Saturday, September 19, 2009

Update #49 on Kevin

Woke up this morning, went outside and the car was dead. No lights left on. Not sure what caused it but we got it jump started. I walked over from the hotel to Meadowbrook so that I could meet the president of our missions organization. He was coming through Tulsa and he took the time to visit Kevin.

While I was there I got to see Kevin up in his blue neuro chair for the morning. He was alert and so we got the Respiratory Therapist to bring in the speaking valve. After I left, we heard Kevin seemed to be mouthing words. They said that Kevin seemed to say “hi”, at the very least seemed be saying something that started with an “h” sound. How do you spell “h” aytche?

Today, they told the family that Kevin needed to have another IV pick put in. It was around the one in his left arm where he got a clot. And now they are putting one in his right arm. Please pray that no new clots appear.

We also found out that Kevin has pseudomonas. It can be a pretty nasty infection that can cause lung infections, eye infections, etc…. Not sure of all the details. Will let you know more later.

On a good note, Kevin got to go outside today. It was while he was in his blue neuro chair. They had to get him some large sun glasses to protect his eyes. He did good. They said that it does take it out of him. The staff told family that for Kevin going outside it would be like playing a full game of football. So that means he needs extra rest tonight.

Keep praying for all these things. Thanks for lifting them up on behalf of Kevin and our family.

Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (go here to read all the past updates) (this is the address that is not the forwarding address)

Update #48 on Kevin

Kevin sat up for the second time today. They sat him up in his blue neuro chair around 5:30 PM and got put back in his bed around 9:45 PM or so.

I remember so many times coming out the front door at Mom and Dad’s house and there would be Kevin. He loved tanning outside. He lay on each side until he was baked crisp. I also thought he was going to burn he was out there so long. But he never did. He has some kind of gene that is found in suntan lotions. Maybe we can bottle it.

So, when he got settled into his blue neuro chair, Kevin’s Respiratory Therapist tried something new. She put on a speaker valve for a trial run. Basically, the speaker valve makes it so Kevin can only breathe in through his trach, and he has to breathe out through his mouth and nose. This also makes it so he can makes sounds through his mouth.

He didn’t make any noise for the first thirty minutes, but then there were a few moans or groans. We were told that this was a good first run at trying out the speaker valve. It is a little different than just talking normally, because he still has the trach sitting right next to his vocal cords. Kevin has to kind of get used to it first. Sometimes he would make a groan sound when he would cough. He did try to move his mouth and tongue quite a bit.

It’s been one week since Kevin was taken off breathing machines. He has been breathing Wall-Flow air since last Friday. This is just one of the progresses that we were looking forward to and now we are celebrating the one week anniversary.

Thanks for those who have written emails or comments to us or Kevin. It really means a lot!

Now in honor of Kevin, let's all go out and get some sun tomorrow!
Thank you,
Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (to read past updates) (here’s another address to get there)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Update #47 on Kevin

Kevin’s main doctor here at Meadowbrook is on vacation. We heard he might coming back on Monday. I hope so, the fill in doctor came in this morning listened to his lungs, stood back up and declared that things haven’t really changed. I told him that another doctor and two Respiratory Therapists (R.T.s) have both said that it really seemed that Kevin had been looking at them during therapy times and exams. I thought that then this doctor might look into his eyes or lift his head or something, maybe touch his hands or even talk to Kevin, but he did nothing, he just replied that, “we just need to keep supporting him and see if anything changes neurologically.”

After speaking with the Physician’s Assistant, she is ordering a speaking valve. While Kevin has the trach in, he cannot make any sounds. If they place a speaking valve when he is alert, he may be able to make sounds. We are preparing ourselves in advance though. He may not make any sound. It may be gibberish. He may say something that doesn’t make sense. It could all depend on if the wires in Kevin’s brain are mixed up or not. It doesn’t mean that it can’t change though. We are praying that he is able to express himself when it is in. The speaking valve would not be in place all the time yet. They are still using the heated humidified air through his trach to help combat his pneumonia in his right lung. The R.T. during the night told us that both of his lungs sounded good.

This morning in order to help rest and heal his right eye, the nursing staff put some ointment in his eye and have taped it closed so that it can heal good.

The Occupational therapist told us that over the next few days, when Kevin is up in the blue neuro chair we might be able to take him outside! It is another great way to stimulate his senses. Today while sitting in his chair, Angie and I got to see how his body is being stimulated. Both of his legs were rocking, His arms/hands were kind of shivering. His eye was wide open (is right eye is taped all day). Angie and I were holding his hands and

There have been a few reports lately of Kevin tracking someone with his left eye. His R.T. today told us more than once Kevin was looking at her. Also today, Kevin watched an episode of Big Valley and an episode of The Monkees while he was up in his blue chair.

Thank you for praying,
Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (to read all the updates) (same bat site, different bat address)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Update #46 on Kevin

A friend of ours was telling us about a time last year, when we had known her for very long. She and Kevin are friends and they were on their way somewhere. Kevin told her ‘Let’s stop by Matt & Angie’s’. They got to our apartment in Tulsa and Kevin pulled out his key and opened up the door and came in. She came in behind him and started looking around. I think Kevin had her sit down and he proceeded to go into the kitchen. Seeing into the kitchen, she saw Kevin going through our fridge and getting food out of the cabinets. She asked him, ‘Are Matt and Angie here?’ Kevin replied that we weren’t. She told him, I don’t know if we should be here (Also she was thinking should Kevin be going through their food???). Kevin replied nonchalantly, ‘Ah, they won’t care.’ And continued his grazing. The truth is we wouldn’t have cared.

Things have been going smoothly this evening for Kevin. He hasn’t coughed very much. His respiratory therapist told us that from his latest X-Rays it shows that his left lung looks good, but his right lung still looks hazy (his right lung is the one that got punctured). The fact that his left lung looks good is GREAT!

His pulmonologist came in to see him tonight. She listened to him and talked with us. She said that she would be ordering a Doppler for his left arm, if there wasn’t one already ordered. (Side note – isn’t a doppler the thing they find tornadoes with???). She also lifted Kevin’s head up, it had been leaning to his left when she came in. When she moved his head, both his eyes opened up drowsily. He blinked slowly and the doctor was asking him questions. She asked if he could look at her. She got down right in front of face while talking to him. She gently laid his head back down and stood back up to talk with us. She stated, somewhat impressed, “it really seems like he was looking at me when I got right down in front of his face.” We told her that is what we have been seeing for the last several days. She confirmed that there are times when he will be more asleep than others, even in this state. It was nice to have a doctor confirm feelings that we were having.

Thanks so much to so many of you for commenting, either publicly or privately, about your appreciation for these updates. Some of you have also thanked me for my transparency. Since Angie and I have been ministry, we have seen the importance of transparency in communication. How can someone pray, if they don’t really know what to pray for? But it definitely extends past ministry. It should extend into the life of every believer. We, as Christians, should be sharing with other brothers and sisters what is really going on in our lives. We weren’t meant to live lives in isolation. How can the church BE the church, if they don’t know what you need? I think it is the responsibility of each Christian to open your lives up to other Christians. This humbling of ourselves trains to become more like Jesus. I believe that God can also lay someone on your heart as well, but that does not negate the responsibility of the one in need.

Thanks to all those who have given towards 742-Dine. Tonight we ordered hot wings from Wings To Go. Great stuff, it hit the spot. Thanks again. I believe it is a zero balance now, but we have gotten several meals out of it. Thanks again!! We appreciate it and our stomachs really appreciate it!

Thank you for loving on our family,
Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (to read all the past updates) (same website, different avenue for getting there)

Update #45 on Kevin

Well, it’s official. The test results are in. The C-Diff is gone! That means Kevin is no longer in an isolation category and we don’t have to wear gowns to get close to him and gloves to touch him! So I was able to give him the first kiss on the cheek since before he was diagnosed with C-Diff at the hospital about ten or eleven days ago!

Thanks for praying! Keep praying for everything.
Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (to read all previous updates) (same site, different address to get there)

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Update #44 on Kevin

Last night, Kohl manned up and watched over his dad all by himself. Of course, he had the help of a very capable loving staff. We were at the hotel last night. This morning we got up, had breakfast and took Jacob to school. We came back are getting ready and then running some breakfast up to Kohl before going out for some away time. I feel like we have been doing fairly good at balancing time with Kevin and time by ourselves. In fact, on many of the nights we are supposed to stay at the hotel, before leaving Meadowbrook, I think I could stay here again tonight. However, we aren’t na├»ve enough to think that we could do that for long before burning out. So we discipline ourselves and come back refreshed.

We spoke with Kohl on the phone this morning. He said his dad had a good night last night. And this morning Kevin is one of his aware states. When I speak of aware and asleep states, we have come to learn that even in a coma people can experience times where they are more at rest than others. When he is aware, we aren’t sure if it is clear or more of a dreamlike haze. We have heard many stories where people remembered what was said around them while they were in a coma. We’ve heard very few where the person did not remember. I wonder if in that sense it is like a ‘dream-state’. When you wake up in the morning, do you always remember your dreams?

So this morning, Kevin is in an aware state. He is also moving different parts of his body. These are the exciting parts of the day. I’m glad Kohl is getting to be there to experience it. But you know there was a subdued sense of calm last night, when Kevin seemed to be sleeping hard, and when he exhaled breaths his mouth kind of blew the air out of his lips, as people often do.

Some might say during a time of life like this that there is nothing else worth praising God. However, I find this to still be true. God is still on His throne. God is still in control. In times, when we should be pulling our hair out and giving up, we find peace that is beyond understanding (this is after, of course, pulling a few hairs out and threatening to give up). God sustains us. God has still provided for us a way to spend eternity with Him. God still offers this as a free gift to any who would accept it. God is still providing clothes, housing, food and laughter to our family. God is still there. God listens. God hurts with us, when we hurt. He cries when we cry. He pulls us to Him when we allow it.

You know some think this life is it. I don’t. I believe from God’s Word that there is an eternity after this life. This life is merely a chance for us to practice following God for an eternity of being with Him. I have heard time and eternity described this way. There are two birds. One on each side of North America. One on the West Coast. The other on the East. Each bird takes a grain of sand from their side and flies it to the other. The time in which it takes for them to complete swap out every grain of sand in this fashion would be only a speck in eternity. And technically, not even a speck, less than. This life, with its hurts, pain and sadness is not all there is. And for that I find reason to continue praising God.

For those of you, who would like to help the family, there are still a couple of great ways. Meals and housing. We seem to be pretty good on money for the prayer bracelets right now. At least for this first order. If you would like to help with meals, please let Jeff Congdon at Sandusky Avenue Christian Church know. It makes it so much easier on us than trying to coordinate meals on top of everything else. His cell number is 918-408-7680. For lunches, it usually only needs to be for 3-4 people. Dinners and Lunch/Dinner on Saturday, and Dinner on Sunday need to be for about 10-15. If you can make these meals, delivery them or pick them up at a drive thru, our family would be very appreciative. With housing, we are still looking for our next solution (starting next Monday). Some of the options still cost money, but being close to Kevin’s facility would be a huge blessing in many ways. You can still contact Brian Jennings at Highland Park Christian Church. You can reach him at 918-627-0783.

This was supposed to be a short morning update. Sorry about that.

Thanks for everything that you are doing for Kevin and his family,
Matt, Angie and family
_______________________________ (to read all the previous updates) (same blog, different address to get there)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Update #43 on Kevin

I remember Kevin bringing home the 45. For those of you too young to remember vinyl records, a 45 had a single song on one side and a “b” side single on the other. Normally, it was a great radio song, and rare was the time you got another great song on the other side. I think it was a in a peach colored sleeve. He pulled it out and put it on the turntable. It was….King Tut. Steve Martin, the comedian, did this song about the boy pharaoh of Egypt. I can still see Kevin dancing around to it. I played it for him tonight on my MP3 player.

Kevin has had a restful night. Eventful in a good way. The only thing is he had a fever earlier tonight. After some Tylenol and cold rags it has gotten under control. The pulmonologist (lung doctor) started him on a new antibiotic that will take care of the bacteria found in his secretion sample from Saturday night. It should also help with the remaining pneumonia. Kevin still has his antibiotic for C-Diff (until the 21st of September). It will depend on when Kevin has a negative test though.

Angie and I are at the hotel tonight. We found out that we will be at the Hampton Inn until Monday. Thanks so much for all the offers and help. We are working on our “residence” starting Monday night.

Kohl is staying with his dad tonight and Taylor is supposed to arrive from Midwest City sometime tonight. She had to take care of some loose ends during the past couple days.

Thanks for praying,
Matt, Angie and family

Update #42 on Kevin

I thought it would be good for us to give you a list of specific things to pray about, then as we knock them off, we can celebrate the progression as given by God. Pray for…

1) The scar from his major fracture on his right side of his head.
2) The remaining stitches to be loose & area healed enough to be removed from his right side.
3) Right eye opening seems more sluggish than his left eyelid.
4) Right eye is very red and sensitive to touch.
5) Some infection is in the right eye.
6) Started having a fever this afternoon, but it has already started going back down.
7) Bowels to function.
8) Stomach to produce only the amount of bile necessary for healthy function.
9) Stomach to digest normally.
10) Respiratory rate to stay normal.
11) Pneumonia to be cleared up.
12) Right lung to be fully healed after the puncture.
13) Vitals to stay normal.
14) More purposeful movement in his head.
15) More purposeful movement in his arms.
16) More purposeful movement in his eyes.
17) More purposeful movement in his legs.
18) More purposeful movement in his neck.
19) Consciousness to fully return.
20) Facial fractures to fully heal.
21) Speaking ability to return.
22) Brainstem swelling to be reduced.
23) Areas of the brain that had damaged to be completely healed.
24) Ability to walk to fully return.
25) Memories to be intact.
26) Short term memory to be intact.
27) Short term memory to be intact. (that’s a joke on me!)
28) Learning ability to be unrestricted.
29) All others of his brain to retain full functionality.
30) All normal life functions to return intact.
31) For the nurses and doctors to be encouraged.
32) For the staff of Meadowbrook to have clear minds for making wise decisions.
33) For the family to remain unified, strong and full of faith
34) For everyone involved to be pointed to God.

Thanks for praying,
Matt, Angie and family

Update #41 on Kevin

When we were growing up, we liked The Monkees. The show. The music. The guys. So as I type I am playing Headquarters, their third album. Also, I am younger than Greg and Kevin, so sometimes I was seen as the pesky little brother. I think I relished in it a little too much. With Greg, I could just tap him as he walked by. Seconds later I would receive the wrath of a kick to the leg, all worth it when I watched him squirm at Mom’s disapproval.

With Kevin, all I had to do was mess with his relationships. Tease him about the girls that sent him perfume soaked letters, or asking when they were going to get married in front of the girl he was with…..bratty I know. Kevin would get so mad at me! Later, as I got older and matured, my brothers and I became more than brothers, we became best friends.

Kevin has been having a good day. He has had far less secretions and the Respiratory Therapists have said each time they came in (every 2 hours) that his lungs were sounding good, so good they didn’t have to suction him. He has hardly coughed in the past 12 hours and he doesn’t have the rattly sound when he is breathing.

He is sitting in his blue neuro chair right now. His eyes have been open for most of the time he has been in the chair. Also, albeit slowly, his eyes will blink. He is doing this more regularly today. He has also been tracking some with his left eye. Angie was holding his head straight in the chair, because he kept letting it lean to his left side. One time she stopped and she saw him trying to pull back up himself.

Last night when his nurse was cleaning out his eyes, she went to wipe out his right eye. I was standing on his right and saw him grimace. He closed his left eye tightly (his right eye was being held open for the cleaning). Both his brows were furrowed. And his mouth clenched. She also said he try to pull his head away while she was cleaning his eyes. Apparently, he did NOT like it.

Greg just got here. We are going to get some lunch at the cafeteria while Angie hangs out with Kevin. We already got some lunch for Angie. Kevin can keep listening to the Monkees while we go.

Thanks for praying,
Matt, Angie and family

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Update #40 on Kevin

It’s been awhile since I updated you on Kevin’s flood situation (for those just joining, Kevin’s house flooded while he was in TICU – His youngest son, Jacob, lives there with him). I believe they have taken everything out that can be taken out (furniture, property, ruined kitchen cabinets, ruined bathroom cabinets, ruined carpet, lower sections of sheetrock on the walls needing replaced, etc….). There are just a few more details to take care of before the restoration work can begin.

Kevin’s digestion has been up and down. It seems to be okay but the problem seems to be more related to his stomach. Because Kevin is being tube fed, his body is confused. It knows he is getting carbohydrates, nutrition, etc… but it assumes it needs to make more bile to break down these components. Kevin also seems to have a very sensitive gag reflex. Whenever they come in to suction him, his reflex is to gag and when that happens he often brings up the extra bile that is being produced by his stomach. He is having more regular B.M.’s but now there is this issue of stomach acid. They started him on a new acid reducer today.

This morning, they also sent off a sample to be tested for C-Diff. If he doesn’t have it any longer then my understanding is they will take him out of isolation, which means no more gloves to touch him and gowns to be close to him. If he still has it, they will keep monitoring it and testing for it.

Several of you have told us that you have stayed away at different times due to not feeling well, or being around others who are not feeling well. I want to say thank you. Thanks for not just being considerate but recognizing the very real threat to Kevin’s recovery that could be caused by the addition of a flu or virus. I appreciate that.

A tech today told me a couple things when I got here today. She said that earlier when she was doing some Oral Care for Kevin, he kept biting down on the utensils. She would ask him to open his mouth each time he did this so that she could keep working on him. Each time he would open his mouth when she asked. Also, she said he was grinning on his right side of his mouth at her. He stopped and she asked him to smile for her again and he grinned again. I guess this happened a couple times! There have been a couple times where we thought Kevin was trying to smile, so it is cool that it seems he is progressing.

I am including a photo of Kevin. It is Kevin doing something that came very natural for him…talking on his cell phone. Over the years, Kevin had several cell phones, sometimes two or three at the same time (with several numbers). It is rare to see him without the phone on his ear or his finger not texting. This photo was taken by me at a Tulsa Drillers baseball game that Kevin got several of us tickets too. I remember thinking this was a good photo because embodies a favorite pastime of Kevin….talking on the phone. Those of you that know him, know this is true.

We appreciate all of your prayers.
Matt, Angie and family

Monday, September 14, 2009

Update #39 on Kevin

If you’ve ever seen The Amazing Race on TV you know that it is a show about several two member teams in a race around the world. They travel from country to country doing different tasks and advancing to win the final prize. One of those tasks is called a Roadblock. A Roadblock is a task that only one team member may perform. Sometimes it is to eat a huge bowl of local traditional cuisine that is disgusting to the American palate. Sometimes it is to wade chest deep in a mud swamp searching for clues. Sometimes the team member doing the Roadblock takes a long time, sweating through the task, crying out, tiring out, wishing they had let the other team member do the task. Meanwhile, the team member sitting out is just waiting. They sit there watching. Watching while others complete the task. Watching as their teammate, who is usually a loved one, is feeling frustrated, getting worn out, wishing to give up. They cycle between cheering for them, annoying them, getting frustrated that they are taking so long to complete the task.

Sometimes I think we are in the middle of a Roadblock. Kevin drew the short straw is doing the task. We sit on the outside looking on, waiting for him to complete the task. We hope that he has almost finished what his body is doing, never really knowing how long it will actually take. Sometimes we cheer him on, sometimes we get frustrated it is taking so long, and sometimes I am sure we annoy him with some of the things that we say to him.

We talk about the progression in these updates. We celebrate the little steps that Kevin makes. We talk about the down moments too. For every time Kevin moves his eyes, there are ten or more times that he doesn’t. We look back a couple weeks ago and know that there are things Kevin is doing now that he did not do then. It is like climbing a mountain using toothpicks for climbing gear. It is like rowing across the ocean using spoons as paddles. Are we moving forward? Looking back at the last three weeks it is undeniable that we are moving forward, but at times it feels like a snail’s pace.

That’s why we celebrate things that in normal life we wouldn’t even notice. A pinky here, a ring finger there. He had a third B.M. tonight after we left for the hotel. Natural? Yes. Significant? Not normally, but now…yes. Greg (my other brother) and I were standing on each side of Kevin. Greg had been talking to Kevin during one of the moments that his eyes were opened. Kevin had finally started lowering his eyelids. We tried asking him to open them a few times. Greg started telling Kevin a story anyway and upon getting to the cool part of the story, Kevin started reopening his eyes. After Angie and I left for the evening, we heard that a family friend was holding Kevin’s right hand and Kevin began squeezing back. His fingers were opening and closing several times on our friend’s hand. Really cool. Pinky. Ring Finger. All fingers. Baby steps.

I talk about the pace because I want to accurately portray what is happening. It is a marathon, not a sprint. If you try to run a marathon with a sprints’ pace, you will pass out or drop out. We ask that you continue to pray for the family as we journey this voyage together. Pray for us as we wait when there is nothing physical for us to do. Pray for Kevin to be healed and better than before.

In one of the last updates, I mentioned a way for those working at AA can help. I just found out that Greg’s supervisor and manager set it up to make it easy for those wishing to donate a day to Greg. All someone has to do is go to the administration desk located next to the injury counselor’s office in the admin building (near the credit union) to donate vacation time.

Also, it is looking like Friday may be our last day at the Hampton Inn. The greatly discounted rate we have will last until then. Right now, I am exploring options for those of us out of towners to be close to Kevin. There are two extended stay facilities very close to Meadowbrook. To get the great rate, we would need to pay for each month up front (around $750) for the month. Still researching options, but this may be what would work for six of us.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying.
Matt, Angie and family

Update #38 on Kevin

Nick. Heath. Jarrod. The Barclays. If you ever watched the TV Western called, The Big Valley, you know their names. My brothers and I loved that show growing up. We even had the characters divvied up. Greg was Heath. I was Jarrod. Kevin was Nick. Tall, dark haired and the self titled protector of the Barclay clan, Nick was a good choice for Kevin. I bought the first two seasons of Big Valley at Wal-Mart for us to play for Kevin. I think I’ll put one on after I finish writing this update.

Kevin is sitting in his blue neuro chair. Throughout the night, he coughed up quite a bit. That’s a good thing, but it can also be tiring, especially if it is constant. This morning he seemed to have a more restful period. Around noon, the Occupational and Physical therapists came in to work on his range of motion. They started and said its okay to start working on his left arm and leg (where the blood clots were). Around that time we discovered that he had a B.M. today! That’s good news. So they did a quick clean and placed him in the blue chair.

Three people in the past few days have either felt or seen his pinky on his right hand move. This morning I was holding his right hand, and I laid it down. I was watching his hand and saw his ring finger move.

We appreciate the visits to Kevin. Our family has definitely been in encouraged by those who have come up. When you come, remember that we believe that Kevin may be hearing things we are saying in his room. Please be careful about mentioning or asking about what future he may or may not have in front of him. It’s hard enough for him to fight this, we want to encourage him with positive reinforcement! And of course, we want it all bathed in prayer! If you have questions, please feel free to ask them, we may just pull you aside to answer them.

Oh and by the way…I couldn’t wait until I finished this update. I had to turn on the first episode of Big Valley for Kevin. I put it on a table right in front of his eyes. I was standing behind the portable DVD player and I saw his eyes flicker when I told him I was putting Big Valley on for him. I seemed to look up at me above the player and back down to the DVD player, back up at me then back down to watch the episode. I hope he can hear it over the beeps and whistles in the room.

Just when I thought we were going to have a peaceful afternoon. The RT came in and suctioned and he started throwing up. They have it under control, but now they have to give him his bath. I helped them lift him back into his bed from the chair. He had another B.M. too.

I’ll close this one, by saying we just got back in here. He’s all washed up now. Resting peacefully…we’ll try Big Valley in a bit.

Thanks for praying,
Matt, Angie and family

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Update #37 on Kevin

My family’s tradition is to go to lunch together every Sunday after church. Even on Sunday’s when we were at different churches, we would call or text each other to connect up so that we could decide where to go. This morning, several in the family went to church together. Then we went to lunch together. This is the first time we have gone to lunch together after church since Kevin’s accident. Since we are all going through this together, we were able to drop any guards and be ourselves. Through this tragic experience we have had to learn how to laugh together, even when at first it feels like you will never laugh again.

I keep thinking about the movie “Sleepless in Seattle”. I won’t ruin it for you but there is a person dealing with a tragedy. When asked how he deals with it, he replies with the following reply…

“Well, I'm gonna get out of bed every morning... breath in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won't have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breath in and out... and, then after a while, I won't have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while.”

Whew….straight to the depths of my soul. We have felt incredibly blessed by how God has provided for the family during this amazingly difficult time. We have also felt God soothe us, after dealing with stress after stress throughout this situation. That does not mean that things feel normal for us.

Kevin had been somewhat still today, but tonight Angie started challenging him to cough. After a bit, he started coughing and opening his eyes some. It seems to tire him after awhile, but Angie kept pushing him to cough. It shows cognition, understanding and the ability to respond. Respiratory told us that it is more painful if they have to stick a suction down his trach than for him to cough it out on his own. So we encourage him, even when it seems like such a long slow process.

We were told by the night nurse coming on duty that Kevin had finally had a B.M. today. It must have been around the time of his bath, since the family didn’t know about it. I’m looking forward to speaking with Kevin’s doctor tomorrow, since he has had a replacement over the weekend.

We have the TV on now for Kevin. It is on an arm attached the wall. It is sitting directly in front of Kevin’s face. We will be trying all sorts of stimulation.

We’re still looking forward to him getting over isolation from the C-Diff (intestinal illness). At Meadowbrook they will look for one negative test for C-Diff from a B.M. before taking him out of isolation. They said that once he is out of isolation, there is a possibility to take Kevin outside. That will provide other stimulation. Once per month, they have a pet day where you can bring pets to see the patients. Brinkley would love to see his “unca” Kevin.

Thanks for joining us on this journey. It means so much for you to go along with us. Thanks so much for the long emails, the short messages, the notes of prayer, the quoting of scripture, etc….. You have meant so much to us.

Matt, Angie and family