Archive for December, 2014

Poor Chris has been confined to a chair for so days. We had been invited to a surprise birthday party and was unsure if we would be able to attend, but by the time I had come back from dropping Madie off at church (the only puddle who wanted to attend today. Ainsley said she only preferred to hear sermons from Daddy.) Chris was really ready to hit the road.  I have been able to run a few errands but not Chris.

So we left as soon as we were able to collect ourselves together. Chris said he thought we would only able able to stay for about thirty minutes, but true to his nature we stayed for three hours! As exhausted as I was,  I enjoyed being with people again too outside of my house or Chris’ hospital room. IMG_2805

We had some friends come over the night before and bring us dinner. Chris was exhausted by the end of the night but you could tell by the smile on his face that he was happy. He is certainly an extrovert who gets his energy from being with people!

As a side note, it had been fun to hear Chris piece together the story of the accident. He really doesnt remember much of anything. Pain will do that to you.

His energy is getting better, but every time he goes out his arm and hand swell up. So we have to do it all in spurts.  But the kids really enjoyed themselves too.

Then we returned home for a family movie night. Guardians of the Galaxy was a delightful and fun movie! We all laughed hard. Now tomorrow we are off to visit family for another Christmas.


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After the alarm went off this morning at 8:30 for the third time that day to remind me to wake up and give Chris his medicine. I decided to get up and run errands before everyone else woke up.

By the time I got home, the rest of the tribe was up and going. Ben had even made Chris coffee! Which was perfect because we immediately got into our working clothes and started to reclaim the house. It needed to happen badly!!

By the end of the day, this happened . . .

IMG_2804When Ben attempted to climb behind the couch to plug something in, his behind went through the window. So that added another dimension to our day. Off to store we go again.  I Cleaned up the broken glass and took all the shards that were left in the window. Madie patched the hole with plastic and duct tape. Now I just have to learn how to put a new pane of glass into the window. Nothing to it!!

Chris is chomping at the bit to help, but he is still in trouble from going to worship on Christmas eve so he is banned from helping. His hand is still twice the size it is suppose to be. But the puddles and I are managing. We will learn how to fix this too. At least we have the internet to learn how!

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IMG_2801We are finally home.  Hallelujah!  It was quite the adventure to get us here, but we made it.  It certainly took a village to make it happen.  But Chris was able to preside over communion.  By the end of the night, he was wiped out.  He had completely bled through his bandages and even his alb.  A good clue that we needed to go home!

It was wonderful being in our own home last night.  The reality of being without a nursing staff was daunting.  I found an app to help remind me when to give Chris all of his meds. It was still requires me to give him meds 8 times a day.  It is very hard to wake up at 4:30 and have enough wits about me to give him the right meds.  Plus he keeps trying to roll over on his elbow to sleep, so I had to keep moving him last night so he wouldn’t hurt himself. But so far so good!

Most importantly, we managed to still keep all of the Lake family traditions.  We attended Christmas Eve services, we read The Night Before Christmas, and we called NORAD (the kids love that part!).  And mom stayed up late wrapping presents and getting everything ready for Christmas morning before Santa showed up.

So today the kids took it easy on us.  Ben made us coffee, and gently woke me up after 8:30am as instructed.  We finally made it downstairs by 9:00.  We opened all of our presents, and mom only made one mistake by ordering the wrong Skylander game (I bought the same one as last year).  The rest of Christmas was a success.  Santa managed to bring everything that the kids asked for.  Madie had a Dr. Who kind of year.  Ben is into science, so he has been busy with his new microscope and box of slides. Ainsley received a Lalaloopsy magic bake oven and has made desserts for everyone today.  She also received a flute, so she has been practicing all afternoon.

Chris and both were able to take naps after all of it.  Thank goodness. I haven’t had to cook thanks to the generosity of others.  We have been living off all of the baked goods that people sent to us.  And they were all yummy!

So tomorrow we will begin to reshape our lives and our home after being away for so long.  The piles of laundry are at least clean thanks to my sister, but I still need to fold and put everything away.  (The piles were so high that she compared our loads to the Duggars). The house is a bit, no . . . a huge mess. Saturday was our cleaning day when the accident happened.  So we have a lot of work ahead of us.  The kids have agreed to help without complaint!  So after a day of wonderful laziness we will get back to work tomorrow!

And to top it off, my family knows me so well.  This is what I got from my children this Christmas.  IMG_2802  I gave up Dt. Coke when I quit working (since I am able to sleep more than 5 hours a night, because I don’t have to stay up late to work).  But with everything that has happened lately, they figured a little treat might be nice.  The kids (with Papa and Grandma Grace’s help) even gave me the drinks cold! This has truly been a good day. Merry Christmas to all!

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It is almost midnight here at the hospital and I just sat down.  I’ve been busy getting everything organized and ready for us to go home.  There are so many pieces to this puzzle that it is taking me a while to get it all organized in my head.  Usually when we are getting discharged from the hospital, Chris is my partner to get it all done.  I know that I am mom and usually the bulk falls on me while Daddy works, but he is still a huge help.

Now, it is Daddy’s turn to be taken care of.  I am grateful for our family.  Everyone has been wonderfully helpful so that I could be at the hospital and just worry about Chris.  But now I must leave the bubble of this hospital and its 24/7 staff and go home to do it on my own.  It is only a LITTLE intimidating.  I know that we can do it.   It would be so much easier if I could tether Chris to the Lazy Boy, but I don’t think that is legal. At least he won’t be able to drive for the time being, so I can control his outings until that restriction is lifted (although maybe a little bribery to the doctor will help that restriction last a little longer).

The good news is that the children are older than the last time we came home with a critical patient.  My favorite pack mule/maintenence man (a.k.a. Chris) is out of commission.  So my children will be blessed with the opportunity to help out around the house more.  Unfortunately none of them can mow the grass, so that will fall to my responsibility.  But my parent’s didn’t raise a slouch, so I am quite capable of handling all of the duties that Daddy would normally do.

I think we are ready.  He is finally getting a good night’s sleep. Every night since the accident has been a nightmare of pain.  Every hour we spent trying to find ways to quiet the pain so that he could sleep.  Music, massaging the hand and fingers, asking for more pain medication, trying to find something else to talk about, watching some tv, etc.  Anything I could think of in my sleep deprived state to make him feel better.

And tomorrow is Christmas Eve, I thank God for my family and for his doctors, but I am also thankful for Amazon Prime. In between massaging his fingers and getting the nurses, I was able to order all of the Christmas presents.  They are all due to be delivered tomorrow, so hopefully all of the packages will show up!  It also helped that my mom and sister tackled some the presents on the list too.

The best present of all is that we are going to have Chris home for Christmas.  This could have been SOOOOO much worse.  He could have hit his head, his back, etc. instead of his elbow.  He could be dead or paralyzed instead of in a hospital bed cracking jokes with the nurses as they come and check on him. I don’t like to think of the what ifs. So I am just going to be grateful for what we have right now.

So with a happy heart, I will be driving home tomorrow to prepare for the arrival of my best friend home from the hospital. His dad is coming to the hospital to get him discharged (his dad knows how to get the job done. He certainly knows how to convince hospital staff to comply to his will, so that Chris will make it to church on time!) and then drive him to Conroe.  My dad is bringing the children back to Conroe.  My sister has been working on preparing our home (mainly washing the giant piles of laundry that I was suppose to get done on Saturday when the accident happened.) And I will drive home and get everything together so that Chris will be able to be at worship and so that I can resume my duties of caring for the Puddles.

So tomorrow we will be on our own.  I think we can do it.  A little scary but very manageable. The icing on the cake will be when  we and the puddles are in a room together and can get/give hugs and kisses again. I can’t wait for that. That will be our first step towards a sense of normalcy again.  So off to bed (a.k.a the chair), so that we can get started on our newest adventure tomorrow!!

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The surgeon came and visited Chris this morning.  I am glad that Chris got to see the man who put him back together.  The PA came back later, took the splint off and put the hinged brace on.  They have changed up his medicine to hopefully control the pain better.  The staff said that we can go home tomorrow, so tomorrow we are going home!!

Gratefully his parents are coming into town and willing to get him discharged so that I can run home and get everything ready for him.  He WILL be at church tomorrow!!  And more importantly he will be home for Christmas!  Thank God.

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IMG_2793Hopefully tomorrow, Chris will be sporting his new gear.  He is going to be wearing this for awhile!

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The accident

On Saturday, Chris fell from a set of scaffolding at church. He was preparing the church for Christmas Eve services. This day is so important to him. He has been working on it for months. He had rented a scissorlift for church to do all of the hard work staring Monday, but he needed to get some work done prior so that he was ready for the bigger work when it arrived. While climbing the scaffolding he fell. He landed on a pew with his full weight on his elbow.

It shattered his elbow. The bone split up the length of the humorous bone and shattered the base of the bone near the elbow. He also messed up the “funnybone” nerve. And to top it off he broke his clavicle for good measure. Both surgeons that worked on him were very impressed with his injury.

He wasn’t alone. He had a friend with him to hold down the scaffolding and Ben was in the other room. So his friend Robert took him to Conroe Regional Hospital.  The staff there was fabulous.  The ER doctor advocated for him and kept calling orthopedic surgeons until one was willing to take Chris’s case.  All of the hospitals but one didn’t want to touch this case, due to the complexity.  So that brought Chris to Memorial Herman at the Medical Center.

The orthopedic team performed his surgery on Sunday morning.  They put in plates and A LOT of screws. We both can’t wait to see his X-rays!  I bet it looks amazing! A truly bionic arm!

He is in tremendous pain.  The type of injury that he has and the fact that it involved his nerves means that it is hard to stay on top of the pain.  Luckily we have a people in our family with a wealth of legal drug info.  Dave and Sarah have both been up here at the hospital helping to make sure that we stay on top of his pain management in an effective way.  Dave helped Chris navigate through the ER while I made my way down to Houston and then he stayed with Chris when I went to crash at their house for a few hours of sleep.  Sarah words of wisdom last night were particularly helpful.  Play music, massage the fingers that were causing the most pain, and keep track of the meds and time given helped get Chris through the night.

I think we are still in shock.  I am not sure what our new reality looks like.  We will take it one day at a time. In the meantime while we hold up in the little bubble of Chris’s hospital room, life moves on for our children.  Right now, they are at Grandma and Papa Grace’s house.  My sister took the kids to church yesterday so that they could be amongst our second family.  They all laughed and smiled while being at church.  It was good that they were there.  They needed the distraction.

Ben feels like this is all of his fault.  He was so strong at the hospital and behaved like a real pro. As soon as a got home, he fell apart.  He didn’t see the accident but he saw Chris in tremendous pain. “If I had just been in there, I could have kept Daddy safe.”  We reassured him that this was not his fault and this was truly an accident.

All Chris can think about is getting ready for Christmas Eve services. His first comments when he woke up were about how Sunday’s worship was taken care of and how the prep work was going for Christmas Eve.  He told the doctor that he wanted to start the pt service a day early so that he could be at church on Christmas Eve to preach and lead his church on this important day.  He is a determined man.  The same determination that wouldn’t listen to me about a 41 year old man getting on scaffolding is the same determination that will get him out of the hospital early.  He is so worried about making that worship perfect, meaningful, and honoring to God.  But we can’t predict the future.  I had no idea that we would be in the situation that we are in now.  So we will take it one day at a time and see what tomorrow brings us.

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Our new reality

IMG_2794So we are on third day of this new adventure. Chris is on a FaceTime conference with church staff.  Even in the hospital he is getting work done!  He isn’t even out of the hospital and he is insisting on doing everything like nothing happened.  Crazy man.  The staff is doing right by him and the congregation and trying to keep him from overdoing it.  Better to have him in the long haul and lose him in the short term than have him in the short term and lose him in the long haul.

Slow and steady wins the race!


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She was really fabulous tonight! A diva in the making!!

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