Saturday, May 10

Meaningful meal trays

It is amazing how something so unexciting and routine for many can represent a huge turning point for others.  For weeks as meal trays were delivered to the rooms around us, Jackie’s room delivery consisted of juice box sized containers of liquid nutrition created for feeding tubes.  Many times the staff would peek their heads in the room and ask if there were any meal trays to be collected and we always had to say no.  Normalcy is now being delivered to Jackie’s room three times a day and it feels and tastes great even if it is puréed.

Despite some nausea after eating his first meal, Jackie is adjusting to his three meal trays a day.  Jim and I have to stay very focused while Jackie is eating and apply everything we have learned from Jackie’s speech therapy sessions to ensure he is moving the food around in his mouth properly and swallowing correctly.  Since the trach is still in place, aspiration is a possibility and one that can be avoided if we ensure the eating environment and coaching are correct.  I like to joke and I tell everyone that sugar is my favorite food group.  Jackie is following suit as he is consuming more pudding and thickened ice cream, yes there is such a thing, than the puréed meat and veggies.

Overall, today was a good day.  Jackie enjoyed special visitors including Lindsay and Florent.  Lindsay enjoyed her big hug from her brother and actually was able to get more than one.  Lindsay and I also got the chance to sneak away for a short while to have some girl time – it was wonderful.

We are hoping to get Jackie out into the chair tomorrow as the pain from his surgery should not be as great. Kristen stopped in today even though Jackie was not her patient.  She was the nurse that had him snapping to the beat of the music.  She told him he needs to start shrugging his shoulders as well, and he did!  Then he used the sign language to say I have my eye on you.  We all laughed.

We have learned many things along this marathon to Jackie’s recovery.  The one thing that continues to hold true is the realization of how good our lives are and how we take so many things for granted. Moving our tongues, talking, breathing without a blue tube attached to our necks, rolling over in bed whenever we feel like it, turning our heads and holding them up, eating food, and even just being able to throw a ball.  Rehab should help Jackie re-learn many of these ‘givens’ in all of our lives and he will be working very hard to get them back.  When you wake up every morning, be grateful for the ‘givens’ you take for granted every single day.

Happy Mothers Day to all the Mom’s reading the blog.  You are very special and deserve some hugs today!! A special thanks to my Mom and Jim’s Mom for all of their love and support.  We ae very blessed that you are part of our lives.