We are in a dilemma .... our doctor really wants to keep Ryan in the hospital at TIRR for another 2 months. He feels confident that he can completely control his aggression as well as his tremors with more time, change of medications, and therapy. Dr. Falco said even he can get these two things to subside then he feels "that Ryan will skyrocket in therapy and there will be nothing stopping him!" That is wonderful news to hear, and his positivity for Ryan's progression is a breath of fresh air. But, as we all know this journey has been a straight path, there is always bumps and windy curves along the way to try to diminish our faith. The doctors do not think that insurance will extend Ryan's stay for that much longer and that they will want to transfer him to more of an acute care. The acute care that is recommended is Touchstone in the Woodlands. Although, we have spoke to families of other patients and they highly advise us to not take Ryan there for multiple reasons - a major reason is that Mom would not be able to stay, and we could only visit for a specific 2 hours throughout the day. Dr. Falco has a plan to move up Ryan's trachea surgery by a few days or weeks in hopes to convince the insurance to allow Ryan to stay longer... we will see. YES, Ryan staying for more therapy is a Catch 22 because everyone is SO ready to go home, but we are reminded that God will provide. We want the best care for Ryan and we have decided to sacrifice all of our own personal needs and wants for the betterment of Ryan's condition and progress. Hebrews 13:15-16 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
The updates become more difficult, but I appreciate everyone that continues to follow and pray for Ryan's ultimate healing. You all have been a blessing in our lives and every single prayer is heard by Our God; I know that He is glorified by the amount of people who have come together and praised his name as well as everyone who has fallen on their knees and cried out His name. He hears us and loves our passion and steadfast faith to know that He is the one we call on for the good and the bad.
Ryan's days and like a roller coaster. One minute he is great, and an instant later he can easily become very angry and upset. The doctors are continuing to change his medication type and dosage in order to find a good balance. A separate doctor visited Ryan in regards to his tremors. She said that she wanted to look at his initial MRI and then she will proscribe a medication that should lower his shaking of his left shoulder.
Currently, we are look for a keyboard that can be hooked up an iPad that has very large, button keys. I am hoping that this will make it easier for Ryan to communicate instead of pointing to the alphabet. This board leaves all the pressure on us, and if we get the word or letter wrong is when Ryan becomes upset. A large keyboard could allow Ryan to physically push the buttons to form his own words and sentences. This could also strengthen his fine motor skills as well.
The plan as of right now is to go home next Thursday, but Ryan does not know this yet, because the date tentative and continues to change based on his condition. We all so ready for Ryan and Mom to come home, but we want him to receive the best care possible for as long as he can get. The doctors do not feel comfortable discharging him until his anger in controlled, so please pray that the Lord rids Ryan of any aggression of thoughts that could be causing his anger.
Ryan has been approved to stay at TIRR for 2 more weeks. This is both a happy and sad moment. Mom and Ryan are both very, very ready to head home, enjoy their own space, and be with the puppy babies. Although, the extension allows Ryan to receive a full 2 more weeks of fantastic therapy to continue his strengthening and recovery. The main reason for the extension, is due to Ryan's continued aggression. The doctors do not feel comfortable discharging him until they feel confident that the new medication has controlled his anger. He is improving, but not where we want him to be in this regard. Please pray that the next medication will have a positive affect on this and that God gives him peace and understanding to calm his frustrations.
Ryan did not want to go to therapy yesterday, but Mom reminded him that he had to, and it is necessary right now. Comically, Ryan responded, "if its necessary, I guess I'll do it the Ryan Black way," meaning if he is going to do it he will do it to the best of his ability! Ryan's personally is shining through his hard work and determination. :)
Ryan is very aware and his short term memory is strengthening. He has asked multiple questions about "what is wrong with him" ...and even pointing to head. He knows that he was in an accident and said once during the conversation of school, "that he was in an accident...and he won't be good enough." This instantly tore my heart apart. After regaining my strength I reminded him that God does not leave anything unfinished. God has done great miracles already, but He is not done. I reminded him if he becomes sad or loses faith for a moment to ask God for strength. Please say a prayer for Ryan's own belief and faith. He is not aware at how far he has come or the extremity of his miracle yet, but he will eventually know. Right now Ryan just knows something happened, so please pray for strength and knowledge to know that he will be restored 100% and to always fall onto God's shoulders when he is confused or fearful. This is very important, because when I become sad or lost, I am reminded by the journey that God has already given Ryan and the obstacles that have already been surpassed by only God's miraculous touch. This is what allows me to keep going. Ryan does not know his story yet, so again, please pray for peace in heart and mind.
Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Ryan had a nice weekend filled with visits from friends and family. He really enjoys when his friends come to visit him. Ryan is soooo ready to go home, and it will be soon - but please pray that he continues to have perseverance to work hard during therapy to better himself the most he can.
Ryan's stomach is healing very well from the removal of his feeding tube, praise the Lord for this quick process!
He had a field trip today with other patients to the bowling alley! It was a bit difficult, but I am sure that he enjoyed getting out of the hospital!
He will be meeting with a doctor tomorrow regarding his tremors, or the shaking of his left arm. Surgery that can be done to fix this problem is EXTREMELY extensive and invasive, we are praying that this specialist will be able to give suggestions on medications and exercises that could lessen the tremors. We are going through this process because if Ryan's shaking were minimized he would be able to complete tasks easier such as eating, brushing his teeth, and communicating on his alphabet board.
Oh, and during church yesterday morning Ryan sang more than I have ever heard! It brought tears to our eyes, also during pray he bowed his head. Thank you Lord for allowing Ryan to come so far. The battle of recovery is all yours Lord. We give it to you because it was always yours from the beginning. It came from you, through you, and back to you again. Our life, our struggles, and our accomplishments are all because of our God. I am not fearful that God's work will be completed fully.
A prayer of patience and endurance is what we ask of all the amazing and faithful followers. 24 weeks is a very long time and I know it is easy to grow weary. Please pray for both Mom and Ryan as we approach the stage of confusion and fatigue. They are both so very strong and a homecoming is approaching quickly, but every single day is important while we are receiving the best therapy possible. Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.
Don't' worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving; let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:4-7
A very special mother's day this year to our terrific mother. She has always shown her undying love for all of her children, but this past 5 months she has been the strongest and most amazing mother anyone could ever ask for. She has slept on a hard pull-out chair in a cold hospital room for 169 days. Her faith and love is truly an inspiration. I can honestly say that I am blessed to have a mother that would do anything for her children. She is selfless; always placing her children above everyone else. I know that God does not give us more than we can handle, and she has handled the hardest situation of her life like an amazing woman of God. Thank you Mom for being the perfect role model and an inspiration to all of us.
Ryan bowls a strike!
Psalm 89:1 I will sing of the LORD's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
What a beautiful verse of Psalms, exclaiming our Lord's faithfulness forever and we must proclaim His love and faith to everyone, to the generations. I said many times that Ryan will give his testimony to the generations and his story will change people's lives. Stumbling across this scripture this morning is exactly what I needed to keep my faith and high and to thank God for ALL that he has done and IS CONTINUING to do.
Ryan's aggression is uh ... "temperamental", but he is managing it much better than before, which we are grateful for! His therapy is accelerating quickly! He is beginning to do so much and learn so much through therapy and the amazing therapist as TIRR! Ryan had a CT scan that showed no change, which means nothing is getting worse. He does have fluid in his brain, but no more than before. GOD IS HEALING! They will check again in another 4-6 weeks.
His memory is getting progressively better, this is a miracle! He is beginning to remember more and more people from his past. His short term memory is improving as well (very slowly) but any type of improvement is a time to praise our Lord! Nothing is too big and nothing is too small to give thanks.
Ryan has also been approved to go on a field trip with the TIRR patients on Monday! He will get to ride the bus and go bowling!! Ryan and Mom are very excited for this event; this will be the first time out of the hospital in over 5 months!
I want to remind you to always give thanks to the Lord. Things do not happen per coincidence, there is a plan and it is not written by us. This accident of Ryan's was not a surprise to God, even though it was for us. We must find the positive even in the worst and most trying situations. I believe God is using Ryan to bring the word and faith to thousands. He has proven himself as the ultimate healer and physician. Thank you father God for your magnificent work and everlasting love. Thank you for giving us the capability to have peace during the hardest times of our life, without You, peace is nothing. Psalm 29:11 The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
Isaiah 26:12 LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
Ryan gets his button out today!!!! YAY! His "button" is the feeding tube that is inserted inside his stomach that was used to give him all medications and food since about the 11th day in ICU. Ryan has done so well eating and swallowing his pills for 3 weeks, that the doctors have approved for the removal of his feeding tube today! Ryan will not have to wear the large bandage around his stomach to protect it anymore! I know that he will be so much more comfortable. Thank you Lord for giving Ryan the capabilities to swallow so well, this is another amazing step in our road to recovery!
Please pray that there are not complications in infections during the removal of his tube.
Ryan loves talking on the phone and scrolling through pictures on the phone too...typical 21st century kid!
Ryan's first time back on the court
Ryan is given trials each and everyday. With a brain injury, the recovery undergoes many types of stages and even "jumps" around through these stages at times; this is probably why the study of the brain is so difficult and unknown.
A few weeks ago Ryan was in a very difficult stage that caused aggression and agitation, he overcame that last week but recently he is becoming aggressive again. This could be caused from the change of medication, realization, and/or frustration. He is nowhere near the magnitude of aggression that he was, but it is difficult to see him become so angry this weekend for no visible reason. Doctors have increased some of his medications in hopes to resolve this new issue. Please pray that we do not take more steps backwards because the aggression is detrimental to his therapy.
With that being said, Ryan had a GREAT day yesterday! We took Ryan outside in the hospital's backyard because it was a beautiful day. We began passing the basketball with him. He does a remarkable job considering he can only catch and pass with his left arm. We then talked him into trying to shoot the basketball. Remember, he can only use his left arm (which he is right handed) and he is in a wheelchair. Once Ryan got the hang of the new motion, he did great!! He made tons of baskets! But what was more amazing to see is the "light" or "spark" in his eyes. It actually brought tears to my eyes. Ryan knew that is where he was supposed to be. It was so hot, but he would not stop ... he was working hard like the basketball player we all know and love. Ryan would not stop! He was a perfectionist, he wanted to get better and better. We had to make him stop to take a break and drink of water...he shot continuous baskets for about an hour and a half straight! He was having so much fun, worked up a great sweat, and smelt like ALL BOY! :) I am thankful that Ryan was able to enjoy an activity yesterday that he knows and loves. He did not become frustrated that it was difficult, or that others had to help him at times. Thank you Lord for giving him peace to understand that things are "different" now, but he is still capable of anything.
We ask that you pray for Ryan this week. He is very ready to go home. We do not want to him to revert back to aggression. Pray that he remains peaceful and understanding, which will lead to great therapy and recovery.
Recently, anytime I hear this song by Chris Tomlin it brings tears to my eyes. Through Ryan's accident God has brought so many of His children together in prayer, worship, and faith. He is not done changing lives through Ryan, I truly believe that. He is not done.
You're the God of this City
You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You're the Light in this darkness
You're the Hope to the hopeless
You're the Peace to the restless
There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God
For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater thing have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
God answered our prayers again with a succesful surgery yesterday. Yes, we are another step closer. Ryan's scar tissue was less than previously and the surgeon was able to successfully remove it so that he is about 75% clear. When the surgeon came to speak to Mom he was joyful she said...which was a different demeanor that she was used to. He was confident that in 6 weeks Ryan will be a candidate for decannulation of his trachae! This process has sped up since the last time we spoke with him over 4 weeks ago, when he told us it could take from 6-9 months. Thank you God for your work!
Ryan was a great patient after surgery. He was very tired, but never seems to rest or nap. He ate and was very content, but clearly exhausted. I asked Ryan how surgery went and he gave a thumbs up - what amazing spirits he was in considering he has just gotten out of surgery! I know that I am not nearly as joyful coming out from anesthesia so I was very exacited to see Ryan in great spirits.
Thank you for your prayers and the continuing to follow the progress of your lil' buddy. The miracle is not over yet! :)
First off, I want to apologize for the lack of posts I have written this past week. I do not want to use work or "life" as an excuse because everyone is busy, but we must make time for prayer and God in our busy lives. Therefore, I truly apologize for not making enough effort and setting aside time to write the daily posts of Ryan and his hard work, but even more importantly the wonderful work of our God and his blessings through Ryan.
Ryan is making outstanding accomplishments through therapy. He is working so very hard to better himself, even though he does not want to - yes he has made it clear. He tells us daily that he does not want to be in the hospital, he is ready to go home, and that he does not want to do therapy. This breaks my heart because I know both him and Mom and SOOO ready to go home, but even with his adamant requests, Ryan is still the hard worker we all know and love. He has not lett up in his work ethic during therapy, he is actually working harder than ever and that determination is showing so much progress and results on a daily basis!
Ryan is using his voice more and more to communicate, although it is still difficult to understand what he is trying to communicate. The speech therapist said that due to the injury his language will probably not get much better ... another stab in the heart. But then we had to remember that Ryan has overcome ALL expectations from his injury through God's healing, the mountain of speech is no problem for our Lord. God IS healing Ryan's brain, speech and his throat. These are all just details that will be overcome through Ryan's complete restoration and God's miraculous blessings and healing powers! I know that the devil tries to break us down in any and every way possible; our room and lives are filled with prayer and people of God, but the devil does not back down from a challenge. He continues to try to sneak in every crevice possible, but we will not breakdown and listen to the negatives. Thank you Lord for being the light and the hope that always places us in a peaceful place, there is NOTHING comparable to our God!! Psalms 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Ryan has set up a goals sheet for himself in occupational therapy yesterday, he is very proud of it. Everyone needs goals, and Ryan's accomplishment to these goals will lead him home! Ryan told me yesterday these exact words, "I'M GONNA CHANGE, JUST YOU WAIT" .... these words were so inspirational that I was ready to break down in tears, Ryan knows that he will be restored 100%. I am confident that God has reassured him of this. PROVERBS 4;20-22 SAYS, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life to those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”
Ryan went into surgery this morning at 8 am for another burning of his throat's scar tissue. Please pray that the scar tissue has not grown or become worse and that this surgery will be a step to the removal of his trachea. Ryan is fully aware of his situation and the report at 5 am this morning was that Ryan was very scared. Please pray for his understanding and peace throughout the day. Thank you God for all the you have done and continue to do! Isaiah 55:10, 11 says the Word of God will accomplish what it was sent out to do. The Word itself contains the power to produce what it says, just as when God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
GREAT NEWS! The doctor has reported that he was very pleased with the looks of his throat and the balloon dilation. Another surgery that will do the same thing is scheduled for 6 weeks to take another look. If everything goes as he expects, he is hoping that Ryan will finally be ready for decanualtion, the removal of his trachea! Praise the Lord for the good news!! All of the glory to our God, nothing is impossible through Him; He is proving Himself daily! His promises are true and real! Thank you God!!!
Ryan's Short Term Goals
Ryan had a great weekend and an amazing Monday!! He had sooo many visitors this weekend that he was so wore out, but was a trooper the whole time! Many of his high school friends and family came for a visit. I asked Ryan today if he enjoyed all of the visits and he shook his head excitedly!
Today is Ryan's sister, Haley's birthday. He picked out a beautiful birthday present and even "wrapped" it for her.. How special!!! He was very proud of himself this afternoon when we spoke about!!
A special thank you to everyone that has thought or Ryan, prayed for him, and visited him. It means so much to us and to him. Thank you and please continue to pray for his full recovery.