Thursday, June 30, 2011

Christmas and New Years

Our insurance, after some bickering, approved Dennis for botox injections in his neck.  This is a different botox than what they use for cosmetic purposes and it really helped the stiffness in his neck. We had our second Christmas home and my whole family comes for Christmas Eve.  We had a ball.  My great nephew Garrett went to the bathroom and came out and said Grandpa (my brother)  they have a hospital bed, come look!!  He was excited. It was nice to have everyone there and daddy was feeling pretty good.  Dennis felt better than last year so we were getting life down to a manageable state.  I still missed Dennis and I staying up after everyone had gone to bed on Christmas Eve for just "us"time.  Dennis is very tired at the end of busy days and is usually ready to go to bed.  New Years Eve came and this time we went to some friend’s house and had a great time.  Nothing lifts your spirits like good friends and good food!  But it still tugs at your heart for things past.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Zeke and Kirby

I have always had dogs.  When Dennis and I got married we got a poodle named Pepper and had him when Whitney was born.  I love them and I will probably always have them.  For the five months we were gone my two schnauzers, Zeke and Kirby, were here by themselves.  They have dog doors and people were here every day working , but at night they were alone.  About early fall Zeke started acting funny and he wouldn’t eat.  We would try everything.  Ice cream, cheese, peanut butter but nothing would do it.  I tried to force feed him but he would go out and throw it up.  We took him to the pet hospital and they told us he had anorexia.  I couldn’t believe it but I looked it up and it is common in dogs brought on by a lot of things, one being stress. Great! Guilt again!  We tried everything but one day Jan took called me at work and told me she was taking Zeke to the hospital and they had to put him to sleep.  Another loss, more tears….

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Care Pages

We have met many people through our journey so far and each one have blessed us in ways we can’t even tell you.  People we didn’t know before the accident and met along the way.  People in our own town we didn’t know very well but have become such friends and prayer warriors.  People who we still haven’t met but they write us in care pages and we feel like they are very close to us.  When Dennis had his accident Nancy put his page on care pages.  It’s a website that people with any illness of accident can get on and you can update their progress.  We stayed in touch with people from Fairview and they would encourage us every day.  We still use care pages and it still blesses us.  A woman reached out to me on care pages and her name was Lisa Rose.  Her husband had been in a car wreck and she wanted me to know she was there and she cared.  Her graciousness truly moved me and I was so grateful for her letters and words of encouragement.  Her husband had a lower spinal injury so he had the use of his arms but their journey had been long also.  He has since learned to drive his car and I think they are doing wonderful.  She had written me because of someone else on care pages that had just had an accident named Jason Cayko and she thought I should reach out to them.  He had dove off of a pontoon boat in to shallow water.  His injury was the same as Dennis’s and he was also on a vent.  He was in his 30’s with too small boys and lived in Fairview, Montana.  They were at a hospital in Minnesota and we wrote back and forth on care pages and email.  His wife Jessica and I talked a number of times and also Jessica’s mother and I emailed each other.  They took a lot of different courses of treatment and actions than we did but everyone has to decide what is best for them and everyone has different opinions.  It was nice having someone out there that knew what you were going through because it seems like a very lonely world out there.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Thanksgiving part 2

Since it was Thanksgiving, Dennis and I decided to sit down and write a list of what we were thankful for that year. Here is what we came up with.

1) We are thankful that Dennis had friends around when he had his accident. They saved his life.
2) We are thankful that the OU trauma nurses were so caring while we were there and also for the unforgettable people we met.
3) Cheri is thankful Dennis was so drugged that he thought Max, Blake and Grant had taken him to the old gymnastic shed on Broadway while he was at Select rehab.
4) We are thankful for TIRR for bringing Dennis back to the land of the living.
5) We are thankful we had such great friends and family during our 5 month journey.
6) We are thankful for the awesome friends and family who are still going through this journey with us.
7) We are thankful for the wonderful memories we have of really special friends who are no longer with us.
8) We are thankful for our daughter Whitney. (Even if she can't choose a major)
9) we are thankful if we get to help someone that is in need.
10) We are thankful for all the people who are interested in our care pages. We never feel alone.
11) We are thankful that God's promises are true and he has sent people, situations, and circumstances to remind us of that.
12) We are thankful for our family who have sacrificed so much for us.
13) We are thankful that God is on the throne and He will never leave us or forsake us

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Thanksgiving came and things were getting a little easier.  Urinary Trach Infections (UTI’s) are something the spinal cord patients have to deal with on an ongoing basis.  Dennis’s OT man, Eric, had one while we were in Houston and of course Dennis would not be the exception.  With a dose of antibiotics you can clear up the infection but the antibiotics wreak havoc on his system.  But, it’s not something we can’t handle and life goes on.  During Thanksgiving time a friend we had met on care pages, Lisa Rose, wrote a poem to her husband who was also having a birthday.  Whitney and I thought it summed up our feelings exactly.

To My Husband on his Birthday

Thank you for choosing to fight against fate
when the Dr. announced you were at Heaven's gate

I watched you endure months of extreme pain and sorrow
in attempts to be around for just one more tomorrow

Thank you for remaining so true to yourself
while so many circumstances jeopardized your health

I know that you think you aren't the man you used to be
but for me and the kids that's not what we see

We see such strength and courage each day
it's just that it's not in the old average way

We see someone overcome so many obstacles to live
and on top of it all you continue to give

You give of yourself
to make our lives go on

You push thru so many difficulties
and continue to press on

So thank you so much for choosing to live
our lives are so blessed by the love that you give

Never lose sight of your faith in God's plan
with hope and determination I know that you can

You can live your life to the fullest you'll see
with us by your side there isn't a thing you can't achieve

Please remember on your birthday and the upcoming year
nothing will ever matter more than having you here

Friday, June 24, 2011

Best Friends


I had mentioned earlier that at this time I had 3 best friends, Cathy, Debbie and Jana.  Cathy had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer about a year and a half before Dennis’s accident.  It was probably up until that time one of the most devastating moments of our life.  She had never smoked, her parents hadn’t smoked and by the time they caught it she was at stage 4.  I will always regret not being able to spend more time with her during her last days.  At the end of October she went to sing in the choir in heaven or, knowing Cathy, being in charge of the choir!  My emotions were so raw after going through Dennis’s ordeal and now Cathy I couldn’t hardly get a grip.  While my daughter and I sat in Cathy’s funeral I thought, “why God?  I do not understand any of this.”  I have a lot of questions when I get to heaven, but I know that when I get there we will be reunited with our loved ones and our questions will all melt away.  Can’t wait…..

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I had to learn how to change vent circulation hoses.  I had to learn to change the filter in a vent.  I had to learn to do trach care and how to watch for pressure sores.  I had to learn what was wrong when the suction machine is clogged.  Dennis has a suction machine because he cannot cough up stuff like we do.  So where his trach goes into his throat you have to hold a hose there and he coughs and it gets sucked through that hose into a suction machine canister.  If it gets clogged you have to figure out why.  I had to learn how to change a filter on the suction machine.  I had to make sure we had the supplies to last on all the machines.  I had to make sure all the meds were in the container for the right times of day.  This is not very much but trying to do this and work and clean and do yard work was a little overwhelming.  I had a great support system in Dennis’s dad and mom and my mom.  They helped me during the day.  I don’t know what I would have done without the friends and family we had.  But it still frazzles your brain.  To go to work and get out of caregiver mode into banking mode them to come home and get out of banking mode into caregiver and yard keeper mode.  There was no just Cheri mode and I missed that.  I didn’t get to come home at noon, kick back and watch my soaps with no one around and relax.  Once again, selfish? Possibly, but it was my feelings all the same.  I didn’t get to run and go to Alco whenever I wanted.  Or run and go to Enid on a whim.  Or even go see my daughter whenever I wanted to.  Now I had to make sure all bases are covered and I always, ALWAYS feel like I’m on a time limit. You feel like you are putting everyone out just to have one day for yourself and you feel like you have to justify having that one day off.  These feelings were hard for me to cope with because then the one feeling that was always lingering in the background, guilt, would surface.  It was just hard.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


It was Homecoming week and Dennis went to the parade.  All the things they told us at TIRR were true.  Some people would come right up to Dennis and visit away like old times but some would not even make eye contact.  True, Dennis’s wheelchair complete with the tray for the vent and all the hoses coming up and around and plugging in to his throat, look scary but I was really hoping that people would see past that and be more receptive.  I had to take a good hard look at myself during that time.  Would I have been one of those people to just come up and talk?  I don’t know, but I do know that I would now.  Also, a lot of people didn’t know Dennis could talk or eat for that matter.  He was very blessed in the fact that he passed his swallow test early on and can eat anything he feels like.  He had lost a lot of weight during these months so we were feeding him like crazy and he also had to drink Boost with protein which has lots of calories.  He was getting fattened up fast and that was not a good thing. (Story to come later)  We finally ventured out and did some shopping in Enid.  Christmas was a few months away so I thought we could take some test runs.  When you go shopping it makes you feel like you are the only people in Northwest Oklahoma in a wheelchair.  Are there any people that have a level of injury close to Dennis’s?  When do they shop?  Do they all go at a certain time because we never see anyone?  I wish we knew someone out there that was in the same boat and maybe it wouldn’t feel like we were all alone. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


This was the summer I got to learn how to go yard work.  Now I always did the gardening but Dennis did the yard work.  Right before his accident he had bought a Dixon mower and he couldn’t wait to get to use it, but he only rode it one time before he had his wreck.  Well, to me a mower without a steering wheel was really weird.  I had Whitney write down the instructions and I laminated them and took them out with me when I mowed.  Then I learned to caulk, not well but I did learn.  I learned to push mow and I really enjoy doing that.  But then the 104 degree weather came it wasn’t quite as enjoyable.  I couldn’t keep up!  The watering, the mowing, the working, the washing all the vehicles, the whatever.  Of course, it was at this time that our daughter, who was not having a good summer, was in a car wreck with a friend of hers.  Really God???? Really?  Some friends came over to stay with Dennis and I ran to the hospital.  I made it there before the ambulance arrived and a friend of hers had taken a picture of the car and her on the stretcher on his I-phone.  Not smart.  They came in and the girls had scratches and bruises and had to stay overnight.  Unfortunately, I could not leave Dennis to stay with Whitney.  Whitney was having a rough time, I think a lot of it stemming from the accident, and I couldn’t stay with her.  The other girl’s mother stayed and I knew she would be alright but it broke my heart to leave her.  Right then I had another feeling I hadn’t acknowledged before. Bitterness…and it’s ugly.  But we got through the summer and cooler weather arrived.

Monday, June 20, 2011


July came and once again we are reminded of our Grand Lake trip. We visited at the Carlisle’s the day before they left and I was so sad. We love going to Grove and spending the week there. It feels like a home away from home to us. But we were not ready to go anywhere this early on and you put on a happy face and thank the Lord that you are not in Houston and go on one day at a time. Summer came to a close and we went into fall and football games. Dennis got to go to a couple of games, and it worked out well as long as he was in the van. Cold air makes his neck ache, with the muscles tensing up and that brings on a severe headache. Headaches are what Dennis has to deal with the most right now with low blood pressure also. Any time there is a fall in barometric pressure or when he is getting out of bed, his blood pressure will drop. It is something SCI (Spinal Cord Injury) patients have to deal with but it is very annoying. We can be out to eat and if he eats a lot his blood pressure will drop, so you have to lay back and prop your feet up and it’s not something you really want to do in the middle of a restaurant. But we have!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


The summer was going well and as a caregiver you feel like you always have to be upbeat and positive and happy. On the outside I was all those things but on the inside not so much. Summer was always Dennis and I’s favorite time of the year. Since our daughter had gone to college we had gotten closer and really enjoyed spending our time together instead of focusing on her and the activities she was involved in. Summer was working in the yard while Dennis was in the shed working on something. We would run to Canton to eat at El Charro anytime the mood struck. Every Saturday he was off we ate breakfast at Frank’s and a hamburger at noon in Eastside. On Sundays we went to church and then headed to the lake with friends. We had this routine for many years and it was so hard to know that it had come to an end. I’m sure even more so for Dennis. But I felt like I had to keep a happy face and keep morale up and it really starts to wear you down. On one hand you feel guilty for having these feelings and on the other hand you feel like you need someone to support you. So I started a new Sunday tradition that we still do to this day. After church we go to Dennis’s dad’s pool with friends and spend the day relaxing. This tradition has kept our sanity.  Dennis can't swim but there is always someone sitting at the table visiting with him while the girls get their beauty tan.  :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Letter Jacket

Our friends from OU Medical center Shearl and Mike sent us a picture of their son Mickey.  It was so good to hear from them.  We were now in the process of getting Dennis a motorized wheelchair and it came through.  It gave Dennis and me so much more freedom. 

Dennis had his 49th birthday and we had our anniversary.  We were praising God that we had come this far and also asking God to sustain us for the remainder of the journey.  Our one year anniversary came and we realized what an amazing journey we had been on.  We have met people we will never forget and made lifelong faith filled friends but we have
also seen many people who have had so much sadness and nowhere to
turn. We have come to realize how important family and extended
family are. But through all of this we have come to celebrate that
we had God walking right beside us through every second of this
walk.  Dennis got an honorary letter jacket and Whitney and Kris went up on stage with him to receive it.  Debbie held me while I melted down as usual.  He loves Fairview sports and I don’t think he missed a game and it didn’t matter what grade he was usually there watching.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Year's Eve

We had a great “first” Christmas and we thought about all the people that were spending their holiday at TIRR and OU Medical center.  We had met one young boy at TIRR who was paralyzed and didn’t have any family.  He literally lived at TIRR.  That was his home.  His family was scattered and they didn’t have the money or really want the care of him.  It broke our heart thinking about them and also made us very thankful to be home.  New Year’s Eve was approaching and I kind of went in to a funk.  We had spent every New Year’s Eve with a great group of friends and we opted to stay home this one.  Always before at midnight Dennis would put his arms around me and have our “this is going to be a great year” kiss.  My heart was breaking because that wasn’t going to happen this year, yes, we have our kiss but his loving protective arms can’t go around me.  That evening we had some visitors come over on New Year’s Eve, Dawn and Kaiser Webb, John and Delena Hardaway and Debbie and Max and it made the evening more special.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Dennis was awarded an honorary letter jacket and Whitney and Kris Ewbank went up on stage with him to receive the award.  Kris has been a faithful friend through this entire journey and I was so thankful he went up there with him and said a few words.  Kris and Tammy Ewbank have been the best prayer partners anyone could ask for. I, of course, cried and Debbie put her arms around me and cried right along.
We went to a couple of football games and we could park close enough in the van.  Once again those old feelings of what used to be stirred in my heart.  My friends Cathy Eischen, Debbie and I would sit up in the bleachers and visit while our husbands watched the game.  But somehow God guides you through all of those “firsts” and it does get easier, it doesn’t go away but it does get easier.  We had Thanksgiving and Whitney and I decorated for Christmas.  This was another “first”.  I had to put the tree together and string the outside lights.  Thank goodness Whitney has inherited her dad’s gift because I couldn’t pull it off.  This was a huge revelation to me because this was the second time I had to do something I wasn’t used to doing.  First I had to learn to drive the Dixon lawn mower and now this.  I also had to learn how to start up the generator.  I made notes on all this stuff and laminated them so I wouldn’t forget.  This was out of my comfort zone! As the Christmas celebrations moved closer we tried not to look at what used to be and look at the wonderful things to come.  My family was still together and we were celebrating the most wonderful gift, God sending His only son to die for us that we may live with Him.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Friends's a God thing

The town had a poker run for us and a friend of ours from Enid, Bret Cue, had an online auction of motorcycle clothing and gear things he had collected from friends of his.  We could never repay what we had been blessed with financially and manually and spiritually.  We vowed to try and be the best prayer partners and do anything else we could possibly do to sow the blessings on to others that we had reaped.  That was very hard for Dennis and me because Dennis was the person who always went and helped someone else.  He loved Make a Difference Day and he loved helping build our new church.  It is very hard to open yourself up and let other people help you when you have been so independent. We have friends that still help us to this day in every way possible.  We have a connection and love with our friends that go way beyond family ties.  Dennis always says it’s a God thing and that is so true.  There are moments in your life when you need to look at your core group of friends and thank God for bringing those people in to your life.  For us they have been there the whole journey long.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Trying to cope

I went back to work and it was very hard at first.  I would drive past Mom’s Daylight Donuts and expect to see Dennis’s pickup there.  Every time I saw a blue pickup I would think it was Dennis.  I missed those little things like meeting him for a hamburger every Saturday morning at Eastside or going to Lowe’s for no reason.  I missed him holding my hand during prayer time at church or putting his arm around me if I was cold.  It is those little things that you take for granted that I missed the most.  This is where you feel guilty being a caregiver because you miss these things.  You look at your loved one and see what they have been through and what they are missing and you feel like you shouldn’t have these feeling, but you do and it is a human emotion.  It took me a long time to not beat myself up over these feelings and I never expressed them to anyone else thinking they would judge me. I think it was Creflo Dollar who said the church body loves to crucify their wounded.  That was what I felt like.   I started this blog for caregivers and I am going to stay true to that course.  These feelings I will be talking about I am not always proud of and will be not so popular at times, but they are true feelings and I think unless you have walked in a caregivers shoes you don't have a clue. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Settling In

We settled in and we were working the kinks out.  We had met with Dr. Klinger who we had never met and we all got our flu shots.  It is very important for caregiver and patients to have their flu shots.  We met Donna Almack who was our home health nurse and we settled in to a routine.  Larry and Jan came over every day and got Dennis up.  My mom was the cook. ( Stories later because mom only cooks with lots of grease and 2 temperatures, off and high.)  Our church family and a lot of other friends brought over food every night.  I don’t think we had to cook for a month.  I got busy working on our poor yard and loving on my poor dogs, Zeke and Kirby.  Kirby had gone blind while we were gone and Zeke was a very anxious dog now.   I was very anxious about how Dennis was going to fill his days and how bored he was going to get.  Would he dwell on these things and sink into depression?  My first night I walked into the kitchen about dusk and I looked in the back and I could see the trees and the street in the park.  I wanted so badly to see Dennis’s blue and silver pickup coming around those curves in time for supper like I had for years.  I sat in the middle of my kitchen floor and cried and grieved until my mom came in and said ok we are taking one day at a time.  It’s ok to grieve but let’s put one foot in front of the other and get through this. Then we cussed motorcycles for awhile and I felt better.  

Friday, June 10, 2011

Going home

The day was approaching. Terri, Don and Nancy came to Houston and we packed the van and the car. Terri and Don left with the van and Nancy and Jan headed out in the car. Dennis and I were alone in Houston with one more evening before facing new giants on the home front. . In a weird way they were almost scarier than the ones we already faced. But I was so homesick I tried not to think about what was to come. We said goodbye to our favorite people at TIRR. Our little aid Leila, who was always so chipper and I loved having her for the day and the OT’s and PT’s and all the nurses and helpers. You become very attached to people when you are away from home. Saturday Sept 30 finally arrived and we were going home!! One of our friends, Kaiser Webb, had a friend who lived in Houston. His name was Greg Karber and he was going to come and take us by taxi to the airport and then take the wheelchair from TIRR back to TIRR. Max had gotten Mike McMurphy and EMT from Fairview to fly down with him and Dennis’s brother had an acquaintance that let us use his plane to come home in. (God things!) Greg came and got us at 10:30 and the cab came around 11:00. We were driving in to the airport and I was looking at all the planes. I saw one and started praying that it was not our plane. About that time Mike McMurphy came down out of the plane. Oh Lord! It was so small, I needed medication! We all got in and started for home. What a sight when we pulled in to the Fairview Airport. All our family and friends there to greet us. I was so emotional. I found my mom and just started sobbing. I would never have to sit in a muggy humid courtyard by myself and cry on the phone again.  

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Countdown came and we had about a week or less.  We still did not have a vent but it had been shipped.  We had to do some training on it so it needed to get here.  Our lift was on backorder but Larry’s Home Oxygen was going to let us use one of theirs.  It seemed like it was one thing after another and of course it was meltdown time.  My mom told me to just take a breath and rest in the Lord.   A few days later we got our vent, of course it was minus all the cords.  Plus all our supplies that were coming home in the van didn’t get here.   But a few phone calls and everything were handled.  One of our vents was different from the other so I had to have two training sessions.  We are getting so very anxious to get home; we had been gone five long months!  We also knew that it is going to be very hard and we were warned that people will treat you differently and may not even talk to you at all.  Dennis and I talked at great lengths about that and we even had some laughs because people have a tendency to speak really loudly when they are talking to him.  Debbie, Max and I always laughed at that but Dennis would just smile.  We knew our life was going to be very different but, we had no idea.  I was reading a book that this passage was in and I had to tuck this in my heart.  It said, “We need to be walking so close to the Lord that we hear His voice in the midst of any upheaval in our lives.  We have to trust Him so thoroughly that we will follow Him wherever He leads us.”  It also said that no matter how dark the night of your circumstances get, remember that you still have a light.  It comes from Him.  It’s in you and no enemy can put it out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Not fun things that happen in Houston

Dennis and I were outside eating a much anticipated Kentucky Fried Chicken dinner when these people across from us in the parking lot started yelling at each other.  They lifted their trunk and Dennis and I heard a loud pop.  I looked at Dennis and asked him if he thought that was a gunshot and he said yes.  So goodbye KFC dinner and back into the building we went.  Another night we were sitting out in the courtyard and all of a sudden there are helicopters flying over us.  Now, we didn’t think much about it because in the Medical District the medical helicopters are flying in all the time.  But this seemed weird because they were hovering right over us.  I told Dennis we were going in I was not comfortable with the situation.  We went in and turned on the TV and there was our building and the trauma center right next to us on the news.  There was an illegal alien being transported to jail and somehow he got the officer’s gun and shot him 5 times in the back.  The officer was at the trauma center right next door and the news helicopters were the ones hovering over us.  I looked out my window and what a sight.  People were everywhere on the other side of the building. There were a lot of police officers standing vigil.  It was very sad, but it just makes us more thankful we live where we do.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Vans and Vents!

Day 44 at TIRR Day 129 altogether.

Miracles of miracles!  Haley found us a van or I should say God led Haley to a van.  It was right here in Houston and it belonged to the President of the Disabled Veterans Assoc was the owner.  It is amazing what God will do when you finally give Him the steering wheel!  Now we needed to get the vent situation under control. Once again I tried to get it under control and God had it taken care of all along just waiting for me to hand him the reins. I had promised my mom I wouldn’t say the word vent for a whole day.   The vent finally arrived from the Christopher Reeves Foundation and also the one we bought came.   Cuff deflation was going well and we were getting ready to have a 24 hour test where we take care of Dennis without any help for 24 hours.  We kept getting pictures of our house and we would get so emotional from all the love people were showing us.  They people in Houston were in awe of what an awesome community we lived in and I think they people of Fairview really touched some people’s hearts.  The days started to go by faster and faster.  Our shuttle bus driver Berdia even kept track of the days with us.  The closer it got to coming home, the more I started to panic.  I kept asking Dennis, “Do you feel safe with us?”  He would tell me to stop worrying and let God be God.  He is in control not you or me. I was reading a book that said: when your whole life is shaken, when the circumstances you face are so overwhelming that you feel like an ant in the face of Mt Everest, look to God and see His awesome power.  Stand before the mountain and say “Lord, where I am right now, I declare to be holy ground.  I invite you to reign in this situation, for You are greater than anything I am facing.”

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Carlisles

Debbie and Max came back for another visit and this time they put them to work.   They took suctioning classes and both got signed off for caring for Dennis.  The nurses said they weren’t going to let Max leave he was so good.  Our next big obstacle was a van.  We searched on craigslist and EBay but no luck.  That was when I just had to turn this one over to God.  Haley was going back to Fairview so we packed some stuff in her Tahoe to bring home since we would be on a small plane.  Once again Debbie and Max left and we all cried, but this time we know our time is winding down here.  But, we also know our life is going to be very different from now on, so as happy as I was to go home, a part of me was grieving deeply.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Car Show

They were having the car show in Fairview and that has always been one of Dennis’s favorite events.  He would get our little Honda 50 and enter it in the burn out competition!  As I was reading about it in the Fairview paper I wanted to cry out.  Why is the earth still turning?  Why are people still going on with their daily lives?  Why isn’t everything and everybody as affected as we are?  But of course, I knew the answer because life does go on and the world still turns and people continue their daily lives just as we had before the accident.  I think when you go through something like this you become a whole lot more in tune to what other people are going through.  As things were winding down at TIRR, Dennis and I had a long talk about how hard it was going to be for him to go home.  We talked about seeing people for the first time and how they were going to react to him.  We knew people would treat him differently and we were trying to prepare ourselves for what was to come.   It was going to be hard not getting to go to work and having to watch me to go work every day.  There were a lot of things to talk about and we both cried and cried, but the bottom line was I didn’t care how much of a hardship it was going to be as long as Dennis was still here with me. I couldn’t imagine my best friend not being at my side every day.  1 Peter 5:7 talks about casting your care and that was what we were going to do.  We know it’s going to be hard but we have each other and God will direct our paths.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Unexpected events!

One day Jan and I took Dennis for a walk and before we got back his vent battery ran out.  We calmly got the ambu bag and kept walking.  When we got inside the building we plugged the vent in and called upstairs.  Obviously, the vent battery does not last 7 hours, it lasted 30 minutes.  That same weekend Mike and Sheryl Ewing came to visit us.  They took Jan and me out to eat and then the next day we played Bingo and then they had to leave which of course made Dennis cry which made me cry.  We got to watch OU football on T.V. which made Dennis very happy except that it was the infamous Oregon game and OU lost on a horrible call by the officials.  Dennis did cuff deflation for a whole hour which was great.  We had 25 more days before we get to go home.  We talked to a couple here that had been away from home for 17 months.  He was severely burned over 98% of his body and was in a drug induced coma for 7 ½ months.  I felt so bad for his wife because I was feeling sorry for myself and the little time I spent while Dennis was out of it.  I couldn’t imagine being by myself for 7 ½ months.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


On the home front our house renovating crew had to widen the doors, they put a wooden floor in my bedroom and took a wall out in the shower so the trolley we gave Dennis a bath in would roll right in.  Debbie headed up the painting crew and they painted my bedroom which is huge, from a plum color to a sage green color.  The put French doors in my bedroom also.  The team renovating the garage was doing a great job also.  People in Houston were simply stunned when we showed them pictures of what our friends were doing.  They couldn’t believe that people would come together and do that for other people.   We had to get a line that goes to the generator for Dennis’s vent in case the electricity went out.  We had to get a generator!  The Lion’s Club in Fairview came through and found us a generator.  On the Houston front we had 30 days to get things in order.  We thought we had a vent from the Christopher Reeves foundation, but miscommunications happened and they only had 12 to give and we didn’t get one.  Desiree was the new head Respiratory Therapist and she went on a mission to find a vent.  I had ordered a bathing trolley on eBay and had it delivered to our house.  I ordered the supplies we would need and the cabinets to house the supplies.  A hundred things go through your head at all hours of the day but I knew one things for certain, I was going home and I couldn't wait!