Friday, February 25, 2011

Updates on Adam

Just wanted to give a couple of updates on what has been going on with Adam. He is doing great, so no worries!  He went to Vanderbilt about a month ago and had a driving evaluation.  They recommended that he start driving on post and around Clarksville on smaller roads and gradually progress to busier roads over the next two months, avoiding high traffic times, no night time driving, no highway driving and no driving in inclement weather.  Pretty much what we expected they would say.  Then he goes back for a second evaluation in a couple of months to see how he is doing and see if he can drive in more "advanced" conditions.  When he went for his evaluation he had only driven about three times for maybe five minutes, on post where the speed limit is 25-35 mph.  Before that he had not driven since December of 2008.  He is doing really well with driving and hopefully this will eventually allow him some more independence!

Also, Adam's medical evaluation board has recently started.  This probably does not mean much to those of you who are not in the military, but it is a long and cumbersome process that determines if you are "fit" or "not fit" to stay active duty and if you are not fit, then it determines your disability rating with the military.  So the process has begun for Adam and we really have no idea how long it will take.  But, we will definitely have many, many life changing decisions to make over the next few weeks and months so please keep us in your prayers that we will make the right decisions!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Family time

The day after we returned home from our ski trip to Whitefish, Adam left for Texas to visit his brother and family.  Adam's brother Dan is active duty Army as well and was promoted to Colonel (yea Dan!!), so Adam went to Fort Hood, TX for the promotion and a visit.  Dan and his wife, Tracy, have three children, Hannah, Wyatt and Jack.  Maura, Adam and Dan's sister, also lives in Texas with her son, Mitch.  Their mother, Elizabeth, was also visiting from Colorado for the promotion as well.  Cohen and I did not go since Adam and I just returned from the ski trip and Adam's dad was coming to visit us the day after Adam returned from Texas.

I know I do not update very much on how Adam is doing anymore because it's really hard now to measure or put into words the progress he is making.  However, one pretty significant task he was able to accomplish completely independently on this trip to Texas was flying by himself.  This may not seem like a difficult task to most people, but it can be for someone with a brain injury like his, with his visual processing impairments.  I never would have thought a year ago he would be able to check in on a computer, check his luggage, get in through security, find his way through the airport to the gate, have a layover (in Atlanta of all places) and make it to the next terminal/gate and find his luggage and his brother at the airport in TX all by himself, with no problems.  I was a little nervous and very impressed, but of course it was no big deal to Adam ;)

Here is a picture of Adam and his brother at the promotion.  The two small children are Dan's and the older child is Mitch.

The day after Adam returned from Texas, his dad arrived from Utah for a visit.  Cohen had a great time with his Grandpa and by the end of the visit he wanted Grandpa to do everything for him instead of his mom or dad, like put on his jacket, pick him up, give him his milk or put on his shoes!  I think that Grandpa and Cohen both enjoyed their time together!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Whitefish, Montana

Adam and I just returned from Whitefish, Montana earlier this week after going on an amazing ski trip with the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).  The WWP ( is a non-profit organization designed to provide many different services and opportunities to injured service members.  It is a wonderful organization and we were lucky enough to get to take a trip with them to Montana.  So I will just share a little about our trip....

We spent six days with six other wounded warriors (three of whom had spouses), three staff members from the WWP and many amazing volunteers from Whitefish and other places across the U.S.  And everyone was so wonderful!  All of the warriors and spouses had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed our trip.  The staff was awesome, so fun to be around and you can tell they all really love their jobs.  And the people of Whitefish were so gracious, generous and just kindhearted people!  There were so many people who went out of their way to make sure we had a wonderful vacation and who thanked us for being there.  It just made you never want to leave!

We participated in all kinds of fun activities on our trip.  There were three days of skiing, a day for the Whitefish winter carnival and a day for dog sledding/snowmobiling.  I was a little (or actually a lot) nervous about Adam skiing, but he did AMAZING!!  Who would have thought a year ago that he would be snow skiing this year?!  Not that I should be surprised since he has been able to do everything he's set his mind to since his injury (just like before).  All of the warriors had their own ski instructor and Adam's instructor was great and ranked in the top 100 in the country.  He is actually certified to teach the blind how to ski.  Since Adam is "visually impaired", he wore a vest that said so the first day or so he skied.  But at the end of the second day when the ski instructor, Link, and everyone else figured out that Adam was not having any problems seeing people, trees or anything else, Link decided Adam no longer needed the vest.  Like I said, Adam did awesome skiing and surpassed me on the morning of the second day (which may not be saying a lot ;0).

Whitefish has a winter carnival every year where they have a penguin plunge (which raises money for the Special Olympics), a parade through downtown Whitefish and other fun local activities.  Most of the warriors (including Adam) and staff, one of the wives and a lot of the local people from Whitefish participated in the penguin plunge.  I backed out the morning of--thank goodness because it looked really cold!  We were also a part of the parade that same day and had a great time participating in it.

On Sunday a group of us went dog sledding.  Another group went snowmobiling but Adam and I had done that before and wanted to try something different.  We were so glad we did because dog sledding was so much fun!!  The man who owned the business has 109 dogs and they all LOVE to run and pull sleds.  It was an hour long ride (about 11 1/2 miles) through a state park that he has a permit to sled through.  What an awesome adventure!

The rest of the trip we spent having great lunches/dinners, doing some sight-seeing at Glacier National Park and doing some shopping in downtown Whitefish.  We had a great week and have so many people to thank for making it happen.  And now have lots of new friends!  Here are some pictures from our week:

Groomer ride up the mountain our first day in Whitefish

View from top of the mounain

After skiing

Warriors and spouses after skiing

Adam before the Penguin Plunge

Adam, staff and other warriors with penguins before the plunge

plunge "pool"
Adam getting out of the COLD water!

Before the parade

Parade float

Warriors at VFW after parade

Dog sledding

Dogs ready to go!


Superbowl party

Downtown Whitefish

Link (Adam's ski instructor), Adam and Larry (volunteer from Whitefish)

Adam and JP, another warrior

Last dinner