The Second Tour
This morning Jackie woke up and he seemed to feel better. Dr K stopped in to check on him before breakfast. Jackie had a decent appetite and took his morning meds earlier than usual. By 9am he was ready for speech. Becca had a speech student shadowing her today. They took Jackie up to the 6th floor and worked on asking and answering questions. They also took Jackie’s Bluetooth speaker with them and played some tunes. It was getting too humid so they returned to the fourth floor to finish the session. Becca continues to work with Jackie to increase the volume of his voice and his pronunciation. There have been a few times when we heard clear and articulate sounds so we know it is just a matter of practice and repetition so his words sound that way consistently.
Nana and John arrived and were here to be with Jackie while Jim and I toured Magee’s day rehab program. We were able to catch a shuttle from the hospital to the day rehab location which was about a 15 minute ride. The program is similar to the one in Hershey with just a couple minor differences. It is now a matter of listing the pros and cons and making a decision. Once we have decided, Trisha our case manager will help with all the details in reference to timing, insurance coverage and all the additional things that need to get done. I sometimes cannot even remember what day it is, so her help is invaluable.
While we were away, Jackie met with the staff Psychologist and also had PT. Erin took Jackie to the third floor for walking practice using the Vector. Jim and I were back just as his session was wrapping up. We went down to his room and he ate lunch. Paula moved up his OT time slightly, so Jackie visited with Nana and John vs going to bed. He actually fell asleep in his chair for a half hour before OT. Paula worked with Jackie on some stretching and trunk control. She also did two electronic stimulation treatments on his left shoulder. Erin helped out by putting another back on his chair. When we picked him up in the gym he didn’t seem like himself. His vitals looked ok so we thought once again he may just be over tired. He took a nap from 3.15 until 5pm. He woke up and was still tired. He just didn’t feel like communicating. Once he was in his chair he was upset and we talked through some tough topics. Dr. K is working this weekend so will keep an eye on him.
Jackie ultimately ate a healthy dinner and then enjoyed some visits from friends that lived on the same floor as him in the dorm. This group of students had a strong bond and considered themselves to be family to each other. Even though Jackie did not contribute much to the conversation, it was great for him to see his friends.
Jackie was very tired. He took his evening meds and went to sleep. As we continue to learn and see first hand, TBI is tough. It not only includes daunting physical challenges but also neurological challenges. We continue to reassure Jackie that he will get better with time and we all need to be strong and patient. The patience piece is hard enough for Jim and I but when you are 19 and it is your body and mind that is not working as it used to, it is almost impossible to be patient and positive. Each day brings hope for small break throughs and baby steps toward the finish line.
Enjoy your Fourth of July, your time with family and friends and be safe.