Gestures – Day 23

Carly is continuing to improve in small ways each day. Tuesday afternoon is the care meeting for the rehab staff, where all the caregivers and doctors discuss their patients and long-term plans are made. The outcome of the meeting was a recommendation to keep Carly for 7-10 more days. They believe there is still major progress to be made on the therapy side, and want to make sure that her meds and eating are fully stabilized before they release her. That is great news, since they are so pleased with her progress, and believe there is more just around the corner!

The past two days Carly has shown more personality in every way! She is gesturing more. At breakfast, she was tired of eggs. And instead of thumbs down for no, she raised one side of her lip – Elvis style. A typical Carly face! She also did that a few more times when Carl offered her a jelly donut, and she broke out laughing and giggling. Later in the afternoon, Noah was talking too much, and she gave him that special finger gesture, which caught everyone by surprise! She started laughing so hard she couldn’t contain herself and went from the couch to the bed just rolling around and laughing! You had to be there, but it was truly great to see her personality back!

This is a packing weekend. Janie drove back to Cedar City yesterday afternoon to organize things. Carl, Noah, and Abi will drive down to Cedar City on Friday after school to spend the weekend packing boxes and getting ready to store/move everything. Janie will return to Salt Lake City Friday afternoon, to be with Carly for the weekend. Katie will be driving from LA to Cedar City to help pack and take Gizmo and Izzy (our two cats) back to live with her in LA for awhile.

We thank God every day for the miracle of Carly and all the many blessings that have been showered on her and the Mimstribe. The outpouring of every one of our family, friends, friends of friends…it has all been so unbelievable and so important to us. Pray for Carly’s continued rehab and safe travels for everyone on the road this weekend.

Gifts – Day 24

Carly has had a busy day, walking down and then back up nine flights of the hospital stairs today. Speech therapy went well, Carly is getting the routine down on the method they are using to make her speech connection. It is very encouraging and just a matter of time before she finds her voice.

Carly received a teddy bear from her close dancing friend, Zui, who she went to school with. Zui is pictured above with Carly:-) At first Carly was a little sad when she opened the package, but then she quickly cheered up and has kept the teddy bear on her bed with her! She was very touched.

This afternoon she watched “Mama Mia!” for some entertainment.

Tomorrow Janie returns to Salt Lake City from Cedar City and Carl, Noah and Abi will be leaving for Cedar City.

Friends – Day 25

Today Carly is doing well. She has had her usual round of therapies, and tomorrow they are taking her on her first trip off hospital property! They will take her for a walk in the park, and then to Barnes & Noble, across the street, with the recreation therapist, Kris. Carly loves Kris! It should be great for her to get off the hospital grounds and be able to go and do something.

Today she received another package from one of her best friends, Kelly Stanton. Kelly has been pictured in a few photos on the site before and was Carly’s roommate when she was living in Tampa and going to the Aveda Institute. She is pictured above with Carly, on her wedding day this past spring. Kelly sent Carly a great outfit, and a wonderful photo of herself and her husband Jeremy, who has also been friends with Carly and the Mimstribe for a long time. Receiving the photo was very emotional for Carly, and she has gotten up from her bed several times just to go look at it, and she always smiles. It is hanging right next to the photo that Abby and Justin Nelson sent her!

Janie is currently driving back to Salt Lake City, and Carl will head to Cedar City with Noah and Abi once she arrives. We have wonderful friends and neighbors that have volunteered to take care of the cats for the next few weeks, so Katie has decided to wait on her trip to Cedar City since picking up the cats was one of the main purposes of her trip. She has had a very long week at work and is fighting a cold. Katie will most likely go to Cedar City to help finish packing in two weeks when she is on hiatus, and then spend some time in Salt Lake City with the entire family.

Lazy Sunday – Day 28

Not long after Carly was injured, one of us was sitting in her hospital room in the ICU, and we had a photo of Carly up on the computer screen. One of the nurses walked in and asked, “Who is that?” We were shocked that they didn’t recognize her, and that night we printed photos to hang in her room. At first, they were just photos of Carly and a few of the whole family. In the last few weeks, friends have been emailing photos and sending cards, so we have started decorating her room with them and putting them all up for Carly to look at.

Two of the photos are of Carly and our cousin, Chris Parnell. One from when she was living in New York, and another from this past spring when she went to visit Katie in Los Angeles. Chris has been amazing, and has written Carly several letters, sent her photos and called to check on her. He’s been very supportive! A few days ago, Carly’s speech therapist walked in and immediately noticed the photos of Carly and Chris! It turns out she’s a huge fan of his. She immediately started talking about the Lazy Sunday Chronicles of Narnia video that he did a few years back on SNL, and Carly immediately perked up. She perked up so much that the speech therapist decided to use the beat from the rap in the video for part of Carly’s therapy, and it ended up being one of Carly’s better speech therapy sessions!

Later that afternoon Carl pulled the video up on Hulu for Carly to watch, and it seemed to make her really happy:-)

It’s been a busy weekend for the Mimstribe. Janie arrived back in Salt Lake City on Friday night to stay with Carly while Carl, Noah and Abi went back to Cedar City to pack. Carl and the kids are now on their way back to Salt Lake City so that the kids can be back in school tomorrow. Please continue to pray for progress for Carly and guidance and wisdom as the Mims family makes decisions about the future. We have been told that Carly may be released and sent home on Wednesday or Thursday, which is truly amazing. There are many different things that need to happen in order for us to be ready for Carly to come home, and there is a lot of coordinating and planning that needs to take place to get her outpatient therapy scheduled and worked out.

God’s Amazing Creation – Day 29

Carly continues to have more good days in Rehab. Her down moments are few and short-lived, but very significant. Carly has always been a determined person, and that determination has been strong and really helped in the hard work that she continues to do. Carly’s recovery has amazed everyone! From the beginning negative prognosis to today, her progress has been like a rocket on a launch pad taking off. She blasted off and shot up, defying what medical science was indicating. No doubt only God can make such a miracle happen, and everyone that sees Carly agrees!

The end of in-hospital rehab is near, and each therapy discipline is performing evaluations on Carly with us so that we can better understand where she is and plan for where we are going from here. It has all become a little overwhelming. Similar to when a rocket takes off, there is much excitement and emotion while it speeds off into space, but you still know that there are light years to travel. Carly has done amazing things, but when you sit down with evaluations you realize how far she still has to go. The brain is part of God’s amazing creation, and when you look at it there is no doubt we were created and could never have evolved as some might believe. Add to that the unique personality each of us has, and it is really very amazing! When you sit through an evaluation, you begin to realize all of the things that we do automatically, that we take for granted every day. You realize how Carly is mentally having to re-wire each of those things, and you see how much effort it really takes. The next few days will be a big challenge and adjustment for Carly and for the Mimstribe, as we all get into full gear.

Pray for Carly’s continued progress, that she gets into out-patient rehab programs quickly, that things would fall into place and for her adjustment to her new home situation to be smooth. Please also pray for the rest of the Mimstribe, as Carly’s homecoming will be a big adjustment for everyone.

God’s Timing – Day 30

Today is the big day. Carly is being released from Intermountain Medical Center today. She has progressed far enough to now participate in out-patient rehab. It’s hard not to reflect back on the last 30 days. It was only 30 days ago that an accident, which seemed to only need stitches, turned out to be a major, life-threatening ordeal. I can remember teasing the doctor who was going to sew up the cut on Carly’s leg about how there couldn’t be a scar. He said, “Well, scars have stories.” Little did anyone know how significant this story would be!

What a God story this is. The use of technology and social networking had thousands praying for Carly within minutes. God heard the prayers and did a major miracle, all in his perfect timing. When Carly was life-flighted from Cedar City to Salt Lake City, there was a very good chance that she would not make it. When she was admitted to the Trauma ICU, we were told she could be there for several weeks, even months. God’s timing was just seven days, and she was awake and walking within five. God appointed just the right people at the right time to provide the perfect care for Carly. Each one of the doctors, nurses, and therapists who have worked with Carly in the last thirty days have become very special to us. All of them have been totally amazing, not only in medical skills but in compassion, love and the respect with which they cared for Carly. Intermountain Medical Center is the most amazing place.

After being in the ICU Shock/Trauma unit, Carly moved to the Neuro recovery floor, where we were told she would spend anywhere from several days to several weeks gaining the strength needed to enter the inpatient rehab program. In God’s awesome timing, she was only there for 22 hours before they moved her to the inpatient Rehab floor! No doubt only God can work so fast. By now, everyone that comes into contact with Carly acknowledges God’s miracle and his timing.

Have you ever thought much about God’s timing? It’s easy to get focused on God’s will and forget the importance of His timing. Often it means being very patient to understand his plan when our prayers are not immediately answered. Pastor Chuck Smith says that “If God answered all of our prayers how we wanted and when we wanted, the world would certainly be a messed up place.” I have worked in ministry for the past sixteen years, and have seen many answered prayers and miracles. No doubt the miracle delivered to Carly and the Mimstribe has been the most amazing experience ever. His perfect timing in answering prayer, providing care and providing for the family has all been so evident.

I am so proud of every member of the Mimstribe. Katie immediately flew from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. She jumped right in, organizing, paying extreme attention to details and helping with Carly’s care. Her take-charge approach helped tremendously at a time when everyone was being stretched. Tripp drove Abi, Noah and myself (Carl) from Cedar City to Salt Lake City as soon as Carly’s life-flight took off from the Cedar City airport. No doubt it was the longest drive of our lives. Tripp and his girlfriend, Thy, helped with a lot of logistical issues, taking Abi and Noah back-to-school shopping and taking care of everything in Cedar City. Noah and Abi have worked hard to make very quick adjustments to such major changes, leaving new friends, adjusting to a new home and starting new schools with only a weeks notice. Janie has been the rock. What can you say about an awesome, Godly woman and Mom? Watching her jump into action was amazing.

Act 1 of this God story is now complete. Carly’s miracle has been amazing. Her hard work and determination in rehab have been unbelievable. Everyone has been blessed. The Mimstribe has many amazing memories of individuals who have touched our lives providing care for Carly and the family. We have been blessed with new friends who have gone out of their way to connect with us in a new community. Blessed with new friends who have taken us into their home to live. Blessed and touched by family and friends who have reached out, prayed, supported and been there for us. The emotions for us have been extreme in every direction for the past thirty days. I only wish everyone could experience the closeness of God in their lives the way that we have. I hope everyone realizes how quickly life can change; how important we all are to each other.

Today Act 2 begins, and there are many unknowns. What we do know is that God has answered the prayers of many, and his timing is perfect. We can only watch the rest of the God story unfold, and be aware of his goodness. No doubt we still need the prayers of all those who have prayed for the last thirty days. Major changes in every aspect of our lives have taken place in the last thirty days, and are continuing to take place. Many adjustments will be required of all of us in the coming thirty days. Carly has made amazing progress. We spent the last few days mirroring Carly in rehab, and realize the extreme work she has ahead of her. The simplest tasks that we do daily require a huge effort for her. We have seen progress greatly slow down, and are told that the next phase can be very long and slow, yet we know it will be in God’s timing. We will miss the 24-hour support we have had from the Intermountain Medical Center team in caring for Carly. Yet we look forward to the new relationships we will make with those who will be assisting Carly in out-patient rehab, and look forward to going back to visit with all of those who have touched our lives in the past thirty days.

In your prayer time for Carly, thank God for an amazing miracle, for the unbelievable blessings of Intermountain Medical Center, their staff and the blessings and prayers of friends and family. Pray for Carly’s adjustment to new surroundings, for the many details that are yet to be discovered in that transition, for the adjustments Abi and Noah have to make to help care for Carly, and for Carly to quickly get started in out-patient rehab.


Slow Progress – Day 35

Sorry for the delay in updating the past few days! We have really missed the twenty-four-hour support of IHC, and as a result, haven’t had much time to write daily updates.

As you know from the last post, Carly is HOME! Her departure from the hospital was a little traumatic because we had driven two cars to the hospital that day. Janie went down to pull her car up to the door, where we loaded Carly and her belongings. Carl then walked to his car as Janie and Carly left the parking lot. Carly became very agitated and nervous the moment they turned onto the street. She was so upset that Janie had to stop the car. That is when, for the first time, Janie heard Carly’s small voice say “Dad”. Janie explained that he was in another car, and right about that time Carl pulled up behind them and stopped. From that point forward Carly was fine.

Carly was very excited to walk into her new temporary home! You may recall from a  previous post that the Blalock’s have graciously opened up their beautiful home and allowed us to live with them until we can get on our feet. Carly walked in and began to grin from ear to ear! She walked through each room in the house, wide-eyed and grinning. After exploring most of the house, Carly walked into the large glass walk-in shower in the bathroom Carl and Janie are using. Carl was worried she was going to turn the shower on, but instead, she picked up every bath and hair product and looked it all over, dropping the items she didn’t like on the shower floor, and then walking out! No doubt despite her lack of speech, she still has an opinion!

We have spent the past few days getting settled in with Carly at home and working every possible angle to get her into various rehab programs at Intermountain, University of Utah and The National Ability Center in Park City, Utah. In addition, there’s been a lot of paperwork to get straight. Not only for those rehab programs, but also for the Social Security Administration. We have been working on various therapy drills that the rehab floor taught us before leaving the hospital.  The bottom line is that there really isn’t that much new to report on Carly’s progress. While we know and realize Carly has a long way to go, we only have to look back at the last month to see the miracles and assure ourselves that she is going to make a full recovery.

On Sunday afternoon we went for a short walk/hike in the canyon close to the Blalock’s house. It was a great day to be outside! Carly does great walking as long as you let her go fast. When she slows down, balance becomes an issue, but she hasn’t come even close to falling. It just scares you a little when she begins to weave around.

Carly’s first outpatient rehab appointment at Intermountain for occupational and physical therapy is tomorrow. The appointment is mostly an evaluation. Please pray that she would get an appointment in speech therapy quickly! So far she is on the extended waiting list for this therapy and does not have any future appointments scheduled with any of the therapies.

Rehab – Day 38

Carly had her first outpatient rehab session on Tuesday. It was a one-hour occupational therapy assessment and a one-hour physical therapy session. As we walked into the rehab facility, the speech therapist greeted us! She set up an appointment for Friday, which is a huge answer to prayer. Carly is officially off the waiting list and will start speech therapy tomorrow, only one week after leaving the hospital and months before we had been told she could enter the program.

To give you an idea of where Carly is and how far she has to go, one of the simple tests during therapy involved placing nine pegs in nine well-spaced holes. Most people can do this in 10-15 seconds. Using her right hand, Carly did it in 45 seconds. Using her left hand required over 3 minutes. We were surprised to find out that the actual test for hand strength and finger pinch showed almost the same strength on both the left and right side. In physical therapy, Carly did very well with balance and catching herself. It’s the initial balance that’s the issue.

On Wednesday Carly started Therapeutic Horseback Riding at the National Ability Center. If you are not familiar, horseback riding is a highly c tool for brain injury patients. It has tremendous benefit in balance and helping to build neuro pathway speed. Abi also went and it put smiles on everyone’s faces. It looks like it will be a great therapy/activity. Look for photos next week!

Carl has returned to Cedar City to finish packing and help with the final garage sales. Katie will be on hiatus from iCarly at the end of the week for at least the next month. She will be coming back to Cedar City to help with moving out of the house there and will be in Salt Lake City for Carly’s birthday on October 1st.

We thank God for the continued answers to prayer in getting Carly into rehab so quickly! Please continue to pray for Carly’s progress.

Traveling – Day 43

The last few days have been very busy! Carly had her first outpatient speech rehab on Friday. The therapist was very encouraging and feels that Carly will certainly talk again. She also thinks that Carly will have a very high recovery level, but that it’s just a matter of time. Friday afternoon Janie, Carly, Noah, and Abi returned to Cedar City to help with the last garage sale on Saturday and work on packing up the remaining things in the house to move to storage. We have been working hard to de-junk and pair down the house so that we can fit in a smaller space in the future.

We weren’t sure how Carly would do traveling, but she did great! She had a wonderful time in Cedar City and seemed very glad to be seeing some new faces. She especially enjoyed seeing Tripp and Thy! Her personality is really starting to come back, and she’s starting to laugh again.

On Saturday night, Jane Wood, Janie’s Mother, fell and broke her hip and fractured a wrist. Janie is in Memphis right now with her parents. Mimi (is what the kids call Jane) is not a candidate for surgery because she is so frail, her bones are so brittle and her mental status is so jumbled. So right now it’s just a waiting game to see what happens. They have brought in hospice care, and Janie is staying with Lewis, her father.

This coming weekend (the 25th) is the big moving day in Cedar City. Katie is leaving tomorrow to drive from Los Angeles to Cedar City to help finish packing and get the move started. Carl and the kids will drive out Friday afternoon after school, and Saturday everything will be moved from the house to a storage unit. After the move has started on Saturday, Katie will leave to return to Los Angeles with Gizmo and Izzy (the two cats), who will stay with her until the Mimstribe has a permanent place to stay in Salt Lake City. A few days later, Katie will return to Salt Lake City to celebrate Carly’s 23rd Birthday on October 1st! As you can see, there is a lot going on, and it looks as though the Mimstribe will continue to be scattered between three states off and on for the next few weeks.

We thank God daily for the miracle of Carly, and the unbelievable recovery she has experienced so far. Pray for her continued rehab and for all the logistics to work out with Janie being out of town and the family moving without her help. Please also pray that Mimi (Jane) would be comfortable, and for safe travels for everyone.

Mimi – Day 49

Carly continues to progress slowly. She’s doing amazing in speech therapy at the University of Utah, and while she still isn’t speaking, she has been mouthing to songs and we have heard a few whispers! On Friday, Carly joined Abi, Noah, and Carl on a trip to Cedar City to finish moving the house and contents to storage. Katie drove out on Thursday, a day before everyone else, to help finish packing. On Saturday after moving everything to storage, Carl, Noah, Abi, and Carly all returned to Salt Lake City and Katie returned to Los Angeles with the cats. She will be keeping them there until the Mimstribe has their own place to live. It was great having all of the kids together in one place for a few nights! Carly really enjoyed the time with all of her brothers and sisters.

Janie was in Memphis last week with her Mom, Jane, as you might remember. She had suffered a fall and broken a hip and fractured a wrist. Jane passed away Friday afternoon. Jane and Lewis were married 64 years and such a great example to us. The funeral was yesterday (Monday). With all of the logistics involved, Papa (Lewis, Janie’s Dad) suggested that the family will do a private memorial at a later time when everyone is better able to travel, rather than flying out for the service yesterday. Jan Lyon flew into Memphis on Sunday from Florida to be with Janie for the services and to help with logistics and things that needed to be taken care of. Janie and Papa are both doing well, and while you can never prepare for the loss of a loved one, in many ways it was a blessing that Mimi is now with the Lord and is no longer in pain.