On 8/13/12 Steven & his brother Aaron were in an automobile accident. Aaron didn't survive the accident. Steven sustained a severe TBI. He was airlifted to CRMH where he was on a vent, underwent a craniectomy & medically induced coma. On 9/7 he was transferred to Shepherd Ctr in Atlanta, GA for rehab until 10/6. He began outpatient rehab at Pathways in Decatur, GA on 10/8. Steven left VA not being able to sit up, he left GA walking unassisted! A MIRACLE! His recovery is one day at a time with God, Mom, Dad, Aaron, family & friends.
We hope our CaringBridge family had a Merry Christmas and are off to a happy & healthy New Year. I have been told that I won't always be relieved when the holidays are over, but it's obviously too soon for that! I am thankful that we had focused family time honoring past family traditions while creating new traditions. My favorite new Christmas tradition involved each of us writing a letter to Aaron and placing it in his Christmas stocking. My guys made me proud having their letters prepared on Christmas Day. And yes, I read their letters...it's a Mom thing! I thanked them for their beautiful words to Aaron and they thanked me letting me know that it was therapy for them to write to Aaron! Oh how well I know about "Aaron" letter writing therapy!
We have been thankful for a lighter schedule, but that is about to change! Steven started back to Lewis Gale for a few weeks to work with a Hand Specialist trying out a new splint. We met with Dr. DeLuca and two therapists last week regarding moving forward with Constrain Induced Therapy. We're working on solidifying a start date which could be as early as mid February. The meeting went very well. Steven connected with the therapists and was encouraged once again by Dr. DeLuca's motivating & encouraging personality. I could listen to her all day! While she reminded Steven that there aren't any guarantees she firmly believes every treatment option is worth a try. Their goal is to focus on maximizing functionality. I told Dr. Deluca that I was recently reminded by a friend that Steven will be in a cast during this time and won't be able to drive...oh no! Does that mean I have to start going back to Kroger? And what about my Starbuck's delivery? :) Yes, I remember dreading the idea of Steven being back behind the wheel, but after watching how independent he has become I can only continue to cheer him on! We appreciate prayer as this will be an adjustment to each of us including Rusty as the therapist will work with Steven in our home 5 days a week, 4 hours a day for 3 weeks! I warned the therapist today about Rusty's abundance of energy and recommended not making eye contact :)! The therapist actually sounds excited about meeting Rusty, she used to have a hound dog! Yes, it's true! We took this as a good sign :)
I don't think I have met anyone that has worn out a treadmill as quickly as Steven has worn out his! Anthem is going to love our latest prescription for an industrial strength Treadmill or Elliptical. The thought came to me after talking to the repairman. Due to Steven's walking pattern unless he gets a heavy duty machine he will continue to have the same problems. I thought about asking Roanoke College or the Salem Y what they do with their used equipment, but we will try Anthem first.....I know it's a stretch, but hey maybe Anthem will surprise us with an approval!
As I sit here listening to Steven call and make his own doctor's appointments, I'm reminded with a thankful heart just how far he has come. Believe me no matter how proud I am of him it's an adjustment to watch him leave to go to therapy & other appointments alone! Steven is still allowing me to go to his PCP appointments with him, only because Dr. Nottingham and his nurse Haley are very special to us....they are truly rare precious healthcare professionals that believe in showing how much they care! They have traveled this journey with us always going above and beyond to make sure that Steven's needs are taken care of!
Are you having a hard time writing 2015? I woke up on New Years Day with anxiety over starting yet another New Year without Aaron. In the quiet of the early morning, I wrote two letters...one to God and one to our Aaron. I felt more at peace after pouring out my heart. I then found myself listening to the pastor of Elevation Church. His talk was titled "There's Been a Change of Plans!" (REALLY)!!! I listened with tears flowing as he spoke directly to me! I listened intently as he talked about how we react to unplanned interruptions! I would say that our journey definitely falls into this category! He reminded us to plan for interruptions & imperfections. If we plan for perfection we will be disappointed. Sometimes our expectations of perfection stops our celebration of progress (Wow)! Plan for impossibility, God wants to do things in our life this year that defy human reason! No word from God will ever fail! Some stuff you can't plan for, some stuff happens leaving you never feeling the same again! He left me with this...Don't let our plans miss God's purpose! Believe it or not that is my abbreviated version! That alone was a lot to unpack and process! Many WOW moments! I don't believe in coincidence, the timing was perfect!
While I have found myself saying I'm thankful the holidays are behind us, I'm also thankful and very blessed to have an awesome supportive & loving husband that continues to be by my side encouraging me to keep on keeping on. And then there's Steven working hard on his recovery, looking for ways to encourage other survivors and always reveals a tender heart towards his Mom. I sure don't take my guys for granted. We are a good team sharing love, tears, laughter & memories while always reminding each other that Aaron wants us to keep on doing what we are doing to encourage Steven in his recovery while always looking for ways to honor Aaron's precious life! Onward we go! One day at a time with each other, God, family and friends. May we never lose sight of the precious gifts that God has blessed us with. Take time each day to cherish the moment, count your blessings & whenever it comes to those that you love, please make sure they know it!