Saturday, April 25, 2009

Somewhere, Out There

That is exactly where I have been, somewhere, out there. I have been catching myself coming and going these days. Brian has returned to work full time, but not full duty. He is still having dizzy spells and is still on his blood thinners. In addition, he had to go back on his seizure meds since the tests show that he is still having abnormal activity. The doctors decided to do another CT scan since he has been having chest pain. They didn't find any MORE blood clots, but they have discovered damage to his esophagus and his heart. They did an upper GI yesterday to look at his esophagus yesterday, he is more nervous about this test than I have ever seen him.. I think some of the questions he was being asked made him a little uneasy. They won't do another scan on his heart for 6 months, so that is the one that has me a little nervous. Other than these new issues, he is doing really well. They facial paralysis is doing so much better! He smiled the other day and I hardly noticed where he has had so much drooping. I am ever so proud of him for the HUGE strides he has made and the positive attitude that he has maintained through this whole ordeal!

On another note, I registered for my summer and fall classes last week. I am trusting that this was the right thing to do. I know he is doing really well, but there are still a lot of dr. appointments and blood draws. I am only taking two classes this summer to try and get myself back in gear for classes. Unfortunally, I choose some of my hardest classes. I am FINALLY taking college algebra (bring it on!) as well as Psychology of the classroom. I am in need of a refressher course for algebra, but I know I need to take it when I don't have as many classes to focus on. I also like taking it in the summer because then I am in class four days a week and I don't seem to forget as much.

I must start my laundry, as my days tend to slip by so easily these days...

Monday, March 2, 2009


In posting all my fun organizational stuff, I just realized I have forgotten to give an update on Brian!! So sorry!! He is doing wonderful these days. Last Monday he started back to work part-time (4 hours a day). He can't drive yet, so I take him down and get to work on projects, like my recipes! He is very excited because they chose to teach him how to run the light board. Lighting is really where his heart is at, and it is a blessing to see him so happy. The Lord said go, and we took that step of faith, and he is rewarding us beyond measure! Brian even ran the sound board for a little bit last week when the sound technician needed to check some monitors. His stress level has been reduced by leaps and bounds.


Brian also started his rehab last week. He is going 3 days a week for two hours each time and finished pretty sore. The are mostly working his calves and back, muscles that started to atrophy when he was bedridden. I am amazed every day by his progress and his strong, sweet spirit. He personality has changed very little (Praise the Lord!) and his facial paralysis has almost completely reversed itself.

I have to confess that in the first few days of his accident even though I didn't know what to expect, this wasn't it. I never thought his progress would be this good, this fast, but he has been very determined. I am blessed to have such a wonderful hubby!

Thank you all for your wonderful thoughts and prayers, he is a walking miracle!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Finding Old Favorites

Cleaning out my recipes, I found many old favorites that I hadn't made in a long time. I decided that one of these just couldn't wait any longer. My granny used to make different "goodies" each Christmas, and her Almond Bark Candy is one of my favorites!!

You will need:
1 1/2 lb of Almond Bark
3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 c. dry roasted peanuts
1 1/2 c. mini marshmallows
3 c. rice krispys

Melt the almond bark and peanut butter in a large sauce pan on the stove. Mix and let cook slightly.

Mix the other ingredients together and once almond bark and peanut butter has cooled slightly, stir in until well combined. Make sure that it is cool enough not to melt the marshmallows, but not so cool you can't mix it together.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on wax paper and let cool completely. ENJOY!!

I am so thankful that I had this experience to get myself organized! I have had the desire to do it for quite a while, but I just needed the motivation! What is next?? Can you believe I started my Christmas presents today?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Recipe Clean Up!

How fun!!! I spent this month working on my recipes and getting them organized, and WOW! I was able to get rid of ones I never use, share recipes with friends and even use my creative side! First I tackled Brian and I's favorite recipes, quiche. We like them so much, that I decided to make a cookbook dedicated just to quiche.

This is a Close to My Heart 9x9 scrapbook that I made in a class. I had never done anything with it, but this is the perfect opportunity!!

I divided the cookbook into different categories based on the main ingredient and scrapbooked the recipe and a picture of the finished product. Since it is a scrapbook, I have lots of room to expand!

After I made our quiche book, I decided to tackle the recipe box. I dumped all my recipes out and started sifting through what I wanted.

I then took all my recipes and rewrote them on matching cards. I have lots of extra so, once again, any future recipes will match. I then put them into the correct categories and alphabetized the categories. The cards I bought had extra tabs, so I made categories of my own such as drinks, spices and even a tab for all my recipes that can be made in a mug!

I filed them in my Longaberger recipe box that has a lip on the top to make it easy to read whatever I am making at the time! Yes, my recipes are also Longaberger, BUT I just loved the daisies!! My basket is clean and concise, fits on the counter easily and even has a lid, that fits, to keep the dust and food particles clean.

I didn't think it necessary to take another picture of the cabinet. I removed all my cookbooks and put them back in depending on main ingredients and topic. I removed the extra stuff sitting on the shelves, and distinguished the categories by tabs. I will admit that I love organization a little too much, but now that it is done, it will be easy to keep up! Best of luck to everyone else in their organizational challenges! I can't wait to find out what next month's challenge is!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Starting to get organized

I realized the other day that I hadn't taken pictures of what I was doing to get my recipes organized, so I did that tonight..
Here is my cabinet of Pillsbury cookbooks - one of my favoritesHere is my pathetic attempt of keeping a recipe boxAs you can see I have printed recipes stuck everywhere

Recipes are a true passion of mine, so I joined an organizational group to get mine organized. I have them stuck everywhere, as you can see. I am working on this with a group on the Organizing Junkies blog. Feel free to jump in, and if you want some great tips and techniques, this is the blog to go to! Have fun and I will keep you posted on my progress!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dinner and a Movie

I figured my hubby and I had reason to celebrate tonight... He is getting to go back to work on Monday. Scary I know, but something I am dealing with. Anyway, I had a Chicken helper in the cabinet that I had decided to fix, and I also knew that I had an abundance of potatoes in the house. I decided to make potatoes graten and a fun 5 minute mug cake recipe that I had received from my sister. She sells Longaberger, which their pottery is oven, microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe, so I thought, why not! We don't keep sweets in the house since I would eat them if they were here, and this makes one mug at a time - win-win situation..

As I was finishing dinner I thought we might put a movie in and get out some of the "good stuff". In our house, the good stuff is juice from the Post Families Winery in Arkansas. Very Yummy - our favorite is the Altus and the Muscadine. I even got out the stemware! We watched Diffidently, Maybe and cuddled on the couch.

It was a great, cheap night and we did it all at home. I thought it might be fun to share some of these mug recipes that I have... another thing I need to get organized!

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake (more like a brownie)
4 T. Sugar
4T. all-purpose flour
2 T. cocoa
1 Egg
3 T. Milk
3 T. oil
3 T. Chocolate Chips, optional
Small splash of Vanilla

Add dry ingredients to a mug and mix well.
Add egg and mix thoroughly
Pour in milk and oil and mix well again
Add the chocolate chips, if using, and vanilla and mix for the last time.

Put in microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but it is okay. Allow to cool a little - we like ours with vanilla ice cream!

Hope you enjoy this fun little recipe.. I will post the other mug recipes that I have in the coming weeks!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Brian and I had a beautiful evening... he took me to the Gilloiz for a big screen showing of Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn. She is my favorite and I loved seeing her on the big screen. We went with our very good friends Mark and Andrea. It was both of their first times to see this wonderful romance. We had a great time, but an even better one listening to the woman behind us.. she was laughing so loud and having such a good time! It was a great evening!

After we took this picture Brian informed us that the girl that took it was the one that had been laughing throughout the movie! What a funny turn of events!

Happy Valentine's to All and to all a good night!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A very full week

This week has been very busy. First of all, I am feeling much better! The flu is a nasty thing, but I did manage to not give it to Brian. :) Yeah Me!

On Tuesday, I had the privilege of accompanying AJ to his Valentine Tea. It was a wonderful time and AJ even served us. He is such the gentleman!

That afternoon, I took Brian to one of his doctors and he was released from the brace. He has done great with it, even though I think he does more than he should. However, the doctor did release him to move, bend, lift, push and pull at will. I just don't want to see him do too much. If that didn't make me nervous enough, the doctor today did.

Today we saw the new rehab doctor. He says Brian is healing really well and making great progress. Therefore, he can now be left alone for short amounts of time until he feels comfortable being left longer (Or until I am ready to let him). The doctor is also ordering over Brian's speech rehab records and if he likes what he sees, then Brian will go back to work 4 hours a day next week. THEN as soon as they do another EEG and decide that Brian isn't having any seizure activity, he will be able to start driving again. All of this is happening a month earlier than we thought it would. I know the progress is great, but I can't help but worry, it is what I do best. I pray that Brian will be able to handle the stimulation at work and do well. Oh! On top of this, he is back in rehab for a few hours three times a week. I think I am going to be living in my car for the next 3 weeks. It is at that time that he will go back for 6 hours a day if he is doing well.

Pray that I have the patience and fortitude to handle this.. I know God will give me the strength.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My turn

I have successfully gotten the flu. Not that it was ever my goal, mind you, but I have it. At least I am over the getting sick part, but now I have lost my voice and have the nasty cough. Needless to say, I will be putting off posting until I can be up for more than a few minutes at a time. All I have to focus on now will be keeping Brian from getting this!

Just a side note, my final grades are in - 2 A's and 2 C's. Not at all good, but considering, acceptable.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bloging Newbie

I'm sorry this is all so foreign to me.. Here is the correct link (again, I think) to the organizing round up! I am soooo excited! My recipies are a mess!

PS - as for the Ginger Snaps - they are okay with Splenda, but it doesn't melt around the cookie like sugar does, so if you can, I would go with the real stuff! Enjoy!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Taking advantage of the time...

I am taking advantage of the time at home to catch up on some fun new blogs... If you know me very well, you know my love language is organization. I have found this fun blog/website called I'm an Organizing Junkie. I have found lots of great tips and she does a monthly organization project, which I have decided to participate in for February. The February challenge is recipes. This is perfect since I am having so much fun sharing my favorite recipes on my blog. You can follow this link
to find out more about her schedule for organizing this year. If I have posted this link wrong, I will correct it as soon as I figure out how. I am also working on getting a picture of my recipe mess to post online so I can track my progress.. Would you like to join me? Leave me a message if you are up for the challenge and then check out the link above!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Technology BITES!

I have had a more than frustrating few days with the technology in my home...

Yesterday morning I went to turn on my phone and couldn't. After much thumping and pushing of the reset button, I found that only the touch screen of my phone worked, that I had lost all use of the keys. I borrowed Brian's phone to call AT&T and spent an hour troubleshooting the problem with them. I was finally transferred to warranty, just to do it all again. They decided something was wrong with my phone (Duh!) and they needed to send me a new one. However, since they had replaced this model 3 times, did I want to try another model.. I decided it was for the best.

I had sent my laptop off to be repaired, but since CC decided to close their doors, it was sent back un-repaired. After 3 days of trying the 1-800 number they gave us, Brian got smart and found an online operator for us to talk to. So after getting off the phone with AT&T, I sat at the desktop computer with the dysfunctional laptop at my left for over an hour while someone on the other end performed the tests that CC had already done to find the problem I told them about in the beginning. :) Really, I loved it.

After a morning of dealing with this, Brian thought it best if I didn't touch anything electronical for a while... I thought it was best too. I was able to spend the rest of the day reading, something I hadn't done in a LONG time and was much overdue for. I also made cookie dough that I have yet to bake, but it is sooo yummy. For Christmas this year, since Brian had spent so much time in the hospital, we decided to "finish" our shopping with peoples favorite kinds of cookies. For John, I made Ginger Snaps... it was fun and soooooo worth the time, they were YUM!!

Ginger Snaps
1 C. Sugar (have another 1/4 c. set aside)
3/4 c. butter- softened
1/4 c. molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 c. flour
2t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. nutmeg

Combine 1 c. sugar, butter, molasses and egg and beat until light and fluffy. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves and nutmeg - mixing well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrig. 1 hour. Heat oven to 350. Shape dough into 1" balls. Roll in the 1/4 c. sugar and place 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I love my stoneware for this!) Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes or until set. (Cookies will puff up, then flatten and the tops will crackle. Let cool 1 minute before removing from the cookie sheet.

You can't go wrong with these little bites of joy! I am trying the next time with Splenda for the diabetics in the family, I will let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Crab Rangoon

Sorry, but I think the cashew chicken needs it famous side kick.. These are SOOO simple and don't come with the additives that some like (such as chives). Feel free to add if you must, but don't over do-it. The simplicity of these is great!

Crab Rangoon
8oz cream cheese
3oz drained flaked crab meat - from a 6oz can
beaten egg

Mix the cream cheese and crab. Fill the wonton wrappers (about 1 tsp). Apply the beaten egg to the sides of the wrapper and gather at the top to seal. Deep fry in oil in your wok and ENJOY!!!

I am enjoying these postings.. I may have to post more yummy recipes soon.. Leave me a comment as to what you would like to see!

A busy week AND a recipe

Sorry it has been so long since I posted, but much has happened. Brian hasn't had his shots in over a week and only one blood draw! The Lord is sooo good, I think he is really on the mend.

I was able to finish all of my classes last week except for my Children's Lit paper, which I finished over the weekend and submitted on Monday. What a blessing to be done, but I find myself wondering, not knowing what to do with my time. I have "officially" finished with one A and one C, but the other two grades have yet to be entered. I am okay with not having a 4.0 this semester, it is simply a testament that I was focused on what I needed to be.

With all of my free time I have started scrapbooking again, hoping to make some LARGE strides in the mound of pictures I have...

I have also been searching the Internet more for websites and blogs about my true love language, organization. One of the things that I am finding in menu planning. I am fascinated by this and I think I might even try my hand at it. Brian and I are really trying to live by the "Financial Peace" rules, but with the accident our emergency account has been emptied and we are looking for where to cut back. The Lord knows our needs though, because we received a very unexpected reimbursement that came at just the right time! I can almost make this months bills! almost....

Anyway, recipes are something that I have been finding, so I thought I would start sharing a few of my favorites. My mom taught cooking classes when I was growing up and our next door neighbor was from Taiwan and had her own restaurant: This is one of my FAVORTIES of my moms: Springfield Cashew Chicken

Thaw chicken breasts (# depends on how many you are serving) and cut into bite size pieces. Put into a bowl with flour and lightly coat and set aside for 15 minutes. Mix 1/4 C. milk per egg and 1 egg per pound of chicken breast plus salt and pepper to taste. Have a bowl of flour set aside. Put all the chicken in the egg mixture and let stand for another 10 minutes. heat oil in a wok - once hot, dip chicken piece by piece in flour and into the oil. The chicken is done when it is light brown. Keep warm in a low oven while you prepare the sauce.

Sauce: 1 chicken bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup water.
1 T cornstarch
1 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1 t oyster sauce - you can find MSG free, but you have to look at the bottles carefully.

Top with cashew nuts and ENJOY!! Warning: this is a messy time, but a good time!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Keys of Fire

I have been hard at work on my homework assignments. I finished 5 assignments yesterday, today I took my English final and wrote my music paper in less than two hours. Other than taking my test, I simply have my 5 page English paper to write. I pray it goes as smoothly as my music one did, although I think this one may prove a little more difficult.

Tomorrow we go for Brian's blood work. I am THRILLED that he hasn't had any pain or fluttering in his chest since we stopped the shots. I just hope he is telling me the truth when he says he feels fine.

I am off to read articles so that I can write tomorrow. Sleep well world, my computer needs a break.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Standing Still in Traffic

Sometimes that is what my life feels like... that I am standing still in traffic. Goliath has been throwing up all weekend and has had the runs, so this morning after my chiro appointment, off to the vet we went. Oddly enough, Goliath isn't sick. I found out that my poor puppy has a nerve issue, his are shot. With us being in the hospital for so long and running to and fro between doctors, Goliath is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Poor thing, now he knows how his mommy feels. Which is bad, because he feeds off my emotions, so I am doing my best to keep it together for him right now. We got some nausea meds and brought him home, determined to spend the day pampering him and trying to calm him down. I am sure the boxes to pack the Christmas decorations laying around aren't helping because to him, he sees change.

Brian's doctor called today and we were told to stop his shots and wait until Wednesday for another blood draw. I am hoping this is a good sign. Last time we did this Brian was having chest pain within 24 hours because his blood got too thick, so I am going to be very vigilant about watching his pain levels. I know he feels better knowing that he gets a two day vacation from any and all needles, which his body really needs right now.

I have been working today on trying to finish up my homework from my fall classes. I was able to complete 4 music assignments and started my last one just a little while ago. So in total I have:
Chemistry: 1 unit test, chapter homework to turn in and my final
Music: 3 page paper and final
Math: FINISHED!! :) (I got a C though.. :( )
Children's Lit: 5 page paper and final

I have to have it all finished by Friday, but I think with a lot of prayer and some late nights, I will be able to get it accomplished.

Prayer Requests:
Brian: That his blood will stay thin and they can manage it through pills alone
Jenn: To finish the above work quickly and accurately
D: personal issues, finances
B: finances and coping with life changes
P: finances

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Wild Weekend

What a weekend. We had a WONDERFUL group from Sight and Sound come and help us install an attic ladder so i can now get into the attic while Brian is injured. They retrieved all the Christmas boxes for me and I have everything packed away but the trees themselves and ready to return up there. I know I can do it now because I have a safe way! Thank-You Thank-You Thank-You!!!

Friday Brian went to see the doctor about his TSLO brace and got really good news. They are hoping at next months appt that he will be at the 60% point in his healing and can come out of the brace. Right now, he is doing well enough that if he needs to get up in the middle of the night for the restroom or when he takes a shower, he doesn't have to put the brace on. I think this news is doing a lot towards helping with Brian's depression. Now if I could just get a hug without it on, I would be happy!!

Medicine and Brian's workman's comp has been a nightmare, so I finally ended up paying for the RX's and hopefully we will get it worked out with them. I was just happy the doctor finally decided to call them in.

Mom ended up in the ER last night with a blister in her ear ... it finally ruptured about 6am, but since she had driven herself there and they had to give her morphine to try and help with the pain, Grandma and Grandpa Jim had to go and get her. God bless family...

We have had a dear friend that is going through some very hard personal things right now, and this weekend they all came to a head. My heart cries out because I know there is nothing I can do to ease the pain, which I soooo want to do, so my prayer list must continue as this:
for the Lord to provide the money to live on day by day, to take care of a MAJOR financial obstacle, for propane for the winter and for peace and understanding.

Other Prayer Requests:
Brian: Pray for minimal depression and praise for the wonderful news about his brace!
Jenn: The dedication to finish up this last week of school and the ability to retain everything to get through my tests.
P2: Financial situation and work situation
D: Personal life

Thank you for being a prayer warrior. Feel free to leave us your prayer requests and rest assured they will be prayed over!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Insurance Companies

I am not sure who they are for... The doctors claim they don't benefit them, but after yesterday, I know they don't want to benefit us. Yesterday just seemed to be a bad day all around. It was 9 degrees, so just a little cold, and I lost my hat. I think somewhere at Target, but who knows. All I know is that it is gone. Plus, everything just seemed to take forever yesterday. Finally we went to pick up Brian's prescriptions and none of them were ready. The doctor has been out for 3 weeks and his associates didn't want to call two of them in due to the fact that they didn't feel "comfortable" with it. I don't feel comfortable with my husband being taken off his seizure medication suddenly because of their negligence. Then we couldn't get his coumadin refilled because the insurance company said it was too soon. When he is taking 2.5 pills a day, I don't know how long they think 30 pills will last him?!?! Anyway, they finally called 10 minutes before the pharmacy closed last night that the insurance company finally approved the coumadin. I still have no idea what I am to do about the other two. I keep calling the offices. I am sure they are tired of hearing from me. Perhaps that means it is time to call again.....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Feelings of a Pin Cushion...

Brian is feeling more and more like a pin cushion every day. He went for a blood draw again today and even though it was at the hospital, they had to stick him twice. I know he is growing frustrated and I wish there was something I could do to take it all away. The doctors called this afternoon and apparently didn't find what they wanted because they are increasing his coumadin again today. He keeps asking me if he is doing something wrong, that there is something he can change... I have no answers. I monitor what he eats, give him his shots and make sure he takes his meds... beyond that I feel so helpless as well. Tonight I made myself physically ill just worrying over it.

I borrowed my moms laptop today so that I can work on my homework. I have to have it finished by next Friday, I guess no rest for the weary. There is so much pressure, but I refuse to give in to it. I will prevail.

I am very excited that this weekend Brian's co-workers are coming to help us take down our Christmas decorations! I can't wait since I am the type of person that usually has them down the day after Christmas. Having this up this time has been a little weird.

Prayer Requests:
Brian: Healing, for his blood to thin, for them to be able to draw his blood easily, minimal depression.
Jenn: The dedication and drive to finish school - remember what I have learned. Finances.
P: Emotional and Physical direction. Anger issues
D: Peace of mind about life issues, financial issues
P2: Financial Issues

Thank you everyone for keeping up with us and your prayers!! It means the world to us!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A busy day

Today started on a not so good note and kinda went from there. We started at 8 with Brian's shot and then headed to get Brian's blood draw at the dr.'s office. After 4 tries Brian had had enough. They weren't finding anything so he opted to go to the hospital and have them draw his blood. It was going to have to wait until after his therapy appointment though. They were running behind and hadn't gotten him in until 9:30, so we were a little late getting to speech therapy.

Speech therapy went very well and in fact Brian was released!! His therapist has been very happy with his progress and feels like he has progressed back to the point he was at before the accident or even surpassed it! This was by far the highpoint of our day!

As soon as we left therapy, we were headed to Cox South for Brian's blood draw. After an hour of registering and waiting, they finally took Brian back. The tech took a long time looking for a vein since Brian has been stuck so many times. Once he finally decided on one we still wern't sure it was going to work. He "fished" in the vein for a good 2 minutes (being very gentle, albeit) and was just about to pull out the butterfly needle when he was able to get some blood. Finally!

Andrea, a dear friend of ours, Nana fell over the weekend and was awaiting a hip surgery while in traction at Cox. So while we were there we headed up to see her. She is so sweet and Nana looked like an angel even while she was in a tremendous amount of pain. We left the hospital to get some lunch about 1:00. As we were headed back to Ozark for my chiro appointment, Andrea called and they were going to take Nana to surgery at 3:00.

We headed home to let the dogs out and grab the mail on the way to the doctor. As soon as we got to the chiropractor, Brian's doctor from that morning called with bad news. His blood is not thinning at all. They are upping his coumadin again and he will start another round of shots. They also want him to return to the hospital tomorrow for another blood draw. I am not sure what the plan of action is tomorrow if the blood is not any thinner, because as I understand it, he is on the highest dose of coumadin that he can be. As soon as I was done with my appointment, I checked with the pharmacy to make sure we could get his shots in and we headed back to the hospital to sit with Andrea while Nana was in surgery. She did well and should be back in her room by the time I am writing this.

Today has been very busy and it is very draining... both emotionally and physically for both of us. I pray that we don't have many more days like this, for I know how the wear on Brian.

Prayer requests:
Brian: blood clots, strength, continued healing, minimal depression
E: Healing, life choices
P: Life choices, spiritual strength
D: Depression, anger, financial and the strength to pray through it all

Thank You!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Weekend in a Nutshell

Considering what the weekends of late have entailed, this one was fairly uneventful. I have come down with a head cold, which is quite un-fun. Brian is feeling pretty good, but battling depression due to the fact that he feels he won't be able to return to work when he wants t0.

The spring semester starts tomorrow and it is a little surreal that I won't be attending. I will still be tutoring two days a week, but not being in classes feels a little strange.

My head hurts from not enough cold medicine.....

Friday, January 9, 2009

And the shots begin again...

Well that didn't last long. Brian began another round of shots today. This will make the third round of shots, but at least this time they are also increasing his coumadin. We will be taking him for a PV/INR tomorrow and another one on Monday to find out where his blood levels are. Hopefully we will start seeing better results.

The ENT doctor gave us good news this week. The hole in Brian's ear looks like it has a film growing over it, which is a sign of healing. They will test him again in two months to find out how his hearing is coming along and weather he will recover the ability to hear the high tones that he lost with the injury. As for the facial paralysis, it can take up to another year to heal. They told us it takes on average one month per centimeter for the nerve that was damaged to heal. He has 8in. of fracture and it is un-determined how much of that crossed over the nerve. Even when the healing is done, it is unlikely that Brian will have 100% of his facial usage back.

I spent today in training for the Spring tutoring session at OTC. I will be tutoring writing, speech and CIT. Yesterday I received the news that the college will be able to suspend my scholarships due to the circumstances, so I will be canceling my classes for this Spring. It is unfortunate, but I look at the time off as more time to spend with Brian and a chance to rebuild our emergency fund with some extra work once he goes back to work.

Please continue to pray for finances for not only us, but many of our Branson friends who have been impacted by the furlow time. In addition, we have some very close friends who need some prayer in a family situation. Please pray for E and guidence in some life decisions. Brian is a prime example that prayer works, so I know that this will be an excellent place to ask for extra prayer where needed!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

No More Shots! (For now..)

Brian has finished his second round of Lovonox shots as of this evening. Hopefully he won't have to go back on them, but that is only if they can keep his blood thick enough. In my opinion, they may need to up his blood thinning pills instead of making his wife give him injections all the time!! But what do I know.

We took the laptop into be repaired yesterday. While Brian was still on the Neuro floor, a cup of water was knocked onto the laptop by a backboard and it has been acting funny ever since. I guess when it rains, it really pours. In addition, I have had a monster migraine all day. I made it to get my medicine and to my moms, where I proceeded to sleep all day and she "took care" of Brian. There really isn't anything to take care of, but if he falls or starts having chest pain it is always good to have someone there who can think logically.

Since this post doesn't seem to be very logical, I think I am going to leave it at that for today. I have an all day training session tomorrow for English tutoring that I need to get ready for, anyway.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

And the Year continues...

To finish my post yesterday....

September I started my third semester at OTC. I knew it was going to be difficult and some of the most challenging classes yet, but I had no idea that more than school was going to be happening this fall. I was taking a Children's Lit class, my major, a world music class and then there was Chemistry and Algebra. James has been a HUGE help in my chemistry class as he is a chemist and a fantastic teacher. Could it be that he missed his calling???

October was fairly normal I think. At this point my fall all begins to run together. I think this was the month that the funerals began. It would have to be, as they ran for 6 weeks and ended the week of Thanksgiving. In those 6 weeks we lost: Uncle David's mom (, Jim Scott (my Graphic Design instructor and a close friend of dad's), Aunt Abby, Dorthy Boutwell (SGT co-founder's wife and a good friend), a scrap-booking buddy whose presence is greatly missed. I know that is only 5 but the last I didn't really know, I knew the person who found him. I have a friend who found her brother in law who had hung himself in his garage.. I was supporting her. During all of this I was taking my midterms and trying to make sure I would finish this semester with another 4.0 and bring my overall grade point average back up from my first college experience. My aunts birthday started a few family problems, but we are all adults, I thought we could talk through them, right??

November started harmlessly enough. Other than the family still not getting along and us reassuring someone that he hadn't divided the family due to actions that did/didn't happen, we were doing fairly well. We celebrated Thanksgiving a little early so some could go to a MSU Volleyball game (which they didn't), but it turned out to be a good thing. Tuesday, November 25th, at 11:15 pm, I got a phone call from Pamela, Brian's supervisor. She needed my permission to take Brian in a ambulance to the hospital. She is so sweet and was just trying to break the news to me gently that he had suffered a very severe fall at work and was going to be Life-flighted to St. John's in Springfield. They took him by ambulance to Skaggs in Branson long enough to put him on the helicopter to St. John's. Brian was working on the side stage during a dimmer check after the show was over. The theater was dark so no one really know what happens, but they know Brian fell from 10-12 feet backwards onto the concrete floor below. Brian sustained many injuries such as bruises on his brain, a spinal fluid leak out of his left ear, a cheek bone fracture, an 8in. skull fracture, a brain hemorrhage on the left side, a broken left collarbone and fractures on the T-5 through the T-10 vertebrae, with his T-10 collapsed. We spent 3 weeks in the hospital, including a 2 week stay on the rehab unit. Brian has been very blessed and even though his injuries were serious, they were all on the minor side. Mom wrote this email...

On Tuesday evening after the show, they were doing dimmer checks (all the lights in the theatre are turned off and the spots on the set are turned on one at a time and checked for angle, brightness, etc. About 11:15 PM, he stepped back to check a light and took a 10 – 12 foot fall from the 2nd level of the ark into the seating below.

When they got to him he was unconscious. 911 was called and an ambulance arrived within minutes. He was conscious but unresponsive. They took him to Skaggs hospital in Branson and life-flighted him to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. (He could not be taken to Cox because they do not have a level one trauma unit).

We beat the helicopter to the hospital and ended up waiting quite a while. He began responding to them just before they reached the hospital and was complaining of abdominal and chest pain. At first we were told to be prepared for a gash in his head because of all the blood. Once they checked him out, they said there was no gash, but there was bleeding from his ears. After CT scans and x-rays, we were allowed to see him and he recognized Jenn and told her he loved her. They told us the chest and abdominal pain was from a broken clavicle and we were told he had a ruptured ear drum. (left side) They moved him to ICU and we were allowed to see him again. After they cleaned him up in ICU they did find 2 abrasions on the back of his head, but he continued to bleed from his left ear. (They were changing the gauze every 2 hours). We were told they thought first one thing and then the other and he was taken back and forth for x-rays, etc until the next afternoon when the trauma Dr. said he had a 1.) temporal bone fracture (left side) 2.) small temporal subarachnoid hemorrhage (left side) 3.) small bilateral temporal contusions 4.) pneumocephalus (air under the skull) related to the skull fracture 5.) cerebral spinal fluid leak from left ear (related to the skull fracture) 6.) Left clavicle fracture 7.) t10 vertebrae fracture…

After more tests and consultations, they have determined to let the body see how much it will heal itself. He will be in a back brace and sling when he’s up for the spinal fracture and they will watch the bleeding in the back of the head (which is what has been draining out his ear with the spinal fluid through the cranial fracture) to make sure it seals itself.

He is being seen by Trauma Drs., Neuro Drs, ENTs….

He was moved into a private room on Thanksgiving and sat on the side of the bed 5 minutes the first day, on the side of the bed 10 minutes and in a chair about an hour the 2nd day – and then taken off his IV and had his catheter taken out, he sat in the chair a couple of hours and walked almost to the door the 3rd day and walked 3 times and sat up a few hours today. Today he passed the test to be moved to the rehab floor tomorrow and will be working with a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist and neuro therapist.

Due to the fact that the cranial fracture involves the nerves to the face, there is some drooping on the left side of his face.

He is making fantastic progress daily and is very anxious to be back on his feet, so is working very hard to do anything asked of him.

December was when we were able to go home and were very excited that we would be home for Christmas. Unfortunately, God had other things in mind. On December 23, Pamela came over to watch movies and spend some time with friends. Brian was feeling too well and couldn't decide if his brace was on too tight or he was having a panic attack. We finally put him to bed with a Xanax and hoped he could sleep it off. I watched him breathe all night, but it seemed labored and uneasy.. The next morning I called Dr. Kent and took him to the ER - Christmas was not to be at home. Brian had developed multiple blood clots in each lung and needed to be hospitalized immediately. The only thing keeping him out of ICU at that point was the fact that he wasn't in respiratory distress. On many levels, this was more serious than the initial accident. He was put on two different blood thinners and we were able to go home December 28th.

New Year's Eve we didn't make plans, so we got to spend it at home. We stayed away from the hospitals and enjoyed the evening just us. We are still doing doctor appointments, therapy sessions, pills and have even had to go back on the shots because his blood won't thin like it should, but overall, I still have my husband and I am VERY glad about that. Brian is a walking miracle and is so because of the prayer he has received.

2008 has now come to a close and I can't say that I am sad about it. We started out so wonderful, but didn't end so hot. And now we begin 2009 and can only wonder what this year holds in store for us.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The events that changed 2008

We started out so wonderful in 2008. We were in Florida at Disney World on Januray 1st, how horrible of a year could we have??

January was great. We spent 4 days in Florida at the Disney parks and then went on a 4 day Disney cruise. It was fantastic! Relaxing, albeit cold, we had the best time! We came home and I started school, which is where this blog began.

February was normal. Hunter turned 1 and school and work continued as scheduled.

March began another change. Brian was restless and unhappy with his job. He had been under quite a bit of stress and I guess I didn't know how much until he brought me a job application that he wanted to fill out. It was for the new Sight and Sound Theater in Branson that was bringing in Noah- the Musical. We prayed about it, and decided to go ahead and apply and leave it up to God.

April is when Brian got the new job and started at Sight and Sound. They were due to open in May, so he started work in late April. I was also in midterms at this point, so it was a very busy month.

May went by without too much hassle. I finished my first semester back with a 4.0 and managed to make the Presidents list. Brian's show opened and is a HUGE success... it is the talk of the town! With 100 real animals and twice that many anamatronics (sp), the show has quite the WOW factor..

June was Brian's birthday and our 9 year anniversary. He had to work, but they sent him home a little early so we got to see each other for a little bit. I decided to take Summer classes, so I was back in school by this time.

July was fine. It was hot, there was plenty of homework and Brian had lots of shows. We took the end of July, first part of August and worked kids camp at Windemere in Roach, MO. We had lots of fun, but I don't think we were as prepared as years past.

August was the end of my summer term (another 4.0) and the start of the Fall semester. That is when our year became very interesting..

I will have to finish the year in the next post since this one is not only long, but Brian would like to go to bed and that now require both of us. More on that remark to come...