Lauri Shrock Michael (Aunt)
All… For Casen and the rest of the family, all was somewhat status quo for the week. A routine week overall, as Casen completed week 4 of 6 in the SPIDER therapy program. As Kristen eludes to in the daily captions below, we will soon become Casen’s full time therapists. Not that we haven’t been this entire time, but the responsibility will fall squarely on our shoulders. We continue to pray and work very hard towards Casen’s goals, as we strive so very hard to have him walk, talk, and eat one day. Thanks again all, for your love and support. God bless…
Garrett & Kristen
Today was start of week 4 in Casen's SPIDER program. He was not too happy with having to leave school. He didn't want to get started on his therapy, but he always come through like a champ. Casen walked a lot today in therapy using the 3 prong cane. He does pretty good with it, but he still does not have the balance to use it by himself. As time goes on, he will continue to get stronger and hopefully be able to walk on his own one day. Tomorrow will be speech, then another around of therapy. I know he won't be too happy to leave school again, but I think he knows this is important as well. Today I was thinking of how big Casen is getting and how fast they grow up. But, it is hard to watch your child grow when this is not the life you had picked out for him. Then again, he is here and he is growing, both are such wonderful things. We continue to love him with all we have, and we will be right beside him with every small step he makes, because Casen is just that awesome! We are getting settled down for the evening, another busy day ahead.
Today was another good day for Casen. School went well, as they have been doing MAP test so far this week. Casen seems to be really enjoying school, he doesn't want to leave to go to his therapies. He is working so hard at school and doing his very best in his weekly therapies. Today he had speech and he did pretty well using his device to answer questions or let the therapist know things about himself. Most of the time was spent using the device, which again that is his specialty. OT/PT went really well. Casen worked really hard and was really polite today. I don't know how he does it, working so hard and having the determination to do so is amazing, but at times very emotional and heartbreaking. At home, Garrett was trying to help him with some simple math, and Casen just sits there like he has no idea of what he is talking about. This is where I get so mad of WHY did this happen to him? I pray to our LORD to at least let him talk so that he can tell us what is going on, and if he does understand the math, the reading, and so on. Casen has already missed 2 1/2 years of his childhood, and he only gets ONE. How much more does he have to go through? There are just some days/nights that are harder than others. I look at his sweet, loving, kind face and think how unfair. I know we are all blessed that he is still here, but there are times you have to fight, fight hard to get back to the positives of this journey. This is a journey that pulls your emotions in every which way. I just continue to pray that one day there will be the biggest, brightest light at the end of the tunnel for this determined boy. Casen and his brother are my life. LORD, I ask you tonight to bring speech through Casen's beautiful lips.
Today was a full day at school for Casen. When asked, he said he had a good day. When he was just getting off the van, Ms. Peggy was pulling in the driveway. Casen had not yet seen her, and if he had, he would have probably tried to take off in his chair - ha ha. Once we got inside, I made sure he was all set to start working again. We made a deal that he got in there and started working, that when dad got home and we all ate, that tonight would be playing the Wii with Dad night. He got himself right in there at the table with a smile on his face ready to work. What a wonderful boy he is. Mimi came over to stay with him while I took Kole to get an MRI of his knee. He is still having some pain with it, so I’d rather be safe than sorry, and to really see if there is something wrong with it. He will follow up with the Dr. on Friday for the results. As for this evening, there will be some game playing for a bit, then bath time then bed. I can't wait for the day that I am able to share Casen's thoughts about his daily activities. Like what he learned at school, his feelings, and everything else a young boy wants to talk about. We continue to be blessed to be able to look at his precious face, touch his skin, hear his heart beat, give him hugs and kisses every single day. We have been given another miracle, besides then one we were given when he was born. Miracles happen, and this is where we continue to believe in them daily. Of course I wished they came sooner than later, but as the saying goes... Good things come to those who wait. Time will tell, even though it seems we don't have a lot of time around here, we will still continue to wait our turn as patiently as we can.
Casen was again a hard worker today in all of his activities! I'm so proud of him. Today in PT, he stood for almost 9 mins all by himself. He keeps improving his time each time he does it. Once he is able to stand a little longer, then we can really start working on his balance by having him do things while he is standing such as reaching, twisting, and so on. I know we will get there, it is just taking longer than we ever thought. But then again, he did have a severe injury on both sides of his brain, so it is simply amazing at what he has been able to accomplish this far. This is why GOD gave us such a determined kid! I hate that Casen has had to go through this whole ordeal, but it is what it is and we can't change the fact that this awful thing happened to our baby boy. We love him just as much today as the day he was born. Though it is hard, we continue to push on as a family. The encouraging words that you have shared with us has been a great big help in relieving some of the stress, anger, frustration, and sadness that has come with this journey, and for that, I thank each and every one of you for your wonderful words. We have finished our 4th week of the SPIDER! Casen has been improving and continues to reach the goals they have set for him. He still needs a lot of work, but we will get him there one small step at a time.
Casen had a good day today. It started out with "Donuts with Dad" this morning at school. Casen didn't try the donut, but have a sip of orange juice. It was library day and Casen got to check out two books. He was so excited to show me the books he picked out. We will read them this weekend. He finished up his day working hard as always. Since we have been home, we have just been chilling out, doing our somewhat normal routine. Kole had a follow up with the doctor today for his knee, and he does have an ACL tear and will have to have surgery. We don't have a date yet, but I'm hoping that it can be done right before his fall break, so he won't miss but maybe a day of school. At least right now he can walk on it, and get up and down stairs, and attend school. I know attending school is the most important thing to Kole - ha ha. We will get through it just like everything else. I want to say thank you to a couple of guys at Garrett's work who built a small ramp for Casen's wheelchair, so he could get in and out of the front door a little better. Thank you very much Scott & Eric, your help and kindness is very much appreciated.
All in all it was a good day. We didn't do much, I was on call for work and I don't like to get to far from home. Ms. Peggy came this morning and that went really well. Casen is slowly getting somewhere which is good. Garrett and Casen went out on his ride on toy (Power Pumper) for a bit. They weren't too far from the house and Casen had to potty. Thank goodness they are building a house a few doors down and there was a port a potty. So Casen got to use it today. I was not out there at the time, but it would have been a great picture of Casen's ride on toy sitting outside of the potty – funny, funny... The evening has been pretty much the same with playing games with dad. Then we came out on the deck to sit around the fire. What a nice evening to do so. Casen did get a short work out on stretching his hamstrings. They are tight and we have to start getting them stretched out, because as he grows, they have the potential to get tighter. There are so many things that have to be done to keep him going. We only have two more weeks of intense therapy, then we will be sent home with a binder full of things that we have to do. Casen will get a break from traveling to therapy, but there will be no break from therapy itself for a very long time. We just continue to pray for his determination to continue with getting to the very best of his abilities. Time will tell in the long road ahead.
We are just winding down this evening playing some games. Today was an uneventful day here at The Shrock Home. We didn't do a darn thing. It was nice. I had a short work out with Casen this evening and he did really well. The things we did are things that we will have to continue on a daily basis to keep him stretched out since in only two short weeks, mom and dad will be his therapists. I'm kind of excited, but scared at the same time. I know we can do it, and I hope we have the things around the house to help make it a lot easier. We will have to come up with ideas of things we can use around the house to have Casen do want he has been doing during this program. A lot to think about, but we will just take one step and day at a time.
Lauri Shrock Michael (Aunt)
Casen Allen – 09/08
All… It was a very busy week for Casen as usual, with a few different things that went on. Overall, the week went alright, as he continues his efforts in therapy and at school. I know it is not said often enough, but Thank You for continuing to support our son in thought and prayer. God bless…
Garrett & Kristen
Today was a nice relaxing day. Kole spent some time with Casen, then we all played a little bit of Hungry Hungry Hippo! We had a blast. Early afternoon, we all left and headed out to the Olive Garden in Florence to enjoy a very nice lunch. This is where I want to shout out a very HUGE THANK YOU to Mr. Jacobs. He set this all up for us, so we could enjoy this wonderful meal today (Mr. Jacobs is the GM at another Olive Garden about 4 hours north of us). We were also given tickets to the aquarium, and we will enjoy that trip on another day. Thank you again for the wonderful lunch, aquarium tickets, and the very nice card from all of you. Since returning home, it has been just about the same routine. Dad stretched Casen out and also used the e-stim on his right arm. I went over Casen's spelling words with him. It is very hard to see him struggle to spell a word. He did very well with his spelling and reading in first grade. It seems that he has lost that ability for now. But, we are trying very hard to get him caught back up with the help of Ms. Peggy and the school. Again, this will take time, a lot of time. I always ask the question of why were both his physical mobility and his verbal communication taken from him. If he was able to talk, then we could know his feelings, concerns and everything else. If he could walk independently, then he could show us what he wants or needs. It is so hard at times to just get through the day. But, we have Casen, and that should be the only thing that matters. He can show us that he loves us, he shows us that he is mad, so forth and so on. We have Casen, and that IS what is important. Well, it is that time to get ready for bed…
Today was a good day for Casen. He worked really hard in school, and he didn't want to leave to go to therapies. Today we had a new speech therapist that we will be working with on Tuesdays for now. His specialty is communication devices that children use for talking. Even though we long for Casen to talk on his own, hopefully getting him and us to use his "talker" will help aid in him speaking again. We then had a 30 min break to walk around before he started with the SPIDER program. We wasted t0o much time out in our beautiful weather, that Casen had to put his wheelchair in high gear so we could make it back in time. He really enjoyed going fast and laughed the whole way. Casen was a little reluctant to participate in therapy at first, but he put on his hard worker hat on and got down to business. He worked really, really hard today. He makes small improvements weekly. We are so proud of him... Once we got home, he wanted to continue working, so he and Melody walked up our driveway and back which is about 200 feet one way. Go Casen!! We didn't have much time to work on anything else, so he got a bath right before it was bedtime. Garrett and Kole didn't get home until later due to his soccer game, and the Camels won again! Kole didn't score this time, but there are more games for that chance again. So, we all had a pretty darn good day!
Sorry for not posting last night. The evening got away from me and before I knew it, it was time to get some shut eye. Casen's day at school yesterday was great as well as today. Casen has been working really hard to keep up. He knows a lot, but without being able to get it out, we are not sure of all that he knows. But we keep going at it. Today in therapy was the last day for this week, and we have made it a full three weeks now. Only three more to go! Casen has been doing really well with his program, and he is one of the hardest workers I know. I didn't get to spend much time with him this evening since I went to Kole’s soccer game this evening. We didn't get home until almost 9pm. Kole injured his knee this evening with only 3 minutes left in the game and he might have injured his ACL, but we are not 100% sure of what was injured. I'm hoping to get him in to the doctor sometime tomorrow. We are hoping for a minor injury, but Kole is in a lot of pain right now. I pray that he is able to have a restful night. Well it is time to get some sleep for myself.
Today was a good day for Casen. They had some MAP testing today (Measures Academic Performance – statewide standardized testing that is done in the fall and spring). They will continue the MAP testing next week. Hopefully, we get a better understanding of Casen’s true abilities where he is currently, since he has to complete the testing by himself. Overall Casen had a great day and a great week at school. He continues to work really hard on all that he does. Ms. Peggy is here now working with Casen. Again, he wasn't that happy about it, but once he gets over his little fit, he gets right to business. We have no plans for this evening. I was going to mow, but I couldn't get the darn mower started. So now I'm just hanging out until Garrett gets home to see what is wrong with it. Other than that, we are just going to have a relaxing night. Tomorrow we are doing the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) walk for a daughter of a family friend. No sleeping in for us tomorrow, we have to be there no later than 8am! As for my big boy Kole, he is doing a little better with his knee injury. My mom was able to take him to the Orthopaedics office today. It is not his ACL, but it could still be his meniscus. He received some anti- inflammatory medication and he is to take it easy for the weekend. He should be able to return to school and soccer on Monday. We will see how it goes.
Today was a great day. This morning we all got up (except of Kole) and went down to the Riverboat Row in Newport to walk the 5K for JDRF with TEAM GRACE. Melody was also able to join us, how wonderful! We all had a great time, and Casen just sat back and enjoyed the ride. During the walk, we all got to go around inside of Great American Ball Park (where the Reds play) as part of the walk! It was great to walk on the actual field, it was quite a neat experience. At first, they told us we could not take Casen's stroller in there, so we were going to have to pass it up. We decided to Casen in there for a short distance, but then a lady came up and said we could go ahead and take the stroller in. Thank you to that nice lady who doubled checked on that, so that Casen could see the ballpark. After we made it to the finish line, we just chilled out for a bit. We were going to go to the aquarium, but Kole was not with us, so we will try for another time so we can go as a family. Once we got some, Casen and I grabbed a bite, then we took a nap. Melody went home, so she could take a nap as well. I guess our walk wore us out! Garrett did some things outside, and Casen played some games on his iPad. Kole has been resting and taking it easy on his knee. Things seem to be getting better, there is still some pain, but he is able to bear a bit more weight on it. Tomorrow is nothing special, I'm on call and we already have a case, so I have to go to work around 7:15 am. Garrett will try and get to the grocery. The weekend is just about over and there is still so much to get done. I guess I will have to get as much done as I can while I'm on call tomorrow. I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend.
Today ended up not being a relaxing day at all. We were unable to get to church this morning. With me being on call, it messes up the day. I went to work then ended up coming back home shortly after getting there (doctor changed his schedule!). I did some laundry and put up all of Casen's clothes in his room. Casen hung out with Mimi for a bit while Garrett went to the store. So, not really that much went on today. I met the rest of the family at my sister's house (after I came from work again) for my nephew's 4th birthday party. Casen enjoyed himself messing with everyone. Now we are home, trying to get things finished up so that we are all set for the start of the week. Overall, it was a descent weekend. I hope you all had a great weekend, and we all wish you a great week. Thanks for all of your love, support, and prayers.
Kristen & Garrett
Lauri Shrock Michael (Aunt)
Casen Allen – 08/18
All… for the most part, things went pretty well for Casen this past week. Of course school started, so the routine is changing again. It will take a bit of time, but we are hopeful to see that all of his hard work during the summer pays off with an easy transition back into school. Casen will be spending part or all of each day at school this year, and we pray that he is able to handle it along with therapy. This coming week will also add to his challenges, as the therapy routine increases for PT/OT. We also had a great time at the Florence Freedom game. Thanks to all who were able to make it. Please keep the prayers coming as our son begins a new chapter. May this intense therapy bring some positive results! Below are excerpts from the week. God bless.
Garrett & Kristen
Well, today we did something that we have not done in a very long time. We went to CHURCH! We attended the United Methodist Church in Alexandria. We had a wonderful time and met a lot of new people. This is the church that Casen's best buddy Raymond goes to. So, of course Casen had a great time going to kid's church with Raymond. We are going to take our time and learn a bit more about the church, but I do believe we will be returning. Casen day started out the same, with Casen waking up around 5:50 am, then headed downstairs around 6:15 am. Feeding, meds, iPad, and the Wii with dad before it was time to get dressed to go to church. After church we came home to give Casen lunch, then we went out and got a bite for Garrett and I. Kole had to go back to sleep because he had to get up to earlier. After lunch we ventured to the grocery store to get some things for the week.
Once we returned home, Casen took a nap, so dad and I just relaxed and watched a movie.
Now it had come to our normal evening routine. Casen just finished eating, so soon it will be game time.
I would like to thank you all for continuing to follow Casen's story. I know the post are pretty much the same day after day. This is our life right now and if I could change it I would in a heartbeat! So thank you for taking the time to read the post. You are all wonderful people. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers.
Casen had a great day. His morning started out about the same, he did sleep in just a bit. Feeding, meds, and iPad as usual. Tutoring with Ms. Peggy went well, they worked on writing, spelling, math, and played a few games. Therapies went great as well. Casen worked on a lot of the same things, but did a great job doing each one. Once he was home, he had his feeding and meds. He started out playing on his iPad while Garrett and I talked to Melody and my mom to get today's info. He has been enjoying watching the Annoying Orange videos that he used to watch all the time before the accident. He has spent the last 30 mins just laughing it up. Now we are on to the Wii with dad. He has been such a hard worker today, now it is time to have a little fun before bed. Thank you for all your love, support, and prayers.
Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the Florence Freedom game tonight. It was a great night and I was able to meet a lot of great people! Thank you Mayor Rachford for choosing Casen again and thanks to the community of Alexandria! Casen and our family are so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives. Thank you again and God bless each of you.
First to start out... Casen's day yesterday was a good relaxing last day of summer break. Casen and Melody just hung around watching movies, and iPad play. Casen's first day of school went well. He spent time in his resource class with Ms. Scotland and was able to get down to his 3rd grade teacher's room Mrs. Arnold. He had a good time seeing his friends from last year and meeting new ones. Casen left school today around 1pm to head to therapy. Poor little guy feel asleep on the way. He did a good job even though he was tired. He was a little frustrated in PT but worked through it. Next week starts his new SPIDER program. He will go to school every day, but on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday he will attend school until 2pm, then head to the Drake Center (same place he has been going) for 3 hours of more intense therapy. He will have 2 hours of PT, then an hour of OT. Speech will make its way in there a few weeks later but just once a week. We of course need more speech, but we are going to find some other ways to help Casen at home with that. Once home, he wanted to watch a movie and relax. He is really tired, and will soon be going to bed. Dad is going over what he received in school today. We already have a few things that we have to get done before Friday so that everyone knows things about Casen. I love working with Casen on the "all about me posters" I have more fun putting it together then he does. Well time is getting closer for Casen's bath and bed time. Thank you all for your love, support, and prayers.
Casen's day at school was good. This week they are just trying to get a base line on where Casen stands. Next week he will probably start spending more time in his 3rd grade class. This morning started out with the same routine. My mom has been sick, so Melody came this morning to get Casen ready for school, then on the bus. This evening was a bit busy trying to get some things done for school tomorrow. Dad played some games with him while I tried to get the school stuff done. We got a late start getting Casen upstairs to bed, so I hope he is not to tired tomorrow. With the weekend here, maybe he will sleep in a bit to get rested for the upcoming busy weeks. He sure will need it since 3 of his 5 days, he will not be getting home until around 7 pm. Poor little guy, but I know he can do it! Thank you for your love, support, and prayers.
Sorry I didn't post last night, but Garrett and I got out for a little while, and nurse Melody kept an eye out for Casen. He had a good day at school yesterday spending time in his resource class as well as his 3rd grade class. They are still just seeing how he learns, and to see what he knows from last year. Today was a good day. Casen got out for a little while with dad and me riding his new toy that we got him for his birthday. It just arrived yesterday after 2 months of waiting. I have some pics I will post. Melody came this morning and watching him while Garrett got some things done. I only had a few hours or so with everyone this morning, then I was called in to work and got home around 8:30 pm. So my update is from what Casen and his dad did today. They played some games, then Casen took about an hour or so nap! Then they worked downstairs in the basement for awhile. Casen wanted to have a fire, so dad started one while they waited on me to get home. I brought home some dinner, so we ate and watched the fire. Now Casen is in his tent with his brother messing around. We will soon be going up stairs for bed time so that we can get some good sleep before church tomorrow. I pray you all have a great night. Thank you for all your love, support, & prayers. God Bless,
Kristen & Garrett
Lauri Shrock Michael (Aunt)
All... In reviewing last week, there were more positive moments than negative ones. The week included home school tutoring and therapy, pretty much a carbon copy of Casen's summer so far. He has become pretty receptive to Peggy and her no-nonsense technique, and has seen some improvement along the way. With Casen's lack of verbal communication, we will continue to question his ability to completely understand. There are moments when he seems to be fully aware and understands. Then there are times when he doesn't seem to. As the saying goes, time has all of the answers. In therapy, Casen started strong on Monday by walking unassisted for 20 min in the pool. I dream of the day when our son walks again. It's funny how the water provides resistance, but also buoyancy. Hopefully it will also provide the confidence he needs as well as some positive feedback. Therapy on Wednesday was strong as well, although they continue to find weaknesses. I guess, at least, this gives the group more areas to concentrate on. With it being pretty hot out, the rest of the week was somewhat low key. A few visits, a lot of Wii play, and even some time outside despite the heat has rounded out Casen's week. Looking forward to the next few days, all will remain status quo for Casen. With your prayers and support, may our son continue to be blessed. May our Lord lead us on this journey. God bless.
Garrett & Kristen
Lauri Shrock Michael (Aunt)
All... this past week was "all back to normal", so to speak. After a long six weeks, our beloved Melody returned, and Casen's week was full with therapies and home school. It was once again filled with activities and play, and one that seems all too familiar. The routine that we have developed over time since being home with Casen hasn't deviated all that much since the beginning. He has though, continued to work so very hard to regain his independence. The progress has remained slow at best, and some days just seem to repeat themselves. Other days just leave you to wonder what the future will be like for our son. The answer to questions like this remain untold, at least for now. Casen has been on a new medication to help eliminate seizure activity (he hasn't had one for a good while, and that is the goal), but one big downfall is that he has been extra tired lately. Even therapies have been slightly sluggish, but as always, he has worked through it. The hope is that after a few weeks, Casen's body gets used to the medicine, and the drowsiness goes away. To mix things up a bit, Casen and family have been to the movies to watch Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University. He has become quite the movie buff, and seems to do well in a theater setting. Activity at home has been status quo, with iPad, play, movies, playing the Wii, and home therapy. Our next big transition is to start letting Casen do more on his own. Focus right now are van transfers and getting dressed. While he still needs help, the goal is to move Casen towards more independence. As parents and caregivers, we have gotten in the habit of doing so much. Now we are being told to step back and let Casen take over. While it sounds so easy, it proves very difficult to watch your child struggle, even if it is just getting dressed. We know he needs these victories as positive reinforcement, but just watching proves to be so very hard. Nonetheless, it is something we have to do. Just this morning as Casen slept, I stood over and looked at him. For a very long time now, I realized that a lot of what we have felt has been self pity. For 833 days now, our son has not been able to really tell us how this has affected him. He has not been able to describe to us what he is truly thinking. He can't complain to us about all that he has missed out on. Our Lord has blessed Casen with such a wonderful attitude, and for that we are thankful. We pray that along with this, his hard work and dedication towards getting well will be our Lord's will. God bless.
Garrett & Kristen
Lauri Shrock Michael (Aunt)
All... last weekend, we were able to celebrate Casen's 9th birthday. Although the festivities were somewhat low key, the fact that we are able to celebrate his life is a miracle in itself. As you know the story, the fact the we lost Casen several times on the day of the accident reminds us that life is a gift, one not to be taken for granted. As we go through the daily routine, this thought is sometimes forgotten. Monday was Casen's actual birthday (7/01), but that did not provide a break for him. Home schooling and therapy made up his day. But all was not lost, as he still had energy left to play some Wii that evening. The week was routine with school and therapy, but the holiday has allowed us to be home with the boys more than typical. Weather hasn't allowed for much fun time outside with all of the rain, but we were able to visit Casen's great grandma on her 92nd birthday this past Thursday. Yesterday evening we were able to get out for a bit and enjoy some time away from home. Overall for Casen, things remain close to the same. He continues to work hard for little gain, but gains nonetheless. At least, that is what we are told by others. We love our son dearly, and hope that one day his efforts are rewarded greatly. Until then, we carry on... God bless.
Garrett & Kristen
Lauri Shrock Michael (Aunt)
Thank you for reading Casen's story. We have updated the information on the main page and there will be more information to come. Thank you for the supporters we have so far. Your graitude is very much appreciated from the bottom of our hearts. Our family wants to pay it forward one day to help in the needs of other families that my not have as much support as we have had during our journey with Casen.
We will post updates on here, but you can read daily updates on Casen's Facebook page. The name of his page is...
Casen Shrock's Journey
Thank you for all your love, support, and prayers you have given us through these past 2 years.