Jimmy Moore's Journal
Learning to Fly
Written Jun 24, 2013 5:05pm
A few weeks ago, we took an outing to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International to learn how to get Jimmy on a plane.
I didn't even know Jimmy could fly!
A Shepherd Center therapist (one of ours from inpatient) worked with representatives from Delta, as they do for classes like this.
We arrived at the airport and were briefed by a TSA agent on how it would all work.
We went through security, just as we would if we were actually flying. We learned how Jimmy would get scanned, patted, etc.
I learned about the new full body scanners. Good times.
Jimmy and I got to go through some waaay shorter lines though, while our nurses had to wait it out. Nice.
We took some elevators up to the train that took us to our gate. We were told we'd be the first ones on and last ones off if we flew.
Jimmy was told to drive his chair to the end of the tunnel, right before you step onto the plane.
Then, Jimmy was transferred by two big, strong men to what's called an aisle chair: a very, skinny wheelchair.
They showed us how he'd be put in a regular economy chair. It worked. They picked him up with his sling and placed him onto a regular airplane seat.
It was pretty amazing to see that this could actually happen.
If we flew, it would mean a whole lot of planning. We'd first have to see if Jimmy's electric wheelchair could actually fit in the cargo space on the flight we were interested in.
All of the medical supplies we need to travel with would be stored and flown at no cost.
Jimmy would need power during the flight for suctioning but they didn't seem to think that would be a problem. It would just mean working beforehand with the flight crew to make sure it worked logistically.
Of course a challenge would be to find proper accessible transporatation when we arrived to our destination, but we were just excited to learn we could do it.
Super-cool field trip!
Happy (Belated) Birthday, Jimmy!
Written Apr 16, 2013 10:40amJimmy is recovering from a busy nine days of visitors, birthday meals and dirty martinis.
We didn't travel this year for his birthday because we did so much traveling last year -- we're kinda tired.
But several people came to us and made Jimmy feel pretty special by doing so.
We're grateful for our family and friends who go the extra mile for him.
Even those who sent a 'Happy Birthday' text, FB message or was sure to call before midnight: grateful.
Jimmy has an upcoming surgery on deck. He has bladder stones and will have an outpatient procedure done to remove them at Piedmont Hospital. I'll keep you posted.
Other than that -- Jimmy is doing well.
Getting more sunshine as Mother Nature allows.
Written Feb 12, 2013 5:37pm
We had a doctor's appointment today at The Shepherd Center and it's a good opportunity to give an update on how Jimmy's doing.
He's lost some weight. In fact, he's about 20-30 pounds lighter than he was before the crash. Jimmy seems upset by this, but our doctors tell us that most people, on average, gain about 50 pounds after accidents like this. I'm glad we aren't dealing with the health risks that come along with extra weight gain.
Jimmy's diet has changed since he was diagnosed with high blood sugar/diabetes (due to shock of accident). He eats less carbs, sweets. He's doing what he's supposed to and his body is responding. The food quality is good, maybe eating more of it is what we need to do.
After using the ventilator to sleep during the holidays, Jimmy has resumed sleeping off of the ventilator. He's been vent-free for three weeks!
He continues to "pace" -- meaning his implanted DPS (Diaphragmatic Pacer) is helping him to breath on his own and without the need of artificial ventilation. We still feel very lucky that we were able to get this machine. I can't imagine Jimmy being glued to his ventilator still, all hours of the day.
Staying on the DPS 24 hours a day means Jimmy is working hard. He's exhausted a lot. He always has the option to go back on the vent when he needs to, though.
On that note...
Battling his fatigue is something we continue to do. As of today, Jimmy and his doctor decided to decreased his dosage of Baclofin, an anti-spasticity medication. This medication is known to make one sleepy. This is the next step in properly weening off this med, so we'll see how Jimmy does with taking it once daily as opposed to three times a day. Jimmy's spasms are pretty managable, and as our doctor pointed out, spasms can be beneficial for a number of reasons. It does still freak people out, as his legs move all the time involuntarily.
Jimmy has a tough time going back to sleep after he gets turned around 3:30am. So we are trying a different sleeping aide to see if it will help Jimmy in that aspect.
Other than that, Jimmy is doing well. He's pretty healthy, considering and continues to adjust to his new lifestyle.
His level of fatigue does factor into how much we can get out and do, but I think Jimmy is learning that sometimes he'll just have to do things when he's tired.
We get back to Shepherd several times a month. Today, when we were there, Jimmy saw a lot of his inpatient staff which made him smile. It's such a great place.
We also still go to counseling which is such a great resource. Jimmy has his own therapist so he has a safe place that's just for him. I'm glad that's something we continued to do, as we still encounter crazy challenges and emotions.
We are looking foward to resuming monthly peer support at Shepherd after not making it the last few months.
As always, thanks for all of your continued love and support.