Sunday, March 30

Continuing the plan…

Sorry for the late post.  Today I decided to write just one update.

Last night Jackie was restless.  He slept a total of 1 hour which was broken up into three 20 minute naps.  The sleep deprivation reminds us of when the kids were infants.  I remember Lindsay didn’t sleep for more than 3 hours at a time for at least 9 months.  Compared to what Jackie is going through, sleep deprivation is easy.

Both of Jackie’s arms and legs are extremely active. He is constantly exploring with his hands – everywhere.  We can now let him touch his head a little more since the bone flaps are back in.

Up until today, we have told Jackie that he is in the hospital and that he fell and hurt his head.  We have noticed that he is starting to put more pieces of the puzzle together.  Just the other day he looked down and read his name on my wrist band.  I could tell he was processing the fact that if his name was on the band he was really sick.  He is also feeling all the staples that are now once again, back in his head.  He also hears conversations about his meds and blood work results.  It appears he is handling all of this new information ok.  We will need to ask help from specialists on the best way for him to mentally heal.

Very early this morning the area where the Lumbar drain was pulled, started to leak again.  The Neuro team was paged and he ended up having to have a staple put in to stop the drainage.  He was a champ through the entire process.  He also had to lay directly on a rolled up towel all night to put pressure on the open area.  I know that had to be part of the reason for his restlessness.  The Neuro team also said that restlessness is par for the course for TBI patients.  The marathon continues.

The Neuro Docs visited this morning and were happy with his exam.  The plan is to get a CAT scan tomorrow morning and go from there.  If the scan looks good we could be putting plans in place to head to Philly.  If the scan shows more fluid build up we may be looking at going back into the OR to have a shunt inserted.  We will just need to wait and see.  That virtue of patience now comes back into play.

Jackie had a low grade fever since surgery.  It is starting to slowly get back to normal.  Due to his blood loss during surgery and also through the post surgery drainage tube, his iron levels are very low.  He is now getting an IV drip of iron and will also need to get a supplement through his feeding tube. His swelling is getting much better.  It has now moved to the bottom third of his face.  He can tolerate the swelling so much better now that he can completely open both eyes.

We are back in the process of starting his blood thinning meds. It takes a while and a lot of blood draws to get him to a therapeutic level. Just one more med his body has to handle. Due to his blood clot, he will need to stay on this med for a while.

Since Jackie was having a better day, his nurse decided to get him out of bed in the chair.  This chair is basically a hospital grade recliner.  It does not have all of the adjustment capabilities as the one he used to sit in prior to this.  Since he no longer has to wear a helmet, it is more comfortable for him to make the move from the bed to the chair and much more comfortable while in the chair.  The PT team had him sitting on the side of the bed and encouraged Jackie to try to hold himself up more.  It will take time, but his strength is slowly coming back.

It is amazing the differences we have seen in Jackie since his surgery on Thursday.  His left arm and leg are just as active as his right side now and we are starting to see more expressions on his face.  PTL. Communication as well as tongue movement and swallowing are all areas that we are still working on.  Lenora should be back tomorrow so Jackie can continue to make progress.

That virtue of patience just paid dividends.  Jackie is now in a private room.  It is so much more quiet – in fact we just wheeled him in and he fell asleep.  Hopefully it will be a restful night.

Thanks for all your support including all of the local efforts in our home town this weekend.  We are blessed in so many ways to have the generous support of family, friends and an entire community.  This support, your positive thoughts and prayers are appreciated beyond words.