This webpage was compiled on 6/15/2016 at the request of people curious about my injury. Since then I have done extraordinary things in my life and I offer this account of my injuries as motivation to others. 

A recovery message was posted at: Aaron Lephart Roadracing World article

Aaron Lephart brain injury

Logfile of the traumatic brain injury of Aaron Lephart 4/22/2006

This is a copy of the text put on a friends website to outline my injury and to keep fellow friends informed. These messages where originally sent by my Mom Valorie to a group of friends via e-mail.

Aaron's Daily report for 4-25-06

Aaron was out for a day ride on his motorcycle with three friends last Saturday when he was in an accident around 10:30am. He lost control of the bike at a left turn in the road that had a lookout point on the right. 

The bike went down and Aaron was thrown from the bike. He was air lifted to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. At that time they knew he had brain sheer, a broken neck, broken back and a broken jaw in two places. He arrived in a coma and remains so. He is not breathing on his own. 

This morning Larry and I met with two of his three trauma Dr.s . Here's what they said:

Aaron's brain has subdural bleeding and intervaticular hemoraging. There is a drain to draw off excess fluid and to allow room for some swelling that has taken place. He also has orbital fractures over the right eye and sinus fracture (upper right cheek area) as well as the two breaks in his jaw. He has multiple right wrist fractures. He is running a temperature of 102 - 103 degrees and has the first stages of pneumonia. His body is "posturing" which is not particularly good but expected. He has rib fractures and his right lung has massive contusions. He remains on a respirator. They want his right lung to get better because the back surgery involves going in from the front, deflating the left lung and remove the fractured pieces, insert a circular cage with a rod to stabilize it. 

While we were there today they put a feeding tube through his nose. 

The Dr.'s say his age, health and stamina are good qualities to help him heal. 

The "To Do" List for Aaron is as follows: 
1. Monitor head injury and remove drain in 10 days when stable. Put a cast on right wrist. 

2. Next will be a trakeostomy so that the breathing tube in his throat can be removed and not damage vocal cords. 

3. When pneumonia is no longer an issue they will perform the back surgery. 

4. Jaw wiring. 

The coma can last two weeks on the short end and years on the long end. 

That's all we know at this point. Aaron needs complete rest and they don't even want us to try to get him to respond to us as he needs to heal. So we're just going to treat him like he's having a long nap. We'll stay in touch by phone most of the time and see him every three days for the next two weeks. There's lots of things for us to figure out like bill paying on line, banking, state required paperwork etc. which will keep us busy on the off days. Keep Praying !

Aaron's Daily report for 4-26-06

It's 7pm and Aaron had a good day. Dr. Phan saw that he was intentionally moving his left arm and left leg. He is sure it was not posturing but intentional movement. His temperature was up to 103.5 but an ice bath and tylonal has brought it down to 100.8.

They biopsied his sputum and found two different bacteria bugs so he is on antibiotics to address those particular bugs.

They weren't able to get the feeding tube in his nose but the throat tube is deep enough that they can feed him through that. His two feedings have been tolerated well at 30 cc's an hour and "his guts are gurgling" which means he's digesting the food. This is all good.

They are planning to do a repeat cat scan tomorrow morning to check the brain.

Aaron's Daily report for 5-1-06

They didn't do the trake procedure today as they were deluged with trauma patients at the hospital. It's slated for first thing tomorrow morning.

Aaron's skin felt normal today and tonight he still has no fever so that's a good thing.

He's not breathing much on his own today. However he is less anxious and doesn't have the restraints on his arms.

It may be involuntary reflex but he squeezed our hands today. I can't tell you how comforting that is.

Aaron's daily report 5-2-06

Today they put in the trake tube so Aaron is free of all foreign objects in his mouth and throat. The procedure went well.

He remains on a ventilator and has a low grade fever.

They are talking about inserting a permanent feeding tube in his stomach. It's called a peg tube or "G" tube. It's wider so there's less chance of clogging and aids in better digestion. This will probable be accomplished on Friday.

Aaron's daily report for 5-3-06 

They took Aaron off the ventilator today. The tube makes it easier for him to breathe. His white blood count today is 17,900. Normal is 5,000. His was 15,000 yesterday. High count means infection, as in the pneumonia.

Aarons daily report for 5-4-06

Today we thought Aaron looked the best we've seen him since the accident.

He's able to breathe on his own; however, the oxygen they are giving him is mixed with moisture so his throat doesn't dry out. He actually looked very peaceful as he seemed to drift in and out of deeper layers of coma. On the shallow parts he would open his eyes (but not focus) and squeeze his left hand. As he drifted back deeper, he was actually snoring.

Tomorrow they will put in the permanent feeding tube and when that's completed they can pull the tube that is now going in his nose to his stomach. When that is out I think he'll do even better.

Other than the "egg" on his head, a puffy right eye and a "Botox" upper lip, he looks pretty much his normal self.

Aaron's Daily Report for 5-05-06 

Finally, very late in the day, they did the "G" Tube procedure to put the permanent feeding tube to his stomach. They have him temporarily on a ventilator till the drug wears off that they gave him for the procedure. That means the tube that ran in his nose to feed him is finally out. He'll be much more comfortable without that. 

Keep thinking positive thoughts - someone's listening!

Aaron's Daily Report for 5-6-06 

Aaron is resting well today and they've started feeding him through the tube. His white blood count (infection measure) is down so the pneumonia is clearing up. 

We got a call today that Dr. Phan feels ready to do the back operation. If his regular Dr. (Powell) agrees he plans to do it Monday. They will be going in from the front, deflating the left lung to clean out the broken T-8 fragments and inserting a coil with a rod to stabilize it with two screws on the top and two on the bottom. So please keep positive thoughts on Monday that the skilled surgeons do a good job. 

We have the cd from Jill Pope that gives affirmation prior to surgery and we'll give it a go as well

Aaron's Daily Report for 5-7-06 

Aaron is opening his eyes and when we talk he is turning his eyes toward us. 

He was squeezing our hand and fussing in an agitated state today. We tried to reassure him he will be okay and needs to relax and allow his body to heal. There is no indication that he can speak and that could also be because of his two jaw breaks. 

The back surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. The exact time is undetermined as his status is "open ended" meaning that it will be whenever they can fit it in. Perhaps it will be Tuesday if they can't get an O.R. tomorrow. 

Tomorrow morning we will be checking out sub acute care facilities. The one I want is South Coast Hospital in Laguna Beach but they are full with no possible openings till June and a nine person waiting list. They offered us choices of Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Orange. We'll be checking out the Orange one first and the others after that. They said that if he's stable enough, he could be released for transfer as early as Friday. This would probably be accomplished by ambulance rather than air as there is very little working space in air to see to his needs. The Drs. at the sub acute facility would be addressing his broken jaw, broken right hand and orbital fractures and cheek area around the right eye as well as his broken neck if something is required beyond the neck brace. 

Keep good thoughts.

Aaron's Daily Report for May 8, 2006 

Hurry up and wait was the order of the day. The surgery didn't happen. It will be tomorrow afternoon. Following the back surgery, Dr. Wong will come in and put a plate in his lower jaw and wire the jaw where it's broken. In that way he won't be put under twice and he can recover from both surgeries while in the coma. The orbital fracture over the right eye will be referred to a plastic surgeon who specializes in eye injuries. The bone is already trying to heal in the indented position and eye function will have to be a determining factor as to the procedure. He also has the broken right hand that has to be dealt with. 

It's possible that he will be going to New Orange Hills, Chapman Ave, Orange, CA for his sub acute care. Even though it's mostly old folks, they have a good reputation for physical and occupational therapy. A lot of the day was spent evaluating facilities and south Orange County is sadly lacking in that regard. 

Keep the candles burning!

Aaron's Daily Report for May 10, 2006 

The BEST news of the day is Dr. Powell was able to elicit a response from Aaron when she asked him to stick out his tongue and to move his toes!!!!!!!!! He is not out of the coma but is surfacing at times which is common before a total awakening. He looked at us as we talked to him and seemed overwhelmed with what we told him about where he is and trying to assure him that everything will be all right - it will just take time. 

Anyone who has spent any time with Aaron knows he sets high goals for himself and will knock down the door to get there. He's going to be facing some real life lessons as he slowly progresses to recovery. With this wonderful group of supporters I know we can help him over the bumps in the road. 

Tomorrows surgery is a "biggie" toward making him right again. He'll have a couple of days ahead where he'll probably be heavily sedated to keep him from getting agitated. Hopefully, by Sunday he'll show more signs of "surfacing". 

You've all been wonderful in your support. He can count himself truly fortunate to have so many friends

Aaron's Daily Report May 11, 2006 

After 6 hours of surgery Aaron is over a major hurdle on his road back. 

The back surgery was first and they were able to sit him up to test whether he job was a success. It was! The jaw surgery followed and everything went well with that as well. They put a tube in his left lung which will remain for 3 - 5 days to keep it monitored. 

He lost a fair amount of blood but not enough to require a transfusion. They will monitor his levels carefully. 

He will remain under the anesthesia till around 7pm. 

Thank you all for your continued prayers!

Aaron's Daily Report May 12, 2006 

Today was pretty much a down day for Aaron as he lets his body recover from yesterdays abuse. He's on a pretty good morphine drip to get him over the pain of recovery. He is opening his eyes and that's about it. They fitted him for a brace today and when that's on they sit him up for very brief periods of time. That way the back stays flexible. 

When he's down for the night he's without the brace. It will be interesting to see when he will try to turn his body on his own. 

For those of you who know Aaron and how proud he is of his beautiful dental crowns, Dr. Wong had to remove two of them to do the jaw repair. He said  they were loose anyway but I'm sure that will be the first thing on his "to do list" when Aaron's back with us for good!

Aaron's Daily Report May 13, 2006 

Today Aaron got his right wrist put in a cast. That's the last thing that the trauma center needed to do. He still has a drain in his lung from the surgery and when that is pulled out he will be eligible for outpatient assignment to a sub acute facility. When he is out of the coma he will then be assigned to rehab. 

He was less responsive when we were at the hospital today but I think that is because of the morphine and pain. When we left I put Paul Simon on CD for him to listen to and his breathing evened out. Way to go Paul! 

Aaron could be leaving Palm Springs as early as Thursday but that depends on all the pieces falling into place. Did I mention how much we LOVE the friendly traffic and the fabulous road conditions on the drive to Palm Springs? - NOT!

Aaron's Daily Report May 15, 2006

Aaron's low grade fever continues but it's not a major concern. Post op X-rays of his jaw are being done tonight. His morphine drip has been lowered. He had his eyes open and the nurse said " Can you close your eyes if you're in pain? " He kept them open. Then she said "Can you close your eyes?" AND HE DID! I hope you all take this as a gift for all your prayers because you truly deserve to share in these recovery moments.

Aaron's Daily Report for May 16, 2006

Today they removed the drain to his lung. That means that he will be placed soon into a sub acute facility in Orange County. Our first choice was South Coast Hospital in Laguna Beach but I know they are at capacity. Our second choice is New Orange Hill on S. Chapman in Orange and third is Garden Park on Haster St, Garden Grove. The discharge planner now presents Aaron's medical papers and physical needs to these facilities and they come back with a "yes,we can address these needs" or a "no, our facility cannot provide these needs". The way we understand it Monarch provides 100 days of physical therapy and it starts from the day he enters the sub acute center. How a person in a coma who has his jaw wired shut is expected to respond to physical therapy I have yet to understand; however this is how it was explained to us.

While we were there today, Aaron responded to Larry's request to move his left arm, then left leg, then right leg and then right arm. He did all those movements albeit just a little. I asked him if he wanted the walkman music on and he blinked for yes so he is surfacing a bit each day. By the time we left he was very tired.

Aaron's Daily Report May 17, 2006

Today Aaron moved out of the trauma pod to the ICU Floor where he was visited by Rick and Summar Ruelle and Almendra Johnson from Lockhart Phillips. (Rick and Summar were with Aaron when the accident happened.) I'm delighted to report that Aaron reacted immediately at the sound of Rick's voice and tried to give a smile a couple times. He moved his arms a lot and when Almendra put a Mariah Carey CD in his walkman he really brightened up! It was a great visit and when they left Aaron was tired.

This kind of stimulation is exactly what he needs and once he's in the sub acute facility and closer to everybody I hope you'll all take time to visit him. We aren't withholding any information from him so feel free to talk about anything that has a positive outlook.

I'm going out of town till Sunday night but Larry will be holding down the fort and the Daily Reports. Thank you for your continued interest and support.

Aaron's daily report 19 may 2006 (from his dad Larry)

Made the 2x2x2 trip to Palm Springs to visit with Aaron today...2 hrs up x 2 hrs there x 2hrs home.

When I got there Aaron had just had a bath and was warm and sleepy....Put wet wash rag on his forehead as he seemed warm to me...Talked with Tim (the person responsible for discharge/transfer of patients) told him that we wanted Aaron to go to New Orange Rehab Center in Orange, Ca...Tim called New Orange and came back and told that Vivian the head nurse wanted to talk with me...Called Vivian and she informed me that they had no room , but that they might have on Monday or Tuesday of next week...Left it at that...Vivian needs records, etc. from Palm Springs and then will make a decision on if they can care for Aaron.

Went back to visit with Aaron and they were changing his bed....when they were done Aaron was again sleepy and kept dozing off....He appeared to be tired and only interested in sleeping..The night nurse from previous night said he was following commands on moving hands/legs..He did manage to move his left leg when I asked him to but it took awhile to do so.

I think Aaron must have days and nights mixed up as he is active for the night nurse and somewhat unresponsive when I am there in the daytime...Aaron is not on morphine only medications for a lower tract problem he has from all the prior medications when he had pneumonia..Dr. Powell said they should have this corrected soon.

Aarons Daily Report May 21, 2006

We'll be going to see Aaron tomorrow but the night nurse said he's responding to his name and follows her with his eyes. He doesn't like the trake tube and tries to pull it out. He moves his left arm a lot. I think that is his only way of expressing himself and he's trying to say he's agitated. Then he slips back into his cocoon and all is quiet.

Hopefully tomorrow will bring more good news. Even though progress is slow there haven't been any set-backs so that's something to be grateful for.

Aarons Daily Report May 23, 2006

Aaron's back in the OC!!! Today he checked out of Palm Springs at 3pm and arrived at his new residence at 5:15pm. He was very happy to see us there as he was rolled in. There's precious little space in the three bed room but we'll get his pictures and cards up tomorrow. They will do a formal assessment of his medical needs tomorrow and set up a schedule for whatever he's capable of doing. He stayed awake for over an hour while we were there and was able to do the call button when they asked him to push the button.

He really is getting better each day and with the extra stimulation of therapy, this will be very good for him. We explained this is phase 2 of his journey home and it will be lots of work on his part to progress out of there. When I look at the other residents there in long term situations he will have much to be thankful for even though it's hard to put it in that perspective. As parents, we thank God that physically he's pretty sound and has all his parts in tact.

We told him we'd bring Barney for a visit and he gave a really big smile!

Bless all of you out there who are reading this missive because your prayers are being heard and we see the results. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Aarons Daily Report May 24, 2006

Aaron looked exhausted when we went to see him today. He responded but not

as much as yesterday. I think this is a bit overwhelming. He did see Barney and the dog was glad to see his buddy! We didn't stay long but signed all the paperwork that's required.

On leaving, Matt Cavanaugh was coming in to visit as he works close by and dropped in on his lunch hour. He's been the secret gardener who's been mowing Aaron's lawn and we really appreciate that!!

Tonight we're getting some comfortable clothes together so he can actually dress again.

It is so great to have him closer to home!

Aaron's Daily Report May 25, 2006

I'm so glad that Aaron is getting so much company to keep his mind alert.

We brought clothes to put in his closet and lotion and chapstick as requested. He wasn't as animated with us but that's okay - we're just the parents - and that's in his character not to be animated with us! As long as you guys can get him to smile and react, I'll be happy!

Aaron's Daily Report May 26, 2006

It's official. Aaron is OUT OF THE COMA!!! He has awakened enough times being aware and able to respond to have it proclaimed that he is out! The next step is capping the trake tube to seehow he does with the cap on. He may be able to speak with the cap on. If that goes well the trake tube will come out. After that the feeding tube comes out. Anyway that's the sequence of events but no timetable as to when it happens. Physical therapy is going to be getting him up more so that those back muscles start to get strong again.

I agree with the nurse today when she said "Aaron is truly blessed to be out of the coma as fast as he is". There are many at that facility who have been there a really long time.

I feel like a big weight has been lifted from our shoulders today and your prayers have lifted the burden immensely. Thank you everyone for all your positive thoughts and prayers.

Larry and Valorie

Aaron's Report May 30, 2006

Imagine our joy to walk in Aaron's room today and see him DRESSED in a shirt, shorts and socks! Summar was there cheering him up. God, it was great to see him looking his normal self. Each day we know we are blessed with the fantastic progress he's making.

Before we left, Dee Ann Pope, her mother, Dan Roberson and John and Laura Androsco came too so it looked like a real fan club. (Maybe they should set up LEPHART PARKING outside.) By the time we left, he was whipped! But that's okay! All the stimulation is good for him. They have him on antibiotics for the congestion and they pulled the catheter today to see if he can produce urine on his own and function. Another step forward.

They have a request in to Monarch to either modify the back brace to accommodate the trake or fit him for a new one. Vivian, the case manager is a mover and shaker and she will get action! They plan to cap the trake on Thursday. (Not soon enough for Aaron!)

He smiled a lot today - that was cool!

Aaron's Daily Report May 31, 2006

Aaron was really tired when we got there at 1:15 to see him. He's not putting out junk from his trake but he complained his backhurt. Therapy arrived and was doing leg lifts with him and eye exercises but then the "morphine cocktail" arrived and he was pretty much wasted after that. Therapy said they'd be back at 3:30 to work him again.

Still no word from Monarch on the brace modification so Icalled my helpful lady at Blue Cross and left a voice mail that these are wasted therapy days for his back.

Aaron's Daily Report June 2, 2006

After days of faxing requests for back brace adjustments and an orthopedic consult which never got answered by Monarch (the group managing Aaron for Blue Cross) Vivian at New Orange called the supervisor at Monarch. It seems

Aaron's representative has had personal family problems so he gets to just sit for a week waiting for her problems to go away before he can get the therapy he needs. Suffice it to say words were exchanged and the supervisor assured Vivian someone would be there today to adjust the brace to accommodate a trake.

As it happened the company called and apologized as they were already committed for the entire day (not really their fault) so they promised to be there at 10:00 Monday morning to get Aaron into that brace.

As many of you know Aaron had put in an order for a 2006 Corvette Z06 with an agreement to pick the car up at the museum across from the factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky on June 30th. Larry and I talked this over and mulled on it while Aaron was in the coma and we came to the conclusion that part the joy of this purchase was getting it at the factory and driving it back with Larry. June 30th was way too soon to count on doing this.

Since that looked out of the question, we called the dealer and decided to cancelled the order. The dealer kept the deposit on hold for when Aaron recovers. He could put it toward a 2007 model and we left it at that. Today I explained this to Aaron. He clearly communicated with me that HE WANTS THAT CAR! He wants Larry to go pick it up and bring it here. Needless to say that we will do everything in our power to backstep and retrieve the order with the dealer. When we phoned the dealer he had gone for the weekend so we won't know till Monday if this can be done. The dealer was going to take receipt of the vehicle himself and sell it so hopefully we can still get it. This is why parents hair turns grey!!

Other than that Aaron was complaining of back pain and I think that's do to the sunken position of the mattress and being in bed all the time. They are putting him on a time release pain patch which should help. I know he wants the cast off his right arm. That is the gear shift hand and he wants it working!

Aaron's Daily Report June 3, 2006

Physical therapy really gave Aaron an extensive workout this morning. By the time we got there at 11:45 he was sweating. He has the trake capped and can talk albeit guttural sounds. I did totally understand "I love you mom" and "I love you dad" which were welcome sounds indeed!

Almendra deciphered many questions Aaron has including "Where are my two missing crowns in my mouth?", " I want you to sell the CTS-V for me.", "Do I still have a job?", "What were all my injuries?" Today we went over everything regarding those questions. I'm sure he'll have many more.

We all look forward to the brace getting on him Monday. Once he can sit up it will help his back and also give him a different perspective from which to observe this world. Perhaps if they take him to the physical therapy room he'll realize more fully just how lucky he is.

Larry did his leg exercises with him and he is getting stronger every day.

Thanks for the offers on getting the "vette" here. First we have to find out if there is one!

You people are so generous with your thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement. I will be forever indebted!

Aaron's Daily Report June 4, 2006

Today Aaron had his friend John and his family visit and Paco from work came with his family. Aaron was trying to say something to me and he was saying something and looking like he was driving. After determining it wasn't his caddie or vette I asked if it had to do with the accident. He was very excited and emotional as he nodded and said "yes!" I asked if there was a car at the accident that cut him off and he broke down in tears and sobbed "Yes, yes!" Now I know that's what he's been trying to say the last couple days.

We got a copy of the accident report yesterday and the only two people the officer interviewed were Rick and Adam who were on motorcycles behind Aaron and all they saw was he smoke from his brakes locking. By the time Rick and Adam got to Aaron the people at the scene had already phoned for help. I had asked a couple days after the accident if there were motorcycles or cars art the lookout but neither Rick, Summar or Adam remembered. I guess we'll never know who they were but the whole incident makes more sense to me now.

Tomorrow will be a big day. Hopefully, the corvette will be available and Aaron will get the brace on. He's talking more and more with the cap on the trake.

Aaron's Daily Report June 5, 2006

Through misunderstanding on my part I want to first clarify that in the report I made yesterday Rick and Summar did not say they didn't remember any car or motorcycle at the lookout point. They were entirely focused on Aaron and his injury. I'm sorry to have miss-stated that fact.

Today we called the Corvette dealer and although he told us when we cancelled the car that he would go ahead take take receipt of it, he did in fact cancel it. I think his reasoning was that the '07s were coming in July and he'd order one of them. So, we told Aaron today that it wads a false pregnancy. He seemed okay with that in that timewise this gives him a chance to heal and that they can order an '07 with the same options and color. I'm surprised he took it so well.

They came today and fitted him correctly for the back brace and took it with them to make the modifications. Hopefully, it will be back tomorrow. They have him laying flatter on the mattress on the back people's recommendation. He said it felt better that way.

Late this afternoon the facility called to say they have an orthopedic consult scheduled for the 8th of June to look at his wrist. Aaron wants the cast off but it's not time yet. They need to see the x-rays from Palm Springs so Larry and I will gain be making the awful drive tomorrow to Palm Springs for the x-rays.

Aaron's Daily Report June 6, 2006

As it turned out we didn't have to make the Palm Springs run after all. Vivian, the case manager said they can take x-rays today and send them to the consult on Thursday and they said that would be fine.

Aaron got his brace back with the cut out so all systems are go for therapy.

The speech therapist is very pleased with Aaron and how hard he's trying. She sees him at 100% when he leaves. Don'tcha think that made our day!

Larry did leg lifts with him. I'm in charge of cleaning facial orifices. Larry made a comment on his hair growing and he indicated he wants his head shaved. I can see where it would be less to maintain when in bed all the time. I told the nurses his wishes so don't be surprised if you walk in to see a skin head!

Aaron was trying to say something we couldn't understand so I got the alphabet board out and he spelled out "Dad rocks!" So cool!

Thanks for your visits and support. Just a question - Where did the autographed picture of Fabio come from?

Aaron's Daily Report June 7, 2006

Aaron has a new bed to accommodate his height. Vivian, the case manager, felt this new bed would be more comfortable. It's pretty awesome and can handle up to 1000 pounds! They weighed Aaron yesterday and he was 164.

He's talking like a chatterbox today. What we didn't understand he spelled out on the board so we communicated well. I can tell he's becoming more normal as he had assignments for both of us. Check over his house, put the motorcycle battery on a charger, and put an ad in the auto trader to sell the CTS-V. Just like old times!

The story on the autographed picture of Fabio is: Fabio came in to Lockhart Phillips last week to get a new exhaust system so they took that opportunity to get him to autograph a picture and card for Aaron. So now we know where that came from!

Tomorrow is Aaron's orthopedic consult for his hand so he'll be going out of the facility for that. I'm not sure what time that is so I'll call in the morning before we head over there.

After watching that beer commercial, his favorite new saying is "You poke it, you own it!" His CNA David thinks it's so funny to hear him say that!

Aaron's Daily Report for June 9, 2006

Today was a good day in that Aaron is more able to communicate and we are more able to understand him. He's slowingdown to annunciate his words and it makes it easier for him not to have to usethe alphabet board (although it really helps when he's changed a subjectand we have no clue what he's talking about!) His speech therapist gave him a good workout and her efforts are paying off in better speech.

His arm consult is Monday at 10:00 am and Larry and I will be at the doctor's office to go in with him. Then the back brace people are coming at 1:00 pm to cut some more of the top off as it still pushes on the trake. They are hoping to ge thim to the therapy room by Wednesday to see if he can stand between the bars and hold himself up and possible take a step. He's really looking forward to that.

Each day is an improvement!

Aaron's Daily Report June 10, 2006

Aaron's boss Wendell came today and when we got thereat 4:00pm Aaron was very emotional andtouched about Wendell's visit. He kept putting his fist on his heart. That was a high point today.

Larry and I had gone to Camp Pendleton to attend a luncheon for LtGen Carol Mutter USMC (Ret). She was in town and we both served with Carol when she was a 2ndLt. (Larry pinned her 1stLt bars on). We're talking Old Corps folks (1967).

Aaron hardly used the alphabet board at all today. He's making great strides on his speech. His sense of humor is totally in tact and it's funny to hear him crack jokes and then laugh at them himself!

On a more serious side, today he expressed to us his appreciation for all the cards and prayers you readers have given. He knows he is truly fortunate to have been given another chance at life and acknowledges that there is a kind God that brought him back from where he was. For Aaron this is most profound and a most welcome revelation. I've never heard him speak like this before!

All in all a wonderful day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aaron's Daily Report June 12, 2006

Aaron's arm consult was this morning at 10:00 so Larry and I headed up to Anaheim to meet Aaron at the Dr.'s office. Somehow the numbers on Ball Road switched out at one point and we went far beyond where we were suppose to.

Finally I called Vivian at New Orange and it turns out the ambulance was late picking up Aaron and when they called the Dr. he said make it tomorrow at 10:00 as he couldn't fit him in today. So we headed down to see Aaron. He was all dressed and no one told him what happened. He was somewhat upset but calmed down after we told him. Tomorrow they've requested the ambulance at 9:00 and we'll try this again!

We were talking about traveling in an ambulance and that they can only use the sirens if it's a life or death situation and Aaron replied "I could wave my arms and legs like this and they would think it was!" He still has his humor which we love!

He's able to control the bed adjustments, the fan, the tv and the dvd player so it's comforting to know he's not helpless.

We were reading the many cards he's received and he wanted us to thank you for all your prayers and good thoughts. He said it touched his heart and means so much. We thank you too - it's gotten us over the bumps!

Aaron's Daily Report June 13, 2006

Yea, we finally connected with the orthopetic surgeon and he removed Aaron's cast. He was really glad to get it off and as we left the office there were suckers for good patients so I gave him a banana dum-dum which he took all the way down to the stick!!

We met up with him back at New Orange and he 'd had a really good speech therapy session. He is doing real well on the talking and we gave the desk his dental card so they can try to arrange for someone to check the metal plate in his mouth and if it is ready to come out. That will help his speech a great deal.

They tried to stand him up yesterday and as we expected he wasn't able to stand on his own. That only motivates him more to exercise so he can stand. His legs are having spasms which is normal after this kind of exercise when the muscles are trying to take the load again.

He hasn't lost his sense of humor. Not even able to stand, he promised the Dr. not to play hockey or football for the next six months!

Aaron's Daily Report June 14, 2006

Aaron got to drink apple juice today. It was died green and after he drank it they suctioned him to see if any went in his lungs. Looks okay!!! He said it tasted Soooooooooooooo Good!

They capped the trake and if all goes well they will remove it next week. He wants so much so soon and I have to keep reminding him that he's way ahead of many there and not to be too hard on himself. There is a master plan here and a sequence to follow.

Tomorrow we meet with the planners at 10:30 am to go over the recovery plan.

That will give us something to flow chart toward the exit door!

Aaron's Daily Report June 15, 2006

Aaron was able to stand and hold himself up for one minute three separate times this morning! He's working on stamina.

We had our meeting with the planners and Aaron gets a REALLY good report. He's doing so well with the trake capped that they plan to remove the trake on Monday. He's very pleased about that.

They said he's doing so well that it won't be long before he's referred to acute rehab. (Larry and I thought he's go home from here but apparently not). So we put in our request that he go to Tustin Rehab as they have a great reputation and I personally know an alumnus. (Right Nancy?) The other rehab is in La Palma.

Larry shaved Aaron's head at his request. He said the pillow just gets too hot. Don't be surprised if you see a skin head!

Aaron's Daily Report June 16, 2006

Aaron had a really good workout at physical therapy today and we were there to see him stand four times (with assist) and hold it for about 30 seconds each time. It will take a while to build up the stamina and his legs have lost a lot of muscle but I'm sure he'll get there.

The staff is so amazed with his progress and love talking about him. They all comment how what a really nice person he is and that they know he was that way before the accident as no one changes that much. He still likes kidding everyone there.

Aaron's Daily Report June 17, 2006

Today was very special in that Aaron's sister Amy was able to come down for the weekend and finally see him. She's been taking care of her husband Robbie but got his dad to stand in so that she could make it down for Father's Day and to surprise Aaron. Believe me, he was surprised!!! He cried, she cried, we cried - oh the humanity!!!!!

Had a great visit and looking forward to another tomorrow. They worked him out good at therapy this morning and he really felt good about it although he was really pooped when we got there at 12:30 pm.

Aaron's Daily Report June 18, 2006

Today was just a wonderful day all around. Larry, Amy and I headed out to see Aaron around noon armed with a lemon yogurt to surprise Aaron with. Instead he surprised us with a gift for Larry for Father's Day and a hand signed card to boot! He was so delighted to have put that one over on us!

Larry got a wide assortment of nuts - his favorite snack. Thank you to everyone who took the time out of their Father's Day to come see Aaron - some all the way from San Diego. Zoltan called from Florida and a hand made card from two beautiful girls Hannah and Jana. (Thank you Summar - Aaron's mystery shopper!) All in all, a day to remember.

Tomorrow is trake removal day and Amy will be there to have her last visit with Aaron before heading back to Robbie up north. We've had a grand visit with her and hopefully she's enjoyed some down time.

My heart is so full today - for so many wonderful reasons. Bless you all!

Aarons Daily Report June 19, 2006

Well the trake is still in and will probably be in another week. This morning Vivian, the case manager, presented a really good reason to keep it in. We're trying to get an appointment with an oral surgeon to evaluate the late in Aaron's lower jow and see if all the metal is ready to be removed. If it is and they want to put him "out" for the procedure, it would be better to uncap the trake and have him breathe through that as opposed to something on the side of his mouth where they are working.

She is also attempting to arrange for a consult by an ocular plastic surgeon to look at Aaron's right eye in that it has healed in the sunken position and the eye is forced slightly downward which may be contributing to his double vision.

Much as Aaron was ready to have the trake out he agreed with Vivian's logic and has consented to leave it in.

Funny story: Outside Aaron's room is a lovely patio with roses planted all around. However, one bush sat there in its black plastic pot and was dying of thirst as it wasn't receiving any water. Our daily self-assignment was to water this poor plant. We mentioned to one of the nurses that someone should plant the bush before it died and since there is no more room for it he suggested we save it by taking it home. Aaron thought this was a great idea - a memorial rose bush to mark this adventure. After much thought as to how we would make the great escape, we decided Father's Day would be a perfect day to bag it and carry it out. So we did. We got it home and the tag on the bush said "Silverado". I wanted to know what color that was so I called my local nursery and told him I'd just acquired a rose plant with that name and wanted to know the color. He couldn't find it right away and agreed to call me back - which he did. He said it's a hybrid tea rose that has shades of pink and lavender. He added whomever gave it to us presented us with a fine gift. When we related this saga to Aaron, he replied "Oh so now instead of a misdemeanor, it's a felony!" Thought you'd all appreciate that!

Aaron's Daily Report June 20, 2006

Today was one of those days when Aaron was waiting for something to happen and it didn't. We're still waiting to hear from Monarch on the referrals so time marches on. Bonnie, the speech therapist is doing an outstanding job with Aaron and his reward today was yogurt. I'm so impressed that he sincerely thanks each helper there when they do something for him. He's come up with some pretty profound observations and some new outlooks on life that will serve him well.

Aaron's Daily Report June 22, 2006

Another slow day. Vivian is trying to get a facial surgeon to evaluate both the eye and the jaw. We got records faxed from Palm Springs as they didn't send all of the reports.

Aaron's doing real well on his speech and the therapist was able to get a gag reflex three times today. Things are coming back. Some of his memory is returning as well. The only time he can't account for is the two weeks before the accident and this morning he was able to recall something a week before - so that's real good.

 Aaron's Daily Report for June 23, 2006

It's 10:00 pm and we just got home. Went to New Orange at 10:00 am and found Aaron in great back pain and he'd only slept 3 hours. We told Vivian we wanted his back checked TODAY and to do whatever it took to get the job done. After checking on availability of cat scans at local hospitals it was decided to just take him to emergency at Western Medical. An ambulance was called for transport and we headed out in our car to meet him there. At 2:00 pm we got to Western and it took till 4:30 pm to get the cat scan and 6:30 pm to get the Dr to come tell us that the back is in tact and he has sprained the muscles in his back very badly. He authorized a healthy shot of dilatin (?) and then we had to wait 2 more hours for the ambulance to come take him back. We again headed back to meet Aaron at New Orange and Larry had to beg to get someone to make up his bed which had been stripped.

We finally got him bedded down and to say he was exhausted is a gross understatement. However, we are all relieved that it's just a sprain.

Another thumbs up for the Guy Upstairs!!!

Daily Report for June 24, 2006

I'm happy to report that Aaron's back pain is much improved over yesterday

at this time. He awoke with pain this morning but during the course of the day it moved down his back and when he called us at 9pm the pain was pretty much gone. Hopefully with a good nights rest he will be back to his old self tomorrow and ready for whatever the physical therapists have for him Monday.

Aaron's Daily Report June 25, 2006

Today Aaron's back felt so good he removed the pain patches and has gone without. He had myriad visitors today and was pretty pooped when he called us at 7pm. He had just awakened from a three hour nap.

Tomorrow will be therapy as usual and he'll try to be back up to snuff.

Aaron's Daily Report June 26, 2006

Aaron had a really good workout today with the occupational therapist in the am and physical therapist in the pm. He's really having to concentrate to get his left hand to work right in that it had the worse damage to the nerves. When he sits up his head has a tendency to move forward and he gets dizzy easily. His double vision doesn't help in that regard; however the consult Wednesday may offer some insight on how to address that issue.

Baby steps, baby steps!

Aaron's Daily Report July 1, 2006

Another great day! Aaron's friend Phil helped Aaron get into his laptop. He had changed his password just before the accident and didn't remember it. Phil was able to help him without losing all his stored info. Way to go Phil!! Aaron is so pleased to be in touch with the outside world again. Another step toward normalcy!!

Aaron went to PT and not only stood up seven times but also worked out on the hand bike that turns the wheels. He did it for a half hour. He continued to stay in his wheelchair after PT for a total of six (SIX!) hours!!!!!!!!!!

Bonnie came and he had meatloaf, mashed potatoes, curry something and guava juice. It's just before 5 pm now and he is slurring his words so I told him to get to bed so they can put the feeding tube on him. He needs both to build himself up. What a guy! He's on a roll now!!!

July 2nd Update

Today Aaron got into his wheelchair at 9 am and stayed in it till 2pm. I think he may have over exerted himself yesterday as his stamina waned by then. He has to wear these sheepskin lined "spaceboots" to stretch the muscles up the back of his heel and while they really do the job, they are extremely hot to wear. However, he bites the bullet and endures knowing it's for his own good.

It's 9:30 pm and Aaron just called. He's running a fever and they have him packed in ice. If the fever keeps up in two hours, they'll call the doctor. Hopefully, it's nothing to be alarmed about.

July 3rd Update

We went to see Aaron this morning as his fever broke during the night. He's being treated for a bacterial infection. His room was stifling; however, while we were there the situation was being worked on. Vivian came in the room following physical therapy to say the cat scan was scheduled for 1:30 pm today!!!! I mentioned to Aaron that Dr. Wong did the oral surgery in Palm Springs and another Dr. Wong would be removing the metal. Aaron's reply was "Let's hope two Wongs' make it right!" (Never a dull moment!)

The scan went well and he was back by 3:30 pm so the speech therapist may be able to get a session in after all. Hopefully, the metal will come out by the end of this week. Dr. Wong will also be the person assessing and correcting the eye problem. This is day 41 of his 100 days of insurance covered therapy and I think he's doing really well. I think acute rehab is on the horizon but they haven't given us any names of places to check out as yet. The a/c was blowing cool when Aaron got back to his room!

July 4th Update

Aaron awoke with a 102 fever again. Again the a/c was out in his room when we got there but before we left it had been corrected. He was really tired this morning but got dressed and groomed anyway.

He was to have therapy this afternoon. He locked out his cell phone again or I'd let you know if it happened.

July 5th Update

He walks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Today Aaron stood at the parallel bars and took thirty steps! Even with the scabs on his feet he put forth the effort. He's so excited! Everything that hints of giving him his independence again is a major hurdle.

We talked to Dr. Wong's office today. We are picking up a cd of Aaron's cat scan from Western tomorrow and holding it until Monarch gets us an appointment with Dr. Bose who will be the ocular man to evaluate Aaron's eye problem. Then on July 18 he will have a hearing test with the audiologist. July 19th will be his appointment with Dr. Wong to remove the metal from his mouth. Another two weeks!! Aaron feels his teeth are getting loose from the metal and we hate to see his crowns and dental work go down the tube. He had to have two teeth taken out for the plate to go in which will be costly enough to replace. Hopefully, everything will hold.

July 6th Update

Well, I think he overdid the walking yesterday as his feet ACHED today. He still went to therapy but did leg weights and arm exercises. He's really doing well transferring from bed to wheelchair on his own.

According to the all-knowing Vivian (the case manager) Aaron has 100 days allotted for sub acute and an additional 40 days allotted for acute re-hab. Aaron has requested that I get this in writing from Monarch for our well-being but that gives us more time to get all the clean up work done on Aaron before he goes to acute rehab. When he gets there he can devote all his allotted time to the issues of rehab. That was great news. He may not even need the 100 days but it's nice to know it's there.

Aaron arranged for donuts to be delivered to the nursing staff this morning with a sign that said "To the most beautiful nurses in the whole world from the cute guy in 106B!" Needless to say, that kept everyone in good humor today!!!

July 7th Update

Aaron had another great workout this morning and he is able to transfer from bed to chair with a minimum of assistance. He also was able to stand at the parallel bars and walk forward to the end. He would sit in the chair and wheel back to the start. He did this several times and also worked on arm strength and getting his shoulder muscles stretched so he can stand erect.

Later this afternoon he worked on sitting for longer time periods.

He's looking forward to having a full tray of food to eat either Sunday or Monday with the therapist standing by. We're trying to get a swallowing test done at the local hospital to see if different textures of food are being processed correctly. If he passes that test he will go to having breakfast in bed but lunch and supper will be in the dining room! (Like a real person!) He looks forward to that!

Alan said it best: "Aaron must be getting better. He's taken a turn for the nurse!"

July 8th Update

Aaron did another 30 steps in therapy and is using hand weights to strengthen his arm muscles and build up the scapula muscles that need some help.

You can tell he's getting well because he has several things going through his mind and he wants answers for all of them. More like the old Aaron we know and love.

Aaron sold a set of rotors through his Stop Force website and we've spent the last two days getting new passwords to transfer money and get these rotors shipped out. Business continues as usual with his crack staff assisting! (or is that cracked?)

July 9th Update

Today was a day of rest for Aaron and he gave the sores on his feet a chance to heal more.

He ate a bowl of strawberry ice cream that he said was delicious!

Aaron further mentioned he would actually like to orally taste the nasty looking stuff they feed in his "G" tube to see what it really tastes like. Sounds like something out of a reality show!

I think Sundays give him way too much time on his hands!!

July 10th Update

Today Aaron had a really good workout, primarily with the arm weights on pulleys. His left arm is looking much better.

Both Aaron's eyes are tracking much better than ever but the ocular surgeon still has to deal with it being lower.

Aaron had his first complete meal. He ate whitefish, rice, peas, and baked apple with cinnamon. He said it was DELICIOUS!!!!

On a different note: A mass was requested for Aaron at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church a while back and it's come to the top of the list and will be at 7:00 am Thursday July 13, 2006. Everyone is welcome to attend. It's at 105 N. La Esperanza, San Clemente, CA (949) 492-4101.

July 11th Update

Aaron actually used a walker today to take some steps! He also worked on sitting up for over an hour in his wheelchair. He also ate yet another full dinner.

Tomorrow at 10:00 am he is having the swallow test at Western Medical. If he passes he will get three meals a day. (Breakfast in his room and the other two in the dining room.) He's really excited about that!!

All in all progress is being made. Looking good!

July 12th Update

Today was yet another day filled with glitches (that's with a "gl") that prevented the taste/swallow test at the hospital. The hospital accused New Orange of forging the nurse's signature on the authorization and then further explained it had to be signed by a doctor. That brought the people at New Orange hot under the collar and an hour later the case manager showed up from Monarch and all met in Aaron's room to explain the situation to him. It is now scheduled for tomorrow and I'm willing to bet that it goes off smoothly as many people are observing!

Aaron walked with the walker again and had a really extensive workout in the PT room. He came back to his room exhausted and fought dozing off for fear he'd miss his evening meal which he got.

He had a really good day!

July 13th Update

Today Aaron had the swallow test. He passed in all areas except "thin liquids" wanted to go down the windpipe rather than the throat. The people at the hospital were astounded that he hasn't even reached his three month anniversary of the accident and he's made such progress. They commented this is usually a 9-12 month accomplishment. That made Aaron feel real good! Anyhow, he will be given a modified tray for his meals with milk, soda, water and the like withheld till he can easily deal with it.

The foot lady is trying a new salve that is supposed to work miracles. He has to keep his feet covered for the formal unveiling on Saturday to see if the stuff lives up to the claims.

We went to the mass for Aaron this morning. We are actually Episcopalians and Aaron refers to us as "Catholic-lite". I was surprised to see the only vested person was the priest. Everyone else was in civilian clothes. I guess they've lightened up as well! It was a nice service.

Aaron has two appointments next week: Tuesday is the audiology (hearing) test and Wednesday is Dr. Wong to deal with the metal in his mouth. The following week he has a Tuesday appointment to have Dr. Folmar say his right hand is okay. Wednesday morning he meets with Dr. Dixon, the orthopedic surgeon to say his back is healed and hopefully can go without the back brace. That same afternoon he will meet with Dr. Bose to address the eye problem. We have lots to look forward to in the upcoming weeks. (Makes me wish I had a chunk of the ambulance transport business!)

July 14th Update

We got to New Orange to find Aaron having lunch in the activity room. In the past Aaron was known as a "scarfer" when it came to eating. It's a whole new world for him to dine like an aristocrat taking small bites and chewing food thoroughly. He was tired by the time lunch was over. He rested a while before rehab got hold of him. He's really giving it his all to get the most from each and every day. Hopefully, tomorrow will reveal some good healing on his feet.

July 15th Update

Aaron had a GREAT day even though it was the weekend and nothing happens. Phil and Veronica came down from San Francisco with CHOCOLATE! He was able to eat a couple. He also had a great workout today and ate three meals that actually looked pretty good. While Rick and Summar were there we started talking about food and what Aaron missed most from home. Aaron mentioned "buckeyes" (a peanut butter filled candy dipped in dark chocolate) He told me I could skip the chocolate but would really like the peanut butter centers so I came home and made a batch. I'll deliver them in segments of six.

When Kristy came in to check his foot sores we were all thrilled to see that in fact they are healing well. She used some more of the magic stuff and wrapped them again till Monday. The redness around the sores has really faded!

Thank you for the cards and e-mails. Aaron really appreciates the support. It helps to know he's not in this alone.

July 16th Update

Aaron slept almost 12 hours last night. That's a first and a sign that he's expending energy in match with his nutrition. He said he woke up feeling GREAT!!! He also related that he did not feel worn out from yesterdays heavy workout which further affirms that theory.

He really likes the evening meal best as it is usually the best tasting with the greatest variety. He has the food chopped up which makes it easier to eat and to swallow. If anyone brings him food please make sure it's not fine liquid like milk, soda or water. Although they put these things on his tray, they add thickener to help him swallow it down the correct pipe. He also has to concentrate on not talking while he's eating so that he can focus on chewing and swallowing. I'm just offering this as a heads up in case you visit during mealtime so you know he's not snubbing you.

July 17th Update

Got a call from Dr. Wong's office saying they want to cancel Wednesdays appointment for the metal coming out of Aaron's mouth and change it to the last Monday in July which would be after Dr. Bose evaluates Aaron's eye. Our frustration point is about at its limit as we again delay something that needs to be done for two more weeks. On top of that, Aaron asked me to look in his mouth after he'd eaten lunch to see if a piece of tooth had broken loose. It turned out to be a piece of wire that they used to wire his mouth shut which had been cut but left wrapped around his tooth for later removal. It worked its way loose and was cutting into the side of his mouth. We left before the removal procedure was conceived by New Orange but it progressed from tweezers to dykes to a lock cutter! It's no wonder that Aaron said his mouth was sore tonight.

Tomorrow we'll meet Aaron for the hearing test which is also in Dr. Wong's office. I'll be making some requests then.

July 18th Update

Today we met Aaron at UCI where they did the hearing test. Since they don't have anything to compare it to, it forms a basis from which to judge where his hearing goes from here. The levels are a bit below normal but nothing to be concerned about.

We followed the ambulance back to New Orange and Aaron went right to speech therapy for an hour with Bonnie. He was ready to go back to his room for lunch but when we got there Christine (the PT Lady) wanted him to sit up with the back brace on, eat lunch and stay seated until PT at 1:30. The back brace constricts Aaron's lungs (much like a corset) and he can't even speak a complete sentence without pausing to get more air so Aaron was fatigued beyond his limits and adamantly spoke his mind on the subject to Christine. (This is while mom's ears burned and she wanted to quietly sink into the wallpaper!) Aaron won out and had his lunch in bed without brace. Mom and dad left about then.

Aaron called later to say Christine got the final say as she worked his butt off in PT. (Paybacks are hell!)

July 20th Update

Well, Laguna Seca is going on and Aaron's heart is there even if his body isn't. He was able to walk the entire corridor from the PT room to his room using the walker today. THAT WAS A BIGGIE!!! He also sat for a couple hours in the wheelchair and again walked 20 more steps before everyone agreed that was all they were going to get from him today. It was a great workout!!

He'll sleep like a baby tonight!

 July 20th Update

Here's the real July 20th report. I can't even keep track of days!

Aaron was able to walk from the PT room all the way down the hall into his room and over to his bed today. He's doing really well in his walking, coordination and his speech. The one thing that he is having to deal with as he gets stronger and more assertive is a lack of patience. Since he's getting better and faster he wants others (staff) to be the same. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen.

July 21st Update

There seems to be some differences of opinion at New Orange. The speech person and one of the PT men think Aaron should be moved to acute rehab ASAP because he's doing so well. Larry, Aaron and I think that it is important to have our three doctor appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday so he can get cleared on his hand, out of the back brace and see what the eye Dr. wants to do about his lower right eye. The following Monday is the day he's suppose to get the metal out of his mouth. We haven't even been contacted as to where they think he might be sent so that we can go look it over. All this does is get Aaron excited when the realization is that there's still work to be done. This is so aggravating!!! Hopefully by the end of next week we'll have some grasp of what will happen. In the meantime I'm filling out paperwork to extend benefits.

Aaron walked extensively today and he's really glad that he's been upgraded to more ample portions on his meals. He eats every scrap on his plate and honestly, for institutional food it looks exceptionally good! He said last nights crunchy chicken pieces with a sweet sauce was comparable to P. F. Changs. (That's a pretty high rating!)

Jimmy Chance in Savannah, GA has been an especially loyal follower of Aaron's reports as his son James suffered a similar experience in the past. He got surprised when Aaron phoned him to thank him for his support! Don't be surprised if you hear some strange voice calling you as he knows how wonderful everyone has been in their support! Thanks again from Larry and me too!!!

July 22nd Update

Aaron walked more today and is actually sitting up in bed without the aid of his brace. It isn't for very long as he still gets short of breath. Once the brace is off for good he'll have to exercise to expand his lungs because he hasn't used his full lung power in a long time. But I'm sure that's an easy hurdle.

Aaron is looking forward to having a real shower! I'm hoping it will be happening real soon for his sake. That will truly make him feel human again!

July 23rd Update

Today I bowled in a senior tournament so Larry and Aaron spent quality time over banana splits at New Orange. Sunday is a no PT day so he was able to just relax and store up energy for the beginning of a big week ahead with many Dr. appointments.

We're thinking positive!

July 24th Update

Today Aaron's occupational therapist signed off on him as he's pretty much mastered the required things in that respect so now he gets physical therapy TWICE a day instead of once. He's stoked about that!! They agree that he's doing really well with the walking so now he's taking on personal activities as well.

Tomorrow he sees the Dr. for his right hand. Wouldn't you know it's been fine but today it got swollen because he was practicing getting up and down. He got ice on it right away so we hope it will be okay for tomorrow. The twenty minute ambulance ride is $645 each way. (House calls might be cheaper!)

Wednesday was suppose to be the back Dr. in the morning. However two Drs. that Monarch found refuse to take him on as they didn't do the back surgery. Does this mean he gets a roundtrip ambulance drive to Palm Springs to see the Dr. who did the surgery? Let's see, two to three hours each way......

Wednesday afternoon is the consult for his eye. So far that seems to be on track.

July 25th Update

Today we met Aaron at the Dr. to look at his right wrist and as we expected Dr. Folmar says it's completely healed. ONE DOCTOR DOWN!!! He returned to New Orange in time for lunch and a bit of a rest before PT worked him like a dog! When we talked to him just before 5pm he was slurring his words; an indication that he's very tired.

Tomorrow afternoon is the IMPORTANT consult with Dr. Bose about his right eye.

July 26th Update

We had the consult with Dr. Bose today at UCI. He went over the cat scan and has decided that it would be best to leave the brow fracture as is. It's healed in the sunken position but it's hardly visable and it doesn't hamper his vision so best let it be. The dropped eye problem is caused by the sinus fracture under his right eye and basically the muscle that controls lift is pinched between two bones. He wants to go in at the eye (no visible scars) and release that muscle hoping it hasn't died from being pinched and putting a sling type insert under the eye to prevent it from drooping again. He will make Aaron prism glasses to wear for a while till the double vision dissipates. There are no guarantees but the Dr. feels confidant he can help Aaron. We were all impressed with his frankness and knowledge so the surgery will take place as soon as the Drs. Wong and Bose can schedule the event together.

The ambulance drivers all know Aaron now and compete to take his ride. They say what a cool dude he is. I don't even want to know what goes on in that wagon!!

All in all, an excellent day!!

July 27th Update

Today Aaron lost his speech therapist. She felt Aaron's time could best be used in PT and she had done all she could for him so she signed off on him.

Larry asked Vivian when Aaron might have the "G" tube removed as he's eating about everything now and she said it can come out now. He got a vicodin cocktail and Vivian came in and said "Are you ready?" On what Aaron assumed was a count of three she said "One" and pulled! It was out! Evidently the elastic stomach just closes over the hole and that's it!!

Vivian also arranged for Aaron to get a 10am snack, a 2pm and 8 pm snack in addition to his meals. Aaron thought this was totally cool!

I told Vivian if Monarch can't find a neurologist to take Aaron on, they might just as well drive him to Palm Springs to have Dr. Pham sign off on him and she agreed. She'll mention it to the case manager tomorrow. Still no word on an acute rehab place but we're thinking it's very close.

Aaron got a really good workout today and is really wiped out tonight so he'll be sawing logs big time!

July 28th Update

Aaron is walking in his normal shoes - not the spaceboots designed to keep his heel muscles taut. He is trying to take a few steps without using the walker. The sores on his feet are healing. The left foot should be healed in one more week and two more weeks on the right foot. Those were deep bruises from the accident and it's taken a long time to heal. (Furthest from the heart for circulation)

I'm so proud of Aaron as he's keeping a very positive outlook and seeing the best in every situation. This attitude will serve him well his whole life.

July 29th Update

Today Aaron did a first. He got out of bed himself, edged his way to his wheelchair and got in and proceeded to wheel himself all the way to the PT room. The PT guy said how did you get here and Aaron told him. He was impressed but told him of the dangers of going without his back brace. It didn't detract from Aaron's pleasure in himself one bit!! Another step towards independence!

All signs are pointing toward the exit door!

July 31st Update

I'd rank the whole day about a 1 on a scale of 1 - 6. They withheld Aaron's meals for the surgery at 1:00 only to find out that it was a consult rather than the procedure. The ambulance got lost and was late by 45 minutes but the good Dr. saw him anyway. He ran a probe through his nose and checked his vocal cords and there is no paralysis which is really good news. In going over the cat scan the Dr. said "I see you have sinus disease". News to us. Then he said "I see where you have had a broken nose and left cheekbone in the past". News to us as well. It was sort of a macabre version of THIS IS YOUR LIFE!!

Anyway when he got down to brass tacks, he wants to do the surgery at UCI and keep him overnight for observation. He also intends to remove the trake tube. So I filled out the papers and I will call him tomorrow when his scheduling guy comes back to see what the date will be. I tried to impress upon him the fact that we're getting short on time. He will be assisting Dr. Bose on the eye surgery as well at a later time.

To say that the entire Lephart family was totally bummed is an understatement. When Aaron got back to New Orange he had a grilled cheese sandwich waiting for him. Then the girl from PT went in the kitchen and brought him an egg salad sandwich, tomato soup and fruit. Then Vivian came in with a full tray completely covered with dishes of tuna casserole, green beans, salad, ice cream and juices. It looked like a raid on Hometown Buffet! By God, the kid ate it all!! We left at 4:00 so he could rest up for supper at 5:00!!!

Considering today did not go as expected, I have to say Aaron (once he ate) accepted the outcome with a greater understanding than he's shown prior to 4/22.

What can I say - every day a holiday, every meal a feast!

August 1st Update

Today Aaron got a new roommate. Aaron says he's a candidate for anger management. We think dementia is involved.

Not much new on his Dr. status but he did two good workouts in PT.

August 2nd Update

It's 10:30 pm and Aaron is now in his room alone.

His roommate threatened him and after several phone calls between Aaron, home and the nurses station I told the nurse at New Orange if they didn't move that guy out of the room, I would be coming to stand watch to make sure no harm came to Aaron. I'm not about to take any chances after we've come this far. The nurse wasn't aware that the guy could even get out of bed as he is an amputee; however I explained to her he got out twice today by hopping on one leg. He was a transfer from another room which would indicate to me that there's been trouble in the past. I'm sorry that this man has anger issues but my level of tolerance is pretty low at this point.

August 3rd Update

Upon our arrival at New Orange today we were greeted by Vivian, the head of nursing and the administrator. We got an apology from them over last nights fiasco. The gentleman is now in another room and they explained to his family he has to have 24 hour sitters if he is to stay there. He evidently also struck a staff member last night in addition to the other stuff.

Aaron evidently worked out really hard this morning because he appeared very tired when we visited him. He was set up for another workout this afternoon so we let him rest.

He called tonight to say they're moving another person in. He's hoping for Mariah Carey!

August 4th Update

Aaron called today to say that Vivian told him they located a Dr. at UCI that will take him on to review his back!!!!! Hopefully, he'll get in next week to get out of the brace. Then he can work on expanding his lungs so that they can totally inflate again. At present it takes a couple breaths to complete a sentence. Aaron really feels the frustration at how slow the wheels of progress move.

We're hoping the upcoming week brings results!! 

August 6th Update

Another slow day for Aaron. He's really hoping the upcoming week shows some forward movement in moving on to acute rehab.

August 7th Update

After an extremely tedious weekend Aaron was looking forward to a really good work-out this morning. He waited.....and waited......and waited.

I'd been on the phone to Blue Cross for 45 minutes this morning going over whose been paid, what hasn't been paid, what's our responsibility etc. so by the time we got to New Orange at 12:20 pm Aaron was pretty frustrated that after doing nothing all weekend it was still nothing at noon Monday! I went to the PT room and one of the trainers had just come in from a Dr's. appointment and she was to have had Aaron this morning. So they planned to give him two workouts this afternoon. This is great in theory. However; when the stamina wanes, it's pretty much gone.

I talked to Vivian about his upcoming appointments and she's trying to put a fire under the feet of Monarch to get these approvals going and to tell us what re-hab places to look at. My two direct phone calls to his Monarch case manager last week remain unanswered. Can you tell I could spit nails?

The highlight of everyone's day was Zoltan's calls from Key West - first to Aaron and then to us. Your positive attitude and encouragement put a fresh smile on Aaron's face and we enjoyed talking with you as well. I've never met you but you're as comfortable as old shoes!

August 9th Update

Well, today I'd had enough and decided to declare war on Monarch. I called Blue Cross and officially filed a grievance with Monarch and specifically Summer - Aaron's case manager. I had left messages twice last week for her to call me that went unanswered. I called her yesterday morning at 9:15 am and she said "Oh, I was just getting ready to call you!" Right! I expressed my dismay over how long it takes to get approval for the upcoming surgeries and that he has been ready for acute rehab for three weeks! Her reply was "I know how frustrating this is for you but these things take time. I asked about rehab specifically and she said it's being worked on.

Yesterday, I went on in to see Aaron at New Orange and told Vivian we're getting nowhere with Summer. She promised to call Summer's supervisor and complain. Turns out Summer told Vivian later that she told me Aaron's request for acute had been turned down. (I can assure you that if that phone call really happened you could have heard me in Ohio!) She outright lied. The reason it was turned down is because of the trake. It got resubmitted.

After the Blue Cross call today (45 minutes) where I aired it all, we headed to New Orange. On the way, I got a call from Dr. Wong's office that the surgery on his mouth has been upped to Monday Aug 21st. He goes in next Wednesday for pre-op and checks in Monday morning on the 21st for a 1-2 day stay. Then we found out that his rehab HAS BEEN APPROVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In fact there is someone coming tomorrow to assess his case. We also got a call from the back Dr. that he has an appointment next Thursday!!!! AFTER WHAT HAD TO BE ONE OF OUR DARKEST DAYS WE WERE REWARDED WITH ACTION AND DATES TO WORK WITH!!!!!

Two of the girls in the PT room decided today was the day that Aaron should finally have a shower. They were nice enough to soap him up and scrub him down too! It was a tough call but I think he enjoyed it!!!!

Aaron was able to transfer and sit down 10 times without a break this morning and did equally well this afternoon. He is so stoked that things are finally getting scheduled he had a smile a mile wide. (or was that still from the shower?)

All in all, it was an exceptional day!!

August 10th Update


Aaron was assessed today and will be leaving New Orange tomorrow - yes, tomorrow for acute rehab!!!!!!!

The interview was pretty cut and dry. Aaron will be working with four different trainers a total of three intense hours every weekday and one and a half hours on Saturday and Sunday. You would think three hours - that leaves him the whole afternoon with nothing to do. WRONG!! Between those sessions he will have time to rest before the next session. Things like meals, dressing, daily care and wheeling or walking himself to his next activity must also be factored in. They impressed upon us that this is rehab "boot camp" and he's been approved for 14 days to start. They have to report to his insurance every three days on what's been accomplished and what needs to be done. They also report any times that sessions are refused even though it's because of fatigue.

For this reason we have decided not to release the location of Aaron's rehab facility. He wants to totally focus on the job to be done with no outside distractions. When we visit, we'll take his laptop and he can catch up on news then. (They mentioned that things can disappear there because people come there on an outpatient basis as well and it's hard to monitor personal possessions.) He'll still have his cell phone.

All his other appointments at UCI will remain on schedule. The only date we don't have yet is the eye surgery.

The plan at this time, following rehab, is for Aaron to come to our house to live at first. We are converting the downstairs dining room to a bedroom so he can be close to everything (including the dog) and not have to deal with stairs. When the time is right, he'll be spending days with us and nights at his house. After that we're hoping for life as usual. (Love that word usual!)

What a journey this has been. I feel like we've all been on a caravan and our band of supporters had a common goal. We couldn't have arrived at this point without your prayers, encouragement and genuine interest.

This will be the last daily report as such. I will give you updates every Friday to let you know what progress has been made during the week. If something happens of immediate importance, of course you will be notified right away.

This event has reconnected us with friends, neighbors, relatives, former commanding officers (Larry's and mine) and so many of Aaron's friends across this country through motorcycle racing and Grand Prix rallies.

As the world news becomes more and more ominous, I am comforted in knowing that the good people outnumber the troublemakers who insist on their one day of infamy. God Bless you all!!!

August 21rd Update

Aaron had the surgery this afternoon to remove the metal bars in his mouth from his broken jaw. Everything went VERY WELL. The Dr. also checked his vocal cords, and the area behind where the trak is to see if there's any blockage. NONE FOUND. He's in recovery right now and after a reasonable time period (few hours) they will remove the trak for good!

YEA!!!!!!! They will keep him overnight and return him to rehab tomorrow.

Aaron's eye surgery is scheduled for next Thursday Aug 31st at 8:15 am. With the cat scan on his back pending, and pre op stuff for next weeks surgery, the irons are all in the fire!

August 25th Update

It is with mixed feelings and in somewhat a state of shock that we report AARON IS HOME!!!!!!

This all came about when Aaron returned to rehab following is surgery Monday to remove the metal in his mouth and the trak removal. He went back to rehab on Tuesday late in the day so nothing could be addressed until Wednesday. The rehab place requested to Monarch an extension on his stay there but it went unanswered for two days.

I had daily calls in to the case manager at Monarch. (Interestingly, Summer no longer works there). His new case manager was Cheryl but every time I left a message for her never received an answer. I finally called the supervisor and she's out until Monday. Then the rehab place called me Friday and said they finally heard from Monarch and that Aaron should have been sent home following his surgery Monday at UCI but they won't pay for another day of rehab beyond Friday!

Rehab felt very badly about this but their hands were tied. thought process went like this: Here's Aaron still in a back brace because Monarch still hasn't authorized a new cat scan for the back Dr. Aaron is scheduled for the long awaited eye surgery on Thursday Aug 31st. They are planning to send him home with not one word of instruction, home evaluation, equipment needs or any word of where he goes from here. His transport for the past four months has been on a gurney by ambulance to accommodate the brace and they are not even going to authorize his transportation home. This was about 12:00 pm.

At 3:00 pm rehab called and told me that Aaron is ready to be picked up. A wheelchair and a walker were the only pieces of equipment Monarch approved and they would be delivered to our house at any time. This meant I would stay home to receive the equipment while Larry checked Aaron out to bring him home. At 4:00 the truck pulled in the driveway with Aaron inside. Using a walker I had in the garage designed for a very short person, Aaron was able to use it to get into the house. The authorized wheelchair and walker were delivered around 8pm.

We have converted the dining room to a bedroom so that Aaron doesn't have to deal with stairs. He has been referred to outpatient therapy through Mission Hospital and rehab faxed his records so that he will be evaluated Monday to see is he is a candidate for their program. Amazingly, he slept well last night. Barney, our cocker spaniel, is keeping close watch on his buddy!

We're all still trying to get over our "kicked to the curb" feeling but will do our best with what we've got. Aaron intends to give outpatient therapy all he's got.