It was intense to be there as he really just started to grasp circumstances we've all had the luxury of knowing & processing for a month now. My husband noted that though it's gotta be hard for Brian to have to accept our accounts as the most he'll ever know about the past month of his life (Um, you should have been dead, was repeated often, I think.), it's probably another blessing that trauma victims are not aware of much that goes on initially, as it gives all of us who need to support him some much needed time to get over all our issues & be that much stronger in our faith & answers to his questions.
He still remains in so much pain. From what I understand, almost every little bone in his back is broken in addition to the broken ribs & titanium rod to get used to. Don't forget, they had such trouble stabilizing him initially, when they investigated internally for damaged organs (via a huge incision in his abdomen, which miraculously, [per the OR doctor] revealed no spleen or sections of his pancreas had to be removed), there was severe bruising & fluid leakage that also has to heal. Despite the severe & ongoing pain, he's trying his best to cooperate with eating & therapy exercises (Exercises that only make him hurt that much more as he works core muscles in ways he's never had to.). Some medically good news though: he did get the trach out Friday! He's got an annoying patch over his throat but that will most likely be removed & healed next week.
Anyway, with the awakening, we said goodbye to Julio. I think Eliana bringing her mom on Saturday prompted Brian's request for the tools for a good shave. He did a super job, given the junky razor he was provided & looked quite handsome this weekend, I think.
Brian also got moved into a different room (with the view of a fabulous concrete patio--one possibly covered in snow tomorrow?) & his cell signal's better so go ahead--text & call away--but don't get him too distracted from his therapy (bossy older sister kicking in, sorry)!
I want to continue to thank you for all your visits & support. We've told him so much about all those who have made their love & prayers known on his behalf but since he's only running on memories post 01.15.09, now's the time to remind him you're here. That said, here's how to reach him once again:
Brian Keeter, patient
1100 Blythe Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28203
As I said, he's trying to stay motivated to work through the pain but it's really hard for him. I know so many of you are busy but I'll be honest--if you can spare some time to come & see him, please do, especially during the week (Though weekends are fine too!). He's such a respectful guy, that if he knows people are coming to see him, even if he's been up in the wheelchair for the minimum the therapists request him to, he'll fight through the pain & stay up to visit with a friend, which results in much needed strengthening for him in this recovery (unless it's past dinner, then he's understandably done with the chair for the day ;). Also, if you can think of any food he might eat, feel free to pick something up--for you & him to eat together. The hospital food honestly isn't bad but...
Though he was hurting intensely, particularly on Sunday, he agreed to a field trip out of the rehab center, down through the underground tunnel, & into the main hospital cafeteria for lunch with about ten of us. It's probably been the most "normal" thing he's done thus far & it was great to see him surrounded by people who care so much about him having "normal" conversations. Definitely a highlight from the weekend.
As always, it was so hard to say goodbye but I know he's in good hands with Eliana, my parents, his Charlotte friends & family, & those of you who always seem to find a way to drive down for a visit during the week--& most importantly through building a relationship with the God who saved his life.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).
I spoke with him on the phone for just a moment this afternoon & was encouraged by his determined attitude, one I know God is providing as an answer to Brian's & so many of our prayers.