Jack Jablonski's Journal
My Kind of Town...
Written Jun 18, 2013 12:40amChicago Is.And that's where Jack is tonight. And for the next few days.He and Mike (and one of our PCA's) drove down this morning so that Jack can join the Chicago Steel during their tryouts. This is the USHL team that drafted him. Such an honor.It's also nice for Jack to get out of town, have a change of scenery and a break from his normal routine. He's worked so hard at rehab and has juggled an exhausting schedule while balancing school, therapy and being a teenager. He truly needed a timeout. (Don't we all?!)Next week, back to the grind. But that's a good thing. Rehab is good and although he might not admit it, I bet Jack will be anxious to get moving again.And, speaking of moving, Jack's latest update is this: feeling in his index finger. Right hand. I noticed that he was using it to text last week. He tried to act like it was no big deal, but it was. He commented on how his finger "hurt."Of course, I was elated, but had to squash my excitement in hopes that he would elaborate rather than tell me I'm making a big deal out of nothing. Jack said he feels a weird sensation but at least he's able to use his finger. And, in this case...pain is good.Never did I ever think I'd be so thrilled to see my son text as much as he does. If it means he's using a finger that he's essentially not supposed to move, feel or use, then hallelujah.Text and tweet all you want Jack. Keep that index finger engaged.
Written Jun 8, 2013 12:16amOne of my biggest fears since bringing Jack home last year is this: power outage.Our side of the block is notorious for having power outages, especially in the summer. Funny thing is that the homes across the street never seem to be affected when we are. We must be on a different circuit. Just our luck!So, earlier this week we had a funky power failure. Certain lights went out in the house when Jack hit the elevator button. He was on his way to go upstairs to prep for bed. He got in the elevator, but then its power failed. Oh no. Not good.We got them out (yes, Max was in there too), but 3/4 of the house was still without power. And, it was only our house. No others on the block. Weird.Mike got on the phone with Xcel Energy, but they told us it could be hours, maybe not until the next morning, until power could be restored. Oh no....that would not work. Naturally, it was a case of Murphy's Law (and I'm not referring to our dog, Mr. Murphy). The outage had disrupted Jack's elevator, ceiling lift, bedroom lights, and monitors. We cannot function without those things.Mike explained our medical emergency (aka - Jack) to Xcel, and they seemed inclined to help, but not soon enough. Thanks to our dear doc friend who called the company on our behalf. A repair truck showed up moments later.It still took an hour or two before power was up and running, but at least we were able to get Jack upstairs and into bed. Not until after 1:30 a.m., but at least he didn't have to spend the night semi-reclined in his chair.Thinking we need to get a generator. Now. Just in case.And, it figures, this all happened the week of finals. Nothing like keeping an exhausted student up after studying hard for hours. Poor kid only got about three-and-a-half hours of sleep that night. Not so good when big tests await you the next morning.Glad this week is over.And so, we move on. Summer is here. Relax. Recharge. Renew.Speaking of renewing, Jack was able to get some awesome range of motion back in his left arm this week. He has a massage every Tuesday (ahhhh), which he thoroughly enjoys.His massage therapist was able to work a huge knot out of his left tricep. And his OT at Courage Center worked a giant kink out of his bicep, left arm as well. Low and behold, Jack was able to flex his arm all the way up to his shoulder for the first time since his injury. He was elated. SO nice to see both arms functioning in that manner.It's hard to believe that we're approaching 18 months since Jack was paralyzed (hate that word). They say that where we are now is a good indication of where Jack will be from now on.Yes, he's made incredible progress. But no, this is not enough. This kid is determined to do so much more. Our hopes are high and our belief is strong. Jack will continue to defeat the odds. He will walk, and skate, again. Some day. He has to.We BEL13VE.
You've Come A Long Way Baby
Written May 23, 2013 12:45amWhen I was in seventh grade I ordered a T-shirt. Not online, but the old-fashioned way. I sent a postcard to Virginia Slims with my order.Virginia Slims was, maybe still is, a cigarette company. No, I never smoked. Nor did I want to support a tobacco company. But they had the coolest T-shirt. I anxiously waited for the mailman to deliver the package. Waited for a couple of weeks. It finally arrived. I wore that shirt for years. Many years.The shirt had a saying on it that continues to hold true. Over and over. And over. It said, "You've Come A Long Way Baby."That saying held true once again tonight. It was the annual Hobey Baker banquet. This coveted trophy is awarded to the most stellar collegiate men's hockey player in the nation.Jack and I were invited to be a guest at this prestigious event (thank you Catie!). It was a wonderful evening. Very moving. Congrats to Drew LeBlanc of St. Cloud State (Yay! Another Minnesotan wins the hardware) for being the recipient of the 2013 Hobey Baker award. Such an inspiring young man.It was one year ago that Jack was invited to attend the 2012 banquet. We had no idea at the time that he was the recipient of an honorary Hobey Baker award. It was also the first time since Jack's injury that he had to "dress up."You might recall an entry I made back then. It was called "Cinderella Moment." I talked about the challenges and struggles involved in getting Jack dressed and ready to go. We had no idea how difficult a task this could be. I was a sweaty mess by the time Jack, Max and Mike left for the banquet. I was supposed to go, but for obvious reasons, that did not happen.Fast forward to today. We've learned what works, what doesn't. We've found ways to accommodate Jack's needs while making him look and feel his best and comfortable at the same time. Does a suit really work for him? No. Belt loops are bad (they can cause dysreflexia). Dress pants are tricky. So are dress shirts. We tried to make this ensemble work in the past. One word: Disaster.I went to Lulu Lemon in hopes of finding black pants that looked dressy but fit comfortably. Score! Not only did I find sleek black pants, I also found (on sale!) a black dress shirt. Super soft, super sharp. The two pieces looked smart together. Added a red tie, black dress shoes and Jack was all set (thank you Jess for ALL of your help today, well...and always!).We arrived at the banquet and the comments we heard the most were how good Jack looked. Strong, healthy, mobile. Agree. A year ago he was weak. It was only a month since he was released from the hospital. Times were tough. We were adjusting to our "new normal." We were dealing with issues that sent Jack back to the hospital several times in a short period of time.We're relieved to be this far out from Jack's injury. We're so proud of his accomplishments, his strength, his determination, his progress, his continued positive attitude.Jack, "You've come a long way baby!" Keep up the great work. Things can only continue to get better.Photo of Jack with his buddies and fellow BSM hockey captains - Johnny Austin, Spencer Nass, Hobey Baker winner - Drew LeBlanc, and Ben Newhouse.P.S. Jack's headaches have subsided (whew!). MRI's showed good results. Turns out the cause of the issues were the result of weaning Jack off one of his anti-spasm meds. He's back on a full dosage for now. We'll determine a better way to get him off the drug when the time is right. Thank you for all of your thoughts, concerns, prayers and kind words.