Dr. K was working this weekend and stopped in to check on Jackie. He had seen Jackie at the end of the day yesterday and had told him a silly statement he wanted him to remember. When given cues, Jackie remembered most of the statement. Remembering things of high interest comes easy to Jackie. General information is sometimes hard for him to remember. His short term memory should improve with time.
Jackie was gearing up for three therapies and ate a good breakfast. Speech was first and Jackie spent the hour with Amy. She was actually the therapist that did Jackie’s initial assessment at Magee. He spoke his first words with her. They went to her office for the session where Jackie sampled a Hershey bar and graham crackers. He enjoyed eating both without any issues. PTL
After a short rest break, PT was next. Erin was actually working this weekend and we decided to go outside and practice transferring Jackie from his wheelchair to our car for the first time. We went out to the parking lot and Erin showed us the best way to transfer Jackie in and out. We even took a quick spin around the block. This was the first time Jackie had sat in an actual seat in a car since February. PTL When we returned to Magee both Jim and I took a turn doing the transfers. I’m sure we will be practicing one more time before we head home. There were some concerns on how Jackie would be able to balance himself around turns, but with two pillows and an extra strap placed around his torso and the front seat, he did well.
Jackie ate a good lunch and rested in his chair, he had one more session to go. One of the weekend therapists who he had worked with once or twice before picked him up and took him to the gym. They did some stretching, practiced some activities of daily living and also did an exercise where Jackie blew bubbles into liquid. This was meant to help with his breath control and it seemed to work as the next day Jackie was able to drink a Starbucks Strawberry Smoothie out of a straw better than he has been able to in months. PTL
After his therapies were over we spent time with Nana, John and Jackie’s Aunt and cousin. It was Nana’s birthday and we helped celebrate with homemade muffins made by Aunt Carole. We had a great visit with everyone and Jackie even had a taste of the birthday treat.
It had been a long but good day. Dinner was next and then a shave, shower and bed.
Jackie was able to eat breakfast before Jenna arrived for Recreational therapy. Jim and I grabbed a quick breakfast in the cafeteria while the two played Wii. They trialed a new fishing game but decided to play Wii air hockey instead. As always, Jackie had fun and worked on sitting balance all at the same time.
The rest of the day was open as Jackie did not have any other therapy sessions. We decided to get caught up on opening cards that continue to arrive and inspire Jackie to keep working hard. Thanks to all who have sent them to Jackie during his journey.
The rest of the day consisted of eating meals and watching football. We also had a chance to talk with Lindsay. At one point during the early evening hours the three of us were talking and Jackie said, “I can’t wait to go home.” Jim and I reminded Jackie that even though it is ok to get excited we go day by day. With that he replied, “We’ll get there.” Shortly after he said “It’s going to be heaven.” PTL
When you are frustrated about your home to-do list that is not getting done, take a breath and appreciate everything that you already have. I’m sure Jackie is not at all concerned about the condition of our house, it could be a total mess but it would still feel like heaven to him. After all, the only thing that matters is that he will be home. PTL
“But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.”