Steven Myers's Journal
Written Dec 8, 2013 8:44pmDecember 8th??? How did that happen? I have officially lost ALL bragging rights of being ready for Christmas by December 1! But I am proud to say that with the "gentle" encouragement from Steven and Carlan the house is decorated and if I say so myself looking very nice. It does my heart good for us to continue with some of our special "family" traditions. I admit that I used to get all wrapped up in perfect decorations, a tree in every available room, certain things done right on schedule, etc., etc. how exhausting and how much of the really important things did I miss? Our tree again this year is all about Aaron and the outdoors that he loved and in my opinion it couldn't be any more perfect!
We had a nice Thanksgiving and hope you did! Getting away was the perfect distraction. Carlan mentioned often that the laughter was so good for us. He is right! We enjoyed our first snow together and shared many"Aaron" memories. I needed & totally enjoyed our "no schedule" quality memory making time together!
Good news! Steven's Botox has been approved! His appointment is scheduled for Thursday. We are so blessed to have an OT that cares enough to take time out of his schedule to go with us to our first injection appointment with Dr. Mowery. Considering Dr. Mowery will be increasing the dosage and injecting into different locations we are hoping for better results than in the past.
We have met so many wonderful people on this journey. Recently I was put in contact with an Aquatics Therapist. We were told at the Shepherd Center that Steven Aquatic Therapy could be beneficial. I researched but kept hitting dead ends. It was ALL God when I was unexpectedly put in touch with Tracey at Healing Waters. We had a great phone conversation and she is in agreement that Steven will benefit from Aquatics Therapy. I'm so thankful and excited about meeting her and getting Steven started!
While Steven has done an amazing job returning to college, we are counting down to this semester ending, meaning we get a break! I already know he will finish with an "A" and be ready for Spring 2014 semester. There is no stopping our Miracle!
Lately, we have heard so much about grieving. We don't know if it's the holidays or all of the recent news about local young adult deaths due to accidents. Of course we as parents want to reach out to each of the families. One of the most important things we have learned is there is no time limit or model to follow when it comes to grieving. Sadly due to our "hurry up/rushed" society this can carry over into the grieving process only causing issues later. I'm thankful for the guidance that we have received reminding us to take our time. There is so much healing that needs to take place in our own way and in our own time. I'm guilty of worrying about Carlan and Steven, but am slowly learning to be open about my hurting heart realizing the more I share with my guys the more they realize the importance of doing the same. Honestly even as I type this I just can't grasp the reality of our Aaron truly being temporarily separated from us. I'm so thankful for the impact he made not only in our lives but in so many of your lives! The impact was very evident once again as we decorated our tree and touched each ornament that you sent to us in memory of our Aaron...thank you!
I hope I wasn't the only one thankful for an icy stay at home all day kind of day :) I don't do well sitting still but the timing of having a cold was a perfect excuse to attempt to sit still while traveling down memory lane with photo albums. All I could see and feel as I took in each memory was love :) well okay and a realization that I'm truly a picture taking fanatic! And oh so very glad that I own the title and put my family through the torture of enduring smiling for one picture after another! Such sweet memories...I needed today!!!
I hope as you do your Christmas check-off list of: decorations, cards, gifts, wrapping, baking, etc. that you stop and prioritize your list to put our Savior's birth at the top followed by scheduling quality time to spend with your family and friends. When December 26th arrives what will your immediate Christmas memories consist of? My prayer is your memories will be of watching your loved one's face light up as you greet them on Christmas morning, that you remember something sweet a family member spoke to you on Christmas day, a hug that lasted longer than usual, a special stolen glance at your spouse during the hustle and bustle, a memorable moment under the mistletoe, singing & dancing to your favorite Christmas song...whatever it is, don't rush! Take in the moment, each moment! Make them all count. Live a no regrets life starting right now today!
Written Nov 27, 2013 3:20pmAs Thanksgiving week arrived we found ourselves very thankful that everything worked our for us to get away for a few days. We are especially thankful to Rusty's angels...Haley, Mark & Daniel (yes,it takes an entire team)! Even as we sit together and watch snow gently fall I'm still trying to convince myself that tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I don't intentionally set out to just go through the motions of this special holiday but daily remind myself that we can only do the the best we can do. It has helped to get away from the hustle and bustle of everything and enjoy quality time together.
During the month of November I have daily thought about & dwelled upon one specific thing (there are so many) about Aaron that I'm thankful for. Yesterday a special memory came to mind and as silly as it sounds the timing was so perfect! As I was busy in the kitchen, I was having yet another I wish the holidays would just be over with already moments I opened a canister that I thought contained sugar only to find one packet of cherry Kool-Aid! This priceless find left me in another puddle, but also feeling like I won the "mom" memory lottery! You are probably thinking why would a mom of young adult men have Kool-Aid in the house. I often kidded with my boys (especially Aaron) about making Kool-Aid for them at their age. The single packet remaining was cherry; Aaron's favorite! After holding the packet closely, I eventually sat it in the kitchen windowsill & whispered a thank you for this unexpected right on time precious "Aaron connector!"
I'm thankful to report that Medicaid has been reinstated. We are now waiting for Dr. Mowery's office to submit documentation to Anthem for pre-authorization. After submitting documents to Medicaid for two months we should be one step closer to Steven getting his Botox injection.
Thanks for your prayers and show of support as we delivered Aaron's cross. The day was emotionally draining but at the same time the drive stirred special memories which led to the guys going down memory lane. I clung to each precious word! I'm so thankful that even on a very painful day the journey not only led us to one of Aaron & Steven's favorite hang out spots on Potts Mountain we returned home with additional memories to add to our already over-flowing family treasure box of memories.
Last weekend we were given an unexpected gift proving once again that there are people out there that still believe in Random Acts of Kindness. This RAK was special for so many reasons! At the top of the list; Carlan and I enjoyed some quality alone time. As we spent hours talking we reflected back on our journey. As we traveled back we were reminded of how God truly worked out every detail and used you along with complete strangers to meet so many needs. Not all TBI survivor stories end up like Steven's. We don't take a minute of God's graciousness to us for granted. As we think about Thanksgiving we are thankful that even in the midst of so many emotions one thing we know is even in the midst of so many unknowns we have God, each other and you! What a comfort. Thank you!
As you celebrate Thanksgiving PLEASE slow down and take in every blessing of the season! The day will pass so very quickly leading to thinking about the next holiday :( For those of you that are away from your family, take time to make a phone call. For those that are blessed to be surrounded by your loved ones take time to let them know why you are thankful for them & let them know that you love them. Linger through your meal clinging to the fact that you are together making memories. Hug a little longer! Laugh together! Put on some music and dance! Share past memories while making "right now in the moment" memories! Maybe there will be that one family member in the midst that always gets on your last nerve; be the better person and attempt to have an extra nerve this year that they can get on leaving you smiling for a change! Take it from someone that daily wishes for just one more memory making day...go above & beyond to take time to make your day count! You won't regret it!
Blessings & Peace to you & yours!
Written Nov 13, 2013 7:40pmIt sure is a good feeling to know that even though my schedule doesn't allow me to update as often as I would like you let us know through email, cards, texts & calls that you are still there. Thank you!
As I glanced back through the journal to a year ago I felt a true sense of thanksgiving as I was reminded that Steven started walking on his own around this time last year. Talk about putting "Thanksgiving" into perspective! Steven talks about Shepherd & Pathways often. Do all patients miss being there after discharge as much as we do? With Steven's hectic schedule he mentions how "simple" his days were there. He might mean simple as in his daily schedule, but I remember his daily hard work and determination which led to exhaustion as he went above & beyond each day to meet set goals toward his recovery.
I wish I had positive news to report regarding Medicaid. As of today Steven's case is still under review for reinstatement which means we have not been able to schedule his appointment for Botox. I feel bad for Carlan as it seems every Monday morning we start all over again asking Steven's case worker what is needed. As of today we were told once again that we should have an answer by the end of the week. We won't give up!
Steven is officially registered for Spring 2014 classes. When we met with his counselor I think I was more anxious than he was as he went through the process of choosing his classes. He ended up with two computer classes and a business class. We are praying as we wait on news regarding available scholarships.
Since my last update we have enjoyed another hike together. This time we enjoyed hiking at the Cascades. The last time we went to the Cascades was as a family with 2 very young boys. Aaron was the one lagging behind as he stopped to take in everything around him. I have taken over this very important role in our family. I never want to be anywhere without a camera. I have always appreciated nature, but now I see Aaron everywhere which has caused my appreciation to be intensified. I don't want to miss a single moment of enjoying God's reminders of Aaron's presence. It does my heart good to hear from you when you are enjoying a beautiful nature moment!
Even in the midst of this challenging month of hunting season and the holidays approaching I'm attempting to take time to keep an ongoing daily "Thanksgiving" list. Carlan topped the list recently when he handed me a travel magazine and asked me to sit with him to start planning our 30th anniversary (May 31, 2014). The first thought that came to my mind was honey unless we win the lottery (which we would need to start playing immediately) we won't be leaving the beautiful state of Virginia. As I took in the look on his face, I'm thankful that I caught myself before I voiced my thought. He reminded me that we need to plan even if it doesn't come to fruition considering a year ago planning an anniversary trip was the furthest thing on our mind. I thank God for putting the thought on Carlan's heart. We both need these gentle reminders of what we have been through together and remember that no matter what we face we always have God and each other! It also felt good for my concern to be financial verses leaving Steven alone...thanking God daily for how far he has progressed!
As the holidays approach we have mixed emotions about being at home. I know one day the pain will ease and we will cherish our holiday traditions as a family of four while creating new traditions that will of course include our Aaron. If everything falls into place we will go away for a few days for Thanksgiving. We can't look at Christmas plans at this point. I was talking to Steven about how painful Aaron's favorite holidays are and it would be easier to skip them, he very adamantly reminded me that Aaron would not want us to do that! And, yes I do know my wise son is right and I don't want to rob Steven of creating holiday memories. Reminder to self: Time is supposed to heal!
Steven's hip pain has improved since returning to therapy for core strengthening. He has also been spending time on the FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) bike for his arm and hand. We have been told that there is a 40% insurance approval rate for this bike. Do we dare go there with Anthem? We are going to talk to Steven's new Rehabilitation doctor for her opinion. She mentioned checking into the Bioness for his arm, but she is well aware that insurance wouldn't touch the Bioness for his leg so we will have to see how things proceed should he get to try one at Lewis Gale.
We plan to deliver a cross to the accident scene on Sunday. The cross has been ready for months but for emotional reasons has remained in the garage. Steven says he is ready to go with us. Thanks in advance for your prayers!
As Thanksgiving approaches, I hope you will take time to make your "thankful for" list. I will leave you with this: Thankfulness is a position of the heart. When I am thankful to God, my heart turns toward him. When my heart is turned toward Him, I am able to see things with His perspective.