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


"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!!

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!!


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!!