Sunday, February 15, 2009

February 15, 2009

Hello everyone!  I just got back from the hospital not too long ago.  Kaeo is spending the night there with Christy.  Christy is making improvements every day.  The faith healer came to see her again today.  She has been coming to pray for Christy every Sunday.

Christy sat up in the cardiac chair again today!  No standing today, I think the therapist are off on the weekends.  Have no fear, Donald is doing more muscle strengthening exercises with Christy on his own!  He's incredible.  He has not only gained "on the job training" knowledge from the nurses, but is making up his own strengthening regime for Christy to do while the therapist are on weekend.   Today he would hold Christy's arm out strait and coach her to pull her arm inward toward herself.  She would clearly use her strength to pull in against Donald's resistance.  He tells her to do it five times, and she does.  The first time, when he was exercising the left arm, Christy was pulling in strong and doing the work.  Christy stopped, and Donald told her that she only did four... One of Don's friends who was visiting Chris corrected Don and told him, "No, that was five!"  So it seemed like Christy was counting them out!   That would be so amazing!!  Christy is still kicking the right leg up in the air and out, so that leg is getting a lot of work.  That kicking may be somewhat involuntary, but it also seems like she purposefully feels things with the right foot & toes too.  She may be using it to sense things in her environment.  The left leg likes to stay pulled into the body, bent at the knee and the hip-flexor.  Christy is using her hands more, and grabs her legs and uses them as leverage when she's trying to pull against Donald's resistance!  

The sweetest thing was watching Christy give Donald a hug.  She is still recovering coordination control over her arms, but she can reach them out, and pull Don in.  He was telling her to give him love when he was leaving and Christy stretched out her arms and pulled him towards her and tried to grip his back.  She's really really responsive to Donald, and it's so great.  She laughs with him and does things he asks her to try.  The hug was awesome, and he was saying that she was hugging him real tight and pulling him into the hug real firm earlier today.  love it!

Christy is relaxed and naps off and on. She loves to keep her head up now, and not rested back on the pillow.  She seemed more alert than usual for night time tonight.  She is doing so much more and working hard at it.  We figured out that you can see when she is trying to move around and do things.  She sways back and forth with her entire torso when she is trying to use her strength or move her muscles or move her body.  When she nods yes to me, it's a big nod and you can see her purposefully intending to do it because of the slight swaying.  She has to work to use her neck muscles to nod her head up and down.  We know that Craig will be able to help Christy gain more and more control over her fine motor movement!  We're excited to see what we have in store for us with their expertise in brain injury therapy! 

Sometimes, Christy gets a mad face with a frown.  We are still trying to figure out why she gets upset during those times.  It seems like she's in pain.  The nurses want to give her pain medication which is fine, but we really want to see what it is that is causing her the anxiety and pain.  It's obvious.  Donald was able to encourage the nurse today to call the doctor, so we could try and find out what is hurting her.  We know her stomach was a problem for her before and was causing discomfort and poor sleep/resting patterns. She continues to have a soft stomach and have small amounts of "number two".  If her stomach was hard or hurt her when I pressed on places, we might be concerned something dangerous is going on in there.   It seems like she's clearing herself out slowly and doing well.  She gets a stool softener to keep her regular and to make it easier to get out.  The doctor ordered lab tests for her tonight and they all look normal.  She looks hydrated and is making a good amount of urine.  The urine doesn't look dark, either, so I'm pretty positive she isn't dehydrated.  Her mouth is nice and moist too.  So all of the indications for her to be dehydrated are not.  I think the doctor will come in to talk to Donald more tomorrow.

We are wondering how well Christy can see her environment.  I think she can see shapes and shadows, but not sure how much exactly.  She is very responsive to sound.  People calling her causes her to look in their direction constantly.  We were calling this tracking.  She told Kaeo "yes" the other day, in response to him asking her if she can see him.  The reason I feel concerned is I was observing her actions the other day.  I noticed that Christy would be startled by noises, even though you would think she could have seen the noise coming.  What I mean by this is that I was holding her suction at her right hand side.  I was talking to her close, so she knew I was there.  When she had some drool, I went to suction it and she jumped because the yankauer suction made a sucking noise.  I was clearly in front of her and holding the suction where she could see it approach her and suction near her lips.  The next time I was going to suction her mouth, I told her that I was going to do it for her, and she didn't startle at the suction sound.  I know it is too hard for her to tell us right now how well she can see and what exactly she can see so we may not know until she can tell us.  I don't know of any test off hand that test your vision when you can not communicate effectively.

Christy isn't trying to mouth words yet, but it seemed like she tried to say one word today while she was in pain.  She was sitting with Donald, and was feeling so frustrated, she opened her mouth and seemed like she said one word, but Don couldn't tell because she has the trach.  Remember, the trach doesn't allow air to pass up through the vocal cords and out of her mouth.  Therefore no voice can come out right now with the trach in place for breathing.  They would have to put the speaking valve on for her to talk with the trach. (We talked about this in a previous blog.)  We'll see if she tries to speak to us again soon!

Donald really wanted Thank everyone from the bottom of his heart for all the support, and love and prayer.  People have been so unreal.  He couldn't really find the exact words to express his deep heartfelt thanks, so I'm trying to relay the intent for him... Every day has been amazing for us, especially since Christy has been awake!  Every day we are incredibly thankful for the little accomplishments she makes.  Every day she makes a little more progress and does something new and exciting!  Christy could not have made it though this long, hard, battle without your love and support and prayer.  Thank you so very very much, we couldn't have done anything without you guys.


  1. Hi Gabby,

    I soooo look forward to reading your blogs everyday to see what Chris has tackled for the day. She inspires me to no end!! I think you all are too young to remember the old comic that used to be posted daily in the newspaper. "Love is...", that's Chris and Donald. They're both simply amazing!!!

    Again, I'm all smiles at the thought of Chris finding her way back to her old wonderful self!

    Love to all,
    Charla and Wyatt

  2. I'm amazed on how strong Christy has gotten within a few days...Love will continue to bring her back to her loved ones.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you folks!
    Chanelle and Keoni

  3. Everyday I read this blog, I find myself smiling. It's so nice to hear Christy is gaining her strength and doing so many things everyday. She is a phenomenal woman I tell you, I am just amazed.

    Our thoughts and our prayers are with her & the family always.
    Don, you are truly a blessing! Hang in there, you are doing such a great job!!!!

    Lena & Mahoe & Laboy Ohana

  4. So my daughter Mili posted the flyer on her Alaska Air website to see if anyone would want to contribute towards Christy's medical expenses etc.

    She received an e-mail from a co-worker in Portland that said his sister went to Craig Hospital in the 80's. She was in a serious car accident and had a traumatic brain injury.

    They did such a good job with her that she is now an elementary school teacher and mother of 2.

    Made me feel very good to read this.

    Love ya, Cathi