Saturday, October 18 – Sunday, October 19

Weekend Update

Saturday started with Recreation therapy and Wii golf.  We used a family room on the floor with a large screen TV and as always Jackie enjoyed the time with Jenna. We then headed back to the room and Jackie ate a morning Magnum bar.

Before long it was time for PT.  To help make Jackie’s week day therapy sessions more productive, weekend therapy sessions have been scheduled to focus on stretching.  The goal is to try to keep Jackie’s muscles as loose as possible.  His left arm is always tight and stays in the bent position for most of the day.  It was so tight on Friday, that he could not even use the robot for exercises.  We all keep working with Jackie to try to tell his brain to loosen instead of tighten the muscles in that arm. Sometimes it works but unfortunately doesn’t last long.  As with everything TBI related, patience and time are needed.

Jackie got some noontime meds and rested.  He stayed in bed while a good friend from home and his Mom came to visit.  After some catching up we all moved to the terrace.  The guys had Magnum bars.  Jackie ate very well and I think that his friends visit had something to do with that. It was great to see them.

Later in the afternoon I did some laundry and the boys did some stretching.  The therapists have shown Jim the correct way to stretch Jackie’s muscles. It is not as good as if the therapists stretch them, but still helps in the overall picture to keep them as loose as we can for as long as we can. A shave and shower was next and finished up the night.

Sunday also began with Recreational therapy.  Before Jackie worked with Jenna there were some morning routines to complete including getting ready. It was amazing, on one occasion Jackie used his left had to hold on to the object so the right hand could take off the cap. PTL. Slowly but surely the left side is engaging. Jenna took Jackie up to the greenhouse on the sixth floor to paint a pumpkin.  Jackie was attentive the entire time and we brought the festive pumpkin back to his room.  Speech started in half an hour.  Jackie had met this particular therapist once before.  She decided to have the session in his room.  Since Jackie was hungry he decided to have a magnum bar during the session.  It was a great way for her to evaluate his swallowing function. When we found out that she was fluent in English and Spanish I asked Jackie to say something since he took the language in high school. He said, “Hola.”  Then I thought I would go a little further and asked him to ask how are you in Spanish and he did.  PTL

Due to a slight change in the schedule, Jackie went to the gym for OT immediately following speech.  Brian and Jackie focused on stretching,but also played the sports team logo matching game created by Pete, the past PT student at Magee.  Using this game made Jackie do some stretching of his trunk and arms to place the correct team name on the right logo.  It was another good session.  PTL

Jackie’s noon nutrition and nap were next.  We could tell Jackie was tired even though he did not sleep much.  We let him stay in bed longer than normal.  He actually started using the bed functions to raise and lower his head.  Getting comfortable is another story.  It is difficult to lower his left arm so it is always curled up under his pillow and he cannot bend his left leg when it straightens out.  We usually help reposition so he can sleep better.

After getting up we decided to go back to the family room to play Wii bowling and golf.  Jackie continues to get better at using the controllers and on screen commands, a sign that his gross and fine motor functions are starting to come back. PTL

We wrapped up the weekend watching some football and Comedy Central and eating take out.  Jackie enjoyed his mashed potatoes and gravy. The weekend revealed some progress in Jackie’s initiation and abilities. PTL We will continue on with prayers, positive thoughts and patience.

“A dream doesn’t become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”

~Colin Powell