Saturday, January 3, 2009

Get Me Out

Yesterday Brian's sister Myra & I headed to Charlotte as his sister Leah headed home. Switch shifts, I guess. The staff like for family to be present 24/7 at this point in the process to ensure the patients receive adequate care.

We know how tired our parents are (though they don't like to admit it) & are trying to let them let us give them a break. Thanks to all of you who continue to visit & who offer to help with the 24/7 schedule.

Leah spent most of the day with him yesterday & though I haven't yet spoken directly with her, the nurse assistant said Brian gave her a rough (but loving, of course) time. I've even heard rumors he had her in a headlock!

Myra & I got to the hospital that night & Myra spent the night with him. Nights are his most restless hours but he did well for his little sister.

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend the day with him. My husband stayed home with my son (the longest we've ever been apart, my 17 month old & me!) so I could spend a good deal of time with Brian this weekend.

I couldn't have asked for anything more from Brian today. He's getting better & better at leaving on the trach plug. Apparently, a lot of times it takes patients awhile to get used to it because plugging the trach slightly makes them feel anxious in their breathing. With the plug in, this means he can talk. So, talk we did. We,ll for Brian. Many of you who know Brian know he can be of few words (I mean, he did grow up with three sisters). So, I consider it huge progress to do what we did. We made some phone calls to Mom & Dad, Eliana, & Owen, telling them hello, bye, & even threw in some "I love yous" (VERY huge from him!). This of course, is between his regular requests for "help" & "get me out."

He's constantly looking for someone to jailbreak him from the hospital. When he realized Myra was no worthwhile accomplice in this mission last night, he gave up & moved onto me. Once he figured out I wasn't there to do anything other than make him stay awake so he'd actually sleep at night (honest doctor orders), he fell asleep & wouldn't wake up (Cold washcloths were of no assistance--not even the guy who came in & cleaned the floor with the industrial cleaning machine was waking him up.). When he figured out his friends that came by today really didn't have the car ready & waiting, he told us as the nurse walked out of the room--"I'm going with that girl."

Between the medications, we get a glimpse more & more of our Brian. He shot Myra last night (at her insistence) with the Nerf dart gun Leah gave him. He got so annoyed with the nurse & me this evening, he kept pulling the sheet up over his head.

On the flip side, he cooperated quite nicely & ate three wonderful meals (Though I got his back--those apples, half those eggs, & that banana cake looked absolutely horrid--no way was I making him eat that stuff.). We were able to leave his hands unrestrained ALL DAY & he didn't pull out a single thing! Even the nurses commented on how well he was doing today, even just compared to yesterday. He even was drinking on his own & making less of a mess than I did trying to help him!

Don't tell Owen but Brian was much easier to look after--there was a lot less crying & he's not nearly as messy!

His tiny room (& is it tiny) was filled with more kind gifts since I saw him last--cards, angel ornaments, clothing, an ipod speaker dock (which came in handy playing full blast recordings of Owen, one strategy in the Must Keep Brian Awake arsenal today), Gatorade, & more.

The doctors had nothing but positives to say. His heart looks good, he's eating well, he's really getting strong at clearing out his lungs, the trach plug isn't bothering him, & more. They anticipate another move down, up, however you see it, in this long process in the near future.

One final note--I just spoke to Myra, who is taking the evening shift before Eliana comes with dinner & a movie, & the conversations she's having with him now are smoking what he had with me even 12 hours ago. They've been talking about what to watch on TV, how much his back hurts, & that he's hoping he'll find out he has another nephew when I go to the doctor on Wednesday...

It never hurts to say it again, so I will:
God is being so faithful to Brian through our faithfulness in Him!

We continue getting answers to so many burning questions that always point back to the miracle He gave us in keeping Brian alive & giving Him this chance to redefine himself & make such an ever greater positive impact on those around Him.

I love how Pastor Rodney so succinctly explained the relevance of the story of Paul & the "thorn in the flesh," (a "thorn" that literally translates to a tent stake) in 2 Corinthians Chapter 12:

God ALWAYS answers prayer. He says yes, no, or wait. When He says wait, He wants you to keep asking, which in turn draws you that much closer to Him.

So keep drawing closer to God!


  1. Brian - I am so excited to hear how much better you're doing each day! The Pack could have used one of those last-minute 3-pointers from you today...we lost to Florida this afternoon by 2 pts. What Kara wrote above is so true---God DOES answer prayers if you believe. I know each day presents different challenges for you, but keep at it and have faith in yourself - you have already amazed us in so many ways! In the meantime, be nice to your sisters - they sure are doing a fantastic job taking care of you!

  2. Brian, I am so happy that you are showing us all that personality of yours! This blog makes me even more excited to come see you this weekend. I'll be sure and bring some movies for you. I am so impressed by the huge amount of progress you have made so quickly. But I would expect nothing less from you :)

    Oh, and if you shoot me with the nerf gun, it's on!

    see you soon,

  3. This is a bit of an explanation for the Keeters. Since Bret and I visited Brian the Saturday before Christmas, we have been battling either a virus or the flu. Emma's doctor called it a "bug" and offered no medicine. We are very frustrated because now that you need visitors we do not think you want sick visitors. Pray that we will all be healthy and able to share in the care. It would make us feel more like family to you. In addition to the sickness, I stupidly put my checkcard number online and my bank account has been viciously assaulted. I ask for your prayers that I will have wisdom and courage to believe that God will be straightening this out for me and teaching me what I need to learn in the meantime. I recently heard from two more churches whose congregations are praying for Brian's healing. Brian,someday, I pray that you will be able to see just how many prayers have been offered up for you. Love, Aunt Pollyanna

  4. wow!!!!!!!!!! i was just there when you moved on thursday and now you are talking up a storm. i can't wait to come back and talk to you :)

    stay strong!

  5. Amen! Hey Brian, I got a chance to speak with you lastnight. I was excited to hear your voice. As a matter of fact I had a dream two nights ago about you walking toward me. You're a strong individual man. Whatever you need let me know. That thorn in the flesh Kara was speaking of will keep us humble and sober in mind.

    God Bless you