Saturday, August 30, 2008

What Santa does in the off season...


Christmas in August?!?! huh?
Yep we tend to do things rather different here in the Ginter household and this year we really played head games with the kids and had Christmas in August! (well minus the snow, the tree, the cold, the food, the visitors...)
Dennis and i had decided to buy a Wii for the kids for Christmas so that they could get some physical activity in the winter (and we could do the Wii Fit too and hopefully lose a few more pounds that tend to accumulate around the middle.... of winter [HA!]) but then after Sam's accident we decided to step it up a bit and get it earlier (which was good cuz it was really hard to get now let alone when the Christmas rush would hit!) and then Sam could use it for building strength and endurance for himself while the other 3 are in classes (Sam will also use it for "gym class" here at home while tutoring-- i am always thinkin' of ways to keep him busy! lol).
So we bought the Wii, hid it for a bit of time (about 1-2 weeks i think) and then we wrapped them up in Christmas wrap. I had the kids all come out to the deck for a "family photo shoot"-- and Dennis brought the prezzies out while i was snapping pics. To say the least, they were a tad bit confused about it all. So we explained that this was part of their Christmas present (well more like the BIG one) and to please have fun and enjoy!
Once th gifts were all opened we explained the plan for it -- and i think they all heard (well Dennis heard) I am sure they heard more of the Charlie Brown teacher talk coming out of our mouths as they were all so excited about the Wii (Dennis is NOT a fan of video games and the likes... but i think we have him now... he was on the Wii Fit this am before the kids were even up!lol)
SO we got it all set up and running and Thursday night was spent racing cows, shooting ducks/balloons, playing pinpong, tennis, bowling, boxing and all that you can imagine!
My 3rd knee surgery on Friday has come and gone. As it turns out my cartilage was torn so they cut the 'snag' off and tidied it up -- so hopefully we are done with knee surgeries (and my left knee better start letting the right one take up some slack or else it will be following suit and heading under the doctors knife too!)
We are starting to prepare the kids for school and what they can say to someone if there is talk that they arent comfortable with. Hannah and Isaac have opted to say "that is not what happened and i dont want to talk about it" and they are to walk away. But they do know that they can tell the right story too if they feel like they want to share. I am not too worried about what will happen at their school since it will blow over in a day or 2 if it comes up at all. They both have someone (an adult) at the school that they can talk with if they are having trouble with anything.
Josh is still getting geared up for the duck hunt. (I secretly hope that if he does shoot anything he doesnt bring it home-- duck!? yuck! lol) I know he will have a fun time and he is really looking forward to it!
Sam is getting himself ready for the big football game next weekend too! He is so excited! Actually we all are! I love watching football games in person... much more excitement!
I am so thankful that we were able to get these tickets and they seem to be not too bad of ones- because it was all that Sam could talk about in the hospital "when we get out of here I am going to see the Riders!" "When we go to see the game can I try to see if I can talk to the players?" LOL It was his incentive to get up and get walking and get home!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Good info

I have been trying for a few days to get this pdf file printed so i can give it to family members, and friends-- but it is 117 pages (not all those pages are needed) so i thought i would post the link here and those (if any) are reading this blog and are interested in learning a bit about what we are and could be heading toward i have added this link...

http://www.hoteldieu.com/cdcabi.pdf


I am trying to compile a few good sites that are easy to read and understand and i want to add them to the layout for easier reference for people (and yes for me... since i seem to be losing more and more of my thought process these days!)
My goal is to find a site that have the mild TBI (traumatic Brain Injury) symptoms, as some sites have all the gamits of possiblities and it can be EXTREMELY overwhelming and a tad bit scary to read and try to process.

I am going to fill a few people in on things as i have had a few questions about how I am coping with it all. First of all, Aug 4 was the 12 th 'anniversary' of my dad's 'accident' (he was beaten up and left a paraplegic and severely brain damaged) So my family has had a bit of experience with TBI. When i was in college I decided to delve farther in to TBI and how and what happens to people and families that are SURVIVING it, i wrote my major paper on it and learned copious amounts of information that really helped me to understand what the doctors and nurses were talking about (medications, therapy, prognosis'...) I am not saying i am an expert on TBI's but i have a fairly extensive insight and knowledge to what can be the 'worst case scenario' (short of the obvious). I truly believe that we were being prepared for this with our last 12 yrs. Although, in spite of all this knowledge, i still worry and am scared about stuff ( i have an ulcer named Arnold that can testify to this!) I try to not do either, but I have discovered i am NOT Supermom... i am human and fall to the same tempations and issues with said humanness as rothers do... (sure wish my super powers would magically appear tho most days)

Just a blurp that might bring a smile to a face today... Anyone who knows Sammi will know what i am talking about with his sense of humour...
I was scared as we drove to Winnipeg and all the pennies started falling(this will be another posting for a different day when i am able to type it out without getting too emotional) and I was praying to God, but once i walked into the hospital and I saw my son laying there and his first very quiet words to me were " mom.... i think Josh $h!t his shorts" i knew that we were going to be on the up swing of the ball this time around. God was letting me keep my son and Sam was going to keep his (now more warped) sense of humour.


Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event,
deal with it and then move on.
~Bob Newhart~

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A rose by any other name... still stinks

I am not a fan of roses. I mean i like them, they are pretty but not really 'my thing'. I don't really like their smell (maybe too many scratch and sniff stickers as a kid... who knows...) But I was just trying to say that not matter how pretty things look -- they can still stink! (not all my thoughts are rabbit trails-- ok well they are alot lately but not ALL the time ;-D ) there is a point sometimes and here it is...
Even though we are home and the doctors are impressed with Sam recovery, things are still healing, he is having to come to terms with alot of things and relearn stuff. As a family we are having to do the same.
Josh is quite determined to go on the mentored Duck Hunt on the Sept7 weekend. We are rather worried how he is going to react (or if he will) when he is there shooting the ducks. He is going on his own since these were plans we had originally made months ago. Sept 7 is the 'banjo bowl' (Sask/Wpg football game) and Sam chose the football instead of the duck hunt and Josh wanted the duck hunt. But that was all before July 29... he assures us that he will be fine but we are still very concerned. Grandma and Grandpa are going to pick him up from it and they will be the contacts if he needs. We have also started to prepare him for some of the things he will encounter when he goes back to school: rumours, ignorant remarks, anything! He hadnt heard any of the rumours and I want to thank the parents of his friends that he has been with since the accident. The kids were great and never talked about it or asked about it! It made me cry to know that these teen boys are aware of what their friends need right now -- but sadly not all kids are going to be like that and there will be some that choose to try to make life difficult for the boys.
Sam seems to be taking things slower. He wants to see his friends but seems guarded too. I know he is worried about what will be said or maybe not said. Hopefully once we are in the full blown counselling mode things will even out for him... for all of us.
I had posted before that things were quiet around here but things change in the blink of an eye (as we all well know) and the typical teen attitudes and sibling rivalry and life started this week with the kids and to say the least-- i wanted to run away, but then who would make all the arrangements for everything!? *sigh* Samuel seems to be even quicker to snap at someone or get mad (which is normal for a head injury) He becomes irritated faster and very angry very fast. I need to help him to learn to control that and what to do when he becomes so. This was a problem he had before the accident but it is much more intensified now. He reminds me of my dad and sometimes that scares me as i know that in the anger he lashes out at the nearest person(sometimes physically) so i hope to help Sam get a griop on it before he gets to that point.

I would love to say that we are getting back to normal, but as Patsy Clairmont says"normal is just a setting on the dryer". Normal is not somewhere that we are even close to yet i dont think. Things are still incredibly fresh and hard to work around the emotions some days. This makes it hard to get organized with everything for fall when we are all so tired and so far behind it seems like we are first. We are slowly getting things done but there are other things getting left behind... which i am sure will all work out for the best because God knows his plans and He is the Master Planner.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

This has been a fairly emotional week/weekend (well for me anyway-- mind you comparing me to Dennis and 2 teenager boys). And this week is seeming to start out to be the same!


Friday we saw Dr. Chapman and he hadnt seen any paper work from Wpg yet (which is funny since Wpg told me to make the appt and they would be sure to send it all to him...) so Sam and i filled Dr. Chapman in on everything that has happened since we left the hospital in Npw on July 29th....EVERYTHING. Sam is doing great and is now weighing 91.25 lbs! that is almost a 2lb gain from when we left Wpg!!! YYEEAAAA Sam! (now eat some more spuds and meat! :-) )

This week is filled with appointments for orthodontist for Josh, school supply shopping for everyone (gold nuggets needed here), school meetings to arrange tutor and possbile EA for SAm, we start family and possibly individual counselling this week, getting all the kids to their schools to see who their teachers are (and having meetings with teachers and principals to discuss the situation), a card makig gurly session for Hannah with Mrs. Sue on Wednesday, company Wed. night (so a hot tub session for us... whew!) hair appointment, canning of tomatoes and then ending off this wonderfully crazy and nutty week-- my 3rd knee surgery. sigh

The kids all seem to be quite excited about school starting. I think they want to get back into a routine and i know Sam will appreciate them not being here so he can have some quiet time. People have been asking how he is doing and i say he is doing great physically and the rest will come. Not that he has any mental issues per se... more some slight social skills that need to be re adjusted. He is also a much more subdued than before (i know this is only to be expected-- but some days it is very unnerving for me)

The other kids are all quieter and calmer too (for the most part) and some days i just want to scream "GIVE ME BACK MY KIDS!!" but then i think we are all in a new learning curve and God put us here for a reason... just wish he could fill me in a bit more. But i also know that GOd doesnt give us more than we can handle:

1Corinthians 10:13 - The Message
13No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

CT Scan pics and other new updates...

Here are  Sam's pic from yesterdays scans. The bright white flecks on here are the bullet and fragments. the small dark bruise like looking spot(above the smaller fragments) is where the bullet entered his skull and where they will put the steel plate if he chooses to do so.


The light scatter is just light reflecting from the lead of the fragments...but there is no white "blobs" or cloud like spots -- this means no pooling blood... YEA! (The bright white spot is a fragment)

We also learned some new info today from samuel. We havent really asked him much about he remembers of the day of the accident but today he was telling us AND showing us what he was doing. As it turns out he WAS NOT practicing an air cadet move as we had first thought. he was actually practicing aiming as he was taught to do (using both eyes to focus on the target). He brought the rifle up to centre is target as he was aiming, but sam miss judged and brought the gun up too fast to aim and did hit his head with the scope (this explains why the gun was cocked -- he had a bird in his sites to shoot it). When the scope hit his head it must have dazed him and he dropped the gun and as he leaned over dazed the rifle discharged.
Sam described everything he remembered right up until he was hit with the scope.

As dennis and i spend time talking and remembering the last few weeks, i have realized there are things i had forgotten about and didnt journal them! Like one day after Dennis had come home to look after the other kids, samuel turned to me in the hospital bed (I had fallen asleep in my chair) and asked who was sitting with him. I told him no one there was just me and him in the room. He told me that he had felt someone sit down on his bed and they were still sitting there beside him. I cant beleive i had forgotten that, but dennis said whenever he tells people about the miracles that we have observed he thinks of that and knows that Sam was being looked after and there was no worries (well not no worries... but you know what we mean)

Today again we were shown how God was watching over us. Our 'neighbours' at the RMH were a couple from Bdn. their son was in the hospital ungoing cancer treatments. we never once exchanged names, but we spoke to each other everyday and we were praying for each others families! Today i recieved a card in the mail from the couple and it turns out that friends of theirs are friends with some of our friends and these 'mutual' friends were praying for Samuel too! with this new and awesome info it was shown how God does work in amazing and mysterious ways!


I so look forward to every day and seeing what new and wondeful things God has in store for our family!

God is so amazing

Our trip to Winnipeg was not only a good one ... it was a great one!
We had Sam's CT scan done yesterday and an hour later we were in the doctors office talking about the results. (Dr MacDonald is the pediatric neuro doc) He was awesome. He was so patient and sat with us and answered questions and set our minds at ease about what our plans are and how we are doing things! He told us that Sam is still not to be doing any physical contact sports, or jumping or anything that requires quick reflex (balancing) for now. He will be back to his normal (he will be at the time)13 yr old self by next spring-- even be able to try out for the high school football team!!!!!!!!!!!! We were very happy to hear that , as Sam has been waiting for years to play!
Dr.MacDonald answered Sam's questions about the "hole" in his head (where there is no bone anymore) and once the risk of infection from the bullet is gone (about 6 months) if the "hole" bothers him he can have a metal plate put in so it is not such a constant reminder. This will be up to Sam if he wants to do this-- although it can leave him open to another infection after the surgery but weigh that against him always having that reminder there... peace of mind can't have a price put on it.
We also learned that Sam is still not out of the woods totally yet as he is still at risk (a small risk-- but one none the least) for infection since there ARE foreign objects embedded in his brain. That risk will be dropped to next to nothing after 6 months, but it will be something that is there his whole life.
The bullet will not move either. Where it is, is where it will stay. We were so happy to hear that! SO there is no fear of football or any sports jarring it and it moving to a new locale...whew!

We saw the first CT Scan that he had done when Sam came into the hospital on July 29. There was alot of "white blobs" on the scan... this was blood pooling. Their main concern was that the pool was going to remain pooling and cause problems... so when we saw yesterdays scan... no "white blobs"!!!!!!!!!! The blood was gone and his brain was lookin good!
)
But here is the piece d'resistance... Dr. MacDonald informed us that yesterday after the blood had cleared and they were able to see things clearer.... the bullet had CHANGED DIRECTION when it entered his brain. That means that if it had followed the STRAIGHT PATH that bullets usually do, things would have been alot different, BUT it changed direction and CURVED as it entered in his brain! God was most definitely watching over our son on that day. So many different endings could have happened July 29, but God choose one that would be miraculous! GOD IS SO GOOD! I had a very hard time trying to stay composed as he told us all of this ... and i am still in shock as i type this out today. Just when i Think we have reached our quota (so to speak) on blessings with this ordeal ... God decides to throw yet another shocker in this story and prove that Proverbs 3:5-6 is so right:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge him,
And he will make your paths straight.”

I know that our paths are not going to be easy these next few months, but with God as our pilot He will make sure we will come out better for it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

new name... same old blog

I changed the title of the blog because it struck me that this isnt just a journey for Sam, it is for the whole ginter family, me, dennis, sam, josh, ike and hannah.

i was reading my post from yesterday and realized that I have been making everything sound rosy and happy-happy-cheer-cheer... i think that i hav been doing that so i will feel better but i realize if i am not going to be honest about what is happening in our house then how will Sam ever be able to see how far he has come when he wants to look back. With saying that things are not horrible and unliveable but life is as it is - real- and i need to keep it all real here too.

Sam IS gaining strength and endurance everyday but we are noticing other things that cause us to go "hmm". His concentration level is not where it should be with a 12 (almost 13) year old boy. yesterday we were trying to explain to Sam about his energy and trying to use it in ways that will help him to get better and he started to do what any normal child would do - pick at scabs, and try to ignore the discussion- but he did it so intently and did not make any eye contact at all and barely would answer our questions. Then when we talked about him needing to work on his concentration and really put some effort into it so he could get ready for the school year. he suddenly could not keep a straight face and when we asked what was so funny he had a hard time talking (with out laughing) to tell us that he had suddenly wondered what dad would look like with a big red nose. I know that this sounds like it is goofy and trival to some but that is not Sam. Yes he was a goof off at times but he knew when the times were to be serious and take responsiblity. Yesterday wasnt the first time that this had happened either. He will suddenly start laughing at something when there is nothing to laugh at or at very simple (2yr old) humour.

He also is extremely quiet for himself. Sam is a very outgoing kinda guy. It is only 3 weeks so i am trying to not put too much presssure on him to see the old sam shine thru but there are times during my day that i really miss my son. I have so many questions for the doctor tomorrow and i know it will be a very emotional day for us all-- note to self... no makeup tomorrow :)...

With everything that has been hapening since we got home i have not yet been able to make appointments for the boys or our family for conselling. I know we need to do it , but some days it is just the one thing that keeps getting dropped to the bottom of the "TO DO" list.

Joshua seems to be fine with things but he is a 14yr old boy and he is his fathers son.. so i am betting that he is trying to not let us see if anything is bothering him so he doesnt stress us out. We figure that he saw the whole thing as it happened and has blocked it out. He says he saw the scope hit Sams head but that would have been before Sam's gun went off -- so he has some feel pretty traumatic things going on in his head. And one day something is going to happen and it is all going to come out.

Isaac is handling it well it seems too, but he is an introvert and will not talk until it gets so bad that he wont eat (and if my ike isnt eating-- it cant be good) but he is not one to talk about things either.

Hannah is a mother hen most of the time but then gets mad at someone for whatever reason.(no syrup for her waffles or she doesnt want to shower 2nd....)

So seeing all this i will have to see where we go for this counselling. Our family is in such shock still that no one is dealing with things and i am scared what will happen when we do... I think we all need to have a melt down together and let out all that we are feeling and build this family up from that point...

Monday, August 18, 2008

what is normal?

well the last few days have been busy with our garage sale and trying to stay cool.
Sam is doing awesome! He is getting stronger everyday and I can see his endurance building He still gets tired and has to rest and we are still having to be very careful with fevers (seizures can occur)and him getting hot and having his brain swell, but i am hoping we are now on the upswing of the recovery.
We are into winnipeg on wed. for his next CT scan and we meet yet another Doctor (and for the life of me i cant think of what kind of doctor he is... sigh... i think i am losing more of my thots than necessary) We hope he can answer some questions that are very heavy on our hearts.

I will try to get some pictures posted of Sam this week.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Traumatic Brain Injury Info

I thot i would give a bit of what sam is going to be living with -- permanent or not. When i was in college my term paper was on TBI.

I have found a few good sites that have awesome information. they have links to click on that will go into more specific details on areas and types of injuries. I hope that some will find it interesting and very helpful.



http://www.neuroskills.com/tbi/injury.shtml

http://www.birf.info/home/library/pediatrics/ped_chiltrau.html

if anyone finds a great site please email it to me so i can (hopefully remember to) add it here to the blog.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

a good day

today was a good day for Sam. there was no headaches, no dizziness, but he did nap for 2 hours after lunch. he helped a bit in the morning with cleaning the shop up -- carrying light things and sweeping up a bit. We didnt walk since he was on his feet quite a while in the shop. In the afternoon he helped with picking some peas and beans. So he had a very active and productive day i think.

Yesterday we made all our next appointments for being in Winnipeg and they may just be our only sets! I am not going to name the ladies i spoke to (mostly because i cant remember the names or the positions) but i felt much better after talking to 2 contacts for appointments yeterday. I now know that i am on the right track for Sam and what i am seeing him do. All the little changes that i see in him are all normal with head trauma -- so i can stop wondering if i am over analyzing. Both of these same ladies thot that our plan to just see how sam is inSept (strength and endurance wise) and have him go one class a day when he is able-- was a great idea. That way he is working at his own pace and we can encourage him with small steps instead of giant leaps.
Which brought me to today's tasks... i was in contact with the schoool division to set up a tutor for when he is at home, an EA in case he may need one during school and to fill them in on his situation. Now all this is based on HOW WELL sam is emotionally and mentally (meaning his concentration level, headaches, dizziness etc) come sept. He may just totally shock us yet again and be ready for school with everyone else... who knows!?

My job has given me leave from work until the end of Nov. so i dont have to worry about that and i can concentrate on samuel and josh (who i have been trying to set up councelling and help for him too). there is alot of stuff going on in my teenagers heads that they arent talking about right now and i am trying to prepare them and the rest of the house for it, if it suddenly gets to much for them. I know most people are looking at them and us and thinking that everything is fine and dandy... Josh is smiling, sam is walking and talking, sam is home... but there is alot going on in heads and hearts in our house and we are far from being back to normal... maybe one day but not yet.

Monday, August 11, 2008

manic monday

sam walked to the stop sign again today and then slept for an hour and a half. He also had headaches today. Not the best of our days. I think he is overwhelmed with the other kids being here. They are constantly talking and moving and it is almost too much for him.
he was also fitted for a chair today. we will only be using it when we need it if we arent at home -- like shopping in brandon or at multiple appointments in wpg. It is only for when there is nowhere for him to sit and rest.
His coordination is slowly coming, but he is still having trouble with remembering to check his left side of things (plates, face, anything on his left), he still drools a bit and has trouble connecting his fork/spoon with his mouth, and sometimes swallowing- but it will come.
his scar is healing wonderfully and had tried (and succeeded) in grossing me out with "mom! there is a hole in my head! Feel this where there is no bone...." or "Mom tap on my head here... I can feel it under my tongue!" good to know he is still a boy...lol
we need to work on his endurance and strength but first we need to catch up on sleep and get into a schedule... hopefully this will happen once i have all our Wpg appointments on the calendar-- maybe tomorrow?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Favorites...

We decided to make a post or two of all the favorites that were Sam's in the hospital. Everyday there was something or someone new to make us smile. We were so blessed to haveso many wonderful nurses, doctors, OT'S, PT's, porters... God was definitely watching over us!
Since i didnt think to get my camera until we were already on the ward I only have pictures of CK-3, there are none of PICU nurses and doctors, but we do have a great list of names and reasons why they were special to us!
Dr Mustafa was our favorite Dr. yesterday
since he was the one to sign Sam's
discharge papers!!

WHOO HOOO! ---------------------------->








Debbie was a favorite nurse because she was always looking out for sam's boredom level and meals-- (he was served waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much fish meals...no reason why-- just because...)Debbie was also extremely popular when she made raspberry milkshakes to try to offset the fishy meals! Debbie also started the "yeti" movement in Sam's room. If we left his room to walk or anything we could come back to find his yeti (a stuffed toy) in different scenarios... stealing sam's banana, dressed in infant pj's and getting into bed, wearing my sweater in the chair looking out the window! LOL Debbie was Sam's nurse for 2 days but came in on days when she wasnt just to say hi or set up a yeti pose.

















Tanya was awesome with enjoying and encouraging samuels natural sense of humour! (we called her the tigger nurse.. if u look at her scrubs closely u will see why...) LOL She was so wonderful! Tanya's laughter and playfulness reminded Sam and I of Sookie from Gilmore Girls!!!








Paula was so much fun! She would come in and just smile and that was enough to make Sam smile. Paula had all sorts of interesting stories to tell.






Chris was Sam's regular OT. She was just plain cool! Sam is going to knock her socks off when he sees her in 2 weeks!







Julie was Sam's weekend PT. She was great. She
had him doing all sorts of fun "work that was work" and it turned out that Julies mom was Sam's great 2 teacher, Mrs. Ebner!! wow what a small world!
Dr Shih was a resident doing rotation in the Ped's ward and should change his field to ped's. he had an awesome bedside manner with Sam and had a great sense of humour (he even got ALL of our warped Ginter humour!LOL) He was very sincere with us and would stop in to see how things were going ... just because.


Some of the PICU favorites were Nympha, Veronica(she was cool cuz she had a pair of orange crocs like Sam and hannah thought she looked like a cheetah girl!...lol), Cathy, Dr. Drews, Dr. Phillips. everyone was so great and caring and thoughtful and we feel that because of these wonderful medical staff Sam was able to recover as fast as he is. God was most definitely involved and directed the level of care and made sure the right people were where they needed to be to help sam on this road we are about to travel.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Better than Christmas!

Yesterday was a looooooooooooong day ... againSam was beginning to wonder if he was ever going to get home. we had to see all sorts of different doctors, specialists and members of Sam's care team(OT, PT, social workers, pych. therapists, etc) poor sam was beat from the rash (which was not any better) and then he was poked and prodded again all day and then top it off with the excitement of going home! It took all day for 5.30pm to get here -- that is when dad finally got to us (with a McD's cheese burger in tow).

During the day there was one fabulous break and that was when Auntie Kay and Uncle Howie showed up with Chris and family. Sam really enjoyed sitting and being a kid for a bit with him! They even threw the ball around (ok it was a big blue rubber ball used for exercises but we arent complaining! lol)

Did discover that Sam is allergic to something in the dylantin pill-- the coating, colouring or filler that is used and that is why he had a horrible rash. Apparently it will take about 2 weeks for the rash to finally totally dissapate (according to the guys that know it all.... ok just a bit of sarcasm!)

Dennis and i spent a good portion of our morning getting laundry done and cleaning up our room at the RMH, and packing. Then we finally got ourselves to the hospital and found that sammi had yet another lovely rash on his upper left arm -- looking like broken blood vessels. I was just a tad bit unnerved to see this -- and of course started to worry we would be delayed another day, but God knew what that would do to sammi and my spirits i am sure and the doctors and nurses said it was just yet ANOTHER reaction to the dylantin... sigh

Well the long and short of it is our wonderful, amazing, miracle son is home. where he belongs. I think God has great plans for Sam, and that is why he everything happened as it did. We may never know what that plan is but it doesnt matter, God knows and He has it all under control.

My boy is home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

WARNING!!!!!!!!!! SAMS BRAGGIN' RIGHTS!!






i put the warning title here because Samuel wants me to put the picture of his scar on here after theytook out his stitches.... so i will.















Yesterday was a hard day for sam. When i left him on Wed. night he had a rash on his stomach and a bit on his arms. when i got to CK-3 on thurs. morning my poor boy was COVERED in a red itchy rash-- origin unknown!! none of the usual "anti itch" med's worked for him. So we had ped's, allergists, residents and nurses pokin' and proddin him trying to find the reason for it. Finally at 6 pm the allergist called me and said they have decided that it must be he dylantin that he is on (anti seizure medication- common with head trauma's) has for some reason caused the rash now that he is on the pill form!!! go figure. the neuro team wants him to stay on it and be weaned off, the allergists want him to stop it immediately. neuroteam wins! They will wean him 50 mg a day for the next few days.He hasnt had any seizures so far (that we are aware of) but Sam is still not totally out of the woods yet. So it is better to be safe then back at ICU!

Our day yesterday basically consisted of waiting around for the different areas to come and assess his rash or nurses to bring meds! Sam is so ready to come home, but i am so nervous that i feel like a long tailedcat in a room full of rocking chairs! I hope that he is able to handlebeing at home, with company and his siblings, and the dogs and just life in general. I amsure he will be fine but i am his mom and i worry about him. i worry about the ignorant people who will say hurtful things, the inconsiderate people who will try to make him feel bad... i just pray that his friends(and siblings) will stick up with him so he has support if i or dennis are not there.

we had our first taste of ignorance yesterday when the allergy doctor was there with him. as she was leaving she turns and says to Sam "and no playing with guns!" i was livid and in shock! I complained to our ped. Dr Mustafa and he spoke with her and she apologized to me.... on the phone.we will see her again today and i will make sure she apologizes to sam too. she said she meant no harm , which may be true, but should a medical professional make flippant comments like that to a child in a bed with at all... never mind that he has a gunshot wound to his head!grrrrrrrrrrrr i am still fuming!

Today is supposed to be busy with finalizing doc. assessments and future appt.'s since they are preparing to discharge us and send us home on Saturday!!!! Sam is so excited about it -- i was reluctant to say anything in case their minds, but physically he is great, just needs to build stamina, and mentally he just needs to work on some consentration areas and a few other things.
He will be going home with a wheel chair, but only to use when he is tired (not at home but if we go out) and he will be on some minor meds for a few days.... so here is hoping...i think... someone grab a net those butterflies are loose again.....

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Look Ma!!! ... no IV's




yep... sam is now IV and fancy free! There are conflicting stories as to how the IV's came to be out (sam says that the doctors took them out and they say sam did....hmmmmm) either way he is no longer attached to machines!!!!!!!!!!





today was one of those kind of days that was busy but only in fits and starts-- so it was actually a long day.






There was OT and PT today. He was able to complete (with flying colours i might add) all assignments and activities that they had for him. His balance is still off but taht will come with time and more practice





















At around 5 pm we had a small minor problem arise-- sam had a rash that covered most of this body and face. It wasnt too bad but it was raised and red enough that they gave him an anti itching med to help (...it didnt) so maybe it will all be gone in the a.m. ...

we had multiple visitors today... starting with parents other kids on the ward! One guy stopped in and chatted for quite a while. then there was dad and the kids, grandpa and grandma, rick and barb franks and the surprise visitor-- pastor dean. it was nice for the company to come whenthey did since we had just talked to Dr. Shih (pronounced She-- and Dr. Shih is a he) came around to tell us that we could be discharged FRIDAY-ISH. they have to all discuss whether we are coming home to Neepawa or if we are going to have to stay in Wpg for a bit.... hopefully we will learn more tomorrow and we really hope that the rash doesnt affect the FRIDAY-ISH plans.


My sad eyed beautiful boy... love you!
Going home wil be nice but it will be a big adjustment for everyone. There will be more work

on some people, new rules to be made, new chores assigned and a whole truck lod of patience for all of us. Sam is worried i know and i am also. I am worried for him, kids can be cruel and thoughtless -- as can adults... i wonder if we are ready yet for it... sam has been quite and withdrawn at times and looks like he would rather just let the world pass him by and it breaks my heart.
I am trying to do my best to prepare him for the world outside the hospital (where seem to be more forgiving and understanding) but i dont feel like i am getting anywhere most days.i know that as much as he wants to go home he is scared and would rather stay here. So i pray ... and pray some more for the words to come to me, for sam to understand, for others to be understanding... what ever God feels Sam needs...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

One week...

It is so hard to believe that one week ago today i was waiting in a room to hear the outcome of my sons surgery... we are so blessed to have him with us still today!!
I am being constantly amazed that by the grace of God, all this young man is capable of. He walked around our "half" of the wad today , then was outside for a 'ride' in the chair and still was able to maintain a cheery dispostion when his IV machine beeped at us every 5 minutes -- drove me crazy!!

Sam had a very busy day today with physiotherapy (which we intended to go to but due to conflicts with other appts we had to miss the actual PT time) in his room, we had a appt with the opthamologist (it is looking like sam has most of the sight in his left eye!!!!!! He will be assessed more in sept but so far so good!), we had ocupational therapy, visitors from the city, a walk around the outside ring of the hospital, and a tour of the 3rd floor.
sam found an appetite today for some french fries-- so i headed down to the salsbury house to get the boy some food that was NOT fish (we wondered if it might be for "brain food" lol) and his awesome day nurse debbie made him a raspberry milkshake!
we convinced Debbie to let us take a group photo since she was #1 on sammi's favorite nurses list...lol

she would make up sam's bed whenever he would leave it and she would always have yeti in an interesting situation when we returned... this was just before bedtime and yeti is ready to go to sleep... "Debbie is sooo cool" says sam

There is still no time as to when we will be going home and i am told that that neurological team sees him at 6 am .... so guess where i will be on thursday at 6 am? yeppers-- talking to doctors to try and see what the plan is.(cross your fingers!)

Sam's other big news today is that he is off the thickened water and nectar juices and on regular drinks! Whoo hoo! He was asperating (inhaling water into his lungs) so they put him on the thick stuff (sam was not overly impressed with this) but today they gave him real water, juice and iced tea!!! he still has the odd asperation moment but he just needs to be reminded to take it slow. He also needs to be reminded to eat. He will forget that he is eating something so a gentle reminder helps. There may be other simple things that he wil be distracted from and a bit of "retraining" will help fix that.

God is still answering prayers that i havent even thought of, and i thank Him for that every hour it seems! I am so thankful that my son is here with us. He is a wonderful, caring, humourous kid! He had me laughing today like only he can....Thank you Father for Samuel...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Big Steps


I got to experience the pride of his first steps again yesterday and today!!!!

Yesterday he walked just a bit past the nurses station.... today his goal was to walk to the elevators!


HE DID IT!!!!
It was hard work , slow and he was tired but he did it!


And then we went for a ride in the chair to sit outside-- then the rain and cool weather chased sam in while i was getting pizza for him with my mom.

the rest of the afternoon was quiet and uneventful until it came time for dad to leave. But with a bit of reassurrance and hugs from me we were able to keep it together somewhat...

Sam will begin physiotherapy on the second floor tomorrow and with his determination and drive i dont think we will be here in the city for very long. he wants to go hometo his dad, his brothers and sister and even his chores!!!

I hope to have a better idea this coming week about what we will be doing-- but we are dealling with hospitals and doctors so i know it is not going to work all on what we think the time line should be.

Tomorrow is another day and we are all working on God's timeline... so patience is something i am going to have to learn.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Angels in unlikely places

I titled this post so because of the wonderful angels we have encountered this week-- nurses, doctors, friends, family, acquaintances from home, acquaintances at the RMH. Angels are definitely everywhere!

We have had incredible people step up and step into our lives this last week. They have done things from praying, calling, and texting daily-- to handing us cash, paying for things for us unknown to us and offering us help, ears and apartments to stay in!

Our son Samuel was injured last Tuesday by aself inflicted bullet from a .22 calibre rifle. It was accidental -- practising air cadet drill team maneuvers. It entered into his head on the right side just above the hair line and pierced thru 3 lobes of his brain. The bullet is still lodged in his brain. (it is more traumatic and damaging to his brain to remove it). He was in surgery for 2 hours( cleaning the wound and irrigating it and stitching him up again). Since the bullet entered the side of his head it is affecting the left side of his body.

He was at his grandparents target practicing with his brother when it happened. They rushed him to Neepawa where he was assessed and rushed by ambulance to the Winnipeg Health Science Centre



The first assessment we were given was that we were to expect to be here for at least a month, he would have 1/2 the vision in his left eye (peripheral vision) so he would have to readjust his depth perception and other vision issues. he would would probably have a weak left side arm and legs and face. We were told he may not start school in the fall with the other students since there would be much physical therapy, occupational therapy and other sessions to have to start and deal with. They were unsure what brain damage there would be if any.

after being given all this information we were taken to wait while he was in surgery then eventually to the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) to see him. Samuel was attached to far too many machines for any mother to see their child attached to. He had a breathing tube, IV's with multiple fluids being injected into his body, a pressure monitor stapled to his head and all sorts of stickies on his chest and back to monitor his vitals. to say the least i was a bit set back.

Then he signed "I love you"...

The first night was a rough on for him as we also discovered that my boy has sleep apnea, which was causing his pressure monitor to go ballistic on him... raising the pressure to 50 (it needed to stay at 20 or lower in order for him to heal and not have major brain swelling!) So now he is also in a sleep program (or will be 6-8weeks after being discharged from the HSC)... so much new things to deal with.

Sam's recovery has been great tho so far! He was off the breathing machine on Wednesday, the pressure monitor was removed Thursday and they took the tube out of his nose also on Thursday. Early Friday afternoon Sam was moved from the PICU to ward CK-3!!! YAY! a regular ward... which meant eventually we would return to normal, or as normal as we were going to get for a while.

I know i will have to go back and add things that i have missed but as it comes to me and i have time to use the journal i am using to record in daily. ( i will use it to transfer to here)

thank you for all your prayers and concerns. Our lives have changed drastically this last week but i know God has a plan for us and we will follow where He takes us.