Lenore’s Log


In the days following the accident, it was brought to my attention that all sorts of stories were swirling about Shawn’s condition. To put minds at rest and stop any rumors from spreading, I made the difficult decision to turn to social media and share what was happening. As I wrestled with having to be so open about our lives, I started to realize that in order for our family to receive the emotional support and spiritual sustenance we so desperately needed, our new path could no longer remain a ‘private road’. My intention in sharing is not to sensationalize our situation. Rather, it is to be as transparent as possible while sharing our story in the hope that anyone reading will in some way be impacted, informed, or inspired, and our LORD would be glorified through it all.


Our story. HIS glory.


ST_Day1

DAY 1

9 SEP 2018

As we were returning home from the Windward side, I thought it would be nice to snap some pics of Shawn riding, actually thinking that I might get a few nice ones in that he could possibly use to update his profile photo. I even told the girls, “...so he can change that one with the cigar already!” He’s had the same one up (the ONLY one up) for years and he would always get irked with me when I would bring up the topic of changing it. He liked it, it served its purpose, why change it, right? Ha! I knew that he wouldn’t be down to change his profile pic but he’d probably ask me to post one of the images to Instagram and fb for him with some kind of Shawn-Tsukamoto-style, pidgin-to-da-max, what-emoji-are-you-even-using type of caption. iykyk. So I told Cody when to “slow down a little”, “let that one car move out of the way first”, and little things like that to hopefully get a few nice ones in. After going through them, I’m choosing this one as our “Day 1” photo. We have no photos of him from the accident scene...not sure that I’d want any. None from the emergency room. We don’t even have photos of the magical moment when he was being wheeled past the waiting room after surgery and the large group of us gathered there moved in towards him and all started calling out his name, encouraging and cheering him on. And it’s okay, because we have the memories, the bond, and all the good feels of being there, together, for Shawn. So this pic is my pick for Day 1, the day the power tripped for a split second, forcing our family to perform a necessary restart. We don’t know what the road ahead has in store for us, but we do know this, HE is with us.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9


ST_Day2

DAY 2

10 SEP 2018

I know, it looks bad....initially, anyway. But if you pause, take a breath, a deeper look, you can see how amazing it is. This is a snapshot of God’s provision. Shawn is surrounded by teams of medical professionals who know their stuff! Technology and resources that would not have been available had we been born “back in the olden days”. And we have reconnected with so many people we know who work here and have been going the extra mile for Shawn.

The following is a copy of my Day 2 text update:
Hoped Shawn’s MRI would have been done by the time we returned to the hospital but turns out he is still in the waiting line. Looks might it might get done later today or sometime tonight. The MRI will give us a better look into what’s going on with his brain and with his spine.

Met with the eye doctor and he said his 👀 eyeballs look good. There is some light fracturing around the left eye area but doc said there were no cuts to the eyes. (Yay!) Please continue to pray for complete restoration of his eyes, vision/eyesight, and surrounding eye and facial areas.

He had a slight fever this morning but it has since gone down. (Another Yay!)

Really active a little while ago when Kirsten and Tyler came into the room. He was trying to get out of the bed! Since he is under sedation it looks like he’s in sleepwalk mode as he tries to break free from the bed.

Left arm showing lots of increased strength compared to this morning. Totally lifted it off the bed when Kirsten and Tyler were standing beside him! As he was trying to make his great escape! Ha!


ST_Day3

DAY 3

11 SEP 2018

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8

The following is a copy of my Day 3 update:

Breathing tube was taken out this morning. So now it’s kind of like he’s snoring....and blowing his morning breath! Tyler said it’s not morning breath, it’s Sunday-Monday-Tuesday breath! 😁

He’s still wildin’ and is stronger each day! 👍🏼⚡️🙏🏼💪🏽💥 He has mittens on his hands so that he can’t pull any tubes out, and he has succeeded in wiggling his hands out of those mittens several times today. Coco said he’s on a Mitten Mission. Tyler followed up with “It’s Mitten Impossible”.😆 He worked up a small sweat a few hours ago trying to get those things off! Fan is back on so room is back to brrrrrr ❄️

They put in a feeding tube through his nose and removed the bandage that looked like a turban on his head. 🤕 His head STILL looks good! I told him he looks extra rugged now since his stitches look like a huge centipede in hairpin turn formation.

Recently got the breakdown of his MRI. Doc said they did MRI on head and neck. Neck looks good! Still some cerebellum bleeding so please pray that it will no longer bleed and there will be no effects of D.A.I. which is a shearing (tiny cuts) of cells in the brain.

His face is still a bit swollen but swelling around his left eye area has gone down considerably. Yay! Please pray for the swelling to decrease.

Thank you for your prayers, love, positive thoughts, visits, and ALL the food, snacks, and drinks so many of you have provided for the girls and me! We are so grateful for such an amazing system of support!! ❤️


ST_Day4

DAY 4

12 SEP 2018

The following is a copy of my text update. Some parts have been edited and corrections made as I was so sleepy when putting it all together that I got some info mixed up.

Hi All!
My apologies for such a late update. I was hoping to send this out last night but was so exhausted that I just had to turn in for the night.😴 Hope all of you are doing well and weren’t affected too much by the storm. The following updates are from Day 4 Sep. 12th.

Shawn seemed a little sleepier than normal last night so they decided to do a CT scan. Dr. said results look good. 👍🏼 (I’m actually glad he seemed sleepier than normal. I was praying he would get a good rest last night.)

There was a moment this morning when he must have sensed an opportunity while his mitten was taken off and apparently seized it. Before the team could stop him he pulled out his chest tube! #whoaninja Good news: Chest tube is still out.👍🏼

He is wearing a small oxygen mask which REALLY helps with his SNORING! (Yes!)

Moves hand to remove localized pain, but still hasn’t started to follow commands. What this means: When the dr/nurse asks him to do something, he has yet to follow their commands, but if they instill some kind of slight pain (like pinching) to the area, he will swat at it because of the discomfort it causes. Please pray that he will start to follow instructions.

His left pupil is still dilated but He DID start tracking 👀 (following with his eyes), so we are excited about that! Please pray for complete restoration and optimal function for both of his eyes and that he has maintained the 20/20 vision he’s so proud of. “Ugh!”, says the girl with glasses.🤓

His MRI results came back. Please pray that all areas where D.A.I. has been detected will be healed.

Those rugged looking staples that look like a windy road on the left side of his head are due to be taken out next week. Yay! Dr. said scars are healing nicely. 🤔 Maybe tattoo “Road to Restoration ” along its trail?? Nah...I think NOT. Ha!

Will keep updates coming as we get them. Thank you all for your prayers and positive thoughts! We love and appreciate you!


ST_Day5

DAY 5

13 SEP 2018

I hope these photos of Shawn aren’t too unsettling for you. Don’t worry. The gauze on his head is to help with the little bit of oozing from a cut, and the towel is to catch drool.

We got wind that all sorts of stories about his situation were floating around and wanted to share what was really taking place. I am usually extremely sensitive and reserved to posting these kinds of photos, but finally decided to share by showing. Just by swiping through each days’ photos you can see the progress. GOD HEALS!! JESUS CHRIST IS MIGHTY TO SAVE! “For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

Please, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask. We need to stand unified in our thoughts and prayers, and be mindful with the words we speak as we contend for Shawn during this time! Thank you for your cooperation, support, and outpouring of love! ❤️


ST_Day6

DAY 6

14 SEP 2018

Still resting and making progress. Even got to keep the mitts off for good behavior! 😅 Charlie said his finger reminds her of E.T.❤️

Thank you all for your prayers and love! I know many of you want to visit. Please contact me first as he is still in the ICU and we want to be respectful of his neighbors.

We are also working together with his team of doctors and nurses and our responsibility is to try to not overstimulate him while we are visiting. This is a challenge for us because we are so excited to see him and how far he’s come, and are so stoked as we witness what God is doing through him! 🎉

He has been on sedation since he’s been in ICU and our goal is to wean him off. It looks like this could be really soon. (Yay!) Once that happens, we can loosen the strings a little more on visits and he may even be moved out of ICU. (Double yay!)

For now, please continue to pray for total healing and complete restoration. Love, kisses, and big, big hugs from the girls and me to all of you. ❤️


ST_Day7

DAY 7

15 SEP 2018
From the crown of his head to the soles of his feet....

Rather than upload another close up shot of his face, I wanted to share this one that our daughter Tyler took. For several days now, Shawn has been crossing his ankles this way while resting and it has warmed our hearts each time he does it. You see, this is exactly how he positions his legs when he’s at home relaxing. He sits on the floor, leans back against the couch, stretches his legs out in front, crosses his ankles, and assumes his lounging position, usually with any given surf contest playing on tv. 🏄📺 🌊 Each time he’d position his legs this way, we’d be assured that he was in Good hands.

More mile markers today!
Late Friday night while sitting with Shawn, our friend Rollins noticed he opened his eyes! Just slightly, but he did open them...on his own! Up until then we’d only see them open when his nurses were examining them as they were performing their routine tests. And that continued on through today!

In addition, he has been off sedation since the morning. Yay!

Continuing to monitor for fever, apply therapy to his chest, and vacuum throat in order to loosen and release all the gala-galahz. Please continue to pray for complete healing of his lungs.

It’s been one week and it is so amazing to see how far he’s come!

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21


ST_Day8

DAY 8

16 SEP 2018

Happy to report that Shawn was transferred out of the Neuro ICU! Although he is still in ICU, his nurse reported that they will keep him here overnight and hopefully move him to a regular recovery room tomorrow. (Yay!) He cracked his eyes open when we entered his room and seemed to be giving us all a good looking over. Keeping the mitts on for good measure as he is still trying to pull tubes out when he gets a chance. 💪🏽

We are taking each day as it comes and focusing on whatever task is first at hand. Thank you all for your love and support! Please continue to pray for him. We are praying that his lungs will clear, are strong, and can expand to full capacity. Also for “total healing and complete restoration, in Jesus’ name.”

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (see also v.25-33)


ST_Day9

DAY 9

17 SEP 2018

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-8

Updates:

  • No longer on the heart monitor.

  • Neck brace is off.

  • Coughing as he tries to clear lungs.

  • His nurse said they sat him in a chair today.

  • Big yawns.

  • Snoring.

  • Turns head in direction of tv and tries to watch for a little while. (Surfing’s on.)

  • When I asked him if he wanted to take his glove off, he shook his head back and forth slightly, implying he did not want to take it off. (😏Impressive!)

  • High-fiving it! ✋🏽

  • Waiting to see if he will be able to move to a regular room and out of ICU. 🙌🏼🎉

  • Go Fund Me account has been set up by some dear friends. “Thank You!!” to all of you for sharing the info and for your generosity and loving kindness. ❤️


Day 10.jpg

DAY 10

18 SEP 2018

Hallelujah! We are so grateful for all the Lord has done! Shawn is showing progress everyday but we know there is still work to do. We continue to encourage him and stand by his side as he transitions into the next phase of his restoration journey.

Although movements are slow for now, Shawn is still his feisty self. He sits up in a chair for several hours each day and uses the arm rest to try to pull himself up and out of the chair.
He is also starting to speak. His first word today was “Yes”. 😊 Lots of 🤙🏽🤟🏽👊🏽 going on today!

The Lord continues to care for and provide for Shawn in ways we could not have ever imagined!

Please continue to pray for strength and energy to flow through his body.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19


Day 11.jpg

DAY 11

19 SEP 2018

Why is it that something as simple as waiting can sometimes be so difficult to do? We continue to remain vigilant over Shawn as he begins his next phase of restoration, and are preparing ourselves for a journey consisting of both work and rest. The hours of work, though challenging, are so exciting because we can see progress happening. However, it is in those moments of rest, when Shawn is asleep, that impatience can try to sneak in. He did so much in the past two days that he seemed exhausted today. He even fell asleep in the middle of a therapy session!😯 Although I wanted to keep encouraging him to do more (aka: push), I knew I had to let God our Healer remain in control. He knows exactly what Shawn needs - from every person on the medical team tonight as he slumbers, to the team coming in for tomorrow morning’s shift change. He already has the path mapped out, we just have to follow. He reminded me of this today:

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4

I pray this scripture encourages someone. It is so powerful! LET PATIENCE HAVE ITS PERFECT WORK, THAT YOU MAY BE PERFECT AND COMPLETE, LACKING NOTHING.

My desire is for Shawn to be perfect and complete, lacking nothing! If it means being a little “patient”, too, then sign me up!🙋🏻‍♀️

Shawn is pictured here with our daughter, Kirsten. Our girls have been phenomenal throughout this journey so far, standing at his bedside whenever possible. Please keep them in your prayers as well.😌


Day 12.jpg

DAY 12

20 SEP 2018

Sound asleep after a busy day of speech therapy, physical therapy, and what I’m told was a pretty intense pep talk from a really good buddy of his.

He did better than yesterday during his speech therapy session. Yesterday he managed to fall asleep AND start snoring in the middle of it all.🤭

I wasn’t able to stay for today’s physical therapy session, but was informed that his therapist was able to get him sitting at the edge of the bed, legs dangling over.👏🏼👍🏼

His staples were removed yesterday and the doctor seemed a bit surprised when I asked if I could keep them.😳 Art project, maybe?🤔💭🎨

You gotta admit, he’s looking pretty good for someone who looked the way he did on Day 2. Praise God!!🙌🏼

Still using the feeding tube. Please pray that he will be able to eat normally and will no longer need any tubes for feeding.

We continue to pray for his complete restoration and have no doubt the Lord is at work in Shawn’s life.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21


Day 13.jpg

DAY 13

21 SEP 2018

When I type out the dates of these updates it still seems like such a blur. Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday that we were in a private room in the ER, waiting to hear from the doctors on Shawn’s condition. It’s already the 21st. The accident happened on the 9th.

Today, his wounds and bruises are healing up nicely. Black and blue is fading to pale crimson and yellow, and the minor abrasions on his arms and legs have finally reached that “beef jerky” phase.

He must have given his night nurse some excitement when he managed to pull the feeding tube out of his nose, mittens ON, at 4 in the morning! I’m guessing that was a bit painful as it’s sutured in there.😬 The team was able to get things under control, patch him back up, and now that same nurse has him again, tonight!😳😅

Mr. Nice Guy told one of his therapists “Hi” today. 👍🏼

Turned himself on his side tonight as he tried to stretch out his back. That must have felt gooooood.

Please pray that his speech will continue to improve and his word count increases each day.

I know I don’t say it in every update, but please know that your love, prayers, and kind words are greatly appreciated. We are encouraged daily by your likes and comments. Thank you for all the love you’ve shared and continue to share with Shawn and our family.

“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord...” Jeremiah 30:17


Day 14.jpg

DAY 14

22 SEP 2018

Still a good amount of napping for this guy, giving me some time to reflect as I sit by his bedside.

One of Shawn’s favorites is Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I love how it is written in the Amplified: “I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]”

Please include this in your prayers for Shawn. We are hoping to transition into rehab soon and know that in addition to physical demands, mental and emotional challenges may be in store. Praying for his mental toughness to kick into full gear as he is infused with inner strength and confident peace.


Day 15.jpg

DAY 15

23 SEP 2018

Although Shawn was a little restless when we visited, it was overall a mellow day. His eye(s) lit up when he woke up from his nap and saw Tyler standing at the foot of his bed. She was stoked when he immediately flashed her his currently-crooked smile. I say “eye(s)” because the left one is still closed as it’s the one, along with the surrounding area, that sustained injuries. It’s nice to see that although still closed, it now “blinks” together with his right eye.

Charlie decided that his bed is fairly comfy so why not crawl in there and watch surfing together. 😊

This week was emotionally challenging for us and I realized that this has been our family’s biggest “mountain” so far. But, I am reminded of His Word:

“So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:22-24

In addition, the lyrics from this song have been coming to mind over the past couple of days — especially the part that goes, “Our God is greater, our God is stronger”. Whenever the going seems slow or statements of doubt try to surround us, I remind myself that HE IS GREATER!

🎵
Water You turned into wine
Opened the eyes of the blind
There's no one like You
None like You
Into the darkness You shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There’s no one like You
None like You

Our God is greater
Our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God
🎵

“...He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) God is greater than our circumstances.


ST_Day16

DAY 16

24 SEP 2018

I am so looking forward to the day when Shawn is back home, asleep next to me in our bed, stealing my share of the covers in the middle of the night. These days make me realize how the little things in life really are the big things.

Right now, some dear friends of ours are visiting him, sitting beside his bed, and he is caressing our friend’s arm and belly with his foot, probably fishing for a foot massage! It is the funniest! They just sent me a video of it and I am laughing so hard!🤣

“A merry heart does good, like medicine...” Proverbs 17:22

Please continue to pray Ephesians 3:20-21 over him. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”


ST_Day17

DAY 17

25 SEP 2018

Most of us are familiar with the Ice Bucket Challenge. For Shawn, these past several days have been all about what we refer to as the Ice Chip Challenge. Let me be the first to tell you, this challenge has been quite frustrating for those of us closest to Shawn, and it probably hasn’t been very challenging for him at all! Why? Because we live in this microwave society that seems to set off something in us that demands instant results. When the wireless router has to restart, Ugh! When the cable goes out for a few seconds during our show, Ugh! When the webpage takes too long to load, double Ugh! When Shawn is too sleepy to even DO the ice chip thingie that his speech therapist is coaxing him to do, UGH!!!!!

Why we get our bibs in a bunch is beyond me, especially when the Holy Spirit whispers a reminder to your heart to “let patience have its perfect work...”. But there we were, being anxious for nothing, when Shawn didn’t complete the challenge in OUR time. Looking back, I think to myself, “So dumb, Lenore.”🤪 Alas, with my humanity sometimes comes a doi-doi-ness that only God can help me through.😅

Getting back to the Ice Chip Challenge, which is an early indicator for therapists as they monitor and work with patients like Shawn. He may not have done it last week, but he did it today!! AND his therapist told us he did it yesterday, too! WHAT!?!!?? 🙌🏼🎉 (Ummm...didn’t I ask somebody about updates??) Now, right here, bibs could be shmall kine bunching, but heck if I’m gonna get all worked up about not being updated! That’s not gonna matter in five years! What matters is HE DID IT!! 👊🏽👊🏽💥Go Shawn, Go! Breakthrough! Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus! What’s important is that he did it in God’s perfect timing, which is why I say it probably wasn’t very challenging for him at all! He was sleepy, he slept. He needed rest, he rested. He woke up, he completed the Ice Chip Challenge. No biggie...except to us who still need to work on patience!😅 Ha!

But wait! There’s more! We DID get updated that this morning he said, “Good Morning” and also said his last name! WHAAAATTTT!! As our daughters would say, “Yessuh! Blessuh!....” (etc. etc.) Got teenagers? You know.

Needless to say, we are pretty stoked! He is going to have a small procedure tonight to remove the feeding tube in his nose and replace it with a tube to his stomach, so please pray for him, his doctor, and the entire medical team. This will allow him to get more nutrients which means more energy to stay awake longer to participate in his various rehab therapies. In addition, it will definitely bring some relief to that nice lookin’ nose of his. He keeps rubbing it every chance he gets...probably because there are some bats up in them caves! LoL. What, Bah! はなばた?😜

This past week I was encouraged as I was reminded of Hebrews 11:1. The Amplified says, “Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].”🙌🏼 Thank you, Lord! Just because we can’t see it with our natural eyes, doesn’t mean it’s not taking place!

Photo: We were too excited when he was performing the Ice Chip Challenge that no photos or videos were taken....just a whole lotta cheering was going on! And instead of posting a pic of ice chips in a styrofoam cup, I rather share this with you to show how good God is. This is how Shawn sometimes sleeps — arms folded — when napping at home.☺️❤️


ST_Day17a

DAY 17 - ADDITIONAL UPDATE

25 SEP 2018

So, I thought I was ahead of the update game when I posted earlier this evening. Then someone decided he was going to have a stellar night with our three oldest daughters. He kept pulling at the bed rail, so Coco asked if he wanted help sitting up. All it took was a little assistance from her, and he was up! Hallelujah! He even sang the ABC’s with Tyler!

🙏🏼🙌🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼🙏🏼


ST_Day18

DAY 18

26 SEP 2018
What a day! Lots of smiling, rascally facial expressions, more use of words, and even some laughter from this guy.

He’s a bit messy looking in this pic with some makapiapia I hadn’t cleaned yet, and crusty lips because his mouth was so dry, but we’ve got a smile, Houston! 👏🏼🙌🏼❤️ In addition, he was more alert and interactive today, even saying a strong, clear, “Thank You” to one of his nurses when she complimented him on how young she thought he looked. Ha! To top that off, we even got a few “I love you”s out of him!😊

I was able to be squeezed into a last minute meeting with a liaison from a mainland rehabilitation center. It’s not easy to even consider having to send him off-island, but we want what’s best for Shawn, and ultimately what the Lord has in store for him. Currently, we are getting as much information as we can, keeping all options open, and praying for clarity and guidance in the decision-making process.

Thank you for your continued prayers, support, and encouraging words. Our daughter Kirsten and I just had some Mimi + Kiki time together, talking about her Dad’s progress, and I was able to share more with her about the importance of words — the words we choose to use and the power of the spoken word. The opportunity to speak into her life brings such joy to mine. The Lord is truly blessing so many of us as we journey together with Shawn on his Road to Restoration!

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29NKJV (see also AMP and MSG)

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21


ST_Day19

DAY 19

27 SEP 2018

Physical therapy went really well today and his physical therapist was really stoked with his session!

It seems like with each week comes a new rhythm as he continues to show progress and grow stronger by the day. This week it’s been a lot of work with therapists in the mornings and/or early afternoons, napping for the rest of the day, and socializing with his closest friends and family in the evening. Although he does still doze off while we’re there, he has been more alert and way more talkative over the past few days. (Yay!) Though some words are still a little difficult to make out, his use of them seems to be increasing exponentially and there are those moments when his words are crystal clear. 🙌🏼

Sometimes it’s so hard to leave him at the end of the night, but I know he is in good hands and always in the Lord’s care. The following Facebook comment by a dear friend of ours who works at the hospital brought a smile to my face and gave me added reassurance, knowing that even if we can’t always be by his side, it’s okay, and there is nothing to worry about.

“In the early morning, the nurses aides were making their rounds changing and turning Shawn. I could hear them laughing and talking stories to Shawn and as they walked out saying thank u my friend! When i passed by i saw him smiling at them, too cute!”

We continue to give thanks and praise to the Lord for His mighty power at work in Shawn’s life. “Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 amp

Photo: Our dear friend Loren with her two daughters and Charlie talking with Shawn about skateboarding. Standing on the other side of the bed, not pictured, are some of his buddies he regularly skates with. It was so great to see his face light up when they entered the room!


ST_Day20

DAY 20

28 SEP 2018

Full day of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. I didn’t make it to the hospital in time to sit in on PT, but heard it went well. For OT he worked on brushing his teeth and washing his face, and his occupational therapist said she will be increasing his sessions from 3 days a week to 4-5 days a week. (Yay!) Speech therapy was today’s highlight as he not only passed the Ice Chip Challenge with ease, but was also able to sip water from a straw! In addition, he got some applesauce today during speech therapy. His eye(s) lit up when his therapist showed him the container and he quickly responded with an excited, “Whoa!!” LoL. THEN he does a bit of an 180 with the applesauce! He takes his first bite, and shows no interest in taking another. Not because he can’t swallow it, but because he claims, with a sour face, “It’s bitter.”😳😅 Okay then...

All in all it was a good day. Had to leave early and get our youngest one tucked in for the night...she’s participating in tomorrow’s Aloha Festivals Floral Parade and has to be at the bus pick up zone at 0:TooEarly in the a.m. She did want to get a quick sesh in at the skate park this afternoon after watching a few SK8 videos with her Dad. Boy, I thought all this hospital biz was tough! It’s hardly anything compared to having to watch your daughter do her runs by herself at the skate park without her Daddy! I nearly bawled my eyes out!!😭 Please give your loved ones an extra hug tonight, let them know how much you love and appreciate them, and cherish every moment you have together!❤️

That being said, I have no idea what’s in store for tonight as some of our closest friends and our daughters are there with him as I type this update. Last night, our 3 older girls were with him before bedtime and Tyler decided she would try the “Tigra and Bunny” with him. She had been planning it for a few days now. (I know some of you know what I’m talking about!) Well, you guessed it, he sang it with her! She sang most of it and he joined in with the BOOMs! 👏🏼🎵😆 THEN, she decides to start cheering (😏again) and starts, “If you wanna win this game, you gotta cheer with all your might! When we say “Go!”, you say “Fight!”...I know most of you know this one. She says the GOs and Shawn follows up, on cue, with all the FIGHTs. (Yessuh!!)😁

It is such a privilege to witness God’s handiwork in Shawn’s life. Although we could look at this journey from one standpoint and somberly say, “It’s been 20 days...”, we choose instead to walk this new path and declare, “It’s only been 20 days, and look what the Lord has done!”

There is a song we used to always sing back in the 90’s. It came to mind the other day and it still pumps me up! Same for Shawn! It goes:

Look what the Lord has done!
Look what the Lord has done!
He healed my body!
He touched my mind!
He saved me, just in time!
I’m gonna praise His name!
Each day He’s just the same!
Come on and praise Him,
Look what the Lord has done!
🎵🙌🏼❤️

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10


ST_Day 21

DAY 21

29 SEP 2018

Abarenbō Shōgun over here decided that the gown just wasn’t for him today. One of his nurses suggested we bring a pair of his shorts from home. Oh boy! We’re planning to move on outta here, not make house! *returns with his favorite shorts tomorrow*😂

He is turning more and more onto his right side. (Yay!) There was a little concern amongst the staff here as both his left and right sides were moving equally shortly after being taken off sedation, and then one day there seemed to be very little movement with his left arm and leg while his right side was going to town! A few days ago we began to see more and more movement taking place with his left side. 🙌🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼

Speech therapy went well to the point that our family was authorized to periodically give him ice chips and sips of water, on certain conditions. (We’ll take it!)😊 Dr. Charlie administered the ice chips this afternoon and her No.1 patient seemed to thoroughly enjoy them!

Shawn napped most of the afternoon, but still managed to share a few smirks and smiles with us when we joked about certain things. 😏😊😏

For now, this is our family’s ‘new normal’ but we know the Lord isn’t done yet! We continue to pray for Shawn and declare total healing and complete restoration of his life. To God be all the glory!

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19


Day 21

DAY 21 - ADDITIONAL UPDATE

29 SEP 2018

Brian and Doreen have been our friends for many years now, and also happen to live one street away. It is such an added blessing when friends are neighbors, and neighbors are friends! Somewhere between Weeks 1 and 2, God orchestrated help for us on the home front. The following is a copy of a text message with Brian:

“Hi!! I was thinking of you the other day while the girls and I were driving home from the hospital. Coco was driving one car and I was in the other. I was thinking of asking you if you could come by once in a while to love on Thunder...

...we get home, unload the cars, and Cody says, “Oh yeah..Uncle Brian asked if he could take Thunder for a walk sometimes.”

Talk about God warming my heart! ❤️ If you’re still available, I’d love it if you could spend some time with him. Lmk. Thanks Brother!”

A few days later Brian shows up to give it a go with 🐶Thunder and it just does not work!😅 We decide to try again another day.

Around that time, our friend Mary sent me a message inquiring if there was anything she and her boys could do to help while we were tending to Shawn in the hospital. She said she felt God prompting her to help our family. I couldn’t think of anything at the time, so I told her I’d keep her posted.

Soon after that, the big rains came, leaves were strewn all over the yard, and I vaguely remembered Coco mentioning something about ‘Uncle Brian and the yard’. I also thought of Mary and her offer when we’d return home from the hospital late at night and crunch through the piles of leaves in the driveway as we made our way to the house. “The boys could probably help with raking leaves”, I thought.

I decided to contact Mary and take her up on her offer. After messaging her, I texted Brian and inquired if he did indeed extend an offer to help with the yard. Our text feed went like this:

Me: “Hi Brother! Do you know Mary? She asked if her boys could help me in any way and I let her know that I could use help raking and clearing the vines off the fence. Coco mentioned you said something about yard as well...??? (I sure hope you did or I am WAY overstepping!! 😅) Would you be able to link up with them and maybe help supervise them? Since you’re friends with Thunder and all....😁 Lmk. And if cannot, no worries. Thanks Brian!

Brian: “Hahhahhahahah”

Brian: “I drove by today to see if you were home! If ok I was going to ask if I can do the yard work for u ? Will take care of it just put Thunder in the House!!!!!! Lol. Is there a time I can come for you to introduce me to Thunder I still want to walk him ..”

I reintroduced him to Thunder and they made fast friends (the doggie treats he brought probably helped the situation😜) and “Unko” Brian and Thunder went on their first successful walk with Charlie serving as chaperone.😁

Today, because of simply saying “Yes” to help, an amazing group of people — Brian, Brandon, Dan, Kyle, Karl, Corbin, Mary, Brent, Ethan, and Mike — shared their precious time with our family this morning, and I believe we all, in our own ways, experienced God’s provision and love. Shawn’s mom even got in on the action!

I share this with you because God has graciously provided and continues to provide EVERYTHING Shawn (and our family) needs...even down to the grass being cut, leaves being raked, and unruly vines being cleared from the fence! All this is what Shawn would usually handle, and the girls and I would help after the “tough stuff” was done. After Week 1, I really thought I was some kind of Wonder Woman and could do the yard work myself. Ha! Then reality (and exhaustion!) set in and I was reminded that I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed help. I shared this the other week: “Many times our prideful nature keeps us from humbling ourselves and surrendering to assistance that is so readily available. Last week, as Shawn was placed in the care of phenomenal medical professionals, I learned to completely let go and allow our Heavenly Father to care for me, our girls, and our family. Rather than shy away from offers of help, I leaned in more and more to the safety net our Lord had laid. Through the years I’ve learned that He doesn’t want us to go through life alone and provides support systems for us all along the way...we just need to take hold of them.” It is my prayer today that someone who needs help will ask. That pride, or shame, or fear, will no longer hold them back, but instead will be replaced with boldness and hope, and a knowing that God will meet us when we reach out to Him in faith. And when we do, He is glorified!

“...your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” Matthew 6:8

“Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

A HUGE “Thank you!!” to this special group of friends with servant’s hearts. We appreciate everything you’ve done for our family and are so grateful for all of you! 😌❤️


ST_Day22

DAY 22

30 SEP 2018

Today was a mellow day with a handful of visiting friends in the morning and snoozing for most of the day, even when a few unexpected afternoon visitors showed up. Tennie and Tyler also joined him for an afternoon nap. 😴💤

The devotion our daughters have for their Dad is inspiring. Whenever they can be by his side, they’re there, encouraging and loving him in their own special way. It is so heartwarming when Shawn calls out their name or gives them a familiar look or facial expression based on some inside joke or personal experience they share. These past three weeks have not been easy for them, but knowing they’ve been stretched and strengthened actually brings joy to me as a mother. Sometimes it’s difficult to let go and allow your children to go through challenges, but I know it’s ultimately for their benefit. Tonight as we drove home, the conversation turned to Dad and all the day-to-day things he would do for them. All the things they appreciate...and miss.

“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” Z.K.A.


ST_Day 23

DAY 23

01 OCT 2018

We are beyond excited as Shawn is movin’ on OUT!! No more ICU or Med-Surg for this guy! Rehab, here we come!

Last Wednesday the ball started slowly rolling in the direction of Rehab. One x factor was that we didn’t know whether it meant going to the mainland, or staying here on island. The weekend served as a waiting period for us and I knew come Monday, we would be closer to having to make a decision. The only problem? I didn’t want to be the one making that decision. Over the weekend one of my prayers went something like this, “Father, I know you already have a rehab facility prepared for Shawn — right now there seems to be two — but I really am going to need your help in knowing which the right one is for him. Please make it super clear for me because I really don’t want to make that decision. I don’t want to choose the one that I want. I want the one You choose. So, You show us, okay? OK, thanks. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” Ha! Sometimes I feel like He just shakes His head at me. LoL.

Today, sensing that Rehab was “coming soon”, I sent an update and a prayer request to some friends who have been praying with us from Day 1. This is part of the message I sent: “Right now we are in the process of getting him transferred into a rehab facility. We are waiting to hear back from the only local rehab facility here on island, and one that is located in Colorado. The last thing I want to do is choose one based on what I think is best. Please pray that he is placed in the one God has already prepared for him.” That was at approximately 1pm today. At 4pm, while driving home from the hospital, his case worker calls. Her call is short, to point, and went something like this, “Mrs. Tsukamoto, this is B****, your husband’s case manager. Okay, so he is scheduled to be transported to Rehab tomorrow.” She gave me a few additional details, answered my questions and that was that, no biggie. Except it IS such a BIGGIE!!

Our Heavenly Father is so good! He has taken Shawn (and the rest of us) on such an incredible path of healing, repair, restoration, and awe, and we know He is not done with us yet. We are looking forward to all He has in store on the next part of this journey.

Thank you for all of your support; prayers; kind words; monetary, food, and floral gifts; acts of service; and love. Our hearts are full of gratitude for each and every one of you! May the Lord bless you forevermore.

Photo: This is how I found him when I entered his room this morning. According to his nurse, ‘Prince Shawn’ had just finished occupational therapy, took a big 💩, had a real shower/bath thanks to his nurse and nurse’s aide, and had just started his morning nap before I arrived. I hear he might even get a shave in the morning before leaving! 👨🏻👍🏼👎🏼


ST_Day24

DAY 24

02 OCT 2018

Today was a full day! First things first, he DID get that shave his nurse had promised, and he looks so good...and YOUNG! As some of you know, there are several stages of recovery for someone who experienced a traumatic brain injury, and sometimes it can mean getting some facts mixed up. Well for this guy, one thing that is currently mixed up is the age he thinks he is, and it’s adorable! A couple of days ago he said he was 35. Today, when asked the same question about how old (or young) he was, he replied pretty confidently with, “Thirty.” 😅 Although I must admit, maybe he ISN’T getting that part mixed up at all! After all, as Mark Twain put it, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Ha!

That being said, he was welcomed with so much love today at Rehab!

Right off the bat, one of his nurses noticed his closed eye and shared a story of a young girl who came through Rehab with a similar condition. She shared that over time, the girl returned to visit, her eye now open, and she was thriving and going to school. What an encouraging story to hear upon arrival! Please continue to pray for healing and power to flow through, and strength to return to all parts of his body which control function of his left eyelid.🙏🏼

Soon after, we met with his doctor who spent a good amount of time sitting with us, assessing Shawn, and even talking story about small kid days, Pearl City, and a few other things. We even discovered that he and Shawn grew up in the same neighborhood! But the best thing about his visit (for me, anyway) was when he placed part of his hand over Shawn’s face, covering his right eye, held open Shawn’s left eye, and started holding up his fingers, asking Shawn “How many fingers am I holding up?” Each time Shawn got the numbers correct! You see, in addition to his left eyelid currently being closed, there was also impact to his left eyeball and the surrounding facial area. A few days after his Day 1 surgery, his doctors were concerned about his left eye. After some time and several visits from the ophthalmologist, it was determined that he had sustained either a strain or tear to the muscle of his iris, causing his eye to remain dilated. One doctor likened it to the shutter of a camera being temporarily stuck on the open setting, and like most bodily strains, would need time to heal. The fact that Shawn could see the fingers his doctor was holding up today added so much hope to my Hope Tank! 🙌🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼 Please continue to pray for complete restoration and healing of his left eye. If you feel moved, please also include a blessing for his right eye as well, so both are covered. (No pun intended)😉 (Oh boy, this winky face is punny, too!) Gah!! Thank you, Lord for an endless supply of joy, and also for all of the LoL moments throughout this journey! 🙌🏼

We then met with his speech therapist who had him count to 10. She started off with 1...2... and he finished up, softly and half asleep, with 3...4...5...6...7...8...9...😴. Not quite to 10 but I was so stoked to hear those numbers, in that order! 🙌🏼 To top that off, his therapist says, “If he can do that while half asleep, I’m excited to see what he can do when he is fully awake!” (What? You have a cup-half-full outlook, too!??! I love you already! Thank You, Jesus for people like this gal!)0

He rested for a short while before meeting his physical therapy doc. I thought he would just be assessed, asked to perform a few movements, and the work would start tomorrow. Wrong! He was soon moved to a chair and wheeled to the therapy gym where he walked the entire length of the bar with assistance from two aides and coaching and guidance from his therapist. It was so awesome to see! Just as awesome were the fist bumps going around and then the ‘mahalo handshakes’ Shawn had for each guy. At this point I’m thinking they might be wrapping things up. Wrong, again! They head over to a set of PT stairs and he is able to go up two steps, and then down again, backwards. 🙌🏼 The two young men take him back to his room and do a ‘potty practice’ with him. He is fully “clothed” (still in gown😅), and they help him to sit on the toilet to practice the motions of going to the bathroom. Once he sits down he instinctively knows to grab the toilet paper, tears some off, folds it neatly like he normally does, moves it to his left hand (he’s a lefty) and attempts the wiping motion when one of the guys says, “That’s good! Okay, we’re done now.” Shawn, with a slightly puzzled expression on his face, still keeps trying to “wipe” and you can tell he is thinking that until that toilet paper is in the toilet, he isn’t done yet. (Yes! Thank You, Jesus! He remembers what to do! Just needs to build up strength and he will be going on his own soon! 🙏🏼🙌🏼😅)

After that he is left to sit in the wheelchair for a little while until his nurse comes to administer his feeding. While waiting, Mr. Can-do starts to get a little impatient and decides he is going to get out of the wheelchair and back into bed himself. He even starts to fidget with the release lever of the footrest on the chair! (Today’s photo pick as I don’t have permission to post the only photo I took of him walking before I checked to see if photo-taking in that area was even allowed. Oops! It’s not.) Thankfully, his nurse’s aide came to the rescue and helped him safely back into bed where he promptly knocked out 😴 while waiting for his dinner. I have no doubt that he will be doing all of these things on his own soon! 🙌🏼

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20-21msg


ST_Day25

DAY 25

03 OCT 2018

What a full day! Shawn had occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and a neuropsych evaluation, all of which equaled up to roughly about four hours, spread throughout the day. This is a huge jump from the 30–60 minutes he would do while at the hospital. He is working very hard and we are so proud of him! The effect of this, however, is that by the time we visit him in the late afternoon, he is basically ready to hit the sack!

Now that he has started his therapies at Rehab, I am able to take advantage of the little bit of breathing space his new routine gives me. Although I want to be there all day with him to sit in on his sessions and watch as he hits all those new mile markers, I know that he is (and always has been) in good hands. For now, he gets to work at Rehab and I get to work at handling things on the home front, in preparation for his soon-coming return. Don’t get me wrong, I still go and see him, just not for the entire day!😅

I had an impromptu chat with one of Charlie’s teachers this morning and was so encouraged by what she shared. She said that when others are going through things, we don’t always have to be there, physically with them, offering advice or assistance all of the time. They know we support them, they know we care about them and are praying for them, but there are some times when they need to journey on their own...just them and the Lord. Many of us have been there. That place where it was just you and Jesus. And had we not traveled down that path we would not be who we are today. Journeying with Jesus...where do you start when trying to explain it? Words can barely describe it. I believe this part of Shawn’s journey is just that — his new adventure with Jesus.

I know many of you have been inquiring as to when you can visit. For now, we want to give Shawn a few days to adjust to his new schedule and surroundings, and also get as much rest that he can in the evenings and at night so that he is refreshed and ready to press forward in the mornings. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding!

“Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.”
Psalm 25

Photo: Shawn with our daughters, Tyler and Charlie. I think he was trying to figure out what the nurse’s aide was doing on the other side of the room. LoL.😄


ST_Day26

DAY 26

04 OCT 2018

I had planned to arrive at the facility early today, but had two separate issues arise with Daughters 3 & 4, forcing me to get there just after lunch. One of his nurses had encouraged him to take a bath early, noting that, “You want to look good, your wife said she’s coming around 9:30!” (So sweet, yeah!) And then I end up being so late!!😩 Charlie tagged along with me today and Shawn looked nice and fresh in his bright Stay Stoked T&C shirt when we got there. (Still so loyal to the brand and company after all these years!) By the time we arrived he had already finished recreation therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and was sitting up in the wheelchair finishing his “lunch” (still fed via peg and tube to his stomach), but really just wanted to get into bed and sleep!

Based on the sheet of paper posted on his wall, he worked on counting to ten and is also working on the days of the week. (Yay!) I inquired with his speech therapist as to whether or not they were also working on counting backwards and she said they had not been, which is pretty awesome because yesterday he was quietly mumbling something and then just started shooting off numbers, counting backwards from ten.😀

While we were there we sat in on his occupational therapy session, which happened to be with an old friend from our Amway days! The four of us sat around the table and one thing Shawn was asked to do was to fold a piece of paper. Typical pre-accident Shawn looks at Charlie, then moves on to me, gives me a look, combined with a quick eyebrow lift, and that slight head nod which translates into: “You do it for me.” 😳🤨🧐 Ummmm, noooo. Last I checked, YOU were the one here for rehab! 😆 I quickly made up an excuse about needing to take Charlie to the restroom and rushed off, only to hide around the corner and watch. (Forgive me, Father for I have fibbed.)😅 As soon as he made that non-verbal request, I knew we needed to get outta there ASAP! You see, ever since I’ve known him he has been great at asking for help with (aka: delegating) tasks that he sometimes thinks might be too difficult to perform. Now that we are “letting patience have its perfect work”, I am definitely NOT standing in the way of whatever that means in regards to New Shawn’s restored life. So Charlie and I hurried off, peeked from around the corner, and watched as he fidgeted with the paper for a little while, and then followed his therapist’s instructions to sign his name and then draw a square. He focused on doing a few more things before we rejoined them just before he got to push himself in the wheelchair. He had a little bit of difficulty as his right arm is currently stronger than his left, which caused him to keep wheeling into the wall. Charlie, in the most innocent way, thought it was the funniest thing but I had to remind her not to laugh as it might discourage Daddy or hurt his feelings. Please continue to pray for power to flow and strength to return to the left side of his body. All in all, he did really great with today’s OT session. He practiced standing up from the wheelchair (which he is really strong at) and holding on to the parallel bars as he walked sideways to and from the chair. The fun part was when he was asked to tell his therapist the colors of the tools being held up. It went like this:
GREEN
PURPLE
FIYAH! (aka: yellow)
(Is this brown? Or blue?) BLUE
(Got them all correct! 👏🏼👍🏼😉)
THEN, when he was asked to do the next exercise, he started doing that thing again....and this time tried to ask Charlie to do it instead. (Nuh, uhhh.) He glances in my direction. (Again, no.) I know as wives we are called to be helpmeets to our husbands (Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him." Genesis 2:18) but I’ve learned that sometimes, there are things that only Father can do to help son.

Soon after OT he had dysphagia therapy, possibly because I mentioned to his nurse yesterday that he was able to do the ice chips, drink water from a straw, and eat applesauce while at Queen’s. 😬😅 DT was with the same cup-is-half-full therapist. (Yes!!) Shawn was able to practice with both ice chips and applesauce. This time he was eager to eat more than just one bite and even attempted to pick up the cup and help himself to the whole serving! 😄🍎😋 Looking forward to serving him apple PIE 🍏🥧 someday soon! His therapist said the next step will be to place a tube up his nose (Not again!) which is actually really thin, with a powerful light and camera at the end, just to make sure what he is swallowing is going down the correct pipe. I am hopeful that after this he will soon be able to start incorporating real food into his diet. 🙏🏼

Overall, it was a great day! There is actually so much more to share and I wish photo-taking was allowed in more areas of the facility because what we are able to see is truly so amazing! 🙌🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼

Photo: Daddy + Daughter conversation.


ST_Day27

DAY 27

05 OCT 2018

This guy! Coco and I planned to visit him early today and sit in for a little while on his earlier therapy session. We arrive at around 9am and he is snoozing! Like, TO DA MAX!😴💤 His nurse’s aide can’t even get him to wake up for his first session of the day! Each time we’d try to wake him, he’d pull those covers back on and go right back to sleep.

Although I really didn’t want him to miss out on his dysphagia therapy, I had to remind myself that our family has always operated on the notion that if your body needs rest, then sleep, because as you sleep, you heal. So we decided let him snooze for an additional hour or so and soon started up a conversation (through the curtain) with his roommate. Shawn and his roommate checked in on the same day, roughly around the same time. When Shawn realized someone else was in the room, he called Coco over to his side and started up a conversation with her in super stealth whisper mode. It went like this:

Shawn: “Who’s THAT?”

Coco: “That’s your roommate.”

Shawn: (in disbelief and with a shocked expression) “WHY??”

😅😂😆

His roommate is just who WE need! He’s got a sense of humor and a bit of spunk that matches ours, and casually joked that Shawn was probably so tired this morning because they snuck out last night to paint the town! 😂 His dry humor, my dry humor, and Coco’s witty wisecracks kept us all entertained as we waited for Prince Sleepyhead to wake up.

As Shawn begins to wake up he starts to negotiate with “🖐🏽”, meaning five more minutes. Ummm, okay...three minutes it is! 😅 He woke up just in time for his next therapy session, but let me tell you, Mr. You-do-it-for-me was at it again while still trying to fight the waking up process. As I was trying to wake him up, I informed him that he had an appointment. His response? “You guys go for me.”🤨

He finally got out of bed and made it in the nick of time for PT. This time, rather than being wheeled to the gym, his physical therapist assisted him as he used a walker to walk there. He experienced a little bit of difficulty, mostly because he greets everyone along the way 👋🏽🤙🏽😀 and keeps taking his hand off of the handles!

Yesterday when he arrived at the therapy gym it was fairly empty — just Shawn, his therapist, and a few other female therapists at the other end of the room. As soon as he sees them he promptly greets them with his enthusiastic, “Hi, Ladies!” For those of you who know him well, I’m sure you can hear him saying it.😊 Today, the room is full of patients hard at work with their therapists. Shawn tries to greet as many of them as he can before starting his session.

He gets started, does well with his first exercise, and then does his little pass the buck gesture to Coco when he is instructed to perform the next task. Ha! If you know Co, she can be a tough cookie, and had no problem with setting her Dad straight about whose turn it was to do the exercise.😆 He STILL kept motioning for her to do it.😂 (And...cue Lenore to come in with an exit strategy yet again.) At this point I quickly went in for a goodbye kiss and informed Shawn that we had to be on our way. Coco followed suit, gave her Dad a hug, and we were outta there! Well, after peeking around the corner for a few minutes to watch him, that is!😅

We are having such a fun time on this part of the journey. It’s so great so see Shawn getting stronger and stronger each day. Mr. Aloha 👋🏽🤙🏽seems to have officially returned and his rascally gestures, surprising comments, and playful facial expressions keep delighting us on the daily!

“This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:2-3

Photo: One of his most faithful armor bearers. By his side, encouraging him and contending for him since Day 1 on this Road to Restoration.


ST_Day28

DAY 28

06 OCT 2018

Visited Shawn twice today. Once in the morning with Kirsten and Charlie and then in the late afternoon with Charlie again, along with Co’ and Tyler.

When we arrived this morning we found Shawn and one of his nurse’s aides sitting at a table in the recreational area, working on coloring in a coloring book. As soon as he saw us his face lit up and he greeted us with his enthusiastic “Hi, you guys!” 😀 We all sat around the table and he reluctantly showed us how he colors. He was using his left hand and doing really well, showing much more control of the pen than he did just a few days ago. Too bad the pen wasn’t doing as well...we could barely see any ink! His physical therapist for the day came to meet us and she had Shawn read her name tag to learn her name. Although he didn’t get it on the first try, he got in on the second!👏🏼🙌🏼

The highlight before starting was helping him put on his regular socks with his shoes which is a big step forward as he had still been doing PT everyday in those non-slip hospital socks. (Yay, Shawn!) We sat in on part of his physical therapy session and cheered him on as he walked around the gym — the first time with no walker, only with the aid of his therapist, and the second time while having to push a 🛒shopping cart which was filled with all sorts of distracting things. He attempted to pull out the umbrella 🌂 and then the tennis racket before regaining his focus, sticking to the task at hand, and resumed pushing the cart around the entire room. At this point we said our goodbyes, exchanged hugs and kisses, and left him in high spirits as he prepared for his next exercise.

Shawn was asleep when we arrived for our afternoon visit, and woke up for a few minutes here and there as we sat around within his curtained portion of the room. His roommate’s half of the room was busier than usual as he and his family were gathering his belongings in preparation for discharge. He mentioned to us how happy he was to be going home.😊

We stayed for a while and even got to help when Shawn experienced a moment of disorientation and agitation in the evening. These phases of the healing process are not always easy to observe and experience because it seems like the TBI patient is going backwards, when he/she really is progressing. A tool used to determine the progress of a patient is the Rancho Los Amigos Cognitive Function Scale. Currently, Shawn appears to be operating somewhere between Levels 4 and 5. I say closer to 5, Coco reminds me to keep it conservative. For today, we agreed upon “4.5”. (But more like 5...reaching out and touching 6. Ha! I can totally picture Shawn saying, “Speak only what you want!”)😅 With each day we are focused on helping him get to Level 8.

After his moment of disorientation, his nurse’s aide was able to help him to the bathroom and get him settled back in bed. We know he needs all the rest he can get so we said our goodnights and he quickly drifted off to dreamland.

Please continue to pray for Shawn. We are still praying for his left eye and eyelid, complete healing and restoration of his brain, complete restoration of motor skills, and that the Lord will graciously take him to Level 8 and BEYOND, in addition to all the new “levels” in life He has in store. 🙏🏼👁🧠✍🏽👣🏄🏻‍♂️

Thank you all so much for your love and prayers.💕

Photo: Ranchos Los Amigos Cognitive Function Scale.


ST_Day29

DAY 29

07 OCT 2018

So many comical facial expressions to accompany his large amount of punchy remarks this evening! Almost everyday since he’s been here, he instructs me to “make sure you take care of them”, “make sure they’re safe”, or “make sure you give them food” in reference to all of the nurses and nurse’s aides who are helping him. Tonight was the best yet!

Shawn: “Make sure you put gas in her car so she don’t get pissed off at you.” (referring to his nurse’s aide)

Me: “She’s not upset with me.

Shawn: “Yes! Because she gotta be here!”

Me: “She’s okay with it, she’s here to help you.”

Shawn: “No, she gotta be here because you no stay!”

😳🤨😅

Soon after, one of his doctors stopped by and this happened:

Doctor: You need anything?
Shawn: Um, yeah...lots of everything!

Oh boy...🤦🏻‍♀️ (Must be the meds.)

He had a light load today, with only dysphagia therapy just before lunch. His nurse said he did really well and has already graduated to Minced & Moist foods.👏🏼 🙌🏼 Praying that he will quickly progress through all the phases of the dysphagia diet and will be able to eat normal meals soon.

We are also hoping that as more and more healing takes place in his body, he will be able to be quickly weaned off of all medications. In the meantime, we are taking all of his comments with a grain of salt and finding joy in this journey of process and progress.

“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord...” Jeremiah 30:17

Photo: Shawn cringing once he realized Tyler took half the bed from him.


ST_Day30

DAY 30

08 OCT 2018

The girls and I arrived just before Shawn’s 2pm scheduled speech therapy. His nurse reported that he hadn’t slept too well last night and was really tired. So tired that it took both nurses, his speech therapist, the four girls and me to not just coax him out of bed but lift him out as well. I’ll be honest, he was HABUTS!! (はぶてるよ!) Partly because he wanted to take off his shoes, his therapist said to leave them on, and none of us were going to help him with this one!😅 He was so grumpy and irritated with us, but, oh well! I reminded him that even if he’s tired, he needs to maximize each day he’s there and press through with each session. He was so upset, but still gave me a kiss goodbye so I’m pretty confident we’re still friends.😁 So proud of him for sticking to the process and doing what needs to be done!

Nurse’s Update:
They are starting to incorporate more food into his diet. Yesterday the joke was that he had loco moco — no egg, no beef.😂 This morning he had eggs and chopped up hamburger patty along with coffee and juice for breakfast, and fish with rice for lunch today. (Yay!!) 👏🏼🙌🏼 This means he is moving away from tube feeding and towards real meals!🎉 He also spent the earlier part of the day in the rec area singing along with a music group that came to visit. His nurse couldn’t remember what song it was, but did say that it was very meaningful and Shawn even started to tear up at some parts as he sang along.❤️😌🙏🏼🙌🏼

On the home front we are shifting gears, speeding things up, and preparing for his return. One of Shawn’s occupational therapists met with me just the other day to discuss the layout of our bathrooms and how we could modify some areas to assist with Shawn’s transition to home life. 🛁🚿🚽 Honestly, these aren’t really things I ever thought we’d have to consider while still in our forties. I always imagined we’d talk about stuff like shower safety bars years from now! But here it is, at the top of our family’s To-Do List. One thing is for sure, when Shawn is back to 💯, I know Charlie will still find a way to incorporate them into her bath-time fun. She told me she thinks it’s cool to have railings in there since we’ve never had them before! (Cup-half-full with this one, too!)😊🙌🏼

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3

Photo: So sleepy! 😴💤 He must have been really tired as his arms are placed this way. It’s usually only in the early morning hours that I will find him like this, arms folded in what seems like such a strange position, sleeping soundly until dawn breaks.


ST_Day31

DAY 31

09 OCT 2018

We have officially hit the one month mark, and it sure has been an adventure like no other we’ve been on!

I just asked our girls one thing they would share if they were writing today’s update. Here are their initial responses.

Cody: “Umm, transitions?”

Kirsten: “I’d write about how thankful we are for all the support. You know, of family and friends, and everybody that helped Dad and our family.”

Tyler: “Change.”

Charlie: “The Lord’s craftsmanship? Like....His handiwork.”

There’s a part of me that wanted to ask Co’ and Ty’ if they wanted to modify their responses. It’s that part of me, maybe like so many others, that has been influenced by the too-filtered world we operate in, especially on social media. For a second I thought, “Wouldn’t they rather say something like ‘God’s goodness’ or ‘His grace’? Maybe I should ask them again. After all, Coco was halfway out the door when I posed the question to her.” Thank goodness I came to my senses and reminded myself of how ridiculous of a thought that was! I also reminded myself that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, and the first response each of them had to my question is their most genuine. It shows me exactly where they are, what they’re thinking or feeling, at this point on the journey. It’s real and authentic, no filter needed.

TRANSITIONS? So many within one month! And it seems like just when we’ve transitioned, CHANGE shows up once again! But through it all, interwoven with each thread of transition, has been the love and SUPPORT of so many! We are so THANKFUL for the first responders, doctors, nurses, medical staff, friends, and family who have given so much to Shawn, the girls, and me during this time. We are so grateful as we continue to witness GOD’S HANDIWORK in not only Shawn’s life, but also in the lives of others, as we faithfully travel along this road to restoration.

Okay, enough of the Month 1 mushy stuff! 😅

Tyler and Charlie accompanied me late this afternoon to visit Shawn. I was hoping we would get there in time to sit with him during dinner, and we just made it! He was sitting at the long table in the dining area, the only young guy surrounded by Seniors. He may look out of place, but I have no doubt that he is exactly where he needs to be, for such a time as this!

As soon as he saw us walk out of the elevator he greeted us with his usual I LOVE YOU 🤟🏽 greeting and enthusiastically motioned for us to come on over. He was just finishing up the last of his dinner — hamburger patty with gravy, rice, and peas. Since he is still going through dysphagia therapy, his hamburger is more of a crumble than a patty, and his peas looked like they had a quasi puréed consistency. Shawn didn’t seem to mind, and when I asked him how his dinner tasted, he enthusiastically remarked, “Da buggah stay ono!!” 😆 This guy!

Soon after, trays started to get cleared and many patients retired to their rooms. We sat for a little while at the table with him, and he started to go into his service industry manager mode, directing Tyler and Charlie to start clearing the rest of the trays. He even insisted that I get “Aunteh” sitting across from him more food, a fresh towel, and more water, because “she wants more water”. (This is basically what we experience with him when he is going through one of his moments of disorientation and confusion.) Aunty just looked at our family like we were nuts, and she apparently DIDN’T want more water.😅💦

Happy to report that he ate 70% of his breakfast, 70% of his lunch, and 100% of his dinner. (Yay!) It was so great to see him enjoying a meal while sitting at a table and not needing to be fed through a tube while propped up, isolated in bed. 🙌🏼

He started his day off with neuropsychology treatment followed by his physical, dysphagia, occupational, and speech therapies. Another busy day, now blessed with the addition of real meals! Praying that he will sleep well and sleep soundly, and awake refreshed and ready to take on a new day.


ST_Day32

DAY 32

10 OCT 2018

We found Shawn sitting with one of our favorite nurses of his in the dining room this morning. Tyler decided she wanted to sneak up and surprise him and he was so happy to see her!

When we arrived he had a few more minutes of down time before his physical therapist came to greet us. Rather than taking him straight to the Therapy Gym from the dining area, she wheeled Shawn back to his room so he could get his walker and walk the distance from his room to the gym. His therapist recommended that Kirsten walk ahead of Shawn so he could stay focused as he followed her. As she led the way, she told him, “I’m gonna beat you there!” His quick response, “Hah! You wish!”😁

When we arrived at the Therapy Gym I noticed that his stomach tube was dangling out the bottom of his shirt. As I inquired about it and started helping his therapist adjust it, he teased me saying, “Eh, you not a doctor!”😳😅 Sheesh!

We were planning to leave after about five minutes so as to not distract him, but he was really focused today!👏🏼 We decided to stay and were able to not only observe but also participate in one of the exercises. He worked on various exercises to strengthen his core before moving on to balloon bumps 🖐🏽🎈🖐🏽 with Tyler (aka: Coach T). Before bumping the balloon to him Tyler asked, “Are you ready?” and he responded with, “The question is, are YOU ready?”😂 They hit the balloon back and forth for a while before his therapist moved him on to the stairs and then to other exercises. He walked through the gym and back to his room without the walker, his only assistance coming from the support of his therapist.👏🏼🙌🏼 She even had Shawn work on finding his own room and remembering his room number.

After PT it was time for lunch. We sat with him while he enjoyed his Chinese chicken salad, tossed green salad, corn, okai (aka: okayu), coffee, and orange juice. He is learning to eat slowly, swallow his food completely, and not take such huge bites. At some points we was just scarfing!!😅 He has really good control when using his utensils and is able to feed himself. 🙌🏼 (Thank you for praying for his gross and fine motor skills!)

After lunch we wheeled him around downstairs and ended up relaxing in the courtyard gazebo until he was over it and wanted to go back inside. Ha! We told him it would be good for him to get some sunshine. He just wanted to order drinks — a Coke for himself and a Vanilla Coke for me.😳 (I don’t even drink Coke anymore, but he’s so thoughtful, yeah! And I seriously think he thinks we’re on vacation somewhere!)😅 At this point we needed to say our goodbyes so Kirsten wouldn’t be late for work. I told him I’d be back later in the afternoon with Charlie.

Tyler and I dropped Kirsten off and returned home. Just before I needed to leave to pick Charlie up from school, I received a phone call from what looked like the Rehab facility’s number. I picked up the phone and said, “Hello?” The voice on the other end made my heart skip a beat! “Whatchoo doing?” Shawn said, in his low, playful voice that he uses whenever he asks me that question. It was so familiar, but I had forgotten about it until I heard it. I realized how much I had missed it — missed him — calling me and bugging me, asking me the silliest things. 😭❤️ We had a fun conversation. He was shocked when I told him I was at home because he wanted me to come visit him right away. For now, he thinks we live about 100 miles away from Rehab.😳😅

We went to visit him after picking Charlie up from school. He started napping soon after we arrived, giving us some quiet time to put some photos up in his room at the suggestion of his nurses. We woke him up for dinner and sat with him while he thoroughly enjoyed his oriental-style fish, jook, okai, side order of gravy, and hot tea. He cracks us up with his gravy as he drinks it like it’s some kind of soup! I told Tyler that we’ll just put his gravy in a cup for him this Thanksgiving.😁 Kidding! It’s also fun to watch him check out everyone else’s dinner, eyes 👀 wide with wonder as he oohs and ahhhs over their entrees.😂

Another full day for this guy, and I’m so grateful we were a part of it.

“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24


ST_Day33

DAY 33

11 OCT 2018

We were running a little behind schedule this morning but still managed to squeeze in a quick stop to Whole Foods so I could grab a green drink for breakfast before heading to visit Shawn. As we were driving out of the parking structure, my phone rings and it’s Shawn! Although he is still getting some details mixed up, I am loving these calls! He proceeded to let me know that he was on the West side, asked when I was coming to pick him up, told me not to call his phone because he didn’t have it with him, and informed me that he was calling from the office phone. He also asked me where I was, and when I told him he seemed so surprised and exclaimed, “Oh man! You’re so far away!” I reminded him that he wasn’t on the West side, and that I was actually fairly close to his whereabouts.😅

Walking alongside someone who is going through the stages of TBI recovery has been such an enlightening experience. People who don’t really know Shawn take most of his questions and comments at face value. For those of us who know him well, know otherwise. There are times when he’s the Shawn we all know and love. Other times it’s as if we are in the midst of some kind of reboot taking place and can sense the different parts of his memory flying every which way before finding each other, making connections, linking correctly together, and finally falling back into place. It’s pretty wild! And so incredible to witness!

When we arrived, we were happy to find him talking story with a dear friend. After they said their goodbyes we sat with him as he waited for his one and only therapy session of the day. He quietly told me he was tired and wasn’t feeling too good today, and that he felt “owie”. I asked him where it hurt and he pointed to specific areas. Then I asked him to repeat after me.

Me: “Shawn, say I am healed in Jesus’ name.”
Shawn: “I am healed in Jesus’ name.”
Me: “Say it again.”
Shawn, a little softer: “I am healed in Jesus’ name.”
Me: “Okay, one more time.”
Shawn, almost whispering: “I feel like crap, in Je...”
🤦🏻‍♀️
I cut him off right there.

I hope no one is offended by this. I share it because it shows he’s trying. He’s doing his best and it’s not always easy. Pain, frustration, and exhaustion are all points of non-interest on this path he must journey through. As he presses onward, I have no doubt that these discomforts will give way to wholeness, blessings, and peace.

Kirsten and I massaged his hands and rubbed his back while we waited for his therapist. She combined his dysphagia therapy with his lunch hour as the two go hand in hand. He is showing more progress and has been upgraded to Soft/Small/Cubed status, which means small, bite-sized pieces of food, and has been thin liquid approved ✅ which is so great! This means he no longer needs any thickeners added to his drinks. (Yay! Thank you, Jesus!) He took a sip of water and gushed about how refreshing it was compared to “the other stuff”.😁 He had quite a big lunch today — somen salad, rice, tossed greens, bite-sized pork with gravy, hot tea, and chopped up bananas. I’m surprised he ate most of it as he had (with nurse’s approval) a hearty helping of our breakfast smoothies in addition to a mid-morning snack. Good to see his appetite is healthy! He still continues to eat nicely (and neatly!) but still needs some reminding to take smaller portions and to swallow well before taking the next bite or sip.

The girls and I are so proud of all the work he’s been doing. Although I was surprised to see that he had only one session scheduled for today, I was also glad. Rest is just as important as work.😌

Praising the Lord for Who He is and all He has done and continues to do in and through Shawn. Shawn is fast becoming friends with both patients and staff members on his floor, and just the other day one of his nurses referred to him as “Mr. Aloha”. He greets everyone he meets with a shaka, smile, and encouraging words. The other night some family members of another patient were leaving and he told them, “Okay, see you guys!” (Most times people don’t know how to react.😄) It appears that their father is a patient there. When Shawn caught their dad’s eye he said, “Tanx ah, Unko!” The man cautiously replied, “For what?” Shawn paused for a moment and responded, “Just for being you.” The man’s face softened and he accepted Shawn’s comment with thanks.

Sometimes we arrive at a place in life where we just don’t understand why we’re there, or why we need to go through what we are going through. I learned many years ago that it’s okay to not know...to maybe never find out. What matters more is how we respond, and what we do while in that place.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6


ST_Day34

DAY 34

12 OCT 2018

Our three older girls went to visit Shawn this morning and they were able to sit in during occupational therapy. Here are Coco’s notes of what he worked on:

🖤More balloon bumps 🖐🏽🎈🖐🏽
🖤Ladder steps - climbing up the ladder then coming back down.
🖤Worked on counting his reps up to 10.
🖤Ladder step with lunging back and touching his heel on the exercise table.
🖤They are working on opening his eye a little.
🖤Incorporated the bean bag toss with the ladder climbing. He climbs up the ladder then grabs the bean bag and throws it into the hoop.

Additional notes:
He kept telling us to take care of the nurses, and get them food, ice cream, and beer. 🍱🍨🍺

The girls said the hardest part about visiting him today was each time he’d say something like, “Okay, just wait little while for me so we can roll out together.” or “We all gonna ride home together, yeah?”😫

I think he is starting to realize that things aren’t quite normal. He probably hasn’t completely figured it out yet, but I think he has an inner desire to come home. That’s all he talks about now when he calls. He called me tonight and asked me to come at 7am to pick him up and take him home tomorrow. He even made sure that I would be there on time so he wouldn’t “miss his flight home.” Most phone calls from him have been about us going home together. 😫😭 It’s not easy when we have to remind him of where he is and that he has to stay there for now, but I know God’s timing is perfect and He will release Shawn at just the right moment.

For now, we enjoy visiting him as often as we can, sharing as many mealtimes as possible, and look forward to our daily phone conversations. His speech is so clear and his voice is so strong when he calls! It’s been roughly two weeks since he was at a place where he would think about something, say two or three words, and trail off mumbling the rest of his sentence. It is so cool to see how much he is progressing. God’s grace in Shawn’s life is so evident! 🙌🏼

Please pray that He gives Shawn an endless supply of peace and continues to comfort him as he goes through the next transition and phase of recovery.


ST_Day35

DAY 35

13 OCT 2018

Today was a full day! From the highest of highs with so much laughter as Shawn made all of his wisecrack remarks and teased me throughout the day, to the lowest point we’ve reached so far as he pleaded with us tonight to take him home.

We went to visit him as soon as Charlie was done with her chorus practice and as we were downstairs in the lobby signing in, my phone rang and it was Shawn, inquiring as to when we’d be there. He was pleasantly surprised when we suddenly appeared in his room while he was still on the phone with me! Oh, and speaking of phone calls, I forgot to mention yesterday that he called 9-1-1 on his own.😳 His renewed fascination with the telephone is really keeping us on our toes! 📞9️⃣1️⃣1️⃣😬😅

Our family’s Caregiver Training was scheduled for today and lasted for about three hours. We started with caregiver training for physical therapy, and Shawn was a ham! His therapist walked us through various situations as Shawn played the role of himself, cracking us up almost the entire time.

After that we met with one of his nurses to go over things like tending to his feeding tube and the medications he might still be taking when he is discharged. Right now we have a tentative discharge date set towards the end of the month. (Yay!) In addition, we are just waiting for a little more time to pass so the tube to his stomach can be removed as he is no longer using it for feedings. (Double yay!) As we were meeting with his nurse we somehow got on the subject of travel and I teased him saying, “You’re not flying anytime soon.” He quickly came back with, “I’m not flying! I’m too iffy to fly!”😆✈️ We continued going over a fairly long list of dos and don’ts that will serve as a guideline when he’s back at home.

We then met with his speech & dysphagia therapist and discussed topics such as brain injury, apraxia, and aphasia before moving on to Shawn’s progress and what we can do for him when he returns home. As his therapist continued explaining things, my mind drifted to the worksheets that were on Shawn’s table this morning and it dawned on me that although I could never have imagined our family would ever be in this position, God had already prepared us for it. This morning Shawn worked on identifying pictures and then filling in the missing vowels. Although these are lessons learned many, many moons ago, he needs to go through the process again. When he comes home, these types of exercises are what he might have to do, in addition to a new schedule of routines we will need to establish as a family. As we sat there, I was reminded of the days when the 3 girls were little — the days of homeschooling — and realized that the Lord had already trained us as a family to take this on. The only difference now is that Shawn will be the one doing all the lessons! 📚📝✂️📓🦉💯

We continued to go over all the progress he’s showing when the roles suddenly reversed and Shawn started to make praiseworthy remarks. Honestly, there was a moment when it seemed like the words he was saying came directly from the Lord, giving much encouragement to his therapist while also administering healing to Shawn’s heart. Not a dry eye around that table. (Bartender, we’ll take another round of tears & tissues, please!) It truly is amazing to witness healing and restoration taking place.🙌🏼

Naturally, we ran a few minutes overtime and needed to quickly transition into caregiver occupational therapy. The highlight was assisting Shawn with his bathing routine. This guy, I tell you! When it comes to his therapists and nurses, he has no trouble following instructions and taking direction. When it’s Lenore...all that goes straight out the window! 😂 Shawn the Shogun decides to show up and he doesn’t even want to undress himself, giving me the cue to take his socks off for him! Yeah, no. I could list other things but there are just too many, and this was just during bath time!🤪 Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with doing any of it for him, but I know that he needs to do these things himself because he benefits in the long run. The last thing I want to do is something for someone that they can do themselves, which ends up making them weaker and not stronger.

By the time we had gone through the entire training process, we all needed a nap! So we said our goodbyes, headed for church, and left Shawn to snooze until dinner time. During church service I had a feeling I might be getting a call from him, so I kept my phone in hand just in case. His call came just as we were saying our last goodbyes to one of our pastors. Shawn sounded desperate, a little confused, and kept asking for us to pick him up.😥 Our daughters are some of the best! They knew instantly by what they could put together from my end of the conversation and the look of concern on my face, that we were heading back to town...NOW. The quick stop to the market and Red Box freebie rental thanks to this morning’s McDonald’s win would have to wait. Dad needed us. Everyone quickly piled into the car and we made our way back to be with him.

Sometimes, going through the Ranchos Los Amigos Scale doesn’t always feel so “amigos”-y. Confusion, coupled with medication isn’t always the friendliest. Add to that any other given thing a patient is experiencing and it can be a bit of a downer. But, JESUS. Through it all there is always Hope...and Peace...and Joy. We stayed with Shawn until visiting hours were almost over. He kept insisting he was on a boat, not feeling too good, and didn’t want to get anyone there sicky so it would be better if we took him home. He insisted he’d go home just for tonight and return in the morning if he felt better. It was hard to be there. It was even harder to leave.

I reminded him of Whose he was, that there were a charge of angels surrounding him, that he was covered in The Blood, and that there was no need to worry or fear. We kissed him goodnight and as we were getting ready to leave I felt so guilty! Like the girlfriend who refuses to help her boyfriend break outta detention, or something! But I know better. I know who brings guilt, and condemnation, and all things that try to weigh and hold us down. It’s the same one who put a hit out on Shawn’s life 35 days ago...and failed! That jerk has no hold on me or my family, for we serve The Lord!

Please pray for both comfort and strength for Shawn as he goes through this next phase of his restoration process. It may take him through a valley, but I know the Lord will be there with him. I pray he will learn to completely depend on Him! Thank you for keeping him in your prayers. We continue to root for him as he continues onward to victory.

“Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15


SK8park
ST_Day36

DAY 36

14 OCT 2018

Shawn had a mellow morning with only one therapy session scheduled today. We got there after lunch and he was visiting with Uncle H, Auntie J, and C, one of his best SK8 buddies, who came bearing one of THE best gifts everrr! Thank you, DH for this deck! I can only imagine how much it means to you, and to gift it to Shawn means so very much to our family!

Although Shawn is still a bit disorientated — quite often he thinks we are on the outer island, sitting around a table at a restaurant, and keeps trying to order food and beer for all of our friends — we make the most of it and manage to talk story and have a good time. Uncle and Aunty had errands to run and C left a little while later. That’s when the “fun” started. And by fun I mean the pleading with us to take him home. 😣

He was firmer in his desire to go home with us today, and almost got to Level D for Demanding when we spoke on the phone after the girls and I had just left the facility. I am not sure if this has anything to do with a recent medication change, so I will be checking with his doctor. Having Shawn on ANY type of medication is pretty challenging for me. Our family is one of those families who just aren’t on any meds. We’ll take an ibuprofen or something of the like every now and then, but regularly taking medications is just not the norm for us. Please pray that as his mind and body continue to heal and restore, and he will be weaned off medication when his body no longer has need for it.

Thinking of his projected discharge date, I had a moment of weakness today and asked Cody, “What if this lasts two weeks?” Her quickcomeback was, “It won’t. That’s like you asking what if him not speaking will last two weeks, or him not moving his left side very much will last two weeks, or anything else we saw him do or not do. C’mon, Mom. You KNOW it’s not gonna last two weeks.” *sigh* She had a point. After all, we saw first hand, sat front row, and witnessed ALL that God has done in Shawn’s life. Why would I waver now? I won’t. Because we have such an amazing circle of support. We have reached out to many friends and family members since Day 1 and they continue to undergird us and remind us of His promises to this day. I have shared our journey with so many dear ones on Facebook and they have been so loving and encouraging, reminding me of God’s goodness. And most importantly, I have learned to trust the Lord with all my heart, and He has not once ever failed me.

Praying that He continues to comfort Shawn and bring clarity to his mind and strength to his body. 🙌🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼

Photos: 1) Thanks to a ride offer from Kirsten, Charlie was able to get some runs in this morning. So stoked that most of her uncles were there, watching over her and cheering her on. 2) Shawn with C showing off his new gift.


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DAY 37

15 OCT 2018

Missed sitting in on Shawn’s PT session this morning because he kindly asked me to bring food for everybody that was helping him. Everyday he insists that we “take care of sistah” or “take care braddah”. Quite often his request is, “Hook them up with food, da good kine, and something fo’ drink. Not just water. Soda or something.” He also insists that I buy them the kind of beer they like. So far, I’ve found out the favorite beers of three people, learned that one doesn’t like beer but does have a favorite food, and one will be receiving a bottle of apple cider from us when Shawn is discharged.😅 Rather than throwing a full on shindig for everyone, which is what Shawn would probably LOVE, I settled on a drive-thru box of doughnuts.😁🍩

I arrived in time to sit with him for lunch and later met with his neuropsychology treatment doctor. This type of treatment is so important for someone who has sustained a traumatic brain injury and I am so glad it is available here! 🙌🏼

His OT session followed and he worked on organizing his clothes in the closet. He practiced hanging some and folding the rest. He decided that he liked the long-sleeved shirts hanging on hangers, and it was better to have his T-shirts folded and placed on the shelf. As expected, he folded all of them T&C style. His therapist is really working hard at preparing him to do his own set of household responsibilities when he gets back home. 🤪🤞🏼😅😁🙌🏼

Speech therapy was last on his schedule today and he worked on picture + word + sentence association, counting money, handwriting, and grouping exercises using a deck of cards. ♣️♥️🃏♦️♠️ When his therapist asked how he was with money, he replied, “So-so”, and proceeded to flip through the bills like a pro as he counted dollars and cents. Yet another skill learned from his days in retail. 😅

The girls joined us later in the afternoon and we all stayed while he had dinner. His nurses aide sat with us so she could observe his swallowing and commented that it looks like he is doing very well and has no doubt he will be graduating out of the dysphagia diet soon. Same thing his speech and dysphagia therapist said so we are stoked! 🙌🏼

Another difficult evening of saying our goodbyes as he insisted on leaving with us. Hard as it is to leave him, we are taking it all in stride, knowing that eventually, this too shall pass. 🕰 We are praying that Shawn will gain a newfound revelation of God’s blessed assurance and will be filled with His peace which surpasses all understanding. 🙏🏼🙌🏼

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:26-27

“Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4amp

Photo: Write on! “Shawn, Lenore, Cody 19, Kirsten 17, Tyler 16, Charlie 9yrs”📝


M O R E U P D A T E S T O C O M E