Posted by on May 15, 2012 in ANDY'S BLOG WITH UPDATES | 9 comments

We were told by the doctors that Aimee would have a roller coaster ride of highs and lows over the next few days, weeks and months. Personally I don’t like the roller coaster analogy. The best part of a roller coaster ride is when you are falling, because although it can be terrifying it is extremely exhilarating. Sooner or later the ride has to slow down and crest another incline. The inclines tend to be ho-hum, a time to catch your breath and smile at the person sitting next to you. As you near the top, the anticipation builds until the terrifying exhilaration repeats itself. This is not what it is like with Aimee.

Each day we claim some small victory. We don’t have to see physical progress, we seem to take comfort from simple words, silly actions and quiet moments. That is not to say that there are not concerns, but they are quickly snuffed out and the doctors are left once again scratching their heads.

Speaking of doctors, we have an amazing assortment of brilliant minds focusing on Aimee. Their attention to detail astonishes me. Their accessibility is greater than I could have ever anticipated. Their compassion is extraordinary. Aimee and all the other patients in ICU are their family. If you could go out and recruit the best medical minds and the most caring hearts in the world, I am convinced that these are the men you would assemble. Their personalities range from House to Patch Adams and all points in between. I love them all.

The nurses are quite similar. They are hard-working, diligent, compassionate and loving. Many of them are mothers and fathers and they share the faith that bonds you and I together through prayer. Even the nurses who do not work with Aimee stop by to talk with us at their shift change. They tell us how Aimee’s progress baffles and inspires them. They listen to us while we play with Aimee. They laugh and smile at our frolicking. We smile back.

There is nothing in the world like being loved. Donna, Paige, Aimee and I have always shared our love with smiles and laughter. We tend to be a loud family, which is probably my “fault”. I am a loud person, but I am loud for a reason. I started playing guitar at the age of 14 and my first guitar was electric, not acoustic. Needless to say, after a few years of playing in bands and helping other bands “road” their gear, my hearing is not the best. I have tinnitus, which is a high pitched tone in both ears that grows to a roar when I am tired . My ears have been roaring a lot lately. That’s why I tend to be loud. If you hear my voice above all others, it doesn’t mean I am angry or mad, it usually means I’m tired because I am trying to talk above the roar. This loudness is often offensive to many, but I cannot help myself. Donna and Paige will often tell me to quiet down, which helps.

Guess who else is loud? If you guessed Aimee, then you are correct. If you get us both together in a restaurant, the volume often increases to a feverish pitch and quieter patrons start casting annoyed frowns in our direction. Sorry folks, this is how we roll.

So now you can imagine what Aimee’s ICU room is like. It is loud in there. We certainly do not intend to disturb the other patients, but we just like to laugh and have fun. Here’s how last night went:

“Hey Aimee-beetle-bush-kee!” Paige squeaks as Aimee opens her eyes. Aimee’s eyes are opened wide and her mouth forms a crescent that spreads as far as her ventilator strap will allow.

“Hey Paige!” Aimee mouths.

“I love you Aimee!” Paige says as she reaches and touches Aimee on the arm and shoulder.

“I love you too Paige!”

The sisterly exchange continues and Aimee starts asking questions. Unlike before, she doesn’t ask where she is or how she got there, she asks how Paige’s boyfriend is doing.

“He’s doing great Aimee,” Paige replies. Paige goes on to say that her boyfriend has assembled a chicken coop and that he has acquired some hens to lay eggs. She further explains the need for a ceramic egg to increase overall egg production.

“You see Aimee, the hens are all jealous of each other. If one lays 2 eggs, then the rest will try to lay more.”

I think I saw the nurses making notes. I know I learned something new.

Aimee mouthed some jumbled words while she frowned and shook her head. Paige somehow picked right up on it.

“No Aimee, he isn’t going to eat the hens, he just wants them to lay eggs.”

Aimee smiled and mouthed, “I like eggs too.”

The nurse said that Aimee had told her that she was bored, so she turned on the TV. After about 10 minutes, Aimee asked her to turn it off. Too many annoying commercials.

“Aimee, it there anything you want?” Paige asked her. “Perhaps some music?”

Aimee shook her head and mouthed some words. I couldn’t tell what she said, but Paige picked up on it right away.

“You want to read?”

Aimee nodded furiously.

Reading has always been Aimee’s first love, even going back to when I used to read her the Bert and Ernie Bath Time book. I read that book so much I have it memorized to this day.

Tubby time is so much fun
Rubber ducky you’re the one!
You don’t know how good it feels
To wash my ears and scrub my heels
I rub and rub ’til I’m all dry
Then it’s time for beddy bye.

OK, I admit that waxing nostalgic isn’t always such a good thing.

The other thing that Aimee asked for took us a bit by surprise. Some of the simplest words can take minutes to decipher when you have a tube interfering with your lips and movement of your jaw.

“That looks like an L, does the word start with an L?”


Bless her heart, her enunciation was very difficult to comprehend.

“Lamb chops?” I asked.

Donna, Paige and Aimee all frowned at me, so I clammed up.

The nurse was standing at the foot of the bed. Clearly she saw something no one else saw.

“Aimee honey, are you trying to say ‘LAPTOP’?”

Aimee smiled real big and nodded intensely.’ Lamb chops’ was actually pretty close.

Paige then told Aimee that she got Aimee a gift, but she forgot to bring it. Aimee’s eyes became wide with excitement, which reminded me of the same look I had seen on many Christmases and Birthdays. We all laughed at Aimee’s wide-eyed anticipation and the nurses were laughing as we de-gowned and walked out of the room.

“It sounds like a game show in there!” Nurse Kathy said.

Yep, we’re loud and we have fun. That’s how we roll.

I hopped in the car with Paige as she drove back toward our temporary residence. Paige reached for her iTouch to cue some music.

“Do you have any Chicago?” I asked her.

“Yeah, I have Greatest Hits. Why?”

I grabbed the iTouch and cued it up. The refrain was all I wanted to hear.

Feelin’ Stronger Every Day!
Feelin’ Stronger Every Day!
Feelin’ Stronger Every Day! 

God Bless and good night.


  1. 5-26-2012

    I am so sorry for Aimee:(((( it will be so hard for her to get used to her new life but she will! ? can see the strenght in her eyes and ? adore that as ? am not at all. I keep reading her situation every day with a big hope and pray for her to be happy for the rest of her life. from now on, whenever ? feel depressed or sad about anything, ? will remember her strenght and try to be strong…if she would like to have a holiday in Turkey with her loved ones, she is welcome!
    would you please let me know her birthday with the exact hour? ? would like to check from her horoscope chart if she will be ok and happy for the rest of her life…

    god bless you

  2. 5-26-2012

    You sound like a wonderful family and I pray daily for Aimee. However, as a four year BTK amputee myself, I know how grueling losing one leg can be, not less all of your limbs. I know you pray for Aimee’s recovery, but what quality of life will she have? Years and years of rehab and pain over and over again is not what I would wish for myself. I wish all of you the best but I can’t help feeling doomed when I think of her future life. I am not much of a God person, I don’t have your faith since I’ve been living 27 years in terrible chronic pain. I hope your loving God does the right thing; either take Aimee to live in Heaven with no pain and all of her limbs, or to stay by your side, but in the end, is it not Aimee’s decison?

    • 5-29-2012

      I agree. I have been in such severe pain for so long. I wish that my body would just “let go”. I have died & have been brought back 11 times in 39 years. I am trying to have a DNR order put in place. But I have no friends and very very limited family who actually help. I cant go get my DNR order notorized because on April 6th, my colon exploded and tore a hole in my colon. After laying on the bathroom floor for 3 took another 1-2 hours to be able to call 911. In criticle care, blood transfusions, tubes sewn into my stomach, family coming there to scream at me and doctors and nurses who could care less. Since being released from the hospital…5 in office procedures later….(that included the doctor lying and saying he was only going to use a q-tip and then 3 different occasions, used a scalpel to create 2 huge open wounds, broke those long q -tips in my stomach, dropped a pair of tweezers sideways, shoved his hand inside the wounds and ripped through my stomach…many times on several different office visits. I cant protect myself and no one protects me. I now sit here with 2 huge open wounds that bleed constantly, cant sleep, can’t eat, alone 99.9% of the time because the packing has to be ripped out of my stomach and shoved back in. Lonley. Depressed. Unloved. I don’t know that I want to know what God has in store for me. I thought God was love, blessed you, forgave you, wanted you to be happy. I should have this happen to me and Aimed should have that happen to her so God can test our faith? I thought he was a “loving father”. What loving father would want pain and suffering and sadness for their children? I’ve cried out to God for years and begged him to help me. Look where I am. I wish I knew God. I don’t know what or who He is anymore.

      • 5-29-2012

        *Aimed is actually supposed to read Aimee.
        (Stupid Kindle Fire)
        I mean no disrespect to Aimee or her family. Aimee is a beautiful girl and I don’t want this for her. I wish that I had a loving family to joke with, that stood by you no matter what. Aimee is lucky in that delectable.

      • 6-5-2012

        Hey Lorrie, my heart breaks for your situation but please know that God is there right beside you and He wants to comfort you and give you peace. You are not alone. Turn to Him. Read His word. Speak to Him. Sin is what brought all this into the world. God didn’t intend for this to happen. This life is short and temporary. Eternity is forever. I am praying for you to feel Him by your side.

  3. 5-28-2012

    amiee is strong she will be ok !!! She has alot of love helping her and prayer.

  4. 5-29-2012

    OMG-throwing the Kindle out the window.
    * delectable was supposed to read respect! :sigh:

  5. 5-30-2012

    i agree with pamela! your positiveness, love, and faith will pull you all through this. You may have a long road ahead of you but it will be a great road with many great memories. It will be hard but i believe aimee is a strong and determined young lady. i believe the will to live, keeps you alive.

    to jennifer-i have no idea the pain and heartache you have been through losing a limb. I work in surgery and i empathize with those that have amputations. But, i also think you have to make the best out of life. working in the medical field-i notice everyday how life can be cut short. it has created alot of fear in me, especially being i am a single mother of an amazing 4 yr old. but i try make the best out of everyday because if i die tomorrow, i want to be able to look back and say that i made the best out of yesterday. Also, if nothing has helped the chronic pain, have you tried accupunture? i know if sounds far fetched(i think so too), but i’ve heard it can work wonders 🙂

  6. 6-1-2012

    Prayers being sent up!

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