This was cross posted at Kevin’s CaringBridge page.
Happy Father’s Day!
There are no words to express our gratitude that Kevin is alive to enjoy Father’s Day. I can’t imagine our lives without him and I thank God that we don’t have to! I pray that you take time out of your busy schedules to hug your fathers and enjoy their special day with them.
Life is good, great really. Kevin is getting stronger and doing more and more things on his own.
For example … HE’S WALKING!!
We went to his bone doctor on June 8th and they took fresh x-rays. I’m not sure what we were expecting, but we had our socks knocked off of us when he told us that he could start putting weight on his legs – no restrictions. He pointed out the thin line of new bone growing over his fractures and told us that everything looked fine. He no longer had to wear the wrist splint and only needed to wear the leg brace when he was on his feet.
We. Were. Ecstatic!!!!! (If you haven’t seen a picture of Kevin’s “new” pelvis, you can click this link and take a look).
We were also a little concerned. We were originally told that he wouldn’t be able to put weight on his legs for 12 weeks and yet, eight weeks later, here we were! Though I understand that people heal at different rates, still, we were shocked that after only eight weeks the doctor was giving him the go ahead to start getting back on his feet.
And we didn’t waste any time. That following Thursday, Kevin went in to start his first rehabilitation session. I think I was more nervous than he was. Though we were told it was okay for him to stand up, still, I wondered if he would have the strength to actually DO it.
After we filled out the necessary paperwork, I wheeled Kevin into the workout room. It’s a giant room with all sorts of workout machines, parallel bars, stairs and large, cushioned tables for people to lie on and do flexibility exercises.
Our PT instructed me to wheel him to the parallel bars. I locked his wheelchair in place and swallowing hard, I watched as Kevin grabbed onto the bars and slowly lifted himself onto his feet.
It’s hard to describe the rush of emotions that flooded my heart when I saw him on his feet once again. It was truly amazing and blinking back the tears, I stood back as he positioned himself between the bars, grabbed hold and slowly moved one foot in front of the other.
Praise God, he was not only on his feet, he was walking!
His steps were clunky, and his stride was wobbly, but he walked the length of the bars twice, then using a walker with four wheels, walked a little ways across the floor. His right foot dragged a bit and it was extremely hard for him to lift his left foot to push forward, but he did it!
The PT then had him lie down on one of the cushioned tables and they went through a series of motion exercises so he could gauge where his weak points were. For the most part, he did really well, but his inner thigh muscles were extremely weak so the PT gave us a band and a small beach ball and showed him an exercise he could do to help him strengthen that area.
Kevin is still doing that particular exercise and it really has helped.
In fact, Kevin is now doing a series of exercises on a daily basis. He’s been walking regularly at home (he borrowed his late grandmother’s walker) and in addition to walking, he’s marching, walking backwards, swinging his legs out to the side, coming up on his tiptoes, squatting and even walking sideways. It’s amazing the range of motion that is necessary to perform simple tasks.
This last session, the PT had him on an exercise machine and he did leg presses for quite a while. Kevin said it felt really good to stretch his legs out the full length. The PT also had him lie down and taking his leg, he slowly pulled them to the side so he could start getting used to flexing his muscles around his new hardware. Those seem to be the most painful for Kevin – well, any exercise that stretches his pelvis is still pretty hard on him, but he’s adapting and getting stronger with each passing day. In fact, it ASTOUNDS me how fast he’s moving along. I don’t know if it’s because Kevin was in such good health before the accident, or if his young(ish) age is part of the reason, or if God is helping him push along, but it truly is a miracle that he has come so far in such a short amount of time.
We got rid of the hospital bed. Kevin is now sleeping in the regular bed and though I fought him on getting rid of it so soon, he’s WAY more comfortable and getting better rest.
The reason I wanted to keep the hospital bed was because it had the capability of raising his feet up so high, which really helped with his swelling. Now, we put a couch cushion under his right foot (it pains his knee too much to put the left leg on it) to try and help with swelling and though it does help some, it doesn’t help as much as the hospital bed did. A big reason is because Kevin shifts in the night and kicks the cushion off the bed.
His swelling is still a huge issue. His legs are quite large and doughy by the end of the day, mainly because he’s sitting up and the fluid pools in his feet and ankles. We’re not really sure WHY he’s swelling so bad (though Kevin told me that his feet would feel tight in his shoes at the end of the day before the accident, so I’m thinking this is somewhat normal for him), but we researched the side effects of the Coumadin he’s on and excessive swelling is one of the symptoms, so we’re thinking that’s a large reason for the swelling. He’s supposed to be on Coumadin for another four weeks, so hopefully his swelling will go away when he stops taking the blood thinner.
He’s still wearing Tubigrips. In fact, the PT gave us tighter grips for him to wear, so now he’s wearing the new, tighter grips under his older grips and that does seem to help somewhat with his swelling.
Kevin is still experiencing the burning sensation but has opted out of taking the nerve medicine that the bone doctor prescribed for him. The doctor said that the burning was actually a good sign – it means that his nerves are healing and coming back, but the burning can be quite severe and unpleasant while that happens. Kevin is not sure he trusts this new medication (after looking up the side effects), so has opted NOT to take it at this time; he’s just dealing with the burning feeling for right now. He says it gets worse when the Tubigrips come off at night, but it is getting better overall.
Kevin is standing more and more. He stands to get things out of the top file cabinet drawers (he had to use a mirror before); he stands to turn off the ceiling fans, and he stood and took a shower for the first time this morning. (He had been using his shower chair).
But the best part? He stood so I could hug him. I loved that part. 🙂
His left knee has REALLY been bothering him. He’s been experiencing sharp, stabbing pains and he’s not sure if he re-injured it with all of the walking he’s been doing or if it’s possibly sprained. He is still wearing the knee brace, but it hasn’t been very tight so we’re wondering if added weight did some damage. He’s been taking it easy for the past few days (sticking to his wheelchair as opposed to using the walker), but if it doesn’t improve in the next few days, we may be calling the bone doctor again to get it checked out.
We had forgotten, until recently, that our brother-in-law Don had gone out to the crash site the day after the accident and took pictures for us. We were going through the pictures and Kevin pointed out his skid marks, the point of impact, and where he landed.
It gave me goose bumps.
He’s pretty astounded just how far the lady was on his side of the road when the accident happened. If she hadn’t hit Kevin, she might have hit the bridge. We’re not sure, given what Kevin has pointed out, just how, or when, he hit the bridge (witnesses say that he did) and we still have no clue how he got the scrapes on the face of his helmet, perhaps we’ll never know, but it’s truly a miracle the man is alive and here with us today.
Jeanne and I went to court to see what would happen to the lady who hit Kevin. When she heard the amount of restitution we had submitted, she paled and started to panic. She even had the audacity to be surprised that the prosecuting attorney wasn’t going to simply send her (back!) to driving school and be satisfied with that sentence.
I don’t think it dawned on her, until THEN, just how serious this accident was.
She has opted to retain an attorney and her next court date is June 25th. I’m not sure I’ll attend her hearing, for reasons I can’t disclose here, but we’ll find out what happens through Case.net. We’re hoping they revoke, or suspend, her license. She may even need jail time (remember, this woman has a record of pulling similar stunts in the past) and she’s a menace on the roads. We’ll see what justice does with her.
We all met at Schlotzsky’s for Father’s Day dinner. Kevin stood up for everyone. They clapped.
He then got up on the table and danced a jig. They were astounded.
I’m kidding, of course. One of these days though, I won’t be kidding. We can’t wait for that day.
Thanks again for all the kind words, visits, cards, and prayers. This difficult journey has been a little easier because of your support.