Wednesday, August 19, 2015

We've come a long way baby!

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) My Co-workers/Bosses who watch out for me and help me out along the way.  Thank you for all you do!  I couldn't do it without you!

2) My husband for being so understanding.

From the Camera:

We've come a long way baby!!!
When this all started, Kevin couldn't roll over in bed alone.  The nurses had to help him.  Sitting up in a chair took 10 to 15 minutes and the assistance of therapists to get him up and moved to the chair.

After some time in the Rehab Center Kevin was up in a wheelchair with lots of assistance from their team of therapists

Getting dressed was a huge undertaking and Kevin required help in the beginning.

Now Kevin is able to do all of these things by himself and he is moving in and out of his wheelchair without assistance and that is nothing short of amazing.  He still cannot feel his legs, but there is hope that Kevin will walk again.  Now we start the outpatient therapy portion of Kevin's care.  This man, my husband, is a hard worker and is determined to do this.  BUT, like his therapist reminded him, he cannot over work to repair his injury.  He has to allow his body time to heal, and these things take time.  We are proud of this man for all that he has accomplished.  He is amazing! 

From the Craft Room and Other Cool Things:

Aren't these cool??!!!  I think they are.  You could use your recycled keys to make a unique gift for someone.  Love these!

From the Heart and Spirit:

“Each of us is under a divinely spoken obligation to reach out with pardon and mercy and to forgive one another. There is a great need for this Christlike attribute in our families, in our marriages, in our wards and stakes, in our communities, and in our nations. We will receive the joy of forgiveness in our own lives when we are willing to extend that joy freely to others. Lip service is not enough. We need to purge our hearts and minds of feelings and thoughts of bitterness and let the light and the love of Christ enter in. As a result, the Spirit of the Lord will fill our souls with the joy accompanying divine peace of conscience.”
–Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Point of Safe Return”, May 2007 Ensign
From the Kitchen:

Easy Cheezy Sausage Biscuit Bites !! 
2 (10 count) cans flaky biscuits (Grands Jr)
1 lb sausage (Tennessee Pride)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Mix uncooked sausage and cheese gently until well blended. Shape into 40 balls of equal size.
3. Remove biscuits from cans and separate each biscuit into two layers, making 40 total biscuit layers. Press one layer of biscuit into cup of lightly greased mini-cupcake pan. Repeat with remaining layers.
4. Place sausage-cheese ball in each biscuit cup. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until biscuits are browned and sausage balls are bubbly.

From the Schmidt's:
Have you ever gone to bed feeling like you forgot to do something?  I felt that way all night last night.  When I woke up this morning I jumped in the shower and when I came out of the restroom my memory kicked in and I realized what it was that I forgot.  Once I realized what it was I ran into the kitchen and check the monitor.  We only had $2.00 left on our SRP.  Yikes!   I rushed back into my bedroom to get ready for the day.  While I was blow drying my hair a co-worker text me to find out if we had to dress up for work today.  I text her back using just my thumb.  All I could manage to type was one was,"No."  I thought about that for a moment and I attempted to text again with just my thumb, this time saying, "Jeans OK."  As I was blow drying my hair my son came into the room and told me he would just get to SRP later in the day.  Then he went out and checked the monitor and realized we needed power right away.  Thankfully Kyle offered to run and add money to our power card.  When I was done with the make-up, brushing the teeth, and fixing the hair, I went out to the living room to find put on my shoes.  Lexi was in the dining room making her lunch and stuffing food in those little sandwich baggies.  I got the dog some water after I put on my shoes.  Then when Kyle got back to the house I was ready to run out the door, but Lexi wasn't.  I had to wait another 5 minutes for her to finish getting ready.  When we ran out the door I was already running late (or at least I felt late, I leave so much earlier without having to wait for someone else, even if it is my little buddy Lexi), and I hate being late!  I rushed Lexi to school, dropping her off at the Seminary building, and then driving off the get on the freeway.  Thankfully traffic wasn't bad and I managed to get to Phoenix in good time.  Once I was in Phoenix I stopped for a soda and drove up the hill to my office.  When I arrived at my office I grabbed my purse to locate my badge.  Once I scanned my badge on the security strip outside the revolving doors I was good to go.  I was officially at work and not late!  Yes!  I was still 20 minutes early for my shift, but again, I usually get there earlier, so I felt late.  When I got to my desk the co-worker that sits behind me was standing up just at the back of my desk talking very loudly to the rest of the team.  She wasn't talking about anything work related, she was just making small talk.  I unpacked my bag, unlocked my desk, and started to log into my desktop.  I sent off the daily reports and was logging into my phone as I received a message from my boss wanting to schedule a little meeting with me.  We have these from time to time just as a mid-year check kind of thing.  This was something the entire team goes through at some point or another, a few times a year, and it was my turn.  My meeting was scheduled for a half hour at 8:30.  Each morning I have certain phone calls that must be made and depending on the work load, it can take a few minutes to get through all of them.  I hurried through those calls and began taking phone calls.  Each call brought with it a new issue that needed to be resolved, which meant additional phone calls to other groups and other firms.  By the time I was nearly done with one, another call would come through.  Then a new list of outbound calls to be made.  This time the list was quite long.  I finished up with the last outbound call about a minute before my scheduled meeting.  After my meeting I went on my break, thinking a little time away would allow me to regroup and come back to my desk refreshed and ready for more.  How wrong I was.  The calls came one right after the other and again with each one a new issue to resolve.  Right before lunch one of our bosses was standing at my desk asking, while I was talking to someone one the phone, if they could get me anything from Dunkin Donuts.  I must have looked a little frazzled because she walked up to me and grabbed my shoulders and asked me what was wrong.  I told her that I this was a rough day and I was ready to run screaming from the building.  She of course, just smiled because she has seen this look before on all of us at one time or another.  Needless to say, the day continued like this right up until the first shift left for the day.  By this time I realized the part of the cause as to why I was feeling like I was in such a haze for the better part of the day.  I forgot to take my thyroid medication!  AND, after seeing my doctor last week I cut my dosage down to what the bottle says I should be taking. You see for about three months or more now I have been doubling the amount I take each day.  The reason??  Well, because I feel much better when I take double.  My joints and knee do not hurt at all.  I don't have super dry skin, my memory is much better, and I do not feel like I live in a fuzzy fog. AND I don't feel like I'm on the verge of getting sick either.  Imagine that?!!  It was working in my opinion.  Needless to say, When my doctor saw me in her office about a week ago she kind of freaked out when I told her what I was doing.  She told me I shouldn't double my dose because doing that could cause me to have heart palpitation, have tachycardia, a heart attack or worse...die!!!  Seriously???  In my opinion, I am much better with the higher dose.  I do not feel like my heart races, I feel mucho better.  So, we agreed to run my levels again, since it has been since May 2014 since my last level was taken, (not my fault) and then if the lab work warrants changing the dose she will change it.  In the meantime, I fully intend to schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist to have my levels evaluated and talk to someone who specializes in this kind of thing to make sure.  I could be totally off my rocker, and need to know for sure what is right for me.  I feel that my primary care doctor puts me on the bare minimum dose to get by.  From what I have read on the Internet (I know, don't believe everything you read on the Internet) it's always good to check in with the specialist at least once after you are first diagnosed to allow them to run all the proper tests and put you on a dosage and schedule for your medication.  AND I found out that the blood levels are not always the best way to determine the right level of thyroid medication for each patient.  Needless to say, I see a visit to the specialist coming up in the near future.  OR, I may turn to something more natural to control my thyroid, with the assistance of a doctor, of course.  I also found out that all of these break outs, rashes, and swelling in strange places (like one toe, or a finger, or a side of my check) could be from the hormones in the medication I take now.  Who knew???  I've been to my primary care for this stuff and she had no clue what it was, and just put me on antibiotics and gave me a steroid shot.  I believe this is all tied together.  I was not taking any thyroid medication for about a week prior to my appointment and all the swelling went down.  As soon as I started taking it again, the swelling, the rash, the marks on my body are back again.  It's crazy, I know!  For the longest time I thought I was allergic to the grass or something out front.  Now, I just think I am allergic to my thyroid medication and need a change.  I wish I could say my thyroid medication has been the reason for all the weight I've gained and that would melt away after I stopped taking the medication, but that would be too easy.  So as to not have any of the other side effects, I will continue to take the medicine until I get my lab work done and can check in with the endocrinologist.  More on this later.  Needless to say, I think my issue today was due to NOT taking my medication, and a slight lack of sleep.  Time will tell, more to come.....
Kevin is getting closer and closer to being discharged.  I didn't hear anything about his weight issue.  Remember me mentioning this the other day?  I guess all is well there.  I'm sure if they were as concerned as they seemed to be Kevin would have let me know.  I'm sure something could always come up tomorrow.  More on that too.

I am really tired all of a sudden....time to take a little nap.
I'll be back in a bit folks....

I am back!

Clearly, today was a strange day.  Honestly, this is a normal day.  I think I was just over tired and needed a nap.  This heat is really getting to me, work is getting a little crazy lately, and I am just stressed with everything going on in my own life.  The fact that I haven't completely lost it is beyond me.  That is a good thing.  Today I came pretty close.  Let's hope the next few days go by without a hitch.  

For the past few months I have been under some added pressures at work.  With that, I could not be out sick because I was needed for this "added pressure" each and every day.  Which made it even harder for me each time Kevin had surgery and with this last hospital stay, I couldn't take extra time off.  I had to be at work and the only time I could get off was scheduled time, no room for unplanned time off, which meant we couldn't have any emergencies in the family.  Well, that "added pressure" goes away at the end of this week and that will ease some of the burden I have.  Thank goodness!  I'm certain this "added pressure" will be traded for another pressure after Kevin comes home.  It's just the way life goes right?  

For lack of a better explanation, bringing Kevin home feels like bringing home a new baby from the hospital.  In a sense Kevin is that "new baby"  and in many ways, this will all be new for us.  For ALL of us.  We will now have to learn how to care for him in some new ways.  I'm a little worried about that since I am not trained to do certain things.  Kevin assures me that he has it all down and I won't need to worry about any of that, and our Bishop, believe it or not, is able to do some of the things I can't, if we need help down the road.   

I have said this time and time again....He is amazing!  I'm talking about our Bishop.  I just hope he knows why he was called to be Bishop at this time and in this ward.  I hope he understands he has what it takes to bless this family, and this ward at this time.  We all see it, and I for one am reminded of it each and every time I talk to him.  He is a humble man, but to me he is a giant!  We love him and his family.  I know his wife knows and appreciates how awesome her husband is.  She is just as awesome and amazing in her own right.  I love her too.  They are examples to me and I appreciate this family more and more as time goes on.  What an incredible blessing they have been for me personally.  My load has been lightened in so many ways because of this family.  They are awesome!

This post has been two days in the making.

After yesterday, I just needed to regroup and tackle this another day.  I hope you understand?

I have to say, I have been thinking about Kevin a lot lately.  Last night after I took my little nap and woke up at 9:30 p.m., I couldn't sleep.  At 11:30 I found myself wandering the Internet for information about SPI's. (spinal cord injuries...incomplete spinal cord injuries to be exact)  Did you know that depression is a big problem for patients with spinal cord injuries, especially those with complete injuries?  I also learned that with incomplete spinal cord injuries after the patient gets over the initial shock of not being able to walk, or use their limbs they have the biggest degree of hope.  Imagine that!  The article I read talked about patients with spinal cord injuries usually experience all the degrees of grief at one point or another, and there are things we will need to watch for once Kevin gets home to ensure that he doesn't have any issues.

I have to say, that Kevin has been inspiring!  That man had two breakdowns that I know of.  One when he first came out of surgery and realized that he couldn't feel his legs, and the other with me in his room.  We both had a moment.  

The other thing I learned is that the primary care giver, meaning me, is also equally at risk for developing depression because the primary care giver feels like the weight of the world is on their shoulders and there is no end in sight.  I think that is interesting.  I can't win for losing.  My under-active thyroid issues can cause depression, now this too.  Oh my!  I'm doomed!  LOL!!!

Honestly, while Kevin and I have had couple small moments where we were upset about things, we actually have experienced more blessings, tender mercies, and miracles through this entire thing.  We feel very blessed!  Kevin said it again tonight when we went to see him.  Now, I know we are all feeling a little nervous and scared about Kevin transitioning to home and we are certain that there will be ups and downs.  Let's face it, no one can be on their best behavior 24/7.  It's just not possible.  I have to say, I am very proud of Kevin.  He has come a very long way.  When we started Kevin couldn't even roll from side to side by himself.  The nurses had to move him and it was a huge production.  Now, he is taking care of himself.  Sure, he is still not walking, but we have made huge improvements, and that is the best part.  

Kevin said a few people have asked him if he intends to sue the surgeon.  Kevin does not.  Even if we find out down the road that this was due to an error the doctor made.  Why? You ask.  Well, because Kevin and I both feel that mistakes happen.  No one is perfect.  We are all human.  Now, please remember, we are not saying the doctor made a mistake here.  We do not know that.  What we are saying is that if we find out that he did, we will not pursue legal action.  The reason we won't do that is because this doctor has gone above and beyond to make sure Kevin received the best possible care available.  He has been involved in Kevin's care the entire time.  He has been awesome before, during, and after each surgery.  The person that asked Kevin this today said, "But that's what the doctor has malpractice insurance for."  While that may be true, we do not intend to make him use it.  We are not the sue people just to sue them kind of people.  We just aren't.  We also feel that we would not receive all the amazing blessings we have received and become abundantly aware of the Lord's hand in each step of this process if we allowed ourselves to place blame and become hardened or heaven forbid, past feeling.  We just can't go there.  It's not worth the price we would have to pay.  We wish no ill will towards anyone that was in the operating room that day.  None!

How can that be?  Think about it.  If we decided to become hardened and began to play blame and let ourselves become angry we would lose the sweet spirit we have felt and the ability to see with our hearts all the things we have experienced, received, and felt.  Sure, Kevin has paid a very large price to be able to experience these things.  At the same time, we have put our trust and faith in our Heavenly Father, and we know beyond any doubt that there is a reason for these experiences.  There is something we are to learn, and something we are to do, as well as an example to set, if you will.  That is far more important that anything a lawsuit benefit us.  I will admit that at first I was the one that started to feel a little upset about this whole thing.  It was so hard to watch Kevin going through so much and not feel some kind of anger.  BUT, that is all it was, a thought.  After discussing things with Kevin and feeling my Heavenly Father right there by my side all along the way, that brief moment of anger disappeared.  I have absolutely no problem with our decision.  None at all.  
I love this scripture.

Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. And ye ought to say in your hearts — let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds.  D&C 64:9-11

It's been a very long couple of days here and I hope you can understand where we are from.  Take care my friends.  I hope you had a wonderful couple of days.  You deserve that, happiness.

From the Missionary:

Hey Everyone,

This Saturday is our baptism!!!  They asked that one of our re-activated members could do the baptism, which will be awesome.  AND then on Sunday I will be confirming them as members.  I'm SO excited for them!!!  They have been investigating the church for a while and their Mom is a member, but she said she wanted them to make the decision to be baptized for themselves.  Yesterday she pulled us aside and said thank you and that she feels that her sons are finally ready.  They are awesome, I can't wait for Saturday!  It's going to be awesome.  Anyway...How are all of you guys?  Anything going on back home?  Is Dad back home yet?  Lexi, who are your teachers this year??  Is there anything you guys want to hear from me?  Any questions, concerns, thoughts, feelings, or impressions?  Ha Ha, anyways have a great week.  :)


Elder Schmidt
Sent from my iPad
Quote of the Day:

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