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Welcome to 2015, finally! 2014 gave us the biggest heartache and the biggest of blessings. We saw true miracles happen and felt tremendous love from strangers, friends, family, and the like. 2014 showed me how one instant can change several lives forever, but in one instant how a community can stand together and give selfless support. It is really a beautiful thing that we have witnessed out of Isaac’s injury. While I know 2014 was a year where amazing things happened and it was the year that gave me back my husband and our second daughter, I am happy to see it end. 2014 was such a difficult journey. But knowing that 2015 is the year of therapy and living at home and being a family, when it could have been a much different year, I am still ever grateful. I hope 2015 is a gentle year and we maintain this energy and positivity to overcome the obstacles that still lay ahead for us.
Exciting times in the Kolstad House! While to you and I, this may be mundane to Isaac this is a HUGE deal. When he got home yesterday he couldn’t wait to tell me his news. He met his goal of being able to shower while standing. OT has given their blessing that he has improved on his balance enough and that he is more confident in performing multiple tasks at one time, that he should try showering normal again. So last night Isaac went up the stairs (independently!), turned on the shower and got in (independently), and for the first time in 8 months took a shower standing up. Not in a hospital bed, not on a wheeling plastic chair, and not on a shower bench (we will put that in storage for when he is 80 and actually needs it!). He was so excited and said it felt so good to shower like that! This is a MUCH different response from the first time he got a shower after his injury. While in the ICU he was bathed in bed, but at Bethesda we were able to sit him up in a chair and wheel him into a bid shower room. After 7 weeks without a shower I was certain this we would heavenly, I couldn’t have been more wrong! He hated it! He threw washcloths, swatted at the staff, tried to get out of his chair and to pull himself out of the room. It went terrible. I was shocked and soaked. But at that time he probably had no clue what we were trying to do for him, he probably didn’t even know what the word shower meant. But now a true appreciation for a good, standing on your own two feet, shower.
Isaac continues the back and forth from Mankato to Golden Valley three days a week. He has ABLE three days a week and is doing crazy things like standing on a balancing ball while throwing and catching passes. They have him jogging vs. running on the treadmill to build endurance vs. speed and also so he doesn’t break it again! He has Speech, Occupational, and Physical therapy each twice a week. In Speech he is learning to plan his day with a planner so he know where he needs to be and when he needs to be there. His speech is really coming along. We actually talk, have conversations, have discussions on things. While his aphasia is still very present and he can stumble over words, he can understand and carry on dialogue very well. PT and OT still work diligently with Isaac’s right sided weakness. Building up muscle and working to remind the muscles on the right side to work again with smooth purpose. All of these things will continue to take time and persistent work. I am sure come 2016, I will be amazed at the goals he is meeting then. I believe so strongly in my husband that he will continue to do great things and continue to work hard for himself and our family!
We spent the last couple of weeks enjoying ourselves, our families, and the holiday spirit. We hope you all had the chance to do that as well. Looking forward, I am starting school again to finish my Bachelor’s degree and getting back to work at least part time. Isaac’s big goals for 2015 is to drive again and to get back to work also part time. It will be a busy year and our main focus will continue to be Isaac’s recovery and ensuring we tap into all resources safe and available for his TBI treatment. 8 months kind of feel like a lot but still very early on in the post TBI world. We have at the least another solid year of potential recovery. So the marathon continues and continues. I never was a runner, but Isaac was, so I will continue to follow him.
Thank you as always for all that you do for our family. Your positive responses, random hello’s, and continued help at our house now that we are all home, we are forever grateful. Please continue to pray and think of our family and for all of those involved. Have a new year that is meaningful to you. Always #22strong!
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