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.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kjerstin took a shower all by herself today!!! She was sooo excited that she sent me a text to tell me about it!! The therapist said that she can start walking by herself without us holding onto the belt while she is in her room. We just have to be close by. This means she can walk by herself to the bathroom & around her room. May not sound like much, but compared to the "she will never walk again" statements we were hearing this is tremendous. I absolutely can't wait to take her to see the doctors & nurses at Wesley Pediatiric Unit. They are going to be so excited & I can guarantee their won't be a dry eye in the place!

We will get the results from her neuropsych test next week. I'm sure it will be good.

Dad is back to work. It was a bit of a challenge for him to get back in the groove & focus. he called me three times on the way. He kept thinking of things he needed to tell me about the golf tournament & the last time he told me he was having a hard time focusing. He had forgotten his keys, bag & other stuff he needed for work so he had to go back & get them. I'm sure it's hard to get back in the groove after 2 1/2 months. He says this has really aged him! Thank you so much to all of our friends at BNSF for donating personal leave days to Dad so that he was able to stay with Kjerstin as long as he was. Not only did it help Mom & Kjerstin, but it helped Dad & Kjerstin's relationship tremendously. They are much closer than they have been in a very long time.

Kjerstin will be flying home on the 23rd! Only 14 days left! Keep Praying!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Kjerstin is getting a bit frustrated with her therapy. She says it's really hard & that her life is like a nightmare she can't wake up from! We keep encouraging her, though. If she only knew what she has already overcome. It will all make sense to her soon. So, if you get a chance, please send her some encouraging words & say a prayer for her.

She is doing very well with her therapy. She is doing much better in the driving simulator! She only crashed one time out of seven the last time she was in the simulator. Much better than last time. They are doing a neuropsych test tomorrow & that will give us a much better idea of where she is.

She now knows about the school issue and she is pretty upset! We have been trying to explain it to her, but she just wants to go back to see her friends & to the school & staff that she knows. Just please keep praying about this.

Tonight Mom & Kjerstin got to go to a movie. Getting out helps Kjerstin to pass the time more quickly. Her & Mom have a great time together!

Dad has settled in back home pretty well. He seems a bit lost though. On Sunday, he asked me if I wanted him to come clean house with me. When I said, "No. Thanks though." He said, "Well, I can. I'm in the cleaning mood!" What? I thought. Is he sick or possessed or what? Of course, it's neither. He is just really making an effort & Kjerstin's accident has really had an effect on him! I had to call & tell Mom. She didn't believe me at first! It's a big change from going nonstop for 2 1/2 months constantly doing things to coming home to an empty house. Today he told me he did 8 loads of laundry because the sheets & blankets smelled stale & he wanted the house to smell nice for when Mom & Kjerstin come home! He cleaned the pool, watered plants, cleaned out the fridge, organized food into rubbermaid containers for his lunches, went to Wal-Mart, worked on the bathroom. I don't even remember the rest. I was tired by the time he got half way through the list & it was before noon when he called me! Wait until I tell Mom this.

The house is coming along. Thank you so much to everyone who has helped. We hope to have it done by next week.

I have been working with Kjerstin's puppy, teaching him manners! UGGGHHH! What a chore. I think huskys are the most stubborn dogs I have ever worked with. We have mastered the chore of learning not to jump on people! We want to make sure that he doesn't knock her over. Now if we can just get mom's crack head dog to learn to not bump into people, I will be doing good!

It is all coming together & I am counting the days until Kjerstin comes home. I must say I have never been so emotionally & physically exhausted in a very long time. I can't imagine what Mom is feeling. Please pray for continued healing for Kjerstin. She is our little or should I say BIG Miracle!

Monday, September 6, 2010

On Sunday, we got to take Kjerstin for another brief outing. We went to Pizza Hut & then her & Mom went to Target, as we all had to drive back home. We moved Dad back home & moved Mom's things into Kjerstin's hospital room. It was really hard for Kjerstin to let Dad go home. After we left, Mom & Kjerstin followed us and Kjerstin had to talk to Dad again & get another hug. She cried & told him she didn't want him to leave. That made Mom & cry, too. On the way home, Kjerstin sent Dad a text and asked him if he was at work yet! She doesn't realize quite how far of a drive home we have.

She was walking much better once she got her insersts & even better when she got her new shoes that didn't cause her feet to hurt! Amazing what inserts can do for your walking & posture. We saw a huge improvement for Kjerstin.

Today Kjerstin got to go watch a friend's soccer game in Lincoln. She really enjoyed it! There were some raindrops that fell while they were sitting there & she thought that was fun. We are always looking out the window, going's raining! Now we have to work in the rain all day or find the umbrellas, etc. Kjerstin has a different outlook when it comes to rain, now. She thanks God that she can actually feel raindrops & see rain! My how our priorities have changed. Makes you stop and think about what things you take for granted in your own life! Is it your family, your job, your kids, your friends, the fact that you can walk? Or what about things like being able to experience emotions, have memories & live through the seasons of life? Whatever it may be in your life, stop and think about that and see if there are some priorities that need changed in your life. We have the gift of a second chance with Kjerstin, but we almost didn't. Will you have a second chance with your loved ones? No one knows. But what we do know is that we have a chance right now to change our priorities & not take life or family for granted.

Please continue to pray. These last few weeks before getting to return home are going to be very hard for Kjerstin.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Kjerstin & I were hanging out looking at comforters & looking at email, etc. & decided that we should share this:

To realize the value of a sister/brother, ask someone who doesn't have one.
To realize the value of ten years, ask a newly divorced couple.
To realize the value of four years, ask a graduate.
To realize the value of one year, ask a student who has failed a final exam.
To realize the value of nine months, ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.
To realize the value of one month, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of one week, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of one minute, ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
To realize the value of one-second, ask a person who has survived an accident.
Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when
You can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend or family member:

Kjerstin just wants everyone to realize what gifts God has given them & to remind everyone to cherish them! Tell your loved ones what they mean to you......TODAY!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A new bed and wheelchair are in order for Kjerstin! She has moved from the bed that has a canvas net cover around it that you zip up to a regular bed! She does have an alarm on the bed so that if she gets out of bed, the nurse will know. Her wheelchair is just a regular wheelchair that she rarely uses. Such progress in such a short amount of time!

Today we got to go on an outing. She wanted to get a manicure, her hair trimmed and strawberry crepes from Village Inn! There is a wonderful lady that donated her time and gave her a manicure. Then we went and got her hair trimmed. It had not been trimmed since weeks before the accident. We worked on changing her part so that we can cover up the part of her head that was shaved. It looked so good that you can't even tell she had it shaved! Then it was on to Village Inn. She had her strawberry crepes, lemonade & french silk pie. She was in heaven!

Kjerstin's new inserts wouldn't fit in her tennis shoes, because we couldn't take out the insoles that originally came in the shoes. This was causing her feet to hurt, so we went and got her a new pair. She was very happy. Her new inserts fit & she said her feet didn't hurt for the first time!

She would really like to walk without anyone holding onto her belt, but they haven't released her to do that yet. They are letting her walk without any assistance during physical therapy, but otherwise she has to have one of us holding onto her belt. She is still laughing a lot and enjoys all of us here and any visitors that stop by. She played UNO, Life, and some other games. Tonight we put a blonde streak in her hair like she had before. (It was part of the hair that got shaved off when they put her pressure monitor in her brain.) She took a shower & we put some Moroccan Oil on her hair to make it smooth & healthy & Steph straightened it for her. It looks really good. She was really happy with it & she felt a lot better about how she looked. You know teenage girls!

Dad is coming home with us tomorrow, so we have been packing up his things and moving some of Mom's things to the hospital. They were out of hotel rooms tonight because of the Nebraska football game, so we are all sharing a hotel room! Yes, all 9 of us - well all 7 of us. Jerimiah & Braden stayed at the hospital tonight. So much love in this room! Actually, it's not too bad. We have all been getting along well. However, this roll away is HORRID! Nothing like sharing a twin size roll away with your 8 year old! But, it's only for one night & we get to see Kjerstin so it's worth it!

Kjerstin & I worked on putting her make up. She did pretty good. The mascara is a little hard for her & she smears it some, but otherwise she did really good. Getting her ready in the mornings is quite a feat! You have to help her do everything. From bathing her to dressing her to brushing her teeth, make up, deodorant, brushing & blow drying her hair, etc. Girls, just imagine verything you do to get ready & imagine doing all that for another person! By the time her & Mom get ready, it's nap time nearly! It is a full time job for Mom.

We ended the evening by talking, joking & looking at her scrapbooks. Thank you so much to Marvene, Tammy, & all our other friends who helped put those together for her. She really has enjoyed them and so has Mom & Dad.

We told Kjerstin we would have a Welcome Home party for her & her eyes lit up! She is so ready to come home and we are ready for her to be home. As we near her homecoming, please continue to pray & especially pray for her to have patience & perserverance.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Kjerstin tried out the driving simulator and, well.... it didn't go so well. That's Ok, though, we didn't expect her to be ready to drive yet! And besides if Mom is assisting with her driving, she's never gonna pass! We have all seen my mother's driving. There's a reason why the kids refer to her as "Crazy Linda" when she drives..........mailboxes, garage walls, corn fields...... I know Steph is dying laughing right now................All I can think of is Steph screaming, "We're gonna DIE! We're Gonna DIE!! Aww, Steph, it's just corn stalks. We are in Tennessee, who needs roads when we can cut through the field! Oh, the memories Mom has provided us with!

So, back to the simulator.... The driving simulator helps Kjerstin to deal with her fears and anxiety about driving caused by the wreck. It is a wonderful tool that works very well and is completely safe. She is also practicing getting in and out of the car and putting her set belt on and taking it off.

Another area of therapy that she is working on is basic everyday skills like vacuuming or grocery shopping. The hospital has a room set up just like a bedroom that they go and practice in. Mom sent a picture of Kjerstin vacuuming and it said : "Miracles have happened! How many times have you ever seen Kjerstin do this!" That's the truth. Kjerstin did not like vacuuming. Even when she was a baby, she didn't like the "noisy" vacuum. They also have a room set up like a grocery store. Kjerstin is given a list and she has to go and find the items and place them in the cart. She then has to check out and pay and put the items in a bag. It's pretty amazing the things this hospital has. I must say, Madonna Rehab Hospital is an amazing place!

Every time I talk to Kjerstin, she tells me how she wants to come home. I don't blame her one bit, but I just keep encouraging her and telling her the harder she works at therapy, the better she will get so she can go home. She has a calendar hanging in her room that she crosses out the days on to count down the days until she gets to come home. Otherwise, her spirits are good. She is happy and laughs quite a bit. She gets to go on an outing this weekend again. She hasn't decided where she wants to go yet. We are going to play some card games and rent a movie one night. She has decided that. If you have time, would you please drop a card in the mail with some encouraging words in it. I know many of you have already sent cards, but now Kjerstin is at a place where she will be the one opening & receiving mail. I think it would help her tremendously. She has a wreath hanging in her room with all of her cards attached to it by ribbons. It is really neat looking and it would be good practice for her to open and read cards and tie a ribbon on them to hang on her wreath. This will help with her fine motor skills. The address is : Madonna Rehab Hospital, Pediatric Floor, c/o Kjerstin Webb Room L56, 5401 South St., Lincoln, NE 68506.

Please don't forget the golf tournament on October 9! WSU Men's Basketball Coach, Gregg Marshall & his wife, Lynn, will be participating in this event! We hope you will join us! There are more details at or you can contact me at or my cell 316-209-8972.

As you go through this holiday weekend, make sure you tell your loved ones just how much they mean to you. Now is the time, as we have no promise for tomorrow. You may be traveling to see family or you may just stay home. Either way, hug your loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kjerstin got to start water therapy today! So from here on out she will being doing some of her therapy in the pool. She said she really liked it. She told me again today that she really wants to come home and that therapy is hard. I told her doing her best and completing therapy is what is going to allow her to come home!

There is some concern with her posture. The therapist said she was concerned Kjerstin might need evaluated for scoliosis. Mom explained that Kjerstin has a slight curvature in her spine prior to the accident that the doctor said was just a hereditary thing, not scoliosis. We are going to have her back checked just in case. She is also flat footed, so they are getting her insoles. The doctor said the insoles will help tremendously with her walking. Kjerstin is just having a hard time standing up straight.

Dad is back to work Monday. So, this weekend we are checking them out of the hotel & Mom will just stay in the Kjerstin's hospital room with Kjerstin for the remaining three weeks. This will help save over $1000! The bills and home improvements have been adding up quickly, so we are trying to save money this way.

We will be painting & doing some drywall work on the house again tomorrow night. Tonight we got quite a bit done. Thank you to everyone that came and helped. We really appreciate it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Kjerstin made brownies today during one of her therapy sessions. She had a good time. It's the little things in life, like making brownies, that we take for granted sometimes. Remember to enjoy these moments. we have no promise for tomorrow. I just had a conversation with Colten tonight about not wishing your life away and living in the moment and enjoying your life while you can. I think this is something that we constantly have to remind ourselves of.

Kjerstin is having problems with her eyes and focusing again, so she is back to wearing those wonderful pink glasses. The y have one side taped to force her brain and eyes to function properly.

Each day she remembers a little more. Today she remembered her car is black. However, she doesn't remember much from school from her Freshman year. Sometimes telling her a story or showing her a picture helps spark a memory.

She us ready to come home & said that staying at the hospital until September 23 is going to be a very hard time. Can you imagine what she would think if she remembered the whole time she has been in the hospital?!

We started working on the house to get it ready tonight. We will be back working on it tomorrow and in the evenings on Wednesday & Thursday. We will go to Nebraska this weekend and resume work on the house on Monday. We will be laying the flooring on the Tuesday after Labor Day. If anyone is available to help, please come on by or call me for directions. Tomorrow we will be prepping the floor and painting & removing wall paper.

Kjerstin had another balance test today. She did great. The scale is from 1 to 56, with 56 being the best she can get. She had a score of 2 when she arrived at the rehab hospital and today she scored a 40! talk about progress. Once she reaches a 50, she will be able to walk on her own without anyone having to hold onto her belt.

She is texting some & they are letting her get on Facebook some too. The typing and texting help with her fine motor skills, which still needs improvement.

Her 16th birthday is coming soon so I asked her what she wanted. She said she had no idea. I told her we would have a big party & she said that sounded good. We will have so much fun.

Please keep Kjerstin in your prayers. She is doing amazing, but we still have a very long road ahead of us.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kjerstin is on her way to Olive Garden today! She gets to go out with the family! They do outings every week and she loves it! She gets tired very quickly so they are only for a couple hours. She asked if they could go to the mall, too!~ Can't wait to see how she likes it.

Last night she played UNO and had a great time. Her speech is improving all the time. However, when you ask her a question, she reforms the question into an answer. For example, if you say, " did you have fun playing UNO?" Instead of saying, "Yes", she says, " Yes, I had fun playing UNO". Her feelings are apparent in her communication, it's just different than how she used to communicate. It's more textbook like. They said this will get better as she continues therapy. She shakes her head in an up and down "yes" motion while she speaks. But she smiles and laughs all the time. I think she is acting just like Mom. Heaven help us! The two of them may be more than we can handle :)

She likes playing card games and watching movies. I sent her the Life Series DVD's from Discovery Channel and she really enjoyed those. She is already on DVD #4!

Her dog, Dante is doing well. She asks about him all the time. We are going to try to take him up there next weekend. We found a crate for him. Thank you so much Shannon , Alayna & Heather for helping with that. And Thank you to everyone for praying, donating, organizing fundraisers, working booths at fundraisers, scrapbooking, designing flyers & tshirts, etc. Your support has been phenomenal!

We still have a lot of shirts & bracelets. Please let me know if you would like one and please pass the word on. Shirts are $10 & bracelets are $5.

Golf Tournament is Oct. 9 at Hidden Lakes Golf Course in Wichita. We would love to see you there. OH!.... And......Dad is golfing! Someone needs to video this!!!

Kjerstin doesn't have any therapy today, so she will just be spending time with family. This in itself is therapy, though! She really looks forward to it. She called Mike on Friday morning & said' "When are you gonna be here? Can you leave early?" He canceled his motorcycle ride & left right away to go see her. She said this was the best part of her day yesterday when her therapist asked her!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What a week! It's like Kjerstin has finally turned the corner! She isn't having such a hard time emotionally. She isn't having anxiety attacks or melt downs anymore. She is actually laughing... a Lot! Her & Mom are rather goofy right now. It's probably good for them to finally be able to laugh, though. They are taking outings on a regular basis. Kjerstin isn't left to do anything on her own yet. Not even go to the bathroom. But, the fact that she can go without help is a tremendous improvement!

The goal is for Kjerstin to be out of her wheelchair next week and to come home September 23 & continue out patient therapy at home. They said she will need therapy for a minimum of a year after returning home. We are all very excited about that she gets to come home!

She is talking on the phone to all us now. Colten talked to her yesterday & he was sooo excited! he said she sounds almost normal! She isn't quite completely herself yet, but her progress is amazing! Not only has she done more than they ever said she would, but she has done it faster than the therapists ever fathomed she would!

She flew through learning to chew, so she got her feeding tube out today! Now she can eat whatever she wants! However, she remembered that she is vegetarian, so no more meat!!

We still have to make some changes to the house, though. They said the chances of her having a second head injury are over 50%! So, we have to be extra careful. I will be starting to organize the work on the house next week, so please let me know if you can help.

Kjerstin is doing her school work at the rehab facility right now. She is doing very well. She does reading and comprehension tests. She did research on the internet and is writing a report. She is practicing division and algebra. We are still having problems getting her school coordinated because Derby denied her out of district waiver this year! The therapists were pretty upset. They said Kjerstin does not need any changes, especially drastic ones as they can negatively affect her progress She needs to be with her friends and the staff and facility that she is familiar with. She is a sophomore, so she only has 2 years of high school left after this year. This just blows my mind! Mom can't work in the district any longer because she has to care for Kjerstin. Kjerstin has been in the district since like 2nd grade. You would think they would let her in, especially with the circumstances. Please continue to pray about this as the doctors and therapists feel like this is an issue we need to pursue.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Kjerstin is getting to go out for brief outings now. Mom & Dad get to take her without a therapist. How exciting is that? Kjerstin even put on her own mascara while getting ready to go! Jace went to visit her today & she was so excited to see him!! Aunt Roxie & Uncle Ike were up there this weekend. It made Jerimiah & I feel better that they were there, since we didn't go this weekend. They were all hanging out watching a movie together. And, believe it or not, I have not gotten any phone calls from a crying Kjerstin today! That is a good sign. Hopefully they were either keeping her busy or we are starting to get past this stage.

Therapy starts again with her rigorous schedule tomorrow. She has been so tired that she starts getting ready for bed at around 7pm now. I am excited to see what new things she is able to do this week. She is going to start working on learning to chew again! We will get that feeding tube out yet!

Thank you all for your support at her booth this weekend. We passed out lots of flyers during the parade regarding the upcoming golf tournament fundraiser. If you have one, but do not golf, please pass it on to someone who does golf. We would really appreciate it. We need as many golfers as possible. We also have many more shirts & bracelets that we need to sell. Please contact me at 316-209-8972 or any of the volunteers via the fundraising blog at if you are interested.

Please continue to pray. Kjerstin is getting close to being able to move from inpatient therapy to outpatient therapy and this will be a huge adjustment for everyone!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Playing in the rain.....

When Kjerstin woke up from her nap today, she looked at Dad and said, "I just have to get used to this. This is my life now." Dad said, "No you don't have to get used to this. You need to get up and work hard at your therapy so you can go back to your normal life!" She said, "Ok. I will." She is getting there....slowly & painfully, but she is getting there.

Tonight, at Old Settlers, it was different. I would just look around and the sounds & noises were there but they were a blur. Life is just so different now. I don't think I can even explain it. Mom wasn't there. Kjerstin wasn't there. The first time since I can remember...ever....they weren't there! They will be next year, but was just an eerie reminder of what has happened. Every year the three of us go to the arts & crafts together. I tried. I walked around in somewhat of a daze though. Maybe tomorrow will be easier. Kjerstin did call me while I was walking through. Four times, actually. Crying. Telling me, "Mom says I hit my head. What happened? Why? Why me?" and so on... Maybe that's why it was so hard. I don't know. I think part of it is because for the first time in almost 8 weeks I wasn't at the hospital and I wasn't working or doing something that had to do with Kjerstin's accident. I was trying to relax, I think. I think I felt a little guilty. How do I have the right to be out trying to enjoy myself when my baby sister is learning to walk & chew & remember who she is? It's just not right. I was trying to work at the booth we have for her, selling t-shirts & buttons, but it's almost too hard to do.

However, Kjerstin and Mom played in the rain today! Kjerstin called me 3 times this morning and was very upset, so I told her to have Mom go take her out to play in the rain!! She liked it! She got past her melt down & they went on and did therapy. Have you played in the rain lately? Have you let your kids? Maybe it's time you did! I know you have, Jerimiah. I loved the pictures! Oh to be a child again & to play in the rain. The innocence of children....... and to think my sister almost didn't get to play in the rain again! As I was thinking about this today, I realized something. You don't have to be a child to play in the rain! Just look at Mom! If there is one thing she taught us, it's that you can have fun no matter what you are doing! find the good in the situation she always said. For those of you who know her, you are smiling as you read this & you are all thinking of different times when my mother was being goofy and not really acting like an adult should. But that's Mom! And that's one of the reasons we love her so! Having that crazy, silly, fly by the seat of your pants personality is actually very good for Kjerstin right now with what she is going through. When Kjerstin gets upset, Mom will stand up and start singing "Skinamarink" and dancing & there is no way you can keep from laughing! It's the most ridiculous thing you have ever seen. But, Kjerstin loves it! She just smiles & smiles. No wonder all the little kids love Mom. I've always joked that one day I will get Mom raised. But deep down, I really don't want her to change. She needs to stay Crazy Linda - The lady that would sacrifice anything to help someone else out. Thanks Mom. Thanks for teaching us, by example, what it means to love others, even when they don't deserve it! Kjerstin will be fine. Mom & Dad & the rest of us will sacrifice whatever needed to get Kjerstin well again!

Please come by her booth at the park. We are on the north side down by the bandstand. We have 400 shirts & bracelets we need to sell to help start making renovations to Mom & Dad's house for when Kjerstin comes home! We have to be able to make their house wheelchair accessible. I had no idea how much we were going to have to change!

Please Pray, Pray, Pray!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Today Kjerstin called me 3 times! She was crying the first two times but we talked through it. She said she keeps having nightmares and then she wakes up and it's like being in a nightmare. Can't say I don't blame her. It does feel like a nightmare. I just kept reassuring her that it will get better and we are all here for her. We will not let her down.

She did very good with therapy today. She is working on her strength and balance. She is also working on sitting and standing. She is doing leg lifts and all sorts of activities. Next week she will start learning to chew.

Kjerstin, this is for you......from me, Jerimiah & Jace.... You're not alone. Together we stand. We'll be by your side. You know We'll take your hand. We won't give up. We won't give in. Keep holding on because you'll make it through. We'll make it through. Just stay strong. We're here for you. You're so far away. We wish you were here. You can do this, sis! I wish I had the answers for you. I wish I could tell you why. But I can't & if we had all the answers we wouldn't need faith now would we? And how boring would life be if we knew everything?! Besides, with Jerimiah, Jace & I standing shoulder to shoulder, there's no way we will let you fail!! I can't wait to see you in your beautiful prom dress, smiling & walking down that sidewalk next year. And yes, you can use one of mine, again! You want the blue one or the teal one? No... let's go shopping for a new one! Your very own! How fun will that be? And.....we gotta have the matching shoes!

Life is different now, sis, but that's OK. You are with us. Our little miracle. And God has us right where he wants us! Crazy isn't it? But, he know what he's doing! Some days that's harder to understand than today! But, this too shall pass!

I can't wait until you are well enough to take over the blog. Everyone is so excited to hear from you. In the meantime, we are all continuing to pray for you! I love you!.......lots & tater tots!! (Yeah! We still use Jerimiah's dorky phrase!!!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kjerstin got to go to the mall today!! The therapist went with them this time and next time they get to go without the therapist. Kjerstin did awesome! When the door didn't open fast enough, she paused and waited. This is excellent processing for her. She is pretty much walking on her own. There just always has to be someone there to help with balance occasionally and make sure she doesn't trip or fall. Kjerstin went into the store and picked out a shirt off the rack and held it up. She did really good. She did get upset when she was leaving. She said everyone was staring at her. The therapist just told her it was because of her bright red shirt. Later, the therapist told Mom & Dad that it was exciting to hear Kjerstin say that. She went on to explain that it means that her brain is functioning more!

We are still having a lot of tears. Last night it was 2 1/2 hrs of crying and asking why and wanting it to be a nightmare so she could wake up and it would all go away. She won't let Mom leave her sight. Mom and I talked about it this morning. She is very very tired, but what do you do? You just keep going! I told Mom that this stage will pass, but I know it has to be exhausting. I went through it with Kjerstin twice last weekend and it was only 25 minutes long and I was exhausted.

She is eating better and has moved to Phase 2. We are on our way to getting that feeding tube out!

Don't forget to stop by her booth at Old Settler's this weekend and get a shirt & bracelet & information on the golf tournament. We are still in need of many, many golfers! Oct 9 at 8am at Hidden Lakes Golf Course!

Each day she is a little better. Today she told Dad that he & Mom are very patient with her. Wow! It's really starting to come together for her. We still have a long road ahead of us so please continue to pray.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kjerstin was very tired today & yesterday. Yesterday she got upset & asked me if this was a nightmare. I explained it wasn't and I was sorry. She cried & cried & said I want it to be a nightmare so I can wake up and it will go away! She kept asking Why? I told her we don't know why but we will get through this. It was so hard. I just wanted to pick her up & hold her & rock her, but she's bigger than me.

Her nightmares are more frequent. We are working with her to get through them. This caused her to have another meltdown on Sunday. This time Dad was with me. It only lasted about 20 minutes. She was confused and thought I had let Mom put her in a ward. We went over why we were there & what we had to do to go home. We got the calendar and circled when she is going to get to go home and marked an "X" on the day we were on. We talked about what day & month it was.

She doesn't remember things from day to day so we have to retell her everything each day. She likes looking at her scrapbook. I think it's because she remembers the things in the scrapbook and it makes her smile. Then she asks what the particular person in the picture is doing now. This is helping with her memory. She did remember throwing acorns at Mom the next day, though, so we are making progress. Mom started playing card games with her. They started tonight with war. Kjerstin knows who wins but she has to be reminded that she needs to put a card out. Mom is going to try to play Uno next and see how she does.

She is still eating well. She ate french toast. It wasn't pureed. We just cut it into very small pieces. She loves chocolate milk and root beer!

Kjerstin's best friend, Jocelyn, has moved to Lincoln and is going to school there until Kjerstin comes back home. Jocelyn visits nearly every day and this has been a tremendous help to Kjerstin and Mom. Kjerstin is at a point where she gets very upset if she is ever alone. If she wakes up and no one is there she will start with one of her meltdowns. Mom & I talked about Mom writing a note on her dry erase board & leaving it on Kjerstin's bed if Mom goes to the bathroom or family room or cafeteria so when Kjerstin wakes up she will know where she is. She is also going to leave her phone and see if Kjerstin will call her. It's exhausting for Mom & Dad to be there constantly, so they are taking turns, so that someone is always there. Dad is going to have to go back to work in a couple weeks. Please pray Kjerstin is past this stage by then so that it isn't so exhausting for Mom when he leaves.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Today Kjerstin did not have therapy since it was the weekend. She did eat very well. At dinner, I picked a piece of my bread off and threw it at her. She grinned so I did it again. Then she grabbed them both & stuck them in her mouth! Before the nurse & I could get her to spit them out, she swallowed them! I made her open her mouth & show us & it was gone! So, today was her first time to have a "solid" food. Oops! But now we know she can eat bread!

We took her for two long walks outside. On one of the walks, we pushed the wheelchair on the sidewalk through a sprinkler. Actually, we did it twice. She liked that! We had a race. I pushed Kjerstin in the wheelchair & we raced Mom. Of course, we won! Mom beat us but she lost by a technicality....she forgot to touch the door. Kjerstin touched the door, so we won! Talk about a workout. You could lose five pounds a day just from pushing that wheelchair! Along the way, I picked up a bunch of pine cones & gave them to Kjerstin & let her throw them at Mom. She thought that was pretty funny! I found a locust shell & put it on Kjerstin's shorts. Kjerstin took it off & threw it & looked at me & said, "Sis, you're naughty!" She laughed at Mom & I throwing acorns at each other later on. You know Dad, he just smiled & shook his head. We had a blast! We laughed & laughed! Mom almost peed her pants, again! Yes, I forgot to tell everyone we made her laugh so hard a couple weekends ago, she peed her pants! Score! Told you I was gonna put it on here, Mom! Mom got off the elevator on the wrong floor. Mind you, we tried to tell her but she was laughing & didn't understand us, so we stayed on & just let her get off on the wrong floor! Funny thing is, I don't even remember what we were laughing about! Good news is though, she finally laughed, whole-heartedly, for the first time in a long time.

Today we did have a melt down, though. 25 minutes! Mom & I were exhausted. She woke up crying, saying, "It's my fault. It's my fault. It's my fault. I turned left. I turned left. I turned left." She does that rocking back & forth thing. It's heart breaking to see. Then she will pick another phrase & repeat it over & over again while she cries uncontrollably. We sang to her & put her in her wheelchair and pushed her & tried to distract her. It's like when you have a crying baby, but with the baby, you can hold them and rock them. You can't with a 15 year old, but believe me, we almost tried today!

Once we made it past that, we had an awesome day! Steph's eye swelled shut again! Think she's allergic to hotels! Must be the bed bugs, right, Bec?! Anyway, Kjerstin told her to put something over her eyes because it was freaking her out! It was funny, but I must say I agreed with Kjerstin. Especially when the swelling started going down & one eye was open all the way & one was half shut! She looked like the hunchback character on the cartoon version of Hunchback of Notre Dame! I was wanting her eye covered up too!

Kjerstin's dog is doing much better. They said we can take him up & she can have him visit & work with him instead of the therapy dogs! She is sooo excited!! It is amazing how the kids around here respond when they bring those dogs in. They just light up & suddenly have energy to move & do things that they haven't done all day. I had no idea that therapy dogs were so helpful! God bless those people! On that note, does anyone have a large crate that they would be willing to give us or sell us to use to transport him & keep him in. He is a 65lb. husky! He isn't quite full grown yet. I thought I would check with everyone before buying one. Sometimes people have one they need to get rid of.

Mom & Dad had date night tonight. They went to dinner & a movie & we kids stayed at the hospital. They had a good time, but it was the first one & I think Mom had a bit of a hard time relaxing. We are going to try to send them on Saturday nights each weekend, so they can get out and do something just so they have a little time together outside of the hospital. We will see how that goes. Next week, I am going to try to send a game with them to do at the dinner table, so they do something besides talk about Kjerstin.

Thank you so much for the food everyone has sent. It has helped tremendously. We divided it up & froze some of it so they can use it as needed. It has helped save a lot of money!

We will be starting work on Mom & Dad's house to prepare for Kjerstin coming home. There is a possibility that she can come home in September. So, we have to adjust things to make a bedroom for her upstairs. We need to knock out a wall, lay lament flooring in the bedroom (so the walker & wheelchair can move easier), widen a doorway, paint the walls, remove shelves, move furniture & put in a wheelchair ramp. If there is anyone who could help with this or has any materials they would like to donate, please let me know. This is going to be quite a project! My number is 316-209-8972. We would appreciate any help!

Thank you so much for all of your support! Please keep us in your prayers!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The last few days have been very interesting. Kjerstin is making a lot of progress with her physical therapy as well as her occupational therapy. She pushed Dad around in the wheelchair today! She is walking more on her own, but we are having to learn to take steps. She just wants to lunge. The therapist said this normal, though.

She is swallowing better. They are working on introducing her to different foods and letting her tell them what she likes. All of it is pureed. She is doing very well with it. If she continues to do well & will eat enough to sustain herself, then after a couple weeks they will be able to take out her feeding tube.

Emotionally, she is having a really hard time. She has had a couple anxiety-like attacks. These usually occur when she is very tired. She usually shakes her head side to side and just keeps repeating herself. It's very hard to see the first time, but Mom & Dad are learning to cope with it. She is having some problems remembering day to day where she is and why. You have to tell her things over and over each day. However, she remembers things like where to place her hands on the keyboard to type and how to read. She remembers her address and where she lives. She did recognize her boyfriend when she saw him. So, she is progressing, but doing so slowly. It seems very slow to us, but the therapist say that she is actually ahead of schedule and progressing faster than they anticipated. That is in regards to every area of her therapy. She does have occasional times where she says things that are very blunt and says cuss words and repeats them over & over. The therapists said this is just one of the stages that we have to go through and it's completely normal. It's just hard for us because she will say this food tastes like SH*T & she says it loud & repeats it about 10 times! Mom & Dad are learning not to react & just say "We don't say that. We say Yuck." It's much like having a 2 or 3 year old in that aspect. I must say though, Mom seems better. We didn't have a melt down last weekend & I don't forsee one this weekend. She just seems to have a little life back in her eyes - not that exhausted blank stare look. I think she has a schedule and goals to help Kjerstin reach so she is getting focused. Far better than the day I had to pick her up crying out of the hospital floor. Dad, well, he seems tired, but he has been sick for over a week now, so that is understandable. This has been very hard on him, but I have seen him make some pretty tremendous changes & step up & take care of things. Kjerstin really loves him being here & asks for him instead of Mom sometimes. This is a miracle in itself! She has always been a momma's girl.

Everyday Kjerstin goes to class where she practices math, reading, etc. She read a couple chapters in a book that was a 7th grade reading level. They gave her questions afterwords to test her comprehension & she did very well.

Her speech is improving and she is starting to talk more. She just gets so tired. She does seem to be sleeping better since they changed her sleep medication. When we got here tonight she was already asleep, so I just gave her a kiss on the head. She opened her eyes & looked at me & went back to sleep. Jerimiah is staying with her tonight & Steph & I will go to the hospital in the morning & I will stay tomorrow night. I'm excited to see her improvements from this week. Have fun with the vinyl couch, Bo!

I don't know if any of you have ever seen the movie "50 First Dates", but I have a whole new understanding of that movie now. I know it's a chick flick, guys, but you should watch it & you would understand a little bit more of what our world is like now with Kjerstin. Of course, we are in a hospital setting & Kjerstin can't care for herself, but the memory part is more of what I am referring to.

School starts on Monday for the kids, so things will change some. I'm hoping the schedule will help us parents to get to bed earlier, too. We are all very tired, but I think our bodies are getting used to it. That or we are just getting delirious & don't know any different. Haha.

We are having a golf tournament to raise money for Kjerstin's expenses. Please come out to Hidden Lakes Golf Course on Oct. 9 and join us!

I know it has been a couple months since the accident and summer seems to have come and gone. (I must say Steph & my's hospital tan looks Awesome! or should I say the there of. ) But, please don't forget Kjerstin & our family in your prayers. Things may be different, but they are still very hard. Thank you for all you have done!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I almost forgot.... sorry for the delay in blogging for 2 days! Sunday night we got home really late & Monday I was very tired after work.

In addition, there is a golf tournament to raise money for Kjerstin's fund. It is Oct. 9 at Hidden Lakes Golf Course. The information is posted on Please get a team together & come out and enjoy a day of golfing, food, raffles and more to help raise money for Kjerstin's expenses.

Hope to see you there.........And don't worry Pete, after my rock star golfing abilities on 4th of July, I will not be golfing! Yes, I know all of my neighbors are laughing again, remembering me trying to hit the golf ball into the target in the middle of the pond.
Kjerstin has done so many wonderful things in the last couple days. She is walking with assistance. She has a belt that we hold onto the back of. She needs help with balance and walks like a drunk person, but she is taking steps on her own. They are having her walk up and down stairs. She does good with the wide stairs but the narrow ones are hard for her. She takes two at a time. Her fine motor skills seem to be hard for her right now. They have her practicing sitting in a car & getting out. She can't buckle her seat belt because she has problems with her left side still. The doctor said most of her severe damage was on the right side of her brain so it makes sense that she is having more problems with her left side.

Yesterday she went to the "grocery store" inside the facility. This is where she actually goes thru a room set up like a store and picks up items and checks out, etc. She is hitting a big ball with a bat and working on typing on the computer. She attends "class" with the other patients her age everyday. She is really starting to process through things. She cried a lot when it was time for us to leave on Sunday. It was so hard to get in the car. I cried on the way home & I know Jerimiah did to (Yeah you thought big sis didn't notice because you put your glasses on. Nice try!). Steph said she didn't know if she could do that again because it was so hard. How do you leave your baby sister crying in a hospital bed, when her brain has finally started to heal enough to understand, and say I'll be back next weekend? It's just so hard!

Kjerstin was crying and wrote on the dry erase board that Mom & Dad didn't have any money to take care of all of this. I explained it was all right and not to worry. I told her people had donated money to help pay for things. So she wrote "that's crazy!" She didn't believe me. I asked her if she wanted to see the bank statement & she said yes. I showed it to her & the tears started flowing again. She wrote "They did that for me because I got hurt!" We said yes and she smiled and just cried. It was exciting to see that her brain is healing enough to understand the blessing that all of you have been! We couldn't have done it without you.

Today she helped make pudding and then ate it! She had about 1 cup of rootbeer. So, today she started swallowing really well. This is exciting because if she keeps this up we will get to take the feeding tube out! She also seems to have forgotten that she was a vegetarian. She has been since she was 8! She told me she wants a cheeseburger?! What? She really does have some brain damage! She hasn't eaten a cheeseburger since 3rd grade! She also has decided she likes applesauce. She never would eat it before!

There is a meeting with all of the doctors & therapists in the morning to set her new goals for therapy, as she has already exceeded the ones they previously set for her. Today the doctor said that so far she is above average on her rate of recovery. Especially on the speaking part! She talked on the phone briefly this weekend & told one of our friends that she wants to ride horses! She can't talk very long and she gets tired. She does write on her dry erase board. She has to print because we can't read her cursive writing. We were trying to figure out a computer game she wanted loaded on the computer. After discussing it with her & asking her like 10 questions & trying to verify the title, she wrote "OMG, I keep telling you!" She even wrote the explanation mark! We all laughed! However, when she gets tired, she quits communicating. Therapy just wears her out and she has to go take a nap. She isn't sleeping very good so they have increased her sleep medication starting tonight. Hopefully it works.

They have been bringing therapy dogs in to visit! She likes it, but then she cries because she misses her dog. They said that we could take her dog up there to use him instead of the therapy dogs. We told her we would bring him next weekend. However, today, her dog, Dante, had to go to the vet. He is very sick and might not live. It just seems like its one thing after another.

Just keep praying. We will get here.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Today was a wonderful day! Kjerstin talked on the phone to a couple people. She is talking very well. She even jokes occasionally. She does best in the morning and after her afternoon nap. Otherwise, she gets tired and doesn't interact much. She smiles and tells us we are crazy or to shut up, in a joking way. She even read a text on my phone today.

Today, she walked, with assistance, from the family room down the hall to her room. All of the staff have remarked at how well she is progressing and how quickly she is doing it. I got to lay in bed with her and visit with her this afternoon. Then we fell asleep for a little while. It was really nice. I am staying the night with her tonight. Sleeping on the vinyl couch! I don't know how Mom does it all week long!

I am so glad that today was a good day for her & that we were all here for it. When she has a good day and we are here, it helps us get through the next week. It's hard working all week, driving up here 5 hours, staying at the hospital all day and sometimes at night, barely getting sleep and then driving back home and starting all over. Jerimiah is exhausted. You can see it in his eyes. But, he's like me & Mom. He'll keep going on empty until she is better.... whatever it takes.

Please pray for Kjerstin & all of the family. Dad is sick, Mom is fighting a cold, Jerimiah is getting sick and we are all tired.

Friday, August 6, 2010

She Walks!

Kjerstin was walking some today. She has a strap around her and someone has to be with her at all times, but she is doing it mostly on her own. She is talking very well. It is very quiet but you can hear her. When I walked in her room tonight she said, "Hi, sis!" & when I left she said "I love you!" She talked to other people at the hospital today quite a bit.

They have moved her from a hospital bed to a bed that still works like a hospital bed, but it is more like a twin bed. She has sides that go up and down and a zip up enclosure, like a tent, that goes all around it. So, she is completely safe, but it is very functional.

Please don't forget about the fundraiser tomorrow at Luciano's.

Thank you for all of your prayers & support.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kjerstin's Xrays came back looking good. So, the doctor said she can start trying to take steps, with assistance of course. Her wrist is healing so they said she only has to wear her splint if she asks for it!

Today she wrote to dad on her dry erase board and it said "Sorry dad I got hurt, but I'm getting..... (we think the last word was better). Mom says the longer she writes the harder it is to read! She is working very hard on communicating. Which, is very exciting!

Tonight she told them she had to go to the bathroom, so the nurses helped her up and they took her to the bathroom! Without the wheelchair! Kjerstin had to have a lot of support, but still this was awesome! And... she went potty in the toilet! Wow! Seems funny to say this, since it seems not too long ago I was saying it about her for the first time! UGHHHHH! She was so stubborn about potty training. I thought we were gonna pull our hair out! Now, we are doing it again. (Well, kind of.) Wait until Kjerstin's sees this on the blog! Paybacks, Sis! The perks of being the oldest!!!..... you have all the stories that you can tell about your siblings!!

I can't wait to see her this weekend. I hope we can see improvement and she has good days while we are there.

Please continue to pray!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Kjerstin said that when she stood up she wasn't dizzy for the first time! She did tell mom that she has a headache all the time. I can only imagine! She has had a fever for the last two days and they aren't sure why. They are running some tests and cultures to see if they can figure it out.

They retested her eyes and they said her eyes are improving so they will be getting rid of her glasses in about a week. She really doesn't like those glasses, so she liked the idea of them going away.

Yesterday was her first class meeting. There are 5 kids at Madonna that are ages 14-17. They have a scheduled class time each day where they all meet and answer questions. If they can't verbalize their answers, they either shake their head or write on their dry erase boards. Kjerstin participated quite a bit. She shook her head and wrote answers. Some of her answers you couldn't read, but at least she wrote them.

Tonight we talked to Mom & Kjerstin on Skype for quite a while. Kjerstin tried to talk some & smiled. She kept reaching up hitting the mute button so Mom couldn't hear us. It took Mom 3 times before she realized what Kjerstin was doing! Then instead of her figuring out how to fix it, we would have to hang up and call back. Kjerstin thought it was funny. At one point Mom was writing notes on the dry erase board and holding them in front of the camera! Then she would start laughing and knock the camera off. Wow! When they came back Kjerstin would be smiling & shaking her head! Yeah! We understand, Kjerstin! We love you Mom, but you are a bit crazy! Anyway, we all had a great time. It was quite entertaining! Mom and technology.....Heaven help us!

I forgot to add that when I left Sunday, I gave Kjerstin a hug and told her I had to go home. She was sitting in her wheelchair. She tried to tell me something several times and kept shaking her head "no". It was very obvious she was upset because I was leaving. She did this with Jerimiah too. It broke my heart. It took everything I had not to cry. The therapist & mom & dad say that Kjerstin does better when we are there. It is so hard to leave her. I wish I could be there more often.

Please don't forget the fundraiser at Luciano's this Saturday from 1-4pm. Live music, food, drinks, raffle and more! And best of all........Jace will be there! Please come and help support Kjerstin!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Kjerstin got her trach out this weekend. She is trying to talk but it is hard to understand her. She isn't swallowing very well, so the saliva builds up in her mouth and it makes it hard to understand her. The swallow test was terrible. Mom and the nurses had to help hold Kjerstin's arms and head while they did this. They put a small tube down her nose and into her throat. Mom said it was like when we used to take Kjerstin for shots. After that, Kjerstin was mad and wouldn't communicate with them. However, when her speech therapist came in, Kjerstin said "Hi" to her and when she asked Kjerstin how she was doing, Kjerstin said "OK".

Mom has figured out that sometimes Kjerstin doesn't do things during therapy because she doesn't want to, not because she can't! Imagine that! Not kjerstin. She would never do a thing like that.

Kjerstin is really wanting to walk. The therapist said that they are going to try to start this on Friday. They have to make sure her pelvis fracture is healed enough to bear weight fully. They normally wouldn't push this, but they said Kjerstin's frustration level is very high and they are afraid if they keep telling her "no" that it will discourage her and delay her progress. She already gets upset when she can't walk and doesn't try as hard in her other areas of therapy.

Mom is doing awesome. She is doing everything Kjerstin needs. She is beyond exhausted, though. On Sunday, she just seemed in a daze. She cries every weekend when I go up there. (We have agreed that she only cries when she is out of the hospital, so Kjerstin doesn't know.) I can't say that I wouldn't cry too. I don't know how she does it. But, everyone says I am so strong and so is Kjerstin. Guess we know where we got it, huh? It has been 5 weeks now. Seems like an eternity.

The therapists said that the next few months will be a really hard time for the family and that Kjerstin's progress will be slow, but that is normal. We are a "hurry up and go" kind of family, so this is even harder for us. We have also learned that sleep is a thing of the past. Unfortunately we wish this wasn't so, but for now this is our life. God is just teaching us one lesson after another lately.

On Sunday, I gave her a shower. What a feat! By the time we were finished moving from the bed to the wheelchair, to the toilet, back to the chair, had a shower and back to the bed, I was exhausted. I don't know how Mom does it. During this process, Kjerstin looked at me funny. I asked her if she knew who I was and she said "no." I asked if I was her sister & she said "no" again. That was really hard. I didn't react and just finished her bath. When we were finished, I stepped out for a minute and cried briefly. I made sure Mom was gone first. Dad saw though. I think it's the first time he's seen me cry through this ordeal. He said that sometimes when she gets tired she gets confused and forgets. It was still hard. Then and even now, as I write this, through my tears, I wonder why...... Why my baby sister? Why anyone? I just want to close my eyes & make it all go away. I want to see her walk again. I want to see her get all dressed up for prom and graduate and go to college. I want to see her fall in love and have heartaches. I want to laugh with her again and argue with her again. I want to sit and listen to her & give her sisterly advice. And more importantly, I want her to just be her again. Mom says the why doesn't matter. She says God has a plan. She says she doesn't understand it, but this is what faith is all about. She says God only gives us what he knows we can handle. Can I be weak now? I don't want to be strong anymore. I'm trying, mom, but will someone, please tell me how to do this. Actually, I can hear my mom right now and she would say....."This too shall pass." i am so thankful for the mother and family that God has given me. I don't know what I'd do without them. Yes, Jerimiah, even your annoying self! (Just teasing. You know I love you.) And, Jace, we miss you. I know this is hard for us all, especially you, but please come visit. If nothing else, I need you.

Please pray for Kjerstin & our family. I know some may think that it should be getting easier now, but it isn't. Every weekend Jerimiah, Steph, & I drive up to Nebraska. We barely sleep, we visit, help care for Kjerstin & we drive back home. We work all week, spend time with our kids, take care of everything here & start all over again. It's exhausting. I'm sure it's small in comparison to what Mom & Kjerstin are going through, though. We will get through this, but we continue to need everyone's support.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Kjerstin was very tired today, but she still did her therapy. They held the phone up to her ear today & I talked to her. She tried to talk to me. It sounded a bit like Chewbacca off Star Wars but at least she is trying.

She is still coughing quite a bit, but they said she has drainage and it's also a reaction to her trach. They said her body wants her to get rid of the trach, which is exciting news. So.......................the trach comes out Monday!! So starting Monday we will start learning to talk again! YAAAAA! Thank you for all the prayers that have gotten us to this point.

She sat up and visited with all of the family today. She can hold herself in a sitting position for a short time but then she needs to lean against something. She is still smiling, especially at Jerimiah's jokes. Today Jerimiah told the nurse Mike's name was Timmy and the nurse believed him. Later she called him Tim & they said Kjerstin thought it was pretty funny. I can't wait to hear her laugh again, especially without coughing. But seeing her smile has kept us going. It was very hard up until that point. It is still hard, but it was like we saw that and said, "We can do this! She can do this! And we are not going to stop until she does!"

Please pray about Kjerstin's school situation. Now that Mom is not working for the district, Kjerstin has to be accepted as an out of district student. The district office informed Mom that if Kjerstin needs any kind of assistance (like a para), she will not be allowed to return to school in Derby. She is a Sophomore & it would be extremely hard for her to have to go to school somewhere else after all these years, especially with what has happened. The therapists say this is the last thing she needs. They say everything needs to stay just as it was, even her room. This is a crucial part of her recovery process. Please pray that this is resolved and Kjerstin can go to school in Derby with her friends. Kjerstin does not need any set backs with her therapy. We have not told Kjerstin about this, as it the last thing she needs to know about. She cries enough as it is.

Please don't forget to get your tickets for the Luciano's Fundraiser on August 7 from 1-4pm. You can get them from Luciano's. There will be live music, food, drinks, and a raffle. All the proceeds go to Kjerstin's fund. Jace will even be in town for this fundraiser!

I will not blog tomorrow as I have to work all day and then drive to Nebraska. I will update again on Sunday.

Please continue to pray! Thank you so much for all you have done.
Kjerstin did a lot of writing today. She wrote all of our names. She even wrote I heart Bo! (Jerimiah's nickname). Mom took pictures and sent them to us! She is starting to communicate more bu writing on her dry erase board since she can't talk.

She sat up today and hit a ball off of a tee with a baseball bat. A plastic one of course. This helped her quite a bit because when she couldn't throw a ball last weekend in therapy, she cried. So, being able to hit the ball helped her a lot. Later in the day, she sat all by herself!! She is making good progress.

I hope to see many of you at the senior center tomorrow night for scrapbooking. Please continue to pray.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

She flirts!!!

A little background..... Kjerstin's doctor is really cute and the nurses and us call him Dr. McDreamy! I told Kjerstin he is single and not very old so she needed to pay attention to him. I went on to add that once she gets well and is old enough, he should have his student loans paid down and would be a good catch! She just smiled. That was Saturday!.............. Today when he came in, she turned and looked at him and said "Hi" and waved! Yes she spoke around her trach! Then as he was leaving she said "bye!" I love that kid. Mom and Dad thought it was hilarious! Go Kjerstin! Like I told Mom, whatever it takes to get her to work hard at getting better! This may be the one and only time she listens to me so I had to get it on the blog!

Today they worked on point of balance. They sat her on the side of the bed and checked to see if she could balance herself. She was wobbly but when she lost her point of balance, she corrected it. She was able to do this to the right side and the left side and she did it by herself! The therapist said this is awesome and a big big step towards improvement.

Kjerstin also stood up today! The therapist helped her and she had a walker. The time she stood was very short, but she did it 6 times. Mom sent us a picture! I know this may not seem like much, but it is truly amazing! The doctors have even remarked at what a miracle Kjerstin is! This really wore her out! She threw up the last time. She gets really dizzy, though. They are trying to figure out if it's her medicine or just from laying down so much.

Her hemoglobin is finally coming up. She is at 10 and we need her at a minimum of 12. Much better than 4, though! Big improvement. This will help with her energy level.

They are going to put a camera in her nostril on Friday to check her swallowing ability. If she is swallowing good, they will take out her trach. Pray, pray, pray for this. We really want her to be able to talk. It will help sooo much!

For the child that wasn't supposed to live and then wasn't supposed to come out of her coma, she sure is proving them all wrong and she's not done yet! Thank you God for answered prayers and for saving my baby sister. I told Kjerstin she's going to walk again. we won't settle for anything less. We will push her as hard and long as we have to!

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. I am soooo excited to see her this weekend. Please continue to pray. We still have long way to go.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today Kjerstin asked for Rootbeer in her ice chips. They wrote pepsi or lemondade on the dry erase board & Kjerstin wrote root beer. It's hard to read. Looks like a 4 year old wrote it, but still this is awesome. Today she stood, with assistance and they let her try to write. She wrote mom & dad. They asked her if she recognized family members and she shook her head "yes" to all of them. When they asked her if she remembered the accident or her car, she shook her head "no". There are a few other short-term things she does not remember. They said she has some short term memory loss but there is always a chance it could come back. You just never know. Soon we will start showing her more pictures and working on her memory.

We were hoping to get her trach out this week, but today she started coughing up a lot more phlegm. She was almost cleared up. Kjerstin absolutely hates having her lungs suctioned! And we hate seeing her endure it. So, mom asks that everyone prays that her congestion/phlem dries up so that we can work on getting her trach out so she can learn to talk again.

Mom says Kjerstin gets real dizzy when she gets up so her time up is very short. She still can't bear weight on her left leg because of her cracked pelvis. She is still smiling, though. One day at a time is what we keep telling her, and ourselves.

Life has changed. Perspectives have changed for all us. I'm seeing Dad do things I never thought he would do. Good things for Kjerstin........rubbing her feet, catching phlegm, writing in a journal to her! Small miracles are happening all around our big miracle-Kjerstin. Wait until I tell her how her situation has touched so many lives!

We will be scrapbooking Kjerstin's pictures on Friday at the Mulvane Senior Center. Please come join us. I will be going to Nebraska again this weekend, so if anyone would like to send any food, please let me know. Mom & Dad would love anything. Having food there allows them to eat lunch and dinner at the hospital without leaving Kjerstin.

Colten helped me with the blog tonight & he thought Kjerstin's name should be highlighted.

Please continue to pray.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Today Kjerstin wrote on her dry erase board " I don't want to" when it was time to go to therapy. It is a little hard to read because she doesn't lift her hand or out spaces between the words, but Mom is getting good at figuring it out. Mom always sends us pictures of it on our phones. They made Kjerstin go to therapy anyway, but they said she pushed back in the bed when they went to get her out. I'm sure she's tired and frustrated. I can't wait for that trach to come out so she can learn to talk and start expressing her thoughts and feelings. They also said she was tired so they moved her bed time up. She is still anemic but her hemoglobin is coming up. This is adding to her fatigue. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day for her. We will have these days. I can't begin to imagine what is going through her mind. I can't say that if I was in her position that I would want to go to therapy sometimes either.

They have started giving ice chips to Kjerstin to help her learn to swallow again. She had a little root beer in the ice chips today. They asked if she wanted lemonade in them and she shook her head "yes". She started doing that quite a bit today; shaking her head "yes" and "no". When they asked her different questions regarding things going on in her life right now, she answered them all correctly. This was very exciting! That brain of hers is working on healing.

And most importantly..........she wrote "Bo" on the dry erase board. for those of you who don't know, this is Jerimiah's nickname. He was very excited. He says it's because she likes him more. HAHA! This is our family joke!

Please remember all of us in your thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

She cries.......

We made it home today. It was very hard to leave. We told Kjerstin to make sure that she keeps working hard during her therapy sessions. You could tell she was sad we were leaving. We promised we would be back next weekend. I have to work Saturday, but Colten and I will go back Saturday night and Sunday. Jerimiah & Steph will be there all weekend. I can't wait to see what progress she makes this week.

She cried again today. We were outside and she was visiting with Jocelyn and her family and Bella, Mom's dog, when tears started rolling down her face. She was tired but she is also starting to process through everything that has happened and it is hard for her. She can't tell us what she is thinking and I'm sure that is even harder. We tried to reassure her, but I sure wish she could talk to us so we could help her through the thoughts running through her head. We will get there. while it's hard to see her cry, it's also joyous. This means that she is progressing and we have moved to a new stage in recovery. It also means that her brain is healing. Keep praying for peace for Kjerstin.

I just wish I could make this all go away for her. That we could get rid of that wheelchair and go out to eat and get our nails done and talk and make jokes and laugh. When you go anywhere during the day, you see people doing things. Normal things. Things we used to do. But now we can't. We can't go to dinner or Wal-Mart or the mall. We can't walk to get the mail. It's hard to see other people doing these things. Mom cries nearly every time we go somewhere and it's hard for Dad too. I keep pushing Mom & making her go. Sometimes she argues, but of course she never wins! This is me she is talking to! The only one who has not listened to me is Kjerstin. Imagine that! She is listening intently to me now. Seems kinda weird, but nice all at the same time.

I told her that one day soon she will get to dance again and sing with the music turned up too loud. We will go on another road trip and this time my tail bone won't be broken so she won't have to help pull me out of the car the whole trip. (That was the only time that it was nice that my lil' sis was taller and stronger than me!) Hopefully mom won't walk in pee again. Kjerstin smiled when I told her that part! I told her she will get her chance to go to college and get married and have kids and do all the things she ever dreamed of. She looked at me a little unsure. (The eyes really are a window to our soul!) I told her that she will, she just needs to keep working hard & not give up. Not ever! She will go on to do great things! I reminded her what a friend said to me this weekend: God is giving her a second chance. He's not done with her yet! He has a plan and she will go on to do mighty things!

We did have a great time talking and joking. It is so AMAZING to see her smile! Today Jerimiah and I had a marker fight at the end of her bed. She smiled and laughed and made noises at us. Of course I lost and ended up with marker all over my face and arms! I didn't want Kjerstin to feel left out so I went and marked an "X" on her forehead. She grinned! The nurses always like to come in the room when we do these things because they LOVE to see Kjerstin smile! Mom was taking pictures of Kjerstin with her phone and Kjerstin groaned at her. We figured out she doesn't want Mom taking pictures of her & sending them to people. Good luck with that Kjerstin. We all know Mom & pictures!

I also officially got broken in today! Kjerstin coughed real hard, the trach cap went flying and phlegm got all over me. Oh well. It's not the first time she has puked or spit or even peed on me. The joys of being 18 and having a baby sister! I told her I already did this with her once. This time we should be pros and raise her right! She just grinned again.

Jerimiah helped with her therapy quite a bit and they tried to throw a ball back and forth. Kjerstin couldn't do it as well as she wanted, but we told her to work on it this week and we will try again next weekend. Time to get that pitcher's arm back to work. She did watch a little softball on TV today. I can't wait until we see her on the mound pitching again!

I miss her already. I know we all do. But she will be home soon. As Mom says..... This too shall pass!

Say prayers for Mom & Dad. They are exhausted- mentally, emotionally, & physically. They are still trying to wrap their brains around this.

And, when you are having a bad day, remember, you don't have a traumatic brain injury! Take a breath, hold your head up and remember.....God has you just where he wants you!

On a fun note, we had a great road trip. We all packed in together in the car- Me, Colten, Jerimiah, Steph, Jocelyn(Kjerstin's best friend) & the 100 lb. doberman (Bella, mom's dog). Believe it or not we all got along great. I think we have a different perspective on "family time" now and how precious it is. Jocelyn stayed in Lincoln, as her dad lives there and she is helping Mom some. On the way home we had Karaoke! Yes in the car & we are all TERRIBLE singers! It was a blast! Steph didn't sing much, she just laughed at my singing and dancing! I got a ball thrown at me and stabbed with a light saber. Occasionally, my whole seat would jerk, because Jerimiah "thought" he saw a bug on it! Yes, the ball and light saber was my 29 year old brother, not my 7 year old! One would think after 29 years, he would quit torturing me, but no. He's still rotten as ever. Oh and yes, I was driving! Jerimiah had to ride because he needed to play Xbox! Yes, in the car. He rigged it up to the portable TV and then to a power device that plugged into my outlet in the car! We had wires running everywhere, but he had fun! Can't wait to go together again in a couple weeks. We will have to have the video camera this time so Kjerstin can see and hear our spectacular singing!

Please PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! Kjerstin has a long, hard road ahead of her.

She Smiles!!!!

What an amazing day!! Today we found out just what Kjerstin was thinking. She went to therapy and was trying to stand and walk. The therapist had to actually tell her that she couldn't try to walk. That her body wasn't ready yet. We explained the steps of therapy to her, but you could tell she was frustrated. You could read the emotion on her face. She wanted to walk. She wanted to just be well again. She wanted to cry. I wish I had the answers she was looking for, but I don't. I don't know why- Why she has to go through this. We were positive and told her we would get there one step at a time, but that sometimes she would need to cry and that's OK. I am so glad that she is giving it her all.

After therapy, we went back to her room. She kept scratching her head. I asked her if her braid was too tight and if she wanted me to take it out. She just looked at me. I told her to hold up one finger for "no" and two fingers for "yes". After I said it about the third time, Jerimiah said, oh my gosh, Wendy, if she could raise her finger right now, she would flip you off! Kjerstin proceeded to lift her middle finger and flip me off & then she just grinned! We all died laughing. And then we all cried. Even her nurse. That was the first time she smiled! She did it many more times and we all sat around and talked and she would smile at us. Now we know, "our Kjerstin" is with us.

One of the nurses had her daughters bring up seven puppies. We took Kjerstin outside to see them. We put them on her lap and she touched them. One of them licked her on the face and Kjerstin even pet one of them.

Tonight we sat and talked and joked for almost an hour. Kjerstin just smiled and smiled. She laughed several times too. However, when she tries to laugh with the trach in, it makes her cough. Tonight, she coughed a lot, but it was good because she was getting all that phlegm out. We made jokes and would "take cover" when she would start to cough. She would smile while she was coughing we when did that! The reason we had to "take cover" is because the other day her trach cap wasn't on tight and when she coughed hard it went flying across the room and then the phlegm went flying too!! We had so much fun tonight. It gave us a renewed spirit and HOPE! She's going to make a full recovery. We won't accept anything else!

We are excited to go back in the morning. However, it is going to be so hard to leave. I wish she was closer, so we could visit everyday. The nurses said they were so glad we came up this weekend. They said they have seen a big difference in her since we have been here. We have a long way to go, but today was SOOOO exciting.

Please continue to pray.