Monday, May 19

A big day

Today started the beginning of Jackie’s official rehab schedule.  Every Monday through Friday he will meet with the same therapists for an hour each day and they will work with Jackie until he is deemed well enough to be released for outpatient therapy.

First up was Speech.  The therapist stayed in Jackie’s room for the session and we were able to observe.  She asked Jackie questions about his hobbies, interests, favorite foods and movies.  He struggled with some of his answers but was on point for the majority of them. A highlight for Jackie was the fact that she brought real water for him to drink.  Seriously talk about taking things for granted.  Just to have a couple sips of cold, non- thickened water was a huge teat for Jackie.

Next up was PT. Jackie was already tired from the speech session but he pushed on.  His therapist picked him up in the room and we headed to the gym.  Fortunately for Jackie, a large portion of the session was working on wheelchair adjustments so be was able to  rest on the PT table and get used to the gym environment. It was very busy and full of sounds.  We may move tomorrow’s session to the quiet room.

We headed back to the room and it was already time for lunch.  Jim and I are still feeding Jackie.  Eventually he will move out to another room to eat with other rehab patients. Jackie’s appetite is strong.  He is being served double portions of food and in most cases is eating all of it. His nutrition through his feeding tube is only occurring overnight.  It is time for Jackie to start gaining weight and he is well on his way to doing so.

Jackie has to sit upright for 30 minutes after eating.  He also has to be angled back in his wheelchair every 30 minutes for the purpose of shifting his weight.  The focus is still on ensuring his skin stays healthy.

We moved Jackie back to bed.  The psychiatrist stopped by and had a private conversation with Jackie.  We will be relying on his expertise to guide us through the emotional portion of Jackie’s healing.  To our surprise Jackie did not take a nap and before we knew it, it was time to get him back out of bed for his last session of the day.

The OT team came to the room and took Jackie back to the gym.  During this session he did some exercises and they worked on his helmet.  We will try to improve the fit tomorrow.

Jackie took a short nap in bed after this session and then it was time for dinner.  Once again Jackie was on the clean plate club. PTL. We wheeled him into a community type room and looked out the window until the thirty minutes had expired.  Then it was back to the room for a shower and then to bed again.  This time we used a wheeled table for his shower which worked much better than the chair.

Jackie seemed very relaxed after we got him back in bed.  We talked with him for a while and then he fell asleep.  His  vocabulary increases every day and we are seeing much of his personality coming through.  PTL

Tuesday Jackie will get up and we will start things all over again.  Each part of Jackie’s recovery has its own challenges.  We will work side by side to get him through this phase as well.

Your positive thoughts and prayers are felt all the way in Philly.  Thank you for cheering Jackie on in the next leg of the marathon!