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2022

I can't believe it's January 2022...or that I survived 2021. Or that Brian survived the crash at all. So, with that, I am grateful that we are both still here. Things have been very busy since we got the new house. Lots of packing, moving, home renovations, trips back and forth to the hospital to be with Brian for therapies. With all of that plus the holidays, I have had no extra energy to update everyone. So without further ado, here are the updates: In mid November, Brian said 'Lauren' & 'Okay.' He hasn't said any words since, but we're encouraged that he may be able to speak and also that he remembers me. Brian has begun spontaneously moving his left arm and fingers.  He has started to activate his shoulders and fully lift his arms (instead of just bending at the elbow). A few nurses have witnessed him sit up in bed (twice that we know of). His head control has improved immensely. He of course has had off days, but the past 2 weeks he seems to con

TBI Education

As we prep for home-care and moving, I thought it might be helpful to share some things I've learned about TBI and how we, as Brian's community, can continue to help him recover. I know that once we are home, there will be more opportunity to visit / help. And I totally understand that it's not easy for everyone to know what they can do to help, or how to help Brian specifically. I've acquired a lot of information and think it is incredibly helpful to share, and I want to encourage everyone to continue to participate in Brian's recovery because there's a lot of things we can do to help Brian's brain, beyond nursing care & therapy. For one - the brain & consciousness is still a true mystery, and it's only as recent as 2007 that doctors started to realize and accept that it can recover & heal. The question is why & how - and they still don't truly understand why certain people emerge and some don't. I find a lot of comfort in the fa

Moving Help!

Thank you to everyone that came out to the GY6 Blue Brew for Lambert & Ellis last night. And for the selflessness of this community that donated to Brian's recovery fund - the contribution made is beyond generous and will ease a significant amount of financial burden as we face new challenges with continuing care at home. It will also allow me to stay by Brian's side longer, which is invaluable. Thank you, quite simply, is not enough. Grateful for this community, and shout out to the Got Your Six Foundation for rallying everyone to play a part, all the time. Because you do more, other people do more, and will hopefully allow Brian, to also do more.  As we approach closing on the new house December 1st, our moving to-do list grows. I put together a sign up sheet to help both of our families start to organize helpers. Any amount of time, energy, muscle will be incredibly appreciated, especially because we are aware we are entering the holiday season. Thank you in advance, and

November Updates

As time passes, this nightmare is getting harder for me. Sometimes I can grasp that time is on our side because the brain needs time to heal. But patience is a virtue and has never been a skill of mine. So most of the time, I'm overwhelmed, anxious, anticipatory, excited to see if TODAY he does something more, something different, shows me he's still here. But I'm tired of celebrating the tiny wins. I want him all back, fully. We all do. I desperately try to remember that fear and faith are both invisible choices, and I'm trying really hard to continue down the faith route. It's not easy. I wish I had anything major to report. But for now, here are the small things: Brian's trach is out is healing up beautifully His swallowing is improving every day (more consistent, quick, and managing his saliva better aka less drool). On Monday he came down with pnemonia, but as of today (Fri) it seems to have cleared. He never showed any major discomfort or symptoms, thankfu

Late October Updates & Prayer Requests

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Hopping on with this week's updates. I'll keep it short and sweet: On 10/16, Brian's 33rd birthday, we were able to spend the afternoon outside with family & lots of friends!  Two weeks ago, Brian had a mini storming episode before I left one night. I bought Brian a ring that tells me his blood oxygen and heart rate and as I was leaving, I heard the alarm go off that his HR was in the 100s and he visibly started to look uncomfortable. The urgent care team came to monitor and they trusted my input and treated it as neuro-storming with a nitro glycerin patch and it solved his elevated HR and BP. He's been stable ever since! We are pretty certain it was triggered by allergies, but it could also be a random incident indicative of healing (hoping for the latter). On Saturday, Brian received the flu shot, which made for a sleepy weekend.  Tomorrow, Brian will go for a swallow test in the morning to see if we can start giving him blended solids (like apple sauce) and other

Early October Update

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I haven't updated because September was a whirlwind in so many ways. And I truly just wanted a moment to stop feeling like we are in a fish bowl and be take the time to be more in tune with myself and present with Brian. With our 3 year anniversary coming and going on 9/22, I was very much just trying to get 'through' it. Celebrating solo was hard. Best friends and family made it easier for sure, but anniversaries are special because they belong to the 2 people involved. And my other half is still unable to consciously be present with me. Quite a different anniversary than we had dreamed up or celebrated before.  But anyway - here's overall how the month went: After we got back into the brain injury unit at Shirley Ryan, they gave us a discharge date of 9/21. At that point, we had only been accepted into one long term care facility in Illinois, which was in Arlington Heights. It was (and is) a great option as they are newly renovated and just received a grant to do brai

Early September Update

We made it back to rehab Thursday. It wasn't without a fight, no surprise. I'm so tired of fighting hospitals. Overall, I guess Brian is an anomaly to the doctors, which I suppose I'm not mad about because I always hear my mom's voice in my head when things don't go according to plan..."God works in mysterious ways." So they kept him admitted for about 5-6 days to monitor his heart and run every test possible. Everything turned up normal. No complaints from me, but also maddening because he was just losing days of rehab, laying in a bed. The low heart rates resolved and Brian was stable as all get out. Their solution was to slightly adjust some of his meds and that's about it. Friday I spoke to a few different doctors and they are now concluding that since Brian is a fit guy who was active pre-injury, they believe his lower resting heart rates to be attributed to a healthy heart, since all the bloodwork and tests they've run are normal. So at this