Greetings to you all. We wish you a joyous Christmas and hope your Christmas Day was perfect! Please join us in celebrating that on Thursday, December 23, I completed the Brooks Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program. I still have to get new glasses so I can see better and then I will return to Brooks to be certified to drive . . . something I am looking forward to.
We want to thank each of you who has checked on me and prayed for my recovery. Your prayers have been meaningful. We thank you for your gift of time and devotion. We have had a good day. I am experiencing more good days than bad and am improving each day. Today’s Christmas is a reminder to us all that God is indeed about His business and has blessed our family in many ways. One of our special blessings is your friendship and prayers for my recovery. We hope you have had a wonderful day today. Merry Christmas to you all.
So sorry that it’s taken a month to update! Mama is still making progress, though the pace is much slower (which is to be expected). She’s still attending 6 hour therapy sessions four days a week, and she’s doing more at home. Over Thanksgiving Bo and I went to Jacksonville for the holiday, and we all went to Thanksgiving dinner at a local country club so that we didn’t have to deal with cooking or cleaning. While we were home we also went to see the new Harry Potter movie, and it was Mama’s first time at a movie theater since the accident. We’d been concerned that since she’s sensitive to loud sounds and has been having some trouble with dizziness/vertigo that a movie might not be a good idea, but she did great!
Now that Mama’s slowly becoming more active she’s helped with organizing some things around the house and starting to help cook meals as well. She barely remembers anything from being at Mayo, and we’re getting her up to date with everything that happened. She’s amazed at how many visitors she had, and is so grateful for all the love and support she’s been receiving from friends and family. She looks great (with the way she parts her hair you can’t even see the scar on her head), and she’s feeling better each week.
Debbie is now settled at home and is beginning to become more independent with day to day activities. The outpatient therapy is progressing nicely and she has become accustomed to the schedule. We leave the house around 8:15am to make the 9 o’clock beginning therapy session. Therapy finishes at 3:30 every afternoon, four days per week, so we are back home a little after 4pm. At the end of the day she is tired and ready to return home for a little rest before assisting with some of the normal household duties such as assisting with laundry, preparing meals, etc. We are anticipating that the current therapy schedule will be in place until the end of the year. We continue to be very pleased with her progress, especially after all that she has been through beginning with her injury on September 5th. We continue to be comforted by your comments, cards and prayers for Debbie and her family.
Mama was released from in-patient care at the rehabilitation center on Wednesday, and she was able to go home! She’s been resting and getting settled into being at home, and she’ll start out-patient therapy on Monday. She’ll go back to the rehabilitation center 4 days a week for about 6 hours each day, but she’s thrilled to be at home and is enjoying her own bed and the dogs!
She continues to progress a little each day. She’s able to walk on her own to a degree, though not without someone else being present. Her appetite has improved, and she’s able to follow along with a television show or a movie.
Yesterday Mama got to take a field trip! As a part of her therapy the day before she had to create a list of things to buy at Walgreens, and yesterday she actually went on a shopping trip. Mama, Daddy, and two therapists visited the Walgreens next door to the rehab center. The first (and most important) item on her list was a Hershey bar, which she promptly devoured upon returning to her room. She had to find all the items from her list without help, and then take them to the register, pay for them, and make correct change.
She’s still needing some assistance to maintain her balance walking, but after today she will have to walk to her therapy sessions rather than go to them in a wheelchair. Her target date for going home is October 13th and she is looking forward to next Wednesday.
Debbie continues to improve. She had a much needed restful weekend. She continues to sleep most of the night now, so she is rested and prepared for her therapy sessions. We have discovered a wonderful lady to stay with Debbie some nights. She is a great help in assisting our family so we can devote some time to normal day to day items that needed attention. Debbie still requires assistance in walking and some assistance in eating. Her appetite continues to improve which helps her to regain strength.
The last two nights Debbie has slept better than any other nights up to now. She needs the rest in order to maintain her very busy daily physical therapy schedule. It is also helpful in that those of us who spend the days and nights with her can get some much needed rest in order to be there to support her during this critical time in her recovery.
Her appetite has improved somewhat and that is encouraging. She needs the protein to complement her healing and therapy regiment. She is finally settling in to the Brooks scheduling policies and procedures after her first week there, but she is looking forward to going home, hopefully in a couple of weeks. We do not have a definitive timeframe for her release yet. After she is released from the hospital, she will begin a four day a week, all day physical therapy schedule at the Brooks outpatient therapy clinic. We are all very pleased with her progress.
Mama spent Thursday and Friday in full-day therapy sessions, and while the progress is slow, it is encouraging. They do lighter therapy on the weekends and then get back to it full force on Monday. She’s motivated to work hard in therapy, so that gives her a bit of an edge that will be good for her! The therapy is very strenuous and tiring, but her attitude has been good about that.
We’re still not sure how long she’s going to be at the rehabilitation center, but the therapists and doctors on her team are having a meeting on Tuesday to discuss a plan of action, so we may have a better idea at that time.
Due to the tiring nature of this intense therapy, they’d prefer Mama to rest when she’s not working, so they’d like to keep visitors to a minimum. Her room is also very short on counter space, and while Mama appreciates the flowers people have sent, we’ve run out of room already! She knows about this website and she knows people have been sending cards, so once her concentration improves a bit she wants to read all the lovely things people have been saying to her.
Today Mama spent the day getting settled into the rehabilitation center. She did have some light therapy this morning, but she mostly spent the day getting oriented to her new environment. The more intense therapy will begin in the morning, and she’ll do therapy for the full day everyday from this point forward.
Her appetite is starting to get a little better, and the anti-anxiety medication is helping her some. Mama is looking forward to doing whatever she needs to do to get better. Thank you so much to everyone for your continued prayers and comments. We’re going to start bringing the cards everyone has sent to her so that as she feels up to reading she’ll have some positive and encouraging things to read!
This afternoon Mama was transferred from Mayo Hospital to Brooks Rehabilitation. She will be doing in-patient rehabilitation for a while – typically patients with brain injuries remain in-patient for at least two weeks, depending on the individual. She still needs help with most everything (she can’t get out of bed without a nurse, she still needs help eating, etc.), so we’ve still got a ways to go, but she was thrilled to be leaving the hospital.
They removed the staples from her head yesterday and today she became IV-free, so it’s been a big day or so! However, she’s still very anxious, so we continue to pray for peace of mind and patience in her recovery.