Kim Belk (sister)
Sorry for not updating sooner, but we've all been very busy since Shelley was released to go home on Friday, Valentines Day. Two days before she was released, Shelley had to have some more plastic surgery. It was only some minor skin grafting to her scalp, but they had to take more skin from her thigh and that has created more pain.
Shes moving around a lot better and using her sliding board more efficiently from wheel chair to bedside commode to the bed. We are having to do a little 'tough love' and encourage her to do more for herself. It makes it difficult with the necrotic tissue on the tips of her left hand, but she's doing better. She still has 4 dressings that need to be changed once a day, that Courtney, Casey and I will be changing. And for PT we are having her do her resistance bands for strengthening.
She sees her primary doctor today and then next week, she will have follow ups with her general surgeon, plastic surgeon and hand surgeon. We will also be seeing a wonderful pain doctor, Dr Hede, that I work with, next week for better pain control.
Her health insurance, purchased through the ACA will kick in on March 1. I'm hoping we can get her in a skilled nursing facility or rehab at that point.
We are also having problems with the plumbing in her house. So if anyone knows of a good, reasonably priced plumber, please let me know.
Thank you you for all the acts of kindness...we have received yummy meals from Dana and Cheri. And McKenzie made several frozen meals. Amy and Katy's grandparents had Shelley's house cleaned and a ramp built. Shelley's boyfriend, Jason, cleaned her carpets. When I went to pick up her tub transfer bench at Medical Tectrronics in Houston, the owner Rick, tore up the invoice. By the way, if you are in need of great discounted medical equipment, you must see him first. http://www.medicaltectronics.net.
My friends Yvonne and Greg Johnson donated 2 weeks worth of dressing supplies, just in time because we used our last gauze roll yesterday. My wonderful neighbors, affectionately called the Creek Girls, have done so many things, that I'm sure I can't even list here. Michelle Jeffers is helping to organize meals for next week and has traveled with me to see Shelley, listened to me for hours on end and offered many a shoulder to cry on. Melissa Cameron has traveled with me to Shelley's, to assess her home for wheel chair readiness and has offered free physical therapy! Jennifer Fulton, called around and got a very sturdy drop arm commode for us, from her church. She also called Gayla Wigs and they are going to donate a wig for Shelley once her head wound heals.
The emotional support the Creek Girls have given to me has been more appreciated than I can even begin to put in to words. We are having a Premiere Jewelry party fundraiser this Friday, with a wonderful host Deborah Raley who has volunteered to give the proceeds to Shelley. Her website is www.jewelrydeb.com. Jennifer Hoiden(Another Creek Girl) has donated several Premiere pieces to be sold on Friday at a discounted price, with all proceeds to be given to Shelley. She has also presented Shelley's cause to her networking group and has given me several names to potentially help with different needs of Shelley's as they arise. Our cousin Robert and Julie Marshall have donated a wheel chair for her to use and offered financial and emotional support. Other cousins Tom and Kay Marshall, Janet, Alice, Chad, Charles, Carolyn, Gordon and Kathy(if I have forgotten someone, please forgive me)have given to Shelley's cause, Along with numerous friends, friends of friends, neighbors, and complete strangers.
I'm sure that I have forgotten someone, so please forgive me. Shelley and her family appreciate all that has been done!
Here is the invite to her fundraiser Premiere Jewelry Show...https://attachment.fbsbx.com/messaging_attachment.php?mid=mid.1392255718019%3A733c7571a2bba6b882&midroot&aid=062032f4f66fee869fe6daae8a6ee7bc&tid&uid=1064802886&accid=1064802886&ext=1392767196&hash=AQBoRRaLQxy56-X7NwPQ1tS0NTwG0IuTQpSV0Wzg-c-6Wg
Love and much thanks to you all,
Kim, Shelley and family
Kim Belk (sister)
First off, we want to say that we are overwhelmed with gratitude to the generosity of friends, family and total strangers. Since the airing of Shelley's story on KHOU, we have been contacted by many caring people with well wishes, prayers and offers of support in many ways. We are overwhelmed and in awe of so many acts of kindness. Shelley and her whole family thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Shelley has now been accepted to the rehab floor for a limited time...a total of 14 days. Her goals are to be able to move herself from wheelchair to bed to bedside commode with minimal help. She will be discharged home whether she meets these goals or not. We are told that she will need to go home and heal before she can attend a full rehab facility...that can take up to a year. So we are now faced with taking Shelley to her home and providing care for her 24 hours a day. We are not sure of the details, but we are trying desperately to get a plan in place. Another detail we have to attend to, is getting her home wheel chair ready.
I will be seeing her tomorrow and will get a better idea on her progress.
Again, thank you all and God Bless!
Kim Belk (sister)
Interview with KHOU
Kim Belk (sister)
Today was a really great day! Lots of smiles and laughs and some great pet therapy. Not only did Shelley get to see her dog Cooper for an hour, but she got her trach removed. So much progress!! .
My friend, Michelle Jeffers, got to visit Shelley with us, and brought her a real Coke. She thoroughly enjoyed it! Shelley's boyfriend, Jason, made a surprise visit too. When I left the hospital, Shelley was eating some Chili's mashed potatoes, that Jason had brought her, and was grinning from ear to ear.
Meeting with hospital staff on Monday regarding rehab. Will update then. Check out the pics I uploaded. :)
Kim Belk (sister)
I got to spend the day with Shelley on Tuesday. We had a nice long visit and I got to hear her talk for the first time in over 5 weeks. Her trach was down sized to a smaller tube on Monday which allowed her to have a speaking valve. So Tuesday the speech therapist came by and assessed her for a speaking valve. She did great with it and even called her boyfriend, Jason. Just having the ability to communicate with others has relieved her of some anxiety.
She was moved out of SIMU to a regular room on Friday evening. She was a little nervous about the transfer because she still had her trach in and couldn't talk, but they put her in a room that was really close to the nurses station so they could keep a close eye on her. So far, she has received great care and has been really happy in her new Extra Large room.
PT came by and got her up in the stretcher chair and we wheeled her to a sitting area right in front of the windows. We sat there and talked for about an hour and just enjoyed the view.
Courtney got approval from her doctor to have her dog, Cooper, come to see her on Friday. He gets to spend a full hour with Shelley. I hope to get some good pictures of her and Cooper together and maybe she will let me share them with you.
She has also enjoyed eating all her meals. And now, with the speaking valve, her sense of smell and taste is much better. Her favorite is sweet tea with real lemons!
We will be meeting with her primary doctor, the case manager and social worker on Friday to discuss rehab.
The last few days have brought about a lot of positive changes for Shelley. There is still a lot of pain and frustration, but things are definitely moving in the right direction.
Thank you all for the continued support and prayers!
Kim Belk (sister)
I apologize for not updating sooner, but for a few weeks it seemed as if we weren't making any progress. Shelley has had some good days mixed with the bad and it has been an emotional roller coaster for all of us.
We all dreaded Tuesday...that was the day she was scheduled to have bilateral below the knee amputations. Over the weekend, Brianna got to spend some time with Shelley and a child life specialist was there to talk with Brianna about Shelley's surgery. And our cousin Mary was there to offer emotional support too. Shelley loved her visit with them both. Shelley was in a lot of pain after her surgery, even after pain blocks and a pain pump. But she still managed to give her boyfriend,Jason, a huge smile when she saw him. He was one of the first people she saw when she got to her room after recovery.
Me and my friend Karen(also a coworker of Shelley's on the 3rd floor) got to visit with her today. She looked really good and was very alert. The best news for her, was passing her swallow study yesterday and getting to have meals today. She even did a great job feeding herself and is getting much better as a lefty. In the next few days, she will be getting a smaller trach and then she will get a speaking valve. Also, she will be moved out of the step down unit to a regular floor.
So we feel as if we are finally making some forward progress. Her new normal will be different than her old normal, but I know she can do anything she sets her mind to do.
Thank you for all the continued prayers. Love to you all