We Love Kelley Anne

Here's a blog with updates on how Kelley Anne is doing after her unfortunate accident. We'll keep you posted on how she's doing, and ways you can help her speedy recovery. If you'd like to send her a message, please post a comment in the Forum for Expressions. Thanks!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Kelley Anne's Progress

To hear about Kelley Anne's progress (updated frequently), follow this post's thread by clicking on the comments link right below. Scroll down the page for the latest update.

148 Comments:

At 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Anne went into surgery at 3pm PST on Tuesday, Nov 23. They worked on her left ankle and opened her left arm again to view it's progress. They were pleased with the left arm so they did a skin graph from her left thigh to her left arm. Surgery lasted about 4 hours. She is recovering nicely, and is scheduled for surgery again on Friday to put a plate in her broken hip. This is a very complicated surgery. I miss you Kelley Anne - speedy recovery! -Dawn

 
At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11/20/04 2:00pm PST
Kelley Anne is scheduled for surgery today on her left hip and broken pelvis.

 
At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11-30-04 Tuesday
Kelley Anne came out of her 3 hour hip surgery yesterday with great results. They put a plate in her hip 4 inches long. She is recovering nicely.

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Tuesday was a momentous day for Kelley Anne. It not only signified the two-week mark since her car accident, it turned out to be a day that revealed much about her progress and long-term prognosis.

Her husband, James, said he was assured by Kelley Anne's trauma surgeon, pulmonary (lung) surgeon and plastic surgeon that, Kelley Anne is "going to be fine." Wow!

Enough said. What wonderful news. Still, she has a long road to a full recovery and still has many medical-related issues to resolve.

Where to begin? Why not from head to toe?

Doctors continue to monitor the results from the plastic surgery performed on her face last Friday. This is done primarily through X-rays. The patch covering her right eye likely will remain there for another week or so. James, and Mom and Dad, report that Kelley Anne opened both eyes Tuesday night and is "alert," according to her doctors.

Kelley Anne's jaw will remain wired shut for another month or so, depending upon what X-rays reveal. She sustained damage to her mandible, teeth and gumline. Titanium plates were inserted in her jaw and cheeks as a means of stabilizing the myriad shattered bones.

Doctors intend to remove the ventilator today. The ventilator has been assisting Kelley Anne's breathing the past two weeks. However, it appears as if she now is breathing on her own and can go without assistance. Also, doctors like to keep in a ventilator for more than two weeks. Therefore, she either needs to make do without one or receive a tracheaotomy.

The doctors today also intend to remove the chest tube that has been used to drain excess fluid from her lungs. The collapsed lung she sustained in the accident has reinflated and is functioning well at this time.
The lacerated liver she sustained no longer is bleeding and healing as expected.

Her left arm remains one of the most troublesome areas, given the severity of her injuries to that appendage. The skin graft performed by the plastic surgeon to take skin from one of her thighs and use it to cover an open wound has taken well, the doctor said, and will thicken and become less difficult to look at as time passes.

Doctors intend to unwrap the wound in about a week or so in an effort to help expedite the healing process.
The pin doctors placed in her left arm remains there for now. It is expected to be there for another few weeks. Same goes for the external fixator installed to help keep the broken bones in place. The hope is, that the bones will grow together in time and eliminate the need for a bone graft talked about earlier.

The two damaged fingers on Kelley Anne's right hand are healing well. Doctors remain uncertain of the status of a joint on her middle finger.

Kelley Anne remains sore from the hip/pelvis surgery performed Monday. Doctors theorize that this is the source of her greatest pain right now. Scheduled radiation of the hip has been postponed until the ventilator and chest tube are removed.

Kelley Anne also sustained a fractured lumbar vertebra (L-1 for those of you scoring at home) in her lower back. Doctors already determined that no bones infringed upon her spinal cord region. However, the long-term status won't be determined until later.

Her badly damaged left ankle is healing well. The pin was removed and the sutures held despite the considerable swelling.

That's it for now. Keep praying and thinking positive thoughts. It is working, and she no doubt is feeling strength from us.

Sincerely,


Steven

 
At 1:42 PM, Blogger Steven said...

KELLEY ANNE SPEAKS!!!
KELLEY ANNE SPEAKS!!!
KELLEY ANNE SPEAKS!!!


"Water. Soda."

Two simple, innocuous words to most. Music to the ears of those who know what Kelley Anne has gone through the past 15 days.

Yes, folks, Kelley Anne spoke for the first time Wednesday afternoon. This wonderful news was just relayed to me by Dawn, via Kelly Vick.

Doctors removed Kelley Anne's ventilator, and she seized upon the opportunity to voice her greatest concerns. And all this time, we thought she was worried about all the pain.

Would somebody get the lady a damned soda?

The encouraging news just keeps flowing. She is breathing well without the assistance of a ventilator and continuing to make remarkable improvement. I don't know anymore than this but I will update as news filters in.

Again, this is great news and enough to make us jump for joy, shout to the heavens and, run to 7-11 and get Pudge a Diet Pepsi.

Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 10:47 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Dear Folks,

Kelley Anne made it through Thursday without any setbacks and remains on the road to recovery. Numerous people visited with her and reported that she opened her eyes -- her left eye is covered with a patch for now, but it appears as if she can see out of it to a limited extent -- held their hands, turned her head to look at them and even said a few words.

Her doctors remind Kelley Anne each day that she was involved in a car accident, that she is at John Muir Hospital, and that her friends and family are by her side around the clock. With that in mind, they asked her Thursday what year it is. She responded: "2004." That bodes well on many fronts.

Her facial injuries are clearing up, her fingers and hands are looking better and the swelling is subsiding somewhat. Doctors are eager to put her in a back brace to stabilize her from the broken vertebra she sustained, but they haven't figured out how to do so yet. They are worried about the negative effects from moving her.

She underwent radiation on her hip, and that appears to have went well. There aren't anymore surgeries planned for now, though she might need more later.

So, let's remain vigilant, prayerful and hopeful that Kelley Anne will continue her remarkable recovery. There will come a time soon when she will be amazed, thankful and overwhelmed by the support she has received, is receiving and will continue to receive from all of us forever.


I will post an update tonight, after we have visited with her today and her doctors have issued more commentary on her progress. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot think of a nicer person than Kelley Anne. I will pray for a speedy recovery. My thoughts are with you and your family. 12-4-04 Anne Matchette

 
At 8:44 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Dear Folks,

Kelley Anne continues to make progress toward, we hope, a full recovery. However, Sunday was indicative of just how tenuous and delicate her situation is at times. She had what was described as a "rough day" in terms of her heart rate and breathing being out of whack for a period of time. Doctors worked to find the problem and by nighttime, she appeared in a more stabilized condition. One of her nurses said she thinks Kelley Anne's body was reacting to a lack of water, which is caused by numerous things.

Anyhow, there were some exciting moments from the weekend. James told Kelley Anne on Saturday, "I love you." To which she responded: "I love you, too. Can I call you?" Sunday night, Kelley Anne reacted to a nurse applying cold cream to the area on her right thigh used for a skin graft on her left forearm by saying, "Oooohhh, that feels good." Only a few words and something that we take for granted in our daily lives, but those are huge signs of encouragement for doctors and loved ones concerned about her mental state.

Also, doctors have decided that Kelley Anne is in need of a back surgery to correct the broken vertebra she sustained in the crash. That is expected to be performed soon. She likely will be in a brace for numerous weeks after the operation. However, the surgery will enable her to begin moving the rest of her body without fear of exacerbating her back injury.

Finally, some of you may have heard that Kelley Anne's younger sister Carolyn couldn't stand being away from her, so she took up residence at John Muir. Yes, it's true. Carolyn was bitten several times by a dog at her work late last week and was admitted to John Muir when the bites became infected. Carolyn was doing well as of Sunday night and thrilled at the prospect of hopping on the elevator, dropping four floors and in on her sister. We will let you know when the youngest sister, Connie (Suds), decides to join them.

We love you, Kelley Anne.

 
At 9:26 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Tuesday, Dec. 07, 2004


Dear Folks,

Kelley Anne had an event-filled day Monday, though most of it was expected. Doctors replaced the filter below her heart because one can't be left in place for more than 10-14 days. The filter is inserted there to prevent blood clots from reaching her heart, a real concern because she is sedentary. Anyway, that went fine.

Doctors also removed the tube from the side of her neck and relocated it to one of her shoulders. In the process, they tested her blood and received a positive reading for staph infection. There remains the possibility that it was a false positive, though doctors are treating it as a positive until further results. Needless to say, staph infection is a serious matter and not encouraging news. However, we remain hopeful that it will qualify as just another setback in her long road to recovery.

Also, one of her doctors put some rubber bands on one side of her mouth to assist in the healing process of her broken jaw. The procedure is said to work well. If it doesn't in her case, the problem can remedied through different methods at a later time.

So, that's it for now. She was sedated rather heavily and not awake too much Monday, so there aren't any words or actions to relate. Take care and God bless.

Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to thank Steven for keeping us updated.
We are thinking about you Kelly Anne
Scott & Judi Johnson

 
At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI KELLEY ANNE
WE JUST TALKED TO JAMES ON SUNDAY AND HE TOLD US ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU.WE HOPE FOR YOUR SPEEDY RECOVERY AND ALL GOES WELL YOUR NEIGHBORS UP AT THE END OF THE STREET. MIKE & CAMI NICHOLS

 
At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tuesday, December 7

A glorious day!
Kelly Vic and I visit tonight and she is keeping converstion with us.
Kelley Anne understands she is in a hospital and knows she was in a car accident. She finds humor in the fact that the car she hated -THE VOLVO- is the car that saved her life. She laughs. She is also glad no one else was hurt. She doesn't remember any of it.

She asks several questions about everyone, wants to know what is going on and what she has missed while she has slept. She lets us know she is hungry and thirsty. Kelley Anne says, "I would ask Syliva (nurse)for a cup of tea, but I know she won't give me one". "I haven't eaten in three weeks, I am so hungry!" She inquires if there are any scars on her face. She keeps wanting to sit up, but of course she can't. She has her sense of humor about her and has this cute little laugh which is so good to hear. She asks us not to leave, but later gives us permission to leave as she grows tired quickly.

It is good to know Kelley Anne is working her way back to us. We take great comfort in our visit as we know our friend is alert, talkative and funny...and alive!
We love you Kelley Anne! And miss you terribly.
-Dawn Carney

 
At 11:49 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Wednesday, Dec. 08, 2004

And on the 21st day, Kelley Anne awoke. And she spoke. And watched TV. And yelled for James. And she displayed a firm understanding of her situation.

Yes, folks, after three weeks of touch-and-go situations, sobering news and countless worrisome days and nights, Kelley Anne suddenly decided it was time for her to emerge from her coma-like state and join the continuous party that has raged outside her room and let some of the people who have been part of the conga line-like procession dancing in and out of the intensive care unit in on what she thinks of things.

Go figure. To this point, Kelley Anne had only occasionally uttered a few words here and there, opened her left eye at certain times and motioned for people to hold her left hand. That all changed Tuesday, according to those fortunate enough to witness her sudden and amazing transformation.

It all started with an early-morning visit from Kelley Anne's younger sister Carolyn, who remains admitted to the same hospital because of an infection from dog bites. Kelley Anne opened her eyes, made mention of her knowledge of Carolyn being in the hospital and laughed at Carolyn for wearing the same pajamas as she.

It got better as the day progressed. Kelley Anne started watching TV when James went to visit her in the afternoon, carried on a conversation and acted "totally normal," James said. "She even yelled at me down the hall. She's with it."

Kelley Anne commented on her situation, saying she couldn't believe it happened. She also said, "I'm going to need some physical therapy," and responded to James' asking her if she knew which car she was driving by saying, "You don't have to be a smart-ass about it."

Welcome back, Pudge. Next up is a surgery scheduled for Friday in which doctors will fuse/repair as many as eight of the discs in her back. The risk of paralysis and death are real but negligible, doctors said. The real concern comes in the form of her needing to wear a cumbersome brace for many months upon completion of the surgery and not having the same range of motion from now on. However, the positives seem to outweigh the negatives because she would have great pain from scoliosis (curvature of the spine) later in life without the surgery.

One of her nurses said Wednesday afternoon that Kelley Anne had been waking more often than in recent days but appeared worn out from being so active the past 24 hours or so. At one point, she asked for James. Finally, she appears to be at the point where she can handle a self-administering medication system. That is a positive step and would enable her to be awake more often because the sleep-inducing medication won't be continuous but, rather, administered as needed.

The nurse even said Kelley Anne might be able to have a phone set up by her bed in the coming days. So, a lot of good news to digest at once and just what our insatiable appetites desire. More to come later. Take care and God bless.

Steven

 
At 11:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah KelleyAnne,
I am so impessed to hear of your progress! I can hardly wait to come see you! Ask me for a Pepsi and I can promise you'll have one as fast as I can get it to you! Girl, I want you to know that I'm thinking of you and your family. Can you feel the love? I'm sending you the love! Embrace it! It's yours! I love you,
Sally

 
At 7:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi KellyAnne!
I haven't seen you in years... we worked together in OAK and you were a buddy when I had no clue what to do in the ramp :-)
John told me about the accident. I am praying for your fast recovery and hoping when you feel up to reading, you we will remember me. I have been following your progress. I looks like you have wonderful friends and a wonderful family behind you and that will pull you thru it. Sending you tons of positive thoughts your way.
Lisa Brighina

 
At 9:05 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Friday, Dec. 10, 2004

Dear Folks,

Kelley Anne is scheduled to undergo back surgery today at noon. The procedure is expected to last five hours or so. There isn't a high risk of paralysis or lack of success associated with the operation she will undergo. The process entails fusing eight discs as a means of stabilizing her back and preventing her from having chronic pain later in life.

She will be in a brace for many months and the bone won't solidify for two years or so. Yes, her range of motion won't be as great as it once was, but she will gain a better quality of life.

This news comes on the heels of another positive day for Kelley Anne in her recovery. Once again, she was in a talkative mood for part of the day, for those fortunate enough to find her awake.

"It's the best we've seen so far," said her husband, James. "Just perfect."

A close friend of Kelley Anne and James' named Paul removed some of the pictures hanging on a nearby wall and showed them to Kelley Anne. "She loved those," Paul said, especially the ones of her nieces, nephews and other children.

She also made several requests. Among them, she asked for a strawberry-banana milkshake, shorts and for James to take her home.

"I'm antsy," she said.

Further good news came in the form of additional testing ruling out her having staph infection. That is a huge relief. Also, she squeezed the hands of James and Paul. They said she used both hands, meaning she now is gaining strength and confidence in her right hand. At one point, she reached up and touched James' face and asked for a kiss.

That seems like an appropriate place to end for today. I will post an update soon after her surgery, once doctors provide an update on her condition. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Anne!
I've been praying for your healing. Although I know this is just the beginning, I'm so happy for you, and your family that things are progressing positively!
Show'em how tough colorguard girls can be! :)
Best regards and get well soon,
Deana Williams

 
At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're in our thoughts and prayers, Kelley Anne. We're glad to see the progress that have been making.

Rob & Deedy Brown

 
At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you Kelley Anne.
It's great to see you recovering fast.
Blue Devil color guard women are the tuffest fighters on the planet. I'm glad Dawn Carney and your family are there with you daily. Take care and hope to see ya soon...doug "pooh bear" kenyon

 
At 6:37 PM, Blogger John & Cindy Hester said...

Dear Kelley Anne, Our eyes well up in tears thinking of the tough times you are going through, and those you have yet to experience. Cindy and I have just found out what has happened, and we feel your love for others has created a deep love for you and thus bringing you love and support from God. You are loved deeply by many, and especially us, and know your love will be returned ten fold. Although we are not physically close, are hearts are with you and will be watching your every step, and wishing you the best.

John & Cindy Hester

 
At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok Steven we are all waiting anxiously. Please let us know soon. I hope everything is going great. Many prayers are being said for Kelley Anne. James, be strong as we are praying for you to. You are both blessed with many loved ones. I am glad to be a part of your circle. Pam

 
At 7:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kelly Anne;

Here's wishing you a speedy recovery.

We didn't march together, as you aged out the year before I joined BD...but Connie may remember me (assuming she doesn't run screaming from the memory).

Get well...if BD ever decides to form an alumni corps, I'd be honored to march beside you.

Sam Signorelli
Soprano, 1984 BD

 
At 9:23 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Kelley Anne's back surgery goes well
Friday, Dec. 10, 2004


Dear Folks,

Kelley Anne’s husband, James, just called to report that Kelley Anne made it through her back surgery without complication. The procedure started at 2:30 p.m. and lasted five hours or so. The lead doctor said, according to James, "Everything went well, just as they had planned." James added, "Her back is totally stabilized and ready to go."

Kelley Anne returned to the intensive care unit some time after 8 p.m. and is expected to remain there for a while longer. The successful completion of her back surgery should enable doctors to proceed with the next phase of her recovery. Of import are being able to move her, have her sit up so she can drink liquids and such, and not be stuck laying on her back for fear of exacerbating her back injury.

James spent two hours or so with Kelley Anne before the surgery and, "She was with it," he said. "She was talking to me the whole time. It’s the best she’s ever done." She was aware of the pending surgery and anxious to get it over with.

Needless to say, Kelley Anne was too sedated to accommodate visitors after surgery. It might be a day or two before she rebounds to her pre-operation state. Yet, as James says: "Every day is a good day." Indeed. We are proud of you Kelley Anne. Great job. Keep up the good work and soon you will be ice skating. Good night, Princess Kelley Anne. We love you.

Steven

 
At 11:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kell! Like many who have written to you, I haven't seen you for many years, but marched with you in '81-'82. You are my "name-sake"...Kelley, (in the snareline)...ya gotta remember that hideous laugh! I am SO praying for you! I remeber the infamous part in "Pegusas"..."bling...Kelley Anne"...it really did help with that halt in the show! You are a strong woman and just know you are loved!

 
At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kelley Anne,
John Hester told me what happened. I,too, will put you in my daily prayers. I see Kelley H. also wrote so know your old BD alums living here in Sacramento will all be pulling for you! Much love to you and your family,
Elizabeth Maes, husband Harris Taylor and son Edgar Maes Taylor

 
At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kelley Anne,
I can't begin to say how much You are an amazing person. Many thanks to Steven for keepin all who love you so well informed of your progress. I have not been able to come see you because I felt like I was getting a cold and would not EVER RISK bringing any bugs to you. I am very grateful for this website that keeps me informed of your amazing progress. Keep it up!!! I look forward to seeing you real soon. We love you Kelley Anne, and the prayers for your speedy recovery just keep on coming.
Sincerely,
Lisa & Gary

 
At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sunday, December 13
Recovering from Back Surgery...

I visited with Kelley Anne today. She is in a great deal of pain. The doctors have increased her morphine level to help subside the pain. I sat at her bedside while she rested, holding her hand and getting the updates from the nurses. She remains in ICU.

She is being fitted for a custom back brace which will probably take another day or two. From what I understand, it basically is like a tortoise shell - fits snugly and clamps on two sides. This will support her back and allow her to sit up. Possibly even get out of bed and sit in a chair. Kelley Anne is alert but is in need of much rest to help her body recover from this last surgery.

Please keep the thoughts, letters and cards coming. She is to the point where she is really going to need the support. She is getting very anxious and just wants to go home. We all want the same thing - in time. Rest easy Kelley Anne!
-Dawn on behalf of Steven

 
At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kelley,

If anyone can pull through this, it is you. I can only wish the best for you, and hope for a speedy recovery!

Rich Kleinman and Family.

 
At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many prayer lines have been established for your total recovery. After seeing the picture of the car, it is obvious God has future plans for you. Blue Devil color guard girls are tough no matter what, right? The entire Blue Devils Booster Club (Devil's Pride) send you their love and prayers. You are a very special person to us all. Love and kisses - Sonja Williams

 
At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kelley Anne,
This is Dena (Terry & Cindy Ornelas younger daughter). I was so shocked to hear about your accident and very sad too. But to hear now how well you are recovering and to hear how strong you are makes me so happy! You are such a special person that is noticed by so many people. My best friend Kristi got into the same type of accident while we were in high school and after 3-months recovered perfect. Like you will too. We love you and are thinking about you all the time. Take care, and continue to be as strong as you can be. With Love,
Dena & husband Rich

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Tuesday, December, 14, 2004


Dear Folks,

I just returned from a work trip and couldn't wait to see Kelley Anne again. Much like a parent who leaves his/her child for the weekend and returns to dramatic changes, I was shocked to see how much things changed with Kelley Anne in the three days since I last saw her.

To recap, she had a five-hour back surgery Friday and has been recovering from that the past four days. That has caused her great discomfort and several restless days and nights. Doctors have increased her medication to help ease her pain and assist her in sleeping.

She spent Monday getting a head-to-toe, bumper-to-bumper inspection. Doctors removed and replaced the cast on her left ankle. It appears to be healing fine. They also removed the staples from her upper left arm -- it looks nice. They also completed her custom-made body brace, though it is uncertain when she will begin wearing the thing. Finally, the patch that covered her right eye for so long has been removed, and Kelley Anne is seeing better.

It will be a monumental day once she is able to wear the brace because then doctors/nurses can sit up, drink, intensify her physical therapy, move muscles that haven't done much the past four weeks (yes, today marks the four-week mark since Kelley Anne's accident), and shift her body whenever she feels uncomfortable in one position.

She conversed with several of us last night, but it was somewhat skewed by her being so heavily sedated. For instance, she told me and her father how her nurse is Tom Hanks' wife, Rita. So we referred to Elaine as "Rita" the whole time. She also kept kicking off her covers and saying, "Let's get ready." We asked, "Ready for what?" She said: "We're going somewhere." We had to persuade her that we all needed a nap and clearance from Rita before we went on our night-trip from I.C.U.

Anyway, there continues to be parcels of good news each day, even though it is hard to see her in so much pain. Her fingers and hands, her skin grafts, her face, the swelling, everything is either healing or lessening in severity as time passes. She is moving her left arm above her head, moving her right arm more and more each day and kicking both feet.

Also, she officially is off the critical list. That is a huge accomplishment! If all continues as hoped, she could be moved from I.C.U. in the next few days, if not longer. For now, her focus is on handling the pain from her back surgery and acclimating to wearing the back brace. I will post an update tonight. Until then, take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dec. 14

Lovely Kelley Anne,
After reading my daughters post to you I knew it was time to write to you also. Kelley Anne we have lost contact with you for a few years but have thought of you often and when we heard about your accident made us feel so sad that we have not seen you. Kelley Anne, you are such a special gift to all of your friends and family and we all know that it will be a short time before your lovely smile, laugh and presence are back with us all. We think of you daily and send all of our prayers and best wishes.

Cindy and Terry Ornelas

 
At 11:58 PM, Blogger Steven said...

IT'S MOVING DAY! IT'S MOVING DAY! IT'S MOVING DAY!
IT'S MOVING DAY! IT'S MOVING DAY! IT'S MOVING DAY!
IT'S MOVING DAY! IT'S MOVING DAY! IT'S MOVING DAY!
IT'S MOVING DAY! IT'S MOVING DAY! IT'S MOVING DAY!


Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2004


Dear Folks,

Kelley Anne had a much better day Tuesday than any she experienced the previous four since her back surgery. She still is under heavy sedation but not enough to keep her knocked out or from talking ... about anything and everything.

Before I pass on a sampling of her ramblings, the most important news of the day: Kelley Anne is out of the Intensive Care Unit. Yes, that is the word I received from Mom and Dad upon my return from visiting her Tuesday night. She was scheduled to move from I.C.U. to her own room late last night. Wow! Four weeks to the day since the accident. Twenty eight days later, she has made one remarkable leap after another. Her doctors laugh, giggle and shake their heads at the sight of her these days. They can't believe how far she has come in such a short time. One doctor said, a patient would not have survived such an accident as little as 15 years ago. And, even now, most don't survive what she went through, we have been told time and again.

Anyway, I will send out an update as soon as I hear Wednesday on when, who and how often she can receive visitors at her new digs. The tight restrictions likely will be lifted, though she might need to take it easy until she isn't in so much pain and on so much medication.

On Tuesday, she was holding court on the last gig of her four-week run at I.C.U. Among the funnier lines, she told Mom and Dad, "I'm moving, you know." They indulged her by nodding their heads and saying, "Where to?" She replied: "Closer to Walnut Creek." Well, closer to getting out of the hospital and going home, anyway. She continues to call one of her nurses, Rita, as in Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks' wife. She also asked for a jumpsuit several times, lord knows why. Her husband, James, and I inquired about Kelley Anne receiving a pair of shorts to wear to a nurse, who replied, "I'll check into that." Kelley Anne jumped in and said, "Can you do it in the next 10 minutes?" When Mom asked Kelley Anne if she knew who this (Dad) is, Kelley Anne shot back, "Don't play tricks on me." On and on it went, until five nurses were gathered around her bed and taking in the moment.

She called me by name for the first time, which took my breath away. I fought back tears and reveled in the significance of such a seemingly simple acknowledgment. Her mental acuity is such that she recognizes people. No brain damage. She recognized me as I was approaching her bed. No eyesight problems. She told the nurse that I am her brother. She makes connections and thinks spatially.

So, she might be in her own room and wearing her back brace by the time this is posted. That portends more good news Wednesday and the coming days because she can start to drink water and perhaps eat some food once she is able to sit up. Doctors sat her up a couple of times without the brace Tuesday, which is another great sign.

We mentioned to her all the names of the people who have been posting comments, starting prayer circles, calling sending cards, asking how they can help, and she seemed overwhelmed. She loved hearing all the names, but we had to change the subject before she cried. We told her she has quite a few surprises for her once she gets well enough to function without mind-altering medicines and comfort-depriving pain. She is going to love reading everything you have taken the time to write.

Well, she is in for another grand surprise. Her mother- and father-in-law arrive from Louisiana on Thursday. They intend to stay for a month. That also will help out James quite a bit, I'm sure. Anyway, she will receive quite a boost from seeing them and feeling their warmth, support and love. She adores them.

Well, I'm not quite sure what else to say and don't know if I could see through these tears to compose it anyhow. It is remarkable to see the progress she is making on a daily basis, without complaining, and trying to be as accommodating as she can with those around her. Then again, those who know her don't need to be told that. Good night. Take care and God bless. We love you, Kelley Anne.

Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tuesday, December 14- from Dad
Dear Friends and Family,

At 8:30pm tonight, Kelley Anne got her own room in Orthopedics, and began the move out of ICU, exactly one month after arrival. Janet and I went by at 1:45 this afternoon, and Pudge said, "I'm moving." It didn't register til the nurses told us that she was, as soon as a room in Ortho became available. Tonight, when James, Steven, Janet, Amelia Ann and I arrived at 8:00pm, she was in great spirits, and still on painkillers, was funny to a fault. She was under the impression that the move was from Martinez to "closer to Walnut Creek", asked Mama to bring Alex, her cat, and asked if we wanted a cup of coffee. When I told her I had one, she asked if I'd like another. (Alex lives with us.) The staff were in hysterics, and said she had been hilarious all day. The morphine had finally caught up with the pain. We left her room at 8:35 so she could sit up for awhile, but Mama returned to ask the staff something, and just at that moment, the call came that her room had become available in Ortho, and they were arranging a bed for James to stay in her room with her. James was not expecting it so soon, had not had dinner, but dropped everything to help make the move for Pudge. He was going out for a bite at midnight after Pudge was settled in and comfortable, and return. We rushed home to start the phone calls before it got too late. Steven had already left, and Boo had class, so Janet called Dawn, Diana, Boo, Sherry, and Suds. Of course, all of us are walking 3 feet above the ground. All the prayer circles, candles, cards, and well-wishes worked beyond our wildest imagination.

From Nov. 16th, the progression in Pudge's improvement has been steady, with NO setbacks, and our love and appreciation to a fabulous staff of surgeons and specialists, and the greatest staff of nurses, techs, volunteers, and priceless friends. knows no bounds. We are humbled, and helpless, to express our profound thanks to everyone.
God Bless!

Janet, Bill, James, Steven, Chris, Carolyn, Constance, Amelia Ann, but most of all, Kelley Anne.

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Thursday, Dec. 16, 2004


Dear Folks,

Kelley Anne did, indeed, get transferred out of the Intensive Care Unit and into the Orthopedic unit. This came exactly four weeks after her accident Nov. 16. Today marks the one-month anniversary of her accident, by the way. Anyway, she spent her first day in her own room acclimating to life without being surrounded by numerous other patients and no link to the outside world, other than what she remembers or is told by family members, friends and health care workers. She has a window in her room, which should help her begin to adjust to night and day once again.

Also, Diane Vick set up a Christmas tree, in part, with ornaments that Connie sent from Washington. She got a kick out of that. James removed the cards, pictures and such from I.C.U. and hung them up in Kelley Anne’s room.

Kelley Anne started rehabilitation on her back. That proved quite painful for her, as one might imagine. Part of her rehab involved sitting upright for 15 minutes. She made it to 12 minutes before succumbing to the pain. Not bad for five days after major surgery.

Kelley Anne passed the swallow test administered by doctors to determine whether she could start ingesting liquids. Thus, she took sips of water and orange juice with a spoon for the first time. That is a major breakthrough. Naturally, her tongue is mighty sore as a result of the dehydration caused by her mouth being open non-stop the past month.

The night didn’t pass without yet more touching moments. The most poignant one came when Dawn phoned her husband, Frank, placed the cell phone to Kelley Anne’s ear and let her speak with Frank. It was her first phone call in a month. Those in the room at the time say that Frank and Connie were so overcome with emotion that they were unable to say much and wound up being comforted by Kelley Anne. Mom said Kelley Anne told Connie, "Don’t cry, everything’s going to be all right." Wow. How’s that for strength? That’s Kelley Anne in a nutshell, taking care of people in HER greatest time of need.

Doctors still caution against a flood of visitors until Kelley Anne makes more progress. She remains in great peril from infection and overexertion. Therefore, her visits will remain limited and monitored until further notice. For those wishing to send cards, pictures, whatever, she now is in a position to receive them and display them. They likely will go a long way toward brightening her days, helping her pass the time and keeping her mind off her immense pain. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thursday, December 16
VISTING TIME LIMITED BY DOCTORS ORDERS

All,

Dr. Colligan has requested the Kelley Anne receive NO visitors until after 4pm on a daily basis. Kelley Anne has begun her physical therapy and needs to rest and recover from p.t. sessions.

Thank you for adhering to the Doctors Orders. We will keep you posted when this restraint lifts.
-Dawn

 
At 11:41 PM, Blogger Steven said...

IMPORTANT UPDATE!!!!

Thursday, Dec. 16, 2004


Dear Folks,

James just received word from Kelley Anne's new doctor that Kelley Anne is starting an important phase of her recovery process. Limiting visitors is one of the most important aspects of Kelley Anne emerging from this phase with the success that doctors desire. Her doctor said excessive stimulation, too much extraneous activity and a steady parade of visitors is the last thing Kelley Anne needs right now.

The main reason is, Kelley Anne has been unconscious for a prolonged time, unaware of all that has transpired the past month and still trying to come to grips with her new reality. As her doctor said, Kelley Anne is trying to figure out who she is again, where she is and just what everything means. It is a very delicate process.

Therefore, her new doctor has urged James and Kelley Anne's family to restrict her visits to immediate family until further notice. James and Kelley Anne's family have created a master list. You already know or will be notified if you are on that list. If you have any doubts, call me at (925) 798-4975 or James at (925) 370-3772. Also, there will be a master list posted on the door to Kelley Anne's room. Please, respect the doctor's request. Kelley Anne is in a quite room for a reason, her doctor said. She has a lot of unanswered questions, gaps in her memory and internal struggles that we can't even begin to comprehend.

Too much stimulation, laughing, confusion, forced thinking, etc., would only retard and undermine Kelley Anne's recovery. She suffered an undetermined amount of brain trauma. Her doctor said that Kelley Anne needs as few distractions as possible and to focus all her energies "on her own story." She doesn't need to be filled with our tales, our recollections, our jokes, our stories. She can't handle that right now. Also, she remains extremely susceptible to infectious diseases, according to her new doctor. She has so many injuries that she can't afford any unnecessary burdens. So, please, give Kelley Anne her space until she rejoins the world that we take for granted but appears strange and out of focus to her for now.

She sat up in a chair twice today, for about 15 minutes each. She described the pain as the most excruciating she has ever felt. She wore her back brace during those back-strengthening exercises. Kelley Anne also received her first meal in one month. It consisted of mashed potatoes, pudding, cranberry juice, water and some pureed foods. She passed on the solids and instead imbibed the liquids. Also, one of the surgeons who performed Kelley Anne's back surgery checked in on her Thursday and said her back appears to be healing fine.

So, though there isn't any bad news to report, Kelley Anne's situation remains critical from the standpoint that she is dealing with myriad things that we can't begin to comprehend. We know that she is in good hands at John Muir but that doesn't make it much easier, if at all, trying to feel as if we are there for her. Know that that time will come. Until then, step back, find other ways to support her and defer to the doctors who have worked wonders getting her this far, this fast. Kelley Anne's and James' family thank you for your understanding, support, prayers, love and help in getting everyone through such a trying time. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Anne,
May God continue to bless you and your family. Our prayers and thoughts are still with you daily. I love you and will continue to pray for your speedy recovery.
Sally,David and Samuel

 
At 8:04 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Saturday, Dec. 18, 2004


Friends and Family,

Kelley Anne today took her first jaunt in the halls in a wheelchair, propelling it with her right foot.(all floors are carpeted). She also called Jimbo on her own, which startled him, hearing her on the phone after 5 weeks. Paula and Craig visited yesterday from San Jose. Jimbo is sitting Pippin (the Yorkie) while Diane, Kelly, Dawn, Frank and the kids spend their annual weekend in San Francisco to see the city decorated, and do some shopping. Pippin usually stays with James and Pudge, and refuses to go home voluntarily, plus spends a few days in a closet to show her displeasure when she does get home. She is very family oriented. Pudge gets therapy at 9:00am, and 2:00 pm. all are very happy with her progress, including her back surgery. The only bandage left is the soft cast on her left foot and ankle. She is on a diet of ice cream, soup, milk, custard, all highly fortified, plus she can have applesauce, hot tea, water, and anything else soft that she wants. The nursing staff is fantastic. Suddenly, it's one week to Christmas, and we haven't gotten any shopping done. Janet and I are getting the Cards ready for mailing, which means most will be late again. But, it's already a very Merry Christmas.
Janet, Bill, James, Boo, Steven, and Amelia Ann

 
At 8:07 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Sunday, Dec. 19, 2004



Friends and Family,

Kelley Anne, as is the norm, hates rehab. It hurts. But she likes her therapists, and they have told her that if she doesn't want to listen, they won't bother to come in. Her sessions are at 9 and 2. Today she stood up. Between 4 and 6 this afternoon, James, Mom and Dad Butler, Wes and JoAnn, Boo, Amelia Ann, and Janet and I were lined up to visit. She was scheduled for her wheel chair jaunt around the halls, and the therapy team asked that we scatter in groups of 2 at different locations on her route, and non-chalantly speak to her when she and James passed. The theory is to not overload her senses with being subjected to a crowd. And it works beautifully, and it removes the pain of propelling herself with James help. She greeted all in order. When she finished the session, we visited in groups of 2s, and she felt very good when back in bed. Meg visited earlier and brought her a fanciful stuffed Reindeer, which she was cuddling close, and she was very thrilled with Meg's visit. She also talked to Chris in Pennsylvania with James holding the phone. Chris told her he was here when she had the accident, and she didn't remember that. Chris, as with the rest of us, broke down when hearing her voice, and she did also, while consoling him that everything is going to be O. K. We wanted Chris and Wendy to hear her speaking. She is worried about Pippin being home with James, but Pippin has found a new friend in Mom Butler. She follows her everywhere, altho she loves Jimbo. Dawn, Frank, Diane, Kelly, and the kids probably came home from San Francisco tonight, as tomorrow is work again. Pudge asked Mama last night to get her a new pair of Spandex sweats in any color but pink, and a new pair of sneakers. We're confused, as it will be a while before she can wear Spandex, but today, she asked again. So, we'll be shopping in the Sweats and Sneakers departments this week. She also asked James for a laptop, which he is getting for her. We're unsure about her Christmas, but will play it by ear. We plan to pack a basket of cookies, goodies, and Egg Nog for the ICU staff on Christmas Eve. What a fantastic group of dedicated people. Gary and Mona are back from their nephew's funeral in Missouri, and Pudge knows about the tragedy. All of us are very dejected for Gary and his family. Pudge IS watching TV, and it's mounted high so it is comfortable to watch while reclined. We didn't see Steven today before we left. He covered the Raider's-Titans game, and probably came by the hospital on his way home later. It's on the way to the Times Publishing complex. Pudge looks great today, and says she has no pain. Also Boo rubbed her hands with Cocoa Butter today to combat dryness, She moves all her fingers now, and the bandages are gone.

Janet, Bill, James, Mom and Dad Butler, Boo, and Amelia Ann

 
At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kelly-Ann, I thank God for the miracle in you. I have read all the updates on your recovery and to say that you are one of a kind is to small a statement. I am amazed at how you were concerned for others pain at a time when that is all you have. I thank the good Lord for being part of your family. It is an honor to call you my sister-in-law. I love you and pray for your speedy recoverery to continue. Kelly-Ann I am in massage therapy school at Bryman so I will be able to offer you my services when ever you want. That will be my gift of love and helping aid in your recovery. God Bless all of you who are there for her and James. We have all become family through this. Bless you James for your undying love, strength, and your sense of humor. Hope to come and visit you soon! Love Renee Butler

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Friends and Famliy, When we arrived at the hospital todat at 5:00pm , Kelley Anne's bed was empty. She was in Angio having the filter removed below her heart that was installed to catch clots. Having had 6 or 7 Angiograms in the last 14 years, and although painless, you are cognizant of the pressure point in the lower right abdomen where the collagen seal is placed when the procedure is finished. It would be worse when you have an upset stomach, and other multiple injury sites in the healing process, and morphine included. Pudge felt bad, but is quite brave about it. Our frustration is that we can't help her bear the discomfort, and frustration. I was reminded by Janet that when Dr. Leung was changing the bandage on her ankle yesterday, her asking him, "please. no more surgeries." And none are planned. Dawn was in to see her earlier, and Boo arrived as we were leaving. Boo rubbed her legs with Cocoa Butter to relieve the dryness, which she likes very much. James and Mom and Dad Butler arrived later also. Beautiful flowers, and a large Santa Claus balloon arrived from John and Maryann, and beautiful flowers from Mr. and Mrs. Sousa, Star's mom and Dad. We think they may have returned home to Hawaii. We hoped to see them before they left. Pudges progress is swift. She doen't think so, and we can understand that she wouldn't. There are so many flowers that we'll have to help James take some home. And Pudge is beginning to read her cards. Tomorrow, Janet will start baking for the ICU Christmas Eve basket.
Janet, Bill, James, Dawn, Boo, Mom and Dad Butler, and Amelia Ann

 
At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to all! I know some say what ???? It's not a too happy time. Well my new found friends and family it most certainly is. We still have our beloved Kelley-Anne with us. She is not only making leaps and bounds in her recovery she is recovering her sense of humor also. This time of your is a celebration of the Lords birth but it is a time to celebrate the rebirth of Kelley-Anne back to us. God gave us the ultimate gift(his Son) and he also gave us the gift of Kelley-Anne. The accident may have broke bones but nothing can break that wonderful spirit she has. The other gift that God gave Kelley-Anne was James. His constant strength,his presence, his love and most of all his infamous smile. That is the picture that she needs to see every time she wakes up. once again thank-you to all who also work so hard to keep us updated and to be there for each other. Words are actually to simple to express the feelings I have for all of you. God Bless you all and keep you all safe. Planning on seeing you all at the benefit Jan.23. Love to you James, momand dad. Renee Butler

 
At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that this is a very Merry Christmas for having Kelley Anne still with us. Everyday reading your progress has made me overjoyed. I understand that some days are probabley harder than others but you have proven to yourself and all of us how strong and brave you are. You, Kelley Anne have a happy Christmas for a celebration to know how special you really are.
With so much thought and love,
Dena (Terry & Cindy Ornelas's youngest daughter)
and husband

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2004



Friends and Family,


Just when we had told Kelley Anne that the surgeries were probably over, Dr. Leung and his partner decided that it was best to not wait for Pudge's ankle wound to heal, but to go ahead and clean it and perform a graft. They also want to double-check the blood flow to the left foot, and confirm that a vein or artery isn't traumatized. She was scheduled for 3:00 pm, but emergencies had tied up the ORs, and she was still waiting at 6:00 pm for pre-op. Janet , Amelia Ann, and I did not go to the hospital today, but James was there all day, and kept us up to date. One of the problems is that Pudge couldn't eat or drink all day in anticipation of the surgery. We were able to get some christmas shopping done while waiting. Most of the presents out of town will be late, as usual. Joel was enroute from Prunedale to see Pudge, but James was trying to head him off before he made the 180 mile round trip, and Pudge would be out of the room. One thing that happened today was that the Rehab psycologist came into the room and told Pudge to select a few pictures, flowers, and balloons, and the rest should be removed. Pudge told her, "No, all those mean something to me, and I want all of it to stay put." The doctor didn't push the point, and Pudge said, "It's like Homeowners Associations telling me how to paint my house, and what flowers I can plant. And I don't live that way." Boo spent an hour with Pudge, and massaged her feet, legs and arms with Cocoa Butter. It really feels good, and Boo encourages Pudge to the max. She's great for her sister. And Pudge remembers when Boo came into ICU in her hospital gown to see her.

Janet, Bill, James, Boo

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Thursday, Dec. 23, 2004


Dear Folks,


Kelley Anne's ankle surgery finally took place Wednesday night. The procedure was done essentially to clean out the area of dead tissue and such and to close the open wound so it can heal better. The follow-up takes place today in which she will undergo an angiogram to determine how the blood flow to her ankle is working and to see if any further work needs to be done to promote healing.

Her back doctor visited her Wednesday to see how she was doing. He cleared up several questions. Among them, it is going to take three months or so for the eight vertebrae to fuse. She will wear the brace for many more months afterward just to make sure her back is stable. As for the immense pain she has been in of late, her back doctor said it has nothing to do with the back surgery she had and everything to do with her having not used her muscles for five-plus weeks. The pain from her back surgery should have subsided by now, and patients with that kind of surgery typically are released from the hospital after four days. That is great news, of course. Also, it helps explain why she now can make it through 45-minute therapy sessions. Before long, she will be expected to complete six hours of physical therapy a day. Somehow, we know she will persevere and make it through whatever her doctors, nurses, therapists, etc., ask of her.

Also, she is being given magnesium after doctors discovered she was deficient in that area. Besides that, she is spending her time reading, readjusting to everything around her and doing whatever she needs to do to get home.

Kelley Anne received a boost the other day, when Sharon Cardoza was kind enough to come in and braid her hair. Kelley Anne has been bothered by how her hair looks for as long as she has been conscious. It is the myriad small things such as that that are helping Kelley Anne make it through this ordeal. She asked that we thank everyone who hasn't had the fortune of seeing her yet for now, until she can do so herself. Being so shy, she is humbled and overwhelmed by the tremendous outpouring of support and love shown by everyone.

Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 1:38 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Christmas Day

Friends and Family, Merry Christmas to everyone. Kelley Anne had a miserable night of nightmares. The Neuropsychologist, Dr. Collegan, attributes it to random firing and awakening in the brain. Pudge says it's just that she wants to go home. James, Mom and Dad Butler, Dawn, Boo, and Gary visited today. Janet and I didn't make it til 7:45pm due to a full day of shopping and loose ends chasing, but she was asleep when we got there, so we didn't disturb her. James and the folks went to Kelly and Diane's for dinner. At 9:30, Pudge called, crying, that she was hurting, and lonely. We were wrapping presents but told her we would be there immediately. We checked with the 4 West staff to see if it was permissable to visit after hours, and they said yes. Of course, Rent a Security stopped us, and a scene was avoided when he checked and confirmed we had permission. Pudge has been having stomach cramps all day, and on top of everything else, it's a real nuisance for her. We stayed with her from 9:50 til 11:50 while the nurses gave her all her meds, and changed the bandage on her ankle. She finally got to sleep at 11:45. The orthopedic surgeon that will replace the missing section of bone in her left arm above the wrist saw her today, and has a designated time for the operation, will use bone from her right hip, and I'm not sure when it's scheduled. I think in a couple of weeks. The Ankle rework is still on for Monday morning.
Pudge can eat anything soft that she wants, so we got Cheesecake, Blueberries, and some other things for tomorrow. She can't have crust, or bread. We're trying with James to find something that she will like. Steven is in Kansas City covering the Chiefs-Raiders game Saturday. We will probably have dinner with Diana today, and try to visit with Pudge a couple of times.

Janet, Bill, James, Mom and Dad Butler, and Amelia Ann.

 
At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dear Kelley-Anne, Hearing that you cried the words that you were lonely and hurt also brought feelings of pain in me for you. I do want to tell you that when the times come and you are in pain and no one is there know that you are being watched over by angels and that the Lord carries you and holds you when you hurt he also is there when you are lonely and he wraps you in a love that no one else could ever give (although James comes close) It is easier for me to say all of this to you because I am not going through what you are but I do know from recent pain myself that even with all the family and loved ones I still couldn't have made it without him. It may be hard for you to believe it but the worst is over. The accident was the worst and now it is all uphill from here. Also know that we are with you every step of the way and I would take your pain for you for awhile to give you comfort. Christmas has come and gone but the spirit of Christmas should live through us all everyday and there for you will celebrate it with us no matter the date. Chin up pretty lady for you are indeed a special creation to us as well as God and remember he has given his angels charge over you. God Bless you Kelley-Anne. Love your sister-in-law Renee

 
At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Anne,
I have come by to see you many times both in ICU and ortho. The day you were transfered to ortho and you looked at me and said "Mari Serena, what are you doing here?" I went back down to the 3rd floor where I work with the biggest smile on my face. Everyone is praying for you and wishing you a quick recovery. You are such a strong person. I have been inspired by you. We have been friends for close to 30 years if you can believe that. I look forward to sharing good times with you for the next 30. God bless. Mari (Serena) Tippit

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Sunday, Dec. 26, 2004


Friends and Family, We visited Kelley Anne for 3 1/2 hours this afternoon with James, Mom and Dad Butler, and Amelia Anne. She was relatively pain-free and comfortable, and Dr Moorthey, who did her hip repair on her first night after leaving ER, came to check on her. He stressed that provisions for feeding and nourishment have to be made, and the failure of the ankle closure is directly tied to poor diet. We had second thoughts on the feeding Nasal/Gastric feeding tube, so I asked his preference for it vs. Stomach peg which requires surgery. He prefers the tube, but recommended that Dr. Taekman, her trauma surgeon, be consulted as he has the overview of all the doctors involved. He is due back Tues. and we plan to consult him. Carolyn spent the night with Pudge last night, and planned to stay again tonight, but she has a 10 hour workday tomorrow, and James will stay with Pudge tonight, and accompany her to surgery at 7:00 am tomorrow. Her room has been stripped of all her belongings, and will be returned to her room again when she leaves ICU later in the week. Gary C. sent a second selection of beautiful Peach toned Roses. We went to Steven and Dianas again today for Turkey Dinner, as Steven was out of town yesterday. James took Harold and Donna home at 9:00 pm, and returned to the hospital. Amelia Ann got her new watch today, but we still have presents to buy, send and open. Everything was very low-key today, and the bad weather is approaching tonight, 24 hours later than predicted. We will go to the hospital in early afternoon tomorrow to be with James when Pudge comes out of surgery. It's planned to take at least 8 hours. She was devastated with the rest of us at the damage thru Asia, particularly Phuket, Thailand where she, James, Dawn and Frank own timeshares, and visit whenever they can.
Janet, Bill, James, Diana, Diane, Boo, Mom and Dad Butler, and Amelia Ann.

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Monday, Dec. 27, 2004,


Dear Folks,

Kelley Anne is in the midst of her ankle surgery. It is expected to last as long as eight hours. We will post an update as soon as one becomes available. She continues to experience difficulties because she can't/won't eat. Therefore, her next surgery likely will be to insert a plug of some sort into her stomach so doctors can feed her directly through that means. That surgery has not been scheduled but is expected to be performed as soon as possible because her lack of eating has become a critical concern. More on that later. Her lonely nights have become more tolerable the past two nights, as her sister Carolyn and James have spent the night in her room. Several people have volunteered to take turns spending the night with her, so she has someone to speak with and comfort her whenever she awakes in the middle of the night, as often is the case.

Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 6:25 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Monday, Dec. 27, 2004,


Dear Folks,

Kelley Anne's mother just phoned to say that Kelley Anne is out of surgery, resting in the Intensive Care Unit -- she is expected to be here for two to four days, according to her doctor -- and the beneficiary of a 100 percent successful procedure. There isn't much more to add, other than Kelley Anne continues to fight her way through surgery after surgery, somehow, someway. No doubt the prayers, cards, flowers and supportive words from all of you have strengthened her resolve and given her added meaning to make it back to her place in the world. A special thanks to Renee Butler for so many kind words and empowering thoughts. Also, the constant presence of James' parents, Harold and Donna, has made Kelley Anne more comfortable and secure with her plight. They have been out her for two weeks or so and intend to be here another two weeks. Kelley Anne is made aware of everything said and done on her behalf, as well as the selfless gestures made by people such as her in-laws. She remains overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and love. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2004,


Friends and Family,


We are in our 28th hour of cold, steady winter rain, but today is one of sunshine and joy. Kelley Anne went into surgery at 7 a.m., and was in post-op at 5 p.m. Dr. Behaud called James and said everything went perfectly, Pudge had 3 very healthy veins in her left leg to work with, and all went perfectly. He commented that He was "proud of my work today." And so are we. We gathered at 7:30 p.m. to see Pudge in ICU, where she will stay for 3 days. The Graft site has to be monitored very closely, with bandage changes every 2 hours. Pudge was alert, and happy, and lo and behold, HUNGRY. We haven't heard that in weeks. The Pic line into her stomach will be placed tomorrow, and she will be able to also eat by mouth if she wants to. She was very thirsty tonight and James and Carolyn gave her spongefuls of water to suck on, and she loved it. She recognized everyone, and carried on conversations. Occasionally, the morphine took over, and she uttered a funny. Boo, Amelia Anne and I were getting ready to leave, and she asked, "Is this a Casino?" Boo answered, "Yes, and if you need nickles, dimes, or Quarters thru the night, just ask your nurse, Angel." We realize now that she was informed of this impending surgery way too early, and between worrying about it, the inability to eat, and sheer stress had her in a panic. We allowed her to have a lousy Christmas. She also had been infomed last week that the bone graft in her left wrist is pending. She really has felt overwhelmed and threatened. As soon as she gets back to 4West, we plan to have someone in her room each night with her. She doesn't like to be alone. Jimbo stayed with her last night, and accompanied her to pre-op. She looks great, and finally, is beginning to feel good, and will be ready for re-hab. Everyone still has Milkshakes, Pies, Cheesecake, and anything else she might want to eat to start getting weight gain started. The Pumpkin Pie is already in the 4West refrigerator. The section of muscle used to fill the gap on her ankle had a small clot, which they washed out, and everything went great. Dr. Behaud had said that since most of the surgery was microscopic in connecting veins and nerves, one of the dangers was clots, and they had to be very vigilant during the procedures. The skin graft is from Pudge's right thigh. Just when the first sight was nearly healed.

Janet, Bill, James, Mom and Dad Butler, Boo, Steven, and Amelia Ann

 
At 12:03 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2004,


Friends and Family,

Kelley Anne had a lousy day Tuesday. Staff called James this morning to see if he could calm her down. She was extremely restless, and attempting to rest her right foot on the left ankle cast sight. The ankle repair is casted, but constructed with an access window to monitor the muscle implant and graft. Evidently, it had not been monitored closely enough, and the cast had slipped. The surgeon was very upset. The muscle is checked for bloodflow frequently, and is healthy. At 8 p.m., Boo and Gary were the first to visit. She was very agitated, and they have restrained her right leg to prevent its bumping the left leg. She was crying in anguish, and Carolyn calmed her. It was decided that no one else other than James should bother her tonight, so we went home. It is becoming obvious that we collectively should have been on top of the nourishment provisions much sooner. A new central line was installed in pre-op, and we still don't know whether she will get another pic line, a stomach peg line, or an N/G nasal tube. But, SOMETHING will be decided tomorrow, hell or highwater. It's been 7 weeks, and we're (me) beginning to get a little short tempered. Each surgical specialty has been superlative, but where the hell is the nutritionist? Kelley Anne thinks someone is staying with her tonight, but she probably doesn't realize that she's back in ICU. James saw Dr Taekman and Dr. Behaud today. We're not sure what the discussion was about. James must be run ragged. I don't think he gets much sleep. We hope for better things tomorrow. Bob and Sherry arrive from Oregon tomorrow.
Bill,Janet, James, Mom and Dad Butler, Gary, Steven . Boo, and Amelia Ann

 
At 11:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KelleyAnne and James,
We are still thinking of you and praying for you and your family.
Love, Sally, David and Sam

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Thursday, Dec. 30, 2004,


Friends and Family,

We did not see Kelley Anne again last night, nor tonight. She has been too agitated, and anguished, and ICU did not want her to have visitors yesterday, nor today. However, last night my patience ran out, and after discussions within the family (James, Boo, Mama ,and I), 7 weeks without proper nutrition was way too long, and this morning we were requesting thru Carol Ann or Barbara of the Social Liason Staff that a meeting be arranged with Dr. Taekman, Chief of Staff, and Pudge's trauma surgeon, and as many other interested parties as necessary with the specific purpose that provision be made for pudge to receive food, and nourishment, STAT. James was going to make the arrangements and call us, and we were planning to ask Diane to sit in , if possible. As it turned out, Dr. Taekman came in and ordered an N/G tube be inserted immediately. In discussion with James, he vetoed a stomach peg, as he doesn't want anymore surgical invasions of her body at the present time. Which we wholeheartedly agree with. But, I feel she has suffered needlessly for the last 2 weeks, and it is not to blame anyone, but a series of seemingly oversights. This is a Superlatively Fantastic staff of very talented peoplein one of the top hospitals in the U. S., and EVERYONE has done their jobs. There was just miscommunication with everyone knowing something had to be done, but each thinking another department was correcting it. So, please, if you think the Boobengrabber Son of a Bitch masquerading in the Governor's Office in Sacramento isn't a menace to society, We can show you. And it has NOT A THING to do with idiotic politics. He's a dangerous fool. Talk to the RNs.

Bill, Janet, James, Dawn, Mom and Dad Butler, Amelia Ann, Boo

Bob and Sherry arrived from Oregon last night, but haven't been able to see Pudge yet. We will see her tomorrow, regardless.

 
At 10:51 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Sunday, Jan. 02, 2004,



Friends and Family,

Kelley Anne evidently had another rough day Sunday. The restraint on her left arm is removed, but the other 2 are still in place.(Right arm and right leg) She also had slipped her left ankle off the bed so the rails are back up. She had a bowel movement which is good, but she also threw up, which is bad. She was not too coherent when James visited in the afternoon, and uncomfortable. Mama, Amelia Ann and I visited for 25 minutes after 8:00 pm, and she was sleeping, and comfortable. A new Central line had been installed and a new N/G feeding tube. Someone had washed her hair, and put it up in buns, but the area in back of her head is so tangled and matted that they asked permission to cut it. She looks very good. Dr. Luu told us that the stay in ICU has been extended to 2 weeks to insure that the left ankle graft is secure. It was completely bandaged tonight. Cathy was her nurse tonight. As far as we know, her back is doing well, and all the other surgical sites are healed. This has been a very trying week for her. We can only hope she fares better this week. Bob and Sherry left for Santa Cruz this morning. Will be back Weds. Still raining for a second week.

Janet, Bill, James, and Amelia Anne

 
At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kelley Anne (Bling),

I haven't talked to you in years but think of you and other BD members often. I had not heard about your accident and was shocked. You hang in there, I will be thinking of you and will include you in my prayers. It sounds like you have a wonderful family around you to give support. I look forward to the time that you can be the one to send an e-mail.

Sending my prayers and love, Tracy McDonald Tinsley

 
At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Anne,

Even though I do not know you, I feel a special sympathy and bond with you. I have been involved in drum Corps for over 30 years as a member, instructor, director, volunteer, and fan. On May 4, 2004, I was involved in any serious motorcycle accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury. I was in a coma for almost a month and was given a 5% chance of survival. How is in the hospital for three months and still disabled and unable to work. However, thanks to the support and prayers of many, many family, friends, and strangers, I'm very thankful to be alive and on long road to recovery. I truly feel your pain! You too seem to have a tremendous support network. This serving you well during your journey to a full recovery from

 
At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Anne,

Even though I do not know you, I feel a special sympathy and bond with you. I have been involved in drum Corps for over 30 years as a member, instructor, director, volunteer, and fan. On May 4, 2004, I was involved in any serious motorcycle accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury. I was in a coma for almost a month and was given a 5% chance of survival. How is in the hospital for three months and still disabled and unable to work. However, thanks to the support and prayers of many, many family, friends, and strangers, I'm very thankful to be alive and on long road to recovery. I truly feel your pain! You too seem to have a tremendous support network. This serving you well during your journey to a full recovery from your terrible accident. I want to add my best wishes, my prayers, and my positive thoughts to aid you doing

 
At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Anne,

Even though I do not know you, I feel a special sympathy and bond with you. I have been involved in drum Corps for over 30 years as a member, instructor, director, volunteer, and fan. On May 4, 2004, I was involved in any serious motorcycle accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury. I was in a coma for almost a month and was given a 5% chance of survival. I was in the hospital for three months and am still disabled and unable to work. However, thanks to the support and prayers of many, many family, friends, and strangers, I'm very thankful to be alive and on the long road to recovery. I truly feel your pain! You too seem to have a tremendous support network. This serving you well during your journey to a full recovery from your terrible accident. I want to add my best wishes, my prayers, and my positive thoughts to aid you on the long road ahead.

Here's to your continued progress,
Michael D. Terry.
Woodstock, Georgia

 
At 8:53 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Monday, Jan. 03, 2005,





Friends and Family,

We were rather dejected after last night's visit to ICU, and returned today at 1 p.m. to attempt to cheer up Pudge, and take some items to the nurse. Pudge was awake, and still agitated, had pulled the new N/G line from her nose, but the arm restraints were removed. James had talked to Dr. Taekman, and he had decided to insert the stomach peg as soon as he could line up a gasto-endecrologist to assist, which he thought would be Wednesday. Mama and I met Dr. Luu in ICU, and he wanted Pudge to remain in ICU for another week or so. He said however, that Dr. Taekman wants her out in the next few days and into a room. So, we left knowing she was good but uncertain about escaping the sedation trap. In the afternoon, Diane V called and she had just had an extensive conversation with Dr. Taekman, just after HE HAD DONE THE PEG LINE. So, things were on a roll. Her ankle graft is perfect, and the bandage will be replaced tomorrow with a protective splint. The surgeon says, in 2 months, she can kick a football, and do it no harm. And Dr. Taekman is very happy with her overall condition, and the wrist surgery to replace the missing bone may be moved up to this week. We went back at 8 p.m. tonight, and Boo met us after just leaving work at VSA. Gary was also at the hospital. Mama and Boo visited Pudge, and she was very active. Her hands are once again restrained to protect the peg line, but she kept insisting that Mama or Boo to get her a room immediately, reflecting overheard comments among the doctors earlier. She also wanted to watch TV, but doesn't have her glasses. She wanted the phone to call Jimbo to get her a room, and bring her glasses from home, and she gave the exact phone number. Boo and Mama escaped after 35 minutes, without upsetting her. Gary, Amelia Ann and I did not go in to keep from upsetting her. Boo asked if she wanted Dad to come in, and she replied "No, unless he can take me out of here and get me a room." Gary has 6 highly qualified gentlemen to start the re-build on James and Pudge's house from the Oct. water damage. I will also go over Saturday, and James Dad will be there along with possibly Paul, and James. Plans are to start with electrical, then framing, and into drywall. Probably enlist Janet, and Donna, James mom, to fix lunch and refreshments. Jimbo has been lining up material, cabinetry, granite, hardwood, etc. for the last week. Hope the rain holds off on the weekend. All in all, a great day. We got the last Christmas presents shipped today. Happy New Year.
Janet, Bill, James, Diane, Gary, Boo, and Amelia Anne.

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Tuesday, Jan. 04, 2005,



Dear Folks,


As an addendum to the previous posting regarding Monday's events, Kelley Anne was scheduled to begin "feeding" through the stomach peg that was inserted mid-day in a 45-minute operation, but not until four hours had passed. No word on how the initial feeding went. However, her doctor said that she can have the peg in her stomach interminably, as well as eating anything she desires orally. She needed the peg because she had ripped out the nasal tube the previous night. Also, the importance of the peg can't be underscored. It is hyper critical that she get nourishment, for many reasons. Not the least of which, she has lost 46 pounds during her hospitalization. She is ingesting something called Total Parental Nutrition for now, at the rate of 2,500 calories per day.


Other news includes: Kelley Anne is expected to have a procedure done next week in which some of her hip bone will be used to repair some damage in her left arm.

She is expected to have the cast off her left ankle in four weeks or so, then wear a splint.

There is a slight chance that her shattered jawbone healed in the desired alignment, according to one of her doctors. However, there is a strong likelihood that it has healed improperly and needs to be realigned sometime soon.

The social workers assisting Kelley Anne through her recovery are named Carol Lee and Barbara. James raves about them and asks that we thank and pray for them. They serve as a liasion between Kelley Anne and the medical staff and have helped a great deal to this point.

Kelley Anne's communication skills have been hampered quite a bit by what she has gone through of late. She has a difficult time speaking in a clear manner. Given that and everything else, her doctor has said that she needs "low intensity" everything the next four (4) months. By that he means, very few visitors, little stimulation, a low-noise level, no bright lights, etc.

Anyhow, that is the extent of the update for now. Thanks to everyone for the continued prayers, love and support. Kelley Anne is going to make it somehow. Monday's events offer plenty of encouragement and reason for hope. Take care and God bless.

 
At 5:11 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Tuesday, Jan. 04, 2005,


Friends and Family,

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Kelley Anne was moved from ICU to "her room" in Orthopedics 4West, #485, which happens to be the same room she left eight days ago to get the muscle/skin graft on her left ankle. Carolyn immediately made plans to stay in the room with her tonight, so we went up shortly after 8 p.m. Steven was already there, as was James' former boss at UAL, Ted, whose brother-in-law just had elective spinal surgery, and is in a room on the same floor as Pudge. Boo immediately took over, and told Pudge she is in her 24-HOUR FITNESS bed with all the overhead hardware, and rigging. Pudge is in great spirits, and only slightly confused with ICU happenings. She said Julie chastised her for crying so much, and she answered, "How would you feel if they took your family away and won't let them visit?" She didn't remember Mama and Boo visiting last night, which is good. She is on highly enriched food through the stomach peg line, and is scheduled for 2,500-3,000 calories per day. James brought her glasses from home, and we returned her stuffed reindeer, Alex the cat, Gary's beanie baby tiger, and others. Her room should again be properly cluttered in a day or two. She is again watching TV, and is concerned about Phuket, and the tsunami destruction in Asia. It is such a relief for all of us to again see her relatively comfortable, and laughing. Suds wanted to talk to her, so we called her, and she called back as soon as she got the message. She and Pudge talked for 3 minutes or so. Pudge had called James, Steven, and Mama this morning from ICU, which surprised everyone. We missed her 3 calls but had her on the answering machine, so we knew something was pending. Her pain seems to be related to the stomach area which must be the re-stretching of her stomach, after 48 days of little use. Her left ankle hasn't been splinted yet, but is heavily bandaged still. She is starting exercises with her hands to restore finger flexibility. She looks utterly beautiful, and, as Mama says, "Our girl is back." Steven says she has lost 46 lbs., and she no longer smokes. Thanks to all for your prayers and well wishes.


P.S. Carolyn spent the night with Kelley Anne on Tuesday and did fine. She was thrilled to be back in her own room because then she knew that someone would be allowed to spend the night in her room and keep her company whenever she awakes in the middle of the night and longs for a familiar face and the soothing sounds of a familiar voice. Those who saw Kelley Anne endure so much pain the past week were astonished by the transformation that occurred from Monday to Tuesday. Naturally, it came after she had been fed food for 24 hours through the newly inserted stomach peg. As her doctor said, food is the most important "drug" she can get these days. Hallelujah. Also, she was moved from her room in Orthopedics 4West to DCU only one day after she arrived from ICU because of a fluctuating heart rate. That's it for Tuesday.

Sincerely,

Steven

Janet, Bill, James, Boo, Steven, and Amelia Ann

 
At 5:14 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Wednesday, Jan. 05, 2005,


Dear Auntie Pudge,



I hope you get better soon. I hope your surgeries are going well. I can't wait for you to get out of the hospital so we can have a burping contest and play a game of Scrabble. I miss you and love you very much.


Love,

Zachary

 
At 6:02 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Wednesday, Jan. 05, 2005,




Friends and Family,

Kelly Anne had a good first night back in her room on 4West Orthopedics with her sister, Carolyn, bunking in the room with her for company. She threw up early in the morning, but otherwise had a relatively peaceful night. Janet and I went up at 10:30 a.m. to give Boo a ride home as she had not taken her car. Pudge was doing O.K. We met Dr. Voegel, her cardiologist, who told us that he was on Pudge's staff of doctors at Dr. Taekman's request to keep an eye out for problems due to the many traumas, and surgeries, plus angiograms for clot monitoring. I was in his group originally in 1990 when I had my heart attack, angioplasty, and subsequently, 3-way by-pass. My cardiologist later changed groups and I followed for continuity. He reiterated that Pudge has had the top of the elite in surgeons and care. His partner, Dr. Platt's son, was the Emergency Rescue person who cut Pudge out of the wreckage on Nov. 16th. Pudge overheard and again was upset. She does not want to know any details now. We went home, had a nap, and returned to keep Pudge company at 1:30 p.m. When we entered the room, there were four nurses with her trying to calm her from a highly agitated state. She had awakened from a nightmare in which "my back went out, and I can't breathe." It took approximately 30 minutes to get her convinced that it had been sedation produced, and that everything was O.K. Shortly after, Leilani came and gave her 45 minutes of very relaxing shoulder, arm, and hand therapy, which is priceless. Another doctor started into the room, but turned and left, and Pudge identified him as "that Anxiety Dr. who comes and messes up my day." We still don't know him, but assume he is the neurologist. Just as we were leaving to meet Amelia Ann's bus, Dr. Voegel returned, and told Pudge that she had triggered an event on the monitor in D.C.U., and would be trasferred to the 2nd floor Definitive Care Unit opposite ICU. Pudge said she liked her room, but he said regardless, you are moving to DCU right away. I followed him out and told him of the nightmare and disorientation, and he said it didn't matter because she is 5 minutes from CCU if anything should happen, and he was moving her. I told him that was very agreeable with us, as I am very familiar with CCU and DCU. We explained DCU to Pudge, and she wanted James to come as soon as possible. We called James, and he was getting finished on the house repairs plans for the weekend, and was en route. Dr Voegel showed us the tape readout, and it showed 3.78 seconds pause, 1 beat, then 2.2 seconds pause. In later conversations with the Monitor Tech in DCU, and with Suds in Vancouver, it was identified as a Vasa Vagel pause, and can be triggered by nausea, or any tensing action of the body, and is quite common. Dr. Voegel acted on the side of caution. He says her heart is very strong, and healthy. We went back at 7:45 p.m., and Pudge is now in DCU Room 275, just across the hall from ICU. The surgery above her wrist is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday, with the filler bone to be removed from her right hip. Hopefully, this is the FINAL SURGERY. Her feeding stopped at midnight, and Diana, her sister-in-law, spent the night with her. Harold Butler hasn't been feeling well for the last 2 days, but James says he felt better tonight. Bob and Sherry got a bug in Santa Cruz this weekend, and decided to return home to Oregon today without coming back by, as they wouldn't be able to see Pudge.


Bill, Janet, James, Boo, Diana, and Amelia Ann

 
At 6:09 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Thursday, Dec. 06, 2005,



Dear Folks,

Kelley Anne is in surgery at this time to repair a missing segment of bone in her left arm/wrist. The procedure started at 4:30 p.m. and is expected to last until 8 p.m. or so. One doctor earlier today mentioned the possibility of some of Kelley Anne's persistent and intense stomach pains being causes by pancreatitis. That situation is being evaluated. Besides that, a schedule is being established to ensure that someone spends the night with Kelley Anne every night, so as to lessen her anxiety and provide round-the-clock comfort. Anything to ease her pain, calm her nerves and help her understand that she isn't going through this thing by herself. Thanks again to all who have chipped in to make this situation more bearable, if only a tiny bit. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 9:11 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Thursday, Jan. 07, 2005,



Friends and Family,



Kelley Anne went into surgery to place the missing bone above her left wrist at 6 p.m., and was finished around 10 p.m. James reports that Dr. Wyzakowski was very pleased with everything, and it went exactly as planned. The replacement bone was removed from Pudge's pelvis area, and he reported that Pudge has a compound in her arm that costs $5,000 an ounce that is working like exploding atoms, and is only used approximately 30 times a year in the U.S. We have no idea what it might be. We understand that he also fixed a slight fracture above her left elbow that had been lost in the mix previously. James was with her into pre-op and she was in good spirits. Diana stayed with her last night, and Mama and I went up at 8:45 am to relieve her. Dr. Luu came in and reset her central line. Dr. Voegel came in and said there had been no heart pauses during the night, and everything looks good. He did confirm that yesterday's pauses were indeed Vasa Vagel, triggered by stress and tenseness. At 10:30 a.m., Carol and the nurse's assistant removed the huge cotton Jones protective wrap on her left ankle and rebandaged it with Ace bandages only, after which Christine, and Leilani from re-hab, formed a custom-fit splint from a plastic sheet about 1/4 inch thick, and is formed and worked in hot water, then trimmed with scissors. Pudge's ankle graft looks great, nice and pink, and about the size of half an orange, or avacado. Rehab is in the process of returning her left foot to a 90 degree angle. She was uncomfortable til around 11:15 a.m., but was feeling better when we left at 11:45 a.m. for lunch. We planned to return, but James was enroute to stay with her for the scheduled 4:30 surgery, which was delayed until 6 p.m. We did not return tonight due to the lateness out of post-op.



James, Bill, Janet, Diana, Steven, Dawn

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Friday, Jan. 07, 2005,


Dear Folks,


I just returned from spending the night with Kelley Anne. I arrived at 12:20 a.m., shortly after she returned from arm surgery to her room in the Definitive Care Unit. It wasn't difficult to find her room. I heard her long before I saw her. Naturally, she was in pain. She asked the nurse if she could summon a familiar face. I was only too happy to oblige. If only I could volunteer to take on her pain, as well. Anyway, I relieved the nurse -- a wonderful lady named Maria -- and proceeded to stroke Kelley Anne's right hand and arm, sing her songs and get her focused on relaxing thoughts. The image of her toes in the hot sand, a cold Corona in her hand, James by her side, and the soothing sound of waves rolling in at her feet seemed to work best. Not surprisingly, her first question to me was, "Did they get you something to eat?" A short time later she said, "You need to get some sleep." Imagine that. She is just too precious. Wracked with pain, fresh from surgery, her mental acuity dulled by the effects of anesthesia, and she has the wherewithal to channel her sympatheic, compassionate side. Amazing. Anyway, she slept OK off and on but had difficulty staying asleep for long stretches because any movement of her left arm jolted her out of her slumber. No bad episodes, though. She did scold me once, saying, "Steven, you're supposed to be here to help me" when I failed to recognize that the "camera" she wanted removed from her bed was her pillow. We got through that just fine, though. She knew I was in a chair or a cot beside her whenever she woke, which seemed to comfort her a great deal. Her nurse, Maria, said it helps quite a bit for Kelley Anne to have someone she knows there to calm her whenever the pain gets too much. Kelley Anne does, indeed, have pancreatitis, something that is being treated with an antibiotic. She didn't have any skipped heartbeats throughout the night and everything appeared normal. Let's hope she is through with surgeries for a while and she can begin to check off some of her ailments as healed and continue making progress toward her recovery. Another update will be provided at the end of Friday. That's it for now. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley-Anne still continues to amaze us all with her concern and careing naturefor others when she is indeed the one in pain. Even though her mind is attacking the invasions on her body her spirit is for ever thankful for all that is being done to make her whole again. You all know in her heart there are no spaces left for anything for it is filled with love for you all who are supporting her physically and emotionally.
Stephen you said she wanted the camera (the pillow) off her bed, just be thankful she didn't think it was a marshmellow and try to eat it.
We know that Kelley-Anne is getting the best of care for all her situations but you angel who are always around keep an eye on James. He has been pulled from all sides and not only needs prayer but support in all things also.
Bruce and I are looking forward to helping with the Butler house when we come and to meeting all of you so we can draw strength from each other and continue in our goal of helping Kelley-Anne become who she was before this happened. God Bless you all! Renee Butler

 
At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelly Anne

It has been over 20 years since I've seen your face. But, it is one that is indelibly etched into my memory. When I saw the link about your accident on the BD web-site, I was in shock. All of the memories of our wonderful times together came flooding back. (remember icing?) You were such a fun-loving, beautiful girl at that time, and I'm sure you have grown into a strong and lovely woman. I know you can get through this!

I wish you a full and speedy recovery! I will check back here often to monitor your progess.

Get well Bling,

Don Bullock
bull1017@bellsouth.net

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Friday, Jan. 07, 2005,



Friends and Family,

Kelley Anne was on the phone calling Friday morning after surgery Thursday night to insert the missing bone in her left arm just above her wrist. Her left arm was terribly damaged in the accident, and to see it now is beyond belief at the skill of the surgeons who have collectively restored it. The graft area on the bottom of her arm has shrunk to 1/4 of the original trauma. The nerves and muscles were repaired and positioned above her wrist and have awaited the bone replacement for seven weeks. It was the last surgery scheduled. Steven stayed with his sister last night, and she had a relatively peaceful night. When Mama and I got to her room at 1:15 p.m., she was in good spirits, but fighting pain in her left arm. Christine, Leilani, and Chad came to construct a soft liner for Pudge's new flesh-colored custom ski boot cradling her left ankle, and to continue her re-hab exercises. Occasionally, we are privy to meeting people who are heaven-sent to a position or profession that they are so good at, that we stand in awe. Christine and Leilani are two such ladies. It's pure joy to observe them at work. Personality plus and amazingly adept at their chosen profession. Kelley Anne becomes a relaxed, happy, attentive person in their presence, and looks forward to their appearances. They told Pudge today that she will be on her feet Monday, and Pudge agrees. Judy, her speech therapist, also dropped by to remind her to exaggerate words to get her enunciation clear after thr jaw damage. Today, she started Gatorade by sponge and spoon, and Mama bought her a box of flat Life Saver lollipops to try to alleviate her lack of appetite for food. We thought it might be something to try. Her stomach peg feeding is proceeding as normal. Dawn was scheduled to stay tonight, but Pudge is afraid it would be trying for Dawn, so Steven will stay til 3 a.m., then Carolyn will take over til morning. Dawn will fill in later. Dawn and Gary are scheduling spots for the next 12 days or so. Tomorrow (Sat.) is house rebuild for Pudge and Jimbo, and we will muster there around 10 a.m. with tools. Donna has scheduled Chili and Cornbread for the work crews, and I'm hungry already. James has been getting material in place all week, and it should be interesting. We visited Pudge one at a time tonight from 8 p.m. to 9. She had just awoke, and we didn't want to overwhelm her. She looks great. She can't wait to get back to 4West as soon as a room is available. We hope to have her new kitchen finished when she gets ready to come home.

Bill, Janet, Boo, Dawn, Gary, and Amelia Ann

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Saturday, Jan. 08, 2005,





Dear Folks,



Carolyn and I did a split shift Friday night because Carolyn worked an 11-hour shift and I had been up all night with Kelley Anne on Thursday night and was functioning on no sleep. Anyway, all but 30 minutes of my five-hour shift consisted of visiting with James and his mother, as well as Dawn, reading magazines, watching CNN, writing Pudge a letter and drinking coffee. That is tremendous news, strange as it sounds. Kelley Anne slept so well from 10 p.m. or so until 2:30 a.m. that her primary nurse recommended that we do whatever necessary to avoid distracting her. I agreed to remain in the visiting room, just down the hall, as long as Kelley Anne slumbered. Even better, she slept for such an extended period without making any noises or added sedation/medication. Her nurse was thrilled beyond belief. You could see how much Kelley Anne benefited from her long nap in how well she looked upon her awakening. She looked great. She asked for me, the nurse retrieved me, and I spent 30 minutes fanning Kelley Anne as a means of cooling her down. Carolyn arrived at 3 a.m. and remained there the rest of the morning. Mom and Dad, as well as Dawn, helped Kelley Anne pass the time in the afternoon. Kelley Anne also underwent her regularly scheduled physical therapy in the afternoon. Her lone complaint through the night was of queasiness. She never got sick to her stomach and even asked to start ingesting baby food and similar stuff in the coming days. That would be a boon for her if she is able to follow through. So, that is it for now. A dozen or so people arrived at James and Kelley Anne's house in the morning and worked into the night, ripping out damaged/old stuff, replacing stuff and readying other areas for repair. Some of those same folks, as well as a handful of new faces are scheduled to continue the work Sunday. A great thanks to all for their selflessness and gifts to Kelley Anne and James. I am sure having such an opportunity to contribute in some way was great for so many who have been troubled by how to overcome their feelings of helplessness and uncertainty over how to help. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Saturday, Jan. 08, 2005,






Friends and Family,


Kelley Anne is advancing remarkably. Steven stayed with her til 3 a.m. Friday night, and Carolyn took over til 10:30 a.m. She slept for 4 1/2 hours straight on Steven's shift and three hours in a row with Carolyn at her bedside. Mama, Amelia Ann and I were heading for James' and Pudge's house to try to help with the work, but Carolyn called and asked if we could relieve her and stay with Pudge for a while til Dawn arrived. We got to the hospital at 10:45 a.m. and stayed til 12:15 p.m., when Dawn arrived. We then headed for Martinez with a stop to pick up some needed hardware. Frank and Kelly stayed with Pudge for an hour in the afternoon. The family room on the lower level has the new kitchen water line installed in the ceiling, six new pot lights and wiring, plus strengthening application for the upper deck, and rework on the center load-bearing wall to correct some old inadequacies. The installation (for sound purposes) of R-19 insulation is under way. The bar is completely stripped of all interior in preparation for complete re-work, inluding its toilet. All the old fixtures are discarded, plus most of the interior wood. All the guys are fantastic and are really progressing quickly. Dawn cleared the den and had it painted before anyone knew. She has a room painted while everyone else is deciding on a color. She's amazing. We're still trying to convince Kelley Anne that she is not at home and does not have to entertain guests. She understands when awake, but upon coming out of sleep, she frantically asks that no one visit because she is not up to entertaining. She shooed away John and MaryAnn this afternoon, thinking she was not ready for non-family visitors, realizing later what she had done. When Janet, Amelia Ann and I arrived at 8:15 p.m., her room in DCU 272 was empty, and we realized she had been moved back to 4West Orthopedics. Her room is next to her old one, this time #484. She was in great spirits, and the staff was glad to see her back. Neither her ankle nor her wrist are bothering her and she had yogurt this evening. She hates a hot room, and we try to fan her when we're there. Boo arrived at 9:30 p.m. to spend the night with her again. The plans for getting on her feet for the first time in seven weeks is still on for Monday. She still has periods of apprehension but is a completely different person from one week ago. We're elated. Steady, heavy rain all day.

Janet, Bill, Steven, Boo, Dawn, Gary, John, MaryAnn, Frank, Kelly, and Amelia Ann

 
At 11:55 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Sunday, Jan. 09, 2005,



Friends and Family,


Kelley Anne had a relatively restful night, and got probably 6 1/2 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Carolyn spent the night with her again and stayed until 1:30 p.m., at which time, Mama, Amelia Ann, and I relieved her to stay the afternoon. We had planned to try to help at the house again, but Pudge wanted company badly. We massaged her right leg, knee and foot, and her right arm and shoulder to help relieve the stiffness in preparation for rehab again tomorrow. She had stomach discomfort again this afternoon, but says she feels good otherwise. Constance made her a blanket in November, which is signed by everyone like a cast, and she is using it on her bed. Alexander the cat, the handsome Moose-reindeer, and Gary's Beanie Baby Tiger are back in residence awaiting the arrival of other stuffed persons. Her flowers are also returning to the room. Kelly and Shelby visited in the afternoon, and we left for supper at 5:30 p.m., when Boo was en route back. At 8:15, we returned so Boo could go home. James and Donna (James' Mom) arrived at 8:45 with a selection of baby foods and other goodies. The house had a good turnout again and much more was accomplished in the family room and bar. Diana was staying with Pudge tonight. Monday plans to be a busy day for Pudge.

Boo, Janet, Bill, Kelly, Shelby Lee, James, Donna, and Diana.

 
At 12:04 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Monday, Jan. 10, 2005,




Dear Folks,



Diana spent Sunday night with Kelley Anne and reported that things did not go as smoothly as the previous three nights. That is to be expected. She was restless, did not sleep well the entire night. Diana left at 7:45 a.m., with James en route to relieve her. James arrived after working non-stop on the house the entire weekend and visiting Kelley Anne, along with his mother, until 11:30 or so Sunday night. James spent considerable time arranging Kelley Anne's room in an attempt to make it more comfortable. He hung pictures, moved stuff animals, shifted plants and many other things that make Kelley Anne more at ease. James is spending the night with Kelley Anne tonight. We will be back for another update tonight. Until then, take care and God bless.

Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 9:09 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2005,





Friends and Family,


Kelley Anne had a restless night. Diana stayed with her til early morning. At 12:15 pm, Mama and I went up to stay the afternoon, but she was asleep, and we did not stay. She was out of bed for two sessions of re-hab of 1 hour each. She is very stiff after another 10 days of inactivity, but is trying very hard. We, plus Amelia Anne, returned at 5:15 and stayed with her til 7:15 p.m. She was having stomach cramps, but did eat Applesauce, Gatorade, and some yogurt. Dr. Wyzakowski came in to check her wrist and advise her to keep working her fingers til her fingernails touch her palm. Also, that the surgeries are all over, and the stabilizer bar will stay on her wrist for eight more weeks. Carolyn came up after we left to stay a few hours with Pudge. James is staying thru the night tonight. Pudge says her back feels good, and also her wrist, and most of the noticeable pain pertains to food, stomach, and intestines.(cramps) She watches TV, and gets antsy with a crowd in the room. She finally got her Fan to cool the room down. And her room has a fantastic view of Mt. Diablo. It was sunny for a while today, but the rain returned at 6:30, and will probably rain most of the night. She looks great.

Janet, Bill, Diana, James, Boo, and Amelia Ann

 
At 4:28 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2005,





Dear Folks,


Kelley Anne slept three hours last night but didn't experience any major discomfort, James reported. He spent the night and said that Kelley Anne awoke time and again but more so because of a desire for water, to have a body part itched or the need for more warmth or cooling, than anything pain-related. That is why it is so vital for people to spend the night with her. Seemingly small things can blossom into major things, in her mind, if someone isn't there to allay her fears and take care of the many things we view as routine and take for granted. The itching is a manifestation of her skin healing, so that's a good thing. James also said that Kelley Anne had a smidgen of ice cream, some tea and Gatorade. An effort to feed her rice krispies was aborted after Kelley Anne discovered that she can't chew too well right now. She underwent two sessions of physical therapy Tuesday. She sat at a 65 degrees to 70 degrees angle and performed numerous exercises in a session that lasted 50-55 minutes. She later sat unsupported on the edge of her bed, with her legs dangling off the side, for 20 minutes or so. Dr. Taekman witnessed her sitting up for the first time and was pleased by the encouraging sight. Her physical therapy will increase by 15 minutes each day until she reaches three hours per day. At that point, she likely will be moved to the Physical Therapy floor for more intensive exercises. Carolyn is scheduled to spend the night with Kelley Anne tonight. Another update will be forthcoming Wednesday afternoon. Until then, take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 3:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Anne...After seeing you yesterday I was amazed with your progress...you were totally your old self,you mentioned I hadn't been to visit you in a while, you were right it had been a few days, Kelley is alot more faithful visiting nearly every day about 4pm...He told you yesterday if your bored call him during the day at work...he has told me,I miss talking to Kelley Anne ,it was an every day thing, she would call me at work just to say ,Damn were at work and were not out camping. As for all the family and friends who are not able to visit, I for one can say she is doing really well...Love To All... Diane V.

 
At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1/12/04
Dear Kelley Anne:

I was just on BD's web site and learned of your accident. We have not seen each other in over 20 years so I hope you remember me, I have many memories of marching together in BD 1980-1982. I especially remember in Pegasus...bling...Kelley Ann

God created a remarkable person when he created you. He must have lots of plans for you in the future given the amazing recovery you have made in such a short time.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers daily.

Thank you to your family and friends for keeping us updated on your progess.

Your BD Color Guard friend...
Gayle Selinsky (Katz)---Fox River Grove, IL

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2005,





Friends and Family,

Kelley Anne had to go on stage and couldn't find her costume, one of her nightmares Tuesday night, according to Carolyn, who spent the night. The drugs continue to work on Kelley Anne's mind while she sleeps, or attempts to. We arrived at 2:30 p.m. and her bed was empty. Twenty minutes later, she wheeled in with Christine and Leilani, who had taken her outside the hospital on the sidewalk in the first clear, sunshiny day we've had in three weeks. She loved being outside. She continues to have cramps on her right side. The trip outside was the second of three out-of-bed episodes for the day. We left at 3:30 to get home to meet Amelia Ann's bus, had supper, and returned at 7:50 p.m. to find her in the wheeled chair for the third period of the day. She was uncomfortable and was complaining that her right hip again hurt very badly. This has mystified me for days til Janet reminded me that the bone for her left wrist was harvested from her right hip, which I had forgotten about. It has to be the sorest part of her now, as it's the most recent. Sonia Williams and Jim Serena dropped in with a beautiful card, and to say hello. Sonia and Jim have someone else on 4west as a patient, and Jim's daughter, Mary, is an RN in John Muir Maternity. Steven is scheduled to stay with Pudge tonight, but had not arrived by 9:05 p.m. when we left after Pudge dozed off. She had a busy, tiring day. She is on a first-name basis with the lift team, pairs of guys who cover the whole hospital to move patients in and out of bed. And Heather was on her rotation as RN tonight. Heather has a beautiful personality and committed a neatness on Pudge's room to eliminate unused items. It does accumulate.
Janet, Bill, Boo, and Amelia Ann

 
At 9:24 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Thursday, Jan. 13, 2005,



Dear Folks,


My apoogies for not posting an update yesterday. I had Internet difficulties and was unable to speak with Carolyn, James or Mom and Dad to receive an update. I posted Dad's update prior to this writing. With that said, I am here to deliver some uplifting news after spending the night with Kelley Anne on Wednesday. I arrived at 9:40 p.m., at which time James and his parents were keeping her company as she slept. They left at 10 p.m. without seeing her awake, save a feint muttering of "James." As it turns out, they could have stayed all night and not seen Kelley Anne awake all but an hour or so. That is fantastic news, of course. She awoke at 10:15, had her catheter fixed, a squirt or two of water, made sure I was there for the night and went back to sleep after a 15-minute visit. She slept from then until 1 a.m. She awoke saying she felt sick to her stomach. She was right. A pair of nurses and I helped Kelley Anne through a minor episode, brought about by her laying flat when she needed to be at an incline of about 30 degrees to accommodate her feeding tube, according to her late-night nurse. Anyhow, her discomfort passed in short order, she got cooled down, had some water, made sure I was taken care of and comfortable, then fell back asleep at 2:15. She slept soundly until 7 a.m., That means she was awake for about 90 minutes or so in a 12-hour span. She had some Gatorade and water before I left at 7:45 a.m. We also changed her gown and made sure her catheter wasn't bothering her. Besides that, she didn't seem to be in much pain, save an ache in her right side here and there. She is scheduled for more intensive physical therapy today, something she said she welcomed and needed to do if she wants to return home soon. Her nurse was pleased with how well Kelley Anne slept and made it through the night. Kelley Anne seemed to enjoy and feed off the high praise from her nurses and me. Everything is helping her through this trying time, albeit slowly. Still, she has made remarkable progress in the past 10 days or so. Let's hope things continue proceeding as well as they have since her release from a second stint in I.C.U. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

im a cousin of james
i hope and pray for the recovery of kelly anne as does my mom and dad

Allen, Marg, and Clay Jerke

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Thursday, Jan. 13, 2005,



Friends and Family,


Kelley Anne called Mama at 1:30 p.m., crying for someone to visit as she hadn't seen anyone since Steven left at 7:30 am. We went up via stops at Target and Civic Feline Clinic for #18 needles. Christine passed in the hall with Chad, and said Pudge had done regular wheelchair all over the 4th floor earlier, and she and Chad would be back at 3:15 for a second session. Unbeknown to us, they had stood Pudge up to walk to the wheelchair with support, and we only learned when Christine mentioned to Pudge that she was 4 inches taller than her "this morning." Pudge had been agitated when we arrived, and in despair that she can't stand anymore. We cajole her and encourage her that she is on the downhill slope to home now. She asked how much morphine she was getting, and when I turned to look at the old familiar pump, there was NONE, and the pump was turned off. She still pushes the button, but they evidently haven't told her that it is over. It was causing constipation, and general discomfort, and we're glad to see it stopped, finally. Pudge has really been thru the mill physically, and she has no benchmark against which to measure her remarkable recovery. It is difficult to tell her she's doing great when she obviously has pain and discomfort, but we can see that recovery is starting to be in strides rather than inches. We think it will be encouraging for drop-in visits from friends if only for a few minutes. She still gets anxious with too many at one time as she still feels she must entertain. She seems to get terribly lonely in the morning before noon after her overnight has left. She asks for Boo constantly, and what she is doing. Why can't she come up? Dawn and Joel were in before we arrived tonight, and Boo, Jimbo, and Harold were there when we arrived. One thing that has to be worked out is that she CANNOT lie flat while being fed with the stomach peg. She threw up twice today, and is in danger of aspiration with no one around. And, It's difficult to convince staff that she has never taken a pill orally in her life. It's just a fact. She still is agitated trying to eat but the liquid food into her stomach kills any appetite. She did have Gatorade and Ice Cream in small amounts today. She looks great, and just needs encouragement. She thinks she needs to be home to help with the restoration. She gets to select the paint colors, for sure, with consultation with Dawn (Associates, Ltd.)

Steven, Boo, Jimbo, Dawn, Joel, Janet, Harold, Bill, and Amelia Ann.

 
At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KelleyAnne,
Kelly and Shelby stopped by to see you earlier this evening with Joel, Shelby thinks you look wonderful...I spent most of the night with you and you seemed to like the company...I'm looking forward to next time...Love You Lots Diane

 
At 11:30 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Saturday, Jan. 15, 2005,


Friends and Family,

Kelley Anne had the braces removed from her teeth Friday. They had been wired in anticipation of having to wire shut her jaw to heal, but it never became necessary. Dr. Leung told her to chew gum for strengthing her jaws, generate saliva, and help in swallowing. He recommended "Spritzy Lemon", which he said any kid and 7-11 would know about it. So far, we haven't been able to locate it anywhere, so Pudge got Big Red and Peppermint. We're still looking. Kelly and Shelby visited with Joel yesterday, and Joel brought beautiful gifts for Pudge from Deb and the family. Diane stayed with Pudge last night from midnight when she got home from work til 6:30 a.m., when she had to leave to get Shelby and Bryan off to school. She said Pudge slept thru' the night O. K. Wes came this morning, and James arrived later in the day to sign for the anesthesia, and stay with Pudge. We had planned to visit in the afternoon, but were unable due to a Roto-Rooter extended shower supply failure in the guest bathroom in the only tub in the house. What started as O-rings replacement became six hours and a $716 valve replacement due to seepage inside the wall. Pudge was looking for Boo, so we picked her up at 7:30 p.m. to the hospital. Gary came by this afternoon, and Steven arrived when we did. Pudge is off nearly all medications except for Ringers, and Dextrose, and the stomach feeding has been suspended to allow her system to stabilize. She was nauseous and threw up twice, so she had only one session with Christine and Chad for re-hab Friday. She has a new walking cast on her left ankle, with a real sole attached to the bottom. Her wrist feels O.K., and her back is still stiff. Dawn is staying with her tonight, and we made up her bed before we left. It's such a delight to see the tree with only one pump and two fluid bags. The morphine pump looks forlorn and abandoned. We're working on convincing Pudge that she's on the fast track now. She's still not sure. We told her that her Christmas present arrived today, but not what it is. And we'll loan her Alex, HER cat, for company at home when she arrives there. She's not sure she can let him out. We'll build him a bathroom, if needed. Tomorrow is the second weekend of house reconstruction, and James is ready with material. He and Harold have been shopping all week. Very cold this week.

Diane, Wes, Jimbo, Gary, Boo, Janet, Bill, Steven, and Amelia Ann

 
At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kelley-Anne, I am so sorry I haven't written to you in awhile but I had so much going on with school. It has been so long for me and I needed to dust away the cob webs and start the old learning process. I found that when things got really over whelming and I just wanted to give up I came to the web site and read your progress reports and drew my strength through you. You are so amazing in all you do and I was ashamed at my complaints in my lack. You are a god sent inspiration to us all. We are all learning through you what we have forgotten, That we can overcome most anything when we are surrounded by the love of family,friends and even strangers who pass us by chance.And sometimes it takes something really earth shaking to remind us of what is truly important in this life, and Kelley-Anne you are truly very important to us all. We love you dearly.
Your friends are one of a kind and the ones we would all pray to have in our lives. Your family is the real meaning of family love, when you who was strong became weak then the family became strong. There is a healer in us all, it just comes in different kinds and sizes. When God created family and friends he had you all in mind. I thank him for the hospital that you are in for it sounds to be the answer that you need to your situation. We thank them all for the extra step that they take for you.
Kelly-Anne I am so looking forward to coming to see you and to be a servant to the cause in your recovery and in the restoring of your home. When ever you may doubt yourself in any way just look around you and read the letters on your web site and you will discover who you really are by the impact you made on all us. I pray peace, comfort and rest for you my precious sister-inlaw.
Renee Butler

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Sunday, Jan. 16, 2005,







Friends and Family,

Kelley Anne had a reasonably good night Saturday, dreaming she was camping with Boo, who stayed with her. She can turn partially on her sides which is new, and she is comfortable most of the time. She had sherbet, tea, and scrambled eggs, although she still has trouble swallowing them. I picked Boo up at 10:20 a.m. so she could get things done at home, and we then went to Warren St. to help James on the house. Today was a beautiful sunny day. When Pudge and James had Direct TV installed, the technician wanted nothing to do with a three-story house, and after putting the dish on the lower roof, he put all the wires on the roof, and down the side of the house in the shortest route possible. Since TVs are on three levels, this has been very shabby, and bare minumum. Harold and I helped James feed all four lines into the upper attic across to one of the bedroom closets, transition down to the Living Room attic, cross to the kitchen wall then down to the family room and Bar. James did a masterful job, and everything is out of site, and into proper junction outlets. Donna and Diana fixed a delicious Spaghetti, Salad, and Meatball lunch with Bread. Dawn, Kelly, and others went to the Sierra to take advantage of the huge snowpack on the slopes, and no one showed up to see Pudge. When we arrived at 8 p.m., Boo was already there, and Pudge informed us that she had been very lonely all day. We felt very bad that we hadn't taken an hour in the afternoon to see her. Meg arrived to stay with Pudge tonight, and James and Donna arrived shortly after, so we had an evening quorum. Meg brought everything that Pudge might need, including the Lemon chewing gum we had all been searching for, and a CD player, cookies which Pudge can't eat, but WE can, and we sneaked them out of the room. They should have a ball tonight. Pudge has put in an order for her sweats, socks, and gear to wear for re-hab. She is still downcast about the pace of her eating delaying her rehab schedule, as she really wants to go home. We will make a point of seeing her tomorrow afternoon. One week til the Benefit Dinner at Zio Fredo's, and we understand it's just about sold out. What an amazing group of dedicated friends. Steven took the boys to see the Harlem Globetrotters today .


Boo, Meg, Jimbo, Donna, Janet, Bill, and Amelia Ann

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Monday, Jan. 17, 2005,





Friends and Family,


Kelley Anne had a night of discomfort and a nightmare, we think. She had Meg to call us this morning to confirm that Mama knows where she's at. We didn't get a chance to talk to Meg, but hope she got SOME sleep last night before her drive back to Marin County, and home. It was great to see her again. When we got there at 12:45, Dawn was already there on her lunch hour, and had brought a huge big toothed comb, and had Pudge's hair all combed out, and put up with buns on each side, ala "Sound of Music" style, and it looks great. Dawn's boss was calling from Tokyo, and she had to leave. Pudge was sleepy so we left at 1:30 to run errands. She went outside the hospital in 47 degree cloudy weather during rehab. Kelly and Diane came by at 5:30, but she was still sleeping. The doctors ordered her on TPN fluids again to be sure she gets all the electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals until she can eat. Surprisingly, she is hungry, but still cannot chew properly and swallow. She says it's as if she has forgotten how to eat. Tonight , she wanted a Baloney sandwich with Ketchup, something neither Mama nor I can ever remember her eating. And she was really hungry when Boo and we returned at 7:30 p.m. Boo helped her brush her teeth, and rewrapped the fixator on her left wrist. She chewed some Lemon gum, and we were asking if Terry, her nurse tonight, if there was something she could melt in her mouth, with flavor, that might satisfy the hunger, but not add to her food intake. She is not allowed to eat anything by mouth at the present time. She said tonight that she cannot return to Warren St. with all the steps now, and asked if she can come home for a while, as we are on one level. Of course she and Jimbo can, and we had discussed the possibility long ago. The house will have to be finished anyway, before she can return. Our house is also torn up due to remodeling on hold, but can accommodate. She wants to get out of the hospital very badly, and everybody assures her that she is well on the way. Barbara, the Social Director that saw Pudge when she entered ER from the helicopter, and was the first staff member we met when we got to the waiting room with Chris, told us the background on Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and gave us printed info. Pudge definitely fits the pattern. On top of the accident itself, numerous surgeries, five weeks in ICU, 1 in DCU, and a total of 8 weeks lying flat leading to hospitalitis easily equals any other type of trauma, including wartime situations. Eventually, we will ease her through what occurred, and support her completely to get through the barrier. We all love her dearly. And her progress is amazing. She also is practically pain-free. Her complaint now is sore muscles, a malady we all suffer, particularly us old people. Jimbo was staying with her tonight, but had not arrived when we left at 9:10pm.

Meg, Dawn, Diane, Kelly, Boo, Janet, Bill, and Amelia Ann

 
At 6:46 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2005,



Dear Folks,


James just called to give me a detailed update from his 16-hour stay with Kelley Anne. Naturally, plenty of note transpired. First off, Kelley Anne slept without making a sound from midnight to 6 a.m. She tacked on another hour from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and remained awake until James left at 2 p.m. James unveiled a laptop he brought for her in recent weeks. They looked at pictures and listened to music for a couple of hours, which she quite enjoyed, James said.

Dr. Taekman visited Kelley Anne and told her, among other things, that she hasn't been allowed to eat the past couple of days because of her lingering pancreatitis. In the interim, she is being fed Total Parental Nutrition through an IV. Also, Dr. Taekman has cleared Kelley Anne to drink water, eat frozen popsicles and chew gum until she can resume feeding through the line into her stomach.

Two doctors and a social worker informed Kelley Anne that the time was at hand for her to deal with the details relating to her accident -- it happened nine weeks ago today, by the way. They reasoned that Kelley Anne was internalizing everything and it was manifesting itself in the nightmares and mid-sleep blatherings that have typified her nights for quite some time. And if she dealt with the details while awake, that would free up her mind to think positive thoughts and be unencumbered from the emotional baggage haunting her all this time. So, she was told the details of her accident, much of it for the first time (including that it happened on Alhambra Road). She cried off and on but also held up through the whole story. "Thank goodness I was in the Volvo," she said at one point.

She told two doctors that her right eye is not quite right. That will be evaluated in the coming days. She also experienced intense back pain throughout the day, James said.

Dawn and Wes also visited Pudge. Dawn cut, cleaned and painted Kelley Anne's right toenails and fingernails. That gave Kelley Anne great delight. Dawn intends to hit the left side Wednesday.

Finally, someone from the 5th floor met with James and informed him that Kelley Anne is on the fast track to moving from the 4th Floor to some new digs in the Physical Therapy unit on the 5th Floor. This likely will happen by the end of the week. She will get a private room, get to wear clothes, workout in a gymnasium and get pushed even harder than she has been by her physical therapists.

Diane Vick and Carolyn are working a split shift tonight. Meg stayed with Kelley Anne on Sunday night and left behind a music player that soothes Kelley Anne with a continuous reel of songs on a 45-minute disc. She really likes that.

Thanks again to the so many people who continue to give so freely of their time, energy and resources on behalf of Kelley Anne. The list continues to grow and the good deeds never cease to amaze everyone. I will take it upon myself to make sure that Kelley Anne is made aware of everything that happens out of her sight. Also, there is a journal that travels with her from room to room. Please, make sure you make an entry in the book whenever you visit Kelley Anne. That was started as a means of letting people express themselves in whatever way they felt comfortable and to help fill in the blanks for Kelley Anne whenever she gets around to reading and listening to the events of the past nine weeks and however much longer it takes until she goes home. Mom had a difficult day as one of her cats passed away. Toy was 19 and lived a full life at the Corkran Hacienda. He will be missed. Give Mom a hug when you all see her next. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have been keeping up with your progress and the love of all those surrounding you.
So thankful to have Steven keep all of us informed.
Love Aunt Bobbie

 
At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Anne,
You are so amazing! And tough! But of course, we already knew that. News of your accident has arrived in Seattle...what an amazing blessing your recovery is. My thoughts and best hopes are with you.
Lisa Calvert

 
At 10:41 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2005,




Friends and Family.


Kelley Anne did well Tuesday except for afternoon visitors, which was partly our fault. Jimbo stayed last night and Pudge slept through from midnight to 6:30 a.m. Then, after morning medications, she slept until 8:30 a.m. James got Pudge a Laptop for Christmas, and gave it to her this morning, loaded with pictures of the house restoration, Lake Shasta houseboat vacations, and other things of familiarity. She was thrilled, and they watched for a couple of hours. Wes visited this morning, and Dawn came on her lunch hour, and pedicured Pudge's right foot, and manicured her right hand, which also made her very happy. Her right fingernails had residue of the accident, and it bothered her. She will do the left side tomorrow. Dawn also assisted Barbara, one of the Social Directors in telling Pudge about the accident, where it happened, and the chronology of events into the ER. She protests, but everyone will reinforce her in coping with the trauma. We were planning to come early in the afternoon, but were required to say goodbye to our senior Siamese Tomcat, Toy Tu, who was just under 20 years old, had gone blind, and was starving in spite of everything Civic Feline, and we, could do. He was hungry, but unable to eat. Janet held him with the staff in attendance. We got to the hospital at 4:15 after Amelia Ann got home, and Zoomie was also there. Pudge was sleeping soundly, and we talked for 40 minutes, and did not disturb her. Of course, when we got home, she called, looking for us. After supper, we went back at 7:30 p.m., and shortly after, Steven arrived. Pudge is very hungry, but due to pancreatitis, she still is on TPN fluids, with no solid food allowed. Dr. Taekman thinks she may be O.K. to eat soon. Rehab was very good today, but she did not get outside, as it is very cold. Pudge's back was bothering her, so Steven and I massaged her back muscles on each side of her spine, and her shoulders and neck muscles. We also collectively continued the discussions of the accident, and she is surprised by the location, and very distressed that she fell asleep driving. She cries that she will never drive again, and also doesn't want anyone else to drive. We stressed that she is an excellent driver, and will continue to be. She doesn't want the Mustang anymore, and we told her that is O.K., but she can have any car she and Jimbo want in the future. 5west, which is pure rehab, expect Pudge to transfer to them shortly. She will have her own room, can dress in her own clothes, and will have numerous Gym sessions thru the day. Her appetite is back, and one way or the other, we will help her to eat. Steven was staying with her til midnight, when Diane will arrive, and Boo will relieve Diane at 3 a.m. She looks great.

JImbo, Dawn, Wes, Zoomie, Steven, Janet, Bill, and Amelia Ann
Toy Tu 1985-2005 R. I. P.

 
At 10:49 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2005,




Dear Folks,


I stayed with Kelley Anne until midnight Tuesday and had a great time. She was alert, doing some exercises on fingers, legs and such, as well as talking about how hungry she is these days. That, of course, is wonderful news, though it means nothing unless she actually takes the next step and eats something orally. She said she is craving Kentucky Fried Chicken, salad with Italian dressing, and a tuna fish sandwich with pickles. She soon will get another chance at attempting to resume eating, once she is over her bout with pancreatitis and allowed to eat orally. She fell asleep at 11:30 p.m. and was asleep when Diane V. relieved me at midnight. She soon awoke as a result of a nightmare and remained awake as long as Diane was there, until 3 or so. No word on how Kelley Anne fared on Carolyn's shift. However, we received word midday that Kelley Anne has been moved to 5 West, otherwise known as Rehab or Physical Therapy. It's a short move -- only one floor skyward -- but a huge step in her recovery process. She learned firsthand just how different things are going to be when informed that friends and family no longer are wanted as overnight companions so Kelley Anne can begin to assimilate once again. Also, she begins more intensive rehab Thursday, something that likely will prove unbearable at first but pay huge dividends in the long run. More on that tomorrow. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Anne,

I just heard of the accident. You are such a strong woman that you'll be out of that hospital in no time. What a survivor you are!!!

Just want you to know that you and your entire family are in our thoughts and prayers. We'll send good vibes your way.

Hope to see you at the BD drum corps show this summer!

Carrie (Hesseltine) Lowenson

 
At 10:24 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Friday, Jan. 21, 2005,


Dear Folks,


Kelley Anne has settled into her new room on the 5th Floor, otherwise known as Rehab/Physical Therapy. Some of the changes aren't sitting too well with her and will require some getting used to, it appears. Kelley Anne's main doctor permitted James to spend the night with her Wednesday as a means of helping her make the transition from Orthopedics, where she was allowed overnight visitors all the time. She also is having a difficult time adjusting to an edict delivered by her neuropsychologist, saying only family is allowed to visit, only one visitor at a time, no TV, no telephone, dimmed lights, shades drawn, etc. In other words, minimal stimulation. She had four 10-minute episodes in which she spoke as if she were awake but didn't make much sense and couldn't be awakened during James' sleepover. She said, "So glad you're here," after seeing James upon waking the first time. There isn't an update on the condition of her right eye as of yet. It still is being monitored. She spent Thursday being evaluated by a physical therapist to see where she is at upon her admittance to the 5th Floor and what equipment and which regimen are needed. She also met with an occupational therapist to being learning how to satisfy such basic tasks as brushing her teeth, combing her hair, etc. In short, Kelley Anne was told that she can go home once she is at a satisfactory point in her physical therapy, she is getting the proper nutrition through eating on her own, and she is able to take care of herself. The respective doctors and therapists will meet each Tuesday and discuss in length Kelley Anne's progress and determine when she is ready to be discharged. She was told that the latest steps are being taken because the staff is "getting you ready to go home." The hope is that this is the impetus needed for her to negotiate the next leg of her arduous journey. That's it for now. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 2:21 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Saturday, Jan. 22, 2005,





Friends and Family,

Kelley Anne had a somewhat better day Friday than she did Thursday. She has registered her protests, as have we, and it doesn't particularly change anything, except staff will be told, under NO circumstances will "brain damage" be used in her presence again. We had just spent a month slowly bringing her up to speed about the accident, the many people involved in her rescue and treatment, and the reason for her disorientation from five weeks of drug-induced coma to facilitate the many surgeries, and other invasive procedures. She had asked numerous times if her head had been injured, and we have told her that only as far as fractured orbital bones and left cheek bone, plus numerous lacerations, all of which were restored and repaired with no complications. The whole two hours of discussions the night before she left 4West concentrated on gaps associated with the past eight weeks, and reassurance that Rehab was a snap after what she has already been through. And she was reassured. And I stood and watched it all come apart in 10 minutes of ill-advised use of terminology. The work of a vast number of people was nullified in an instant. In conversations with Pudge today, we started the process over. I threatened to bring her cell phone to her, as she had no word from Jimbo all day, and wanted to talk to him. James, Harold and Donna were there when we returned at 8 p.m. She won't need her cell, as Suds (Constance) and Katey arrived from Vancouver, and Suds is staying with her, and has her cell phone. Katey and I are playing computer before she falls asleep.

Pudge became privy to the National ER Protocol in which ALL Automobile accident victims entering Trauma are considered to have "Brain Damage" until proved otherwise. But never had it been mentioned until last night in Rehab. I can appreciate the standardization as a necessity, but I think that family members, husbands, close friends and others intimately familiar with the patient should be consulted about personality, habits, temperament, and normalities, before total strangers make snap judgements and generalizations that can have long-lasting repercussions. Pudge has never shown any tendency toward memory loss other than short-term lapses, and always under morphine. If she had shown problems, we would have been on it immediately, if not sooner. If anything is changed from normal, it is a shortness of patience, and I can't imagine anyone who would have a greater reason to be so. She has had only periods of uninterrupted sleep in the last 10 days. And is pain-free for the first time the past three days. I would be much more than impatient. Boo stayed with her Thursday and said when Pudge would moan, or be restless, she would ask her if she hurt. She would reply "No", and Boo would tell her " then shut up, Nellie, and go to sleep." She is still terribly hungry all the time. She is still deprived of TV, Radio, and Telephone, and she's frustrated. Dr. Smith is the Chief on 5East, and Pudge likes him very much. She had 4 periods of activity today, and got outside in the sun for a while. That's an accomplishment in itself, as sunshine was very sparse here today. Dr. Voegel (cardiology) and Dr. Luu (pulmonary) saw her this morning.



Janet, Bill, Amelia Ann, James, Donna, Harold, Connie, and Katey

 
At 4:38 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Sunday, Jan. 23, 2005,





Friends and Family,

Kelley Anne is doing great. Jimbo stayed with her Saturday night, and she slept 7 hours straight. Kelly spent 2 hours this morning before the Benefit Luncheon, which started at 12:30 p.m. at Zio Fraedos beautiful new restaurant in Pleasant Hill. Gary, Dawn, Suds, Diana, Diane and helpers did a fantastic job on everything, and we're sure that everyone had a good time. Many old friends were there, and many NEW friends were also there giving all of us a chance to add a face to familiar names. We still missed meeting many, particularly from UAL, and hope to fill that oversight in the future. Tony Fraedo was the ULTIMATE host, and 3-year-old Molly Clem was the hit of the day. Plans are to kidnap her from Mom, Dad, and Grandma. Dawn was outstanding as MC, and there were 5 or 6 photo boards with an infinite cross section of Pudge and Jimbo's beautiful lives. We were amazed at the many great photos that we have never seen, and Wes has very kindly undertaken to turn many of them, plus video shot by Aaron and Eyreka today, into a DVD, and possibly later onto the website, with the help of Paul Erskine, who created our We Love Kelley Anne site. There were so many folks to thank, and one was Alan Hern, who called 911 to start Pudge's rescue to John Muir, to whom Steven made the heartfelt presentation of a beautiful Clock/Plaque on behalf of all of us, and Travler Garvey, our benefactor today who, with Tony's son, picked up the tab for all the food costs today, allowing all the contributed funds to go to the Fund. Tony's daughter-in-law was approaching labor, so they had to depart early for the hospital. Dawn and her crew had a huge 6-foot check in the amount of $11,345 and there are still funds that are not in that total. The display check had to be made last night before the final total was known. Jimbo made a beautiful talk about having met Pudge "under a 747", and their 3 years together. Harold led us in a Prayer of Thanks in his superb voice and manner of speaking. We couldn't get Gary to speak, but all who know him, and his penchant for organization, speak for him, with another shouted "Well Done!" He left for the hospital to take his thoughtful UAL 777 model with the "We Love You, Kelley Anne" baseplate, which thrilled her. Mama, Chris, Boo, Amelia Anne and I arrived just behind, and Pudge had just finished WATCHING the Eagles-Falcons game. She conned the doctor and got her TV. She had a good day, and tomorrow, gets her hair washed. She broke us all up saturday when Chris said he had to get back to the house because he hadn't had a shower since yesterday. She immediately said, " Big Deal, I haven't had a shower since November!" It has been a busy 3 days, and Suds, Katey, and Chris have bounced around to visit family between all the other activities. Shelby had all the kids captured during the luncheon, and we know did her usual superb job. In the group is Rachel, who hasn't seen "her Lydia" in nearly 6 months, and THAT really makes our day. Kelly and Diane had everyone to their house afterward, and we again had to pass so as to go see Pudge, and get Chris ready to stay with Pudge on Sunday night. He even took his own pillow with him. And Rick once again dropped off the keys to his georgeous Nissan Pathfinder for Chris to use. He will get to ride to SFO on Tuesday morning in luxury. One of the other of many delights has been driving the brand new Navy blue PT Cruiser that Suds and Katey rented at San Jose Airport. Makes everyone feel yuppieish. Fun to drive. They had dinner with Paula and Craig after arrival from Vancouver. Particular thanks to Gail Schultz for personally delivering a large check from the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps today. It's been a great 35 years, Gail.

Gary, Janet, Chris, Boo, Bill, Amelia Anne, and a huge group of beautiful people.

 
At 9:45 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2005,



Dear Folks,


I just returned from spending the night at the hospital with Kelley Anne. She had her third straight solid night. This time, she slept almost the entire time. I arrived at 10:30, a few minutes after James and his mother had left, according to Kelley Anne. She had the TV on when I arrived. I asked her if she was watching it, she said no and asked what time it was. I said, "It's bed time." I gave her some water, fixed her pillows and sheets, turned off the TV and the lights, said good night and didn't hear from her again until 1:30 a.m. She awoke talking non-sensical stuff, just kind of feeling her way through a confused state. At one point, she told me, "I hate golfing." I let her slide on that one. I listened to her and calmed her for 30 minutes or so, until she fell asleep again. She remained asleep until I left at 7 a.m. So, overall a great night for her, just as it was Sunday night, when her older brother, Chris spent the night and reported Kelley Anne sleeping for 10 hours in a 12-hour span or so. Not bad. Her youngest sister, Connie, cut Kelley Anne's nails on her left side, and they look great. Kelley Anne's hands are healing well. The therapists cut and "washed" Kelley Anne's hair the best they could Monday afternoon, though she's still in need of a Vidal Sassoon-style pampering whenever it's doable. Chris said Kelley Anne was in good spirits during his visit, as well as in the hours before I arrived. She is eating jell-O for now and still craving some real food, as she calls it. Her therapists and doctors convene today for an evaluation of Kelley Anne's progress in her first six days in Physical Therapy/Rehab. A posting of those results will be made as soon as it becomes available. Until then, take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 4:46 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2005,






Friends and Family,


Kelley Anne is doing great, other than hunger, but the messenger ran in to a cold the size of a Mack truck, and had a lousy night. After going by Warren St. to pick up Chris' UAL tickets from Jimbo, and drop off eight three-prong electrical outlets, we went to see Pudge. She was feeling good, and Diana was there. Suds and Katey had just left for San Jose, and we missed them by about 10 minutes. They were staying with Gina, Rich, and the girls, before flying home to Vancouver today. We had supper and returned at 8 p.m. Pudge was in great spirits, other than hunger, and after gathering on the daybed, and standing, Chris mentioned, "Pudge, please have the hospital install bleachers", and that set off a hilarious repartee between them as only they can sustain. Chris noted his ticket number was for seat 2-B, and any later arrivals would have to sit in the upper row cheap seats. Chris also observed festival seating would work next to the "stage". Pudge informed him that "tonight's early show was cancelled due to STARVATION." For the first time, we saw Pudge openly laugh, as the rest of us were laughing so loud, we expected security to show up. Donna and Jimbo arrived at 8:30, and Steven was due sometime after 10 to stay with Pudge. We try to use the Purell Alchohol gel hand dispensers in the hospital religiously, but I evidently had an exposed finger, or naked knuckle, and touched the wrong elevator button, or door handle, and caught a Gotcha. At 11 p.m., my throat began to tighten, and by midnight, I knew I had a cold coming of monstrous proportions. It ain't Flu. We got the shot. I'm always alloted at least one good cold annually. So, we have to stay away from Pudge for a few days. We got Chris on the way home to Philadelphia at 5:30am. We were going to take him to SFO, but Gary was en route at the same time for his flight to Colorado, he swung by and picked up Chris. Chris flight was at 9, but commute traffic is so horrendous by 6 a.m., that everyone on early flights has to get a headstart in case of tie-ups on the Bay Bridge. Pudge now wears her left ankle brace only when out of bed. It is wrapped only with a traditional soft wrap otherwise. She has her big photo of she and Jimbo on the Tow Tractor that Nader made for her and had everyone at UAL to sign, and also the 777 model that Gary gave her. Another big plus is that Star Sousa from Hawaii is four rooms from Pudge, is eating, and in rehab, like Pudge. We talked to Andreas, her fiance, and she is doing well. Star entered ICU one week before Pudge. Diane, her mom, went home for a week, and is due back shortly. Diane and Herb are wonderful folks, and we feel like Star is another daughter, although she doen't know us. Prolonged hospital stays tend to create new circles of friends. We now have to tell Pudge that we're on quarantine for a few days. She won't like it, so I'm assigning her mother to tell her.

Diana, Constance, Katey, Gary, Jimbo, Donna, Steven, Chris, Janet, Bill, and Amelia Ann

 
At 9:49 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2005,





Friends and Family,


Kelley Anne is evidently preparing for transformation into Mia Hamm or Brandy Chastain when she hits the floor. Mama and I went up at 2 p.m. after Mama's appointment with Dr. Chivally at 1:45 across La Casa Via from John Muir. I get to stay in the Toyota doing Crossword puzzles and using up Kleenex. When Mama got to her room, Kelley Anne was lounging on the bed in said sweats and T-shirt. She had the stitches removed on her left wrist, and only the external fixator between the bones is still there. Kelly, Boo, John, Maryann, Wes, and I'm sure others, have been in Tues and Weds. Diane stayed from midnight til 3 a.m. Tuesday night. We're not sure if anyone is staying tonight. We went back up at 7:30 p.m., Steven arrived at 8, and was there when we left. Tonight, she had been moved across the hall into 504, which is twice as large as 509, and may be the direct result for installation of visitors bleachers. When Jimbo brought up Pudge's clothes last week, Mama and Boo said that as he started laying tham out on the table, she was eating a popcicle, and her eyes and the popcicle froze in fascination as Jimbo unpacked. She was in suspended animation at seeing her clothes for the first time since mid-November, and watched each item like a child in a candy store. That probably helped to suspend the "ugly polka dot dress from Mervyn's" nightmare. Mama started taking up her cards four or five at a time today. We've felt terrible that a lot of them came two months ago, but we wanted her to open them herself, and appreciate them on her own. A few went up around Christmas from Jack and Helen Corn, Vic and Marie Montijo and a couple of others that we knew had "real time factors, and messages". Today, she opened from Stan and AnnMarie Izumi from Glendale, Dale and Lurene, from Nashville, my longest friend of 72 years, Dale and Joanie Doebler, one of our longest friends in Calif., the Blue Devils "A" Corps Booster Club, and Margaret Mangan, Janet's and my oldest N.Y. friend in Oyster Bay, sent a prayer card for Lourdes, France. Of all the prayer circles, and groups from so many sections of the country, Lourdes never entered our minds. All the cards are just beautiful, and she can't imagine that so many people care for her. We've been upset that friends might have sent flowers in the first month, and they were undeliverable due to ICU restrictions. We pray that no one did, and lost money in the process. We think many UAL friends may have. When she moved to 5west just before Christmas, the room filled up, and we were able to identify all except one. We just found that it was from Curtis' Mom and Dad, Joe and Charlene, from Battleground, Wash. They are family, and we wouldn't have known if Suds hadn't asked us this weekend while here. Downstream, the clerical staff has an awful lot of Thank You cards to send out. We'll let Pudge lead, and we'll help. The count Sunday at the luncheon was 70 plus, and Pudge couldn't believe it. I guess the best way to describe Pudge now is "Radiant." I haven't seen her since Monday, but Mama says Dr. Taekman calls her his "girlfriend," and Pudge responds that "he's in love with me." The staff are amazed at her recovery. And so are all of us.


Kelly, Diane, Wes, Zoom, Maryann, Boo, Steven, Mama, Amelia Ann, and the Parking Lot Puzzle King, shivering

 
At 9:49 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2005,





Friends and Family,


Kelley Anne is evidently preparing for transformation into Mia Hamm or Brandy Chastain when she hits the floor. Mama and I went up at 2 p.m. after Mama's appointment with Dr. Chivally at 1:45 across La Casa Via from John Muir. I get to stay in the Toyota doing Crossword puzzles and using up Kleenex. When Mama got to her room, Kelley Anne was lounging on the bed in said sweats and T-shirt. She had the stitches removed on her left wrist, and only the external fixator between the bones is still there. Kelly, Boo, John, Maryann, Wes, and I'm sure others, have been in Tues and Weds. Diane stayed from midnight til 3 a.m. Tuesday night. We're not sure if anyone is staying tonight. We went back up at 7:30 p.m., Steven arrived at 8, and was there when we left. Tonight, she had been moved across the hall into 504, which is twice as large as 509, and may be the direct result for installation of visitors bleachers. When Jimbo brought up Pudge's clothes last week, Mama and Boo said that as he started laying tham out on the table, she was eating a popcicle, and her eyes and the popcicle froze in fascination as Jimbo unpacked. She was in suspended animation at seeing her clothes for the first time since mid-November, and watched each item like a child in a candy store. That probably helped to suspend the "ugly polka dot dress from Mervyn's" nightmare. Mama started taking up her cards four or five at a time today. We've felt terrible that a lot of them came two months ago, but we wanted her to open them herself, and appreciate them on her own. A few went up around Christmas from Jack and Helen Corn, Vic and Marie Montijo and a couple of others that we knew had "real time factors, and messages". Today, she opened from Stan and AnnMarie Izumi from Glendale, Dale and Lurene, from Nashville, my longest friend of 72 years, Dale and Joanie Doebler, one of our longest friends in Calif., the Blue Devils "A" Corps Booster Club, and Margaret Mangan, Janet's and my oldest N.Y. friend in Oyster Bay, sent a prayer card for Lourdes, France. Of all the prayer circles, and groups from so many sections of the country, Lourdes never entered our minds. All the cards are just beautiful, and she can't imagine that so many people care for her. We've been upset that friends might have sent flowers in the first month, and they were undeliverable due to ICU restrictions. We pray that no one did, and lost money in the process. We think many UAL friends may have. When she moved to 5west just before Christmas, the room filled up, and we were able to identify all except one. We just found that it was from Curtis' Mom and Dad, Joe and Charlene, from Battleground, Wash. They are family, and we wouldn't have known if Suds hadn't asked us this weekend while here. Downstream, the clerical staff has an awful lot of Thank You cards to send out. We'll let Pudge lead, and we'll help. The count Sunday at the luncheon was 70 plus, and Pudge couldn't believe it. I guess the best way to describe Pudge now is "Radiant." I haven't seen her since Monday, but Mama says Dr. Taekman calls her his "girlfriend," and Pudge responds that "he's in love with me." The staff are amazed at her recovery. And so are all of us.


Kelly, Diane, Wes, Zoom, Maryann, Boo, Steven, Mama, Amelia Ann, and the Parking Lot Puzzle King, shivering

 
At 10:07 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2005,




Dear Folks,


I spent three-plus hours with Kelley Anne Wednesday night, ushering her through the end of her long day and until she received her nightly shot of Atavan. She spent most of the time I was there crying, saying she ached all over and couldn't stand the long, lonely days. I held her hands, calmed her down and shifted her focus to positive thoughts. It appears as if the root of her most intense pain these days is a manifestation of her heightened physical therapy the past week. Muscles that sat dormant for much of the past 10 weeks atrophied and aren't thrilled at going from non-use to what must feel like abuse. That is the hope anyway. I tried to assure Pudge that this kind of pain is normal and that it will lessen and subside once she gets accustomed to the regimen she is being put through. Kelly, Carolyn, and Mom and Ameila Ann had visited Kelley Anne prior to my arrival. Mary Serena paid a visit to Kelley Anne's room at 10:30 p.m. I helped Kelley Anne roll on her right side at 10:45, then massaged her back and shoulders until she fell asleep just past 11 p.m. There isn't any word on how Kelley Anne fared or how long she slept after I left because she went it alone for the first time in three weeks or more. The charge nurse said Kelley Anne didn't handle it too well being left alone for a spell the previous night. Perhaps she will grow accustomed to comforting herself whenever we are unable to spend the night with her. On the bright side, she wore sweatpants and a T-shirt (emblazoned with Nation's Hamburgers, by the way) for part of the day. She said that felt nice. She also used a port-a-potty for the first time, which is considered a major step. Beyond that, she looks fine, is trying to do whatever asked of her to get her through the long days and home as soon as she desires. James is scheduled to meet with Kelley Anne's doctors/therapists today to receive the weekly update (the staff meet Tuesday and Thursday and issue evaluations Thursday) on how she is progressing. I will post an update once I receive word on how that meeting goes. Until then, take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 10:04 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Friday, Jan. 28, 2005,





Friends and Family,



Kelley Anne was sitting in a chair, reaching to the table to pick up her glass and drink her tea. What a simple statement, except for its meaning. She also was still wearing sweats and a T-shirt, all of which add up to three major events that have not occurred since Nov. 16, 2004. Steven had stayed with Pudge last night til 12:30 a.m., rubbing her back, reassuring her, and leaving only after she fell asleep. Steven also said that Mary Serena had dropped down from duty in maternity to say hello at 10:30 p.m. Jimbo and Donna came by and picked up Mama, and they met Diana for the Thursday evaluation meeting with Dr. Dana. The evaluations are done Tues. and Thurs. He says Pudge is doing very good, and he projects her exit home in about one month. We heard that the male patient next door had a very noisy night Wednesday. He was moved Thursday afternoon. Dr. Dana described the protocols, but said they are not etched in stone. One of the reasons for TV restrictions is that some patients want to watch 16 hours of Jerry Springer each day, and the 3 max. visitors is due to 2 or 3 different conversations at once can be very confusing for a patient. Her pancreatitis is just about gone, and the move to the larger room was ordered by him to accommodate the extra bed at night, NOT to install bleachers for the dinner theatre crowd. He agrees that Pudge does much better with sleepovers and he encourages it. Dr. Luu, her pulmonologist from the 2nd day, is in charge of when she eats, and what. Dr. Dana said that Kelley Anne's left ankle, and its adaptation to use is the determining factor for going home. And he says she may require home therapy to adapt. The staff is very happy with her progress. I stood down again today due to the 3rd, and worst, day of the cold, and never left the house. Mama and Amelia Ann did not return tonight to visit. I think Jimbo was staying over tonight. We're having mini-typhoons again tonight, and a good time to stay off the roads.


Dad, Jimbo, Donna, Janet

 
At 1:52 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Friday, Jan. 28, 2005,



Dear Folks,


Kelley Anne overall had a nice night, James reported. She slept almost non-stop from 12:30 a.m. to 8, with two short bouts of pain that awakened her. Even more encouraging is word that she had her "best eating day yet," James said. She ate one-half bowl of oatmeal and one-half bottle of Ensure this morning. That is outstanding news, being she hasn't eaten anywhere near that much to this point. It is encouraging enough for doctors to allow her to reduce her tube feeding to nighttime, with her intake during the day up to her to decide. Also, her heart doctor stopped by on his way to vacation and said things look great with her heart. Kelley Anne is to spend a large part of Friday working on several exercises, as well as more occupational therapy-related stuff. Dawn is scheduled to spend the night with Kelley Anne tonight, which should lend itself to another positive experience. That's all I have for now. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005,



Friends And Family,


Naively thinking I had caught a little old three-= day head cold last Monday night, reality shows that I really got the 100-Year, Perfect, Never-BEEN-SEEN-IN-MEDICINE, call-the-CDC, and quarantine-the-western-hemisphere JOB. I feel just as lousy now as I did six days ago. I would have rushed to Dr Jolin's office but for one thing. There is NO cure for the common cold, and exactly this time last year, Pudge bought a beautiful Computer Cabinet to serve as a temporary PANTRY as the house was being put together. It came in a flat box, disassembled, and Pudge had somehow stuffed it in the Mustang trunk and got it home from K-Mart. Mama told me we should go help assemble it. I didn't realize it, but poor Jimbo had contracted the prototype of this thing I have now. He had to be feeling beyond puny, but gamely got up to also help. We rassled, pushed, shoved, and worried that jewel around the living room all afternoon, and were properly impressed with the result. Ten days later, Mama mentioned that Jimbo had gone to see Dr. Jolin. Surprised, I asked why, and she said he still has THAT COLD. Now, James B. is so healthy, he glows. He wanted a physical, and when Dr. Jolin got a 106 cholesterol reading, he told Jimbo, "Get out of here, no one is that healthy." Instead of pouting, He, Pudge, Dawn, and Frank went to Phuket, Thailand to ponder the good things in life. The rescue Elephants there are old friends of theirs. So, knowing Jimbo survived this, I hung in there. Cussed a lot, but hung in. Due to this thing, we have withdrawn more and more. I drive the car, but don't get out except in the shadows. Feel like I might be stopped and accused of traveling while diseased. Sugarbabe and Amelia Ann are stuck, as they also can't visit Pudge, as a precaution. I never saw who hit me, and I'm sure it was probably in the hospital. Or, that's my theory and I'm sticking with it until my health returns from whereever it went. Boo and Steven say Pudge is really doing well, and advancing positively, daily. We wait for any tidbit we can get. We've lost track of the sleepover team schedule. Pudge could be using homeless volunteers as far as we know. This is kinda like Othroscopic visiting by remote control, rather than Hands on visiting right in the room. One item off the website yesterday makes us happy. We had no address for Alan, Lisa, and Holly in south England. Alan is a helicopter pilot friend who trained for his U.S. license in Concord, Lisa worked for Quantas, and Holly, their daughter had more fun at Pudge and James' wedding than anyone, other than Alexandra. They were a team wearing Mickey and Minnie headwear til the wee hours. Zoom has contacted them, and their message is on the site today. Zoom and Alan are good friends. Will try to get contact re-established shortly. It's all good thoughts.

Janet, Boo, Steven, Bill, and Amelia Ann

 
At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello to all,

I miss you all so much, it's so nice to read the update each night and know whats going on. I miss Kelley Anne so much, I talk about her so much at work, I almost feel like she's one of OUR patients. She is loved by so many. I had a great visit with her and feel better after seeing her with my own eyes. Katelyn is still very sad about her aunt Kelley Anne (The YES girl). she really wanted to stay at her bedside and be her personal assistant, I don't think Kelley Anne would mind. Thanks to all for the updates and great messages, please kiss my girl for all of us sooooooooo far away. Love and Kisses. The Vancouver bunch. Connie, Curtis, Katie and Nick. xoxoxoxoxoxox

 
At 10:24 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005,





Hi

I stayed with Kelley Anne Friday night. I arrived at 9 p.m. She was in pain from her stomach Friday night, from not having a bowel movement. The nurse was trying to give her a stool softener but she was refusing it. She said she would take it Saturday morning. We spent a few hours looking at the checks and talking about the luncheon last Sunday and generally catching up. We did not watch TV. She still continues to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from people. I turned out the light at 11:15. She slept until 4 a.m. when one of her machines began to beep. She fell back asleep in about 20 mins. and slept until 7:45, when the occupational therapist arrived to dress her and clean her up. She had a rough morning; her stomach was still aching from lack of BM. And she was on edge. She started getting herself worked up about physical therapy and having a BM if she took the stool softener. So again, she denied it. She did not eat, or even attempt to eat. She said she had no appetite. Saturday was a beautiful day; I opened her window fully and raised her bed as high as it could go so she could see out side. It was clear and green and beautiful. She enjoyed the view. I had nice, soft music and on and I cleaned and organized her things. She wanted to take a nap around 9:30 and asked that I close the blind completely. She was tired and slept for an hour until Frank and Lydia arrived with a Jamba Juice, strawberry banana, her favorite. She had about four spoonfuls as her stomach was still bothering her. Her next PT begins at 11:15 so we left about 11:10. She was very emotional and not in good spirits.

I really enjoyed my time with her; She is a good roommate! She also was thrilled with her visit from Lydia. As we were leaving her room, walking down the hall, Lydia said I miss Kelley Anne. From the mouths of babes….

Love,

-Dawn

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Monday, Jan. 31, 2005,



Dear Folks,


I just returned from spending the night with Kelley Anne, a night she termed, among other things, "The worst I've ever had." If that's the case, she's in fine shape because she did much better than she thinks. I arrived at 9:30 p.m., visited with James and Kelley Anne for 45 minutes, and then proceeded with what I called, "My 12 Hours With Nellie." She was in "horrible" pain upon my arrival, still aching from vomiting several times throughout the day. Doctors and nurses still aren't sure what the cause is, though medications are the likely culprit. Anyhow, she was panic-stricken, worried that she couldn't sleep, eat or drink as long as she was so nauseous, or else she might suffocate. We've all been there before, so this is a part of her ordeal that we all can relate to, huh? Anyhow, James and I persuaded her to take a sedative, something that woulnd't cause her to throw up and, if anything, would lessen her nausea. She fell asleep seconds after James left at 10:15. She slept until 1 a.m., when she awakened for 30 minutes or so. She then slept from 1:30 until 3, when she awakened and had another vomiting episode. I told her that it wasn't as bad as it seemed because she went seven hours between throwing up. I calmed her down, rubbed her hand, focused her breathing and concentration and got her back asleep at 3:40. She slept until 8:30 and awakened in a panic. She refused to eat or do her occupational therapy until she met with her doctor. The downside is, Monday was scheduled to be the day she took a shower for the first time in 11 weeks. Perhaps Tuesday will be the day. Anyhow, she is restless, anxious to be discharged and tired of not being able to eat. In a way, though, that constitutes progress because she didn't complain about pain in any part of her body throughout the night. As for the lapse between updates, two-thirds of Kelley Anne's late-night support group are sick or battling severe allergies right now, and we have been scrambling to make things work. Carolyn spent Saturday night with Kelley Anne and said she slept from 12:30 a.m. to 8:30, visited with two dogs in the afternoon and had a decent day, until the stomach issue surfaced. James is slated to spend the night Monday, so that should boost Kelley Anne's spirits. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 11:07 AM, Blogger Steven said...

THE DAY IT ALL CAME TOGETHER


Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005,



Dear Folks,



It is a new day, a new month ... and a new Pudge! That's right, today was a watershed day for Kelley Anne in her recovery from automobile accident. Let the record show that it is day 78 since she crashed into a tree in Martinez. And on this day, Kelley Anne broke through numerous barriers, physical and emotional. Make it, smashed her way past several impediments that have dogged her for most of the past 11 weeks. Where to begin? I just spoke with James, and he was beaming beyond belief. He called to report that Kelley Anne had had a wonderful night on the heels of a rough one. She slept well, with only one interruption because of irritation with her catheter. A sonic test was performed to determine the amount of fluid in her bladder. The result showed 288 milliliters, well below the 500 danger level. Her catheter was then removed. A short time later, Kelley Anne announced that she felt as if she had to go tinkle. Voila! She peed on her own, albeit in a bed pan. A subsequent test revealed 0 milliliters of urine in her bladder. She was able to expel everything. Thus invigorated, she also had a bowel movement unlike any she has had to date. It gets better. She then was taken for the promised shower that got postponed Monday because of all the pain Kelley Anne was in from her stomach. I didn't have to rely upon James' words to know how that went. Kelley Anne got on the phone and, in a clear voice, said, "I feel great, so much better!" She got to shave her arms for the first time, wash her hair, relax in the steam, wash away so much dirt, stress, whatever, that has accumulated since Nov. 16. She said she felt as if she had been living a real-life version of "The Planet of the Apes." Well, no more. She even spoke with her niece Sara for the first time. Both got a huge boost from that. So, the stomach pain has subsided quite a bit, her hair is clean, her armpits shaved, and her mood, as James boasted, "100 percent. She's a different person." I bet. Wait until she receives a special visit from her close friend and hairdresser, Sharon Cardoza, on Wednesday. Upon hearing the news, Sharon so graciously volunteered to rearrange her schedule so as to make a house-call on Kelley Anne, so she can detangle, cut and makeup Kelley Anne's hair. Many thanks to Sharon. There's no telling how much that is going to boost Kelley Anne's already soaring spirits. Now, if Kelley Anne can just continue to build upon this momentous day and start eating, she'll be home by springtime. So, feel free to post a comment and give Kelley Anne added encouragement. I will make sure she hears about or reads every one. It is through prayer, tremendous medical care, and the unbridled love and support she receives from us that has and will get her to where she wants to be. I hope to be posting even more good news by the end of the day or early Wednesday. Until then, take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 4:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Kelley Anne!

Another mountain has been moved, and you keep pushing through them all. Cindy and I read your progress daily, and are uplifted with every word we read. Thanks so much to everyone who has written with your progress, as we on the outside, feel as if we are with you every step of the way. To be out in spring is so spectacular, and every one us is soooooo proud of you! Bling.... Kelley Anne!(Still sound special doesn't it!) You Go Girl!
John and Cindy Hester (Rosenfelder)

 
At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kelley Anne.
You know, it's amazing how shaving your armpits can put a whole new spin on the day!!! We are thrilled and ecstatic to hear of your progress! We've been pulling for you and praying for you. I'll bet seeing the first signs of spring outside your window are just amazing. But not as amazing as you! Keep it up! You'll be home in no time at all!!! James - God bless you. We look forward to to the time we can come down and see you both.
Love and God Bless! Don Andrea Kali & Cameron

 
At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kelly-Anne, I now have a new outlook on shaving. I always thought it was such a pain but realizeing the joy it brought you made me once again rethink how much I take for granted in life.
You have always been an amazing lady so why wouldn't you be now. I thought maybe you had deceided to go for the european look but a girls got to do what a girls got to do so off with the hair so to speak.
Moving all of the mountains that tried to get in your way lets us all know that when our mountains come we'll just call Kelly-Anne to help move ours. Just kidding, for your battles are almost over and I think some of ours may be begining. Knowing that you won't need us as much is sad in a way but fantastic in other ways.
Pudge,( if I may have the honor of calling you that) you have been surronded by more love and support than most dream of. You have leaped buildings with a single bound, wait wrong super hero........ you have come through so much and I know you have learned the most important lesson in this all."For all the times you gave unselfishly,held someones hand when they were frightened or just stood strong for them" it didn't go unnoticed and it was never forgotten. When you give so much to others just know it will be returned in double fold and in my eyes you are a hero.
People don't tell each other enough how important they are and most of all how much we love them, I love you kelly-Anne and I admire your strength,courage and your way of making others laugh even when you were hurting. God bless you now and forever.
Also know that from all of this you have created an enormous circle of friends who became family in this time.
You have been walking for a while(so to speak) and it is now time to run, you have past that last big hurdle. I can't wait to see you and be of some kind of help to you, oh of course you to James lol. Your friend first and sister-in-law second. Renee

 
At 8:15 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2005,




Friends and Family,


Steven called Mama this morning, and very excitedly related what Boo later called "her miracle." James stayed with Kelley Anne last night, and she slept well through the night. She had abdominal discomfort, and on checking her bladder content, she was found to have approximately one-half capacity. Staff pulled her catheter (78 days), and she immediately announced she needed to pee. She did, and a recheck showed her bladder to be empty. She then announced the need for a bowel movement, and did. Things were on a roll now, so she got her shower originally scheduled for yesterday, including underarm shave, hair shampoo, and all the long-deprived amenities that we take for granted til denied. She just glowed, I drove Mama up at 2:15pm after picking up a Banana-Strawberry Fresh Jamba Juice, the same that Lydia had brought up on Saturday with Daddy, and she had requested again. Mama said she was wearing a yellow T-shirt, and sweat pants, had her hair combed, and was very relaxed. The social rehabilitation nurse was giving her a written test, and Mama couldn't get over seeing her writing with her right hand. We had to leave at 3:15 to pick up Toy's ashes at Civic Feline, and meet Amelia Ann's bus at 4:00. We made the bill-paying circuit of the first of the month, picked up KFC, and returned to Pudge at 7:30 p.m. Mama and Amelia Ann went up, as I'm still on quarantine with wracking coughs. Steven was there also. Boo's miracle was that she so wanted Pudge to have a breakthrough to release her into comfortable ease and routine, without nuisance bodyaches, nausea, and other little mental and physical backslides to ruin her day and night. Boo was elated when Mama called. Today is what she hoped for. They say that Pudge gets persnickety. She was throwing up Sunday, and refused any activity til someone explained why. Dr. Dana checked the charts, and didn't find a reason. So Pudge said, "Get me another doctor who can." Dr. Leung happened in, checked the chart, and determined the mix of Iron, low food intake. and stress were probably responsible. That made her happy. She was on the elevator to 1 for tests, and a nurse from ICU recognized her, and said, "I remember you. I took care of you in ICU when you couldn't breathe." That was probably the first two nights, and she told Mama, "I don't want to hear that!" She's still upset that she could have done this to herself. But, she really is a fixture to so many of the staff that have been with her on and off for the last 78 days and they really do care. What a great group of professionals. Mama asked the floor supervisor how Star Sousa is doing, and she said, "Excellent." Diane hasn't returned from Oahu yet, and she thinks Diane is waiting until Star is ready to return home. Happy Day. What a beautiful family. Sharon plans to come tomorrow after 4 and do Pudge's hair professionally. Pudge will really enjoy that. Boo is also arranging another animal surprise. He's visited us at home, and he is something else. One of our favorite TV specials from nearly 30 years ago is "Sunshine on my Shoulders" for which John Denver wrote the music. It was a tragic, but uplifting true story, and today brought it once again to memory.

JImbo, Steven, Boo, Janet, Amelia Ann, and Bill

 
At 8:25 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2005,


Dear Folks,

I spent the tail end of Tuesday night with Kelley Anne and found her to be in pretty good spirits, fresh from her high of taking her first shower and such. I remained with her until she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep at 11 p.m. or so. I felt it important that she be in the company of a familiar face on the one night of the week she spends without one of her overnight support staff. She truly was in a much better mind-set. Her catheter has gone the way of the Edsel. Twice during my three-hour stay Kelley Anne went to the bathroom without difficulty. That is a major accomplishment. She also didn't have much pain, other than her first headache since her admittance. Now that she isn't so consumed by pain, she has channeled her energy toward finding a way home. We discussed the fastest way for her to achieve her goal, and she seems hell-bent upon meeting the challenge. James called this afternoon and said Kelley Anne had a rather strenuous day of physical therapy and was complaining of back pain. That may have led to her postponing her hair appointment with Sharon. We'll follow-up on that tomorrow. Kelley Anne spent several minutes outside in the sun, as part of her reacclimating to the world she left behind for her current plight 11 weeks ago or so. She had the staples removed from her right hip and reported no lingering pain. Her lead doctor will issue an update on her progress Thursday, and we are eagerly awaiting the good word. Until then, take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 1:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Anne...Kelly and Shelby stopped in to see you this afternoon, Kelly says you are looking wonderful. Keep up the good work. See you tomorrow. Love you...Diane

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Thursday, Feb. 3, 2005,



Friends and Family,



Dawn gave us a great rundown for Friday Night, and Saturday. Pudge slept well except for a wakeup when one of the pumps ran out, but then went back to sleep. She had some stomach discomfort thru the night due to lack of bowel movement, but Boo stayed Saturday night and said that has since passed. Today was menagerie day, and Boo and Sondra went back up with Gypsy and Duncan , Sondra's brother and sister chihuahua puppies, each in their own handbag. They visited an elderly lady close to the elevator bank who used to have a papillon, and when they got to Pudge's room, they were passed from nurse to nurse to nurse. Pudge had one on the bed. Boo and Sondra came by and picked up Mama. Pudge had a good day, and a visitor in the future will be a Rehab Hospital Certified CAMEL, which was raised by the family who has him since 2 weeks old. Among the questions were "spitting", and everyone were assured that they only do that when injured, or if you make him mad. The house report from Gary sounds upbeat, with the downstairs winding down, including start on the Pine ceiling planks in the Bar, and the 5 foot picture window for over the kitchen sink has arrived, and preparations are being made to install it in the new kitchen. Wes and JoAnn took Mrs. Lord to Harrah's Tahoe for her annual sojourn to the snow and Lake. Wes says Virginia doesn't need the gambling or skiing, but she loves the atmosphere., as do we. We haven't talked to Jimbo, Donna, Harold and Gary for a few days, but Jimbo is probably staying with Pudge tonight. Her left wrist is completely devoid of bandage noe, but the external fixator remains. Boo put a new Pink day-glo safety wrap with small red hearts on it , and all the nurses are awed by it. It's actually sterile Veterinary Wrap for feet, legs. and hips. We really miss seeing everyone, and maybe can escape Quarantine in the next few days. We've GOT to get the keys to Rick's Pathfinder back to him. WE meant to do it the day Chris left, and that's when the cold hit. WE've made sure we stay away from everyone. Alan and Lisa called from England this morning, and shortly after, called Pudge at the hospital. Made everyone's day to hear from them. Dawn did a rundown of the luncheon last Sunday with Pudge, and she is just overwhelmed that so many people care for her and JImbo. She's really blown away. Incidently, the staff at John Muir think the animal visits are perfect rehab, and encourage them. Most also have animals at home. Everything is moving right along.


Dawn, Boo, Sondra, Jimbo, Janet, and the rascals Gypsy and Duncan

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Friday, Feb. 4, 2005,



Friends and Family,


Diana stayed overnight with Kelley Anne last Wednesday night. Pudge went solo Thursday night. Boo went up with Tonka Veronka, the handsome little French Bulldog, resplendent in his newly showered fawn suit, and his beaming personality, to see Pudge at noon today. He is one of the happiest rascals we've ever met, and made a real hit with everyone. Boo was asked to visit other patients with him, and coming down on the elevator, was asked by nurses from the 6th Floor to please drop by a couple of patients who needed cheering up, badly. Tonka is owned by one of the surgeons at Veterinary Surgical Associates, and came over from Oakland to visit Pudge. Mama went up at 2 p.m. for the Thurs. meeting with Jimbo and Dr. Dana. Dr. Dana was late, and they wound up meeting in Pudge's room. Pudge also didn't like meetings ABOUT her being held WITHOUT her present. Other than the recurring stomach and abdominal infections and upsets, she is doing great. She is still on a couple of antibiotics that are winding up, and a touch of colitp'ius from dueling infections. Dr. Dana had thought continued soft food, but Pudge said' "No, Dr. Luu said I can eat anything I want." Dr. Dana agreed. Pudge had another shower this morning, and no problem with the toilet. After dinner, we returned at 7:30 with Boo and Amelia Ann. Gary was also there. By then, Pudge had taken medication, which she had refused earlier, and was feeling much more relaxed, and happy. We left at 7:30, got to Boo's and couldn't find her purse, so returned to locate it in Pudge"s room. Another beautiful sunshiny day, but will probably end soon. Supposed to cool down for the weekend. I haven't seen her since Monday of last week, and am getting non-visititis.


Jimbo, Mama, Donna, Diana, Gary, Boo, Amelia Ann, and Tonka V.

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi KelleyAnne,
I'm so thrilled to hear of your amazing progress.As soon as I get the word that its ok to visit you, I will be on my way! Keep up the good work!
Huge thanks to your family for the postings of your progress.
Love you,
Sally (Larkins)

 
At 11:07 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Saturday, Feb. 05, 2005,






Friends and Family,


We didn't see Kelley Anne at all today because Mama has finally gotten a sore throat, probably as a forerunner to the lousy cold I've had for 12 days, and holding. Pudge did call Mama at 1 p.m. to request Gym shorts, and it puts us back at square one again. There haven't been any Gym Shorts purchased around here for about 45 years, and we're again at a loss as to where to start looking. Dawn and Diana confirmed today that strict visiting rules are again in place. Two people only for 15 mins. max, and no one before 5 p.m. I guess when the crowd got caught this week, someone blew the whistle, so any excess over the 2 in the room must remain in the visitors room opposite the elevator bank. A better option would be to spread out and work the floor. A lot of folks don't get any visitors, or few. It's been so long for me that I don't remember the protocol, anyway. No one stayed with Pudge last night as far as we know, but Dawn was scheduled for Friday. Kelly and Shelby were by yesterday, and said Pudge looked great. Boo will probably stay tonight. Gary sent a progress report on the house, and things are really rolling. There will be refrigerated drinks and TV in the Bar Sunday during Super Bowl, and the Cherry glass cabinet is installed behind the bar. The ceiling is in final stages, and the family room is ready for mud in prep for painting. The Kitchen ripout will probably be next weekend, and Jimbo and Harold plan to get all the wiring done this week. I'm going to try to help again and refrain from coughing on anyone tomorrow. The weather was still nice today, and hope it will hold for another day or two.

Dawn, Diana, Diane, JImbo, Mama, and Bill

 
At 11:09 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Saturday, Feb. 06, 2005,






Friends and Family,



We have been reassuring Kelley Anne that she WILL want to drive again, and all her family, friends, and acquaintances must and will continue to drive, and it will just take time to adjust to automobiles again. However, her apprehensions may be spreading. Mama always worried about the kids at all times, but especially when driving. They are all excellent drivers, and are not in need of our parental supervision. Tonight, the local TV channels were running their usual idiotic news teases, "5 teenagers killed on 101, details at 11." We automatically filed it til 11:00, and the fools finally mention Prunedale, which is Joel and Debbie's front door, and we immediately got terribly jumpy. When the fools finally get around to details, it eliminates Aaron and Eyreka, but could still possibly be in their circle of friends. And I'd love to get hands on these mindless idiots who call themselves "News Directors." Each is dumber than the next. I've always told Janet, "You don't worry until you hear something." I'm beginning to lose that armor. We both now worry about our circle of friends. Pudge called this afternoon about the gym shorts, and we had info that there were already pairs in the closet in the room. We will still supplement them, and Mama brings them home to launder. I did not make the house rework again today due to persistent coughing, and Mama has now picked up the sore throat and cough. It was inevitable. So far, Amelia Ann has escaped. Dawn stayed with Pudge last night, and Boo was planning on tonight. The weather held nice through today, and we hope Pudge got outside again today. We will attempt to get back in the mix tomorrow, colds permitting.

Janet, Bill, and Amelia Ann

 
At 11:11 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Sunday, Feb. 06, 2005,





Friends and Family,



Kelley Anne was trying Cottage Cheese with fruit today and has difficulty with chewing. She called early this afternoon, and Gary and Diana had been by to visit. We recommended that she have Dr. Luu contact Dr. Leong, who did the work on her face and jaw, and get an evaluation from him. He is very sharp. Today is the 14th and last day of the two-week cold for me, so I will return to the visiting rotation tomorrow. Mama will still be restricted for a few more days. Steven is scheduled to stay with Pudge tonight. She didn't have anyone last night. Boo had planned to do so, but got a cold also, and stayed home today. Lisa is planning to take her dogs to the Garden Weds. to meet Pudge during her Rehab. If that works O.K., we might be forced to take her cat, Alexander, for a Garden visit. He really misses her and hasn't seen her for nearly 12 weeks. He stays very close to Janet around the house. We again had to miss the house work this weekend due to not wanting to spread the colds. All these guys have to work through the week, and they don't need this mess. It's frustrating, because it's amazing and heartening to see the progress as the house returns to normal. I'm sure we will catch the painting on the downstairs rooms, as we understand the family room is ready, and the bar will be natural pine planking. The bar before did not have forced air heat, but new ducts have been added. Jimbo and Pudge had bought a beautiful Cherry glass case which was sitting on the floor in the Bar awaiting installation when the water came in. We immediately got it off the floor, and onto 2X4 bolsters, and dried the bottom. Except for 1 broken glass panel, it escaped damage. It now is installed behind the bar with interior lighting. We can't wait to see it. It's getting close to Kitchen renewal. The cabinets should have arrived last week, and Kelly has all the new plumbing in place. Looking forward to seeing everything shortly. And also seeing Pudge tomorrow.

Gary, Diana, Steven, Janet, and Bill

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Monday, Feb. 07, 2005,



Dear Folks,



I just returned from spending the night with Kelley Anne. She had a relatively good night. She fell asleep at 11:30 p.m., slept until 3:45 a.m., at which time she had to go to the bathroom. She did so without incident, fell asleep again and remained asleep until 7:40. She then ate a whole banana, a few bites of pears and peaches, one bite of pancake and a cup of hot tea. Her speech therapist said that is the best Kelley Anne has done in terms of eating, and it signified real progress. Kelley Anne also appeared to get over her fear of choking, difficulty chewing and swallowing, and her stomach reacting negatively to real food. She was quite proud of herself for having eaten the entire banana. She said she liked the taste, felt more comfortable chewing and swallowing and looked forward toe eating more this afternoon. She also realizes that eating better is her fastest way to get home. She still needs medication to get to sleep and to ease her pain before she undergoes therapy but she has come a long way. There still is no release date and likely won't be until she can eat well on a regular basis. Anyhow, she had a decent weekend overall and is looking forward to James spending the night with her tonight. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Monday, Feb. 07, 2005,






Friends and Family,


Kelley Anne feels and looks great. Amelia Ann and I went to see her tonight at 7:30 p.m. and, for the first time in two weeks, I got to touch and see her. She is in great spirits, and said, "Dad, this is the best day I've had since I've been conscious." And THAT is a tremendous milestone. Steven stayed with her last night, and Diana and Sara brought her a Baskin-Robbins milkshake, most of which she finished. She also had a whole Banana which she thoroughly enjoyed, plus pride in finishing it. Buzz, the Therapy Golden Retriever from Oakland, dropped by and made a big hit. He had his head resting on the side of the bed, and evidently sniffed the feeding tube, and decided to join Pudge for breakfast. She also tried the Pancake for breakfast, but said one bite was all she could handle, because it tasted terrible. She had a shower this morning, and also walked to the door with the walker, unassisted. She also walked the hall with the walker, and Kelly and Diane took her outside, but had to cut it short because the outside weather was not too warm today. Kelly and Diane stayed for over an hour, and Pudge sat up in the wheelchair for nearly the whole time. She says it is O.K., but her lower back gets tired. It's amazing to see her in a short-sleeved sport shirt, and NO bandages except for the left ankle. She still has the external fixator on her left wrist, and it has the (bright pink with red hearts) protective wrap that Boo put on. Jimbo is staying with Pudge tonight, and when I got on line tonight, the first E-mail was from Pudge thanking us for visiting. First time I've seen BlingKA on the screen in 3 months. James has brought her new Laptop that he got her for Christmas, and they were surfing the net. Hooray!! Diana has promised Pudge a blueberry muffin to munch on in the morning, and probably another milkshake. Mama got her new hair barrettes, and Banana custards tonight, and Amelia Ann and I took them to her. We couldn't stay too long as Mama was waiting in the car, so we left at 8:15 p.m., knowing Jimbo was due. The visit tonight sure made MY two weeks.

Steven, Diana, Sara, Diane, Kelly, Jimbo, Bill, Amelia Ann, Janet, and Buzz, the Golden Retriever

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Tuesday, Feb. 08, 2005,


Kelley Anne's On Her Way!


Dear Folks,


I just returned from visiting Kelley Anne at the hospital. A social worker, Dianne Cooper, arrived soon after Sara and I joined James in Kelley Anne's room. Dianne proceeded to update Kelley Anne on things that were said during today's doctors' meeting. Then, out of nowhere, Dianne asked, "Do you want a date?" James and I almost hit the floor. A date? Could it be? Yes, Dianne said, she had permission to give Kelley Anne a departure date as long as Kelley Anne was comfortable knowing. Dianne first let on that it isn't in March. Kelley Anne's eyes lit up at that point. Still, she wasn't sure if she wanted to know. A short time later, Kelley Anne relented and asked for the news. Dianne walked over to a calendar hanging in Kelley Anne's room and moved her right index finger to the 23rd. As in two weeks from tomorrow. As in 15 days. As in 14 weeks and one day. As in 99 days from the time her accident occurred. So, just call her Kelley 99. Anyway, nothing is firm yet. The date could be moved back or pushed up depending upon how Kelley Anne fares in the coming days and weeks. The news keeps getting better for her, though. She was taken off antibiotics last night and now is antibiotic-free for the first time in 12 weeks. She also continues to eat things such as applesauce, yogurt, blueberry muffin, cottage cheese, though she doesn't have much of an appetite or a taste for food. Still, it is helping her chewing, swallowing and energy level. She went for a long wheelchair ride this morning and fared pretty well. She complains only of lower back pain, which is normal for someone who has been bed-bound for 12 weeks and immobile for most of that time. During her stroll with James, she stopped by 4West -- Orthopedics, a place she spent many days during her recovery. James said numerous people did double-takes as Kelley Anne wheeled past them, turned around and engaged Kelley Anne in conversation. Many of those workers hugged Kelley Anne and told them how proud they are of her and how well she is doing. And she is doing great. It's remarkable how far she has come in just the past 10 days. She no longer has a catheter, antibiotics, saline drip, full restriction on her left ankle, staples in her arm, intense stomach pain, a prohibition on food intake and so on. All gone. Still, she has a long ways to go. It remains up to Kelley Anne where she goes from the hospital for the next phase of her recovery. It appears as if the lion's share of her rehab will be handled by Hospitals Without Walls, according to Dianne Cooper. Wherever Kelley Anne winds up initially, she faces a daunting challenge acclimating herself to the world she once was so familiar with and took for granted. Same goes for those of us around her. So, her work is just getting started in many regards. We will be briefed in the coming days on what to expect, how to behave and the things we can do to help her through the rest of her recovery. Until then, let's revel in the glorious news that Kelley Anne is 15 days away from achieving her goal of going home. She even spent part of last night looking at cars, if you can imagine that. Oh, and James reports that Kelley Anne had another solid night Monday, with no major incidents or setbacks. Thanks to all for their continual prayers and support. Kelley Anne is cognizant of everything that is being done on her behalf, as well as most appreciative. I will let her speak for herself to what extent whenever she feels comfortable doing so. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Monday, Feb. 07, 2005,






Friends and Family,



Kelley Anne feels and looks great. Amelia Ann and I went to see her tonight at 7:30 p.m. and, for the first time in 2 weeks, I got to touch and see her. She is in great spirits, and said, "Dad, this is the best day I've had since I've been conscious." And THAT is a tremendous milestone. Steven stayed with her last night, and Diana and Sara brought her a Baskin-Robbins milkshake, most of which she finished. She also had a whole Banana which she thoroughly enjoyed, plus pride in finishing it. Buzz, the Therapy Golden Retriever from Oakland, dropped by and made a big hit. He had his head resting on the side of the bed, and evidently sniffed the feeding tube, and decided to join Pudge for breakfast. She also tried the Pancake for breakfast, but said one bite was all she could handle, because it tasted terrible. She had a shower this morning, and also walked to the door with the walker, unassisted. She also walked the hall with the walker, and Kelly and Diane took her outside, but had to cut it short because the outside weather was not too warm today. Kelly and Diane stayed for over an hour, and Pudge sat up in the wheelchair for nearly the whole time. She says it is O.K., but her lower back gets tired. It's amazing to see her in a short-sleeved sport shirt, and NO bandages except for the left ankle. She still has the external fixator on her left wrist, and it has the (bright pink with red hearts) protective wrap that Boo put on. Jimbo is staying with Pudge tonight, and when I got on line tonight, the first E-mail was from Pudge thanking us for visiting. First time I've seen BlingKA on the screen in 3 months. James has brought her new Laptop that he got her for Christmas, and they were surfing the net. Hooray!! Diana has promised Pudge a blueberry muffin to munch on in the morning, and probably another milkshake. Mama got her new hair barrettes, and Banana custards tonight, and Amelia Ann and I took them to her. We couldn't stay too long as Mama was waiting in the car, so we left at 8:15 p.m., knowing Jimbo was due. The visit tonight sure made MY two weeks.

Steven, Diana, Sara, Diane, Kelly, Jimbo, Bill, Amelia Ann, Janet, and Buzz, the Golden Retriever

 
At 2:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Anne,
How wonderful is Dawn, she took Brian to see you this past Sunday,along with Shelby. Brian loved seeing you for the first time in a long while. I also heard your face lit up when you saw him. The following afternoon Kelly and I arrived to see you, we had the most WONDERFUL visit with you, besides seeing you up and moving about, we had three hours of really positve conversation (not to mention you did most of the talking)but it was so GREAT... We Love You So Much... Kelly, Diane, Shelby, Brian, Pippin & Oreo

 
At 9:06 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Thursday, Feb. 10, 2005,


Dear Folks,


I spent Wednesday night with Kelley Anne, and she slept through the night for the first time since she was hospitalized. She slept from 11:30 p.m. until 8:10 a.m. At that time, she received her breakast and proceeded to eat a poached egg, some oatmeal, several bites of peaches and pears, and washed it down with three glasses of orange juice. "I was thirsty," Kelley Anne said. She then took yet another shower and went about her day. She is making tremendous progress now that she can eat and she has a release date. She remains on Darvocet but she is in the process of weaning herself so she isn't so dependent upon it once she goes home. More later. Until then, take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 9:11 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Friday, Feb. 11, 2005,






Friends and Family,

Yesterday was very busy with changes, and today even more so. Kelley Anne is doing extremely well, and the advances are too fast to keep track of. Yesterday, we went up at noon with a tuna sandwich, and Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup to supplement her lunch. Diana and Sara were there, and had brought goodies, also. Buzz, the Golden Retriever Theraphy Dog came in with a single long stem Carnation in his mouth, and his business card. We left to pick up Amelia Ann, and returned at 4 p.m. to meet Lisa and Boo, with Lisa's 2 Canine Rascals to see Pudge outside in the Rehab Garden. There was a mixup in locations and we missed them. Bob and Sherry arrived from Oregon around 7 p.m., and we did not return to the hospital for the third time. This morning, Pudge called and asked for a Pineapple-Coconut Smoothie for lunch. Steven stayed last night, and Pudge slept from 11:30 p.m. until 8:10 a.m. with no interuptions. For Breakfast, she had 3 Orange Juices, Oatmeal, Poached Egg and Fresh Fruit. At 10 a.m., she was hungry again after rehab. We arrived at noon, and she was finishing homemade macaroni and cheese that Diana had fixed for her, plus tea, milk, and the Smoothie. Diana also fixed pumpkin cookies, and nectarine pieces, and Mama made Oatmeal Lace cookies. Sara was with Diana also. Bob and Sherry saw Pudge for the first time. She was in I.C.U. the last time they were here. They are en route to Santa Cruz for retirement parties at UC Santa Cruz. Rhonda gave Pudge exercises on her right arm and shoulder, which Pudge couldn't raise up from her side. Within 15 minutes, Pudge could raise her arm to touch the top of her head, and lower it slowly back to her side. Rhonda also is working on Pudge's fingers to supple them up. Dr. Dana came for the Thursday conference, and many things were discussed with James, Diana, and us, particularly preparations for when she goes home. She does not want ramps or anything that points toward crippled. All options are on the table. Kerri then checked out Jimbo, Diana and me on procedures to help Pudge out of bed to the walker and into her wheelchair, so that we are on the authorized list to assist her on the weekends, or when Rehab personnel are not available. For liability purposes, you have to be okayed by the Dept. Everyone was running late, and Bob and Sherry had gone home to meet Amelia Ann's bus. We went out for Chinese food, then picked up Boo, and returned at 7:45 p.m. We had a great visit until 8:45 Again, the visitor level was four over, but what the heck. She's doing so well, it's difficult to realize the last 12 weeks. Pudge goes to the bathroom to comb her hair and brush her teeth, and yesyerday saw her left arm in the mirror. She was a bit upset til we told her what it looked like befor the surgeries and graft. Dr. Leung plans cosmetic repair in the future. Her left arm is strong, and it had all the surgical repairs. She is really getting ready to go home in 2 weeks or so.

Steven, Jimbo, Diana, Sara, Sherry, Bob, Mama, Bill, Amelia Ann, Boo, and all 3 Dogs.

 
At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kell! I wrote a short message some time ago and just wanted to let you know how much I'm still praying for you! The other day I was watching some "old" video footage of us when we marched in '82...there you were in all your glory twirling away and you had a smile on your face! (It was during a practice run-through, I might add!) I always remember seeing you with a smile! I hope to visit with you sometime and remember, girlfriend, your stuck with the official "blingKA" title! Stay strong and courageous...Kelley Marie (Houpt)

 
At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feb. 12 2005
Joel, Aaron and I (Eyreka) went to see Kelley Anne today! It was the second time I have seen her since all of this. She looks so good and is talking up a storm. She is so ready to get home you can feel it all around her. The front desk said we could only stay 15 mins but we made that longer. When we came in Kelley Anne was eating and had the TV on. She told us a lot about what her ankle, arm, jaw, etc... Nevertheless, seemed to be ok with it all. She mostly talked about the 23rd and getting home. She also thanked me for the hair stuff I gave her, and said that she makes the people us it on her hair. I was glade to know that she is using it. Aaron and I had to leave around 3:15 because I had to be to work at 5:00 and almost didn't make it. But it was so good to see Kelley Anne like her self again. She has made it. And nothing will stop her now. Joel didn't get home until around eight or nine. Staying all day with Kelley Anne. Overall, she is doing great!!!!! Can’t wait to read that she is home again.
Lots of Love~
Eyreka & Aaron and every one!

 
At 9:11 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Saturday, Feb. 12, 2005,





Friends and Family,


Kelley Anne is eating as a matter of course now, and ENJOYING it. This has been the last major hurdle. She had fruit salad for lunch, and leisurely ate it until 3 p.m., which is great. Grazing is fun. Her intravenous line has been removed from her right arm, and she no longer is sterile, which means the medical staff no longer must don gowns and gloves when attending her. She had a full day of exercises, including stairs practice. The walker interfered with the practice so she was issued a cane. For supper, she had Pot Roast and Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. She has never liked Mashed Potatoes, but ate everything, and said she felt full, and content for the first time. The jaw misalignment is the main problem with eating, and Pudge asked Dr. Luu to see if a maxiallo-facial surgeon can check for a re-allignment. And he agreed to check into it. Dr. Voegel, her cardiologist, whom she and Suds thought was a real grouch, stopped by and says she is doing great, and he has become one of Pudge's favorites. He is really proud of her progress. Bob, Sherry and Blue left for Santa Cruz at 9:15 a.m., and we didn't get to see Pudge til the evening. I felt lousy all day, it was drizzling, and we had to see Wes and JoAnn to return items, go to the Post Office, gas the Toyota, and shop for the first time in 10 days. James wanted to pick up the big planer to use this weekend, and Curtis and Katey were late out of Vancouver. Curtis judges in Union City tomorrow, and Katey is staying with Gina, Rich, and the girls in San Jose. Curtis wanted to see Pudge, so we went to the hospital at 7:45 p.m. to meet Curtis. We had to be home at 9 to help Jimbo with the planer, and Curtis arrived at 8:50. We had pre-made arrangements with 5east, and ER Security, for Curtis to see Pudge after 9. After getting Curtis set, we rushed home and positioned the planer for Jimbo. He had accompanied 4-year-old Miss Lydia Carney to her Valentine Party from 7-8:30 p.m. as her escort. Lydia thinks Uncle Jimbo is cool. James arrived about 9:20, and we loaded the planer in the Mustang front seat like a passenger. He had to run as he had to get to Home Depot before 10 to pick up wiring for tomorrow. He missed Curtis by about 10 minutes. We had a great visit with Curtis, and he brought Amelia Ann's new blanket with Horses on it. I got a Bird House from Austin, Texas, that Nicholas and Benjamin selected, which is a real, used, black Texas Boot with a peaked wooden roof, red, white, and blue neckerchief around the ankle, and a real barbed wire hanger. I LOVE IT. Plus, Suds sent lots of books. Steven and Zachary were visiting Pudge when we arrived tonight, and they left around 8:20. Steven and Wes go to Modesto for a golf tournament this morning. Boo didn't go with us tonight as she has sniffles. She will stay with Pudge tomorrow night. Pudge really felt good today, but was tired from a full day of rehab. Ty is her nurse with Janine tonight, and he is superb. He not only does, he anticipates.


James, Steven, Jaggy, Curtis, Mama, Bill, Amelia Ann

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Sunday, Feb. 13, 2005,




Friends and Family,


Kelley Anne had a very busy day, with two rehab periods in the morning, and then visitors throughout the day. Aaron, Eyreka, and Joel have to drive about 190 miles roundtrip from Prunedale, down close to Salinas and Monterey, and Aaron and Eyreka came all that way for a 15-minute visit because Eyreka had to work at 5 p.m. Joel stayed three hours. Meg and Mike came to Frank and Dawn's from Marin County for Lydia's Tea Party, and came up to see Pudge afterward. I finally got over to help the House Crew some today. Gary and Dan were on ladders all day putting mud on the wallboard seams and tapes in preparation for the texturing tomorrow. James was finishing the planing of the Cedar planks for the Bar room floor. I helped him, and at 5:30, we started the layout with the floor in the bathroom, which will continue into the Bar. We also finished the insulation and last wall closure to begin the floor installation. The winding down on the lower level is really heartening. A lot of very talented people have done a fantastic job. The kitchen is completely stripped, and is just about ready for reassembly with the new cabinetry, dishwasher, and eventually new floor. The new Bay Window is beautiful and is awaiting finishing touches. Although it is completely under the eave, plans are to put a peak roof on it to match the house. James has bought a new Stainless finish refrigerator for the Bar which will be installed as soon as the alcove is painted. I'm very impressed with everything, and regret missing the last three weekends. Kelly has done wonders on the plumbing upgrade, and gas and water supply. And there will be no way a water supply line to the Refrigerator will do $40,000 worth of damage to this house again. The house next door just sold, and the new owners are moving in this weekend. At 7:30, Mama, Amelia Ann and I went to see Pudge. She had the Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup with Crackers for supper, and loved it. Her tray was pasta with nothing on it, and undercooked carrots, neither of which she could eat. Meg brought a big platter of Valentine cookies which EVERYONE will enjoy. Only takes a few cookies to chum up a crowd. Jimbo arrived abot 8:20, and we left at 8:45. Boo was at the ER entrance with her pillow, book, and gear, having a last smoke before going up to stay with Pudge overnight. It was a beautiful warm sunny day today, and a very fruitful one. We were going to take Pudge outside for her first night out, but it got late too soon. What a great month February is turning out to be.

Aaron, Eyreka, Joel, Meg, Mike, Jimbo, Mama, Bill, Amelia Ann, and Boo

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Monday, Feb. 14, 2005,





Friends and Family,



We were scheduled to pick up Boo at 10:30 a.m., and after a stop at Safeway to restock Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, we arrived to find the room empty. Mama found out that Kelley Anne and Boo were in the Rehab Center on the 1st Floor. When she found them, Pudge was crying and sitting on one of the mats, and Kevin was putting her through the paces. She had walked the length of the 5th floor, down the elevator, west to the ER hallway and into Rehab, all with the walker. Kevin had not even brought a wheelchair with them. She is now putting the left foot flat on the floor, and the ankle has no pain. Kevin told Pudge if she rode the stationary bike, she could ride back to the room. Otherwise, she had to walk back. She rode the bike, and Kevin took her back in the wheelchair with all the equipment piled on her lap. He was inviting anyone they met to pile things on. He's something else, and has a great sense of humor. His motto is, "Either do it here or in a nursing home when you leave here." We took Boo home, and I went to Warren St. to try to help again. Frank (UAL), Harold, and Gary were finishing the texturing on the Family Room. Donna and a neighbor had a beautiful Turkey Vegetable soup with buttered cornbread so we had lunch, and good conversation. Dan came by with Nancy, and their son, Dan Jr. Gary and James started on the Kitchen Bay Window roof, and Harold and I attacked the Bar flooring. Most of the bathroom planks were cut yesterday, so we reset the pattern, got Jimbo's O.K. and nailed them down with the power nail gun. We moved all the tools and saws into the family room, set them up, and started trimming the edges of all the planks. We finished about 1/3 then decided to run layout tests to be sure alignment in the main room would fall into place. The Bar was all swept, and vacuumed, and prepared for the tar paper underlayer. We ran out of time, but Gary and Jimbo moved the new Magic Chef refrigerator/freezer from the Garage down to the bar in preparation for installation tomorrow. We will proceed with the flooring tomorrow, and the Bar and bathroom will be very close to getting the Bar itself back in. It really looks (new) rustic and very nice. The guys really did a beautiful job. After supper, Mama, Amelia Ann, and I went to see Pudge at 7:45, and Gary was already there. Pudge was feeling good, and Mama had made her Yorkshire Pudding to munch on. She had Meat and Potatoes for supper again tonight, and Yogurt for dessert. Gary brought her a beautiful BOEING 2005 calendar. I think Jimbo, Harold, and Donna were coming later. Boo didn't go back up with us tonight. Work tomorrow. Before we left, Pudge demonstrated that she can swing out of bed, and stand up, without assistance. The advances are occurring so fast now that we can't keep up. That 23rd date doesn't look so unusual at all, now. We met Hiram, the male nurse from ICU who had Pudge's care a number of days and he was really thrilled to hear of her progress. Hiram trained in Chattanooga, and Cleveland, Tenn., and said he fell asleep between cities one night, left the freeway, and wrapped his car around a pine tree at 80 mph, and escaped unscathed, but scared him to death. He asked that Pudge please return to I.C.U. before she leaves to let everyone see her. She won't remember anyone, but they all remember her. We're encouraging her to go. Small victories are satisfying.

Boo, Mama, Gary, Bill, Amelia, Jimbo, Harold, and Donna

 
At 9:24 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Monday, Feb. 14, 2005,



Dear Folks,


I spent Sunday night with Kelley Anne and came away awestruck by the progress she has made in the past week. I walked in, and she said, "Are you ready for this, Steven?" I said, "Ready for what?" With that, she rolled on her right side, swung her legs over the side of the bed, placed them on the floor and stood up. That is a sight that at one time seemed inconceivable and too farfetched to wish for. Now, it's a reality. She has been cleared to place 100 percent weight on her left foot, which has been restricted because of the delicate surgery performed on her left ankle six weeks ago or so. She said her left hip doesn't hurt at all when she stands up. That's amazing, considering her hip was shattered. She then slept from 11 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. Soon thereafter, she ate a decent breakfast and had her legs shaved for the first time in almost 13 weeks. She is doing great, though she continues to battle the loneliness of the place she has called home since Nov. 16. Yet, she has only nine more days. Anyway, that is all for now, though it is enough and far more than we could have hoped for so soon after what she went through. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Monday, Feb. 14, 2005,





Friends and Family,


Today was a slow, steady rainy kind of day, and Kelley Anne had a full day of Rehab. Steven stayed with her last night, and both slept through the night with no interruptions. Steven had returned from Stevinson, near Modesto, where they golfed Sat. and Sun. He arrived after we left last night, and Jimbo, Mom and Dad Butler also came at 9 and stayed until 11. The only visitors Pudge had today were Diana, Steven, Alex, Zachary, and Sara. I went to Warren St. at 12:30 p.m. to try to help again. James, Harold, and Gary were putting the roof on the Bay Window in the kitchen, and James and Harold were running the final electrical lines in the kitchen walls for Appliances, Lighting, and Wall Plugs. I worked in the Bar putting the Polyurethane seal on the new wall boards. About halfway through, got an arm muscle cramp from the paint brush, and had to secure to get my fingers uncurled. By then it was time to strip the kitchen of large objects in preparation for the new cabinetry arrival, so Harold, Donna, Jimbo ,and I moved the Pantry into the Garage, the Ikea Counter, Oven and Cabinet, and small items into the Washroom on the lower level. The only large unit left in the kitchen is the big GE refrigerator/freezer. The house is like a huge puzzle right now, in which when something is moved, other things must move also. Shortly, items can feed downstairs into the Family Room, and Bar, and pressure will began to relieve. Soon, the living room/dining room/ kitchen level wil be stripped to start laying hardwood floors, after the kitchen is installed. The Cabinets arrive Sat. morning. We will attack again tomorrow afternoon. Mama, Amelia Ann, and I went up at 8 p.m., and spent an hour laughing hilariously with Pudge over events of the day. The nurses took her down to the Cafeteria on 1, and bought her a grilled cheese sandwich, which she thoroughly enjoyed. She was supposed to walk to Rehab again today but balked as just a bit too much after yesterday. Jimbo is staying with Pudge tonight, and will probably stay until noon. Pudge ate the Yorkshire Pudding (Apple Pie without the Apples), and enjoyed. The rain is supposed to continue for the next couple of days, so is good to be working inside. Laurie Giroux checked on Pudge today, a name out of the past. We haven't seen Laurie and her sister in 20 years or so. She also heard about Pudge through the Blue Devils web link. Boo was late nurse at VSA tonight, so didn't go to the hospital.


Steven, Diana, Alex, Jaggy, Sara Rose, Jimbo, Harold, Donna, Mama, Bill, and Amelia Ann

 
At 1:32 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005,




Friends and Family,



Today, Kelley Anne had her first salad in 3 months. She loves salads, and this is a real milestone for her. After evaluation, her meal status was moved up today, and she also had Turkey cubes and Mashed Potatoes and Gravy again. She has repercussions from the long walk Sunday morning, and therapist Kevin was reprimanded for being overstressful on a hip and ankle that are just being used for the first time in 3 months, and both had been shattered. She is extremely sore, and rehab has been scaled back. We had sauted Eggplant for supper, and took her a slice. We also picked up Pantene Dis-Entangler for her shower in the morning. Wes was there when we arrived, and we had a nice hour. The house is progressing, with Chris coming in after work today, and solving the Barroom flooring problems in just a few minutes. He and Jimbo set up the table saw to put a dado edge on each board, and they fit perfectly when installed, eliminating the crack problems. They were still working when I left at 6 pm. I painted the interior of the Refrigerator closet, and it is now ready to install in the Bar. Gary took a day off for errands, but will be back tomorrow. It rained steadily all day, and is supposed to continue all week. The Kitchen Cabinets may wind up in the Living Room when they arrive Sat. morning. There are 2 more Electrical cables to be fed through the attic and down the kitchen wall. We didn't get to them today, but have priority tomorrow. Harold has all the Electrical in order, and the exposed kitchen walls look like a TV studio. As soon as all the wiring is finished, the walls can be closed with new wallboard. It's amazing to remember the Sunday afternoon of wet/dry vacuums, brooms, and mops when everyone arrived to try to control the damage, and see the evolution back to a restored 2 floors. The restoration is much more intense than a contractor would have performed, and is a monument to friendship. Many very talented people pitched in. Everyone thinks Pudge will like the result. Pudge has a full board of rehab tomorrow. About 7 periods. I told Pudge that her former mother-in-law, Gisela Crosby, died 2 years ago. Gisela and Jim were great folks, and we were shocked when we learned, and so was Pudge. They live in Toronto.


Jimbo, Wes, Mama, Bill, and Amelia Ann

 
At 1:16 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Thursday, Feb. 17, 2005,





Friends and Family,

Yesterday a Salad, and today, Diana brought Kelley Anne a McD's Cheeseburger with Fries. It took awhile to consume, but every bite was savory. Won't be long before she can advance to the Big Mac division. She also enjoyed a good breakfast and dinner. Rehab included 5 steps up and down using only the handrail. No cane for assistance. Her arms and hands are still stiff to a degree, and will loosen with time and use. Her right arm is slow due to the broken right shoulder. Her left arm, of course, sustained major injuries from the shoulder to her fingers, including the exposed muscles on the bottom side of her lower arm, which required the skin graft. Her arms look great, although Pudge is a little put off by the hardness of her left arm, which will ease as it continues to heal. It's such a delight to see her relaxed in comfort. Boo visited after going to Berkeley to pick up her transcripts. She finished with all A's and B's, and we're very proud of her. She is now a fully Certified ASL. A celebration is in order a little later when things settle down. Jimbo, Harold, Gary, Donna, and I worked Warren Ave. today, and although cloudy, did not rain. Gary drywalled the Family Room Music and Books Closet, and it really came out nice. He is amazing. Jimbo spent all afternoon in the attic while Harold and I fed him Romex Cable, and tools, and the #2 Priority (electrical) in the kitchen is nearly complete. The 12v transformers are installed in the attic, and the leads to the corner glass front cabinets are in place. All outlet and appliance feed boxes are in place and some wiring remaining, but everything is hot, the old center and sink fixtures are gone, and the old range hood pipe is removed. Sometime tomorrow, the drywall replacement can start. The new Bar Refrigerator /Freezer is in it's nook and running. All the flooring for the Bar is prepared and ready for insatallation. Harold and I beefed up the framing between the Kitchen, and Laundry Room (Donna's temporary kitchen), and the wall is ready to seal. Jimbo wore his new moonsuit in the Attic and it worked great. Insulation will not stick to it. After supper, (Casper's Hot Dogs), Mama, Amelia Ann, and I visited Pudge at 7:45 p.m., and Jimbo arrived about 8:20 enroute to Home Depot. The Rep from the Rehab without Walls talked to Pudge today and they will come to Warren St the day after Pudge goes home to set up procedures, and scheduling of visits. They will come to your home as often as you like. I think Gary is planning to spray paint the Family Room ceiling with his Airless Spray unit tomorrow, and the downstairs will really be approaching a Neatness. We understand that the house has to be to a certain level of finish for Rehab to release Pudge, and visitors are restricted still, including Harold, Donna, Mama, and me. They want Pudge to acclimate being home on her own with James. And we Agree.


Diana, Sara, Boo, Jimbo, Janet, Bill, and Amelia Ann

 
At 1:18 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Friday, Feb. 18, 2005,




Friends and Family,


Diana brought Kelley Anne what we thought was out of a dream a month ago, but evidently was a serious request. She got a Baloney sandwich with Ketchup, which has to be a Drum Corps lunch. I've never seen that combo eaten at home. A good baloney sandwich with mayonaise and tomato is prime munching, but never heard of ketchup. Good day today. Five steps up and down without the cane, and outside on a dreary day, but the rain didn't start til 6 p.m. Steven stayed with Pudge last night. Kelly came to visit after work, and James was there for the Thurs. meeting with Dr. Dana. and Diane Cooper. Everything is still on schedule and tomorrow is the tentative plan for Pudge to sit in her Mustang in the parking lot under observation. She had breakfast, lunch, and Turkey Dinner, all excellent. When you graduate out of plain pasta, uncooked carrots, and custard, the menu at John Muir is quite good. Pudge says she gets for free what we have to pay for in the cafeteria. And it is also good. If you're ever in a strange town, and can't find a place to eat, try the hospital cafeteria. Things are on a roll at Warren Ave. Gary and Jimbo picked up the kitchen subfloor panels, and 3 were already down when I left at 6 p.m. Brad had half the Barroom floor down also when I left. I finally finished the walls sealant except for about 30 sq. ft. which was not finished when the floor laying began. It can be finished tomorrow. Donna makes delicious vegetable soup for lunch, and date/banana shakes that are indescribable. Harold has all the electrical complete in the kitchen, and waiting for drywall installation. It is such a delight to see these rooms completely free of ladders, tool boxes, and extension cords, and on the final steps to finish. The race now is to get the kitchen drywall up, and ready for cabinets and appliance installation this weekend. Mama, Amelia Ann, and I went up at 8 p.m. with a new supply of Apricot and Peach Nectar which Pudge likes between rehab sessions. Dr. Luu came to see Pudge for the last time today, and told her to contact him anytime about anything. He is really a fantastic person, and has been with her from the 2nd day. He trained at Stonybrook and various hospitals on Long Island, and really liked New York, but his wife is from San Jose, and wanted to come home. He is in a 4 Doctor Group here in Walnut Creek. If all stays in place, we're in the last week.


Steven, Diana, Sara, Kelly, Jimbo, Mama, Bill, and Amelia Ann

 
At 4:51 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Friday, Feb. 18, 2005

"Driving Miss Pudge"


Dear Folks,


James just phoned to relate Kelley Anne's latest accomplishments. Kelley Anne sat and rode in a car for the first time since her automobile accident more than three months ago. "It went better than I thought it would," Kelley Anne told me by phone. "I'm ready to get out of here now." James drove Kelley Anne around the John Muir parking lot to get her reacclimated to being in a car. She flinched a few times, saying she is more aware than ever of all the moving things around her. She had difficulty getting into the car because of her left ankle. She said she enjoyed listening to the radio and the feel of her independence. "I really miss that," she said. Also, she ate another baloney sandwich this afternoon and did well in her physical therapy. She said she feels ready to go home right now but she still won't be released before Wednesday, the 23rd. Anyway, that's it for now. Just wanted to pass on the wonderful news. Take care and God bless.


Sincerely,

Steven

 
At 10:33 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2005,





Friends and Family,


Steven stayed with Kelley Anne on Saturday night, and Diana came for lunch. Dawn came by en route to Warren St. for some finish details, flower and porch wise, and tonight, Boo, Maryann, John, Wes, Mama, I, Amelia Ann, Jimbo, Donna, and Harold covered from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Pudge feels good, is no longer receiving direct feeding, and had three good meals through the day. While we were there tonight, she was tired of lying in bed and got up to sit in the wheelchair. The evening and conversation was lively, and animated. We filled Pudge's wish list for groceries that may not be in stock at home, and includes salad ingredients, fruit for shakes, milk, chocolate milk, Orange Juice, Bread, and some other cravings such as Vinegar and Salt Pringles, nectarines, Bacon, and Sugar. Jimbo doesn't use some of these, so they would not be stocked. Harold and James worked all day installing the new 200 Amp Junction Box in the Garage to accommodate all the new kitchen circuits. The power had to be off all day, and the house was very quiet for Donna. We left at 7 p.m., and they secured to go out to Dinner for one last time before Donna and Harold leave for Louisiana early Wednesday morning. Safeway's Flower Dep't had 2 life size Rabbits left that yelled "Pudge", so they now reside on her front porch among her flowers. Tomorrow will be very busy for her as all the doctors sign off on her release, and rehab in the hospital winds up. The room must be emptied of all her possessions, except that she wants all the photos, cards, and drawings to remain so she won't have to look at a bare wall Tuesday night. She continues to meet nurses and technicians from all over the hospital who took care of her at various stages in the last 3 months. She doesn't remember them, which frustrates her. Everyone talks about missing the routine that has prevailed since Nov. 16th, and we're contemplating trips to John Muir so as not to lose our places in line. It's as if all should wear nametags by now. Security ignores us because they think we work there. We heard tonight that Star Sousa is being released to her home locally for a month before going on home to Hawaii, which makes everyone doubly happy. She came in 1 week before Pudge, and they have been in group theraphy together. We were told that Diane, her mom, had arrived from Honolulu, but we missed her at the hospital tonight. Star is only 22, and has Lupus. She contacted an infection that they had a terrible time defining treatment for and she was in ICU for about 9 weeks total. Everyone had prayed for her, and Diane and Herb were favorites of everyone. A beautiful family. The house is all ready for Pudge even though all the work did not get finished, but it is all finalizing jobs now, and should go fast. Everyone is standing down til James and Pudge want to continue. Tomorrow we go with boxes for the move out of the room, and Weds morning is the BIG DAY. Strange day today. From bright sunshine to dark, raging thunderstorms, plus tornadoes in the 60 miles between here and Sacramento. Someone is trying to tell the Boobengrabber something.


Steven, Diana, Sara, Dawn, Boo, Wes, Maryann, John, Jimbo, Donna, Harold, Mama, Bill, and Amelia Ann

 
At 10:10 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Thursday, Feb. 24, 2005,






Friends and Family,



James brought Kelley Anne home Wednesday at 2 p.m., after 3 months, one week and one day in the hospital. We did not go to the hospital, as they had classes and instructional meetings pertaining to treatment, shots, and medicines at home. James called en route home, and we met them at the house. Dawn and Lydia were already there. We helped James get Pudge out of the Quest into her new walker and then wheelchair, and into the house, stopping to admire the new flower beds planted by Dawn on Sunday and Monday. There are also new planters for Pudge's potted plants, and the Porch was neatly arranged with plants, and the new Bunny Rabbits. Pudge negotiated the front steps with James' support, and she was very happy with the Thai-themed living room that Dawn, Diane, and Maryann arranged so beautifully Sunday. James had discovered that the Laser was off when the initial upper kitchen cabinets were installed throwing them approx. 1 inch too low from the ceiling. He and Harold reinstalled them, plus the rest ot the remaining upper cabinets. Thus, when Pudge walked into the kitchen she saw a full wall of upper cabinets. She loves them, particularly the Alder wood. And she also saw her new Bay Window at the new sink site. She couldn't believe how far along the house rework has advanced. She hasn't seen the downstairs yet, but is looking forward to seeing the Bar and Family Room. We sat in the Living Room for an hour, and she began to tire, so we helped her to her Bedroom, and into bed. Dawn, Lydia, Mama, and I had to leave at 3:15, and Dawn dropped the prescription list off at Walgreens on the way out of town. Diane fixed Dinner for Pudge and James, and brought it over after 5. Mama talked to James, and he said Pudge didn't come down to the Dining Room, but ate at her dresser in her wheelchair tonight. It's been a busy day for she and Jimbo. The big Welcome Home sign was on the Garage door, and Shelby, Alexandra, Brian, and Lydia really did a great job on it. Calls have been coming in from all over, and Pudge is very happy to be home, finally. She saw Star and Diane Sousa before leaving the hospital to say goodbye, and wore her Lei home that Diane brought from Honolulu.. It has been an interesting time with many emotions, and unlimited help and support from so many people. Again, we don't know how to thank everyone for ALL the encouragement, all of which has been saved for Pudge to see in the future. All her Cards, E-mails, and gifts will be at her disposal in chronological order, plus I hear that Wes has been working with James to produce a DVD for Pudge to see what happened while she was gone. With apologies for the E-mails clogging the net, we'll sign off tonight, and say Thanks to everyone. God Bless All the Medical Staff at one of the top trauma centers in the world. Our love to everyone.


Kelley Anne, James, Donna, Harold, Janet, Bill, Amelia Ann, and all the volunteers who made a near tragedy into a shining example of Friendship, and Kindness.

 
At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Sara Hammond said...

Kelley Anne and James,

I just wanted to let the two of you know that you have been in my families thoughts and prayers since your accident. I myself have never had the opportunity to meet Kelley Anne, however I know that cousin James is a wonderful guy. I hope that one day I will have a chance to meet the amazing Kelley Anne, it seems that you have an outstanding group of friends and family for support. I am so glad to hear that you are home. We love you very much and I think of you everyday. God Bless you and James. Take Care and we will see you soon.

Love
Sara, Tim, Joshua, Justyne & Jananye Hammond (Cousing of James)

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger Steven said...

Monday, March 07, 2005,





Friends and Family,


A number of people have inquired how Kelley Anne is doing since arriving home on the 23rd of February. I guess most of us here gave a sigh of relief, and haven't returned to speed yet. Kelley Anne and James are doing great. There is still pain, mostly in muscles being returned to full use, and it is relieved thru the stomach peg which is still in use to prevent having to take pills. The hospital does not send you home with medications for obvious reasons, and the first few days had some frantic periods trying to line up prescriptions. Dr. Jolin was priceless in helping with prescriptions, and assuring a supply flow. Dawn, Diane, Diana, Boo, James and we have covered food supplies, and meals, from Pasta and Sausage, Pot Roast, KFC, Hot Dogs and Beans, Lasangna, plus Cake, Chocolate Glazed Donuts, Vinegar and Salt Pringles, Orange, Cranberry, and other juices, and anything else Pudge has missed. JImbo stays so busy he forgets to eat himself, and everyone is on his case. Mama brings the laundry home and does it here. Steven and Diana and the boys have been thru the flu circuit, but are getting better. Kelly, Diane, Shelby and Brian returned from the family wedding in Denver last weekend. Bruce and Renee Butler, Jame's brother and sister-in-law were here this weekend and left for L. A. and Houston this afternoon. Harold and Donna returned to Louisiana on the 23rd, and everyone misses them terribly. The house, cats, Blueberries, and bills were all O. K., and Donna says everything is under control. Kelley Anne gets visits from a nurse, therapist, and rehab technician each day. She is walking up and down stairs with her cane, and the handrail, and has been outside and walked up and down the sidewalk, which is sloped about 30 degrees. She also went downstairs to see the Family Room and Bar on Friday. James had to get to Oakland to the Credit Union, get a haircut, and other errands. Mama and I stayed with Pudge during Rehab. The new Kitchen appliaces arrived from Friedman's last week, and it makes us ready to get busy on the Kitchen. The upper cabinets are hung. The lower half of the walls are awaiting closure with drywall, now that the electrical is complete. Kelley Anne and Jimbo sleep well through the night, and we moved the Chaise Lounge down to the Living Room for Pudge, as it is much more comfortable than the couch, and easier to get up and down. Pudge uses the phone, and has heard from many friends. Pippin stayed with Dawn and Frank while her parents were in Denver, which gives Frank good training for when Lydia wants HER dog. We hear Pippin even slept on the foot of the bed. The feeling that seeing Pudge in her own home creates is indescribable, and finally life begins to feel normal. It still is overwhelming to contemplate the memories of support and help from so many people. The follow-up office visits to surgeons start very soon, and the timetable for removal of the external fixator on the left wrist will be known soon. The left foot removable cast is removed frequently now during rehab, and the foot rests flat on the floor without discomfort. The best part is to see and hear Pudge LAUGH.


Janet, Bill, James, Kelley Anne, and Amelia Ann

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Steven said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Anne is really back up to speed now, and she and James are having a great time returning to a normal life. Two weeks ago, they spent the week at North Lake Tahoe in a cabin timeshare courtesy of a friend from Alameda. She has been released from supervised theraphy and all the staff are very impressed with her progress. They agreed there was nothing left to teach that she can't, and does, do herself. She is driving her 98 Mustang again, but is anxious that Jimbo get a replacement for his Wagon. They are enroute to Peurto Vallarta tomorrow morning for another timeshare from the same friend in Alameda. It is dependent on space on the UAL flight. They were scheduled for today, but the flight was sold out. They spent yesterday, and last night, in San Francisco on the annual Christmas sojourn to the city with Diane, Kelly, John, Maryann, Dawn, and Frank in from Iowa. We get to take care of J.J., Rosa, and Bella, the three kittens, which is fun. Mom and Dad C.

 
At 1:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelley Anne is really back up to speed now, and she and James are having a great time returning to a normal life. Two weeks ago, they spent the week at North Lake Tahoe in a cabin timeshare courtesy of a friend from Alameda. She has been released from supervised theraphy and all the staff are very impressed with her progress. They agreed there was nothing left to teach that she can't, and does, do herself. She is driving her 98 Mustang again, but is anxious that Jimbo get a replacement for his Wagon. They are enroute to Peurto Vallarta tomorrow morning for another timeshare from the same friend in Alameda. It is dependent on space on the UAL flight. They were scheduled for today, but the flight was sold out. They spent yesterday, and last night, in San Francisco on the annual Christmas sojourn to the city with Diane, Kelly, John, Maryann, Dawn, and Frank in from Iowa. We get to take care of J.J., Rosa, and Bella, the three kittens, which is fun. Mom and Dad C.

 
At 1:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Friday, Dec.29.2006
This morning at 5:30 am, Kelley Anne checked into John Muir Hospital for scheduled surgery to remove the spinal rods and screws placed by Dr. Chin in 2005 to stabilize her lower spine. Surgery only took 1 1/2 hours, and Dr. Chin reports she is in excellent health. She was in her room on 5 WEST by 1:00 pm, and at 5:00pm, Christine had her out of bed and walking. We were there again at 8:00pm, and James again took her for a second walk after she finished Dinner. She looks great, and pain is well controlled. James is spending the night with her tonight. DR. Chin scheduled her for 5 days in the hospital ,or until the drain is clear. She does not require a back brace or any other appliance, and will have excellent mobility.

Janet, Bill, and Amelia Ann

 

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