Daniel’s Story

Site created on May 14, 2020

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Newest Update

Journal entry by Emily Hudson

Hey guys! It’s been a little while since I’ve updated you all on Daniel’s progress and how our family is adjusting. I finally have a quiet moment to write down all the things that have been going on. Over the past few weeks we’ve celebrated holidays, enjoyed a quiet trip to our favorite beach, I returned to my job and Daniel has began to transition to return to his. We are trying to set the pace for our “new normal” as we return to work and get ready for Boone to return to school. 

Daniel continues to progress as we get closer and closer to his procedure at Wake Forest. He has officially been discharged from PT and OT and speech is not far behind. We adore his speech therapist and feel she is a vital part of working through the aphasia. She has been an amazing therapist and cheerleader since day 1. We will continue to see her as long as she will let us:-) Daniel’s headaches are virtually non-existent these days, which is such a blessing after watching him struggle with them those first few months. The external symptoms of his stroke are very hard to recognize at this stage in his progression, which is a positive but can totally be a negative as we transition back into our routines.

 Something I am learning on this stroke journey is the interesting dynamic of how once you look like you are better, people just expect you are back to normal. That pertains to the patient and to the family. However, I can assure you, that is far from true. Daniel is doing SO well and our family has never been closer, but we are still going through this life change one day at a time. I saw a quote the other day that said “focus on the step in front of you, not the staircase.” Interestingly enough, our whole lives we have condition ourselves to focus on the staircase. Always planning, always setting goals, always looking at the bigger picture. Yet here we are, focusing solely on the next step and it is so much more peaceful than when we had the big picture right in front of us. We have so much more gratitude for the quiet moments. We are so looking forward to the journey we are on now, but bare with us. Some days we will be on our old game, no hiccups and some days, well, we are just focusing on the steps to get through that day. 

Our last minute vacation was absolutely amazing. My family has gone to the same beaches in Florida, where my mom was raised, since I was a baby. It holds a very special place in my heart and transports me to a completely different world when we are there. We took our time and split up the drive down, not sure how Daniel would tolerate the trip, but he did so well! No issues at all! Travel in the time of COVID can be a little intimidating, but we had a fantastic experience. We followed all the recommendations and were grateful for a resort that follwed them too! We stayed at the end of the island and crowds were non-existent. We spent the week cooking, beaching, relaxing, sleeping and spending time with family. In all the years we’ve been to this beach, this was the best trip yet. We usually spend so much time running around, chasing down excursions, shopping and filling up on amazing restaurants that we rarely stop to really and I mean REALLY rest. This time, we rested. It was so wonderful and we can’t wait to go back. 

When we returned from vacation, we both returned to work. Talk about a rude awakening :) It did feel good to follow our morning routines and head off for the day. Daniel isn’t driving just yet, so we would take Boone to his destination, whether it be Grammy’s, Mimi’s or Miller’s, then head to Itron. I really felt like I was leaving my heart behind that first day back, but it soon faded as I jumped back into the world of healthcare after a few weeks away. The first few days back have been great!  They certainly drain all of Daniel’s energy so sleep is his best friend after lunch. He continues to amaze me in how well he’s transitioned back. I couldn’t be more proud of him. 

We have a few more weeks before we head back to Wake Forest. We are excited to take this next step but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t apprehensive. We trust this medical team and know this is the best plan of action. I am so thankful for all of you who have continued to fill our text, inboxes, and messages with love and support. Daniel remembers everything that has happened to him, but sometimes the details get a little fuzzy, but he is always so amazed at the amazing support of the people who are in our life. Continue to pray for strength and healing for Daniel as we get closer to his radiation treatment. Pray for clarity as we make decisions around his health and our well being.  I am so blessed and grateful for the opportunity to care for Daniel and Boone and I never want to take it for granted. Our pace may be a little slower than it used to be, but it’s our opportunity to run the race we want. I hope you all enjoy the remainder of your weekend! Spend time with the ones you love and enjoy the quiet moments, no matter how small they might be. 

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