Wednesday, November 26, 2008

So much to be thankful for!

Luke as a pilgrim...Thanksgiving 2006.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34

I think when you have been thru what we have been thru over the last year and half, giving thanks takes on a whole new meaning. We certainly have SO much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! First and foremost, I am thankful to God, who has never left our side this entire journey and we know He never will. He has used an eight year old boy named Luke, who we are proud to call our son, to show us and countless others that miracles still exist today if only you believe. I am also thankful for Luke, who is our hero in every sense of the word. He has survived being given a less than 5% chance, progressed way more than many doctors thought he ever would, taught us about courage, perseverance, and hard work. We are so thankful for the fighting spirit he has been blessed with, and we know God has great plans for him! I am thankful for Lynsey, who has never missed a beat when it comes to her brother. It warms my heart each night when she crawls into bed to lay by him or grabs his arm to arm wrestle. I am thankful for Mike, who loves his Wing man so much, and who does SO much for Luke. I can not wait until the day they can go hunting and fishing again. I am so thankful for all of our family and friends who help us out so much! Without all of you, this journey would be so much harder and so much lonelier...thanks for being with us for the long haul. I hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving day. I hope that you, too, will look around and see that no matter how big of a financial crisis America may be in now, or how bad life seems to be, there is ALWAYS, ALWAYS something to be thankful for. May God Bless you all this holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving! Believe!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Here we go again....

Luke had yet another follow-up with the eye dr today. I know, I haven't written about his eyes in awhile so you probably thought all was well.....not so much!! While his right eye is doing awesome and he is beginning to open it more, however, his left eye is still very irritated and bothers him so much. It will be 3 months next week since he had the surgery. So the doctor says well it still looks the same. So I said, "At what point do you consider closing it again." Maybe I shouldn't have asked that question because his reply was, "I think that is what we should do." Here we go again with yet another surgery for the Gladiator to go thru. I pray, pray, pray that this will be the last one for a very long time (is forever too much to ask)! He said it is not as invasive as the opening, however, I hate the fact that they have to put him out yet again. It is just not good for the body to have to go thru that time and time again. So, I guess we can pray for a miracle that the eye will start closing and blinking on it's own before he goes in, which looks like it could be sometime in mid-December. "...With God all things are possible" Matthew 19:26 Believe!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Luke Stories...

Here are two cute Luke stories of the week. Yesterday he learned he can take off his shoes and socks by himself. He was so proud! It is so neat to see him do something for the first time, and the look on his face that says, I did it! Go Luke! I have also been telling him this week that Santa is going to be coming soon. In fact, we have already decorated the house. Luke even pointed to the stocking that was his. So, I told him he needs to be able to tell Santa with his mouth what he wants for Christmas. The first thing he said was I asked him if he wanted a fish or to go fishing...he said to go fishing. Honestly, Mike has been gone hunting; I think he just wants a break from mom. Last night though I asked him again, and this time he sounded like he was trying to say trucks. So hopefully I can use good old Mr. Claus to get him to use his voice more. Make it a great weekend! Believe!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Are they working?

The million dollar question seems to be...are those stem cells working? Now, keep in mind, they tell you it takes about 2 weeks to start seeing results, but can sometimes take 3 months. However, we have seen a few things this week, but sometimes I find myself second guessing. Last night when we went to bed, Lynsey said to me, "Mom, I think those stem cells are really starting to work," so I figured maybe it isn't just me. It is hard to explain, but it is like Luke has reached a new level of awareness. Here are some examples and the Luke stories of the day. On Friday, when I was dropping Lynsey off at school, I guess Luke decided he was ready to be a Desert Mountain Coyote again because next thing I knew he was opening his door like he was ready to get out and go. When I shut the door, he was very upset, but he had never done that before. Then last night, the phone rang. I was in the kitchen and after two rings it stopped, I decided Lynsey must have answered it. That is until I heard buttons pushing from where Luke was. He had reached for the phone, brought it up to his ear, pushed a button to answer it! The last example is he really doesn't move a whole lot when he sleeps. However, the last week or so, he has been moving around a lot. This morning he woke me up and he had both legs hanging off the bed and was completely on his stomach. I am just glad he knew to wake me up to move him. So slowly but surely those cells are going where they need to go. Thanks for the continued prayers of healing and recovery. "The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him." Lamentations 3:25 Believe!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lite Gait

Well...Luke has passed his test for the lite gait with flying colors! He looked so good walking on it. Basically, the machine goes over a treadmill, and we are on the floor helping to move his feet. Luke did really good moving his right leg by himself, but because of the tone in his left leg, it is a lot more work and harder for him to move on his own. Hopefully, the machine will retrain his brain and get rid of that tone! So, now we just see if the insurance will pay for it, which they say, most likely not. In the meantime, we are going to rent one for three months and see how he does. The biggest thing is, we need to get him on it everyday for at least like 10 minutes, but he has to be willing to work! Today he walked almost 300 feet on it, which is awesome! Lucky for us, it is made right here in AZ, so we save quite a bit in shipping, and can get it next week if we tell them we are ready! Pray he will have the strength, stamina, and drive to work hard on it so we can see great improvements in his mobility.

Once again I say, thanks for checking on Luke. Unless, you live in a secluded island in the middle of nowhere, you know that times are bad. Everyone has their own struggles they are dealing with on a daily basis, yet you continue to think of us and Luke. For that we are grateful! I just keep telling myself....this too shall pass and we will all be much better off because of it...believe!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Mike won this stuffed animal playing the games!
Lynsey and Luke at the entrance...I loved the flowers here!

Here are the long awaited Sea World pics...nothing too spectacular. It is hard to get pics with the animals and us in them too:) I will say Luke loved the Shamu show...he was very vocal during it, and you could for sure tell when he caught sight of Shamu. As for the Dolphin show...Lynsey wanted to sit in the soak zone so Mike went down with her. Luke and I stayed up top and we both got pooped on by the pigeons or sea gulls. We didn't even know until Mike and Lynsey came back up and started laughing. Mike says that could only happen to me. We did have a fun day, and I think Luke enjoyed it.
Now for the big news of the day...we found out today that Lynsey and Luke will be getting a little sister!
This next week Luke is going for an evaluation to see if he is a candidate for an assisted walking device called a lite gait . Basically, it is a machine that retrains the brain to walk and helps build strength. I found out about it by another little boy's web site I follow that has a brain injury ( The funny thing is when I called the company today to get more info...guess where they are based....Tempe, AZ!!! Go figure...right here! So that is a good thing. We take him there on Thursday. Please pray he is a candidate. The other thing we need prayers for is for Luke to get the ambition and drive to do all of this hard work he needs to do to get better. It really is a lot to ask of him (especially when you consider all he has been thru), but it is what it is going to take. I have been reading a book called Stronger After Stroke . It is great! I actually emailed the author to see if the same basic principles apply to those with a traumatic brain injury. He said for sure! Well the number one principle is the patient has to be willing to put in lots of work (like 5 hours per day with lots and lots of repetition!) So that is where we are at now. The book is very hopeful and offers lots of great tips. To get the most out of the stem cells, Luke needs lots of input, but we can't force it on him, he has to be willing to receive and work too. Thanks so much for your prayers...together we will all make BIG, AMAZING things happen in our Gladiator! Believe!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

All went well...

Just a quick update to let everyone know we made it back to the US safe and sound. Now, we just need to pray those little cells go where they need to go. Thanks so much for your prayers. We took the kids to Sea World yesterday, so I will post pics when we get back. Thanks again so much for the prayers and checking in on Lukey!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat

Luke had a great time trick or treating!! He loved seeing everyone in their costumes. Thanks to all of our neighbors who let him keep the handful of candy he grabbed. I think by the tenth house or so he finally starting taking just one piece:)

We are set to head out for Stem Cells this Tuesday! I can not believe it has already been 6 months since he last got them. People always tell me, doesn't time go by so slowly for you? It is actually the goes by way too fast. This next week it will be 1 year and 8 months since Luke was hurt. Yes, we would like to see him doing more, but we are so thankful for how far he has come. We know the best is yet to come...all in His time. So, please remember, as you set out to vote this Tuesday, say prayers for healing and recovery for our little Gladiator...together we can pray those cells go where they need to go for more healing in Luke! Believe!