Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Guest Post: Words from Mom, part 9

My mom is back at it wrapping up the story of my brother's accident that occurred five years ago today. 

Did you miss her previous posts? Catch up at the links below!
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

It was one of the hardest things I had ever done...

leaving Des Moines after Josh was finally released from the hospital.  I did have some peace of mind knowing Mollie was there to help take care of him, and even though I needed and wanted to get back home, I hated to leave him. I had tried to get him to come home with me but he insisted on remaining in Des Moines, which in the long run was where he needed to be. He needed to be close to the hospital and doctors, as he had so many appointments. Josh went back to his apartment and Mollie checked in on him daily, and of course I made numberous trips to Des Moines taking him to appointments, also, and helping with all the medical supplies Josh needed.  He even had a hospital bed for quite a while as he had trouble laying down.

Josh's recovery was slow. He was in so much pain and so weak. He seemed to be wasting away, nothing like the active young man we all knew. As time went on with his not even being able to walk but a few steps or even sit up, he was being isolated by the injury and was alone a lot of the time; something he has never liked.  I became worried about his emotional and mental state, and although we tried, we had little success in pulling him out of the depression he was struggling with. The one person who did make him feel better was Kaydin. She was just over a year and a half at this time. She was and still is light of his life.

As time passed, Josh learned how to take care of his medical needs. He also had a nurse that came to check on him and help him with any questions and medical problems he had. 

In early November I went to work, thinking it would just be a normal work day, but also knowing that Josh had one of his many check ups with the doctor scheduled for the day. Mollie had taken him to the appointment and called me after, explaining that they had found something they described as a "mass" and that Josh was being admitted into the hospital again.  My boss was so understanding during all of this, I told her the situation and left work heading for Des Moines. Josh was in the hospital for five days, having tests and being examined daily. They determined that the mass was blood that had settled in his colon from his bleeding internally for so long. He was finally released after that cleared up.

Josh had some good days and some bad days, but every one was a blessing considering what he had been through.  We celebrated the holidays and heading into February they determined that they were ready to do the reconstructive surgery to connect his colon. We were hopeful that everything would go well as this meant he could get rid of the colostomy. He went into surgery upbeat and excited at the prospect of being "normal" again.  After several hours the surgeon came out and told us that the surgery went well and barring any complications, in time he would be fully recovered.  I never thought I would hear those words, I was so grateful. After his surgery, Josh's body was slow to recover and it was a struggle for him in finding out what he could and couldn't eat. He also needed time to build his strength up which was also slow in returning. But we now knew Josh was going to make it. He had survived a totally freak accident and had overcome something no one should ever have to go through.

I am so proud of my son, he is amazing. It hasn't been easy for him; he had trouble learning how to really live again after his accident. It took time for him to get back on track, but we have always been there for him and always will be. He's doing great now. He is healthy again, has a job he seems to love and a wonderful girl, Kerstin by his side.

Today is the five year anniversary for Josh's accident, not exactly the type of anniversary most people would choose to remember, but for me I will always remember it and smile because it reminds me of all the love and support we received from our family and friends. And most of all it reminds me that I still have my son. My kids are the love of my life...always have been...always will be...
So the accident happened September 18, 2008. He was released from the hospital about two weeks later at the very beginning of October. In the first few days of November he was admitted to the hospital again for five days. And finally in early February he had the reconstructive surgery. It was a long six months for us all but especially Josh. We spent a lot of time together through all of this between doctor appointments, visits, and medication deliveries.

In March, Dad, Josh and I rescheduled our Florida trip we were supposed to leave for just a couple days after the accident. It was a happy vacation to be able to take. Josh was still here with us, all put back together and healthy enough to travel! 

We also took a quick family vacation to Los Angeles in August 2009.

It was really hard to watch him go through all of that but I am so proud of how he's come out of it today. Yesterday he celebrated his 26th birthday. We are all so blessed and grateful he is still with us today. I'm even more proud that he recognizes how lucky he is and knows everyday is a gift. 

It really truly is and I hope everyone takes advantage of every minute they have with their family. I know I try to.