Today started out differently right from the start. After many discussions with Jackie’s team members, we decided it was time for Jackie to take some control over things that he could. The night before Jackie picked out his own outfit, vs me picking it out for him. We had wheeled him up to his closet and he seemed to enjoy reaching in and selecting what he wanted to wear. Something so basic, but so meaningful to Jackie who is slowly but surely taking back control of his life.
After morning meds he had his speech session with Becca. She worked with Jackie and together they firmed plans to slowly introduce Jackie’s phone back into his life through very limited use of basic functionality and music. Up until this point we were deciding when to listen to music and usually just used a random sort to play some songs. Now we will let Jackie take control over this and he can even use his headphones whenever he wants. PTL. Another simple thing with huge impacts on Jackie’s recovery.
Jackie decided to rest in the room prior to PT. Mark was off today, so Michael spent time with Jackie. He has worked with Jackie before and has a calm, positive approach that works well as a motivator for Jackie. The session started with some stretching and moved to standing, squatting and step up exercises. Then it was time for a trip to the third floor to get back on the Vector machine. It had been quite some time since he used this technology as he had been so lethargic prior to surgery. I was a little apprehensive on how things were going to go, but Jackie stepped up to the plate and worked harder than we all thought was possible. Michael took things slow. After a short series of steps, Michel gave Jackie the choice to be finished or walk some more. Jackie gave a thumbs up and took more steps. PTL
As you probably could guess, Jackie was exhausted and fell asleep quickly after the session. Jim ran an errand so I was planning to have Natalie, who was covering for Paula today, help me get Jackie out of bed. What happened next in the whole scheme of things is minor, but big for Jackie. He usually reaches over and holds onto the bed rail to assist as we pull him up to a sitting position. Today he actually used his abdominal muscles and his right arm and almost pulled up by himself. He did it once again on the mat during his session with Nat and ever so slightly reached for an object with his left hand. PTL
After the session our moods were high and we spent a while on the second floor terrace rewarding Jackie with a nap in the fresh air. We are getting accustomed to all of the sounds of the city. The stand out distinctive scream from one the kids on the playground at a school close by served as a soothing and happy sound for Jackie. Things would just not be right if we didn’t hear her. Before we knew it we had to head back to the room for some meds and then headed down to the cafeteria for dinner. Tonight Jackie ate more of his meal and even enjoyed three quarters of an ice cream bar. PTL As time was getting away from us, we headed back up to Jackie’s room so he could get a shower before getting in bed and starting his nightly nutrition.
Today, was full of one baby step after another. I’m not sure if our conversation yesterday helped fuel his passion for getting better or if it is the fact that he is finally getting the nutrition he needs and his body is flushing out many drugs from his hospital stay. Truthfully it is most likely a combination of all of these things and it is a beautiful thing to experience.
“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.”