Sunday, December 27, 2009

One Hundred Posts-- Wow

This is my 100th post-- and I am just... wow, amazed. I never thought that this blog would  continue past our first month or two home (even though I knew the journey was going to be a long one) and here I am starting post 100 and we are 1 year, 4 months, 29 days  from Sam's accident and here I am... here we all are...Dancing on the outskirts of 'normal', tiptoe-ing through TBI issues and setting and surpassing goals along side of some areas of failure new learning.
I would love to say that things with our house are great and all is rosy, cheery and FAB-U-LOUS but I would be lying. Lying to myself and to others, so instead I am trying to stay 'real' (which is really code word for sane)
This new year for us will be starting with some backtracking. Sam will be going back to being home every Wednesday for rest. He is still suffering living with fatigue issues. ( I wont say suffering as I feel alot of days that it is ME that suffers when he gets fatigued ... ☺ smiling here or else I may cry)
This year will be one tht will be of small steps, no real leaps and bounds that I can foresee. But we will take any steps forward that we can get.
2010 will be the year where if all goes according to my plan our house in Neepawa will sell and we can get out of the major debt that this move to the new old farm house  has cost us (or win a lottery☺) and we will all be extremely healthy and happy............................................................. but I know it is all according to HIS plan and whatever He allows to cross into our lives we will take in stride and handle with as much grace and thankfulness as we can muster. I wish life was a novel that we could read the last few pages to see how it all ends but that just isnt the way it is. (if it ws I would return my book for a new one-- maybe one with one of those cruise ships on the front -- oh wait that is a travel
The new year will find me on here once in a while. When things need to be updated or I need to vent, or for no other reason than for me to work out my frustrations of life on. I dont claim to be an expert or even a semi pro at anything except maybe on stress...LOL but you can all find me on here once in a while.
I wish my readers a Happy, Healthy New Year that is filled with all of God's Blessings!
I would like to post one question and even if you are usually  a 'lurker' on here...
Have you learned anything this past year with reading my blog? It can be about TBI, life or ANYTHING? PLease let me know if anything I have put on here has been helpful to you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

less than stellar ...

Some kids are so mean. Today Sam came home from school in a bad mood which transferred to his brother then me. There was a fight in the barn resulting in a bloody nose, yelling at me (and yes swearing was involved on his part), there was stomping of feet, and slamming of doors (well as best as they can be slammed in this house), threats of packing up and moving out  crying and more yelling and swearing.
I didnt handle it well. I was thinking that Sam was just being a teenager and it turned out to be more-- which I found out once I calmed down and came to the realization that this is not typical.(if you remember we have all been sick and yesterday and today were my turn...)
Anyhow, it turns out that there is a kid at school that has been harrassing Sam lately with a stupipd gesture. He has been calling to Sam in class, talking to him for a bit and then pretending to shoot himself in the head. He thinks it is a great joke. Today Sam was back at school fter being sick for 4.5 days and was still tired and feeling blah... and this kid started this again. There were a few other instances of just general teasing of Sam by some other kids and one kid (a boy in the grade above him) that chose today to PICK UP Sam and bounce him off the walls with his head in the change rooms in gym and Sam didnt tell the teacher.
We spoke to him about what to say to this boy who has been harrassing him for a while and decided that some appropriate responses would be "You wouldnt be able to hndle the recouperating if you had it happen to you." or if it is in class speak loud enough for the teacher to hear "You know (insert name here) people might think you are suicidal if you keep this up." Basically to put the spotlight on his behviour and take it off of Sam. We lso suggested to maybe get some friends to help back him up with this boy. Sam is also going to ask the teacher if he could move his seat so he is not close to him.
We also suggested for Sam to talk to the school counsellor if he is having a day that is too rough to handle. So that he has help immediately not having to wait til he gets home and takes it all out on us here.
I think too that we need to maybe start having him home one day a week again. It is all just so hard to know what to do. Are we babying him? Is he playing us?  It is hard to know since the doctors tell us it can be at least 2 years recouperating and stuff I have read about TBI say that  it can be 4, 5, 6 years -- some people fight this tiredness and fatigue all thier lives. So we need to work on something that will work for life not for now.
I really feel like a failure tonight. I didnt see this one coming and when it hit I handled it all wrong. I should have realized that there was something wrong with him when I picked them up at the bus. I am also hurt from the words that Sam yelled at me. After some of his les creative words and phrases, he told me he was packing and leaving... and stomped off. When I went and asked where he would go his reply was "Anywhere but here will be fine..." I dropped this ball and feel like dirt, but I know I need to not take it personally and know that I cant fix everything... but then I am the mom... knowing and fixing are my jobs

Monday, December 7, 2009

No change

Today I have not 1 not 2 but 3 home sick today! Josh is better and gone to school but Dennis, Sam and Isaac are all home and in bed sleeping. Still struggling with fevers with Sam and now Isaac... I hope things start making the swing upwards ... and we start getting healthy here. Dennis and I are supposed to go to Brandon to do Christmas shopping on Friday and I can see that I will be the sick one then!
Off to make chicken noodle soup and hand out ginger ale and water to my ill ones...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Small scare...

We have been sick here in the Ginter household and when I say 'we' I mean Dennis, Josh, Sam and now Isaac is getting sick too!
But last night we had a bit of a worry/scare. Sam's temperature didnt seem to want to come down after tylenol, 2 cool showers, and some ice... after a few hours we got him to a 'lukewarm' stage and I was able to not stress about it. If Sam's temperature gets too high or won't come down we are to take him to the hospital and if he gets any symptoms of the H1N1 we are to go in immeadiately. (no we are not taking the shots-- there is just not enough 'backup' on the vaccine for us to warrant injecting our children with it where as the Tamiflu has a proven track record...)
But we got his temperature down finally with a cool shower and ice on the back of his neck. When I went to check on him last night before bed he was still a bit warm but not hot like he was before, so we will have to see how he is this morning when he gets up. I didnt sleep too well last night as I was worried about him and Josh, so today there may  be a nap in my future!

Change of plans this morning... as Sam woke up he was still quite fevered so we took him into the hospital as a procaution. GOod news tho, no H1N1 for our house!!!! BUt he is sick and will be home for at least a day or two. Still have to watch the fever but I think with  few rest days he will be fine. whew...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Memory Lane...

I have been trying to get some gifts ready for the kids for Christmas (we are all making gifts this year as the $$ is a bit tight). I trying to make each of the gifts for the kids a gift filled with memories. Joshua will be getting a 16X20 frame with different pictures of himself and Dwayne (my step dad that passed away Sept '08). Dwayne was Joshua's mentor, his hero. It is not unusual to find Joshua at the computer going thru pictures of Dwayne and our family.

Samuel's gift will be a scrapbook that I started when he was in the hospital after his accident. It has photos of alot of the medical staff that worked on or with Sam along with notes of encouragement for him. There are also pictures and letters/notes from friends and family. I had sort of worked on it before but not to the extent that I have been this week. It has been very emotional, hard to see the pictures of him in the hospital. The pit of my stomach rolls, my eyes tear up... I can feel the anxiety and the stress of when we were in Winnipeg as if it were still happening to me. My chest gets tight, my heart pounds and I have cried many, many times over the book. I have added a pocket to the back of the book with cards from people, the news article that the local paper did on him in the spring, and a few other tidbits for Sammi. I am stuck on what I am going to do for Hannah and Isaac and to be honest I think I should have thought about (and did) theirs first and saved Josh's and Sam's gifts for last -- they are so emotional and I really didn't think that making these gifts was going to be this hard.
It has been a rough week ... month .. heck things here haven't gotten any less stressed for over a year ...actually but there are more to get through I guess ... right?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I have been struggling with updating on here for fear of it sounding like whining or something.Things have been 'fine' with Sam, my dad and others of the house... it has been more me. I have been having lots of anxiety attacks and in the oddest of placest and for no reason that I can see. It is exhausting. I am beat. I am drained. I am tired of it.
I am not sure if it is all just in my head or if I am needing to get away... or what. Between the house reno's, running kids, waiting for the sale of the old house, looking after my dad, my mom lives right across the road and seems to somedays forget that we have a life to try to get through (she asks for 'one small thing and the next minute it is an all day thing), and trying to lose weight... sigh
I can feel the heavy weight of depression kicking in and although I am fighting it -- I feel that I am losing the battle.
Is it possible to cancel Christmas this year and crawl into bed until it is all over?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In Remembrance

Here is a picture of my 2 youngest sons Samuel (13yrs) and Isaac (12 yrs) in full uniform on our way to the Remembrance Day Services. They were so handsome!
I cried thru the service for not only the soldiers who have fought and made the supreme sacrifice but for the ones that still are making acrifices everyday so that we can live in this country.
I cried for their families that sacrifice their lives being on hold while their loved ones are working hard to keep the world and Canada safe for us.
So that our boys can go to Air Cadets, basketball, football and school.
So that our daughters can go to dances, go shopping become doctors and lawyers, stay home moms.
So that we can walk down our streets free from fear and death.
It was a long service but in the grand scheme of things cant we 'sacrifice' 2hours a year for the men and women that fought and still do?
I dont think that it should even take a second thought... we should just go-- they do.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

#62 Sam Ginter

So last night we watched Sam's game! It was awesome!! They used the jumbotron for replays, the sound system for commentating, the stadium lights were on when it got darker... awesome is all I can say.
The drive in was an emotional one, as we had a great talk with Sam about his past year and the goals he not only set for himself but met and even surpassed, before we dropped him off to the bus. So of course the conversation continued as Dennis and I drove into the city. Thankfully it was cold outside and so tears were not so easily flowing once at the stadium!
During the game Sam caught the kick return and got about 10yards down! I was able to sit and watch as he became the meat in a "sandwich" tackle!
That black outfited person in the middle of the 2 silver uniforms is my Sam!!! AND I did not jump up or freak out. I did manage to get the pictures of it on the jumbotron in the replays... it was simply amazing...can describe the feelings I ran thru through the whole game.

On a humourous note, there were programs to be bought for the football teams that were playing this weekend (we were playing the rural 9man) and they listed the players heights and weights... as we looked over the Tigers and the Outlaws team rosters we noticed Sam was the lightest -- the weight range for the Tigers was 295-139lbs -- Sam is 115lbs 5'7"!! If we really looked hard we might be able to find someone his size but I would guess they would be in the younger

Now for a break with football (til spring) for the next week... then we start in Junior Varsity Basketball with Joshua! So stay tuned for basketball pics to be posted here until that season is over!

Isaac was busy selling poppies yesterday with the Air Cadets but I didnt get any pictures as he didnt have a full uniform-- so those pictures will come later this week! (sniff-- my babies are all growing up on me...)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Stadium fever...

Tomorrow Sam and the football team are playing their last game at the stadium in Winnipeg!!! I am so excited for them! It is the 'consolation prize' to the play off. See the Tigers lost every game this season but then they are a young team... but a team with great potential!I cant wait to watch them play...

It is so hard to imagine that last year (Sept7) we were taking Sam to watch the Banjo Bowl (Sask-Wpg game) and he walked up the long ramp to the top of the stadium to watch the game. He didn't want to use the wheelchair, the carts or the elevator. This boy used all his strength and walked up to our seats-- only about 6 weeks after his brain injury. Even as I am typing this tears of pride roll down my cheeks to know how far he has come. I am so proud of all he has accomplished this past year and to see that he is not only going to school full time (for the most part) but he made his goals reality!

We were told in the emerg. room that his dreams of football were going to be just that... dreams. (along with his dream of being a pilot and doing woodwork-- so far his peripheral vision has not only healed but his 'regular' has improved so there is no longer glasses-- so both dreams are a real possibility!) I want to go back to the emerg. and meet the surgeon and tell him how great Sam is doing. I know that the doctor would be very amazed and happy...maybe one day we will.

Sam has been having a few minor issues with his left side of late but since that is his weak side we will work on it over the winter and help him to strengthen it... bow flex, elliptical, picking up marbles with his toes, eating more and getting rest.

I am so excited about tomorrow I just cant explain it. I will have to work so hard to keep my tears of joy in check as other wont understand...

"Thank You God for all of Your miracles, and for Your unfailing, unwavering love! Without You this past year would have not been what it has been! Thank You for everyone that has read and still reads this blog. Thank You for being understanding and supporting. I wish I could give you all a big hug so you know how much I appreciate your comments, emails and stopping in. Thank you for putting up with my tears, rants and praises. I am truly blessed."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

where does the time go?

Well things with my dad are stabilized now, but still no date on a new dental surgery and he is finally going to his doctor tomorrow. I am supposed to go but i am sick with the flu and wont be able to make it.... so i will have to do what i can via the phone!

Sam has been quite busy with football and is loving it! It is so great to see him out there running, throwing and catching, and yes..... **gulp** getting tackled! it is so hard to believe that last year this time we were working hard to get his endurance and strength up! he was still walking up and down the drive way in his combat boots (they are very heavy) to build up his legs to help keep the left side from dragging. He was still sleeping lots and going to school parttime, there were still major attitudes and crying jags... a totally different kid (for the most part) than who is here with us now.

It never ceases to amaze me just how awesome God is and what He can and will do for His children. Answered prayers, unsnanswered prayers that when you look back make sense, prayers answered that you never even thought to ask... awesome is all I can say.

Oh ya! Our Isaac went with Sam last week to Air Cadets, just to see if he would enjoy it (which i thought he would since he loves things to be organized and structured). We asked him to just go and see what all cadets were about for a few weeks and then make his decision, but low and behold he came to the van with registration papers stating that he LOVED IT and was joining! I think we will start to see changes in this young man too soon... **sigh** it is so great to see the kids growing up and yet it makes my heart tug a bit and somedays I just want to sit and cry over where the time has gone...

I just read this book by Patricia Jones. She is my step dad's sister and she writes about how she dealt with her mom's dementia and alzhiemers. I found it so enouraging to read as I find alot of it was what I deal with, with my dad. He knows me--sometimes, he is extremely repetitive with "i love you" and a few other choice phrases (but he also tells absolutely EVERYONE that he loves them), he shows extreme anger towards me... the list is endless. I told Pat how the book was helpful to me to know that I am not alone in this and that with TBI (in our case with both dad and Samuel) that there is not much help for us-- dad is considered to be'too far gone' with his TBI and Samuel not enough to warrant help (or so it seems to us...). But her book hit so close to home that at times I had to put it down since tears were so busy clouding my vision that I couldnt read but as soon as I could regain my composure I was back reading it again. I strongly suggest that others read this even if you dont have a loved one or know of anyone that is struggling in any of these areas -- knowledge is power and you never know when you may be called on by God to share what you know!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

You have got to be kidding me!!!

As you know Sam is not the only person in my family with a brain injury. My dad has a severe brain injury and is a quadrilpelgic. He lives in the local personal care home (30 miles away). well yesterday Dennis and I were in Npw picking up the rest of our appliances to move to the new house. We werent even home 15 minutes and the phone rang and it was the PCH... dad had been having some major seizures ALL DAY... so they were transporting him to the hospital to see the doctor. we jumped back into the van and headed the 30 miles back to town to the hospital. The doctor there gave him dilantin -- but not after he had 2 seizures in 20 minutes while we were there. The doctors explanation for them (please keep in mind that this is NOT his regular doctor) is that there iscar tissue forming and causing these siezures. after 14 yrs..... never a real issue with seizures before but now after 14 yrs. to say the least i was, and still am, not impressed with this doctor. he doesnt even know what the history is surrounding my dad and his injury is and he is going to just flippantly give me an answer of "scar tissue". I had to also warn the nurses (at both the PCH and the hospital) that even when dad was on dilantin before he had seizures.... but not of these magnitude.

Dennis and I went for lunch while he was getting his med's (dad was sleeping at this time) and then I went to the PCH to see if there was any reason that they would know of why he is having them -- I asked if his routine had changed, if he had been dropped or his head hit, etc and i got a very loud "NO!" -- shock and horror on thier faces... i was trying to be polite and not accusatory. They had no answer to why things have changed... so back to the hospital we go and wait... and wait... no seizures-- good sign.... "he is resting and we will send him back to the PCH tonight." "OK then we will go and please call me when you are transporting him back. Thank you"

By the time 7pm rolled around there was still no call so i called and low and behold dad was back in his room sleeping.

Today I called and was informed that he had had 3 more seizures this morning... even while on dilantin... his regular doctor was not in his office today, so they (the nurses at the PCH) cancelled dad's appt that we have been waiting for in Wpg (for dental surgery) for MONTHS but never spoke to the doctor about it. I was hoping that they might be able to make a CT scan appt for him too while we were in the city. (Dad needs to be transported by ambulance for most of his appts and this makes him extremely agitated) You would think that if all of a sudden a resident with severe TBI starts having seizures that you would try contact his doctor.... i mean we live in a small town... i am just so frustrated!!!!!!!!

The first doctors 'diagnosis' of scar tissue makes me want to not only scream but it makes me wonder about Sam.... he has never had seizure activity and he actually has physical scar tissue -- does this mean in 14yrs we can expect more to pop up in our life? That the local doctors will be so callous and ignorant about it all that they wont care or the nurses wont fight to alk to a doctor when we need it?

I am so angry right now and frustrated... i am sure this post makes no sense what so ever.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My son the 2nd back...

I havent updated in a bit and I was honestly starting to think that I would soon be closing this chapter of our life as it seems that things are where we are going to be and there doesnt seem to be much to update anymore these days... then football season started and Sam joined the team. I have been to practices and am going to be brutally honest hernd say that it was so hard to not cry as I watched him walk on the field and then line up for plays. He is so much smaller than the other players at 5'7" and only about 115lbs (if we are lucky!) and not to mention that he is also the youngest on the team at 13yrs. I have been trying to get him to eat a bit more as he is so thin and "breakable" looking but he isnt a big eater. I am thinking about maybe just getting him to drink protein shakes or meal replacements to help him. The doctors say not to worry about his weight but as he gets taller he is getting thinner-- not too great for football or my nerves!
Last night I sat in my van and watched and worked very hard at holding back tears of fear and trepidation as he ran, was tackled and -- much to my relief-- got back up to do it all again. I am glad that I was the only parent there at the time and that I was in the van, with not only the engine running and the radio playing so that no one could hear my cheering him on and clapping for him and choking on my tears. I am so proud of how far he has come and where he is at now but then it hurts my heart to see him out there with boys that are not only older and bigger than him but the intent is to drop him like a stone... i am trying to get over all this before his first game so I dont make a fool of myself (or him). Then Sam tells me that he has been getting pains in his head (he describes them as shooting pains that last for a few minutes and then go away) when he is playing -- we have our next appt with the neurologist in mid-Oct and with our family doc at the beginning of Oct(these pains are normal and had all but stopped until now)... so i have been telling him that if they get worse we may need to go see the doctor and if he sees stars or any pain after being tackled we will have to get him to the doctor too... He is totally agreeable with this and then ...
this morning he is so over tired and very mean to me and I wanted to tell him that football is just not worth it to me. It is a fight to get him up, fed and out the door without him picking fights with his siblings over their spoon making noises in the bowl (he is sensitive to noises alot of the time now) or that someone has eaten the last of the cereal, bread, fruit, etc that he was planning on eating or that ask him to take his laundry to the laundry room. I know these sound like normal teenager stuff but the injury makes everything that much worse and my days are subsquently starting on a bitter, and sometimes down right nasty, note.
That has been our house the last little while... I prayer things get settled in and to our next new norm...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

normality??? we'll see...

Well our summer is coming to an end... saddly way to fast! We are moved and living in our new home. We got lots of work done on it and the week before we moved in we got the flooring done!!! YAY!!! We also had some excitement with our "old house" and on Monday morning (we were moving on Thursday) we had either a tornado touch down or a funnel cloud come close to touching down! It took out 1/6th the shingles on the south side of the barn, part of a corral wall, 7 trees that hit the ground (a few that just now have a nasty lean on them), our trampoline was thrown into the bush (took Josh and I about 10 minutes to pull it out) and it basically made a mess of the yard in a matter of seconds! Dennis and I were having coffee in the morning (at about 7.30)and it was stormy and raining... then the rain and wind stopped, then all of a sudden it sounded like a train coming thru the house! Dennis called to grab the kids and get tot he basement so we did and before we were there it over... it was scary and freaky. And i am glad it is over.

Sam had a great 2 weeks at camp (he got home on Aug 23) and is still trying to recouperate from it. He sleeps long hours, he is grouchy and basically your eveday teenager. But i am trying to get him into the new school routine before school starts. we will be getting up earlier this year so that they can catch an earlier bus. He is also starting High school so there will be new challenges to face. I had to write a letter to the school that they went to last year requesting that they go back to it this year, as we live not just out of town but also out of that school division. they have their meeting tonight so i hope that they will accept our request so there is no changing of schools. I just told them that there is already a plan in place for Sam for this year and so hat we have to lose another year we would like the kids to continue going to it, and we also would like to keep all the kids going in the same school division... so please pray for this request to go thru!

There are alot of other plans having to be made -- not major ones but enough that it will require alot of organizing and planning... piano lessons, guitar lessons, cadets, basketball practices, volleyball, etc. now that we are 30miles from town it will be abit trickier to get the kids into things (especially with the gas prices!!!)

We have one more set of appt with Sam too in Wpg in Oct. One with the neurologist and one with the psychologist... might be the last set!!!
I am off to Wpg next week on Tues for a set of 24 hr. tests in Wpg for my hernia. I will not be home for the kids first day of school that week. i have to go and have a tube put in my nose and then spend the day as normal as possible so that i can journal my hernia 'pain'. I asked the lady how i was going to haev a normal day when i normally live 3 hours away and am staying in the city over night, and who wants to go out and about with a tube in your nose and taped to your face!? lol she agreed but asked me to do my best.... sigh... we will have to see just how brave I can be i guess in going out in public. might even be picture worthy! lol

Monday, August 3, 2009

on the move...

i am exhausted... you would think that a person would be used to things but in the midst of our life, we are moving (30miles north), Samuel is leaving for Penhold on Friday, my cousins daughter is out for 2 weeks and Samuels behaviour has been definitely award winning but not for quietness or niceness... more for aggravation, craziness, cheekiness, mouthiness attitude -- you know all the winners. It has been so bad of late that I have had to give him the choice of smartening up his attitude and everything or he doesnt go to camp -- which would be just as much of a punishment to me as to him! I have been trying very hard to get him into a routine but it is hard to do when every day I have change happening and am trying to roll with it.
I am really looking forward to not only Friday at 6 when he boards the bus to go to Wpg, but also the next week from the 17th to the 20th when Dennis and I are going to the Rod Stewart concert and then 2 days to a cabin with no kids. I feel rotten about being happy about sending my child away, but lately it is almost survival of the 'fittest' around here. That old saying "know i know why some animals eat thier young..." **sigh** i try to live in the now and not always look too the future but these days i cant wait for winter (i shudder at the thought of the cold -- mind you we havent really had a summer!) when we should be settled in at the new house and into a routine with school... things may be a bit more relaxed... and at the same time i am trying to enjoy the time with the kids (as i can) and move and the reno's at the new house. so off i go to spend time with the girls and make a salad for dinner as the boys and Dennis load yet another trailer full of stuff for us (me and the kids) to take up to the house tomorrow for another round of reno's galore!!!! (all with a smile =:-D)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

one year

one year ago tomorrow my sweets called me to ask me to go and pick up sam from the hospital because he had hit himself in the head with the scope of the .22-- and our whole world came to a crashing halt-- for 4 days at least. as i type this i am trying to not cry and i have butterflies in my stomach over the memories of that day.
i thank God everyday for all that we endured and experienced over the last 354 days. i do ask 'why?' sometimes and when i get up there and He and i sit and talk, i will know all the reasons why. for now tho i will be happy with the thoughts that He knew i needed sam more.
tomorrow i will be driving to winnipeg for a different reason. my cousins daughter, jade, is flying out from TO to stay with us for 2 weeks.
the last few days i have ran a gamet of emotions over alot of changes happening in our little corner of the world. first we got a new vehicle. a 2009 Chev Traverse, it was totally unexpected but we are now driving a new SUV(i have never owned a new car b4). Next we have been able to finally make it public knowledge that we are moving. We are moving to be clser to my mom. Right across the road to be exactly closer... we are moving into an old century farm house...that needs ALOT of work before we move in. the last shock was that dennis wants to move in by aug 29....which means i need to not only get this house finished with its projects this week, but i need to get up to my moms to work on that house by next week so i can start stripping wallpaper, painting and flooring!
so my emotions have gone totally crazy these days. trying to stay sane and in control of myself -- so tomorrow may be not so much.
i told dennis and sam that we should make his new 'birthday' july 29 (his birthday is dec16 and we rarely are able to have a party since it is so close to Christmas) that way it would be a new spin on the date. i think i will do something special for dinner for sam tomorrow and get a cake or something for dessert so it is a psotive day for us!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

RIDER PRIDE and awesome people!

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY back in May (on the 13th actually) when we took Sam in to the neuro-surgeon at the Children's Hospital(our last one to see him for!! yippee) we started talking to a man and his wife who were waiting in the waiting room with us for thier daughter to see a doctor. The man started a conversation with us over Samuel's Rider hat... assuming we were from Saskatchewan. We told him we were from Neepawa and he shared how he knew some people in Neepawa.

In our conversation we told about how we got Sam's hat signed, how we thot Samuel had lost it, etc. and life in general but nothing was ever said about the reasons for us being at the doctors. I think there might have been something said about an accident, but somehow we were talking about the Ronald MacDonald House and how our Pastor got us in there.

Well the next day or 2 this man was extremely busy!He started calling the Roughrider's in Saskatchewan and then started calling around in Neepawa to find out who our Pastor was and who we were. Once he ahd found Pastor Dean, he told him about meeting us at the Hospital and then was told about our story. That was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in May. This man kept in contact with Pastor Dean and recently a package arrived at the church for Sam....

And last night Pastor Dean and Pam (his wife) came over for dinner and a visit and brought a bag of goodies for Sammi!Inside the package there was a Grey Cup Championship Hat signed by Eddie Davis (defensive back), a flag signed by the majority of the team, a scarf signed by a bunch of the team, a pom pom, and a card from the events co-ordinator that told the story about how they came to know about Sam and that if we are in the area of Saskatchewan, they would like to treat him to a game-- just give them a call! It was amazing!

When I first learned about the man (all we know is his name was Terrence) I called Dennis at hoome and had such trouble getting the story out to him since I was crying, Dennis was speechless and the whole thing made both of us just stop and be in total amazement of people that God has put in our lives even if just for a few minutes.

We will be writing to the Riders to thank them, and framing the scarf and maybe the flag. We are still in shock ... reading the card again and I am still amazed at people and what they wildo for people that they dont even know!

I know that Terrence will not read this but I have to say it anyway:
Thank you so much Terrence. You have put a huge smile on Sam's face that will be there for a while which means we have smiles on our faces too! Thank you!
People like Terrence are part of the reason why I started this blog and the biggest reason why I titled it visibleangels....

Friday, July 17, 2009


watch this web space for a really really cool update and hopefully with pictures to adorn the page too! cant wait to share it with you all!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hormones, attitudes and cabins.... oh my

Well we have been and gone to Wpg for Sam's psych eval and all is good. Things are normal the doctor figured and there is no need to worry about PTSD with him. There were a few areas that she was looking at and Sam was dealing with things in those areas very well.
1. He is able to talk about the accident.
2. He is able to shoot a gun again.
3. He is able to watch movies and not get agitated with violence or certain scenes.
4. He is not suffering from nightmares.

But it was suggested that Josh goes for some counselling. So now to talk to him about it and see how things are with him. He seems to be handling things ok but Dr.Sam thinks it would be good to just be sure.
We have to go back to see her in Oct when we take Sam in for his (hopefully last) appointment with the neurologist--Dr.Goldberg, just so she can talkto how he is handling the new school routine (Sam will be in highschool) and see that things are still progressing smoothly.

Things here otherwise right now are good...but saddly i have to admit it is because Sam is not here. He is at grandma and grandpas until Wed. I hate saying that, but it is true. there is no stress about if he is in a good mood or just in a mood. he has taken to being fairly miserable with me of late and picking fights with the other kids. We have gotten his days somewhat organized to the point of daily chores and wake up times break times but he is still 'out of sorts'.
But then add to this that Hannah is starting to hit puberty and the hormones are kicking in with her. Somedays I really wonder if I will survive this motherhood thing. If it isnt Sam having one of his moments, it is Hannah with hers! Girls are most definitely different from boys! I am going to be having to sit down with her soon to have the 'talk' about 'gurl stuff'.

I am not sure what is going on with me lately either-- i am back to somethings sitting there just under the surface. I cant pinpoint it but there is something there...might just be exhaustion, or frustration... it is just that feeling of a blanket over my head and not quite up to speed on anything...always a few steps behind everyone. Not exactly getting the punchlines... i have been praying about it but nothing so far in the way of enlightenment OR of it going away.

Dennis has booked a night in Winnipeg when we are in for the Rod Stewart concert and then he also booked us 2 nights at a cabin in the Whiteshell Provincial Park for our anniversary. No kids, no work, no phones, no nothing for 3 whole days! Just me, Dennis, a cabin and one night of Rod Stewart!! Our anniversary is July 31 but we will be busy with kids and company so we just postponed it until Aug 17-20. Last year we were in Wpg with Sam and the best gift ever was him waking up in PICU and asking if i brought him a coffee... lol nothing will ever top that but this year will be great too ... 16 yrs!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

when can i be dad...

tomorrow morning sam and i are on the road again to winnipeg for another psych eval. for him. he is not too impressed with this and this last week (all two days of it) he has been just miserable with me for the most part whenever i talk about the wpg trip.
i picked the boys(josh and sam) up from my moms yesterday and for the first hour everything was good, then the good mood stopped and the miserable, grouchy, unliveable side arrived. he was mouthy, rude, disrespectful and extremely foul mood-ed ( i know there is no word-- but nothing else would work). and it was one of those literally blindsided moods that when they hit they are totally shocking and unexpected (hence the blindsiding) and they turn the whole house on its ends. i just couldnt wait for dennis to get home from work and (being extremely honest here) was ready to ship him off to anywhere--then i looked at him and saw the fatigue. then the guilt set in... but frustration also come the fatigue was 'saved' for me and not for granni?! how come i get to be the dumping ground for everyones garbage?how come even tho i am the one going to bat for them (and of course it isnt just sam here) and trying to make sure they get good times and happy memories ... i get the crap attitudes. dad gets a bit too--but i get the major brunt. makes me wish i was the dad some days!
and now i get the job of getting sam up early (6am to be on the road for 6.45), driving to winnipeg and then taking him to the doctor and keeping him on an even keel and in good spirits.


Sunday, July 5, 2009


We have been and home again on our first camp trip of the year. The last few years (about 5 or so) we have gone camping with friends for the Canada Day weekend (usually involving at least 3-4 days) and this year we went to Spruce Woods-- Kiche Manitou for our annual trip! the weather once again was wonderful and hot, the time spent with friends was fabulous, the food was fantastic and time with the family was festively fantabulous! (ok that one was a stretch...)
We got to the park on Sunday, on Monday we walked to the Devils Punch Bowl (this is at the Spirit Sands -- a natural desert in Manitoba) where we walked for a minium of 7 km (at least 2 of those were spent carrying poor short legged Dixi dog!) and it is where i also took a massive amount of photos of the natural flora and fauna there! I so enjoy taking my pics-- as my family will attest too i am sure! Sam was tired thru this journey -- but tehn we all were! lol
Our next adventure was the beach (where i stayed safely on the beach -- not making it to the water) followed by Canada Day being filled with not only a bike clinic at 1 but a bicycle scavenger hunt all over the camp grounds! Now those of you who know Kiche Manitou will understand that when i say it was a workout... it was a workout! We were in Bay 8 (at the top of the hill) and we needed to bike up and down the hill to get to the interpretive centre, the beach, the store for ice cream, our camp site.... the scavenger hunt.... Team Ginter made an awesome go of it tho! We did the whole hunt in about 45 minutes and Sam had to call it quits at the last 15 minutes or so. I sent him back to the site for ashower and a rest. He was beat!
All in all it was a great weekend and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves-- waiting impatiently i guess for our next adventure!
the kids all got their report cards and for the year we have had athey were all fairly good. Isaac got not only all A's and A+'s but he won the class award for most kind! Hannah did very well also, getting great marks and such nice accolades written about her from her teachers! Josh and sam's marks were not stellar but we know they gave their best and worked hard--and that is all taht matters to us! So as of September Hannah will be in grade 5 (still at HMK), Isaac grade 7 (moving on to NACI-- jr high) and Josh and Sam will both be in NACI high school end in grade 9. I am amazed at how fast they grown and how time just flies by with them! I get teary when i think on it too long...
This week Sam and I are off to Wpg for another Psych Eval. this time for PTSD (I hope) and to see how he is coping. The Dr. is Dr. Samm...LOL Both Dennis and I noticed taht exams really wore Sam out. He was fatigued and did 'sun down' the last 2-3 weeks. So now we are in the process of trying to get him rested again-- but he started work with my mom this week too but luckily for us she understands that he needs to rest (next year his goal is to get a 'real' job with an employer that is not family). But for anyone interested in an itouch for a PDA--I would highly recommend it. We are getting one for Joshua too this fall as Sams works for him (and the rest of us too) very well! (I still am yet to have my own!lol) The audio reminders for him is better than me 'nagging' him to do stuff and he will do it with a smile more than if it is me asking... so it was well worth the investment for us! (and we bought it refurbished from itunes-- so even better that it was cheaper!)
Well i hope that summer is finding everyone rested, relaxed and enjoying nice weather with family and friends!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

teenagers... 'nuff said

can you say "sigh"... altogether now "SIGH". School has been officially over for our kids for 6hours and it has started already! A fight over the remote and attitude to follow -- so an early bedtime was in order for 2 of the boys... Sam's temper was at its best today since school was out and I am sad to say it all started (i think) when i told him he was to get off the computer, that he cant just get on it whenever he wants and that he still needs to ask to do so...
Which ballooned into attitude and silence, then asking him to please leave my cell phone alone (he was texting on it while i was resting in bed)... more attitude.
Some days I can tell when it is TBI related and others I cant. I dont even have the energy to try to guess what it was all about.
Dennis brought me home yesterday from Winnipeg from my dental surgery. I had the 2 bottom wisdom teeth removed and some of my jaw bone shaved to do this. So today was a "not get my blood pressure up' day (AKA stay in bed and relax) and rest. It hurts to talk, smile and swallow! My face is so swollen , I look like a pocket gopher!(can you tell which is me and which is the gopher!?) I have not ate anything decent since 9PM Wed. night while in Wpg (we went to the Olive Garden) so Sam's attitude and temper really didnt set well with me-- but i handled it well i think. We both sent the boys to their rooms early (8.30pm) and told them they were now there for the night. I think Sam was over tired as he was asleep not long after. (so maybe it was a TBI incident).
We got news last week that Sam is going to Wpg on July 8 for a Psych appt. it should be for the PTSD evaluation that we were thot to have been having back in Jan/Feb when we were in Wpg. Our regular doctor told me last week to tell this doctor that we have heard nothing from the sleep clinic either, so hopefully someone somewhere will get that ball rolling!
I also learned last week that I need to go to Wpg to St. Boniface Hosp for a GI lab for 24 hours. This means that I will have a tube in my nose down to my stomach and I will journal for the 24hours when and what I am doing when the GERD strikes. This test will then tell my GI Specialist what type of surgery is needed for my hernia. Great news tho is that Albert is no more! I DO NOT have an ulcer!! Whoo hooo! (that was my highlite of last week!) So we are waiting to hear more about this test...
Somedays i wonder if we will ever get back to a normal life. One where we arent constantly waiting for appt.'s, lab results, doctor calls, etc. This last year has been one of extreme stress (and not only life after Sam's accident) and I for one and ready for the normal stuff. It is so hard to believe that it has been almost a year since we were in Wpg-- it wasnt that long ago that I was saying that it was hard to believe it was a month and then 3 months.... time goes by so quickly.
Trace Atkins is one of my favorite country singers and when i hear his song "You're going to miss this..." it makes me cry. Because when i first heard it, it was before all this so it meant something else. Now when i hear it, the meaning of this song is so much stronger and holds a whole different meaning for me. It is one that makes me think of all that we could have lost and how much more we appreciate our family and the time we have with them now.
I have so many thoughts rattling around in my head these days that i must sit down and categorize them all! Maybe my posts can have more continuity to them...a bit more clarification, but then if i did that you would all maybe think that someone else was writing for i need to laugh here or else i would cry. just one of those days i guess..

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Updates on the family...

I sometimes wonder if everyone believes we have 3 other kids since this blog WAS originally begun as something for Sam to use later to see how far he has come and to keep family and friends that are far away in the loop with our life and Sam's progress. It then evolved into more of a 'this is our life' and a learning tool for both Dennis and I AND to the general public on TBI, then it once again morphed into a ranting and therapy space for me. I still havent 100% nailed down what all its purpose but for the most part when i need to rant and update or whatever I tend to do it here... which brings me to this....

Yes we DO have 3 other children and today i felt it was time to update on them and what is happening in their lives (and how it is affecting mine! lol)

First I will begin with Joshua. Joshua is my oldest (he will be 15 on FRIDAY!!!) He is moving on to grade 9 next year (the high school end of the school) and this summer is going to look for his first "job" (meaning not one that is paid by either us as parents or other family members). He is a strapping 6'2" at last measure (that was a few months ago!) and ever the farm boy! He goes to either my mom's or to Dennis folks to get his 'fix' of farming 'big scale'. He is still quiet fromlast summer but we have noticed tho that he is changed in ways that alot of 14 yr old boys arent like. He DOES actually love his siblings (for the most part i am sure) and will help his younger sister and have fun with the family when there is no one but us around. He has a wicked sense of humour that he loves to tease us all with! he faces just shines and his eyes get that mischievous glean when he is relaxed and ready to let go of his 'grow'd up' side. He loves to be outside and is such a hard worker! We have to get this boy to learn how to not be such a workaholic! lol

I will skip over Sam right now since most of the postings on here are about him and move onn to Isaac.

Isaac is heading out to the Jr. high in the fall (same school as the boys but on the other end). He will be in grade 7. Isaac is our resident dreamer, performer and artist. He loves anything that is NOT labour intensive... he likes to be the thinker, or the foreman of jobs-- that way he figures he doesnt have to get his hands dirty! lol (you would think he would have learned by now that I make everyone get thier hands dirty!) Isaac loves all things that are creative. He will spend hours drawing cartoons, playing the piano or his flute, doodling, building Bionicles, creating things-- but he also loves his sports (which is funny to watch some days since he doesnt like to get dirty). right now Isaacs big plans in life are to first be a quarter back for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders and in the off season he will run a restaraunt. But we will just wait 'cuz next week he will change that plan and be the head president of Lego and create new Bionicles or the VP of Hasbro and make new games for kids to play...depends on his mood. Isaac has become quite affectionate since last summer. He is always in line for a hug, never misses a chance for a kiss or a squeeze from mom. (thats me!!!) He NEVER was like this before. He wasnt a snuggly baby or a huggy kid-- it was impossible to get one out of him! I am always amazed at the works God does in the lives of the kids after July 29. He took something that was tragic and made it wonderful. (not that i would want to do it over or at all if i had the choice...) but the change in our kids is remarkable.

(SIDE NOTE: please DO NOT think I think that our kids are perfect--far from it! And I know it. they are typical siblings but there are changes in them that literally just amaze me and make me Thank God for them!!!!)

Lastly and definitely not least is Hannah. Our baby just turned 10 last week! She is such a gurly girl... but man can she pack a wallop if the boys need it! lol She is about pink, fairies, Miley Cyrus, and being a girl. Our trip tp Winnipeg for her bday party (build a bear and shopping) was a blast! we spent 15 hours on the road away from home! Her and her friends had fun shopping at the mall and in VAlue Village (everyones favorite store!) and just spending the day with friends!
Hannah is still the mother hen of all and not too impressed to have to be away from us. She likes to stick close to home and be with mom and dad. Sometimes it hurts to see her like that now (we have to fight to get her to go somewhere without us), when she is such a social butterfly! My heart sang on Sat. to see her with her friends shopping, trying on clothes and giggling about little girl stuff--not a care in the world. She had just as much fun on Sunday showing Dennis all her purchases!

I guess I will also fill everyone in on Dennis too! He is changed too since last summer. He is more apt to jump in the van to just go and do something -- spur of the moment like. (ice cream to DQ, bike rides, etc) He did special ministry in church on my last Sunday. He spoke off some of the miracles we have seen since Sams accident -- to give the glory to God. He spoke so beautifully. Now my husband is NOT a public speaker, but that day he did and did it so well that he brought tears to many peoples eyes (yes mine included). He has definitely stepped out of his norm this year too. He has not only spoke publicly about Sam but also accepted virtual strangers help, prayers and questions. he has spent hours searching for info along with me and reading what we have found, going to the schools to talk about things and to doctor appointments.

I honestly wouldnt have wanted to go thru this last year without Dennis by my side. He has been so patient with me and my craziness (my not normal craziness too!) Sometimes I wonder if he knew all that we do now (not just with Sam but all the insane things that we have been thru) if he would do it all over... i know i would.

So that is it... that is the update on the Ginter clan for a bit now! I just wanted to update for a few reasons. One ... that yes there actually are other family members and they are not just figments of my wild imagination!lol) Two... so that if any of them ever look back on this time and want to read the blog, I dont want them to think that they were not a part of the whole process or that this whole year has been all about Samuel. And three... I want to be able to remember what all has been happening in our lives.(good memory but it is short you see....)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


i have been trying for a few days to update here but cant seem to find the words to write. i feel like i am walking in a fog-- there is nothing wrong, everything is relatively well. i guess it is closer to saying feeling like i am waiting for the next shoe to drop.
i went for my gastroscopy-- apparently i have a hiatus hernia, and the med's i am on dont work for long -- if they work some days. so an operation (a nissen fundoplication) is proably the order of the day. i will see the specialist on June 17 (the week b4 i have to go to wpg for dental surgery... sigh)
My princess Hannah will be 10 tomorrow! She is so excited. i have arranged with friends to take 2 of her g/f and their moms to wpg and we are going to build-a-bear and to a mall to do some 'serious gurly time' with everyone. i hope to be in better spirits for tomorrow for my girl and for Saturday...
the last month there have been 2 young people die in our community, and i feel such sorrow for them, and to be honest, i feel guilt. Both boys were so young (18 and 13). they were both such tragic losses, for the family, their friends and the community. One was just a 'fluke' accident and one was not so much. I cant seem to shake the guilt. I know we are extremely blessed to have not only been through our ordeal but to be on the side of miraculous but why the guilt?
i cant explain the horrible ache in my stomach and the crying... why us? isnt that so selfish? why was my son spared and these boys werent? why do i feel so guilty that my son was shot in the head and survived and surpassed all expectations of the doctors? and both of these boys are gone now? i want to say that i know God was there with both boys, but if he could save mine ahy not them too? i want to be mad at Him for that, but i cant because He WAS there with Sam, He was with me and Dennis, He was with each of my children thru it all...
so i guess that would explain my fog maybe, maybe not... i think maybe i need to find someone to talk to about it all...or maybe do as my friend told me to do -- throw rocks at the barn... let out some frustration... i wonder if there are enough rocks on our farm?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Busy Week

Well we gave sam his ipod last night and he was pretty excited about it all... no kidding! lol So hopefully it will do some good for the last few weeks of school. Dennis and I are hoping to find out who his teachers are for next year sooner rather than later so we can talk with them and give them the info we were given from Wpg so they have the summer to digest it and maybe come up with some ideas that can work for us all. Please pray for them to understand and hear what we are trying to show them!
I am praying about the new endeavour with the TBI social network. I want to be sure that this is something that God is wanting me to do. It seems like it might be but before i go jumping into it I need to be sure... so prayers on that front would also be welcome.
I got a phone call yesterday from the GI Unit in Brandon and on Thursday I go in for a gastroscopy at 12.30. I am nervous about it and a bit worried... not particular reason.. just am. I am trying to give it to Him so I am not so stressed about it.
we got a letter yesterday from Winnipeg for Sam. He will be gonig in soon for another psych eval. just a matter of when now.... busy busy busy!
Samuel was in the other local paper this week! It was a cadet photo and he was in the middle and looked so good! i am going to stop in there today and get a copy of it emailed to me so I can post it on here.
I am not sure what is exactly on my mind or my heart these days that is making me feel so emotional. it is most likely a combination of everything but i feel like crying at the stupidest things lately. happy songs, sad ones, commercials, just sitting, doing laundry, driving.... typing on here.... like right now... i just cant explain why. and i hate it...
thank you for all the encouraging words that were posted on the blog a few days ago. they made my day (and the crying began... :) ) I love to write on here but some days i wonder if what i write makes any sense to anyone but me! lol I try to be as honest as i can without sounds like a complete nerd or twit... but somedays i miss that target completely i am sure! But thank you to all of you that posted and to everyone who reads but doesnt post! I apreciate the comments and please feel free to leave as many as you want! I love to hear from people! (I even allow annonymus commentors if you dont have accounts to post otherwise!)
God Bless you all!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Brain Injury Awareness Month

June is TBI awareness -- at least in Canada it is.
This month i will be working hard to spread the work to educate, educate, educate!!
I am going to start working on what i want to put on the networking system this week.
I need to come up with keywords that will be used to help ppl to find the site when it is online, a title for the site, a favicon (the picture that is in the we addy in the top left corner), a description or a mission statement for it. I have been puttering at it last week but this week it will get more attention to details! I am so psyched about this!

I went to the doc on friday and he got me put on the urgent list for a gastricoscopy in Bdn. I am hoping to get in soon... albert and GERD have been basically making me grouchy and irratiable with everyone and i apologize to my family for that. I just hope that the day for that procedure doesnt land on the same day as my dental surgery at the end of june. I am going into wpg for 2 days so they can take out my 2 bottom wisdom teeth. the dentist discovered that they arent erupting because my jaw bone is over the top corner of BOTH teeth! go figure....

we got sams ipod touch and today i will be playing with it and setting all the alarms for him for the rest of the school day. it is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay cool and now i really want one! lol dennis says maybe i will have to talk to santa. i think i might just scrimp and save my pennies and see if i can get one b4 then... since i use my ipod when i am walking-- which here in manitoba is typically in the summer months! lol i think he will be excited although i think he already has an idea he is getting one-- not sure how but i think so...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Exciting news all over!

First and foremost! Sam is the middle cadet in the front row AND Sam is going to Cadet camp in Penhold, Alberta!! We are so excited ( i am extremely excited for him but also nervous-- he will be 2 whole provinces away from us if he has any problems...) Dennis and I were driving home on Wed, and were just saying how we need to find out when camp was so that Sam could be packed just in case he got a last minute call to go-- then we were home for all of 10 minutes and the phone rang!! It was one of the CO's calling to say that Sam was accepted AND he is going with his best friend!! WHOO HOO boys!

THEN!!!! Last night at the cadet annual-- Samuel not only got an honour roll award-- but he was promoted to Flight Corpral!!! That makes 2 -- YES 2 promotions in one year!! We were so proud of him. the night ended on a bit of a low note when once the festivities were all said and done, Sam started to feel ill and pale. I watched him during the ceremonies and saw that he was swaying, and tried to get his eye to motion for him to sit, but no go. He was fatigued and over heating-- so we got him outside to cool down and then we got him home to rest. We will see how he is this morning. It was interesting to see how the grandparents reacted to Sam's 'spell' and they all assumed it came down to the heat of the room--so i dont think they quite got that this is normal for us... sigh

I have a doctor app tonight for me-- albert (my ulcer) is back with avengence and the meds arent keeping me comfortable anymore. I have been gaining weight (not good when i am wanting to lose!!!) even tho i have been watching my calorie intake, exercising and drinking my water! sigh-- good thing i have a few things to cheer me up. Like Sam's promotion and camp and ----> follow me and find out!!

Well today is my last day at work (and when i say work i mean the paying kind...) and i am excited to be staying home but i will miss my job. I love the work that i do and getting to deal with people and computers but i know that this is the right thing for our family. i have some "big" plans for our summer and what the kids and i are going to do! (wath this space for our summer fun!lol) But i will be busy too with computer stuff -- so i will still have the best of both worlds... let me explain why (no not hours on end on FACEBOOK--lol)

I am on 2 TBI social netowrking sites WEARETBI and learningtoliveversiontwopointzero. these are aweseom sites for support for not only survivors but for care givers too! I have made a few friends that have been great encouragers for us! Well i got an email from the lady that is the administrator for The learningtolivewersiontwopointzero and she asked if i would be interested in starting another one for Canadians! it isnt a paying gig or anything but it is an excecllent way to get more awareness out there for ppl and support to families. i need to do a few things for it first (first one is to think of a name...)and then we will get it up and running! I thot it was a great idea especially since....

the day before the email, we had a phone call from a local lady who has a son with a brain injury (he is grown) and she gave me the name of a couple that have a group for parents of TBI and is going to arrange for them to visit with me. they have a group but due to the distance that everyone lives from each other they dont actually meet too often. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO my thot was if i can get this social networking site up and running this would be a great way for them to still remain connected and get the support that is needed.

whew... this has been alot of typing so early in the morning!

I was going to delete this blog and just forget about it as i am not sure who all is reading (if any really) then the call about the networking site, the call about the group and then i had a post from a mom in the US and how they have a son with a TBI and i decided to leave it for now. if i get to a time that it becomes unnecessary for me to type out my blatherings i am sure God will give me my proverbial ear flicking and that will be it! But for now it is almost theraputic for me and hopefully educational or at least amuzing to others!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Spring is here... i think

We are supposed to get to 23* today. SO maybe, just maybe.... spring is here. We are going to plant out our transplants for the garden and I am going to get my flowers into the half barrels done. I might even just post a picture or two if i can remember! lol

We thot we would plant the plants (is that a double negative or entandre? lol) today since there is no frost in the future (we are beleiving the weather guys here) and they need to get into soil. They are going to either die in the shop (where surprisingly there is no sun...) or out in the garden (where today it looks like there MIGHT be some sun...) Time will tell if it is spring or not i guess... cuz the calendar sure isnt!

Today Sam and I are at the church for the morning with a funeral doing the sound system, Dennis and Ike are at home working on the gardening stuff, Josh is sick with the flu (yes -- it has struck our house again) and Hannah is at a friends house for an overnight. Tomorrow we are just as busy with getting Sam off to cadets for a trip to Brandon to go gliding -- in a plane, at 7.30 AM... sigh apparently another early morning for us.

The puppies are all growing and eating and sleeping and pooping-- yuck so that is almost a full time job just keeping the papers changed! Dixi isnt feeding them as much now that we have them eating softened food. I think she is waiting for them to leave so she can have her life back! lol They will be able to go to homes the first week of June -- so not much longer now!

I went for a dentist appointment yesterday for my wisdom teeth. Well more the gum over the teeth that have erupted (2 bottom ones) and the dentist discovered that the reason they are not fully erupting is that my jaw bone is over the edges of them! So now I am having to go to Wpg. for dental surgery. Good news about this tho is that it will be a 2 day trip. Day one will be xrays and stuff and the next day will be the surgery-- so no driving back and forth! AND hopefully it will be soon!

oh we ordered the itouch for Sam. It will be here next week. So i will play with it for the first bit and get it setup with is music and alarms, then we will give it to him. So we will see if it does anything for mankind...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sam's story in the Neepawa Banner.
Thank you to Ken Waddell and Kate Jackson!!

“I remember getting hit [by the scope] and then...”
Boy was in hospital fighting for his life

By Ken Waddell The Neepawa Banner

Talking to 13 year-old Sam Ginter, it’s hard to believe that less than a year ago the Neepawa area boy was in hospital fighting for his life after a traumatic brain injury. The accident that came close to taking Sam’s life took place on July 29, 2008. On that day, Sam was out target shooting with his older brother Josh at their grandparents’ farm just outside of Kelwood. He brought the gun up to aim the scope at a bird and misjudged, hitting himself in the head with the scope. When the scope hit his head, he dropped the gun and it fired, sending a .22 caliber shot into the right side of his head. Sam said, “I remember getting hit [by the scope] and then...” he trails off where his memory ends. After the accident, he says, “I remember a lot of wires and not much else.”While Sam may not remember anything from right after the accident, he picked up his gun and went back to the house. Such a reaction isn’t uncommon after a traumatic brain injury.Sam was then rushed to Neepawa hospital and then on to Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. He stayed at HSC for 12 days.

Four hour surgery
After an hour and a half surgery turned into a four hour surgery to clean and stitch the wound, Sam’s parents, Jodi and Dennis, were given the initial prognosis. Initially, Sam had lost half of the vision in his left eye (peripheral vision) and was paralyzed on the left side of body. They expected that he would have limited mobility and walk with a limp.As Sam healed in the hospital, his prognosis improved. The paralysis went away and the peripheral vision on his left side came back.
While Sam’s long-term prognosis had improved, the effects of his brain injury meant that Sam had to re-learn skills he used to take for granted. He had to re-learn basics such as how to walk and feed himself.Things could have been much worse. Dennis explained that had the bullet followed its path of entry, it would have gone through his brain and exited the back of his head. The bullet did not follow this path, instead, it turned and stopped. Once inside his head, the bullet broke into three fragments.Dennis said, “Had the bullet crossed his brain or the occipital lobe (located in the rear-most part of the brain), it would have been very different.” Had either of these two happened, Sam would likely have died or been paralyzed. The bullet’s path was a bit of a surprise. Jodi said, “They [the doctors] were surprised it was not a through and through.” The bullet’s path meant that damage was limited to the right side of the brain, which affects the left side of the body. The bullet will remain in Sam’s head, as Dennis explains, “It does more damage to take it out.” He added that the practice of removing bullets from patient’s heads stopped 30 years ago.

Recovery when they left the hospital, Sam’s physiotherapy ended. Jodi said, “They said he was fine and sent us home... we did physio at home.” To help rebuild his strength, Jodi said he would wear his cadet boots and walk down their driveway and down the road to the stop sign. Now he can bike to town and back.Almost 10 months after the accident, Sam says, “I feel pretty good about how I’ve come along,” but the road to recovery isn’t yet over. When he gets tired, the left side of his body gets weak and Sam describes it as being “droopy”. Other than when he’s tired, Dennis says that Sam is “physically 100 per cent” although he does sometimes suffer from headaches and vertigo.
Sam was able to go back to school this year, starting with half days in mid-September. At this point, he goes for four full days, spending Wednesday at home resting for the later half of the week.Sam and his family are still working on getting the nerves in his brain to realign after the injury. This is a process which should be done in the first 18 months after injury. Dennis says, “It’s a learning process. He’ll be doing tasks and hit a mental road block and not know what to do.” To overcome these, Dennis says they explain the task in a different way and “it’ll click”. Repetition and routine are important for helping Sam’s brain heal. Sam continues to make progress, but after the rapid advancements made shortly after the accident, Dennis says these days, the progress is “small”.Sam will always be at risk for an infection from the foreign material in his head and seizures, but as time passes and neither of these things happen, Jodi says, “The risk will become very low.”The biggest challenge now is for Sam to learn to self monitor his condition, especially his fatigue, and rest when he needs to.

For Jodi, the goal of stepping forward with her family’s story was to bring more awareness to the issue of traumatic brain injury. She says, “That’s the ultimate goal.”Jodi would like to see more knowledge about traumatic brain injury and describes it as “a silent crippler of families”. Despite the fact that brain injuries are not uncommon, a concussion is considered a brain injury, Jodi says, “I’m surprised, with this being a hockey town, that there’s not more awareness.”Many people with traumatic brain injuries appear fine on the outside and some, like actress Natasha Richardson, even feel fine after the accident.Those with brain injuries often have many different after-effects, however, survivors frequently have difficulty with memory loss, impaired reasoning skills and a tendency toward one-track thinking. They may have physical disabilities such as paralysis, loss of vision and/or hearing, varying degrees of speech impairment, headaches or seizures. Some may have cognitive impairments and have difficulty organizing their thoughts into meaningful speech. In addition to physical effects, emotional effects such as changes in emotional control, depression, difficulty remembering ideas and communicating them coherently and logically, and the loss of subtle social skills are common.Not only is there a lack of knowledge about brain injuries, there is also a lack of support. In Westman, there is only one support group and it’s only open to adults (over 18) who have had a traumatic brain injury; there is nothing for parents or children. Jodi said, “We have had to do our own eduction on the internet.” The internet has proven to be a great source of support and information. Jodi said that she can talk to other parents and find out “I’m not crazy”.June is brain injury awareness month in Canada. You can find more information about brain injury from the Brain Injury Association of Canada (

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

to ipod or not to ipod

We are trying to find ways to help sam with his memory and organizational skills and have discovered that PDA's are basically a thing of the past and the "new thing" is (so everyone tells us) is to just get him a cell phone-- well NOT! First of all he doesnt NEED a cell phone and secondly-- that is jutanother monthly expense that is not needed in our house!
So here is our idea... Sam needs something with multiple alarms so that we can set alarms for each class mid way (so that he is reminded to take a break and go for a walk -- here is where we would make a few different play lists of songs so he can listen to one and when it is over that would be his 'signal' to return to class), an alarm that goes off at the end of class to remind him to write down his homework, an alarm to remind him of other things that may be needed through out the day. Also something that would be able to hold his books that will be on MP3.
A watch was not really an option as he would still have to carry an MP3 and if he has too carry or look after too mant hings something is bound to be lost or forgotten.
Dennis and i think the best idea for him will be this beautiful little piece of equipment ----->
an ipod touch!!! we priced them out today and to say the least... ouch! $250.00!! We looked at a refurbished one from itunes store but to save $50.00 and not get the same warranty... is it worth it?
I need to find someone that has one so we can see what all it can actually do and how loud the alarm is and allthe ins and outs of it. most of the sales people today told us it was quite similar to the iphone--- but there is still differences from what we found.
it would be nice to get him one now so he can use it for the rest of the school year but how do you justify one if you dont know if it will work? and if we can justify it... where do you find the extra $$ to buy one?!
sigh.... maybe i will win the lotto this week ... LOL

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Interesting Video...

bush ex...and other weekend challenges

sam went to Bush Ex with his air cadet squadron on Sat morning. Bush Ex is where the cadets take off overnight into the bush and sleep in 'tents'(made from tarps), eat IMP's (Individual Meal Packets), do 12 mile hikes, play soccer and other sports, and capture the flag. We (meaning me) were hoping that he would want to come home for night-- but he stayed all night. We had his Squadron leaders keeping an eye on him and helping him to remember to do self checks. They had tylenol and our phone numbers... just incase. we called him at 8pm to make sure he was ok (and to see if he wanted or needed to come home to sleep)... no go he was staying and that was all there was too it.
When i dropped him off it was incredibly hard to not cry. I drove off and thot i was doing well till i got onto the highway and the tears hit. i tried to stay calm and not worry about all the things that could happen to him while he was out there. a few deep breaths, a prayer and i was doing better...not great but better.
But he did really well. He was not over tired when we picked him up this afternoon but he did fall asleep by 6pm on front of the TV. So we got him off to bed and there he remains.
I am finding it hard to let him go and have other people watching out for him (other than the grandparents) -- i need to work on this. I think this might be why my ulcer (which i thot was better) is drving me insane these days...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

half empty...

this time it hit sam. we left for winnipeg yesterday morning at 5.40 and by 10.30 he was feeling sick and not the best and by noon he wa throwing up and fevered... and we still had our big appt. with dr. goldberg to go thru! we got to the appt and got right into the office so sam could lay down and sleep.
so i am working from home again today so he can sleep and get better. he had a fever so hopefully he feels better this morning ...

I want to say that i had a good feeling after all our appt.s but i think i am becoming a pessimist. Not my usual area of 'expertise' but where i slowly feel myself drifting towards. I am just tired of talking to doctors and feeling like we are going backwards. dennis thinks that our visits finally got thru to them and that they finally are 'getting' what we are talking about and that we need support and help... but i just feel blah.
we did get some good news and here it is:
1.) sam is now 'all clear' for activities-- with the understanding that he has to be smart about things and wear proper equipment (helmets, etc)
2.) there is very little risk of infection now
3.) sam will not only be taking wednesdays off at home to rest, but he will also be done classes every day at 2.30. he will stay at school but he will be resting and trying to give his brain a rest before he comes home
4.) his exams will all be written in the morning
5.) we will be hearing from the psychologist again for another evaluation

Dr. Goldberg thinks that with these last 2 new routines that they will help with his fatigue and help elevate his melt downs at home. so we will see. both dennis and i have noticed a big difference in sam over the last month that we have kept him home on wednesdays but he still has his moments.
there was also a 'break through' with sam when he admitted to the doctor that he doesnt realize when he is losing control. he doesnt know when he is fatigued either. so maybe with teh psychologist he will learn how to recognize them when it starts.
the TBI co-ordinator was not impressed with how little help we have had thru all and then went on to say how she didnt like how i was getting my info from the internet-- but then if we are not getting help from the doctors-- where else are we to get help for things from!? i was just a bit frustrated and my general feeling yesterday (and still today) is too little too late for us. we are 9 months from the accident and just starting to get the doctors to help us. school is almost over and we are moving into summer so tha means a new schedule and then we are onto high school-- more new schedules.
i am trying to adopt dennis' optomism but it is a struggle this time... right noal i want to do is cry and throw things. maybe things will look better tomorrow.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I love God's Sense of Humour

I laughed as I read this mornings devo from Psalm 31 Woman. How appropriate! I got Hannah to the doctor last night and she has URTI (upper respirtory tract infection) but it was 'irrated by the fact that this past week she had her 3rd dose of Hep. immunizations -- prime example of getting sick to stay healthy!? Isaac is still not well. He had stopped throwing up yesterday afternoon but still wasnt eating and very pale and warm. So he is home again today. Joshua went to the chiropractor and was bent back into shape-- now if only he will listen and lift with his knees!!!!!
Samuel went to cadets last night. They are preparing for 'annual' (thier big wind up 'do' before summer)... which means that they are doing alot of drills (marching) and last night he started to sweat, get tired and apparently he turned a shade of green. So he did a SELF CHECK and sat down until he was past that moment! I am so proud of him to realize that he needed to sit out and take it easy! I pray that he continues to do so! (SIDENOTE: Dr. Chapman asked if we had heard from the sleep clinic yet since he had wrote them another letter!! Whooo hooo!)
I can feel the stress in our house depleting... maybe it is just me. There has been a change in our home in the two weeks. We have been trying to get the kids to work more on thier respect towards each other. We started a can that they were to put in it when someone was helpful or kind to them -- it could be in words or actions. So far one child has been very receptive to this idea-- the other 3 mildly so... hmmmm need to continue the work on this!

Anyhow... the following is this mornings devo. I hope that others find it as helpful as I did-- I even saw the humour in it as this was the way I was feeling this morning!lol God is not only God but he is the One that will give you the proverbial 2X4 when needed!

Cast and Present
8 May 2009Melissa Taylor
"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." Psalm 55:22 (NIV)
We were driving home from my mom's house when it happened again. I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw my son Hayden. His eyes were fluttering and his face was pale. I could tell he would be out in a matter of seconds.My husband stopped the car and I crawled quickly to the back, shouting Hayden's name. His body went limp. Although he was only out for about twenty seconds, it seemed like an hour. This was the third time Hayden had passed out in the last two weeks. I was so scared about his condition. He had some tests scheduled, which hopefully would tell us and the doctors what was going on.What was causing him to pass out? Would the doctors be abl e to help him?The next morning I opened my Bible study book, eager for some time with God. I could not believe my eyes. The title of the lesson was The Great Physician. Immediately I felt a sense of comfort and peace over me. I know the Great Physician well. And I trust Him. At that moment I was no longer worried about Hayden. I knew he was in very capable hands, the mighty hands of the Great Physician. Regardless of what happened, I know the Great Physician had great plans for Hayden, no matter his condition.The Great Physician is here for all of us. He wants us to come to Him for healing. How stubborn we can be sometimes. I remember once when I was sick. I needed to go to the doctor but didn't feel like making an appointment, passing hours in a waiting room, and spending money on a prescription. I figured I would feel better eventually. I put it off each day until I was so sick I could hardly get out of bed. Finally I went to the doctor. He diagnosed me with strep throat, administered a very painful shot, and I was better within twenty four hours! If only I had gone sooner I would have saved myself a lot of trouble!The same is true with the Great Physician. How many times do I worry for days or try to solve a problem on my own? When I finally release it to Him, I think, Why didn't I turn it over to Him a long time ago?God's Word tells us to "cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall" (Psalm 55:22). It also reads, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6).We aren't supposed to fix ourselves. We aren't supposed to worry and fret. We are supposed to "cast" and "present." Cast our cares and burdens to God, and present our requests to Him. When we do what His Word tells us to do, we can then experience peace and comfort (Philippians 4:7).I'm happy to r eport that Hayden is fine. I can hear him in the next room right now talking and laughing with his little sister. I'm so thankful for the laughter. I'm so thankful for the Great Physician who has given me a peace so that I can enjoy the laughter.Dear Lord, in our lives there will be times of trial and fear. Remind us to cast our cares and present our requests to You, and leave them there. Thank You for the peace only You can give. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

sick.... ugh

"Someone is sick!" and the blankets flew and the bed jumped... that was my wake up call this morning. In the wee early hours of the morning, Isaac did his best to make it to the bathroom but before he could... it all hit the floor.
Both mine and dennis' feet hit the floor at the same time and luckily I didnt make it to Ike before he threw up. I tend to be one of those people that have good intentions of helping the physically sick-- but fail once it actually is 'out in the open' and then i am a contributor to the clean up. But as I said I was a step or 2 too late. (thankfully!)
So every 1/2 hour from them on the poor boy was throwing up. Not a happy camper.
Last night Hannah came home from school with a very sore throat and when i looked at her throat I saw all sorts of pretty colours... white, red, pink... so she has a throat infection then woke up this morning with very little voice but also a sore ear. (Dr.appt at 3:00).
Now add to this that I am not feeling so hot, Dennis is having bouts of "yeck" too. It seems we may have the flu bug in our house! I am trying to work from home today and thanks to the wonderful guys at the computer "fix it place" CN suppliers-- my computer this morning is running so super fast I am so amazed! I have been able to get alot more accomplished today than I did yesterday when it was not running quite as nicely. (thanks Jayden and Chris!!!)
This afternoon not only will I be taking Hannah in to see the Dr. Chapman, but I will have to take Josh in to see the chiropractor because we think he has pinched a nerve in his back. Not too hard to see him doing considering he is 6'2" and likes to use his back to pick up heavy stuff instead of his knees!
So in looking back at this week so far... Sam is the only healthy one, out of the lot of us! Which is good since someone is going to have to look after us while we all recouperate! lol I see alot of mac'n'cheese in our future....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Final Countdown...

hey that should be a song! Oh wait it is!! lol reminiscing the 80's...

Actually what is means is that next week on May13, Sam will be seeing the neurologist (the surgical one) for his "all clear". From what we understand from the last time we saw him this date is when now Sam is at the lowest possible risk for infection (which he will have his whole life due to foreign objects in his brain) and his lowest chances for seizure (which he has never had!! Hallelujah!). It means he can go back to gym class, bike riding (we have already been doing -- erp) and things the like. All this is as long as Sam is able to do some self awareness checks (which he has a hard time doing right now!) He still gets headaches, dizziness, his appetite is iffy, his fatigue is not much better now than when it was in November-- maybe summer holidays will help with that and he concentration is not the best. All things I hope will be improved by my being home all the time (if he needs to stay home other than Wednesday than there is no issues to deal with) and that i will be home all summer to help keep him in a routine of organization. By this i mean we will have time each morning to clean rooms, and tidy the house, in the afternoon we will have 'quiet time' and then there is physical activity that i will be sure he is doing. If i were to remain at work it would be hard to instill this if I were not home.
I am almost done the scrapbook i started for him in Wpg. I need a few more letters to get from people and i think 1 or 2 pictures. I cant wait for it to be totally done and I think Sam wants it done too. He keeps asking to see it, but i say no since I would like it to all be new to him when he sees it! I wish there were a way to post the blog in the book and some of the responses that i have had. But i am not that technologically ept! (I am lucky to be able to post in here some days! lol) The book is photos of Sam with people that were involved with us during the whole 'episode' in Winnipeg. I have pictures of him with nurses, doctors, OT's, PT's, friends, family, people that gave their time, money and prayers to us! It is amazing the number of people that were directly in our path during that time! I wish I could get pictures of everyone that sent cards, foods, flowers or gifts! I hope that some of them see this blog and this post in particular and know that we gratefully and most humbly appreciate them for their caring words and actions! You were all such a blessing to us! Thank you!

ok enough sappy... tomorrow is Sam's weigh day! Please pray for good news!