Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Well, it's hard to believe that it has already been a week. Jeremy is slowly adjusting to being at home. It takes a lot more work than we had actually imagined. It is frustrating at times for Jeremy when he tries to move around from one place to another but he grins and bears it-despite the pain and the frustration.
We had a quiet Christmas with family and the neighbors. We were just so pleased that Jeremy was home and with us because there were so many times that this seemed as if it would be impossible. His left leg is bothering him a lot and makes him uncomfortable. We were all concerned about the amount of pain that he was having and the fact that his skin did not seem to be healing on that leg-in fact, even the good skin was looking raw and sore. Jeremy had a doctor appointment on Tuesday and discovered that this was because he wasn't doing the dressing on that leg correctly-which is not his fault because that was how he was taught to do it at rehab. The ointment that he was putting all over his leg was only supposed to be applied to the wounded areas. Apparently this ointment when applied to good skin can cause it to break down-which is what was happening. Hopefully this has been resolved now and he will be on the mend soon.
He was told that despite the pain he must do his exercises to get his legs in shape for prosthetics. They told him that he would get over the pain but he would not gain the precious time back-every day is essential to Jeremy walking again. So, no more lounging for him! I'm just kidding-he's actually working much harder than I have ever seen anybody work-the transfers from the wheelchair to the couch alone would probably do me in for the day. Outpatient therapy begins tomorrow.
Overall, Jeremy is doing well. He has managed to pick up a nasty cold somewhere which isn't helping anything. He asked me to remind you that even though he is no longer in the hospital his defenses are still down and he is susceptible to everything. If you have a cold please pick a different time to visit with him or give him a call instead. As always, he appreciates all of your love and support-it makes him feel good to know that there are so many people that care about him. You give him strength.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Jeremy has officially come home! He is at Mom and Dad's right now while his right arm continues to heal. Once this arm is capable of bearing his weight for transfers the plan is for him to go to his own home. He will be attending lots of outpatient therapy sessions and he has been told that he will need to continue to work at home "all the time". Not even a nap in the afternoons. There are specific exercises he needs to do quite often to increase his range of motion in his arms and to prepare the leg muscles for prosthetics.
We enjoyed our first meal as a family in over 8 weeks. It was quiet and peaceful. It is so nice to have him home-yet ever present in our minds that all of our lives, (especially Jeremy's), have changed forever. Simple things are suddenly next to impossible and somehow we manage them. I have a new perspective on so many things but above all I realize how important family and friends are-it sounds sappy but it is true. Thank you to all of our family and friends. We could not have come this far without your support and will continue to need it in the months to come. As I have said before, things can change in an instant. Cherish what you have-and make the best of the changes that come your way.
Don't hesitate to call Jeremy-he is now in charge of his own visiting schedule. Mom and Dad are glad for him to have visitors, however, they would appreciate visits being arranged with Jeremy in advance instead of people just showing up at the door. It is their home. I will still update the blog-but will stop doing it so frequently. Look for updated information on Wednesday evenings-I'll try to get it on by 10:00 but as you can see by looking at the time this was written it doesn't always work that way-so maybe check Thursday mornings.....
Happy Holidays to each of you!
Sunday, December 18, 2005
He's coming home, he's coming home, he's coming HOME!!!! Jeremy will be coming home on Tuesday-barring anything strange happening between now and then. He will be coming to Mom and Dad's until he can bear weight on his right hand-but then he will be able to be back at his house. How long will that take? We don't really know-he gets the wrist x-rayed again after New Year's. This begins yet another chapter in Jeremy's recovery. He will be in outpatient therapy for several months. I think that as nice as it will be for him to be home that it is going to be a little scary-and really begin to show what he needs to work toward. It will be a new kind of normal-but who knows how long it will take to get there.
We (the Warriner's) would like you to know that Jeremy may certainly have visitors while he is at Mom and Dad's-in fact, we encourage it-however Jeremy has asked that he have a few days to settle in before too many people are around-we also have a houseful because Uncle Mike and David will be here for the holidays. Also-because it is our home and there are no set visiting hours we are requesting that you get in touch with us or with Jeremy before just popping over. Obviously I am not going to post a phone number on the "World Wide Web" but my guess is that any of you who are considering coming to visit know how to get a hold of us-or know someone who does.
I will continue to update the blog each night until he gets home-then I will probably only update it once a week unless there is information that needs to get out quickly. I will post a new message by 10:30 on Wednesday evenings to keep everybody in the loop. Thanks again for everything-as he begins this new journey he will continue to need prayers and good thoughts. I'll let you know when he is officially home! :)
Friday, December 16, 2005
Today was a mixed bag of emotion for Jeremy. He got to eat real food-yay! That was very cool-but also Cliff and Kelly got married tonight-Jeremy was supposed to have been in that wedding. When I saw him he was dressed in his official wedding attire (pajamas-no, I'm not kidding). He talked with Cliff right before the ceremony and I believe he talked wth both Cliff and Kelly afterwards-they were wonderful to do as much to include him as they could this evening. So many ups and downs-but overall he seems to keep his spirits up. We are anticpating his return home quite soon-with lots of outpatient therapy to follow-I believe it will be three days a week but I'm not really sure yet. I will keep you updated as I know. As always, thanks for everything that you all are doing for Jeremy and for us.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Another good day for Jeremy-he got to have the wires and rubber bands removed from his jaw! He is able to eat some real food again but has to move slow. Nothing chewy or hard and he can have that burger but he has to eat it with a fork-no biting into anything for a while. We are very happy for him-things just seem to be moving right along now. I'll keep updating you on his progress-and it's so nice to be able to write happy things now. Have a good night!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Jeremy had another decent day. The therapists did home visits to both his house and my parents-and Jeremy got to come too! They were able to tell them what types of accomodations were needed to help Jeremy be as independent as possible. It was nice for him to see familiar places if only for a little bit. If he continues at this pace he will be home sooner than originally planned. He is working very hard-and he's very determined. As it's late tonight I'll keep this short-another full day of work for all of us will be here before we know it. Take care. :)
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Jeremy had another good day at rehab and was fairly successful with transfers. He did say that it was harder today-but probably because he was tired. He also had more pain than yesterday. My guess is that this is pretty normal for the second day. I know when I've been not exercising (like usual) and then I suddenly start again I hurt for days and will complain to anyone who listens. I can't even begin to imagine how Jeremy must feel physically-not to mention emotionally. It's very draining I'm sure. The feeding tube has been removed which should allow him a little more mobility even in his bed-he can now lay on his side or even his stomach if he'd like. Hopefully this will help him to ease some of his pain as well. Overall he seems to be doing quite well-especially when you consider that he's really only been awake since Thanksgiving weekend. I've talked with him about your comments on the blog-they mean a lot to him. He's not quite ready to look at them-but says that he will in time. Keep them coming-they are quite inspiring.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Talked to Jeremy tonight-and he sounded wonderful! He had a very good day. He was excited because he managed transfers to and from the bed-he said that it was frustrating because he can't really use his right arm yet-but he did the transfers anyway!! It will only be easier with the use of his right hand. He did say that he would sleep well tonight-he was very tired. They are also planning to take the feeding tube out-he had to agree to drink six Boosts a day-which he doesn't really like-but hey, anything is better than that tube. Ortho is coming tomorrow to see about using that hand more and I believe that the Oral people are coming soon to look at his jaw again. The therapists are making home visits to both Jeremy's house and Mom and Dad's on Wednesday to see what accomodations need to be made to get him home. Things are really moving along. Isn't the power of prayer amazing?
Sunday, December 11, 2005
I saw Jeremy today for a bit. The rehab unit is nice and quiet-I found it peaceful even-but I think tomorrow it will be a much busier place. You have to ring a buzzer to get admitted to this unit but once you are in there is a nice big room in the center with a big screen TV and tables for visiting, eating, playing games, etc. The patient rooms surround this room. Jeremy's room is about as far away from the nurse's station as you can get so I can understand why he feels a little isolated. His room is small but fairly comfortable and has a view of the monorail (not exactly scenic). One very nice thing about this new place is that he will be able to see Madeline (if she ever gets healthy) and Grandpa-who has not seen Jeremy at all.
I talked with Jeremy, my parents, and the medical staff about visitors as several people have mentioned that they would like to come and see him. At this point we have all agreed that due to the intense therapy schedule that Jeremy will be on it is best to limit his visitors to family only. Please don't take offense to this-I know that in time he will want to see you all. He is going to be extremely tired (and probably cranky) after his therapy sessions-they are planning to push him hard. I also think that Jeremy still has some adjusting to this new place, level of activity, and his own physical appearance to do. If you really would like to visit with him we are asking that you get in contact with me or with my Mom and Dad first so that we can discuss it with Jeremy and give you an accurate view of his day and his mood. Most of you know how to get ahold of at least one of us. Thank you so much for respecting his wishes-I will be sure to let you know when he is feeling up to more company.
Wish him well tomorrow!
P.S. I do know that he would welcome cards and letters-you can check back on yesterday's entry to get the address (I don't have the zip but it could be easily figured out) or send them to his address (his mail is beng forwarded to Mom and Dad's).
Saturday, December 10, 2005
I'm so sorry that I didn't update this last night-Madeline and I were having our own hospital experience at Riley-right across the street from Uncle Jeremy! No worries-we are home and fine-but this blog isn't about us... Jeremy did move to rehab on Friday. It is a lot different than the hospital (so I hear-I haven't been to see him since Wednesday). This is a different level of care-still good quality-just a different type. He is used to having lots of activity and being able to see the nurses from his room-with several nurses and one specific to him. The rehab unit it is much quieter-just five patients there right now and a much smaller staff. The room is more private and away from the nurses station. This sounds good to me but I think it's a little scary to Jeremy. Hopefully I will get there tomorrow and be able to give you a first hand account. Here is the information about visiting hours and location:
IU Acute Rehabilitation Center (The ARC)
980 Indiana Avenue
This is just one block away from Wishard in a yellow building.
Visiting hours are 5-9 Monday-Friday and 11-9 on weekends and holidays. We understand that visiting hours are fairly strict, unlike they were at the burn unit, due to the intense therapy throughout the week. I'll let you know more as we get into this new routine. He begins the hard work on Monday-keep him in your prayers. Thanks!
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Just a quick update tonight. Jeremy did not end up moving to rehab today-but he IS going in the morning. He stayed because he wanted to talk with the main doctor on his case (the burn doctor) and that didn't happen until later in the day. Just briefly-the doctor answered Jeremy's questions and explained why the decision was made to amputate his legs-which is information that Jeremy needed to hear straight from the doctor. Jeremy was also told that his recovery to date has been amazing and that there were several times in the last few weeks that they did not think that he would survive. He has officially been pronounced healthy enough to go to rehab. Praise the Lord! I will be back tomorrow to provide more details. I did not see him today due to the weather but Mom and Dad report that he was having a good day. Let's hope for a lot more of those. :)
I was able to make it in yesterday for a brief visit with Jeremy -- my first visit with him since he's been conscious. He looked just great -- thinner and weaker, of course, but amazingly well.
He is completely humbled by the response on this blog. We have no way of knowing how many people have viewed it since it started, but if you click on "Jeremy Updates" under Contributors in the upper left corner, you can see that his profile has been viewed almost 800 times (as of now). When I told him this, he said "I don't even know 800 people!" I'm sure no one knows just how many lives he's touched.
Before I left I asked him if he wanted me to post any messages from him. After he thought about it for awhile, he said "just that I'm aware of it (the blog) and it means a lot to me." We talked about how maybe when he's in rehab, he'll be able to have his laptop brought in and can come to the blog and post messages. Sounds like he is planning on doing that at some point in the future.
On October 23, the morning after Jeremy's accident, my 9-year-old daughter, Rachel, heard this scripture during our worship service at church. It reminded her of Jeremy, so she wrote it in a card for him that I delivered when I went down to the hospital later that afternoon to be with the Warriners. "Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes!"
--1 Samuel 12:16
Keep up the prayers -- so many of them have already been answered!
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Well, there is every indication that this will be Jeremy's last evening at Wishard. Today his trach was removed and he is totally off of IV fluids. Physical therapists were in again today and seem to be intensifying Jeremy's therapy even at Wishard-working hard to build up his strength. He was in good spirits today-but still seems a bit apprehensive about his move. We have no idea what time Jeremy will be moving tomorrow-and realize that up until the minute he is moved it is not set in stone. We also have no details to give you about the new facility. I will be posting his new address as well as the "rules and regulations" as soon as I know them. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers as he sets forth on this next chapter of his life.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Jeremy was in good spirits again today when I saw him. The wires were taken off his teeth but he does have very strong rubberbands on them which aren't allowing for as much mobility as we'd like. Jeremy reported that they would be removing two rubberbands every couple of days-I have no idea how many are there-I just want him to be able to enjoy some cookies by Christmas. The nurse tonight asked him what he would eat first when his mouth wasn't kept shut-he told her a cheeseburger and a piece of pizza-he didn't even have to think about it.
Other good news-he will probably be going to rehab on Thursday-we will keep you posted on these developments as we know more. At this point we don't really know when visiting hours are, how many people can visit, what the restrictions will be as far as gowning and wearing gloves, etc...I will certainly keep you updated as we find out. If you are planning a visit to Jeremy in the next few days I would caution you to get in touch with one of us or call the burn unit at Wishard to see if he is still there before making the trip. I think that he is nervous about this next step-and a bit unsure of this "quick" time frame-isn't it interesting how he sees this as a quick turn around from the burn unit? To us it feels like it's been forever-it's probably awful to wake up and find that you've missed 6 weeks of your life. I am so pleased that he's heading to rehab and am anxious to get him stronger physically so that he can come home. For him the hardest work yet is headed his way-he will still need your support-and I know you'll be giving it. As always, thanks so much!
Monday, December 05, 2005
Today was a relatively good day for Jeremy. He got to see me-isn't he lucky? :) Actually-he was fever free all day long! He was kept mainly to water today due to yesterday's incident with his stomach-but he was tolerating that just fine and when I was leaving one of his doctors came in to check on him and decided to up the amount of feed through the g-tube again. The best news however is that the Oral Surgeon will be in tomorrow to remove the wires from his jaw! They will be replacing these with rubber bands-which will be pretty strong but should allow for a little more mobility. Jeremy seemed to be in good spirits today and was quite chatty with me-of course I hadn't seen him in several days so we had a lot to discuss. My friends-your prayers are working so keep them up! More tomorrow...
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Today was a little rough
Overall Jeremy did OK today-it just seems that his lunch got to him a bit which caused him to vomit-as you can imagine with your teeth wired shut this was difficult and very scary. Anyway-the nurses were worried that he might have aspirated something into his lungs-so then Jeremy was treated to the added pleasure of a lung x-ray and a stomach x-ray. The respiratory therapist had to get a sample of fluid from his lungs to be looked at as well. He was also given a dose of a strong medicine to ease his nausea. All yucky-but especially if you're sick at your stomach. Luckily, everything was clear. He was then able to be switched to a smaller trach which should be more comfortable and make speaking easier. I haven't seen him in days due to Madeline being sick so I am very much hoping to get to the hospital tomorrow and will report more then.
I'm filling in the update duties for Sarah today -- sorry for the delay!
Yesterday was a good day for Jeremy. They are allowing him to self-medicate for pain, but he is being conservative so far and trying not to overdo the pain meds. The most painful thing he has to endure is the daily dressing changes. In spite of that, the staff tells Jeremy he is the best patient they’ve ever had. He has been very personable and social with everyone and his attitude has been exceptionally good.
It looks like his jaws will be wired shut for about 3 more weeks, but he is able to communicate pretty well, despite that.
As far as his infections go, his temperature continues to go up and down. At one time yesterday, he did have a temperature of 101 degrees. They continue to take more cultures, but there haven’t really been any changes with regard to infection.
All in all, Jeremy continues to improve and the move to rehab continues to look promising.
Thanks for the continued warm wishes and support!
For the Warriners,
Friday, December 02, 2005
Jeremy was taken about 12:00 today for surgery-it was a long one. Mom and Dad called around 7:00 to say that he was out. At last we had some decent news after surgery. The tissue in his leg loooked good so they were able to go ahead as planned. He now has a nail through his left femur. There was enough good skin left that they were able to close the wound nicely and they only had to graft about three to four inches of skin. The infectious disease team is fairly confident that the infection in his bloodstream is under control so they will be taking him off of his antibiotic as it has run it's course-then we'll see what happens. There has been an ultrasound ordered for a look at his right arm-apparently it is swollen at the IV site. The doctor said that there could be a blood clot there-or it might be cellulitis. I guess blod clots rarely travel from your arm to other parts of your body so they aren't overly concerned about that. If it is a blood clot it will be treated accordingly with a blood thinner and a medication (Cumidin?) for two months. If it is cellulitis he'll be put on an appropriate antibiotic. If all goes well the next few days he will be able to go to rehab soon.
Along those lines it is now even more important that Jeremy gets his rest and is not exposed to any infection. We would like to remind you that if you have a cold or have been around people who are sick to plan on visiting another time. Even though Jeremy is awake and alert please bear in mind that he is not always able to see visitors because of things the medical staff has to do with him and at times he doesn't want visitors because he gets so tired. It would be a good idea to check in with one of us or with Jeremy's nurse before
you go into his room. We will check with him to see if he wants visitors and with his nurses to see if he is able to have visitors at that time.
Overall, it was a successful day. Mom and Dad will, of course, stay to see him when he gets back to his room so if there is more to report I'll be sure to post it.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Jeremy seemed in fairly good spirits today when I saw him. His orthopedic surgeon was in to talk with him and was very positive about his situation, surgery tomorrow, and his recovery. She is optimistic that tomorrow will be the last major surgery. If all goes well and he doesn't develop any terrible infection she acted like he could be moved to rehab sometime late next week. That is so amazing to me-I just hope all goes as she anticipates. Surgery is scheduled tentatively for 11:00 tomorrow-though she did say that the person scheduled before him may not be stable enough to take for surgery-if that happens he might be taken in earlier. I will update you tomorrow as soon as I can. Keep your fingers crossed.