Our Journey To Recovery

Our Journey To Recovery

Monday, November 3, 2014

October 2014

Well we have had the Pre-op visit so we are just a few days away from surgery. Everyone has been very nice, can't wait to get this over with. Really hoping this is going to help Christopher's stability when standing and walking. I know after the surgical pain has worn off he will not have as much ongoing pain in that knee.
Waiting in pre-op, what a smile.
Surgery went great, Dr. Oskouei informed us he removed a large amount of the bone formation from around the joint. He was very satisfied with the added range of motion they were able to obtain in Christopher's knee. Christopher has twenty three staples in an incise down the front of his knee. They have placed a drain to help relieve any buildup of fluid on the knee over the next week.

He is to start back walking as soon as possible. Full weight bearing as tolerated. He is doing fantastic.


September 2014

Strutting his stuff at the pool
Thanks Virginia for the new shoes, he loves them





















On the sidelines, Lassiter Football

Getting a fill-up at Shepherd Center











Christopher was scheduled for his knee surgery this month but we had to postpone it until next month. We are in the process of changing insurance providers. Surgery posted for Oct. 2nd at the Emory Ortho Spine Center with Dr. Shervin Oskouei.
 
Standing tall, looking for something to eat in the kitchen at the lake.


August 2014

August is starting out pretty great, we were invited to the Atlanta Falcons training camp, where we received the royal treatment, many thanks to Authur Blank and Angie Macuga for their wonderful hospitality. We spent time with the players on and off the field and we were given a special tour of the facilities with Angie and Mr. Blank as our guides. What a day topped off with dinner with the players and our hosts.
Here we are being followed by the Hard Knocks film crew, with Angie hanging off the back.

Christopher enjoying the ride
Julio Jones in the dining facilities

WHAT A DAY

As we were riding around on the field, Mr Blank introduced us to several of the players and coaches. Coach Smith and Gary Zingler played football together at East Tennessee State. So Coach Smith asked us to give Gary a big hello.

Christopher kept pointing up on the hillside as we were riding on the field. Mr Blank asked Christopher several times if he knew someone there, I kept saying no, but low and behold, here comes Spencer Roush and several other friends of Christopher running down the hill to say hello. Definitely nothing wrong with his eyesight. Mr Blank had them hop the fence and invited them to come sit with us in the VIP section. Wow, Unreal!

As we sat with Angie and Mr Blank at dinner, Christopher was presented with a Matt Ryan signed jersey,  then one by one the players came to introduce themselves and sign the Falcons helmet which was given to Christopher.

We were overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone. Angie's daughter is in school with Davis at Lassiter and they have been following Christopher and his story. We are so thankful for their invitation and hospitality.

Angie and Mr Blank saw the news cast of Christopher during the Lassiter spring football game and wanted to do something special for him and our family. Well they certainly exceeded any dreams we may have had. We have also been invited to one of the home games at the Georgia Dome, we are looking forward to that.
Christopher trying to drive off in the indoor practice facility
Couldn't stand it, he had to try it on.
We have been busy since returning from Australia, Christopher has started horseback riding (hippotherapy) with Bethany, at BEATS.
Hold on tight
Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzales

Tyler at one of Christopher's pool sessions, Jeanne is Tyler's aunt.
Little mishap on the way to the showers this morning, 3 stitches later still smiling

Newest addition to the family, Lola
The boys
Put me in coach, I can do it.


"Back to the Real World" Marietta, Georgia, Home Sweet Home

Back home, all is well with the world, Jake still alive and happy to see us home. Thanks Robert for looking after Jake while we were away.

Coleman picked us up at the airport Saturday night, it was so nice to be able to sleep in our own beds. Christopher was amazing on the trip no problems getting in or out of the planes or the airports, what a trooper.

Not sure what our next adventure will be, whatever it is I am sure he will be up for it.

This Sunday Christopher's youth choir from our church had a reunion performance, Christopher sat in the back row with Coleman, lip syncing just like old times.
Thanks Connie for helping Coleman with Christopher
He was so happy to see everyone, he loves all the attention, especially from the girls. Connie thank you for sitting with him and Coleman and keeping him occupied. I know he loved it.

It didn't take long to get back into the swing of things. Cathy and Gary picked up right where they left off. Gary had Christopher back at Walmart in the motorized shopping cart terrorizing the other customers.

Safety first, got to love the helmet.
 Life is good, we are so thankful to have friends, neighbors and such a wonderful community. We are blessed. Without your constant support I know we wouldn't be anywhere close to where we are today with Christopher's recovery. Thank you all so much.

Sending out wishes for a Happy Birthday to Charlotte back in Sydney, Australia

Second half of the Australian trip July 2014

We made it back to the house without incident, we were a little weary after the trip but we had a great time.
Back at the house in plenty of time for some refreshments.
We want to thank Lesley and Peter Alway for the use of the house in Queenscliff, we had a wonderful time.
We arrived back in Melbourne late Sunday night, we stopped to do a bit of shopping on the way back. Coleman was looking for some souvenirs to take home. He flies back on Tuesday, he has a football camp with the Sprayberry team.
Coleman heading home
Are next couple of days were spent catching up with friends and family, we had a lovely dinner with Debbie's nephew Stuart and his family.

Wednesday night we went into Melbourne where we met Charlotte and her mom Jenny for dinner. They flew in from Sydney to see Christopher.

Wednesday night in Melbourne
We were lucky enough to have some pretty nice weather the next day and were able to meet downtown for some shopping and lunch. Jenny and Charlotte were flying back to Sydney the next day we met them on the way to the airport for coffee to say our goodbyes. Hope to see them this winter for some skiing. Thank y'all for coming to see Christopher he loved seeing you.

Friday morning local cafe for coffee.
Nana, I've grown, I don't fit on the couch any more
Just a little snooze before lunch. Christopher has done so well on the trip. we are trying to wean him from the wheelchair so he has been walking a lot more than before. The afternoon nap is very unusual for him, but well deserved.

We only have a couple more days in Melbourne before we fly home. We had dinner with Sandra and Alex at a Mediterranean restaurant last night, great food, but it was so cold and windy.

The thought of having to get back on the plane for twenty some hours is not very appealing. But it will be good to get home.


Waiting in the airport
Looking for something else to eat


Monday, September 15, 2014

The Great Ocean Road and more, Australia 2014

Our stay at Queenscliff has been very restful. We have been battling the cold wet southern Victoria winter weather, but it keeps us hopeful with the sun breaking through every once in a while.

Fort Queenscliff
Looking towards Point Lonsdale and the third lighthouse.
The Black Lighthouse located inside Fort Queenscliff
Sunrise over the Bay

WWII gun emplacement and the White Lighthouse
The crew in the observation tower.














Queenscliff is at the opening of Port Phillip Bay just to the east of Torquay

We soon started on our trip along the Great Ocean Road stopping for lunch along the way. One of my first trips here was with Debbie and Christopher in 1996. Christopher was two and a half years old. We had almost the same exact weather. A little sunshine mixed with a bit of cold rain just to keep us alert.

We started out with some beautiful weather, enjoying the sunshine, most of the day. We were traveling in two vehicles, the girls, Debbie, her mum, Vickie and Sandra in Sandra's car. Christopher, Davis, Coleman, Allen and myself in the van.

We intended on this being a day trip out to Port Campbell to see the Twelve Apostles, stopping along the way at several other sites like Bells Beach, the Loch Ard Gorge and Apollo Bay. If I remember correctly we had lunch in Anglesea, at a beautiful little Asian Fusion restaurant. We parked along the beach road and sat at the tables outside, under the gas heaters.

Lunch time getting Christopher's order

It was beautiful looking out at the water. After lunch while walking back towards the car we did a little shopping in the local shops and then decided to have some ice cream before heading on. Not sure that was a good idea, putting ice cream on top of asian noodles.

Christopher's tummy sure didn't think it was. the combination of foods and the winding ocean road soon had us stopping to clean up a mess. Luckily we had a change of clothes for Christopher. Little did we know at the time we would soon be stopping to buy him a shirt and another pair of sweat pants. The roads was doing a number on him.

Well with the frequent stops and added shopping we were running out of daylight and we still hadn't made it to see the Twelve Apostles. After one more stop we finally made it to Port Campbell but the sun was already setting, so we decided to find a place to stay the night and try again the next day.

She's a beaut mate! Hey, it is clean and the people were friendly.

The girls found us three rooms at the the Twelve Apostles Motel & Country Retreat, Christopher was ready for a shower and bed. Oh, he did somehow find the strength to eat several pieces of pizza before retiring to bed. He was quick to recover from the ill effects of the road and had plenty of room for something to eat.

Anxiously waiting for breakfast. I have to say it was worth the wait!
12 Rocks Cafe and Beach Bar Port Campbell Australia















We started off the next morning with breakfast in Port Campbell, we sat there long enough for a monsoon storm to pass by before heading out to see the Twelve Apostles. Just a few miles back up the road, past where we spent the night, is the entrance to the Twelve Apostles site.
Wish I could take credit for this picture, breathtaking colors!












This is an amazing site to see, there are only 8 remaining rock formations, the southern ocean has taken it's toll on the others. We were lucky enough to be able to miss the storms in the area to see everything, without getting wet. I was able to get some great shots with the rainbows over the water.


Christopher striking a pose.
 
The rain is coming in again. Time to head back.
The rock formations stand as high as 45 meters (nearly 150 feet), the surrounding cliffs reach 70 meters, (over 200 feet). Over the years this has been one of the most treacherous sections of shoreline in Australia, with many shipwrecks and lost lives.

To keep ourselves safe and Princess Vom Vom in good health, we are heading back to Queenscliff via the main highway. Should be a little straighter road and less likely to cause Barfarella any issues. We love you Christopher, but the car stinks and we are out of paper towels!

Friday, September 12, 2014

First part of our trip to Australia, July 2014

Christopher rocking his headphones, waiting for the flight attendant to bring more snacks.
Christopher did extremely well on each of the flights over. Air New Zealand has a new design on their international aircraft. called a "Sky Couch". Debbie was able to book it on her flight over and was very comfortable.
This what they look like.
The dream scenario, as, in your dreams!










Great concept, only Debbie is 5'10", she fit comfortably over the three seats. Try fitting two grown men in that same space. Christopher is 6'3" with no flexibility and I'm 6'1" and old as the hills, needless to say we didn't spoon well together.

I wish I could have gotten a photo, but we were so crammed in together I couldn't get my phone out of my pocket to take a picture. Davis and Coleman were sound asleep several rows back.

We have rented a van for our stay Debbie picked it up earlier before meeting us at the airport. So after we landed, cleared customs and did our meet and greets at the terminal we headed to Nana's house, (Deb's Mum).

Our first day or so was spent  just getting acclimated to the time difference. Some of us adjusted quicker than others.

Davis and Coleman down for the count.
Once we were finally able to get everyone revived we bundled up and headed out to see the sites. We tried to go to the Melbourne Vic Market but it was closed, unfortunately so was every other market we tried. So we just headed down to St. Kilda to the shore.

Standing in front of one of the Melbourne Trolleys
Luna Park built in 1912 fashioned after the Luna Park at Coney Island in New York built in 1903. Many of the same builders were used design and construct the Roller Coaster, Carousel and several other rides.






The weather was a little blustery, we left 90 degrees in Atlanta and got hit with 48 degrees in Melbourne. Just a little cool and wet. But we were making the best of it. We had a great time seeing the site. We soon headed home, we had plans for dinner that night with Sandi, Alex, Vickie, Allen, Katie and stead stream of visitors. Alex had been preparing all afternoon. What a great evening.

The next day we had made plans to see one of the wildlife parks just north of Melbourne and then head down to the beach at Queenscliff where we were going to stay for the next several days while making day trips from there. Vickie's sister Leslie has a cute little cottage there and graciously let us stay there.
Two brave souls in the wild.


The Queenscliff White Lighthouse
Deb, Christopher, Sandi and Nana
Christopher amusing his Nana.
Buds waiting on donuts.
Deb, Christopher and Nana overlooking city and marina.
This was such a beautiful day site seeing around town. we are planning to head down the Great Ocean Road tomorrow. It has some of the most beautiful scenery you will every see.