Wednesday, November 19

A Long Day Of Therapies

Today Jackie had five therapy sessions. As with most days it started with speech. Becca continues to work with Jackie on what type of food he is eating. Today she upgraded his diet to one step below a regular diet. PTL Art Therapy with Lori was next. Jackie did a little bit of artwork, but the two mostly talked. Lori’s demeanor is calming and Jackie enjoys spending time with her. The end of this session led right into PT with Erin.

After eating a good lunch and resting a little in his chair, Jackie headed to the gym for OT. Paula had scheduled Joey, Magee’s service dog, to work with Jackie for the entire hour. Christina, Joeys handler and human mom works very well with the therapists and the patients. Today Jackie worked on his sitting and standing balance by petting and combing Joey. He even brushed her teeth with poultry flavored toothpaste and threw a ball for her to retrieve. Jackie has always had a dog in his life, so this type of therapy is something that he truly enjoys. It helps keep his mind off the work he is doing and brings a multitude of smiles to his face and everyone watching. It was Jackie’s last session with Joey and saying goodbye was bittersweet.

As we left the gym, a friend of Jackie’s from freshman year who recently started attending a college in Philly stopped by for a quick visit. We had just enough time for a brief chat in the hallway and then went back to the room and got ready for Jackie’s next therapy, car transfers. This was our second time practicing getting Jackie in and out of the front seat of the car. I think it is the hardest of all the transfers, but with tips from Erin we were making smooth transitions by the end of the session. Jackie is also getting stronger and helps as much as he can which makes things easier. PTL. As with the first session, we took a spin around the block. This time Erin wanted Jim to slam on the brakes to see how Jackie would handle a sudden stop. The test went well and we are all confident that he will be safe and travel well in the car versus having to rent a wheelchair accessible van. PTL

Jackie was tired. It had been a long but good day of therapies. He rested in bed prior to dinner. He ate well, then got a shave from his Dad and showered. It was time to refuel for another day. Jackie’s hard work is starting to pay off and all of us are excited about the progress we see each and every day.

“All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.”
~Pope Paul VI