Friday, January 28, 2011

Update: 1:00am on 1/28

I promise the 1:00am posting isn't a trend, the last couple days have just been extra busy. Today was a hard day for Forrest. He had his physical therapy, where they worked with him trying to support himself sitting up. He also had two hours of sitting in his chair, which is helpful for his lungs, but tiring on him. He continues to have a lot of secretions from his lungs that the docs suction out and he coughs up. His vitals are good and overall he seemed to have less storming events than yesterday. While he was sitting up in his brace he received chest x-rays to check the alignment of his spine. He's continuing to fight the fever, it will retreat to a normal temp and then creep back up again. Ibuprofen is proving to be effective at giving the fever a good beating.

One big success, he is completely off the ventilator!! Hooray! He is breathing on his own through his trach tube in his lower neck, with warm, humidified oxygen being pumped around the opening to help loosen the secretions and make it easier for him to cough up. He is tracking with his eyes a lot more. When a person comes in the room he turns his head slightly and focuses on them. He's showing more facial expressions, yawning, grimacing when the doctors manage to upset him, which is inherently almost every activity that they do. He is moving his arms and legs more. If he doesn't like something he will move his hand up to try to swat it or push it away. He is still not following commands consistently, but it is still early. He is very taken with the squishy neoprene balls he has. He plays with them and twirls and squeezes them constantly.

Mom and Dad are looking at places that provide acute and intermediate care, the next step. We will keep you updated on that. Thanks for all the love, we definitely feel it from everyone. We will try to post earlier tomorrow evening.

Austin, Forrest, and family


  1. Just thankful to hear that Forrest is breathing on his own so anytime you post is good! Pam Chauvin, San Diego ie 3 hrs earlier!

  2. Very exciting to hear he's breathing on his own - hooray! Glad there is so much action taking place... thinking about you guys.

  3. That is such great news. It is such a relief to hear that Forrest is making progress. I've been thinking about both Forrest and Austin a bit and thought I would share a funny story from when you were little.

    I was babysitting the two of you in Middleburg one afternoon - probably within the first one or two years after you had moved from Arizona.

    My then boyfriend, Mark, had come home from hunting with a tenderloin of a deer and so we decided to cook it with some scrambled eggs for lunch.

    Now, I had no idea how to cook game and the nice piece of tenderloin turned out as tough as shoe leather. Both Forrest and Austin politely tried to eat this horrendous piece of meat without complaints.

    After a couple of minutes, Forrest spoke up. "You know Amy this is really good - It's like chewing gum - you can just keep chewing and chewing!

    I hope this bring a smile to your faces.

    Sending warm wishes for a quick recovery.


  4. Hey Forrest, I am sitting with you now and it is 2:40 in the morning. You are resting nicely now, we have all the lights off in the room and the curtain shut so you can get some rest. I Just read your brother Austin's Blog entry.

    I just want to tell you about your brother. He is amazing and so strong. He sits with you every night from 6pm to midnight then I come in from midnight to 6am. He doesn't hesitate to come in early to relieve your Mom or Dad so they can talk to doctors or visit rehab sites. He is always calm and happy to report your activities during his guardian shift. Sometimes he texts me when he knows I am on my way to say - take your time. He wants to spend more time with you. He watches over you while you rest. After we exchange info, he heads back to the hotel where he sits in the room to update the blog or read some articles. He is rock steady for you. While we are off shift, we laugh about Forrest stories and read all the cards. He runs errands during the day, shops, does laundry, all the day to day chores that allow a family to function far from home. He is strong for his Mom and Dad and you. He is your big brother and he will always be there for you , always protect you and cheer you on.

    It is now 3 am and you have that ball in your right hand with your arm up, almost cocked and ready to throw it across the room, so I always stay out of your line of site. Just waiting for you to wing that ball across the room, waiting for you to hit me, a nurse or a doc. There should be a sign on your bed that says- danger, teenager with ball looking for a bulls eye!

    OK, Forrest, get some sleep, I know you will throw the ball soon and I will gladly be your bulls eye. Love Aunt Tricia

  5. WOW, Austin what an amazing big brother you are. Susanne and I had lunch with your Mom on Tuesday and although she is exhausted, as you all are, she is so admiring of you, Tricia, your Dad, your uncle John and all who have supported Forrest during this ordeal.

    What great news to feel Forrest slowly awakening, every little baby step is a big step for him at this stage. Thank you for keeping us abreast of his progress. Don't forget to take care of yourself!

    Our love and prayers are with you

    Nadia and Michael

  6. Hey Forrest,
    Somehow I missed that Aunt Trisha is there with you now. Hi Trisha and thanks for the great post. All the update posts are really important to all of us who are far away. We're glad to hear that the respirator is gone and that you are able to express yourself, at least a little bit now. We hope that today marks more good progress. Hugs to all of you!
    Diane & Jay

  7. Dear Allen Family,

    We attend the same church as Ron and Lynn. We have also been blessed with two sons, ages 16 and 18. (When brothers agree, no fortress is so strong as their common life.) We also have a wonderful 21 year old daughter. We keep all of you in our daily prayers and keep an eye on Forrest's progress on the blog. We are so encourage to read about his improvements!

    We would like to share a brain injury story that has a happy ending with you. We feel that in such times you can never read too many of these kinds of stories! Twenty years ago, after recently moving to Anchorage, my husband and his family were in a head on collision with a drunk driver. My husband, Kevin, was five at the time and his younger sister was two. Both of his parents were also in the car. The drunk driver died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Kevin had extensive injuries to his face. At the time of the accident a well known plastic surgeon was visiting Anchorage and he was called in to do the surgery. Thanks to this surgeon, the scarring on Kevin's face is minimal! Amazingly enough Kevin's mother and sister only suffered relatively minor injuries. Unfortunately Kevin's father did not fare as well. He had to be cut from the car, had broken bones and was unconscious. He was in a coma for nearly a month. Just as his wife was about to make a difficult life support decision, he started to show signs of life. When he came out of the coma he did not remember much at all. He did not even remember being the father of two children. He would confuse things he saw on television with real life. For example, if he had watched a western movie the night before then the next day he would think he had rounded up the cattle himself. (They all laugh about it now, but at the time it was not funny!) As the days went by he regained more and more memories and started making more sense of things. By fall, he had recovered enough that he was able to start his new high school teaching position. (the reason they moved to Anchorage) That next summer he took a trip to Colorado to visit his parents, three brothers and their families. During this visit he regained his childhood memories. He made a full recovery. Two years after the accident he went back to college. He earned his masters degree and pre-doctorate. He has led a healthy, productive life ever since. He completed his teaching career at that same high school and continued to sub there for many years after his retirement. We are all truly blessed by his presents in this world! We hope you find peace and hope in the story of his recovery!

    Yours truly,
    Kevin and Karmen Fiske

  8. Thanks for the updates- no matter what the time. We are so happy to hear every bit of progress!
    The Dunn/Stofan family

  9. Hi Forrest...

    You've become a common name in our home these days as we pray for you daily. Just this morning Camden asked "Mom, can we go see Forrest?". The drive is a bit far from California, so don't worry about us showing up at your door anytime real soon. I can't imagine that a two year old would allow you to rest up much. Although he does love to play ball, so I'm sure he'd try to snag one of your neoprene balls.

    Just know that you're in our thoughts and prayers...and even the little ones are on your side.

    Troy, Jessica, and Camden Lauterbach

  10. Austin

    Dont sweat the 1:00 am reports. We know you guys have your hands full. I knew when you and tori were on your honeymoon in the Caymans that i had a great son-in law!!

    Keep the faith