Jackie had another good nights rest. He woke up to fruit rolled pancakes, scrambled eggs, hash browns and chocolate milk. It was going to be a great day.
After breakfast was morning meds and a visit from Dr. K. Jackie continues to progress in the right direction and the weight he has gained is slightly starting to show on his body. PTL
His first Therapy session was at 10am so Jackie went back in bed for a short rest. One of the liquid versions of his meds had really irritated his throat, so after some sips of cold water and then spoonfuls of ice chips, he seemed to feel better.
Becca was out of town so another therapist came to the room for speech. She engaged Jackie in a conversation about all the banners, posters and pictures that are hanging in his room. This exercise helps to work Jackie’s memory function. Just like Becca, the therapist shared some information about her life that she later asked Jackie to recall at the end of his session.
PT immediately followed speech. Erin came in the room and combined parts of Jackie’s old chair to a new wheelchair base. It is amazing how skilled the therapists are with wheelchair parts and construction. They constantly build custom chairs with various parts to get to the right fit and feel for the patient. They do not learn any of this at school. Jackie’s new chair was finished. It does not allow him to recline back. Weight shifts will now have to be done in the standing position. This chair is a bridge to the chair that will allow him to navigate on his own without a headrest. His torso and head strength need to get a little stronger before this occurs. This new chair will help gain that strength. Now it was time for the Vector machine. This is the machine that lifts Jackie to a standing position and also carries some of his weight for him. It allows the therapist to help ensure he is walking correctly and also allows the patient to walk further since some of the body weight is lifted by the machine. At the end of the session, Jackie used the walker with the elevated left arm extension to help him stay stabilized. Our therapist and Jim stood on either side of Jackie guiding his body and helping his left leg move in the right direction.
After the Vector workout, Jackie was hungry for lunch. His appetite was good, his belly was now full and he was ready for some rest. We got him back in bed. Jim’s Mom had arrived with Jovie and she was now in the room with us. It is so great to be able to see her. We all miss her so much. As Jackie was resting, Dr. Lewis the staff Psychologist came in for a visit. As in the past he requested to speak with Jackie alone. I went out in the lobby to finish my lunch and Jim took Jovie for a quick walk to the park. As I was coming back to the room the nurse was coming to get me. The moment we were anticipating since February 23 occurred. Jackie asked what really happened to him. Up to this point, Jackie thought he had a bike accident. He was recalling a wreck that he had at the end of his sixth grade year. Within minutes, Jim and Jovie came back into the room and the three of us had an extremely emotional conversation about the night of his assault. The doc was there to help us through it and we can now move forward with emotional healing as well. I am not sure what Jackie will recall from this conversation, but we now have a starting point for future discussions.
As we wrapped up the conversation, Paula came in the room for OT. It could not have been better timing. She helped Jackie get in is chair and we all headed to the sixth floor terrace with Jovie. Both sets of Grandparents were already sitting in the beautiful sunshine when we got there. Paula had Jackie throw the ball to Joive, who willingly fetched it and brought it back to Jackie every time. Paula encouraged Jackie to throw the ball in ways that would stretch certain muscles differently. She also did some stretching exercises to help loosen him up. Overall the session was just what Jackie needed. Warm sunshine, love from Jovie and the comfort of having us there for him. With the help of the wonderful staff at Magee, Jackie will get through all of this, one step, one day at a time.
Jovie went home with Nana after the session and we returned to his room and got Jackie in bed for another period of rest. The smell of dinner was too strong, so before long he was up and eating dinner. For dessert he enjoyed homemade cake and strawberries that Grandma and Grandpa had brought. This was a taste of home that was delicious for Jackie.
We decided to take a stroll and eventually ended back in the room with pieces of pizza from the movie room. Jim and Jackie ate their slices and finished watching the movie we had checked out days ago. Even though there is a long road of recovery ahead, moments like this bring us hope that Jackie will enjoy a normal life again some point in the future. PTL
After the pizza snack and nightly meds, Jackie headed into the shower. We used the shower chair and all went well. We got Jackie back in bed for the night and he peacefully fell asleep.
Tomorrow will bring another day full of mental and physical challenges, but Jackie’s determination and your love, support and prayers will give him the strength he needs to make it.