Monday, January 19, 2009

The Awakening

I think we can say this was the weekend the switch got flipped (For finding cliches annoying, I've resorted to using them a lot lately, yikes!). In speaking with Brian, it seems that honestly before Thursday, January 15th, his memory of anything starting with the weekend of the 12.14.08 car accident is spotty, at best.

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:

Visiting Hours:
M-F 4-9
Sat-Sun 12-9

Mailing Address:
Brian Keeter, patient
Carolinas Rehabilitation
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.


  1. thanks kara. brian - we've all been there for you and we will all continue to do so! can't wait to see you again :)

    keep your chin up!


  2. BrianBear....please know that you have all the support in the world. everyone is here to encourage you and help get you through this. i can't wait to see you again mister! keep up the hard work in rehab :)


  3. Brian - I was so glad to visit with you for a while on Sunday evening and see for myself all of the progress you've made! I know you'd had a long day and you were a trooper to engage in an overdue catch-up conversation. I will try to get down there again soon for another visit - maybe we can play some of the super-cheesy games I brought you?! Get excited.

    I know it's tough right now on so many levels but if anyone can do this, it's you. We are all pulling for you and here to help in any way we can! I hope your therapy goes well this week and I look forward to seeing you again soon!

    ~Sara F.

  4. Kara and family- My prayers continue to be with you all and Brian especially. I know that God will get him past all of these troubles he has been having just like He has since the accident. Thank you everyone for the prayers and support for Savannah as well. My thoughts are with you guys everyday.

  5. Brian,

    The progress you are making is truely amazing. You have got to be the strongest person I know, your drive and determination is something to be admired, keep working hard and you'll be home in no time. Miss you and wish I could visit more often, but I will see you soon.. In the mean time I will keep praying and thinking of you and your family.

  6. Brian sounds like you are making some serious strides!!! Keeter family, glad to hear his memory is coming back... you are all in our prayers.

  7. I'm glad to hear he is doing so well under the circumstances. Please let your parents and Brian know that my family is praying hard for him. Tell your parents this is Michelle Quinn Zeren; they will know me. I wish we were still in Raleigh to come by for a visit; we recently moved to AL for my husband's job. We'll be back this summer so I will try to come by with some goodies for everyone then.