Update on us 6/6/11

6 Jun

I have wanted to take the time for a while now to thank everyone who is STILL following our story and praying for us.  I need you all to know that I could never express here on this silly little blog how much you all have meant to me; your notes, encouragement, and prayers for us have not gone unnoticed.  I continue to remain humbled by it all.  So many of you write me, either through messages and/or cards and I wish so badly I could respond to each and every one.  I DO read everything and I appreciate the advice, love and support you give me through your words.   I always seem to get something from someone just when I need it!

I realize things with Graham are better than they were almost a year ago and because of that, prayer doesn’t seem as dire as it did when it all first happened.  I must admit even myself, his wife, has gotten lazy with the whole “praying for Graham.”  I continue to wear the bracelet and have been since he was hurt, but so often I just wear it and don’t act on what it’s suppose to be reminding me of.  I don’t expect the continual prayer from you all; other things take priority and that’s okay.  I understand completely!  All I suggest is when we occasionally pop into your hearts and minds; it’s probably for a reason.

With us quickly approaching the big year anniversary to his accident I wanted to give you a more detailed update on what Graham is REALLY like and the struggles he continues to battle everyday.  I think this will help you see how much we still are in this journey.  To some people, Graham doesn’t even really seem like there’s anything different about him.  I can assure you he is.  Some of this stuff is going to be hard for me to share, but I feel it’s necessary and time to do so.

The obviously big things for Graham are his physical and mental limitations he has now due to his injury.

Physically, everything has changed for him.  He walks differently with his whole left side being weaker and not having the feeling it once did.  He doesn’t have the balance he once had.  The changes to him athletically have been hard for him to accept at times.  He was extremely coordinated, athletic and agile; able to do just about anything he set his mind to.  He struggles at work every single day.  The once easy tasks he did are extremely difficult and take longer for him to do.  Although he can do his job at work, he’s not as efficient as he once was.  His vision doesn’t help when he’s already moving slowly, and on top of it all he’s sees two of everything.  I will often catch him squinting one eye when he’s really trying to focus on something.  He’s tired ALL the time, and HATES that about himself now.  He knows it’s a good thing because his brain is still trying to heal, but accepting it at times is hard.  He’s sick of being sick some days.  Our marriage has changed physically which I’m sure you’re not surprised about.  Problems like that are very common with brain injuries, but to Graham it just feels like another blow to him.

Mentally, Graham is very with it!  He’s very much the same person and that’s hard because he sees his limitations and problems.  He still has short-term memory issues, but is SO much better with sequencing things and relaying information back to me or someone else.  He will still trip up especially when he’s tired.  He’ll repeat himself a lot without knowing he just told that same joke or story a day ago.  If told to do something especially I’m noticing at church while he’s leading worship, he gets very confused and acts like he doesn’t know what’s coming next.  He gets over stimulated at times and that has been difficult because when that happens he loses his temper, which he NEVER struggled with before.  I have to be very careful when I say something and how I say it now, because he’s more short-fused.  Again, very common with brain injury victims.  He’s very aware of this, and is working on it, but it’s hard for us.  He’s more emotional at times and that is just plain sad to be a part of.  My heart has never hurt so badly for someone I love so much; to see them sad, frustrated and sick of the pain and unable to do anything about it, is an awful feeling.

Spiritually, I don’t think anyone could go through something like this and not be affected, not have questions and wonders.  Graham is no different.  The impact this is having on his walk with Jesus is something I don’t even understand.  And I don’t need to; it’s between him and the Lord.  What I do know is that I don’t think he’s in a place yet to fully understand all the Lord has planned for him.  He knows this to be true and that’s hard for him.  I have no doubt in my heart that one reason the Lord chose Graham to go through this fiery trial is because he wired Graham up to have more patience than the average person.  This is a special gift from the Lord and it’s getting Graham through some really hard days!

A random thing about him now is that he never feels hungry anymore, or full.  He eats three meals a day because he knows he should, but his appetite is completely gone.  He LOVED food before, but now, not so much.  Wish I could say the same about me:0)

I could continue to share so much……..

Miracle of the day:

So many times Graham will start to tell me something and we’ll get interrupted by the kids needing something.  Once settled, I’ll ask him what he was saying and he can’t remember.  The other day, it happened, but this time after at least 5 minutes of serving the kids’ needs, he remembered what he was saying to me!  It was so cool because I remember walking away to take care of Wyatt and thinking:  “He’s going to forget what he was saying!” But he didn’t!

Humor of the day:

Graham likes to play nasty little tricks on me with his memory issues.  They are not nice tricks.  I’ll call him to ask him to pick up milk and bread and an hour later he’ll call me back saying:

“I’m on my way home, I just have to stop and pick up milk and eggs!”

I’ll quickly try to tell him that was not what I needed, but rather milk and bread.

“Oh,” he’ll say.  We’ll get talking for a few minutes about other things and then he’ll end the conversation by saying….

“I’ll be home soon, ice-cream and bread right?” (smirking while saying this)

What’s frustrating is that sometimes he DOES forget what I tell him, but he thinks he’s so funny!  He is funny, because he still knows exactly which buttons of mine to push!!

Thank you again for everything!

 

 

9 Responses to “Update on us 6/6/11”

  1. Amy Harness June 6, 2011 at 3:01 am #

    Randi, I DO still pray for you all, and when I get an email notice that you have posted a new update, I can not WAIT to pull it up and read every word! I cannot imagine how this past year has been. In some ways it seems a lifetime ago, and some ways seems like just a few weeks ago…I will soon be back at WOL w/ my sons, working as a nurse. Graham was hurt just after I left last year and I never got to meet you all, though saw you riding around on registration days. I so hope to meet you this year at some point. Your blogs are great memory joggers for me to pray more! Thank you for sharing your story and your journey!
    Amy

  2. Trish Walton June 6, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    We continue t pray for your family every day. I know that things can get overwhelming. When they do, run to your strong tower God.

    Love,
    The Walton Family

  3. Martha Hidalgo June 6, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    Please be assured that lack of communication does not mean I do not pray – I will never stop praying for you both just as assuredly as I pray for our own children.
    Granted aging does produce some memory lapses 🙂 however I do keep a prayer journal which is a great help. We have used your story to encourage several people in the past year most are not facing what you are facing on a daily basis. Just keep in mind that God is so much bigger than this – cannot wait to see you in August.
    Love, Martha

  4. Louise Green June 6, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    I appreciate the updates. I pray for you all as the Lord lays you on my heart.

  5. Bob Bulmer June 6, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    THANX SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONTINUED UPDATES RANDI. WE ARE CONTINUING TO PRAY WITH YOU,………THOUGH ASHAMED TO ADMIT THAT THE UPDATES ARE ADDITIONAL PROMPTINGS.

    SO GLAD YOU BOTH ARE HANGING IN THERE. AS I HAVE SAID BEFORE, PROGRESS WILL BE IN SMALLER STEPS NOW BUT STILL NOTICEABLE FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER YEAR FROM THE ACCIDENT DATE. KEEP PRAYING, WORKING AND YOUR ‘CHINS UP’.

    ENCOURAGEMENT BY NOTICING EACH IMPROVEMENT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR GRAHAM. IT IS GREAT THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE DOING THIS.

    WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THIS SUMMER. HOPE TO BE THERE WHEN GRAHAM RIDES INTO THE AREA THAT FRIDAY EVENING.

    GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU BOTH.

    BOB AND PAULA BULMER

  6. Donna Langman June 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    Steve is so similar to Graham. Steve is starting to feel hunger now and also can taste things again. He could only taste the sweet things so he was going a little overboard on the treats! He had lost 30 pounds after the accident so I wasn’t too concerned about all the ice cream he was eating but now he has a terrible sweet tooth and his waist line is starting to show it!
    The physical stuff is getting less and less of a challenge as he builds up his strength and coordination. He is still dizzy as times but his eyesight is getting a lot better as is his short term memory. We go in different swells of frustration and sorrow and then all is good for a time until the frustration comes back again. Usually, when we are tired and run down. I make Steve lay down with headphones or ear plugs for an hour or more each day or else he is like a drunk man in the evening with slurred speech and staggering around. He is always much better after his quiet time. Hang in there girl. It is a long journey but you are doing great!

  7. Sharon Faulkner June 6, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    I am still praying….like you said when you are brought to my mind by the LORD! Hugs, Sharon

  8. Carlos Hidalgo June 7, 2011 at 1:16 am #

    Randy: We have not stopped nor will stop praying for Graham, you and the kids. Yesterday I heard one of the best sermons on suffering. From our associate Pastor–Tom Olssen. The link is below. I urge you to listen together with Graham.
    We love you.
    Carlos

    http://www.calvarygr.com/sermons

  9. Amanda June 30, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    Still praying and thinking of you all. Your story and strength through all of this is truly inspiring!

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