Saturday, May 24

R & R

Today was a day Jackie could rest and relax.  He has worked so hard getting through his first full week of therapy.  His muscles ache and cramp and his body is still hurting, trying to adjust to sitting in a wheelchair.  All he wants to do is walk.  A couple times when we said we were going to go somewhere, he said I want to walk there too.  We are hoping this deep desire to get back to normal continues to drive his recovery. We cannot allow frustration to creep in and impact his positive progress.

As I mentioned before, Jackie is having some problems with short term memory.  The one fact that he didn’t forget in the last couple days was that Lindsay was coming to visit today.  I just love having the entire family together, and I can see how  much it means to Jackie.  Early in the visit, Lindsay experienced the same emotional moment that I had a couple days prior.  She leaned down and hugged Jackie.  She told him she loved him and he responded back with those same three words, which in this situation have more meaning than you could ever imagine.  Florent and his parents were also visiting.  Jackie really enjoys Florent’s company.  The combination of Lindsay and Florent make it a 5 star day for Jackie.

There was only one therapy session that Jackie had scheduled for today.  It was his first recreational therapy session.  He honestly was not too excited about going, but we coached him to have an open mind and positive attitude; plus Lindsay was going to come along.  We went into the community room and the therapist had Jackie play a giant size version of Connect Four.  Jackie had played this at Jefferson and got bored quickly. After a short time, the therapist was moving in a different direction.  She put a Twister sized plastic mat on the floor.  The name of the game was bullseye.  You basically throw small bean bags toward the mat and what ever number you land on are the points you receive.  It was Jackie against Lindsay.  Surprisingly Jackie released the bean bags and in his Corn Hole form managed to beat Lindsay hands down.  Lindsay was a good sport and a little bit of sibling competition is always a good thing.  The session was over in less than an hour and I think Jackie will be looking forward to the next one.

The rest of the day Jackie was in and out of his wheelchair for meals only and then back in bed for some rest.  His appetite has slowed slightly but I think his exhaustion not his hunger is driving this behavior.

Tomorrow he is back to a more regular therapy schedule.  These sessions are basically make up sessions for the ones he will miss when he attends a doc appointment at Jefferson this coming Wednesday.  I’m hoping his rest and his visit with his sis will kick start his day tomorrow.

One of Jackie’s aides today was a young, caring man who is going to be starting PT school in the fall.  He also was in the military and experienced one tour of duty,  Jackie enjoyed the brief conversations he had with him prior to Lindsay’s visit.  I was talking with him at one point and he said that every day he works at Magee it is a reality check for him.  He has had many of those moments in his life and he gets it.  As everyone enjoys your cookouts this weekend, please do not forget to thank those that have served our country.  And when you are in the backyard playing Corn Hole or any game, take a moment to truly appreciate what you have, including the simple and basic ability to release the bean bag from your hand.