Wednesday, July 16

Two Months At Magee

I’ve written about the challenges of TBI many times in my posts.  We live in the moment, celebrating small victories and dealing with unexpected events as well as we can.  Today is the two month mark since we have been at Magee and I thought it would be good to take a look back at how far Jackie has come since we arrived on May 16.

We  know TBI recovery is a marathon, not a sprint, so eight weeks is not all that long when you look at the big picture.  In those weeks Jackie gained over 30 pounds, had his pic line, trach and feeding tube removed and said his first words. He went from laying in bed the majority of each day to sitting up in a wheelchair the majority of each day and on really good days, he walks with the assistance of just one therapist.  Don’t get me wrong, we have miles to go, but the accomplishments Jackie has made so far are no short of mini miracles. PTL

Jackie went through his normal routine this morning and had a visitor attend his speech session in his room.  Joey, Magees therapy dog, was able to spend the entire hour with Jackie.  Becca’s goal was to have Jackie speak loud enough so that Joey could hear his commands.  First Jackie did a trick with Joey where she put a rope and then a treat on her nose and then caught them in her mouth.  Next Jackie hid a toy in his wardrobe and then gave Joey the commands to open the door and get the toy.  Next Jackie threw the toy for Joey and then he wheeled up to his sink and got her some water.  The last part of the session was probably Jackie’s favorite. Joey jumped on Jackie’s bed and laid with him while Becca ended the session.  It was a great way to start the day!

Immediately following speech, Lori came in the room for art therapy.  Jackie and Lori worked together to create a picture using  water color pencils that when wet look as if the lines were painted.

The rest of the day included OT and PT. Jackie’s seat and backrest got switched to another wheelchair base that is lower and lighter than the one he was using before.  He seems to be able to maneuver it easier than the other one.

During dinner Jackie started getting tired and also complained of a headache.  We gave him some Tylenol, got an early shower and got him in bed early.  When we woke him for his evening meds, his headache was almost gone.  PTL

It is so easy to get bogged down by the limitations that are holding Jackie back from a normal life.  Looking back however puts a positive perspective on the future.  Giving a big thanks to the staff at Magee for helping Jackie hit some major milestones on the road to his recovery.