Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28th

Happy 15th Birthday to Jared and 17th for Jason!

I think this has to be THE best birthday! So grateful to have Jared here and doing so well! HE is an amazing teen!

Jared is making great progress everyday, yesterday he used his right hand to write some thank you cards! Nice job Jared!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

March 24th

We went to the first speech therapy, Breanna feels we should do therapy at least two times a week for the next three months. Tuesday we go to our first occupational therapy. Jared doesn't use his right hand like he should be, he claims it is broken and that he is left handed. With therapies running two-three times a week for three hours, they don't want him going to school for awhile. However, they decided that if he takes one "fun" class on the days we don't have therapy, it may be okay.

We went to the school and talked to the vice-principal and enrolled Jared into a foods class. Hmmm.....I may rethink that one, Jared is not able to use knives, and he has a problem with impulsivity still...that could be hazardous!

After much begging by Jared and his friends, I allowed Jared to stay at the school for an hour to attend an assembly. Only, after explaining all the hazards, precautions and help Jared would need. Several girls were more than willing to circle around him and create a barrier so he wouldn't be knocked down. That was a little scary for me to let him go, but I survived.

I think Jared would also benefit by going to seminary a couple of mornings, so I think that is what we will try to set up next week.

It's been a little difficult for me to get back into the swing of real life again. I like to sleep in late with Jared and then it takes us all day to do nothing. But, that is all about to change with therapies starting. We go tomorrow at eight am, yikes!

Jared loved being back to school and showing off his scar! He is pretty proud of it, he says he wants to keep his hair short so everyone will be able to see his battle wound. He's still funny!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Miracles - March 22nd

After receiving phone calls and texts asking how we are, I decided I should probably update...

Jared is doing AmaZiNG! He got his fifty stitches out yesterday and then we went for a haircut. Now his hair matches all around. He's looking pretty slick!

Tomorrow we go to our first Speech Therapy. Wish us luck! We should find out when he can go back to school, IF his mom allows him too!! He actually asked me today if he could go tomorrow with the comment, "Mom, take advantage, because how often will I ask to go to school."

Things have been pretty quiet, although I have learned that going grocery shopping is too much for Jared and me...I feel like I'm shopping with a four year old. After a small tantrum in the store today, we came home and we both took a two hour nap.

I am amazed at how the pieces of this miracle puzzle continue to roll friend Jessica stopped by on her way through town on Monday night. Talking with her, she reminded me how I mentioned before, that our move to St George was going to be a rescue for Jared. Perhaps, more than we will ever know!

I received a phone call today from the helicopter pilot checking on Jared. She mentioned that she was talking with one of the emergency room nurses and he said he fully expected Jared to hemorrhage out before they could land in Vegas. When he heard that Jared was walking and doing great he was surprised.

She then told me how St George has only had a fixed wing until January 18th, just thirteen days before Jared's accident. To help you understand what that means...TIME, time Jared did not have. If they were still using fixed wing Jared would have had to be transported by ambulance to the airport and then flown to the Vegas airport and then take another ambulance to the hospital. This is precious time that he didn't have. I am so grateful that they had a helicopter. The pilot told me that the other reason why she called was to see if we could be their WOW Story. The community of St George helped to fund the purchase of the helicopter, and they want to do a story about Jared. A while after I hung up from the pilot, I realized how important that piece of the puzzle was, to have a helicopter ready to leave immediately. Miracles continue...Miracles are all around! It's been a little bit of an emotional day recognizing everything that has happened. I know that our Heavenly Father had all of the pieces lined out and ready for Jared's rescue.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 17th

We made it to St George on is good to be back home! The young women's group put up cut out balloons and posters all over our door to welcome Jared was awesome!

It was strange letting Jared sleep in his own room, it was like having a newborn again...I don't know how many times I got up to check on him, but he did just fine.

Last night the youth group came over to see Jared. We are lucky to be living in a wonderful ward. I will miss it dearly. We will be moving to a home in a month, I will miss the friends I have made here.

The swelling in Jared's face has almost gone away...almost. He is doing well and his memories of St George are returning. Some of his friends have stopped by see him.

Thank you for your continued prayers. Jared begins out-patient therapy next week, then we can find out when he can go back to school and for how long. He still gets tired in the afternoon, but overall he is doing better.

HappY St. PatRiCks DaY!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

March 13th

Jared has been running a fever all day and his poor face is swollen. I ended up taking Jared back to the hospital at four this morning because of his fever. It was weird I was dreaming that he was running a fever of a 101.5, when I woke up I took his temp and that's exactly what it was. I took him in and spent three hours there, he is okay now. I just gave him some lortab, the first one since seven last night, and he is loopy!!! He is finally feeling better from the fever.

I cooked dinner tonight for the first time in six weeks! We had our traditional "fun" St. Patty's day dinner! Enjoyed some family.

He is so funny right now...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

March 12th

Back in Tooele until Tuesday.

We were released from the hospital at 11 this morning. I wasn't expecting to get out until late afternoon. Jared did so well, he was released early.

Jared only needed morphine for the first two hours after surgery. Then he only used lortab twice in the next fifteen hours. He hasn't used anything since nine this morning! He says he feels great. Jared had to have a drain line pulled from his scalp and a CAT scan, everything went smooth and he looks awesome, even though he has only half of his head shaved. You would think they would shave it all, considering how much they charge for surgery!

When the doctor told him we could leave he stood up and did a little dance in the hallway. We went and spent some more time with our little friend Bella before we left. We are so excited, she started walking on her own yesterday, she is amazing! We wish her continued success!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The famous sleeping chair in Las Vegas

PS - Thank You for your continued prayers!

Surgery Success

Surgery was successful, all is well. No extra blood was needed and things looked really good. Dr. Riva-Cambrin said they will send Jared to a regular room instead of PICU. Jared will have another CAT scan tomorrow and if everything looks good, we can go home-to Tooele. Yes, we have to stay another couple of days in Tooele for safety precautions.

We will go home Tuesday or Wednesday. As much as I love Tooele and still call it home, HOME is where Lee is.

In surgery

Jared was taken into surgery a few minutes ago. He was laughing himself silly!!!! Yes, they pre-drugged him...thank heavens for good medicine. Jared asked the anesthesiologist if he would wake up, his response was "what are you going to do if I let you wake up", that is what sent Jared into major giggles.

As I was in the family surgical waiting room, a man came in yelling "I need to find my granddaughter they said she died." As the nurses tried to calm him, he became extremely irate yelling louder and pounding on the counter. Security was called and he was tackled and is being held by the police. Scary? A little, but I was more concerned that he is just so upset, now everyone in the waiting room is talking, loudly, about the incident and being extremely negative. How easy for people to judge, I feel really bad that he is now in custody and can't get to his family. After all, he is just frightened, and it flooded me with memories from the beginning of our journey. I finally left the waiting room for some quiet. One of the nurses asked if I was upset, of course I am, at how insensitive others can be. The police even brought in statements for people to fill out so they can keep him for as long as they can. I did not participate. I just pray for this stranger and hope he will find some peace and will be allowed to see his family.

Surgery Day

Yay we made it to the hospital and so did the bone flap! I received a call from the hospital this morning, the anesthesiologist was looking for us, they thought we were still admitted in the hospital. When they found out we were gone they were quite concerned that we didn't know about the surgery. Glad someone called last night.

We arrived with Jared excited and happy to be getting his skull back...until we hit the elevators, then the anxiety kicked in, I felt so bad for him. He was begging me to let him go home. Jared's biggest concern is that he will wake up during surgery. After some consoling, he asked me to say a prayer for him while he said his own. After, he asked if he could get a blessing. We asked the nurse who located some elders in the hospital to come and give him a blessing. Again, I am grateful for the church and for the priesthood that worthy men can hold. One of the elders happened to be one of Jareds techs from our stay, that added some more comfort. Jared is doing well right now and his anxiety is gone.

Dr. Riva-Cambri is doing his surgery and they expect it to last about two and a half hours.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 10th

Wow, so I am learning how to have a LITTLE patience. We didn't get an answer about surgery until six thirty tonight!

The bone piece is SUPPOSED to be here by 8 am tomorrow morning (Friday), surgery is scheduled for 11:30. If his piece DOESN'T show up....I'll let you know what the new plans are, because I sure as heck don't know anything until it happens!

Wish us luck, AgAIn, and thanks for your continued prayers!

Going away party at PCH

I never shared about the going away party that was held on Tuesday.

Jared made his favorite dessert, Pumpkin Cheesecake. He was so excited to share the recipe with everybody, which I will share at the bottom of this post.

Jen, one of our favorite nurses, went to ask Abby, another little girl at the unit, when she would like to have her party (she was scheduled to leave later this week). She told Jen she wanted hers with Jared. She is so cute. Jared chose to give Abby the doll that the Yorks brought in on Friday. She loved it, thanks York Family!

It was a great party, they had a couple of kids that Jared knew from the unit come in and then some techs and nurses joined us. Jared was so cute he was handing out the cheesecake and he made sure everyone was served. At least he still has his manners, other than burping in the lunchroom!

We both fell in love with another girl that is two years old, she is such a doll. Unfortunately her story is much sadder than Jareds, she was shaken by a man, not her dad, that harmed her so bad she is now blind among the other challenges that come with a traumatic brain injury. She loved talking with Jared and would come over to his room to say goodnight. I wish her parents both the best of luck and pray that they will be able to return home soon. Bella has a special place in our hearts! We already miss her. Her mother and I exchanged numbers so we could keep in touch. We hope we will be in town for Bella's going home party!

Jared is so cute with the little kids, I have loved watching him play with them and share in their joys and triumphs! Jared is a very gentle and loving teen!

Jared's Favorite Dessert ~ Pumpkin Cheesecake (Jared says to try it, even if you don't like pumpkin pie like him, you will LOVE this recipe.)

1 pre-made Graham Cracker Crust
1 tub of pre-made Philadelphia Cheesecake Mix (buy it in refrigerator section, by the cream cheese)
1 small can of Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

Mix cheesecake and pumpkin together, pour into pie shell and refrigerate for about an hour


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March 9th

Yes we are in Tooele, we were discharged until Friday.

Dr. Such-Neibar, who has been Jared's primary doctor, felt that his anti-depressant meds were the problem. We are weaning him off, tonight is the last dose, let's hope this was the problem and the agitation will go away soon. He does seem to be better today.

So a funny from yesterday: When Jared heard that the hospital hadn't located his skull piece yet, he put his helmet on and started walking down the hall, when asked by a tech where he was going he replied, "to hire a lawyer, I'm going to sue them for losing it, how hard is it to attach a tag with my name and file it in the freezer."

Yesterday when I arrived in town Jared was upset that I wouldn't let him go hang out with his friends, so he tried to run down the street. Aarrgghh, try reasoning with a teenager that is throwing a temper tantrum like a four year old (I know that's typical) but I couldn't pick him up and put him in the car, I'm sure it was quite a scene for the neighbors...ha ha!

But, we both did some yelling and crying and got it all together! I think he finally realizes he has to be cautious! Had a great night sleep, Jared slept for about twelve hours. I am having him sleep on a mattress on the floor, I'm worried about him falling off the bed.

We went shopping today and saw Sister Barton, what a treat for her and us to spend some time together. She is such a wonderful lady, we love her very much. Her comments to Jared helped me to stop and refocus on what a miracle he is...I am grateful for her words!

Tomorrow I am going to treat myself to some me time, going for a pedi!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Changes - Never Ending Changes

Yes, we are headed to Tooele this afternoon!

Plans are for surgery Friday, BUT they still can't find his bone flap. It's not lost, they just can't find it....What! If it is not here by tomorrow surgery will be postponed until the 17th. UGH!

I still haven't found my patience! Does anyone have some I can borrow?

Monday, March 7, 2011


In a world full of change, ours changes again...we are NOT getting out of here tomorrow.

Jared has been out of control and refuses to do therapy. The attending doctor came in and recognized there is a problem, finally someone sees what I have been struggling with the last few days. They are going to change his meds and keep us here for the rest of the week. This is frustrating but yet it is a relief in some ways. I am not prepared to deal with the behavioral changes that Jared is struggling with, besides a brain injury, he is a teenager! NOT a good combination.

I hope that the new meds will help even Jared out. Another part of the problem is Jared recognizes that he has learning problems but he won't acknowledge that there IS a problem.

I have had my own epiphany....this will come as a shock to others, beacuase i can be just a bit of a CF - I CAN'T DO EVERYTHING! Now I just need to learn how and when to ask for help.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 6th

We busted out of this place for nine hours....

Went to Tooele and enjoyed time with family, went to church had dinner with Grandpa Ed and Grandma Margene.

I think the last two days have been a little tiring for Jared. He took a nap from three to five. He is now ready for bed and it's only eight o'clock!

We weighed Jared when we came back to the hospital, he is now up to 114 lbs.

We only have two more days of therapy (in the hospital) hooray!

I am grateful for the opportunity I had to go to sacrament meeting in my old ward in Tooele. The fourteenth ward has a special place in my heart and always will. I want to give a shout out to the ward, I have so many friends and loved ones there. I consider all of you a part of my family, thank you again for your testimonies and prayers. I am truly blessed. I had time to reflect this morning about my drive to Vegas, one of the things that kept my mind occupied was counting my blessings, no matter what was to happen, I am truly blessed. I am grateful for the priesthood, for father's blessings and for the sacrifices that the Prophet Joseph Smith made so that our church could be restored.

Count your blessings!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

March 5th

Today was awesome!

Jared had three straight hours of therapy is morning. At one point it became too much, so we had to take a break for a few minutes. I was able to help refocus Jared and he finished the session strong.

We were allowed to leave the hospital around eleven and didn't have to return until six o clock. YEAH! Spent the day in Tooele with family, then went to Salt Lake to a reception and then had dinner with Kayla and Justin. Great day! Can't wait until tomorrow. Hope to see many more.

If you would like to visit us in Tooele tomorrow, give us a call. We will be available from noon until two. We will also be back in Tooele Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Give us a shout and come visit. Please remember if your sick, just give us a call. We have to keep Jared healthy for his surgery. Thanks!

St. George, we will be home Saturday (fingers crossed)!

March 5th

Yesterday was pretty rough for mom! This reality check was pretty hard for me to deal with. If I have a hard time getting Jared up and ready for therapy in the hospital, HOW am I supposed to do it on my own when we go home? He is so difficult because he "thinks" he's all better. Aaarrrggghh.

I played the why game for about a minute, then I changed my question to what do I need to do and how do I do this. I don't have the answer yet, but I hope I find it soon. I do know that finding the answer begins with faith, prayer, PATIENCE, and hard work.

When you have a child with a brain injury the nurses are trained to talk with you and teach you about the injury and things to expect. Yesterday as I talked with Dave, I told him my concerns, all he told me was I needed to find my own balance. Not very helpful at the moment, but I better understand that this morning. How can someone tell you your balance? I will have to find my way.

Jared had a great day. He was frustrated that I would ditch him to go to dinner with Brandon, his fiancée and Jackson. I had a great time playing grandma with Jackson, he is sooo cute!
When I came back to the hospital, the York's were here visiting and keeping Jared entertained. Guess what, the York's bought Jared a UofU blanket, I'm sure that was painful (they are diehard Y fans). Brigid also brought Jared a doll with a homemade quilt, ahhhh. She brought it so Jared could give it to one of the little girls here on his floor.

After therapy this morning we are allowed to leave for about four hours. Yeah. not sure what we are doing yet. We will be going to a reception tonight for Brandon's friend. Jared is excited to be leaving this place. I have to say, I am too.

Friday, March 4, 2011


The neuro-surgeon just came and gave us the new plan:

Release on Tuesday - 8th
Surgery Friday morning - 11th
Home Saturday!
This is all contingent on his bone piece being here on time. If it is not here in PCH's freezer by Tuesday his surgery will be cancelled until the 17th. Apparently, human bone is considered hazardous waste, so there is tons of paperwork to have it transferred, the FDA has to track the bone until it is replaced. Crazy!

We will be able to have visitors next week while we are in Tooele for three days. BUT, you cannot be sick! If Jared gets sick his surgery will be cancelled. We will let you know how and where to visit us later this week.

Changes, this is where I have no patience! Wish us luck today!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

March 3rd

Tough afternoon, major meltdown and a case of reality set in today.

Jared had a major meltdown this afternoon when his OT told him she was going to have his left arm put into a cast, because he doesn't want to use the weak arm. Yes, they will cast it.

He decided he would run away again, this time he made sure to put his helmet on and grabbed his wheelchair and tried to escape pushing the wheelchair down the hallway (all I could do was stand in the hallway and laugh, so I wouldn't cry). So of course the unit was put on lockdown! He was yelling at everyone!

Reality set in with me that this is still going to be a long road to recovery. When you see Jared, physically he looks awesome. We will still be working on memory and learning challenges. He will have to continue therapy on an outpatient basis, which takes priority over schooling. We don't know what kind of deficits he will have for a few more months.

Jared now weighs 111 lbs.

We are on the countdown to go home - 8 days!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March 2nd

Yesterday was another fantastic day! Jared did awesome in all of his therapies. He jogged on the treadmill and down the hallway, walked three flights of stairs to see the helipad and played tag with me in his wheelchair outside. His friend Marcus came to hang out and play xbox. We went to teen night upstairs and played UNO spin with two other adults. No teens, what's up with that?

We think we finally have things narrowed down...Jared will be making pumpkin cheesecake for a his release party on Tuesday. Wednesday is pre-op day. Thursday is surgery to replace the bone piece. Friday we are headed home to St. George! Yeah!

We will be in Tooele on Sunday, I am trying to "plan" a little friend time, so watch for the announcement to know when you can come and visit.

Today has been great for therapy but it is a very quiet day! The Hammonds from Tooele stopped by to visit and Jared's friend Hayden is here hanging out for the next three hours. Hayden brought his guitar to teach Jared how to play, music therapy brought up a guitar for Jared to practice with. I'm hoping he will like guitar and want to take lessons, it IS safer than boxing. Yes, he is still trying to convince me he needs boxing lessons!!! Like that will happen in this lifetime.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March 1st

What a beautiful spring day! Jared and I went for a walk inside the building and he asked if we could go outside for some fresh air. We went up to the third floor where they have a large patio. As I pushed Jared's wheelchair outside he began breathing heavily, he said "I'm trying to get all the air I can before we have to go back inside." Great Strategy!

Jared was able to get dressed 100% by himself today, this included tying his shoes and doing up the button on his pants!!!

The Neurosurgeon just stopped by, he told us Jared is ready for his bone piece to be put back in...if they can locate it. He thinks he will do the surgery in two weeks, because he will be out of town next week. There is a small chance that he may put it back next Monday before he leaves town....

It will be inserted using dissolvable plates not glue...they do things different here than UMC in Vegas.

BTW...the young man that was in a coma next to Jared's room, is now breathing on his own and is beginning to wake up. We are so excited!!!

Yesterday a gentleman from St George stopped by to check on Jared. He is a high councilman that was asked by the Stake Presidency to stop by and check on us and to send their love. I love our church, these are men that we have never met before, but I know they truly care and love us. The high councilman is here because his four year old has cancer, please say a prayer for her, she will have surgery next Tuesday. Her name is Jessica.

Missing Lee today, can't wait to go home!

Today Jared has a friend coming to visit, he is so excited! He loves company.

Jared is such an inspiration to me. I can't imagine what it would be like if I were in his shoes, I don't think I would have the same strength.