On January 6th, 2010 Alex suffered a gunshot wound to the head...given 3 HOURS TO LIVE ....this is our story of survival and how God continues to work in and through our lives!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SCHOOL HAS BEGUN.... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!

WOWEEEWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!  All I can say is LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH! I know we are not supposed to ask for patience so I won't.... but I need something along those lines, lol!  Today we got started on our compass odyssey classes... I opted to start with Ecology... WHAT WAS I THINKING, LOL.  5 lessons, 2 quizzes and a chapter test.... 2 hours this morning and another 3.5 this afternoon.... Thank God my mom was here to teeter back and forth with keeping his attention on the assignments and tests.  Thank you God that it was auditory and that I didn't have to read all that to him.... I for sure would have gone over the edge, ha ha. On the first quiz he made an 8 out of 10 - on the second quiz he got an 8 out of 10.... chapter quiz 18 out of 20!  WAY TO GO ALEX!  Funny thing with these quizzes... I was sitting right there with him listening to lessons.... paying attention or so I thought and half the answers I would have picked and thought he was picking wrong answers... HE WAS GETTING RIGHT!  I sooooooo would have failed, lol!  PROUD OF MY BOY TODAY... I had to keep him motivated.... he kept wanting to push school off to Thursday telling me that today was his day off.  I was the bearer of bad news to say... you don't have anymore days off during the week... only Saturday and Sunday :0/  Two other courses that are set up for now are US History and Algebra II.  LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH!

Tomorrow we have therapy so we won't be doing any schooling as it wears him out and I don't want to overload him.

Can't wait to see what amazing things he does tomorrow... stay tuned for video's of his new tricks! :0)

PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP!
Lisa

PS  Please pray for me with this whole new added pressure of school.  It is really going to overwhelm me however I am trying to stay positive and am focusing on the fact that HE WILL GRADUATE with his class.... AND WALK!

BACK FROM TAMPA----NICK IS NOW 21! WOW!

HAPPY HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY MY SWEET  NICHOLAS!!


We partied "Jersey Shore" style, lol



















The Jacksonville crew that made the trip to celebrate with Nick.
Tia, Emily, Me, Nick, Lauren, Katie


Here is one of my proudest moments of Nick..... BOY CAN DANCE!



I thought I would start today's blog off with a little tribute to Nick since he was birthday boy this weekend and is now an ADULT....aaaaaaaaaahhhh.  He grew up in the blink of an eye however will always be forever considered one of my babies, lol!  What an awesome weekend we had with him and I owe a HUGE BIG THANK YOU to my dear friend Rhonda Smith for sacrificing her weekend to come with me so that she could watch Alex while I spent Nick's 21st birthday celebration with him.  THANK YOU MISS RHONDA.... I LOVE YOU DEARLY!

A very special thank you to Nicholas' fraternity PHI DELTA THETA for raising money and presenting Alex with a check this weekend!  WOW.... YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME and we couldn't thank you enough for all you did over this past year with raising money and having a blood drive for Alex.   WE LOVE YOU!
















The brother's were awesome with Alex this weekend and made him feel like he was one of the gang.....but then they always do when we come for a visit.  Alex is usually the life of the party and him being in a wheelchair didn't change a thing.  What a great group of guys.... thank you for a great welcoming special weekend for all of us!

Today, back in J'Ville it was back to the grind for Alex and our weekend getaway seemed way too short, lol!  I have some video's of today's therapies.... SO PROUD!

Here is one of Alex getting out of the car by himself :0)  OUR LATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT... HUGE!!



Below is a video of something I'm sure we ALL take for granted..... being able to roll over or get on our knees.  Here Alex is learning for the first time how to do those very tasks.... not so easy... something that we don't think twice about doing... it just comes natural.



Below is a video of Alex walking today.  Before I began to video the therapist actually let go behind his back and he had NO idea that he was walking by himself lol.  In this video she is barely holding on to the belt ... basically resting her hands.  He has NO idea or he would freak out!  He doesn't give himself the credit nor does he trust that he is strong enough to walk on his own.  GOTTA WORK ON BUILDING THAT CONFIDENCE :0)



Below is a video of Alex doing toe touches on a ball.  This is to get him to trust the left leg more and put more weight on it making him more comfortable with walking and trusting.



All in all I was very happy with Alex's progress today.  He kept joking with me all day telling me to go wait in the car for him and to get the video out of his face, lol. If he does something great he wants me to video... if not... he wants me to get out, hahahaha.  I love watching him and I feel like he is a little bit closer every day to being able to walk on his own.  A light at the end of the tunnel if you will :0)

We got home in time to turn right back around and head out to Baldwins open house for Brooks.  Thank God mom came with me because Alex wanted to go all over the place.  He cracks me up with his chatter box self wanting to talk to anyone and everyone .......... asking if they know him and what happened to him, lol.  He wanted to meet ALL of Brooks' teachers and make sure that they knew he was Brooks' brother!  He even made it a point to RAISE HIS HAND, lol and ask Brooks' English teacher what kind of grades she made at Baldwin after she announced that she had graduated from Baldwin!!!  HE TRIPS ME OUT!

Tomorrow we have the day off... Hospital Homebound teacher Miss Denise Zember is coming out to set up computer and make sure we have everything squared away for when we get his schedule later this week.  Then school begins for us.....not sure whether to be happy or stressed lol.

Heading off to beddy bye land.... long day and I'm completely exhausted.

Have a great day!

PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP!
Lisa

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Alex gets evaluated for reentry to School!

Duval County School Board sent a physical and occupational therapist to evaluate Alex to see where he is at with his recovery and what special needs he will need upon going back to school.  Special needs such as.... bathroom facilitation, transferring from wheelchair to desk, assistance with walking, an assistant to help with reading/explaining assignments, etc.  I'm not quite sure Alex is ready to be in a classroom setting as I have said before... I think it will overstimulate him and he will not be able to focus...too many things going on in the classroom for him to question or cut up, lol.  I am going to speak to his doctor to see if we can't get him back onto his ADHD meds and see if that helps him focus a little more.  With a traumatic brain injury, I am told it intensified his ADHD by like 100, lol!  NICE!  Those of you that have known him since he was little... you can only imagine what I am talking about, ha!  He did great at therapy yesterday... as always... he was showing out a little because he knew he was under observation... imagine that!  Below are some of the video's I was able to take after the evaluators left. 

The below 2 videos are of him trying to learn to balance, strengthen and trust that left leg.  This part of the therapy was a little uneasy for him as this was a NEW thing introduced to him yesterday.  By next week we should see a huge improvement as she works with him more.  He still had a great attitude... always with a smile...THANK YOU GOD!





This is my favorite and I could watch it over and over.... he has come such a long way since January!  So proud of you ALEX MICHAEL ROSS!



It looks as if Alex will be taking 5-6 classes online from the house this first half of the school year.  My goal is for him to be back in school by January so that he can experience Prom and graduation with his friends.  NORMALCY!  In speaking with the evaluators... we all agreed it is beneficial for him to have some social interaction with kids his age, his friends, and get him back on track as he was before this happened.   As it looks now he will be taking, Geometry, Chemistry, Ecology, English IV, American History and possibly Algebra II.  LORD HELP US ALL!  This is where my TOTAL faith in GOD kicks into OVERDRIVE, lol!  He's bringing me to it..... He will bring us through it!  We get 4 hours of a hospital homebound teacher a week.  Tuesday and Thursdays from 9-11.... God Bless her, she is certainly in for a treat, lol.

We are heading to Tampa Friday for Nick's 21st birthday and looking forward to seeing all my college children that I have adopted since he began at USF!  Alex is always the life of the party when we go down there.... of course back then he was running up trees and walls doing back flips and jumping out of trees and such, but everyone is looking forward to seeing him and I think they will all be amazed how far he has come. You gotta see it in person to really appreciate and comprehend the gist of it.  The short videos that I post don't even come close.  It's to have a conversation with him.... and revel in his wit and the spontaneity of it and his humor..... GODS TRUE MIRACLE!

I probably won't blog until Sunday or Monday.... depending on what time we get back Sunday.  Thanks again to all those who continue to send me encouraging emails..... you are my little angels sent from Heaven!  LOVE YA'LL!

Please continue to pray for us.....THE PRAYERS ARE WORKING.  School is going to consume me and stress me out completely, lol!

PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP!

Lisa

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Faith is not believing that God can- It is knowing that He WILL!!!

Today was a much better day for me....THANK YOU GOD!  Mom came with breakfast from chick fil A, played cards with Alex...let him cheat to win (what gma's do) and cooked chicken and dumplings for dinner....THANK YOU MOMMA!  Susie came over... we watched a movie,  got my nails did then to Target (one of my happy places,lol) !  GIRL TIME...thank you Shushi! :0)  Heidi and Carly came over tonight... we walked a mile and a half...taking turns pushing Alex around the neighborhood lol..... GIRL TIME....Thank you ladies!  That's just what I needed today.... things to take me away from my real world for just a little bit.  I don't need much....but I do need ME time every couple of days atleast :0)

Alex took it easy today... stayed in his boxers all day on the sofa.....Just what Alex ordered, lol.  He told me last night that all he wanted to do today was lay around on the sofa... HE GOT IT!  He has been working so hard at therapy, his body needs a good rest like that to prepare for the next day.  Tomorrow we are back to the grind... physical and occupational therapies... the school board is sending people out to evaluate him while at therapy... all part of the processes we have to go thru to get him back into the school system.  He'll be trying to show out tomorrow FO SHO!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my followers who sent me warm encouraging emails and pep talks.... THEY REALLY WORK and put a smile on my face.  Keep the prayers coming.... Lord knows we certainly still need them.  Hopefully I will have some more video footage tomorrow of Superman!

Thank You God for one more day with my Handsome boy, AWESOME Family and treasure chest of Friends!  LOVE YA'LL!!  xoxo

Stay Tuned...
Peace~Love~n~Thumbs Up!

Lisa

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER....AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!

Woke up briefly with Brooks this morning to get him out the door for school and hopped back into bed for a couple more hours of sleep.  I have been in a funk all day today and it didn't really dawn on me until I got home just exactly what it was that was bothering me today.  Then all of a sudden while talking to Brooks about his first day... it HIT ME!  Alex should have started school today ..... as a SENIOR with all of his friends!  Hard pill to swallow after I have been trying so hard to bring back normalcy in his life.  All of my friends get to experience today....except me.  Everyone has been sad that school was starting today.... I have been crying because mine COULDN'T start school today, with all of his friends... for his Senior year!  School will be starting for Alex .... just a different kind and a little more stressful for me.  I was told today that he has been signed up for 7 classes they think....I guess I am in shock because I feel like he is being set up for failure.  I am already stretched to the limit as it is without sticking 7 courses on top of me.  One or two I think I can handle.... 7....OMG!!!  This is all computer compass odyssey classes.... which is fine but he has to be monitored.  Basically I will have to be doing it ALL on top of therapy 3 times a week.  Remind you....therapy is at 1:00pm, 2:00pm and 3:00pm back to back.... LONG DAY, then to either fit school in before or after...well... all I can say is LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH.  I was thinking at some point it was going to get easier .... not more stressful!  I am NEVER going to get a break.  I WANT MY OLD LIFE BACK.... WITH MY OLD ALEX....Please God.... can I please get a break.... can I please see a small glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel?  Today I am feeling like I am spiraling downward....nose diving..... waiting to hit rock bottom.  I keep picking myself up...only to feel like I am getting knocked down again and again.  BUT I WON'T GIVE UP!  I will keep on marching.... to the beat of my own drum lol!  I am CRAZY.... and it's a good thing I am!  Maybe I am bipolar and just don't realize it, haha!  WHEW...ok, I just stepped away, was getting a little too emotional for my own good...... .took a bath... melted down....took a phone call from my sister...feeling better.  She gave me an analogy.... IT'S OK TO FEEL WHAT YOU ARE FEELING AND IT'S OK TO CRY!  She said...  think about the sky when it's about to storm...when it's dark and cloudy... it needs to rain before it will get light again.  HOW TRUE IS THAT!  She said you need to cry and let it out so that you can feel light again.  I can definitely say that I feel better now that I let it out!  Maybe if I have one good cry a day I can get thru this without going coo coo for cocoa puffs..... just maybe.  However... I know that God is right here with me...and I think we will be just fine...taking one day at a time TOGETHER.  It's the little things that are getting to me lately... things that we all take for granted and think nothing about.  It's the fact that even though I have a great support system.... outside of my 4 walls... life goes on and each has their own lives they have to deal with.  Today was a really rough day for me.  Alex... well he is fine, lol.  He doesn't really comprehend stuff like this just yet....so he doesn't understand why I am so upset.  He expresses how he misses his friends and he misses playing basketball with them ..... the visits get less and less and it's hard to explain to him or make him understand that everyone leads busy lives as did he, before this happened to him.  It's like trying to explain to a 4 year old in a candy store why they can't have a piece of candy.  Hard for him to comprehend and really understand.  We are coping and trying to work through the rough patches..... again... this too shall pass.  It is just crazy how much of an emotional roller coaster I feel like I am on lately.....and I don't like it!  However... I am afterall...only human and obviously NOT made of steel, like I try to convince myself otherwise. Even though I had a dark day today... Alex...well....... he was shining as usual at therapy! THANK YOU GOD!  Below are some videos I took today and he is looking better and better every time.  If you look you can see where his left hand is wrapped around the pole...before Botox this would NOT be possible.  We had to place his hand open and wrap it around the pole...but it stayed AND he didn't complain of it hurting because of his hypersensitivity.  Before Botox there is NO WAY he would have allowed us to even TOUCH his hand lol.  He is progressing... and I know today was a rough day for me... but when I can sit back at the end of the day and look at the whole picture.... GOD IS GOOD TO ME and for THAT... I AM TRULY VERY BLESSED!



ALEX PLAYING THERAPY BASKETBALL...LOL




I apologize if my blog tonight seems as if I was all over the place..... well that's because I was.  I have taken several breaks from this writing.... each putting me in a different disposition when I sit down to write.  Like I said... I am on an emotional rollercoaster.... and probably will be until we get back in the routine with school and I figure out the plan and make sure we are on task for him to graduate.... it's the fear of the unknown.... the fear that I will fail as a christian, wife, mother ,teacher, and friend.  I try to please everyone all at once... yet we all know that THAT is impossible.  I can honestly say I give 150% of what I am capable of and try my hardest in all those categories.  I stretch myself thin and for that I apologize.  I am learning as I go along this path that God has set before me and He obviously has a lot of faith in me as I have come to see.  I have faith in HIM... I think I need to have a little more faith in ME!  I know WE'VE GOT THIS..... some days are just harder than others and I need to have a little more patience on those days and rely on HIM because HE will bring me thru it!  Thank YOU GOD for the many blessings you bring into my life on a DAILY basis.... Thank YOU for one more day with my handsome boy.....Thank YOU for blessing me with 3 beautiful boys and for the relationship that YOU have with each one of them.... Thank YOU for a loving, supportive husband who is able to carry the burden of our finances alone.....Thank YOU for the great friends and family, my angles if you will.... that know just when to call or send an email for a pick me up that I need at that very moment..... Soooo many things to be thankful for Lord...THANK YOU.  Keep that light shining inside of me.... keep that smile on my face even when the going gets tough Lord....... Give me the strength to fight another day of not looking back at what could of been but looking forward to what will BE!  This is my destiny and I am your vessel Lord.  Use me as you will.... teach me what I need to know and lead me to be what it is that YOU want me to be.  We have a second chance at life and are yours to use as you please!  I am not perfect Lord and I too will fall short.... just pick me up....I'll keep on going.....WE GOT THIS!!

PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP!

Lisa

Thursday, August 19, 2010

SHE IS HUMAN! :0)

Something clicked yesterday.... a conversation with Chad and just one word pushed me over the edge and probably a good thing to be able to let it out.  I took a bath to step out of my real world for a moment, relax... regroup so that I could sit down and watch a movie with Alex and Aaron.  As I get dressed, Chad walks in to get his 5 minutes of my time (bless his heart) and one word sent me into a tail spin and I began to grieve and ball my eyes out.  I MISS MY ALEX!  I miss the person who he used to be.... I was just balling my eyes out, crying saying that I just wanted my OLD Alex back.  I sit here writing this blog, tears streaming down my face because I have suddenly realized HE IS gone forever!  I just want to go back to January 5th.... PLEASE can I go back in time and have just one more conversation or HUG or I LOVE YOU from the OLD ALEX?  I cannot even begin to tell you how much I miss him and who he was.  To see him run up a tree and do a back flip off of it...or a fence... to see him do a crazy little dance or jump on my sofa..... to watch him play baseball at second base.... to lay in bed on Monday nights and watch CSI (our Monday night ritual).....I MISS HIM....I MISS HIM SOOOO VERY VERY MUCH.  Lord, please don't get me wrong... I am soooo very very thankful I have him here and I say to you everyday... I can get thru this with YOU...... but I am sooo missing MY ALEX right now and I pray that you give me the strength to get past this stage.  I do have a new Alex, and I thank YOU for that.... I know this is part of the process.... maybe you could be so kind as to keep the healing progressing on the inside of his brain so that something may trigger more of the OLD Alex to come back?  He will NEVER be what or who he was as before but we can always have FAITH in you of your healing powers and I PRAY REAL HARD that I will begin to see more of the OLD Alex come out during this recovery process.  I give it all to you Lord.... I will continue to truck on.... embrace what you have given me.... I am a better person because of YOU... I am a stronger woman because of YOU.... I trust that YOU brought me to it and YOU will get me thru it.  Thank YOU Lord for my many blessings....please lighten my heart from the loss of my OLD ALEX and refresh my spirit today as I take on another challenging day with my sweet boy.  I am only human.... although I like to think I am superwoman sometimes, lol... but I too fall short sometimes and I thank you for your forgiveness of my sins.  This too shall pass..... YOU are my Rock and even though I feel as if I have fallen today...... I know that WE GOT THIS!!

PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP!
Lisa

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

THANK YOU FOR MY FRIENDSHIPS!

Lord, I thank You for my wonderful friends!  As I think about the treasure chest of my close friends, casual friends, and acquaintances, I am grateful for the blessings and the joys each one brings to my life.  Thank You for my "heart" friends, my loyal sister friends who listen, care, and encourage me.  they are my faithful companions.  I acknowledge that You, Lord, are the giver of all good gifts, and I thank You for Your provision in my friendships!

So many of you encourage and support me on a daily basis and I just wanted to take time out and thank YOU for that.  It isn't easy getting thru day by day.... mentally it can be draining dealing with such a demanding child and NO free time.  It's certainly not a cakewalk but I embrace my challenges and put a smile on my face that God brought him back to me and I am very fortunate with my blessing of Alex Ross' life as well as my supportive family and friends.

A special thanks to Chris Bartmess who was inspired by Alex to create this masterpiece and take to nationals.  He came over yesterday and gave it to Alex and HE ADORES IT!  Congrats Chris on placing 6th in the Nation on such an awesome piece of artwork!  I LOVE YOU!


I LOVE THIS PICTURE!!


I have some vacation pics to share today.... I keep forgetting when I blog but I thank each and everyone of you for taking Alex on your trips and thinking of him while you are out!

sent in by Brittany Crowder:
shark fishing on Aug 6 at Fernandina Beach. It is a 5'9 Spinner shark
Caught on 80 tested line. HOW COOL IS THIS??!!





SENT IN BY AMANDA:
Alex went to the Aquarium and the Varsity



SENT IN BY THE JEFFORDS:
Sturgis, South Dakota

 PEACE, LOVE N THUMBS UP!  LOVE IT!



The Hellfighters share the gospel of Jesus Christ .... About 40 were saved just from the gas giveaway that day in South Dakota.... AMEN!

NORMANDY ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION CHEERLEADERS
I HEART U!

They had practice uniforms made with our slogan
PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP!  Amazing!
Gina... thank you for coming up with those shirts... LOVE THEM!
Angie Brannon.... thank YOU for including us in your Cheer for competition this year... the cheer brought tears to my eyes and pride to my heart!




Again... thank you all soooo very much for your love and support!  You guys help me more than you will ever know and I can never repay you or thank you enough for all you have done in keeping my spirits up and putting a smile on my face.  There  are still "ignorant people" out there who choose to send me negative emails.... but I just hit DELETE, lol!!  I have one Judge and Jury.... and guess what... we are BFF's so YOU can't bring me down nor do I care what you have to say because YOU have not walked ONE second in my shoes, nor my son's shoes.  So quit wasting your time and your breath.... the DEVIL isn't welcome here!  Instead maybe you should open the Bible.... "Judge not, that ye be not judged" Matthew 7:1 

HAVE A GREAT DAY!  
PEACE~LOVE~N~ THUMBS UP!!!

LOVE YA'LL
Lisa



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BACK IN THE GROOVE....

Sorry I haven't blogged in days... ran hard this weekend in the TOUR DE PAIN... it kicked my butt... my immune system has been down and I'm trying to recover from some post nasal drip, fatigue and laziness lol!

Alex had a greaaaaaaaaaat day today in physical therapy!  HE KICKED SOME BUTT on the treadmill!  Notice he isn't using his hands to support himself!  


Last week the goal was to walk 5 minutes, stand 3 minutes, sit for 3 minutes then repeat.  TODAY... Alex went for 10 minutes walking at a time and WITHOUT HANDS holding on!  AWESOME!  After walking two times in 10 minute increments he did some free stand walking... I'm just so proud of how hard he worked today...unbelievable!


If he continues with this progress... HE WILL BE WALKING IN NO TIME! :0)



Friday on the way home he decided he wanted his hair did, lol.  He wanted his hair shampooed and cut so we stopped in at Fran's to see if Miss Lauren could hook him up.  He got a little more than he bargained for as we talked him into getting rid of his unibrow while he was there, hahahahaha.  Check out the video below :0)  His reaction was PRICELESS!

ALEX GETS HAIR DID AND EYEBROWS WAXED.. HAHAHAHA




Chad and I endured the TOUR DE PAIN run this weekend which consisted of 4 miles on the beach Friday night at 7:30pm, 3 miles San Jose/Baymeadows 7:30am Saturday morning and 1 mile sizzler downtown Landing at 4:30pm Saturday afternoon.  WHEW!  My legs were killing me.... I was exhausted... to run that much in 24 hours but I conquered it and feel like I did a major accomplishment FOR ME!  42 years old... not too shabby, lol!  Alex talked Kinlin into running the mile sizzler ... pushing HIM!  What an awesome job she did... and Alex posed every second he could for the cameras down photo lane, lol.  As soon as she would turn the corner, he would cross his legs and put his hand to his chin like he was bored.... \hahahaha... Little turkey!  Here are some pics from our big weekend.


Chad, Eddie and Brandon




Kinlin, Alex and me... and we're off to start the race!




Alex the POSER... he cracks me up
GREAT JOB KINLIN!!




home stretch... I think I can, I think I can!




My biggest Fan... I love you Chad Dillard!
Thank you for encouraging me and believing in meeeeee :0)




Thank you Kinlin .... You made Alex's day!

Nicholas left this weekend to go back to USF in Tampa....... sad to see him go but we will be visiting him on the weekend of the 28th as my baby will be turning the big 21!!  WOW Crazy that he is going to be 21... already!  I'll say it again... HUG THOSE BABIES.... they grow fast and tomorrow is not guaranteed!  I LOVE YOU NICHOLAS ADAM ROSS and am so proud of the awesome young gentleman you have grown up to be!  

I will try to keep up with my blogging.... still not feeling back up to par... we do not have therapy tomorrow so I probably won't get online again until Thursday and hopefully have more great updates with his therapy that day!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers... we always need them... right now we are working on Alex's impulsivity and trying to get him to remember to STOP before acting on what he thinks.  Today he needed to spit and basically just spit on the floor at Brooks!  If he thinks it... in his mind he reacts to it without realizing what he is doing and if it is normal behavior or not.  He thought it... impulsively reacted on that and followed thru.  It is a constant battle... he has problems with short term memory... ALOT going on in that BRAIN that is left and we have a long road ahead and lots of retraining to do!  THANK YOU GOD FOR ONE MORE DAY WITH MY HANDSOME BOY..... I welcome the challenge! :0)

PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP!
SIEZE THE MOMENT AND LIVE FOR TODAY!!!

Lisa

PS.... Count your blessings.... thank HIM and then COUNT THEM AGAIN!!!  HE IS AN AWESOME GOD....Tell HIM about it! :0)




Thursday, August 12, 2010

GREAT DAY AT THERAPY

Alex had speech and physical therapy yesterday and had a great day in both!  He was such a ham and full of jokes yesterday and had us cracking up!  

I have put videos on the blog before where he has these voice exercises in speech therapy
 saying "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh" and "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" for like 4-5 seconds at a time learning how to extend his voice without fading off when speaking.  Well yesterday she had him doing this again and all of a sudden Alex breaks out in song with " OOOOOOOOOOOhhhh Chiiild, Things are gonna get easierrrrrrrrrrrrr". HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  Then says... "Dang, I got a pretty good melody on that one". HA HA.... HOT MESS HE IS I TELL YA! Joke after joke... we got thru the speech therapy laughing and cutting up the whole time... was actually a nice change!  

For physical therapy we had to devise a positive reinforcement program to keep Alex motivated and on task.  His main focus right now is the treadmill and walking for 5 minutes at a time.  He will get a ticket for every 15 minutes he stays on track and focused, so he has the chance to earn up to 4 tickets.   At the end of the day he can trade them in for a treat of some sort.  Certain foods, outings, Red Lobster, lol.. something he wants.  Each reward has a price of tickets.... so yesterday he earned 4 tickets and wants to save up to a nice dinner at Red Lobster... that's like 2 weeks of staying focused lol!  Like 24 tickets.  I just knew for sure he would want to turn the 4 tickets in for a muffin, hahahahaha!  He is going for the BIG DOG!

With the trial behind us... Alex seems like a totally different kid!  THANK  YOU GOD!  He seems to be more relaxed and more jovial these days.  A special thank you to his friends who have been keeping in touch and stopping by to visit.  HE LOVES TO HAVE HIS FRIENDS OVER..... since he isn't able to go and come as he pleases... it's really nice when his friends incorporate him into their day.  It will be a lot easier once the trach comes out to be able to let him come and go without me.... if he even let's that happen, lol.  He doesn't let me get far out of his sight of which I am trying to slowly wean him of my constant presence.  Evaluations continue... we will be starting American History and Geometry on Compass Odyssey next week.... LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH, ha!  Thank you to Kinlin/American History and Bachir/ Geometry....YOU GUYS ROCK and I can't thank you enough for taking on this task for me.  I am forever indebted to you!  Once all the evaluations are in... hospital homebound will decide what is best for Alex as far as entering Ed White or continuing on with Compass Odyssey here at home.  I am really hoping for school at Ed White so that he can get back into the real world... homecoming.... prom... graduation.  He missed out on his Jr year and I don't want him to miss out on his Senior year with his friends.  Once the trach comes out I am going to have his senior picture taken :0)  YAY... CAN'T WAIT!  OCT 4TH... looking forward to you!!

Going to close for now... his vision evaluation is almost over and I can come out of my room, lol!  Here are some pics with special friends .... thank you guys for taking time out of your busy days to visit!!  xoxo


KAYLEIGH.... HE GOT HER! hahahaha!





Heather, Kayleigh, Alex, Amber and Aaron
He talked them into doing the "Broooooownieeeeees" face, lol!







Delaney, Robin, Billy and Hunter
Alex met them last year at Blue Springs and they came all the way from Tampa to visit!
THANK YOU!!

PEACE OUT!

PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP!

Lisa

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

WE SURVIVED THE NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL EVAL!

So proud of us... we arrived on time.... an hours drive... and you know all it takes me to get out the door with the boy!  Got him dressed, brush the teeth, wash the face, eat breakfast, out to the car, out of the wheelchair, into the car, put the gatorade in the cup holder, put the phone in the cup holder, buckle the seat belt, close the door, roll down his window and put the pillow between his left leg and the door folded a certain way (lol), roll the window up, take the leg rests off of the wheelchair put in the trunk, take the seat out of the wheelchair into the trunk, fold up wheelchair and HEAVE into the trunk, close the trunk.... run into the house grab my purse and phone, lock the door.. run to the car.... WHEW!  All by myself... I did it! :0)  I sure miss when I have my sisters or Aaron here to take a little of that off of me, lol!  Even though we have never met Dr. Rankin, Alex was impressed that he has been following our story!!  Mom was my savior and offered to meet me at the dr office so I didn't have to sit 5 hours by myself while Alex was in testing.  Dr. Rankin was great and we were actually out of his office by 12!!   During that time at his office... Alex's obsession was germs today.  He doesn't like the way hand sanitzer smells so we had to actually WASH the hands like 8 times while there.... funny how little changes in his day will set off a new OCD procedure that we have to go thru.  I actually asked Dr Rankin about the OCD behaviors and if I should be trying to divert his attention or stopping him from such things and he said No.  Just to let him do it as it is the ONE thing he is in control of in his life.  I guess it's his way of dealing with this journey so to speak. I think I can give him that!  The 5 hours was really only 3 hours... FANTASTIC! He gave me a little bit of what he observed with Alex and it's not looking like Alex will be going back to a classroom setting with his friends.  He is great with one on one when someone is engaging him... but he said to stick him in a classroom would be WAY OVER HIS HEAD, too much stimulation and not beneficial to Alex.  I know that I can get 4 hours a week with hospital homebound but I am thinking I will need someone to come in and do school with him everyday?? THE SCENIC ROUTE once again.  We will do whatever it takes... whatever we have to do so that he gets to walk and graduate with his friends in 2011!  We have come this far... we ain't stopping now!!  WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENS ME!   AMEN!

Poor Nick has been having a rough week.... I need some prayers sent his way.  He gave up a job at a camp in Ponte Vedra to take a job this summer from someone who has been following my blog and offered him a position with this new company they were starting up. Being he is majoring in Public Relations, he thought this would be a good opportunity to get his feet wet.   He started on May 25th and worked thru like the end of July.  He never received a paycheck and kept giving them the benefit of the doubt because they were really nice people and said he was going to pay him... blah blah blah.  Finally we told Nick to quit  and once he got a paycheck, he could go back.  It just seemed like the logical thing to do and I figured it would only be a week and he would have his money.  As if I don't have enough on MY PLATE, he NEVER got paid and basically is screwed out of his money because we can't get this guy to call us back or settle up! I don't have a paying job, Alex is my full time job so therefore I can't really help him out and he goes back to school next week!  He came home yesterday and his back window in his car his broken... went down... never to come back up again.... so that has to be fixed before he heads back this weekend.  He comes in the house yesterday complaining about how his life sucks and now his car is broken and it's a piece of $&*T..... and I feel horrible for doing it... but you know what I said.....  "It could always be worse Nick, you could be Alex!"  The words just flowed right out with no hesitation.  THINGS COULD BE SO MUCH WORSE!  Let's look on the bright side of things... let's focus on the positives here!  Alex would give anything to be able to walk out that door and drive that car!  Be thankful you have a car... you could be asking people for rides everywhere and not have one.  Be thankful you can walk, you are getting an education, you are vice president of a fraternity, you get to leave here and go off to school.. hang out with your friends.  YOU HAVE YOUR INDEPENDENCE!  So the car window is broke...it's not the end of the world.  Take a look around and focus on all the things YOU DO HAVE going for you in your life.  I think that's what's wrong with all of us these days... we have sooo many blessings and always focus on what we don't have!  We need to live IN THE MOMENT and focus on all the things we do have.... and if you have health, family a roof over your head.... you have more than alot of people in this world.  Of course this has changed my life... but I will tell you for the better!  My perspective on things... well let's just say that God has touched my life and I count my blessings daily and thank HIM more often than not these days!  So Nick learned a hard lesson this summer... I hate that for him.  Life isn't fair and now he knows that not everyone he works for or meets will follow thru with what they say they are going to do.  I wish I could snap my fingers and make it all go away, but I can't.  Life is something we have to take day by day, not knowing what tomorrow will bring.......  But let's make the best of it while we are here! Let us all be thankful that we woke up today!  If you have a job... BE THANKFUL you have a job to go to and not complain that you don't feel like going to work today.  I WOULD GIVE ANYTHING FOR MY LIFE TO BE AS IT WAS PRIOR TO JANUARY 6TH AND GO TO MY JOB.  The kids are running around screaming and fighting... be THANKFUL they are healthy enough to do that!  Alex has no emotions except for smiling right now... I wish he could show anger or sadness or cry..... who knows if that will ever come back.  FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES in your life.... I tell you what... you will see a difference in yourself and the people around you.  You can start a chain reaction.  I have given this quote from Charles Swindoll before and here it is again:

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact with attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change the past... We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge with our attitudes.


MOVING ON AND NOT LOOKING BACK! :0)

PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP!

Lisa

Monday, August 9, 2010

Psychological Eval today and visit to the ENT

We woke up bright and early for Hospital Homebound to arrive at 9am and perform a psychological evaluation on Alex so that he can go back to school this year.  He was a trooper and gave her a hour and a half of his undivided attention with only one bathroom break, thank you God.  This is one of the many tests he has had to have in order to get back on track with his schooling so that he can graduate next year with his class.  Tomorrow am we will be travelling to Dr. Rankin so that he can perform a neuropsychological evaluation that consists of 5 hours probing Alex's memory and thought processing.  I can say that I am NOT looking forward to sitting in his office for 5 hours, yuck!

AT 11:45 we had an appt at the ENT to find out the status of the polyp (growth).  Miss Amy was a pleasure as always and numbed Alex's nose so that she could put the scope down his nose and check out what was going on.  As soon as she stuck the scope down and we could see it on the screen... I saw the polyp!  OMG!  Yes, it's still there... smaller... but still there!   Also seen was some swelling and scar tissue... banding as Miss Amy called it.... so the prognosis today was.... 8 MORE WEEKS....AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!  On October 4th we go back and if the airway looks like it did today the trach can come out.... BUT...and there's always that BUT.... if the scar tissue has increased... there will be ANOTHER surgery.  THE SCENIC ROUTE once again.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pray for Alex that his throat continues to heal properly and that the swelling goes down.  We don't need or want any more surgeries..... we want that trach gone and out once and for all!!!

PRAYER REQUEST FOR A FRIEND
I got an urgent prayer request for my prayer warriors tonight.... GERT TRIMBLE... 22 month old boy got a hold of a nail gun and accidentally shot a nail into his heart.  He is in critical condition and is in desperate need of prayers!  Lord, I know his life is in your hands and you have a plan for him.  He is a sweet angel of yours and I pray that you wrap your arms around him and his family and heal his little body.  Give his parents strength as they endure the WAIT.  If anyone knows what that WAIT can do to you... it's surely me.  Comfort them and give them peace knowing that YOU are in control. I pray they find the courage to trust in you and have FAITH that you are with him right now.  I give you all the Glory ...Honor and Praise... THANK YOU for all of your many blessings and for dying on the cross for us.  In Jesus name I pray!!  AMEN!

Pray for my sanity as I sit in the waiting room for 5 hours as this evaluation takes place tomorrow.... but really pray for me as I am running the TOUR DE PAIN this weekend...4 miles on beach Friday night, 3 miles Saturday morning and 1 Mile downtown Sunday afternoon...... am I CRAZY????    :0)

PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP!

CONGRATULATIONS TO CHRIS BARTMESS... who placed 6th in the NATION with his sculpture of Alex Michael Ross.  I am honored that you would choose Alex as a subject and I'm sooooo very very proud of what you have accomplished!  ALEX LOVES IT!  He really thinks he's a rock star now, ha!  Thankful to call you and your family our friends... love ya!! xoxo

Saturday, August 7, 2010

MOVING ON.... NOT LOOKING BACK!


We went to the Shark's game last night with awesome friends..... moving on in our lives.... stepping out of our everyday life and enjoying a night!  My heart skipped a beat when I look up and see my baby boys.... standing for the national anthem... BOTH OF THEM!  Could a mother be prouder at that very moment?  Something we all take for granted... the National Anthem comes on... automatic response is to stand up without thinking twice about it!  We have to think about everything these days.... everything he can do is by the Grace of God and I am sooo proud of Alex and how he never ceases to amaze me day by day.  God has truly touched him, heart, mind and soul!  He had a great time last night.... seemed like the old Alex... only confined to a wheelchair and not running up and down crazy lol!  Just being crazy in his chair, ha!



Hoping that we can move on with the past and look forward to the present and future.  Alex has touched so many lives and gave inspiration to another gentleman by the name of Mike who is confined to a wheelchair as well.  Alex insisted on standing with Aaron Garcia and Big Sexy to take a picture last night and when Mike saw that.... well you can only imagine he was thinking one day he might be able to do that too!  We told him to never give up.... keep reaching for the stars....work hard everyday.... God performs miracles everyday!!


Thank you Aaron and Big Sexy for always taking the time to chat with Alex and make him a part of your world.  You will never know how much it means to me!!  Love ya'll!

KRISTEN..... THANK YOU!
A big big big THANK YOU to my sister Kristen who selflessly gave up her free summer (she is a teacher) to come here and help Alex finish up his schooling so that he could be considered a senior!  She gave up 5 weeks to be here and work on school 7 days a week!  THEY DID IT and I can't thank you enough Kristen. It will be all worth it when he is able to WALK with his class and graduate in June of 2011!! We love you and can't thank you enough for all you have done in sacrificing your summer to be a part of our journey.  She travelled back home yesterday and bless her heart had to sleep in the airport in SC as there was bad weather and noone was able to land in NC!!  I will miss you tremendously and look forward to seeing you in November!!

As we move on and look forward we look to regain some sense of normalcy.  We go to the ENT on Monday... I made a call as Alex has been having trouble breathing and I am afraid that the polyp has increased in size or that scar tissue has built up once again covering that airway.  Hopefully it's neither... we don't want another operation for sure!  He has a psych evaluation on Monday morning that he has to have in order to re enter the public school system so Monday is going to be a big day for us.  Please keep him in your prayers.... specific prayers for trach and psych eval.  He also has speech and occupational therapy.  LONG DAY ahead so for now I am going to leave you with some pics and go and enjoy my weekend!

Colby and Alex.... childhood buddies!
















Have a Great Weekend... Make the most of it....  Live in the moment.... Focus on the positives in your life ..... cherish and be thankful for what you have..... tomorrow is not promised!!

PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP!

Lisa

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

ROUGH DAY.... PLEA BARGAIN ACCEPTED.





You all know that I have insisted on focusing on Alex and his recovery from day one and not to focus on the case.  Today I will share the outcome and be done with this part of our journey and put it behind us.  After meeting with the state attorney's office on Monday and again Tuesday....Today we accepted a plea bargain that was presented to us from the defense.  No amount of time can ever give my family back what has been lost but I had to do what was in the best interest of Alex and not put him through any more trauma such as a trial.  The two days of discussion with State Attorney put him in a tailspin and threw a wrench in his world as he knows it.  Anything out of the norm or repetition makes his world come crumbling down and he becomes a whole different kid! Just talk of the trial made him very anxious and I couldn't imagine putting him through a trial.  Kenny Ray was sentenced to 15 years and must serve a minimum of 14 years 3 months, minus time he has already served. However,  Alex has to live this hell for the rest of his life. For Kenny's parents, I am truly sorry..... for they are losing their son today because of a rash and horrible decision that he made.   I am glad to finally put this to rest and have some closure so that ALL parties involved can begin the healing process.  God has had my back and I will continue to lean on him as we still have a very long road ahead of us.    As much as I thought it would be hard to have Alex face him on this long awaited day.... it was a hundred times harder and emotional than I ever thought.  I needed to hear him say he was pleading guilty because he IS guilty.... in order to get some closure. Being all that we have gone thru and as much pain as we have endured.... as a mother... I truly feel sorry for all parties involved.  I can't explain it... I thought I would have much more anger running through me once I saw him today as I wheeled Alex in court in his wheelchair. God has a funny way of doing things and I feel as if he laid his hands on me today and brought a peace over me that I have long been waiting for. Seeing his parents and the pain this has caused on their end..... truly hurts my heart.  I can't imagine what I would do if I were in their shoes....as I'm sure they can't fathom what they would do if put in my shoes.  You can't possibly understand it.... unless you live it .... everyday! I pray that no mother or father has to endure what either of us have been put thru as parents.  I was very proud of Alex and the way he handled himself in court.   Alex and I were both allowed to address the court and say something to Kenny Ray, of which Alex was able to come up with by himself and I couldn't be prouder of him.   If I were Alex, I can't say that I would have conducted myself as he has throughout this whole journey.  


ALEX'S SPEECH IN COURT TODAY 

My life will never be the same because of what you did.  I know we got into a fight the week before this happened, but I don’t understand why you did this to me.  No friend of mine would point a loaded gun at my head and pull the trigger.  I live in fear and am always looking over my shoulder thinking you’re going to send someone to finish the job. 
No punishment you get will ever make this okay.  Every day for the rest of my life I am going to be punished because of what you did.  I might not have been the best kid in the world, but I didn’t deserve this.  You took away my childhood, dreams of playing baseball in college, basketball with my friends, driving… everything I loved.  You took away my independence.  You may be stuck in a jail cell for a portion of time, but I may be stuck in this chair for the rest of my life.  I have to depend on my family for everything from getting dressed to going to the bathroom– do you have any idea how degrading that is? 
Not only did you change my life, but you also changed the lives of my family and yours.  My heart goes out to your mom and dad, because they didn’t deserve this either.  I pray that God gives me the strength to forgive you one day.



MY SPEECH IN COURT TODAY


You forever changed our lives on January 6, 2010 by a choice that you made.  I have been mourning and grieving the loss of the Alex that we all knew and loved since that date and have had to come to terms with the fact that he will never be the same.  The Alex that I knew and loved passed away on that fateful night.  Yes Alex survived… he is a miracle of God, but you took so many things away from Alex that he will never be able to get back.  Most of all… you took away his dignity and independence.  While you have been sitting in a cell,   Alex had to learn everything all over again… how to talk, eat, chew, feed himself, write, read, and still fights hard everyday to regain use of his left arm and be able to walk on his own.  As of now he will never be able to drive again because his vision has been severely impaired.  He has a trach in his throat so that he is able to breath and we don’t know that it will ever be able to come out because of all the complications we keep having.  He has nightmares of lying in a pool of blood and is fearful to be in a room by himself.  My Alex will never be the same person he was prior to January 6th.  As a mother of 3 boys, I know that kids make hasty rash decisions without thinking of the consequences that may follow.  My heart goes out to your parents as I know this is not a reflection of their parenting but a poor decision on your part.  I hope that you accept full responsibility for your actions and have learned that there are consequences for such actions.  You and only you pulled the trigger.  What happened to Alex is not his fault, yet he is the one who will ultimately pay the price.  You are getting a sentence….. being confined to a wheelchair… may be Alex’s life sentence.  I pray that we can all find closure and move on with our lives without having to look back.  No amount of time you serve can ever give our family back what we have lost.  One day I will be able to forgive you …. As a Christian, this I am sure of.  Until then, I pray that everyone involved finds peace and comfort knowing that God performed a miracle that night allowing Alex to still be here with us.




Alex is my HERO... today, tomorrow and always!  Thank you God for your miracle in sparing the life of my handsome boy.... The future is yours and the sky is the limit!!  You are the only judge and jury that matters to me..... obviously your actions by sparing Alex's life speaks volume in my eyes.  Today we put the past behind us and move forward in superman speed recovery.  We have one more hurdle to get past.... the dang trach, lol!  August 19th we go and hopefully can lay that thing to rest as well!  Please continue to pray for us... Alex has a long road of a full recovery ahead of him and with your prayers and God by our side... ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE... even praying for a full recovery with vision so that he may drive some day! To all of those people out there that continue to focus on the negatives and trash talk.... until you have walked one day in MY SON or MY shoes.... you should keep your mouth shut because you speak ignorantly.  

Matthew 7:1-2“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you ." 

 You do not know all of the facts and may never for all I care.... NOONE DESERVES WHAT MY SON HAS BEEN PUT THRU... NOONE!  Today we get closure and again... put the past behind us.  What's done is done and nothing can get my son back to the way he was.  I will continue to focus on the positives in my life and God knows how very very thankful I am to be pushing Alex around in a wheelchair because that means he is ALIVE.  I will deal with the obstacles that arise with a smile on my face and joy in my heart!  I may get aggravated at times... I am only human, but I do know how VERY lucky I am to have Alex with me here today and will never take advantage of that fact.  To all of you who have supported us from day one... thank you.  You have been our prayer warriors and angels from afar and I couldn't have done it without all of your love and continued support.  I will continue to blog about Alex's recovery as it is medicine for my soul to get it all out .... the good, the bad and the ugly, lol!  Alex still gives me lots of laughs on a daily basis.... thank you God for allowing some of that wit to remain.  Over the next week I plan to do a photo blog from beginning to where we are today.... it is one thing to read it... another to see it.  Those that have had the pleasure of meeting Alex out in public are always amazed and just in awe of how great he looks and what a remarkable young man he is.  I hope you all get the pleasure of meeting Alex... I am still planning some type of homecoming party at some point for all those supporters who can't wait to meet him.  He will surely bring a smile to your face just by seeing him or by saying something witty or off the wall he will say..... we still have NO FILTER, lol!



Best part of my day today.... we go to get gas at the shell station... me, kristen, Aaron, Brooks and Alex.  We go thru carwash....they are all involved on the iphone and you tube... as the dryer comes to dry the car.... I roll the back windows down and scared the crap out of them... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..... I'm talking gut wrenching laughter as they all grabbed their heads and ducked with the most freaked out looks and yells.... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA..... still laughing to myself!  I used to do it when the boys were younger... however I would prepare them before doing it and we would all crack up... this time... MOM PLAYED THE PRANK AND WON!  Highlight of my day!  You should try it sometime on your kids, lol!  Sure to get a smile and laugh for sure! hee hee!  Alex wants me to tell you all " That shit's not funny",( sorry no filter, lol).... BUT I SAY IT IS, HA!


Stay tuned for progress.... praying God continues to heal my precious boy from head to toe with a full recovery.  We know that we are on his time and this is part of his big plan for us and we are ready to face whatever challenges come our way!  As always... ME, ALEX... MY FAMILY & JC.... WE DEFINITELY GOT THIS!


PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP!


Lisa