Tuesday, June 30, 2009


It's so difficult. For everyone involved.

I wish there were a pill he could take, and tomorrow he'd be better. I want him to have his mind back.

I think i used this picture already, but I love it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day.

It looks like he got a present better than any of us could give him. From my mom:

Good Morning,
The first week of Wayne's accident; I told Eddie "I see your Dad walking." Today using the parallel bars; he took his first steps! He was moved to the Rehab unit on Wednesday, June 17. He is now eating solid foods, although he still has the trach [tube] he is getting very little help to breathe. He's doing it mostly on his own. He even sat on the toilet today that has been one of his biggest goals.

We sat out in the patio today enjoying (Wayne had hospital food; he didn't enjoy it) our lunch together for the first time in 110 days. Oh yeah, we had dinner in his room. After dinner Wayne wanted to get back to bed and there wasn't anyone around to help him. Feeling confident after today's therapy session he got into bed with just little ole me helping him. (I later learned this is a big NO NO. I have to be trained and cleared to do this).

When they mentioned it to Wayne he said "Would you like me to get back into the wheelchair so that you can put me back in bed?"
On my wedding day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


He moved today!


The hope is to move dad to the new facility by the end of the week. this is where the real rehab will begin. He has his moments, but still is mostly swimming underwater.

It's going to be a long haul both mentally and physically. I'm prepared to be drained, but also have taken deep breaths and set aside time for myself, so I'm not lost in all this chaos.

I intend to make sure my family do the same.

Again, if you'd wish to see dad send me an email and I'll provide the details. eddie dot kestermont at gmail dot com.

Dad and dad's engine flanked by my arm wrestling coaches.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A little bit of a break

The Nausea has eased up, and dad is becoming again more lucid. Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Yeah, today's not a good day"

I told Pop I was going to be bringing my good friend D-lo in for a visit. His son also sustained a traumatic brain injury, and has come a long way in his recovery. He could answer questions for the both of us on the spot.

Dad's color was pearlescent, like the inside of an abalone shell. His eyes were lazy, and even the slightest shuffle or scrape sent his head pulsating like a giant bony heart. When he wasn't vomiting, there were moments of lucidity reiterating his current state, "Yeah, today's not a good day."

The doctors still don't know what's causing the constant vomiting, but have a theory. I could ramble on, but I'm sure you'd prefer to just watch this video. They suspect the recent surgery to replace dad's skull jarred some crystals loose.

I also have a couple theories of my own.

The swelling at the site of the surgery or the shunt currently not equalized (thus not draining enough fluid) are causing pressure against the inner ear. Much like an ear infection, his equilibrium is off and being prone to motion sickness he just upchucks when it gets too much for him.

My second theory is that he's faking it. Just kidding! There may be extra pressure on the brain itself. His body needs to become accustomed to the shunt, so drainage of CSF is regulated to the point where there's never too much, or too little. There may currently be too much, causing pressure on his brain makeing him sick. This is a common side effect of brain injuries and aftermath of surgeries; at least from the couple of websites I've read up on.

In any case, he's still roughly where he was mentally the first few days after the surgery. One moment he'll be cracking jokes like nothing ever happened, the next he'll be laying on us his conpiracy theories that the orderlies are part of a crime syndicate, wheeling him from room to room being sure to hit every bump at speed trying to get him airborn. He was in such a bad way yesterday, I didn't have the heart to correct him. It wasn't a day to exascerbate his stress.

I'm jumping in the shower now, will then spend the morning with him, and then am off to work. Think those good thoughts! (...for dad, not of me in the shower).

The hat returns. It's so big you can see the shadow cast onto mom's head. I need to add a quote for Chloe. Imagine her saying this, "I'm not a baby, I'm a tumor."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Give him a couple days...

I know we had JUST opened up visitation, but he isn't doing as well today as we'd hope. He's taken a couple of tests, and they're being bumped around to try to figure out what is happening inside his head to be causing the downturn in his health and behavior.

In the meantime, please pray, send good vibes, coerce the fairies, dance and chant, or whatever it is you do that stirs up and projects the good vibes.

It's is much needed today.

Here's a little something to help you focus.

Dad, Chuck Taylor, and my sister before her wedding.

Open House

Dad is now welcoming all visitors. Email me directly if you'd like the details on how and where to see him, or even just how to send something to his room. eddie.kestermont@gmail.com

There are a number of ground rules for your visit; Dad, mom and I thought these would make the experience better for everyone.

1. Stay quiet. He has frequent and painful headaches and noise only exacerbates them. He reiterated this one during our discussion - don't be loud!
2. Limit your visit to roughly 15-20 minutes. He gets tired, confused and frustrated; it's better for everyone involved to cut themselves off at roughly the 20 minute mark.
3. Don't bring up the injury. He knows about it and can recite in great detail, but talking about the same thing day in and day out is wearing thin on him. Bring your relationship to the conversation. It'll be greatly appreciated and a breath of fresh air.
4. Be forewarned; he sleeps a lot. He may not be awake when you get there. Grab a seat, and if he shifts just say his name a couple times and he my come to.
5. This grouping has to do with the injury and it's affect on his thought processes:
  • Don't take anything he says personally. Remember that the brain injury has greatly affected his social filter.
  • he may be inappropriate; please call him on it to help correct the behavior
  • he may not remember you, or not remember you immediately. There have been a few times where he didn't know who Mom or I were. Again, don't take it personally.
Even with all that you should expect to have a great time. Although some facts are jumbled, he can actually hold conversation better than you may expect. He's very positive about his recovery, and is all about entertaining his guests.

He's excited to see all of you.

That hat. Need i say more?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I'm in the process of getting permission to film and otherwise document dad's recovery process.

He's also requested that I post some photos of him, specifically some of his more intense surgery scars. He likes to show off. :) We'll wait a couple more weeks to see if he holds the same sentiment.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Now that I've thrown everyone into a panic...

It actually looks exactly the way it's supposed to look.

He's got no "meat" on that portion of his head. No temporal musculature, no fatty tissue... that stuff has to fill back in.

Mom said the docs were poking him with their fingers there to show her that they were in fact touching bone.

BIG relief.

On a side note, I now have a consent form to visually record his recovery at the rehabilitation center!

It looks weird

The neurosurgeon caught us in the hall waiting to tell us everything went well.

We got to see Dad about an hour later after he got out of recovery. He made eye contact, waved, and then told the nurses he was about to puke. All of these are good signs. :)

His head still looks weird. It doesn't look like swelling, but almost as if the skull didn't entirely go back in. He's got a divot, a dent, like someone pressed down with their thumb into some soft clay.

Other than that, pop was heavily drugged up, but chipper and glad to see us as soon as his eyes opened. He's also no longer in isolation, so we can hang out without gowns and gloves and masks. He actually saw us and not medical gear when he woke up. I'm glad for that.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Surgery Slated for 4pm

Dad's surgery is scheduled for 4pm today. This surgery is to replace the skull that was removed 3 months ago, and insert the shunt to assist in draining the cerebral spinal fluid.

I spent about 6 hours with him yesterday evening. There is a lot of incorrect rewiring that we've been working through. Although sometimes his interpretations and reactions are inappropriate (he has no social filter), they are hilarious. He's calculating and intending what he's saying, but I'm fairly certain he's completely unaware of how rude some of it is. I have to bite my tongue and not laugh as to not perpetuate the behavior.

If you see me, ask me about some of it. I won't print it here, but I'll definitely share the chuckle with you in person.

Set yourself a little reminder to take a moment to send out that good vibe this afternoon before and during the surgery. I'll keep you posted both if something changes in the scheduling, and of the immediate recovery.