Monday, April 14

Good start to the week…

Jackie had another good night.  He took a bunch of long cat naps so we believe he is finally getting his days and nights straight.  Since we prepared ourselves for the transition to the new nursing unit, we feel it went smoothly.  After all, these nurses still have intensive care training.  So far our nurses have been young but very good.

As expected our Neurosurgeon stopped in early this morning.  He was happy with the progress Jackie was making and decided to stay the course and continue to drain spinal fluid each hour.  I am sure we will get another update on next steps tomorrow morning.

Since it is Monday, we were ready for a busy day.  Jim and I worked with Jackie in the morning.  We put his speaking valve on his trach and worked with him on making sounds.  We did not hear anything today, but we know he was trying.  We also gave him a couple ice chips and cold water swabs to work on his swallowing.  We were glad we did because ST did not make it up to see us today.

Jackie did have a very good PT session.  They moved him to the gravity table and with some help did some leg squats and also weight bearing exercises. They also held him in the standing position and by grasping on to two people he was able to hold himself steady using his arm strength.  The PT team had to hold his head up the entire time, but we will take baby steps any day.  As you can imagine, just these simple exercises exhausted him. We decided it was best to put him back in bed vs putting him into the chair.  Tomorrow the plan is to work on torso and neck exercises and hopefully spend some time in the chair.

Not too long after we got him back in bed, someone from neurosurgery was there to take out his staples on the left side of his head.  These staples were from his last surgery at Geisinger.  Hopefully at least half of his head should stop itching for now.

One other highlight from today is that we are almost at his goal nutrition level.  This is a big win as Jackie really needs to start gaining some weight!  We remain vigilant at turns and doing body checks to avoid bed sores.

As you know from earlier posts, TBI is complex and unpredictable.  We are celebrating today for all of its small victories and will continue to move forward day by day.  PTL