Sunday, June 1

The Ultimate Pet Therapy

The day started out like any other.  Jackie woke up and had breakfast.  This morning he had french toast and really enjoyed it. We have been starting to review the calendar every morning.  It helps with Jackie’s short term memory,  We review the month, the day of the month and the year.  We also review what we did the day prior and what we plan to do for the day.  Today was going to be a great day, one we have been waiting for, one we couldn’t wait to start.

Knowing what lie ahead, it was best to get Jackie back in bed for a nice rest.   When he awoke we spent some time with cousins on both sides of the family.  Jackie really enjoyed seeing baby Owen.  He is my niece’s baby. Jackie always loved seeing him and today was no exception.  His interaction with Owen was amazing.  He laughed hard at Owen’s raspberry sounds and enjoyed holding his hand and touching his tiny feet.

Lunch was next. Jackie is enjoying his new diet.  It seems more like real food compared to the puréed diet.  His appetite is still good.  Sunday’s are weight days at Magee.  Based on his weight today, Jackie has gained 17 pounds in a little over two weeks.  PTL.  He still has some more to gain to reach his original weight.

Jackie was tired and wanted to go back to bed, but we pushed on and attended recreational therapy.  Jenna held the session on the outside sixth floor terrace.  It was a beautiful day.  We played catch using small tennis balls and the circular Velcro handset.  I can tell Jackie’s coordination and strength is improving. PTL

At this point, Jackie was extremely tired.  We got him back to bed for another nap.  I got the call that Jim and our  two year old Golden Retriever were out in the parking lot.  My sisters sat with Jackie when I went out to see them.  For all of you that have family pets, you will understand how wonderful it was to see Jovie.  I haven’t seen or hugged her since the end of February.  She is a glorious 85 pound beauty who is gentle and very loving.  Jim and I walked her over to  a small park and then came back to Magee for the reunion with Jackie.  We went upstairs and I helped get Jackie out of bed and into his wheelchair.  While I was doing that, Erin his Physical Therapist ran into Jim and Jovie in the lobby.  We had taken care of all the pre-approvals necessary to allow the visit.  Erin stepped in and taped the meeting with our iPad.  Jovie who typically jumps in excitement when she sees people she knows, was very good with Jackie.  He smiled and petted her.  He even got a kiss.  We went up to the sixth floor for fresh air and sunshine and it was there that Jovie put the pieces together.  We took off Jackie’s helmet for just a minute and Jovie immediately jumped up on the side of the wheelchair for another close encounter.  Both Jackie and Jovie thoroughly enjoyed the moment.  It was heart warming and therapeutic.  Jackie tolerated being in his chair with limited complaints.  We were finally back with a member of the family that we had missed dearly and it felt incredible.  The visit had to end, so as Jim was holding on to the leash, we also let Jackie hold on.  He laughed hard as Jovie was pulling his wheelchair down the hall.  Jim’s Mom, John and friends came to pick up Jovie.  She will be staying with his Mom for a couple days this week so we can have more visits before she heads back home to our dear friend who is taking care of her for us.

After the visit Jackie had dinner and then got in bed.  He was so tired, it was not long until he fell asleep.  It is good to have Jim back as we embark on another new week at Magee.

If you have a pet take them on an extra long walk this week.  They are one of the few constants in our lives that give us relief from stress and provide lots of love.

Thanks for your continued positive thoughts, prayers and support.  Jackie realizes how lucky and blessed we are to have all of you in our lives.