26/26

Today was Riley’s golden birthday and his present he shared with all of us was a trip to Denver and ultimately Craig Hospital 15 days after his injury. Maria called a bit ago sounding exhausted and said that all went well , also that he has had a steady stream of visitors at his side today which was better than cake.

The facility at Craig sounds fantastic from the brief description Maria gave me. Riley is tired and still needs rest but this trip today was the moment we have been waiting for and the next step on his road to recovery. Happy birthday buddy.

dsc00625

Airborne

Ri, Tinka and Maria should all be in the air and headed to D as I type this @ 5 a.m. Pac time. They will get to the hospital sometime this afternoon.

It has gotten to the point now where Ri and Tinka and perhaps Maria will be taking over the updates because they are in much closer proximity to it? It has been great therapy for me to write my thoughts down here but they are mine and this is about Ri and his recovery. At some point when I get the time I may start a blog to chronicle my recovery from all this. Maybe call it Jasper and Me?

getattachmentaspx

So keep the flow of positive energy up friends and family. There are way too many people to single out for thanks and too long of a list to type out here. You all know who you are hopefully. If not, then feel free to contact me for assurance.

sending congrats to aspen

Maria called me right after the stewardess said we could use our cell phones last night arriving at Sea-Tac to tell me that they had just finished watching Simon win the big air at X. The fact that he and the others are carrying on and doing what they love means so much to all of us because that energy has a healing power of it’s own and not just for Riley either if you know what I mean. I haven’t seen the footage yet but I am sure it was huge, I heard it was a double, and that the crowd went wild for it. Congrats Simon as Luke would say, “No, you are the man”

photo_13578_-1x630_0

There are very few of us here reading this that will ever experience what these athletes do when they are going that fast, that far off the ground, in frigid temps, with a rock hard landing awaiting and for me I am happy just watching the film. Still more X to go today with the Men’s Slopestyle tonight and I am going to have to find a tv to watch it on I guess, at least it is at a decent hour here on the West Coast. I am looking for my boy Sammy C to throw down large there btw. The staying up until midnight and beyond thing was ok but hopefully we will all be able to drift back in to our regular sleep schedules here one by one over time?

Another Aspen highlight from this week was the Powder Awards that I mentioned previously. While many of Riley’s buddies got accolades for all the different segments of their sport the biggest prize of all and the last to be handed out was for ski film of the year. Watching it online and listening to the names and titles of the nominated movies I got a thrill when Reasons, the Poorboyz film that Riley helped to film and edit, was mentioned as a contender. But imagine all of our Joy when it came away on top! I have seen the movie personally many times and I do have to admit that it is the best yet in my book too. But I was just thinking that it was a parental view because I always kept it on for the credits to see our boys name on the screen. The fact that it got that type of recognition on the heels of the core film award recently bestowed upon it at another recent film festival I guess means that I have good taste and a better son who has even better yet friends to hang out with and make film’s like this happen. And not to mention the sponsors, which at some point we will get to here.

movieofthyear

So hats off to Johnny and the crew at Poorboyz Productions. You are the best and this helps to support that fact. Keep up the good work and Riley loves the whole lot of you like brothers so that makes you family to us also.

I am awaiting word from D326 about how the boy is doing and when I get any further word it will get posted here as it develops.

Peace Out as they say?

Big Fish to Fry

I have a flight booked out of here this a.m. to Seattle. Off to Bellingham to gather up the dog and stuff for the next phase in Denver. I will be driving there with Jasper the first of the week to meet back up with Ri, Katinka and Maria at Craig Hospital and hope to see a few of you on the way?

Way too many people to mention here and thank with all my heart for their help getting our lives back on track. Will be in touch with you over the next few days as time allows. This event in our lives has been stressful to the max but in the end I think that the old standard “Everything happens for a reason” will apply in spades.

Best to you all and I will continue to update here as often as I can. This blog has been a great venue for me to get things off my chest and I would like to thank Freeskier for setting it up, I can’t find the actual person right now in my mail, but thanks buddy. We owe you one.

On the Ri front he was up until 2:30 a.m. and still not fully getting the rest he needs. It will come though in good time? His spirits are so high that it is keeping his mind way more active than it need be but when he gets the world the way he wants it he will sleep I’m sure. The plan is still to get him out of here ASAP and we don’t have a set date/time yet, but the exodus has begun.

s6300143

Love to you all. Bob

Feeling the Love

Tonight we had a dual screen party in D326 with Nurse Carolyn attending. The tube had X games on it and the laptop was playing the live stream video of the Powder Awards live from Aspen which is still going on as I write this. All of Riley’s buddies had much to say about him and he was moved to send a text via lip reading to Katinka that Luke read at the podium which was pretty cool. We truly live in the age of information. My new favorite quote applies here: “The future is already here, it is just not evenly distributed.” Go here for the action at the Powder Awards: http://www.powdermag.com/events/powder-poll-2009/video-2008.htm (caution as there is some strong language in there in spots) Thanks to all from all of us for the love and support. Special props to Jaspers cousin Shawn and Kye and you to Bushy!  Simon, Seth, Tanner, Luke etc. you are the best friends our boy could have and you always have a home with us whereever it may be.

dsc00975

Ri’s condition is improving at such a fast rate now it is amazing to see. He still isn’t getting enough sleep and although tonight his eyes were drooping several times he wasn’t going to miss anything on either screen, including his buddy Levi’s double back flip on his snowmobile at the competition going on outside. When I left he told me that he feels better and that is huge to me and all of us.

img_5896

Timberline and Climbing

As Maria said in her posting it is really good to have Ri back and barking orders. Well not really barking, but knowing exactly what he wants which is the Riley way. He had a semi restful night but his body is hot and makes sleep hard to achieve. His temp reading is like 98 so it is not fever and Katrina said he is a hot body type sleeper which doesn’t surprise me as both his Mom and I are also. We do what we can to help him cool off at his commands like re-cooling the washcloth on his forehead and giving him ice chips to suck on. I also rubbed his shoulders and knee’s and palms of his hands with bits of ice like he wanted. Communication is somewhat better now that he is slowing down his speech and in better control of his faculties.

So there is an old saying about “He is not out of the woods yet” that as been kind of a mantra for me these past 5 days or so in my mind. But as he is such a High Altitude type of guy now that he has left the woods, I prefer to think of him as above timberline in a big bowl building a kicker on a blue bird day in a land far away, yet close to our hearts. Welcome back son, we have missed you.

6-0_ski_austria_2

So the road to rehab is now underway. He still has to get the threat of infection out of his lungs but there is no doubt in our minds that this will pass also. Still now word on the day that he saddles up to head west again and we’ll let you all know of any more developments as they occur.

To the boys/girls @ X it was great to see the super pipe last night. There was alot of effort there and love shining for our boy and although you wouldn’t have it any other way, it was a supreme comfort to him to be able to witness the event on the dusty telly in his room, as well as for Katrina, Maria and myself. We are all proud of Simon and Tanner and what they have done for the sport that our boy has made his own by as much hard work and dedication as themselves, and that is why they are so close? Still womens’s superpipe tonight and men’s and womens slopestyle to go and more Nike/Oakley/Target/Soloman team members to qualify and compete. You go boys and girls and rip one for Riley whenever you can. And Sammy you know who I am talkin about.

Xcellent Progress

Riley made a major turn for the better today it seems. After a gradual release from the stranglehold of the necessary drugs to deal with the immense pain his body was undergoing, that has turned in to healing power ,he snapped out of his delerium somewhat this afternoon. A doctor came along and laid out to him his condition which hit the boy pretty hard, but that visit was quickly followed by one from a couple of PT’s that did some work with him like moving him in to a sitting position resting on his own arms as much as possible, and they were impressed with his ability there. He is much more aware and to look at him you would not recognize the person that was in his place a week ago. He has color in his face and the Riley twinkle is showing again, albeit somewhat dimly, in his eyes.

We all took a break from the hospital while they bathed him and changed all the bedding and his smock etc.. We had a bit of a pow wow at the Daily Grind Cafe over soup and sandwiches as to where we are all headed with this. As you all know of utmost importance is to get Riley well on the road to recovery and rehab and this is just the first step along the way, and perhaps the fastest? Still no word yet on a departure time but as soon as we know of one we’ll post here.

I invite all of his friends and family to join Riley tonight in cheering on his buddies at Winter X competing in the Super Pipe comp. These young men/women and their sponsors representatives are all a big part of his life and ultimately will be a large part of his recovery via their direct support which will come full flood when they get done with their commitments over the rest of the skiing season. Their minds need to focus on this event and not worry at all about him so our support will help to prop that up. Hey it has been working for Riley, why not for X Games gold?

l_900628654b3b3999e2dbbf2733448af3

Kind of a funny story associated with this picture. We were all huddled up in front of the TV at our home in CB watching the Games when we saw Ri in the finish corral as pictured here. I picked up the phone and dialed his cell number and we could see him reach in to his pocket to get it and pull it out and say hello. Just something that I remember whenever I look at this picture.

Keep the calls and comments coming folks as you will. It helps not only us but yourselves to process this as something of a higher purpose rather than a tragedy that has stopped time. His and our lives continue and for that we give many thanks.

Another Day

Well the results here from the sputum from his lung show signs of infection. They will adjust his antibiotics here in a bit and hopefully they will have a good effect on that as infection is not good and will keep us here until it is fully abated.

Ri is definitely communicative now and once again I wish i knew how to read lips. If he raises his head while talking it closes off the trach enough to allow speech to come out and this morning he wanted to know if the trach was necessary? I assured him it was and he accepted it. But my goal for today is to find someone that can read lips because it is like he has not only his immediate needs but also he was trying to find out if Nike was covered for the X games….I told him that Curtis had it covered and I showed him the picture of Simon that I posted on a recent blog and he gave a good sized grin. Tonight we’ll watch the half pipe from the hotel room perhaps so that he will see that all is going on without him and in fact awaiting his return.

Yesterday I tried an experiment to try and leave him alone a bit more because our being around makes him want to communicate with us and that ends in frustration on all counts. But we ended up finding that we still have to closely monitor his room by sitting quietly in the corner and getting the nurse for suctioning etc. if we can’t take care of his discomfort on our own. The folks here try hard but Ri is not the only person in SICU and others here are in need of assistance and there are only so many bodies to go around.

I keep saying how the outpouring of support for Ri and us has been overwhelming and much appreciated. Last night I got a call from a nice gentleman that lives here in Albany that is a retired State Policeman that was shot years ago and had spinal issues but is walking now. He heard of our plight via a quadraplegic from Montreal so we are going to discover a whole new world of support I feel from that sector and it will be much appreciated. Paul kept on talking about having a beer and I have to admit it sounds good to me.

Maria and Katrina are holding up well enough also. We all could use a little more rest but that will come with time. I am going to sign off here for a bit as I am nodding out at the keyboard..zzzzzzzzzzzzzz We are missing the pup who is not this size anymore for sure and is growing by the day without us in his life which is hard also. Soon Jasper, soon.

dsc00988

Long Night

Due to the fact that they halved Ri’s sedation yesterday last night was not all that easy. The fact that he is becoming more and more aware of his surroundings is making him agitated and frustrated because he can’t communicate easily if at all. He tries to talk and can’t and we are not very good at reading lips. You can catch a few things but not enough to really get his point across. His eyes are bright however and you get the feeling that he knows his situation well enough, but therein lies the problem. While physically he has a long way to go it seems that mentally he has some distance to travel also to get himself used to the fact that he is very ill.

I looked at the x ray with the SICU doc around 2:30 for something to occupy my mind and the plate they put bridging c4-c6 looks really good. the spine is well aligned and staying that way. The other part of the x ray was his chest and comparing the latest to the one before it the doc said it looked better and you could see one area in particular that was more clear, however they still list the condition as persistent. Hopefully the continuing treatment the respiratory therapists apply via his trach tube every 4 hours that sends a loosening agent down there continues to work as it looks like it is doing now.

Remember that window from the last post? Well at about 2 a.m. I was sitting in the corner with my laptop looking at the freeskier website coverage of the X games, http://www.freeskier.com/articles/article.php?article_id=3293, and I heard a noise and felt a blast of cold air and one of those windows had blown open. I went to shut it and at the time I wondered how that could have happened because it is a cold and still night here. As I pondered it I could not find anything other than solace in this small event that I felt was nothing more than a surge of positive energy from somewhere or allwhere that made its way in to the room? Perhaps it was just the wind, if there was any.

Lack of sleep can play some serious mind games as we all know. I am not the world’s most spiritual person and when signs appear, l am not much better at interpreting them than I am at lip reading. However each instance out of the norm in the state I am in I find myself open to and release myself to it.

Once again we are all fortunate to have each other to get Riley through this difficult time. As soon as we know about the time of transfer we’ll post it here so be patient as there seems to be no set timetable for this adventure and we’ll all have to take it as it comes.

Going to get some rest, Maria is with him now and he finally made it in to a deep sleep at around 4 so hopefully that will last a bi

t. 0110090701

The Light From Within D Wing

This afternoon I went outside the D wing and took a few pictures of the building. My intention was to post a visual for you to see where your energy, thoughts and prayers are going. As it turns out I had the wrong windows centered in the frame but when I located the correct ones they made themselves very obvious. Look at the right bank of windows and work your way up it to see if you can find them? Two different photo’s with the same results. From my perspective they are the 2 brightest windows in the whole building. Keep it coming.

0120091415

0120091415a1

Riley’s temp is still down at 99 deg. and is becoming more and more alert. As I said before the problem with that is that he starts wanting to communicate and flopping his arms around, which have plastic lobster claw looking devices on them to hold his hands open. Gently holding them down doesn’t always work however because of his strength and sometimes one gets away.

This afternoon they packed him up and took him down to get neck x rays. The results of which should be available later, so more then.

This just in:

photo_13377_630x-1_0

Focus Simon, Focus.