December 23rd - Day 17 (https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/galenluedtke/journal/view/id/585dfb868b5cd37f3955f1fc
) Journal entry by Robin Luedtke — 12/24/2016
Many wonderful people who love Galen have been asking for updates on his condition. The kids and I felt this website was the best way to get information out to as many people as possible. Sorry it took us so long - it has been a very difficult 17 days!
While working on December 6th, Galen fell off a roof and landed on the concrete. Unfortunately there was nothing to break his fall and he primarily landed on his right side. We are incredibly blessed that he is still with us today!! He has many broken bones on his right side including 6 ribs, clavicle, scapula, C7 vertebrae and a skull fracture. Unfortunately Galen's most severe injury is that he has sustained a traumatic brain injury. He spent the first 12 days in the ICU at Regions Hospital and will more than likely remain in the hospital for several more weeks with additional rehab to follow. As we have watched the many bruises on his body heal over the last two and a half weeks we are reminded that the brain is also bruised and swollen and it is very slow to heal. What is most frustrating is that there is no timeframe for healing of the brain. All patients heal differently from a brain injury and the doctors can only tell us that this will be a long journey.
Galen still does not know where he is and what happened to him. Currently he does not have much short term memory. His speech is also very difficult to understand. Although to him it must sound fine because he has an awful lot tell us and even says things that HE finds very funny. We just feel terrible we can't understand him! A common symptom of someone with a brain injury is that they have a difficult time sleeping and can be very agitated - Galen is certainly struggling on a daily basis with both those items also.
This past Tuesday he was moved to an acute rehab floor at Regions Hospital. He has several different therapies twice a day. They keep him very busy. We were hoping he would be so exhausted from all that work during the day that he would sleep well at night, but no luck yet. Today they noticed some irregular heart beats and have moved him back to ICU so he can be monitored more closely. It may just be a side effect of one of his medications so hopefully that can be resolved quickly and he will be able to move back to the rehab floor.
We have seen a lot of improvements over the last two and a half weeks. Some very obvious and others more subtle. It has been so difficult to watch him in this condition but we thank God that he will not remember this time in his recovery.
Those of you who know Galen, know he is very stubborn. Once he figures out what has happened to him and what he needs to do, he will work very hard to come back to us!!
Many people have requested to visit Galen. If it were just the broken bones, he would be up to having visitors. But with a brain injury that still has a lot of healing to do, the kids and I request immediate family only. Once he is up for visitors we will definitely let you know!
Again we are very blessed Galen is still with us and thank everyone for their well wishes and prayers. He has a long road ahead of him so please keep those prayers coming!!
Love Robin, Jake, Brandolyn and Noah
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