Friday, February 17, 2012

Making That Climb

The last few days have been full.  Derek continues to rock it out in his recovery.  He actually made it to the Matc all five days.  He did so great that his PT is giving him Monday off.  That's so awesome of her, especially considering the Matc is closed for President's Day. 

"Meg" is Derek's OT, the OT whom we have dubbed Meg (as in Family Guy) because he is part of the family now, but he is SO negative.  We do love him, but he told Derek today he only made it three days, because two of the days he came at 1300, instead of his usual time of 1000.  Really, Meg?

Derek walked three days this week.  Dr. Kim and the pups were on hand to watch him today.
Archie was off today, but Tootsie stood in for him.  Above are the three pups with Gingerbread Baby.  Did I tell you about Gingerbread Baby?  He was sent to us by this adorable first grader from Clarksville, TN.  He is having adventures with Derek, and when he is finished, we send him back with the story of his journey.  There are more pictures of Gingerbread Baby and his adventures so far on Team Derek -

Derek's balance has also improved so much!  He is almost completely steady on his new legs.  He is still in the parallel bars, but I see him in the harness and walking the track in the near future!

What is also in the near future is our first overnight pass.  That's right!  Guess who is going to be an outpatient soon?  This guy! 
Look, Ma! No hands!

It is within two weeks!  Felt like it would never come.  Now we are on the eve of moving out of the Fisher House and into Building 62!

Also, yesterday I went to pick up a copy of my orders.  I was met with a nasty lecture.  Seriously?  He told me that he wasn't going to renew my orders because I did not go to see him every week for the past six months.  He told me that when he briefed me, he told me I had to sign in every week.  First of all, he didn't brief me.  He took over in September.  I arrived July 29th and was briefed the first week in August.  Second of all, I did sign in every week.  The sign in sheet was brought to us every Monday.  He said that was for finance, not for him.  And we were supposed to know this?  Please, dude, give it up.  So, that brings me to my "lastly."  Lastly, we are living through hell.  We DO NOT need your nasty attitude lecturing us. 

Thankfully, his boss agreed with me.  I met with his boss today, and he wants to use what happened to me as a catalyst to make changes.  Yes!  Kick that nasty attitude in the rump!  Dump it in the trash!  I am sorry, okay maybe I'm not, but anyway --- we have enough to deal with without having to deal with attitudes.  As I've told people, there are only three attitudes allowed in Derek's room, and we are not allowed to take those attitudes with one another!

Medically Derek is improving.  His cholesterol medication was increased, but his numbers dropped drastically.  It is just preventative.  The night time meds are not really working, so he is working on it.  His pain is better controlled, so that makes us happy.  Now that he is off the IV pain meds (yes, he went cold turkey against medical advice), he is brighter and has more energy.  One problem is his pinky swelled up and turned black and blue and red and pink.  Dr. Kim says it looks like cellulitis (???)(a skin infection), and she prescribed an antibiotic.  Looking at it, it does remind me of what has happened to my fingers at times.  The concern is that it is on his right hand, the one he has had all the surgeries on.  So, we have to watch it carefully.

In August Derek developed a blood clot.  They started giving him Lobanox twice a day.  It is a terribly painful shot.  Derek likes it when it is given fast.  He has 10 more shots of this to go!  When prescribed, they want to give it for six months.  If the patient is released from the hospital before the six months, the NMA is required to give the shot.  Derek's last day is Thursday, Feb. 23rd.  Since he is having his first overnight pass on Wednesday, I asked if he could stop on Wednesday, so neither Krystina nor I would have to give that awful shot.  Thankfully, they agreed.  However, all the talk about it gave Derek an idea.  Last night, he asked if he could do it himself.  He did it.  He stuck himself with that awful shot.  He didn't do is 0600 dose, because he was asleep, but he did it again tonight.  Go, Derek!

Tonight, as I write this, my sister, my brother-in-law, my three nephews, and my four kids are on their way!  Yes!  I miss them SO much!  Tomorrow, we plan on hitting DC.

When I returned to the room tonight, I opened the "other" folder in my messages folder on facebook.  I just heard about it recently, and tonight was the first night I checked it.  There were so many wonderful messages in there from people I don't even know.  When I add them to the comments I receive here and the many comments on Derek's support page, it truly humbles me and warms my heart.  Our journey is touching so many people.  Your kind words of encouragement and praise really do help.  It also humbles me that some of the medical staff check in here.  When I have a tough day, like I did this afternoon, your words help lift me up.  This afternoon I slept in the chair due to another migaine. 

This is a highly stressful situation, even though we are making progress.  I've lost so much on the journey, and now that Derek is finally going outpatient, I have to fight to get it all back.  It's tragic that we watch our loved ones suffer and fight for life, and then have to rebuild our own lives.  One thing this journey shows us is who we can and cannot count on in our lives.  Derek made some tough decisions to delete people from his facebook who have not supported him through this journey.  I, too, know who has really been there for me and who gave me lip service.  I know now who my true friends are.

I know I am not alone in this journey, as much as I feel I might be at times.  I have my family, my friends, and all of you.  And you are not alone either.  Tragedy happens.  Bad winds blow our way.  How we handle them is up to us.  We DO NOT have to let it get us down.  We CAN climb to glory!  All the way!  To the top!  Hey, I'll meet you there and we'll take a picture of the amazing view!


  1. My supervisor came up to a group of us at work last week and told us we can all have Monday Feb 20th off. We didn't realize at the time it was President's Day! All of us questioned her as to why and she said she was feeling generous....after a few minutes she told us the truth! It made me chuckle when you mentioned Derek doesn't have to go to PT on Monday!

    Derek is doing so incrediably awesome! It warms my heart to see him walking! Only a few short months ago we were all praying he would make it another day! There is so much fight in the warrior!

    Derek is so fortunate to have so much support from you and Krystina! I continue to pray for all of you and your family back home!

  2. OMG!!!! So glad that orders business got settled. I almost had apoplexy when i read that paragraph!! And glad you found nice messages on the "others" list and that Derek continues to surpass himself each day. I think you should get a military uniform to wear for all the fight you have to do, and he should get a superhero cape. Krystina gets half mil uniform and half cape (and a few more jewels :) )

  3. My eyes swelled up with tears when I saw Derek standing. I pray a lot and include all of you in my prayers at church. I'm partial to St. Anthony because my parents named me after him. Here's a Novena Prayer to St. Anthony I'd like to share (with my special request in parentheses).

    St. Anthony, help me find ways to honor God's blessings by showing my love for all of God's creatures. Share your strength that I may cope with the trials and troubles of daily life. You, through whose voice the Word of God was preached, intercede for (Derek to walk along side his family and that he, his loving mother, and loving fiance` will be reunited at home in NJ as a family). Powerful Patron, be with me always and teach me to reach out in love and support to others. Amen.

    I continue to pray for all of you. Climb to Glory! All the way!!!

  4. The Lord uses everything that happens for a purpose. Praying!
    2 Corinthians 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
    Prayer Bears
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  5. So thankful for the assurance we have in Christ! Praying!
    1 John 1:1-4 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
    Prayer Bears
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  6. Hope this beautiful Gospel passage gives you comfort! Lifting up prayers right now!
    Titus 3:4-7 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
    Prayer Bears
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