Jackie had another good night of sleep. It is so important for his body to be fueled with rest.
Like yesterday, Jackie had speech right after breakfast. Since we let him sleep in, we were running a little late. Becca was off so her supervisor was covering the session. She observed the last part of his breakfast and then moved him to the community room. She asked Jackie the usual questions and then asked him some situational ones like, what would you do if you got home and didn’t have your key? She then worked on his short term memory by asking him to repeat three words. She ended the session asking him to repeat the words back to her in alphabetical order, Jackie did well. He stayed focused on her for most of the session and answered the majority of the questions correctly. His body was hurting from sitting in his wheelchair for a little over 2 hours, so we put him back in bed.
Before we knew it, it was time to get back in the chair and into the gym for PT. They started working on transfers from the chair to the mat; however, shifted to lying on the mat as Jackie was not feeling well, After laying down for a while he felt better. Erin had him swing his legs off the mat and then try to push himself to a sitting position. As Jackie’s left side is still much weaker than the right, this takes incredible willpower and strength to try to do what she was asking. Once sitting, she also helped move him to a standing position. While Jackie was bracing himself on a large vertical mat, Erin was helping to hold him up. She had Jackie place small cones on the top shelf of a rolling wall. Both Jim and I are amazed to see Jackie’s strength increase a little bit each day. PTL. The exercises that he is doing are not easy. Jackie is working through pain and frustration because he so desperately wants to walk again. We reminded him that all we ever ask is to give 100% to whatever you are doing. Jackie is giving 300%.
We headed back to the room and the lunch trays were already here. Paula decided to have Jackie’s OT session over lunch. In fact, she told Jim and I to go get lunch and come back. I must admit this was very hard for me. I have total trust in Paula, it is just hard to let go when one of us has been beside with him for 90+ days. My sisters were here so we went down to the cafeteria and then sat out on one of the two outdoor balconies. It was nice. We went back to the room and found that Paula and Jackie had a great lunch. She rearranged how the table tray would work better for eating in his wheelchair and even did a wheelchair transition back to bed. We will still need to use the lift, but I know it will only be a matter of time until he will eventually lift himself from his chair into bed. Exhaustion set in and Jackie took a long nap.
Next up was dinner. When eating, Jim told Jackie that he was doing really well and at some point soon the three of us will be eating meals together. Jackie looked at Jim and said, “That would be a dream.” I must admit, his response took me back. I myself take independently eating on my own for granted. Here is my 19 year old son, sitting in a wheelchair with a bib on, who is very aware that his parents are teaching him how to eat again, dreaming of the day he can just eat on his own. I know this day will come soon, but the reality of the current situation can be a little overwhelming if we would let our minds go there – but we don’t. At least not for long,
The remainder of the night was all about rest once again. Tomorrow will bring another new day. Hopefully when you are feeling a little lazy you will think of Jackie and give life your all. Your prayers are felt and working. Thank you for continually sending them to Philly.