We continue to invite exciting milestones into our lives! So this post I am going to take second to brag for myself and then I will switch back to the man of the hour.
This week I started back at work. Huge for me, huge for Isaac, and huge for our kids, it’s HUGE. This step means a lot for everyone. First it means that I am getting back to something normal for my life and I am continuing to follow my passion as a nurse and continuing to care for as many people as I possibly can in this life I have been given. I enjoy every moment of being and learning as a nurse so starting a new job is incredibly exciting. And to top off this great opportunity to continue my nursing career it is with the Mayo Clinic Health System! And I have been proud to say in every orientation class that I have chosen Mayo in Mankato because I want to be a part of the team that saved my husband from his injuries and gave us the opportunity to bring him back to us. The decision to go back to work also gives credit to Isaac’s accomplishments. I had to give up my old position in order to care for him. I could not work during the beginning of his recovery so I could be present in his progress and available to his vast amount of needs. I had to devote my time and energy to him and our family. But with his progress has come his regaining of his independence. He is starting to rely less on a constant presence of another person with him at all times and more on himself again. This is both scary but happy. I often wonder what he could possibly be up to when he is home by himself but so far the house remains standing and a few chores are completed when I get home. Yes the garbage has been taken to the curb on the wrong day and yes the clothes were ‘cleaned’ without any laundry soap, but hey we are getting there. This also means back to full time day care for the girls and for Malia the first time away from mom and dad all day. Yikes! So far our amazing day care provider reports all is well and the girls are adjusting. It is great to see them playing and interacting with other kids again. The adjustments they have been forced into during this whole process is incredible and I give my kiddos a lot of credit for what they have overcome as well. Such resilient little things.
Then on January 21st at 8am, I found myself with a rush of adrenaline and excitement as I entered the St. Paul Capital building to join some amazing Courage Kenny employees to speak at the Long Term and Aging Committee. It was here that I was able to use our story to encourage a committee of Minnesota House of Representatives to consider a much needed funding reform so Courage Kenny can continue to provide care to those in Minnesota who experience a trauma like our own. This was my story:
“Chair and committee, I’m Molly and my husband is Isaac, a recent patient at the TRP. Isaac was injured in an attack last May and suffered a TBI. He spent 3 months in the TRP at Courage Kenny rehab. While there he received intense PT, OT, and Speech therapy, as well as medical and psychological services. When Isaac arrived at the TRP he was in a wheelchair, unable to communicate, and was fed through a tube. There was little hope in his recovery but the TRP team committed and invested themselves in my husband’s care. Today, because of the rehab he received at courage, he is home with me and our little girls- walking under his own power and engaging in conversations over family dinners again. I am a nurse by background and can tell you from both my professional and personal experience that the TRP program is incredibly unique from traditional skilled nursing facilities. This is an Aging Meeting and many here today have touched on the elderly, my husband and I were 24. We had an unforeseen trauma in our life and needed a program like the TRP to get us through and overcome it. Things like complex TBI cases, like my husband’s, come second nature to this facility. The vast specialized services this TRP provides brought back Isaac, brought back my husband, and brought back the father to our little girls who are sitting in the back (point’s to girls). The TRP has been incredibly beneficial to Isaac’s recovery. I hope you will support this legislation so the program can continue to benefit others. Thank you!”
I received a hand written note later that week from Chairman Joe Schomaker “Molly-Thank you so much for sharing your family’s personal and inspiring story with Courage Kenny at the Aging and Long Term Care Committee. It was helpful and impactful for the members to hear and we’ll keep a focus on making sure we protect the program for others.” It was an incredibly exciting experience and hope it is just the start of how we can use our experience to better the lives of others in a positive way!
I have to share this video of Isaac with you. I think the video will show you a lot of how Isaac is doing these days. Look at him go! Is it not astonishing… takes my breath away. :)
Isaac has started up accupunture again and is encouraged with the results the acupuncture and the electrical stimulation are doing for his affected right arm and hand. The electrical stimulation does a great job with reminding Isaac’s brain that he has these muscles on the right side and it would be good if he start using them. After his first treatment he was trying to describe something to me as in a shape and without thinking twice he showed me a circle using both of his hands and it took little to no effort to get the shape and control his fine motor. It was like “whoa! Haven’t seen that in a while!”. Isaac has also started up with Craniosacral Therapy, it is a type of massage to promote healing and work with the spinal fluid flow. It is one of those things where you can’t explain it but it is doing something! Isaac feels incredibly relaxed following his treatments and is left feeling more alert in the following days. His irritability has reduced since starting the therapies so it has helped with relieving tension and stress. This is all helpful in his focus and his retention with his homework and other therapies. He really thinks it is helping with his poker skills too! Poker is something Isaac enjoyed before his accident. He spent lots of times having tournaments and friendly hands of poker with his circle of friends. Recently he has participated in local free poker and has made it to the final table two weeks in a row! Poker is a great therapy for memory and for anticipating the future outcomes- two things Isaac continues to work a lot on in Speech and Occupational Therapy.
Isaac is enjoying his new independence with staying home alone for a few hours. It gives him time to do things on his own and push himself to succeed in his everyday life. He does however get bored and his goal of returning back to work couldn’t come sooner! Isaac and I both find ourselves looking forward to work and the relationships working brings. We are blessed to be young and have passion for our professions so much so that we both are excited for work and excited to get to work in the morning! We will continue to let you know when anything new or exciting happens in our road to recovery. The marathon had a lot of hurdles in the beginning, now they are thankfully a little more spaced out- hence the spaced out updates. But it goes on and we go on with it! Stay positive, stay thankful and stay #22strong! We truly love you all.