Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's been a while :)

Wow, I didn't realize it's been so long since I blogged for Troy. Well, aside from my life being so full with my classes, working from home again and the girls school activities, everything has been going well with Troy's recovery. The healing is still very slow and I can't say there has been a huge improvement that is noticeable all at one time, but I do notice him getting around a lot easier and he's been working hard at using his right arm more and more. Right now all he can do is open and close his hand, he's still trying to get his brain to communicate with his arm so that he can lift it and reach out for things. Little by little, this is all about baby steps, I tell him.

Thanksgiving this year was wonderful. The hospital gave him what is called a "day pass" where he could come to the house, with a nurse, and spend all day with us. He was transported to the house and back to the hospital on Thursday through Sunday from 10am to 9pm. It was really nice having him home and also getting a feel on how it will be when he finally comes home.

He is scheduled to be home today. The modifications to the tub and the entryways were finally finished yesterday afternoon so the workers' comp rep will be here to inspect it all today and give the OK for Troy to come home. I can't believe it's been 7 months since the accident already and 7 months to the day when Troy gets to come home on a permanent basis.

God has been so good to us through all of this adversity. I have been able to keep everything together and keep my sanity at the same time! It hasn't been easy and at times I feel myself dwindling away, but then I realize how much worst off we could have been without Troy here and it gives me the energy to keep fighting for him.

Troy has come a long way and he still has a long road ahead of him to continue on. I have said this before and I will say it again, this is the true test of patience and faith.

So, with this said, and now that Troy will be home, I will try to keep up the blog as much as I can. I don't know exactly how everything will be with him being home and all, but I'm sure we'll adjust, just as we have with everything else. God is the pilot of this ship, I'm just going to sit back and put all my trust and faith in Him, just as I have been doing and pray for the best. Thanks again to all for your prayers and thoughts through this journey!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Update for Weeks of Nov 1st and Nov 8th

These past two weeks have been filled with outings with Troy and the girls and I and him preparing for coming home. There have even been a few times where we bring him home to hang out at the house with the girls and I. Unfortunately, the contractors still hasn't come out to the house to handicap ready the house so he can't spend the nights here yet, but I'm praying they get that done really soon!

On the medical aspect of it, Troy has been battling with the fact that he is going to have to deal with his ataxia and learn how to cope with it and make it work for him, as he continues to heal. Ataxia is defined as wobbliness. An in-coordination and unsteadiness due to the brain's failure to regulate the body's posture and regulate the strength and direction of limb movements. Ataxia was a consequence of the bruising on the brain, specifically in the cerebellum which lies beneath the back part of the cerebrum, right underneath the brain stem. There is no cure for this, but with help of therapy he can slowly regain his balance and learn to coordinate his steps and walk with minimal to no assistance. The only problem is that this is a slow process, so while he's wanting to get up and walk now, it might be years down the road before he can do that on his own. NOW...with all of that said, I am only recording this as the medical aspect of it, not as a declaration of what is to happen. We all know that the final verdict in Troy's health will be God's will...not the doctor's!

On another note, Troy has also been coughing a lot when he eats. This is because, due to the brain injury, the epiglottis (a small flap you have in your throat that opens to let you breath and covers the bronchi when your eating so food doesn't go down your windpipes) has slowed it's reaction, so when he's eating too fast, the epiglottis doesn't have the reaction time to close and food goes down the wrong way causing him to cough. The therapist have made a sign for him to put in front of his plate when he's eating to remind him to slow down and chew his food and swallow slowly, and so far (I was there having dinner with him yesterday) he has been doing well with that. They will do a swallow study on him again to determine if the speed of swallowing is the cause and if so, reminding him to slow down will help him not choke and cough. If not, then they will have to put him on a special diet where he will have foods to eat that don't have to be fully chewed to be swallowed.

So, the prayers this week need to be focused on Troy's ataxia and the quick recovery from that so that he can get out of the wheelchair and get his coordination back and the swallowing issues.

Thanks for everyone that supports us in prayer and keeps up with Troy's blog. Troy logs in and reads it from time to time and really enjoys reading everyone's supportive comments!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Glasses for Troy

Well, Troy had his eye doctor's appointment this week; the eye doctor did a very thorough evaluation of Troy's eyes. She said that he benefited from prescription lenses in her report. She mentioned that his eye alignment is off since his appointment. She stated that he did have jerky movements and double vision of equal size in all areas of gaze. During peripheral field testing, she noted an inferior field loss of the right eye and a slight nasal field loss in the left eye. His ability to use his eyes together has been impacted. Basically what all this means is that his eyes don't work together.

Typically, the eye doctor trialed prism lenses to help fuse images into one image. She trialed these during his appointment and they did not benefit Troy at this time. She wrote a prescription for glasses to correct acuity issues and recommended using tape on them at this time. She gave him several eye exercises that we have added to what he has already been doing for his vision. She also has recommended that he follow up in 6 months.

So, although all of this sounds like Chinese talk to me right now, at least it gave me an idea of Troy's visual condition and by Troy wearing these glasses it will eventually strengthen his eyes enough so that then the doctor can work on the other defects he's having with his vision.

The blessing in all of this is that Troy has vision, period! With the cranial nerve damage he has, he came very close to being blind and God covered Troy against that! Praise God for being a merciful God and so full of grace!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Assessment of the house with Troy today

The physical therapist brought Troy and his CNA to the house today so they could assess how he would do when he comes home for good on November 24th. We tried out both bathrooms with him and decided that the girls bathroom would work best, we also had him maneuver his way around the house and he was able to make his way around the house with no problem. The therapist and nurse were both very impressed with how well he did getting around the house and the way the house is laid out really helps him as well, so I was happy to see that God led me in the right direction with this house.

I also found out that it looks like Troy will need quite a while longer of therapy that anticipated. They feel that he is doing well with therapy, but due to his rate of recovery, it looks like it will be closer to 2 years before he will be weaned off of the therapy regime at Shepherd so he can be sent to another place of our choice. In a way, I was happy to hear that Shepherd is willing to work with him, but on the other hand, that means we'll have to stay here longer. Both issues are OK though, the girls have already made friends at school and church and the church we go to here has already reached out to help me and the girls in many ways, so either way will work out for us. God continues to bless our family! Praise God for that.

So, the next step will be to figure out how long the CNA will be authorized to be here to help me with Troy once he's home on a more steady basis. He will still have to be transported to therapy and back so we still have to go through, but on his non-therapy days they are working out to see for how long a nurse will be here to help me. I pray that God provides me with the best care for him and that I get the necessary help for him so I can continue to take care of the girls, the house, work and school.

Everything continues to fall into place so I continue to remain faithful to what God is doing in our family and with Troy's recovery.

Thanks to everyone for the continued support!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Troy's text today

Troy just sent an awesome text and I wanted to post it on here to share with those he doesn't have their number or who didn't receive it.

This is the beginnings of Troy's testimony:

"I remember driving my honda, one day,. And having these crazy doubts about the existance of God, silly i know guys, the .next thing you know i wake up at shepard center not knowing how to speak. i am at now, i remember them from shepard center guys. GOD is real. Christ paid tbe price, willingly. If not, i would not be here to tell you. Ifyou.are confused, rent the movie Gospel of J ohn . Or call me and i will.explain...this just might save.some your lives. I should be dead and gone. But i have more work to do..............."

Excuse the grammatical errors, but I wanted to copy and paste it just the way he sent it so I wouldn't alter any words he wrote.

Praise God for Troy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Troy has access to the blog now

I also wanted to let everyone know that, as of yesterday, Troy has access to the blog now, as well. I have been reading the blog to him, but when I'm not at pathways he wanted to be able to come in here and see everyone's comments and look at how far he's come.

Please take a moment from time to time to leave comments and will be going through them all. I'm trying to see if I can just set up the guestbook in here and that way you can leave messages there.

As soon as you see the guestbook, feel free to leave comments for Troy on there :)

Thanks to everyone for all the support and prayers. Hugs~

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Busy, busy!

Wow! Time is just NOT on my side these days, but I continue to trudge along and keep on going forward! There's no reverse in this journey we are in. :)

A lot has happened in the past 9 days that I haven't posted. I'll try to summarize it without leaving out any details.

Last weekend, October 9th, Troy's mom, brother, sister, twin nephews, and niece were here to visit with him. It was a wonderful weekend! He joked around and we all laughed so much at his jokes by the end of the weekend my cheeks were sore. His mom brought with her different foods and cakes his mom and family had made for him and, of course, his grandmother's famous iced tea! He was so happy with all of them being here. What a blessing it was for all of them to make it here this weekend.

And yes, that's the best picture of Troy we could get. He was being SUCH a clown and wouldn't smile nice for the camera. LOL.

Our 7 year wedding anniversary was on that Sunday, October 10th. It was pretty emotional for him, especially after everyone left, because he dwelled on the fact that he couldn't drive out to go get me something. I consoled him and told him that the simple fact that he was still alive and talking with me on that day was the best gift he could have ever given me! I told him, with what you have been through and as hard as you have worked in your therapy, you don't owe me any gifts for at least the next 5 years! After that, though, you'll have to come up with some pretty neat stuff if you want me to still stick around. We both busted out laughing, both of us laughing with tears in our eyes. It was awesome to see him so happy!

On Tuesday, October 12th, it was his birthday, so I drove up to see him with the girls and we all surprised him (every patient in the house with the nurses) and came into his room singing him happy birthday with a cake! He was so surprised and again, a bit emotional, but much better this time. He was happy to see the girls and I again and I continuously reminded him how blessed he was to see this birthday! He agreed!

On Thursday of this week Troy was taken to Shepherd Center and he did some swimming therapy. I heard it went very well; Troy wasn't too happy though, he says it wore him out. But the therapist said he will now go once a week for swimming therapy to help build his strength with some low pressure exercises in the water. Also, on Friday he had an appointment at Shepherd Center to check his bladder and kidneys to see why he has been getting so many urinary tract infections. I have not gotten the results of those tests yet, so please keep that in your prayers, as well.

This Saturday, October 16th, Troy, the girls and I went to Georgia Aquarium. We were blessed with tickets to the Aquarium and the Deepo's 3D show at the Georgia Aquarium. It was amazing! We had such a wonderful time! I even got a picture of Troy standing next to the shrimp tank looking at shrimp with Tyra. His chair is behind him and his nurse (which came along with us) was standing behind him, but he held himself up there for a good 5 minutes and didn't want to sit back down...LOL)
In the picture, Tyra is the one hanging off the top of the tank in the picture and if you're wondering what that is on his head, it's his eye patch; he has to wear it so he doesn't see double.

This is a family picture of us at Georgia Aquarium.

He has that look on his face in this picture because he was crying most of time we were there. He just kept saying he was crying happy tears and he was so happy to be there with his family and enjoying us again. He kept saying how he has taken us for granted and will never do that again. Typing this now brings tears to my eyes because I know how much he wanted to be able to get up and walk around and run after Tyra and goof around like he always used to, but I also reminded Troy how this experience is humbling him and all of us in the process. We need to know that we aren't invincible and that we are nothing without God in our lives and by our side. I was so grateful for the person who blessed us with those tickets! It was definitely memorable and the look on Troy's face looking around at all the fish and sea creatures and taking it all in, was priceless!

And to finish this weekend off I took Troy and the girls to I-HOP. That was lots of fun too (except for Troy and Tyra were singing at the top of their lungs songs that came up on the intercom as we ate -- Brianna and I just had this mortified look on our faces...LOL)

Another interesting thing that happened this weekend was that Troy has decided he wants to move out West. I have asked him if he's sure over and over and in different ways and every time he says YES. He wants to move out there to get away from it all. He wants to start his new life and start fresh. I don't know when exactly that will be happening, or if it will even pan out, but I have already told Troy that I will follow him wherever he wants to go. He is thinking California, but I already told him that's not happening. So, we have compromised and are considering Washington or Oregon. Of course, nothing will happen unless God wills it so, so we'll see what happens with that. I know wherever we end up at, we'll be just fine as a family.

I do find that we now laugh more, share more, hug and kiss more than we ever did before; both as husband and wife and as a family. Troy is truly my soul mate and I'm so blessed to have him as my husband!

Friday, October 8, 2010

2 Week Update 9/25 - 10/8

It has been a hectic two weeks in my world, but I'm happy to report that Troy has been trucking long and doing really well in his therapies. The therapists continue to love working with him because he's such a huge participator in his own recovery.

Last weekend we finally got out outing with Troy. The girls and I got there about 11am and got Troy ready to go out with us. For this particular outing, I was given the option of taking the nurse with me, or not, I wanted it to be Troy, the girls and I, so I opted for no nurse. I got Troy loaded up into the car and broke the wheelchair down to fit in the trunk. I realized at this moment how a bigger car is definitely going to be needed, but nonetheless, I was elated to have him out with us so I didn't care. I crammed us all in and away we went. I asked him where he wanted to go, he said he didn't care (like always - lol - nice to know things haven't changed) So, we ended up at Chili's. I don't have a handicapped sticker for the car yet so the parking arrangement was very interesting, but we made it work.

Troy ate like a horse! It was awesome to see him so happy being out with the girls and I. I did notice, though, that after about 20 minutes of us being at the restaurant he was getting very edgy, almost irate at times. Regardless, we had a great time out. Also, to make things even better, Troy's dad surprised us from NC! He called that he was in town and he met us at the Chili's. Troy was happy to see him.

The rest of the weekend went great! We took Troy to the mall so I could buy him some winter clothes to wear for these colder months and then we went by the hospital to pick up his nurse so I could bring Troy home to see the house. He couldn't spend the night with us, but I wanted him to at least see the house, his dad was excited about that too. I was nervous at first though, it wasn't in the plans, but I knew God would help me and guide us to do the right thing. When he got to the house the first thing he said was "The house is huge and where's my toolbox?"

We showed him his toolbox then brought him inside. He was in awe at the house and remembered the TV and couches. The funny thing was that he didn't remember his computer. He asked to see his laptop and when we got it for him, he was adamant that wasn't the one he had. Anywho, all in all, it was great having him here. I can't wait til I can bring him home on the weekends to spend nights with us!

Other than that he's doing really well. He's still a bit confused at times and gets agitated and very mean when he's tired, but it's all a matter of me recognizing the signs and knowing when he's had enough.

Thank you so much for the continued prayers. God is working miracles in Troy's life and I am grateful every day for giving Troy another chance at life, another chance to be with his family!

This Sunday will be our 7 year wedding anniversary and I've been praising God all this week for giving us another chance at another year together. This anniversary almost didn't happen...I will cherish this one the most!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Update for Week of 9/20 - 9/24

Spoke with the Counselor on Friday about Troy's recovery and goals for the next few weeks.

We had some concerns with Troy because he has been really depressed lately and really doubting himself and his reason for being here. His family, his friends and I have been talking with him trying to keep him encouraged, but his brain, as it heals, is also backfiring and sending signals to his emotions that are very confusing. So, to help him get through this healing phase the doctor's have prescribed an anti-depressant for him. They had originally started him on 10mg, but since it doesn't seem to be helping and he has gained some weight they are having to look at the dose again and possibly up the dose a bit more. The medicine will balance the neurotransmitters which will help with the transmitting of information from his brain to the rest of his body.

In the meantime, the counselor asks that we validate what he says. Not just try to blow it off. Validate it by acknowledging what he's going through and how he must feel, but not dwell on the fact and not encourage the feelings. He's also been getting stuck on thoughts, emotions, feelings. To help him through this the counselor also suggested that when he keeps repeating over and over a certain topic to change the conversation and distract him in anyway possible. So far, this has been working just fine.

She assured me that this phase can be brief and, after a while, he will stop being stuck on certain topics and emotions. In the meantime, we are to empower him by telling him he's still a father that needs to raise his children and that he's still a husband that needs to be there for his wife. By empowering him, it gives him something to focus on and to channel the frustrations he goes through in the right direction by giving him something to work towards.

Also spoke with the physical therapist and she advised me that Troy is making good progress and gaining increased strength in his legs. He is walking 230 feet with a front wheeled walker with 5lb weights on both sides of the walker and rear wheel brakes to provide some resistance (drag) on the back of the walker which slows the walker down. He is able to walk with therapist providing 25% of the assistance and he can do the rest. He still has difficulty with his right leg crossing over the leg but with verbal reminders he is able to correct the step. The crossing over of the leg has to do with his brain not sending the correct message to the ride side of his body and he forgets how to step with that leg. It will take time as the neurons repair themselves and get themselves back to where he can walk straight without a problem or without forgetting his leg is there and taking steps the way he's supposed to.

Troy also has been complaining about his vision. He is convinced that he has astigmatism and that's why he sees double and blurry. The occupational therapist advised me that they have given Troy some exercises to do with his eyes to help correct some of this and if in 6 months after the accident (November 1st) he still has this problem, they will, at that time, call in an optometrist to look him over and prescribe glasses, if needed.

In other OT news, he is really working diligently towards his goals. He is compliant with the splint wearing schedule of the new splint OT has fabricated to help maintain range of motion in his right wrist/hand. He is performing self range of motion exercises, strengthening tasks, and working with his emerging range of motion in his right upper extremity. Last Thursday, he initiated using the computer to make a list of tips and reminders to recall ways to increase independence when he is bathing.

All the therapists' tell me he is such a hard worker and a joy to work with in therapy.

Please continue the prayers for his recovery and that he continues to heal and become closer to the Troy we all know and love! I remain faithful and prayerful that God will continue to do His holy will. The timing is all perfect, so far, and everything is falling into place as it should.

To God be all the glory! Thanks to everyone for your continued support :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Discharge Date Set for Pathways

Troy has been doing really well at Pathways. He's taken on to the new staff and has been doing really well getting along with the other patients there. He did have a personality conflict with his "home care" nurse, so I had to call and have someone else come out to be with him today, but so far, he's been happy with the new nurse.

I received an email letting me know that Troy's discharge date at Pathways is set for 11/26/2010. So, as of right now, that will be his day to come home and he will then fall into another step-down therapy session, but he will be living at home and just doing therapy on an outpatient basis, where I will have to drive him to his therapy sessions. At that point, I don't know if he'll still be with Shepherd or if they will find a facility closer to the house.

At that point, we'll see what happens. The workers' comp case manager is advocating to keep him with the Shepherd therapy system so I'm happy about that. Shepherd has done so well with Troy and he has definitely come a long way!

God continues to heal him and bless our family. Thanks to everyone for all the prayers and supports!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Our first weekend visit with Troy at Pathways

Well, Troy's first few days seemed to have gone well. He is a bit confused and agitated at times, but with a bit of persistence, patience, and love on my part and he responds and bounces back, fairly well. He is mostly disappointed at the fact that he can't come home with us. As much as we made it clear to him that at Pathways he would have to stay there during the week and only be able to come home on the weekends, after I went through some more training, he still doesn't understand it and doesn't like having to stay there AT ALL!

The staff is very nice and friendly and his home health care nurse are very good to him and he likes the constant company, even if he prefers me. He remains polite to everyone and now that I have given him his phone back, he calls me countless times through out the day. This is working out great though, because he can feel like he has me right by his side, even though, physically, I'm not able to there like I used to be.

So far, I haven't heard from the doctors and therapists this week on how his 2 days of therapy went, but I'm sure these days were just "getting to know" Troy days, so they won't have much to report anyway. I'm sure next Friday will be filled with all sorts of good news and new breakthroughs in his recovery.

Thanks to everyone for your patience this week as I went from a public page to a private page. This way, I can slowly start to integrate pictures of Troy and not feel like I'm putting his face out on the internet with no privacy filters, whatsoever!

The Walker family continues to remain grateful to everyone's support and I continue to remain faithful to God and can't wait to hear Troy's testimony!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Private Access

I have decided to make this blog private, and because of this I will ask that any information on this blog not be shared with the public. If you are reading this it's because Troy and I want to share his recovery journey with you.

I want to be able to come on here and write on the blog without feeling like I need to keep information out because I don't know who all is reading it.

I am here to advocate for Troy and his recovery and I would like to continue to share that and have something for Troy to read up on as he recovers.

My apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Beginnings at Pathways

Well, this has been a very busy week for both Troy and myself. Troy has been doing his regular therapy and also preparing for his transition to Pathways, and I have been training on how to care for him when he gets his passes to come home on days or weekends at a time and going through transition phase myself.

Today was his move to Pathways. He did really well and while at Pathways, and meeting his therapists and counselor, Troy was full of questions and comments about his level of care and how much he wants to get better and what he wants them to do for him while he's there. I was very proud of him! There were only a handful of times I had to interject and give them the correct information because he either didn't remember or was giving them the wrong information because his memory had failed him.

Also, this facility is very strict with their privacy laws and protecting Troy's privacy, and because of this I will no longer get daily updates on his recovery, nor will they speak to anyone about Troy's condition over the phone or in person, except for Troy and myself since I'm his court appointed guardian. The therapists and doctors meet every Friday and at that time I will get a call with the update on Troy and how he's been doing for that week. I only mention this because we have all gotten used to the daily updates (except for recently because I've been slacking...LOL) so now I will update the blog every Friday, Lord willing, and let everyone know how he's doing. I look forward to getting those calls on Fridays, ALREADY! Weekly updates will be exciting and the changes will be way more significant since I'm not there every day now.

Finally, at around 5pm he was pooped and ready to get to bed. It was hard to say goodbye to him tonight, but I know he is in very good hands and will get the best care available to him. I was also at ease to see that his home care nurse was there for part of the day and got acclimated with him, as well, before I left. That definitely made me leaving him there a bit easier.

I know this is a step in the right direction for him and although I will not be able to visit with him 7 days a week, like I have been doing since the accident, I know that this is a blessing in disguise for both of us. For Troy because he's recovering well enough Shepherds feels he will benefit from the outpatient therapy, and good for me because I will now be forced to dedicate more time to my school work, tending to the house and being a full time mommy again to my girls. So, in retrospect, this is sort of a healing time for both Troy and I.

I want to thank everyone for all the support and prayers we have gotten in these past four months. I can type for DAYS on how grateful I am to each and everyone of you reading this blog and keeping up with us as we embark in this journey of healing, blessings and miracles.

I also need to add that I have told Troy about the blog and have read some of the posts to him. He has broken down in tears every time I have told him how many people are praying for him and how many people have been there to help me and the girls get through this difficult time. He specifically asked me to extend his most sincere gratitude and to let everyone know that logs on here to read about him, how he is extremely moved by all the prayers and support!

I will, though, take this opportunity to request that you please pray that God provides me with a reliable and wheelchair-friendly mode of transportation. To give a little background on our current situation, Troy's car currently has 213,000 miles on it and, although my father in law is going to do some patching up repairs to it for me next week, the Honda is on it's last legs. I pray that God provides the means for me to purchase an SUV or a van that can hold a fold up wheelchair and have enough room for Troy and the girls for when he gets his passes to come home in 3 or 4 weeks.

In the past four months, I have seen God's work firsthand and I know that prayer works, so if you would please pray for that, and/or email me at if you know of any deals or any information that would help me, I would greatly appreciate it!

God is awesome and I know He will not let me down now that we've made it this far!

Thanks to all from Troy, Joan, Brianna, Tyra

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Overdue Update

Well, I have finally come to the conclusion that I need a secretary! LOL. OK, not really, but I definitely need more hours in the day to accomplish all I have put myself out to do.

Troy continues to do great and his memory is really starting to sharpen as the days go on. He is really working on honing his memorization skills and cooperating with therapy so that he can accomplish the best he can and continue to get better! Also, to help with his memory issues/gaps, I rubber-banded a small spiral notebook to his wheelchair, in which I have requested that the therapists' and nurses write anything in the book that Troy did throughout the day that would be nice for him to remember and when I'm there, I write my visits with him or who he spoke to on the phone or who came by to visit with him. That has really helped build his confidence so he doesn't feel like he's "losing" his mind and forgetting everything. He told me the other day "I feel like I'm losing my mind.", to which I replied "Aren't we all? I have the same notebook in my purse! See?" I showed him the "memory book" I have been carrying with me 24/7, since the accident, and he giggled. At least he knows he's not alone in being forgetful. LOL

He does continue to go through his moments of agitation and frustrations, at times, but I don't blame him one bit. I know if it were me in his shoes, I would probably be really frustrated too. He still gets a bit confused on why he has to take the medicines he does and why he can't just come home with me when I come to visit him. We continue to reassure him that Shepherd is there to help him and not keep him prisoner or punish him in any way. He has his good days and his bad days, but we all do; most of his days are good though so that's a blessing.

Troy is moving to Pathways on Wednesday, September 8th; this time it looks like the move is definite. The nurse case manager with Shepherd Center called me today to finalize all the steps needed to get him transported over and to schedule a time with me so that I can be there for the move. I am OVERLY excited because at Pathways, since it's an outpatient rehab center, he'll have passes to come home on weekends and evenings when not in therapy. During the week, he will reside there in the dorm because it would be more beneficial for him to remain there and get all the therapies he can and make better use of his time, instead of traveling an hour there and back every day.

The girls and I can not wait to have daddy with us - OUTSIDE hospital walls for the first time in a long time!

Sheesh, it's been over a week since I have updated the blog. I apologize for not staying on top of it more often, like I used to. The good thing is that Troy is continuing to progress and recovery and prayers are being answered!

Praise God!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Feeding Tube Has Been Removed! Yay!

Troy has been having a good few days. He struggled with some agitation last week, when he first started coming out of the coma, but has now settled down quite a bit. It was a bit hard for him, at first, with everything happening so fast, for him. He went from being in a coma for 14 weeks, to suddenly waking up and not knowing where he was, or why. I can completely understand him being agitated and frustrated by that.

But, I am happy to report that Troy's memory is not as bad as it could be. He does have significant damage to his short term memory, but his long term memory seems to be in pretty good shape. He still does forget some details, but once I remind him of them, he is able to retain that memory of his past. Now, anything recent, like in the past 5 years, I am having to constantly remind him of on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. This isn't bad though, because at least he has his older memories that would be impossible for me to replicate for him; therapy can help him work on retaining new information as the healing continues.

Today was a big day for Troy, he had the feeding tube taken out of his stomach. I had already left this morning when they pulled it out, but I called the nurse to check on him this afternoon and she said he first thanked the doctor for pulling it out, then a few seconds later let out an "OUCH, that hurt!" when he realized it hurt when they pulled it out. LOL. The nurse told me he was elated to have that taken out...and frankly, so am I! Another milestone in Troy's recovery!

Also, Troy's catheter has been completely removed now and he is no longer needing to wear briefs. His brain is functioning how it should by sending signals when he needs to void. That's a huge step in progress, as well, as it clearly shows that the brain is continuing to repair itself.

This is all about baby steps for us, but huge steps in the right direction for Troy! I continue to praise God for putting us in the situation He has. This could have all ended or been a whole lot worst and God has kept us covered with His grace and has shown my family that miracles can and DO happen! I owe all the glory to God alone for all of this; for placing us where He placed us -- in His perfect timing covered by His perfect will! Praise God!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Troy was upgraded to a regular diet today! Yay! He can now eat any type of foods, in any form. So, to celebrate this milestone, I got cleared by the therapist and the nurse to bring in outside food so the girls, Troy and I can have dinner together at the hospital. When I asked Troy what he wanted he said "A double cheeseburger from Burger King." It was hilarious! So, I left to go get the girls from school and came back to the hospital donning his double cheeseburger and fries and food for us.

We all sat in his room and ate dinner together. It was awesome! We were all having dinner under the same roof, in the same room for the first time in three and half months!

Other than that, Troy has been progressing along. He is now able to wheel himself using his left leg and a bit of his right leg to propel himself down the hallways. He doesn't get very far and he tires very quickly, but he is now able to get about halfway to his room. Also, he is starting to move his right hand a bit. He is now able to open and close his right hand. He says he can't feel his finger tips and his right hand hurt really bad when he tries to move it, but he is definitely working really hard at getting it going.

Troy has also been getting very agitated and can get extremely confused at times. That, in itself, is very tiring (for both him and I) and very emotional for me because he gets very insistent that things are what he believes them to be and when I don't comply or have an answer for what he's asking for, he gets angry at me and says that I'm not listening to him, which is usually followed by him demanding I give him his phone so he can call someone else that will listen. I have been able to appease him or distract him enough so that he isn't so agitated, but usually when he gets like that it's because he's tired and has had a long day. Things are only going to get better from here so I remain strong and trusting in the Lord that this will also pass.

Please continue praying that God gives Troy peace at heart and that the healing continues so that he can get through this frustrating phase in his recovery.

Thank you again to everyone for all the support we have gotten, whether in prayer, by sending me emails and enlightening me spiritually and emotionally or financially. God has put my family in the perfect place and surrounded by the perfect people that have done nothing but care for me and my family. I praise God everyday for each and every one of you!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Quick Update - Yet Another Extension :)

As usual, my days are filled with surprises. I just received a call from the nurse case manager at Shepherd Center, she advised me that Troy's stay at Shepherd has been extended, once again. His new discharge date is now September 7th!

In the world of rehabilitation, this is a good thing. It means that Troy will continue to receive one-on-one therapy for another 2 weeks past his discharge date. The hospital has some goals they would like Troy to attain before he leaves, one of them being that he can walk with a wheeled walker with only one person helping him. This is a big goal since Troy still hasn't gotten full strength in his right leg or right arm, but definitely not an unattainable goal and they have full confidence that he can do it!

God has been doing great things in Troy's recovery and I can't wait to have him walking up and down that hospital floor and walking through our front door at the house!

Keep praying, people of God, these prayers are being answered on God's perfect timing and always as He wills...every time! Praise God!

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." 2 Peter 1:3-4

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wow! The days just seem to fly on by nowadays. My days are so filled now that I don't even have the time or energy to blog as much as I want to. The girls have taken to the new school schedule without a hitch. My daily schedule consists of: putting the girls on the bus at 7am, visit with Troy from 8:30am (or later...depending on Atlanta to about 1pm, pick up girls from bus stop, workout at gym for an hour, go home, do homework, errands (if needed), dinner, mommy time and "housely" duties; next thing I know it's 2am and I have to be in bed to do it all over again the following day. Troy needs to hurry up and get home and help me! LOL.

I do have to say that Troy is starting to talk much louder now and is a bit better at getting his point across. He is getting better at articulating his words a bit more. He can read his bible now so I get that for him and help him with that as much as I can. He gets very emotional reading it so I try to read it to him as much as he lets me. He is now starting to say he wants to come home, a lot! That's pretty much all he talked about today was wanting to come home. He told me today that he doesn't like that place anymore and wants to come home. I asked him if he didn't like the treatment there and he replied "They treat me fine, but it's not HOME!" and yes, he yelled that last part at me. I'm very happy to see how much he is aware of his surroundings now.

I also need to mention that because Troy has been participating in therapy now (versus therapy being done to him) that he is officially out of his coma now. It's been about 2 weeks, but I spoke with the doctor on Thursday to confirm that.

Troy's memory is the toughest part right now. He doesn't remember when I've been there from one day to the next. He has trouble remembering anything from now until 5 or 6 years ago, so anything that has happened since then, he has trouble recalling it. I remind him of where he worked, what church we attended, where we lived and anything that has happened in the past 6 years every day. That's been helping him a bit.

Little by little his memory should regain. The doctor does advise me that he might still have trouble with some memories, but I am happy to have Troy here with us, so I can deal with the rest. I have started to write things on the board for him to help him stay reminded of when I've been there and what day it is and so forth.

Troy does remember that he was going to school to be a pastor and Troy knows that he could have been dead right now and God has given him another chance at life. Troy told me a few nights ago that the world should watch out, because here comes Troy. Troy told me that he will work on his approach and tell people how good God has been to him. I was overjoyed by hearing him talking like this. Troy is already planning out his testimony to share with the world. I can't wait to hear it from Troy's mouth!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Music to my ears!

This has been a HUGE week in Troy's recovery. First off, the family training went very well. The last of my training was on Friday night when I had to stay with Troy, and the girls, in a suite on the hospital floor. In this suite, I was to care for Troy, in a home-like environment, as if I was home with him. I was in charge of caring for him through the night, giving him his medicines when they were due, and getting him ready in the morning for breakfast in the therapy gym.

Well, Troy was obviously very excited to have us all there with him and we were just as excited! He didn't go to sleep until about 4am, or at least that's the last I remember, because I finally zonked out. He called for me all night. He would call me over to his bed "Joan!". I would get up, go to his bedside, only to hear him tell me he wanted me to cut the cast off his arm! I calmly explained to him that the cast was to stay on his arm because it would help keep his range of motion and I could not cut it off; to which he replied "Yes, you can!" This went on all night long! LOL. It was aggravating and refreshing at the same time, to have him bugging me again!

Finally I told him, "Troy, you have to go to sleep!" and he replied "I can't sleep!" That's when I finally told him, "OK, YOU can't sleep...but I CAN and I WILL! So go to sleep!" I didn't hear from him This was at about 4am! His speech is very garbled and he doesn't enunciate his words well, but he is definitely speaking his mind and communicating what he wants to say.

The rest of the morning went fairly well. He resisted me a bit in the morning when I was trying to get him out of bed to bathe him and brush his teeth, but I finally got him out of bed, bathed, dressed, and cleaned up.

Saturday morning, apparently Tyra had picked up a stomach bug because she was getting sick on me at the hospital all morning long. Finally at around noon I told Troy we had to leave and get Tyra some medicines and fluids in her but that I would come back. He then tells me "Make sure you come back!" Brianna and I both looked at each other and wondered if we heard him correctly! We said our goodbyes and I told him I would be back.

Well, we didn't make back to the hospital until Sunday mid-morning. Tyra was feeling better by now and we were all very happy to see him. When we first got there the nurse told me that he was being very ornery and wasn't eating his breakfast. She said he was playing "possum" when she was trying to feed him. He would act like he was really sleepy and wouldn't open his mouth or cooperate in feeding himself as he has been doing for weeks now. She then would step away to help another patient eat and look back at Troy and caught Troy looking around the room! She said this went on 3 different times until she finally gave up, made sure he drank his Ensure, and left him be. I, of course, thought this was hilarious, because I thought it was so cute how Troy's stubborn personality was starting to shine through...she, obviously, didn't think it was so amusing.

The rest of the day went fairly well. His cousin, Mitchell stopped by, with his wife and son to visit, and I asked Troy if he knew who that was; Troy answered "My cousin Mitchell." We were all happy to hear that. Troy has really started vocalizing and becoming more verbal so I was happy to see his memory was also there with him and he remembered others. Today was also my birthday so I asked him if he knew what today was and he didn't answer. When I finally told him it was my birthday, he opened his eyes big, gasped and said "Happy Birthday!"; I almost cried! He even gave me a birthday hug. That made my day.

But the topper of today was when I started talking about his mom and his family. He clearly said "I miss my mom", and he started to cry. I asked him if he wanted me to call her and he said "Yes". I called his mom and he started to talk to her telling her he loved her and missed her; he cried the entire time. I then called his dad, brother, sister, daughter and he even got to talk to his niece Brittany! It was awesome! I was so overwhelmed by how much he was talking with them. Even to the point when he greeted his brother Chris by saying "What's up, man?", my jaw dropped! This is how Chris and him would greet each other on the phone before the accident.

Needless to say, today was a very emotional day. God, through Troy's speaking, blessed me with the best birthday present ever! Troy's voice is like music to my ears!

Please continue to pray for Troy's healing and that his memory continues to come back. His memory was a bit vague on some topics, including my birthday and other things I was asking him about, but he did remember who everyone was and he even read a line from a card his mom sent him that was hanging on his wall. So he even remembers how to read.

God is showing His glory throughout all of this and, as always, God's timing is perfect in every way! I appreciate all the continued prayers and look forward to talking with Troy some more tomorrow!

Praise God!

P.S. Please excuse the horrible grammar on this posting tonight. I am trying to cram 5 days of posting into one summarized blog -- oh and I should mention it's late and I'm beat! LOL.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Today was "Family Training Day" at Shepherd Center for me. This is where the therapists all spend 30 minutes to an hour with me going over Troy's care for when I bring him home and answer any questions I may have about his recovery and future goals. It was good to be able to be more hands-on with Troy's care, as well. They taught me how to transfer him from his wheelchair to the bed or chair. I was happy to see how much Troy was helping by pushing up with his legs as I guided him up and down in and out of the chair.

Troy also was very verbal today. During one of our breaks I took him back to the room and I was showing him the pictures of the girls and asking him who I was and every time he would whisper the correct answer. His speech is very low and mumbled, but the therapist says that as he learns how to take a deep breath and push up his voice through his voice box he'll get louder and clearer. So far he's labeling items like: sock, cup, and names of the girls and also says "my daughter" when asked who the girls are to him. Praise God for that! He's doing so much better! Today he even said "my mouth" and pointed to his mouth when he was sticking his finger in his mouth and showing me the inside of his mouth.

Also, today during the "Team Meeting", where the doctor, neuropsychologist, therapist and nurses meet to go over Troy's recovery, it was determined that Troy has done well enough to earn himself another 2 weeks at the Shepherd rehab program. Due to his vocalizing words and being able to identify some items they feel that they can work with him a bit more to help him learn how to speak again and also work on his walking and trunk support. His new discharge date is now August 24th.

One news that I did receive today, which was great news and sad news at the same time, was that once he is discharged from the hospital he will not be coming home. He will be transferred directly to Pathways. Pathways is Sheperd's outpatient rehab program where they focus on integrating him back into the community and work on his independence on being able to care for himself the best he can. This, obviously, is GREAT news, but I say it's sad because the Pathways facility is further North from the house and the visiting hours are very strict there. I will be only be able to visit at night, during the week, and on the weekends.

I'm saddened by this because I will not be able to spend my days there like I have been. Now, while the girls are at school, I have been there from 9am to 4pm every day. It's been great being part of his rehab regimen again, so I will miss him when he moves because I won't be with him as often. With the girls in school and the facility being a bit further away, I will not be able to be there as much as I also have to tend to my motherly duties and I have to also care for the girls and do homework with them.

I am trying to see this as a blessing in disguise, though. With me being home all day, while the girls are in school, I will have more time to dedicate to my classes, since my Fall term starts August 31. I will be graduating this Fall so I'll need the time to focus and do well so I can continue to pursue my dream of becoming an RN. I can also try to get back to working from home again so I can help offset some of the financial difficulties I have been coming up against.

Troy is scheduled to be at Pathways for 3 to 4 months, so he should be coming home around the holidays. Of course, that can all change depending on how well he's doing with the program. I can't wait to see how well he does there and see what God has willed for Troy's complete recovery!

My faith in God continues, if anything much stronger by the day. I do get sad, I can't help but feel sad sometimes, but it's only because I miss him, not because I doubt God's healing power. Troy and I have always talked about growing old together, but never did I imagine I would be alone this long of a period in our marriage. I am grateful to God, though, that Troy IS coming back to me and I didn't lose him on May 1st. I thank God for having mercy on us and not taking Troy away from us that day. It's awesome to be able to hug and kiss him and be able to talk with him and reassure him that everything will be OK and I will be right here when he comes home. I tell him that every day, today I got a smile from him when I told him that; that melted my heart!

Please continue to pray for Troy's recovery and that God continues to do His holy will in his life and recovery. I was thanking God today for giving me the strength to stay focused and remain grounded. Not one day in the past 3 months have I asked "Why me? Why Troy?" I have remained steadfast and am actually honored that the Lord picked our family so that He can show His glory and allow all of us to get closer to Him during this tragic event.

God has been very merciful to us. This entire event could have been a lot worst than it has been! I will forever be grateful for God's mercy and surrounding us with such loving and supporting family and friends.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

This weekend was an awesome weekend for Troy. His dad, brother, sister, niece and twin nephews were here visiting with him. Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of her control, his mother wasn't able to visit, but she was with us constantly on the phone or in text.

This visit with his family was very good for Troy. He laughed more this weekend than I have ever heard him laugh. He was laughing so hard he was tearing up and at one point he was even laughing and crying at the same time; just overwhelmed with emotions. He really enjoyed the twins, he seemed to favor Nathan the most. It was so cute to watch him watch Nate do his thing and interact with him. It was sad to see them all leave today, but it's awesome to know that Troy has such a loving and supportive family.

Now, this begins a very busy week for me. The girls first day of school is tomorrow. I have been really sad this weekend thinking of Troy missing out on being there for Tyra's first day of school, but I will video tape it all and show it to him when I get to the hospital.

Tomorrow is also a huge day because it's Troy's "outing" day. This is where the therapist, Troy and myself will go out into the community and do a trial run of how I am going to transport him with us and how to handle different situations that may arise when Troy is out with me and the girls. I am very nervous about this, but I know God will be with us and will continue to keep me grounded while I soak all of this in. I was taught how to do the IC on him today to empty his bladder. He was very gracious and didn't fight me, as he has been with all the nurses. The nurse warned me that he might pull at the catheter while I tried to insert it, or slap at me or push me in resistance, but by the grace of God, Troy just sat there calmly and let me do it with no fuss. Maybe he could feel that my hands were shaking and didn't want me to hurt him. LOL.

Also, this Tuesday and Wednesday are Family Training days. This is where for 8 hours I will be taught how to care for him on my own, without the help of medical staff on hand 24/7. I have seen most of these things done, but I will now have to do it all hands on, on my own and will have someone coach me through things for 2 days. On Tuesday, I have to spend the night at the hospital with Troy and I will be doing all of the care for him overnight by myself with no help to see how it will be when I bring him home. Nursing staff will not interfere unless I press the call button and request help. I will be staying in what's called ADL suite on the Brain Injury floor. It's a full apartment, complete with wheel-in shower. If everything goes as planned, I will have to come home to get the girls from school on Tuesday afternoon after my day of training, then head back to the hospital and then bring them early the next morning for school. Thank the Lord there was a spot in Extended Day for Tyra so I could pay this week and have her stay there until 6pm while I get all this training I need and Brianna's bus stop is less than a block away from the house so she'll be able to walk home from the bus and wait for us here at the house. I'm excited and nervous about that too. It will be interesting to see how Troy does spending the night with me and the girls again! This will be the first time in over 3 months we all sleep under one roof, as a family! Yay!

Needless to say, tomorrow, and the rest of this week, will be a very strenuous and emotional day for me, but no matter how much I feel that I will be emotional, in the back of my mind I have this sense that I will take this just like I have everything else, with a serene demeanor and complete control of things. I don't know what I would do without God's grace and so many people praying for us! Big changes are going to be happening real soon and I'm ready for them! To God be all the glory!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Troy has been doing remarkably well these past few days. He has also been more vocal; whether it's making sounds, moving his mouth as if talking, repeating words or just saying automatic phrases.

I was at the hospital with the girls until 8pm last night and an hour after I got home his mom called me to let me know that she had called the hospital to check on him and the nurse told her that when she walked into the room she said "What's up Troy?!" to which he replied "Nothing much." I, of course, was floored! The girls and I were with him all day and all he would do for us was repeat words and make sounds. LOL. I was so happy to hear that though!

Troy is continuing to progress and the doctors are now talking about extending his stay at Shepherd another 2 weeks. I will never get tired of thanking God and praising Him for blessing me with the opportunity to be able to move up here. I couldn't imagine having to be away from Troy or the girls this long! This Sunday it will be 3 months since the accident and it's amazing how much our lives have changed in 3 months and how much God has blessed us with. Things are great here in GA, everything is so accessible and we love the house. The finances have gotten very tight now that I have the girls to care for, plus gas and maintenance on the car due to driving back and forth to Atlanta and everything else that goes on with living in this world, but I have my complete trust in the Lord that he will provide and supply for my family and I. I have not doubted God's abilities this far, and I don't plan on starting now. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Troy has a very long road ahead of him and I am as prepared as I'm going to be, God will get us through the rest.

I start training classes next week on how to care for him and what I will be doing with him once we get home. That should be very interesting. I'm nervous of how it will be once he's home. The lady with workers comp came by the house the other day to do the measurements and accessing where all the handicap bars and ramps will be installed and making sure that I'll be able to turn the wheelchair in and around the house. The doctor's say Troy has definite potential to walk some day, but they don't know how long it will be before he can fully and independently walk on his own. So, in the meantime I have to be trained and prepared to transport him in and out of a wheelchair by car and in the house. This morning while talking to the therapist, she was showing me how to disassemble the wheelchair to get it into the trunk of the car and she made a comment that hit me straight in the gut and left me without air for a few seconds. She said "From here on out, your routine trips to grocery stores and shopping malls will no longer be routine. You will have to consider yourself as if you are a single mother with 3 children." That really hit home for me. I have already been thinking how I am now responsible for 3 people and I will be running the household on my own, which I have no problems with, but it was the fact of the way she said it that was so realistic to me and shook me up. But, nonetheless, God has put me here because I can handle this and I will not back down from this with my hands down. I will keep my hands raised to the heavens and get my strength from where I have been getting it from up until now -- God!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

OK, it's been a few days since I have blogged. I have been, both, slacking and just not really much to report. Troy continues to progress, but the progress is happening a bit slower now with events happening more on a weekly basis, than a daily basis.

Today was a good day for us with Troy, we were able to go to church this morning and then stay with him until late tonight and enjoyed our time with him, as always. Troy has been laughing and giggling at the girls or me or pretty much anything that amuses him, a lot lately. He even laughs at himself; like during lunch when he was trying to feed himself and he dropped the fork - he thought that was hilarious. LOL. He seems so much more aware of his surroundings and of what is going on around him. When there are people in the room or when we are just in there talking, he'll look from person to person as they talk as if paying attention to the conversation.

When I sit by him he reaches out for me more and even grabbed me by the back of the neck today and pulled me towards him as if he wanted to give me a kiss. At first, it caught me off guard, until I realized what he was trying to do.

It's so sweet to watch the girls interact with him, as well. He really enjoys their company and laughs non-stop at pretty much everything Tyra does or say.

Also, they have now started restraining his left hand to the bed and placing a mitten over his hand. Last night he was trying to pull the GI tube out of his stomach and kept pulling the catheter off! So, tonight was the first night I was there to watch them tie him down. I must say that, although I know it is for his own good and that this is progress, it was very hard to watch that.

I'm excited to see what God has in His plans this week. It seems like every Monday he's doing more and more with the therapists; almost as if since he's nice and rested up on the weekends, he's ready to show off on Monday mornings. LOL.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Troy had a great day yesterday! He did really well in his therapy sessions. The girls and I sat through 2 of his sessions with him yesterday and the girls were an intricate part of one of them. During the first session we sat through they had him sitting up on the edge of the mat and holding himself up, he did great with that! Then the therapist had each of the girls stand in front of him and she would ask him to hug them, kiss them, speak to them. He did all except the speaking, but when his daughter Makia was with him the therapist did get him to say Makia when prompted to say her name. We were all so excited! Her visit to him have been so very helpful for his therapy.

Also, during his second part of that session the therapist took him into his bathroom to shave his face. She would put shaving cream on his finger and he would draw it towards his face. During one of the times he was trying to put the cream on or in his mouth and the therapist was pulling his hand away and saying "No, Troy! That's not food!" and during one of the times she said that he repeated "NOT FOOD!" so loud and clear we all gasped! It was amazing to hear him talking! His voice is not the same and a bit raspy, but the therapist says that with time that will eventually heal, as well, and he'll be able to regain most, if not all, of his normal speech patterns.

Overall yesterday was a great day! I also was able to speak with the doctor in the hallway that confirmed to me that the lower temperature in his right leg is not due to bad circulation, but to that part of his brain not able to control body temperature on that side of his body. Just as the brain is having a hard time controlling movements on his right arm and right leg, it's the same with the brain not being able to control body temperature and regulate blood temperature on that side of his body. The blood is flowing good through his legs so his heart is doing what it needs to do, the cold feeling of his leg and toes is just due to the blood vessels not able to regulate temperature because the brain is not sending the proper messages.

As of today, he has also began urinating more on his own now. They no longer have to IC him as much now through out the day. The nurse today said that they only had to IC him once today, versus 3 or 4 times a day as they have been doing for over a month now. They have him on strong medicines to help him go on his own, so those seem to be working fine now!

I praise God for continued healing and give all glory unto God for being such a merciful and comforting Father to me and the girls. The girls have taken all of this with stride and have not seemed to skip a beat! They beg to go see daddy every day and when it's time to go they all gather around and give him 2 or 3 hugs and kisses and say goodnight to him. It's all so warming to the heart and gives me peace knowing that God continues to watch over my little family and guide me to do the things that are best for all of us, right now.

Troy will be home on August 10th, God willing, and I'm so excited to see what God has in store for us!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Troy has been doing really well these past two days. He has been very alert and spent most of the day today trying to yank his lap belt off and get up from the wheelchair. He isnt strong enough to walk yet, but its obvious he is becoming more aware of his surroundings as he is becoming more and more combative with things around him.

He did very well in therapy today, as well. Cindy, the speech therapist, told me that during lunch today he was giggling and laughing a lot! Troy started giggling and laughing on Sunday with the girls, mostly Tyra. We were in the room talking and just hanging out with him and he would burst out laughing from time to time to something Tyra or Brianna and Kiki would say! It was awesome to watch him laughing! That was the best sound I have hear in a very, very long time!

Troys daughter, Kiki, sang him a song today and he cried! It was very touching. She sang Troy a song that they had shared a few years back when Kiki visited and it was only Troy and her in the car when she was singing. Troy obviously remembered the song because the tears were very real and it was obvious he was emoionally shaken up.

I am loving having my family together in the same room and us sharing laughs, stories, and just loving each other as we did before May 1st. God has really blessed our family and I am humbled by it! God is in total control and I don't know how I would have made it this far without God by my side!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Troy's brother Chris and 3 of Troy's close friends came by today to visit. It was really sweet watching Troy and his brother interact with each other.

I stepped out to pick the girls up something to eat, but while I was gone Chris told me that while joking with Troy, talking with him in his bed, he got Troy to smile real big! I missed it, but I was so excited to hear that Chris got him smiling! There's nothing like a brotherly bond and it showed today!

We also tried to get Troy to give hugs today, but he wasn't up to it today. Yesterday evening Troy was reaching out to the girls and giving hugs and making kissing noises! It was so sweet! I was hoping that he would do it today for Chris, but that's the nature of brain injury, they'll do things one day and then not for a while. Hopefully he'll be up to hugs and kisses tomorrow. It was awesome being able to get hugs from him again! It's been WAY too long!

Today was a good day...tomorrow will be even better! I remain prayerful and faithful in God's healing mercy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

First word!

Troy has officially spoken his first word today! While doing his physical therapy, the therapist was stretching out his legs, as they do every day, and he was groaning and moaning in pain, then the therapist told him "If you want me to stop, tell me to stop" to which Troy replied, in a very clear voice "Stop!"

Unfortunately, I wasn't here to witness him saying the word, but I drove here as soon as I got the call from the therapist. We are now sitting here with him waiting for him to say something else. LOL!

The therapist did tell me not to be too upset if he didn't say it again today, as he only seems to say it when pain is inflicted, but she did tell me that he has also been making kissing noises today. We haven't gotten him to do that either, but I'm elated at the news of all he's done today and giving God all the glory for all of it!

God is awesome and showing His love for us through Troy's progress! I'm so grateful to everyone for all the prayers and thoughts. Please continue the prayers because they are definitely being answered! I also thank God for giving me the strength and perseverance to continue on and keep my faith in that everything will be OK and the patience God has given me to keep on this journey.

Troy still has a very long road ahead of him, but there is nothing God and Troy can't get through. And I'll be sitting by Troy side helping him every step of the way!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Troy has been doing remarkeably well in therapy this past few days. He is fully participating in drinking out of a cup during meals and will even wipe his own mouth from time to time when food gets on his mouth. He has also been upgraded to a level 2 diet which consists of ground up meat and soft cooked vegetables and soft consistency foods like mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese.

He has also started to follow commands periodically. With the language defect he has, that is a huge feat because they dont know how much he really understands but when they tell him to lift his leg and he does it, that is a good sign that he's beginning to understand commands. Yesterday the speech therapist said that he lifted one and two fingers on command and also mumbled what sounded like the word "more" when she was feeding him. He hasn't done that today, but thy are watching for consistency.

He did really well on the robotic treadmill again today. He was doing most of the stepping. It was awesome to watch him doing that. He had a very focused look on his face for most of it and you could see he was working really hard at it!

Please continue to keep Troy in your prayers. Things are really starting to move along quickly! The nurses keep telling me how he is on the verge of emerging from the coma. The anticipation is building up and we are seeing God working through all of this! Praise God!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Two months ago, doctors in Orlando were ready to write Troy off and consider him a lost case. Well, here we are 9 weeks later and Troy is doing well enough that his time at Shepherd has been extended for the SECOND time! Today was supposed to be his discharge date, and as of yesterday, Troy is now considered well enough to be part of the rehab program and has been extended at Shepherd until August 10! All the glory goes to God, of course!

Troy is now a Rancho level 4, almost a 5. We had a bit of confusion yesterday at the hospital with a nurse stating he has been out of his coma for 3 weeks, but I have since then confirmed that, although he is doing miraculously well, he is on the verge of emerging from his coma.  

He is participating very well in his therapy sessions. They are teaching him how to feed himself, how to bathe himself, how to brush his own teeth, and many other things that will help him be more independant when he comes home.  They even put him on a robotic treadmill today. This is a machine that he grlets strapped into an upright position with a treadmill underneath it and as Troy plants his foot down the machine does the walking movement for him. That was awesome to watch and Troy did very well!

The doctor did mention to me that, due to the lack of movement Troy is displaying on the right side of his body, there seems to be extensive damage to the left side of the brain. The left side of the brain is where the language centers are stored, therefore this is causing Troy not to be able to understand language, therefore not being able to conversate, understand language, process requets, and follow commands. He is only following commands when prompted. The doctor tells me that he will more than likely have this damage for the rest of his life. He says that, although he will never be able to work again, drive again, or be left for long periods of time alone, they will work with Troy to get him to the highest level of independence possible.

I, of course, remain prayerful and trusting that the Lord remains the pilot of this voyage and nothing will happen, except for His holy will!  I am taking everything day by day though in preparation for what God has in store for me and my family!  

I must say that Troy seems to be responding very well to having the girls visit with him everyday! They both look forward to going to visit with him and have adapted to this new way of life very well. I thank God for that and for giving my children peace at heart and allowing them to see the strength God has given me as a model for how they should behave and trust in the Lord.

Troy is doing great things and advancing in his recovery very well. We don't see everything we want to see him doing, but this isn't up to us, it's up to how God has determined for Troy to recover. I'm just happy that I have God to lean on when I start to feel the ground shake beneath me.

Thanks again for all the prayers. Please continue to lift Troy up in prayer, God is definitely answering prayers!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Today was Troy's first time going outside! I got the OK to take him out to the garden on hospital grounds. The girls and I took him outside, walked around with him for a bit and I sat at a bench next to his chair after we went around looking at plants and flowers. It was awesome to be outside with him. To see him looking around, hearing the cars, people walking by, even a few motorcycles rode on by was good! I didn't really notice any big changes in his reaction except for a big frown when an emergency vehicle passed by, very slowly and very loudly! I was even bothered by the noise a bit and after the vehicle finally passed on through, I did notice him frowning and looking a bit agitated. I took him back inside shortly after that, I didn't want to overwhelm him on his first day out.

But overall today was a good day!

Also, they showed me how he no longer needs the hoyer lift to get in and out of bed. He now gets assisted into bed by a nurse or tech pulling him up by his waste; he stands up and turns (with assistance) and he helps put himself in the bed! I was very happy with that because that shows that he's aware enough to know when to pull himself up and when to put his arms out before he sits on the bed.

I was so happy I almost teared up! Today was a good day and I continue to give all the glory to God! This experience has brought me and many others closer to God! I have had moments when I haven't fully understood why God works the way he does, but it's days like today that make it all clear to me! God has a master plan and although I don't always understand it, he loves us and is teaching us a lesson through it all. To God alone be the glory!

Thank you all for the prayers! They are definitely being heard so please continue to pray that God continues to do his holy will in Troys healing and brings him back to us healthy and whole soon!

PS. Please excuse my grammar or typos. I have been posting for the past 3 or 4 days using my phone. I won't have Internet until Thursday of this week, Lord willing, so I'm working on a very tiny screen that makes it very hard for mento proofread. LOL! Please bear with me! Thanks :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The girls and I spent the day with Troy today. We were there with him during lunch and dinner today and he ate very well today.

He was extremely active today. He has begun moving his left leg so much now that if we left him too close to something (for instance the bed railing) he would put his foot up against it and push his wheelchair back, even with the brake on! The girls were having a blast watching him push his wheelchair backwards at any chance he got.

He was also very alert while we were there today. It was wonderful spending the day with him like that again. I have really missed him and the time I used to spend with him. But its also wonderful to be able to stay busy with my girls and reassuring them that everything is goof to be OK! They have already adjusted really well to how daddy is now and have already started making plans on how they will help when he comes home.

I am so happy to have my family back together! Tonight the girls and I went driving around town pulling over and enjoying fireworks wherever we could get a glimpse at them. That was fun, and the girls really seemed to enjoy it! This time spent with them in truly a blessing and I am so grateful to God for allowing me to be able to keep our little family together!

Tomorrow it's more unpacking and organizing and then back to spend time with daddy. I got the clear today to be able to take him outside to the garden so we can't wait to get there tomorrow afternoon and take him outside and see how he reacts to the environment. I'm hoping that him being outside and hearing cars, motorcycles and people go by will spark something and jar him awake! He's so close to waking up, every little thing we try might push him over the edge! I'll be praying for that tonight!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I didnt get a chance to blog last night due to exhaustion! Matt and some other members of the church delivered the first truck load of things to us yesterday. It was such a blessing for them to take time out of their lives to make that drive for me and the girls! We also had some helpers stop by and help with the unloading. I met them for the first time yesterday and they are awesome people! God has surrounded me with wonderful people and I am loving the acquaintances I am making along the way! Thank you all for the tremendous help! I am just overwhelmed by all the love and care that has been shown to my family during this difficult time.

Today, the girls and I decided to put the unpacking aside, for a little while anyway, to go visit with Troy this afternoon. When we got there he was in his wheelchair, in his room, and we found him wearing a piece of construction paper held to the left side of his face with a pair of glasses (sort of like a blinder on one side) The tech couldn't tell me what that was, so I'll have to ask the therapist the next time I see her, but I'm guessing it's to replace the patch they put on his left eye a few days ago. He has been leaning his head a lot to the left so they are blocking his view on that side in hopes that he will start using his right side more. But, other than that he was moving a round a whole lot in his chair! It's amazing how more alert he looks each day! We stayed long enough to have dinner with him. His appetite was great today! His progress is really starting to show!

After dinner the girls and I got him cleaned up, spent a little more time with him, then headed out. While I was at the grocery store, Charlene sent me a text telling me that the nurse had told her that he drank out of a cup today! I was amazed! I couldn't believe it, because just the hour before, while I was feeding him, he wouldn't even hold the spoon for me so he can practice feeding himself.

After talking with her, I called the nurses station and sure enough, during therapy today they placed a therapy cup (it has a handle and sort of looks like a big sippy cup) in his left hand and when asked to drink out of the cup he raised it to his mouth and drank from it! I was overjoyed and thanked God for continuing to show His glory through Troy's recovery!

I am so grateful for how far God has brought us and am excited at how much further God will continue to bring us through the rest of his recovery.

On another note, Troy's next discharge date is July 8th, so I definitely have a lot of work cut out for me, cleaning up and unpacking this house to make it ready for Troy's arrival. The girls and I are so excited to finally have him home!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Beginnings

It has been 6 days since my last blog and it might as well have been 60 days! So much has happened in this last week!

First off I want to send a special thank you to our Pastor Andy, his wife Hope and the entire congregation at Grace Community Church and Troy's boss Brian and the guys at the shop for all their generosity, prayers, time donated, and for cooking meals to help me and my family through this entire transition of me being displaced from my girls for 2 months and the process of moving. I couldn't have gotten packed up and loaded into the truck without everyone's help that chipped in! And even if you weren't there yesterday, I know you had us in your prayers and that is great too! God has been so good to us and He has really blessed me by surrounding me with wonderful people that love our family. Troy will be so happy and I know he is more than grateful that his family is being taken care of and watched over while he himself can't do so, right now.

With that said, I also want to recognize our neighbors at Harmony, especially Ron and Monica, my family, my mom and siblings and friends that have been by my side, either in person or in prayer keeping me encouraged and focused on the positive. I am definitely blessed having each and every one of you in our lives!

This last week was just filled with blessings after blessings coming at me from every direction! I was even surprised last night with a check from someone that was enough to cover 1 months of rent! I am just overwhelmed by everyone that has been there for my family helping us get through this!

I ended up leaving last night (against the advice of many to stay and wait until this morning to leave...LOL) and arrived to the hotel in McDonough, which is not too far from the house, at 5:30 this morning. The girls did great and slept pretty much the whole way. We checked in, showered, went back downstairs for breakfast, slept for a about four hours and went to see Troy at the hospital. We arrived there to find him in the gym doing his physical therapy. We got there at the back end of it so they were finishing up with him. The therapist sat him on the edge of the mat and he opened his eyes huge when he saw Tyra! He then glanced up at me and looked over at Brianna! It was really obvious he knew we were there. The excitement showed in his face! It was awesome! She also advised us that they had him walking with complete assistance, but he was the one pushing with his legs as if trying to walk by himself. I was sad that I missed it, but this will now become a regular practice for him during his therapy sessions so I hope to get a glimpse of watching him do that real soon!

Once he was done with the therapy the therapist showed us how he is not needing the use of the Hoyer lift to be put in and out of his wheelchair. She grabbed him by his waste, pulled him up and he pushed up with his legs and stood up! She then turned him and he grabbed on to the arm on the chair and sat down with the help of the therapist easing him into the chair. It is just so incredible how he is doing all these things and still considered to be in a coma! The brain is a marvelous organ! Praise God for all that he's done with Troy so far.

He also went from a 13 on the JFK coma scale to a 15 out of 23 possible points. He started reaching out for objects this week while I was gone, too so that increased his score 2 points.

He is still not urinating on his own so he needs to have an IC done every 6 hours, but the nurse mentioned today that if this continues they will have to give him meds to help him empty his bladder.

Anyhow, today was a wonderful day filled with all sorts of new things and tricks Troy has started to do! I asked the therapist about him being discharged on July 8th and it now looks like they will extend his time once again! This time they are considering putting into the rehab program where he is the one participating in rehab, not the rehab being done to him. If that is the case, his time at the hospital will be extended to a minimum of 6 weeks and will be reassessed every two weeks again from that point depending on his recovery. The next step after this will be the bridge program, where he'll go home with us at night and he'll have to be at the hospital during the day. That is where us living here in GA is really going to come in handy. It will be awesome having him in his own environment at night and still have the support of the hospital to help with the duties of caring for him during the day!

Things are happening really fast now and I'm beyond excited! God is so good and His timing continues to be perfect! Prayers are being answered! Praise God!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Uncle Al and Aunt Denise went back home today, but not before spending half of the day with Troy. They called me on their way home to let me know of today's events. Troy did remarkeably well again today! The Occupational therapist told them that while taking him a shower today (which they do by wheeling him into the shower in a special shower wheelchair) she gave Troy a wash cloth and told him to wash his own face and he did just that. Also, when she was helping him dress she asked him to pull up his pants and he was able to put his arm behind him and pull up his pants. I am so excited hearing all this wonderful news! God has been showing his glory through Troys recovery and I am just praising God and thanking him for the continued healing of Troys brain!

Also, his mother called the hospital today and they told her he's between a 2 and a 3 on the Rancho coma scale. That one is graded out of a 10! He's just taking leaps and bounds now! Praise God!

This is all very amazing recovery! It's hard sometimes to wrap my mind around the fact that he's still in a coma, considering all the impressive things he's doing, but I then find solace in the fact that this all still continues to be under God's watchful eye and under his control; and that alone, is all the comfort I need to give me the energy and the strength for me to keep on keeping on!!

Tomorrow, well this morning, will be packing day for me/us. Some of the church members are meeting me at the house to help me sort through and pack up our things. Reality of the move is now beginning to sink in, but God is an awesome God and has answered every prayer and even ones I haven't prayed for yet!

I can't wait to see what else the Lord has in store for us! All glory and honor to Him alone!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Well, I am happy to report that I made it to Florida with car all in one piece yesterday! Yay! I will be here all this week and going back to GA mid week next week with all of our personal belongings in tow. Our pastor and some members from the church have blessed my family with their time to help me and the girls get packed up and moved up to our new home! I'm excited and sad at the same time. I do know that this is the best for our family right now. The girls are beside themselves with happiness! Tyra asked me 3 times last night "Mom, are you going to keep us forever now?" I felt so bad! My girls need me, as much as I need them!

A huge news to report is that Troy went from a JFK scale of 7 to 13!!! I wasn't there when the actual assessment was done, but I was told by the therapists that he began tracking himself with a mirror that was passed in front of him and that he reached out for a ball when it was put in his hand! Praise God! That is huge! He needs to be at a 23, so he is more than half way there!

I left Atlanta around 1pm yesterday but Troy's Uncle Al and Aunt Denise came to visit with him, so I left him in good hands. I did get a report from Denise last night that Troy was made to sit up on the mat yesterday and he held himself up for a little bit. And she also said it looked like he was mouthing words, trying to talk. Awesome stuff! She also said that he was holding his head up really well and turning his head. He has been favoring one side more than the other and at times will have his head/face tilted to one side, but apparently while they were there he was showing good head control.

It was so nice to see them there interacting with Troy! It was hard for me to leave him and I wanted to turn around and go back so many times, but God is awesome and made it so that they would be there so when it came time for me to leave, I would feel more comfortable and rest assured Troy would be OK.

The blogging will be very limited this week and I will come on and update as I find out things from the nurses. I have them all on stand by and have given the direction for anyone to call me the instant Troy decides to talk or ask where I am! LOL.

This is going to be a busy week and full of emotions for me. I pray God continues to give me strength to continue to endure.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Today was a fairly quiet day for Troy. He continues to move that left leg and left arm. He has even figured out a way to kick his shoe off and since he's constantly rubbing his foot back and forth on the foot peg of the wheel chair, he has already shredded 3 socks! I have had to throw them away and will now have to go shopping for more socks for him! LOL.

He ate about 50% of his lunch and about 75% of his dinner and as far as the nurses/doctors are concerned that's a good intake.

He seems so much more alert though. It's nice to see that his blank stare has become more of a look when he's focused on something or someone. He isn't really tracking around the room yet, but he does keep his eyes open more often now than he used too. I wonder what he is seeing or looking at and if he is recognizing what he's looking at. I keep him encouraged by showing him pictures that are posted on the board in his room in hopes that it will remind him of things he's familiar with. I pray one day soon he'll come out of the coma and start talking to me and talking about the pictures! That day can't come soon enough!

Thanks again for the continued prayers. I will not be posting, taking calls, answering emails, answering texts, or much of anything else tomorrow. I have decided to take a day to myself where I do nothing but sleep, watch TV, read, whatever, anything that does not pertain to me going to the hospital. I don't know if I'll be able to make it all day without stopping by to check on him, but I have told myself that I would do this for my own well being. I have been running straight for 8 weeks now and it's really beginning to take its toll on me, both physically and emotionally. I need this break so that I can take care of Troy and the girls and the moving this coming week.

So, with that said, there will more than likely not be an update until Tuesday night or Wednesday. Thanks to all that are faithfully following this blog and keeping us in your daily prayers! God is good and I'm keep on looking up!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Update :)

OK, it has been an interesting few days. Troy has been doing really well. He woke up the day after surgery doing more than he was before the surgery. I wonder if it was the anesthesia...hmmm? LOL.

Troy has begun following commands more frequently. It's not consistent enough yet to move him up on the coma scale, but it's enough that it's pretty noticeable. He finally kept his hand still enough (after I asked him to hold still) that I was able to give him a manicure in his hospital bed last night, now that the cast and bandaging are off and his hand was more accessible. The commands he's following so far are: kick your leg, give me your hand (only doing that with left hand right now) and close your eyes. Awesome stuff! All about baby steps at this stage!

I continue to pray that his recovery continues to move in the right direction. I'm praying that he continues to do so well that he won't be discharged until he comes home the same way he was before May 1st!

We had a medical conference with his doctor on the 15th and the doctor feels that, although he might never be able to drive a car or be left alone for long periods of time, Troy should be able to return to the community and be able to live a happy and healthy life. Of course, we worship a powerful God, so Troy's future is still up to God's will, so I don't let any doctor steer me from my faith in what God can do.

Other than that, the big news right now is that I have found us a house in GA. It is an hour south of Atlanta. But, I'm sure I'll eventually, once I learn my way around here, find a shorter way to get to Shepherd :)

I went out looking for a home on Thursday and got a phone call on Friday letting me know I was approved and can move in on July 1st! Praise God! I will be driving home on Tuesday to go spend a week with the girls and take the time to pack and clean up the condo. I'm still trying to figure out the details of the move along with the help of our pastor and his wife. But, just as God has had everything else fall into place for us during this difficult time, I trust in the Lord for this one too! My biggest concern right now is having help when I get here to unload the truck. So far there are a few people that have offered to help but I need to coordinate timing and dates to help make concrete decisions. I am also praying that I can get the key and the lease to the house before I leave here on Tuesday so that I can go ahead and go to the power company and at least have the key and power on ready to go when I pull up with the truck on July 1st. Please pray with me for God to make a way to make this a smooth and effortless transition. I am also having mechanical issues with both my car and Troy so I'm trying to work something out between both cars, I am hoping I can make one good dependable car for me and the girls to drive around here in GA with parts from both cars.

Hope has helped me find a church by the hospital and I will visiting with them tomorrow morning, then I'll be spending the day with Troy at the hospital tomorrow for Father's day.

Thanks for the continued prayers and I'm really looking forward to being able to live here, with my girls and Troy just a short drive away!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Well, the five pins came out today and Troy did really well. So his hand should be fully functional. We'll know more once he can start therapy on it, which should be right away. He has no screws in his hand, the pins were just holding his hand in place while it healed.

He was very groggy and spent the entire day in bed resting. He didn't eat lunch or dinner, so they fed him an ensure through his feeding tube.

The nurses reassure me tomorrow he will be in better spirits :)

It's been a long day! But God is so good and I'm keeping my focus on Him!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

We had awesome news yesterday. Troy's stay at Shepherd has been extended until July 8th! They feel that he's made enough progress that keeping him 2 extra weeks would be beneficial to his recovery.

Troy hasn't been feeling too well these past two days. When I went to take him out of bed for dinner yesterday I felt he was really warm. I put him in his wheelchair and took him to the nurses station where I found his nurse, after taking his temperature it was determined that he was running a fever of 102. They immediately took a urine culture and gave him some Tylenol to bring the fever down. Needless to say he didn't eat much dinner last night. They went ahead and started a broad spectrum antibiotic that would cover a possible UTI infection anyway this morning, just in case. Well, the cultures came back today, he definitely has a UTI so I'm glad they caught that right away and started him on meds right away. He was a bit better today but still not as active and still running a bit warm.

They also took him down for x-rays on his hip last night. That right leg has really been bothering him and it is in definite pain when moved at certain angles. I didn't hear anything back about that today, but my guess is either it's broken and it was missed at ORMC, or he has H.O. (heterotropic ossification) forming on his hip bones. H.O. is basically bone tissue building around the outside of the skeleton. This has been reported in cases of brain injury. I spoke with the therapist today and confirmed that it could be one of those things. Hopefully the doctor's had a chance to review the x-rays today and will have an answer for me tomorrow.

Another big thing is tomorrow morning the pins in his hands will come out! Yay! I saw the x-rays of his hand and he has 5 straight pins criss-crossed in his hand to stabilize it. I also discovered that he has no screws in that hand. The plastic surgeon just put all the bones back where they went and put straight pins to hold it all in place. Amazing stuff!

Other than that today was a fairly quiet day for Troy. I did have a meeting with the physical therapy team to get his wheelchair ordered today, in the event he needs one when he goes home.

I will remain prayerful and trusting in the Lord to continue to do His will in Troy's recovery.