Saturday, March 13, 2010

25th of May 2010

Day 2. Gracie and I got up early to make the drive back to Vanderbilt to see Jesse. Paige volunteered to watch the kiddos for me. Jesse's Dad, brother, and Grandmother were driving up from Texas. It was the first time in many years that she had left the state of Texas. That day, the doctors talked to us and told us that they would not be able to do Jesse's surgeries for a few more days. They needed to wait for him to stabilize more before proceeding. I was still clueless on what I was supposed to be doing or what to expect. Everything they were telling us did not look promising at all. My Unit, Katie Fuller and the FRG were being very understanding and supportive. Paige became my liaison. She would be a point of contact for me so that I could concentrate on Jesse and not have to answer too many phone calls. It was hard to tell the same story over again and explain to people that we didn’t know what was going to happen.

That day, the counselor at the hospital came to speak with me. I had to fill out even more paperwork. She also told me that a lady from Shepherd would be contacting me. That was where they wanted Jesse to go for his rehabilitation. I think at that point I was a walking zombie. I was getting no sleep, and was trying to figure out how I was going to take care of everything. Jesse was the one who took care of all of the bills and household matters. All I had to do was concentrate on flying and spending time with the kids. The doctors had Jesse on Fentanyl and other strong pain medicine's. He doesn't remember any of that, which is probably for the best. I asked the nurse's to have a priest come to pray with him. Most of the nurses were very friendly and seemed to care. They also gave me a code for when I was not at the hospital so that I could call in and check up on him. Coffee was beginning to be my best friend.
It was the end of the day. Vanderbilt had a very strict visitation policy. You could only visit for certain periods of time during the day. After the last visitation we headed back home. We made a quick stop at Paige's to pick up the kids but JD didn't want to come home. It broke my heart. The kids knew something was up but couldn't understand it. We went home, ate, and tried to get some sleep for the next long day ahead of us.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

11 May 2010

Today we went in did some P.T. and then got sent home for the rest of the day. Can't complain about that. So, I decided to make a road trip to Nashville to the mall. It was operation Build a Bear. Target: make two bears: one for Jesse David and one for Lindsey. I scoped out the store to make sure it was secure before entering. When I finally got in there it was like a magical land. Bears, dogs, ducks, rabbits and many more. I wasn't sure if they were enemy or friendly. But it did not take very long to figure out that they were all friendly.
Anyways I made a camouflage bear for JD and a Pink kind of tie-dye bear for Lindsey. I even got to record a little message in each one and put in them for the kids. I think it will be a great surprise for them.
Today Jesse had physical and occupational therapy. In occupational they spent a lot of time on his right arm trying to get it as strong as his left. If we can get them working better it will make life that much easier for him. At least he would be able to do some more things for his self. I keep praying that his fingers will start to work soon. In Physical therapy he sat up for 15 minutes with moderate assistance. Which is better then what he was doing before. Jesse used to need almost 100%assistance to do it. Next they put him on his side and made him role over to his back by himself. He said that was a weird feeling. Cause its like doing everything for the first time all over again. But each day there is a little light of hope in there.
I ended my day by stopping by Paige's house hanging out with her. We talked, watched a movie and even played scrabble. I had them rolling because I was trying to make up words and say that they were real. It was so much fun!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The next 12 hours

So, where did I leave off? On the morning of May 25th, Jesse's mom flew in from Taft, TX. I had to fill out a lot of paperwork and still no one could tell me anything. Jesse was in an open area inside the trauma unit at Vanderbilt. The nurses could monitor him more closely that way. The kids stayed the night at Paige's house. Man, now that I think back on that night, I realize my poor babies had no idea what happened or what was going on. How do you explain to a 4 and 6 year old that kind of news? Thank god for my friends!! I don't think I could have made it through the beginning without them. When you see the person you love, lying there with a bunch of machines hooked up to them, it is the scariest thing in the world. The funny thing is everyone there thought he did not speak English because his real name is Jesus. I try to remember back to that day but most of it is just a blur. I don't know if that has to do with the lack of sleep, being scared, or not knowing what was going to happen. All I really remember is being a complete wreck! Jesse's cousin Jorge and his wife Melba picked up his mom from the airport and brought her to Vanderbilt. When she first saw Jesse she cried. It was hard to see that. I thought about seeing my own baby lying there, not knowing if he was going to make it or even breathe on his own. I don’t know how I would have felt. I think it was different for her, seeing her son in that condition. I remember thinking that it was just an awful dream. I was going to wake up and everything was going to be fine. Or he was going to look at me and say “hey I am all right. Before long everything is going to be normal again”. I lived on false hopes for awhile. I think that is the only way to make it through something like that.

10 Mar 2010

What a beautiful day!! The weather is gorgeous. Have all the windows open in the house and just enjoying it. Last night went to the blackhorse with Paige, Tiffany, April and Reisa. We had such a good time!! Our team was the 5 bitches.
Today for work we played basketball. Man, it made me realize how old I am getting. The body just doesn't handle all of that like it used to.
More bad news for the Moreno family. Jesse's Aunt Irma passed away today at the age of 52. It is so sad! No one wants to lose a loved one. She was a very kind and loving woman. She was always so nice to me and the kids.
few more days and I will be on a plane headed overseas. Really not looking forward to the flight!!! But I guess it could be worse. We did get some good news today that we are going to be 2 to a room instead of 6. Thank goodness. I really didn't want to be in a room with 5 other females that I don't even know.
Jesse seems to be doing pretty good today. He has therapy tomorrow at 1030. Which means has to be up, dressed and in his chair by 0800. It might not seem bad but there is a lot of work to do to get him dressed and in his chair for the day. Therapy seems to be going good. Except Jesse is very sore and tired afterwards. I am trying to convince him into having a massage therapist come work on his shoulders. I think it would make him relax a little bit. One can only hope. I will close for now.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

May 24th 2009

Let’s see, where should I begin? On November 8th, 2008, while I was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, I received a Red Cross message. My mom had passed away unexpectedly. This caught me by surprise considering she had just been chatting with me that very morning. My mom was my best friend and confidant. She meant the World to me. I had just seen her less then 2 months earlier when I was home on R&R. Mom was looking pretty good. Better then she had the last time I saw her. At least we were able to enjoy a trip to the casino together. Mom loved it and I found it as bonding time without outside interference. My heart still aches at the thought of her not being here anymore. But I know she is always with me, deep in my heart. She gives me strength to get through all that has happened to me since she passed.

the 24Th of May 2009 we were at a friend’s house for a Memorial day BBQ. We were having a great time. A few of us were playing around in the pool and Jesse was doing cannonballs. On his second try, he misjudged his rotation, hit his head on the bottom and was knocked unconscious. It was the scariest moment of my life!! We turned him over and he told us he could not feel anything. I was hysterical. My friends stabilized him in the pool while someone called 911. The paramedics arrived and said they were going to take him to Blanchfield Army hospital. After a short discussion, they decided his injuries could be too serious and that Gateway was a better option. My heart was racing. Upon arriving at the hospital, I was immediately escorted to Jesse’s side. He was still conscious and speaking. Even cracking jokes with the nurses. Maybe he is going to be OK, I thought. He asked me to call his parents. I could not do it so I handed the phone over to Paige. I feel so bad now that she had to be the one to break the news to his mom. But I was too emotional to do it. After speaking to his parents, I went back to see Jesse. The doctors started him on steroids to slow down the swelling caused by his spinal chord injury. Unfortunately, he had an allergic reaction to it. He started swelling up, had difficulty breathing and started to vomit. The doctors then gave him some benadryl which seemed to help. We had to wait a while for the life flight helicopter to get there. Finally they loaded him up and headed to Vanderbilt University to the Trauma unit. Matt and Tiffany drove me and spent the night with me there. When we arrived, the doctor came out and told us Jesse had been put on a ventilator and that he broke his C-4. The chances of him ever breathing on his own were unlikely. It was a few hours later before I could see him. He was not the same person I had seen at the hospital in Clarksville. Makes you wonder how the hell things could turn so terrible so quickly. That was the first 12 hours.