Friday, October 29, 2010

Not too much has changed. We are still trying to get Kjerstin to take her medicine & help lower her anxiety. I can't wait until we get past this stage. A friend did help give me perspective. He said, "I remember you on the phone just a few months ago in tears wishing that your sister would live & if the only thing you had to deal with was screaming, cussing fits than you could do that because you would have your sister. He was right. Sometimes, it gets hard & we just have to be thankful that we have her & get our perspective back. Its just that its been over4 months & it hasn't really gotten any easier. We will get there though.

She is smiling a bit more. However, she doesn't like to let Mom out of her sight. She likes her Vision Therapy doctor & she only has to go one day a week to therapy. She does have exercises that she has to do at home in between appointments. She's not real sure about the psychologist yet, but I think once she figures out that this is a safe place to share all her feelings & frustrations, she won't complain about going.

Please continue to pray for her. She feels a little lost right now.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Sorry for the lag in blogging. So much going on.....where to start? Kjerstin is adjusting pretty good. You just never quite know what will set her off. Her anxiety is through the roof and we have been having 20 minute screaming fits here and there. She curses all the time & whatever she thinks comes out of her mouth. The doctor says this is all part of it. That the part of the brain that controls this heals last. At least it's progress, even if it is frustrating.

I think Mom had as hard of a time adjusting back home as Kjerstin did. She said she is just tired all the time. I imagine so! We have almost gotten all the appointments, paperwork, etc. done. Insurance is enough to make a person crazy! One day someone is in network & you make all the appointments & then the next day they are out of network & we have to find all new therapists & make new appointments. UGGHHHH!!!! We met/interviewed 4 psychologists looking for someone we liked and someone that had experience with children with brain injuries. Let me tell you they are few & far between. We think we have found one. Kjerstin has her first appointment today. Say a prayer. Kjerstin does not want to go to a psychologist. Mom is also having a terrible time getting her to take her medicine. Kjerstin freaks out about taking medicine for some reason.

Kjerstin has finished physical therapy, occupational therpay & speech therapy. She was very excited about being finished. She has started vision therapy & is seeing a psychologist to help her navigate her recovery. She is going to school in Mulvane 2 hours a day & likes it. She said everyone is very nice to her at school. She doesn't have but a few aquaintances there, but she has made a couple new friends. We hope that next week or so she will be bale to go half a day. She desperately wants to be normal and cries every day. We are working with her to help her realize it is a MIRACLE she is alive and that it is frustrating but we can't be the victim. We have to hold our head, be thankful for what we can do & go on with life. I can't say that if I was in her position I wouldn't cry everyday to! Talk about having your world turned upside down. And on top of it when you are a of the hardest times of your life.

We had the golf tournament & it well. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED MAKE IT POSSIBLE. We had a great turnout at her welcome home party. She was very glad to see everyone. Thank you for coming.

I will update more often. I know a lot of people have been asking. I think I just finally hit a brick wall & was exhausted after 3 1/2 months. I apologize. I have just been a bit overwhelmed with everything.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sorry for the delay in blogging.....I think we are somewhat settled in now...well at least for today. From here forward I am going to try to blog every other day. I know many of you look forward to it. There has just been so much going on. It's like...ugghhhh....when does it end? So, where to start? How about last night & we will work from there.

Mom calls me talking so loud & crazy that I couldn't understand her! When I got her to calm down, I finally understood a pipe burst in the basement & was spraying all over like a sprinkler. We all went over to help & talk about a mess! From the ceiling to the floor, everything was wet! We just moved a ton of stuff in the storage room from rearranging rooms to get Kjerstin home! Couldn't it have busted like 4 days before when that room was nearly empty? The bedroom, hall, bathroom & storage room all got wet. From Christmas decorations to antiques to keepsakes. When I got there, Dad looked like he was about to cry & Mom, well, Mom is so far gone I don't think it even phased her! They do have insurance, but what a mess!

Kjerstin is still having some problems with her eyes, so she is going to have to have some additional testing and then vision therapy. We are with insurance to see if they will cover part of it since it was caused by the accident. We haven't heard back yet, though. She cries everyday now, but we are working on it. She just wants everything to be like it used to be. Can't say I don't blame her. We all do too. However, God has a plan, and we must have Faith. Gosh! Can you imagine what it was like for Job when he lost his wife & kids as a test of his faith. I can't even begin to imagine.

Kjerstinis excited about her Welcome Home Party on Saturday. It's starts at 5;30 at the Derby Public Library and is a come & go event. Please wear your Kjerstin shirts to the Welcome Home Party to show her support. If you need a shirt, I have them in brown & lime green in all sizes. we will also have them at her party! Hope to see you there.

Please don't forget the golf tournament on Saturday. We still need golfers! Please continue to pray for Kjerstin. This is a very tough time for her.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kjerstin is adjusting a little better now. She desperately wants everything to be normal, but we are helping her work through it & she is doing better. She had really good news today at physical therapy. they said she will only need to go for a few weeks to help with some of her muscles. We knew she was doing really good physically but less physical therapy was exciting to hear. She will have to do occupational therapy & speech therapy for quite a bit longer. Speech therapy also helps with certain parts of her brain for memory for problem solving & things. It's kind of a combination therapy.

Kjerstin & Mom have been trying to find their groove. They went from a completely structured hospital environment to home. we sat down the other night & got Kjerstin a date book so she could right down her appointments to understand her schedule more. This allowed her to understand when she could go places or have visitors & when she could work in a nap. We made bedtimes & set times for visitors to leave for weekdays & weekends, so that Kjerstin will get her rest & so there isn't a daily discussion with her & Mom when friends have to leave, when she has to go to bed, etc. Kjerstin is doing good with the structure & boundaries. we are having a lot less tears & frustration.

Mom is doing a little better. She said it's like when you bring your first baby home from the hospital & you are scared to death to let them out of your sight or sleep or let anyone watch them - She said that's what she feels like with Kjerstin. She did let Kjerstin stay at jerimaih's house though the other night. I think it will be a very long time before Kjerstin ever stays at anyone's house besides me or Jerimiah's. Dad is working & trying to adjust back to the "railroader" schedule, which is different everyday. He is also trying to get things done around the house. We got done what we knew needed done to get Kjerstin home & now he is doing all the things we either forgot, didn't realize needed changed, or the things that they come across that Kjerstin needs adjusted.

Audra Sanchez requested that I post an announcement on here regarding food for the family. audra would like to organize some meals to take over to Mom to make life easier for the next week or so while they get rested and adjusted to being home & Kjerstin's new therapy schedule. You can reach Audra on facebook, email: or her home number is 777-9965.

We still need quite a few golfers for the tournament October 9. Entry includesPlease pass the word on to any fellow golfers that might be interested. Thank you so much to all of you who have signed up so far, sponsored a hole or donated prizes. We do have some pretty cool prizes including 4 Chiefs tickets to the Titans/Chiefs game, a signed picture by the Chiefs quarterback, $75 gift certificate to Powell Jewelry, Dick's Gift cards, Golf shirts, etc. We are also very excited about WSU Men's Basketball Coach Marshall & his wife, Lynn, for participating & supporting Kjerstin's tournament. Please come join us for this event for a day full of golfing, food, prizes & friendship!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Kjerstin is home! We are all so relieved! She is doing good. She was sooo happy to be home! She is going through a hard stage right now with her recovery. She has realized that even though she is home, she can't do all the things she used to be able to do and that's very frustrating for her. She desperately wants to be "normal". She has some anger that we are working through. We will get there, though. She doesn't have a "filter" so to speak, so whatever she thinks just comes right out of her mouth! The doctor said this is normal & she will do better at become more tactful as time goes on. She still giggles all the time and has a little bit different opinions of things than before. She likes different food & clothes & things like that. Nothing major. Just different. I asked Kjerstin what she thought of being home & she said she liked it and she had never hugged so many strangers in her life! I thought that was funny. People & events from the last year are still hit & miss for her. Some she remembers, but most she doesn't.

She was very excited about her new bed & room. She really wants to go back downstairs, but understands why she can't. The fact that we left her bedroom downstairs exactly like before the accident really made the transition easier. Well, with the exception of cleaning it! Change is very hard for her right now & the doctor said things need to stay the same as much as possible. Along that line, we have a meeting Monday with the Derby Superintendent, so please pray about this.

Kjerstin has been to see the pediatrician and we took her to her hair stylist to help her with fixing her hair so that she can cover the side of her head that we had to shave. She gets tired easily and isn't quite up to a "normal activity level"yet, so she takes a nap each day. She made it to Braden & Colten's football games this week & they were both very excited about that!

This week Kjerstin starts outpatient therapy. She will have speech, occupational & physical therapy for at least a year. She will also have to return to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Nebraska for follow up visits & testing every six weeks for awhile. She will start back to school in the next few weeks, but it will only be for about three hours a day for now. She will slowly work her way up to a full day. The therapists & doctors say that she is making phenomenal progress & this will go by faster than we think.

We are still working on the golf tournament. We are still in need of teams, so please tell any of your friends and family that would be interested about it. Oct 9 at Hidden Lakes Golf Course. Don't forget WSU Men's Basketball Coach, Gregg Marshall & his wife, Lynn, will be participating in the tournament & would love to see everyone there!

Please continue to pray as our little "miracle" still has a lot of therapy & work ahead of her!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We got the results from Kjerstin's neuropsych test & she is doing well. She is having problems with short term memory & her attention span, but this is to be expected. The last year for her is a bit spotty, memory wise. She doesn't remember much of her Freshman Year, but each day brings new memories. The pictures & scrapbooks have helped her tremendously. The doctors say that her memory will continue to improve and she should remember a lot as time goes on.

Mom & Kjerstin survived the transitional apartment for 3 nights! Actually, it went quite well. It was a little hot in there & they had to move all their things from one hospital room to another & back, but we've decided all we do is move things to different hotel/hospital rooms each week, so what's one more time!

Kjerstin is walking very well. She goes up and down curbs just fine. She likes to tease Mom, though, because Mom is very careful & would always point out things like curbs that Kjerstin needed to be careful of when walking. Now that Kjerstin is walking well, she will say, "Mom, there's a curb, I need to step down!" It's a big joke now! Boy, we never thought we would be able to joke about that four or five weeks ago! So, the BIG exciting news........ Kjerstin will not be coming home with a walker or a wheelchair!!! How exciting is that?!

The house is coming along well. we are almost finished. We are cleaning tonight, so that Mom can come home to a clean house. Kjerstin's room downstairs has been left exactly the same. We will vacuum & dust it, but that's all. We have set up another room for her upstairs to use until she is well enough to return to her room downstairs. The doctors said that we need to do this. Children with traumatic brain injuries have a hard time with things changing when they are recovering & they are constantly striving to show others they are normal.

Kjerstin is really looking forward to coming home. In the last week her personality has started coming back some. She is still pretty giggly, though. She is texting & is on facebook again. She can't wait to see all her friends & family. She has been trying to make all these plans for when she gets back home & we have been having to explain that she can't go and do all those things quite yet. Not because she can't physically, but because she will get exhausted and rest is still of upmost importance right now.

She is going to return to school for about three hours a day to begin this semester. She will have physical, occupational, & speech therapy along with eye doctor, neurologist & psychologist appointments. This in itself will keep her busy. The doctors said she will have therapy for a minimum of a year after she returns home. We are still working on the school issue. Derby's superintendent called me yesterday & we visited. He was very nice. He is looking into everything and will be letting us know in the next few days. Please pray that this works out for the best.

Mom is very excited to come home. She is so exhausted, both physically & emotionally, that I can't even begin to describe it to you. She may sleep for a week straight when she gets home! A friend of the family, Jeff Ellis, has offered to fly up to Nebraska to pick up Mom & Kjerstin & bring them home Thursday, so that Kjerstin isn't exhausted by the time she gets home. Please pray for good weather so that they are able to fly home. We will be having a Welcome Home Party on October 9 at 5:30 pm at the Derby Library. Please come and visit with Kjerstin & Mom & celebrate their homecoming. They are so excited to see everyone.

Don't forget the golf tournament. We need the forms turned in ASAP! We need to evaluate how many teams we have & get the things finalized with the golf course, so please call & let us know if you are participating at 316-209-8972 Wendy or 316-308-5775 Mike and mail in your forms. We are praying for a good turnout & would love to see you there!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sorry for the delay. We have been sick at our house & about the only thing I have been doing is work.

On the other hand, Kjerstin is doing well. Her spirits are good. She is excited to come home & working towards that goal. She is doing well in the driving simulator & her therapies. Her & Mom are staying in a "apartment" within the hospital for the next three nights as a transition to coming back home. She has been cooking in the kitchen & shopping in the grocery store at the hospital. It is amazing the things they have at this facility. Thank you Larry the Cable Guy for donating millions of dollars to make this wing of the hospital possible. And along that line, Larry the cable guy went to visit all of the kids at Madonna last week. Kjerstin got her picture taken with him & they gave him one of Kjerstin's fundraising shirts.

I saw the neatest thing today. I'm driving down the road, fighting a migraine, just frustrated & tired & I look up and see a lady I don't even know standing in a parking lot wearing one of Kjerstin's lime green shirts! It was so awesome to see. Thank you to whoever you are. It made me smile and reminded me how lucky we are to have such support from friends, family, the community & even strangers. We couldn't have made it this far without you.

We will be having a welcome home party for Kjerstin. I will post more details as we get it organized. We decided to have it at a later date because by the time we get Kjerstin home & situated next Thursday, they said she would be pretty tired.

We are so excited for Kjerstin to come home. Please pray that she has a smooth transition.