Craig Vetter Seriously Injured In Streetbike Crash

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#3
From Carol Vetter

"Carol here. Wanted to make sure you knew that a week ago Wednesday Craig was in a motorcycle accident. He has been in the ICU since then and is still not conscious. I believe he will be fine, but it's going to be a long recovery process. caringbridge.org. Just type his name in. I try and keep everybody up on what's going on here"
 
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#5
This is from Carol's journal. He is now awake, and suffering from short term memory loss. Looking better though.

"It is 5:20 am and I am not a happy camper. Mr Chatterbox, or the Great Houdini as he is referred to by many of the nurses, talked on and off until I gave in and let the nurse give him some pain meds around 2:30. I don't think he was in pain, but they wouldn't give him anything for sleep. Took them an hour to kick in. Then the alarms from the machines took over. At 4:30 they kicked me out to take x-Rays. They are taking him down for a CT scan in few minutes. He still doesn't get that he is in the hospital, but I am hopeful he will get it today. Apparently it is his short term memory that is slow to come back"
 
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#7
Here is the latest update from Carol Vetter.

"Craig is very busy with his hands even though they are restrained. When someone stands close, he puts his hand in their pocket and feels for stuff. When he discovered his chest band with Velcro closure he pulled it apart. I need a small quilt or object that has stuff he can fidget with: buttons, button holes, Velcro, pockets he can feel around in, zippers. All you craft people would know what to make. I was going to bring him Willy's favorite toy. It is a stuffed tree with three stuffed squirrels he can pull out and squeak. Otherwise he gets bored and rips out his tubes and lines. Can somebody please make something for us?"
 
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#9
Latest update from Carol Vetter

"We are back in the ICU. When I got to the hospital this morning (Thursday) I found Craig yelling, his tongue sticking out in odd ways, and his eyes blinking horribly. He did not recognize me... he was unresponsive so I of course burst into tears. I became very vocal about there being a problem while all the staff tried to calm me down and tell me there wasn't anything wrong. After a little hysteria, they found his sodium to very very high and moved him back to ICU. I sobbed the whole way. There is another drug they were giving him that may have caused some of the other odd behaviors.. They rushed him down for a head CT scan while I sat in our "old room" and sobbed. After a long and miserable day, Craig's sister Arlene arrived... He looked up at her and said, "Arlene" and smiled. Praise God for that. This has been the most difficult day I have had with him since the accident. I am done leaving him alone without family. When I calm down, I will investigate how this could have happened. Zak is spending the night with him. Arlene will be there first thing and I will go in later. Sorry to those who I sent the alarm out to and never got back to... I just never had the time."
 
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#13
Here is the latest update from Carol Vetter.

"Craig is very busy with his hands even though they are restrained. When someone stands close, he puts his hand in their pocket and feels for stuff. When he discovered his chest band with Velcro closure he pulled it apart. I need a small quilt or object that has stuff he can fidget with: buttons, button holes, Velcro, pockets he can feel around in, zippers. All you craft people would know what to make. I was going to bring him Willy's favorite toy. It is a stuffed tree with three stuffed squirrels he can pull out and squeak. Otherwise he gets bored and rips out his tubes and lines. Can somebody please make something for us?"
My prayers go out to Craig and to you Carol for steady progress. Regarding fidget item: I wondered if a shoelace or lanyard with keys and two or three locks might provide a distraction. Also wondered if the turning motion of a Rubik's cube might help. Mike
 
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#14
The newest positive news from Carol

"Outside... we went outside today. It was glorious... all Craig wanted to do was go back to bed... He has an iron deficiency. I am sure that is responsible for his lack of energy. They are pumping it into him as I write.
He is getting quite competent at getting in and out of the wheelchair and using the walker. He really dislikes his neck brace and we have to watch him carefully as he tends to take it off if he thinks no one is looking.
Craig's working memory is great.. he can repeat back long strings of numbers with ease. His long term memory is good.. history questions are a breeze. But short term? Forget it. He can't remember what he said or did 5 minutes earlier.

During PT today, they had him stand up in front of a full length mirror and try and correct his balance. He lists to the left. Then they brought out 4 brightly colored plastic cones which they place on a stool on his left. They wanted him to pick up each cone one at a time with his left hand, transfer it to his right and put on a stool on his right side. Then he reversed it. His left eye is lazy and he doesn't have any peripheral vision so he really struggled to get the cones. The first run through he dropped a couple of them and couldn't locate the stool on the left. After he was finished, the therapist dropped all the cones when she was trying to put them away. He turned to me and said, "She's having more trouble than I am!"

I am so amazed at his progress in just 2 days. Imagine what a week will do! or 2 weeks. One of the nurses we had at Natividad also works at CHOMP and he stopped in today and was just amazed at how good Craig looks and sounds. He will report back to our friends in Salinas.

Please pray that his bladder starts working on its own. We have to get that catheter out....
I know many of you want to visit, but I am keeping visitors out so he won't be frustrated by not knowing you even though he knows he should. We are trying to keep the frustration level down. I will let you know as soon as we think he is ready for you.

I on the other hand can't seem to catch up on my sleep. It's almost 9 and I have to hit the sack. It is so nice being only 15 minutes from him. God bless you all for your prayers and encouragement."

Craig-Vetter-Recovering-From-Motorcycle-Crash.jpg
 
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#16
More positive news from Carol.

"It is quiet up here these days. The No Bark collar is doing its job. When I come home, there are 3 dogs at the door jumping and wagging their tails. No barking! Even when the cat comes up to the house and meows outside the door it it quiet. I love that collar.
I check Craig's phone regularly for emails and messages. Today I was surprised to get a voicemail from the Neurosurgeon who drained the fluid around Craig's brain shortly after his accident. This man comes up from San Diego to put in days in at the trauma center doing neurosurgery. He called on Craig's phone to find out how he was doing. Can you imagine? He wants to be able to meet him when he is back home. When he said he would be back up here at Christmas, I invited him to Christmas dinner with us and he accepted. Who'd a thunk it?

Zak and Morgan and our friend Larry stopped in to spend time with Craig this morning while I was at church. I didn't go over to the hospital until 5 and was surprised that Craig remembered the boys being there earlier. This is huge! It is his short term memory coming back. He wanted to sit outside, so we transferred him to his wheelchair and rolled out into the mild evening air. He wanted to pray. It was one of the finest prayers I have ever heard; full of praise and thanksgiving for his life, for me, for the boys and for all of you. He knows that you are out there loving and praying for him. I told him what you have been doing for us, some the things you have been writing on FB and Caringbridge and of all the offers to help. He gets it. Hoping it will still be there tomorrow... The headset with the little microphone for us to talk into works great. It makes all the difference in the world to be able to talk to him without yelling into his ear.

He sent me home after his dinner tonight because he didn't want me driving back in the dark. Wait till I tell him about all the nights I drove over that twisty turny Laureles Grade road at all hours of the night and early morning and headed over to east Salinas only to have to go through guards to get in to the ICU. Anyway that is another big change. Up until now he has only been concerned with what he wanted... why did I have to leave him and go home? When would I be back? Couldn't I stay longer? I want to go home, bring me a hamburger... Where is the ham? Bring me popcorn...etc. For him to be worried about me is another step toward normalcy. Time to celebrate... again....

This was what I saw when I went up the stairs at the hospital. Not bad huh?"

Craig-Vetter-Recovery.jpg
 
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#18
Newest very positive update from Carol Vetter

Craig is really doing well. Today he walked sideways without holding on to anything. His balance is coming back ever so slowly but you can see it which is very exciting. My dear friend Heidi came today and as distracting as she was (she is quite pretty) he continued to eat his lunch while she was there, so much so that he didn't have to have the milkshake poured in afterwards. Zak and Morgan were with him for dinner and said he ate almost everything! He is eating chopped food instead of pureed food and I think that is making a difference.
He had a rigorous PT session before lunch, got his food down in 60 minutes instead of 90, and went right into a speech therapy session for over an hour. After all of that, he didn't beg to get into bed and pass out from exhaustion. He was wide awake and rather perky. He rested for an hour or so when Zak showed up, then Morgan got there and they had a great evening. I can honestly say that I am looking forward to bringing him home.

I have a meeting with VNA tomorrow and I am sure they will have suggestions for an easier transition and hopefully they will send personnel to help me that first month. Our neighbor Roger is ready to put grab bars and anything else we need up to make sure Craig can move around safely when he gets home next week.

When I keep my eyes on the Lord, everything falls into place which is His will. If I look away... I get crazy... I fret... I worry.. I imagine all sorts of awful problems. When will I learn?

Thank you all for pulling me back in, especially you Roger V. What a great note...letter? Missive? whatever it was, it was just what I needed. I have gone back and read it 3 times...
God is good... even when I am not!