Monday, December 29, 2008

Updates at last!

I have been wanting to update. But between spending time at the hospital, having Christmas, traveling and spending time with family, I just haven't had the chance. But in our family the saying goes: "No news is good news."

And that's just what I have.

They took Adam's NG tube out to claps and cheers by the family. Adam wasn't quite as excited during the actual removing of the tube. You try pulling a large tube from your stomach out your nose and see how much you like it!

He was so excited to get that out! He was sipping water, then drinking clear liquids, juices, and having soft foods in no time at all. And the very next day he was transferred to a regular floor. The Drs on the floor asked him when he wanted to go home, and he said "Right Now!"

So the next morning, Tuesday the 23rd, they planned on discharging him.

He had to wake up early on the 23rd and have surgery on his knee. They put a plate and screws in and around his knee of the broken leg, and then......

Drum Roll Please......

Adam came home! After 12 long days in the hospital, 10 of those in the ICU, Adam is home.

Here we all are on Christmas Eve. Adam insisted on being in the middle. (Actually, he just couldn't get out of the recliner). He finally let my mom cut his hair, and he is looking much better than he is feeling.

My mom worked tirelessly to get the house and his room ready for him. But he made it home the day before Christmas Eve. And we could not have been happier.

He is still on a lot of pain, but it gets a little better every day. He has to walk around with his walker, because he can't put any pressure on his leg. Getting around is a slow process, but at least he is home.

We, as a family, have been so touched by the number of people telling us they had been praying for Adam, or had lit a candle for him, or put his and our familiy's name in the temple, or they were thinking about us. We are so grateful to you, and are certain these are the reasons Adam's recovery has been progressing so well. In a time when the spirit of this season is so often overshadowed by commercial interests, we have witnessed and been reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.

I am so grateful for the love of family and friends, and for the thoughts and prayers of complete strangers. We have felt your prayers. I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who has watched over my family, spared my brother's life, and is helping him to recover both physically and emotionally from this awful accident. I have no doubt He has heard and answered our prayers. We have experienced our own Christmas Miracle.

I can not say Thank You enough.

I have pictures from the hospital of Adam I am still planning on posting, but during all the hustle and bussle and moving around, it seems the camera has been misplaced. When we find it (and I'm sure we will), I will share.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Up-to-Date in person

After a short over night stay in SWEET Kingman, AZ due to the snowstorm, my little family and I finally made it to SLC to visit Adam in person. I was anxious to see him with my own eyes. I walked into his room, and instantly burst into tears. But I turned around so I could get composed and put on my "game face." My brave face. I am certain it was better for everyone I was in Arizona until now. I don't know they could have handled my blubbering.

Adam has ups and downs. He was feeling well yesterday. The physical and occupational therapists worked with him a lot in getting out of bed. He even walked around the hospital hall with assistance from the sturdy splint and his "old man Farley" walker. (If you know Adam, that last sentence needs no explanation.)

He still has the NG tube. Something he is very discouraged about. There was concern he may have an ileus, pronounced ill-E-us. Meaning a portion of his bowl is not functioning, or the tissue had died, either due to the trauma, or his surgery. The NG tube is still pumping out WAY too much fluid from his tummy. So he went for another CT scan, this time with contrast, to see if everything was moving the way it was suppossed to. And the good news is, everything looked fine. He's still in the ICU. That won't change until the tube can be removed, and it's not looking like it will be anytime soon.

Nights are a lot harder for Adam. My mom and I walked into his room this morning in the middle of what we could tell was an awful nightmare. We woke him up to panic and tears and confusion. It seems this happens everytime he falls asleep. The nightmares. He is reliving the accident over and over and over. In his dreams. It's emotionally exhausting. And physically draining, because he never gets a decent amount of sleep.

I saw Adam's scar from surgery today. It goes from the top of his sternum, all the way down about 4 inches below his belly button. And it's closed up with 40 staples. Not 39. Not 41. 40. He counted. Twice. I asked to take a picture, and I'll post it tomorrow. Along with some of his other battle wounds.

Coming home for Christmas is looking more and more like a lofty goal. We may end up bringing Christmas to ICU room 15 this year. But its still a little too early to tell.

Pictures tomorrow.

And thank you for the continued cards, flowers, calls, thoughts and prayers. It truly brightens Adams spirit, and gives him the strength to keep fighting.

Thank You!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Updates for Adam

I spoke to Adam today and he seems to be in a little better spirits. His physical wounds are slowly beginning to heal. But he grieves over the loss of his friend Johnny Pat Millburg, and those wounds will take much much longer to recover from.

Adam is still in the ICU. The surgeries to fix the internal bleeding appear to be successful. But he lost a lot of blood, and his red cell counts were very low, so they transfused a couple units of blood today. The physical therpapists came and helped him to sit up and get out of bed a little. He can't put any pressure on his broken leg, so they helped him to balance and stretch on the better leg.

Yesterday he was complaining about more pain in the broken leg. The doctors have been worried about blood clots, so they took him in for another little surgery. They put a filter in his vena cava, the main vein that carries blood from the lower body back to the lungs. The filter would prevent any blood clots from traveling to his lungs causing a pulmonary embolism. Normally they would administer drugs that would help keep blood clots from forming in the first place. But because of Adam's internal bleeding, they NEED his blood to clot. Hence the filter.

He also spiked a fever last night. They are doing blood and urine cultures, but we won't have the results for a couple days.

Adam REALLY wants to get the NG tube out, (a big tube that goes through his nose and down into his gut), but the doctors are worried without the NG tube, his intestines might get a "kink". So it looks like that is staying for a couple more days. He was able to take some medications by mouth today. The first time he's been allowed to basically swallow anything. Tomorrow they will begin letting him drink water, and see how that goes.

My mom went to Johnny Pat's funeral yesterday and said it was really beautiful. She is amazed at the strength of Johnny's parents, Gayle and Leo Millburg. We love you, we are thinking of you, and keeping you in our prayers. We are so grateful for the opportuntity we all had to know Johnny Pat. He was a wonderful man, and a great friend to Adam. We are reminded everyday how lucky and blessed we are that Adam is alive. It's a strange combination, to be so full of grief and gratefulness at the same time. Emotions run close to the surface these days. For all of us. Thank you again to everyone for all you have done. I appreciate it. My family appreciates it. And Adam is especially grateful.

I will finally be able to see him with my own eyes tomorrow (big cheer) , and will give more updates then.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I have Updates on Adam:

First, thank you, Thank you to everyone.


Thank You.

Adam has had lots of visitors and calls, and though he usually wakes up just long enough to shake their hand, and goes back to sleep, we ALL appreciate it.

Adam is still at the U. He was doing fairly well yesterday, and they Drs were considering transfering him out of the ICU to a regular floor. But his pain medication was making him sick, and that, in turn, caused him to have a long bout of tachycardia (fast heart beat). They got it under control after a couple hours, but that landed him another day in the ICU.

This morning, the newest round of tests showed the abdominal bleeding hadn't stopped, and infact, was getting worse. So that landed him a trip to the OR to fix the bleeding. There was a very large hematoma and blood clot in his large intestine from the bleeding. The Drs were able to remove most of that. They also removed his gall bladder. It wasn't in great shape, and they thought it would probably become infected.

Because of the bleeding, they haven't been letting him eat anything. He only gets IV nutrients. Having food pass through the section of his intestines that were damaged could cause even more problems. In his surgery, the Drs attached part of his small intestine to his stomach. This way, he can eat, and the food will bypass the parts of his large intestine that still need time to heal. I'm sure Adam was happy about that, because if everything goes well, he will be able to eat in 2-3 days, as oppossed to 2-3 weeks.

His surgery went well. Now he is in the Surgery ICU. If he looks good tomorrow, they will move him back to the regular ICU. And if he still looks good the next day, on to a regular hospital floor.

The abdominal bleeding and surgery were a little set-back, but we are hoping after this, he will be well on his way to recovery.

Rachel drove down to SLC today to stay with Adam tonight and tomorrow so my parents can attend Johnny Pat's funeral. Adam is understandably upset he won't be able to go. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Millburgs at this time, and I hope you will continue to keep them in yours as well.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Prayers for Adam

Adam was in a Four-wheeling accident late last night near Rock Springs Wyoming.
This is what we know:
  • He was life-flighted to the University of Utah hospital in critical condition
  • He has a cracked sternum, broken leg and ankle, and many broken ribs
  • He was buckled in, but is black and blue from the harness
  • He had some internal abdominal bleeding. They are watching this very closely, and it doesn't seem to be getting worse, which is a good sign.
  • He has an NG tube, and a feeding tube, and a neck brace

The good news is his condition has been downgraded to Serious but Stable.

The doctors are still monitoring him very closely for internal bleeding and head trauma. And my mom is calling regularly with updates.

Adams best friend, Johnny Pat Millburg, was killed at the scene of the accident. Please, Please keep the Millburg family and Adam in your prayers.

More updates to come as I get them.

And a special Thank you to Weston Lintz, and my cousin Jeff Atkinson for being with Adam at the hospital in Rock Springs, and for giving him a blessing.

Thank You!!

and Thank You to everyone for your thoughts and prayers and calls (and text messages) of support.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

children and snowing

Yesterday I was thinking about a sign my mom used to have hanging in our old house on Zuni. It read someting like:
"Cleaning the house while children are growing

is like shoveling snow while its still snowing."

When I was little, I remember reading the sign and thinking it was funny. It was more of a "haha, I'm a little kid and my mom has to pick up after me. That is so funny," kind of humor. But now I AM the mom. And only a mother can appreciate the true sentiments of that statement.
I think I'll embroider this saying onto a dish towel. Or maybe make some snazy post it notes. Or perhaps I should laminate a giant sign to hang in my living room to excuse myself when company comes, and the living room is strewn with everything and anything two little, one-year-old hands can reach. (which often includes toys, blankets, unmentionables retrieved from the garbage can, dog food, shoes, pots and pans.....use your imagination. You will find it on my floor.) Yes, I think a sign for company would be a good idea. When people walk in, I'll simply point to the sign. Enough said. No more explanation needed. I have a child.
Or maybe just a sign for myself to look at. Everyday. Every minute of Every day. To remind MYSELF its okay. Okay my living room (or kitchen, or bedroom, or....) may not look pristine. Far Far Far from pristine.
In any case, I don't think I will be forgetting that little saying anytime soon.
Yesterday was my "catch-up" day. The last couple weeks I have been really busy in the shop. Lots of blankets and special item requests. Apparrently the general population is much more diligent about completing their Christmas shopping than I am.
My poor little house has suffered. I'm certain my husband thought my hind quarters had become permanately attached to my sewing chair. And because of that, my "pick up a little every day" policy was rarely enfored. (ahem.....I mean, never enforced.) And my sweet husband didn't complain. (much).
Yesterday was my self-proclaimed day to get everything in order. No sewing. No crafting. No blogging. Just cleaning, feeding, laundry, cooking, and official "house wife" stuff. I got an early start, beginning in the kitchen and with the dishes, and working my way room to room. I made sure to vacuum before Miles went down for his nap, so I could mop while he was sleeping. And that's just what I did.
I had just finished putting everything away in Miles' room, and started on the laundry. I became slightly concerned when I heard squeals of delight and laughter coming from my son. What on earth was he doing in his newly cleaned room? Well, opening the drawers and pulling every item, one at a time, out of them. Then throwing them all over. Seriously. ALL over. ALL his clothes. ALL his bibs. ALL his old burpcloths. Socks. Books. Diapers (both clean and dirty). It might as well have looked like this.

Perhaps I am exaggerating. Just a little.

So back to work I went. Once I had his room cleaned again, I noticed the "M" that spells his name on the wall had fallen down. I pulled the crib out, got the letter, and set it aside when I saw the treasures Miles had dropped behind his bed. When Miles picked up the "M", I wasn't worried. It's wood. What could he do? As I was wedging myself between the wall and the crib, digging out the forgotten toys, I heard an unmistakeable "SNAP"! What could he do? Well, he COULD stick the M through the slats on his crib. And he COULD turn the M into a wierd position. And he COULD try to get the M out of his crib. And he COULD snap the M in half while trying frantically to retrieve it. That's what he could do. And then he COULD laugh out loud at mom when he sees the look on her face. Apparrently a block of wood is no match for my one year old.

And later, when I took a break after folding 4 loads of laundry to use the powder room, before putting the clothes away, Miles had a grand old time unfolding and throwing around every article that was on the couch.

All 4 loads worth.

After cleaning all day, my house doesn't look that much better. The lunch Miles refused to eat and instead, threw all over the kitchen floor i had just mopped, is still there. There are loads and loads of clean clothes all over the living room, a messy again playroom, some broken wood, and now.....a headache.

It's true what they say.

About cleaning and children and snow.

But the truth is...I have always loved snowstorms. If I had to choose, take 'em or leave 'em, I would take them every time.

Such is the life of a mother. And in all honesty, if i had to "take it or leave it",

I would take it every time.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Red Letter Days and Neglect

In our family, we celebrate something called "Red Letter Days".

What is a red letter day? Well, I will tell you.

A red letter day is realy any day that may be special to a particular person. A birthday, a graduation, a piano recital, a dental cleaning with no name it. It is a red letter day. My mom started celebrating red letter days with us, or perhaps I should say for us, when we were young. It was new. It was exciting. It was fun.

You see, as a mother, sometimes you have to be creative. You are constantly thinking of things to entertain your children. And ways to make each and every one of them feel special. One day my mom was shopping in Evanston, and came across a little something that caught her eye. It wasn't fancy. And it wasn't expensive. What it WAS.......was RED. A solid red and plastic mug, cereal (or soup) bowl, and a plate. One bright red serving set. It was perfect.

And the red letter day was born.

From that day on, everyone celebrated their special days by eating and drinking from that distinctive dinnerware. Lost a tooth? Well, I'll should eat your breakfast on the red letter day plate! Memorized the Gettysburg address? How about some soup in your red letter day bowl! Sometimes I feel remorseful, whishing I would have remembered to bring my special red set to my wedding dinner, or to sip my hot chocolate the morning after Miles was born. Those were red letter days if ever I deserved one.

In any case, Miles celebrated his first Red Letter Day in Evanston on his Birthday. And suddenly I inherited those nostalgic plates from my youth. They are in my cupboard. And one of us uses them almost every day. For now, atleast. But its because I simply feel like everyday is a special day. Everyday I wake up to a roof over my head. Hooray! Let's have breakfast in the bright red bowl! And to a wonderful husband, and pinch his cheeks he's so cute I can't stand it little boy. (insert another word for Hooray here...I just can't think of any) But we better eat dinner on the special red plate! And we have families who love us, and cars to drive, and jobs to go to, and enough money to meet our needs (albeit from student loans), and caring friends, and the list could go on forever. We have so much to be grateful for. So much to be Thankful for. And so, everyday is red letter to me.

A couple of my family members recently celebrated their own red letter days, and may have felt slightly neglected when I didn't mention it. I didn't mention HERE, I should say. So,

Happy Birthday MOM!! If any of you know my mom, you know she is pretty great.

Here's why:
  1. She instigated "red letter day", of course
  2. She taught us to ski at the local ski slope in Evanston, so she could spend time with us, doing something we would WANT to do on the weekends.
  3. Because she is WAYYYY cooler than HER mom ever was. (Or so she has been telling me for as long as I can remember)
  4. Our house was always the play house. We basically had an open door policy. Which often meant she was up late, cleaning up the mess when we were tucked in bed
  5. Because she tucked us in bed. And would climb into bed with us (each one of us!) almost every night to snuggle.
  6. And she took us places. Lots of places. All by herself. Just her and her 4 kids. We went to Jackson Hole, we went skiing in Park City. We went to Hogle Zoo and stayed and Little America for Spring Break. And at night, when we would all cry and say "I want my DAAAAAADDDDDDDDD," she didn't strangle us. And then she would take us somewhere fun again.
  7. Even as we got older, she took us places. It was always my mom who drove me and my friends to State Dance Team competition every year. Or Cowboy Shoot Out. Or the haunted house in SLC. Or the Boys 2 Men concert. I could go on forever.
  8. I know the difference between lay and lie, as well as done and finished. And I can use them in a grammatically correct sentence. And I know when to use I or Me correctly in a sentence or conversation. (you don't always use "I" people!)
  9. And she woke up every morning bright and early for nearly 12 years to either practice the piano with me, or take me to piano lessons. And to make sure we had a good, homemade breakfast before we went.
  10. And in college, when I wanted to major in Lab Science, she said " will be GREAT at that!" And she supported me. And two years later when I said "I hate Science! I'm changing my major to Education!" she said " will be GREAT at that!", and she supported me. And later that year when I said "I am changing my major to Child and Family Studies" She get the idea. And finally, after 3 years, I changed my major BACK to Science she said, "you are so were always GREAT at science!" What a trooper.
  11. And when we told her that her lifelong dream of becoming a grandma was coming true, she cried. Then she made us swear we weren't teasing her, because that would be really mean. And then she cried a little bit more.
  12. And when Miles was born just after midnight, she made it to the hospital to be with us by noon the next day. And she stayed for almost two weeks, and took care of Miles, and took care of me.
  13. And she still answers the phone when I call her almost every day.
  14. And she taught me how to be a great mom

I could go ON, and ON, and ON. Yes...I'm sure if I just follow my mom, and do what she does, I will be WELL on my way to becoming what some would call an "elect lady."

Happy Red Letter Day Mom!! We love you!