Friday, June 22, 2012

Welcome Human

My brother, Kelly and his wife Holly have successfully added another human battery to the matrix.  Although it is nice to see that our computer overlords have now developed wireless technology to harvest his body's energy.

This is Jack Rockwell Hulsebus (named by his 3 year old brother, Braeden).

Baby Jack was freshly squozen on June 21, 2012 at 3:38am.  This energy cell array weighed in at a decent 8 pounds even.  We look forward to much energy production from him.  Nephew Baby Jack, I hope you enjoy your simulation.

Congratulations Kelly & Holly.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Angie Is Finally Back Home

After 16 days in the hospital, Angie is finally back home.  It's is still a long road for recovery but this is an important step.  I can only imagine how much nicer it is for Angie to be able to recover in a familiar atmosphere and not be awoken every hour by nurses taking blood, vital readings, etc...  I know they were just trying to take care of Angie...but there were a couple nights when I wanted to shout "Really? I just spent 45 minutes trying to get her to relax and sleep!"

Angie in hospital...Day 9, the first day
she got to wear clothes (well, scrubs)
instead of the hospital gown.
Angie has the bandages off her legs, the staples removed from the incisions, and is healing slowing but steadily.  Still lots of bruising and swelling in her legs and hips.  Still must be very careful, but can at least have her legs bent to sit (almost) normally in a wheelchair.  Her pain is mostly controlled with Extra-Strength Tylenol, and only has bouts here and there and during transfers when there seems to be a lot of pain, although there often seems to be a lot of discomfort and some dysreflexia throughout the day.  All and all, I think she is doing wonderfully.

Angie, her family, and myself would like to sincerely thank everyone who came to visit, who donated money, sent cards, flowers, well-wishes, thoughts, prayers, and who helped out in any way.  Your kindness and thoughtfulness have been amazing and have really helped everyone keep in high spirits.  The family feels very blessed to have such incredibly kind people in their lives.  We would also like to thank all (ok, only MOST) of the doctors, nurses, therapists, techs, and staff at Methodist hospital for taking care of Angie the past couple weeks.  Most of you were incredible, caring, and gentle people who would help in any way possible (except hooking visitors up with morphine. Come on, I was hurting too...some of those chairs were uncomfortable after being there all day with a bruised buttocks) and also listen to Angie's ideas and thoughts about treatment.

We are still in limbo (and could be for a while) in regards to insurance payments and what they will cover as far as Angie's van and wheelchair.  With 9 cars involved, and almost as many insurance companies it sounds like it is going to be a big screaming match between them.  All of your donations are especially beneficial to the family during this time of waiting and uncertainty.  It has allowed the family to rent a ramp van for the next month for Angie's doctor appointments and just to have in case there is an emergency.  It was a pretty unsettling feeling knowing that if something went wrong, there would be no easy way to get her to help, so although renting a van is pretty expensive, we felt it had to be done while the insurance fight continues.

Donations are still very welcome and appreciated. Every little bit has helped.

or mail to:

Angie Plager Recovery Fund
32541 585th Ave
Cambridge, IA 50046-8568

We would also appreciate you keeping a look out for a late model, ramp van in good condition and reasonably priced (unless someone wants to cut Angie a really good deal on a MV-1).  It would just be used for transportation at the moment, but the hope would be to eventually have it modified for Angie to be able to drive.  If you happen to run across anything, please let me or Angie know.  We will look into and consider all leads and offers.

Thanks again, everyone...we really appreciate all the support everyone has given.


Monday, June 11, 2012

It's Been a Bad Week

On June 1st 2012, my girlfriend Angie and I were in a pretty serious car accident.  I can't get into all the details at this time (due to ongoing investigations), but I can say that it was bad.  9 cars totaled bad, getting hit 4 or 5 different times at interstate speeds bad.  It may sound cliché, but we are lucky to be alive.

I was fortunate to limp away from the accident, with bumps, bruises, small cuts and scrapes.  I was checked out at the emergency room and had x-rays taken of my knee, which was a little banged up.  I have bigger and more hideously purple bruises than I have ever had in my life, but all turned out to be just minor battering from the collisions and I was given ibuprofen and sent on my way.

Angie, did not fair so well.  Angie was thrown from her wheelchair and broke both of her legs.  But not just any broken leg, she broke both of her femurs...her thigh bones, the largest bones in the human body (go big or go home I guess).  One break was a compound fracture with the bone poking through the skin.  She also had a concussion, cuts on her face, and bruises that make mine look like a kid with a scraped knee.

Angie was in the intensive care unit for 3 days and had surgery to insert steel plates and screws into her legs.  Thankfully, surgery went well.  Angie then spent several more days in a standard hospital room, before just being transferred to the in-patient rehabilitation center.  She is doing well but is still having a hard time with the pain, nausea, and just plain uncomfortableness.  She also gets hiccups a lot (possibly due to medication) and it shakes her whole body as she grimaces in pain.  It is horrible to watch.  Angie is far from out of the woods, due to her normal poor circulation and weak immune system, but so far she is doing well.  We are not sure of anything of her treatment future, but it could only be a few weeks or it could be all summer.  It all depends on her healing progress and what the doctors say.  It is going to be a long and expensive recovery.

If the pain and hospital stay wasn't bad enough, we are also pretty sure that her adapted van is totaled, as is her power wheel hair.  We are not sure what insurance is going to cover - supposedly only the van itself is able to be covered under a normal insurance policy, not the ramp, kneel kit, hand controls and computers that she needs to ride and drive...unfortunately all this equipment is very expensive (around $100,000 without the van itself - it may have looked like your typical 2002 maroon caravan, but it had as much equipment as a James Bond car and was in the price range of Bentleys and Porches)...but even before getting her up and driving again, her family will need to get a transport van for every day travel - get her home, to doctor appointments, to church, etc... We are also not sure how much of her powered wheel chair will be covered, and surprising to most people these chairs cost more than many cars (around $35,000-$40,000), but the are a necessity for the people that rely on them for every day functioning.  It is amazing technology that has allowed Angie to live a relatively normal life these past few years.

A small selection of the flowers Angie recieved
But we are doing OK, we are alive and that is the important thing.  We appreciate all of your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes.  Angie has already received many visitors, cards, and flowers and is grateful for all of the friends and family that have been there for her in all shapes and forms.  It has really helped Angie keep her spirits up!  Something that we need to do to help her stay positive and focus on healing and just feeling better.

We hate to ask for money, but if you would like to donate something, it would be much appreciated.  All donations will go to help Angie with medical bills, a new wheel chair, and new transportation.  And more importantly, it will be one less thing she has to worry about so that she can focus on her healing and recovery.  Below is a Paypal link for donating (it processes through my account since Angie really isn't in shape to set up her own at this time), please pass along to everyone that knows her, every little bit helps.

or mail to:

Angie Plager Recovery Fund
32541 585th Ave
Cambridge, IA 50046-8568