Thursday, July 24

A Sluggish Start

Jackie slept well overnight, in fact better than he has for a while.  We thought he was going to wake up and be ready for the day, but he seemed very sluggish. As we have learned about TBI, take each day as it comes and adjust.  We gave Jackie plenty of time but he did not eat much breakfast.  Dr. K came in and we reviewed some details with him since he will be on vacation tomorrow through next week.  We ended up pushing speech back an hour just so we could give Jackie more time to get through his morning routine.

Jackie went to Becca’s office for speech.  They played Simon Says, worked on memory and attention and then set out for more responses to the cheese steak poll.  No winner has been announced yet, they may be collecting more data tomorrow.

PT immediately followed speech. Erin was back from her conference.  I think Jackie was glad because he had one of the best sessions ever with her.  He practiced standing and pre-walking exercises, walked along the parallel bars and also walked in the gym all with just Erin’s help! Since he was in ‘beast mode’ as Erin called it , she thought why not try the stairs.  If you remember, Jackie only tried the stairs one time before and both Paula and Erin basically carried his weight the entire time.  Erin felt Jackie was ready for another try.  She had another therapist close by just in case, and headed to the stairs.  With just Erin’s help, Jackie was able to go up and then down 4 steps.  PTL!  This is not something he will be dong at home right away, but was a huge accomplishment for the day!

Jackie was exhausted.  We coached him through lunch and then got him into bed for a quick nap.  Then it was up at 2:00 for an early OT session.  We all headed over to the practice bathroom and watched as Jackie transferred from his wheelchair to the toilet to the shower chair and back.  He did this twice.  Jim and I will be trained next week to do these transfers and both of us will need to help to ensure his safety. There was a little bit of time left so Natalie and Pete took Jackie to the gym for some stretching of his arms and legs.  They continue to get tight and spasm.  Stretching helps relieve and prevent this from happening.

Jackie went right from the gym to the dining room beside his room for his first ever group session.  Three of the speech therapists held a brain injury education session.  It was a small group of patients and the goal is not only for patient education but also for patient interaction.  I don’t think Jackie spoke much at all, but the experience was good for him.

Since it was so close to dinner we just kept Jackie up vs getting him in bed for another nap.  He ate better than any of his two previous meals.  Right after dinner we had to take him downstairs for another x-ray.  We need to ensure everything is moving from a system perspective.  Since Jackie only had one nap he was beat.  We decided to get him in the shower and then to bed.  He watched a little bit of a movie on TV and then was ready for evening meds and sleep.

Getting in and out of the shower, going up and down stairs and eating without being coached to swallow are all things many of us take for granted every day.  Celebrate these little things and continue to make the most out of each day.  Jackie does even when he gets a sluggish start.

Thanks for your continued positive thoughts, prayers and support. It means the world to all of us!