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!)


Cortney said...

Watch Ben go, that is amazing!! God is SO GOOD!

sharon said...

Katie - what a joy to read your blog. It is the highlight of my day to read about our amazing Ben. We continue to pray for progress each day. We look forward to seeing you in January. love ya, aunt sharon

Leanne said...

Aw, Katie...we are so inspired seeing this! And you are right, there is no such thing as a "small" miracle! A miracle is a miracle. Thanks so much for your graciousness in sharing, and all 5 Carlsons continue to pray for many more miracles in Ben!

Brenda said...

LOVE that video. I've never seen a robo walker but I've heard of them. That is amazing! What joy for him to stretch and use those legs. I love the banana accomplishment, too! Next time see if HE can peel the banana! I'm not sure if peeling a banana counts as "functional use of an object" but it comes really close :) Thanks for this update. Such an encouragement. He is making tons of progress Katie. I hope you can see how far he's come. Sometimes when you're in the thick of it (and especially when you see all the "blue" times), it's hard to see the distance that has been covered. God is most surely doing an amazing work in you and your husband.

Passions in Life said...

That is amazing!! I am so thankful he is in a progressive place to push him and work with him and allow you to be a part of the process!! I know you are exhausted and working so hard!! I hope you rest and know that you both are walking in our Lords hands and have HUGE things to happen!!!

Stephanie said...

Katie this is awesome. Good Job Ben, keep up the hard work. We continue to pray for the both of you for strength and determination. Ben you are such a strong guy and we know you will never give up, keep up the good work. Thinking of you both.

Robin Bailey - Olympia, WA said...

Thank you Katie for the updates. I'm so moved by your words and the heart of you, Ben's wife. I pray for an abundance of unexpected JOY for you today. I pray that these miracles continue with each new day. We love you and are praying with your family. Huge Bear Hugs to you both- The Bailey's