Weekly Essential

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Three Year Anniversary

I wrote this in October 2017 and wanted to edit and then post. Sorry it took me so long. A new update will be coming soon.

Wow for someone who loves to write a year has sure gone by fast. I love to write and it is really healing for me and I hope that with me sharing my story I can help others. Life is precious and I see so many taking it for granite. Why does something bad have to happen in order for us to wake up?

I do have faith and I do believe Patrick will come back to us. We still do a lot of therapy and energy work. Patrick had 4 memory recalls in March. Amazing... We were so excited. It has been over a year. In January we found he has sever sleep apnea and this could have been part of the cause of his heart attack. We will never know for sure. It was a long process to figure this out and find a doctor that would listen to us and actually do something. I have been telling the doctors since he was in the ICU, he never slept. I finally after talking to three different doctors, begged for a sleep test. Finally, but even after being on the C-pap machine he is still not sleeping. We saw the sleep doctor a few weeks ago and he is going in for his third sleep study.

Patrick is doing really well besides lack of sleep and ready to do something, anything. So if you want to see him, golf with him, take him to lunch or for a drive, he would love it! It is hard for me to make everyone happy in my house hold, and taking care of my mom full time, Patrick and three kids. It is very hard to keep everyone happy. But everyone seems to be doing great and we are all happy 95% of the time.

The end of February I found out my dads cancer was back with a vengeance. We were all in denial, he was getting ready for another round of radiation but I found out later it was just to help with the pain. We made a family trip out there in April and spent a week with him. I would have dropped everything and stayed longer had I know he was down to his last weeks. I had no idea, again in huge denial.

Plus no one would tell me how bad it was and if they did, I didn't listen. And I wish I did. Not a month later I got the phone call to get out there right away, he didn't have much time. Okay so I called my back up, got out there four days later. Expecting he would have a couple more weeks or even months. I had my plans all figured out to go and see him weekly. And then he told me not to leave and the next day he was gone. WHAT? I still can not believe it. It all happened so fast. I was so busy with work and even after I had to wrap things up and keep it together. I got through May, I don't know how.

Then we had a month before his celebration of life. That was heart breaking, it was my job to go through the 40 plus years of photos, first I had to find them and then pick out the most memorable. I was not alone with this project as his friends and wife were doing the same. I just had the majority of his life photos. It was a very emotional process.

Finally my father's celebration, the kids and I went out to San Diego, it was a quick trip and I saw so many people in such a short amount of time. It was a whirlwind. Patrick was a champ and stayed to take care of my mom. Plus it was so much in such a short amount of time. We were home for a week and then our niece came for three weeks and we had a blast with her. Busy at the lake, took a road trip to Bryce Canyon and Zions and had a great time. Then when she left we had two weeks before school started. Summer went quick.

We went on a lot of horse back rides, went to the lake, swimming in the back yard, went hiking with the dogs and hiking without the dogs. We spent a lot of time together. The kids had hangout dates with friends. Summer went really fast, but we had a blast. I can't believe we didn't have any BBQ and we were not very social. It was rather relaxing and with the loss of my dad, we just enjoyed each other. Our family has experienced a lot of loss the past three years. I know we are not the only ones experiencing loss or grief. Everyone has there hardship. I am so grateful for my hardship and do my best to learn the lesson and move to the next phase of life. I know we could not do this without this experience and I trust and believe that it is part of the plan and nothing but good can come from it all.

When Patrick and I figure it out and learn what we need to learn, he will remember. He remembers things and emotions, but nothing visual still, but there is progress all the time he is surprising me with little things here and there. Memories of him not liking my mom's dog when 6 months ago he couldn't remember that she had a dog. I see improvements. It is slow, one step forward two steps back. It is better than nothing. I am so grateful everyday that Patrick is still with us. We have three amazing children that are full of life and I am so glad Patrick is here to witness his children grow up and be a part of it all. I am grateful he can kiss the kids good night.

Through all of this the kids and I agree on one thing, we love having him home. We love that he is relaxed and present and that he loves us. He gets frustrated and I am sure he is sick of hanging out at home. He has his golf once a week and we go on horseback rides when we can. Patrick helps me around the house, with the horses, he drives me around, he helps me so much.

I can't believe it has been three years. Our kids have grown up so much and as slow going Patrick's recovery is, life is good, but time has gone by way too fast. I thought we would be much farther along and that he would have been back by now. Don't get me wrong, we love him just the way he is, but we do miss the before accident Patrick. Our family is really amazing, what we have gone through, how well we are all doing.

We learned how fragile life is, how we once and sometime still take it for granite. Then there are things that happen to remind us. My children have experienced what most people don't in a lifetime. They are so strong, we all are, even Patrick. We have all had to work hard on this sudden transformation of our whole life. I am so blessed, we are all so blessed in so many ways.

We are enjoying life, taking care of our minds, body's and souls. Loving each other, life and all living things, grateful for all that we have, our friends and family. Spending as much time as we can together and with my mother Nana. It has been challenging for sure. But I love them and they love me and they need me and I need them. It has been a journey for sure and we never know what is going to happen next.

This last year our boys played base ball, Karly swam on the swim team, I kept up with my swimming and Patrick works out everyday. My mom just goes with the flow and does her sit to be fit and walks everyday.

We will see what this next year brings. We are laying low this fall and just enjoying family time. Enjoy your life, loved ones and self. Be present, take responsibility for yourself. Show or tell people how much you love them.
Take Care and reach out to us if you'd like. Until next time..

Patrick and Kollette

PS Since I wrote this, Patrick has now been approved to drive by himself around town. This is so huge and helpful.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Summer Fun

My family and I are blessed and thank God everyday Patrick is alive and still here with us! It has been two years on September 26, 2016 since Patrick's heart attack! Here is an update from the last three months to where he is this year compared to last year!

The beginning of June the kids got out of school, one more month of baseball and Patrick is worried about the kids being home for the summer. The kids do not want to do summer school like they did last year, that was fine with me. I am looking forward to being at home and there are plenty of projects around the house to keep everyone busy! I knew if I got us on a good summer schedule it would work out.
Then I did something a little crazy and we got a puppy. A sweet female German Shepard, Patrick named her Stella! She is awesome!

A puppy, what was I thinking? What an amazing addition to our family and such a perfect time. Another Guardian Angel to take care of us. Our sweet black lab Alex is 11 years old, she needed a companion.  Alex still hikes 1-3 miles and she is super happy.  I am super happy that they like each other. 

June 2016 Walking the dog
I made a schedule, 2 hour shifts for the puppy. It was great for all of us! The kids learned that those two hours, they were responsible for Stella. The schedule worked great for about two months. Then the excitement wore off, school would soon start and other things were on their minds. It was good and taught my kids a lot and Stella got to know everyone and everyone had there private time with her. It was great, the kids no longer complained about who was hogging the puppy.

June 2015 in Yellow Stone 
Patrick is amazing and surprises me everyday with little things, sometimes big things. He still walks the dogs and he works out daily. I got him all fat and happy after he got home from the hospital and he has dropped 20 lbs and he looks great and physically he is doing awesome. 

Unfortunately this summer we are unable to travel for many reasons, so that is why I figured it would be a good time for a puppy. I really wanted to take the family camping but the thought of it was just to overwhelming. Last year in June we were able to go to West Yellowstone for the weekend. It was great and our first time away. 


This year it was two boys in baseball on two different teams in two different directions with one driver. We loved watching the games, but the travel did take its toll on me. It was hard on all of us but we love baseball, the boys love to play. 

 Fathers Day!
For fathers day we went golfing as a family again, that was wonderful. We did break the tradition of going out to breakfast, I made a wonderful breakfast instead. Then he went for a bike ride with the boys. They wanted to take him on the path, so I dropped them off at the top and picked them up at the bottom. They had so much fun, they did it twice. 

Fathers Day 2016

Father's Day Bike Ride

Fathers Day 2015
Fishing with the boys
Last year I took the kids horse back riding  a lot, Patrick was not allowed to ride yet. Since last fall we have been riding a lot. It is quiet and serene. 

It was super hot last summer and we did a lot of fishing. The boys would get so mad at Patrick because he would always catch fish and they wouldn't. We would drive lake to lake to fish so the boys could catch something. Last year we spent a lot of time fishing, this year we spent time, horseback riding, at lake kayaking and swimming, and hanging at home swimming in our own pool. 

Check Up Time

This June Patrick also had a check up with his Brain doctor and he is impressed as always. Patrick is really doing well. He is still unable to work, he still takes naps, but he helps me a ton around the house and with the horses and he got the okay to Roller Blade and go boating. Physically he is great. The doctor tells us not to rush it and that Patrick is doing great! He can't do activities for too long and things still over stimulate him. He does keep active and he is happy. Patrick always was very active. Sometimes it is exhausting for me, he always wants to go do something fun instead of work and things that need to be done around the house. Well who wouldn't.

Thanks to Steve and Jolena Childs, have arranged for someone to come and pick up Patrick every week for golf with the guys! Patrick loves it, it means so much to him. It is a nice break for both of us and so good for Patrick! He even bought his first pair of shoes on his own. I am so proud of him. 

The Dali Lama

Also this summer Patrick and I were able to go see the Dali Lama, what a treat that was. 

The Rodeo

Rodeo 2015
Rodeo 2016
Both this year and last year we went to the Rodeo. It was fun and good for us to get out. It was a little overstimulating. When he does have activities that are too much or long, he is tired for a few days after so we don't do them too often but it is also good to get out. 
Rodeo 2016

Hiking, Horseback Riding, and More

When we hiked up the hill and down the trail last year, Patrick would have to stop and take a break. This year no breaks and he started running down the trail. So proud of him, he gets frustrated but he is working so hard, he won't give up and he does believe he will remember someday! Our whole family does. Will will not give up, his brain just needs time to heal.

In August of last year, Patrick got the okay from the doctor that he could horse back ride as long as there were no rocks? I had to laugh, it is rocky where we live. Thanks to Beth and Jolyn who got together, got horses and trailers and took our whole family on a horseback ride up by Strawberry Reservoir. It was beautiful, it was so wonderful to ride together as a family. 

School started shortly after the horseback ride together. Then we were preparing our trip back east Labor Day Week 2015 to see Patrick's family. I was so hopeful that he would remember something and he did. 

He remembered Lake Sunapee and standing on the dock. It wasn't much but it was something. This year in August, 2016, we watched the movie On Golden Pond, as Audrey Hepburn uncovered the furniture at the Lake House, Patrick remembered that him and I rented a boat at a lake. We did twice, we rented boats when we went back to Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire where he grew up. 

We were unable to get back there this year. It is really expensive in the summer and my oldest son started 7th grade and he has a goal to get perfect attendance. Plus missing a week of school last year was really hard on him. We wish his family would fly out and see us, but they don't fly. I get sad sometimes when I think about why family won't come see us, everyone is so busy and it is awkward and hard. I understand and have learned when I don't get what I want it is usually a blessing. 

I love him so much and so do the kids, last year we went on our first date since his accident. We love having Patrick around all the time. He was always gone working. We miss the old Patrick, but he is so much the same, we all love the new Patrick and that he is around all the time. We feel bad he is not doing his thing, but we sure do enjoy him being around. He is really positive and doesn't get frustrated too often about not remembering. He is happy and enjoying life.
First Date 2015
Patrick cooks himself and my mother breakfast every morning. He just started making my mom lunches. He has no idea what a huge help that is. He does help me a ton, some people ask if he can work, he can't. But he can sure help me and when he gets tired, he rests. The brain is amazing and we have our good days and bad days. We defiantly have more good than bad, we are so blessed and grateful everyday. What a gift life is, how precious it is. I see all these people, who are running kids around, working harder than they should. Wait that used to be us. Now, we have more family time, less activities, we still live in a low stimulation environment compared to most. We enjoy each other and the actives we do together, even if it is unloading hay for the horses or a simple walk after dinner. We do love our evening yoga together before bed.

We had a lot of fun at the lake this summer, we tried paddle boarding and then decided to buy a 2 person inflatable kayak, I have to say we love it. It is folds up into a bag for storage. 

The fence came loose and I got the right tool in Patrick's hand and with a little guidance he knew what to do. I am so proud of him. He felt so good knowing he fixed something. 

The Wrong Decision 
I should have known something was wrong when I tried to rescue this horse. Boy did the owners pull one over on me. Luckily he found a new home after taking out two hitching posts and a broken ankle to a ranch hand. When you think you are helping someone out, it was a good lesson for me to learn. Thank you to all who helped me through those three days.

This decision made me aware that I was not making good decisions. So I paid attention, that is one thing Patrick always said and did. He paid attention, he knew what was going down before anyone else. He was and still is amazing. So I forgot my smarts on this one and lucky I was able to give him back. My awareness brought me to some realizations with myself and my children. 

Family Time

We had wonderful summer of family bonding with hiking, biking, fun at the lake, horse back riding, swimming and just hanging out at home with each other. 

Patrick went on a few hikes by himself this summer, that felt so good to him. 
We also hit a few local baseball games. 
Baseball night, Orem Owls it was Mascot night

Enjoying Baseball!

A special Treat from the Overtons, AquaZone water park. It was a great way to end the summer, kids and Patrick enjoyed!

He survived and had a blast. 

I know right? I don't think I could do this. Amazing!

We had a wonderful summer, things are challenging but we continue to stay positive, have faith, believe he will remember again someday! He is progressing in his healing. It is slow but he is progressing. Pray for those who have hardships and send them love. Thank you so much for reading our blog. I will continue to try to do better about blogging. Enjoy and don't take life for granite, be grateful, kind and enjoy life.

Kollette and Patrick

Monday, August 1, 2016

Our Story

So excited to finally be able to share this video here.

Here you go.

Kollette and Patrick

Monday, July 25, 2016

Skiing, Driving, Biking, Easter and Frustrated!

I wrote a little in March, April and May 2016 and it took me a while to finish.

Can I just say I am frustrated! It has been a year and a half🙏 We pray everyday he will remember something, anything.

He still does not know what things are and when he doesn't know or can't remember because he reminds me everyday that he can't remember anything and he is frustrated, I am frustrated, the kids are frustrate!! I am tired and it is hard on both of us! It's hard on the kids. He really struggles sometimes, he is mean and snappy. He gets agitated easily, he loves to argue. He won't take his naps and he really needs them. This is a bad day and we have more good than bad, but still we all get frustrated.

I have been cleaning and organizing. Doing our taxes, making a plan. He does good if I give him a list but he still has so much to learn. He really wants to get building things and I don't know what to do. The doctor wants us to SLOW down, he thinks Patrick is doing great and he is really impressed so what is the rush! Physically he is great, but he can not work and you could only understand that if you were with him 24/7.

Up top with Kent

Kellan my 10 year old really wants to go through hunter safety and I had us both signed up, but with baseball it was too much. Actually I am scared shirtless! All the people I ask for help say Oh it's easy. Well I just decided it was not a good idea. I have  been too emotional lately.  I feel like I am transitioning from survival mode back to reality! (We are going to try in August, I wish I could find help, but everyone I ask says it is easy, when it is for them and they are too busy. Okay it is not easy when I am scared to death and I am responsible for me and my 10 year old. I wish someone could understand that and help me. Kent said he would help so I have put my trust in my 12 year old because he is the only one willing to help me who has time.)
Plus I am learning that Patrick's friends wives really don't like their husbands helping me and I wish they could see that they would be helping Patrick and his family. You have no idea. I am sorry guys! Thank for what you were able to do. I certainly do not want to cause any problems with anyone. Socially this has been a night mare, but it is okay we are not the same people anymore. We are figuring it out and just grateful to have each other and keep present and love each other every moment we can.

But for those of you in similar situations understand that the help is no longer available. In the first months, everyone was eager to help and I didn't know what I needed. Now I finally have the guts to ask for help and everyone is too busy, you can hear it in the breath or voice that they just don't have time. Even my own father. It makes me so sad, and I get so frustrated but I just have to keep my head up and stay positive and figure it out. I do have emotional support and help with the hay and horses and I am very blessed for Tracy, Amber, BettyJo, Kathy and Dave. I do wish my plumber would come back and finish installing my boiler, but he is busy too! Hopefully before winter comes again. We can not go another winter without the boiler.

Time to make a plan and figure it out, whatever that is. Patrick needs something to look forward too. I mean really what does he have to be depressed about! Other than he has no memory, but we are making new ones.  He has been skiing which he doesn't remember doing but he knows how to do it! Last year he was golfing with two birdies in one day! His body knows what to do. He is still slow. I feel like everything is in slow motion. He doesn't get out of your way, if that makes sense. He has been feeding the horses everyday which has been great! He helps me a ton around the house, which is awesome.

WOW! 9 months working in occupational therapy to drive again, finally passes by his therapist and doctor. So excited, then a month later we got a letter from the state that he has to take the written and driving test. He studied so hard and he passed with flying colors. He still has restrictions. But he can drive.
Loves the Easter Egg hunt

Here are some photos from last year, He was not skiing, driving or biking yet. What is Easter? And why are you coloring eggs?  He looks great, talks good, no one can understand why he can't work. Well he has a brain injury. I can't explain it, even when I try, no one understands. It is okay, you don't have too and maybe this blog will help, I even asked he doctor, he recommended to have people look up the word cognitive, then they might understand.
Patrick at the Hospital taking his psychology test to
see where he is at. This was an 8 hour day. Here is
Patrick napping at lunch. It was so hard on him. This was
March 2015 and we needed the test to hopefully get Social Security.

Patrick's first trip to the Zoo. He is still
learning the Zoo Animals today.

I took my mom and Patrick golfing they both got to drive the cart, they were happy. I let Patrick drive the cart for the first time, this was how he could drive. He wanted to drive so bad. This was before he passed any of his driving test.

Patrick with Karly
This year he goes golfing with a group of guys that take turns coming and picking him up every week since he can not drive alone. He loves it and they have a great time.

We took him golfing with the family for father's day last year and this year. We all had a great time.

We had a paint party for my mom's birthday and we all enjoyed painting.

Karly' Birthday was next and we went Bowling. Patrick had a great time. 
This year for her birthday we went to Nickle City, it was a good thing we had our own private room. I was overstimulated and couldn't wait to get out of there and for some reason I got no good photos from Nickle City.

Patrick having acupuncture done. I have not taken him for a while and I have been thinking about taking him back again.

Patrick having acupuncture
He also decided to ride his bike and now he goes for a bike ride almost every day! And today we went horse back riding. Life is good. It was also baseball season for the boys so they have been practicing and having that time together. Karly takes my mom for walks everyday and I know they both treasure this time together.

We are doing really good even with all the frustrations. Everyone is happy, healthy and joyful to be alive! We thank God everyday! At the end of the day, what matters most is family, through the pain you find the love and it heals the pain. We hold on tight to the love as we know how precious life is. Through all of this we find the strength to move on, the love to battle the fear and the faith and belief that everything will be alright! We learn what we are suppose to. Enjoy your day you never know when the unexpected could happen, so love your loved ones and remind them you need love too!

Here is a funny video and he wasn't doing too bad. This was early March of 2015.

We had a great winter/Spring of skiing, he passed his driver test with the state, we enjoyed another Easter with Egg Hunt, Karly and Nana's birthday, riding his bike, horseback riding, hiking and had a wonderful Spring Break - a Staycation. So many photos to share. I will get better at this blogging thing.

Here are some videos of him in therapy. This is about when his personality really started coming back and you will see in the videos, he does a few funny things so watch if you can.

We are still doing therapy today. These videos are from last year in the beginning of May 2015, he has come such a long way since then. He no longer has therapy with a therapist, but he has to keep doing therapy everyday to get better. It is extremely frustrating for him. I can't even imagine what goes through his mind daily or how hard it is for him to do things. It is a blessing he is great physically because we can all do things as a family together and we still have fun.

We are still spending time together. Patrick still loves to do all the things he used to. His muscle memory is still there. We have our struggles, challenges, but we have also learned that everyone does and we are all doing the best we can.

Thank you all for listening and following this blog. It helps me to write and I hope it helps you understand. If not at least you can keep up with what we are doing and Patrick's progress. Thank you for your support and prayers.

Kollette and Patrick