Sunday, July 31, 2011

Here and There - Day Four

I am pretty sure mom will be writing her own account of day four, but I wanted to at least say something about today, because today was a happy day. Aside from me now being back in Salt Lake and Ammon still being in Flagstaff... and I am no longer there to witness what goes on during the days.

So here are my last words, at least for now:

Today Ammon moved himself, with the assistance of the physical therapist, into a chair. A big feat and I bet he was pretty stoked about life in that moment. Once he was settled the nurse decided that it would be okay to go for a little roll around the hospital, and get out of the stuffy ICU room.

You should've seen the look on his face.

Ammon is not one to sit still, unless he is sleeping. And even then I'm sure his dreams are full of rock climbing adventures. So laying in a bed for four days is really not something he is good at, laying in bed for even one day is not something he is good at. So the fact that he got to get out of that room today probably felt a little like Christmas.

Since he can't go outside yet the nurse decided it would be nice to take him up to the skywalk so he could get a good view of city. All the way up he said hi to every person we passed and gave them a little wave. I think he might be a little tired of seeing the same faces everyday all day long, so someone new and different was exciting.

He got to fly the helicopter his Uncle sent him, and even Skype his girlfriend to show her that he got to go for a walk. It was just what he needed, even Meredith the nurse was happy that she got to leave the ICU for a little bit. It's gloomy down there.

 Flying the helecopter

Ammon and Meredith, one of the amazing nurses taking care of him.

After our adventure through the hospital we went back to the room and I got to hangout with Ammon for a little bit by myself. I fed him some soup and helped him set up his Skype account and just sat there with him, and then it was time to go. 

It's difficult to be strong when your heart feels so weak, but it just has to be done. He was being tough and there were no sign of tears, so I blinked a few times, gave him a hug and went on my way. Believe me, the tears came out later, like when I was sitting at the gate waiting for my plane and a little kid was starring at me, and then again when I was sitting on the plane playing Sudoku. And then again when I saw my best friend and he gave me a hug I lost it in the middle of his work. 

Maybe I shouldn't write about crying on here but right now I just don't care. I'm the big sister and my heart is more than a little achey right now. And no, I can't be tough all the time. So there. I said it. 

Now I am home in Salt Lake, I just Skyped with Ammon, and will probably do so everyday until I get to see him again. Apparently he has been moved out of the ICU, but I know nothing of that adventure so mom is going to have to write about it later. 

I'm just happy to see that Bob finally made it to the hospital. 
Every little thing really is going to be alright. 

So keep on smiling babe. 
You have the heart of a lion, don't ever forget it. 

- Karamea 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day Three - Part Two. [A day late]

I had a plan to write two separate entries yesterday. One after Ammon and Isaac's conversation yesterday morning, and another at the end of the day, explaining the days events.

But after the events of yesterday, by the time I sat down to actually write anything my body gave out on me and I woke up with the computer on my lap and a bunch of random letters on the screen. I gave up.

So now, after being informed that everyone is waiting for yesterday's update [thank you mom] I am trying to remember what even happened. I think we are now on day four, and after four days of this, your brain turns to mush because you're only thinking with your heart. ...I tried to have a normal 'meeting' type of conversation yesterday for about 15 minutes, but by the time I hung up I had no idea what had even come out of my mouth. I guess I really don't even care right now.

Moving on.

Ammon's second surgery lasted about 3 hours. They attached the tendons around his knee, to his knee so they wouldn't flop around [for lack of a better term...], they cleaned out his leg, but then found a fracture in his ankle so they fixed that, and then they took off two of the wound vacs, so now he only has one. Which is awesome! He is actually doing a lot better than the doctors expected. They plan to take him back in on Monday and have a nerve surgeon take a look at the damage and see if he can be of any help. There are a few tendons that were not damaged as much as they thought that are on the side of his ankle which they may be able to use on the top of his foot. But we will find out more about all of that on Monday.

[It is hard to say how much damage is actually done. We know there are certain things that will be difficult for him to do, but until he starts rehab and as the weeks go by we will learn more and more. And at the rate he is going, and with the determination that he has he might be heading home next week!] 

When Ammon woke up from the surgery he immediately asked for Rakai and Mom, the two people who weren't actually at the hospital yet. Once we were in the room he asked for Rakai again and dad said "I'm here." Ammon looked at him with one eye open and said "No, the new Rakai. You are the old Ra, and grandpa is the old, old Ra." ... There have been quite a few sly comments like that from him this week. I think those narcotics and all the meds bring out his true sarcasm. But we're just happy he is still able to make light of this entire situation.

Mom, Rakai, and Hamilton showed up right at noon yesterday. Emotions were high again as this was the first time since the accident that they have seen him, and it had been a week or two since Ammon has seen Rakai. Once we got over the initial hello of tears and accepting of our new adventure we have been thrown into, we gave Ammon some time to rest.

The city of Flagstaff is actually a really amazing place. Dad calls it 'hipster town'. [seriously]
We're afraid that if Ammon finds out just how outdoorsy and cool this city is he might bust out of the hospital. So we just won't tell him that there is an indoor rock climbing place a few blocks away, and a mountain biking shop down the road. But we plan to bring him back, so that he can see where he was.

We were able to hangout with him as a family last night for a few hours. The ICU has certain rules patients and their families have to follow. Like, 2 visitors at a time and blah blah blah. We've tried to follow that rule pretty closely, but seriously, there are eight of us. It's a good thing Isaac is in Germany otherwise all eight of us would be in that room. We did pretty good last night, keeping quiet and staying out of the nurses way. [If we are silent does it mean they can't see us?] ... After about an hour of the boys being quiet this happened:

And I think that is why as soon as we walked in this morning at 8:30 we were reminded of the '2 at a time' rule. Mom told her that if one goes, we all go but I don't think they really seemed to care. It's a bit rude to keep us separated at a time like this, but I guess we'll just have to deal with it.

Dad is setting up a Skype account for Ammon today. He has been using mine but with the list of people that want to talk with him it is better for him to have his own. Skype is about to become his best friend. Skype also turns his best friends into sheep:

Kaden could not figure out how to turn the background on his Skype off, so he had sheep horns the entire time he was talking to Ammon. When someone says 'We're praying for you" and they look like that, it's hard not to laugh. But we know he is serious and Ammon is so lucky to be surrounded by amazing people like that.

We took off around 11pm last night, and Rakai stayed the night with Ammon. He slept almost the entire night and is making so much progress that they might move him out of the ICU today!

We get to talk to Isaac today at 10am as a family which will be a great thing for all of us. Everyday Ammon is making progress, and there are multiple times throughout each day that I just stop and am in complete awe of how blessed we really are.

From the surgeons that saved Ammon's leg, to the amazing nurses he has each day, to the rest of the hospital staff, the Maverick cashier that is praying for Ammon, the boys at the Pita Pit down the road who offered to bring him a free pita, the posts on Facebook, the love and donations that have been given to him so far, the free homes that have been provided for our family to stay in while we are here, and so much more.

The universe works in mysterious ways. There are lessons to be learned and this is just the beginning of an amazing adventure for our family. An adventure that will only be made easy because of the people outside of our family cheering us on.

Know that we are sending the love and positive energy right back to all of you.

- Karamea

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Elder Isaac - Day Three, Part One.

If you know Isaac, you know Ammon, if you know Ammon, you know Isaac. 
You don't get one without the other, and that's just the way it is. 

These two boys share one of the most golden bonds I have ever seen, and I don't just say that because I am their big sister. They have a connection that is truly divine, and I would even go as far as saying that they each have a little piece of each others hearts in them. I am just one of the lucky souls that gets to have them in my life.

November 19, 2009
Sending Isaac on his mission, I cried like a baby during this moment.

Late last night, and after multiple conversations, we were given permission to call Isaac who is on his LDS mission in Frankfurt, Germany. There are very few moments when a missionary can talk on the phone to his family, aside from Mother's Day and Christmas, but after explaining the situation to his Mission President, he gave us the green light to get in touch with him.

 Mom talked with Isaac late last night, which was about 8am his time. She explained what was happening and told him to read over the blog to see what has been going on, and then asked him if he'd like to call and talk to Ammon before surgery this morning.

We were able to get in touch with him around 6:30am this morning. Ammon had a rough night and didn't get very much, if any sleep. There was some issue with his blood, and they had to change an IV so the nurses were in and out of the room all night. After what little sleep he did get he woke up in pain and finally decided to give himself some medicine. [He has a morphine IV and a button that allows him to give himself morphine whenever he is in pain, but he hates the way it makes him feel so he hardly pushes it.] He pushed the button one or two times right before we talked to Isaac so he was a little out of it.

Hopefully I can remember at least some of what he said so he can read this later and know what to do.

Isaac is the quiet voice of reason in our family. He thinks before he speaks and when he does speak, you better listen. He doesn't raise his voice, ever. I think he does that on purpose. You have to quiet yourself before you can actually hear and understand what he is saying.

So through Ammon telling him the events of the accident and the past two days in the hospital, and trying to joke with him about being stuck in bed, this is what Isaac explained to him,

"Now that you are physically restricted, it is time to focus on your mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. The worst is over and now it is time to do the work to stay positive and patient. Even though there is a long road ahead, if you truly believe that you will have full use of your leg when you heal, then it will happen."

[From my experience, Isaac is usually right.]

Ammon also gave Isaac some good advice, like to watch out for boats, even the ones on trailers driving around the streets. They might get him. ....
At least he still has a sense of humor.

Isaac sounds great, he was with his companion and two other missionaries when he got the call from mom, so they are all praying for him, and apparently so are the rest of the missionaries in Germany.

It was an amazing phone call and we are lucky that the two of them go to speak to each other, Isaac lifted everyones spirits.

Ammon and Isaac on Skype

Ammon is currently in surgery, they are trying to repair the tendons above his knee, which involves stapling them down. They are cleaning out his leg and will be putting new wound vacs on it. We will know more in the next couple of hours, but I think we do know that this is not the last surgery.

Mom, Rakai, and Hamilton are driving down to Flagstaff right now, which means I can give up my motherly duties and settle back into sister mode, hopefully.
Being mom is exhausting.

OH! Just to make sure he was in the right mood for surgery, we played him some Bob.

Fingers crossed, blessings out into the universe, and prayers up to God, Buddha, Allah or whomever.

- Karamea

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Left foot first - Day Two.

After a sleepless night, I woke up around 6:30am to Ammon attempting to toss and turn, but there were so many cords going in and out of him that it was nearly impossible for him to really move at all. Once we got him adjusted and semi comfortable, he ate a couple pieces of bacon and some really delicious fake eggs. ....

The physical therapist came in after breakfast and told him that they were going for a walk. [a joke, obviously.] Ammon was stoked! All night he kept asking if he could get up and go for a walk, or just stand up and move around, anything to get out of that bed. So after some adjusting and prepping they got him rolled over to one side and we all watched in silence as he slowly propped himself up, groaning and moaning but determined to swing his legs off that bed. Which he successfully did. He caught his breath and threw his hands up onto the walker, and within about 30 seconds of sitting on the edge of the bed he suddenly, but slowly, started to use his arm strength to pull himself up.

Instant tears. Everyone just stopped, and for about 25 seconds there he stood, strong as an ox.
But try as he might, his heart is much stronger than the rest of his body, so he sat down. He will have to wait a little longer before he takes that first step.

24 hours after his first major surgery, he was so adament about moving himself and he did it.

I can't even describe the feeling and the emotions that were flowing throughout the room. There was only six of us in there but in that moment of him standing up, it was as if there were a handful of people pushing him from behind to get off that bed. His angels.

They have been in that room since he entered it, at certain points in the night last night I could feel people walking around in the room, feel the rush of someone walk by me or hear something next to the bed, but the nurse was no where to be seen. He is truly blessed and has so many people watching over him, it is an amazing feeling.

So after 15 seconds of standing he was drained of all energy and laid back down. A few hours later, they decided to insert a PICC line into him so that it would be easier to receive medication and antibiotics. The IV's that were previously in his arms were really irritating, and he is young and healthy, so the doctors thought he would benefit from having it. That took about an hour, and then he got some quiet time to himself.

The nurses washed him up and changed his bedding, got him rolled on his side, and put him to sleep. I'm sitting in the waiting room, waiting. For what, I'm not sure. As far as we know he is fine, still fighting like a champ, and just prepping his body for the next surgery in the AM.

One day and one step at a time.

Again, please take a look at the fundraiser for Ammon set up by Teri Iverson, I'll post the link to the side of our blog as well. ...if you'd like to support Ammon and add a link to your blog or site, please send me an e-mail and I will get you an official button!! [kpuriri[at]gmail[dot]com].

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You are all amazing, Ammon is strong because of each and everyone of you!

- Karamea

Foxtrott, Foxtrott. - Day One

Ammon is our wild child.
Anything, anywhere, anytime, he'll do it.

And no matter how many scrapes and bruises he seems to get while he's doing all of these amazing things, he'll get up the next morning and keep going.

This time however, he wasn't as lucky [but was extremely lucky in this case], and I find myself writing this family update from the ICU in Flagstaff, AZ.

Ammon went to Lake Powell with a close friends family, and got into a serious boating accident Tuesday July 26th. ...The propeller of the boat basically ate Ammon's lower right leg. He was life flighted to the Flagstaff Medical Center and has been through one surgery since arriving late last night. When he arrived he had lost about 2 and 1/2 quarts of blood. Thanks to the amazing surgeons, they were able to save his leg [versus amputating it...]. He will undergo a second surgery Friday morning at 7:30am, where they will asses more clearly the damage to his leg and also repair some of the things they could not last night.

**Side note: When they life flighted him, they didn't know his name, so the guys in the helicopter wrote down Foxtrott, Foxtrott and it wasn't until the morning that they learned his name was Ammon. So now Ammon, you will be Foxtrott. He is also to tall for the bed, so the nurse took the end of the bed off so he could stretch his leg out.** ...I guess there's always something to smile about.

As of now, he seems to be healing quite well, his body is fighting as hard as it can [so make sure to send out extra healthy vibes and thoughts for him]. Fevers come and go, but it's proof of how hard his body is fighting to heal. There are several vacuums on his leg which help to suck out all the infection and bad stuff, and ultimately help him heal faster. He will be here for about 10 days to make sure no infection happens and to get all the needed surgeries so that he can return home to St. George and start his road to recovery. He will walk again, and slowly but surely I know that he will be running and jumping when the time is right.

Aside from a beat up leg he is doing well. Calling the nurses 'dude' and 'bro', and he's ready to jump out of bed and head home.
But that is much easier said than done.

Thank the universe and God that we still have our Ammon with us. He is truly blessed and there are some very amazing angels watching over him.

We are asking for all of the love you can send to him right now. He is one tough kid and we know he'll push through, but he's going to need lots of positive support from everyone in his life.

Thank you for everything you all have already done! 

...I might get in trouble posting this one but he wanted to see what he looked like, and in the process showed me just how tough he was. Tough as nails.

The blood transfusion caused his body to swell up just a bit, or we could just pretend he got into a boxing match...

Please keep him in your prayers and blessings.

- Karamea

Also, Teri Iverson has set up an account for Ammon to help us cover some of the medical payments heading our way. Ammon continues to worry about paying for all of this, and continues to apologize for 'costing' so much. As long as we have him with us, everything else will work out as it should. However, if you can spare a few extra cents or dollars to help ease his mind, I will repay you in as many hugs as you will let me give to you.

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