Thursday, August 2, 2012

An Update

How can I even begin to thank you all for the amazing support and love you have shown 
our family since Shawn's accident?  Words just don't seem to be enough, they could 
never fully express how grateful I am for the countless emails, comments, shout outs, 
the endless amount of encouragement you have all given me.  I have read every single 
word you have written me, over and over, tears pouring down my face as I felt my 
heart grow stronger and bigger with each bit of love you sent me through your words.  
The inspiration you sent us through your letters has held us together and kept us 
sane, reminded us of who we are and what we are capable of.  So, I will just say the 
words: Thank you.  Thank you thank you thank you.  Having good friends and family 
has carried us through.  We are strong because of you.  Thank you.
Shawn's recovery is progressing at a slow but steady pace.  In the hospital, they 
constantly reminded us that this experience is like a marathon, not a sprint.  You have 
to learn to cheer on even the smallest victories, not expect to wake up to a miracle. 
 Since coming home from the hospital, we have met with many specialists.  Shawn is 
seeing a cardiovascular surgeon to address the artery that was repaired in his arm.  He 
has had ultrasounds done that confirmed that the vein graft that was done is 
functioning perfectly and his circulation is intact.  He has a neurologist on the case who 
is addressing the nerve damage he sustained.  Until the swelling in his arm goes down, 
the extent of the nerve damage is unclear and so the doctor is monitoring his progress 
until more extensive tests can be done.  An orthopedic surgeon who specializes in 
traumatic injuries is treating his arm and his wounds.  He has been very upfront with 
us about the possibility of amputation, infection, and nonhealing wounds.  But, he has 
also told us of different patients he has treated very similar to Shawn who have 
overcome their injuries and recovered with great results.  We have a 
neurosurgeon monitoring the fracture in Shawn's neck.  He ordered a CT scan of the 
spine last week and we are anxiously awaiting the results.  Hopefully, the fracture has 
healed and he can get his neck brace off soon.  Physical therapy was started last week
 and he could not be happier.  Shawn has always been very physical and athletic and 
being down during this time has been hard for him.  His physical therapist is very 
thorough and works each and every joint of his arm and hand meticulously.

Shawn still has very little movement or feeling in his left hand.  He does, however, 
have shooting sensations that run down through his fingers that give us hope that the 
nerves are busy regenerating themselves.  His wounds are healing beautifully and I've 
been treating them each and every night, recording their progress each week.  The 
swelling in his arm has gone down so much that his splint no longer fits!  His energy level 
is building and he is physically stronger each and every day.  He is adapting to using only 
one arm, teaching himself to get dressed on his own, relearning how to tie his shoes.  
Though his arm is still extensively injured, it has come so far since his accident.  We 
remind ourselves of this often, looking back at far we've come.
Our days are busy and full as we wait for doctor's appointments, physical therapy 
sessions, tests and trips to the pharmacy.  I have devoted myself completely to being a
 nurse both at work and at home, ensuring that my family is healthy and happy.  Most
 days, we are all tired and stretched thin.  There are days where I wait until I am alone in 
my car to cry, allowing the overwhelming amount of worry and stress that I try to 
suppress come rushing  through me.  I sometimes wonder how I will do it all, how I will 
ever give each person the amount of love and attention they truly deserve.  Sometimes,
 I miss the way things used to be.  I let myself cry in the safety of my own quiet moments,
I let myself grieve what has been lost.  And then I dust myself off, stand tall, and get back
 to work.  Our family has grown from this experience and will continue to do so.  We
 are strong, we are blessed, and we have an unspeakable love between us.  
And that is enough for me.

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Kelley said...

Yep, you have to give yourself those quiet moments to grieve, to process, to cry it out!  Then, just like you said, dust yourself off!  So glad he's recovering so well.  And YOU are amazing!

Jessica said...

Wow. GO Shawn!  He is recovering amazingly considering what he went through.  So happy to see those smiles. :)
And you are so inspiring.  That line about crying, then dusting off and standing tall gave me chills.  

Caitlin A. said...

So glad that things are looking up! I can't imagine the stress you're under. So much love to you.

Marie Vie said...

Something I am sure of is whatever you'll have to face it you'll manage it, because of this love that is in evry one of your words Liv!
Glad to see things are getting a bit better with every day that passes. Recovery is a long process but Shawn is getting there, always with a smile on his face.
Much love to all.

Lucy The Valiant said...

You are such an amazing and strong woman! Your family is lucky to have you at the helm, friend! And yay for all this progress!

Deanna Fike said...

your little family is so lucky to have each other. i'm so glad that shawn is making improvements. remember, slow and steady wins the race. :) 

Sara said...

So glad to hear things are progressing, but also that you are allowing yourself time to cry, to grieve, to feel emotion. It's so important that you take some time for yourself to really feel what you're feeling. You are so strong. <3

Mattandkaraadopt said...

Oh this made me cry.  I am so proud of your strength and we continue to pray for all of you. Hugs and love!

J Dartagnan Love said...

Praying for you and your family. 

Olivia said...

Thank you!!!  So are you!!

Olivia said...

Thank you!!  His smiles keep me going!

Olivia said...

Thank you!!  The stress can be overwhelming at time, quite honestly.  But I just have to be real with it, take it in, and move on.  I know that things will get better and we will move forward.  

Olivia said...

That smile keeps me going, Marie!  It says so much about him, doesn't it?

Olivia said...

Thank you!!  It has been such a humbling experience!!

Olivia said...

You are so right!!!  We are blessed to be together!

Olivia said...

Thank you!  You are so right: taking it all in is so important!

Olivia said...

Thank you, Kara!!  I pray for you and Brighton daily.  I have loved watching you through this journey!!

Olivia said...

Thank you so much!!  The prayers are working daily!!