Monday, September 15 – Tuesday, September 16

No Rest For The Weary

Monday morning started with early rounds from the docs.  Jackie’s neurosurgeon team was first.  Dr. E. and team felt Jackie was stable enough to head back to Magee. PTL Now it was up to several team evaluations, insurance approval and our 5th readmission back to Magee. We had a feeling by the time all the evaluations were done we would be returning on Tuesday, but by 4pm on Monday we were heading back to Magee.  It felt so good to be leaving the hospital, it had been a long, hard two weeks for Jackie.

The staff greeted us when we returned to Magee. After going through all the steps to admission and getting meds worked out through Magee’s pharmacy, Jackie finally settled in around 10:30pm.  It was another long day.  The best part was the expression on Jackie’s face when he laid his head on his memory foam pillow.

Tuesday came early.  Just as Jefferson staffers had to do evaluations for discharge, Magee staffers had to do new assessments for admission.  Paula started the day with an ADL session.  Jackie had only been up twice in the two weeks he was in the hospital.  Jim and I sat him on the edge of the bed for just a minute or two the day prior to his final surgery, and the PT, OT team had him sitting on the side of the bed for at least 10 minutes on Monday. Jackie is not holding his head up like he used to before, and his ankles are not currently able to keep his feet in the correct angle for walking.  Between laying flat for many days and then going through days of full body spasms Jackie’s body is tight and in need of a new plan for recovery.  His left side is still impaired but we have seen slight movement in both his left arm and leg post surgery. Very slight movement, but we will take it! PTL

Jackie headed to PT for his evaluation.  Erin agreed the hospital stay set Jackie back but she was also impressed with some of the skills Jackie was still doing well, like his standing balance.  PTL she will start formulating plans to jump-start Jackie’s therapy.  Jackie took a nap immediately after PT.  I was amazed he was able to make it this far.  While he was napping, Jackie received some nutrition through his new peg tube.  When he woke up it was time for speech.

It took a while but Becca was able to get him to say some words.  She also worked on swallowing.  It seems that everything Jackie is doing is delayed.  I’m not sure if that is due to his new meds or if it is a result of just being tired from everything he went through in the hospital.  Time and patience will give us the answers.

After speech Paula came back to work with Jackie on his transfers. After she was done we agreed that it would be best and safer for everyone if we used the lift device when getting Jackie in the shower chair.  All other transfers could be down like before.  As much as this was disappointing, it should only be for a short while and is the best thing to do.Tired out once again, Jackie took another nap.  Then we moved him to the shower chair, and then back to bed.

Jackie made it through the day much better than I had expected.  I think any of us would still be lying in bed or on the couch after a hospital stay similar to Jackie’s.  With each turn the marathon seems to gain miles. TBI is in control of the GPS.  Jackie just needs to stay strong through the bumpy roads and keep focusing on the smooth pavement that will eventually allow him to cross the finish line.