I set this post up so everyone can stay up to date with the condition of my Mom. I'll be posting updates daily. Thank you everyone for all of your support, prayers, food and everything else you've done!
There are comments at the bottom so be sure to leave a note for Carol. As soon as she's able to read them I'll show her!
So as you probably know my Mom and Dad were in a car accident Saturday around 12:30 AM. They were on North Street in North Reading when they hit another car. Carol (my Mom) was brought to Lahey in Burlington. All of her ribs on her left side are broken and she has a bruised heart, so they had to put her in a medically induced coma. Jim (my Dad) was released that night with some cuts and bruises on his arms and some pain in his chest from the seat belt.
UPDATE [June 26]: Hanging out with Mom at the hospital. Still sedated but she had a good night last night, vitals are strong... still a ways to go. Keep those prayers coming!
UPDATE [June 27]: I visited Mom today. The nurse said she is doing really well. They took her off whatever that medicine is that put her in a coma and they're starting to wean her off the morphine. They also said that either today or tomorrow they're going to take the breathing tube out and let her breathe on her own. They also lowered the PEEP which is apparently something that opens the air sacs in her lungs since they said she is doing this on her own now. This is awesome news! They hope to have her out of the ICU by the end of the week!
UPDATE [June 28]: Just talked to Dad... Mom is still doing well. They took her off the morphine today so that's a big step in the right direction!
UPDATE [June 30]: Good news today... they took one of the tubes out of her chest that is pumping blood out because there's no more blood to pump. They also took her cathedor out and did another type of scan for her heart and everything in there looks good. They're thinking she might open her eyes either tonight or tomorrow. Good day!!
UPDATE [July 5]: Sorry for the lack of updates, been a rough couple of days. Mom was taking longer than expected to wake up so they started to take her off of all sedation and pain medication. They did a CAT scan yesterday and found out she had a pretty big stroke, but they're not sure yet how it's going to affect her. While the doctor was explaining this to all of us in the room Mom did open her eyes and appeared alert. The doctors said she wont respond to them but she was definitely responding to Dad and squeezing his hand when he asked her to. When he walked away her eyes followed him around the room. Stay positive and please keep those prayers coming! The ones for her to open her eyes worked, so let's work on a full recovery from the stroke next!
UPDATE [July 8]: Hi Everyone - This is Jim, Carols loving husband. Sorry for the lack of updates as I know you depend on them for keeping current. I would first of all like to say thank you for your outpouring of love and caring for Carol. Carol has made progress this week after receiving news on July 4th that she had a stroke. Carol is aware when the boys and I are in her room. She will squeeze our hand and look at us the best she can. She knows we are there and she knows that we love her. Carols breathing is getting stronger, which is good. On Thursday after an MRI on Wednesday night Carol was cleared of any spine injury which allowed them to take off her neck brace. I am sure this feels much better for Carol. Carol has not had pain medicine for long periods of time which indicates that she is dealing with her pain. It's nice to see less tubes and bags hanging by Carols bed. The plan right now is to see if Carol can get off the respirator without doing a tracheotomy since she is truly breathing on her own with very little assistance from the respirator. Maybe by early next week we will have a better idea. We know that Carol will have to do therapy to deal with the stroke. Carol is strong, young and prior to the accident in good health. These are all positive things in Carols favor. I know as a family we will get her through this tough period in her life. When I took my wedding vows I promised to love Carol in sickness and in health. She is my bride with beautiful green eyes. I am determined to get Carol and my family through this difficult time. With your love and prayers I know this will be accomplished. I would like to thank everyone for the kind comments on James' wonderful, helpful website. They inspire me and when I feel down they lift me up. Thank you for your phone calls and thank you for the delicious meals that you have sent. I will be in touch. Thinking of you all. Love, Jim - P.S. - Thank goodness I have James updating the site today because I'm not a real technical guy. I have three beautiful sons that are helping in so many ways.
UPDATE [July 16]: Hi everyone, this is Jim. Sorry we haven't updated the site since last Saturday, we have been quite busy. On Monday Carol had a CAT scan that showed no additional swelling and she had an ECO gram (a camera that goes down her throat to take pictures of her heart) and the valves showed no sign of vegetation, which is good. Carol has been alert to her surroundings and responds to some commands, most of the time. It's reassuring when you walk into the room and you see less equipment supporting Carol. On Wednesday I had some cards I brought in for Carol and she picked them up with her left hand and opened them and appeared to be reading them. Two cards in particular from Kathy Worthington and Nancy Scott brought tears to Carols eyes, which leads me to believe there is a connection that created this emotion. Of course when she was done reading the cards she turned them over to check the price. On Thursday Carol had her respirator tube extubated which was a major step since she has been on it since June 25th. She is doing well with the oxygen mask she is using and she is coughing which the nurses encourage her to do as this helps the lungs to recover. Carol has started working with physical therapists in the room working on her right leg and right arm. On Friday the physical therapist had her sitting at the edge of her bed. As you all know Friday nights are date night for young lovers. Carol and I spent time together Friday night reading cards and I read to her from the book Joanna Schaffer gave her. Later in the evening I took the time to brush Carol's hair and she seemed to really enjoy it. It was one date I will never forget. Today (Saturday) I spoke with her doctor and for the first time he mentioned rehabilitation, which could happen possibly by the end of next week (I hope). On Monday or Tuesday Carol will have a gastric tube passed to the stomach to give food and medications. She is making progress and she is strong. We hope this week the oxygen mask can be removed and her lungs will be empty of fluids. The boys and I would like to thank you for your prayers and support and all the great food, which we have really enjoyed. The boys are doing well and supporting one another, which is what Carol would want during this difficult time. It's amazing what families can do in a time of crisis. I thank God for watching over my wife Carol who I love so dearly. I know that he will watch over her and heal her and I will remain positive throughout this ordeal. Continue your prayers, because it is that spiritual connection that will help Carol get better. Thank you again. Love, Jim.
UPDATE [July 17]: Quick update (this is James) - When Dad and I went in yesterday we saw that they took the oxygen mask off of Mom. She just had the small one in her nose to assist with breathing a little bit. Dad went in to kiss her and she puckered up and kissed him right back! I never thought I'd be so happy to see my parents kissing! She even gave me a kiss on the cheek when I was leaving. Great day!
UPDATE [July 21]: Hey everyone, this is James. Today was a big day! They moved Mom out of the ICU to Spaulding Rehabilitation in Boston. It's great to have her out of the hospital and onto the road to recovery. When I went in to give her a kiss goodbye she put her left arm around me and gave me a hug! They do some pretty amazing things at rehab and I'm confident she's going to make a full recovery. I can't wait to be able to talk to her again! I'll post info on sending cards and visitation hours soon. Thank you everyone for everything! We're got a ways to go but we'll get there. Keep those prayers coming!
UPDATE [July 22]: Mom is still doing well! Still waiting on info regarding cards and visitation hours, I'll be posting them soon. Random note: People have been saying that there wont be a Class of 75 reunion for RMHS but there will be a fundraiser instead. This is not true. Carol was on the planning committee and I know she'd still want there to be a reunion. A joint reunion for the Class of 75 and 76 will be held at the Burlington Marriot on Saturday, November 26, 2011.
UPDATE [July 31]: Hello everyone, this is Jim giving you the most recent update on Carol. As you know Carol went to Spaulding Rehab on July 20. She was there until Sunday the 24th when it was determined that she needed to go back to Lahey to address an issue with fluid around her right lung that is called a pulmonary infusion which was causing a low grade fever that Spaulding didn't have the necessary equipment (ie: cat scan and x-ray) to diagnose this problem. On Tuesday the 25th Carol had a procedure to drain the fluid from around her right lung. After the procedure the effects were positive and her breathing wasn't as labored. The following day she was taken off of oxygen and removed from all antibiotics. Tuesday afternoon while visiting Carol in the hospital I asked her if she wanted me to read one of the books I brought in. Very faintly I heard the word "no". Having heard this I wanted to have Carol say no again, so I asked her again if she wanted me to read the book. This time around I heard a resounding "no" at which time she grabbed the book from my right hand and threw it to the bed. Apparently this book was not a steamy romantic novel that Carol would prefer. I was so happy to hear her say her first word, then I went out and told half the nursing unit. When I went back and she saw that I was crying she put her arm around me and kissed me and hugged me. This was a great day for both Carol and I and our family. Of course the first word a woman would utter would have to be no. The following day her nurse Susan (who was like a sister to Carol) asked her if she wanted her to pluck a few hairs on her chin. Carol responded to Sue by saying "yes pluck" . Sue also told me that when Carol was sitting in a chair looking out the window Sue asked what Carol was doing and Carol responded "Boston". Apparently Carol was looking at the skyline of Boston. Carol was at Lahey until Friday when she was transferred back to Spaulding, where she is in room 603 with a lovely view of Boston. All the nurses commented how good Carol looked and how responsive she was, which was different from the last time she was in there. Saturday I asked the nurse if I could take Carol out in the wheel chair to go out by the Charles River and look at all the activity. It was a beautiful day, with a nice breeze and Carol enjoyed it so much. It's the first time that she had been out since the accident. Prior to going out one of the nurses said to me that Carol had moved her leg. I said to the nurse that Carol could always move her left leg and left and, and she informed me that she was talking about her right leg. I couldn't help but cry. This was one day being at Spaulding with minimal therapy and Carol had moved her right leg. God had answered my prayers. It was a great day and I hated to say goodbye. My niece Erika brought all of the supplies in that I needed to do Carols nails. She is such a good niece, I am so lucky to have such a caring and loving extended family. Along with the boys, it is the one thing that is helping me get through this tough time. Today (Sunday) I took Carol out again and she looked beautiful in her pink blouse, black shorts and her running sneakers. I felt like she could of gotten up and walked from the look on her face, but this will come in time. Carol will start rehab full-tilt this coming week. I'm sure that Carol will work hard because she is a very determined and strong woman. With your continued prayers and a positive outlook my hopes are that Carol will be able to do things that she used to. Again I would like to thank everyone for their cards, phone calls, emails and especially the great food that you have been sending our way. I can't tell you how much it makes things a little easier right now. The boys and I thank you and hope to see you all soon. Love, Jim. - P.S. - In need of steamy, romantic novel. The only thing I have is my subscription to National Geographic.
UPDATE [August 21st]: Hello everyone, this is Jim, the long lost updater. I'm sorry that it has been such a long time between updates. It seems that there has been so much going on between Carol and with preparing the boys to go to college Another thing that has come up was my friend and business partner, Kurt, had a brain tumor removed on the 12th of August. He is at home with his lovely family recuperating and getting strong. Since the 31st of July, the last update, Carol has done exceptionally well with her physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. The nurses all comment on how hard she is working and the results are showing. She is in good spirits and is all ears when you talk to her about what's going on in life and at home. I've been telling her that her hard work is paying off judging from the comments the therapists are saying. Recently Carol had a brace formed for her right lower leg, to assist her in walking, which she does everyday with her physical therapist. On Friday Carol walked down the hall holding the handrail with her left hand and with a physical therapist on her right side going 75 feet. Her balance was great and her right leg mechanics were working and were keeping up with the walking therapy. Carol also has walked with a cane in her left hand going the same distances with the same successful outcomes. I feel that with all the work that Carol did at the gym prior to the accident it is helping her get through her therapy. Carols speech therapist is teaching Carol to talk and identify objects. Carol tries to express herself, but because of the stroke it affects her speech, so at times Carol tries to tell you something and it becomes a word association game. The speech therapist on Friday had Carol eating applesauce and drinking some cranberry juice to work on her swallowing. This is a good step forward for Carol, whereas when she can swallow without risk of going down to her lungs she can have her tube that feeds her through her stomach removed. The other therapist that Carol works with is an occupational therapist, which works with Carol on dressing, cleaning and taking care of herself, which Carol is making small but successful strides with. This therapist also works with Carol and her right arm which she has moved slightly. Lauren, her therapist, was telling me on 8/18 that Carol was doing shoulder shrugs with both arms. She said that this is the first step to getting Carols right arm to move again. The one thing that I've come to realize in rehabilitation from a stoke is that everything is done in baby steps and that the results take time. I am very encouraged with Carols progress over the last three weeks and the nurses and therapist feel the same way. Carol and I have taken many a walk along the Charles watching the duck boats and all the other activity that goes on along the walkway. I cherish every moment that I have with Carol, and I can't help feel that Carol knows what she is going through, but she does it with a smile and bring beautiful eyes. The nights that I am in there with Carol we read cards and talk about what's going on at home with the boys and Noah. The one thing I enjoy is watching Wheel of Fortune with Carol, being this is her favorite show. I know she's solving the puzzles, she just can't tell me what the phrase is yet. On Sunday, the 21st, the three boys came in to visit Carol and we bumped into them when they were pulling into the parking lot. The look on Carols face said it all, so did the tears. Only a mother with such a loving heart would feel this way upon seeing her three loving sons. I don't think there was a dry eye among us. I was so happy for Carol knowing that the ones she loves so much were with her on this beautiful day. We stopped along the Charles and took the picture above, and I must say I've never cherished a picture so much. It is one of the first family pictures that we've had since the accident, and I couldn't be prouder. We went back inside and James gave Carol his iPad to look at this website, which was the first time for Carol. She viewed the website for a good half hour scrolling down and reading the updates, food schedules and comments. You could tell that she was so proud of what her son James had accomplished, and it was pretty amazing how Carol scrolled through the website like an old natural. On another subject, Carols case worker and I are discussing the next step for Carol, which would be a skilled nursing facility somewhere close to home. The two facilities that have good ratings and are close to home are the Meadowview Rehabilitation and Care Unit in North Reading and Wingate Rehabilitation Center located on Main Street in Reading. Tentatively the case worker has set a date of August 26th, which is right around the corner. All of Carols followup at Lahey clinic have come back with all good results. So to summarize Carol is doing well at rehab and healing from her injuries. She is a strong woman that is working so hard to get better. In time Carol will be home and I know that she will love that moment, when she can look around and see familiar surroundings and a loving home. I can't wait to have her back! I would like to say thank you to everyone for your cards, flowers, phone calls, emails, text messages and the great meals that you have provided to me and the boys. All this has given me great strength and helped me get through this, and I can't tell you what it means to me. I know that the road ahead will be long and challenging, but I know that Carol and I and the boys will get through this. Thank you, and I send you much love. Jim.
P.S. I've had several family members (Mom & Dad and sister Katie and her husband Paul) come up from Florida to offer their help and support, and I just wanted to thank them for everything. I have a fantastic family that are showing just how much they care, and I can't thank them enough.
UPDATE [August 28th]: Hey everyone, this is James. Mom is back in North Reading! On Friday the 26th they moved her to Meadowview on North Street in North Reading. She's in room 129 and visitors are welcome any time! She's got a great room and the people there were very impressed with her abilities when she arrived. Doctors are very optimistic and all of her hard work is really paying off. She's going to continue to work hard at Meadowview and continue to make amazing strides towards getting better. Again, thank you everyone so much for the cards, flowers, food and prayers!
P.S. Today Mom said "James" and "I love you" - it was awesome to hear!
UPDATE [September 5th]: Hi everyone, this is James. Just wanted to share a quick picture with you. We brought our dog Noah in today to see Mom and they were both very happy to see each other! She held the leash, told him to sit, said "Shh!" when he was barking and even said "Noahhh". It was awesome! She's doing very well and seems to be mastering a new word every time I talk to her. She's not got "hi" and "bye" down and has perfected "I love you". Thank you to everyone who has come to see her. She's getting so many visitors it seems like someone is there 24/7 and she absolutely loves it. And as always thank you so much for the prayers, food, rides for Dad and cards. I was at my parents house yesterday and was shocked to see the pile of cards on the table. There's two piles and I've never seen so many cards stacked so high in my life. We're almost there! I'm confident we'll have Mom home soon. Keep those prayers coming and be sure to stop in and visit if you can. There's no set visitation hours so whenever you want just pop into Meadowview and say hi.
UPDATE [September 15th]: Hey everyone, James here with a quick update. Mom is doing great at Meadowview! Her walking is getting better everyday and she seems to be learning new words every time I see her. She had a big swallowing test yesterday and according to her doctor she "passed with flying colors"! This means she is eating pureed eggs and bacon now, which I'm sure she's very happy about since she hasn't had any real food since the accident. Lastly, friends of my parents have setup a fundraiser for them on October 8 at Kitty's in North Reading. If you want to learn more or RSVP click here. Thank you so much for setting this up!
UPDATE [October 31]:Hello everyone, sorry it has been so long since our last update, but many things have been going on, and all of them have been positive and very encouraging. Carol's stay at Meadowview Rehab was very rewarding and beneficial to Carol's recovery. This facility and it's staff will always be at the top of my list for their outstanding work for my lovely wife. They have started Carol on her way to recovering from her stroke. Carol left Meadowview on Saturday, October 22nd after a beautiful and heartfelt going away party that the staff arranged. Some of the therapists came in on their day off to be there. What a class act! I can't tell you what it means to have Carol home. It has been a difficult time not having her here, and I can't tell you how many times I looked around at what a beautiful home she has made for our family. You can tell that Carol is connecting to the house and it's surroundings. It is a comfort level that I knew she would feel once she got home. As she pokes around the kitchen, rearranging things on the counter, and telling me to take the chicken pot pie that Allison made out of the oven before it was overdone. As she sorts through the mail and makes a pile for junk mail and the important stuff. Carol has started working with the therapist at home during the week. It is very organized and the people that are working with Carol are very encouraged with her progress. Carol has a home health aid come in in the morning from 8-11 to get her ready for the day and to do some exercises and just to socialize. My neighbor Kathy Summers comes over at 11:30 and gets Carol her lunch and to sit down and have tea and watch some TV. What a beautiful neighbor! I think God broke the mold after Kathy came into this world. My philosophy of taking it one day at a time is working well. It helps me to stay focused on what is so important to me; Carol. To watch how hard she works gives me so much strength and I know that in turn this rubs off on Carol. My boys have been with me during this whole process and they have been extraordinary. Their support and love has been so helpful to me and I can't thank them enough and I love them so much. My extended family has also been there to help with anything I might need from giving me rides to just giving me pep talks and I love them so much and I thank them. The one last thing I would like to say is thank you for a lovely fundraiser that was held at Kitty's on October 8th. I would like to thank Kathy, Denise, Lucky, Julie, and everyone else that made this a lovely evening. I know when Carol walked in her spirits were as high as they've been in a while. To see all these people who care so much for Carol and my family really humbled me and to this day it still brings a tear to my eye. I would like to say how beautiful Carol looked that night. She was stunning! And standing next to her the whole night were her three boys, her attendants for the night. It was very touching. I would have to say that it was by far the most organized and fun event and I hadn't laughed or smiled like that for a couple of months. Lucky, you are the best auctioneer I have ever seen. You made that part of the night so much fun. Kathy, Denise and Julie you guys never stopped moving the whole night. You worked so hard for the benefit of my wife and I will never forget what you did. You are amazing women and you will always be true friends to Carol and I. To all our family and friends: thank you for being there! They say you can count your friends on one hand and I have to say there is an exception to that rule, and it happened on October 8th. In closing I would like to say thank you from Carol and I and the boys and Noah, our dog. You have all been so supportive by calling me, sending meals, dropping by the house and sending cards to Carol. The meals were delicious and helpful. I know in time that Carol will be better and I will be there with her to give her my love and support. She is a very strong woman and her desire to get better will carry her through. I am so lucky to have her and to be able to call her my wife. Thanks again, and happy Halloween. Now I've got to go out and finish shoveling my driveway. Love, Jim.
Many of you have brought food by... lots and lots of great food. Thank you so much! We all know four guys aren't going to do much cooking wise so it's great to not have to worry about it. We wouldn't want to burn the house down trying.
To help coordinate deliveries and meals some have asked that I put a calendar on here. If you could please email me at email@example.com and let me know what you'll be bringing and when I'll add it to the schedule below. Thanks again everyone! We really appreciate it!
When you drop the food off if there isn't someone home just put it in the cooler on the front porch.
** Days marked with ---------------- are not open. We are trying to do one dish every other day so we don't have too many leftovers and nothing goes to waste.
|9/9 (Fri)||TBA||Helen Gard|
|9/12 (Mon)||Lasagna||Cherly Arthur Storti|
|9/14 (Wed)||Steak Tips & Salad||Joanna Schaffer|
|9/18 (Sun)||Food||Tracy Helms|
|9/25 (Sun)||Shepherds Pie||Rick & Julie Askenase|
As I'm sure you've noticed I haven't posted in a long time and I wanted to give you an update about what I've been up to. It's been a pretty busy summer for me and some really cool things are going on and coming up.
First, I love the iPhone 4. It was definitely worth the nine hour wait in line at my local Apple Store. With that being said, I did smash the screen last weekend. For those of you who know me I'm sure this really isn't very surprising. I've had 12 iPhones and seem to break them almost immediately after buying them. Luckily this time it's still usable (minus the occasional shards of glass in my fingers) and I'm going to try and go in and beg for a replacement. It's worked before!
Second, I am with a new company, StudentCity. Here's a little information about them:
At StudentCity, we're dedicated to helping you celebrate your college years through travel. In fact, it's all we do. We specialize in providing you with The Ultimate Spring Break Experience with all-inclusive packages, ultra-exclusive incentives, flexible payment plans and more at the lowest prices. And we're with you every step of the way. From the planning stage to the travel stage and beyond, our team of travel professionals will do everything we can to ensure you have an unforgettable Spring Break vacation experience.
It's a very cool company to work for. It's also a bit of a change for me too. Instead of doing development I am doing internet marketing. As much as I love coding it's a nice change to get back to marketing. Back when I first got involved with the web over 11 years ago I was in marketing, and it's very cool to be back. If you're a student looking to go on spring break be sure to check us out!
Third, I am working on a very cool side project that I hope to be launching soon! It's currently in the stealth stage so I can't tell you too much but development is moving very quickly so I'll have more information soon.
So that's what I've been up to these last couple of months. What have you been up to? Anything fun? Exciting? Let me know in the comments!
Hello and welcome to the official website of James Shiner! I've been meaning to get my personal site together for a while now and finally found some time to do it. My recent unemployment has opened up time for a lot of things and I'm very excited to share them with you!
First: I am no longer with Zaang. Without getting into too much detail let's just say I was shocked when I learned that I was no longer needed there. Sometimes building a company, team, office, idea, website, being the first employee, working for free for a couple months and working a minimum of 60 hours per week is not enough.
I learned a lesson though: Do not work FOR others, work WITH others! When you work for others you are not appreciated. You're expected to work work work with no appreciation or rewards when you put in 100 hour weeks or work 36 hours straight. Up until Zaang I spent my entire life just rolling the dice, hoping for the best, and working my ass off to make sure the best happened. I thought Zaang was a great idea with a great team, but I was fooled. That was my first "real job" and let me tell you, it will most certainly be my last.
This brings me to my next announcement: I am back at Zipvo as Lead Developer. This is very exciting as Zipvo is a company I founded (along with Greg Afarian) and it has great potential to revolutionize the real estate industry. Although I had stepped down as Lead Developer I was still actively involved as an adviser and I can tell you that we have some very exciting new features coming out in the near future. Stay tuned for more on that!
As for my other announcements, those are top secret right now! As they become available I will be sure to share them with you. I can tell you this much though: They're very cool and I know you will love them. In fact, if you can guess what projects I will be releasing next I will give you a prize! I don't know what the prize will be yet but it will be awesome. Leave your guesses in the comments.
That's it for now. As for this site, JamesShiner.com, I will be writing about all types of topics here. I'll cover social media, technology, programming, random things I see, hate, love, and basically anything else that comes to mind. So stay tuned!