Our family’s primary care physician, Dr. Rodriguez, came over to our home yesterday to give Ryan a general examination. Physically, Ryan is doing very well, so he believes. He was quite impressed too, telling me “this is the best Ryan has looked” when he was wrapping up. It made me feel good to hear this.
Keeping Ryan in pristine condition is always paramount to me. Everyday I check every square-inch of his body for changes, be good or bad. I look at the health of his hair and nails. I look in his ears, eyes (what I can get to), and mouth. I check his bottom and groin for rashes. I inspect between his toes and fingers for skin breakdown. If something look different or suspicious I immediately have it documented (size, shape, appearance) in the nursing records.
Some might be a bit grossed out by this, but I bet most people don’t think about it either. Hey, I once was the same. Urine tells a lot about a person’s health. With each output I inspect it by sight and smell. That’s right, I smell his urine and don’t even think twice about it. The odor alerts me to many things; most importantly infection, blood, and dehydration. Just ask any nurse (worth their weight) and they will tell you this is a sure-fire way. This also works for the mucus from his nose, mouth, and throat. Ear wax is not excluded from this approach.
If that made you a bit queasy then I suggest you skip the next paragraph.
Bowel movements. Like everyone else, Ryan has them… twice a day. One when I get him up for the day and one before I put him to bed. It took time, but I was able to get him into this pattern. I found techniques to get him started, which I’d rather not share. This routine is important because an increase or decrease in frequency might indicate an issue. Again, it’s all about sight (consistency, volume, and color) and smell. For people not on solid foods (puree or formula), their bowel movements look markedly different… like chocolate pudding or mud pies that we made as youngsters.
Here’s my point, it’s messy work. It, quite literally, stinks.
A common misconception I constantly try to right is that people in Ryan’s condition just lounge in bed. I suppose some might, but they still must perform bodily functions. They also need their nails clipped… hair combed and cut… teeth brushed… face shaved… and every other thing we do.
This is why I was so proud when Dr. Rodriguez was amazed by Ryan’s appearance. It lets me know doing right by my son.
nancy compton says
What an amazing family you are. God bless you all. Your family is in my prayers. I signed the petition and just think 2015 isnt long enough. Very sad. God bless.
I have only recently come across ryans story i found it through facebook by his sister. i am deeply sadend by ryans story its scary to think that people can be so evil nobody deserves this and i hope that the kids who did this feel terrible and have to live with their decision for the rest of their lives. i hope that when austin gets out his thought will be his new prison. I’m so sorry for your family and i will be praying for ryan. you are lucky to have such a wonderful daughter who loves her brother so much and ryan is lucky to have you as parents. i hope ryans story can be a lesson for everyone that your life is precious.
Sara Ann Billett says
I dont know much of this story except from facebook! I am so sadden by what happened to him 🙁 He didnt deserve this, and honestly I think the young men that did this to him should have gotten more time in prison. Make them learn what they did have sadden everyone around the world and he didnt deserve this. I just wanted to say that your family are in my prayers.
yayyyyyy! makes me very happy. Go Ryan!
Hi! I am writing from Hong Kong. I learned about Ryan from the petition in Change.org, (which I gladly signed) and I have been following since. I have the deepest admiration and respect for your family, and I wish to express my support. The dedication of your family to Ryan and one another is touching to many people near and far, and we are standing with you hoping for every day to be better and better for Ryan, and for you all. My heart goes out to you all.
Carla Liberty says
This family epitomizes strength. They exude goodness. And they never, ever quit. That’s love. God Bless You, Diviney family. †
Hi there, I don’t know you or your family but I have been keeping your son in my prayers! You are an amazing family! Its nice that other people than myself always believe in that positivity will give you a good outlook. I’m not healthy myself have some serious health issues but I’m always a very positive person, and seeing how wonderful your family is and how positive they are is truly wonderful, god bless you all <3
I have been following Ryan’s progress through your various blogs, tweets, facebook, etc., and it is always so heartwarming and uplifting to hear about the progress he is making. I don’t know him personally, or your family, but my best friend is close with him and your family, which makes me feel like I know you all. I know you are wonderful people and are doing more than well by your son each and every day.You’re an inspiration to so many people. My continued thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Keep fighting, Ryan!
Ryan is truly blessed with the very best caregivers <3
Hi Ken, what you have described is the essence of what love truly is — sacrificial, unconditional, and unending. Your blog is a ray of light in what can be a very dark world. Thank you for sharing your lives with us…it renews my hope and increases my fatih in what is good.
Sending you love, gratitude, hugs, and prayers ongoing
Gloriann Burick says
I, too, have worked as a nurse in nursing homes,and know that you are giving the quality of care that every nurse(or care-giver) should give. Keep up the good care and someday we will all see the results we are praying for.
What an amazing amount of tender loving care you give to your son. I have been a nurse for almost 18 years … And the care you give to your son is extraordinary. I wish a local school of nursing would invite you as a speaker . What a great example you would be for a group of nurses. Nursing is so quick and rushed these days … That nurses have lost compassion. And without compassion … Begins the downward spiral of care. All of you are so fortunate to have such a well rounded family. An unbroken chain … Ryan is very relevant to me … I want justice for him and all of you. Keeping Ryan relevant all the way from Alabama ! Sara
Ryan's Rally LLC says
I would love to speak with future nurses! The first thing I would say is THANK YOU!
So true! Such a misconception that people that are not fully conscious do not need the same care that conscious people do. I once had a nursing assistant tell me that she was going to nominate me for an award for “going above and beyond”. What she saw me doing was oral care on the patients on a ventilator unit. I also washed their face and brushed their hair. I was working in a long term care facility. When she said this it brought tears to my eyes, I told her please not to, and I told her I was not going above and beyond, but doing what was considered basic care for any patient. She had not seen other nurses take care of patients on the ventilator unit this way. How sad this was for me to hear. I am teaching clinical nursing now at a long term facility and rehab facility. You can bet that I am a stickler about nails, ADL and skin care for any patient!
And Ken, you are so right about the smell test! I tell the students when they change dressings to make sure they discretely notice any odor from the dressings. Most bacteria have a distinct odor.
You should have the community college nursing students do a one day clinical rotation in your office so they can see what good care looks like on a patient with TBI, and the potential they have beyond a nursing home bed life. Our students do a one day rotation in the schools and shadow a school nurse. You might pick up a good nurse that way for home care, or have a nursing student do “intern” work for you during the summer, I have seen on craigslist the local hospitals looking for nursing student interns for summer work. That might be an option for help for you at the office, check with the local nursing schools.
A quick question…..It’s cold! When is spring coming?
Ryan's Rally LLC says
You know what, I should check into speaking to nursing schools. Nurses have done so much for Ryan that it would be nice to return a small portion of the favor.
Gail Doyle says
Wonderful news .Ken .. It shows the great care in all Ryans’ pictures.Full healing is on the way
Tracy Clokey says
I read the entire thing! You have a God given gift to help Ryan. We can still pray for a full recovery! I think it is neat my sister in Asbunn goes to the same church. When I saw his post from his sister, I shared it on my FB and signed it! My sister sent me a message, that she was surprised to see it on my wall and that you all go to the same church <3 Praying for a great day for your family!
tracy ruddle says
i think you doing this is wonderful, most people in this condition is put into a hospital or home and forgot about and do not get this wonderful care you give to your son. you are a saint i have been there some with the care of my to parents my mother with a bad car accident and confined to a bed for around eight months and my father after a stroke only the last month of his life was he needing this kind of care but just that little bit of time was very hard. how you do it i don’t know but my heart goes out to you and your family what happened to your son is unforgivable to take such a young life and the guys that are responsible the one that has all ready returned to society and the one up for parole should rot in prison in my opinion.hang in there and look to the lord for support
Jennifer Horton Caito via Facebook says
This is an awesome update! Your efforts are not in vain! Ryan has the best possible care, leading to the best possible check-up! Something to be proud of for sure! Great job, my best to you all! <3
You are an amazing Mother and Ryan is very lucky to have you. I follow his story through every post on Facebook. I live in West Virginia and I have WVU alumni family members, I have spent many weekends at games and enjoying the local festivities and night life. It saddens me what your family is going through and to think this happened at one of our games. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Ryan’s sister is amazing, the pictures of her snuggling with Ryan is just heart warming. You have 2 beautiful children, inside and out. I pray for justice for your family and for daily strength.
Jeannette Hennett says
Ashlee, Your thoughts and prayers are so heartfelt. I too follow the posts as an outsider that cares and an ally of Team Diviney!! Ryan does have and amazing Mother, Father and Sister. While Sue is juggling things for her family outside their home with a demanding corporate profession, Ryan’s Father Ken is on the home front with Ryan juggling the demanding needs of his care. They both are 24/7 together in doing all that it takes for their son and daughter. Kari is an inspiring sister and daughter!
99.3% of the time (Just a statistic off the top of my head Ken:0), Ken is the author of these posts that give us such a personal glimpse into their family & Ryan’s life and relevancy. Sue shares on occasion on the blogs with tender love. This site alone is a career in and of itself. I marvel at them both. I want to thank Sue and Ken for one of the finest examples of love that I’ve ever witnessed. I’m sure in a nanosecond they would trade to be mediocre or average at best. Our calling is evident in showing support, wishes and prayers to keep hope alive for the Diviney’s! If it’s your belief, I want to wish everyone a happy Easter.
Patti Carroll Bottcher via Facebook says
Congratulations on a job well done and I too am glad someone is seeing it besides us! Your village is proud!