Sunday, March 18, 2012

Update - Sunday March 18th

It has been a while since I have updated this. Progress and slow and steady but he is making progress. Casey had his second follow up appointment with the surgeons this past Tuesday. Everything went really well! They retook another set of x-rays and examined all of his incisions. The incision on his hip is pretty much almost closed up and the ones on his left leg are not far behind. The x-rays of his left leg, where they inserted the metal rod looked really good. The doctor thinks that another few weeks and that leg will be completely healed (which is amazing to be because when I look at the x-rays his leg still looks very much broken). The doctor pointed out on the x-rays of his left leg that calcium bridges have formed over all the brakes which indicates healing. The bigger break in his leg (the one that was out of his skin) still has a little area that still is filling in and growing back. They x-rays of his hip looked really good. If you remember from some of my rpearlier posts, the big concern with his hip is that the ball of his femer would die because it was deprived of blood for such a long period of time. If the ball dies then Casey would need a total hip replacement. The x-rays indicated good Ben density and didn't see, to indicate that the hip bone was trying to regroup, which is a good indication that blood flow may have returned. They doctor will take another set of x-rays April 10th and then in one year intervals from here on out just to make sure it stays looking healthy. Since all of his bones looked so good, Casey's restrictions have now changed. He is allowed to bend over past 90 degrees now, which means that he can now start doing little things like putting on his own socks and shoes. He is also now full weight bearing on his left leg and 50 percent weight bearing on his right leg. With these new restrictions Casey has learned in therapy this last week to walk on crutches instead of his walker and wheel chair! He still needs his wheel chair for longer periods of movement but the walker has been banished and replaced with a nice new pair of crutches. Since Casey is on crutches that also means that he was able to learn how to get up and down stairs without relying on a sturdy railing. This has made is so much easier for him to get around. In fact this last week while my parents were in town from. Texas, we were able to go out and have dinner for the first time because we didn't have to worry about a restaurant not being handicap accessible. It is amazing how our perspectives have changed. I will now never be annoyed by the railings in hotel showers and bathrooms again, because trust me, they are there for good reason and I applaud restaurants and stores for putting in ramps. (things I thought I would never appreciate until I was at least 90 :-)). We continue to thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers. God is still continuously revealing to us almost everyday how good and perfect his plan is and that he does have a marvelous plan for our lives. Life does not always turn out how we plan or intend for it to be, but with and through God, it is better than we could have imagined.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Update - Friday February 24th

Life has been busy over the last few weeks since getting home. We are trying to get life somewhat back to normal. Let's see if I can give a good summary. Last tuesday, valentine's day, casey had his first follow up appointment with the surgeons. It went really well, everything still looked in place and looked good. He sure has a lot of metal in his legs! They cleared him to be able to wear a sneaker on his feet when he is in the house instead of the walking cast. He was so happy! Most of his pain at night while he slept was associated with pressure aggravated by the boot. Since then he has slept so much better at night. Another outcome of the doctors appointment was canceling home therapy in favor of some more rigorous out patient therapy. Which he started this last Tuesday. His first outpatient therapy went well. When he first went into the rehab center rafter surgery his left hand knee could barely bend 50 degrees. Through stretching exercises and wearing compression socks to reduce swelling he was able to bend his knee 120 degrees...which means that he is able to use the stationary bike at therapy (with no resistance, since he can't put any pressure on his right hand leg or hip for another 2 months). The hand bike Casey bought online to keep up his heart rate and build upper body mustles can also be used as a stationary bike on the floor. So, Casey has managed to "bike" from the couch everyday :-). This last Saturday Casey's work group was having a bowling party. We had not been out of the house, except to go to the doctor, since coming home. Casey and I decided with a little help from friends we could get to the bowling party. The bowling alley was perfect, no stairs, totally wheelchair friendly. Casey had such a great time surprising and catching up with his co-workers. I should have taken a picture off him at the bowling alley but I didn't. On Monday I started back to work. It has been a learning experience and a lesson in planning to make sure that he is ok by himself during the day. I have to make sure to lay his clothes out along with his assistive devices, put the walker and sneaker inanity a certain spot before I leave, pre-make coffee, and set out breakfast, etc. If I forget, that makes for a very long day for Casey. My work has been wonderful, letting me go back to work part time so that I can take Casey to his therapy appointments 3 times a week and random doctors appointments. It is so wonderful to know that if he needs me at home, I can be there. Other than that, I think that we have just been enjoying company almost everyday! Thank you to all of you that have supported us with meals, card games, super Mario brother partners, cards in the mail, care packages, etc. We feel so blessed to have all of you in our lives.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

For better or worse

Well I thought I (Casey) would try updating this blog for today since Sarah has been busy literally doing everything else since we got home.  We've been trying to make the adjustment of being home and getting around the house with a wheelchair and walker.  It's amazing how the simplest tasks turn into time consuming chores.  Simple things like getting up to shuffle into the bathroom zap my energy.  You don't realize how many steps there are to just make coffee until you're hobbling around on a broken leg trying to ground coffee beans!  It's amazing how your perspective changes.

We reintroduced our two Boston Terriers, Dude and Lily, into our home over the weekend.  For those of you who haven't been around Boston's, they love to jump and lick, very high energy dogs.  Our youngest, Lily, tends to be the highest energy and hasn't quite grasped the concept that she can't jump all over my legs and lap while I'm sitting in the wheel chair or couch....but I think she'll figure it out eventually.  We did have some fun doing my physical therapy exercises over the weekend while watching some college basketball!

Today we had our first follow up appointment with my orthopedic surgeon.  The accident was 3 weeks ago today and he said that he was happy with my progress.  The incisions seems to be healing well and internally he was pleased to see that everything was still in place.  We took some xrays today and this was the first time I got to see the amount of metal they put into my body.  3 giant screws in my hip and a giant rod with 2 screws in my leg.  Just seeing how perfectly my hip was put back together made me so thankful there are brilliant, talented doctors that have the knowledge and patience to put broken people back together.  There's been so much fuss over healthcare in news and in the political arena...and I'm sure the bills for all this are going to be astronomical...but I feel blessed to live in a country where I can go from being a broken mess in an intersection, to being transported safely to a team of competent and capable doctors.  I love building things with my hands, working on our house, creating things.  If you've got that same kind of disposition, you know that feeling when you finish something, step back, and smile that proud smile of accomplishment.  We shared one of those moments with my surgeon today as he was showing us an xray of my hip and how perfectly and delicately things had been put back together.  You could tell that it was truly satisfying for him, as it obviously was for us as well!  We'll continue to pray and covet your prayers that there was a positive connection made between my femur and ball socket in my hip...because there's still the risk that over the next 3 years the head could die and I would need a total hip replacement.  I'm confident that this won't be necessary, but even if it is, it's comforting to know that God is good, regardless of how this or any other circumstance turns out.  I often let my circumstances dictate my mood or outlook, but if there's one thing that God has shown me on a daily basis through all of this, it's that He truly can and does work out all things for His good purpose.

 I know this is a long post...but it being Valentines day and all I wanted to take a second and talk about Sarah.  I've tried to mentally put myself in her shoes.  Getting a phone call from me, being loaded into an ambulance, the calm in her voice (even though I know she was terrified).  I can't begin to describe to you the emotional roller coaster she's been through these past few weeks.  Not to mention the physical changes she's feeling as our little girl continues to develop inside of her throughout all of this.  Sarah has not left my side for 1 minute since this happened.  When we were married we each wrote our own vows and we told each other that "for better or worse" that we would always be there for each other.  It's hard to understand the weight of those words until they're tested in a situation like this.  The love she has shown me through her sacrifice has been immeasurable.  At the rehab facility in Chesterfield I was the only one there whose spouse was with me the whole time.  She slept in a chair next to my bed every night, woke up, brought me breakfast, encouraged me through my therapy.  Without her I would have been totally lost.  It seems backwards to realize just how blessed I am through an experience like this, but that continues to be the case.  Blessed with an amazing wife whose love and encouragement has carried me through these past weeks.  Blessed with friends and family that continue to show their support for Sarah and I.  Blessed with an employer an co-workers that have overwhelmed me with generosity and concern.  Blessed that the network of people that have prayed, sent cards / gifts, flowers extends to places and groups that I've never even heard of before.  Blessed to be alive and looking forward to continuing down the road to recovery....hopefully before my little girl is born in June!  Our hope is that you have also been blessed in some way by this whole situation and that you can pass that along to the people in your life!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Update- saturday February 11 (from home)

We finally made it home on thursday afternoon!!! It is so nice to be home. Casey left for a bike ride 2.5 weeks ago and has finally made it home. With the help of Casey's parents we overcame several challenges related to getting home. Casey can get in and out of our little Honda Fit by himself using the walker (btw, not only does Casey's long legs fit into out Fit but so does his wheelchair, walker and crutch. I love my little car :-)). Our first challenge that we came across were the stairs leading into the house. At the rehab center Casey had mastered going up and down stairs using a crutch and a railing, with a majority of his weight on the railing. Our sturdiest railing is located on the front porch. We have about 4 steps with a railing to get onto the front porch and then 2 steps leading into the house that have no railing. There in lies the problem. Thankfully I have very strong in laws that were able to pull Casey into the house on his wheelchair backwards up the stairs. Unfortunately that would be a scary experience in reverse, going down the stairs, out of the house. Thankfully we have until Tuesday to figure out how to get him out of the house. Tuesday is his first follow up appointment with the surgeon. We are just praying that all of the x-rays looked good. Prayer is such a powerful thing. One of my best girl friends and an old room mate of mine stopped by this morning for a little bit and we were talking about how unbelievable it is that only 2and a half weeks ago Casey survived getting hit by a car with no head or spine injuries, was lying in the hospital going through a surgery where none of us including the doctors were sure that they could save his leg and today he is up on a walker and walking on that very same leg. I know that there have been people all over the world praying for Casey and if ever there was an example of answered prayer in my life, this would be it. (each and every one of you that prayed, are an answer to my prayers). God has used this situation to increase my faith, re-prioritize my life and show me that he truly does answer prayer. Every one of Casey's surgeries went perfect. Casey was supposed to be in the hospital for at least 14 days, he was only there for 9. He was supposed to be in rehab for 10-14 days, he was only there for 7 and now we are home. I know I say this a lot but I feel so blessed to have such great family, friends and co-workers. Thank you for all the prayers, visits, encouragement, food, flowers, toys :-), etc. I feel so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love that we have been shown. It has been good being home but it has been an adjustment. On Thursday I think it hit both of us just how much has changed in the last few weeks. Home is where things are supposed to be comfortable and normal but imagine coming home and not being able to do all the things you could have a few weeks ago. Things as simple as showering, making coffee or oatmeal, now take 5 times as long as before. We are trying to get into a routine but I think even that will take time. All I know is, it felt GREAT sleeping in til 10:45 this morning. The adrenaline from the last few weeks finally wore off and I was able to really sleep. I got up at about 8:00 to help Casey out of bed and then I went back to sleep and woke up to find that he had made his own breakfast and coffee and was reading in the dining room. Wow! Made me smile. It is so nice to be home.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Update- Tuesday February 8th

Casey is going home tomorrow!!! He had an assessment today and has been cleared to go home tomorrow. Today he was able to get ready for the day by himself, walk 150 feet without stopping, walked up and down a flight of stairs twice, got into and out of our car using his walker, stood for 15 minutes or more without is amazing to me that he has come so far after only being here for one week. When we checked into Mercy rehab Casey couldn't get out of bed and stand up by himself, now he is getting around all on his own with the help of his sweet wheelchair and walker. For the next few weeks Casey will be receiving home physical therapy and have home care nurses come to the house to check his incisions. He will most likely be limited to the house for the next few weeks/month except to get to and from doctor's appointments. Next week on the 14th (Valentine's day) Casey has his first follow up appointment with the surgeon.  They will take another round of x-rays at that time and see how things are progressing.

We are excited to be heading home. We are so grateful for our time here but Casey left home 2 weeks ago to go on a bike ride and has yet to return home. We will miss the cable TV with its Storage Wars marathons :-), but we are excited to see the dogs and sleep in our own bed. At least being home, life will seem more normal. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Update- Tuesday February 7th

Casey has conquered stair climbing today! We have 5-6 steps to get into our house no matter which door you enter the house from. We had looked at building a ramp to get into the house, but quickly discovered that was not a feasible idea. You apparently have to have 1 foot of length for every 1 inch of rise...that would be a long ramp! Our little gingerbread city house was not made to accommodate something like that. So Casey learned today how to climb up stairs using a railing and a crutch and only 1 foot. He did pretty well. Still needs more practice before we head home, but I think he will be able to master it. Please continue to pray for quick healing and that his spirits will remain high. I should be able to say tomorrow when his discharge date is. The doctors and therapists have a weekly conference on Wednesday's to discuss patient progress. Next step is figuring out what all needs to be done to the house to accommodate a wheelchair. Thankfully I have one handy father-in-law!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Update - Monday February 6th

Today was a big day. The rehab center transported Casey and I to St. Luke's hospital where we found out we are having a little baby girl! We could not be happier and it was so good to be able to experience it together. I have been smiling all day long. Attached is a picture of her kicking herself in the head with her foot...she is so darn cute already!

In other news Casey was able to stand up out of his wheelchair today all by himself with no assistance, multiple times! He was also able to get up and walk with a walker today for 138 feet! He is doing so well that the doctor mentioned that he would be surprised if he wasn't able to discharge him on Thursday or Friday of this week. That is alot sooner than any of the predictions. He is just far exceeding expectations. Yet again God is good (note: he is not just good because of what he does, but he is just good no matter what).