Andrew Goodwillie's Journal
Home Sweet Home
Written Sep 10, 2011 3:01pm
Hi Everyone! Well, what can I say, life is good, life is busy! Andrew has been doing remarkably well and has enjoyed being home more than words can say. I literally haven't had a second to write as we have been so busy with school starting for the kids, out-patient therapy for Andrew, doctor's appointments, etc.
Andrew returned home a week ago Friday and transitioned into the role of Daddy seemlessly. Kelly, Rhys and Beckett are THRILLED to say the least and know that Daddy sustained a "bad boo on his head" but can see how great Daddy is doing now.
Andrew is walking, unassisted, pretty much everywhere, including up and down the stairs and his balance is much, much better. He's sleeping very well in his own bed and taking daily naps. The staff at Craig recommended that he rest as much as possible and he is making a concerted effort to do so.
He was at Craig three days last week for occupational, speech, and physical therapies, as well as community integration, meetings with the neuropsychologist, etc. The staff continues to be phenomenal and supportive and we are so blessed to be working with them.
In addition, Andrew has started to ride his bike on his trainer! He is riding at low speeds for short intervals, but is absolutely thrilled to be back on the bike.
His neuropsychologist indicated that he had several recommendations that he proposed. First, Andrew is not allowed to bike outside or ski until the Craig staff says he is ready. He also cannot drive until they deem him ready. He cannot drink alcohol for a year, and cannot do anything that could lead him to risk another head injury. He is also a higher risk for seizures for a year.
We still have a long road ahead....Andrew's right hand and arm are still very weak, and he still has issues with language and cognitive ability. He is working so very hard on all of these areas and has an amazingly positive attitude. He is grateful everyday and I can see the joy in his face and the twinkle in his eyes while interacting with our boys.
That being said, I think that his recovery has been nothing short of remarkable, actually, miraculous, and I know for a fact that we couldn't have gotten through this difficult and trying time without you all. Your support, love, well wishes and food have been invaluable to our family and I'm trying to start writing the 1500 thank you notes that I need to write but please be patient. :)
Also, many of you have been asking me if we still need meals. I am loathe to ask for the help but I can't tell you how wonderful it has been to not have to worry about food for the night. So, my friends have been encouraging me to post the food link again and just know how grateful we are. I'm not sure how to return the favor, but please know that it is appreciated from the bottom of our hearts.
Lastly, I would like to acknowledge my beautiful, lovely, kind and creative mother-in-law, Mary Nelson or "Grandma Mary." She has been in Denver since August 28th and I don't know what we are going to do when she leaves at the end of September. She has just been a godsend....driving the children to and from school, Andrew to and from Craig, going to the grocery, making meals and most of all, just playing with the kids. Shes a marvelous person, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother and we are so very grateful. Also, thank you to her husband, Grandpa Jim, for all of is great help when he was in town and to my fabulous Daddy, Joe Dietrich, or "Papaw" as our boys call him. It's amazing and comforting to have family in town.
Love to you all and many, many thanks,
Life is Good.....
Written Aug 29, 2011 4:14pmHi Everyone!
What an incredible weekend - it was just wonderful! Andrew has just progressed beautifully and we couldn't be more pleased!
We started off with a surprise visit home with the boys on Friday night for dinner, and it was such fun. The boys were crawling all over him and just delighted that their Daddy was home. He played ball with them and walked up and down the street with them as they pedaled their bikes and it was just so good for him to be home.
Andrew spent the majority of Saturday at home with me and his Mom and Aunt Betsy and the boys and it was just wonderful. We all played together and ate together and sang together and just had fun together. Andrew also caught up on the Pro Cycling Challenge and that was a treat.
The highlight came on Sunday when not only did he get to see his kiddos and spend time with the family, but in the morning, was picked up at the hospital by myself, and his two dear friends, Nick Sontag and Todd Haavind. We drove down to Capitol Hill, parked, and met the amazing Heather Lurie outside of the VIP tent to obtain our tix to the Pro Cycling Challenge. To say it was the thrill of a lifetime for those boys is an understatement!
We enjoyed delicious food and watched the cycling on a large screen tv under the VIP tent and Todd and Nick and Andrew delighted in seeing these famous racers travel over the roads that they know so well.
We then witnessed the racing live as the cyclists passed us by six times at amazing speeds and we just had a blast! It was truly a moment we will all remember and we couldn't have been more grateful to have experienced it!
Andrew's mobility in his right hand continues to improve as does his balance and motor coordination. He continues to have cognitive issues resulting from his brain injury....memory, attention, etc. But, the great news is the plan remains intact with a discharge date of this Friday, Sept 2nd. He will then continue with outpatient therapy at Craig.
I am bringing Andrew home now every night this week (after 4pm) for dinner so if you want to stop by for a visit or dinner, please contact me at 303-725-6711 to schedule. He loves visitors and it just brightens his day.
You all brighten my everyday,
Written Aug 26, 2011 4:48pmHappy Friday Everyone! We are nearing the end of a very exhaustive but positive week for Andrew. He has made amazing progress and is very much looking forward to the weekend as he has just received a new pass allowing me to take him off campus for outings! YIPPEEE!
The first thing we are going to do tonight is to go surprise our kiddos at home and play for a few hours. This will be his first trip home in a month...very exciting!
Then we are going to meet Christi Stafford & Andy Brannon (two TFKD/B employees who have stepped up beautifully to help run the organization in Andrew's transition, as well as the remarkable Tim Bradley, TFKD/B's board chair who has also done a tremendous amount of work and has helped to keep us up and running.
Andrew has also just been cleared to walk on his own and although the staff at Craig recommends that he sit often, he is free to roam and we are so excited! He is counting down the minutes to the US Pro Cycling Challenge on Sunday and we will have a report afterwards about the VIP experience. Thanks Heather!
One thing I have not written about much is how well our children, Kelly (4, but almost 5 :), Rhys (3) and Beckett (2) are doing. They have had so much love and support and interaction from their caregivers (me, Pebes, Auntie Lig and Uncle Pat, Aunt Betsy, Mani Mani, Yaeel and Kelly) that they are having the time of their lives! And, to top it off Grandma Mary comes tomorrow! They are really thriving and doing beautifully under the circumstances. Thanks to everyone who has offered to take care of them and who has come over to play. We are so grateful!
Again, we have been overwhelmed by your love and support and well wishes. The food has been spectacular and to not to have to cook has been such a blessing.
We are off to go surprise the kids....more later!