Author Archives : DIANEMP356

About DIANEMP356

I am Aaron Wood's mother and that's the most important fact about me!

It Just Keeps Getting Better

Yesterday and today Aaron had physical therapy at Hershey Med. Ctr.  Gina took him yesterday, I took him today.   He was in the stander yesterday, had a little bit of difficulty keeping his blood pressure up; but overall it was a good session.  He did discover yesterday that when he has a really strong muscle spasm, one that makes his hands stand up, he is able to move his index finger…..on both hands!    Awesome stuff!  (Today, during a spasm, he was able to move his middle finger on one of his hands as well.  Only saw that once, so we’ll keep looking for that!!)

Today at physical therapy Aaron didn’t get to stand up in the stander;  but that’s OK, because he experienced something very exciting and encouraging….he was lying on his back on a mat and the therapist was having him try to move different muscles in his legs and feet and he was able to move both of his feet outward toward the walls, then back in again.   A couple of times!   The therapist was impressed;  I (and his Aunt Deb who joined us today) was overwhelmed with excitement and emotion and even Aaron let go over some of his reservation and was excited!     (Aaron is afraid to be overly optomistic, so to get him to say he’s excited ,or to show it, is a major undertaking.   But it happened today!)

Aaron continues to work hard on his therapy and we are seeing the fruits of his efforts.    These movements he’s been experiencing really fuel his desire to work even harder.  Please continue to pray for him and stay tuned to the blog for further updates on his progress!    With our prayers and Aaron’s determination, great things have happened and will continue to do so!

Aaron’s Life Continues to Change

I had hoped Aaron might let his “faithful readers” know this, but he hasn’t.  Aaron, I hope you don’t mind me giving this information, but I feel it’s become necessary in that people are still making reference (understandably) to Jaime and Tory.   Aaron and Jaime are no longer together.   Some of you may have figured this out due to pictures of Jaime being removed from those that appear across the top of the blog page. 

So now Aaron is moving on (and doing very well at that, I might add).  He can now focus harder on “rehabbing” and gettting stronger.  All things happen for a reason….and it’s not for us to understand!   Enough said.


A few of you have contacted me to find out what happened to the fundraiser that was to be held at Ski Roundtop.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, we had to cancel it.  It was sort of arranged last minute and there were details that needed to be worked out with Ski Roundtop which just didn’t seem to happen.  This fund raiser was being organized by a friend of mine at work and try as hard as he could, he just couldn’t get things worked out.  Sorry to anybody who was interested in attending.  As soon as I knew this was being canceled, we had the info removed from the blog, but I didn’t get a chance to let everybody know what happened until today.  So sorry!   Please continue to check Aaron’s blog for another fundraiser you might want to participate in!    We appreciate your interest in attending any of Aaron’s fundraisers!

Valentine’s Day Weekend

Aaron had physical therapy on Friday at Hershey Med. Ctr., which went very well.   They stood him up in the standing machine again.  The first time they put him up, his face got a little gray and he felt a bit nauseous, so they sat him back down.  We applied some cold compresses, waited a little bit and tried putting him up again.  This time it went very well.  He was able to tolerate standing up and did so for several minutes.  The therapist then moved him to a mat and we sat him up on the edge of the mat.   She positioned his arms out behind him on the mat, so that he was putting some of his weight on them.  She then had him rock from side to side using the muscles he has control of, in his shoulders and upper arms.  He accomplished it with no problem.  In fact, she was able to let go of him, and with no support, he could sit up and rock from left to right.  I was very impressed with my boy!  So, we continue with PT and hope that when we get to Kennedy-Krieger in the first week of March that he is stronger and able to take whatever they throw his way! 

I’m not sure if Aaron will want to post any details on the blog about his weekend or not, but I’ll just tell you a little bit about it!

Aaron spent the weekend with Jaime and Tory at Jaime’s parent’s house in Malvern.  I drove him there Saturday and picked him up Sunday.  Of course, it’s never enough time, but he really seemed to enjoy himself, as he always does when he’s with his ladies (which doesn’t include me, of course, I was merely the chauffeur).   

God was with us this weekend, because after Sam (my husband) and I dropped Aaron off in Elizabethtown Sunday night, we headed for home and a few miles into the drive, our transmission went out!  I am just so grateful that didn’t happen with Aaron in the van!    Thanks to Aaron’s dad, Greg (a.k.a Woody), who came to our rescue and drove us home to Hummelstown. 

I also want to mention the wonderful fundraiser held for Aaron at the Middletown Moose on Saturday night.  It ran so smoothly, everybody seemed to have a nice time.  Thank you to everyone involved in setting it up and also to everybody who attended.  It is so heartwarming to see so many people show up to support my son.  It makes me proud to know that he is loved by so many people!

OK, Aaron, if you want to give us any more details about your weekend with Jaime, I am SURE people would like to hear about it.  The ball’s in your court!


What a day!  Aaron and his dad and step-mom (Greg and Gina for those of you who might not know names) arrived at Lancaster General Hospital at 10:00 AM today for the trach removal.  They waited and waited and then found out that the doctor wasn’t going to get to the hospital until after his office hours.   Greg had to leave around 1:00 or 2:00 to go to work; Gina and Aaron just stuck around and waited and waited some more.  Aaron’s Aunt Den and I got to the hospital around 2:30 and we ALL continued to wait.  Finally around 5:00 or so, the doctor showed up, explained what he was going to do, and did it!  Aaron had his trach removed, sitting in his wheelchair, while the three of us watched.  It happened so quickly, it was amazing. The doctors decided not to insert a smaller trach, but  to just remove it and observe  him overnight.  So that’s what was done.  Aaron now has a small hole, about the size of the tip of my little finger, where the trach was.   No stitches needed, just a bandage over the hole which will just close eventually.  Aaron did want a picture of the trach to put on the blog, we’ll see what happens with that!  Stay tuned! 

His spirits were especially high tonight.  He has waited for this day for some time.  There were some people along the way who told him he might not be able to go without using the ventilator at night and also those who thought he may have to keep the trach.  As long as tonight goes well, he’ll have proven them wrong.  AND I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     

Well, that’s about it for now.   Things are looking up for Aaron and are going to continue to do so, I just feel it.  Please continue to pray for him and his recovery.  Thanks for sharing in his journey!

Diane (Aaron’s mom)

Preparing to go home

Aaron’s Aunt Deb was with Aaron this morning and he was awake and alert.  I arrived around 1:00 and found Aaron was STILL wide awake and alert.  That was wonderful.  He had a visitor today around lunch time, April Coble.  April touts herself as being Aaron’s “biggest fan”  because she faithfully attends/assists with as many fundraisers as possible. April’s highschool reunion was recently held where she spoke of Aaron and his accident.  Money was raised at the reunion and will be donated  to Aaron’s Journey.    April, we appreciate all that you do!   Actually, we appreciate ALL OF YOU;  those who attend the fundraisers, those who haven’t been able to attend but still find a way to participate, the local businesses who have so graciously donated gifts for the raffles held at the fundraisers, the business owners who held the fundraisers,  those who send good thoughts Aaron’s way, those that pray for his recovery, those that send cards and gifts, those that visit.  We appreciate everybody who checks this blog and passes the word on about Aaron.    I could go on and on but I won’t.  Oh, I guess I did.  Sorry, I was on a roll!

As the days wind down at Select, we will be busy preparing to take Aaron home.  Today, Gina and I started training on the ventilator Aaron will be using when he leaves Select.  First we learned (or were refreshed) on the tracheostomy, the different supplies used with regards to the trach, etc., then moved on to the ventilator itself.  We  just learned basics today, such as what the buttons on the face of the machine are for and about some of the possible settings.  Tomorrow, we are going to have a four hour training session to learn MORE about the ventilator.  It’s a lot to learn and it’s extremely important, so we have to get as much from this training as we can.  Aaron was involved in the training, too.  (He slept during the very beginning, but was awake for most of it. )

Aaron was in a good mood today, but he was a little saddened tonight before I left him to go home because he talked to Jaime on the phone and both she and Tory are not feeling well.  Hopefully Jaime will be feeling better soon and can get up to Select to see Aaron.  She was planning on visiting tomorrow, but can’t now because she’s ill.  He really misses her when he doesn’t see her for a few days.  Must be love, huh?

Please pray for Aaron and his family as we get ready for the trip home.  Thanks!

He’s Finally Awake!

As you know, Aaron has been fighting pneumonia and in addition, had increased neck pain over the past week or so.   His neck pain was pretty intense, so new medications were prescribed and as it turns out, were a bit too much for Aaron.  (We have since spoken to his physician and some of his medications will be changed and/or the dosage reduced.)  He pretty much slept through the last 2 days.  He slept through his shower, through visits, through physical therapy, through meals (you get the picture).  Several times when he was eating, I’d have to wake him up to tell him to chew and swallow!   Poor guy, all he wanted to do was sleep!

Well, this morning, I was pleasanty surprised when my phone rang and I picked it up to hear Aaron’s voice, clear and strong, on the other end.   One of the nurses dialed his phone and held it so he could talk to me.   He wanted to know what happened over the last day or so, because he couldn’t remember.  So, I filled him in and we talked for about 5 minutes.  He talked me into visiting today, which I wasn’t planning on doing (today was the one day I had totally devoted to cleaning my house), but as some of you may know, I’ve always had a hard time denying him anything.  So, I’ll be heading to Select in a couple of hours to spend some time with him.   His dad and step-mom usually spend Saturdays with him, I spend Sundays. That way we can get some other things done over the weekend……or not!   So, today he’ll have Greg and/or Gina AND me.  

I would like to tell you something that Aaron said to me, which really shows his true character.  Yesterday was my sister Deb’s birthday (45, right Deb?) and even though Aaron was really out of it, I tried to tell him when I left Select last evening, that it was her birthday and that I was going to go be with the family to have ice cream and cake.   In his drugged stupor, with his slurred speech, he said “I hope she understands why I’m not there”.   Unbelievable.  He wasn’t feeling sorry for himself that he couldn’t go, he was concerned that she understood him not being there.   I was so touched by that. 

Hopefully today is a better day for Aaron.   Please continue praying for him.    Thanks!

A Thank You

I am sorry I am late with this, I wanted to write this on Sunday, but didn’t leave Aaron’s room till nearly 8:00 PM and was just too tired to do it at that point.    I worked today, so this is my first opportunity to say thank you to Vicki Skees who held the jewelry fundraiser on Saturday and to everybody who assisted her, as well as to all those who shopped! 

It was very gracious of Vicki to this and Aaron and his entire family thank her!

I can’t wait to get my jewelry!!!!!

Pneumonia # 2

Well, we thought Aaron was so tired from spending 30 hours off the ventilator; that may have been part of the reason for his tiredness, but I don’t believe it was the total reason.  After a chest Xray today, we found out Aaron has pneumonia again.  Obviously, this isn’t the best news we’ve had, BUT there are many things to be thankful for.  As I told Aaron, this bout of pneumonia is being addressed and medicated so much earlier than the last time he had it.  He had a very high fever last time;  this time he doesn’t (as least so far).  He doesn’t feel poorly like he did the last time, he’s just really tired.  As long as he can be treated successfully at Select, he won’t have to be transported to the hospital, like he did the last time, when he ended up having to go to Hahnemann.  Yep, many things to be grateful for.  So that’s what we are going to focus on;  the positives, not the negatives. 

Aaron had many visitors today and he didn’t sleep through one of their visits!  Jaime was the first visitor, then her mom showed up (which was really a great surprise to Aaron as she lives near Philadelphia and her visit was not in the least expected – thanks, Sue!), then I showed up and the party started.  (No, not really, but it sounded good.)   Later in the day Aunt Den came,  Jaime left for the day and then the Wood family arrived (Mammaw, Pappaw, Aunt Diane, Uncle Pete and Aunt Barb).  Aunt Den and I skipped out of Select for a little while so Aaron could visit with his family.   When I returned to Select alone (Aunt Den went home), I was parking my car and saw Terry and Candy in the parking lot.  When the three of us  got to Aaron’s room, the Woods were preparing to leave, so Terry, Candy and I  visitied with Aaron for a while.  So, as you can see, there were visitors pretty much all day for Aaron…..and even with pneumonia, he handled the revolving door to his room very well and was happy to see everybody.  

We will keep you up to date on Aaron’s run-in with pneumonia.  Hopefully he can kick it without too much difficulty.  Please pray for his strength and recovery.  Thank you so much!

Sleepy Day

Aaron was off the vent for a total of 30 hours at one shot!  While this is an awesome achievement, it was decided it was probably a little too much, a little too soon.  Aaron was so tired today, he didn’t even make it out of bed.  That’s not like him; I can’t remember the last day he spent in bed.  It had to be when he had pneumonia in Hahnemann Hospital in Phila.  anyway, it was very obvious he was totally zonked from his time off the vent.  He slept like a bear today;  through a visit from Candy, through lunch, through a very funny Beverly Hillbillies rerun (OK, maybe it was only me who thought it was funny), both sessions of physical therapy (which was perfectly OK with the therapists) and so on and so on.  Shortly after he woke up, an old friend, April ,stopped by to visit.  She was only there a short while when a technician came in to the room to give him an ultrasound.  During the preparation, Aaron had some difficulty breathing, so the procedure was delayed while the breathing issue was being “addressed”.  April had to leave the room and waited patiently to return to visit with Aaron.  Unfortunately, the difficulty breathing and the procedure he had was too much for him and he wasn’t up to visiting with April.  

There were nurses and therapists in and out of Aaron’s room all afternoon today.  It was just one of those days.  Finally, later in the day, he started to settle down a little bit and he had another visitor, Haley.  Aaron was able to stay awake and visit a little while, he was also able to eat his meal.   After Haley left, Aaron and I watched Wheel of Fortune (does the excitement ever end?) and not long after that, Jaime came.   I left Aaron in Jaime’s capable hands.

It was a very frustrating day for Aaron.  His was pretty down.  Please pray for him; for his state of mind……please pray that he can keep a positive attitude in this very difficult time.  Thank you so much.

Sunday at Select

When I got to Aaron’s room on Sunday, I discovered the respiratory therapist had capped Aaron’s trach.  Totally capped.  No air going in, no air coming out.  He was breathing TOTALLY on his own, through his mouth and nose, just like you and I do.   And he did it with no problems.  When I left yesterday, it was still capped.  I am SURE he will be tired today.   Great job, Aaron, keep it up!

Other than visitors yesterday, there wasn’t much activity for Aaron.  This will be hard for him to adjust to, as there was always something going on at Magee.  I think Aaron will be watching a lot more TV at Select!  

Not much more to report at this time.  Of course, it was his first weekend at Select, and not much goes on over the weekends.  I am anxious to see what today (and the rest of the week) brings for him.  We will keep you updated on Aaron’s progress!  

Just a thought about visiting…..Most of Aaron’s visitors (understandably) show up on the weekend or if during the week, in the evening hours.  While  visitors are welcome at any time, a visit on a week day (during the day) would really help break up the monotony for Aaron.  I know that this is not possible for everybody, but if it is a possibility, please think about it.     Thanks!

Please continue to pray for Aaron and specifically for continued success tackling the ventilator!  Thank you!

Smooth Move

I’ll first start by telling you that the move was pretty much seamless for Aaron.  In fact, the ambulance made it to Harrisburg before we did!  And it left after us! You know us older women (Aunt Den and I), we can only go about 30-40 miles before mother nature calls.  We had to stop along the way and they didn’t.  And when we got to Select and made it to Aaron’s room,  he was already in his bed!  You can’t tell me they didn’t use the siren and lights to get there that quickly.  Aaron and Jaime say not, but I’m not buying it.  Ask anybody who has driven with me, I really don’t drive slowly!  I don’t get it!  Anyway, the ride went very well, Jaime rode with Aaron in the back of the ambulance.  That really isn’t supposed to happen (it’s not allowed) but as Aaron can only speak Spanish and Jaime is his interpreter, what choice did they have but to let her ride with him?  

When Aaron finally got settled in, which didn’t take long at all, we unpacked his belongings and took inventory, things like that.  Aunt Den and I handled that sort of thing, while Jaime fed Aaron his supper.   Aaron’s room is huge; it’s meant for two people, so there is another bed, but they only intend to use the room just for Aaron.  They will only give him a room-mate if they have no other choice, but the plan is to let him have a private “suite”.  He is so spoiled!   (I always blame that on his Dad!)  Aaron actually looked better after that long trip than he did when we left Magee.  He had color in his cheeks and he was in a good frame of mind.  When I left Harrisburg last evening, there was an issue with the TV remote not working Aaron’s TV (and you know a man has GOT to have a working  remote) , so I’m anxious to see if that was resolved.  Aaron’s Dad, Gina and Jaime were still there, so we’ll see if they got that worked out. 

I do want to tell you about Aaron’s outing.  It was pretty much nondescript.  We didn’t get to go to Starbucks or Love Park because we got started late.  We walked down the block into the Sheraton and just walked through the lobby.  Aaron did practice getting through some different style doorways in his power wheelchair and that went well.   He maneuvered the sidewalk cutouts very well.  The most stressful part was crossing the streets in all of that Philadelphia traffic.  Luckily, where we crossed, there were police and they assisted us.  So, sorry, not much to tell about the outing, which I guess, is a good thing!  

I wanted to get the address of Select and put it out here for everybody, along with Aaron’s room number, etc., but I left the information in Aaron’s room.  I will do my best to get that today and either I will put an update out here or Aaron’s dad will.  He is planning on visiting Aaron this afternoon to watch football. 

Well, as always, I ask that you pray for Aaron’s continued recovery and specifically for progress getting off that ventilator!     Thank you!

16 Hours Off the Vent Yesterday

Made one young man EXTREMELY tired today.   Aaron was off the vent all day again today, and was on the trach collar, but spent no time today breathing just “room air”.  He just didn’t have it in him today.  And that’s fine, his body was telling him it needed a rest, so that’s what Aaron did.  He didn’t sleep through any of his therapy sessions but every time we went back to his room to wait for the next session or to eat lunch, he fell asleep.  He’d wake up long enough to eat, then back to sleep he went.  The respiratory therapist said she was going to cut back his time off the vent from 16 hours to 14 hours today to see how he feels tomorrow.  She thought maybe 16 hours was just a little too much too soon.  We’ll see!  Whatever the time is, 14 or 16 hours, Aaron is kickin’ butt!   Go Aaron, Go Aaron, It’s Your Birthday, It’s Your Birthday!  Sorry for that outburst; sometimes I just lose my sanity sitting here at this computer trying to write an update at the end of a very long day!

Friday (Aaron’s discharge day from Magee) is right around the corner.  I am sure Aaron (and his entire family) will have mixed feelings on Friday.  I, personally, will be excited for him to start a new stretch of his journey, but at the same time, will be sad to say good-bye to the people at Magee.  But good-bye it is.  Time to get serious about losing that ventilator.  Here we come Harrisburg!!! 

Aaron will be going “out on the town”  Thursday morning.  As far as I know, I will be joining him.  We’ll be going to Love Park and then to Starbucks, as Aaron’s dad indicated in his last blog.  This could be difficult for Aaron as this is the first time out among “strangers” since his accident.   Please pray that it goes smoothly for him and that the people he encounters are kind and considerate of his condition.    I’ll update the blog to let you know how this goes!  

Thanks, everybody, for reading this blog and for keeping Aaron in your thoughts and prayers!

I’m Beginning to Think It’s Personal

Yes, that’s right.  I’m referring to the wheelchair again.  Once more I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Or at least all of my toes on my left foot were.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Aaron had a good day.  Aunt Deb and I visited with him for several hours before he had PT this afternoon.  The therapist worked his legs and went over some educational material with him.  Shortly after that Jaime and Tory came.  Due to the flu “epidemic”, only two visitors can be in a patient’s room at a time and nobody under 16 is allowed in at all.  So, Deb and I took Tory across the street to our favorite restaurant (NOT!), Rex’s,  and hung out there for awhile while Jaime visited with Aaron.  Then, when we wore out our welcome at Rex’s, we returned to Magee and Jaime brought Aaron down to the first floor lobby, where Tory was allowed to visit with him.  We all just sat around and chatted and Aaron and Jaime shared a pizza.  Tory sat on Aaron’s wheelchair with him and Aaron loved it. 

tory on erns lap 3


(Sorry about the picture quality.  It was sort of dark in the lobby and I only had my cell phone. )

We were downstairs in the lobby so long, they actually paged Aaron to return to the 5th floor.  They thought he escaped, I guess.  Actually, it was just time for his meds. 

When we left tonight, Aaron was still of the ventilator.  He was going for a record of 16 hours off  today.  Not sure if he made it or not, but my bet is that he did.  

Please pray for Aaron’s recovery and specifically for his peace of mind.  I know he’s thinking alot about the upcoming move from Magee and his future in general.   Thank you!!

Another victim of Aaron’s driving

I don’t even know how to describe to you today’s event with the wheelchair.  Aaron had a male nurse today he has never had before.  He normally works on a different floor.  He was a very nice guy, very attentive to Aaron, checked in on him quite frequently.  One of the times (and I believe it was the last) he came in to check on Aaron he positioned himself between Aaron in his wheelchair and Aaron’s bed.  Obviously he hadn’t heard of Aaron’s driving mishaps or he would have NEVER chose that spot to stand to talk to Aaron.  Well, with no warning, Aaron’s head went back into the headrest, which commands the wheelchair, and the chair moved forward and pinned the nurse against the bed.  I had to jump up out of my chair, run to the wheelchair, turn it off, then remove the brake from the bed and throw it into neutral to move the bed, so the poor guy could get as far away from Aaron as possible!   The nurse was amazingly patient and understanding with Aaron.  He was more concerned that Aaron may have gotten his feet twisted up somehow under the bed than he was for himself.   Not a good experience.   I know this isn’t very nice of me, but when I replay that scene in my mind, I can’t help but laugh.  Just a little bit, though, a very little bit.  Not an out and out chuckle or anything. 

Aaron was on the trach collar when we (Aunt Deb and I) arrived this morning.  He spent several hours with no oxygen, no trach collar, no ventilator.  Just good old room air.  And he did exceptionally well today.  He wasn’t as worn out and sleepy as he has been.  The mucous was in check and his appetite was good.  Many things to be thankful for today.  And when we left, he was still on the trach collar. 

Aaron was a little bit blue earlier this afternoon.  Sometimes it’s hard for him to realize his accomplishments and to see how far he has come since the accident.  And sometimes when he’s down, he doesn’t especially want me to be the “cheerleader”;  to talk about all the positives things and downplay the negatives.  Sometimes he needs to talk about those negative feelings and today, we did.  He was  feeling pretty depressed when a woman we had never seen before knocked on the door to his room.  She came in and introduced herself.  She was a liaison for the facility in Harrisburg where Aaron will most likely go next to be weaned from the ventilator.  She told Aaron she had just reviewed his chart and was so impressed over the progress he has made over the last few weeks and how hopeful she was for him.  She said she was amazed that he looked as well as he did, she hadn’t expected to see someone so healthy and alert.  This did wonders for him.  He needed to hear those things from someone other than Mom and Aunt Deb.  Someone who didn’t know he was feeling blue at that point in time.  It was perfect timing on her part and I thank God for sending her to him.  I call that Divine Intervention;  Aaron’s a bit skeptical about that, but I’m working on him.   

So, in my opinion, it was another good day at Magee.  No, it was a great day!   As always, I ask that you continue to pray for Aaron and for his recovery.

Aaron knocked me off my feet today!

Literally.  Yep, he was at it again today in the power wheelchair.  He was running over the cords of his oxygen tank, so I squatted down to try to grab the cords to pull them out of his way, when he decided it was a good idea to suddently turn the chair in the opposite direction.  When he did the chair knocked me right over and there I sat on the floor, just looking up at him with that “what the heck just happened?”  look on my face.  He, of course, loved it.  Me, not so much.

He had an uneventful day, which is a really good day!  He did ride the stim bike using his legs this morning, and as always, he loved it.   He played Wii again today and did very well.  He’s getting to be quite the ping-pong player!   

We’ve been a little concerned about Aaron’s appetite over the past couple of days, he just hasn’t had a real desire to eat.  Well,  we can stop worrying….at least for today.  He scarfed down his breakfast, lunch and dinner today AND he had a healthy piece of  ice cream cake. (Thanks to Bill, Danielle and Andy for arranging for the cake to be brought to Magee over the weekend!   Poor Danielle!  The cake was to be eaten on Sunday in celebration of her birthday,  but because Aaron wasn’t eating much, the cake wasn’t even taken out of the freezer until today.  And Bill and Danielle have returned to Las Vegas.  So we ate some today in her honor! )  

Tomorrow, Jaime and Greg (not sure about Gina, but I think so) will be visiting Aaron.  I hope they have a nice, uneventful day,  just like we had today.  

Please pray for Aaron’s recovery……and also for everybody’s safety while Aaron is motoring around in that wheelchair!   Thanks!

To All Who Volunteered and Showed Support

First, I would like to apologize if I offended anybody in my last update by not clearly thanking each and every one of you for your support.  I certainly intended that my appreciation (as well as Aaron’s and the rest of his family’s) for everybody who volunteered their time and service and supported Aaron at the 230 Cafe Fundraiser,  be evident in my writing.  But, apparently it wasn’t and for that I am sorry.  Someone was kind enough to point that out to my husband today and he knew that was not my intention, so he told me and that is what led me to sit down tonight and write this.  Let me stress to everybody that we appreciate each and every one of you who worked at the cafe; those who donated the items that were raffled off, those who did work behind the scenes, those who took pictures, etc.   Believe me, everybody’s efforts  were appreciated!  

I didn’t visit Aaron today, I went to work, but his dad was with him all day.  He was off the ventilator today, and on the trach collar.  According to Greg, he was very, very tired.  No wonder after yesterday!   I don’t know if Aaron’s dad will put an update on the blog tonight or tomorrow about his visit with Aaron today, so I’ll stop here.   

Never doubt that Aaron and his family are grateful for your support.  And if we are remiss in thanking you on this blog, please know that all that you have done for Aaron is sincerely appreciated. 

Please continue to pray for Aaron.

Aaron did WHAT today????

Well, I hate to brag about my son’s accomplishments, but I think you will all forgive me.    The most bizarre thing happened today at Magee.   There were several of us visiting Aaron at the same time, so we went into the Recreation (for lack of a better word) room, a more spacious room where there is a big screen TV more suitable for watching football.  Aaron’s cousin Bill and his girlfriend, Danielle , Aaron’s dad,  Aunt Deb, Andy Gingrich and I were all sitting around with Aaron, chatting and watching football.   Aaron was off the vent (had been since around 8:00 AM) and was wearing the trach collar.  Anytime we take Aaron from his room, we have to be sure we have a tank of oxygen with us.  We did and it was hooked up and in use as it always is.  Bill, for whatever reason, happened to look at the oxygen tank and notice it was empty.  We didn’t say anything to Aaron about this, he seemed to be doing just fine and we didn’t want to alarm him.  We weren’t sure how long it had been empty, because it hadn’t affected Aaron in the least;  no “alarms” went off to indicate he wasn’t getting sufficient oxygen!   The respiratory therapist was notified (Aaron still wasn’t aware his tank was empty) and she brought in a full tank of oxygen.  When she did, she made Aaron aware of what had taken place.  He had been breathing on his own, with no oxygen, for quite some time!  Aaron asked if he HAD to be put on the oxygen, she said no;  so he continued to breath on his own, with no assistance what-so-ever for four hours!   FOUR HOURS!!!!!!!!!   Aunt Deb and I had to leave Magee earlier than normal today because we had to attend the viewing of a dear friend who passed away on Thursday.  While we were saddened about that, we were thrilled that Aaron had breathed on his own without oxygen for the short period of time that he had up to that point…..if we had known he was going to go on for three more hours with no oxygen after we left…….Lord only knows what kind of hooting and hollering we might have subjected him to!     (Aaron, we all know Aunt Ede’s in a better place; maybe SHE was looking down on you today!)

Aaron had a lot of questions about the 230 Cafe  fund raiser held on Saturday.  Of course, he wanted to know who was there and between all of us who were visiting him today remembering different people, I think we about covered it.   He is grateful for everybody’s support and asked that I send his thanks.  So, on behalf of Aaron (and his family and fiance, Jaime), THANKS EVERYBODY!!!    

So, Aaron was off the ventilator today (the last I heard) for almost 12 hours.   He was very tired when we left, but his determination wears ME out;  no wonder he was pooped!

Stay tuned for more information on Aaron’s progress getting off the ventilator!  And we’ll let you know where he’s going next on his journey and when!      (Also, we hope to add pictures from the fundraisers in the near future.)

Thank you and bless you all!   Please continue to pray for Aaron’s recovery.

“I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends”

What a wonderful day!   This morning, I, along with Aaron’s Aunt Den, Aaron’s cousin Bill and his girlfriend Danielle, got to Magee at approximately 9:30.  When we arrived, Aaron was still in bed, but was wide awake and off the vent and on the trach collar (and had been for about an hour and a half).  He had just eaten his breakfast.  Aaron’s physical therapist and I planned on her coming to Aaron’s room at 10:00 AM so she could give me another training session on preparing Aaron for his day.  That went very well and Aaron handled it beautifully.  I am not as quick as those who normally do this for him, so he had to endure lying flat on his back a little longer than normal and also on his side, which he doesn’t tolerate very well.   But he and I are still speaking, so I consider it to be a success!

Aaron played Nintendo Wii today, which was very interesting.  The therapist held the remote on his head and he moved his head to point  it in the right direction.  She would push the buttons on the remote to get it to shoot or do whatever she needed it to do.  It was great exercise for his neck muscles, but really wore him out.   But he did enjoy himself!  

Aaron was also graced with the presence of his good friend, Brian Sullivan, today.   Aaron hadn’t seen Brian for a couple of weeks, but it was quite a bit longer than that since he’d seen Bill and Danielle.  He was THRILLED to have his friends with him today.  Aunt Den and I sort of removed ourselves as much as possible so the young ‘unz could enjoy each other and catch up.   They took turns going to therapy with him.  At one point, the girls left the room because the guys fell asleep;  Brian in Aaron’s bed, Aaron in his wheelchair, and Bill in a regular chair.   Brian made out on that deal.  (Sorry, Brian.  No picture of you in Ern’s bed, I only post those at his request and he didn’t ask!)

After the guys woke up, Aaron was rejuvenated.   He was more alert and happier than I had seen him in a long time!  I think it was a combination of the sleep and then waking up and seeing some of his favorite people right there with him.  It was not only good for his soul, it was good for everybody’s soul who observed it.   If you ever doubted the importance of friendship in your life, you never had the opportunity to see what I saw today. 

“There is magic in the memory of schoolboy friendships; it softens the heart, and even affects the nervous system of those who have no heart.”
– Benjamin Disraeli

Please pray for Aaron’s recovery and thank God for his friends and yours!

Lots of neck pain, but lots of time off vent!

Aaron had a lot of neck pain today.  When that happens, of course, he gets more pain medicine which often makes him sleepy.  He was tired today, but he stayed awake for his therapy sessions, and that’s a good thing!   He went off the vent onto the trach collar at approximately 7:15 this morning and stayed on it for…………………(drumroll)……………11 1/2 hours !!!!   Great job, Aaron!   

We were told today that Aaron’s discharge from Magee will take place on November 6th.  Our plan (up until today) was for Aaron to go home to his Dad and Step-mom’s house upon discharge, BUT today we were thrown a curve; another option to consider, a facility that specializes in weaning patients from ventilators.  There are several close to home (Harrisburg, Lancaster, York) that we could consider if Aaron would choose to go that route.  He would be admitted as an inpatient and would still receive physical therapy, however, it would not be to the same degree  he gets now.  Their main focus would be getting Aaron off of the vent, which is Aaron’s primary goal right now.  This is a new option for Aaron to think about, as well as Jaime and the rest of his family.  Life and rehabbing would be easier for Aaron (and everybody involved with his care) if he could lose that apparatus!!!  So, stay tuned, we’ll keep you updated on Aaron’s next step in his journey!

One more thing.  Aaron and I were chatting this evening after he ate supper and we looked over at my husband, Sam, who (last time we looked) was watching TV, to find him sound asleep in Aaron’s bed.  I took a couple of pictures, because I knew when I eventually told Sam he’d been sleeping, he’d deny it, as he ALWAYS does.  I was correct, he did deny it.  I have the pictures to prove  it and I told Aaron I was going to post one on his blog, so here it is.  Just for you  Aaron.  And yes, he really was sound asleep…..doesn’t look too comfy.  Who looks like that when they sleep?   Is that normal????

And I continue to ask you to please pray for Aaron’s recovery.    Thank you everybody!!