Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Day of Answered Prayer - Saturday Feb 28

Yesterday was a day of answered prayer. First of all as I posted earlier in the day, we found out one way or another Jerry's equipment needs will be covered.

Later in the day I got a phone call from Kathy, one of Jerry's therapists from Valley Med. Kathy saw a flyer for a handicap van for sale and thought it was worth us looking into. Dennis called and arranged a time last night for us to go check it out. It worked out nicely because we had to go to San Jose anyway. As I said in a previous post Jessica purchased a Jetta from a couple in Danville and we were meeting in San Jose at 8pm to do the exchange. Thank you Gretchy, Gabe and Gevan for sitting with Jerry while we were out. After picking up the Jetta, Mitchel and Jessica drove our suburban home and Dennis and I drove the Jetta over to look at the van. We met a wonderful family who was kind enough to let us bring the van home to test if Jerry would fit in it. What a blessing, not many people would be so trusting. After getting through the morning routine this morning, we got Jerry in his chair about 2:00 and loaded him in the van for a ride to see if it was comfortable for him. There are a few issues, the door opening is only 53" which is pretty standard we expected that. The problem is Jerry is so tall he has to tilt significantly to fit him in the door opening. The wheelchair won't drive in tilt so once we have to push the wheelchair in manually and it's kindof heavy. Once inside the van with Jerry sitting up straight he only has about 1" of clearance between his head and the ceiling, his hair actually does touch the ceiling. The van has a 6" drop floor and what we really need is a 9" drop floor. Jerry has to tilt back a little to avoid hitting the ceiling if we hit a bump. All that being said, we really need to get Jerry mobile and it may be quite some time before we come across a van with a 9" drop floor. This van is not ideal for Jerry but it will work for awhile. We decided to make an offer on the van, our thought is we can use this van until Jerry's new permanent wheelchair comes in which will probably be at least 3 months. We are hoping Jerry's new chair will sit lower and he will fit better. It was a hard decision for us to decide weather or not to purchase this vehicle it would be ideal if it had the 9" drop floor. Do we settle for something that does not fit him perfectly so we can be mobile or do we stay house bound longer until the right van comes along? The sellers were asking $8,950 for the van, we decided we didn't want to spend more than $7,500 for this van because it wasn't exactly what we needed. We thought if it was meant to be then the offer would be accepted, if not then maybe God had a different plan and we would need to be patient a little longer. God blessed us, the sellers accepted the offer. We will drive to San Jose tomorrow and finalize the deal. Halleljah!!! Thank you Jesus!!! We are now mobile, just in time for our first visit to outpatient rehab in Pleasenton.

Katie

Friday, February 27, 2009

Quick Update

We just have to say thank you to our prayer warriors. We just received some wonderful news and a huge weight has been lifted from our shoulders. I received a phone call from Mary a representative from our insurance group Physicians Medical Group (PMG) this morning. Mary is going to help us with things sort of a liason between insurance, us and doctors. Mary will be trying to get a different bed for Jerry that is more comfortable for him particularly one he fits in. I talked with Mary about the insurance covering only being $2,000 for equipment. Mary did some digging around and with the help of other wonderful women in the PMG group they got the medical equipment covered. Mary will communicate with the doctors to help the process go as quickly and smoothly as possible. When the insurance declines the equipment requests, the requests will be forwarded to Medical, what ever Medical won't cover will be forwarded to Children Services. Mary got confirmation that Children services will cover anything not covered by Blue Cross and Medical. I just want to say THANK YOU Mary, THANK YOU ladies at PMG, THANK YOU Children's Services THANK YOU prayer warriors and THANK YOU Lord!!!!!!!

Katie

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday - Feb 26

Not much to post tonight, much of the same so tonight's post will be short. Jerry struggled with nausea for the most part of the day, he did throw up a little which he usually does not. It's heart breaking for me, it's such a struggle for him because he doesn't have the muscle control to bring it up. There seems to be a pattern where the nausea comes on in the morning when you start moving his body for range of motion, it sticks around for most of the day and by 8:00 pm it's gone and he feels good. So what happens in the evening that reduces the nausea? We need to try and figure it out. We felt like the nausea was from pain medication however he had no pain meds all day and was still sick. Maybe it's one of his evening meds that calms his stomach, maybe we need to try some of the evening meds in the morning instead of evening to see if there's a change? Sheesh, nothing is simple in this mess.

I spent a good amount of time on the phone with insurance today and found out our insurance will only pay $2,000 total for the calendar year for equipment. Yeah, I know, shocking. I was greatly disappointed to hear this news. We thought they would be covering Jer's power chair, manual chair, hospital bed, Hoyer lift, commode chair etc. Jer will have approx $55,000 in equipment needs, how can Blue Cross justify only covering $2,000, unbelievable is all I can say about that. Jerry qualified for medical we are hoping to get some support to cover costs through them. Tomorrows task will be to contact medical and find out what they will cover as the secondary insurance.

On a more positive note I contacted SCI-Fit and we have an appointment on Monday, their only requirement is that we have a doctors release to begin intensive rehab and do weight bearing exercise. I contacted Jerry's doctor and he had no problem faxing me a release. Hallelujah, we are all set to check out SCI-Fit on Monday. Jerry needs this badly, to stay focused on rehab, to work actively on trying to regain some movement, this is so exciting. I just gotta give Dr. Quinn a shout out, he's awesome. I called him about 2:15 and didn't expect to talk with him in person to request the release. I figured it would be at least a day before I heard anything back however he called me less then 2 hours later. We talked about Jerry's constipation issues and before we were even off the phone he had already faxed in a prescription to the pharmacy. He said he would fax the release right away for rehab. I could hear the disappointment in doctors voice when he asked if home health care had started yet and I told him I hadn't even been contacted by them yet. He said he would be calling them just as soon as we got off the phone. It's so wonderful to have a doctor be so responsive, we love his style.

Well I guess this post wasn't so short after all, I'm off to bed.

Good night,
Katie

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday Night - Feb 25

We let Jerry sleep in this morning which pretty much threw the whole day off, but that's OK. Jerry's morning routine takes about 3 1/2 sometimes 4 hours before we can get him out of bed so needless to say when you sleep till noon the day is gone.

Jessica will be taking her behind the wheel driver test tomorrow, she's very excited and nervous. Jessica has been saving her money for many years and purchased a 95 Jetta which we will pick up on Friday, she got a pretty good deal. It will be some time before Jess can drive her new car because the Jetta is a stick shift and Jess has never driven a stick. So now it will be like teaching her to drive all over again.

Jess had a scrimmage game in Los Gatos for those not familiar with the area Los Gatos is about 40 minutes from our house. We really needed to get Jerry out of the house because he hasn't been out for a few days we need to take advantage when it's not raining. We took Jerry to Jess's game but it was way to cold to get him out of the car not to mention he just wasn't feeling good. Jerry and I watched the game from inside the car with the heater on, actually Jerry slept through most of it. Jerry has been struggling with nausea it really nags at him pretty much on a daily basis.

We have decided to contact SCI-Fit in Pleasenton to try and schedule a visit for Monday. We can't wait for a van, we've spent to much time already not in rehab, everyday not doing some sort of rehab seems wasted. We will have to suck it up and do car transfers, we can do it. Dennis made a piece of exercise equipment for Jerry to work his biceps. It's like the skateboard he used at Valley Medical. We still do his range of motion everyday at home of course but it's just not enough, he needs to get in the gym with real therapists. It will probably be about three weeks before he can get authorization and scheduled for Dominican Rehab so we decided it would be a good time to check out SCI-Fit.

God has been faithful and loving and merciful. I needed sunshine and God delivered, in our moment of despair God comforted, when we struggle with hope God reminds us to never give up. Thank you father for loving and caring for us and bringing peace in the midst of tragedy, Glory to you Lord. Amen.

Katie

A Busy Day - Feb 25

I started to write a post last night and didn't get to finish, we had an emotional evening with Jerry in dealing with his injury. I know he would not want me to go into detail let's just say it was the first realization and outward showing of emotion. We were up very late last night so we are letting him sleep in it's almost noon and we are just now waking him up.

I have a dentist appointment to fix a broken tooth and Jessica has a scrimmage in Los Gatos. Today will be busy, I just wanted to touch base to say we will post tonight.

More later.....
Katie

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday - Feb 23

I know we need the rain but it feels like it's been raining for a month. I'm fighting the blues today and the weather doesn't help. I feel like I'm losing sense of time, I need some sunshine. Dennis has been gone all day and Jerry's care has been all me today, I'm a little on the tired side. We had a power out and I couldn't get the generator running, thank goodness it was only out about an hour.

Dennis took Jessica to Pleasenton to look at a car, Jessica started working when she was about 12 and has saved about $4,000 to buy a car. Jessica should be getting her driver license by the end of February, she's been buggin to car shop since November. Jessica really wants a Jetta or similar car, if anyone has one for sale let us know.

Jerry has felt pretty good today, no nausea and his pain has been minimal. Jerry spent some time using his Dragon voice activated software today. It's very frustrating for him it just is not sensitive enough, it misunderstands what he is saying more then it understands. It's supposed to get better at understanding him with time however I'm not sure he has the patience to stick it out that long. He was able to do some of his facebook and do a little instant messaging with a couple of friends it just takes him so long to respond because he has to make so many corrections because it misunderstands him.

Jerry would love to have some visitors from friends if anyone has time to stop by please do. I'm gonna call it a night. Thanks for keeping up on the blog, thanks for the thoughtful comments and thank you for all the prayers.

Good night,
Katie

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Day of Rest - Feb 22

video
We had such a wonderful time last night, Jerry really enjoyed himself. The bands were absolutely awesome we loved their music. We would like to give a big THANK YOU to everyone involved in putting this event on. THANK YOU to the bands Who's Holdin, Dirty Orange Sun, My Stupid Brother, Get Dead and Loudest Flag for donating their time. THANK You to Who's Holdin for donating the proceeds of the merchandise sales to Jerry as well as hookin Jer up with some sweet merchandise, you guys ROCK! THANK YOU to Get Dead for hookin Jer up as well with some sweet merch. We would like to give a huge shout out to Eric Muller from Renegade Sound for donating his time and sound equipment. A special THANK YOU to Sara and Chris Sihler for organizing this event as well as all the volunteers helping out, Salina, Nana, Mimi, Megan, Josh, Mitch, Daniel, sorry if I left anyone out. We can't forget to give a sweet, sweet THANK YOU to the Miller Family, they donated a guitar that all the bands signed. They gave Jerry the option to keep the guitar or auction it off. Jerry opted to keep the guitar it was just too special to part with, besides it will give him added incentive to work on getting his hands back so he can learn to play it. Thank you to all who came to the show, we had a rockin good time.

We got home about 2:00 am and by the time we got Jerry settled to bed it was about 2:40, needless to say we slept in until about 11:30. Sleeping-in pretty much threw off the daily routine, so today was sort of a chill day, a day to rest. Jerry's tired today but it was worth it he had a wonderful time last night.



Good Rockin' Tonight

Many thanks to all that made it to the show tonight, and to the bands and all. It was super. It's really late,but I will fill you all in with photos in the morning. Great time had by all... Dennis

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Feb - 20

We are so excited about the benefit concert at Brookdale Lodge tomorrow night. We all are planning on going including Jerry. It's going to be so much fun, we hope to see many of you there.

We met Jerry's new doctor today, Dr. Quinn, I gotta say right off the bat we love him, he is awesome. We did so good getting Jerry to his appointment today on time at 2:15, we were even 5 minutes early. That doesn't sound like a big deal I know but if you've seen what we go through to take him on an outing you'd understand, we did good ;-). Dr. Quinn is arranging for home health care PT and OT so we are excited about that. Dr. Quinn seems to have a very aggressive approach towards Jerry's care, it's so refreshing. We all really seem to be on the same page which is a great change of pace. God has connected us with the prefect doctor for Jerry's needs.

I have to give a big THANK YOU!!! to Leanne Martinez. Leanne contacted Senate furniture store and told them of our need for a chair suitable for Jerry, as a result Senate donated a used chair for Jerry. The chair is in great shape, Jerry's been sitting in it for about an hour now and says it's 100 times better then what he's been sitting in. He's so much more comfortable, thanks Leanne and thank you Senate Furniture.

We looked at the van in Scotts Valley that a woman is willing to donate to us, it may work out however we need to talk with her to find out more about the van. She was not at the van so we just peeked in the windows. As far as we know the van has been sitting for a few years and is being used as a storage shed. I don't know if the lift works and what kind of work needs to be done to get it running but we'll find out. We also need to do a measurement to see if he'll fit in it with his chair.

Our friend Jenny found a van in Napa that seems ideal, it has less then 15,000 miles and they are asking $16,000. The lift will work perfectly and it's fully loaded. The only draw back is the floor to ceiling height is only 57 inches which is exactly how tall Jerry is in his chair. We would like to get Jerry in his chair and put him in it to see how he would fit but I don't think Jerry can stand being in the car for several hours driving to Napa at this point. Maybe the guy will meet us half way but even with that we will have to load the wheelchair in a trailer to get it there. We'll figure it out, I would love for that van to work out. I'm thankful that we have a couple of options to explore at this point. Thanks to all those who have been sending us links and leads on vans we have explored them all. Someone asked us to post again the specifics in what we need in a van. Here are a few details to keep in mind, we are looking for a van with a dropped floor, we would rather not have the raised ceiling van as the only thing Jerry will be able to view would be the ceiling. We need a full size van because the mini van style will not fit his wheel chair. When Jerry is sitting in his chair it is 57 inches from the floor to the top of his head, we can get by with a 52 inch door opening however the floor to ceiling needs to be at least 60 inches. We are hoping to find a van with less then 80,000 miles and are not wanting to spend more then 15,000.

Jerry has been feeling pretty good today, a little nausea this morning and a little pain this evening but for the most part pretty good. It's so nice to get him out of the house. It may take a couple weeks to get Jerry into the Dominican Rehab Center so it's nice that Dr. Quinn will be sending a physical therapist to the house. Dennis and I have been doing his range of motion every day but it will be nice to have a break with PT working him. Dennis is going to make a skateboard devise to exercise Jerry's arms, similar to what he used at Valley Medical. Jerry's biceps are getting stronger and he seems to have a little more feeling then last week. I pray God will give Jerry new feeling or movement each day. I see the hope in Jerry's eyes when he feels something new, it melts my heart and I want that for him every day. God's timing is not our timing and we don't know his plan. We want what we want and we want it yesterday, waiting is the hard part. It's hard for us to be patient but we are trying. Jerry is only 6 weeks post injury and has made huge improvement, most people with his level of injury are in the hospital for 2 to 3 months, on ventilators or have a tracheotomy. We have to remember how very blessed we are.

Good night,
Katie

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Shopping Day - Feb 19

Hey Yall,

Sorry we missed posting yesterday, we were pooped out, we decided to watch a movie and chill for the evening. I intended on posting after the movie however it just got late by the time we got Jerry back in Bed.

We have the best primary care doctor, I'm sure many of you who live in the valley here know her Amy Soloman. I got to give her a shout out she is so wonderful, for anyone looking for a primary doctor she's opening her own practice in Ben Lomond. Dr. Soloman came by for a house call yesterday and was here over an hour and a half. I don't know any other doc that will do house calls these days and spend that much time with you, props to the doc.

Jerry has been in a lot of pain the last few days and unfortunately he has been back on the pain meds. His pain medication is just not working for him so Dr. Soloman prescribed something different. We think the source of the pain is not having a suitable place to relax. The wheelchair is not as comfortable as the one he had in the hospital, the back rest hurts his back. The loaner bed is too small his feet and head go end to end. The mattress is horrendous, we put a temperpedic pad on the bed but then he sunk too much into it. We have two recliners that are pretty worn out and the back sinks in too much, we tried propping with pillows but it's just not doing the trick. Jerry just can't seem to get comfortable no matter where he sits, we may have to go buy a new recliner that's more suitable for him, one that is firm so he doesn't sink in. We need to contact the vendor and see about getting a different loaner bed.

Jerry has a doctor appointment tomorrow the new doctor, Dr Quinn is specialized in spinal cord injury. We will get authorization for rehab through Dr Quinn and be able to start rehab with Dominican Rehab Center hopefully within a week or so. We really want to get him down to SCI-FIT in Pleasenton however we have to wait until we get a van. We can go to Dominican in the meantime so the down time is minimal. The car transfers will be a challenge but Dennis and I are getting better.

On a more positive note Jerry's right bicep is getting much stronger and last night Jessica was massaging Jerry's feet and he said he could feel something. These are encouraging signs, I will take any new feelings or movement as a blessing.

We are going on an outing today to Costco to get a few groceries, it will be nice to get out of the house. Someone also offered us a van for free, we will go take a look at it. The van is not running and will need some work but if the door opening and floor to ceiling height is tall enough I'm sure Dennis can get it running.

I will touch back later this evening and let you all know how the day went.

Katie

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Much Better Day - Feb 17

Yesterday was difficult, I began to feel a sense of panic over finding a van. I spent a lot of time yesterday looking online and came up empty. We feel it's so important to not loose any time in Jerry's rehab and yet we feel so immobile. We have no way of transporting him in the wheel chair he has without a lift and we don't have a manual chair that can be loaded in the Suburban. Everyday without a van is a day lost in rehab.

God is good and reminds us where there's a will there's a way. We loaded Jerry in the Hoyer Lift, which is kinda like a Cherry Picker. Josh held the huge beach umbrella over Dennis, Jerry and I so we didn't get to wet while loading Jerry in the car with the Hoyer. The first stop on the trip was Horsnyder's to rent a manual wheel chair, what a relief. At least with a manual chair we can now leave the house if we need to, car transfers are really difficult and not ideal for long term but it's doable in a pinch.

We felt like we had it all under control to go for a ride, we packed are bag of tricks and thought we were prepared. We forgot about the nausea, Jerry has had very little nausea if any and we forgot to take it into account. Now we know, always take nausea medication and a barf bucket on a road trip, live and learn. Other than that oversight we did good, everything else went smooth. Amazingly enough we were able to get Jerry loaded in the car around noon, that's record timing on our part to get through the morning routine. Jerry needed some slippers because he can't wear shoes right now, he had a specific kind of slipper he wanted so we went to the mall to hunt them down. Jerry was not feeling up to getting out of the car so he and Dennis waited in the car while I hit 8 stores, before I found the right ones. I bought the slippers came out to the car and tried them on him and then had to take them back for a smaller size. Things are a little more complicated. After leaving the mall we drove to Watsonville to check out a few vans, no luck they were to small.

Next on the trip itinerary we went to Dominican Rehab Center to check out their facility, Jerry still did not feel up to getting out of the car so I waited in the car with Jerry while Dennis went in and checked it out. Dennis came back then I went and checked it out, I'm not sure how I feel about it yet, to soon to form an opinion.

Jerry started to feel better and wanted to go visit Robin and the nurses at Valley Medical Center. Robin is being discharged from the hospital tomorrow so we decided to go for a visit. After arriving at VMC we found out that Robin got a day pass to go to the Sharks game. Robin is Canadian and the Sharks are playing his team from Canada, lucky him. Every night Jerry says that he misses his nurses and therapists so it was very nice for him to get to see some of his favorites, Maria, Tess, Jose, Kathy, Heather, Percy.

It was so nice to get out of the house today. Getting the manual wheelchair was a huge sense of relief. I know we have to be patient and God will provide for us, the right van will come along at the right price, waiting is the hard part. Thank you all for continued prayer, thank you for posting comments of encouragement it really means a lot to us.

Good night,
Katie

Monday, February 16, 2009

45th Day

Well today is the 45th day of our "journey" and all the little things are now popping up. Jerry's doing well but is bored as ever, and I have to admit, I don't like it much either. When we got out of the hospital, we got a power wheelchair and no way to go out. We tried getting a portable today, but of coarse everything is closed, so we have kinda been stuck in the house. Can't even go for a walk, with the rain and all, so we have been scouring the Internet looking for vans. Not much luck. And whats up with craigs list? Every car (we also need to get a small car) or van that I enquired about seem to be in some other state, or they wanted to have it shipped, or they were in some kind of trouble and had to get rid of it fast. I tell you it drives me crazy. I really hate shopping. As far as vans go, not a whole lot of them out there either, not locally at least, but we will keep looking. I just don't like the feeling of not getting things done. So on Tuesday we are going to load up and go somewhere. Go find a chair, go take a look at Dominicans rehab facility, go to Jack in the box drive thru, I don't know, but were going somewhere. Everyday we sit here it seems like we are going backwards, and Katie and Jerry feel this too. The quicker we can get some of these smaller details hammered out, the quicker we can get to some real rehab, and that will keep us busy.
Any way thanks for letting me vent. Tomorrow will be a better day, I just hope we don't get too wet.
Good night and God Bless,
Dennis

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Where's Pedro

I know that there are a lot of people following Jerry's blog people who have been campers where we live at Redwood Christian Park and people who are local that live near RCP. I'm putting out an APB on Pedro. Pedro was our cat and we were very attached to him. Pedro disappeared on Thanksgiving weekend and Jerry is missing him very much. We are hoping maybe someone reading this blog may have adopted him thinking he was a stray. Pedro is three years old, solid black with tanish greenish eyes and is very very friendly, if anyone has seen him please post a comment.


We are adjusting to our new routine and even found some free time after 4:00. I was able to get some thank you notes done and also spent a few hours on line looking for a van. I found a van that seemed ideal however it turned out the floor to ceiling height was about six inches short. I was bummed everything else about it seemed perfect. There are a couple of vans in Sacramento that seem like a great deal we are hoping to somehow make arrangements to see them. If anyone comes across a van with a lift please feel free to post the details so we can check them out. Here are a few details to keep in mind, we are looking for a van with a dropped floor, we would rather not have the raised ceiling van as the only thing Jerry will be able to view would be the ceiling. We need a full size van because the mini van style will not fit his wheel chair. When Jerry is sitting in his chair it is 57 inches for the floor to the top of his head, we can get by with a 52 inch door opening however the floor to ceiling needs to be at least 60 inches. We are hoping to find a van with less then 80,000 miles and are not wanting to spend more then 15,000. If anyone comes across something remotely close please let us know. As soon as we get a van we can get Jerry into outpatient rehab.

Jerry is doing well today, he is in good spirits and has been feeling pretty good. Jerry came home from the hospital with so much medication we hope to be able to start eliminating some of them. Jerry has been able to sleep like a baby the last two nights without his sleeping medication so we are taking that one of the regular med list. Jerry's blood pressure has been really good and he has been able to get in his chair the last two days without taking the blood pressure meds. We are removing the blood pressure pills for the regular meds list as well. It will be wonderful when he can be medication free.

There are so many people supporting our family in so many ways, meals, donations, helping organize fundraisers, participating in the fundraiser, prayers, love and so much more. We thank you all for caring and easing our burden. Please pray that the right van will come along soon, pray that God will direct us to the best outpatient care for Jerry, pray that Jerry will continue to get movement and feeling with each day. Most importantly please continue to pray that Jerry's damaged spinal cord will be mended perfectly, pray that Jerry will walk again and God will glorified in his healing.

Thank you,
Katie

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

Jerry is having a fantastic time being home, and even today had three "dates"! It's Valentine's Day....so why not, you know?

For any of you who have been around the MacCallisters these last few days it is definitely a "new chapter." Even just in the tones of their voices you can hear relief, and humor, and the comforts of home welcoming them.

As Dennis and I chatted today, it was the first time in a LONG time that we weren't talking just because something needed done by one or both of us. Of course, for awhile, there is ALWAYS going to be something that is needing handled, but at least it's not going to be the very first thing we talk about!

This is good.

Certainly though, while having Jerry home has brought with it a huge sense of relief, there is still SO much ahead. In the coming weeks, Dennis, Katie and Jerry have a slew of important decisions to make, and a lot of paperwork and "procedures" to navigate through.

So, as you enjoy your Valentine's night, please pray with us for these things:

Pray for Dennis as he puts together a letter formally asking the insurance company to pick up the tab for the wheelchair that is best for Jerry. The insurance is willing to cover a decent chair, but we'd love to get Jerry the PERFECT chair; one that he can take just about anywhere. Pray that Dennis would present a good case, and that whomever reviews it would be compelled to approve the larger purchase.

Pray also as various contacts are made in relation to the many needed medical supplies. Pray that the relationship between the "right" supplier and the insurance company would be seamless and easy. Pray that everything would arrive as it's needed and that there would not be complications in getting these practical matters handled.

Lastly, please pray that God would give clear direction as to the right therapy program for Jerry. The MacCallisters know that they want to take an aggressive approach to this, so pray that they would be able to easily discern between the various options that have presented themselves. Pray that the right therapists and programs would fall into place.

And of course, we are just so grateful to God for all that He has done. There is so much to be thankful for, and watching this story unfold is an unbelievable privilege. This is what it's all about....taking care of each other, loving one another and see God at work. Thank you to all who are playing a part.

For the family,
Marci

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Feb - 13

It's so good to be home, we are adjusting to a new routine and haven't quite perfected it yet. We were able to shave an hour off the routine and get Jerry in his chair about 2:00 today but that's still not good enough, everything takes so much time.

Jerry is adjusting well at home, his pain is very minimal, he has had almost no nausea, his blood pressure has been great. Jerry has to take blood pressure medication 30 minutes prior to getting in his chair however today he wanted to get in his chair without the meds. Success, he was able to get in his chair without the meds and without his blood pressure plummeting, every little thing is a victory.

It was so nice to have a short break in the rain today. Jessica, Mitch, Ben, Jerry and I went for a walk down to camp, for the new friends reading we live at a Christian Conference Center. We handled the hills in the wheelchair a little safer then big D. It was so nice to get some fresh air and get out of the house. We took a walk down to the kitchen and said hi to some of the kitchen staff. Our wonderful friends Grethen, Ed and Gabe came to visit and caught up to us down in camp. Once we got to a flatter area Jerry practiced controlling his wheelchair with the sip and puff. The sip and puff control allows Jerry to control the wheelchair by different ways of blowing into a straw. A hard blow makes the chair go straight, a hard suck makes the chair stop, a soft puff makes it turn one way and a soft suck makes it turn the opposite way. Jerry had a little trouble turning but was able to jam pretty good on the straight a ways. We had a great power walk just trying to keep up with him, the chair handled hills quite well. We got home just as it started to rain again, and within a few minutes it was hailing, we've never seen so much hail.







Thank you Father for the break in rain, for the refreshing walk, for fun with sip and puff and for wonderful friends. Be with us Lord as we adjust to our new routine, help us improve on the routine to get Jerry in his chair in a more timely manner. Father we ask that you will help us find the right van at the right price, direct us lord, so we can become mobile with Jerry. Father we ask that you would guide us to the outpatient rehab center that will benefit Jerry the most. In Jesus name, Amen!

Katie

Benefit Concert Update

A big thanks to Sara O'Neill for putting together this night of music with all proceeds going to support Jerry and The MacCallister Fund. With five great bands coming in from the Bay Area, it's going to be rather hopping there at the Brookdale Lodge!



Other then attending, some have asked if there is any way to help out, and of course, there is! Sara needs to feed the band members and crew (50+ people), and if you happen to have any of these things on hand for the Taco/Burrito Bar and would like to donate them, it would be great. Needed items include 20lbs of ground beef, 12 boxes or Rice A Roni Spanish Rice, 8lbs Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese blocks, guacamole, tomatoes, iceburg lettuce, white onions, cilantro, green onions, zucchinis, green/red/yellow bell peppers.

We are also in need of baked goods and other such "snack" foods as 100% of these concessions will also benefit Jerry.

If you'd like to get in on these plans, contact Sara at number304@gmail.com

Thurusday, our big test

So here we are, our first big test. Our son is home. It seems like so much time has passed, yet it now feels very familiar. We slept in our own beds, cooked our own food, and dealt with the days circumstances in our own house. It feels good. Jerry seems to be responding well too. He got to sleep in late as he had no therapy or doctors to bug him,and he felt good all day. No nausea, dizziness or anything. Got him up in his chair early in the day, and he stayed in it all day with no complaints. Hooray for that. Katie and I on the other hand had a pretty busy day adjusting. I had to go down and get all his medications in the morning, and then try to figure out which ones he takes at which time. Talk about confusion, dang. Plus when we got home last night, everything we had collected over the last month in the hospital ended up on the living room floor, so we had that to deal with. They gave us stacks of papers and forms, who to call about this and who to call about that, and needless to say it was a little overwhelming. Thank God we did not have an emergency last night or we would have had a real mess on our hands. It's like when you bring home your first baby and it takes a few days to figure it all out, only this one weighs more and likes to talk back. All in all it was still alright though, and as soon as we get all organized, we will step into the next phase of our journey. Thank you again for all your love and support, we truly could not have come this far without you all.
Good night and God Bless.
Dennis

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Home.





Homecoming Day

It's about 2:30pm and the MacCallister House is hopping in anticipation of Jerry's arrival home. The temporary wheelchair is here, the bed is being assembled, the ramp is ready.

Now all we need is Jerry.

As the family prepares and Jerry awaits his trip home, could you join us in praying for a few things?

Foremost, please pray for Jerry. Certainly, the drive home, especially the drive into camp and up to his house, is going to be extremely emotional. Pray that he would feel enveloped in the love of his home and neighbors, pray that he would feel safe, pray that he would be comfortable right away. Pray that tonight would be a "easy" one physically---that he would be free of nausea and pain, allowing him space to process everything emotionally.

Pray for Dennis and Katie. In the mayhem of "practicalities" that have been all around them, they have been somewhat distracted from the "emotional" aspects. But bringing Jerry home makes things "real" in tough way. Pray that that this arrival home would go smoothly; that everything would be ready. Not only the bed and chair and ramp, but also everyone's hearts and minds. Pray that they feel God's strength and hope holding them up, offering them courage and faith.

Pray for Josh, Janea and Jessica as they too arrive home to their brother. Pray that everything would feel "normal", that they camaraderie between the siblings would be at a high level---that lots of laughing and joy would abound.

Later tonight we'll try to put up some pictures of Jerry's arrival home. We can't wait.

Until later,
Marci

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Coming Home Tomorrow

Today was such a busy day in preparation for Jerry's home coming tomorrow, I ain't gonna lie this woman is tired. I slept at the hospital last night and managed to get about six hours of sleep. The morning started early and the day was full. We had Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Exercise Group, met with the wheel chair dealer and spent 1 hour 45 minutes fitting Jerry for his temporary chair that will be delivered at home. We also spent another hour with him measuring and ordering his permanent manual chair which is going to be "Toxic Green", that's the color he chose, it's a pretty sweet color. We had three meetings today, one with the Social Worker, one with the Recreational Therapist and one with the Case Manager. To top off our busy day we went on an outing for dinner, sort of a going away party. Jerry chose Chinese food so two therapists, Jerry, Robin (a patient) and I loaded in the van and off we went.

Jerry had a great day despite the busy schedule. Jerry got to get in the standing frame again today, we had to practically beg because they didn't have the extra staff for it today. The goal was to get Jerry to a full stand for 30 minutes before we left the hospital, if he could do that then they could justify asking the insurance to cover the cost of a standing frame for home. Jerry was not able to get to a full stand (90 degrees) but he did very well none the less, he was able to get to 60 degrees before he nearly passed out. It will just take more time and that's OK, we can work on it in outpatient therapy and as soon as his body will tolerate it we can request a standing frame for our home.

Jerry felt good today, the only nausea was when he was in the standing frame. Jerry enjoyed his last day but he is really going to miss his nurses. There are quite a few nurses that Jerry took a liking to and he wanted to be sure he had the opportunity to say "See you later" to each of them, he didn't want to say good bye. We will have to visit.

Dennis spent the day at home building a temporary ramp to get the wheel chair into the house. After the wheelchair man left me at the hospital he drove to our home to meet Dennis. Dennis has done some research and found a chair that he feels is the best chair for Jerry however the insurance probably won't cover it because it's basically a beefed up model of what they think he would need. They won't pay for the extra beefiness unless it's justifiable. Dennis pretty much tortured the wheelchair man today. The purpose of the visit was to test out a few of the power chairs in Jerry's home environment including his neighborhood. For those of you who have never been to our home, we are pretty much surrounded by hills. Dennis and wheelchair man whose name is Carl, went cruising around camp in power chairs. We have one hill so steep we call it cardiac hill because when you walk up it's a good possibility you could go into cardiac arrest. Dennis was jamming down the hill and didn't realize that if you let off the gas so to speak it's just like putting on the brake, needless to say it was a darn good thing he was wearing a seat belt or he would have been thrown out, as it was he nearly flipped it. Dennis took Carl 4 wheeling in the grass and got stuck, poor Carl. However all of this made a very good argument as to the necessity for a more beefy chair, we will just have to wait and see what the insurance will do.

Tomorrow will be overwhelming, sad and joyous all at the same time. Thank you everyone for the love and support, please pray that we will have a safe journey home. Pray that we are all ready to handle this next challenging step, that we will be well equipped to handle any circumstance. Pray for strength but above all please continue to pray for Jerry's complete recovery, that every damaged nerve would be perfectly mended.

Good night
Katie

The Buzz Continues

While everyone awaits the nightly update, I thought I'd chime in with some news related to the various fundraisers that are happening in support of the MacCallister Family.

First, the final totals are still coming in from last weekend's Spaghetti Feed, but we have crossed the $20,000.00 mark!  Isn't that CRAZY?!?!   Including the donations made by individuals through this blog, close to $25,000.00 has been given in total.  

The support for this family is astounding.   

And the support is very much needed.

Dennis and Katie are working hard this week on a lot of practical details--and frankly, most of them cost.   Because of this, the Fundraising Gang is continuing on with many more events and fundraisers, and if you'd like to be involved or have goods or services that you would like to donate, please contact me through this blog and I will point you to the right people.

Coming up next is a Benefit Concert for Jerry MacCallister at the Brookdale Lodge, featuring several local bands.....details will be posted here as soon as we have them!  The concert is set for February 21, so mark your calendar now if you like your music loud and rockin.

Until later,
Marci
marci@redwoodchristianpark.com

Monday - Feb 10

It's midnight, Dennis just left the hospital and Jerry just faded off to sleep. It's been a long day and I look forward to getting some sleep myself.

Jerry's day did not start out so well, there was a mix up in his schedule which threw off the whole morning he was rushed through the morning routine which brought on the nausea. When Jerry was transferred to his chair his blood pressure dropped and was the closest he had come to blacking out. Jerry struggled with the nausea for a good part of the day and is also fighting a bladder infection, the strange thing is that six other patients also have a bladder infection.

Today was wheel chair assessment day, Dennis and Jerry met with the distributor this morning while I went to the dentist for a tooth ache. They did some measuring and testing out different models to determine which wheel chair we will order. We are supposed to meet with him again tomorrow afternoon and he will be taking a trip to our house to assess the house and surroundings.

Jerry got to use the FS Bike again today, the FS Bike is the one that uses the electrical stimulation to pedal the bike, it's a good workout for his legs. He does not get the opportunity to use this bike often so when he is scheduled for it he does not want to miss it. He was a trooper and wanted to continue with the session even though he felt really yucky (nausious). Once Jerry got back in bed around 4:00 he started to feel better.

Jerry felt pretty good by the time he got to get in the pool this evening around 6:15, he spent about an hour in the pool. Jill one of the therapists got in the pool with Robin another patient and Dennis got in the pool with Jerry. Jerry said he could feel the water on his arms more then any other time that he's been in the pool. There are some floating dumbells that Jerry got to use to do some arm work, he could move one arm really good in the water. The day ended very well and Jerry felt pretty good by the evening.

Thank you to all who leave comments for us, it is very uplifting to hear your caring words and thoughtful prayers, we continue to read each and every comment posted. Thank you Father for all the wonderful people you've put in our lives.

Good night,

Katie

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Thank You!

Last night was truly AMAZING, we are so blessed! As we arrived at the Fire House I felt a little nervous, I was worried Jerry might get overwhelmed or tired or nauseous. I was fearful someone would ask Dennis or I to say something in the microphone. Neither Dennis or I do well with public speaking especially in front of such a large audience so I was glad nobody yelled out "SPEECH", I might have passed out. :-) We didn't know what to expect and we certainly didn't plan such a grand entrance. We were outside trying to figure out how we were going to get the wheel chair in and someone suggested going in through the bay doors and off they went to get the door open. I can't begin to express the shock we felt with the standing applause. The feeling of love and support and kindness was so overwhelming, as I looked around the room and saw so many friends and family and familiar faces. We have been so blessed by this community, I don't have the words to express how grateful we are, all I can say is thank you. Thank you Sherri, Jennifer, Kris, Leanne, Gary, Sharon, Marci, Mary and all the other volunteers who made the evening such a huge success, we are forever indebted to you. Thank you community, friends, family, and loving strangers for supporting our family.

Jerry truly was awe struck at the amount of people willing to come together on his behalf, he felt wonderful. I was concerned it would be to much for him, all he had to do was say the word when he had enough and we would get him back to the hospital, Jerry never reached that point. He enjoyed seeing friends and talking with people, he said he felt really good. There was no nausea, no pain, and he has been off the pain medicine for several days now. Jerry said he felt like he could sit in his chair for many more hours and be comfortable which is a big deal he's usually counting the minutes until he gets out of his chair. It was wonderful to see his big smile as he talked with friends.

Today was a much needed day of rest. After getting back to the hospital around 10:00 and getting through the nightly routine it was about 1:00 am before we finally were able to get to sleep last night. Sundays are Jerry's day off from therapies and he wanted to sleep in and spend the whole day in bed watching movies. I let him indulge to some extent, we did do his range of motion for an hour and he got a shower. Last nights event and today's lazy day was very therapeutic for Jerry and he felt great today. Until now Jerry has had very little feeling past his bicep however today he was having feeling half way down his forearm. He could feel pressure when you touched his arm and could identify with his eyes closed where he was being touched. Jerry also moved his wrist, just a little twist of the wrist. He was so excited over this because there was no mistaking this was controlled movement. Jerry also in the last couple days has been saying he feels his abs, when he tries to flex his abs you can feel the muscle contract ever so slightly. I praise God for these moments, glory to God for answered prayer, He has sustained us through this tragedy and continues to take care of all our needs. God is using all of you wonderful people to meet our every need in supporting Jerry through this crises. How blessed we are!

Thank you,
Katie

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Speechless

I'm not even sure what to say about this night.

Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people from our fantastic community came out to support the MacCallister Six.   

The food was great, but the people were even better.  As two of us stood at door and welcomed everyone as they waited in (long) lines to get their tickets, I was in awe of the crowd.  Not only were the friends and family of Jerry there in full force, but so were dozens and dozens of people who hadn't met a single MacCallister before at all.  But as they had read his story or heard of it through someone else, they were compelled to come.

And for all of these folks, old friends and new, we are all so grateful to have seen you there.  Thank you to ALL who came.  The sense of community and love was magnificent, and for Jerry to see all of you with his own eyes....well, that was overwhelming.  But overwhelming in the best way that you could imagine.

Initial totals show just over $14,000.00 raised to support Jerry as he recovers, and there is no way to put a price tag on the encouragement and hope that were also given.

So to our brilliant community, from Jerry, Dennis, Katie, Josh, Janea and Jessica.....thank you.  

To Sherri, Kris, Jennifer, Gary, Sharon and Leanne, and all of those who worked alongside them, thank you.

Words are not nearly enough.

For the family,
Marci

The Big Day - Feb 7

Well the big day is here the "Spaghetti Dinner Fund Raiser". We are very excited, Dennis and I can't wait to see all who plan on being there. There are so many people helping and we appreciate each and everyone of you. We would like to give a special thank you to Sherri Busa, Jennifer Meadows, Kris Sihler, Leanne Martinez, Marci-Beth Maple and Sharon Fry for all the countless hours spent planning this event. We feel very blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives.

For more details about the spaghetti dinner click here.

Katie

Friday Jan 26

Life is full of changes, you can never in your lifetime anticipate what to expect. We have a tendency to anticipate how we think life should be, or even feel like maybe life is not fair, maybe life should have dealt us a different hand. I can't indulge in that, for me it's so important to stay in the moment at this point. I can't think about woulda, shoulda, coulda, I can't think about what will happen next week, next month, next year. I have to stay in the moment for sanity sake, I have to think about what can I do to make Jerry's life easier this minute. What can I do to make Jerry's life better today. Sometimes I feel so powerless, I want to have all the answers to solve this crises for Jerry, as a parent I would do anything to take this burden form him, but I can't. There are so many things we take for granted, I included. In my wildest dreams I would have never thought about the ability to move a toe half an inch or take a breath unassisted as being such a tremendous accomplishment. In Jerry's world today it's a miracle and I praise God. Thank you God for my sparing my son's life, thank you for his presence of mind. Let me not take for granted the simplest of tasks as taking a breath.

K.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Feb. 5th. A better day

Today was a better day. It seems that maybe some of the steps we are taking with all of the medications are working. Eating crackers before hand, and staggering the times so Jerry doesn't have a belly full of meds. seemed to help out a bit today. Getting a good nights sleep also helped, and I thank the staff at the hospital for helping us with that. You're the greatest!He is not the most pleasant in the morning, and the doctors were a bit concerned, but I reminded them that he is a 19 yr. old boy, and how many of those do you know that like to be woken up? They kinda agreed I think.

He did make it through the morning routine well, and in the afternoon we thought we would try the standing frame again while he felt a little better. He managed to get up in it at about 55 degrees for about 10 minutes until he had had enough. The standing frame is something we are trying to work up to 90 deg. for 30 mins. It is a lot harder than it sounds, but is supposed to be very beneficial to your heart,lungs, circulation in your muscles as well as confidence. It's something a lot of us take for granted. After Katie showed up, we worked on transfers into a normal sized car, instead of a van. That also is more difficult as Jerry is a fairly tall individual, and you just don't have the room to maneuver him around as you do in a van. It went well though, and we didn't drop him once!

This evening we had a couple guys come to visit and it was a special time. All through this ordeal, we have been praying for someone that could give Jerry some hope, and someone he could connect with that he could relate too. We met a guy named Marv last week at one of the peer support groups, and tonight he had a friend with him that is a c-4 quad just like Jerry. His name was Hugo, and he was an inspiration indeed. You see he walked in to talk with Jerry. Not with crutches, or a cane, or anything like that, just a gait that looked perfectly normal. I would not have guessed in a million years that this gentleman had been in the same position that Jerry is in right now. A complete injury that was miraculously healed. He shared his story with us and it was tremendous. It has been a long 8 years for this man, but he was walking, when everyone around him said he would not. I don't have the time, or typing skills to tell his whole story, but it was a story that Jerry needed to hear at this time. As Jerry laid there listening, I could see the wheels turning in his head, and more hope come across his face. I know it made me and Katie feel good. I also know through God all things are possible, but this guy was in our room, and it was just what we needed at this very moment. Thank you Lord.

I've shared with many a person the story of my life, how I've felt that God has been faithful to my family and I, whether it was bringing me to Redwood Christian Park, or the times when we had no money, and somebody calls me and needs some work done. The times when I am most down, and I hear from a friend who just had the notion to give me a call. We have always been taken care of. I believe that these to men were sent to us for a purpose. To give us the strength to survive another day, and to get a glimpse of what could be on the horizon. My prayer for tonight, is that Jerry would feel this too.

Good night and God Bless.
Dennis

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday Feb 4

We really needed a good day today since the last few days have been difficult, we just needed a pick me up, God is faithful and delivers. The nausea was at a minimum today, Jerry tried a new technique with taking medication. We spaced out the medications a little and he ate crackers between each dose. The nausea was still there but not even close to as bad as it's been. Jerry's had a lot of neck and nerve pain and the medications have taken the edge off but not taken the pain away. The doctor keeps upping the dose or changing the medications but not much changes in the pain management. The pain meds cause nausea and constipation and creates it's own problems. Here's the good part, Jerry set a goal to not take any pain medication today. Jerry's pain was totally manageable today without pain meds, as a result of not taking the medication it helped reduce his nausea, yee haw!

Therapies went well today and Jerry felt pretty good, he had the opportunity to do the FS Bike which I love. The FS Bike is the one that has the electrodes and uses stimulation to pedal the bike.

Now for the cherry on top, we were scheduled to have a new roommate move in to our room and were a little stressed over it. I went to talk to the charge nurse and with a little persuasion we are back in the Taj Mahaul, ok I know that's not spelled right but even spell check can't figure it out :-) any way we are back in room 19, SOLO. WHOOOHOOOO!!!! PARTYYYYY!!!!! There is two conditions, this room is reserved for isolation, should a patient require isolation we'll have to move. The other condition would be if a new woman patient comes to the Rehab Center then we'll have to give the room to her. They don't mix male and female patients and there are only four women in the center and they're all in the same room. In the event another woman comes they won't have any place to put her because all the rooms have men in them. So for now we are ecstatic to once again have some privacy, peace and hopefully better sleep.

We are looking forward to going to the Spaghetti Dinner, Dennis and I will both be there. Thank you to all the wonderful people working so hard to do this fundraiser for Jerry. Thank you to all who have donated items for the raffle and thank you in advance to all who plan on being there. The support we have received from our valley folk and beyond has been astounding.

Today was wonderful and we have a lot to be thankful for, praise God for answered prayer.

Good night,
Katie

Spaghetti Dinner!

We are all looking forward to this Saturday's Spaghetti Dinner, and hope that you are planning to join us! We will all be at the Boulder Creek Fire House, serving dinner from 5-8pm, with live music, a silent auction and a raffle!

If you've not yet RSVP'd, send your email to followingjerryrsvp@yahoo.com and let us know you are coming! Tickets are $15 per adult, $6 for kids ages 2-12, and $30 if you have two adults/two kids.

See you there!
Marci

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tuesday Night Feb.3

Hello all,
So for those of you who got a chance to hear me on KSCO 1080 this morning cut me some slack. It was 7:12am you know. I had barely had my coffee, and you all know that I don't like to talk. But seriously, thank you to Rosemary Chalmers, and all of the folks at KSCO for helping us in getting the word out about the spaghetti feed this Saturday at the Boulder Creek fire dept. Also a big thanks to all involved in the preparation for this event. You Rock!

Today was another day where Jerry was feeling nauseous, but he hung in there and tried to do his best. I know it's hard to do things when you're feeling bad, but he just keeps trying, and I give him a lot of credit. We tried the standing frame again today, and once again he got about 3/4 of the way up before feeling too sick to continue. We are going to try a few things to work on the nausea tomorrow and see if we can get some better results.
He got some more visitors later in the day and when I left around 9:30 he was feeling a little better. It's hard for him as his appetite is not that great, so when he takes his medication, I think it messes with his stomach. Hopefully we can work it out.

On another note, I got a call tonight from a young lady, whom I met recently at the hospital that was caring for her father. We talked briefly in passing at the rehab center about project walk, among other things, and it turns out she lives in the San Diego area and has offered any assistance the she could provide for us. Can you say God thing? Anyway if this is where we are supposed to be, let it be. The thought that she took the time to call when she obviously has her own things to deal with is truly amazing. I want to thank Jeannie and her family for that little bit of hope that gets us through another day. I pray for her and her father Ed, that they will also find the love and caring that we have felt throughout this ordeal, and that Ed has a miraculous recovery himself. Warriors, come out to pray-e-a.

So please continue to pray for Jerry's pain, his nausea, and for God's will above all else. Pray that Katie and I will continue to comfort in that he is in control, and to use us anyway he sees fit. And pray that Jeannie, Ed, and their family are lifted up also in they're time of need.

Until tomorrow,
Peace and Love to all..
Dennis

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday - February 2

Our lives changed forever on January 2, 2009, it seems like so long ago and yet it has only been a month. This journey has had many ups and some downs and continues to be a roller coaster, yet there have been so many blessings. When I look at the counter as it nears 30,500, my heart is full. I view the counter as prayers, I would hope that each person who visits Jerry's site would at least lift him up in prayer if even for a moment. The first day was so devastating, I felt such a strong urgency to get the word out for prayer, I wanted a prayer chain to go out around the world. As I look at the map I am so encouraged to know that people are praying all over the world for Jerry. I have to give a big shout out to all of you who forwarded and continue to forward Jerry's prayer request to everyone you know. Thank you, thank you, thank you for spreading the prayer chain. I would also like to thank Christina from MO for posting the website www.joerhea.com. Joe was paralyzed in a football injury when he was 14 and is now walking, he has a very inspirational story. I sent Joe an email asking if he would be willing to call and talk with Jerry.

Jerry continues to struggle with sleep, nausea and pain management, we are again trying different medications. It's such a vicious cycle he needs to take medication to manage pain however it's probably the medication giving him the nausea. Despite feeling nauseous for most of the day Jerry managed to get through all his therapies and even had a relaxing swim in the pool this evening. The pool is almost like a hot tub it's so warm, 98 degrees, hmmm nice.

If your an early bird, Dennis is supposed to be interviewed on the air tomorrow morning around 7:00 am on KSCO 1080 AM Radio. Another opportunity to spread the prayer chain.

Thank you father for continually blessing our family through this tragedy, thank you father for Jerry's life, thank you for so many loving people who care even when they don't know us. I pray heavenly father that you will continue to strengthen us, that you will keep hope alive in Jerry. Father please give Jerry peace, courage, strength, motivation and determination. I pray lord that you will continue the work you have started in healing Jerry's body, I pray that you will mend each and every damaged nerve in his spinal cord. I pray father that it is your will Jerry will walk again. All these things I pray in your holy name Jesus. Amen

Good night,

Katie

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday







Sunday, a day of rest. A day to unwind and relax and to prepare for another week. Started out with a nice shower for Jerry around 10, so we got to sleep in a bit. As we got done with his shower, Jerry started feeling a little nausea, so we decided to get him back in bed and let him rest until our guests arrived to watch the Super Bowl. Other patients guests started showing up around 1:00, and it started getting a little crowded, so I went into the day room and tried to get the TV there to work, so there would be more room. I couldn't seem to get any reception, so as I gave up. Robin, one of the other Patients, went and got a maintenance man to get us hooked up and he got it done. Good job Robin! As our friends arrived, Jerry still was not feeling so well so we ended up just having a party in our room. Katie showed up with some Super Food that Gretch had made so we turned our room into a buffet. Thanks Gretchen, it was marvelous. Along with Katie was Matt, Gabe, Alan, Janea, Jessica and even nurse Maria snuck in for some grub. Trish showed up a little later to catch the end of the game and we had a good time. After everyone left, we sat and watched the hour long Office and just relaxed. I took a few photo's so here they are. I thank the Lord for the quiet time with family and friends and hope that Jerry is feeling a bit better tomorrow.
Good Night to all and God bless.
Dennis

A Good Day and a Hair Cut - Jan 30




Today was a good day despite the fact that Jerry had PT this morning at 8:30, he was not looking forward to getting up early. To be ready for 8:30 PT Jerry had to wake up at 7:30 when usually his PT is at 10:00. The good news is he got a good night sleep and felt somewhat rested by the time PT began. Jerry was in good spirit for PT and enjoyed his time with Kara. Kara was the person Jerry started PT with, she would come up to the Trauma Rehab Center when he was up stairs. He likes Kara very much however Kara was assigned a different area and generally does not do his morning PT, so it was a treat for him. Sometime around 10:30 Jerry got noxious and it interfered a little with his therapies today. He still participated in Skills Group at 11:00 however he wasn't quite up to par. At 2:30 Jerry had Exercise Group and tried a new activity, which is the standing frame. It's kind of hard to explain, it's a chair that has a strap around the chest and a pad that holds the chest in place, you then pump a handle, with each pump the body is moved into a standing position until the body is at a full stand. Jerry felt very sick but wanted to press on to try and get to a full stand, we would do a few pumps at a time then let him acclimate to the new position. Jerry got to about 3/4 of the way to a full stand then could not go further, he felt like he was going to get sick and felt like he could not breath. It was a very good first try and he was assured that it will get better and he will be able to get to a full stand when he gets stronger. Some of you may be wondering "How does a standing frame benefit Jerry?" Well my understanding is there are many benifits to the body to get into a standing position here are just a few:

* Prevention of contractures (ankles, knees, and hips)
* Improvement of range of motion (spine, hips, knees and ankles)
* Reduction in spasticity
* Prevention or reversal of osteoporosis and resultant hypercalciuria
* Improvement of renal function, drainage of the urinary tract, and reduction in urinary calculi
* Prevention of pressure ulcers through changing positions
* Improvement in circulation as it related to orthostatic hypotension
* Improvement in bowel function
* Normalization of respiratory function

I'm sure you all figured I pasted that in, there are some words up there that are a little big for my vocabulary. ;-)

My Aunt Teresa and Uncle David as well as cousins Paul and Vince and Girl friend Renna (sorry, I know I probably really messed up that spelling) came to visit. My aunt has been an awesome beautician for many many years and Jerry was dying for a hair cut. Jerry was used to getting a hair cut every two weeks, he had to keep it short for ROTC, it's been almost two months since his last cut and he felt the need. Teresa was awesome, (thanks Teresa)and was able to give him a trim while sitting in his wheel chair in his room, which I might add I think he had a cat nap during the cut. Jerry decided to leave it a little longer then he had to wear for ROTC and I think it looks very handsome. Jerry got to spend some time with his cousins who are hilarious and I know he very much enjoyed their company.

Jerry felt much better after getting back in bed and resting a couple hours, he was craving Chinese food, so Chinese food it was tonight. Jerry's fortune cookie read "Even the longest days come to an end", how appropriate. Thank you God for laughs with family, for a great hair cut, for 3/4's of a stand and for delicious Chinese food, all the makings of good day.

Good Night
Katie