Monday, June 2

Back to work

After a weekend off from ST, PT and OT it was time to get back to work.  Jackie went to bed early Sunday night and had a fairly peaceful nights sleep.  He woke up ready for the day.

We saw our doc first thing in the morning and reviewed Jackie’s condition with him. Everything is progressing as it should including the site where the trach was located.  The supervisor of the Respiratory Therapists, who took out the trach, stopped by and said it was healing nicely.  He told Jackie that girls love scars.  We all laughed.

The last foreign object that can be removed from Jackie’s body is his nutritional stomach tube.  We spoke with the doc about this and he would like Jackie to start taking all of his meds by mouth in preparation for when it can be removed.  There will be another celebration when this day occurs.

Breakfast was next and then speech.  Jackie worked hard during the session.  When it was over he told Becca that his brain hurt. My boy still has his sense of humor.  PTL.  Later in the afternoon we had a question for Becca.  It was in reference to a package Jackie received in the mail.  It had cookies with a special ingredient of Peppermint Patties that were homemade by Lenora, Jackie’s first ST at Geisinger.  Her note said she made them just for Jackie but we would need to get Becca’s approval first.  We did and Jackie enjoyed his most special treat up on the sixth floor terrace after all of his sessions were over, with some chocolate milk.  We have also heard from other staffers at Geisinger through cards and even from some of our favorite ICU nurses who took a collection for Jackie and even made their own wristbands.  Jackie wanted to wear the one sent in the mail.  We can’t thank them enough for caring so much for Jackie when he first started his marathon to recovery, and for continuing to shower our family with kindness.

Next up was PT.  Jackie continues to be coachable, working very hard.  Erin worked on Jackie’s torso and neck strength with sitting exercises.  They are definitely working as Jim and I can see a big difference.  Erin also stretched him and then did a standing exercise.  At one point he moved his right foot forward to walk.  He got his chance as that was the last exercise planned for the session.  With the help of two therapists, Jackie walked almost the entire length of the gym.  I wish I could find the words to help you visualize the determined look on Jackie’s face when he is doing assisted walking.  It is if he can now see the finish line and knows there is hope that he will actually get there.  Eventually he will only need one therapist to help and then that big moment will come when he walks on his own.  Much patience and time is needed before we get to that point.

Jackie was beat, but his appetite kept him awake through lunch.  We then moved him to bed to rest up for OT.  An hour went quickly and he was up and back in his chair.  If you remember from an earlier post, we had promised Jackie a new pair of sunglasses if he was able to release a ball and he in fact did just that during one of Paula’s OT sessions.  Well the glasses were ordered and arrived today!  We felt it was appropriate for Jackie to wear them into the gym to meet Paula for his session.  It was great.

During Paula’s session, Jackie used a machine to help with movement in his left arm.  It was basically driven by robotics and moved the hand and arm in different directions.  Jackie followed dots on the screen as his arm was moved by the machine to get to the different points.  The use of the machine should help with overall movement in the arm, but should also help train the brain to make it fully functioning again.

After OT Jackie took a nice nap.  We let him sleep a little past dinner, figuring he could use the rest.  Then it was dinner, a shower and bed.  The boys watched a little bit of a movie, but Jackie was tired so it was lights out.

Don’t forget to set goals and reward yourself when you achieve them. Even the smallest steps can be major progress and time for celebration.  Just ask Jackie.