Thursday, May 29

Can you say cheese steak?

Jackie slept well overnight.  He is starting to even sleep through some of the body turns that are done every two hours. We let him rest in bed longer than normal since he was unable to eat breakfast. He had to fast after midnight for an ultrasound that was going to take place between 9a.m. and 11a.m.  Knowing how healthy Jackie’s appetite has been lately, you can only imagine how hungry he was when he woke up.  As Murphy’s law would have it, the tech did not arrive to do the test until 11a.m.  This threw a wrench into Jackie’s therapy schedule, but things were rearranged to make sure he got all three of his sessions in.

First up was Speech at noon.  Becca brought in a Philadelphia cheese steak with fries and chocolate cake for lunch.  Jackie was so excited as this was something he has wanted to eat for  a long time.  We felt it best for the two of them to focus especially since Jackie was so hungry from not eating all day.  We left the room and came back in half an hour.  When we returned the plate was empty and he was finishing his cake.  Becca stayed to finish out her session.

OT was next.  Paula worked on transfers and also did a lot of stretching on Jackie’s weaker left side, especially his let arm.  She also certified Jim to be able to hold Jackie in a standing position.  This will help as sometimes Jackie needs a break from sitting  or laying down and Jim can now provide this relief for him.

It was now time for the Vector technology which is located one floor below us. It is basically an assisted walking apparatus that attaches to a tract in the ceiling.  The machine which is located right above the patient moves with them and carries the amount of weight that is programmed in by the therapist,  In Jackie’s case they set the machine to carry 30 of his pounds for him.  After being hooked in, the machine lifts Jackie out of his chair and to a standing position, all guided by therapists. Jackie had Erin and another therapist helping him during the entire process.  He took three walks with the machine, each one getting longer in length.  His last walk was the longest and went the fastest.  Erin’s initial goal is to have Jackie be able to use the machine with just her help.  It was incredible to see how the machine worked and to see Jackie standing tall putting one foot in front of the other.  PTL. It was also a reminder that Jackie is making positive progress but there is still a long road of recovery ahead.  We came back to the room and put Jackie in bed.  Jackie slept a little past dinner and then got up.

Besides the cheese steak and the Vector machine there was one other highlight for the day, Jackie’s patient safety status changed from a Red to an Orange tag.  This means that we can now take Jackie off the floor for a change of scenery.  There are some restrictions that go along with this status, but we will take them.

After finishing dinner, we went up to the 6th floor and showed Jackie the wonderful outside balcony.  The small computer lab/library is also located there.  We stopped in and checked out a movie.  We are hoping to watch it Friday night.  While at the library we spoke with the volunteer behind the desk.  She was middle-aged and very helpful.  She was also a past Magee patient.  She has been coming back in one way or another since she was admitted at the age of 14.  It was great to talk with her and hear her positive story.  We were told that Magee is there for each patient for a lifetime whenever they need help. Today we saw a living example of that.

The sun is just starting to rise and it is the start of a new day for Jackie.  Seize your new day, eat your favorite food and get some exercise!

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