Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas decorating at Brooks

I took Ivan to school and then made my way up to Brooks.  It seems to be my new routine, but it is one routine that I will be happy to change when my dad is cleared to return home!  By the time I get there at 9:15 he has already had breakfast, speech therapy and occupational therapy. I was setting my camera up to determine the best place to get a family picture when my dad wheeled over to the camera and said 'cheese'...of course I have no problems taking a picture with him!  Then he heads into physical therapy where everyday the therapist just look at him with complete awe over all that he can do in such a short time period.  ALL the therapists, not just the ones that are assigned to my dad.  It is pretty neat to see how my dad gives them hope and encourages them to continue working hard, because it does make a difference, and he is the proof.

After spending the morning with my dad, I made my way towards Ivan's school, a little earlier than usual so that I could watch his Christmas performance.  It was so adorable! Ivan was one of the three wise men.  I am grateful for the love and dedication poured into my Ivan by Mrs. Liz,  Mrs. Sharon and Mrs. Martha - they are great!

Then as the sun set and evening hit, it came with some cooler temperatures and a lot of emotions. What my family has had to endure has brought about positive things in our lives, that all of us would be willing (at this moment in time) to forego if it just meant that Dad could be back to his normal self.  But don't let my encouraging, uplifting blogs cast any doubt as to how difficult these days are for us. There are many trying times, but my dads accomplishments far outweigh the difficult moments we endure.  He can't even begin to understand how far he has come or how incredible it is that he has made so much progress in such a short period of time.  But we can see it.  I do believe that my dad will overcome this.  Nothing has ever been easy for him but that has never stopped him.  If anything it has made him work harder.  This afternoon was his first follow up appointment - just about a month since his surgeries.  Let me just remind you that the doctors told us, as he was hooked up to machines and in ICU that it would be quite a while before he walked, and that he would probably not comprehend or understand things and that he would probably never talk.  If he did talk it would probably be a year and maybe only a few words.  Every times the doctors would say 'if' then my mom would say 'when'...she corrected them a lot. Today they informed my mom that the swelling on his brain was still there and that they could not yet put his skull back in.  They went on to say that my dad might not walk again, and that what he says now is probably all he will say, that we shouldn't hope for much more.  I know doctors have to be realistic - but stop and look at what he has done in this short amount of time, stop to look at the fact that he is doing things you didn't think he would ever do, and then DO NOT say in front of him what he will 'never' do again.  That was very discouraging to my dad, he has been working so hard.  It was discouraging to all of us. Meanwhile, we were all gathering at Brooks so we could set up a tree and decorate it for his room.  He definitely wasn't in the spirit for that but we stayed anyways.  I told him that he needs to listen to the doctors and therapists at Brooks who see him every day. Rebecca and Uriah were passing out Christmas gifts since they will be heading to Oregon tomorrow and my dad picked up the card, and it looked like he was reading it but couldn't say the words and he got really upset and started crying, we all told him it will come back in time and that we just have to practice.  Most people at Christmas gatherings pass around chocolates and cookies, we were passing around a Kleenex box.  It hurts all of us in a different way, and the powerless feeling and intense hurt sucks. More than a few nurses have commented on his progress.  One even stopped tonight after we had all left to tell my dad not to lose hope, that he is a strong man and that the doctors don't have the final say - God does.  My heart is hurting tonight.  I love my dad so much and the last thing he needs now is any discouragement. I still believe he will make a full recovery.

 On the way home we heard this song on the radio.  It is so hard to believe.  "The more broke you are the more the light gets through...." Others have told me I am an inspiration during a time that it feels like all I am doing is moving through the days, trying to keep it together and keep going.  I know this is part of a bigger plan, that I can't comprehend at this moment in time, but I do trust that God will reveal bits and pieces when I am able to understand it. In the mean time, I will continue to show up and be there for my dad (and my mom) because I love them so much! 


Rachel Van Deusen said...

Vanessa Evans Yes they are, but with family anything is possible especially with our family!

Rachel Van Deusen said...

Rebecca J Denton --You know what he said tonight when I was saying see you later? I was giving him a pep talk and telling him that we will see him when we get back and that we will look forward to seeing his improvement and seeing him walk when we get home ! I told him to not listen to anybody except one person. I then asked him do you know who that is ? I was about to say God when he said "Rachel". It was a sweet moment. It's a testament to your dedication to helping dad recover. He knows who to listen to. I am so happy you are there for him everyday with therapy, I believe he has come this far partly because of how much support you have given him. I am so proud of you and I know that dad is too ! I love you Rachel Van Deusen!

Rachel Van Deusen said...

Mauricie Abrilz ---I cannot believe that they said this in front of Vaughn! I have seen him do the exact opposite of what they said he would not be able to do! I have been there to watch his speech therapy and seen the videos Rachel has posted of stuff the Mayo "experts" were saying he would be unable to do! Discouraging? It was more like undoing all the work that Brooks had invested in him the last couple of weeks! To say I am furious is an understatement! Luckily Brooks will maintain his positivity zone and get him pumped back up to continue doing the impossible stuff that Mayo says he will not be able to do but already has! They do not know Vaughn Evans or the wondrous work of our God and ALL the Brooks Angels and one determined and so loving family! we just pick up the pieces and get back on that bike and keep pedaling. I have spoken to this man. I have seen him rationalize, I have seen his right side move, I have seen understandable displays of emotion. It will be a long road in some areas but it will eventually happen. That the folks at Mayo made this observation in a couple of hours is not computing with me and saying it in front of Vaughn was just reprehensible! I thank them for saving our Vaughns life but, now , we move on under the Brooks umbrella of therapy and encouragement and continue in his realistic goals with the amazing baby steps he keeps displaying to us. FURIOUS? You're damned right I'm furious! Dear Lord Jesus, we ask that you help us to keep focused on the goals at hand for this most loved man and bless all those who have shared this path we are on. We strive for full recovery but rejoice in the daily accomplishments he surprises us with as he walks the walk. Be with my family and give them the strength and spirit to continue to be the unbelievable support group they already are. AMEN!

Rachel Van Deusen said...

Joyce Randall --He is a strong man surrounded by a very strong and supportive family. God's will is the final say on his progress not a doctor's report. Just think back to his singing. I'm sure he will be singing praises to the almighty healer!!!

Rachel Van Deusen said...

Frances Guttemburg-- Wow horrible. Just dash someone's hopes. I believe he will make a full recovery.. Tell him not to give up hope. How heartless.