Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Update

*I think this post was origianlly done by the relief society in Sue's ward. I wanted to add it to this blog just in case any readers weren't aware of Sue's great progress:

All of the prayers in Sue's behalf have been heard by our
Father in Heaven.
It was a very happy day on Wednesday,
December 21st.

Sue defied all the odds
and was able to come home!

Look at that smile on her face!

She worked her tail off in therapy, so the Doctors decided she
could come home under the care of her ever
doting, wonderful husband Brad.
He will be doing her therapy with her at home
for the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime they will wait for the swelling to subside the rest of the way. Then the doctors will be able to go in and replace the bone flap in her head.
Following that she will continue therapy for a few more months.

We have witnessed a true miracle in our midst.
From the doctors saying "not much hope", to
being able to walk, talk and move in such a miraculously short time, reminds us that the power of the priesthood is real.

We are so blessed to have that knowledge
and power to bless our life's.

It is an incredible day for Sue to get to be home and sleep in her own bed!
It's the best Christmas present ever!

*We ask that you still be respectful of her need to do therapy and rest.
You can send a note of encouragement or leave a message on the blog in the "post a comment box" below.
Sue has been so touched by the outpouring of love
and support from all of you.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December 17

Sue is progressing really well! They've moved her down to a rehabilitation room. The doctors have decided she should finish rehab before they put back in her skull bone. She's doing everything more quickly than expected and if she continues on this path she'll be finished with rehab on the 21st and they'll do the surgery the next day. If all continues well, she should be home between Christmas and New Year.

Yesterday Brad was walking the kids and me back to our car after we came to visit. Right before he left the room he said to Sue, "If you need anything, I'll be right back. Don't try to get out of bed by yourself." She replied that she'd wait. Right as Brad was coming back into the room he caught her trying to move on her own and helped her before she fell. She got a stern lecture from Brad and the nurses and they turned on a bed alarm to prevent any future mishaps. Luckily everything turned out ok, but I couldn't help but smile a little at this event - that's the spunky, independant woman we all know and it's fun to see that part of her personality come out.

Friday, December 16, 2011

How Do I Love My Nana?

How do I love my Nana?
Let me count the ways.

She kisses your face,
Gives hugs to last forever,
I love my Nana.

How do I love my Nana?
Let me count the ways.

She shows her love,
And works hard towards her goals,
I love my Nana.

How do I love my Nana?
Let me count the ways.

She smiles and laughs,
And has a good time,
I love my Nana.

How do I love my Nana?
Let me count the ways.

She listens to her children and grandchildren,
Celebrates our acompishments from an A+ to winning a spelling bee.
I love my Nana.

What do I know about my Nana?
Let me tell you the ways.

She is talking and walking,
Eating her dinner,
Being brave for her shots,
Holding her loved ones,
Coming home around Christmas,
And feeling much better.
We love our Nana!

By Lauren Green

Anyone who loves Nana, feel happy, she will return soon! If YOU are Nana, We love you vey much! I would have made the poem longer, but I'm tired. It could go on forever, we all love you to the ends of the earth, past the moons, the planets, and eternity. AND BACK AGAIN A MILLION TIMES. Dear Nana, you are an angel sent down from heaven. We love you Nana!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Thought Worth Sharing

These words hit home with me today. They were shared with Sue and I by Carma Hyde, McKay's mom, who recieved them from her dear friend who has had similar life experiences as we are having now. What a gift words can be.

                                                 How can there be redemption and resurrection
                                                         Unless there has been great sorrow?
                                                                    And isn't the struggle
                                                                          And rising
                                                                  The real work in our lives?
                                                                                            - Mary Oliver

For all of us, each season of life is different and presents various challenges and lessons.  The promise of the Christmas season is that sorrow can be turned to joy, struggle can provide strength, and rising is possible through the matchless life of our Savior, Jesus Christ.


Monday, December 12, 2011

A Tender Word From Peter, Sue's Grandson

Hi, this is Marie, Sue's daughter.

I wanted to share with my family something Peter said tonight.  As I was doing the dinner dishes he was coloring at the kitchen table.  He looked up, full of emotion and said, "Mom, if I think about you being in the hospital and having your brain hurt like Nana's it makes we want to cry really hard like you do sometimes for Nana."

I was so touched at the empathy that his little 6 year old heart was capable of.  I know my kids have been worried as I have burst into tears when a friend shows up at my door to check on me.  Or, poor Rinda (8) who was in my bed the night of mom's injury, my husband McKay half way around the world in India.  She woke up several times that night to my sobbing and vocal pleading with Heavenly Father as I waited for texts and phone calls to come- holding my hand. These, added to the tender prayers and fasting from my older two kids has really shown me the great capacity of faith, understanding, and compassion that we are to learn from children and ultimately aspire to.

My mom's grand-kids adore her, for sure.  I am certain that their great desire for her recovery has been felt in heaven and surely been an underlying motivator for mom to improve and heal.

Looking forward to our next Skype session & much love from New Jersey, Nana!

Kids Perspectives:

Thoughts from Matt & Heidi's kids...

When Nana first went to the hospital I fasted for her and prayed. I felt good because I was doing a nice thing. It strengthened my testimony of fasting and praying because it was hard to do but I knew I was doing the right thing.

-Bradley Green, age 12

When I first found out that Nana had an aneurism, I got really worried. To help her get better I prayed, fasted and constantly thought of her. When I prayed and fasted I felt the spirit and knew that even if she went to heaven she would be comforted. When I found out she was improving I felt like celebrating. To cheer her up, I made her a poster in my spare time. Anybody who visits Nana is welcome to sign it. I love my Nana very much and I hope she feels better soon.

-Lauren Green, age 10

I prayed to Heavenly Father. I just love how she can talk now. I am gonna give her a book and I made it. I’m glad that she is feeling better. The best thing of all is she is the best person I know.

-Will Green, age 6

I love Heavenly Father and Nana. I pray for Nana every day.

-Owen Green, age 3

Dec 12, 2011

Im sure I talked Moms ear off last night! We sat and had a long conversation over some chocolate chip cookies.  It was so great to be able to carry on a conversation with her and have her converse back without any hesitation or confusion.  I hadn't really realized until last night how much I missed having mundane, day to day conversations with her.  We didn't get to stay long because she had a masseuse come in and give her a well deserved massage.  Tomorrow marks two weeks.  Words cannot begin to express how blessed our family has been.  Those hospital beds are not comfortable! You would think with all the modern day luxuries we have now, hospital beds would be a lot better than they are.  The boys and Brad are still constantly at her side.  They are proud to report that she has not spent a moment alone since she got there.  Im sure I speak for everyone when I say that our testimonies and faith in the Lord and his gospel have grown.  We constantly read of miracles in the scriptures, but they are still happening today.  I am a witness of that.  Im living in one right now.  Thank you for your prayers in Sues behalf, I testify that your prayers are heard.  Please keep praying for her, but don't forget to thank our Father in Heaven for the blessings he has been sending us all during this tough time.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dec 11, 2011

Saturday was a big day in 'Sue's Journey'. It was day eleven and they moved Sue from the NCUU unit to the Neural Acute Care unit. That is three days early! She continues to beat the odds.

 I know this girl pretty well and now she is focused in on what she wants (getting well ) we all have two options. Help or get out of the way.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dec. 10th

Here is an update I received from Brad this morning:

Friday was a kind of level day for Sue, maybe slight regression in her healing. The medical folks call this 'waxing and Waining' and say it is perfectly normal for neurological injuries.

Her early morning examinations went well. She has been down graded to Q4 so she only gets the questions and answers and physical testing every four hours now. Her verso spasm tests continue to incrementally improve each day which is very good. Sue is receiving physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy every day and the Stroke Rehabilitation doctors and techs are starting to work with her. The speech therapy has really paid off because she can send me after hot chocolate and ice cream. ( three ice cream bars Friday )

The doctors are talking about getting her out of NCCU ( brain ICUS ) and into the Acute Care unit, but with her type of injury the patient has to stay in NCCU for fourteen days. But she is progressing so well they might make an exception.

The doctors decided to take the staples out of her head on Friday morning. DR. WALLY actually took them out on his rounds at 3:30 am on Saturday morning. It is kinda weird but time of day doesn't mean a lot in this unit. They are constantly on the go.

Friday Sue's surgeon Dr. Couldwell came by with Dr. Coon and discussed replacing the part of her skull they took out. The swelling still needs to go down in order to do this but it sounds like they may perform that surgery next week sometime. By the way when people talk about Dr. Couldwell usually they remind us that he is "the best Neurosurgeon on the Planet" . When they talk about Dr. Coon they remind us and anybody else that she is a genius. All the doctors and nurses and technicians in the NCUU are top guns as far as we are concerned. It is an impressive thing to witness these professionals at work. Incredible discipline, focus and dedication. I don't think they sleep, ever. Most all of them seem very young to me. So I guess that says where I am in life.

Sue's nurses from our original days in the really critical care section keep coming back to check on her and visit, some even on their days off. They have painted her nails and brought her matching games and puzzles to help her with her recovery. Sue is pretty easy to love and they are so sweet.

Sue loves to have the sweet letters and get well wishes she has recieved read out loud. Love has a great healing power.

Sue's sons continue to compete over time to look over her and I , with two of them in the room with us a lot of the time.It is real hard to get alone time with her right now. Besides that they readily tune me up if I am not treating her just right.

The daughters are all busy fussing over Sue and making sure her every wish is met. They are helping her with things at home, reviewing her Christmas lists and helping her stay up with life. They are determined to help keep Sue up to date and engaged. We are so blessed with our children.

A good deal of my time is spent as Sue's social secretary. Writing responses to the kind well wishes and comments she receives. Managing visitors that show up to see her. Just a reminder no visitors except family and clergy.

Love you all
Brad & Sue

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dec 6, 2011

My dates are a little out of order here but I just got an email from Dad with a few things I didn't include. He has been so diligent in taking notes of her progress:

For the fist time today even doctors and nurses used the 'miracle' word.

She did physical and speech therapy. With assistance she walked 75 ft.

She is on normal diet and eating really well.

She is speaking unexpectedly well which her early prognosis indicated that this would be very unlikely. I am so grateful for this. What would life be without that sharp tongue of Sues.

She is worried about her Book of Mormon class ladies. Terry Salmon / friend ,family ,relief society president came and visited with her. They talked and put her mind at rest. For now.

Krischelle got in town from Phoenix and brightened sue up.

Seems like she really does her best when those she loves are in the room. She wants us all to feel good about all this.

What incredible care she is receiving. We are so thankfully to all their exceptional skills and talents but more importantly for their genuine kindness and personal  interaction. What I'm trying to say is that we love them for loving us.

There has never been a time when sue has been without one of her children (this includes Sue's daughter in laws) in her room 24/7. Usually there are more than one and sometimes they are all packed into her room until the hospital staff raises an eyebrow at us for bending the rules.

Another day of Sue defeating the odds. What a tough cookie.


Dec 7, 2011

Its been one week.  Sue has made some amazing progress in the last seven days.  We have truly witnessed miracles and have been blessed immensely.  Yesterday she took a little walk down the hall, sat up in a chair for a few minutes, and feed herself some food.  I visited with her last night, the last time I was able to see her was Friday, words cannot express how great it was to sit and talk to her and have her respond!  About 2 months ago she sent me home with a book that she read, we share a passion for reading and she is always sending me her recommendations.  I finally got around to reading it but I was never able to talk about it with her.  It bothered me,  I was worried that she wouldn't remember it.  We sat and talked about the book, she asked me questions about our cruise, we talked about her dogs, her trip to Arizona...I was so grateful to hear all the things she remembers!  So far she is remembering everything long term but her short term memory struggles a bit.  When we talk to her she mostly nods.  I think its pretty exhausting for her to talk but she makes an effort to say things to us and it always makes Brad smile.  He giggles at her little facial expressions and when she raises her eyebrows at some of the things he says.  She even has her "oh please" look back when Brad says something she thinks is lame.  He is so happy to have her here.  It is so fun to see her personality is still there.  We are so grateful for everyday we have with her and her amazing recovery.  Brad still has not left the hospital.  His goal is for him or one of the boys to be there every time she is awake. He doesn't want her to be alone.  He keeps telling her "Im never leaving your side."  Its been an exhausting task so far for the boys but everyone is dedicated to Brads goal and we know it will pay off.  When we left last night he was on his way to the cafeteria to buy her some ice cream.  He has loved pampering her and giving her treats (sometimes behind the nurses back!)  I read her your comments last night and she loved hearing them.  She remembers all of you and loves to hear your words.  Please keep them coming!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dec. 5th

We about had to pick our jaws up off the floor when we walked into Sue's room this afternoon! She was sitting in a chair eating apple sauce! Its truly amazing the progress she has made, and we know it is because of all the the prayers on her behalf.
They are keeping her feeding tube in for now, but bringing her dinner (soft foods) tonight to see how it goes. She is remembering more and more and keeps surprising us at the things she remembers and the questions she asks. She is already worrying about who is going to keep her scripture class going.. typical Sue.
Its very humbling to see the dedication and love her boys and husband have for her. Taking turns sleeping at the hospital, massaging her feet and hands, and making sure she is comfortable at every minute.
The Doctors say she is still not out of the woods for some set backs, but we are so grateful and hopeful at the progress she has made. We have seen miracle, after miracle and are so grateful for all the blessings our family has received. Thank you for your love, prayers and concern for our family.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dec. 4, 2011

Mom is surprising everyone with her progress. While we are reminded to not forget what may happen in the coming week, we can't help but celebrate the miracles we have seen.

Yesterday Mom asked for water among a few other things she needed. It is such a thrill to hear her quiet voice say anything!  She even asked me how long until I have to go home.

A definite highlight was when we saw her personality come out in a little sarcasm.

She has done well answering many questions to see if she knows her name and where she is.

The nights are rough as she tries to pull at the many tubes and wires she's connected to or scratches at the staples in her head.

Dad is, as I'm sure you'd imagine, a valiant protector of all that is good for mom. From turning away visitors to choosing music for her to listen to, he has not left her side. His love for her has never been more evident.

He is draws strength from the well wishes by text, email, or on this blog. Knowing of the prayers offered for our family has really touched him, and all of us.

We love you MommaJo.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dec. 3

So... Friday was a day full of little miracles and progress. Sue was able to get her breathing to a Point that they removed the respirator for now. The doctors said that they still may need to put her back on the respirator but felt that she could do without it for now and she would be more comfortable. Sue has opened one eye and can recognize people. She has squeezed our hands and given some of us a little pat. At one point she even gave a couple of her sons a little wave when they entered or left the room. 

Sue is getting great care from an incredible staff of doctors and nurses and technicians working on her what seems to be nearly non stop. We are so grateful  to all the professionals working for her recovery. The University of Utah Medical Center has a tremendous reputation and they deserve all of it.

It has been so humbling to receive so many well wishes and offers of prayers and fasting in our behalf. We want everyone of our treasured friends and wonderful priesthood leaders to know that those prayers and the fasts have yielded miracles in Sue's life and in the lives of our family. Our family has an incredible peace and assurance that wherever we may be heading in terms of Sue's recovery that the Lord will bless us with everything we need when we need it. We are also grateful for all the expressions of love and offers of assistance that we have received. Honestly it is overwhelming and warming to know how loved Sue is. Please know that Sue and I love you all right back.

Please continue to keep Sue in your prayers.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dec 2, 2011

I just got word that her breathing tube is out! This is great progress for her, way to go mom!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dec 1, 2011

Sue had a very active morning today!  She had a bath, chest x-ray, and CT scan.  She also was able to lift both legs, show the Dr.s two fingers on each hand, give the thumbs up, and try to talk a little.  It was a great morning.  They put some boots on her feet to exercise her muscles and prepare her for standing in the next couple days.  When the Dr. came in to check her again she was very unresponsive.  I think she was so exhausted from all the activity earlier in the day.  Its to be expected, we will have ups and downs. I went in to visit her tonight and she was in a little bit of pain.  They gave her some meds to help with the pain and after that we could tell that she was sleeping very comfortably.  She has been trying to open her eyes but they are so swollen that she cant.  But, the effort is what counts!  Before I left the Dr. came in and told Brad that her CT scan looks great and he is very pleased with how things are going so far.  Its been 48 hours now and every Dr. that comes in uses words like "remarkable" and "unexpected progress" when the talk about her situation. We have been very blessed.  She has got a big battle coming up though, days 4-7 are the hardest and she is expected to regress a bit.  We are told its normal and that it will get worse before it gets better.  Sue is a strong woman and I know she will continue to fight.  We appreciate your prayers, keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nov. 29, 2011

It happened at 9:00 on Tuesday night.  Sue had just finished teaching her Book of Mormon class with some ladies in her ward at home.  She started complaining of a terrible headache and passed out.  Luckily she had some friends there that caught her and laid her down.  She was not breathing very well on her own, they called 911 and within minutes Brad was by her side and the paramedics had arrived.  They intubated her and took her to Lakeview Hospital.  From Lakeview she was moved by ambulance to The University of Utah Hospital to see a Neuro surgeon.  They took a CT scan and found an aneurysm.  A surgery was done to remove a part of her skull to help relieve the pressure and allow the swelling to have somewhere to go.  She is in the Neuro Intensive Care unit and has some fantastic doctors and nurses.  Although she is still unconscious she is stable.  I went in to see her today and while I was there the nurses did a neurological test to see how she responds to stimulus.  After quite a few sternum rubs, pokes, and pinches they were able to get her to wiggle her toes and squeeze the nurses hand.  She also tried a few times to open her eyes and moved her right arm to push the doctors hand away.  Its hard to believe it hasn't quite been 24 hours and she has already been through so much.  We had some encouraging signs today but we are very far from out of the dark.  She is a strong woman and has a great fight ahead of her.  Please continue praying for her.