Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Last post







This is it - the last post! Kristi is off to school in San Luis Obispo with two quarters left until she graduates. YAHOO, this is such an accomplishment! This has been a been one of her biggest goals over the last year and like many of our children, she worries about getting a job and wonders what she will do next. She has been working at getting her confidence and stamina back and went to our local junior college last semester. Took a full load and got a 3.8 so that made her feel like she was ready to handle the more rigorous academic program at Cal Poly.

On a physical note - mostly good. Still healing and moving in the right direction. She has had some problems with her right foot but after almost 4 months on crutches it too is getting better. We have seen multiple doctors, mostly neurologists, over the last few months and the final verdict was patience. It appears that the nerves are coming back but this is a very slow process. We will go back for further evaluation on that in another 6 months. At this point she has minimal feeling and use but time is our friend!!! While she wasn't able to get her foot in her ski boot we did have a great time x-country skiing and she is happily back on her horse starting this week.

So that all - except to say Thank you to all of you for your continued love, support and prayers!! We could not have made it without all of you - our very dear friends and family. YES - it takes a village!!!

Much love, Jayme

PS - As promised - a few photos from our Christmas trek to SV

Monday, November 15, 2010

One Year Ago....

I came back to Kristi's blog today thinking that it would be my last. This is the one year anniversary of her illness. It was a beautiful sunny fall day and I went for a nice bike ride to enjoy it. I spent most of the ride reflecting on what I have learned about myself, my daughter, my family and my friends.

First an update on Kristi. She is doing great - a few minor unresolved issues but nothing that she won't work through. She still has very little feeling in her right foot and cannot lift her toes. As the body is a system, this is causing some issues that need attending to. We had an appointment to have the nerve tested to see if was still viable. We had been to two other doctors who were recommending surgery and who referred us to yet another doctor. Doctor #3 told us that he believed that the nerve was coming back, reminded Kristi of what a slow process it was, and told her in no uncertain terms "to get her fanny back to work". Too soon to talk about the surgery - wait at least another 6 months. YAHOO! With that said, he did not see any reason that she wouldn't ski this year. Huge smile on her face and a renewed commitment on her part. While the nerves do regenerate, the process is very slow - patience!

She is enrolled in school and is taking a full load. She is happy and enjoying being around her peers. She has made numerous new and fun friends. (Good thing because she was definitely sick of me) She also works at the winery a few days a week. Basically, just getting back to life.

Mark said to me today that I should write a final blog and close the and close the chapter on what has clearly been a very difficult year. With any hardship - survival is what we do - we learn and we become stronger as is clearly the case with me and my family.

So here is what I have learned; the power of the human spirit is immeasurable and in Kristi's case that is one of the reasons that she is still here. She defied all odds with amazing determination and positive energy and has proven herself as a force to reckon with. The power of prayer - there are not enough heartfelt thank yous to all that prayed for us and then for asking people who didn't even know us to pray for us. I know that Kristi's prayer chain must have circled the earth. I BELIEVE in the power of prayer and know that without it, Kristi may not be here. The power of love and friendship: I felt it every day and it filled me up so that I could face whatever challenge came my way. Thank you to our very dear (and thankfully, large) family who made sure that I was never alone and all of the wonderful friends who did the same. We are so blessed and touched. I know that I speak for Kristi, and all of her family when I say that we are changed forever - FOR THE BETTER!

Love to all of you and thank you for standing with us! Maybe one more blog - I think a family photo from the top of Sun Valley (our traditional Christmas trek) would be an appropriate last blog!



Thursday, August 19, 2010

I came back to Kristi's blog today thinking that it would be my last. This is the one year anniversary of her illness. It was a beautiful sunny fall day and I went for a nice bike ride to enjoy it. I spent most of the ride reflecting on what I have learned about myself, my daughter, my family and my friends.

First an update on Kristi. She is doing great - a few minor unresolved issues but nothing that she won't work through. She still has very little feeling in her right foot and cannot lift her toes. As the body is a system, this is causing some issues that need attending to. We had an appointment to have the nerve tested to see if was still viable. We had been to two other doctors who were recommending surgery and who referred us to yet another doctor. Doctor #3 told us that he believed that the nerve was coming back, reminded Kristi of what a slow process it was, and told her in no uncertain terms "to get her fanny back to work". To soon to talk about the surgery - wait at least another 6 months. YAHOO! With that said, he did not see any reason that she wouldn't ski this year. Huge smile on her face and a renewed commitment on her part. While the nerves do regenerate, the process is very slow - patience!

She is enrolled in school and is taking a full load. She is happy and enjoying being around her peers. She has made numerous new and fun friends. (Good thing because she was definitely sick of me) She also works at the winery a few days a week. Basically, just getting back to life.

Mark said to me today that I should write a final blog and close the chapter on what has clearly been a very difficult year. With any hardship - survival is what we do - we learn and we become stronger as is clearly the case with me and my family.

So here is what I have learned; The power of the human spirit is immeasurable and in Kristi's case that is one of the reasons that she is still here. She defied all odds with amazing determination and positive energy and has proven herself as a force to

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 21st

Wow another month has gone by.... Today is Steven'a 26th birthday where has the time gone? I am so proud of how he has grown up! Milestones definetely make me miss Colorado and all of the wonderful friends that I have there!!!!



Kristi is doing great - getting stronger everyday and working hard to get her life back!!! She is still skinney and we don't seem to be making much progress on getting those lbs back on her. She is working on 6 digits on the scale. She is as busy as can be - riding almost every day (which gives her great joy) going to physical therapy and hand therapy and working with a private trainer trying to build back some muscle. She is also working 2 days a week at the winery and taking classes on-line trying to get back to school. She is determined to go back to school in September and graduate in June. I am nervous that she isn't strong enough - of course I am - and I don't really want her to go back but....not my decision! She gets a little down, she has now lost most of her hair (like someone who has had chemo) and won't wear a wigg but looks cute hats. I know that she is wondering if her leg and foot will ever come back. but as she says, she will just have to figure out how to do everything she wants without it and I have no doubt that she will!
Add Video

For those of you who like horses and know Krisit as a rider see the attached video of her and Stromie -from today. Just baby fences but really a big deal just to get around. Note the smile.
video

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18th - I've been a bad blogger










Wow - Can't believe that I have been away from this for so long (Is it really 6 weeks) We are all just getting better!!! It has been 6 months (+ a few days) since everything came crashing down and look how far we have come!!! It has with out a doubt been the hardest 6 months of my life but things are all going in the right direction.
Kristi is back riding a little and working at going back to school in September. She was just down in San Luis meeting with her counselor and mapping out what she needs to do to graduate. She is very determined - I (of course) am a little worried about her going back there.


She is riding again - playing around on cutting horses - something that she has never done before but having a good time with it. She recently cut her first cow, feel off. Worried everyone that she might have been hurt - but in her usual style she brushed it off and got back on. Also trotting around on her horse Storm plus working with a few little pones. Since she still only weights a little bit of nothing she is the perfect person to work the little guys. She is bummed because most of her hair has fallen out but it is already growing back. This is something that has just happened recently but is not unexpected given how sick she was and all of the crazy drugs she was on.

She continues to work at getting stronger but is really struggeling to gain weight but we are going to try a nutritionist. She is going to take some classes this summer to get her mind going again. She still goes to Physical therapy an hand therapy 2x per week. Her hand is really coming along and though she doesn't have full use yet, she has regained most, if not all of the feeling. Still struggling with the right foot - it is still numb but she says that the feeling is moving down. We were told that it will take up to two years to get this back. Even if she doesn't, she just has a little limp but she can ski and ride horses too- so accoring to Kristi it doesn't really matter.


So...we just keep working, praying and moving forward. We thank God every day for where we are and that we still have our family in tact!!! We are so very blessed! I also think of all of you, and silently thank you too!

I do have one more favor to ask - Do any of you know anyone that could help Kristi get on the show "What Not To Wear" We have decided that she could use a little help in that department. Skinny, in need of a new hair style and look at those outfits - don't you think that they will bite on that one. (HEHEHE)
Love you all! Jayme

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

To long since my last blog

My apologies for not having visited lately. It is so inept to say that we are busy (rude too, who isn't!) Needless to say we are all working hard - Kristi, Mark and myself too-to get our rythem back. I am trying to get my head back around work and also get Krisit to all of her appointments and activities. (I had forgotten what is was like when our children didn't have driver licenses) Very time consuming at best!!! She has been having 9+ appointments a week but as of Monday we will go to 4 and then it is up to us to suppliment treatment with other healing activities.

Kristi is doing amazingly well - if you need to see a miricle just come visit! We had this great appointmnt last week with a new doctor and she told Kristi that she expected her to have a full recovery. She described her as a lightening bolt. (How quickly she is improving) Now... a full recovery does not mean that all will be the same for her - she will most likely have some short term memory and focus issues that she will have to learn to navigate but there are so many good tools out there. Also, still no feeling in her right foot and lower leg but I saw her ride the other day and you would never know that anything happened; she may have to take up dressage but she is riding. etting on is the hardest part. As of today -not strong enough to jump. DA!!! She has only been out of a wheel chair for 5-6 weeks but she is riding, one of her big goals!She tells me she will be trooting "XXs" very soon

Her pain, thankfully, is much better! She jokingly told me that she wants to try and ski this weekend - joking aside, I know that she is not. Call me a helicopter parent but I won't be available to drive her. (hehe). Her therapists already think that I let her do but to much and am crazy to let her ride but it is so good for her soul what can I say.

BAH... I don't beleive that I should tell her what she can't do and she is determined to do it all!!!

She did walk 1/2 mile the other day, it may not seem like much but it really was. Unfortunately, her feet are so skinny and have no padding that they really hurt her today and she had to lay low. Have you ever heard of your feet getting so thin that there is no padding for your bones? We are working hard to get some weight on her. We had a Dr appointment last week (different Doctor), ran lots of tests and her blood chemistry appears normal so she just needs to eat more. Easier said than done; after not eating for so long her stomach has shrunk so her meal size is really small.

Kristi - if you read this -three servings of ice cream a day! Who ever thought that putting weight on, or in this case, just not losing it, would be so difficult?

She has also been going to Pilate's which she loves. We all recognize how much atrophy our muscles have when they go unused but I never realized how stiff you can get. Pilate's is great because it works both strength and stretching. She says that she can feel her body working to compensate for the weakness and the lack of feeling.

Kristi is doing so well!!! Lots of work still ahead of us - they say two years- but we are giddy with joy knowing that we have dodged a bullet. We went to San Luis last weekend and had a great time. We visted the hospital and all of the loving people that took such good care of Krisit; it was joyous!!! Also, it was wonderful to see those that became our great friends and took care of not only Krisit, but all of her family!! Their love and caring will never be forgotten.

What a journey we have made - the world seems a little brighter and we are all OK!!!
WE MADE IT -family in tact!
Love you all, Jayme

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday - March 21st

Its been three weeks and 2 days since Kristi came home from the hospital and a little over 4 and 1/2 months since she got sick. What a journey - today Kristi and I were talking about how far she has come - 1 month ago she was not walking; today she uses her cane but never her wheel chair or walker. She continues to struggle with intense pain but that too seems to be lessening and the doctors tell us that as she continues to get stronger the pain should settle down.

As of yesterday she added on more therapy - Hep pa-therapy; yes she went for ride yesterday. A fat little pony, quit lazy, walked her around on a lunge line. A double edged sword but this ride was for her soul and to help her build strength, especially her core. She was exhausted afterwards but left with her next "lesson" scheduled. She rode bareback with a vaulting pad that has handles instead of reigns and she was stronger than the therapist anticipated (even got to do a little sitting trot) She is still very weak but is getting stronger ever day. When she gets sad and frustrated I try to remind her where she has come from and that this is a process that you just have to muscle through. We have been told that it takes 3-4 days of work for every day that you spend in bed, to get back to where you were before. Yeep - that's a year but as hard as Kristi is working I will bet she is back sooner!

She is worried about her short-term memory but I have noticed improvement there as well. We work lots of Sudoku and cross-word puzzles together. She is going to take some summer school classes at the junior college up the street. This will give her an opportunity to test herself and get back in the groove. She will then decide whether to go back to school in September or January - either way, she is determined to go back and graduate.

All and all - we are "hanging" tough!!
Lots of love!
Jayme
PS - love your comments and I will respond to them directly.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March 16th

Mark has been giving me a little grief because I have not been very diligent about keeping all of you updated. The truth is these last few weeks have been emotionally draining, very exhausting and its been harder than usual for me to focus on the positives- it has definitely been a whirlwind! Not only does Kristi need full time care but she has 8 therapy appointments a week and at least one doctor appointment.She also started an "adaptive" swim program this week which she loves! It helps her manage her pain while making her strong. It feels like just managing her schedule is a full time job!

She is in intense pain and it is very disabling (we are working on some new strategies for managing)and she often wakes up crying 2 or more times a night. The Doctors tell her that as she gets stronger it should lessen but it may be something that she deals with all of her life. She has more cognitive issues, especially short term memory and attention deficits, than I had previously realized but we remain hopeful that it will improve. When I ask the medical staff what to expect in terms of improvement in this area, they are very vague and not necessarily very positive. (So many unknowns in brain injuries)She still has a great deal of weakness in both her right hand and lower leg and foot but she has a really great brace that helps her walk. Improvement in this area is also about 50/50 but in terms of statistics, Kristi continually beats the odds so I am betting on her!!!

Most of the time her spirits stay positive but she misses her friends and is pretty lonely up here - she doesn't have many relationships in this area as she never lived here. We are working on ways to get her involved in the community and she did go with her therapisttoday to enroll in the handicapped program at our local junior college. Due to budget cuts scheduling classes is very difficult but she will get priority this way. She just wants to take something fun and is very interested in cooking classes. I think that she will take a chocolate making class - maybe she will gain a few pounds too! Speaking of that, we are working hard at getting some weight on her; trying to hit 100 but so far I seem to be the only one feeling the effects of this. OPPS! OH WELL!

I'll try to write sooner - miss seeing all of you!!!
Love Jayme