Friday, October 29, 2010

Jason Update 10

Hello everyone!

Sorry I have not been better at updating since we have been home! It's been a bit of a whirlwind since we have returned, which I am sure is no surprise!

Jason is doing better everyday with his mobility, and we got a great report yesterday at the Neuro Followup. He gave Jason a machine that stimulates his bones to grow and removed his staples.

The Ortho Followup did not go quite as well, and he is actually having surgery this afternoon on his wrist/arm to screw the broken bone there into place. I have been pretty blase about it after all we've been through, but it is a four hour procedure and he will be put under general. Please pray that once again his body will respond well and that the surgeon will be able to steady the bone easily. They also did some new rounds of Xrays on his shoulder that they will go over today with him.

We have been well taken care of this week! Jason's mom has been here taking care of him and making dinners, plus my mom and some firends have offered both meals and a helping hand around the store trying to get back on track!

On that note, many of you have asked if we are able to complete your orders or take on new ones, and the answer is absolutely YES! This weeek we mainly focused on trying to get things people were waiting on "out the door!" Next week, I will focus on proofs and getting back in the swing. We are absolutely still doing Christmas Cards, and my working is more important than ever with Jason out for 4-6 weeks. I have moved one of my computers home and found a great online service to file-share and sync my files so I can work from home in the mornings and evenings, and be at the store during the day. My customers have been so wonderful and supportive, and I wouldn't have expected any different!

Jason and his mom went yesterday to try and locate his car and see if anything of his personal belongings could be salvaged. Apparently is was a sobering experience. Jason said of the 1000+ cars on the yard, his car was the worst. It was unrecognizable. They could not even check for any items becuase there was inches of glass on every surface, and they couldn't reach in for fear of further injury. He promised to take me back and show me "what a miracle looks like." I already knew.

I promise I will keep up-to-date on any more happenings and the results of the Ortho today. Thank you for your sweet comments and support....and of course prayers!

xoxo hh

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jason Update 9

Alas...We are settled in at home! Sorry it has taken me a while to update...we have been very busy trying to settle in, catch up, and get a routine somewhat figured out.

Thank you all so much for the encouragement, support, and outpouring of love.

Jason is doing well today but is still in a lot of pain, and increasingly stiff. He can barely even move his left shoulder now, so we are anxious to see an Ortho doctor this week!

I got to give Jason a REAL shower today and changed his dressings, so I got to see for the first time the incision and staples in his neck! It is so crazy to see -- it is all of five inches and 20 staples. And literally, they look like classic Swingline Staples from my desk.

Jason's mom and dad arrived this evening and his mother is going to stay for the week and help us out. I am so excited to have an extra set of hands! Jason has been very sweet today, but there is just so much he cannot do for himself; it's pretty, I need to get back to work and make sure we can catch-up on and complete a bunch of projects on the horizon.

Thanks to all...We truly are so grateful for every call, hug, text and prayer sent our way.

xoxo hh

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jason Update 8

Thought you all might enjoy seeing our smiling faces last Thanksgiving. I know I think blogs with pictures are always more interesting!!! :)

I am very sorry I did not get to update yesterday; I know many of you texted me with bated breath making sure everything was fine. Fine we are.....exhausted, too.

Wednesday night and Thursday morning/early afternoon were very tiring and tedious. Jason could NOT get comfortable and was in so much pain, plus pretty incoherent with the meds. He would be out-like-a-light and then suddenly wake up with some complaint, sometimes even phantom complaints wanting to know what was running down his back {nothing!} or something along those lines. We hardly slept a wink and I was up-and-down constantly. Needless to say, I didn't make it home yesterday, but Lynsey came and brought me clothes and toiletry items, and it looks like we'll be going home soon!

So, to fill you in on how we got there, here's some re-caps I can think of!

He has much more mobility today and we have already walked him around, done stair exercises, got his drain out, got his push release medicine out, taken him off the oxygen, brushed his teeth, and we just got our shower chair delivered so he can bathe soon! Eating his breakfast a little bit ago, he told me he was pretty certain this was the most productive two hours we had experienced here.

The Neuro doctor spent a good deal of time with us this morning explaining the drill and where to go from here. He will have a followup in roughly two weeks to remove his staples and check everyting, and then they will probably only see him one time after that.

As for Jason's hand, the orthopedic Doctors said they'd like a follow-up next week, but we got permission to see an Ortho back in Galveston if we'd like, so BP if you're reading, expect a call! The only doc who has seen his wrist is the ER doc who set it, so we are unsure of the treatment course needed, if any, for this.

Jason's dad has headed back to Arkansas and is returning over the weekend with Jason's mom in tow, so hopefully next week we can really care for him downstairs and get over his stiffness and pain some, and the maybe by the following week move back up into our 'real' house.

His strength and balance are pretty off still, but it is still such a joy to watch him up and walking around! We think he looks like Kosmo Kramer walking around with the crazy hair and tall & skinny frame next to these itty bitty nurses and PTs. Seriously, we are giants here....his feet hang off his bed and his gown is a bit of a miniskirt. ha! I seriously hope my brother-in-law never has to endure this! He is 6"9 and seriously would be miserable! :(

I have been so encouraged in the last 18 hours....I really feel like things are getting better every hour. The Neuro Doc did warn us that some days may be awesome to the point where you feel like you've "crossed the bridge" and then the next will be awful, so there is just a natural ebb and flow associated with any recovery.

On another note....How did I not know about "The Chocolate Bar???!!!" Apparently this slice of Heaven that resides here in Houston has been mysterously off my radar. I mean, I am baffled! Yesterday I was brought two different kinds of icecreams from there, and then also an 8" high piece of chocolate cake covered in bricklebits, and I am HOOKED!!! Seeing as both sets of friends that brought me these delicacies have known me for about 15 years, I am just horrified they've kept this from me. After dessert, late night, and BREAKFAST this morning, I still have about two layers of the cake left, and it's off limits! I seriously have not even offered it to my patient.

Soooo, anyhoo....We have a few more things to check off our list, but it looks like we will be released either late tonight, or possibly tomorrow morning. This is amazing to me as yesterday morning I thought I should start forwarding my mail here. Once you round a corner, things seem to snowball and really improve. Many people have asked me about our 'plan' once we're home, and the main plan is to get Jason better! They told me the worst thing he can do is stay in bed all day, so anyone who would like to come over and visit, watch a game, share a meal, or just hang out...PLEASE know you are welcome to! I don't really want to put my phone number on here, but am pretty good at checking texts and okay on emails if you want to check... hayley{at} (Use the real "@" sign, but for some reason I think you're not just supposed to write your address for phishing!) Jason will most likely be unable to head into work for a few weeks, but I will have to start asap, so lunchtime or daytime visitors would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you all so very much for your kindness, love, prayers and support! We have felt so lifted up and are eternally grateful.

Love, hayley

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jason Update 7

Although I of course am not too fond of being in the hospital, I love looking around our room. It's obviously much better this evening with Jason's "ruggedly" handsome face in here, but it's also life a little life story wrapped up in 100 sq ft.

My sweet and lovely friends have filled our room with flowers, food, cookie bouquets, toiletries, at least 50 magazines, photos of Jason, me and Kashmir, and even a beautiful framed picture of our "Theme Hymn" that very well may be my favorite gift we've received.

Jason's friends have filled the room with obnoxious stuffed animals, including but not limited to an "It's a Girl" fluffy pink elephant, Buzz lightyear balloons, toddlers, brand new babies (we loved meeting you Liam!!!) and most importantly laughter... and some Fantasy Football banter.

It's so awesome to look around the room and see exactly what roles we play. I am such the nester and nuturer, and Jason is hands-down the fan favorite. I always said (even in our Vows Ronnie scripted) that Jason has always made me cooler. He has always said I've made him a better person. In such a trivial, and yet symbolic way I think you can look around this tiny room and see the merging of our two distinct personalities into the life we share. Thank you all for the parts you all play in our life.

Okay, enough of my "alone with my thoughts" drabble...I know you want an update!

We both did get a bit of rest and Jason is snoozing now, waiting for his "push release" pain medicine. He returned from his ct scan and we struggled for a while trying to get him as comfortable as possible. Even in the ER, he never indicated his pain as more than a "6" on the 1-10 spectrum, and this afternoon he was grumpily insisting over and over again he was a 10. Seeing him so agitated has been one of the hardest parts so far. He wasn't believing us that he was up higher, or straight, or in the 'right' position, or that it had only been five minutes since we asked for his medicine. I can tell he is in great pain just by how much his disposition suffered this afternoon. His doctors came in around 3:30 and explained once they got him open they realized it was a little more unstable than they thought and that's what took some additional time, but he responded well and it went smoothly. They also brought us print outs of before/after/during XRays of the Rod insertion, and then a great image (i was a little fuzzy on really interpreting the aforementioned images) that clearly shows the rod placement and his incision, with exactly twenty sutures. They were able to do it posterially (through the back of the neck) and both rods go through all three vertebrae (C4, C5, C6). Things Jason did not know until they came in were that he will suffer a 10-15% reduction in range of motion when healed, and that they had to cut his hair in the back.

After they left, we both were left alone for a few hours and got some good rest. This evening a couple of Jason's best friends came by to see him, including Sarah and Dave again. I feel like they are my personal 'Google.' With Sarah's medical knowledge and Dave in Spine Device Sales I feel so at peace with them explaining things to me! They both thought he looked good, and we all reiterated how pleased we were with the decision to operate especially knowing it was a little worse than they thought.

So, now that the big fish have been fried, we seem to be thinking more about other issues. His broken nose seems to be really brusing and irritating his left eye, and right now he has started running a fever. They gave him some antibiotics and fever reducer and may run some cultures, possibly even around of xrays or something. We don't want his body weakening! We also may try to get a follow-up with a hand Doctor tomorrow to just evaulate his broken wrist again. He is definitely already getting restless in one position, and has begun to cough up a lot of junk probably settling from laying down in one position as well. All things to just keep an eye on and pray don't materialize into anything bigger.

I have not been out of Memorial Hermann since 11:31pm on Sunday evening and am hoping to be able to get home tomorrow and bathe, grab some fresh clothes, and tidy up our down stairs living quarters for when we come home. Many of you know our home is stilted, so our main house and bedroom is on the second floor, with only exterior stairs going up to the decking where you would enter our front door. Though we will work on climbing stairs immediately, we are thinking it will be best to live for a while downstairs where there is no stairs and oddly enough, a handicap accessible bathroom courtesy of the previous owner's elderly parents they took care of. The area is definitely not as comfy as upstairs, but we are so glad to have it as an option and take up residence there...again. We actually lived there for a month and half in the wake of Hurricane Ike after our downstairs repairs were complete in month five and they had just begun our upstairs. Yes, for those of you in the blog-world who don't know us well....suffice it to say we've had a lot of obstacles in our three and a half year marriage. Sometimes you just have to laugh and wonder what made God think we were so strong??? When Jason and I were getting married, I decided to learn a little more about our last name, 'Hardcastle', and actually it is a reference to Proverbs 18:10 The Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower, the Righteous run in to it and they are safe. In my head somehow that transitioned really well, but now I've been sitting here staring at the keyboard trying to eloquently tie this all back in, and I am afraid I'm fresh out of eloquence. I do know the Lord is our shelter and has been through the literal and metaphoric storms we've weathered and that we are in His safekeeping.

Thank you all for your love, encouragement and concern. I wish I could hug every single one of you! Someday soon.... xoxo hh

Jason Update 6

He's ba-ack!!!!

We have Jason back in his room, albeit temporarily at this point...he is going to be taken for another cat scan shortly to verify everything is put back together correctly.

Upon wheeling him back in, he was still pretty unresponsive, when mom (the Peg-stir to some) called out, "You're home!" He opened his eyes and said "I'm home?!?" Then, of course we just explained back in his room-home.

He did well in surgery and has been stablized and cleaned up a little but is in a lot of pain and very very tired. He has a great new team of nurses that seem to be much more thorough and aware of his special needs at this point in the recovery. He said he was having crazy dreams coming out of the anesthesia and was relieved to know he was back in his room and hadn't broken all the rules "going under" or in post-op. He also seems to think there actually was someone in a bed next to him trying to escape! I am a little skeptical if that happened or not, but you know Jason...he loves to tell a good story!

We are letting him rest right now and waiting on the CT, but everyone seems in good spirits about his operation. I'll update again once the doctor visits or we get anymore news. I am gonna take a little breather as well now that I have him back by my side. My guess would be if you are wanting to come visit, that between 4-7 would be good hours tonight.

Thanks for all the prayers, texts, edible bouquets, flowers and food! I haven't had to leave here once to get a thing -- everyone has been taking such good care of us and we so appreciate it.

Love all around, and praise to our almighty God for having his hands over Jason during this time!

Jason update 5

Dr. Schmidtt just called me and he is complete with the surgery. He will go to recovery for a while before we hear anything else! A weight has been lifted just to know he is closed up. Thank you for your prayers!

Jason Update 4

Jason is still in surgery. There seems to have been a lot of mis-information. We were under the impression it was a two hour surgery that would begin at 7am. The took him back at 6:25am for prep, but my first update was at 10am, and they said they had just begun, he was doing well, and it was a six hour procedure. Thanks for all the texts and emails. I am pretty worn thin right now so I so appreciate all of the texts, but please forgive me if i haven't responded right away! I will update again when I know anything new.

Jason Update 3

Jason is in surgery right now. His anethesiologisy resident and afternoon nurse came by and said he is in surgery and they'll be back in our normal room this afternoon. Thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jason Update 2

Thank you all so much for the love you are showing to Jason and me! We are humbled by the outpouring of messages, calls, and of course visits! Of course I always knew Jason was pretty special, but I told him tonight I tought he might be the most loved guy EVER. We are for sure the rockstars of the "Neuro" floor. :)

Jason is sleeping peacefully next to me and they should start prepping him for surgery in about six hours. I am pretty awake for the first time today thanks to Codi and Omar's chocolate delivery, and Leah and Erin's late night antics and "Everything-Kroger-Sold-we-thought-you-may-like delivery!" I feel so blessed in such a stressful time to say that our hospital room has been filled with much laughter and few tears. Jason's spirit is so strong, and even laying flat back keeping his neck straight in intense pain, he is making all kinds of hysterical comments. I know the surgery will be the hardest part for me (besides the drive up having no clue what i was driving up to) because he wont be right here next to me. If you know us well, you know we are usually pretty laid back and fun people but I am so in awe that even in his dark hour, his personality still shines through and is so endearing. The man I married may be a bad driver, but he's a great friend and it has been so sweet to see the number of friends that have come up to see him. We have his Andre Johnson (the Texans player that won Sunday's game for them to you non-Houstonians...or non-male readers) jersey they had to cut off of him in the ambulance hung on his wall AND his doctor's name is also "Johnson" so all his buddies seem to think that is an excellent 'sign.'

I realize I may be rambling a bit but I just can't even express the gratitude for the way we have been lifted up. I just feel certain Jason will be back to his lively and strong self soon and thank you so much for joining me and our families in prayer tomorrow at 7am over his operation and team. The attending physician is Dr. Schmidt, and I have been praying for him all night that his hands will truly be the instruments for healing from the Lord.

I always think the Lord gives you a scripture or a song to relate things to and calm your spirit, and for the past few hours I have literally been playing "Great is thy Faithfulness" in my head. Jason and I both LOVE old hymns and I just wanted to close with the lyrics that are bringing me such peace. There IS a bright hope for tomorrow, and new mercies there WILL be in the morning. Great is his faithfulness to us!

Love, Hayley

Great is Thy faithfulness, oh God my Father;There is no shadow of turning with Thee;Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!Morning by morning new mercies I see.All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth. Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!Morning by morning new mercies I see.All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Jason Update 1

Hello, all! Some of you know already, and as I do not have a personal blog and facebook is blocked at the Hospital, I wanted to put up some updates on Jason.

Sunday evening I was at home tidying the house after Jason's friends from Oklahoma had visited, and was waiting on their return from the Texans/Chiefs game when I got a call from Kacey (the wife of one of the said friends) that they had been in an accident. Luckily they had left with them and were traveling only a few cars behind and were able to help and contact me literally as it happenend. Jason was driving on 59N and realized his lane was ending and needed to get over last minute. He saw a small window of opportunity before a bus traveling alongside him, and thought he could merge and then gun-it and be in sync. He slid in and the car did not respond, and the bus tried to stop and miss him but could not and clipped his car and pushed him sideways into the barricade. When he hit it, it sent his car spinning and it flipped two to three times before landing facing oncoming traffic. Miraculously, Grant (front passenger) and Zach (back passenger) both we able to crawl out as soon as they landed. They were all wearing seatbelts, and the driver side of the car definitely took the brunt of the impact. Kacey and Tyler were able to run over as soon as they could pull their car over and Tyler kept Jason talking and still until the first responders could arrive. I left my house and headed north the second Kacey called. I phoned my family and tried Jason's dad as well, who was already in Houston at another hospital with Jason's cousin who was having an emergency appenedctomy. Jason was conscious but obviously injured and very bloody. They had to cut open his door, and then finally also the roof to extract him. Me, the ambulances, and Meghan & Ken who came right over to park my car and handle that so I could run in with paramedics, all miraculously arrived at the same time to Memorial Hermann. Praise GOD that no one else was injured, that Jason's organs and vitals were "Rock Solid" the entire time according to our overnight ER doc, that Kacey was right behind and able to call me instantly, and that he is in such great care here. The parademics on the scene that had to use the 'jaws of life' to even dislodge Jason could not believe Grant and Zach crawled out and were even in that car!

We spent the next thirteen hours in the Trauma Center and are eternally grateful to the staff there, but also our dear friend Sarah, who after working a whole shift as an ER doctor at another hospital, came straight over and was Jason's personal advocate and physician. Grant and Zach were checked out and cleared by 2am and my dad delivered them to their beds for the night. So, after three CT scans, Xrays, lots of tests and stabilizing, here's the run-down. Lots of scrapes and bruises, only a couple needing special care or stitches, a broken nose, a broken wrist, and a broken neck. We;ve discussed backwards and forwards if its better to start with the biggie, or work up to it? I don't know!

Well, as Cara and I decided, he's the "winner of the losers!" Yes, he has a broken neck, but it is a pretty "good break."... as far as a broken neck goes. It broke outwards away from the spinal cord and body, so he does not have any paralysis or brain damage or vessel pinching. Praise God! His only physical limitation right now is his whole left shoulder and arm, which are very beaten up and then casted from his elbow to hand.

Yesterday was a brutal waiting game. A few of our very sweet friends all came by, some bearing 'essentials' bags for me, treats, stuffed animals or even the BEST Pappasitos ever, but we knew very little until we could get the MRI, which took nearly 24 hours to get in to once it had been ordered. We just found out at 3 today that he will have to have surgery to stabilize the vertebra. He broke the C5 if you are one of our Medical-dork friends (you know who you are!)and wanting specifics I may-or-may not be able to provide. They will operate in the morning and will be here a few more days in recovery after that. The surgery is at 7am tomorrow, and will rod and fuse the C5 to the C4 above and the C6 beneath. Please pray for Jason's body to be responsive and for the doctors hands and minds to be steady and clear. Any surgery has its risks, but obviously neck/spine surgery has special concern.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Jason is in good spirits and is constantly cracking me up with his dry wit. He loves visitors and is at Memorial Hermann Med Center, but tomorrow am will be in the OR. If you would like to come tomorrow, check back and I'll update when he can accept visitors post op.

Love, Hayley

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Finally a Fall Chill in the Air....

..And we are in the Halloween Spirit!

Here are a few of our favorite fun images from Halloweens present and past! Enjoy!

Why not beat the rush and send a Halloween Greeting?

A fun, not frigtening, children's Halloween!

In the pink version, or the classic orange, this design delights!

A classic pullout, punkin' cute!

Sophisticated and clean, it falls perfectly in suit.

Let us know if we can help you with any Halloween Greetings, Parties, or Treat Stickers/Tags!
No Tricks, it would be a treat!