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,

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,