Friday, October 3


TBI strikes again.  It is amazing how TBI needs everything in the body to be in perfect balance for things to roll along without any hiccups.  One slight deviation in any system function or one slight change with what the body takes in can cause a left turn down the path less traveled.  The path that is far from the shortcut to recovery.

Jackie woke this morning after his sleepless night of muscle spasms.  We spoke with Dr. K and decided to keep a close eye on Jackie throughout the day.  The spasms he is having are similar to the ones he had in the hospital but thank God are not that severe. PTL Our goal is to keep them at this level.

Becca was going to take Jackie into the patient dining room for breakfast at 8am,  but we all decided to let Jackie sleep in.  They worked breakfast into her normal session at 9am.  The session went well and the spasms seemed to have subsided for now.  They continued their work on deep breathing, voicing and cell phone basics.  Jackie is really starting to make progress.  PTL

After speech we stayed in the room as it was a chilly fall morning in Philly.  We were able to do weight shifts and stands which helped break up the hour wait.  The fact that we dodged more muscle spasms was something to celebrate.  Erin came to the room at 11am and took Jackie to the gym.  After some stretching it was time for assisted walking.  The first distance went well, but with each succeeding walk Jackie tired and the spasms kicked back in with a vengeance.  Since Dr. K was in the outpatient clinic we had his resident come in to assess Jackie when he got back to his room. Since his vitals were holding steady we would just have to help work him through the spasms.

After about an hour he was able to fall asleep, but before long the spasms returned. Paula had come into the room at this point to take Jackie to the gym for OT, but decided stretches at bedside would be best.  Dr. K also was able to come to the room and decided to adjust some meds.  Together we set a game plan for how to handle the spasms especially since we were heading into the weekend.  Since Jim and I have been through this before, we were on board and understood at what point additional steps would need to be taken vs just letting them run their course.

Paula ultimately did her magic and had Jackie’s muscles completely relaxed and he fell asleep.  When Jackie woke up we decided to try to get him in his chair for an early dinner.  We actually had just enough time to go down to the cafeteria where Jackie ate the entire second half of grandpa’s mashed potatoes and then the spasms started again.  We got him back up to the room and in bed.

The rest of the night was mixed with small periods of sleep and other periods of repositioning and working him through the spasms.  We have no idea how long they are going to last so will need to keep going hour by hour and take the day as it comes.

I know the road is going to get easier for Jackie at some point; it has to.  Until then, we continue to practice patience.

“The more difficulties one has to encounter, within and without, the more significant and the higher in inspiration his life will be.”
~ Horace Bushnell