This week Isaac made the big move to a rehabilitation facility for individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries! Each day our family and Isaac have been exposed to new things and we continue to learn about what to expect for Isaac’s recovery. We have been introduced to the Rancho Level of Cognitive Functioning, which is a scale to assess individuals coming out of a coma. Currently Isaac goes back and forth between Localized and Confused-Agitated responses. At times Isaac is alert and ‘awake’, tracking people/noises/objects and other times he can is sleepy. Then there are times when Isaac is confused and he can have episodes of anxiety and agitation. During the anxiety episode's we see the most activity out of Isaac. He wants to get out of the bed, he wants to pull himself up, and he makes noises, sometimes even vocalizing what we believe is “no”. These episodes, while difficult to control and watch, also show us that Isaac is becoming more aware of his surroundings and there is a drive inside of him that he wants to start doing things to get better on his own.
When we left Mankato, his therapists were doing standing exercises and stretching with Isaac to build his strength back up. At rehab, the big focus is therapy. Isaac currently completes 2 hours of therapy throughout the day, with periods of rest and relaxation in between sessions. In occupational therapy, they are working on sorting/stacking objects and range of motion with all extremities. They are assisting him to regain the ability to care for himself by re-teaching dressing and grooming activities. Isaac has started to help feed himself ice chips, take off his own socks, and pull on his shirt and shorts. It has been so great to see Isaac in his own clothes again !#22 Maverick Football workout attire of course! In physical therapy, not only have they continued the standing exercises but Isaac is walking with assistance! Again with the support of two therapists, Isaac is not only taking steps but is walking up to 200 feet in a session. He does very well with his left leg in taking smooth steps. It is incredible to see him standing tall and walking around the therapy room. More work to be done but with time he will be getting both legs moving on his own.
Medically, Isaac is doing wonderfully. A CT scan was completed and the fluid that accumulated on the left side of his brain has decrease significantly. Isaac doesn’t appear to require any further procedures or surgeries so it was deemed safe and appropriate to remove his trach. Isaac’s trach that helped him breathe so early on in his injury was removed last night! After Isaac’s bone replacement surgery, they restarted medication to continue to treat and maintain his DVT’s safely and his blood levels are finally therapeutic so he no longer needs daily injections. Now that his blood is thin with medication, we can be less worried about his DVT’s causing any injuries as they should resolve on their own over time and more with Isaac getting back on his feet.
Isaac has come up with a few new tricks this last week. He started to motion with his left hand kind of a ‘come here’ when he wants someone’s attention. He will snap his fingers with his left hand. And when he hugs, he also pats you on the back. We celebrate the little things like these and know that Isaac is coming around, it will just take time.
Things are still day to day and week by week when it comes to Isaac’s progress. Sometimes his days are easy and calm, other days are more difficult and filled with anxiety. Celebrate with us on the little signs of progress and be thinking of Isaac during his times of confusion. Please continue to pray for him, our family, and all of those involved. We appreciate you continuing to follow his story and hopefully when we get more settled into our new surroundings we can update sooner.
This link explains more of the steps in the Rancho Levels: http://www.northeastcenter.com/rancho_los_amigos_revised.htm