Friday, November 27, 2009

November 27, 2009


It's so hard to believe November is almost gone. My anniversary is coming up...19 years...can you believe it? You were 19 when I got married.

Mom spent the day with you. She said that Dr. Thomas came to visit with and check on you. He's the doctor responsible for managing your pump. When you came out of surgery, they had you at a 125 dosage. Dr. Thomas bumped you up to a 175 dosage. He also checked your incision and said everything looks good. He will take off the bandage next week when he comes back and he will probably bump up the pump. That sounds funny! Bump up the pump. Reminds me of that song...pump up the volume, pump up the volume, pump up the volume, dance - dance ... Your welcome, now that song is stuck in you head...ha!

Mom said that she thinks the pain meds the nurses give you is making you sleepy. Your doing a lot of sleeping. They see you grimace or moan and their feeding you pain meds. They really care about you there and one nurse told mom that your a real gentlemen, she can just tell. She introduced you to her little girl (3 years old) one Saturday when Mickey and I had you out front. You told her little girl hi and then she acted shy. It was really sweet.

Love you Johnny! xo Jen

November 26, 2009



Mom came up to see you pretty early and stayed until I got there around 1:30 pm. She said when she got there your head was've been keeping it turned to the left. Your left hand was at your waist and your legs were bending a little. She said you ate strawberry applesauce.

When I got there, you were asleep so I sat next to your bed and looked at the Friday sales papers for the crazy shopping day after Thanksgiving. You woke up and pointed for me to come here. You were mumbling something I couldn't tell what you were trying to say so I gave you the magnets and you spelled "I'm hungry". I gave you some of the pumpkin pie I made you and you ate a few bites and then just rolled it around your tongue. I finally wiped it out of the your mouth because you wouldn't swallow it. I gave you some apple sauce and you ate a few bites of it but then you weren't interested. We watched some tv and looked at the sales papers. I put music on for you and we held hands and listened. Eventually you fell asleep and I left...Cody had to do a clinical at the hospital and he was getting off at 7 pm so we could have Thanksgiving dinner. I really wish you could hear all of his ER stories. I know you'd really get a kick out of them and just to see how much he's'd be proud.

Well, Happy Thanksgiving little brother! xo Jen

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November 25, 2009


Your dedicated mother spent the night with you last night. She wasn't sure how you would handle the pump in your side and was concerned that you may try to rub it. She said she didn't get a whole lot of sleep but that you did. That's really good! She said that you woke up hungry and kept saying eggs over and over until the eggs came and then you wouldn't eat them. Mom said that she asked you if you wanted some orange juice and then she said want some OJ. She said that you said "o" and then real loud "J". She said it was funny. You drank all the orange juice. You weren't interested in doing much other than sleeping. Mom had to run an errand to another doctors office so Mickey came on his lunch hour to sit with you. He said that your speech therapist came in and you weren't interested in doing anything but she did ask you who was visiting you and you mumbled something so she said for you to write it and you wrote Mickey...the clearest you've written anything so far. Of course Mickey took a picture and he's been telling everyone, Johnny wrote my name. He's very proud of your progress Johnny, we all are. We are all so excited to see how you advance with the pump. Beth your physical therapist said that your left arm is very loose and your left leg is bending a lot better.

Mom got your achilles tendon surgery consultation moved up to December 3rd at 4:15pm. Once the doctor sees you, we will set the appointment for your surgery and the nurse said the doctor would work with us in getting it done before the year is up. That's really good news. Then, Janine with Baylor will get approval for you to be taken there post op. They will do the surgery and then cast your feet and the next day they say you'll be able to stand on them. The doctor that did the pump surgery said that he feels strongly that you will be able to walk soon. I just want to scream, I'm so excited for you!!!

I'll see you tomorrow, after lunch. I made you a pumpkin pie. Love you! xo Jen

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009


You got off the ambulance this morning like an old pro! That's so sad that you've been in one enough times to have down the routine! You were wheeled into a room right away and didn't waste anytime telling whoever would listen that you were hungry. I asked the nurse if you could have some lemon swabs and she said sure, that'll be fine. Then, we just looked at each other until I said...could you get me some? She said, oh, we don't have any but if you do, feel free to give him some. What? Crazy! You were all set for surgery and they wheeled you into the operating waiting room. Mom let me sit with you. I think she could tell how nervous I was. When I sat down next to you and took your hand, you were sweating all over and moaning a little. I said Johnny are you nervous? You gave me a thumbs up. I said your going to be okay, you'll go to sleep and when you wake up we'll get you something to eat. Not long after that the doctor came in and we were talking about where the pump would go and how skinny you were and he asked me what I thought about putting in a smaller pump and I said, hold on....I can't make that decision. I wanted to scream MOMMA but I didn't, I just went and got her as fast as I could. When I got back, you looked very nervous. I was really wishing they had given you a little something to relax you...maybe it was me that was nervous!

While you were in surgery, we sat in the waiting room for what felt like forever! Mom was Mrs. Timex, looking at her watch and giving's been an hour...updates. Ha! We also could see inside the window through to the surgery office so she would say, oh here comes someone...never mind, it's not the doctor. Truth is, she was nervous too!

Your waiting visitors: Mom, Me, Mickey, Cody, Jackie, Dad, Diana, Robert, Brother Grady, Sandra.

Dr. Koneon came out and said that you did really good and that we could see you in about thirty minutes. By the time we got to your room, you were having your vitals taken and getting all situated. You were waking up from the anesthesia but it was definitely a slow process. To me you looked pale but by the time I left, you looked more like yourself.

Dr. Koneon decided to down size the pump for sure when he got into surgery and saw that you have absolutely no fat on your body. He said he's never seen anyone with so little fat. Hmmm, must suck...kidding! That's just the bitter sister with the other genes!! ha! The pump he put in was 20cc and half the size of the original one. This means that the pump will have to be refilled every 2-3 months instead of the 6 months we were originally told. But, it is the best thing for you. They put the pump on the right side of your belly button and ran the tube around your right side and along side your spine. He thinks he got the tube high enough to effect your arms. The pump sets under the skin like a blanket over a hockey puck, not like saran wrap, so the edges of the edges around the pump have room there. Any kind of rubbing or irritation can possibly move the pump although it is stitched to the fibrous tissue above the muscle. This is a concern and we will have to come up with a solution if you begin to mess with it. You did so good with the surgery, we could certainly feel the prayers that were being lifted up for you!

Shortly after Cody, Jackie and I left, the ambulance came and took you and mom back to Traymore. When I called to check on you, mom said that the nurse was hooking up your feeding tube...I'm sure that'll feel better, to get something in your tummy! I'm not positive, but I think mom is spending the night tonight because she's worried that you might mess with the pump because it's so new and it's starting to bruise. The nurse gave you some pain medication so that'll help you sleep, maybe if mom decides to spend the night, she can sleep too. Maybe I can talk her into spending the night at my house. In any event, you will see her smiling face when you wake up in the morning.

Love you Johnny! I'm so proud of you little brother!! xo Jen

Pictures of your Mary Stiles Visit:
Your ride...

Coming out of the ambulance

Before surgery

After surgery

The installed pump

Monday, November 23, 2009

November 23, 2009


Mom has spent all day with you. I'm sure she feels like I do right now...we have waited so long for you to have the surgery and now that it's here, I'm scared. I know this is the best shot you have at furthering your recovery and I have faith that the right decision was made. I'm just scared...I don't want you to be in pain. You have been through so much Johnny and you deserve this! You deserve for it to go right! You deserve for it to be a success!

I'll be praying for you tonight and tomorrow. I've sent out prayer requests for you. I have faith that your name will be lifted by many. I'll be praying for the doctors and nurses performing your surgery and taking care of you. I'll be praying for the ambulance driver and the paramedics. I'll be praying that your body accepts the foreign materials in you. I'll be praying that your recovery is fast and pain free.

I love you Johnny! xo Jen

Mom said that she took you outside to do some birdwatching today. Then she took you to the 2nd floor for therapy. You ate chocolate pudding and strawberry applesauce.
Mom said that your not running fever so we're ago for surgery tomorrow. Mom also said that she gave you a spiral and pen to draw with and when you were done, you took your pen and stuck it into the spiral...that is absolutely amazing! We take the ability to do these simple tasks for granted! I'm celebrating with you are amazing!

November 22, 2009


Mom came to visit with you after church. She said that Buddy and Stanley had been there to see you. Mom said that you had pudding today and that when she suctioned you she suctioned out cake. Then she found a note from your speech therapist that she had given you cake before mom got there. It sounds like she didn't suction you after she gave you cake...that's not good. With your surgery coming up on Tuesday, we need to prevent you from getting pneumonia. I'm sure mom will address that with her on Monday. Buddy called mom because he was concerned about how cold your room was. I'm praying along with everyone else that you get the surgery on Tuesday and that it's successful! There is no other option!

Love you!! Xo Jen

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November 21, 2009


Mickey and I came to see you today. When we walked in your room, you were sound asleep. I whispered in your ear, Hi Johnny and you eyes opened and you said hi. I took off your glove and got you all situated and then you acted like you wanted to write. I gave you pen and paper but couldn't understand what you were writing so I got your magnets. You spelled, my tummy hurts. I figured out that you were hungry. I'm not sure how true that is because you have a feeding tube but I know you enjoy eating. I fed you a whole jar of blueberries and apples and a whole small jar of turkey and gravy. You did really well because when I suctioned you there was nothing there.

A little later, you spelled, want pants. I said do you want me to put your pants on and you gave a thumbs up. Mickey and I put on your pants and you were ready to go for a walk. I think you associate your pants with the wheelchair and the wheelchair with Mickey and I. Anyway, it was very smart! We took you for a ride all downstairs and then all upstairs. You fell asleep. When we got back to your room, we put you back in bed but you wanted to leave your pants on.

We had a really good visit with you!! xo Jen

Right after we left, Buddy came by to visit. After Buddy left, mom came by. You had visitors all day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

November 20, 2009


Well, I'm full of information for you today.

Mom is officially retired. While she loved her job very much, she feels like she needs to be with you and help in your recovery and therapy. You know when it comes to mom, once she makes up her mind - that's it! Another story: I was doing something, introducing mom & Robert or something to someone...that parts sketchy. Anyway, I said Mom works and Roberts retarded...what I meant to say is mom works and Roberts retired. Well, mom has teased me about that for years. So, she sent out an email to a few people about her not working and where she could be reached and on it she said I'm officially retarded.... Crazy mother you have! I didn't even try to explain to the list of people she sent that to, they can just think she had a typo! Ha!

Mom said that the lady came out to evaluate you for the touch screen computer. She did approve you for it and said that until you got one she was going to give you a loaner. I'm so excited to check it out! I hope you get the loaner before your surgery on Tuesday!!

Cody had another clinical...he worked at Charlton Hospital in the ER. He was really nervous but he did really good! It's so exciting to hear all the stories of what he saw and did. He had to transport a man to the morgue, he said that was really disturbing and nothing like you see on CSI. I'm so proud of that kid! I know you are too...can't wait until you two can catch up.

Love you!! xo Jen

Email from Leroy:
Hi Jennifer,

As the Holiday season descends upon us rapidly, complete with all the pressures and deep rooted emotions tied to the celebrations, I can't help but pray for you and your family.
The circumstances surrounding Johnny's rehabilitation are an easier pill to swallow for a loving and caring family member such as myself, who finds it difficult to be there emotionally from so far away.
When I log onto Johnny's Blog and have the opportunity and the privilege to be part of his recovery I am overcome with emotion.. Although saddened by his accident I have complete belief in his recovery. Not just because of his obvious determination to come back to us completely but also from the love and support he receives from You, His Mother, His Daughter, His Father and rest of your entire family.

Although most everyone has witnessed incidents and watched stories similar to Johnny's. We never really consider the chance that we could find ourselves as part of the story. When it hits home and you find yourself connected in this way your life has changed instantly. As mine has!

Watching Johnny's dedication to his rehabilitation and his family's resolve, love, determination and attention to every detail that is important to his recovery has inspired me to be a better Husband, Father, Son, Brother, Grandpa, Cousin, Uncle, Nephew, Grandson and Friend!

I am proud of Johnny, you and your Mom and the rest of your family and consider myself lucky to know you and to be part of your family.

I Love You Jennifer. Please give Johnny my Love and tell him that I believe in him and look forward to having a conversation with him one day.

All My Love , your cousin,


November 19, 2009


Mom said that you were trying to tell her something today and you were getting frustrated so she gave you the magnets and you spelled, "I needed to" and then you became frustrated, so she gave you the little computer and you typed out "explain to u" and then again, you were getting frustrated so she gave you pen and paper and you wrote "my"...the last word was a guessing game but when mom said the word you gave her a thumbs up. What you were trying to say to her was "I needed to explain to you my needs". Amazing! So, the next challenge was to find out what you needs were. So, she asked you and you picked up the tile that mom had taped a word said thirsty. Mom said, Johnny are you thirsty? You answered with a thumbs up.

This story is funny to me because you could have just said I'm thirsty. Instead you told her you needed to explain your needs. I told Mickey that you would say do not instead of don't ... it's so cool to see you coming back!!

Love you!! Xo Jen

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 18, 2009


Mom found you a doctor to do the Achilles Tendon surgery that you need. This doctor is in-network but, they are booked until the first of the year. Mom is on the cancellation call list so, we'll see. Baylor Rehab has said that they will accept you back after you have the Baclofen pump and the Achilles Tendon surgeries. They said that they want to make the most out of the rehab days you have left.

Future prayer needs:
Once Johnny has worn out his welcome Rehab wise, my mom is planning on taking him home. She has already purchased a hospital bed and she's got plans to add onto their house and have an area large enough to accommodate Johnny, exercise and rehab type equipment and a restroom/bathing room, large enough to accommodate Johnny and his wheelchair. Please pray with us that insurance provides the equipment needed to continue Johnny's therapy, and that we think of everything in the planning stages of this project...once Johnny's home, it'll be difficult to add something.
Thank you for your prayers : )

Johnny, today mom gave you pudding. Afterwards, you spelled with your magnetic letters, "that was good".

I came to see you tonight. When I walked in, you were laying comfy in your bed. It looked like they just got you ready for bed. I cranked up your bed and got you all ready for some pudding. You ate about 6 bites of pudding and about the same in coke. You acted like you weren't interested in the food anymore so I cleaned you up and you grunted loud. I turned around and you were telling me to come here and you were trying to tell me something. I said can you write it and you said yes. Well, I couldn't read what you were writing so I gave you the magnets and it took you about 10 minutes but you spelled "I want some lunch". Well, I am my mothers daughter! I gave you some more. While I was giving you more "lunch", Diana walked in with mashed potatoes and you ate those up...they were still warm! Diana stayed a while and then left and I stayed until 8 pm and we watched some TV until you fell asleep and I snuck out. You looked so peaceful when I left.

Love you!! xo Jen

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 17, 2009


Well, Everything looks bright and new in the morning!!! Johnny is scheduled for surgery!!! Praise God!

Mary Shiels Hospital
3515 Howell Street
Dallas, TX 75204

Tuesday - November 24th
9:30 am (lasting 2-3 hours)

After surgery, Johnny will be taken back to Traymore where the pump will be regulated. Once that is done, he will be able to go back to Baylor Rehab and start working on his future!! Praise God, Praise God!!

Thank you everyone for the prayers...

Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me. Psalm 86:6-7

***Something else wonderful that happened...Johnny's speech therapist told mom that the state will pay for Johnny to have a touch screen laptop if they feel like he will benefit from it. They will send someone out to evaluate him and then get him set up with one. Isn't that wonderful! He will be able to communicate with us just by touching a screen. We will know for sure his hurts, discomforts, what he needs or wants. I'm thrilled! It's amazing to me how much is available for patients in Johnny's condition...they just don't share the information. I am really pushing my mom (who is an excellent writer) to put together a book or pamphlet with information we've compiled to help others with TBI.

Mom brought you some mashed potatoes and you ate them. She said that you started to fall asleep so she put the potatoes up. You woke up and you kept saying "I", "I", mom said can you spell what your trying to say for me. You said "yes". You spelled "I want to eat". So, no big surprise...she gave you more!

Love you! xo Jen

P.S. This reminds me of when you were little and you would sit in your highchair and bang on the table "una eat", "una eat" would say it over and over until you had upset yourself and Mom could never feed you quick enough. By the time she got to you with your food, you were so mad you would sling it off into the floor! Mom said years later she wonders why she didn't just tide you over with a cookie while she made your dinner... ha!

Hi Jennifer, I finally found your e mail address, I have been following you blog , What a great love you have for your Johnny, I have started my own crusaide of Prayer groups for him, lots of my friends are following the Blog, and we all are sending prayers.
I spend a lot of time reading and crying with you, I admire you a lot.
God Bless you all my Dear.

I remembered something I wanted to say to you. You mentioned your Mother writing a book to help others, Jennifer, I think you have already done that, your Blog, is simply remarkable, and it will be a testimony to others, you need to do what ever it takes to turn it into a book.
It is the most honest, loving thing I have ever read.
God Bless,

From Valerie:

November 16, 2009


Well, today was a hard day! Mom tried all day to get some kind of information about you having surgery tomorrow but had no luck. The girl at the doctor's office was still out and apparently didn't put your surgery on the schedule. We found out that insurance did approve but no body let us know. Mom was really upset. She was visiting with you during her many phone calls and she was crying. You motioned for her to come to you and you took her hand and pulled her to you. She gave you a hug.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7b

I know your coming back to us, we just have to be patient and trust that God is in control and that He loves you more than we can imagine.

Mom said that you were working with your little computer and she told you to spell cat. You kept balling up your hand and trying to push the right letters and you were getting frustrated...she said you took your thumb and pressed hard C - A - T.
And then you were done. She said it was funny because you knew what you wanted to do you just couldn't get your hand to cooperate. That's why this pump is so important.

Love you Johnny!! xo Jen

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November 15, 2009


When mom came in to see you today, you were sitting up in the chair. Actually you were asleep in the chair and when she walked in you heard her and woke up. You were in the chair for about 2 hours...which is really good! She had the nurse put you back in bed and gave you some chicken noodle dinner and lemon pudding. I'm going to have to try the lemon just love it! I am planning on making you a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Your speech therapist said you could have it but not the crust. It's your favorite pie! Mom said that when she walked into your room it was like a meat locker. She wrote a nasty note on the board about your brain injury and how it makes you sweat but that it doesn't mean your hot. If you start sweating they can turn the fan on but they don't need to turn the air conditioner as cold as it will go. She wrote that they are going to end up getting you sick. You go mom! She would freeze her butt off before she told anyone that they made her uncomfortable but watch out if you mess with her kids! Mom said that y'all watched the cowboys together. She said that Romo was sacked so many times he was probably embarrassed. I wondered why I kept hearing Mickey yell at the TV. Mom said that you wrote your name a couple of times with pen & paper but that you weren't interested in typing or spelling with the magnetic letters. I bet you were tired after the day you had yesterday! We are still praying that the insurance gives approval before Tuesday for you to get the pump...I'm not sure when the next appointment will be if we miss that one. I'm trusting in God to work it all out for us.
Love you!! Xo Jen

P.S. Do you remember when we were kids and we would stand up in the back seat of mom's car and just sing and sway down the road. We loved the song "boney fingers". It went like this: You work your fingers to the bone, what do you get, boney fingers, boney fingers. Driving on those windy roads, griping the seat and each other leaning into the curves singing that song. We were so cute!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 14, 2009


Mickey, Jackie and I came to see you this afternoon. You were having therapy with your OT. It was the first time this lady has worked with you and I know you were feeling like I's like you have to train the new people every time. I wanted to say...STOP! Just let me do it!!! After your therapy was over, I gave you pudding and coke at your request. I tinted the pudding blue and after you ate, I suctioned blue! That's great! Mickey was dying to take you outside, it was so pretty today. We got your sweat pants on you and got you in the chair and headed out back. The last time we went out back, I got ate up with mosquitoes...through my shirt and on my back...isn't that an odd place to get bit. Anyway, I was worried that I might have the same fate but Mickey assured me that it would be fine. Don't tell him this, but he was right! We took you outside and you and Mickey pointed out doves and then a lonely squirrel came out to taunt us...I would get close enough to focus the camera and then off he'd go!

When we went inside, I asked you if you wanted to go out front or back to bed. You said out front. We found a shady area (not that hard to do, the trees are huge). Jackie started climbing the tree and chasing these two squirrels. You were very alert watching her. It was really sweet.

Jackie took a few Daddy breaks in between climbing the tree and chasing the squirrels.

After a while, Mickey told me that he thought you were ready to go inside. So, I told Jackie to get out of the tree so we could go inside. She didn't listen to me. So, Mickey told her, "Jackie your daddy is ready to go inside, come on". Well, you were listening because you pointed at her and did your finger in the come here motion. I wanted to laugh, it was funny...but why was it funny, you are her daddy! I think that I'm just so thrilled with every single little thing you do. I know your in there and I know it's just a matter of time! I have faith! Which leads me to the next story...the nurses aid you had today is precious! I don't remember her name but she is so good to you!! She told me today that she is so proud of you. She has a grandson that is 18 now but had an accident when he was 14 and it was a traumatic brain injury. He's 18 years old but mentally he is compared to a 7 month old. She said that he is the happiest boy but that they are unable to communicate with him. She said that her family would give anything to be able to communicate with him the way that you communicate with us. I was sad for her and it made me realize just how common TBI is and how many times I've taken my own brain for granted. I know Cody's had several concussions through sports and just being a boy and I never even knew that TBI could happen to him. With Thanksgiving coming up sooner than we think, I just want to say that I'm so thankful that the Lord spared you and that no matter how hard the climb for you, I will be there every step of the way. I am so very proud of you and if this accident of yours has taught me anything, it's how much I love you and what's really important.

Love you so much little brother!! xo Jen

Email from Valerie:
I know everyone is expressing their appreciation for you keeping us updated with the blog. I love your stories and your details. I just wanted to share with you that I can't sleep and I'm sitting at my computer doing my daily "Johnny blog" and those pictures of Johnny with Jackie are priceless along with the story of him pointing at her. It makes me cry! Jenn, he has come so far and he couldn't have done it without your support. You and Nancy (and I'm sure others) have cared for him in a way that most families wouldn't or couldn't! It makes me not only love Johnny more but you and Nancy for giving up everything to take care of him!

I love you,

November 13, 2009


We still haven't heard from the insurance company regarding surgery for Tuesday. The lady at the doctor's office that helps to set up these things took today off...How dare she have a life! Does she not understand what you've been through?

You didn't have a very good day today. You didn't feel like writing or talking. You complained about your left arm a lot. Mom put your splint cast on for an hour thinking you'd sleep with it on but you just picked at it and moaned. You would point at mom and then with your point finger, tell her to come to you. Then you'd point to the cast - you were telling her to take it off. You are clever!

Mom said you had apple sauce with blue berries - you liked it very much. You also worked on your vowels.

Jackie had a friend spend the night tonight. I'm sure it'll be a long night!

Love you!! XO Jen

Email from Valerie:
Hey Jenn! Will you please tell Johnny I said Hi! I've been sick with what seemed to be sinuses, then a cold...finally went to the doctor today after 4-6 weeks of this mess. I hope to be well next week to come see him. I love reading the updates and almost spit my coke out when I read the jellybean story...tooooooooooooooooooooo funny!!!

Tell Jackie Smack Hi

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009


Cody and I came to see you this morning and when we walked in to your room we were greeted with a sign from Karen. She shared with us what you had for breakfast. They tinted your food green and when they suctioned you, there was no green!! Great job! When Cody and I came to your bed, the red cap from your trach was at your feet. Apparently you had a really productive cough and it flew right off. The nurse mentioned to mom that this could mean you are becoming closer to the point where you don't need the trach. I know that'll make you happy!

I don't know if anyone caught this in the previous paragrah, but they tinted your eggs green. Someone has a Dr. Seuss sense of humor!

Cody and I talked to you and wrote with you and worked on your computer with you...then we decided to take you for a walk around the grounds. We got you in the wheel chair and all situated and headed down the hall when we ran into your PT/OT, Beth and Allie. They were coming to do therapy. Since you were in your chair, you were able to go to the second floor therapy room where you stacked and unstacked cones, did some stretching and fished marbles out of putty and then put them back in. You did really good and seemed to enjoy it! I know you enjoyed being out of the bed for a while.
Stacking and unstacking cones:

Stretching with bands:

Removing marbles from putty:

Putting marbles back in putty:

When Cody and I got you back to your bed, you were wore out! We got you all comfy and you fell asleep. Cody and I had to leave but mom was on her way up there.

Mom said she gave you some bananas and you said more after each bite. I know your ready to eat, nearly 6 months on a feeding tube can't be fun! Mom said you also had some Dr. Pepper. I wonder how you'd do on mom's ice tea??? You remember how delicious it is, don't you? Isn't it funny how the most simple things taste better when mom makes them.

Mom said that she was across the room and you motioned for her to come here. She asked you what you needed and you pointed to the magazine she had layed there for you to look at, thinking you could scoot the pages over with the hand. You wanted mom to turn the pages for you. Such a brat!! You have no trouble getting what you want, huh?

Love you!! XO Jen

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 11, 2009


Thank you, thank you to all our veterans!! God bless you and your service!!!


Praying for you this morning as you travel to your appointment.

I heard back from Mom after your appointment. The doctor said that it was just a formality because you did so well with the trial. He said that depending on the insurance, you can have the surgery as early as Tuesday of next week. Great news!!
Now, we just have to pray that the insurance comes through with a quick approval.

When you got back from your appointment, your speech therapist gave you a fruit chew to didn't like it. She also tried a cookie and you didn't care for it either. Mom said that she gave you a choice between Dr. Pepper and Coke and you chose coke this time.

It's great to see you progressing! Keep up the hard work!

Love you! xo Jen

November 10, 2009


It was so good to spend time with you this morning. I gave you some lemon swabs and we worked on your swallowing some. You seem to enjoy the lemon swabs. I had a bit of an argument with the nurse because I told her I was going to take you outside for a little bit and she told me that in 30 minutes you'd be getting your meds. I said well, then he'll have 30 minutes to be out of this bed. I don't think I hid my feelings for her very well. I took you outside and you watched the little birds flying around, two squirrels playing chase and the leaves falling from the trees (which was very peaceful). When we got back to your room, it was time for your meds and breathing treatment and then Beth and Allie with PT & OT came to do your stretching. You were very cooperative but you kept your eyes closed the whole time. I got a call from Jackie's school that the water was out and they were having early release and I had to go pick her up. That cut our visit short. You were asleep when I left and mom was on her way up there so you weren't alone for very long.

Mom said that she gave you lemon pudding and after each bite you said "more". You ate the whole cup of pudding and enjoyed every minute of it!! Mom said that Karen, your speech therapist, is going to give you eggs in the morning. You also had Dr. Pepper today.

Mom bought you a type writer (it's one for kids but the keys are bigger then the lap top we tried last week). You spelled Johnny, mom and somewhere. Mom said that you didn't like it at first but then you started coming around.

Diana came to visit around 5pm so mom went on home.

You have an early appointment tomorrow. You need your rest : )

Love you! XO Jen

P.S. I remember when we were little, mom took us to the doctor to get our shots. It was your turn and you were terrified. You got on the floor and crawled under the chairs and you were holding on to the legs screaming "help me", "help me". Mom was mortified! The nurse was not amused! I, however, still think it's funny!

Email from Leroy:
Hi Jennifer,

I just wanted to drop you a line and tell you and your family that I am thinking of all of you and that I love you guys very much. Tell your Mom and Johnny that i said hello and give them my love.

Love Leroy

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Prayer Request

Please pray for my brother, Johnny Holub, Wednesday morning 11/11 at 8:30 am. He has a consultation appointment with the doctor that will be performing the surgery for the Baclofen pump. We feel like this appointment is just protocol because he's already had the trial and it was successful. What we are wanting prayer for specifically is a slot to open up for Johnny to receive the pump as soon as possible. He has started to lose the progress he gained while in Baylor Rehab...meaning, he's becoming stiff in his arms and legs. He only has so many days that insurance will allow him to be in rehab and the most benefit will be achieved after he receives the pump. That's why he's at Traymore right now. But, as soon as he receives the pump he will be sent back to Baylor Rehab.

God has blessed us in so many ways through out Johnny's recovery and we praise Him for His many blessings!!! Thank you in advance for lifting up my brother! Jennifer Smith

Matthew 7:7-8
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Monday, November 9, 2009

November 9, 2009


Mom came to visit while you were having your physical therapy. Your PT and OT therapist were stretching you out. Mom commented that your not acting like your tooth is bothering you at all. That is such a relief! She said that she put your splint cast on for an hour and you pinched and complained the whole time. I wish you could be completely pain free ... I know you must be very tired of this by now!

I'm planning on spending the day with you tomorrow as soon as I take Cooper to school.

Love you!! Xo Jen

November 8, 2009


Mickey and I came to visit right after church. You were sound asleep when we got there and it was nice to see you so peaceful! You soon woke up and we realized that your shirt was completely wet so we changed your sheet and pillow cases and got you all situated. Then I rinsed out your mouth where your tooth was pulled and gave you some lemon swabs. I suctioned you after that. I asked you if you wanted to write and you indicated that you did. You were tired, so your writing wasn't very legible.

Mom, Robert and Jackie came in a few hours later. Mom gave you some Dr. Pepper with a spoon and you had about a 1/4 of a can. You did really well, when she suctioned you, you had no DP in your lungs!! Your beginning to strengthen your swallowing muscles!! That's soon as you can eat and swallow with no problems, they'll feel like it's time to remove the trach. I know that will be great for you!

These are pictures of mom giving you Dr. Pepper. After she gives you a spoonful, she puts her finger on your throat just above your Adam's apple to make sure that you swallow before she gives you another spoonful. You are doing really well!!

Mom asked you what was hurting you and you spelled on the board, "me arm". You got some meds and the nurse changed out your feeding tube and then you were sleepy. It was so nice to see you sleeping without hearing you moan...I guess having the tooth pulled was the right decision!

Mom said that before she left she was having you write and you spelled "I need some help" She said what do you need help with Johnny? And you said Reading. Then you were done. You didn't want to write anymore. Mom said she gave you the magnetic letters and asked you do you want to spell some more words? And you put and "I" down. Then a "D", then an "o", then a "U", then a "T". You lined them all up, turning the "U" upside down. Your answer to the question mom asked...Do you want to spell some more words was "I dont". Ha! Ha! I just laughed when she told me that! How clever you are!!

We think that you were needing help with your reading because your left eye is beginning to open and the opthomologist said that when this happens, you could possibly have double vision. You will have to start wearing a pirate patch if it continues to bother you.

Love you! Xo Jen

Saturday, November 7, 2009

November 7, 2009


I'm guessing it was spa day at Traymore. Mom gave you a shampoo, shave, cleaned your ears and nose, cut your hair....she said that with the hair cut you look more like yourself. I bet it felt good...well, you probably hated all the fuss!

Mom said that you had part of a hash brown but didn't care for it so the speech therapist had to fish it out of your mouth. You also had pudding, which you liked and Dr. Pepper. Mom said that when they suctioned you, there was no pudding but there was some Dr. Pepper in your lungs. She did say that you had just gotten your meds and you were wanting to sleep and do nothing else. That could be part of the reason.

Love you!! xo Jen

P.S. Cody got a deer today. 8 point, 17 inch spread. I know your proud of him and I know you'll get a kick out of the fact that he shot it out of Mickey's stand! Ha!
I'll post pictures when I can. Love you!

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 6, 2009


Johnny's friends: If it's been a while since you've seen Johnny, you would be amazed at the progress he's making. He's trying very hard to communicate. Please feel free to visit, I'm sure that he'll love seeing you!!!

I brought Cooper to visit you today. You held his hand for a while and he just watched you. It was really sweet. I brought Cody's laptop, because it's light weight and I thought that if would be easier for you to communicate but, you didn't do so well on it. You would put your whole fist on the keys and then have a line of letters that made no sense. Rows and rows of letters. I could sense you were frustrated so I put the laptop up. You kept pointing to your tooth and moaning so I called mom and told her that it was really bothering you. She arranged for you to see a dentist and Traymore arranged the ambulance to take you there. The dentist just pulled the tooth when he located which one was giving you the trouble. Mom said that you had a rough night of it and she didn't want to leave you until it clotted and you were asleep...that took some time. She finally decided to spend the night with Jackie and I (Mickey and Cody) were at the deer lease. I really hope that pulling that tooth gives you some relief!

Love you! xo Jen

P.S. You did try a french fry today, with Dr. Pepper. You did okay with the Dr. Pepper but not so good with the french fry. Mom said that when they suctioned you, there was pieces of french fry in your lungs. Don't give up, I'm sure that with the tooth pain gone, you'll be able to concentrate more on your therapy!!

Cooper visiting

Your PT & OT stretching you out

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 5, 2009


Mom said that during your speech therapy you had sherbert and coca-cola. WHAT?
The speech therapist said that the carbonation in the soda would make you swallow. You sucked the coke through a straw but were getting too much so they gave it to you by spoon. They said that tomorrow you'll be getting a french fry!!!

Mom said that she was about to leave and put your glove on. You were trying to get it off with your teeth. She said, you can't take that glove off and you said why? She said because, you'll pull out your trach. You dropped your gloved hand and a few seconds later, had it in your teeth again, trying to pull it off. So, mom called me to tell on you and I said let me talk to him. I told you that I thought you should be allowed to take it off. I said maybe we should make mom wear the glove a while. Mom took the phone from you and asked me what I said to you. I said why? And she said because he's hitting me with his glove. Not exactly what I said to do but I guess you made your point! Ha!

Love you!! xo Jen

November 4, 2009


We finally got all our ducks in a row and your scheduled for a consult with Dr. Conen on Wednesday at 8:30am. He will evaluate you and determine if he can do the surgery for the pump. You've already had a successful trial so, we feel like this is just protocol. Once the doctor says yes, then we'll wait on insurance to approve the procedure and then you'll be all set.

Mom asked you today who you want to see and you spelled Sucie. We are assuming you spelled Susie, a lady you work with. Then you spelled "When is PTO" mom took the "PTO" off and asked you to finish the sentence again and you spelled the same thing, "When is PTO". She said, are you worried about your job and you said yes.

Mickey, Jackie and I came to see you tonight and pick up my car. You were sound asleep when we got there. I felt bad about waking you up but I wanted to talk to you.

Your nurse came in and gave you meds and your tooth was really bothering you. I put orajel on a q-tip and you took it from me and put it on your back tooth. Mickey and I just stared in amazement. You bit down on that q-tip. After your meds started to kick in, we left.

Love you Johnny! xo Jen

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 3, 2009


Does the world even realize what it's been missing since you had your injury?

Today is week 20 ... 140 days

I walked into your room and had an overwhelming urge to cry. You looked so peaceful and you were listening to "you alone are holy". You opened your eyes when the music stopped. I didn't realize it was a cd. We watched cartoons for a little bit but you moaned the whole time. I wonder if you know your moaning or why you do it part of the brain injury? I need to look that up.

You look real handsome in your blue shirt. I brought you a few color pages from Cooper's color book. You seemed interested for about 5 minutes. I think you are sleepy.

Mom is so funny, I just found a drawing of a person she made. She said she asked you where you hurt and gave you a pen and told you to mark it on the person she drew. She will try anything to communicate with you. There is no limit to her love for you. Reminds me of when I first started my ladies thing and she crawled up in the bed with me and drew a diagram of what was happening. I was mortified! But, I'll never forget it!!

Melinda came by to visit on her lunch hour.

Okay, this is embarrassing but, it shows just how amazing you are. I gave you pen and paper and you were writing and I was writing in my journal. You groaned loud so I watched you and you wrote "help me". I said did you write help me? I said write it again and you wrote "help me". I said what do you need help with? You pointed to your man pants. I said, do you hurt? You didn't answer. I opened your man pants to check what you needed help with and you started scratching. I'm guessing with the layers of sheet and man pants, you couldn't reach the itch!

Your nurse just came in and treated your mouth with a preventative medicine that you must like, because you were very cooperative. Then she gave you a muscle relaxer and a breathing treatment. After you coughed a few times, you went sound asleep. I turned your CD back on and it's so peaceful. I love that with all your going through, your still able to have peaceful moments! God was at work when you were brought here. Reminds me of the song by Garth Brooks, Thank God for unanswered prayers! Proving as always, He is in control and He knows what's best!
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Your nurse was so funny today, she said sometimes she puts flavored lip gloss on you so you can taste it. She told me not to be alarmed if we came to visit and you smelled like lip gloss. I thought that was sweet that she thought enough to go that extra mile. But, I couldn't help but picture a kissing bandit that pops in to patients rooms and plants a fruity kiss on her unsuspecting victim before swooping in to the next room. Who was that fruit laced kissing bandit? Ha! I'm sure you wouldn't mind though!

Mom said that she's going to have to take her candy corn home because you are obsessed with it! She said you point at it and that you spelled corn on your magnetic board. She gave you a small taste and it broke into two pieces and she had to fish it out of your mouth. Serves her right for taunting you!

Wow, that reminds me of another story...are you sick of my stories? Actually, I have two stories - both about mom!
1st Story:
Mom and I used to work together off Lemmon Avenue several years ago. Actually, it's right up the road from Traymore where you are now. We would ride to work together. Well, mom was obcessed with these jolly rancher jelly beans and she had just opened a bag and was eating them. She offered me some and I said no, I couldn't stand jelly beans and these really didn't smell good. So, she started blowing jolly rancher jelly bean breath in my direction. Okay - I'm driving and she was brave. I very calmly rolled down my window, grabbed her jelly beans and dropped them out the window of the moving car. She's sitting there with her jelly bean coated mouth hanging open and all she can say is...I can't believe you just did that!

2nd Story:
You probably remember this but it's still funny. We lived in San Diego in an okay part of town. You were 5 and I was 7. It was Halloween and as a rule, kids from rougher parts of town would trick or treat in our neighborhood because the candy seemed better to them. Anyway, we had been trick or treating and you were sitting on the front porch checking out your candy when these mean older boys took it from you and ran down the street. Well, Mom went and got a bat and put it by the front door in case they came back or something else happened. So, we handed out candy until we ran out and then turned off the porch light while Dad went to the store for more candy. While he was gone, these boys rang out door bell and when mom told them we were out of candy, they started throwing rocks and eggs at our house. So, what does mom do you might ask...she picks up the bat and chases them down the street. Lord only knows what would have happened if she had caught up with them. Fortunately, they out ran her! Can you imagine dads face if he had come back from the store, driving up our street and saw mom running with a bat after some boys. That didn't happen but it would have been priceless!

Louiville slugger - - - $15
Halloween Candy - - - - $10
Watching your mom run after Halloween hoolagins - - - $ PRICELESS!!!

Mom came to see you as soon as she could get off work. For a woman whose retired, she sure works a lot! Diana came a while later and told mom to go on home so she did. Mom got almost to I35 when her car died on Mockingbird. She had cars lined up and honking when Aunt Maggie called her on her cell phone to talk. Mom told her that she was broke down on Mockingbird and cars were honking at her. Aunt Maggie said, I'll tell you what you do, you go up to the car honking and say, I'll stand here and honk your horn for you if you'll go fix my car! Ha! I thought that was so funny! Mickey picked mom up and they got a tow truck to take her car to the Ford dealership to get it fixed. I'm thankful mom left early, with it getting darker earlier, it could have been real dangerous for her! That God! He's always looking out for us!!

Love you!! xo Jen

Here are some things you wrote today and a few things you drew: