Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thank you East Valley Sol!

Luke and Santana at their party!
A HUGE, HUGE thank you to everyone at East Valley Sol for the awesome party/fundraiser they put on last night for Luke and Santana (http://www.prayforsantana.org/). If you were not there, you missed out...these guys put on a great event!!!! Thank you so, so much for all of the work you put into it, from organizing, to setting up in the 100+ degree weather, to moving things when the wind came, everything was AWESOME!!! You guys will forever have a place in our hearts! Thanks also to everyone that attended the event...I know you can all attest to what a great night it was. I had many people tell me...this is the kind of charity everyone should support, they help out kids, yet everyone that came out last night also had a great time. So, if you were not able to attend this year, bookmark this web site, http://www.evsol.org/, and make plans to attend their event next year, where they will have new kids to help out, but I am sure the same good times! Thanks again so much to everyone at East Valley Sol and everyone that attended last night....God Bless you all for the amazing support you have shown our Gladiator! "Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered." Proverbs 11:25 Believe!

Friday, September 26, 2008

NACD Visit

Just a quick post as we had our quarterly meeting today with the NACD for Luke. I told Mike before we left I felt like we were going to principal's office because today we were meeting with Mr. Doman, the president of the NACD. When we last saw him he told us not to do the eye surgery, so I was afraid of what we would say. While he was not too excited we went ahead and did it, especially with the way Luke has been acting lately, I think he had some great suggestions for us. I am sure Luke was very happy with what he had to say, I think the smile he got on his face proved that to us, as his smiles have been few and far between lately. He said Luke deserves a vacation doing what he loves. So Mike asked Luke to raise his hand if he wanted to go fishing, the hand shot in the air at lightning speed! It looks like a trip up north fishing is in our near future. Next, he recommended giving Luke a break from his therapies at St. Joe's and just concentrating on doing the program. Then, he asked us what Luke liked to do before he was hurt, we said anything outside. He said, "Get this boy a power wheels and let him ride!" Why didn't we think of that? So, Luke does have a few power wheels, a quad and a go kart, but he is not contained very well in those, and I am not sure Lynsey's old pink Barbie jeep will do the trick, so looks like we will be power wheel shopping this weekend. He had some great suggestions, he thinks all of Luke's "busy-ness" could be playing a role in his change of behavior, but also that maybe he could be depressed now that he is seeing the world go on around him. So, he said make the next few weeks all about Luke and what he likes to do, not the work he has to do to get better. That is exactly what we will do! Believe!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'll Walk..

Luke Playing Tic-Tac-Toe by throwing bean bags.
Luke kicking the ball to knock over the pins.
Standing with help from a big ball.

I figured I was overdo by a few posts for pictures so here are a few from therapy this week and one of Lynsey too in the shirt she wore for her speech for VP. Luke is wearing his Thera Togs, they help him with his posture. The eye dr says his eye is looking much better and wants to see him next week. He is still not participating like he was in therapy before the surgery and has been super grumpy this week. Everyone thinks it just has to do with him getting used to his eyes being open. Thankfully the therapists are all patient with him. I also think it has something to do with the fact we are gone from nine to five at some sort of appointment every day of the week except Sat and Sun. That will be changing the end of next week when he finishes up this round of oxygen therapy:) I think that will help. I know I can hardly wait...I have seen more than my share of the valley freeways, this much is for sure! It gives me lots of time to listen to the new songs on the radio. This week I have noticed a new one by Bucky Covington called, "I'll Walk." I get teary eyed every time I hear it...I long so much for the day when Luke says to me some of the lyrics from the song:

...And says, I'll walk.Please hold my hand.I know that this will hurt, I know you understand.Please (mommy) don't cry.This is already hard.Let's go, don't worry.I'll walk.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you this Saturday night at the fundraiser. We will be using any money raised to help pay for more Stem Cell Therapy in November. This will get us closer to hearing those words Mike and I so long to hear, "I'll Walk." Thank you so much to everyone for your continued support. I don't think I have said it in awhile, but we would never want to walk this walk alone, you mean so much to us!! Believe!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Fall Ya'll!!

Luke had his appointment with the optometrist/vision therapist today. I think it went pretty well, and I liked the doctor. She basically said Luke's left eye is so sore right now, we need to concentrate on getting that eye better. Then she gave me some exercises to do with him that will help him get better movement of his eyes. Since his eyes were closed for so long, we have to start with the very basic movement and go from there. She said just getting the basic could take weeks or months...pretty much like everything else with a brain injury no one knows, only time will tell. He is starting to get to be a little more like he was pre-surgery. After our appointment we went to Target. I let him pick out his Halloween costume by telling me yes or no. Guess what he chose...Superman!!! Quite appropriate I thought:) Tomorrow we go to the opthamologist. It amazes me how 2 doctors can give you 2 completely different opinions on things, so we will see what he has to say on how Luke is healing. I must say too...a huge congrats to Lynsey...the new Vice President at her school. We are so proud of her...she did everything herself...posters and speech. You go girl!

Fall is the season of bountiful blessings and giving thanks. Do me a favor, this week look around you at all of the blessings you have in your life, you might be surprised. Trust me, you never realize how some of the things we take for granted every day are the biggest blessings...until they are gone. I would give anything to hear Luke say, "I Love you mom," to see him walking out to parent pick-up at school, to see him outside riding his bike, to hear him talk about the wabbits, to bug him about doing his homework, you know it really is the little things that make life. Look around and realize how blessed you are, even in these trying times everyone seems to be in, then look up and Give Thanks. "Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9 Believe!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Big Push!

Luke had another follow-up appointment today with the eye doc. He said his eye is looking better than last week, but still not where he wants it to be. So, he has added another drop three times per day in addition to the ointment every half hour. Pray this works!!! We also do have an appt with a vision therapist on Monday. Today at therapy Luke was way better than last week, so he is getting back to himself! Praise God for that because I a little worried!

Now for the big push....the big Fundraiser is only 11 days from today!!!! It is coming up fast. Make sure if you have not signed up yet, you do so today at www.evsol.org. As of now they are at about 400 people, but have room for 700...so let's fill up Tempe Diablo Stadium. In addition to the auction/raffle items I previously posted, here are some more that have since been added: Since my last email we’ve added a bunch more stuff including dinner for 10 at the new Outback Steakhouse at the San Tan Mall, a $250 gift card to City Hall Steakhouse, $100 to Fleming’s, $100 to Majerle’s restaurant, A Suns VIP package that includes 2 lower level tix, a tour of the locker room and the ability to sit on the bench during warm ups, 5 different signed pics of the Suns, an all star weekend package, A Matco tool drawer set (thx Mr. Anderson!)….amongst tons of other sports stuff, fitness packages, kids stuff, etc. the 2 jerseys (Ryne Sandberg and Shaq have been beautifully double matted framed professionally…they look incredible. It is going to be a great night, so don't miss out! A HUGE thanks to everyone at East Valley Sol for all of the hard work they have put into this. I pray you will be blessed a hundred times over for your extreme generosity! Thanks to everyone that has already signed up...may you be blessed many times over as well! Believe!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Follow Up Visit


Luke had this follow up today with Dr. Cassidy, the ophthalmologist that did the surgery. He said Luke is healing nicely, although is left eye is very red. We have increased the frequency and amount of the lacri lube we are putting in that eye. Luke has just not been himself since the surgery at all. He is very lethargic and yesterday at therapy they could not get him to do anything. Dr. Cassidy said he would have expected him to be more animated as a result of the surgery. He thinks Luke could be acting like this because the anesthesia is still wearing off (although it has been over a week and he never had a problem with this before) or because he is just overwhelmed with the vision stimulation he is getting. I asked him about vision therapy, but he did not think it is necessary. He thinks he just needs more time to get used to his eyes being open. I am going to go with my gut on this one and have done a search and found 3 optometrists I am going to call about vision therapy for Luke to see what they say. From the things I read on the web sites, I say he is the textbook person for vision therapy (can I just tell you how very thankful I am for the internet and google in this journey!) This could be just a difference of opinion from an ophthalmologist/optometrist. So if anyone knows of a good vision therapy specialist, I would love their info. Please pray we are led in the right direction on this for Luke so we can get him back to pre surgery Luke. We seem to be at one of those 3 steps forward, 2 steps back points, which I do not like. So, on that note I will close with one of the verses I kept repeating over and over in my head when Luke was first hurt and things were literally hour to hour, and I will be thankful we are no longer there. ."...Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 Believe!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Eyes...

I think today is the first day since Luke has had his eye surgery where he is actually seeming a little more himself. He had a rough few days after surgery. Now, he looks like he was in a really bad fight with all of the bruising. I will say the oxygen therapy is helping with that. We go to the doctor for the follow-up on Thursday. I am going to ask him about maybe doing some vision therapy or something with Luke. He just seems to be in such shock with being able to see. I am sure his little brain is going into processing overload, when you consider his eyes were closed for 18 months, and now not only are they open but also filled with goop. He seems to be getting adjusted to them being opened, as he is not grabbing at them as much.

For those of you that have signed up for the fundraiser...many have asked if you will receive tickets in the mail. The answer is no, your name will be on a list the night you arrive. For more details on the fundraiser you can go back a few posts or go to www.evsol.org. Thanks so much for your prayers. I know that we have been blessed in so many ways along this journey. I know that the hand of God has been in our lives at the times when we needed Him most. Someday I know we will look back at this period of our lives and realize that there were only one set of footprints in the sand. I know we could not have gotten thru this otherwise, had He not carried us thru as He continues to do day in and day out, with all of you on the side lines cheering us on. Believe!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Surgery update

Just a quick update to let everyone know the surgery went well. It is really to early to tell how Luke is reacting to it, as he is quite groggy from the anesthesia still. I think he is kind of in awe they are open, I mean they have been closed for almost a year and a half. The hardest thing is getting him to keep his hands away from his eyes, but I imagine any "normal" kid that had something done to their eyes would want to grab at them too. Thanks for your prayers! Believe!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Camping and Bike Riding!


Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend! We did...camping up north, although we did come home a day early due to the rain. Luke had lots of fun doing things outdoors...launching rockets, riding quads and razr, throwing pine cones. Let me tell you, he remembers where the gas is on the quad and wants to go full throttle! Today Luke was able to ride a stationary bike my dad used when he was getting back from knee surgery. Luke did awesome as you can see in the video! Remember..lots of prayers for his surgery on Wednesday...pray the only regret we have is not doing it sooner, because he improves so much from it. Yesterday my nephew was over and I had the telethon on for a little while. We were talking about kids in wheelchairs and T said, "Luke can't go on TV because his eyes are closed and everyone will think he is sleeping." I had to laught then I told him only two more days and Luke's eyes will be open. T said, "Yes and when his eyes are open he can talk." Oh, to have the faith of a child. Pray that T is right...with God all things are possible. Believe!


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