I took a series of pictures that shows the difference between my normal side (my left) and AN side (my right). Tessa likes the look of the AN side better. (But I think she has lowered her standards for me.)[...]
This is Kelly giving today's update. Today I can string more than a couple of words together at a time. It was amazing. In my last journal that I wrote, it took forever to type a word. I literally had to keep typing, deleting, correcting. I couldn't get the words on to the screen. So already, I can see a great improvement since that time. Today I'm just relaxing and watching some television. Yesterday was an exhausting day for me. Just to get my body to function even somewhat close to where I was before surgery is just a tiring experience. Not to be too detailed, every visit to the bathroom leaves me ready to take a nap afterwards. There are repercussions to every step. I clearly feel better at times, and then a simple action causes a wave of discomfort. And in that statement, I need to celebrate that I'm only talking discomfort and not severe pain. Yes, I still hurt. My head aches in about three different ways depending on the circumstances. But I'm able to deal with most of this pain in a way that doesn't consume me. I know that I still have a way to go. [...]
Wow. What a day!!! Today has been amazing for strides in recovery. Biggest news: Kelly took himself off of pain meds!!!!!! They prescribe only a few days worth, and no more than 5-6 days if you ration them out. But this morning Kelly decided to just try Advil. All day no meds and maintaining pain to the same level as with the meds. Incredible. Other milestones today: Kelly shaved, shampooed his hair (now that big bandage is gone,) and he stopped using the walker. He has a beloved Boy Scout walking stick that he is using. All these changes today!! Also, he is eating well as opposed to very little food eaten at hospital due to nausea. No nausea today either. This has been a great day. 😃[...]
It is Kelly speaking once again. It has been so helpful for Tessa to keep my journal going while I’ve been out of commission. It has been important to me to chronicle this ordeal. There are not many people in the world who have had to deal with three separate procedures for the same Neuroma. (At least from my reading.) I hope to remember enough to tell someone the difference. But I won’t do that today. Today I just wanted to show my latest scar photo now that the bandage is off. It is a doozy. It might be twice the size of my previous scar. But it looks clean as a whistle. First, that mini pillow had to go. It was just to maintain pressure on the wound to discourage it from leaking. The gauze nonstick pad came right off, and the wound looks healthy and impressive. But my hair is already growing out and soon it will likely not be visible at all. Progress. [...]
Serveral nurses in the hospital teased Kelly that if he could get ahold of another bandage for his left side, he could be Princess Leah of Star Wars. Chris, Kelly’s brother, mentioned this too. 🤣 Well, sorry guys. Kelly will just be Kelly, and we are thrilled to take that bandage off. The journey continues... Sharp facial pain. Bandage off. All progress. ❤️[...]
Last night, Kelly began having sharp facial pains. This was quite different from the overall achy head pain (whether Level 2 or 9) that he has experienced since surgery. This was sharp, and a surprise for me. But why??? Kelly, in his understated way, quietly explained that this was the next phase of pain. Really? How did I miss this memo? Yesterday was sailing along (if anything about brain surgery is sailing.) We were in pain managing, no nausea, eating, showering and walking slowly around the house protocol. And... remember I woke up at 5:30am to find Kelly typing on the computer. So this sharp facial pain wasn’t on my radar. Silly isn’t it? When good things happen or are happening in life, I want to attach to it and cruise. But I have to remember that in life: the struggle, hardships and perseverance is what brings healing, whether to our physical body or our soul. So, I am resetting and submitting to the process. Hopefully this phase of sharp pain moves quickly, but we are being steady as we go through it. Kelly does this seemingly naturally. Me? Not so much. ❤️[...]
I will never be able to equal Kelly getting up at 4:30am this morning to type his own entry (My days of guest administrator of this journal are numbered!😄) But I wanted to give a little info on our last day at the hospital. Our discharge was very busy, partly because we had a floater day nurse (substitute) from ICU that had never done a discharge before. I had to do the legwork of the discharge without her help. She deserves her own reality TV show of incompetence, but I digress. Actually, she was a catalyst of heading out the door as early as possible. All things can have a silver lining. She was unknowingly highly motivating for me to be on a mission!!!! Kelly was pretty copesetic. At 10 am, Dr Field came in and thought he was ready to leave. Dr Field is absolutely wonderful. He is the real deal. He has a way of doing things simply with excellence. Nothing is simple about brain surgery, but he maximizes ridding the process of unnecessaries. We decided we would head out after lunch and midday pain meds. So between 10am-1:45pm, Kelly got all needles and stickers off him, got dressed in street clothes, talked to all nurses and doctors connected to his case, did a vigorous Physical Therapy session, ate lunch and sat in hospital recliner waiting for transportation. That was a busy morning for him. I was working on MRI records, prescriptions, discharge papers, packing up all our stuff, and most importantly procuring his walker needed for home (this was used constantly in hospital, but not a given for home??- another story 😐) At 1:45pm a nice guy from transport wheeled Kelly out of this extraordinary experience. Kelly’s fighting strength and determination to meet EVERY challenge was inspiring. He NEVER complained. Not once. He always said please and Thank you (Gil and Joyce you raised him right.) Kelly was patient, even in Level 9 pain (he never would say it was the top of the scale at a 10.) He was focused on each new milestone, and pushed his way through every hurdle. In 2007, Kelly’s first surgery, I was teaching, Kenna was in 7th grade, and Joyce flew in to help. So I didn’t observe Kelly this intricately. To sum it up...His patience and perseverance surmounted every difficulty. The adventure continues...[...]
Welcome to day 4 following my surgery, of which you know the best news, I was released from the hospital yesterday. This is the first typing that I have done post-operation, and I see myself making several typing errors to take up my time. So this one might be shorter than I like. First of all, thanks to everyone's concern leading up to and during my operation and the sweet words that you sent to Tessa and me. We have a great family and friends. I will never take that for granted. I love you all.[...]
We are home. Update tomorrow. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and kind words. Every comment is so encouraging when going through something like this. The intensity can be... intense. ❤️ Reading the comments connects us to you all Thanks again. [...]
We weren’t sure this would happen today, but he walked!! Kelly is a fighter. Last night it was nausea. Today was movement. There are all these milestones to get to, so basically the hospital can send him home. In a way, of course, that’s exactly where we want to be, but on the flip side it seems daunting. But looking at recovery, every minute he is healing. Sometimes the advances can seem small, even invisible. But healing is still happening. So, Kelly was dozing, fighting nausea that has been a constant nemesis and pain, but he woke up to head towards the loo. 😜 Nothing much happened there, but he decided to slip on his slippers and robe, and take a stroll. We walked the hall. 10 minutes before he was sleeping in bed. The upturn and the downturns will happen. But through it all healing is happening. [...]
Welcome to the Kelly McKee support family! This site is for family and friends, old and new, to organize our efforts to support this extraordinary person. This page will serve as your home base for rallying the troops, receiving updates to support Kelly McKee. Here's the plan:
Your First Step: Please take 30 seconds to click on the "Follow" button on the top right of this page. This will allow you to receive updates, read journal entries, make donations, share Kelly McKee’s story on social media, and help the family with week-to-week calendaring needs. Though not mandatory to follow Kelly McKee’s page, we encourage you to easily create an account with your name and email in order to be able to post photos, leave comments and sign up as a helping hand on the Calendar page. Feel free to upload a photo of yourself to your profile so we can get to know and recognize others on Kelly McKee’s support team. After clicking “Follow” above, read on to learn more about what you can do to help.
Journal: This tab is where you can read the latest entries posted for Kelly McKee and our support team. You may see additional authors writing updates here to help alleviate pressure for Kelly McKee and expedite information sharing. Each post is followed by a photo and name of the author of the entry. You can reply with supportive comments to any journal entry, or click on the name of its author to send a private message.
Posts: This is where you can leave an encouraging message for Kelly McKee and family, and to read thoughts left by others! If you have something pressing you'd like suggest that everyone sees (e.g. a fundraiser or upcoming event you're spearheading), please don't hesitate to contact us via private message so we can consider sharing it more widely in the Journal sections. There will undoubtedly be many coordinated efforts and events ahead, and we want to make certain they’re organized and publicized through this site to help drive the greatest possible impact.
Calendar: Please see this important section to learn what the family needs NOW. This will be an especially helpful section for locals in close proximity to Kelly McKee. This is an up-to-date calendar which will list the family's immediate needs such as child-care, rides, and meals to help most in the short term. If you see a need posted and can fill it, please sign up through the calendar page directly (i.e. not through private communication) to let us and others know that you've committed to that need. Please check back often to help out with the most recently posted needs!
Notifications: After clicking “Follow” above, you’ll then see a tab to manage “Notifications”. If you feel you’re receiving too many or too few email notifications, please check this section to tailor notifications to your areas of interest. For example, if you want to receive journal updates but not new calendar posts, or any combination of notifications from this site, you can do set them to your preference this section.
Don’t Forget! If you haven’t done so already, please click “Follow” on the top right. It’s your very next step to showing your support!