Tuesday, July 1

Considering Next Steps

The normal routine kicked in this morning on hyper drive.  Jackie was up, had his meds and spoke with Dr. K all by 8:20.  Jim and I were heading to one of the two day rehabs we are checking out for Jackie as next steps after leaving Magee’s inpatient hospital.  We have a couple weeks to go, but need to make the decision on next steps and start preparing now.

Aunt Cristal and Uncle Jody came up to spend some time with Jackie while we were on our whirl wind trip to Hershey and back.  We had set up an appointment to tour the Penn State Hershey Rehab Hospital  – Day Program.  The inpatient portion of the facility is around 4 years old and the Day Program just opened in May.  There is a small staff for the Day Program since it is just getting started and the patient count is low.  Overall there are about 50 therapists covering different specialties in the hospital. We also met the Physicians Assistant to the doc who would manage Jackie’s medical care.  She has worked with many TBI patients Jackie’s age.

After the tour we hopped back in the car, picked up snacks at one of the turnpike rest stops along the way and were back at Magee in time for his afternoon therapy session.

While we were away Jackie had speech with Becca.  They worked on memory and other exercises.  They also spoke about college and getting back some day.  After speech Jackie took a short nap and then had OT.  Erin and Paula switched spots today.  After lunch Aunt Crissy, Uncle Jody and Jackie sat in the Day room for a little bit.  They were talking and laughing with Rudy, another patient in the hospital.  It was then time for another short cat nap and then PT.

Jim and I returned as Jackie was waking up.  We followed him and Erin to the fifth floor.  Today, Jackie was going to work out on another new piece of equipment.  The hook up and body harness seemed very similar to the Vector.  This time Jackie was on a treadmill.  One of the therapists watched his trunk, one was working the left leg and the other guiding the right to ensure it was keeping the correct walking speed to match the moving belt.  Another therapist ran the computer program.  After the first walk Jackie had a giant smile on his face.  He keeps saying he just wants to be normal again, and this exercise made him feel as close to that as he has come. PTL.  After a short break he took another walk and then rested again.  Based on his BP, that would be his last walk on the treadmill for the day.  It was the most he has done from a cardiovascular perspective since the end of February.  Erin ended the session with an assisted walk down the hall using the walker with the left arm extension.

It was now dinner and Jackie was beat.  We managed to get him through his meal, watch some US soccer and then it was time to get in bed.  We were able to keep him up for a Skyping session with Lindsay and Florent and his evening meds.

Health wise Jackie seems to be back on track.  PTL!  Sorry for the late post today.  I fell asleep writing it last night and did not have a chance to finish it until now.  I will try to get myself back on track with my posts.

Thanks for continuing to follow Jackie’s journey and for your positive thoughts and prayers.