Thursday, August 28

Staying On Course

Jackie had one of the best nights sleep he has had in a while.  I’m not sure if it was the absence of the IV or if it was the arm brace that is helping to reduce the muscle spasms, whatever it was helped him sleep soundly.  PTL We are planning to go one more night without fluids and then will restart them on Friday and run them through Monday.  Jackie is starting to consume more fluids on his own, but still has a way to go to be where he needs to be.

Even though he slept well, Jackie seemed to be approaching the day sluggishly. After a little coaxing he was able to eat a good portion of his breakfast and take his morning meds.  Becca came in the room and helped him finish.  After he was done they went to the sixth floor and played some black jack.  It was beautiful out and the fresh air was good for Jackie.  He was not as verbal as yesterday but did use hand signals during the game. We are not sure why he is still not that verbal.  We do know his ability to focus is impaired and that certainly has something to do with it.

After speech Jackie moved on to PT.  The session was split into two halves, with the second pairing up with rec therapy.  Jackie worked on his balance and trunk control while playing the Wii.  We borrowed a game from the rec therapy department that will be easier for Jackie to play.  Gaming was something he loved to do, so we are hoping successful Wii sessions will help spark his interest and help strengthen his ability to focus.  Plus it will be something different and fun for us to do together.

A nap was next on the agenda.  Jackie fell asleep fairly quickly and woke up for a late lunch.  We got the OK to heat up some Spaghettios, and Jackie seemed to enjoy them.  He didn’t eat all of them, but at least it was different from the food he has grown accustomed to getting on his tray at mealtimes.  He finished very close to when his OT session was to start.  Natalie came to get him and we all went to the gym.  We had scheduled a haircut and worked it in with his session so that  he could work on sitting balance and head and neck strength all at the same time. I like his hair longer, but getting a buzz cut is something Jackie likes and it does make him look more like himself.  After the cut, he continued to work on sitting and standing balance.  Jackie’s eyesight continues to be a challenge.  The horizontal  and vertical prisms on his glasses are meant to help the brain recognize the left eye.  By doing this his vision is most likely blurred.  He does not say much about it. He still cannot always find the bowl or plate with his spoon and his eyes occasionally shift back and forth for an attempt at stabilization.  We pray his upcoming surgery will help with many things including his vision.

Jackie chose to nap immediately after OT.  A late dinner followed.  We watched a little of the last pre-season Eagles game while Jackie enjoyed some water ice.  Then it was  time for bed and evening meds.

Day by day Jackie continues to stay on course and tries his best to work through the physical and mental hurdles that are always in his path.  TBI continues to be the arch enemy, but I know Jackie will continue to muster the strength needed to beat it.  Time is on his side and prayer, positive thoughts and patience will be his tools to win.