Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Leaning on my Jesus...


I get the privelege of reading the Bible to Ben and doing devotions with him on the nights that I am here! This is the time when I move him over and lay next to him. He for sure keeps my warm but likes to hog all the room. This is okay with me because I get to be close to my man! Most of the time Ben sleeps but I know he still hears all that I read and say to him.
We started reading in Hebrews this week and last night we read Heb. 2 and a verse that stuck out to me was verse 18. It says, "Since He Himself has gone through suffering and testing, He is able to help us when we are being tested!" Wow...what an amazing verse and reminder of all that Jesus has been through and done for us. There is not one thing that Ben and I have been through that Jesus doesn't know about or how to handle it! Talk about the suffering and testing that Jesus has been through. He was criticized, beaten, scoffed, cheated, hung on a cross and many more things. Plus the greatest thing is that Jesus took all of our sins....now that is way more then Ben and I could ever do or go through! If He can go through all of that then surely Ben and I can continue on this journey and lean on Him for all things! The second part of the verse says that He is able to help us when we are tested. This journey that Ben and I are on is sure a HUGE test to alot of things in my life! Test of faith, courage, sacrifices, love, passion, fear, being alone, wisdom and so many other things that I have been through. The true test is what am I going to do with all this testing? Am I going to lean on Jesus and allow Him to help me because He is the one who has been through it and knows me inside and out or am I going to rely on myself and come to find out that if I do it on my own it will all fall to shambles. Some days in my own selfishness I want/think that I can do things on my own....and what do I get...lonliness, heartache, pooped out and not much! But when I put my hope in my Jesus and lean on Him when I am tested it is a whole different story...faith is built, love is there, strength is built, and Jesus is shining in me! When I look to my Jesus it makes this road easier and full of life! Of course there are some days when I don't want to but I choose to! The benefits to choosing Jesus each day are so much better then going the other direction!

Jesus says to me....and when He hears me sing, He will bend down with a smile on His kind face. As He cheerfully listens to me, He will say, "Sing on, dear child. I hear you and I am coming to deliver you. I will carry that load for you. So just lean hard on Me, and the road will get smoother by and by!!"

Just a little look into our devos the past few nights!

***Please keep our hospital neighbor Ty in your prayers tonight. He was sent to the ICU for some complications and then off for some emergency surgery! Please keep him, his wife, 3 lil boys and family in your prayers!!***

Monday, December 28, 2009

I'm back to a regular schedule...


(Ben and our niece Kyla...a few years ago)
I just got done giving Ben a razor shave and good tooth brushing and I did so well that he is now sleeping! Off to blogging I go! Ok, so like said above I am back to a regular schedule (somewhat) after running around like crazy the past few weeks! It has been tons of fun seeing all my family and some wonderful friends back in WA when I was there for a few days and then my parents and 2 lil bros for Christmas! Time has gone by quick and there have been some early mornings and late evenings!
On Christmas day we traveled back to my house and had some fun there with my family. We all slept in on Sat and that afternoon I got a few things done while Dad took Ben's truck to get the tires rotated and balanced. That evening we went to our good friends the Webbs for dinner and fun! Little did we know that we would play Phase 10 for hours! I will not comment on who cheated in the game to get it over with...I think we all contributed! It was a fun night overall! On Sunday we went to church and were all blessed! Later that afternoon we headed back up to Atlanta to take my lil bros to the airport. I then got to see Ben and love on him for a bit before crashing into my bed!
So, today is Monday! My parents rented a car and took off to Savannah, GA for a few days. I hear it is a wonderful place to visit and Ben and I will go there some day!
Ben has been doing well. Let me go back to the entry about the Baclofen pump trial. Ben muscles responded well to it and he was all loosey goosey! The down side is that he was very drowsy with it. At this point they have decided not to surgically insert the pump due to it making him so sleepy. It did I think give him a boost to at least realize those muscles were still there and Ben has been trying to do a few more things. His latest thing is reaching his arm up to rub his eyes and itch his nose! Oh he loves to itch his nose!
Ben continues to sip on water and juice and eat some applesauce, pudding and so on. He is doing well with moving his tongue around and swallowing well! They did a swallow eval on him and found that he can continue to have thin liquids and pureed foods but when they gave him some chopped peaches (which he loves) he swallowed them but would pocket them down his throat but way to close to his airway! So mashed bananas it is!
An update on where Ben goes next...I found a facility in WA that I liked and that I believe will be good for Ben and his continuing of impatient rehab. It is close to home and will give him what he needs in this next phase. I am still waiting on reports back from one in northern Cali as that is an option as well. The facility in WA will be looking into Ben's information the beginning of the year so until that point we are enjoying our time here. I will give you info as I get it!
Overall Ben continues to improve slowly but for sure surely! He amazes me with how strong and determined he is! I know that the Lord helps in everyday and Ben is communicating with Him everyday! Ben has it in him to get better but sometimes his brain is just not allowing him to do it yet or it is just moving slower then Ben wants! With the Lord Ben will get there!

Prayer points:
1. Consistancy for Ben in yes/no answers and in following commands
2. Seizures to be controlled (had to add a 3rd medication d/t 2 small sz on last scan)
3. Muscles to relax so Ben can use them all more! We need loose muscles!!
4. Speech...this would be amazing for Ben to do at this point!
5. Direction on his next step and where we are to go next...WISDOM!
6. Ty (our friend/patient 2 doors down) was taken to the ICU today for some complications...please pray for him and his family!
7. Strength to continue on this journey that we are on!

I will leave you with this! I got a text from a friend today that said this..."In 2010, complete healing for Ben!!" This is going up in Ben's room and will be in my heart and prayers!

Love you all!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all...

We just wanted to write you all a quick blog to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!! We are truly blessed to have you all in our lives! We appreciate your prayers, encouragement, wisdom and love! God has truly given us many blessings and we are grateful for them all!
Christmas morning was a good one for us! I got up to Ben's room a bit before everyone else and got him ready for the day! I read the Christmas story to Ben and we had a little alone time together. My family and Ben's sister and her husband showed up and we went around the room saying what we were thankful for!
Santa showed up in Ben's room last night and left us some goodies! Ben pulled off bows, ripped some paper and stayed awake and attentive the whole time! I am so proud of my man! He did get sleep toward the end so we put him down for a rest and we went down for a free lunch that the cafeteria put on for all the families to have!!
I pray that you all are having a wonderful day and thanking our Jesus for all of the blessings that He has given to you! May you be blessed and your hearts be Merry!
I am posting a photo of Ben kissing my cheek last summer and one that was taken of him kissing my cheek this past Thanksgiving!! I love my Ben so much....and he is still faithful to give me the kisses I need!!
Love you all!!
Ben and Katie

(Last summer)

(Thanksgiving 2009!!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Boo to the virus...

Hi all -
I am back in the good ole south and with my man!
I missed him so much while I was gone!
My trip back to WA went well and I will be
updating soon with info.
Like in the last blog our house was broken into
and then yesterday I got a virus on my computer
so I cannot do anything on it. My computer needs
to be thrown out the window and replaced but for
now I will choose to just go with the flow! I am
using a computer at the hospital and have a limit
of 30 min. I will get a longer update on here when
I have a bit more time!
Please bare with me and all my craziness that
is taking place in our lives! Please continue
to pray for wisdom, strength, and complete healing for Ben!!
Love you all!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Short update...


Ben got his baclofen pump trial started on Monday and on Tuesday he was showing good signs of better muscle relaxing. The only thing was is that Ben got more drowsy with them introducing a new med to his system. He still was able to do his rehabs, eat more banana and all but he was falling asleep in between! I was not able to call up today to see how he was on day shift due to being in an airplane! See below!
As, some of you may know I am making a quick, last minute trip back to WA. I am needing a backup plan for when Ben is discharged from Shepherds. I will be touring a few places on Thursday and Friday with my mom. PLEASE pray that the Lord will guide my steps and give me wisdom to make a decision! It is weighing heavy on my shoulders because I want to make the best decision for Ben and also have a bit of family support for myself! More on this to come later...have some time still but just needed to get working on it.
Soon after I arrived in WA today my neighbor called and told me that our has had been broken into while I was gone. They got a few things that they wanted but left the rest of the house alone. All the appropriate phone calls have been made but my sense of security in my house for when I go home is now tainted! Please pray that they Lord continue to look out for our home and all that is in it that the Lord has blessed us with!
Might be a few days until I can blog again but please continue to pray for us...good and hard! The Lord is with us and says He will not give us more then we can handle but at the same time I am handling a lot right now! Trying to remain strong and trusting the Lord!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

From milkshakes to bananas...

I have a lot to blog about and realized I have not updated ya’ll since Tuesday! It has been a busy week and full of new things and good times!

Tuesday - I did update a little bit but I will continue on from that evening! Ben and I went on a “double date” with our new neighbors two doors down Ty and Karen. I had mentioned in an earlier blog that Ty was hit by a car while riding his bike! We have become good neighbors at the hospital and it is fun to spend time with them! We started off by going down this long hallway that is painted like a rain forest with several jungle animals. Then it was off to try and play some pool and ping-pong. Ben slept through most of this but he had a good tiring day of therapy! We were then off to the gym in Shepherds! They were having their basketball practice at the time! These girls and guys are amazing! All were in wheelchairs and some were without legs, some without arms and one man without legs and arms only past the elbow! They were all amazing in their basketball skills! What was even more fun is what they could do with their chairs! If you put me in one I would probably tip over! When we got to the gym Ben’s eyes popped open and he followed them all over the gym with his eyes! I am sure he loved all the roughness and men shouting!! Ben and I are planning more trips to the gym for not only basketball practice but for rugby in wheelchairs on Mondays!!

Wednesday – Today was an exciting day for Ben! This was his first day on the Locomat! It is a Robot Assisted Walking machine! I have posted a photo below of the machine and a short clip of Ben on it! He did a really good job for his first time and went a heafty 15 min! The monitor showed that he was contributing a little bit and that was obviously a good thing for his first time! They usually walk them slow but the tech made him walk faster then the normal patient! It was so fun to watch him upright and walking…even if it was all assisted! Later on that day we thought we would try Ben at eating a banana! We (me and his speech therapist) peeled him a banana and gave it to him to see what he would do with it! Ben raised it to his mouth and took a HUGE bite! We were not thinking he would take that big of a bite and I got a bit apprehensive about what he would do with it! Ben took that bite, chewed it and swallowed it perfectly! He took a few more with no problem at all! Ben did amazing with that banana and I am sure that it tasted so good to him!! Later that day I took him outside for some fresh air and good 70 degree weather! I couldn’t the day before because it was in the 40’s and raining! We went a to a quite place in the garden and I grabbed Ben’s hand and we had a good prayer time together! It was a peaceful time for both of us!

Thursday – Ben was sleepy today! He was probably worn out from his walking adventure the day before! In spite of his sleepiness Ben still worked very hard! Ben has his usual therapies and rested in between! Of course that night Survivor was on so I snuggled up in bed with Ben, like I do every night, (he is a bed hog) and we watched it.

Friday – Today was going to be Ben’s second day on the Locomat! He was a bit sleepy at first due to some unexpected meds that he got in the early morning. He slept as they harnessed him up but after a few minutes of getting him to walk Ben popped his eyes open and showed his he was ready! Today he went for over 30 minutes and walked a mile!! To walk a mile is huge in his case! He stayed awake the whole time and did better then he had done the first time! Ben continues to amaze me with his determination and strength to continue on!! I know the Lord gives it to Ben and for that I am grateful!

For me this week has been full of emotions! Lots of ups and some downs but in it all the Lord brought me through another week that was full of amazing miracles! I don’t look at the things that Ben does as little or big miracles! I see them all as HUGE miracles! Taking a bite, chewing and swallowing a banana is a HUGE miracle from Jesus in my eyes! Walking with robotic assistance is a HUGE miracle! Puckering up his lips and Ben giving me kisses is a HUGE miracle! All of these things are such a huge blessing to me and Ben! There is a scripture in Isaiah that says, "You were tired out by the length of your road, Yet you did not say, `It is hopeless.' You found renewed strength, Therefore you did not faint.” This is exactly what the Lord does for me! When I am tired, pooped out, want to be by myself all day the Lord comes along side me and Ben and says this is not a hopeless situation that you are in…I (Jesus) will renew your strength and you will have hope and the strength not to faint but to move forward in My strength! The things the Lord has taught me so far on this journey cannot even be counted on my hands! In it all He continues to be with us and shower us with His blessings!!

Prayer points:
1.Consistency in Ben’s therapies with following commands, using functional objects and answering yes/no questions! Consistency is a huge factor in Ben’s recovery!
2.Seizures would remain controlled
3.Body strength…use of arms, legs, torso strength, walking….
4.Baclofen pump trial is tomorrow (Mon) please pray there is a significant improvement with the relaxation of his muscles and more movement!
5.Continued strength and wisdom for me!
Thank you for all your continued prayers, support and love!! It is a huge blessing and much appreciated! Katie



(Photo above is the Locomat before Ben is in it. Video is sideways...sorry!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Laughter...


"Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever.Great stories. But two things made me take it down. First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by. Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn't take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard."

In our difficult situation I have found that it is good to laugh and this made me howl with laughter! I just wish I had thought of it!! I was sent this and just had to send it along! Hopefully it will make your day like it did mine!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We keep on truckin...


Back up to see Ben yesterday! He is looking good and had his eyes open wide to greet me! Today he had some great therapy sessions and he was trying so hard to do things but easier said then done! He continues to be very strong and pushes forward!
Like in the last blog his last seizure monitoring session showed no seizure activity! Ben's blood levels for medication he is on were at good levels as well. He went again this afternoon for a follow up EEG just to make sure things are still under control after the weekend.
Ben is scheduled to get on a tread-mill tomorrow morning. His upper body will be supported but they are hoping for him to catch onto the movement of the treadmill. This should be interesting and I am praying that he will do well!! I think that he will do it two times this week so we will see how it goes!
Early next week they are going to possibly give him a trial on a Baclofen pump. This is a muscle relaxant med that will be in his system at all times. It is better because it has less side effects and is less sedative. His muscles in some areas of his body are still so tight so it limits what Ben can and cannot do. It is a pump that can be put in and then be taken out when needed. I will keep you informed on what goes on.
They say here as therapists that speech is usually the last thing that comes to a patient with a traumatic brain injury. I have been praying over Ben that this will be soon to come! Just because it is said to be one of the last things doesn't mean that Jesus couldn't bring it to Ben earlier! He is moving his tongue more and more and trying to get some sounds out. When he gets his voice it will not only be so wonderful to communicate with him on my own but just so that cognitively his therapists can work with him! Ben probably gets tired of me being in his face having him try and say "O", "A", "Ooooo" and any other sound that he can get out! One day he is going to do it and I am going to faint because you know that Ben is going to surprise me with it!!
I am excited because my 2 lil bros (Sam and Ben) and my parents will be coming for Christmas!! Brothers will stay for 5 days and my parents for 2 weeks! I am excited to see them and have them here to spend Christmas with!!
Of course more updates to come as the week goes by!!
Love you all!!
So, PLEASE PRAY FOR SPEECH!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A great day...



So, the big 30 above signifies me turning 30 yesterday! Yes, I have crossed over into the other side! I didn't wake up with any grey hairs or to anything drooping so that was good! I had a very good day and so did Ben!
Ben had most of his therapies in the morning so during all those therapies (1.5 hours) they had him in a standing frame. This stands him up but fully supports his body! He tolerated it very well. Usually they only put him in it for 30 min. He had some more applesauce and water and also chewed on some ice chips!
Before I left for home yesterday I was working with Ben a little bit on some sign language. We did the alphabet two times and he did really well with trying to make all the letters! Best birthday gift was when I taught Ben I Love You in sign language and he did it two times with me! When it came to signing You he pointed right at me noth those times! I was one happy lady!
On Thursday Ben had another seizure test and when I was getting ready for a lil gathering last night his doc called me and said that there was again NO seizure activity and it was the best one that they had seen! Praise the Lord!!!! They are still going to follow them very closely! Ben was unable to jump into the next level of rehab this past week due to the seizures so we will see what this next week brings us. I am fine with this because these seizures need to be stopped and controled!
I decorated Ben's room a bit for Christmas (pics to follow) and also started on my sewing projects. Ben watches me do everything and takes naps to the sound of my sewing machine!! Hmmmm...wondering if he likes it or falls asleep because he is wishing I would just be quite! :)
It was a busy week with Ben's therapies, sewing, decorating, visitors, a great lil b-day party last night and just plain ole good times with Ben!
The Lord is with us, sees our fears, our sorrow, our joy, our shouts of praise and our hearts! He has never left or forsaken Ben and I and when I feel down I know who I can turn to and who can be our solid rock! When I have good days and bad days I still continue to praise Him!
Love you all!! More updates to come!!

Katie
benandkatierye@hotmail.com

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Prayer please...

Ben had another seizure test yesterday and at the very end of his hour test he had three small seizures! Again IV meds were started today. He will get 1-2 doses and then switch to the oral route 3 times a day. They will do another test the end of this week. Please pray that these seizures will be controlled because they affect his therapy times and how much he is able to do. They need these to stop so that Ben can step up to the next rehab program!
Please pray that this is all taken care of and Ben's next test will be negative!!!!
Love you all!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Last few days...


Oh the last few days...they have been interesting!
I blogged a bit about Wed and how Ben got his milkshake! He loved it and will be getting more soon! Also on Wed Ben was put on a long table that he could do squats on. Ask any guy he knows how Ben has such massive thighs it would be from squats and road biking! Ben did good for his first time...had to have help getting bending his knees and then some to straighten his legs. You could see his muscles working and his face was very intense!
Wednesday we were invited by our "new neighbors" two doors down from Ben to have a pre-Thanksgiving meal. I have been following their updates online and they came to Shepherds last week! Ty was out riding his road bike early Aug and got hit from behind by a car. Little did we know until we met that he was in the ICU when Ben and and I were there! Ty and Karen (his wife) only live about 30 min from our home, they have 3 adorable little boys and are a strong Christian family! So, we got Ben out of bed and we headed down to a room where Ty's family had set up a feast! They invited us in with open arms. Ben was looking all around and watching the little kids as they were moving around. It has been a huge blessing to have them in our lives. Please keep Ty and Karen in your prayers as they are dealing with Ty's brain injury too. I know one day Ty and Ben will get on their road bikes and ride for miles together...what a ministry they could have! Brain injury bikers...survivors due to the healing of Jesus!!
Thursday..Thanksgiving brought turkey bingo in the rehab room and a turkey hunt! Ben missed out on all the fun and slept through the whole thing! I think he planned it because he thought it was cheesy and would rather play football! It is hilarious because that is the only time that he slept that day! We watched a bit of the Macy's day parade, hung out and I snuggled with him. In the afternoon I bundled Ben up in a blanket and took him outside! It was a perfect fall day...sunny and crisp air! Ty, Karen and their family was out so after taking Ben around the garden a few times we chatted with them for a bit. Ben's eyes were huge watching the kids play football. His eyes followed them everywhere!
Thursday afternoon was not the best for me. I think once all the activity settled down and Ben was resting it hit me that it was Thanksgiving...our first one while on this journey and prayerfully our last. I of course snuggled in bed with my man and cryed on his shoulder. After I was done I thought I would try and help Ben to give me a hug...that just made me laugh. Ben was probably thinking I was a crazy lady! I got up from where I was sitting to go to the other side of the bed...when I did he raised his arm so I went to sit on the other side to see what he wanted. He reached out and grabbed the vest I was wearing and pulled me close to his face! He just layed there, holding my jacket and staring into my eyes. Of course I started bawling againg and told him I loved him and that everything was ok! When I went to stand up he gripped harder on my jacket so I sat with my man for awhile and held tight onto his hand! He melted my heart and the Lord knew just what I needed in that moment!
Friday we were back into the swing of things and back to all 3 of his therapies! Ben did great in speech and tried to mouth a few words. He also had some more juice which he slurped down. In OT he got a cast to his right arm. He has been keeping it in a bent position and do they are casting it in a straight position for a few days to loosen it up a bit. Ben was put back on the squating table and this time he did alot better on it. He needed a little help bending his knees but he did an amazing job pushing back up! I came back that afternoon to rest and get refreshed for another week!
This next week I plan on working on a quilt I have started and start decorating Ben's room for Christmas...it is our new living room!!
Love you all!!

Prayer points:
1. Still need to see consistancy in yes/no answers, following commands and use of objects.
2. Seizures to remain under control and that his meds would not sedate him
3. Ben would show that he could do rehab for 3 hours a day
4. Strengthed torso, neck, arms and legs
5. Prayers for Ty and Karen and their family
6. 100% healing!

If you are going to send Christmas cards please send them to the house and not to Shepherds! There will be a ton of mail coming through and I don't want anything to get lost! Also I love your comments, e-mails, and cards of prayers and encouragement...keep em coming...they help me to move forward!
Address:
229 Lee Road 2140
Phenix City, AL 36870
benandkatierye@hotmail.com

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our family and friends!
Ben and I have so much to be thankful for and it does
not stop after today! Our thankfulness to the Lord will
go on for many days! Jesus has saved our lives in a
physical and spiritual way!
We love you all!!

PS...I was looking for a good laugh and found it in
these cartoons! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Our God is an AWESOME God...


Yesterday I left for Atlanta a bit earlier then normal and so I was a lil drowsy for the ride! I don't usually listen to gospel music but I had a CD in Ben's truck that someone had given to us. I decided to listen to it all the way through. It was good for my spirit and soul. I was shouting praises, raising my hands and giving glory to God. I am sure that I looked pretty crazy to those driving around me but I was having a liberating and joyful time with the Lord in Ben's huge truck!

I got to the hospital and one of Ben's neuro psychologist was in the hallway on his floor. When she saw me she told me that Ben had a very good day on Monday! Ben's seizure test came back NEGATIVE for seizure activity and he was much more responsive! I was able to be in his Speech Therapy session and he was answering some yes/no questions by using his fingers! Ben was also following more commands and just looked more alert then he had been in some time! I was overjoyed and tears were coming to my eyes! God is so good!
So, I talked to his doc today and he is going to reduce his seizure medication from 3doses a day to one dose at night! He also my increase one of his stimulant meds next week as well! He will get another seizure test early next week to make sure that we are still moving forward! Ben's doc was very happy with what Ben is and his hoping that Ben will continually progress now that his seizures are controlled!
Ben got to have some vanilla milkshake today! He slurped about 5 bites down and then was pretty much done! He usually takes a little time to swallow things but with the milkshake he wasted no time in swallowing it! He has some leftover so I plan on giving him more throughout the day!
I am so proud of Ben! He is working so hard to come out of this...you can see it in his face and muscles that he is working! The Lord continues to amaze me and I thank Him everyday (good and bad) for His mighty hand that is on our lives! God is good!

Prayer points:
~Ben would still continue to follow commands consistantly!
~He would continue to give yes/no answers consistantly!
~Seizure will remain controlled and stopped!
~His muscles in his arms, legs, and neck would continue to relax and loosen so that Ben can use them in the way that he needs to.
~100% healing!!! Believing for it even if it takes longer then we want!
~That I would have the strength and courage to endure
~People would come to know Jesus through our journey!

Love you all!!
Katie

benandkatierye@hotmail.com

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ben salutes...

(4th of July with our neighbors and their adorable dogs!)

Well, friends and family, Ben and I have been at this for 12 weeks! I have seen frustration, anger, heartbreak, joy, love, bad days, blessings, miracles, good days, worry, saddness, growth and most of all peace. We never thought we would be here nor did I think that anything like this could happen to us. Obviously God had other plans. I can sit around and ask why...and I have many times but I have found that does not really get us anywhere. I have asked how much longer and that one always seems to get answered IN My TIME, TRUST IN ME, I AM IN CONTROL! It is sometimes so hard to believe and trust in at times but when I do life is much more peaceful! So everyday is the Lords, He is going to have His way!
I read the other day..."God's timing is not ours to command! If we do not start the fire with the first strike of our match we must try again! God does hear our prayer, but He may not answer it at the precise time we have appointed in our own minds. Instead He will reveal Himself to our seeking hearts, though not necessarily when and where we may expect. Therefore we have a need for perseverance and steadfast determination in our life of prayer!"
Oh there have been many times when I have commanded God's timing! I want Ben's healing now and I want to continue living out the desires God has put in Ben and my heart. But in the times that I command God's healing is when spot light turns to me and my selfish desires and I take my eyes off Jesus. I don't want that! I want my eyes to be on Jesus and what He has for Ben and I! The Lord hears me when I cry out to Ben, He sees my broken heart that is crumbled in a heap on His lap, He feels my pain and most of all He responds to my prayers. No, not always when I pray them but He has already sent an answer to them but at times it just takes a little longer to get to us! I press on, I persevere and I am determined in my heart to keep praying for the healing in Ben's body!
When Ben was in speech therapy yesterday we were asking him to do a few things. I was trying to think of things that he does on a regular basis and saluting came to mind. I asked Ben if he would show me how he salutes. He took his fingers and straightened them and slowly but surely began to raise his right arm. He got about half-way to his head and then let his arm down. I was proud of his effort and so I moved on and asked him to do something else. Ben was not ready to move on yet! He again straightened his fingers and raised his arm even higher then the last time. He was determined to get that arm up and salute fully! He got stuck about 3/4 of the way up and I helped raise his arm the rest of the way!! This is one thing that he know way to well to ever forget! Of course he was saluting to me but he will know one day how proud of him I am for finishing strong in that task. He is also making all his Ranger buddies and Army guys proud!!
He has been able to have more drinks of juice and I think this next week we are going to try him on a milkshake! I am sure that will be his best Thanksgiving gift ever!!
I have been a bit down the past few days because of all the seizure stuff that is taking place but his hospital team is determined to stop these seizures! Ben got 2 doses of an IV seizure med to hopefully stop the seizures. This med can be sedating and so that is why I was frustrated because it would get in the way of what he is to be doing. Once they get the seizures under control they can find the right medication that will keep them away and hopefully not interfere with his cognative abilities. Right now the seizures and meds are kind of holding him back from what he needs to be doing. Ben was doing amazing and taking big steps before they were detected. The docs goal is to get these under control and then get Ben on track where he was before!
I am praying for leaps and bounds of improvement for Ben and know that in God's timing He will heal His Ben!!
I am so blessed to have you all praying for my man! Your prayers do not go unheard!
Love you all!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And Ben gets juice...

Tomorrow (Thursday) will mark 12 weeks since our accident! Amazing how much has happened! It was a good day for Ben today because he got to have some grape juice and applesauce today! He tried sucking out of a straw and got it up about half-way. We then used a spoon and he was slurping it down! I am sure that that was the best thing he had tasted in years! He also got a few bites of applesauce! Ben doesn't normally eat it but I think at this point any flavor in his mouth he will take! We were concerned that he might cough and choke on it but with every sip and bite he swallowed very well! We will be trying this again soon!
He was able to put some weight on his feet today by standing with a harness. He still needed alot of help but he took some small steps. We also took him outside again and he soaked in some sun and fresh air! Ahhh to get out of his room and the gym!
PLEASE PRAY! Ben is still having seizures showing up on all his tests. They were hoping on his test that they would have decreased with his seizure med but they have not at this point. His resident doc came in and told us that they were considering putting him on another seizure med. Seizure meds tend to sedate people and not awake people which is the opposite of what we need Ben to do! Please pray that God put His hand upon Ben's mind and brain and this issue will be settled! Ben needs things that will keep moving forward...Jesus' healing in His time!
More updates to come soon!
Love you all!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Moving forward in faith...


"Difficulties and obstacles are God's challanges to our faith. When we are confronted with the hinderances that block our path or service, we are to recognize them as vessels for faith and then to fill them with the fullness and complete sufficiency of Jesus. As we move FORWARD in FAITH, simply and fully TRUSTING Him, we may be tested. Sometimes we have to wait and realize that "perseverance must finish it's work" (James 1:4). But ultimately we will surely find "the stone rolled away" (Luke 24:2) and the Lord Himself waiting to bestow a double blessing on us for our time of testing!"
I would consider this accident to be a difficulty and obstacle in our lives for sure and yes it has been a challange to my faith. It has hindered my life as we were living it but it has not hindered GOD'S plan for our lives. He knows what He is doing way more then I could ever grasp on to. Do I like where He has us...hmmmm that one I have to think long and hard on. Of course I do not like what has happened to Ben and I have asked and wrestled with the Lord in this area alot. But when reading the above last night in my devotion time with Him I am slowly seeing what Jesus would have me do despite where Ben and I are in our life right now. He is testing my faith, not that I didn't have it before, but now to see what I am going to do with that faith. Am I going to let go and put my reliance and faith in myself? Am I going to fill this vessell with me? NO, I am going to put my sufficiantcy and faith in Jesus. He is going to fill my vessel with His faith, love, and reliance in Him! I must push on into Jesus' arms, let Him finish His work and healing in Ben's life and body! Do I want healing for my Ben now...you bet I do!! I have to understand that Jesus is taking His time with Ben...working on his body from the inside out! There will be a time, in His perfect time, when Jesus will roll Ben's "stone" away and give us that double blessing that He wants to reward us with.
When I got home from WA I got to spend a few days with Ben before I went back to our home. Thursday and Friday he looked very alert and handsome as always. He usually has 3 therapies (PT, OT, SP) Monday-Friday and then one therapy on Sat. This past Sat he had Speech Therapy. He did not have his usual therapist so I was interested to see how he would respond. He did well! She gave him different items to look at and then she would give them to him and ask him how to use them. She first gave him scissors and he was able to show her how to cut paper, a screw driver came next and Ben took it in his hand and started turning it in his hand as if he were going to use it, next she gave him a spoon and he brought it to his mouth! Poor guy was probably thinking...don't give me a darn spoon with nothing on it!! Lastly she gave him a pencil and asked him to write his name...it was a lil scribbly but you could definetely see a decent B and an attempt at an E. Instead of his usual wiggling of his fingers to say goodbye to his therapist he moved his hand from left to right to wave...he has not done it this way before!!
I took him outside for a bit following therapy and he loved it! Well, it seemed that way! We played toss with a ball and then I took his shoes off and made him (I do make him do things...I am sure I will get in trouble when he "wakes up" completely) put his feet on the ball and move it around! He did pretty well!

Things they still need to see in Ben:
~Following commands within 10 sec with 85% accuracy
~Yes/No answers within 10 sec and 85% accuracy
These are the biggest things right now for him to EMERGE!! Please pray for these things in him! I know it is in there but it is like he is trapped inside of his body!
His mom is in town which will be good for him and I think his dad should be joining soon. Ben will love this I am sure! I head back up to see him tomorrow and of course like always I am so excited to see him...he is the love of my life!!

I know some of you cannot comment on here so if you would like to send an e-mail to us directly you can do so at benandkatierye@hotmail.com
I love hearing from people and all your encouragement helps get me through the day! I also read them to Ben so he is included in all the things the Lord and ya'll are saying!!
Love you all and thank you for your prayers and support!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ladies don't be jealous...


Yes, you see my title ladies (and maybe a few guys too) so don't get jealous when I share what Ben will be getting! Ben's doc came in this morning to put a little needle into some different muscles in Ben's neck and shoulders. He did this because Ben had been holding his neck and head high and sticking it out. This really effects how he swallows, is positioned in bed and how he responds to different therapies. When the doc put the needle (not very painful for Ben) in some of Ben's muscles he was looking to see how much those muscles were firing and how stimulated they were at a resting position. Doc saw that there were a few that needed some attention. There is a way to help relax these muscles and that way is Botox!! Yes, ladies my man is getting some Botox injections into his muscles and just to let you know I have FIRST DIBS ON THE LEFTOVERS!!! That is why I say don't be jealous! Ben's doctor has found that this way of treatment has been very benefitial with alot of patients. The Botox should relax Ben's muscles more so that his neck, shoulders, head and some fingers will relax and be worked back into their normal position. Ben will either get it today or Monday depending on when pharmacy gets it. I am praying that this treatment works!!
Ben continues to do well in his therapies but we are still needing a huge amount of prayer to get him over this hump of his injury! We need to see him respond and EMERGE!!
I will be driving back to our home tomorrow mid-morning. I of course will not like being away from my Ben but do look forward to sleeping in my own bed that I have not been in for almost 2 weeks!
Please pray that we are continually strengthend and that I feel the presence of the Lord with me!
Love you all!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Back in Atlanta with my man...

After a week of fun, tears, adventures, rest and a massive turkey dinner with my family I headed back to Atlanta! I left yesterday (Wed) and got back to my room at 0130 in the am! I did all carry-on this trip and on the way it was just fine but on the way back my bag didn't get on the flight! Yes, it was a carry-on suitcase but my flight to Denver was on a tiny plane so it didn't fit! They said they would check it for me. Well, I guess they checked it but it never made it on the plane! How that happens I have no idea. Thank goodness I had my glasses and contact case with me for the night! I went to sleep about 3am and then woke up at 10! I surprised myself sleeping that late!
I saw my Ben this morning and he looks as handsome as ever! He was in getting some adjustments on his chair and a new headrest. I of course gave him many, many kisses and he was a good man and kissed me back many times! I just rubbed his arms, talked to him and let him know that I was back from my trip! I know when you are away from the man that you love your heart grows fonder and mine did but it was also put back together because when I went back home it felt like most of my heart was still with Ben in Atlanta!
I will blog more about my trip home but I wanted to post something really quick for you all and let you know I made it back safely!!
Love you all!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

At home in WA I be...


I made it safely home to everyone in WA on Thursday evening. I had an uneventful flight and was hit by the coldness the minute I stepped off the plane! Never would I think I would be asking for GA fall weather but I have been wanting it because it is coldy here! I have been able to see most of my family so far and will see the rest today as we have an early Thanksgiving dinner! I am so excited to eat some good food and see the rest of my family! Whoohoo!!
I have been calling everyday to check on Ben and the nurses say that he is doing well. They put the phone up to his ear so that he can hear my voice! I miss him so much that I could go back today just to be at his side but at the same time I know spending time with my family is good for me! I cannot wait to be with him again though and see how much he has improved and see the miracles that Jesus has worked in Ben since I have been gone! Our God is awesome!!
Went back to my home church this morning and was loved on by many. Pastor Terry prayed over Ben also and it was a very fervant and amazing prayer!
Thank you again for all your love, support, and prayers for Ben and I! We appreciate them, they have been a blessing and please keep them coming! Our journey is before us and I don't know how long or short it will be. I continue to glorify the Lord in it all and give Him all the credit for what He has done and is continuing to do in both Ben and I!!
Love you all!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

EMERGE...

Emerge is the big word that they are using for Ben these days! What they mean by that is that they want him to come further out of the state that he is in! So prayer warriors....pray for the EMERGING of Ben's healing, his spirit to be lifted and he would love forward!
Ben is having a good week so far. He is making improvements after his seizure activity and the docs switching up his medications last week. They are still seeing seizure activity and has had multiple MRI's and EEG's for follow-up. They are waiting on adding another seizure med at this time to see if the initial one will build up in his system.
Ben is making some progress in his therapies. He still has limited range of motion in his arms and legs due to his muscles being so tight. He was able to lightly kick a ball with his legs today and slightly hit a balloon with a racket. Ben continues to move forward but some days are slower then others!
All in all Ben is doing well! He is a strong man and trying so hard to get himself out of his trapped body!
God has his hand upon Ben's life and I know He is with Ben and I every step of the way! Thank you Jesus for that!
You all know I am going home to WA tomorrow...I am super excited but it will be hard to leave my man...I might be a bit emotional tomorrow! Please pray for strength and peace for both of us.
Love you all and see some of ya'll sooo soon!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Come One...Come All...

Many of you all know that I am going to WA to visit with my family and friends! We wanted to put together a lil gathering for people who wanted to see me and also pray for Ben. Here is the info..

Please join us to love on Katie,
eat yummy food, get a few updates
and a prayer time!!

November 9, 2009
7-9 pm
Mike and Mary Stuarts home
2730 Lindell Road NE
Olympia, WA 98506

*please comment if you are able to come or Facebook me!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Blessed...


Uhhggg....time change means I am up at 0630! Oh my goodness it is early for me these days!! So bloggin here I come!
My last few days up in Atlanta last week with Ben were good. He started to perk up a little bit more and get a grasp on his med changes. He still continues to have seizure activity. Dr. Kailin explained to me that he was not having generalized seizures (shaking, eyes rolling back, losing control) but Ben's are focal. Focal seizures mess with you on a cognitive level so everything that Ben has been trying so hard to do is being inturupted by the seizures. Ben's doc boosted his seizure med and said that if he did not respond to it by Monday (today) that he was going to add another med. I am hoping not because it may cause Ben to become more drowsy again. Seizures in traumatic brain injury patients are not uncommon sometimes can trigger the brain for the good! I am praying that it triggers Ben's brain for the good and also that he won't need anymore added medications! By Friday Ben was started to get back to what he was doing. He was following commands very well, mouthing a few words that we gave him and moving his legs and arms more than normal.

On Thursday I had the priviledge and honor to meet with an amazing woman! The military flew her up from Tampa for the day to meet me and be an encouragement. Her husband was in a helicopter accident 2.5 years ago overseas. She has stood by his side and been through all the emotions that one could go through in a time like this. She came into Ben's room and looked at him and was very positive to him! Ben you look awesome, you look strong, Rangers are fighters and you keep fighting! She talked to him as if she had known him for years! She was able to encourage me, hear my heart, answer my questions, share my tears and most of all share what Jesus was doing in her life. She is an amazing and strong woman and I highly look up to her!

I started my first Occupational therapy on Friday...can I say ouch! I can straighten my elbow fully but pronating (twisting to a normal position) is still stiff and somewhat painful. My therapist took some measurments on how much I could move it and then put some heat to it. I knew that when she put the heat to it that pain was coming! Oh yes, she twisted and streched my arm in ways that it has not gone in a bit! It was good for my arm but it was a bit tender all weekend! I am so looking forward to my appointment with her on Wed...haha!

This weekend for me was a decent one...not my best but I made it. I love being with Ben and it tears me up inside when I have to leave him. I don't have to leave him but it is good for me to take a few days to get things done and be at our home. There are a few times when tears just came to my eyes. I was getting ready for church on Sunday and just started bawling when a worship song came on. It was Hillsongs Lead Me to the Cross....heard it a bunch of the times but today it got to me. The chorus...
Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross...I had to stop putting on my make-up and kneel at the end of my bed (have not done in awhile) and just pray and sing this song out loud. I had to pour my heart and emotions out before the Lord...I had cooped them up for a bit too long!Jesus is faithful to me! Gives me what I need and opens my heart to learn things from Him.

Today (Monday) I am on my way to Atl to see my BEN!! I am so excited to see him, love on him and give him many kisses! He deserves them! I will of course get some cuddle time in bed with him as well! His closeness makes me feel so much better!!
This Thursday will be bittersweet! I am flying home to WA! I am going to take a few days and see some family and friends. It will be good for me but so hard at the same time. This means I have to leave Ben for a few days. Please pray for me during this time!

Prayer requests:
1. No more added seizure meds today for Ben!
2. Ben would QUICKLY follow commands and ANSWER yes/no questions
3. Physically his body would be strengthened....sit up, move his arms and legs more
4. He would hold his head correctly and his muscles in that area would loosen!
5. Peace for both of us while I am gone!
6. 100% healing in Ben's body!!

IN JESUS NAME!!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I continue to worship...

Even though her situation is not ours it still hits my heart in the same way. There is nothing like worshiping the Lord in our hard times. Yes, it is hard to put myself and my wants and desires aside at times but when I do and worship my Jesus I am renewed! I have a reason to sing! I have a reason to worship...Ben and I are still living and breathing! Jesus saved us for something big! We have a reason to live and I choose for Ben and I to live life to its fullest and not just survive! We will continue to worship Jesus!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Encouragement to all...


One of my brothers received this word from the Lord for all of us and I thought that I would pass it along! Be encouraged by it, I know that I was!!

The Lord gave me this a few days ago and ever since I have received considerable peace and want to offer it you for consideration. I believe this word will allow you along with everyone that has been praying for Ben a greater sense of personal connection and also an avenue of how God has used every prayer warrior the opportunity to be a vessel for countless miracles in Ben.
The Lord showed me that each time a person prays for Ben a miracle has taken place. What the Lord showed me was with each prayer a new connection point was being formed in Ben’s mind (brain). When the accident happened countless connection points were disturbed or disconnected. Now when a person prays for Ben a connection point is restored, thus the miracle. I believe that there have been thousands of connection points restored with all of the prayers from around the world. So my encouragement for everyone is to not be discouraged or feel like your prayers are not significant. Each and every prayer is producing a miracle and is restoring a new connection point in Ben’s brain. Each person that pray’s, plays a part of the miracle of Ben’s recovery. We don’t know how many more connection points need to be restored, but that is not our issue. Our responsibility is to pray when the Lord puts Ben on our mind and when we pray, take time to thank the Lord for the opportunity to be a part of another miracle in Ben’s life.
So to you Katie and others. Stay strong, stay confident, be unmovable, because each person’s prayer is valuable, effective, and life changing!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Midweek update...

"And the arms that hold the universe are holding you tonight
You can rest inside it’s gonna be alright!
And the voice that calmed the raging sea is calling you His child
So be still and know He’s in control He will never let you go."

These are some words that I have been clinging to this past week! I have been blasting this song in Ben's big truck!! It has fed my soul and spirit and brought me peace!

I got up here to see Ben yesterday (Tues) and had a good afternoon/evening with him. I had a romantic dinner of Chick-Fil-A and was loathing for some chocolate but had none! Ben was a little drowsy because they have been switching and changing up his medications. They took some away, added one and boosted the dose of another...all of this makes it very confusing on his body! Our anniversary night was definitley memorable! I snuggled up in his bed beside him and read the Bible over him and then watched the Biggest Loser. He fell asleep by 8pm! I have a great photo that I will treasure always! (sorry not posting photos of Ben to protect his privacy) It was a restful night and it felt good to be close to him!

Today he had a much better day. His speech therapist asked me to have Ben do 10 things (close your eyes, stick out your tongue, show me one finger and so on.) She wanted him to get 8/10. Ben did awesome and got 7/10!!! That is 20% better then what he had been doing a few days before! Ben's dad was here for the day so he got to see all of Ben's accomplishments and that made him happy!

Prayer points:
1. Doing things within 10 seconds with 80% accuracy
2. Body strength...holding torso, moving all extremities
3. Head alignment...he tends to push his head forward but they need him to hold it back.
4. My therapy for my arm starts Friday...it is alot less painful but pray that things start loosening up and my bones heal up as I twist and move them.
5. 100% healing for both of us!
6. That people would be drawn to Jesus for the first time or get closer through Ben's testimony!

PS...There were some trick-or-treaters that came by tonight but they were passing out candy!! I GOT ME SOME CHOCOLATE!! :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

To the one that I love...


Two years ago I married the man of my dreams! Two years ago Jesus joined us as one and we took vows that would go with us until the Lord took us to heaven.
I can still remember the day that I met Ben! I got all gussied up to meet this man that I knew little about but of course I had to look my best. The first glimpse of him I thought to myself....he is cute! He had this boyish grin on his face and was so gentle in his words and actions. As I "ran" into him over the next few weeks I was drawn to his kindness, gentleness, love for the outdoors, HIS LOOKS and the way that he treated me. He was then taken from me to deploy so the next 4 months we communicated by e-mail and phone calls. With each call and e-mail I fell more and more in love with him. He then returned and I was able to tell him that I loved him with all my heart! A few months later we were engaged and then again he was deployed. During this deployment we were able to know each other even more spiritually and emotionally. God brought us so close in these times of separation. Two weeks before our wedding Ben came home! He arrived at 1am at my doorstep and I was so excited to see him!
Our wedding day was everything we both could dream of and desire! He looked handsome in his tux and he was able to lead me through that day with a calmness that I loved.
Since that wedding day life has been amazing! We have had our separations (due to schools), hardships, laughing moments, passion, learning moments and now today tragic moments. I would not trade it for anything because Ben is my husband and my man! God has put in my life a man who knows how to have fun, bring on the adventure, love his wife unconditionally, spiritually lead our familiy, humbly give his life for our country, and live his life for his Jesus.
Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve such a man as my Ben but Jesus tells me I do deserve him and that I have been faithful to the Lord and He wants to give me the desires of my heart!
In spite of these last few months and all that has taken place I still know in my heart that God brought Ben and I together for a reason. He didn't just bring us together for 2 years to have Ben end up in a bed. Jesus has plans for us and wants to use Ben to reach out to those young men that Jesus puts in his path. Just like we said in sickness and in health...this is a time of sickness for us. It hurts my heart and tears me apart to see my Ben how he is, trapped in his own body, but through it all I have grown to love him. He works hard everyday to bring his body out and I know he is doing it for me. Ben is trying so hard! God is working on his body both in a spiritual sense and physical sense!
Where some people in life would choose to walk away from their loved one in sickness because it is hard and maybe to much to handle I CHOOSE to stand by Ben and love him because Jesus gave him to me! I don't walk in front of him or behind him but I walk right beside Ben! Yes, it is hard and sometimes I just want to throw in the towel but I know that I can run to Jesus and lean on Him! Jesus holds Ben and I in his hands and is on this journey with us.
So, Ben you are the love of my life! You are in my heart always. You are a wonderful husband who puts your needs aside and serves me. You have a very humble heart and you amaze me with your strength and honor! I will never stop loving you and know that I am falling in love with you more and more each day!
Happy Anniversary to you my husband, love and best friend!
I love you my Benny Boo Boo Boo.....to those of you who know Ben as this!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I will PRAISE You in this storm....

I was sure by now, God, that You would have reached down and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day. But once again, I say amen and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls I barely hear You whisper through the rain, "I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away.
Chorus: And I'll praise you in this storm and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are no matter where I am and every tear I've cried You hold in your hand You never left my side and though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm!
....this is part of a song that has been going through my head this week. I wrote in my journal, "when is it going to end? When will I get Ben back?" Sometimes I don't know how long I can go on. I ask why won't Jesus take this away? I know that He can just touch Ben and heal him so why does He not do it? In these times just like the song says I can barely hear Him whisper through the rain, "I am with you!" It may be weak but I can hear it! As soon as I put my doubts and fears to the side and allow Jesus to love on me I can hear it loud and clear...I AM WITH YOU! Oh how He loves me!
Of course Jesus is faithful to answer my question...when are you going to bring back to me by Him taking steps in Ben's healing this week!
Some of the things Ben did/accomplish...
~ Like I mentioned in the last update Ben's trach is out and he has had no respiratory issues since!
~ He played catch with Mary and I for a long time...he was consistant with it.
~ When I asked Ben if he wanted a blanket Ben mouthed NO with a lil air/voice with it
~ After I wrote a letter on a piece of paper Ben wrote it too...of course it was my name that I had him write!
~ Ben got his last cast off!
~ He stood up with the Physical therapist....she supported him quite a bit but he stretched out his back, lifted his head and stood tall!
~ Ben had 2 really good last few days with the speech therapist! She was really happy with what she saw and that he was finally showing off to her and not just the other therapists.
~ He was put on a pedal machine that stimulates his muscles in his legs and he was pedaling 10-15% on his own and his Physical therapists said that is the BEST she has ever seen any patient do it on that level of injury. Ben went steady for 30 min and he had concentration and determination on his face!

He has been twitching a bit in his head and right arm so they did an EEG and found that he had slight seizure activity. The doctor said this is not uncommon for patients to get that are on the neuro stimulant drugs. They don't want to lower his stimulant drugs to decrease what he is doing but they cannot allow the seizure activity. They put him on a small dose of seizure medication and took an MRI but the results of the MRI are not in yet.

He has a new goal date of Nov 18! In one of my last blogs I put that he needs to do things in 10 sec with 80% accuracy. He needs to accomplish these things by then if not before to get in the big 6 wk rehab program! He is well on his way but he has a long way to go! I am so proud of what he has done! Ben is an amazing strong man who loves his Jesus! Jesus knows what He is doing in Ben's body and brain. Jesus is taking his time with Ben to show him that He is in control and that He is going to heal him but it takes time for the brain to heal!

Prayer requests:
1. Put Nov. 18th in your mind...pray over the time before that date that Ben will get to where he needs to be!
2. Pray the seizures will be GONE in Jesus name and that they will not get in the way of what Ben needs to do!
3. That Ben will continue to be consistant in what he is doing...within 10 sec and with 80% accuracy!
4. Torso strength so that he can do more physical things that would need his torso
5. Strength, patience, love, peace, security....from my Jesus to me while I am on this journey without Ben.

Love you all and thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers and support!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Just a quick one....


Just going to write a quick few words and then I will get another one out hopefully by tomorrow! He is sleeping now so I can get a lil one in!
Ben is doing well. A HUGE praise report is that he is TRACH FREE!! He got his trach out Tuesday after I kept asking to see when they were going to take it out! Finally it came out! I got to take him outside for the first time in 7 weeks! We went into a garden area that sits by the road. He was looking all around and watching the cars pass by. I am sure it felt good to him to get a good breath of fresh air!
I will be back soon to write a longer update on what Ben has done this week as soon as I can! Pray for me....I will be driving back home today (by myself) from Atlanta! I am confident I will be fine but it will be boring!
Please continue to pray for him and his 100% healing! I am believing for it!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oh the smell...

As I sit and type this out I am soaking in the aroma of homemade chocolate chip cookies coming from my kitchen! Yes folks my sister Mary is hear and I ordered her to make me some! No way was she going to leave my house without whipping some up! I had tried many times to make grand, chewy soft c.chip cookies but to no avail! Awwww, I have just tasted one! So good...melting in my mouth!
Another mini update on Ben! It was a short few days with him due to my own doctors appointments and needing to get back home to take care of things here. I will try not to repeat myself from the last blog!

A few things that Ben did on Thurs and Fri was that they put his right arm in a sling type hoist to lift his arm up so that he could move it more easily. He was able to follow some commands, comb his hair and when asked to grab a pen. Right when he grabbed the pen he automatically found the clicker at the end of the pen and continually pushed it to open and close it! No one had to help him with that pen! If I had a piece of paper at the time I would have put it in front of him and seen if he would jot anything down! I guess it will be homework for both of this next week! He also got his cast changed on his right foot which will hopefully be his last one! Before they put his new cast on the put him on his stomach for "tummy time." This helps him to relax his back, shoulders and arms and force his strong muscles to relax. He was able to show off his A,E,I,O,U mouthing abilities that we had been working on to his speech therapist and she was very happy with what he did. Then she had Ben show off to me some of the things that she and Ben had been working on! We had quite the competition going on and it was fun!
I had a meeting with his therapists on Thursday and here are a few things that they would like to see in Ben in the next few weeks:

1. Consistancy in commands 85% of the time

2. Yes/No questions answered within 10 sec with 80% accuracy

3. One step commands (ex. Ben, pick up the brush, Ben raise your right arm) within 10 seconds with 80% accuracy

4. Distinguish between 3 functional objects and use them (brush, toothbrush, razor, pencil, etc.) Needs 80% accuracy

5. Assessing to see if he can tolerate 3 hours of intense therapy a day.

(he is about 50% in all of these things right now.....he is so close!!)

These are for sure prayer requests and things that will help his therapists and doctors evaluate his progress and what to do next! He is on the right path but don't want him to get stuck in a certain spot....need him to continue moving forward like he has been!

A few more prayer requests....
~ He would get more function in his body. His torso is weak and they want him to start supporting himself more. His right side is stronger then his left so pray that his left side will catch up!

~ Talking!! He is mouthing some things minimally but not to where it can be clearly understood or heard.

~My broken arm! It is still stiff and sore...it is slowly loosening up.

~ 100% HEALING for Ben! We are trusting our healer Jesus for that!!

PRAISE REPORT....hopefully taking place tomorrow! Hopefully tomorrow Ben will be trach free!! They should be taking it out and stitching up his opening!! After this takes place I can take him outside! He has not been outside (besides being transfered) in almost 8 weeks! Ben is an outdoors person so I am sure that getting a breath of fresh air will do him some good!!

We head back up tomorrow and will be staying until Friday so I should be blogging some good things! Please continue to pray for Ben! Your prayers are working and it is so amzing to see Jesus working miracles right in front of me!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quick update...

Hi Ya'll!
Just a quick update for you while Ben is taking a snooze! I made it back to Atlanta with the help of two guys from Ben's work driving me up! They are a blessing! This is my first time to type with two hands (barely) since getting my cast off yesterday!! It is stiff and sore but I will take it because now I get to shower without it and do my hair!! Whoohoo! I also get to wear my wedding ring which has been off for 7 weeks! Now comes the pain that comes with Occupational therapy!
When I got here Ben was in the rehab room and they were finishing up with him and that therapy. We took him back to his room for a bit where we visited with him and he shook hands with the guys. He then went back to the rehab room for PT and they put him in a bike type pushing machine. They showed him how to do it and he was a bit slow at first. Ben started doing it slowly on his own. His face showed alot of frustation as he tried to push and pull the machine as hard as he could. He did his best and that is what they look for! He was trying so hard but his body wasn't following his brain and that made it a bit tough on him! I am so proud of what he did do and his attempt!
I again brought Ben back to his room and gave him a shave! He did a bit himself and then when I tried to help him he pushed my hand away and tried again! I did have to bribe him with kisses to allow me to help him!! After that I worked on vowel sounds with him...saying them. He was not able to voice them but he mouthed them for me several times!! I then tried to get him to say my name...he moved his lips so I will give him credit! We played another game of thumb wrestling and I think he let me win one time because all the rest he put up a fight! I told him that I love him very much (like I always do) and he puckered his lips for a kiss...I didn't even have to ask him for one!! For now I will take it as him saying he loves me back!!
Good news...this is his first official day of having his trach buttoned!! This means they took out the tubing from his throat, the straps that held it there and put in a button/plug type device! If he tolerates this for about a week or longer then they will be closing up his trach opening!!
I will post more as the week comes to an end but wanted to give you a quick update on what I have seen just today!!

Prayer requests:
1. Alot from last blog posting! He needs to talk or show some type of yes/no responses!!
2. Hi body will be strengthened...hold his head correctly, more use of both sides of body but mainly his left, ability to use his torso and arm strengthing!
3. He will tolerate the button to remove the trach!
4. Healing for my arm!
5. Complete healing for both of us!

I am still BELIEVING, HOPING and TRUSTING Jesus for 100% healing in Ben! He is up to something good and excited I can be apart of it and also have yall to share it with!
Please pray, pray, pray and pray hard! He needs some more good weeks! I thank Jesus in advance for them!!

Love you all!!

(You try eating a burrito with a massive cast!!)

(cast is off!!)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ranger Creed...


I had posted a few blogs ago that Ben's work buddies recited the Ranger Creed to him. Some of you have been asking what it says so I have included it below! I have also included the Wife Ranger Creed...applies to me even in this situation and not just when Ben is deployed!!

Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of my Ranger Regiment.
Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other soldier.
Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one-hundred-percent and then some.
Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.
Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.
Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.
RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!

RANGER WIFE CREED:
Recognizing that I accept the life of a Ranger's Wife, fully knowing the hardships ahead of me, I will always strive to uphold the honor, the loyalty, and the trust of my husband, the Ranger!
Acknowledging that a Ranger Wife is a more elite wife who stands behind her Ranger, wherever he may be, I accept the fact that as a Ranger Wife, my husband expects me to encourage and stand behind him always!
Never shall I fail my Ranger. I will always keep myself strong, brave, and faithful. I will shoulder more than my share of the responsibility, whatever it may be, one hundred percent and then some!
Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected woman. My courtesy to my husband, neatness of appearance, and care of our family shall set the example for future wives to follow!
Energetically will I meet the demands of my Ranger. I shall stand by my man in peacetime and in war, knowing HE IS THE SUPERIOR SOLDIER. Never will I leave my Ranger for another, and under NO circumstances will I embarrass him!
Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to let my Ranger go, knowing he may never return to me– his Ranger Wife!!

Willingly will I let him go, not knowing where or for how long he will be gone, always hoping, praying and believing for his safe return and the safe return of his comrades!
Intensely will I wait for his return, anticipating the gallantry and honor– my Ranger, a hero, standing beside with pride and passion!
Forgoing all others needs except for those of my Ranger, knowing one day he will forgo all others for me– his Wife!
Enthusiastically will I carry on my daily routine, even when he's away, never forgetting he left behind his strength, his honor, his heart, his Ranger Wife!

I have called up to Shepherds a few times this weekend to see how he is doing and they said he is doing well! Not a ton to update you all on at this point because I am not there but when I go back Wed I will have things to blog about!! Still believing for 100% healing!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Where I am....

This song was played for me and if I could put in my own words where I am in my life and what I am feeling this would be it! I have put the link to the song here and the lyrics!

http://musicremedy.com/audio/index.cfm?fuseaction=showaudioplayer&audioId=38020&quality=6

So this is what if feels like to walk the wilderness
and this is what if feels like to come undone
So this is what if feels like to loose my confidence
unsure of anything or anyone
So this is what if feels like to walk the desert sand
and this is what if feels like to hear my name
and to be scared to death cause I'm all alone
but feel love and peace just the same
And this may not be the road I would choose for me
but it still feels right somehow
And I have never felt you as close to me as I do right now
So this is what if feels like to be led
So this is what if feels like to have it fall apart
to be totally unglued
and find out if I accept my brokenness
I get more of me, I get all of you
If this is what if feels like to be on shaky ground
Careful of every step I take
Realizing as I stop to look around
I look around and see everything a different way
and this may not be the road I would choose for me
but it still feels right somehow
cause I have never felt you as close to me as I do right now
So this is what if feels like to be led
and this is what if feels like to be led
So this is what if feels like to just walk away
from everything I thought kept me safe
to depend just on you for every meal
and find it's better this way
oh it's better this way
And this may not be the road I would choose for me
but it still feels right somehow
And I have never felt you as close to me as I do right now
like i do right now
And this may not be the road I would choose for me
but it still feels right somehow
And I have never felt you as close to me as I do right now
And this is what if feels like to be led
And this is what if feels like to be led
And this is what if feels like

My Ben is amazing....


This last week has been amazing, loving, sweet, confusing, joyous, emotional, and full of more miracles for Ben! All these moments I have felt and some have been good and some not so fun. Sometimes I just wanted to escape and at times have just said
Lord I am done...I don't know how much more I can take of this! Everytime Jesus comes along and loves on me, comforts me, and says I got it! So, Jesus has this! My job is to follow, trust and believe in Him!
I have had 2 lovely ladies take me this past week to see Ben and bring me home. They took time from their families and served and loved on me! I appreciate them so much for this! They brought support, love, laughs, shopping, good food and some awesome driving skills! Love them!!
On to Ben and the steps he took this week! I will go by the day!
Tuesday-
1. Ben was sitting in his chair and was holding a wash cloth and it slipped from his hands. His reflexes kicked in and he tried to reach for it as it was falling. He was not able to get it but then he started reaching down, over the side of his chair, and tried to get it!! He could not reach it so I was able to put it in his hand!!
2. Continued to track everyone who came in the room, squeeze hands, show fingers and give kisses!

Wednesday- amazing day!
1. I was fixing to shave Ben with his electric shaver and when I turned it on he held his hand up. I gave it to him to see what he would do...he took it and started lifting it to his face (he cannot quite get it his fingers to touch face) and I helped him get it to his chin and then with his own hand movements he moved it back and forth!
2. Occupaional therapy took him into the bathroom to finish shaving (she came in while Ben trying to shave) in front of the mirror ad he also washed his face and brushed his teeth!!
***The amazing thing about this is that Ben saw the item, took it and knew what to do with it!!
3. I showed Ben a picture of just me and asked him if it was me and he nodded his head yes!!
4. Before if the TV was on he would look at it for a few seconds and either fall asleep or just look at something else but now he actually pays attention to it!

Thursday -
1. Ben showed emotions today...most I have seen!
~He showed frustration today when his body would not do what he wanted it to do...it was all in his face.
~When a therapist tried to help him, Ben pushed them away
~One of the Army guys was telling him that a soldier was lost and some injured recently and gave their names. While Ben was listening his face got red and his eyes got all teary....broke my heart!
2. They put ben in a supportive walking contraption today to see what he could do. The first attempt he did okay and the second time they took him in the hallway and when he found his rhythm he did good for his first time. We kept telling him MARCH, DON'T LET ANYONE CATCH YOU! I think that gave him some momentem!

Friday -
1. I played thumb war with Ben! When I counted it out and said the thumb war saying he did it perfect! I let him beat me of course! Haha! He beat me a few times and when he got my thumb he made sure I felt my loss!
2. We arm wrestled and at this I had NO chance! Even after 6 weeks of not really using his muscles he will not let me beat him in arm wrestling!
3. He was put on a tilt table to put him in an upright position and he did well.
4. Ben had tummy time today! They laid him on the huge padded area to do his casting. I think it was just good for him to be in a different position for a change!

So, all in all Ben had an amazing week! He did new things, continued to do old things and is still suprising us! Thank you Jesus!

Prayer requests for this next week....most are BIG ones!
1. He needs to follow commands 85% of the time with anyone who walks into his room.
2. When people talk to him they want him to pay attention to them and not look away!
3.HE NEEDS TO TALK OR GIVE SOUNDS THAT HES TRYING!! Jesus healed the mute so I know He can do the same for Ben!
4. Physical strength! Torso, arms, left side of his body. They are going to put him upright this next week to get him bearing weight and maybe some type of stationary bike to see if he will pedal. (bike riding is a passion for him!)
5. COMPLETE HEALING!! I AM BELIEVING AND TRUSTING FOR IT!
6. I get my cast off for good on Tues! This will bring pain and stiffness so pray it will be minimal!
7. Emotional and spiritual to keep continuing on this journey!

Love you all so much! The Lord has the whole world praying for us....that in itself is a huge blessing!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Blogging from home


Usually I blog from the hospital in Atlanta but I am home for the weekend and today! I go back tomorrow to see my man....and for that I am very excited!
I have called to check on Ben and he continues to forge ahead with strength and might! All reports are good! He had some old buddies that drove from North Carolina to see him and some other good friends that took the time to see him as well. I was bummed I was not there to meet up with them but I am glad they got to see Ben...I must admit I was a tad jealous it was them and not me! :)

Alot of you have commented on my strength through this process. I must admit that it is a daily and sometimes even hourly or minute choice to follow Jesus and put my trust in Him. There are still many times where I go back to the why question. Did ben really deserve this? Lord, he was doing everything right by loving You, serving and loving me and a huge part of laying down his life to serve our country....why him? On the days that I don't feel like trusting in Him and I have thrown my little fit He always seems to ask. "are you done now?" I realize that on those days I am not joyful, refreshed and it rubs off on Ben! God is my comfort, strength, healer, love and someone that I choose to put my trust in. He is bringing us through this journey and if i didn't follow Him I know I would be a pile on the floor somewhere stuck in my own pity party. He promises me that He will be with me, He will never leave me or forsake me and that He loves me! That is where my strength comes from! Jesus has used you all as well to be my strength by your love, encouragement and all your prayers! We know people from EVERY continent praying for us...that to me is amazing! Keep it up...your prayers are being answered!

A word that I got from a family member this week was amazing...here it is...
1. "I firmly believe that when Ben was in his coma, he was having some face-to-face conversations with Jesus. Not that it’s because he’s a bad guy…we both know that’s not the case. He’s an amazing man and husband who treats you like a queen…as you should be J. I think there were some specific things the Lord wanted to work out in Ben, but in order for Ben to fix those things, Ben needed it to be majestic. I don’t think it could have been to the extent of how the Lord wanted it to be if Ben dealt with it on a day-to-day basis. Ben needed to see Jesus face-to-face in order for it fully sink in.
2. I firmly believe Ben will have a full recovery. With that, comes a fight. Jesus knows Ben is a natural fighter and will use that for Ben’s recovery. I believe in the last conversation Jesus had with Ben, He said, “okay, now fight for it.” I know the road won’t be easy and you may have to do some spiritual fighting as well, but rest assured you will not only have your Benny back…but he’s going to be even better!!"

So many times times have the words warrior, battle, fight, overseas, mission been brought up in prayer times and words through other people to us! God is up to something in the body, soul and spirit of Ben! I cannot wait to ask him about his times with the Lord and how Jesus has ministered to him through this whole journey!

Some things the Lord has shown me along the way -
~given me strength
~comfort through His word
~joy in the morning
~wisdom and direction (decisions that ben would normally walk us through being the man of the house)
~PATIENCE!! PATIENCE AND MORE PATIENCE!!
~delivered/kept me from fear
~peace
~put people in our lives that know what they are doing to help us (docs, military, friends)
~He will never leave me or forsake me!!

Things I feel I need to work more on this week in my everyday life are to pray diligently for Ben, pray for others, shoe grace and mercy, show compassion and be gentle! He has called me to Act justly, Love mercy, and Walk humbly with my Jesus!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New month brings more miracles....and a haircut!!

Ben has been doing AMAZING! God is continually up to something good in his life and healing! He has been proving himself to his doctor, nurses, rehab people and us! He improves everyday and I get to see God's healing at work! It is such a good thing to see and I wish you could all see it for yourselves!!
Yesterday he had all three therapies in a row so by the time he was done he was worn out! His therapists were very happy with what he was doing. When the told me to give him a kiss on his cheek I did and then I asked him for one on my cheek and he slightly puckered his lips and he gave me one!! He did this for me three times!! I could have kissed him over and over just for that!! The rest of his day went really well! He took a good nap after his therapies and then got a haircut!!! He looks more like Ben now! Nothing like a good haircut to make someone look so much better and refreshed!
This morning I was able to sit in on his physical therapy and he did really well! They had him sit on the large mats and supported him from behind. he held his head up the whole time and pretty much followed every instruction. Some are more delayed then others but he does them! he took a lil snooze and then he was in for a good surprise! About 15 work buddies came to see him! At first he was sleeping in his chair but as they started talking he started waking up and looking at them! He scanned the room to see them all! We talked a bit and Ben sat there turning his head to their voices! Before they left they hung up a huge Ranger Creed sign on the wall right in front of his bed. They all stood around his chair with the creed in front of him and recited it in the Ranger way! Ben stared at the creed the whole time and raised his right arm half-way and pointed to the wall. It was so good to hear and see and of course I got teary eyed! One of his bosses asked Ben for a hand shake so ben opened his hand and reached out and gave him one! They also brought a few awesome pictures to hang in his room...of course it is all Ranger because Rangers Lead the Way!!
They plugged his trach today and he has tolerated it all day! Still has a powerful cough but it is sgood to get the junk out! The continue to monitor his respiratory status daily and so far he has been doing awesome!
He also showed me that he still knows how to give lip kisses! I asked for a kiss, put my lips on his and even with his puckering he gave me the kiss noise!! It melts my heart! He better not try that with anyone else....he saves them for me! I love commanding him to give me kisses!!
The Lord is doing His healing in Ben and like I said earlier it is so amazing to see and be apart of this miracle!
Keep the prayers and fasting coming because we are seeing the results are being seen right in front of us!!
**Prayer requests**
~ Continues to follow commands consistantly....they are going to try and get more detailed with him
~Continues to localize and track....the whole scope of the area
~Muscles would relax so they can work more with his stability and build his strength
~Lungs to continually clear so he no longer needs the trach
~Pray he starts to talk....no limit to what God can do!
~Doctors will have wisdom on his treatment and what meds to introduce
~Mom goes home Sat am....so assurance for her that I am going to be okay and that I have the strength do be here....I do have many people here to help!!
~Ben's complete healing!!! We are all believing for it!
One day, like my dad told us, we are going to be able to make a video of our miraculous story and show it on our churches (both here and home) saying thank you not only to our Healer but to all of you who have prayed and been apart of our miracle!

A few things I have read the past few days....

~As for God; His way is PERFECT, the Word of the Lord is PROVEN; He is a shield to all who TRUST in Him!! 2 Sam. 22:31
~Note from a healing book I am reading and this part is talking about God's word being our medicine! We need it for healing! "Remember that it takes time for medicine to work. Most people give natural medicine alot of time, money and patience to work. They take the prescriptions back for refills time and time again. They are diligent about it! They don't just take one dose and expect a miracle! Keep taking God's medicine (His Word), give it time to work!
~And for Ben's miracles that are taking place,"The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust in Him with all my heart, He helps me! My heart is filled with joy! I burst out with songs of thanksgiving!! Ps 28:7