Saturday, September 20

A Busy Saturday

It’s the weekend.  I’m sure if Jackie was back at school he would be sleeping in, then getting some lunch with his friends at the commons.  Reality hits hard and getting up at 8am is the schedule now, followed by meds and working hard to use his right side to pull up his pants and put on his shirt. Since Jackie will be missing therapy next Wednesday due to a follow-up appointment with his neurosurgeon, he was scheduled for a full day of therapies today.  By 9am he had speech with Becca.  It was her weekend to work.  It was great to see her on the weekend to keep continuity with the sessions.  Jackie ate part of a banana on his own and had a couple bites of oatmeal.  He even took a couple sips of chocolate milk.  PTL. Then Becca made him work.  They practiced many oral exercises for his tongue and overall mouth movement.  All designed to ultimately help with eating and speaking.

After some morning meds Jackie had just a few minutes to relax in his chair until his PT session.  Karen, a weekend PT staffer picked up Jackie and took him to the gym.  Karen used to be full-time and does a great job with Jackie.  Jackie is working hard in his therapy sessions, but is still struggling with verbalization.  Once again, practicing patience is needed.  Jackie’s body is still recovering from three surgeries and many meds. He will get there with time.

Some of Jim’s fraternity brothers from college stopped by with shirts they are wearing in the half marathon in Philly tomorrow. Their team shirts are Carolina blue and say ‘Jackie’s Journey.’ So cool! It was wonderful to see them and even better to see Jackie’s interest in their college stories.  His face lit up with smiles as each adventure was shared.  Jackie could have listened to their tales for hours, but was exhausted and fell asleep.  Even though it was the weekend, we were trying to stick with the weekly schedule. As hard as it is on Jackie, it will help him get stronger with each passing day.

He was in a sound sleep when we had to wake him for OT.  Natalie was working the weekend and picked him up and took him to the gym.  Nat had her work cut out for her; it would be tough to get him engaged since he was this tired.  The session was successful but not his best.  It was 3pm and all Jackie wanted to do was get back in bed.  We convinced him to rest on the second floor terrace, after all the weather was perfect.  He reclined in his chair with the sun on his face and slept.  The cool breeze felt cleansing and comforting at the same time. We were able to enjoy being outside longer than expected; however, it was obvious Jackie was now beyond tired and overly ready for bed.  After a nice warm shower, his head hit the pillow and he was out.

Thanks to our friends and our community for continuing to provide love and support through special events. None of us could have predicted the length of time Jackie would be in the hospital and away from home. The love we feel from all of you warms our hearts and fuels our patience.  Thank you so very much.