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 23, 2011

PHYSICALLY: MAJOR PROGRESS / MENTALLY: ONE STEP BACK

Hi friends.... I'm back online to share today!!  So much progress from Alex this past month, I have to pinch myself to believe that it's even REAL!  Since my last writing he has gotten a little bit of confidence that has carried him a LONG way!  Just yesterday he popped right up off of the sofa...which has been a task in itself because of his whole BALANCE issue.  However... when Alex gets in his mind to do something..... You best believe he is gonna do it!!  He says.. "mom".. I look over and there he is standing, grabs his cane and off he goes to the bathroom... BY HIMSELF... yes he now takes HIMSELF to the bathroom... a YEAR AND A HALF LATER......THANK YOU JESUS!!  I never thought this day would come, lol!  I have had to make some new minor adjustments to help this along.  I found this toilet rail thing that hooks onto the toilet under the lid that has HANDLES that he can hold onto in order to lower himself to the toilet.  Since my last blog, I had to purchase a new toilet and with the help of Chad's dad... he and I put it in ourselves!  Things you and I don't think about... the height of the toilet....WHAT... there are different size toilets??  WHO KNEW, lol!   I went to Home Depot and purchased the tallest toilet I could find.. 16.5 ... our old toilet was 14.5.  Not much of a difference but just enough to give him enough confidence to pull it off!

Since being able to pull this off he REALLY thinks he is INVINCIBLE!!  Crazy how a little bit of a boost can put him in the REAL SUPERMAN MODE!!  Yesterday I left the living room to grab some clothes to wash out of my room and before I know it.... I hear the vacuum cleaner going.  WHAT THE HECK? Sure enough I come in the living room.... Alex has walked over to the wall gotten the Shark Vac and is in the living room doing his thing!!   AND PROUD LIKE A PEACOCK OF HIMSELF, LOL!  So today he makes out a list of chores that he thinks he is able to do so that he can get allowance, hahahaha!  I agree to $25 a week for unloading the silverware from the dishwasher and putting away every day, vacuuming the living/dining room and cleaning his toilet and mine.  After creating his list he pops up off the sofa and says he is going to clean my toilet.  What the heck?  Nothing like jumping right on task... of course I have to stop what I am doing because there is no way in convincing him to wait till later on or scheduling it on another day.  This is one NEW characteristic with our new Alex that I pray we overcome because like I said...  once he has it in his mind... it's next to impossible to convince him otherwise.  So we get up and head to my toilet, lol.... I get him set up with the Clorox cleaner thing and he goes to town.  Here are a couple of pics of his new venture, lol.



I can't tell you how PROUD I am and how in AWE I am to finally be at this point.  Don't get me wrong... he still has a VERY VERY long way to go and his left arm is still not fully functional but I feel like we have just climbed Mount Everest together, lol!  WHAT AN AMAZING thing to see... God's Miracle working hard in ALL HIS GLORY.... AMEN!!  

Now .... like with anything else where there is an upswing.... there is also a downward spiral of course! On the mental side of the coin.... there have been a couple of setbacks with his sleep.  Not sure what has sparked it or why but he has been having bad dreams again, and waking up often.... last night 4 times...... although I have my suspicions!!!  Last week he was scared to sleep in his room, begging us to please let him sleep in the living room, which is right outside my door.  This morning his final wake up was at 5:30am where he wanted to get up and go to the living room and watch TV.  Those that know him....THIS IS NOT NORMAL FOR ALEX.  This I hope shall pass and that he does not encounter this for the rest of his life.  I hate that he still has nightmares... I hate that he is still scared to be left alone.... for these things I pray the most that my baby finds peace and comfort around him that he can one day trust that he can be by himself without anything bad happening to him.  Post traumatic stress syndrome can last a lifetime but I pray that as time goes by he is able to get past his insecurities and lead a normal life or as close to normal as can be. Alex has a lot to overcome... A brain injury alone on top of the PTSD is going to take awhile.  This is where my faith in God comes in full swing because I truly believe that WITH HIM ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.  I also know that He does things on his own time... not mine.  He isn't finished with Alex Michael yet, he is using him as a vessel to bring people closer to HIM.  John 11:4 When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." 

The videos below are from therapy today.  Since he has been walking so good with his cane around the house we were curious how he would do on the treadmill.  It's been awhile since he has been on the treadmill.... still an amazing site for me to see... THANK YOU GOD!


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 Another thing we take for granted......... being able to walk backwards.... certainly not an easy task for Alex and he still has a good way to go before he achieves this task without hesitation  since he still has difficulty with that left side neglect.

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I still don't have any answers on the x-ray ordeal so I need to make some phone calls this week!  We do have GREAT NEWS .... Alex has been approved to receive an adaptive bike from a non profit organization and we go for the fitting on Friday at Wolfson's Childrens Hospital!  I envision it to look something like this:


 I can't wait to ride our bikes in the neighborhood!!  I truly feel like this is a HUGE blessing and can only strengthen Alex physically as well as give him another boost of confidence in returning to normal..... whatever normal can be for Alex.

Alex continues to improve  and there will be a day when we are on the upside both Physically and Mentally.... all together moving forward in both directions.  For now we will take one day at a time, each new obstacle head on as it arises with a bounce in our step, a smile on our face and laughter in our hearts.  The past is the past... I cannot change it and I can't get a redo so I will grab this bull by the horns and continue to make light of the cards that have been dealt and make the best with the precious life that was SAVED BY THE GRACE OF GOD.   Life is all about how you handle Plan B.... nothing but sunshine, giggles and rainbows for me from here on out.  Staying positive, moving forward and not looking back!

PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP!
 LISA

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Moving right along!

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I haven't gotten any word on the MRI or XRAY that Alex is needing in order to complete the baclofen pump trial so I will be calling this week to see what the hold up is on getting that squared away.  Alex has improved quite a bit since my last blog..... it's kind of in comparison to seeing your baby stand up and walk for the first time!  It just happens all of a sudden out of nowhere!  I think he has gotten some major confidence in himself and has really taken off with it!  He has now accomplished being able to sit up in bed, get out and walk with his cane!  I purchased this seat/handle thing for the toilet so that he has something to hold on to when he goes to sit down and it seems to be working quite well.  However... I feel like I need to purchase a taller toilet as it is still a struggle for him to be able to sit properly on his own.  We take for granted the smallest things for granted....such as being able to lower ourselves onto a seat of any kind.  The muscle control that it takes is alot more than you think.  Because Alex is still weak on the left side, when he goes to sit down he kind of just PLOPS down without any kind of control.  So when we he goes to sit down on the toilet, it's so low that even with the handle thing that I bought it's still hard for him to sit without just plopping down.  I want to make his transition easier for him so with getting a taller toilet that may give him a little more confidence as well!  He has been using his cane and walking all over the house, lol.  He told me just yesterday that he was going into the kitchen to make a sandwich.  YEA RIGHT.... sooooo Kinlin and I watch from the bedroom peeking around the corner and we see him walk into the pantry, grab the Chips Ahoy cookies,  open grab a handful and shove into his mouth, hahahahhahaha!  WHERE'S THE SANDWICH ALEX????  "I only had one cookie!"  SERIOUSLY!  Little bugger!  So now I am going to have to hide ALL SNACKS and only place the healthy items in his reach!  He still hasn't conquered getting up from the sofa.... we are still working on that.  I think it's too cushiony  and low for him to conquer and push himself up.  God continues to bless us on a daily basis and Alex has come a TREMENDOUS long way in a year and a half.....Thank you God for all you have done and continue to do in and thru our lives!!

Alex still has quite a ways to go cognitively and the impulsiveness and no inhibition are still major factors in our everyday life and who knows if it will ever go away?.  We still have obstacles we have to face everyday but have learned how to cope and take the good with the bad.  I think we have finally settled in and learned to adapt and face our challenges head on with less stress and a smile on our faces.  Alex still has issues with being left alone for any amount of time.....hopefully one day we will get to where I can take Brooks to school without having to wake him up and putting him in the car or him being left alone for even 30 minutes while I am at the neighbors.  Do you ever really get over post traumatic stress disorder?  I guess I need to read up more on it, lol.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.... this I know.  I sit back and look at the big picture of things and see how very lucky, blessed and far we have come since January of 2010.

Alex is in his last week of day treatment...."brain therapy" as I call it.  He has been doing great going 4 days a week from 9-3 and will graduate from the program on Thursday...... all he has been talking about.  Not because he is excited to graduate but I think more so because he is tired of getting up at 7:30am lol!  LAZY ha ha!  Speaking of... its getting late and I must get him in the bed and off to sleep myself.

I will post more in the week as hopefully I should know more about his xrays.  Hoping you all have a great week....  :0)


PEACE~LOVE~N~THUMBS UP!
LISA