Our Journey To Recovery

Our Journey To Recovery

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April 16th 2015

Well I am now completing my fourth week back at work. I started at WellStar at the Kennestone Hospital. I am back in the Operating Room working as a staff nurse. It is easier to manage my schedule as a staff nurse compared to working in management as I have done over the past ten years. All in all it is going well, big changes in the surgical realm, I am learning new things every day. Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement over the past several weeks.

Christopher continues to amaze us with  his superman attitude and ability to bounce back after each surgery or procedure he undergoes. This past surgery has been no different, he is like the old Timex watch, he takes a lickin and keeps on tickin.

Nice hat hair, Grace doesn't seem to mind.
Gary brought a visitor

The photos above were taken just a few days after his surgery. Gary brought their new addition to their family by for a visit. Grace is so tiny and cute, all she wanted to do was sleep. Christopher was thrilled to have a chance to hold her.
No time for lolly gagging, Mr. Gary getting Christopher back to work.
Gary and Christopher in the picture above, working hard before heading to the Charity Basketball game at Pope High School.
Getting a squeeze from his favorite player
Cheering on the team

Ms. Locky hiding behind Christopher, working on his writing.

All wired up for Neuro-feedback training, concentrating hard.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 22, 2015

Christopher has done so well, Debbie stayed with him Friday night and I stayed last night while 
Debbie helped Davis get ready for his junior prom.


Ben, Davis and Cooper
Sunday morning Christopher and I are waiting for the resident to give us the ok for us to come home. The plan is to pull the two drains and then get him up to walk, if he tolerates that he can go.

Lunch has been coming around 12-1230 so I am going to let him sit up on the side of the bed eat and then we'll go for a little walk around the unit. I think he is ready to go, he ate his lunch in about three bites.

Styling that hospital gown
No problem with walking, dressings all look good, IV removed, orders have been written, we are heading home. Just need to say good bye to all the staff. Christopher's care has been impeccable, the unit where we stayed is well kept, very clean, all private rooms, very nice.
Debbie and I are trying to get him dressed as fast as we can, he is ready to go, we can't get his shoes on him fast enough for him.

Thank you all for the kind thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 19th 2015

It is 6am and we are getting ready to go the Grady Hospital for Christopher's surgery. We are schedule to be there at 8:30am for  early start. Dr. Carney has meetings at Emory first thing so he usually doesn't start surgery until 9:30.

Christopher and I are on I75 headed south bound singing along with the XM classic vinyl station. Well I am singing, anybody who knows Christopher knows he's always gone the Milli Vanilli route. It is pouring down rain, I75 is bumper to bumper, morning rush hour. It is a quarter to 7, we're moving, we have been lucky so far.

Surprisingly, we have made it to the hospital in about an hour. We have checked in, so now we wait. Debbie and Locky are meeting us here, they should be on their way by now.

It is now 9:40 and we are still in the waiting area, Debbie still hasn't made it in yet. Oh, here comes our nurse to take us to Pre-op. Christopher is all smiles, he is ready to get this over with. All prepped and ready to go, we were given wipes to use to eliminate any bacteria that might be on his body. We had to swab his mouth, brush his teeth and use iodine swabs in his nostrils. No parts untouched, he is now clean from head to toe.

Checking out the smooth shave
Debbie and Locky finally arrived, I was beginning to worry. Still waiting, it is now 11:30, Dr. Carney came by said they have changed the order and he is going to do a shorter procedure ahead of Christopher. So we have a little longer before he goes back.

A little longer has gotten to be a lot longer, it is now 3:30 and still waiting. It has taken its toll on me. Checkout sleeping beauty courtesy of my lovely wife.

Looking like my dad more and more, not a bad thing he was a good looking man
It is now 4:30pm and they are getting ready to take him back. WOW! We had been told the surgery would only take 3-4 hours, not really trusting the estimates, they haven't been too accurate so far. We are going down to the Sweet Auburn Market to get something to eat. Hope there is still something open.

It's now 6pm belly full so I'm heading home to check on Davis and the dogs, Davis has a lacrosse game against Milton tonight. He still isn't able to play, he is really bummed. Lassiter hasn't beaten Milton in a couple of years, always close, hopefully they can pull this one out.

I've made it back to Grady still wet outside, huge wreck on the 285 ramp off of I75 south. Christopher is still in the OR the nurse called out to let me know they have another hour or two, everything is going well 8:25pm. Debbie is sitting the surgical waiting room with one other person a young girl whose boyfriend is having the similar procedure to what Davis had done last Saturday.

It is now 10:40pm the nurse called and said everything is going well but is has been more difficult than he expected. Looking at another hour or so, keep those prayers coming. Davis just arrived, Lassiter beat Milton 13-7, first time for Coach Leezer, congratulations Trojans.

I have been studying for my medication exam which is tomorrow morning at 8am. Just got the call, they are extubating Christopher and he should be in the recovery room in a few minutes, Dr. Carney will be out to speak with us in a few minutes, it's 11:35pm.

Dr. Carney just came through the door, 12:22am, he looks like he's been through the ringer. According to him everything is perfect, Christopher is great, he did very well. The scar tissue was more extensive then he thought at first and that is why it took so long. He was very pleased with the results, Christopher's bladder looked great, he is amazed it has tolerated having the supra-pubic catheter this long.

We are now finally getting to go in to see Christopher in the recovery room, Debbie has gone in, only allowed one at a time. It is my turn now, he looks puffy, understandably he has been laying with his feet above his head for the past seven hours. He is still zonked, but he is still going for the hug, that's my boy. Davis and I are heading home it's a quarter to two and we still have to drive home.

Your continued thoughts and prayers a greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 15th, 2015

Wednesday Christopher had his pre-op visit with Dr. Carney's staff and the anesthesia group at Grady Hospital. We were there for over 5 hours. Everything looks good for surgery on the 19th.

We had to race from downtown Atlanta to Roswell to the New Mind Center where Christopher does the neuro-feedback training. We were able to make it on time. Fortunately his sessions only last about an hour, we had to rush home to pickup Lola, Davis's dog. She had to see a vet in Cumming to see if she needed surgery, our local vet referred us to them.

So Christopher and I started at 645am and got back home around 600pm. Lola has to go back next Wednesday for surgery. She has a lump on her bottom that has to be removed. We have to keep our fingers crossed that it isn't cancer. We just lost Buster a few months ago because of cancer.

Well our night wasn't over yet, Christopher and I made our way up to Lassiter to watch the baseball team play Parkview. Awesome win in extra innings.

It seems everyone wants to get in on having surgery. This past Friday night after the lacrosse game, I had to take Davis to Piedmont Hospital. He ended up being admitted and having surgery Saturday morning. What's the saying, things always happen in threes.

Davis has done well, his surgery lasted just a little over an hours and a half. They transported him back to his room after a short stay in the recovery room. Everyone treated him so well. Thank you to all the wonderful folks at Piedmont. He is just going to have to miss a couple weeks of lacrosse, he isn't to happy about that, but he doesn't want to go through that pain again.

For all of you that don't know, I am starting back to work on Monday March 16th, I have been home with Christopher for 2 years now. He continues to amaze us with his strength and determination.

I just heard from Lola's vet, unfortunately it isn't good news, her pathology results came back and the tumor they removed is cancerous and the prognosis is not good. She is such a sweet dog.

March is not starting out well, please keep our family in your prayers.

Monday, March 2, 2015

End of Feburary 2015

This past week I received a call from Karyn Parker, the mother of one of Christopher's friends from Lassiter, Chloe. Karyn has a close friend Ann, who is a speech therapist who would like to work with Christopher. Ann, we are so excited and grateful.

He needs as much stimulation as possible, especially where it comes to speech. There are times when he seems shy about trying to speak. He'll shake his head no instead of trying, like he is embarrassed because the words won't come. We can't wait to hear him talk, I know he is bursting to say something, anything.

Friday afternoon Christopher had his scheduled neuro-feedback session. Once again we were watching the video Cars2. You could tell He was much more comfortable and focused.

At the end of each session Ryan always shows us the track graph of Christopher's brainwaves. She explained that Christopher's session was the best performance so far. She also pointed out you would see very little difference in his scan if compared to a scan from someone not subjected to a head injury.

This next week the plan is to move the training focus to the frontal lobes of the brain, plays a huge role in controlling speech. Looking forward to more surprises to come.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Feburary 25, 2015

Today we started a Go Fund Me campaign (Christopher's Therapy Expense Fund) to help offset Christopher's medical and therapy expenses. This is one of the hardest thing we have had to do. We have been so blessed by the continued outpouring of support, both emotional and physical from all of our friends and the Lassiter community.

Over the past three years with the implementation of the healthcare reforms, we like many others have been hit very hard. Our premiums increased while the benefits seem to disappear. Many of the needed therapy programs are either no longer covered or out of network, so they must be paid out of pocket.

Any donations that are made will go to offset the expenses incurred for Christopher's therapy and medical bills. Our thanks to all of you, for your kind words, thoughts, prayers and ongoing support. We love you, Christopher is here because of your love for him.

God has a plan, whether it is the smiles or the hugs he shares, he will touch your heart. If you could see him in action at Publix, you'd know, he is spreading the love.

Do you think he's excited?
Christopher just received a package from a friend in Australia with swag from the St Kilda Saints, an Aussie Rules Football Team from Melbourne. Thanks Scottie.

Early February 2015

Christopher has been participating in the neuro-feedback therapy now since mid January. It is hard to say if we have seen any big changes at this point. However we have noticed some subtle changes in his writing and his ability to focus. This is definitely encouraging. While watching him during the sessions, it is hard to understand the process.

After Ryan, who is the technician, places the electrodes on his head, Christopher watches a video. At the moment it is Cars2. He loves it. Ryan is monitoring the brainwaves as he watches the video. When Christopher first started he was all over the chart, but over the past few sessions everything is becoming more controlled, his brainwaves are flattening out and they are tracking closer to where they should be.

Christopher has a couple more sessions before they will start moving the electrodes to target the frontal lobes of his brain. This area of the brain maintains controls of your verbal and non-verbal communication skills, your positive and negative emotions and has a lot to do with balance and motor skills. It is very possible we could see or hear improvement in Christopher going forward.

We have had a follow-up meeting with Dr. Jeff Carney, he is the surgeon that did the initial repair to Christopher's bladder. We have scheduled him for the hopefully final surgery to remove scar tissue and open any strictures they may find. If all goes well they will remove his catheter. Which will complete another milestone in his recovery.

After talking with Dr. Seiler we are waiting to see if there is any improvement to Christopher's arm associated with the neuro-feedback. Keep the prayers coming, hopefully this could keep him from having surgery on his arm and wrist. Fingers crossed.