Monday, August 3, 2015

Hello Monday!

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1)  The nurses and therapists at Barrow's.  They are great!

2)  Good friends.  A friend of mine at work referred me to another friend to do their wedding flowers in November.  They are doing a destination wedding in Greece and then having a reception here in Phoenix.  I'm excited.

From the Camera:

 This wasn't that long ago when Curtis would hang out with his friend Jose.  

From the Craft Room and Other Cool Things:

Isn't this wreath just adorable??!!

From the Heart and Spirit:

I thought some of these quotes were really cool and had to share.  
I know some of these "angels"....

"angel" quotations 

Angels may not always come when you call them, but when you need them.

One reason no one talks about angels is that angels are pretty quiet about themselves.

On earth, an angel’s wings are inside.

Angels may not always be pretty to look at but they are always beautiful.

"Flying" is natural to an angel. We don’t have to move through air and space to fly. This freedom and privilege has always been ours.

The world may push and pull but angels always keep their sense of balance. To angels, miracles are miracles no matter how ordinary they are.

Angels are willing to fall on their faces once in a while for the privilege of flying. People do fly...angels walk the earth.

When you are lost in life, an angel will get right inside your heart with you and show you the way home.

"From the beginning down through the dispensations, God has used angels as His emissaries in conveying love and concern for His children. Usually such beings are not seen. Sometimes they are. But seen or unseen they are always near.

...sometimes their assignments are very grand and have significance for the whole world. Sometimes the messages are more private. Occasionally the angelic purpose is to warn. But most often it is to comfort, to provide some form of merciful attention, guidance in difficult times.

...When we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with- here, now, everyday day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods."

Jeffrey R. Holland

From the Kitchen:

Zesty Lemon Rolls

Even though these delicious rolls have lemon zest in them, they really aren't that tart or strong...but totally delicious.  Next time you need a good roll, try these:

Zesty Lemon Rolls

Rhodes frozen bread rolls, thawed
zest from 1-2 lemons, depending on how many rolls you are making
sugar (maybe 1/2 cup for 12 rolls)
butter, melted
Lemon juice/powdered sugar glaze

Dip the rolls in butter, then top with a mixture of sugar and lemon zest.  Save some of the sugar mixture.  Let the rolls raise, then sprinkled the tops again with the mixture.  The first mixture kind of sinks in while rising.  Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes.  Serve warm with/or without a powdered sugar/lemon juice glaze.

From the Schmidt's:

As some of you know, my husband has had 4 major back surgeries over the past several years.  Recently Kevin had a spinal nerve stimulator implanted into his back on June 26th.  It was suppose to reduce the pain he feels on a daily basis and eventually allow Kevin to get off of all the pain medication he takes daily.  Well, about two weeks after the stimulator was surgically implanted in his back something happened and one of the leads slipped over another lead, causing him all kinds of discomfort and heavy breathing, among other things.  We of course, called the doctor and they set up a time for Kevin to go in and see someone about his discomfort.  When Kevin saw the surgeon's assistant the week the lead slipped she took note, ordered tests, and sent Kevin home to wait for a call to go have a CT Scan, which had to be approved by our insurance company first.  They wanted the CT Scan done just as soon they got the approval. 

The CT Scan was done in the middle of the next week.  Then about Wednesday or Thursday Kevin got a call from the doctor's office, it was their surgery scheduler telling Kevin she was calling to schedule his surgery.  Kevin and I both thought maybe someone got their wires crossed and they were trying to schedule the initial surgery all over again.  No one ever told him he was being scheduled for a second surgery to reposition the leads, until the surgical scheduler explained things to Kevin.  At that time Kevin asked the doctor to call him.  

When the doctor called he explained why they had to go back in and try to reposition the leads again and the surgery was scheduled.  This time surgery was scheduled for a Monday morning.  When they went in and did the surgery to reposition the leads the doctor says he couldn't go through the narrow space in one of his upper vertebrae and they had to reposition and anchor it to a bone.  Not their normal procedure, but Kevin was a "special case" and that was just what they had to do.  Well, something happened during this surgery because Kevin's heart rate dropped for a bit.  When Kevin was in recovery it took them 15 minutes to wake him up after the surgery.  Then when he woke up the pain shot through the roof and he couldn't feel his legs at all.  The doctor came out to explain everything to me, but he never said that Kevin cannot feel anything from the waist down.  He just kind of said he has lost feeling in his legs.  I, of course, was not understanding everything the doctor was telling me because all I was concerned about was the spinal nerve stimulator staying in.  I was thinking this was just a temporary thing and my main concern was that Kevin would be devastated without the stimulator.  The doctor said that he likes to be very cautious with these types of things and if things did not improve in the next 30 minutes they were going to go back into surgery to remove the stimulator all together.  The doctor never said this is a full blown emergency  situation.  OR that my husband's life was now at risk.  Nothing!  Not a word.  

As you can guess, things did not improve for Kevin and they had to remove the stimulator.

 By now I had talked with the doctor twice in the waiting room and then the surgical nurse came out to have me sign paperwork, each time we had a consult in their little room.  The fact that they moved us into the little room should have been my first clue that things were not good, because everyone else's family was given an update on their family members right in the waiting room.  The surgical nurse took a little more time with me and tried to explain everything to me.  She explained that their biggest concern was not that Kevin could not feel his legs, but that his heart rate dropped in surgery.  No one knows why.  No one knows what caused that.  Some how she did a better job of helping me to understand, but I was still in disbelief that anything major was wrong with my husband.  I still thought the leg issues were only temporary issues.  She spelled things out for me.  She explained that this was a full blown emergency situation for them and that they didn't even know if there were proper procedures to go from recovery to surgery again because this had never happened to them before.  She also explained that Kevin very well may need to go to ICU after surgery, depending on how things go for him in recovery.  By then I was getting it, and as soon as I left the little consult room with Danielle, I immediately called the Temple and put Kevin's name on the prayer rolls.  That was the quickest way I knew how to rally the troops, so-to-speak, because lets face it, no one was going to get to him any quicker to give him a blessing, and they wouldn't have been able to get back to him in time either.  My only option was to call.  And besides, we were clear in Phoenix for heaven sakes, and cell reception was bad enough there.  Thankfully my call to the Temple was quick clear.  Thank goodness.

  When Kevin came out of this surgery we were able to go back and see him for about 5 minutes.  Kevin was in a lot of pain and very upset that he could not feel his legs.  I of course was telling him that everything was going to be okay and that this was just temporary, which seemed to calm him down a little.  Little did I know.  But no one knew the extent of his injury at that time.  We didn't see Kevin again until he was wheeled up to his hospital room.  Somewhere through all of this there was some talk about placing him in ICU for a bit, but thankfully that did not happen.  I think if that would have happened I would have caught on that something was very wrong.  I still was not able to comprehend that Kevin was now paralyzed.  It just did not compute in my mind for some reason.  

After a week in the hospital bed and still not being able to feel his legs and after several tests, it was determined that Kevin needed to be moved to the Barrow's Neurological Rehabilitation Center.  It was there that I began to understand that my husband may never walk again.  This is why I think it was a good thing that the nurse explained that for this first week to week and half that the only visitors allowed would be those living in the home with Kevin.  Those that would be responsible for his care when he finally does come home.  I think it was smart because Kevin wasn't even actually believing that he might come home in a wheelchair.  Not to mention all the other things that we won't talk about here.  It was that first week to week and a half that we all came to understand just a little bit more about what this all meant.  

As it turns out, it looks like Kevin has made great strides in the Rehab Unit.  Kevin still has a long road ahead of him and most likely will remain at the Rehab Center for at least another 4 weeks.  They want him to be able to take care of himself in a wheelchair when he gets home.  They have those of us at home measuring all the openings, bathrooms, bedroom, walk ways, entry ways, and sinks to adapt for a wheelchair.  This is just the tip of the iceberg for all of us at home, and is nothing compared to what Kevin has to do.  

In the beginning of the therapy Kevin has had they talked about this exoskeleton suit, but Kevin was not ready for that.  They said that once he hit a certain point they might be able to get him into the suit and that that would be awesome for him.  Well, it was determined that Kevin will be able to use that suit next week.  Here is a little bit about what the suit will do for him....

The Ekso is a wearable bionic suit that enables individuals with any amount of lower extremity weakness to stand up and walk over ground with a natural, full weight bearing, reciprocal gait.  Walking is achieved by the user's weight shifts to activate sensors in the device which initiate steps.  Battery-powered motors drive the legs, replacing deficient neuromuscular function.  This device provides a means for people with as much as complete paralysis, and minimal forearm strength, to stand and walk.  This helps patients re-learn proper step patterns and weight shifts using a functional based platform.  Ekso is a gait training exoskeleton intended for medically supervised use by individuals with various levels of paralysis due to neurological conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injury or disease, traumatic brain injury and more.  With medical clearance, it typically facilitates walking for people with a broad range of motor abilities and sizes, which may include up to C7 complete, any level of incomplete SCI, and non or pre-ambulatory individuals post-stroke.  The EXO robotic exoskeleton provides functional based rehabilitation, over ground gait training, and upright, weight bearing exercise under the supervision of a physical therapist.  It has been designed for the needs of busy therapists treating a wide range of patients in a single day.  The suit is strapped over the users clothing with easy adjustments to transition between patients in as little as five minutes.  

Her are a few photos of the device...

I'm glad Kevin will be able to use this and he is excited to try it.  
This is a good thing.

There are a lot of things I will need to learn to do to help Kevin when he gets home.  Things I am a little freaked out about, to be quite honest.  But, I guess I'm gonna have to get over that.  To be perfectly honest, I am completely freaked out about it all.  I'm afraid I might hurt him.  I have been praying for strength to just get through some of that.  The nurse tonight was teasing me.  He reminded me that I married him for better or worse.  Kevin stepped in and told the nurse she isn't going anywhere she has been there through it all and will do whatever it takes.  She just needs a little time.  Which is true.  I do need a little more time, I'll get there eventually.

The most recent on Kevin.....
Kevin said today his surgeon came in to see him.  He said he would have been in sooner to check up on him, but he was on vacation and had to cover for another doctor too.  He said that he had hoped he would have been further along and the swelling would have come down around his spinal cord.  He also said he was going to order another MRI just to look around again for anything.  We hope to see that happen and the results come back soon.  Watch the MRI get in the way of the Exoskeleton time.  That would crush Kevin because he really wants to use it. That thought just came to my mind.  Arg!  Let's hope that doesn't happen!  

More to come on that....

Lexi is feverishly typing away at her computer trying to correct a couple things on one of her projects for her online Math class.  Her teacher called today and told Lexi she would give her until tomorrow to get them update for a better grade.  How cool is that?  Needless to say, Lexi is working away.

Kyle stayed home from lifting tonight, which doesn't happen very often.  He said he wasn't feeling well.  I just hope whatever it is that I do not get it too.  I can't get sick.  Not now.

Danielle is getting ready to go to Montana with her boyfriend.  She is pretty excited about going.  They leave this coming weekend.  Fun Fun!!!  She is nervous about flying.  I told her it will be good, she has done it before, but she doesn't remember that.  

As for me, I am just doing what I do.  Running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  It's been busy.  So busy I haven't even had the chance to check out all the Facebook posts and Facebook Groups lately.  Today I glanced at one group for about 5 minutes.  I have just been too darn busy until that moment.  Funny how that happens. 

I didn't go see Kevin today.  I was worn out and needed some rest.  I took a little nap so you know what that sleep tonight for me.  This seems to be my norm lately.  I know it has something to do with all the heat, but even so, I wish it would just go away.  I'm ready for cooler weather again.  Pronto!

I should go.  Lots to do before tomorrow.  

Take care my friends, we will talk again soon.

From the Missionary:

As promised here are a few photos of Elder Schmidt from his last Zone Conference/Interviews with President Smith.

Quote of the Day:

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