Wednesday, October 8

Keeping Pace

Today Jackie kept pace with his therapy schedule.  He had some ups and downs, but we certainly know by now this is just to be expected.  Dr. K was in early this morning and we all saw some positive movement in Jackie’s left leg.  PTL. I am hoping that Jackie is internalizing the importance of this progress, as it is the stepping stone to getting functionality back on the left side.

Jackie had an early start with Becca as she took him in the dining room on the floor for breakfast.  We are not exactly sure why, but Jackie did not eat well.  He may have still been tired or it could have been the environment.  Either way, Becca brought him back to the room and felt a little break would be good.  We stayed in the room for a while and then asked Jackie if he wanted some Magic Cup.  This is a nutritionally packed, high in calorie ice cream.  He did and started eating a couple bites.  Becca stopped back in and they finished the session in her office. She said the back half of the session went better and he even ate more.

The sun was shinning so we decided to go to the second floor terrace for a shot of Vitamin D and a cool fall breeze. It was beautiful out plus our little screamer was audible from the playground, all was right in the world.  We reclined Jackie and he took a little nap.

We came back inside a couple minutes before PT was to start.  One of Jackie’s friends bought him a Nike b-ball cap with the word BEAST on the front.  It was a surprise and Jackie loved it.  We were all actually excited to see Erin’s face when she saw him with the hat on, after all she coined the phrase  ‘beast status’.  Needless to say she loved it and had Jackie keep the hat on the entire session.  Timing was perfect as Erin had scheduled the Vector for his work out.  The session went well, fueled by the new apparel. Jackie’s left leg is getting so close to trying to purposefully move or at least be swung into place.  PTL

You would think Jackie would fall asleep after such a busy morning, but when he got in bed for his nap he only rested. Paula picked him up for OT and the two headed to the gym.  It is now time to start working on Jackie’s neck strength.  He has been relying on a fairly large headrest on his wheelchair and it is time to start weaning him off.  Paula put a smaller headrest on his chair and wants Jim and I to keep an eye on how he is doing.  Eventually the goal for coming home will be a chair without a headrest. There was a surprise bonus to the session.  Joey the therapy dog had a cancellation with another patient and was available.  Jackie gave commands for Joey to do all kinds of tricks and of course rewarded her with treats.  Everything was done in the direction of Jackie’s left side.  The hope is that the more he tries to do on that side, the faster functionality may return.

After some afternoon meds we decided to head down to the cafeteria for an early dinner.  Until Jackie starts swallowing a little better, Becca wants us to have Jackie eat the soft stuff.  He enjoyed his mashed potatoes with extra gravy.  The cafeteria was out of Magnum ice cream bars, but luckily I was able to purchase more at a CVS in the city on the way back from an errand.  Jackie enjoyed his treat on the second floor terrace.  He loves the taste while Jim and I love the calories he is consuming.

We headed back up to the room for a shave and shower.  Then it was time for evening meds, and the start of his nightly nutrition.  Jackie’s spasms have continued to reduce in frequency to the point where they are more of a nuisance than a full out sleep stopper.  PTL

Hour by hour, day by day and guided by prayers, positive thoughts and patience, Jackie continues to keep pace on this marathon to recovery.  We just told Jackie that our dog Jovie is coming for a visit on Sunday.  We are all very excited and it should help keep his  spirits up through the weekend.

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
~Joseph Campbell