Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Update #116 on Kevin

Here I sit in the dark on my night shift with Kevin. His room is the living room and I have crashed on the couch. Angie will relieve me at 5 AM and I’ll head to bed for a bit. Kevin has been coughing a little more the last few days, but not too much tonight. Last Saturday, Kevin has been home a month. Five months ago today was Kevin’s accident. We knew the odds were up against him those first few days and weeks, so to think we are here with him, five months later is pretty amazing.

Last week, we asked you to pray about the peer to peer doctor phone call. Basically, the result was that Kevin got approved for another two weeks of eight hours per day nursing. It may end then or we may be able to get more extensions, we don’t know, but God does.

During the past several days Kevin has done some really cool stuff. I’ve told you about using the Wii and PS3 for therapy and coma stimulation with Kevin. Well, last week Kevin was pushing the button with his thumb a few times and trying a few more, it seemed difficult for him to push it all the way. He has done this a couple times now. One of those times, Kevin’s nurse asked Kevin to squeeze his hand if he wanted to keep playing. Then he asked him to not squeeze if he wanted to stop and rest. Then he reversed the question. Squeeze the nurse’s hand if he wanted to stop and rest and don’t squeeze if Kevin wanted to keep playing. He squeezed consistently to keep playing, even though his eyes were drooping and looked tired!

Then that night, we had Kevin in the geri-chair. Our mom was there and she was sitting behind him to his right. The TV was on the wall in front of him and turned on. Angie asked Kevin if he wanted to turn around to see his mom to squeeze her hand. He did. Then she asked him to squeeze her hands if he wanted to stay where he was and watch the TV. He didn’t squeeze. She asked him again and he consistently responded to the questions.

Every two hours we need to adjust Kevin’s body position in bed. This is called ‘turning’ him. I have to do this in about fifteen minutes in fact. But last Saturday night, I went to turn Kevin to his left and told him so as I came to the bed. I hesitated because I was making sure that I had everything in place before Kevin in an uncomfortable transition position. As I hesitated, Kevin’s body tightened up, it seemed every muscle was working over-time and he rolled to the left. Every other time, when Kevin has contracted his muscles he stays right where he is making it harder for us to turn him. I was so surprised and I told him thanks for saving my back from turning him!

Physical and Occupational therapy each continue to come twice weekly. They are great encouragement and have helped us do new things with Kevin for building muscle back up in different areas of his body. While OT was here today we were having Kevin do different motions with his hands in a pattern across his body. These motions not only help keep Kevin’s joints looser, but also stimulate his memory of doing these type actions in the past. For example, we took and empty spoon in his hand and made the gesture of ‘getting’ something off a plate and lifting it to his mouth. We know Kevin loves Cool Whip and we had some, so we even tried a little Cool Whip to his lips. He didn’t really respond while OT was here, but then after she left, we put a small amount inside his mouth to taste. He began moving his tongue around and chewing! We have also done BBQ sauce and frosting so far, maybe others.

Due to the bathroom flood that caused water damage in Kevin’s house, his home insurance cancelled his policy. We searched for another insurance company and thought we found one, but when they did the inspection they told us about a couple outdoor repairs that needed done or the new policy would be cancelled too. If you would be able to repair the roof over Kevin’s front porch, would you let us know? Unfortunately, we are in a time crunch too, but this would be a great way for someone to help Kevin during his recovery. Email me or call for more details (Matt – 918-850-9828 after 11AM thanks).

Today, Kevin watched some Star Trek (the original series) while he was sitting up in his chair. We have been playing some Old West audio books by Louis L’amour (his favorite) for him during the morning. In rest times, we dim the lights and play soft music or no music at all.

Keep praying for Kevin’s insurance to continue nursing. Keep praying for Kevin’s progress. Keep praying for our family’s unity and sanity. We thank God for everything that He has done so far and trust that He will continue to care for Kevin and our family.

Thanks for reading and praying,
Matt, Angie and family