Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Starting Rehab...

Brian currently is wrapping up his first full day in rehab!

They "wheeled" him through the tunnel yesterday evening & after another restless night, they put him right to work this morning.

He got to shave himself (which couldn't have been any worse than the job Dad did on him in ICU--no offense, Dad) & even comb his hair. I guess the side part is no longer. Wonder if he'll let Brian T. give him a haircut? It's no Mitchell's look but, hey, it's in the budget.

Though I've yet to visit the rehab hospital myself, I hear it is the building next to the hospital. They keep him pretty busy during the weekdays, about six hours of therapy during the week & two on Saturday. I'm told that though he has constant visitors (aka, my parents), he'd love to see some with less gray hair & those who are a lot more fun (Did that get the point across you wanted, Dad? About how you count but not really? Of course, I'm jesting about the not counting part--we all know the constant dedication & commitment my dad shows to his son & his recovery. But the cooler visitors--on that one, I'm totally serious.). Brian's pretty tired & still coming out of the cobwebs from the trauma (I remember one of the first nurses changing one of his IVs the first night he was in ICU called it "milk of amnesia"), but once he gets his bearings, he enjoys the company.

The visitors schedule:
M-F 4-9 pm
Sat-Sun 12-9 pm

He had a good friend come from Raleigh to see him yesterday & another one from Charlotte stopped by last night. Eliana continues to be so amazingly supportive & always seems to get the Brian we know & love to come out for a little bit. We love you & thank you, Eli!

Today he spent a good amount of time rolling himself around in a monster truck wheelchair. He hasn't gotten the sleek model yet, as this one allows him to recline if he gets dizzy, but my dad said he did well, more out of a desire to get out of his room than anything. He did send some people & other wheelchairs scrambling on some of those tight turns down the hall. Rookie. Guess he'll work on those again tomorrow. I'm just impressed he had the strength to do it after all the time he's been stuck in bed.

He's not much for eating, who would be with all he's been through, but of course it's important that he does. Well, bring in Mom. She got him to eat a dinner of phenom proportions compared to earlier today. Apparently the trick, in addition to being the Mom she is, is to give him one bite that's really equivalent to, say, 12.

On a more serious note, we still don't know where Brian will end up in terms of the final outcome. Again I just have to share how much murkier of a process this is than I would have ever imagined. He has a lot of therapists working with him--not just for the trauma to his legs. It's almost like a reset button has been hit & he's lost some time that they have to help him regain & readjust to--some of those more day-to-day sorta things. This apparently is pretty normal for what all he's been through & even just getting up & moving in a routine seems to take care of a lot of it already.

I got to speak to him on the phone today to tell him that he's got a niece coming in June. He said he was glad to hear that Faye (It is another small miracle that we're having a girl as my husband & just don't agree on boy names & we've got enough to focus on right now without wasting time on that discussion!) was healthy, especially because we had a major health scare with our son when I was 20 weeks pregnant that probably laid the foundation for my faith in Jesus Christ that continues to help me make sense of all this too. Another story for another post, perhaps.

Anyway, I have to say that, though he's got a lot of work ahead of him, he continues to defy odds with how rapidly he progresses--which is a good thing because insurance companies these days sure don't like you to stay put in the treatment you need for very long! Though, again, something for another post, perhaps.

I made contact with the Spinal Cord Injury Support Group point person today in Raleigh to start looking at where we go from here in terms of resources & how to get him some emotional support from people who've been there & she was great. Apparently, Raleigh has great support group, so I'll definitely be at their 1st meeting with 100 questions later this month. My parents also learned of the Charlotte chapter. Ironically enough, these are the only two areas in the entire state with this resource (When I say ironically, I really mean continued blessings from God, for those of you haven't caught onto the subtle spiritual undertones of this blog--forgive me, I'm feeling punchy tonight ;). The Charlotte group meets next weekend so my parents are excited about that. As Suzanne in Raleigh told me this evening, there is no manual for this stuff--though Jamie said & I agree that we're going to write one with Brian when this is all said & done.

An even more immediate blessing is this wonderful man who used to run a support group in Charlotte that I called today as well. Though his group no longer meets, he wasted no time contacting my parents & will be going to see Brian on Friday. He was injured 20 years ago at the age of 14 & even invited my parents to see the custom built home he & his wife live in now. I know my parents are so excited for Brian to meet him & to meet him themselves as well.

I just can't help but think about how what all of us are experiencing with Brian in this crisis envelops completely what Christ came to teach. One of those many times someone was testing Him to see if He was who He said He was:

Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments [is]: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This [is] the first commandment. And the second, like [it, is] this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these (Mark 12:29-12:31)."

First, we give such glory to God for his merciful sparing & healing of Brian.
Second, we say a prayer of thanks for you all everyday. We continue to be so touched by all this love & support for Brian & our family, especially when we all know that the journey is just beginning.

At this point, I have to say, it's like the actual accident itself was the easy part but I have to find such comfort in all the Goodness that has come out of something so seemingly horrific thus far...


  1. So glad that everything is going good for Brian and the rest of you. Congrats on the baby girl. Stay strong and keep the faith. My thoughts are with all of you.

    Jennifer Jones Darrough

  2. Hey B,
    I am glad that your first day at rehab went so well... I expect nothing less from you though. :) I know you are stoked over the news of your new niece on the way (congrats kara!).

    I am coming down to visit you for the weekend...we have TONS of catching up to do ya know!!!

    I want you to know how proud I am of you for all the strength you have shown throughout this process. You have always been there for me and I hope you know I will always be there for you as well. You have one of the biggest support systems out there I've ever witnessed! Everyone loves you!

    Well I can't wait to see that face of yours on get ready! Miss you and love you bunches mister.


  3. Brian,

    I was amazed by the strides you have made since I saw you last. It is truly a miracle, God DOES do awesome work. I was blessed to be there when you were moved to the rehab hospital and hear and see all the progess you have made. You are such a strong person and I know that you will overcome any obstacle that confronts you. I know that you will give the therapists a run for their money and probably teach them a thing or two. Stay strong, motivated, and keep your faith. Always in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Keeter-

    We are pulling for you. We are excited to read about your progress as you start rehab work. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Roposh and Kylie

  5. Kara and family,

    I was an assistant teacher with your Mom at Penney Road Elementary in the early 90s. Our daughters, Jen and Lindsay, went to school with you all. Jen was the one who delivered the news of Brian's accident to me and informed me of your blog.

    You are a gift, Kara! While I started reading the blog to keep up with Brian's recovery and offer prayers, you have inspired me with your words and STRONG faith!

    This road you and your family are on right now is extremely difficult, but will give you all more opportunities to strengthen your relationship with Him. It will also allow those touched by your story, to become more inspired.

    Thank you for your dedication on keeping so many of us up to on the progress, and God bless you and your family in the days to come!

    Jean Small and family

  6. It is great to hear how far you have come in just a short period of time. You are in our thoughts and prayers daily as you continue to go through this process.

    Just to let you know we are trying to get up there and see you over the next few weeks. We can't wait to see you.

  7. Kara and Brian,

    I know I give you tons of advice via private email, but there is something I thought I might share here as it will affect those others who read this.

    You might discover that in the rehab section of the hospital Brian will have access to reading this blog and receiving emails. Many of the larger hospitals have email service now for patients. If Brain doesn't have access to the internet personally they print out the emails and deliver them with the general mail. It's very common. However, in the rehab section they may well have computers as part of the therapy and he'd be able to actually read this blog and get personal email.

    Time to ask someone! I could do the leg work for you, but this is probably something your Dad can find out about in no time being right there.

    Let me know what you discover.


  8. Well, I was bored, so I thought I'd check it out. I can't actually see through the phone, but I can tell you that the people on the other end could see me through the receiver. I could FEEL them looking at me as if I had 3 heads. It seems they do not have computers or email access for patients. It seems they've never even considered the possibility. It seems the whole idea baffled them. It was so confusing to them that I got referred on to several people as each thought I must be more nuts than the one before.

    We have such a thing in the mid-west--I swear we do.

    That's all. Bad idea.


  9. Great Job! Brian,

    Rehab should be fun for you. We expect to see dramatic stages of improvement to the Glory of God. Work hard in rehab! Kara, thanks for all your inspiration and sharing your experience with Christ. I really she the fruit of God's word and character showing in your life and many are eating off of The Word you are sowing

    15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

    15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

    15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

    15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

    15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.