Welcome to our blog! I originally started this blog in November 2010 just prior to having a major brain surgery to remove a large bleeding cavernous angioma from a deep part of my brain. You can best understand the gravity of our experience by reading the first several entries.(Nov 2010-Dec 2010) I wrote the first one and my sweet, adoring husband, John, wrote the next several (while I was too sick to do much of anything) that documented surgery, immediate recovery, and our reaction to the surgery complication (stroke)that was revealed 2 days after surgery. This recovery process has been difficult but we are making it. We appreciate all the kind words of encouragement we have received and we would like to thank everyone that has participated in helping us along this difficult journey. Also, if you have any questions about my personal experience, please leave them as a comment or contact me directly at thankfulforeveryday@yahoo.com and I will respond although I am not a doctor and this is not a replacement for medical care or advise. Please ask a real professional, or probably several. :) I hope to be able to help at least one person along the challenging road of brain surgery and recovery.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 6 Wednesday, December 15

Today was a much anticipated day. One because she is finally able to get started at the rehab center… and two because Elizabeth would get to see her “Big Boy” as we affectionately call Jack sometimes.
Sleeping was fair last night and physical therapy started first in the morning.  They had her doing some stair work and walking exercises.  Speech therapy came next. And then occupational therapy was the third thing that was done today.  These sessions will be two to three time a day for each one.  It keeps her pretty busy when you mix in trying to eat, resting, showering, visiting time, etc.

Fortunately and unfortunately they have taken her off percocet and put her on a less potent drug that will not make her so drowsy (the Percocet had been making her very sleepy). The good news is that it allows her not to be so drowsy… the bad news is it doesn’t stop the pain nearly as well.  They obviously don’t want her to be drowsy for the rehab work but she’s just in a lot of pain without the stronger pain med.  This jaw thing really sucks for her comfort level right now. I’ll be really glad when that is gone! Hopefully from what others that have had their jaw muscle cut say is that it takes a few weeks so hopefully we’re half way there.
Michelle was with Elizabeth a good part of the day today as I was at my sister’s house with the big boy. Then I came in the evening. Tomorrow we will flip that and will be there all day starting in the morning. It’s a balancing act with someone watching Jack and we’ve a good job of that. It’s hard for me to be away from her right now. I keep thinking if I could just split myself in two I’d be good… but all involved will do our best along this path to recovery. Elizabeth’s mom helped her take a shower and had brought her more smoothies which she drank about another 10 oz. of. She also ate a good portion of spaghetti tonight at around 6pm which is the most real food she has eaten since this thing started.  So the food situation is still slow but moving in the right direction. One of the nurses today asked Elizabeth if she wanted a carnation protein drink and Elizabeth said “I’m bias to Abbott products… bring me Ensure!” She told me that story tonight and we both laughed (Elizabeth worked for Abbott in the past). Her mom Michelle was with her during some of rehab today and said Elizabeth did pretty well. Elizabeth thought she did pretty well to for the first day. She has been complaining about her eyes making her dizzy and it’s been a problem for her. She will see a neuro eye specialist tomorrow. They are also making her try to do all things for herself as much as she can like getting dressed and teeth brushing etc. She can do those things pretty good but some is done with right hand favoritism.
The best part of the day for sure was getting to see Jack! She told me she was telling everyone there “I get to see my two favorite guys today!”… and was texting me with anticipation.  Jack woke up from his nap at about 6:30 and I got him some dinner and got him fixed up in a sharp outfit and hair combed just right. It just boggles my mind how much this kid at 22 months old knows... as we parked in the parking structure, unprovoked by me he started to say “mama mama mama”. I said “yeah you’re right we’re here now..” I felt like I couldn’t get there fast enough. We walk in to the center and turned down her hallway. It was a site I will never forget for as long as I live - Elizabeth sitting on the edge of the foot of the bed leaning forward so she could see the main doors to the facility. She just couldn’t wait! It was a site to see because when I come to see her she’s usually lying down… definitely not sitting on the edge of the foot of the bed. As soon as she saw us she stood up. We got to the room and tears came. Good tears. Jack gave Elizabeth kisses and gave her a tight squeeze as I held him up to her. We sat on the bed and he laid with her as she read him some books. We also went for a walk and Elizabeth got to show off her precious little boy. We saw the Christmas tree and talked about all the ornaments. He really loves Christmas trees. Jack gave her another picture her drew earlier today and we taped to the wall. He really likes the get well balloon that is in her room. He loves floating balloons. The hugs and lots of kisses continued. The meeting couldn’t have gone better. Elizabeth will get to see him more now which will be so great for both of them… and me too!
Thanks again and again for all your supportive comments. I’m always reading them to her! They mean so much to us!
I will update tomorrow ….Thanks…


  1. I am so happy she was able to see your sweet little boy. The reunion story brought me to tears! Being away from your child is the worst, and I am thrilled they will be able to spend more time together. It will be motivation to get out of that joint!! Elizabeth is an amazing inspiration!!! The jaw muscle will slowly get better. It does take time, she will see improvements daily. I know she probably already knows this, but keep moving the jaw. The more it stays idle the stiffer if will get!

    God Bless!

  2. Elizabeth, John and Jack, we are so happy to hear of your encouraging day yesterday. It is good to know of your progress with therapy, although it may be slow, patience and perseverance are important. You are in our prayers throughout the day. With so much love, Aunt Cathy &Uncle Joe

  3. Elizabeth,
    I'm so happy to hear about your ongoing progress! :)
    Keep up the good work (cause I know it is A LOT of work!)
    Floating balloons & well wishes,

  4. Elizabeth, I think of you often even though I don't really know you, and am also thinking of Mae, who is there today for pre-op and who will have surgery tomorrow.

    I think it is wonderful that you have loving family that surround you with care and caring. Best wishes for your continued progress toward recovery!

  5. I'm so happy that Jack and Elizabeth were able to see each other! He sure sounds and looks sweet. I'm sure seeing him will help in her recovery tremendously. Your retelling brought tears to my eyes as well. Thank you so much for keeping us all updated. I'm so happy that she was able to eat something solid for the first time as well. Food is something we all take for granted, but it is so very very important in healing.

  6. Elizabeth! I was so glad to have an opportunity to see you breifly today (Thursday). You look fabulous... as you always do but you have been a little under the weather the last few days :) But today your glow was back in your face and you looked beautiful as ever! I know you have a lot of work ahead of you but you are on your way. I think all you needed was a major dose of your little boy :) I know he has been great medicine for me!! Keep up the great work! You go girl!! Love ya, Rebecca!

  7. Reading the post of you seeing Jack just made me cry.....so happy you had both of yours boys with you today :). Xo Val

  8. Hi Elizabeth - We are so happy you and Jack finally got to visit. He is probably "just what the doctor ordered"!!! He will bring you that extra strength you need right now. We think of you constantly and send you tons of kisses and hugs!! We pray for your speedy recovery every day. We love you!!! Daddy & Marti

  9. Hope your day went well today. It seems like you have a heavy day ahead of you each day. I'm sure you did great with all the rehab. Rebecca said you lokk great!
    I can imagine that seeing Jack after not seeing him was pretty wonderful and uplighfting. Thank God for family and friends and strong people!Yeah Elizabeth, Yeah team. I have been thinking of you all day. Hopefully you and John... and Jack.... get a peaceful night's rest!
    Love and Peace,
    Liz....and Michael and Sydney and Danielle

  10. So happy that you finally got to see your big boy.....I can only imagine what that moment felt like when you got to see, kiss and hug him!!! Mike, Gavin and I have been sending you uplifting and healing thoughts together everyday. I'm thinking of you every minute. I love you. xoxox

  11. HI Elizabeth, I just want you to know that everybody at work is wishing you a very fast recovery. We can't stop thinking of everything that you guys are going through. I wished we can transfer you to one of our bigger rooms at work so we can take care of you. With unlimited supply of formula that you want :) John, keep up the good work of taking care of our dear friend. You are an amazing husband and father. We can't wait to see you all again for a visit once she's fully recovered. Time for Margarita and Elizabeth's El Presidente beer.

  12. Go Elizabeth!! Everyone from the good old PTMC is thinking of you, like Lulu said. Glad your family was visiting with Jack since that is the best medicine. Love you, Karen

  13. Hay Elizabeth I am so happy to hear that you had your two boys by your side today, I was in years as always reading ths today. I love you and am glad your a bit better. John thanks again for being who you are a loving,caring husband and a father.