Thursday, June 26

Back on Track

Jim and I both stayed in the room last night and took shifts keeping an eye on Jackie.  It brought back memories of our many months of long sleepless nights in the hospital.  Fortunately Jackie had a decent nights sleep and woke up feeling better.  We were off and running again.  PTL

We limited Jackie’s breakfast foods this morning just to be sure.  He had his morning meds and we spoke with Dr. K.  The results of the overnight blood work looked good.  PTL!  We stopped the new med that may have been causing the problem and will take things one day at a time.  We were back on track!  Becca came to get Jackie at 9am for speech.  They worked on memory skills and shape puzzles.  To break up the session, Becca interspersed YouTube scene clips from some of Jackie’s favorite movies.

Jackie was only able to take a small nap and was up and heading to the gym before we knew it.  The first half of PT was spent working on transfers and the art of laying down and sitting back up.  Erin teamed up with Kristen, Rec therapy, for the second half of the session and worked on sitting balance while playing with the conversation ball.  One time Jackie caught the ball on the topic of describing family members.  Jackie said that his Dad likes to have fun, Lindsay likes computers, Jovie is laid back and Mom is nervous.  Ouch – ok I guess I am allowed to be nervous after all it has been quite a crazy ride these last couple months.  Jim and I did not attend this session which was good for Jackie and his feelings of independence.

Jackie was back in his room right around lunch time.  He mentioned his stomach was not feeling right so we limited lunch as well.  Once again, by the time we got him in bed, he had just enough time to take a short nap.  We had to wake him up for OT.  Paula stretched Jackie’s left arm as it has been having some spasms lately.  They worked on Jackie’s sitting and standing balance and posture.  Looking in the mirror was extremely helpful.  I mentioned in an earlier post, the goal for Jackie is to get him in a wheelchair that he can move himself. It will be a challenge since his left side is so weak, all the more reason for strong trunk control.  We also need to wean him off the headrest on his chair.  I am not sure that goal will be met before we leave Magee.

We are going to work with the therapists to create a daily schedule that includes a rest break.  The schedule will help Jackie mentally prepare and work through each day.  Eventually the rest break will need to stop so Jackie is prepared for the next step in rehab.  We still have a bunch of weeks left to go at Magee, but are researching day rehabs as the next step.  Jackie will go to the location for the day but will not stay there overnight.  After that will be out patient therapy and then additional therapies as we see the need.  TBI recovery is a long process.

Right after OT we headed down to the lobby.  Waiting there, wagging her tail was Visa, one of the therapy dogs we saw at Jefferson hospital.  Jackie was thrilled to see her.  All the times he saw her at Jefferson he was not able to pet her due to his infections. You may remember the posts where I said we wheeled Jackie’s hospital bed to the door of his room so he could see her.  Jackie had the biggest smile on his face when he pet her for the first time tonight.  He leaned down a little too far and after a while got a headache.  We ended the visit and got Jackie in bed for a rest before dinner.  Visa is planning to come back and see us again.

After a short nap, we woke Jackie up for dinner.  After meds we went up to the sixth floor terrace, had a snack and played Black Jack. Then it was time for a shower, bed and evening meds.  One of our  favorite nighttime nursing assistants was not working tonight so Jackie and I picked Jim as our assistant.  Let’s just say instead of the usual calming relaxing experience, Jackie was laughing the entire time.  It was fun.  Now Jackie is very tired and started watching the NBA draft with Jim.  Although I think he may have only seen a couple minutes before falling asleep.

Even here at Magee it is easy to take things for granted.  Yesterday Jackie got sick quickly and it reminded us of how blessed we are that his health has been stable.  It is always good to be thankful especially for just routine days of wellness.