Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Can't believe I forgot to tell you something ultra cool that happened on the day we left for Craig. Christy is doing so much and constantly impressing us, I can't keep up... Christy had to go to the bathroom and Don was going to carry her in. Christy said, "No. I want to walk myself" So Don supported under one arm and Hanae under the other, and Chris walked, slowly to the bathroom. She followed direction from Donald and went step by step. On the way back I got to help her with Don. This time she preferred to side step most of the way. Side stepping was the most comfortable for her at that time & it worked!! She is one tough girlie. Her determination is unreal! Kainalu took video on his camera of the entire walk to the bathroom!! He's great with his camera. He has been talking pictures of mom and everyone & offering them to me to use on the blog!!

Today was another fabulous day here at Craig! Colorado has been unusually warm here. The sun is shining and it's great! Maybe we brought some aloha sunshine with us, too. Craig hospital set us up in a huge family living space. it's a a one bedroom apartment with a full kitchen, dining table, couch, 2 TVs, large bathroom & laundry service (for sheets and linen). They even give you dishwashing soap, pots & pans, detergent for the dish washer! We received a little gift bag too with granola, shampoo, a toothbrush, gum, bottled waters, candy, etc. they even fold the towels into shapes like the fancy hotel! Wow! They really know how to make you feel welcomed! Alan and Luis took us shopping so we could fill the refrigerator with some food! We missed breakfast and lunch here today. I guess they only serve at certain times. On the first day they told us that we could eat at the patient mini-cafeteria in the gym, and the soda fountain is always open. We're a little shy, though because we're not sure if we heard right. Also, there is a refrigerator with water 24/7 and coffee for us. That part was clear that we could help ourselves. Everyone has been so cool!

So, I missed Christy's first drink of real- strait from the can- drink of Diet coke this morning! The speech therapist was explaining that a recent study showed that carbonated drinks function like nectar thickened liquids. Remember Christy was on thickened liquids (honey consistency) at Queen's Hospital. Honey thickened liquids are thicker than nectar thickened liquids. Necatar thickened liquids are thicker than regular consistency liquids. Thicker liquids are easier to swallow, don't move as fast in your mouth, and make you at less risk for aspiration (going down the wrong tube into your lungs!) Anyway, the speech therapist Malia was testing Christy with all kinds of foods- good ones! She went out and bought those little powdered doughnuts and let her eat one of those too! Unfortunately, they won't let her eat those or bread products now because it was too hard to chew and it got stuck on the roof of her mouth. Malia mentioned that Christy had a high pallet and that it made it even harder for Christy to move the food around. Christy is still regaining full control over her tongue and is practicing moving the food around and chewing! Food still gets stuck on the roof of her mouth & we just have to check and make sure it goes down eventually. Christy is making improvements every second, though. At lunch when she ate stuffed shells with marinara sauce, she had a hard time licking the food off her lips. At dinner, she was licking the food off her lips!! This girl is doing more and more every hour! Christy really enjoyed the stuffed past a shells! She wanted to eat it all. We have to give her Small bites and alternate bites with a drink of diet coke for safety! Christy drinks with a straw too which is harder than from a regular cup! Because Christy is able to swallow diet coke with no problems, they said that she should be just fine with regular liquids! yay!! So good-bye thicken up! "Thicken up" was the powder they used to thicken anything she ate.

During lunch Donald fed her sitting on her bed. One bite at a time, then a sip of diet coke. A Craig staff member sits in the first half of the meal to make sure we're feeding her correctly and safely. Christy is so cute & is regaining more and more of her personality. She is joking with us more and more! When Don was giving Christy a sip of diet coke she got too much and almost choked. Donald said, "Come on Chris, you're gonna get me in trouble" "We're being graded" referring to the staff observing. Christy tells Don "what do you mean, How is it my fault when you screw up?" "Figure that one out?" She is constantly making us laugh. Don and Christy are getting more and more playful too. Before, Don would be the only one cracking jokes. Don was sitting on the bed, feeding Christy, rubbing her thigh and waiting for her to chew her food & swallow it. Don tells Chrsity lovingly that he has some fresh peaches for her on her tray once she finishes her pasta, so hurry up and chew! Christy says with a grin "I got some fresh peach for you right there!" Ha! We're all cracking up at her. I told her careful because I'm going to put it on the blog and she cutely says "Go, I don't care!" She's so great! The speech therapist was out of the room for that one!

The physical therapist came after lunch. they wanted to get Christy in her wheelchair. they ordered one with a tilt on the seat, so the front of the seat cushion is propped up higher than the back of the seat. There are foot rests, a head rest, torso braces, and the whole chair tilts back in a reclined sitting position! There is a timer on the back of the chair and it alarms every 20 minutes. That is our cue to recline Christy or sit her back up. They are big on adjusting her weight while sitting in the chair so she doesn't get pressure sores. Today was the first time that Christy got to sit in it. It needed some adjustments, though. So we went into the gym and the therapist were fumbling around the tool shelf trying to find the tools to shorten the leg rest. They ask Donald if he has any idea which tool to use to loosen the nut, and Mr. Don Fix it says "I think that's a 1/2 inch", goes in the tool cabinet, pulls out the tool and adjusts it! Donald is a wheel chair mechanic now too! The jobs he's conquered while he's been taking care of Christy! The cool part is that when Donald was finished, Christy commented "Hows my chair? Cool ya?" When we asked if she was comfortable, she said, "very comfortable". Makes us happy when she is comfortable!

Chrsity cruises around in her own clothes while she's here. Today when we were getting her dressed with the therapist, she wanted to pick out her own clothes and colors. When I brought out her tee-shirts, she asked us if she was wearing jeans (because that would determine which top she chose!) Before we left her room to cruise, Christy wanted to see herself in the mirror. So I pushed her up against the sink so she could see herself in the mirror. She said "who did my hair?" I said "me, real fast", and she said... "whoah.. I'll do it again!" We loved it! Christy got the brush and tried to brush her hair, but the coordination in her arm and hands are making it hard to do what she wants with it. The brush was just waving above her head. Donald told her "you're not brushing your hair you know", and she laughed, and said "I know (stupid), It's real hard though!" We all were laughing. Christy is very aware of what is going on, but just has a hard time getting her body to do what she wants it to do for her. Christy was commenting that her hair was "CRAZY!" so we got her some leave in conditioner for her today. Christy asked for her lipstick and bushed her hair with her fingers instead. She's good at that! Just look at how beautiful she looked in this picture with Alan. The therapist were commenting that she was such a beautiful woman. Christy never misses a thank you. She says she doesn't feel beautiful but she doesn't understand how beautiful she really is. It is so amazing to be with her these last two days- love her! I admire her playful, strong, witty, loving, determined, sweet personality! That personality is shining though more and more every day!

Next, we decided to take Christy out to the glass walkway and sit in the sun and look out at Pike's peak! Dr. Ripley walked past us drinking diet coke and stopped to explain that it was the goal for pioneers to reach in the 1800's. "Pikes or Bust!" Maybe someone else knows that history. I hope I repeated it right! The sun was pretty bright so Christy borrowed my shades while we sat and looked out the floor to ceiling windows! We have to get her some for the bright shiny days!
(The picture to the left is the glass walkway looking up from the street & that's Chris & Don on it)

After sitting a while on the walkway, Christy asked me, Don and Alan "What are we doing?" Don told her we were just cruising and talking story. Chrsty said she wanted to go to the store! She was asking Donald later to go shopping with us when we left to get food and groceries. Don explained that they were going to stay there and that they couldn't go yet. Christy is so funny.

We were sitting around in the room Christy was eating dinner. She was avoiding the "disgusting beef stew" on her plate. Christy couldn't even swallow it. She spit it out. On the next bite she told Don that he better not put another bite of that beef stew on her plate or she's going to be mad!! We were having a normal conversation laughing our butts off at each other, enjoying one another. Christy commented that this was a "24 hour comedy show"! She's right! We're having so much fun just being with Christy and laughing. The day flew by so fast.

Christy got some sleeping medication tonight again, and slept for a couple hours, then woke up again asking for water. After I repositioned her and adjusted the air conditioning because she was hot, she was telling me "I feel so out of it". She said "I was sgthraushing". After about three or four times of me asking her to say it again, she spelled it out to me... T-H-R-A-S-H-I-N-G. Sorry, Christy. When she is tired it's harder for her to enunciate as well. She said she was tired and I stayed with her and stroked her air with my hand on her chest and she was able to fall back asleep. She's able to tell us now that she's experiencing the restlessness and that she feels out of it tonight! Every day is filled with new blessings! LOVE YOU SO MUCH CHRISTY!

Signing out from Craig hospital, Denver Colorado!

(Christy's room is right above the Craig hospital entry on the second floor)


  1. God is GREAT! I see a bestseller coming on. Your story gives everyone hope and shows what love is all about. Thanks for the awesome blogs. Christy, you go girl!

  2. DAMN!!! there goes my eyeliner

  3. She looks so good, yes Christy you are very beautiful Please Please someone "ALAN" write a novel on this journey...

  4. OMG! I was just cracking up big time reading an idiot, sitting alone I was literally busting out laughing reading this! LOVE IT!!! What a wonderful way to start out my day!

    Hope Christy has another incredible day! Keep up the great work all of you!

    Love to you all!
    Charla and Wyatt