Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results. ~ Anonymous
Since Friday, Harrison has continued to make improvements! On Saturday, Robert and the girls stopped at RIC on their way back home. Harrison was excited to see them and enjoyed taking them to the cafeteria and eating together in the dining room.
The girls got a kick out of his hospital bed, because he kept raising the height (it gets pretty high) while they were sitting with him. It was their own little amusement park ride : )
Sunday was a quiet day, and I think both H & I needed that. He had PT, and did really well with a substitute therapist. He practiced the steps in the therapy gym. It’s only four stairs, but he led with his right (weaker) leg, and she said that was great. After therapy, we ate a bit & watched tv. Nothing exciting.
I flew home Monday late afternoon and was happy to get back. All of a sudden, Harrison’s eminent homecoming seemed real, and all the things I needed/wanted to do started to weigh on me. We had to get his room ready, install a grab bar in the shower, get a shower seat, etc. I also wanted to paint his room, and get him a couple new things, as well as hang his skateboard decks (something he’d been asking for). The girls and I made a quick Ikea run, and Kelly met us there to help. Although with her two, and my two, we were not the model of efficiency. But, we got what we needed for his room, so mission accomplished.
My rest of my time at home was spent cleaning, organizing and readying the house for Harrison. I worked a lot, but don’t feel like I got nearly enough accomplished.
Meanwhile, Harrison was accomplishing a lot. The eating steadily improved over this week. What a blessing that is. And his balance is getting better each day. I’ve also noticed that he is able to say more words without prompting (sometimes he wants to say something, but cannot get it out, so we need to give him the first letter sound for a word). Even things that have been extremely difficult, like brushing teeth and showers are much easier. Don’t get me wrong, he doesn’t like it, but he’s not wailing on me, and leaving bruises anymore (thank God).
Things that used to really set him off, don’t seem to bother him much anymore. When we were doing the stairs yesterday – yes, by the way, he went up two floors in the stairwell and then back down –the alarm went off. Previously, this would have sent him into a tailspin, but not now. He screamed once, but regained his composure and went back to the task at hand. What a difference from even last week. It’s another miracle, because this is something the doctors anticipated him having issues with permanently.
He can now hang out in the dining room/community room and not be startled or bothered by the noises, other discussions or television. We’ve always had to be conscious of how much stimulation he was getting, because it completely overwhelmed and upset him (and that was not pretty). Again, whatever’s healing in his brain, it’s helping him cope with normal sounds and distractions. What a relief.
Yesterday, Harrison worked really hard to climb those stairs, and he also had to overcome his fear of standing at the top of the landing, looking down at the flight of stairs and taking that first step. But, he did it, and he did it well.
Afterwards, he did a full lap around the floor – SOLO! Yes, he walked without anyone holding onto him for 1/10th of a mile. He’s still working on balance, but he did it! You can imagine that he was fatigued afterwards. When he finally sat down to rest after therapy, his legs were shaking. But, he was happy.
I let him choose dinner last night & he asked for McDonald’s. I bundled up, and braved the cold, windy night to get him a QuarterPounder with Cheese, fries and an eggnog shake (that’s love, isn’t it?). He ate the entire meal, and took two spoonfuls of the shake. I brided him with some ice cream treats to get a sip of water into him, but that was all I could do. The rest of his water went in via his g-tube...ugh!
The feeding tube can come out as soon as he starts drinking and taking his meds. It’s not a big deal if he comes home with it, but it sure would be great to lose that last little appendage.
Today, H woke up in a good mood and started his day with OT, but not before taking his meds in a spoonful of applesauce! Another accomplishment.
With OT, he’s working on dressing himself (which is a challenge because his right arm is not yet 100%). But, he’s doing more than 50% of it himself, and his attitude is greatly improved.
After OT, he walked down to speech therapy after refusing to ride in his chair. For once, I was thrilled that he was defiant. Vicki, his speech therapist, and I decided to bride him today. If he would drink some water or apple juice, he could have M&Ms. She poured him some apple juice, casually handed him the cup and walked away. Harrison was into watching SpongeBob on the tv, and it almost seemed like he forgot what he was doing – and he started drinking the juice. He sipped a few times, then took healthier drinks. Vicki refilled his empty cup with no fanfare. He proceeded to finish it, and a third cupful, too. He asked for more, but we had to leave for acupuncture! All the struggles trying to get him to start drinking, and I think today, something finally clicked. Let’s hope so.
Well, that brings the journal up to date. Harrison’s sleeping, taking a well-deserved nap after acupuncture (which was far and away the best session to date – no WWF wrestling holds, no hitting, etc). Again, what a miracle!
At 1:00, he’s going to a birthday party for a friend here at RIC. Then, he’s off to PT and his workday is finished. He’s going to choose either going to a movie or shopping on Michigan Ave for our afternoon/early evening activity. Not a bad day, huh?
Thanks for the continued prayers and support.