Wednesday, July 23

A Date

There was no sleeping in this morning.  Natalie and Pete were coming by at 7:45 for an hour long ADL, activities of daily living, session.  We made sure both Jackie’s shirt and shorts had the North Carolina b-ball logo on them since Pete is such a Duke fan.  Jackie worked hard to get dressed, wash his hands and face and brush his teeth.  This may not seem like it should take an hour, but it does.  These sessions are hard because it takes a lot of energy and determination.  Frankly as a parent it is hard to watch.  It forces us to realize the ongoing impacts of Jackie’s injuries.  Jim and I will be working with Jackie at home, and as much as I want to help him with everything it is important for him to do as much as he can on his own.  The therapists said that if we have an early  morning appointment, we should help more as the exercise is not meant to be stressful in any way.  We are holding on to hope that Jackie’s left side will re-engage after his surgery, so we just need to stay the course until September.

Jackie started eating his breakfast a little before 9am.  It was tight but he was able to eat, take his meds and still only be a couple minutes late for speech.  Dr. K. came to visit during Jackie’s ADL session.

Becca had a great idea for her speech session with Jackie.  She created a form and had Jackie ask staffers and other patients who they thought made the best Philly cheese steaks.  This exercise would force Jackie to ask questions in a loud voice.  The best part of the exercise is that Jackie gets to enjoy a cheese steak from the restaurant with the most votes.  Becca said Jackie did well in the beginning, but then got tired and it was hard for others to hear him.  She said they will try to ask more people tomorrow.

Right after speech Lori came to Jackie’s room for a half hour of art therapy.  Jackie drew a picture of himself fishing.  Something the boys plan on doing when Jackie is better.  Both Jim and Jackie are avid fishers and continue to tell stories about the big fish that got away.

Immediately after art, Jackie went to the gym for PT.  There was no rest for the weary as Jackie did leg stretches, trunk stretches, standing with squats and even walked along the  parallel bars with only 1 therapist assisting.  PTL!

To say the least, Jackie was exhausted.  We got him in bed for a nap and warmed up lunch when he woke up.  After we were done, Lori stopped back in again.  You see we had asked for some help on a project.  The project was related to a very special date; the day we are coming home!  PTL!! At this point, we are scheduled to be discharged on Friday, August 1.  The new plan will consist of in-home rehab bridging us to Jackie’s surgery in September.  Then there is a very good chance that Jackie will come back to Magee for a couple weeks and then we will head home for good and attend Hershey’s Day Rehab Program.  After talks with the docs and therapists at Magee, we realize that Jackie is jut not ready from a strength perspective to get the most out of a day rehab program.  So we will simply adjust to the new plan as it is best.

Back to art, Lori put together a sign for Jackie’s door that is basically a count down calendar with post it notes.  Jackie wrote the number of days that are left on post it notes and will pull each one off counting down until the day we go home.  I wanted to have a huge celebration and invite everyone but think it is best to do that in the fall.  For now we will focus on getting into a routine at home and continuing to work on Jackie’s strength; after all this is a marathon not a sprint.

Jackie was already tired again so he took another nap and had a late dinner.  We did go outside for a little bit for his protein snack, but it was so hot and muggy we did not stay long.  We came back inside and got him ready for bed.

Jim and I are working out all the details of making sure we have everything in place to care for Jackie properly.  The therapists will be making sure we are trained to the fullest extent possible before we leave.

The date we have been waiting for since February is finally here.  I must say I am overwhelmed with joy that is sprinkled with a little bit of apprehension.  We will no longer be a call bell away from Dr. K. but he will only be a phone call away.

With positive thoughts and prayer we will make it through this next mile in Jackie’s journey.  I can’t wait to see his face when we pull into the drive and Jovie runs out to greet him!!