Maggie & the entire reunited Arkansas Family
Kelly has now been home for almost a whole week! It's been great to share meals and moments within the comfort of our house, where her presence has been sorely missed over the course of the past five weeks. More Kelly in our daily lives means more Jordan too... and despite the many changes, things are starting to feel whole again. In typical DC fashion, Kelly arrived home to new friends in our lives! As our community continues to grow, it feels more vibrant and cozy. We look forward to hosting you all for meals, competitive games of dominoes, snuggle fests on Big Green and evenings around the guitars.
Debbie left on Monday, after spending a few days helping Kelly get squared away in the house. Her presence in our home for the past month and a half was steady, positive, easygoing, and in many ways a perfect fit. Like mother, like father, like daughter I suppose... the Dillons feel like family now.
Last Saturday was Kelly's first back at home. A delicious meal of hand-made pot stickers, shrimp stir-fry and kale salad was prepared with love by many, and enjoyed by all. To top it all off, in normal fashion, Jordan impressed us with his culinary skills once again: this time with a short cake soaked in juices from a fresh apple compote & insane chocolate ice cream.
It's not dinner at our house unless wigs are involved (no, Kelly did not cut her hair short and dye it black, but it sure would look cute!), and guitars are whipped out at the end of the eve. It was incredible to see Kelly in her element, playing the guitar, a part of her normal daily life that hasn't taken a toll since the accident... quite the opposite, in fact. She plans on focusing on the guitar during some of her upcoming free time between PT exercises and visits, and nurse appointments.
Oh yeah... and the maple syrup. It's really good with whiskey--try it if you don't believe me.
Maggie & the entire reunited Arkansas Family
Yep, you read that right. Kelly is scheduled to be discharged from the Rehab facility on Thursday, November 14. Her stay has been long, her milestones many. And the road ahead: it will be even longer. But with every day, Kelly is more mobile, in less pain, and is making progress.
Kelly has persevered through PT during in-patient rehab. Progress and mobility is something to smile about, and she's been doing a lot of that lately! As always, Warrior Woman Kelly is proving that a positive attitude really does make a difference in recovering from an accident like hers.
Todd Dillon was in town last week for a (far too) brief stay before heading back to St. Louis. He kept Kelly's bed warm at Arkansas Manor for a few nights, hanging with Kelly during the day and meeting with the prosecutors here in DC. Now that Kelly has wheels under her, she's been cruising around the rehab center on her own. She's an independent lady! Which, of course, meant heading out to the hospital's patio area for her first breath of fresh air and good ol' Vitamin D in a while! Fall has been showing off for us here in the district for the past couple of weeks. The days have been warm, the air crisp, colorful leaves still linger, and the nights are cold enough that you're psyched to jump into bed and curl up at the end of a long day.
So here we are, facing the next big step in Kelly's recovery. Here's where we really need your help, Kelly's Krew. Please keep up your positive support, your phone calls and letters, your instagram posts and all the good vibes felt strongly here in DC. They have made a world of difference. But Kelly is far from the finish line, so now she needs your support more than ever. The blog will continue from the Arkansas Family, as we hope to keep you posted on every degree of bending progress Kelly makes, along with the many recovery milestones yet to come. Stay tuned!! and make sure Kelly knows you're listening, and rooting for her :)
Transitioning back to our house will present many challenges: stairs, fewer nurses (though word on the street is that Kelly's out-patient therapy will entail nurses coming to HER at the house!!!), rooms & cabinets that weren't built with people on crutches in mind.... and more stairs. BUT, we are so happy that this big move for Kelly will bring her back to our daily lives, where she belongs in our Arkansas Family. As much as we enjoyed seeing the rest of you spend time with Kelly during the many visits at the hospital, we're kind of ready to steal her back and hog her... is that selfish? Maybe a bit.
Kelly has enthusiastically decided that we will be throwing a BIG party in the weeks to come, to give this Warrior Woman a proper welcome home. I have a feeling this is where the photo booth we dreamt up (but never set up in the hospital), and the New & Improved Bag/Basket of Fun comes into play. Bag of Fun may even be the theme... again, stay tuned! As you know, if you live here in DC or have ever had the pleasure of resting your head on our comfy green couch, we are psyched to welcome you into our house & home to visit Kelly.
There will be merry dinners.
There will be joyous jam sessions (Kelly plans to get even BETTER at the guitar than she is already in the coming months).
There will be Yoga Brunches,
and clothing swaps,
singing dogs, and grilled pizza parties....
...salsa dancing in the dining room (with Kelly looking on comfortably from Big Green until it's her turn to spin again).
And if I have anything to do with it... there will be whiskey.
We will gather on Arkansas Ave, in community, around our Warrior Women Kelly as she begins the next long chapter of her recovery. Kelly couldn't ask for a more supportive, positive community here in DC and afar. You've proven yourselves, so don't stop now!
Can't wait to see you all around the house, and to finally have our Warrior Woman Kelly back where she belongs: home.
With love, as always,
Maggie & Kelly's Krew at Arkansas Manor
p.s. DEBBIE DILLON is coming back to DC tomorrow, and we can't wait! (We love the Dillons).
22 long days after an accident on Arkansas Avenue NW that changed the course of Kelly Dillon's life, she reached another milestone. On Saturday, Kelly was released from the Washington MedStar Hospital! Yahoo! While we'd all grown to love to love her nurses and docs there, and had finally navigated the halls enough times to have the floor plan memorized, we're psyched our Warrior Woman is kickin' ass & takin' names. This Warrior Woman is movin' on out, to the rhythm of her ukelele!!
Here's Kelly's new address:
MedStar National Rehab Hospital
102 Irving St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010-2949
Kelly is in a semi-private room with access to the cafeteria for games and visits once she gets to the wheel chair. Weather permitting, she will have access to the outdoor garden and patio. (!!!!!)
VISITING HOURS in her new digs:
Noon to 9 pm weekdays
11 am to 9 pm weekends
Kelly can only have 2 visitors at a time until she is ready to go to the cafeteria or 1st floor. Her new room isn't as private and spacious as the last, so we'll have to keep things mellow until Kelly is ready to rip (slowly) around outside in the wheelchair! To make things easy for Kelly, we've created a simple Google Doc sign-up sheet.
CLICK HERE to SCHEDULE a visit with Miss Warrior Woman Kelly!
Best times are in the evenings, as Kelly is busy with her rehab during the day!
Warrior Mother Debbie & Pappa Bear Todd swap out
In the ICU, shift changes were called the "Changing of the Guards." Here in DC, in our Arkansas Family and at Kelly's side in the hospital, we too have experienced a Changing of the Guards today.
Over the last 24 days, Debbie Dillon has taught us all what it takes to be a true Warrior Mother. She's been by Kelly's side for the entirety of this journey thus far. Throughout, Debbie has inspired the rest of Kelly's Krew with her positive, cool, calm, realistic and steadfast nature. No doubt, these good vibes and care have rubbed off on Kelly too. Debbie has been working remotely from DC since Kelly's accident, staying at our Arkansas Family house for the majority of that time. We've welcomed her into our family and our daily lives, and are sad to see her go! Debbie flew home to St. Louis this afternoon, and will likely be back when Kelly has graduated out of in-patient rehab to out-patient.
Over on Arkansas Ave, Kelly's bed won't be cold for long! Todd Dillon is scheduled to appear on the scene this Thursday, and will be in town through the weekend. Every girl needs a good dose of her Pappa Bear from time to time, so Warrior Dad Todd is sweeping in for just that! A Changing of the Guards, and a few days of watching Kelly kick butt in rehab! As mentioned before, Todd was here in DC for about a week right after Kelly's accident, and he's been missed since!
Rehab & progress!
Speaking of which... this morning Debbie and I chatted with Kelly on speaker phone. She happily reported a 20 degree bend in her leg, and another huge milestone: REAL CLOTHES! In my humble opinion, Kelly totally rocked it out in the hospital gown, but seeing her in real clothes is like a breath of fresh air! She is pumped to be wearing her own t-shirt and shorts.
And not only that, folks, but Kelly just told me proudly that today she accomplished a 29 degree bend in her left knee! That's a 9 degree improvement in a day--gee wiz, this girl is giving her trainers a workout. She also gladly straightened her knee out to 8 degrees, nearing in on flat-as-a-board!
What's more, Kelly strutted her stuff in the Rehab center today with a walker--45 feet of walking, out and back again. And she killed it on the stairs with crutches. When I spoke to her just now, she said she was chillin' in a wheelchair with friends Mary Lauran (former roommate) and Brian. This chica is MOBILE my friends. Watch out MedStar, here she comes... look at that face: you've got a determined overachiever & athlete on your hands. Good luck keeping up.
The remaining items on tonight's blog post agenda are: photos & videos! (my fave). I've updated the photo section of the site; it now has 3 sections. The first is a collection of photos seen here on the blog & sent to me by Kelly, Todd & Debbie, as well as various members of Kelly's Krew. Pretty inspiring to see Kelly's progress in a slideshow of images! The second section is your ever-surprising and inspiring #goodvibeskelly Instagram photos! And the third, a series of images from Kelly's life in DC--to paint a picture for all of Kelly's Krew who haven't come to crash on an Arkansas Family house couch (yet!), of her life and community here in DC.
And check out the newest & greatest video on the site! Kelly had her own personal cheering squad of animals back in the old days, when she was in the hospital on floor 3, NW wing, room 12 (where we're convinced the nurses miss us all a bunch).
Can't wait to share more of Kelly's progress with you soon!
Maggie & Kelly's Arkansas Family