Friends of Dirk and Kelsey







September 18, 2006

Wow - we are home. We can't believe it!

We came home from the hospital on Friday afternoon and Dirk is looking great. He did experience some set backs after surgery, but nothing close to what was considered worst case scenario. As you know from my previous emails, Dirk was making strides every day in his therapy. He was up to almost 45 minutes straight of walking prior to surgery. Well, not surprisingly, after almost 7 hours under anesthesia and four days in a hospital bed his endurance and balance have decreased. As of Friday, Dirk was a perfect candidate for acute rehab, but I couldn't have him go back because it wasn't the best decision for him emotionally. Fortunately, I am trained to work with him because, as a physical therapist, I would not have cleared Dirk to go home with someone who didn't have the skill set. Also, I think the set backs are very temporary. Already Dirk walked 20 minutes with me yesterday. He still needs help in the house, but I am starting to have him do more and more on his own with me just supervising.

I can't express how wonderful it is to be through this surgery and have him home for good. Prior to surgery it was hard for me to feel real happiness because there was always an underlying angst, but it's getting easier to laugh and not have such a heavy heart. I feel there's a lightness to my step that I have not felt since June 3rd. I no longer wake up at 3am and have to talk myself out of not worrying - 95% of the worrying is gone. I realize we still have a long road of recovery in front of us, months and months, but he's going to be okay. We have a wonderful team of therapists helping him work on his voice, vision, gait, strength, computer skills and his cooking. And we see his eye doctor on the 25th and we are hoping to get prism glasses that can help with double vision.

I promise to keep the updates coming as Dirk works his tail off. He is an amazing person and such a kind soul - how did I get so lucky? We are so blessed to have each other and all of you. I have to believe that all the good thoughts and prayers last Tuesday helped both Dirk and Dr. Lawton perform a miracle.

Thank you.

Love, Kelsey.

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