Monday, May 31, 2010

Troy continues to recover well. Yesterday and today were pretty quiet days. I spent most of the day just massaging his legs and arms, as much as I could get around the tubes and bandages. I stretched his arms and legs and did range of motion exercises with him since he didn't get therapy yesterday or today, because of the holiday and no therapy on weekends. He seemed to enjoy the massages and stretches. I was looking for wincing or frowning to see if it hurt him, but most of the time he had the look of calm in his face so I assume he liked it. *smile*

It feels really good catering to him and caring for him personally. It keeps that love and bond I have with Troy alive; it allows for me to remind him how much I care for him and how much I love him. I even gave him a mini bath with wet soapy wash rags (mostly just arms, legs, underarms, and face; it's hard caring for someone who's not helping - LOL!). He got the entire spa treatment today and we both enjoyed it. :)

He was up in his wheelchair for a record breaking 7 hour stretch today! I have to tilt him back for 1 to 2 minutes every 30 minutes to avoid skin sores on his hind from sitting and not moving all day. He also stayed awake pretty much the entire day today! That was nice because I don't feel like I'm talking to myself so much when he has his eyes open :)

Other than that, nothing much else to report. His progress is slow, much slower than I would like to see, but God is in control so I'm enjoying him, and my time with him, and in the meantime I'm not worrying about the slow pace and I'm trusting God do His thing, in His own time.

Thanks for your continued prayers!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Troy had a pretty alert day today. He kept his eyes open pretty much all day today. It was good talking with him and interacting with him while he had his eyes open. I don't know how much of me he's really noticing or seeing, but at one point I was sitting close to him at eye level, talking to him and I noticed his pupils dilate while he was staring at me. I took that as a sign that he was trying to focus on me so that was reassuring.

Other than that it was pretty quiet morning and early afternoon. When they put him in bed I had the basketball game going on the TV for him and he seemed to keep his eyes fixed on the TV screen.

Another nice thing was to see him moving his right leg around this evening! He moved it around quite a bit and folded it under him and once he got comfortable he stopped moving it. That was good to see since he hasn't really moved that leg much since the accident.

I'm encouraged by the new things he seems to be doing every day or so. Thank you for all the prayers and please keep the prayers going. Troy will be back with us soon :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

I fell asleep on the couch when I got back to the room around 8:30 this evening and now that something woke me up, I'm having trouble going back to bed without writing out what happened tonight and keeping everyone updated. LOL.

Troy had a full day today. He was seen twice by each therapist today which is 30 minutes at a time by 3 therapists which totals 3 hours for the day! That is a lot of therapy for a comatose patient. They had originally told me that comatose patients are in the "coma stimulation" program which focuses on 1.5 hours of therapy a day, well today they worked him extra hard! He's a soldier though and he's a soldier first, man second (that's what I hear anyway) so he was a trooper and did really well with all of it. In one of his sessions with the physical therapist he was told to kick her hand twice and he did it, she also had him point his toe. At first he didn't do it, but then she told him "Look at my foot, Troy! Do what I'm doing!" And his eyes slowly rolled down and focused in on her foot and then he DID IT! I wasn't there to witness that or record it, they snuck out while I was having lunch so when I got back they were gone, but the therapist told me all about it when they got back and she was super excited, as was I!

I have never doubted from day one that Troy is definitely in there somewhere, he just needs to continue to heal and rest and let God heal his brain.

The mother of the boy in the room next to mine came in today to offer some encouragement as well. Her son fell from the side of a mountain 80 feet to the floor during a hiking trip in March. After 3 months, he's still in a coma but has started to follow commands pretty consistently and is more active by the week. She told me that at first her son too was like Troy, doing things one day, sleeping all day the next and so on. She told me to hold on to the hope and the faith I have. She says she hears me talking to Troy and praying with him and to keep doing that because he can hear me and he will get better. At first I was embarrassed anyone could hear me, but then I realized that I am also keeping others encouraged and God is sending all sorts of encouragement our way!

We have to stay focused and continue praying for continued healing. There is no miracle pill or miracle drug or miracle happening PERIOD without God's consent, it's all in God's timing and when He wills it to be so, it will happen. God's will is more comforting to me than any medicine they can ever give Troy because it's not coming from any earthly things, but from my Father above! And since it's coming from our Sovereign God, it's going to be perfect and that's exactly what Troy needs right now! I'm excited to see what God has planned! I patiently wait in prayer :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Trache coming out soon

The pulmonary doctor came in today to let me know that they will be keeping the "cap" on Troy's trache for the next 24 to 48 hours to see how he tolerates it. They have been "capping" off Troy's trache by placing a "plug" type device on it so then Troy is forced to breath through his nose and mouth. For the past 2 days they have been doing that but have taken it off at night for him to sleep. They have been doing this as a process to wean him off the trache all together. Well, now they will leave it on 24/7 for the next day or two and if his oxygen level stays the way it has been (between 97% to 100%) then they will take out the trache.

Another exciting thing happened today. The Atlanta Falcons came by the hospital today to visit with patients. Troy was in the gym (just finished up with therapy) when they all walked in. Troy, of course, kept his eyes closed the entire time! Argh! He's going to be so mad when he wakes up and sees the picture I took of him with the guys and he missed it...LOL. I got an autographed card for him and 2 pictures. It was understandable that Troy was knocked out though, therapy is a lot of hard work for him and it really wears him out. Good thing I had my camera phone :)

On that same note, therapy went fairly well today, too. He wasn't as alert as he was yesterday, but the therapists put a basketball on a table and put his arm on top of it and while she held his arm she told him to move it and he rolled it away from his body twice. That was exciting to watch! They are so aggressive and they really challenge him which is good. This hospital is definitely all they claim to be. They expect him to recover completely, therefore they expect a lot of work out of him - which is great!

Also, there was a peer group support session today where people that have had traumatic brain injuries come in to talk with families and friends and let them know their story so that they can be encouraged. Well, this gentleman that was there today had the same type of injury Troy has. He had an upper brain stem contusion with hemorrhaging 30 years ago. He is 49 years old now and, although he has no feeling in his left hand and arm, he is alive and well and functioning almost to 100%. That was very encouraging to me. After we talked for a few and he told me his story he asked if he could see Troy and I accepted. He came over and talked to Troy for a bit and as he was talking, Troy opened his eyes. It was so sweet! He tried to get Troy to do a few things like blink on command or move his fingers and Troy didn't, but he also told me not to give up on Troy because Troy can hear us. He told me how he remembered all sorts of things being talked about around him while he was in his coma. Again, that was very encouraging, as well, because I constantly play the bible on DVD and his Christian rap music he so loves in his ears with his iPod. So, if he's really hearing than that can help keep him encouraged, as well and keep fighting to wake up!

I don't get tired of praising God for what He's doing in Troy's life and in my life, as well. I praise God for doing His perfect will when He is good and ready to do so. This traumatic experience has made me stronger, this faith that I have has just drawn me closer to God and made my walk with Him even stronger than before - and for that I praise God all the way! All glory be to God!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Eyes Open = Progress :)

Troy had his eyes open pretty much the entire day today. I walked into his room this morning and I said "Good morning, honey!" and he opened his eyes! That was the best reply to my "good morning" greeting that I have ever had from him! It was awesome!

Rehab therapy also went really well today. They had him sitting up on in a seated position with a therapist holding him up from behind and they did a lot of practicing with him holding his head up. He did really well with that as well. He was able to keep his head up for a few seconds at a time. Then when they brought him back to the room and put him back in bed, he pretty much kept his eyes open the rest of the afternoon while in bed. He's not panning around the room yet, but talking to him with his eyes open is so much nicer!

God is showing his power through Troy and it's so amazing to watch God work like this! I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Troy's recovery is, and will be, a tremendous testimony! God's timing is perfect in Troy's healing and I am so overwhelmed by God's grace! Thanks for all the prayers and continue to keep Troy in your prayers for continued healing!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Troy was very restful today. The girls and I spent some time with him this morning. He wasn't very active this morning, but after yesterday afternoon we didn't expect him to do much. His best friend Joseph and his wife, Kathy, drove up from Florida to see him today. Joe and his wife drove back home today around 2pm and the girls went with them. It was sad to see them go and me being separated from them again, but it will be good for them to be home in a more steady environment.

After they left I went back to Troy's room and sat with him until about 7:30pm. During my time there with him he didn't do much but sleep, but at one point I did get him to open his eyes for me when I called his name. He didn't leave them open long, nor did he focus on me, but it was really good to see some type of reaction to a familiar voice. Also, he moved his left arm quite a bit and he's constantly moving his left leg.

I'm looking forward to what tomorrow will bring. He's rested off the busy day he had yesterday so I hope he'll be more alert tomorrow for me to report :)
Troy is going back to a regular room this afternoon. They now have a telemetry for him so he can come out of ICU. He will also be in a private room now, which will be nice. I originally requested one for him to allow more comfort for him and myself since I spend so much time there.

I was in there with the therapist a little while ago and he's not very active today, but she advises that with brain injury patients it is common for them to have high alertness days (like he did yesterday) and low days (like today).

Tuesday is the day to grade his level so because he's having a low day today he's still a rancho 2. But seeing that he had such an active day yesterday shows that his progress is going in the right direction!

Praise God!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Interesting Day!

Today was an interesting day. The girls and I arrived at Troy's room at around 9:30am. When we walked in the speech therapist was working with him so she immediately involved us in the therapy. When we got there and Troy heard Tyra and Brianna he opened his eyes, almost as if trying to find where they were. It was amazing to witness that! He was also moving his arms and his left foot a whole lot while we were there! I had Tyra and Brianna continue to talk to him and with him though out the morning. Tyra was scared at first because he was just staring she was unsure of what really was going on, but she quickly warmed up to him and was talking to him and rubbing his arm in no time. I even got her up leaning over his wheelchair so she could give him a hug. I think he really liked that :) Also, the other 2 therapists were very impressed with the way he was acting today. He definitely seemed more alert and more cooperative during therapy. All of which were very good signs and although he is still at a Rancho 2 level, they did give him thumbs up and said if he continues to act this way they will start moving him up the coma scale and give him better scores. He does have to be consistent though, so I remain prayerful for consistency!

In the afternoon, we went out to run some errands while I still had the rental and met up with Brian and Linda to get something to eat. When we got back, around 5:30 pm, Troy had vomited and moved a huge bowel on himself. It was really scary and shocking to walk into that. He was also having trouble breathing, almost as if he was gagging on the vomit. We immediately pressed the call button and I yelled for someone to get in there right away! After such a good morning with him and watching him reacting the way he was to the girls and me being there, it was just unbelievable what was happening! It was almost like day 1 all over again!

Two nurses rushed in and we left them to assess what was going on; so Brian, Linda, the girls and I went to the family lounge to keep ourselves busy and get away for a bit. We then came back around 7pm and they had cleaned him up and had already taken x-rays of his chest to ensure he hadn't aspirated any vomit into his lungs. I'm not 100% on what the x-rays showed (I should have a full report on that tomorrow when I speak with the doctor), the nurses did assure me that he was OK, but because of the bowel movement he had, the remote controlled monitored he had attached to all the probes on his chest had seemed to have gotten damaged (it was covered in fluids) and since they didn't have another one, they would have to put him back in ICU so he can be monitored directly by the machines on that floor.

Even though I know that moving him back to ICU doesn't mean he is regressing in his recovery, but this is just a step in the direction that takes me back to day one. But, I must say that I am comforted in knowing that Troy is under God's grace and nothing I do or say can change that fact. This is all happening on God's one else, so I must remain faithful and prayerful.

After they cleaned him up, I stayed with him while Brian and Linda brought the girls back to the apartment. I stood by his bed in the ICU and talked with him for a bit. I said my good nights and told him he was in good hands there. I said a prayer for him and left.

This was a really good day that turned scary at the end. The worst thing of all is, if he's still in ICU tomorrow, the girls might not be able to go in to see him before they leave. I am happy they did get to see him today; the girls were so happy to spend time with him and he also seemed to be receiving them very well, as well!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'm back in Atlanta! We didn't get into town until 11pm so it was too late to see Troy tonight, but we are all excited to see daddy tomorrow!

It was great being back home though and especially attending service this morning and being able to fellowship with our church family!

I should have an update for everyone tomorrow night, but I did find out from Troy's dad that Troy is back on the tube feeding through his tummy. So, it looks like his digestive system is working again. That was great news!

Keep the prayers and thank you for everyone's support. Everyone has been just great to me and my family! Love you all!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Family Reunited :)

I apologize for not having an update on Troy yesterday. I decided to come see my girls yesterday and left town at 7pm and hit the road going south to Florida.

There are some friends of ours that are driving up on Tuesday to see Troy and coming right back, so I decided to bring the girls with me and call Brianna's school on Monday and excuse her until Tuesday. I'll send them back down with our friends when they come back home.

We will finally be reunited! Even if for 2 days me, Troy and the girls will be together. I'm excited!

I thank God every day for the Aiken family, and the other members of the church, that have helped with caring for my girls. I don't know what I would do without them. I am so grateful and there are no words that I can say that will be able to express my gratitude for everyone!

Troy's dad is with him this weekend. I spoke with him a little while ago and he says that when he asked Troy to push down against his hand with his foot he did. He also said that he opened his eyes, and even though he wasn't tracking him around the room he says his stare wasn't such a blank stare anymore. So, that was great news to hear!

I will be going back to Atlanta tomorrow after church. I can't wait for all of us to be together and to have the girls there interacting with Troy to see if maybe they can trigger him to emerge from the coma!

It was nice being home and to know that my neighbors are truly a blessing to us! I am so happy that we are surrounded by such wonderful people! The support that has been shown to us, all over the place, especially by our neighbors, is amazing and I am overwhelmed by it! I feel bad now because we have always kept to ourselves and never really interacted much with neighbors, but I guess this is how you find out what having a true good neighbor is. All that matters is that we are there for each other when we need it most! That's just awesome! Love you guys!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Today was a pretty average day for Troy. Therapy for 1.5 hours with the different therapists; he sat in his wheelchair for about 4 hours today; he's still breathing on his own with the trache; and not much eye opening or moving of legs and arms today - but I have learned that it's OK if he has days like this, every day doesn't have to be a big day. This all about baby steps.

Also, the therapists have trained me to "tilt" his wheelchair back every 30 minutes for 1 to 2 minutes so he doesn't get sores or breaking down of his skin on his bottom from sitting up and not moving, so that was pretty interesting for me. It wasn't hard, it's just that pulling him back and lifting him back up (Mind you - he's a 186 lbs man...that is NOT helping me!) including the weight of the wheelchair was starting to take a toll on my back. LOL. Needless to say, by the end of the 4 hours I was getting pretty good at using my LEGS to lift him, instead of using my BACK to hoist him back to the upright position. Duh, Joan! :)

Other than that, they upped his Provigil medication to 400mg a day. I obtained some literature from his nurse today on what type of drug Provigil is and it's a medication that is given to patients to help with narcolepsy or to treat shift work sleep disorders. This medicine stimulates the brain to increase alertness. So I'm looking forward to the medication doing what it's intended to do and arouse him. The doctor's say the medicine sometimes takes a few days to get into his system where it really is working to full effect, so we'll see how that goes.

I've been talking to him a lot and at times I do seem to get a reaction out of him, which is good. I'm being as patient as the good Lord allows me to be. I miss my husband!

Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Our God is Greater - Chris Tomlin

Thank you for sharing this with me, Amy! I know this song will encourage many of us that are praying for Troy's full recovery!

Therapy Started Today

Troy had 1.5 hours of therapy today. There was a speech therapist, physical therapist and an occupational therapist do therapy with him in the room for 30 minutes each. They got him up out of bed and into his wheelchair and did different things with him. Tried to arouse him, but to no avail. He was hardly even responding to pain, but they also told me that it could have been due to the changing of rooms that he went through yesterday. They reminded me that people with brain injuries tire very easily, so the most minimal amount of stress on them will cause them to be extremely tired.

So, with that in mind, it probably also explains why he hardly opened his eyes or moved around much today. That's usually what I like to see, but I know he's in there somewhere. He's breathing really well with the trache and he did open his eyes twice today when they were moving him around and once when they shifted him from one side to another.

I am a huge part of the therapy; and that is very exciting for me. They had me help putting him into and getting him out of the bed; I also helped with shifting him from side to side. He has to be repositioned every 4 hours to avoid skin breakdown from laying in one position for too long, so the nurses were teaching me how to do it without hurting myself, or him, so that when I have to do this on my own I know how to do it and won't be so scared or intimidated. I must admit, I am just taking to this like a duck to water and I am realizing that nursing is definitely comes natural to me!

They started him on the neuro stimulant Provigil yesterday but since the doctor is not seeing the results he would have liked to see within 24 hours of Troy receiving his 100mg dose, the doctor has ordered to give him 200mg of it tomorrow morning. I'm excited to see what the higher dose will do for Troy.

Overall, today was a good day emotionally for me. I feel my strength getting stronger and stronger by the day. I had a bad day yesterday, but I feel recharged today and ready to tackle whatever God puts in my way. I know the prayers are also helping and the messages everyone is leaving on my Facebook page and on the comments here on the blog page are also keeping me encouraged.

Thank you very much to everyone that takes the time to remind me I'm not alone in this battle and that continues to reassure me when I need it the most. Hugs~

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Room

Troy is now out of ICU. He is in a regular hospital room. It's a shared room, but Troy gets the two windows in the room! Yay :) He is still comatose, but there in the regular room he will continue to get better and they will aggressively start rehab with him starting tomorrow.

He is breathing on his own, but still has the trache in his throat. The pulmonary doctor put a plug on the trache to see if Troy was able to breath through his mouth and nose on his own and Troy struggled with it so they had to take the plug out and let him continue breathing through the trache. The doctor's goal is to get Troy breathing completely independently and not needing to have the trache in his throat so they can take that out. The next step now is for them to do rehab with him, even in the state he is now. They will get him up and out of bed every day and do exercises with him. I get to be a part of that for the next 2 to 3 days so I can't wait to see what that will entail and how much I will learn from it!

They started him on neuro stimulating medicine this morning to try to get his brain to be more aroused. I didn't notice much change physically, except for the fact that Troy opened his eyes more frequently today. He had moments when he had them closed, but then he would open them and have them wide open and blinking for a few minutes at a time. That is definitely an improvement. He is still not following commands and when his eyes are open he doesn't really look at anything and does not follow objects (I tried everything I could think of to get him to follow me around the room), but it was refreshing to see him blinking with his eyes open.

The doctor I spoke with today did tell me that Troy is doing well otherwise. He has been stable now for quite some time so they will do whatever they can to arouse him and have him emerge from the coma.

The plan of this hospital is to have him undergo intense physical therapy for 5 to 6 weeks. The goal is to get him to wake up in that time frame. If he doesn't, then they will reassess the situation and either consider moving him to a less rehab center or nursing home, or simply send him home with me. I will begin taking classes this week on learning how to care for him and what to expect through out the different stages of recovery.

I am prepared for anything, but I also know that the God I worship is an awesome God and He will do what is right in His time...not mine. I am just here as a vessel to do whatever I was put here to do - and right now, my job is to be a good wife and stand by my husband in his time of need.

I miss my girls, I miss home, I miss Troy, I miss my life the way it was before May 1st, but God has big plans for us and I have to remain faithful and prayerful. Thanks to all that are remaining prayerful with me. I hope today is the beginning of a lot more better days with good news to come!

I can't wait to see what God will be doing with him tomorrow!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Troy's physical therapist came in this morning while I was in there visiting with him and did some therapeutic range of motion movements on Troy's arms, legs, and feet. While the therapist was working on his arms he opened his eyes again! It was just a stare, he wasn't really looking at anything in particular but it was a good thing to see (at least for me!!). I, of course, got in his range of vision and was talking to him, he didn't focus on me, but I hope he could see me, or at least hear me :)

The bone doctor also came in today and gave the "go" to get Troy out of the bed and ready for therapy. All that is left now is the Rehab doctor to give his approval for therapy; he needs to ensure that Troy's brain and other organs are in stable enough condition to withstand the therapy he will need to do in the coming weeks. The therapists don't want to hurt him so they need to make sure all the doctor's agree that he is stable enough to start therapy. They haven't started the neuro stimulating medicines yet either, that's another thing the rehab doctor will have to give Troy clearance on so that the nurses can start giving him that, as well.

They started feeding Troy through the feeding tube again this morning, but had to take it back out this evening because he is not moving bowels and processing the food quick enough. His nurse says that it could be because of the brain injury and the fact that the brain stem controls digestion. They will have to revisit Troy's feeding with the doctor's again tomorrow and try to figure out another way to feed him. Right now they have him on potassium chloride which is liquids to keep his levels stable until they can give him the protein drink by IV like they have been.

I put his iPod and set it to play his lyrical theology music in his ear tonight. He looked so peaceful and calm, I didn't have the heart to take it out of his ear, so when it was time for me to leave I left it there and asked the nurse to please leave it in his ear as long as possible. She agreed. I can sleep easier tonight knowing he's listening to his favorite Christian rap music.

I do have to admit the walk back to the room was the longest short walk I have taken in a long time. I am getting rest while I'm here, I am eating regularly (or at least trying) but I can't get this ache out of my heart. The ache of missing my husband and the ache of missing my children. I do know that God is the reason why I am still standing. Without Him I don't know what shape I would be in right now.

I also appreciate all the prayers, texts, thoughts, and comments on my Facebook page. I might not reply to all of them everytime, but I do read them from time to time and they definitely are very encouraging.

I also received a card for Troy today from the "Blue Knights" (a local motorcycle club that knows Troy back home). That was very sweet! I will pin that up on his wall tomorrow. If any of the Blue Knights are reading these blogs I want to thank you for the card. It put a smile on my face and I know it will put a smile on Troy's face when he wakes up :)

Let's keep praying!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I'm writing a bit early today because I wanted to post the recent update as soon as possible. While Troy's cousin and best friend were in the room with him today Troy opened his eyes and kept them open for a little bit. I was just told that he actually opened his eyes and rolled them around and was looking at Shanda's shirt. When I was in there from 2 to 4pm today he didn't open his eyes. But, I'm waiting until I am allowed back into his room at 7:30pm to see if he'll continue to open his eyes.

Also, this morning while his mom was talking to him he seemed to be blinking his eyes on command. He didn't blink every time, but she would ask him "If you can hear me, blink." and he would. It was pretty exciting to watch. The doctor's might say that's reflexes, but the nurses are telling us to keep talking to him because he can hear us. So, we've been talking with him and while I'm not in the room I have his iPod in his ears playing his favorite music.

God continues to show His glory through Troy. Every day that Troy is with us is comforting and I know God is with Troy. On the way down here Troy's mom stopped at a restaurant to get food and while talking with the cashier, on the reason for their traveling to GA, the cashier took Troy's name to add him to the prayer list at his church. It's amazing how many people are praying for him and I know prayer has power! I continue to pray that God continues to do His will!

I appreciate all the prayers and concerns! We are going to get through this.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Today was a pretty uneventful day for Troy, but in a good way. He's still not awake, but there was a calm upon his face today that was actually good to see. He is off of all pain medicines and the nurses will only be giving it to him if he shows signs of being in pain (grimacing, erratic movement, or frowning). I bought some carmex and put that on his lips (they were a bit dry), cleaned his face with alcohol pads to get his skin nice and clean and spend about 2 hours with him this morning reading to him and talking to him. His movements are a little bit more coordinated. Not sure if that's a sign that he's emerging from his coma or not, but I'm grateful he's still with us.

Since the visiting hours are so much stricter at this hospital, I have nothing else to do but find things to do to keep myself busy. What did I do, you ask? I came back to room and napped! I napped for 2 whole hours! *wow* Last night I slept 7 straight hours without waking up to cry, think, or worry. I haven't slept that long in two weeks and I have to say, it felt pretty good.

Then, to make my day even better Charlene - mom, Shanda - cousin, and Lloyd - best friend came from NC so I got to spend the afternoon with them. Then, we all went back to visit Troy for a bit and once we ran out our visit time with Troy, LLOYD decided he wanted to go to Walmart to pick "something" up. Needless to say, a 15 minute trip turned into a 1.5 hour drive around Atlanta. LOL. And all for toothpaste, a toothbrush, and a bag of chips. I'm still laughing about it. I'm glad I went along for the ride. I laughed so much tonight. I really needed that.

I know Troy is going to be OK, I know God is with him and with me watching over us, taking care of us and I remain trustful and faithful to the Lord! Today was a good day. I don't know what tomorrow will hold, but I leave it all in God's hands. After all, He is in control.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Shepherd's Center, Georgia

Troy was transferred to Shepherd's Center (SC) today. We were flown here by private jet. There were 2 pilots, a chief flight nurse, a respiratory therapist, Troy on a stretcher and me. It was scary because I already hate to fly and that plane wasn't all that big, but I'm happy to say we made it here safely. We left the Orlando Executive Airport at 9am and arrived to GA at 10:30am. An ambulance brought us to the SC.

Troy has been moved to an ICU room here and so far this place is fantastic. The facility is very nice and very state of the art. The apartment I am being housed in is great. It's like a small studio. I'm in a corner unit so I have windows all around. This might seem like a small detail to most, but to me it means the world because I have been cooped up in a tiny ICU room with no lights, no real window, no real sunshine for the past 13 days! At least here, I get plenty of light. Troy's ICU room is HUGE! There is a big window there so plenty of light there as well. They keep his room pretty dim though because they don't want the brightness to bother him since he's still in a coma. Apparently, when in a coma the patient's senses are super hypersensitive and they are trying to keep him as comfortable as possible.

Troy also picked up what seems to be an infection in his feeding tube. It's only been 3 days since he had it put in and already it is leaking pus and doesn't look really good. The doctor's ordered a CT scan of his abdomen so they can determine where the infection is coming from. They also started him on anther round of antibiotics, this time they have put in a PIC line in his arm and will be giving him the antibiotics by IV, instead of through his feeding tube for better absorption.

Heart rate is still really high, but nurses explained that can be normal due to the brainstem injury and also could be associated with him being stimulated so much today with the transportation. I was instructed to please reduce stimulation and to keep visits to a minimum.

Also, they have taken him off the morphine he was getting at ORMC for pain and put him on Percocet instead so that he's not so drowsy and be able to emerge from the coma easier. They will also start him on neurostimulant medication to get his brain going and help wake him up.

Today was a good day! I managed to get a ride from a volunteer here to the grocery store so that I could get some food to keep in the fridge and kitchen in the room. I also plan on getting some sleep! Real sleep this time! God has given me such peace and I am amazed at how calm I am sometimes, but today I found myself feeling really weak and I am now realizing that Troy will be awake in no time and I will be too tired to be excited. LOL.

Thanks for the prayers and thoughts. I was talking to Charlene (mother-in-law) tonight and I told her that this incident, although sad and scary, has drawn me so much closer to God, Troy's family, MY family, and friends of mine and Troy - I find myself so close to them too! It's great to see God's work in our lives and how compassionate and loving our God is! All glory to God! Soli deo gloria!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Troy has been pretty stable but for the past 2 days his heart rate and fever have been really high. Today his HR is at 132 - 142 and his fever has been at 102 degrees all day. They started him on antibiotics for that today. The reports came back that he has a staph infection. (Obviously picked it up in the ICU here! I'm here with him everyday...ugh! Makes me want to bathe in hand sanitizer and gargle with alcohol! LOL.)

I was notified today that we are flying to Shephard's Center in GA tomorrow. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I get to fly with him so that's great. I can continue my vigil by his side with no interruptions or me having to drive 6 hours worrying about him. But, on the downside - just when things were becoming routine, there is another change. I guess this will be our lives for a while so might as well roll with the punches and get used to it.

Troy opened his eyes TWICE today! This morning when I got here they were moving him from his bed to a recliner that sits by the bed. Well, the nurses picked him up from the bed and sat him down while I was standing at the end of the bed and he opened his eyes! They weren't opened all the way, nor was he really looking at anything, and frankly, his eyes looked really it was progress and I feel blessed for being able to witness it. He did it twice!

Nurse says don't get hopes high because that is just reflexes, but witnessing that (even if just a reflex) made my day today! Praise God!

He's still breathing on his own; it's been 24 hours now so that's a good sign.

Busy day tomorrow :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Changes Coming Soon

The neurosurgeon feels Troy is a good candidate for rehabilitation. Troy hasn't woken up yet, but the doctor feels that the sooner they get him into rehab, the better his recovery will be. So, I am on pins and needles waiting to find out exactly when they will be transporting him. The social worker called me today and told me they put in a word for Shepherd's Center in Atlanta because it's the best facility and it looks like the adjuster is going to agree to send Troy there. Either way, I just want him to get the best care and get better. Where they send him is irrelevant to me.

He will be moved out of ICU soon while he awaits to be placed in a rehab center. They will transition him to what is called a "Step-Down ICU Room" or "Vent Room" where they will be able to monitor him on the ventilator, but he won't have to be in the ICU with other very sick people. Honestly, it is very depressing sitting in there all day long with him. I have watched many people pass away in these past 11 days. Very sad stuff to have to watch.

On a lighter note, Troy is doing very well on the trache and feeding tube. They have officially taken him off the life support machine and have transitioned him to using a ventilator mask over the trache hole in this throat. The vent is basically mist of oxygen constantly blowing air thru there for him, in the event he has trouble taking a breath, but clinically, he is considered to be breathing on his own - so that is great news!

Troy is still running a slight fever. He has been running a temperature off and on for a few days now (the brain stem controls body temperature, so it could also be that), but the last few days it's been pretty high. (about 38.4 C, which is about 101 in Fahrenheit). So, they took a biopsy culture of the sputum in his chest today and cultured that to make sure it's not an infection or pneumonia. I should have those results by tomorrow. Other than that, they are treating the fever with ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

When I got there this morning the nurse had cleaned up his bandages and replaced them both from his arm and hand, finished shaving his face up some more, had him sitting in a recliner and looking pretty good. He just looked like he was sleeping. It is definitely easier to see him without all those tubes and hoses all over his face! I took some alcohol pads from the cabinet and cleaned up his face and wiped his face clean. He had a bunch of white heads and blackheads on his nose and forehead so I gave him a mini facial in his chair. He looked so handsome :)

Today was a good day, in general. The goal is to get him weaned off the ventilator all together and get him to wake up. Troy will be a walking testimony after all of this is over! He's a testimony to me now!

To God be all the glory! Keep the prayers going and thanks for all the support and kind words! Hugs~

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Trache, G-Tube, and Rehab Centers

Troy had the tracheotomy and the G-tube put in today. I'm glad all the tape, tube and wires are out of his face, but it was very hard to watch that plastic thing coming out of his neck and tummy and to see that the trache was sewn in place. This makes everything more permanent. More real.

Some days are better than others. Today was a bad day for me - emotionally. I had 2 meetings with two different rehab facilities. We discussed the course of rehab that Troy needs. What the facilities offer and other important things for his recovery. After all of that, I spoke with the ICU doctor before leaving and he says if there is any hope of Troy ever waking up, it's going to be Shephard's Center that will be able to help him come out of this as they are the best place for his condition at the moment.

Of course, we are still at the mercy of worker's comp wanting to pay for it. But either way, I just pray that God gives the adjusters in charge of Troy's case at workers comp the discernment to do the right thing. I pray that God keeps His mighty hand in all of this, as He has been doing, and that everything remains under God's control - not man's!

I can almost feel myself dwindling away today. Planning my husband's future today was a lot harder than I ever imagined it would be. The good thing is that the main goal of both rehab centers is to get him back home with us! No matter what. So there is hope there.

I could sit here and type out how hard it was for me emotionally today, but I won't do that. I am guarding myself and remaining hopeful and prayerful that God will continue to work his Holy will in our family's lives.

Tyra is asking for him today and says she wishes she can go sleep with daddy at the hospital. That was heart crushing. Tomorrow will be a new day. I have been praying all afternoon and will continue to pray into the evening hours tonight.

Thanks to everyone for your support. I'll continue to keep everyone posted on a daily basis as things progress along.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Today was a busy day for Troy and I. It started with me deciding that I needed to be home with the girls and check out of the Hubbard House where I was staying (a house within walking distance of the hospital where I resided since the accident so I could keep a watchful eye on Troy).

I walked over to the hospital and was able to get right in to see him. I was in there with him, in and out, pretty much all interruptions, no nurses kicking me out. So that was nice. I had his iPod in his ear and I had the other one in my ear and we sat and listened to his music and downloaded podcast sermons he has recorded on there. Some of which we had already listened to before together so I sat there and talked with him about them...just as we had just a few weeks ago.

I also had a meeting with the hospital's social worker and the nurse case manager with Workers Comp today and it looks like they will be moving Troy to a rehab center next week. Right now it's not set in concrete, but it does in fact look like Troy will be at the Shepherds Center in Atlanta. I have done the research and this place is #1 in the nation as far as rehab places go. They have a 94% success rate in terms of recovery (compared to 74% in other similar rehabs) and I have also spoken to a few people that have recommended this place as the best place for him to be in. So, looks like this will be the one. It will be a temporary move for him. I get all the details of the location tomorrow morning when I meet with the liaison for the Shepherds Center.

Other than that, Troy was busy himself today too. He was pretty active today. Moving his left foot and leg a bit, he lifted his left arm once, and flickering of his eye lids and moving his eyes underneath his eyelids. No real purposeful movements, yet. All his movements are still spontaneous, but it sure is nice to see him moving around! He also spent about 5 hours in a recliner chair today. The nurses moved him off the bed to get him in a sitting position and in a bit more upright posture. Of course, they didn't warn me when I walked in there and saw him (so it was a shock at first), but it was pretty comforting to see him in a different position. Besides, I got to sit in a folded chair right next to him and kiss him and be able to be with him real up close. I'm too short for that hospital bed, so it was a nice change for me too - LOL.

He is getting the trache and G-tube (feeding tube) put in tomorrow afternoon.

I am home with the girls tonight. I will visit with Troy during the day and be home with the girls at night. This will be good for both of us. I do have to admit though, I have stopped dead in my tracks and broken down crying about 3 times tonight. Not around the girls, not for long, I just lost it for a little bit, just enough to gather my emotions and continue on. I miss him.

Brianna is so sweet. She walked in my room earlier tonight and asked me if I needed to be comforted to sleep. I told her that was very sweet of her and I would be OK, to which she replies "I don't mind comforting you until you fall asleep, mommy! Really, I don't mind at all!" *tears*

God has definitely blessed me with a beautiful husband that has helped me raise some beautiful kids!

Love you, Troy...see you soon :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Troy's family left today. It was really sad to see Charlene, Tim, Chris, Tosha, the twins, Britanie, and Lloyd go, but I am so blessed to have seen them and that they were able to make it down here to see Troy though.

Troy had a bit of a fever today, so they gave him some Tylenol for that. He is still working harder on breathing than the machine is breathing for him so that is a great sign! He also did a lot more moving today than he has been doing. He squeezed Tosha's hand and was moving his toes a whole lot today. There was also a lot of eye fluttering under his eyelids.

All the prayers are definitely keeping us encouraged so please keep praying that God continues to work his Holy will in Troy's recovery.

I have been doing a lot of research on this type of brain injury and the vast of different ways he can come out of this coma is overwhelming. At this point I have nothing else to do but to leave it in God's hands.
Today was a better day for Troy (well, for me...he's too busy taking a nap to notice anything going on...LOL)

Although I was sad to see Tim (Troy's dad) go back home today, it was nice to see that his mom, brother, sister and kids and his best friend Lloyd were able to make it in to see him and spend some time with Troy today.

He is still in a coma and still on life support, but he is actually doing most of the breathing for the ventilator. His heart rate stayed pretty good the whole day, his respiratory rate stayed at about 15 to 18 today, which is good.

The nurse even mentioned that some of his movements aren't so much reflexes anymore, some of them are now starting to be considered to be spontaneous movements. That only means that the swelling and bruising around his brain stem is beginning to dissipate so we are now seeing more natural reactions of the brain.

This was all great news. The only downside to all of this is that even though he can almost breathe on his own, he still has to wake up. That part of his recovery is still in progress. I, of course, am staying positive and trusting in the Lord to continue to work with Troy and do His mighty and holy will.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Troy's movements weren't as active as he usually is today. But that's not always a bad thing. He had his iPod in his ears and I played Psalms pretty much all day for him today. Charlene (his mom) came from NC today so she got to spend a lot of time with him. She said he was coughing, moving his head a bit and moving around a bit.

I went in to say goodnight to him today and while I was there, with Brianna, he took a LONG big breath! That was a bit scary for me because it made the ventilator stop, so I sat and stared at it a bit until it kicked back on. His nurse Chris says he's doing most of the breathing, so praise God for that! He just needs time to heal. The brain needs time to repair itself.

Every day is a milestone for Troy. Every day he'll just have to keep on keepin' on.

I have a meeting with the hospital social worker and the nurse case manager on Monday to start making decisions for his long term care. One of the options is that they move him to Shepards Center, a rehabilitat
ion facility in Atlanta, GA, that tends to patients with lower level brain injury that are on a ventilator, like Troy is.

I pray for strength and wisdom to make the best decision for him. All I could think of to tell the nurse case manager today was - "He's not leaving without me and the girls. So wherever we put him, make room for 3 more!"

We just have to pray harder, that's all. I'm keeping my faith. God is going to get us through this!

Friday, May 7, 2010

MRI of Troy's brain shows bruising in multiple areas of the brain with a big concentration of bruising on the (pons) brain stem of the brain. This is the part of the brain that controls heart rate, breathing, body temperature and level of alertness. So, that explains his comatose state. The NS is gauging that he can... be comatose for a few weeks up to a few months.

There is no way of really telling and no way of knowing how he'll be when he wakes up. I'm taking things one hour at a time and spending as much time with him as I can. Thank you all for the prayers and I am working on building a website where I'll be able to post updates, pictures, and journals on how hes doing to share with friends and family. Keep the prayers going! God is using Troy to display His awesome glory. And Troy will be a testimony for all of us!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Neurosurgeon has ordered new CT scans of his brain to confirm exactly what his status is. There's been some going back and forth today on whether he has brain activity or not. One doctor says no, the specialist told me tonight he does have activity.

I just ask that everyone remain prayerful and rejoice in God's will and His perfect plan for Troy, whatever that outcome might be.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Troy has bleeding and swelling in his brain. But, he is stable enough to get surgery in both his right arm and his left hand.

The right arm has 17 screws in it. The left hand had to pretty much be reconstructed. His wrist was also badly broken. The doctor could not say for sure how many screws in that hand, but the temporary pins will come out in 6 weeks.

He's still not awake. But we continue to pray for healing!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

We'll never be the same again...

After today, my life, our lives, will never be the same.

I called Troy at about 11:23AM today to see if he wanted some pizza, since I was taking the girls to Cici's Pizza for lunch. He said no, he was working so we went without him. (I knew that, I just felt bad eating and not knowing if he had eaten or not.)

12:40PM. Me and the girls are done eating. We are about 800 feet from his job. I stop at the intersection, for a split second, and debate on whether to turn towards his job to go visit him as a surprise. I make the decision not to since he'll be home in about 2 hours anyway. I turn right, East bound on 192, headed home.

I'm almost home. I send him a text at about 12:50PM telling him something funny Tyra said while in the car on the way home and he promptly replies "LOL".

At 1:13PM I pull into the garage at the house and as I'm walking in to the house through the garage door, I see Troy calling my phone. I think to myself "I hope he doesn't want me to drive all the way back to his job for food", but had already prepared myself to turn back around and get him something to eat - because I wouldn't have it any other way. Troy is hungry...he needs me.

I answer the phone. It's Joey on the other line. Joey is a jokester so I thought "What is Joey doing with Troy's phone?" I figured just to play a prank on me. This was no prank! All I heard was Joey telling me that Troy had gotten into an accident on a bike. He was breathing. But he was being airlifted to ORMC.

My heart stopped....

Next thing I remember....

Andy, our Pastor, was on the other end of my cellphone line. Hope, the Pastor's wife, got the girls for me so I wouldn't have to worry for their care. Indhira, my best friend, drove me half way to the hospital when I thought I couldn't drive any more. I leave my car at her church, where I met up with her.

It's a blur when I walk into the ER. I ask for Troy Walker. There is no Troy there. They ask how he got there. I say by air ambulance. The chaplain is called. Andy is still not there yet. My heart is racing. I feel sick to my stomach and I feel faint. They ask me to identify him because his ID isn't with him and before I go back to see him, they want to make sure they have the right person. I say 5'11", black man, tattoos all down his left arm, the names of his mother and daughter - Charlene and Makia - tattooed on his right arm. They eventually sit me down and tell me what happened. Andy gets there, they take us back to see him.

It's Troy. The image of how he looked on that stretcher will be engraved in my mind forever. I knew then God was with me. I was confused on why I felt so calm. I didn't cry. I asked questions. I stared at him. I just stood there. I couldn't figure out how I managed to keep my composure. But I will say it was only by the grace of God I didn't lose it on the spot. That was the most horrible thing I have ever had to go through in my entire life.

Next thing I know, he's in ICU. They let me back to see him...and this is where Troy's recovery story begins.

It's going to be OK. God brought us together 8 years ago for a reason...and this is it. This is our test. We have to pass this test together. Throughout our relationship, Troy and I have been studying and taking notes for a time such as this.

This is going to be the test of patience, love and faith.