Saturday, April 26

Recipe for restlessness

Friday night was restless as was the majority of the day on Saturday.  When I sit back and look at all that Jackie has been through, it is understandable why his body and soul for that matter are restless.

If we shelf the brain injury for a second and just look at the fact that Jackie is a very active young adult who has been in bed for 63 days.  He has been on many different meds including several types of antibiotics and has not had consistent nutrition.  His system has not been regular and he hasn’t been able to speak or efficiently communicate.  He has had several operations and countless stitches  which create the biggest itch that can’t be scratched.  He is black and blue from many needle sticks and shots.  Now lay the brain injury on top of all of that.  It is no wonder he is restless.

The challenge is identifying the type of restlessness and taking the correct course of action.  Saturday’s restlessness seemed to be driven by pain.  Figuring out the source is difficult and frustrating for both Jackie and Jim and I.  We are starting to pick up on some of his nonverbal movements, but it is hard to know for sure what he is feeling.  Since we had to stop his nutrition for a couple days, we are back to the familiar routine of starting his tube feeds again.  This process inevitably adds complexity to system regularity which in turn can cause pain and discomfort.  I know how my stomach feels sometimes if I am taking just one antibiotic.  Jackie is currently on two that are way more potent than any I have ever taken.

We continue to be told that TBI recovery is a very long process and I think at the beginning we heard the words but didn’t really internalize and process them.  Things are now starting to become more clear.  Our TBI journey is just starting.  Each mile at the beginning is going to seem like it is several miles long and mostly up hill.   Staying strong and holding on to faith and to any signs of positivity are key to getting to the next day.

The fact that we can totally focus our efforts on Jackie is incredible and something we are not taking for granted.  Our lives drastically changed on February 23, but everything else kept chugging along in its normal cadence.  TBI does not stop the grass from growing or the bills from being paid, or the dog from being loved and fed or the laundry from being done or the work at our jobs from being completed or the fact that showers and sleep are a necessity from time to time.

We have been supremely blessed by support in all of these areas and are so very grateful and so appreciative of everything all of you are doing for us.  Even if reading this blog makes you appreciate things in your life more, that helps bring positiveness to it all.

Thank you for running along side of us and for helping us keep our life together in between the mile markers.  Jackie’s step over the finish line is going to be sweet.  We will get there one day at a time.

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