the entire fingernail was ripped off as well as a hunk of flesh under the nail. I called our doctor and she confirmed what we thought, there's not much they can do other then to clean it up and give a tetanus shot. Dennis will go get a tetanus on Wednesday, the sweet thing is we have a nurse on staff here where we live at Redwood Christian Park. Dennis went down to the nurses station and she cleaned it up for him which saved a trip to the ER.

We still have a lot of Giants tickets left, if you plan on going tickets are still available locally at We All Ride in Soquel, Scotts Valley CycleSport and Felton Feed. You can also purchase them online here at the blog until Saturday at 12noon. Any tickets purchased online before this Tuesday will be mailed, those purchased between Wednesday and Saturday at 12noon will be held at will-call at the Stadium.

I guess that's enough for know, I think I'm all caught up on the latest.

See You There, Go Giants!!

Katie

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ballgame This Saturday!

We are SO excited for this Saturday, and hope that you will be joining us at 6pm at the San Jose Municipal Stadium for a great game between the San Jose Giants and the Modesto Nuts!

Not only will the baseball be awesome, but you will enjoy seeing some of our own folks playing games between innings, throwing the first pitch, and singing for the 7th inning stretch! That's likely worth the price of admission right there.......!

Tickets are still available locally at We All Ride in Soquel, Scotts Valley CycleSport and Felton Feed. You can also purchase them online here at the blog until Saturday at 12noon. Any tickets purchased online before this Tuesday will be mailed, those purchased between Wednesday and Saturday at 12noon will be held at will-call at the Stadium.

So, don't delay! If you haven't yet bought your ticket, the time is now!

We can't wait to see you there.

Go Giants!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thursday - July 9

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while, when things remain the same with very little change I struggle to know what to write about. Jerry is doing well for the most part. There were a couple of days where Jerry felt depressed and had a hard day but it was short lived thank God. This is such a roller coaster ride for us all but particularly for Jerry. I'm so glad it's summer though because a lot of Jerry's friends are home from college. Jerry has been spending quite a bit of time with his friends, those are the times when he feels good. I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little worried for the end of summer when everyone goes back to school.

Jerry had another ultrasound which came back normal. Jerry has an endoscopy and colonoscopy coming up, still trying to get to the bottom of the nausea. I will say the nausea seems to be getting better, he still wakes up with it and it never really is fully gone however it stays at a tolerable level for most of the day.

Please continue to pray that God will heal Jerry completely. Pray that God will give Jerry strength, peace and determination to keep working hard.

Thank you for praying, for loving, for supporting, for caring, and for staying with us on this journey.

Katie

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Countdown....

Our Saturday, July 18 ballgame between the San Jose Giants and the Modesto Nuts is coming up quick! The game is at 6pm, tickets are just $7 per person, and kids ages 0-4 can enter for free.

If you haven't yet invited your friends, family and coworkers, please extend an invitation as we would love to see a FANTASTIC turnout. If you need any flyers, double click on the flyer to the right and print as many as you would like.

If you are planning to attend but have not yet purchased your tickets, we would love for you to do so this week. Based on our tickets sales by weeks end, our plans will begin to finalize, and we would HATE for anyone to miss out on this fantastic evening of baseball, good friends and good food!

Tickets are available here by clicking the "add to cart" button your sidebar, or you can purchase tickets at We All Ride in Soquel, Felton Feed, or Scotts Valley CycleSport.

See you soon!

m.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Summer and Happy 4th of July Weekend

I love summer it's my favorite time of year, the weather has been gorgeous. Jerry and I get a 4 day weekend as SCI-FIT is closed today and we always have Monday's off. Well I guess Monday's not totally a free day as Jerry has an ultrasound. It will be nice to use the time off to get caught up on things around the house, maybe even get some yard work done.

Jerry has been feeling much the same with the nausea, the charting I've been doing shows a pattern. Using a scale of one through ten every morning upon waking he is at 5 or 6 by 1:00 he is around 3 by 5:00 he is at 1 and remains that way. The nausea is never fully gone but level 3 and below is tolerable. It's was sad the other day he said, "I don't even remember what it's like to not feel nauseous".

Jerry has had a lot more time with friends since summer has started and it has been wonderful. He smiles more and that always warms my heart.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend.

Katie

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

First time in RCP pool

On Saturday we got Jerry in the pool here at Redwood Christian Park for the first time. It turned out to be easier then we anticipated and he enjoyed it very much. Here are some pictures to mark the occasion....

Publish Post


I fixed the music so it plays with the pictures, if you watched earlier today you probably noticed the music was messed up.

Jerry really enjoyed getting in the pool to cool off and hang with friends. It was much easier to get him in and out then we anticipated. It would be nice to get him in the pool a couple times a week and maybe do some movement without the flotation next time.

Katie

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Jerry the Big 20

I wrote this blog yesterday but had trouble posting the slide show, so here it is a little late....

Jerry had a wonderful birthday yesterday but before I go into the details I want to back up a day to Thursday. I mentioned in an earlier post that we would be attending the camp guest speaker testimonial/sermon on Thursday evening. We went to Dominican Rehab earlier in the day for therapy, Jerry did the FES hand bike. Jerry's arms seem stronger every time he does the FES hand bike. In the evening we went to the tabernacle to hear Joy Griffin and what an incredible testimony she has. Joy had been a Christian since childhood but had struggled with the feeling in her heart and had been doing some soul searching. Joy was going to college and playing softball when her life was changed forever. Joy played center field and made a dive for a ball during a critical part of the game, actually the game winning catch. When Joy landed she ripped all the muscles from her spine and was paralyzed. She was in so much pain the only comfortable place to be was flat on her back on the floor which is where she spent the next year and a half. Joy really did some soul searching and studying her bible as well as being mentored. She met a man that prayed with her and asked her if she believed God could heal her, they prayed for healing and Joy was healed instantly, she jumped up and ran, she was healed miraculously. The doctors could not explain or even fathom how this could be as the damage to her back was not repairable, it truly was a miraculous healing. At the end of the evening Jerry, Dennis, Jessica and I went forward for prayer for healing for Jerry. It was incredible to close your eyes begin to pray and not be aware of what was going on around you. Then to open your eyes and find about 50 people had come forward either laying hands on Jerry or the person next to them if they couldn't reach Jerry and praying for God to heal Jerry, it was incredible. There is no doubt in my mind that God will heal Jerry, it may not be instant like Joy but he gets stronger everyday and I believe he will walk again and we will praise God for his mercy.

Yesterday was Jerry's birthday and we managed to pull off a surprise party. I should say Jessica managed to pull off a surprise party. Dennis had to work and I took Jerry to SCI-FIT in Pleasanton. Jessica made a cake, picked up pizza, decorated the house, and coordinated with Jerry's friends. Jerry had no idea, he was totally surprised. Here are a few pictures of the party:

Push play to view video....




Enjoy,
Katie

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hiccup

*****PAY PAL IS BACK UP AND RUNNING, HOPE NOBODY WAS TERRIBLY FRUSTRATED WITH THE HICCUP*****.

Pay Pal is acting up, and we will have it fixed later tonight!

We apologize to any who have come to buy a ticket....please check back soon!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Toxic Green Machine

Jerry got another piece of equipment today, his manual chair, Toxic Green, yeah baby!
Here's a little taste of Toxic Green, by the way his permanent power chair will be Toxic Green as well.



We thought we would try the new chair for the ride to SCI-FIT today, turns out that was not such a good idea. It's not really made for comfort and travel. When the chair is tied down it still has a lot of movement around turns so windy Bear Creek was a little rough. Jerry did seem to be comfortable on the freeway however.

Jerry is still waking up with nausea in the morning, it's the never ending story. Jerry went to the Urologist on Monday the doctor was very nice. The doc took Jerry off of one of the medications he was taking which in my book is great, one less med is good. The doc is going to possibly order a new ultrasound if he's not satisfied with the results of the last test. Jerry also has an endoscopy test mid July, we're still plugging away trying to find the root cause of the nausea. The good thing is the nausea seems to be at level 1 to 2 earlier in the day, by 2:00 he feels pretty good. We have been charting everything, I'm like chart queen right now.

We are in the middle of June Family camp here at Redwood Christian Park where we live. The guest speaker tomorrow night has an incredible testimony to share and we are so excited to go listen tomorrow night. Joy was a softball player in college and suffered an injury during a game which left her paralyzed, I think she spent over a year in a wheelchair and then was miraculously healed. I'll have to give you all the details after I here her full testimony.

God bring healing, to Tim, Allie and Jerry.....
Amen
Katie


OK, Tina is just too cute, I still can't capture the magnitude of her cuteness on film but this pic is still pretty cute.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tuesday Ballgame Update

The tickets are flying out fast and furious, and we are SO grateful for the many of you that are helping to spread the word about our July 18th ballgame between the San Jose Giants and the Modesto Nuts!

Many have asked if there is a way to help with the plans for the game, and what we need the most is your help in inviting your friends, family, coworkers and neighbors! This week, we've got a few new ways for you to do this:

First, if you are on Facebook, sign in and search for "Following Jerry to a Ballgame", or click here to go straight to the event page. You will see an option on the right where you can invite more guests, and we would love for you to invite your own friends and family via Facebook.

Next, you might have already noticed that if you click on the flyer to your right, it will come up full-sized and ready to print. If you can print some flyers and hang them in your place of employment, businesses that you frequent, or wherever, we would love it. If you would like your own stack of tickets to sell, just let us know and we'll get those to you.

We are also very grateful to our local businesses that are offering tickets: We All Ride in Soquel, Felton Feed and Scotts Valley CycleSport. If you've not yet purchased tickets, you can do so at any of these locations, or right here from the blog.

We would also like to give a big shout out to the great folks at Little League that are allowing us to set up at table and sell tickets at all of the upcoming Tournament of Champions for all divisions. If you would like to help us in manning a table so that we can cover all of the games, send us an email to ballgame@followingjerry.com and let us know. There are numerous games the week of June 30, and one this coming up Saturday. If you can help, it'd be great.

Lastly, we are THRILLED to announce a partnership between ourselves and a non-profit called Bayshore Christian Ministries. If you would like to support this fundraising ballgame but cannot attend due to distance, calendar conflict, or whatever, just let us know and we will donate your purchased tickets to the folks at Bayshore, who will then give them out to inner-city youth and their families. For your $7 ticket, you can not only support Jerry and his recovery, but also play a part in supporting a child's introduction to sports.

How fantastic is that?

If you have any questions or suggestions for us as plans continue, email us at ballgame@followingjerry.com

For the Gang,
m.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day to all you Dad's and a SUPER DUPER OOOBER FATHERS DAY to Dennis. Dennis has worked 7 days a week between Jerry's room and his real job for 4 months. He may have had about 5 days off in that time. Thank you Big D for working so hard we love and appreciate you sooooo much. I hope you enjoyed your weekend off and steak dinner, now get back to work :-o ....just kidding.

Jessica had a softball tournament over the hill this weekend and one of Dennis' favorite things is watching her games, so he was pretty much in hog heaven. They lost the first game and one the second yesterday, then won the first two and lost the third today which put them in 5th of about 2o for northern California, way to go Ray's. Jessica batted something like 15 for 20 with a couple of walks not a bad weekend at the plate, you go girl!!!!

Daddy and Ricco takin a cat nap.....

Thank you Marci for working so hard on the Giants ballgame and thank you Trish for all the promotion at the Little League Tournament of Champions. We have had some on line orders for tickets thank you to all who have ordered early online your tickets will be mailed tomorrow. I'm so excited for the Giants game it is going to be so much fun, I can't wait to see you all there. Go Giants!!! By the way we get to throw the first pitch as well as pick someone to sing the national anthem, we are going to have to come up with a fun way to decide who will do these....any idea's? Anybody interested in doing either send me an email to katie@followingjerry.com.

For those living near Gottschalks they're going out of business and are having an incredible sale, I got Jerry a new recliner about 70% off, it was such a great deal. I'm excited because it fits him perfectly so we don't have to prop his arms with pillows any more. Ususally we have to put a pillow under each arm which on a warm day causes him to over heat pretty quickly. The arms on this chair are closer together so his arms can sit on them without falling off. The most exciting thing about the chair is it has a vibrating back which in my mind has to help with circulation and prevention of pressure sores. Maybe it will stimulate his back muscles or maybe it will just be relaxing at any rate he sits higher in the chair and feels more comfortable so that's good.

Jerry had a wonderful time last night, he had a virtual poker party. Jerry was excited to have his friends over and was pretty amped up most the day. So thank you Luke, Kevin, Issac, Jesse, Gevin and Chris. The boys all brought their lap tops over and played on line poker, they had a hard time figuring out how to set up a private table and I think half the night was spent on setting up. Jerry had fun none the less and it was so great just to see him chillin with his friends.

Please keep our kids in your prayers until each has recovered, keep hope alive and wait for the miracle. Lord release complete healing for Tim Hatch, Allie and Jerry, heal their bodies, heal thier minds, and restore them to health. Thank you Lord for all the blessings you have already given.

God Bless,

Katie

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday - June 19

I don't have much to update tonight, the day started much the same as every day, Jerry really didn't feel good this morning. The traffic to Pleasanton was horrendous, the 680 freeway was a parking lot and we were 30 minutes late for work out. A little frustrating but the good news is Jerry had a good work out and by the end he felt pretty good.

We got home about 7:30 and I got an opportunity to go in Jerry's room and finish painting the Monster M, I gotta say...."I like it", now I hope Jerry will like it, he hasn't seen it yet. Here's a sneak peak.....



After reading the article in the Sentinel today I felt very sad that another of our Valley kids has suffered a tragic accident. I was reminded once again what an incredible community we live in and how people are compassionate and caring and how truly blessed we are. I pray for Tim and his family, I pray that he will recover fully.

Good night,
Katie