Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Update: Tuesday, 5/14/12

Home is a special place. Everyone enjoys being home among family and friends, and Forrest is no different. He has had a terrific week home at Brightwood. He's started to regain control of his hands, in ever so difficult, tiring, small, inconsistent steps. But nevertheless he is giving it his all, and it looks like this time it might be a steady trend. Just this week he's given his first thumb-war, peace sign, and definitive thumbs up, in 7 months! He can consistently give me our "secret handshake"(which of course I can't disclose to you) when I ask him. He's giving hugs (he usually saves them for his friends). Though nothing is consistent yet and every movement is a shaky, exhaustive effort, him gaining control of his hands opens up all kinds of doors. He can now start to communicate with his hands, and we will work-in novel games like swords, light sabers, and nerf guns, to encourage him to gain stronger use of his hands and arms. Since his shunt has been dialed down as Dad explained in the last post, we've seen a world of difference in his expression, strength and now recently, in his hands. Every day is a battle, but we are excited about what is to come and the possibilities that are opening up before him as he learns how to interact with the world around him again. 

Great food, intensive therapy, overwhelming support, visits from steady friends and loving family, have all contributed to his improvement. Not the least of those resources in his arsenal is Super Mom. I know I'm a couple days past mothers day, but we were busy having a great day and hey, better late than never. Everyone says they have the best mother, but after watching her lead Team 44 for a day, it'd be a tough call. I try to keep up with her and pick one thing a day to research for improving Forrest's rehab, but here Mom every day is helping to direct his medical care plan, developing his therapy team, cheering him up, changing the bed, working out nursing care schedules, oh and making sure we have enough yogurt for his twice daily home made smoothie. It's all just a regular day for super mom. But ironically, it's not all the balls in the air she juggles that is the amazing part. No, the incredible, awe-inspiring part is how she can come down the stairs into his man-cave and no matter what is going on in the day, she can take a deep breath, get down close to Forrest in his bed, look into his eyes, and project an aura of confidence and belief in him so sincere anyone listening is instantly reassured. Forrest meets her gaze as she tells him how hard he's working and what a champ he is, with a look of, "I know Mom, you don't have to tell me this every day... But I'm really glad you do."

Happy belated Mother's Day, give a hug to all those amazing mothers out there, God knows they've earned it. 


Forrest standing tall on Mother's Day.

Forrest helps Mom unwrap a Mother's Day gift.

Forrest 'bops' Grandma Norma on the head while Aunt Lynn supervises. 

Forrest gives Tori a big hug.

Liza visits and shares joyous Mercersberg memories with Forrest.


  1. Good Morning Forrest!
    Happy hump day (Wednesday)! I am sure you are already up and starting your day. I would love to stop by and give you a fist bump. Hopefully Super Mom or Austin can give you one for me. It is the warmest it has been since I arrived in Afghanistan (91 degrees).

    One event took place today that I want to share with you. We have giant blimps (imagine goodyear blimps) which help to protect our bases here in Afghanistan. One broke its tether this morning in a different part of Afghanistan, and we are on mission "blimp recapture" before it floats into Pakistan. I think we should just write our phone number on the side of the blimp, but I was told the Afghan people probably would not utilize that resource and return it :-) Hopefully that image made you smile. Have a wonderful day Forrest!

    Sheila Wilson

    “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
    ― Dr. Seuss

  2. Whoo hoo! Great progress and I LOVE being here to see it. Reading to you has been just wonderful. I am so glad you are home at Brightwood with the family!!!.

  3. It has got to be a breath of fresh air again for all of you to be at home together again! Love to hear of the progress each day brings and we'll continue to pray for that continued upward trend!


    Troy, Jessica & Camden Lauterbach

  4. Hi Forrest and Team 44, I'm so glad you are back at home now! It's also great that Grandma Norma and Aunt Lynn are getting to be with you this week! Norma has sent me several Text messages, and she sounds SO happy just being there with you. Praying that all goes well from hear on out. Keep up the wonderful progress! We all have faith that you will keep pressing forward to your ultimate goal, regaining strength as you go along.

    Love and Prayers coming your way,

    Joyce and Wilbur Ellis

  5. And just for the record, I was coaching him on how to bop her on the head. Things like this never fail to get a smile from him...which makes it all worth it. So fun to be seeing his progress this week. Go Forrest.

  6. You are both lucky to have Rae as your mom, and she is lucky to have both of you as sons. Go, Team Forrest!

    Carina, down the hill to the left