Here's the deal
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Well, it has been a busy few weeks for Wes. There hasn’t been much time for sending updates so now you get a big one.
May 23, 2012
We have covered a lot of ground the last week. Last Wednesday, we left Arizona in the afternoon and drove all the way to Salt Lake City and Wes did a great job traveling. We met with Dale at Neuroworx on Thursday morning after traveling most of the night. We are so glad we are here. Their experience and state of the art equipment are far better than anything we have seen in Arizona; these people know what they are doing. We know great things are going to happen for Wesley in this place. The staff are amazing and they have a reputation for doing amazing things with spinal cord injuries. After visiting with Dr. Hull, we drove home and arrived there Thursday night. I cannot even explain to you how nice it was to walk into our home with Wes after 3 1/2 months. We approached it with mixed emotions because everything was as we left it when we went to Arizona. Our good friend, Lance, set up a ramp so we could get into the house. It made it easy for Wes to go inside. We all had a great night’s sleep. Friday, Wes got up early and we drove him to the high school where he attended graduation practice, everyone was so happy to see Wes and he was elated to see them. He was able to see and visit with all of his close friends and many of his teachers and school administrators. In a smaller school like Three Forks it seems like you know everyone and are friends with teachers and administrators.
In the early evening Wes went with many of his friends to the movies in Bozeman. His friend, Tanner, drove our van and he really enjoyed being out with friends. They stuffed a lot of kids in the van and a few cars followed. Wes was in his wheelchair for over 15 hours today and was happy and tired.
I failed to mention that Wes received his new powered wheelchair; we will take a picture and post it in the near future. It has a top speed of 8 mph and often we have to get out of his way to keep him from running us over. It is loaded with features to help make his life easier. Friday afternoon Dallin and Ashley and their family arrived in Three Forks to be there for Wesley’s graduation. They acted as proxy for the rest of the family who could not be there for such a short period of time. We were all so excited to see Dallin, Ashley, and the kids. Wes comes to life when the kids are around. They don’t see the wheelchair, they see their uncle who they dearly love and climb in his lap and give him hugs and kisses and want to sit with him and watch tv and love to have him give them rides. They treat him no differently than they did before the accident. Coming back after an accident like this can sometimes be a little awkward for some people because they don’t know how to react or what to talk about. Truth of the matter is they want to be treated like they were before and talk about the things that they talked about before and do as much as they can, just like the did before.
Saturday, Wes slept in for a while and enjoyed getting caught up on his sleep. Karen watched the grandkids with help from Wes, while Dallin, Ashley and I went on a horseback ride. We had a wonderful ride together. Riding horses is something that I really enjoy and so does the rest of our family, especially Wes. We hope to get Wes back on horses this summer, it is one of our goals. Karen and I worked around the house and fertilized the grass and replaced a few shrubs that had died during the winter. It was so nice to be outside and working around the house. The weather was great and just doing little chores made it really enjoyable. Everything here is turning green and it is so beautiful to see the farms and fields turning green.
Sunday was amazing. It was so wonderful to be back in our home ward where everyone has been so encouraging, supportive and loving. It was so amazing to see everyone and for Wes to feel their love and excitement to have him home. So many of the children came up to Wes and told him that their family has been praying for him everyday. It was nice to see the faith of the kids. Wes felt very much at home with the friend and church members as did Karen and I. All of the graduating seniors were asked to speak in church and so Wes got that opportunity. It was nice for him to share his thoughts and bear his testimony. He did a much better job than I could have, my emotions are still way to close to the surface and I am afraid I would have cried the entire time. Wes did great.
Wes and friends
Saturday at graduation practice
Graduation started at 2:00PM and we had Wes to the school early. He looked great and was very happy to be there. Many of the speakers mentioned Wes and talked of his courage and effort. The principle, Mr. Peck, had a difficult time holding it together as he read Wesley’s name and goals. Wes’s goals were to attend BYUI and get his degree in Biology and go into the medical field, to spend time in Rehab and have an amazing recovery and to serve a mission for the church. Wes also received a scholarship for being on National Honors Society. Karen and I were emotional as we thought about how some things have changed for Wes and how well he has adapted. We know that Wes has received only a fraction of his physical abilities. Miracles continue to occur daily as Wes discovers new things and as his strength increases. He continues to have an amazing attitude and is very easy going. Please continue to pray for his recovery and continued miracles in his behalf. We are constantly running into people who are knowledgeable about spinal injuries who are amazed at his progress for such a short period of time.
After graduation there were several graduating seniors from the ward who had a party at our house. It was great to see so many wonderful people supporting these seniors. Wes and I left the party before it really got started to attend a stake priesthood meeting in Bozeman. President DaBell in the stake presidency was called to serve a mission with his wife in South Africa for 23 months. He was released and Brother Hetherington was called to replace him in the stake presidency. We felt like we had to be there so show our appreciation for President DaBell for all of his unselfish service to the members of the Bozeman Stake and to show our approval of the new counselor in the stake presidency. Wes was really wiped out from all our travels (over 1000 miles in two days) and I tried to encourage him to stay home and he said, “Dad, I really want to go.” We were not disappointed and the meeting was awesome and it was great to hear from the stake presidency. Wesley was one of three young men that was called extemporaneously out of the body of the priesthood to share his testimony. He did a great job, and after priesthood he had so many stake members greet him and tell him how great he looked and how well he was doing and that their families were praying for miracles in his life. We have become so attached to so many of the members of the stake, it was wonderful just to be with them. Sunday was an amazing day for all of us.
Monday we loaded up the van and headed back to Utah to start our first formal day at Neuroworx of therapy that would start Tuesday. We arrived late Monday night because we stopped at the cabin in Idaho and did a few chores. We unloaded everything into an apartment and had a few hours of sleep before we had to leave for therapy. The staff at Neuroworx is amazing and they know how to work with spinal cord injuries. They are not satisfied with old school therapy and are constantly updating their methods and equipment to push and help their patients achieve far more and more use and function of their bodies. They are very encouraging, positive, and understanding of what must happen to have a winning attitude. Wes already has a winning attitude and is willing to do anything to get better, that is why he will enjoy Neuroworx so much. It is a happy and fun place to be and the patients mirror that happiness. If you have not had a chance to google Neuroworx, please take the time to see how they are instrumental in helping miracles happen. After Neuroworx we drove to the University of Utah Medical Center and met and worked with Wesley’s Occupational Therapist Nikki. She came highly recommended from Neuroworx and she did not disappoint us. She was so excited with the progress that Wes had made and she felt like he had so many positive things going on that she could help improve on. It is so nice to work with angels, like Nikki, who see so much potential and help instill that excitement in Wesley in such a positive way. She knew that Wes wanted to go into the medical field and she told him not to change his goals, that he would be there if he really wanted to be. He believes that and so do we. U of U Medical Center also has all of the latest equipment and it looks new and they know how to use that equipment. Nikki set some short term goals with Wes to really work on his hands and triceps. Today she put him on a hand peddled stationary bike that stimulated his triceps and she was so encouraged that he did so well. We are going to eventually have strong and functioning triceps which will require an amazing amount of work on Wesley’s part. We feel that we are in the very best place we could possibly be and that Wes is receiving the very best care possible.
Tuesday afternoon we went to visiit my sister, Tondi, and her husband, Cliff, in American Fork. They have invited us to come stay in their basement and we took them up on their invitation. We were so happy to come and stay with them. Their basement is very comfortable and it is very accommodating for Wes. We are very comfortable here and so grateful for them.
Our mailing address for now in Utah is:
315 West 1120 North
American Fork, UT 84003
Today at Neuroworx we spent part of Wesley’s therapy talking about a manual wheelchair. They were impressed with his strength and said now is the time to start working on it. Wes will be demoing several wheelchairs over the next couple of weeks and then after we find the right combination we will order a chair. This opens up all kinds of progress that can happen quickly. He will get strong in his upper body and core and balance. He will have the ability to transfer into regular cars and not be limited to just our wheelchair van. We are all really excited about this improvement which will allow him to use this type of wheelchair. Yes, he will have to keep his power chair and use it on days when he will be in the gravel or have long distances to go, or when he is just so wiped out from working hard he will want a break. But for the most part he will, over time, use his manual more than the power chair. This is fantastic progress.
we will do better at taking video and pictures of his progress now that we are settled and can begin to have some sort of routine. At both places he is getting therapy, they have programs where we can come in and use much of the state of the art equipment on our own after they have trained us, so that we can spend more time helping Wes. There are also some amazing resources for spinal cord injuries with an organization that does activities weekly during the summer that includes handcycling, kayaking, sailing, swimming to just name a few that Wes is interested in. Wes will be getting involved in these activities during the week when we are not in therapy. People with spinal cord injuries can have an amazing life and do way more than most people think they can.
Well this is the last 2 weeks’ overview. Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. Miracles have happened, are happening, and will continue to happen. It is a miracle that we are in Utah right now getting the best care possible. Thank you for your encouragement and love.
Right before Wes tried to strangle me…
Saturday, May 12, 2012
I, Ryanne, may add some info here and there…. my input will be in red.
Much has happened since we left Barrows Rehab. We have enjoyed living with Grandma Benson even though we seem to be gone most of the time. Our typical day is filled with appointments for rehabilitation, exercises, workouts at the gym, and then we finish things off with swimming therapy at a facility in Mesa. Once a week or so Wes gets a massage to help loosen up his knotted muscles. He has been able to work on some homework, but so much of his day is filled with getting stronger that he is often exhausted. He is sleeping much better at night since we left the hospital, despite the fact that we wake him up every 3 to 4 hours to rotate his body in bed so that he does not get pressure sores. Health wise he is eating and drinking better and usually feeds himself. Almost every day he is discovering something new that he can do on his own with little or no assistance from someone else. We bought an XBOX 360 about 10 days ago and he has really enjoyed playing the games with family members. He is learning to adapt to the controllers, it will take some time but we think eventually he will be able to work them as quickly as he could before the accident. To play, he puts a board in front of him with a sheet of sticky paper. He puts the controller on it so it doesn’t move and then uses his wrists to use the joy sticks. I tried to play like he does and he kicked my trash. He has an ipad and he is getting very good at operating it.
We spend our Saturdays at Grandpa Greene’s house having pool parties. Wes really enjoys being around everyone, especially the kids. We keep his water adventures limited to the heated pool in Mesa but someday he will swim in a regular pool. Spinal cord injury patients often have a difficult time regulating the temperature of their bodies. The water is still too cold for him to get into in a regular outdoor pool.
A couple of weeks ago Wes received a video made by the youth in our ward in Three Forks. It really made all of us laugh and Wes really enjoyed it. Thanks to our Three Forks ward for making it so fun. We really miss all of you so much. Thank you for your love and encouragement, it has made a big difference. I don’t know how to get it onto the blog but when I figure it out I will put it on here.
Wes is really looking forward to being home for graduation and seeing everyone that weekend. We will be doing rehab in Utah and will spend more time back home in Montana. We will post some video of Wes swimming soon. Thanks for keeping us in your prayers and please keep it up. It does make a difference. We continue to see miracles all the time. To our great friends, the Roderick’s, we heard about your temple date and we are making plans to be there. Congratulations. We are so excited.
Our biggest surprise over the last three weeks was the surprise visit of our daughter, Ryanne… me. We thought we would not be seeing her for at least a year so it was a tremendous surprise to have her show up at Grandma Benson’s. We were so sad to see her leave. Ry spent hours visiting and playing games with Wes, we all miss her. A special thanks to Ry’s husband, Ben, for letting her come and be with us.
It’s true. I made a last minute trip to see Wes… and the rest of the family. I wish Ben could have come with me and I think everyone wished the same thing. Wes is a game player. He always has been. We played a million games together and had a lot of fun. We got my mom to play Halo against Wesley for a few minutes and he dominated. She has some potential though. I am excited for Wes to go to Utah because our game playing relatives live there and Wes has ALWAYS loved play games with them… the Kings.
My parents are doing an amazing job with Wesley. Wes is very fortunate to have them. On my flight back to Louisiana I was reading a talk by Elder Rasband from General conference a few weeks ago. He quoted President James E. Faust,
“I have a great appreciation for those loving parents who stoically bear and overcome their anguish and heartbreak for a child who was born with or who has developed a serious mental or physical infirmity. This anguish often continues every day, without relief, during the lifetime of the parent or the child. Not infrequently, parents are required to give SUPERHUMAN nurturing care that never ceases, day or night. Many a mother’s arms and heart have ached years on end, giving comfort and relieving the suffering of her special child.”Watching my parents and siblings take care of, spend time with, and encourage Wes I have seen that ‘superhuman nurturing’ that President Faust spoke about. Those of you who know my parents know that they are pretty amazing. Their experiences with suffering, patience, and sacrifice have displayed how truly wonderful they are. They get up in the middle of the night to rotate Wes to prevent pressure sores, get up with him, stretch him, get him ready for the day, help him eat, deal with sketchy insurance claims, work out with him, go to therapy with him, feed him some more, go to more therapy with him, get him ready for bed, and they encourage him.
In Elder Rasband’s talk he also quote the scripture Mosiah 24:15,
“And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.”As I have repeatedly read that scripture, I keep seeing the suffering and anguish my parents and Wes have felt and then I see them smiling and laughing. I was amazed by the cheerful attitude I felt in their presence. Their faith in Christ is not limited. They rely on Christ and acknowledge His hand in their experiences.
The kindness others have shown them is uplifting and strengthens them. It is not possible for me to write about the deep suffering they have experienced or the immense joy they have felt from expressions of love from others and overcoming hurdles. Their love for the Savior is deep and the knowledge that he will not leave them comfortless keeps them enduring.
John 14:18, 27
“I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you….
“My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
If you would like to read all of Elder Rasband’s talk you can find it here:
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Well, here I am. Back in Louisiana. After two weeks of driving through many states we got sent back to Louisiana. The job we were going to got delayed a few weeks. I was also able to go to Arizona and visit The Wesley. I know I’m behind in blogging but since I’m back here, without a car, I will have plenty of time.
Here is an update my dad sent me from April 28, 2012
Much has happened since we last posted. Before we left the hospital Wes tried out a manual wheelchair and did very well with it. A manual chair is definitely in his future. We are working on developing more of his muscles before spending a lot of time in a manual wheelchair. If we started too early with the manual chair he would be too tired to develop all of his muscles and make them stronger.
We said goodbye to many wonderful people at the hospital and will miss them. It was very nice to have in-patient care at the hospital because therapy was so close and easy. We thought when we left the hospital that we would have more time. That definitely has not happened yet. We are staying with Wesley’s Grandma Benson and it has been very nice to spend time with her, but we are not around much. Instead of having therapy at the hospital we now have to drive to therapy each day. We also go to a special gym once or twice a day so that Wes can work on getting his strength back. We also have doctor appointments. It seems we are always driving somewhere or have to be someplace. Life is definitely more comfortable at Grandma Benson’s house.
In less than three weeks we leave for Neuroworx in Salt Lake City. They specialize in the treatment of spinal cord injuries. We are looking forward to being there. This will put us closer to home and allow us the freedom to go home during the weekends.
Last weekend Wes had a surprise visit from David Guthrie and Tom Morton. Wes was really happy to see friends from home.It was so nice of the boys to take time out of their days and come visit Wes. Last Saturday all three of the boys went to see a movie and Wes went with out Karen and me. We think he really enjoyed getting away from his parents for a few hours. Wes gets around very easily with his wheelchair. David and Tom brought a banner from Three Forks with signatures from many of his friend, it was very thoughtful and kind. There was also a seminary class in Spokane that sent a banner and candy. Thanks to all the students and their thoughtfulness.
We continue to get all kinds of cards and items in the mail for Wes and they all brighten his day to know that so many people care about him. We thank everyone fro their kindness and prayers. Karen, I and Wes love to have friends come and visit and last week we had several surprise visits from very dear friends.
Yesterday at physical therapy Wes’s therapist, Katie, put him on an electric stimulation bike. This is the first time that he has been on such a device and it was very encouraging. Wes pulls up to it in his wheelchair and then his legs are strapped into the peddles and electrodes are attached to his legs. The electric impulse can cause the legs to move enough to turn the peddles around and this happened for Wes. He still has no muscles control over his legs but there is enough getting through on the spinal cord to allow him to peddle the peddles.This is very encouraging but as they say in the spinal cord business, there are no guarantees. Those in the business are not familiar with priesthood blessings, the power of prayer, and sheer determination, which is a powerful combination for success, whatever comes.
I posted a quite a few videos as well. Be sure to check them out. They are pretty amazing.
Friday, May 4, 2012
"Hi" That is from Wes.
Ry: Wes, what is your favorite thing to do?
Wes: Sleep and be with family and friends.
He is always asking to go visit someone and he asks all the time if anyone is coming to visit.
Ry: How fast does your wheelchair go?
Wes: This one goes 6.5, but the one I am getting goes 8 mph and it's lime green.
Ry: How do you feel when your in the waters?
Wes: good... like I'm in the water
Ry: Have you moved your legs at all?
Wes: Yes, in the water and when it has spasms. I bent my knee a little in the water.
Ry: What's your favorite game?
Wes: Games. Rummikub, Connect 4, sequence, Jenga
Ry: What's your favorite IPAD app?
Wes: I don't know, I play all of them. I know what your favorite is... photo booth. (I'll show my works of art soon.)
Ry: What did you do at therapy today?
Wes: Machine Weights for my shoulders
Ry: How soon do you want to go back to Montana?
(Wesley is not very talkative)
Ry: Do you have any pain?
Wes: (chuckles) yeah! Shoulders, neck, and hip
Ry: What place is the most numb?
Wes: My fingers. I feel my toes more than I feel my fingers.
Ry: What annoys you the most that people may do to you?
Wes: Touch my toes
Ry: What's your favorite subject in school to do homework for?
Wes: None of them!
Ry: How is Dallin at helping you do your homework?
Wes: He deosn't understand anything, I have to explain it.
Ry: What is your favorite thing to eat?
Ry: What is the most difficult thing to do?
Wes: walk (then he laughed)
My mom is overwhelmed with the generosity of everybody. Everyone has been so kind to Wes by sending him packages and cards and letters. We all appreciate it and it brightens Wesley's day. She has started to write thank you notes but her time is consumed elsewhere... with Wesley.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Ryanne here. I apologize for the lack of posts lately. My dearest and I traveled to Idaho falls from Louisiana and it was quite the trek. I know you are not reading this blog to here about our trip to Mt. Rushmore, our Storybook Land adventures, or even about visiting many Ben and Ry fans. You are here to hear about my little brother. So, here goes nothing…
This update was written by my dad on April 16
Sunday was another great day for the Greene Family. we left the hospital at 8:30 AM to attend our old Greenway ward. It was really nice to see so many friends, who have been apart of our lives for over 30 years. We had Dallin and Brittnee’s families with us, which made it even more enjoyable.
Wes is demoing a new front wheel drive wheelchair. It has a lift on it that lifts him about a foot higher in the air. Nate was having a little fun and kept pushing the button to raise Wes up and down, up and down. Wes seems to be adjusting well to the wheelchair and has no problem going anywhere. My brother, Jack, made some ramps so that Wes can get into Britt and Dallin’s houses. Last week when we went to their house we did not have a ramp so we stacked several 1/2 boards together fro him to drive over the threshold. To say the very least, it was a crazy way in and out of the house. Wes refused to go back until he had a safer way to get into the house. Thanks to jack, he does not have to worry about getting in and out.
After church we spent some time visiting friends and then off to Dallin and Ashley’s home for lunch and visiting time. We had a great time relaxing away from the hospital environment.We then loaded up and went to Grandma Benson’s for dinner and then back to the hospital at about 7:30 PM. Wes was very tired but had a great day.
Monday was back to the grind of working hard. We started the day off with Barb, our physical therapist, and the salesperson for a wheelchair. Wes has tried out several types of wheelchairs and knows exactly what he wants. It is a front wheel drive lime green machine that is made to his body measurements. It will take about a week or ten days to get it in. Wes was then off with Jordan, his occupational therapist and Gus, his recreational therapist on a special hand driven three wheel cycle. We took a 40 minute journey all over the hospital, inside and out. I thought physically he would only be able to go about 5 minutes but he surprised us all with his strength and endurance. We are excited because tomorrow he will start learning how to use a manual wheelchair. This will be much harder but we are sure he will be able to do it. The manual chair will help build his muscles and endurance. He will have two chairs, one electric and one manual. We will be encouraging him to spend more time in the manual chair.
His spirit continues to be strong and positive and he and we are very much looking forward to staying with Grandma Benson for the next 4 week while Wes does out-patient therapy here. This week will go by quickly, we have so much to accomplish and so little time to get it all done. This is always a recipe to ensure time goes by fast. Thanks to everyone for your prayers and support.