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.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Today was huge, in so many ways! Troy kicked on command 3 times in a row with the physical therapist and the occupational therapist put a toothbrush in his splint (in the position where he could get it in his mout) and after the therapist showed him how to do it twice with no response from him, on the third try she said "OK Troy, now you do it. Brush your teeth, Troy!" and he raised his left arm and put the brush in his mouth! Neither one of us expected it because we have been working with him to do so many other much simpler things and he wouldn't. To watch God work like that was amazing! Also, while working with the speech therapist he focused on his face when put in front of the mirror. That is a step up on the JFK coma scale. Before today Troy was a 6 out of 23 possible points. He went up one point today so he's now a 7! Again, all the praise and glory goes to God! This recovery is all about celebrating the tiny victories because collectively they will make Troy whole again and bring him back home to us!

So, we have a medical conference with the doctor tomorrow and hopefully the doctor will give me a definite answer if they are extending Troy's stay at Shepherd. They will access him 2 weeks at a time, but any extension means he is headed in the right direction and the doctor feels he can work with him!

Thank you all for the prayers and sorry for not posting yesterday. I am staying at a friend's brother and his wife's home and I have not quite settled in completely yet. I'm actually posting this blog with my phone so please excuse me if there are any typos :)

God has placed Troy in this wonderful place, blessed us with wonderful children, family, church family and friends, and I am thankful to Him everyday for blessing us with all of this!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Troy had a good day today. His mom, daughter, aunt and niece came by to visit today. Today was the first time his daughter saw him since the accident; she was pleased with how he looked. She has not wanted to see him because she was scared of how he looked and how bad he would be. It was nice to see that she wasn't too upset or scared with how he looked. This is all so new and she handled it very well! Also, Charlene was able to feed Troy his dinner and he did really well eating and took a few sips from his cup today with her. That was very sweet to watch. We had a great time talking, reminiscing and talking about the Lord. Troy also managed to stay very alert while they were here and that was nice too because they got to spend a few hours with him talking to him and interacting with him.

Troy has been doing really well. He seems to be on the verge of emerging from the coma; he is just so active with his left arm and left leg and is so aware of his surroundings. Just by watching him I can always tell something is wrong with him either by the movements he makes, the look on his face or him groaning, grunting or moaning.

He is still having trouble with his right leg at the hip. Also, today, while I was stretching his right arm and doing range of motion exercises I noticed he grimaced and groaned when I lifted his arm above his head. I will mention that to the therapist on Monday because it seems that he needs to have more stretching exercises on his right arm and right leg to help with the stiffness and soreness from not moving it.

Thank you all for the emails, thoughts and prayers.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wow! What a day! Troy had lunch and dinner by mouth today! He ate 80% of his lunch and 90% of his dinner. It was a wonderful experience to watch him take in food with a spoon. It took me about an hour to get him to eat it, but the fact is that he ATE and that in itself is a huge improvement! Praise God! He isn't taking in liquids by mouth though, so they still have to give him water through his feeding tube. Yesterday he took a little sip through a straw and was able to take a sip out of a cup, so we'll continue to work with him to encourage him on drinking, as well. To have the feeding tube taken out he has to be able to eat and drink by mouth.

Another thing that I have noticed with Troy is that he is able to show when he's in pain or uncomfortable, in other words, he's apparently very aware of his surroundings. Tonight, when the nurse and the tech turned him on his side, he immediately started grimacing and moaning...loud! It was shocking to see and hear him like that! He was even trying to sit up in the bed. It took the nurse and I a few minutes to figure out what was wrong with him. Well, it looks like his right hip hurts and when turned on his left side it puts his right leg at an awkward angle and that causes him pain. The nurse and I put him back on his back and he immediately stopped moaning and laid his head back down and closed his eyes. So, I will be bringing that up to the physical therapists attention because he doesn't move his right leg, I'm guessing his hip must just be tight and sore from lack of range of motion.

I know I shouldn't be happy about him being in pain, but the fact that he FELT pain was very comforting to me! His nervous system and senses seems to be healing really well! Little by little, day by day, week by week - Troy is just moving in the right direction and I have not stopped praising God and thanking Him for keeping His hand on Troy in continued healing! As I type this, tears of joy sprout to my eyes as I look back on how far we've come since May 1st! This is all just so overwhelming and humbling at the same time. To see that God created us and realize how fragile we really are is a rude awakening to me.

And finally, I wanted to thank everyone that has been mailing me things here at the housing. But, just to let everyone know that as of tomorrow I will no longer be here so please do not mail anything else to the address you have for me. The agreement I have with the hospital is to get housing for 30 days; well the 30 days are up this weekend and I have to make arrangements to find another place to stay while Troy is here at Shepherd.

Thank you again for all the wonderful messages, emails, cards, etc that you have taken the time to write. I might not have time to respond to everyone, but just reading them encourages me and get me through the day. I am so grateful to be surrounded by such loving people!

God bless you all and I am looking forward to seeing what God has for us tomorrow! In Christ, Joan

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Troy did great during the swallow study this morning. He has a nice strong swallow, so he will start eating puréed foods today for lunch. This is a huge development in Troy's recovery. All the praise and glory to God!    

I'll write a complete blog tonight. I just wanted to update this now for those that check this throughtout the day.

Praise God!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Today was another great day for Troy! The speech therapist wanted to see how Troy did with taking some grape juice with ice chips from a spoon, so she fed him some of that and Troy continued, time after time, to open his mouth when the spoon would touch his lip and he would suck on the spoon and swallow. She then decided to try pudding and see how he would take that, he ate pudding too! It was amazing to watch! Of course, she again reiterated to me that he would have to be consistent and continue doing this, but she felt that he really was doing it consistent enough from yesterday to today and how much he really took in! She fed him about half a pudding cup and he drank about 6 spoonfuls of grape juice. THEN, to top it all off, she puts a straw in a cup of icy water and he sucked up a bit of water and swallowed that! She was amazed at how easily he was doing all these things. So Troy was definitely showing off today! Praise God!

So, God's glory was witnessed today in that therapy gym at Shepherd Center! What a great testimony! Just 4 weeks ago the doctors were talking about harvesting his organs, here we are today with Troy doing amazing things and proving doctors wrong! God is an awesome God and I am so grateful for what He has done so far with Troy!

Also, to add to all of this improvement today, he has started moving his right hand. He has not moved that hand or arm much since the accident. Today, he has been balling up his hand in a fist! I would open his hand (for fear that maybe the tendons are pulling tight and his hands are beginning to go into hypertonicity) and he would ball his fist up again. I spend most of the afternoon and evening massaging and flexing his hand to make sure he keeps it nice and flexible and loose. I will talk to the physical therapist about that tomorrow. Hopefully they won't have to cast his hands up now, which they'll do if they feel he will begin to get tight like his feet are.

Furthermore, Troy has now upgraded to wearing the cast only at night now on his left leg. What they did was cut his cast, very neatly, and then velcro the two pieces together with duct tape and makeshift hinges so he can use it, sort of like a boot, to sleep in, only at night. So, during the day they will leave his left foot with no cast and only put the brace on at night to make sure he keeps that flexibility in that tendon in his leg.

So, as you can read, there was a lot going on today. Thank you for your continued prayers and please continue to pray that God keeps on doing his will in healing Troy in his time.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lots of things going on today. Troy had the trache removed today. They have now replaced it with a "button" which is basically just a clear plastic tubing that sticks about 1 inch out of his neck and is held in by a toggle bolt type of mechanism that keeps it in place. The respiratory therapist says that it will, more than likely, stay in for about 1 to 2 weeks. It's definitely a step in the right direction.

Another huge milestone today was when the speech therapist gave him an ice chip and rubbed it on his lips; Troy opened his mouth, took in the ice chip, sucked on it, and swallowed! For a patient with the type of brain injury Troy has, that is big improvement! Of course, Troy will have to do it consistently, from now on, for it to count as an increase in his Rancho score, but it definitely is cause for praise to God! So, to help him keep practicing, for the rest of the day, I would offer him ice chips from time to time and most of the time he took it and sucked/chewed on it and swallowed. It was amazing to watch!

God is definitely answering prayers and continuing to work his will in his perfect timing! It's exciting for me because today there was talk that Troy's time here at Shepherd will more than likely be extended, if he continues to make progress as he has has these past two days. The downside of that would be that I will have to consider moving up here - AGAIN (not looking forward to that stressful event again, but I know God will give me clarity so I have quit trying to figure things out and give it all to God), the upside is that Troy will not have to have any gap in his therapy and if Troy continues to make progress this way, he'll be back to us real soon!

Prayers are powerful and God is definitely showing his glory!

I continue to trust in the LORD and trust in him to continue to guide me through these major life changing decisions that are about to come forth for Troy, the girls and myself.

"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come." John 16:13

To God be all the glory.
Today was a busy day for Troy and I. It started this morning with me walking in to his room while they were replacing his casts on his legs. Then he was able to rest for about an hour before being taken out of bed and wheeled over to the gym for an hour and half of physical therapy and occupational therapy. He did really well today. They had him on the bike and also had him sitting on the mat. While on the mat they leaned him over to his left and propped him up on his elbow. The therapist told him to sit himself straight up and, after much coaxing, he started pushing up on his left arm. It was really neat to watch! God is doing great things in Troy's recovery and I am blessed to be here and witness God's work!

The rest of the day was me just being with him. I talked to him, had the TV on in his room and talked to him about what was going on on the TV, reading my book to him, showing him pictures of the girls. We had a really good time together. He was alert for most of it, for the rest of it he wasn't -- but then again Troy was never very alert at home when I was talking to him, so I expect that. LOL. (just kidding)

Also, it looks like now we aren't moving after all. Ugh! This is so crazy with the ups and downs and being all over the place. Today, after speaking with the case manager at the hospital, I find out that because Troy isn't a Georgia resident they can not release him to a nursing facility in GA, they will have to send him to a facility near my home. Once he wakes up, he will then come back to GA and at that time things will pretty much start all over for me. So, for now I am holding off on the moving until he wakes up. Once he wakes up, I'll worry about all these extra details at that time. I am happy about that though because, in a way, that takes off the stress of me worrying about finding the right place to live near a good church and good schools, right now. I will keep everyone posted though in the event I do end up needing to move in the future. Thank you for everyone that put the time into emailing me or emailing others and getting me offers of homes for me to stay here in GA. The outpouring of support is overwhelming and it brought me to tears when I woke up this morning and I saw how much love and support is out there for me and my family!!

Now, the other option is that if he does in fact wake up or make a marked improvement before the 23rd, they will extend his time at the hospital here and I can then consider the move at that time, and go from there. For now, I just need to put that on the back burner and refocus my energy in the right direction which is getting back home to my girls and making sure Troy is taken care of.

This was a huge day for me, many decisions and considerations to be taken and made, and I am thankful that the Lord answered my prayers and gave me clarity to see things for what they really are and what the Lord wants me to do.

I continue to thank God for being by my side through this entire ordeal. In my darkest moments, when I feel that I am all alone, I know I am not. I know God is with me and I see it every day with the messages I read from friends and family letting me know they are here for me as well. Love you guys!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Troy was a bit more alert today than he has been in the past few days. The nurse told me this morning that when she walked into the room first thing this morning and he had his eyes wide open. His dad, his cousin Mitchell, the girls, Brian, Linda and myself were in the room with him today and spent time talking with him and keeping him company. We did get him to open his eyes more than he did yesterday, so that was a good thing to see. He also seemed to be looking at Tyra a lot and looking around the room at everyone else. He almost had this look on his face of wanting to say something. He continues to move his left arm and left leg a lot.

After everyone left I stayed with him and spent a few hours sitting by his side and talking to him, cleaning him up, and reading bible verses to him; he seemed really attentive to what I was saying. I saw him studying my face and at times bringing his left arm towards me and when I put my hand in his cast he would squeeze my fingers. I kept talking with him and he continued to study me, almost as if he wanted to talk to me. He didn't, but the look on his face was enough to keep me talking to him and keep me going.

Also, he had his "picc" line and bladder catheter removed today. When he first arrived at Shepherd Center the picc line was put in so they can feed him intravenously and give him medicines through the line. They have been giving him his meds and food by the feeding tube in his tummy so they were able to pull that out today since he's been tolerating the feeding tube very well. And the catheter was taken out because he really can do without it now and not having it in decreases his chance of infection. He will have a diaper on until he wakes up and is alert enough to get up and use the bathroom by himself.

Other than that today I had to say goodbye to everyone and it was really hard for me. It gets harder and harder to say goodbye to them every time. Being reunited and separated again, time and time again, just keep tearing a whole in me that just opens up old wounds I had when we were separated the first time. I was able to stay composed while saying goodbye to the girls but I must admit I have been broken up all day since then. I miss my girls and I miss my husband. I have been seeking God's face all day and praying to Him to give me the strength that I need and the strength I'm going to need in the coming weeks, so that I can figure out where to live, find a place with good schools for the girls and myself, and make sure that I can keep the family together in the process. I am so grateful to have such a supportive chain of friends, family and church family! I don't know how I could do any of this without everyone's help, support and prayers.

I know God will get me through all of this. I don't believe, for one minute, I would have gotten this far without the Lord and I know I'll need Him to help me through the rest. I am casting all my worries upon the Lord, because he cares for me as the bible tells me in 1 Peter 5:7.

The next few weeks are going to be filled with calls,questions, answers and future planning. Please continue to pray that God gives me the wisdom to do what is pleasing to the Lord and that I remain faithful to Him to guide me every step of the way.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Spent an awesome day with the girls. We spent a little while with Troy this morning then we ended up going to Zoo Atlanta. The girls had a blast. We were done with enough time to come back to Troy's room and stay with him the rest of the night.

Surprisingly enough, he didn't have much of a reaction to the girls being there as he did the last time they were here. His dad got here early this afternoon and said that he was able to get Troy to open his eyes a few times. We stayed with Troy the rest of the evening and saw him open his eyes a few other times.

The girls go back tomorrow, so I pray that Troy is more alert than he was today when we get there and can have him interacting with the girls a bit more.

I continue to remain prayerful for my husband's full recovery!

Also, if anyone knows of homes or apartments that are handicap ready or can be converted to be handicap accessible (or anything of that nature), please email me at the email address on this site. I am going to have to make some really fast moves and start looking for a place to bring him home to, in the event the Lord doesn't will Troy to wake up before June 23rd.

At this point I am trying to stay either in Atlanta (or near here) or move to Wauchula, FL where FINR is. I just found out today that if Troy is accepted into the Day program, when he wakes up, the hospital will readmit him and do rehab with him at this hospital. That would be the ideal since this remains to be one of the top 10 hospitals for rehab in the nation. FINR is good as well, but after looking last night for schools in that area, I was not impressed by the location and the schools in that area either. So, I might end up just having to move here, near this hospital, so that when he wakes up I can live with the girls close by and I won't have to be away from our girls again as I have been doing this past month and half.

Thank you for any help you can offer. God bless!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Let me start off with apologizing for not posting in the blog last night. I received a few calls, texts and emails today asking if everything was OK because I didn't post. Everything is fine. I just didn't have anything new to post yesterday and was so tired last night, I thought I would take a night to myself. To not think about anything, to just relax. I wasn't very successful at it anyway, but adding the blogging to my evening the way it was going last night would have proved to be too much, so I skipped the blogging.

With that being said, today was pretty much like it has been the past few days. Troy got 3 hours of physical therapy. His occupational therapist worked him really tough this morning. He was frowning and breathing really heavily so it was obvious he was being worked to the maximum. He also did 5 miles on the mechanical bike. The machine was doing the pedaling for him, but they put patches on his hamstrings and quadriceps that stimulated the muscle. The purpose of that was to see if they could get him to do some of the work and pedal some for the machine by sending electric shocks to the muscle to get them to contract. There is a gauge on the machine that shows how much work he is doing. The machine starts off at 100%, which means the machine is doing all of the pedaling for him. As he begins to pedal it will count down from there until it gets to 0%, which means he's doing all of the work. It stayed at 100% the entire 5 miles, but the goal is to get him to start pedaling himself.

There was a lot on my mind today too. Troy's discharge date is on June 23rd from here, so if he doesn't wake up or show some marked improvement by then, they will discharge him home or to a nursing home. Once he wakes up, he will either come back to Shepherd (and stay here for 6 weeks again, then go back to FL) or be transferred to FINR (Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation) in Wauchula, FL all together. So, I have decided to move close to FINR and that way when he wakes up, I'll be living nearby the facility with the girls and we won't have to go through what we are going through now with having such a big distant between me and the girls for such a long time. I went ahead and stepped out in faith and gave notice at my place today and will have to be out by July 1st. With God's help I will shoot to be out of there by the 23rd and already in a new place so that when Troy comes home he won't have to spend any time in a nursing home facility...he can just come straight home.

There are a lot of changes happening really fast and I am putting my trust and faith in the Lord to guide me and give me the wisdom to make the right choices for all of us. There was a verse in the bible today that was helping me deal with all of this, this afternoon:

"For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course." Proverbs 2:6-9

I continue to pray for guidance and discernment so that I don't lean on my own understanding but that I may in all my ways acknowledge the Lord so that he can guide me and straighten my ways. (Proverbs 3:5).

Our friends are driving my car up from FL and bringing me the girls this weekend and then taking them back on Sunday when they go home. So, I'm definitely excited about seeing them later on tonight. Also, Troy's dad will be here with us, as well, so I am anxious to see how Troy receives the different company and if we can get him more alert while the girls and his dad are here.

Trusting and patiently waiting on the Lord to continue to do His holy will! :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Today was a fairly calm day for Troy. He was very sleepy all day, which is to be expected with brain injuries. He's been fairly alert these past few days, today, I could barely get him to keep his eyes open. But that's OK. He needs his rest -- with rest comes recovery. So, needless to say, I did a lot of reading today. *smiles*

Also, he had both his legs put in casts today. This is to keep his feet from hypertonicity which is an increased tension of the muscles in the legs. This is caused from the lack of movement and stretching of the legs, as happens when we walk in our normal day to day activities, and laying with his feet pointed forward. What will happen, with time, is that the tendons in his legs and calves will begin to tighten, from lack of use, causing his toes to point and curl downward. This is very painful and also inhibits walking when he wakes up from the coma. So, they typically will cast the feet and ankles in fiberglass casting in comatose patients up to below the knee to help keep his feet at a 90 degree angle.

Other than that, he is doing really well with the "button" on his trache and breathing and swallowing pretty well. He doesn't always remember to swallow and will sometimes go into a coughing fit and gagging on his saliva, but he then realizes what's going on and starts to swallow again. It's all a learning process from here on out. He's getting the hang of things fairly well :)

All this week I have been thinking about our wedding vows and how, many times, we take those words, which we swore to in front of God, for granted. "In sickness and in health" - wow, those words take on a whole new meaning for me from here on out.

Thank you, Lord for blessing me with this man and with the strength to do what You called me to do for him, in the good AND in the bad!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Today was a good day. Troy had his eyes open pretty much all day again. Seeing him with his eyes open really feeds my hope that he'll continue to emerge from the coma soon!

The therapy sessions also went well. They showed me a few things to do with him during the day, but they also advised me not to give him too many commands or ask too much of him right now. So, I kept the commands simple. "Troy, can you squeeze my hand?" "Troy, can you kick your leg?" "Troy, can you follow this picture?" So far he's not following any of those commands like he should be, but that gives you an idea of the things they ask of him. On some of them, like the following a picture one, he does sometimes or might have a delayed reaction too, but that is to be expected and they reassure me that with time he will be doing everything they ask, on command.

I am learning so much. Tonight I pretty much got him ready for bed on my own. The tech was there to help me, of course, but I am getting more comfortable with handling him and more comfortable with his weight. They say he weighs 161 feels more like 361! Phew! LOL.

God will bring Troy back to us on His time, so in the meantime I'm enjoying caring for him and watching him get better week by week. Troy has already come a long way since May 1st. He still has a very long road ahead, but there isn't anything God can't do and my faith remains unshaken. I continue to pray that God continues working His holy will and continues to give me endurance and strength to make it through the days, weeks, months we have ahead of us.