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.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 8 Friday December, 17

Another long day for everyone although I was with Jack today and Elizabeth’s mom Michelle was at the Hospital most of the day (Friday). My account won’t be as detailed as if I was there but I’ll do my best. Michelle will be leaving this day to go back to California. She will continue to be helpful once we get home.
Elizabeth’s day started out with throwing up unfortunately… The Percocet was wearing off by morning hours as they stop in the middle of the night so she’s not drowsy in the morning to do the rehab work. The jaw starts to hurt and she gets sick from the pain. She took nausea med and was better. She did get ready on her own and put makeup on which she has done over the last 4 days although today she says she was able to apply it better. The rehab work is the same as the previous day except some of the exercises change. Occupational therapy has a kitchen in the rehab facility. They went over techniques that will help in the kitchen and they had her make eggs. She did well with it! I wish I could have been there to eat them.
PT was about the same as yesterday except she got to go outside. She walked on the sidewalk near the rehab center. She told the PT person Jen that she felt like running! Jen said “maybe not just yet” and Elizabeth said “yeah maybe you’re right”. It reminded me of a great Train song we both like called Parachute… the lyrics are
I'll open up and be your parachute  
and I'll never let you down
so open up and be my human angel
and we'll only hit the ground
She is my human angel! And she has definitely hit the ground running even if it’s only in theory!
Speech therapy went well with learning new facial exercises and working on using inflection as Elizabeth voice is quieter and a little mono tone. She is determined as yesterday I caught her doing leg lifts on the bed and practicing her face muscle exercises on her own time too!
Elizabeth had shown a nice improvement yesterday and that continued today!!! It was REALLY encouraging!! The staff meeting went well and they said she is doing great. They have giving her a go home date of Tuesday, December 21!  It will be so nice for her to get home in her own bed/space! We will continue all three therapies she’s been doing at an outpatient facility back home.  We have a lot of work to do but it will be an awesome day when we get home!
Elizabeth continued with her extodanary thoughtfulness tonight as the 36 year old woman I told you about that is her roommate is continuing to not feel well and has memory problems (this after a cancerous tumor was removed). Elizabeth went over to her and said “you need to use this rock from my grandma to harness the power of the universe”. It was a nice gesture from Elizabeth. The woman said “yeah I need a rock like that”. I told the woman’s sister, who was having a tough time with it, to “hang in there”. I know how she feels. We also saw a boy about the same age as Jack that is in the rehab center too. I heard his voice crying Dada, Dada… It sounded like Jack… It made us think wow that would be really though… I don’t know his story but I hope he recovers soon.

Another great part of the day was Elizabeth getting to see Jack again! I brought Jack in the evening. The craziest thing again was when unprovoked by me - we pulled up close to the hospital and he said again.."mama, mama, mama". Its so strang because he cant really see where we are from his vantage point. some how he knows... We again hurried to the center. This time Elizabeth was sitting in a chair at the edge of the door way waiting for us. It was nice to see her sitting in a chair. She saw us from down the hall way walking toward her and she started to wave…. Jack immediately started to wave back saying Hi Mama, Hi Mama! It was a nice meeting similar to the first from two nights ago although we went into the gym this time and Jack just loved that! Jack was also happy to show Mama his new picture her drew for her. We've been taping them on the wall in front of her bed everyday.
Elizabeth’s mom Michelle went back to California tonight (Friday night). My sister Rebecca and my brother in law Tom will pick up where Michelle left off with helping with Jack. After what Michelle and I have been through together, it was an emotional departure. Michelle and I have been through so much in these last eight days as we’ve worked so hard and so close together to get to this point. It’s something only her and I will understand… I hugged her really hard for a few minutes…. We cried and said how Elizabeth can do this… we can do this! After me, there is only one person Elizabeth trust more with her Big Boy and that’s Elizabeth’s mom Michelle! It really made Elizabeth (and me) more at ease going into and after the surgery knowing that Michelle would be the one to help with Jack. I can’t imagine how it was for Michelle to leave that hospital and go to the airport tonight, but Michelle too was inspired by Elizabeth’s progress today! I know she is taking that home with her. Again, Michelle will continue to help from home when we arrive.
All in all, a great day!
Continued thanks for all your support and encouragement! I update Elizabeth often with all your comments! We appreciate it so much!!! Hopefully she can post soon.
All our love back to all of you!
I’ll update soon, Thanks…


  1. I know it is such a relief to have this behind you and to know that Elizabeth is going home soon. She sounds like a very special person. Blessings, and thanks for keeping us updated.

  2. I am thrilled you guys will be headed hone soon. The comfort of my own home and space (and of course not being woken up every 4 hours) made my healing process speed up tremendously.

    Elizabeth is a true inspiration. John, you are doing such an amazing job. Elizabeth is blessed to have such a positive, dedicated husband.


  3. Elizabeth & John,
    I'm so happy to hear of your constant progress and that you'll be going home soon! Yay Elizabeth!!!
    John, your never-ending love and support for Elizabeth reminds me so much of my own sweet husband, Rick, whose been through 3 out of 4 surgeries w/me. Elizabeth and I are very blessed in having guys like you in our lives!
    Keep up the great work you're doing Elizabeth, I know it's not easy.
    Well wishes & hugs,

  4. John, Jack & Elizabeth, I love you & can't wait to see you.
    Grandma xoxoxo kiss

  5. Elizabeth & John We are very happy to hear of your progress, keep up the good work! You are in our prayers constantly. John, thank you so much for the daily updates we appreciate hearing from you. How wonderful that Michelle was able to be there with you. Our Love to You, Aunt Cathy & Uncle Joe =).

  6. These posts are so beautiful and are so great for all of us out here who are thinking of Elizabeth and praying for you guys. I love hearing about all the progress. I remember being at your wedding and if I remember correctly you guys danced to "Bless the Broken Road". How true this song is for you guys! John, you say Elizabeth is your angel, but I bet she would say that you are hers. You guys are such a testament to solid, true love. That will get you guys through this! xoxo, Elizabeth

  7. Hi,
    I am so glad to see you are progressing so well! One day at a time!

    I am so sorry I couldn't come see you on Thursday. It was a bad day for me. I will be going to the hospital tomorrow to see Mae from our Angioma group. She had her surgery on Friday and gave me her number to call her. I would love to see you as well. Maybe we can take a walk together to see her and us three Angioma Babes can meet!? It will be in the afternoon that I visit her. I've left my number on your comments so if you want me to stop by give me a call!


  8. Sounds like every thing is going great! Good to hear Elizabeth was able to see Jack again.
    The reunions of Elizabeth and Jack always bring a happy tear to my eye.

    In my prayers,