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August
3
2018

1 week home

It's been a full week since Jimmy came home. For my part I am rather content having my pillow next to his each night knowing I will see his face in the morning!
The kids are happy to help him settle in as if nothing has changed. Its nice to have all of our family under one roof. This is potentially our last year for that, making it extra special to be complete again.
Jimmy is so ready to just pick up where he left off. It's hard to convince him his body still needs to rest! What a remarkable difference from even just 2 weeks ago.
He will continue with out patient therapy 2 to 3 days per week for the next 2 months. He sees his neurosurgeon at the end of this month. This week he saw his primary care dr and the therapy team doctor, who will continue to monitor his progress. I like that there is a team approach on this even now. Each one has their speciality, so they confer on all the notes and have different focuses, helping him recover from all angles.
Currently doctor's orders are plenty of rest and full time supervision. Have any of you known this man to follow orders? Can you imagine him allowing supervision? We just follow him around trying to make sure he doesn't get too tired. 😂  It can be quite funny when he decides he's gonna "break the rules". He tried to cut the grass this week and ended up with Meg & I both fussing at him. How many kids live here?


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July
25
2018

Coming home!

Jimmy comes home this Friday!!!

His team of therapists ask him each day what he would like to focus on. Yesterday Jimmy told each of them at their turn with him that he apreciates all they've done for him and he'll continue to work, but that his focus was already at home taking care of his family. 
So they have decided he is ready to come home!

Several of his nurses have been commenting this week that they will miss him when he goes. We have one that would come home with us if she could! I often find his nurses just hanging out with him chatting. At first Jimmy needed that when he didn't have family there to help with anxiety. But they quickly got that under control. For several days they have sat because they enjoy Jimmy's company. I know a couple who are going to cry when he goes! Nurses put so much into caring for their patients. When they see someone who works as hard as Jimmy has to get better start recovering it must make it all worth it to them. Wonderful people with beautiful souls!

I have some stories I could share, but I will encourage Jimmy to post an update when he is home. Perhaps he'll share some of the comedy they've shared with him this week. Jimmy has gotten this far with a humor I've never really seen in him and a fierce determination that I've always known was there but that Jimmy has a hard time seeing himself. (Funny how we sometimes don't recognize our best characteristics) Those two things combined with the independence and maybe willfulness that are classic Nelson traits (love them all for it ☺) have made for some interesting moments!

Thank you all again for everything. Your prayers and well wishes have been felt daily. All of the things you've done for us have made such a difference. From cleaning my house to making food to clearing my gutters, etc. I really appreciate all of you.

I'll post updates still, as we are not thru our journey yet. I am excited, relieved and nervous to bring my hubby home Friday. He will need support and supervision. No one knows how much or for how long. Home is not a controlled environment like the rehab unit. It really could go either way. I aim to minimize distractions and do my best to watch for too much stimulation. We've discussed music and movies, both of which are a big part of lives. He wont be going back to the same movie type for a while. His music tastes have changed a bit. He's been all about classical, which is sometimes normal anyway, and Johnny Cash, not so normal. I don't think he will be blasting Tarja Tunuren thru the whole house (and neighborhood) for a while. 

So we'll see what this next chapter will look like. We plan to tackle it together. You all know that just a week ago Jimmy was not in a place to make plans with me. Amazing what aweek had done for him! He knows he will need to protect his head and spine for a bit. That has him planning to allow me to set some guidelines for what he can do by himself and how far he can push himself. I have no intentions of babying, but I want to make sure he thinks safety first for a while. Just like when our kids were little. They wanted to rock climb every time we took them to the mountains. Who lets their toddlers scale a rock wall? But never the type of parents to impose such restrictions, we just taught them safety first and thruout. 

Check back soon for the next update! Love to you all.

July
22
2018

You are all wonderful

I want to take a moment to say thank you! Many people have been praying, sending us positive thoughts and encouraging words. This last 6 weeks have been hard on all of us. I personally would not have been able to hold it together without all of you.
Thank you to those of you who have cooked, cleaned, done my yard work, chauffeured my kids, walked my dogs, hugged me, let me cry on you, and made me take a break when I insisted I was taking care of myself too!
Our journey is by no means at an end, but I feel so blessed to be in a place where Jimmy and I both see hope for our future, whatever it holds. Thank you all for getting us here. May God bless each of you as richly as He has our family.

July
18
2018

We are tube free!

Wow, what a day! It's been monumental for Jimmy really.
We started out with Jimmy trying to run down the hall! His therapist was getting nervous that he might lose his balance. He finally has a more linear picture of where he's been, where he is now and where he wants to be...home. So he is able to work harder during each session with specific goals in mind. And working hard he is!
Jimmy and I tossed a ball back & forth while walking down the hall and saying a word that began with alternating letters. The alphabet was hard for Jimmy to recall. I personally struggled with finding words on the spot. Not my strength. ☺
Then he had a swallow test where they took xray video of him eating & drinking. That was fascinating! He passed!! We are now completely free of all tubes. Woohoo! Jimmy had mashed potatoes, applesauce, very soft chicken and gravy and mashed sweet potatoes. His only issue is that it's not keto! 😛
I brought in one of his guitars tonight. So after all this he is tuckered out, but still strummed a bit for me. I'm overwhelmed with praise for God showing us the way thru this difficult spot. It is by no means over, but more and more I am seeing the fruition of God's promise to me several weeks ago that He had already healed my husband. Each week gets easier to stay on the path we've been placed on to the end.
I posted photos and video to my facebook page. Love to you all!

July
15
2018

Paranoia

Hey all,
Jimmy continues to improve. His body gets stronger daily while his mind makes more connections every time I see him. When he can remember where he is and why, I am able to have great chats with Jimmy. He'll even talk a little of how this changes things for us. 
This morning when I came in Jimmy was hallucinating. He told me he was being held prisoner on a German boat. They brought him to this room and sedated him. He does enjoy reading history and watching movies about war. ☺
This afternoon Jimmy was filled with paranoia. I took a little time for myself today. I went to church after I checked on him and then went to the pool for a bit. I think I was away too long! When I got here Jimmy was sitting with his nurse. She had given him something to help him relax but he just wanted reassurance that he still had some control over things. 
He was able to tell her he thinks his medications are too strong. She will be making some notes for his doctor. Some of the hallucinating and paranoia come from the process of his brain healing. It is forging new pathways and healing old ones. So it's like hos brain is remembering all kinds of crazy things without any context. Then you have a pain reliever in there that is making him super sleepy. So he is almost in a dreamlike state while his brain is firing random things at him. 
They should be able to lighten the drugs he's on. That should help. 
I want to make sure we cover his down time. Jimmy works with therapy until 4 pm M-F. He has limited weekend therapy. Usually nothing on Sunday. If you can visit during the week please come between 4 & 8 pm. If you can visit on the weekend come any time. I've been trying to take care of my household on Saturdays. If someone can spend a little time with Jimmy on Saturdays I can maybe get a bit done at home. 
Jimmy is at Cone Hospital, 4 West Room 17. Cards, pictures and Jimmy stories are also appreciated!

July
13
2018

Progress is showing

What a great day Jimmy had today! I was there for OT. He practically jumped out of bed and made it to the shower with very little help. He bathed himself today! It wore him out, so he needed a bit more assistance getting back to bed, where he dressed himself laying down lile a little boy 😊
He also had his trach removed today! Yayyyy!!! He still has trouble swallowing, so the feeding tube stays for now. What a great day it's going to be when Jimmy can eat & drink on his own again!!
This evening Meg & I visited with Jimmy. He was so happy to see his girl! There was no baby speech tonight. He was much more himself for the most part. 
He is asking really good questions, like how does this change our lives. I showed him a calendar and told him the projected date to come home is 3 weeks from now. He felt like that might be forever. I decided to talk with him about how far he has come already. Jimmy was then able to look at photos of himself right after surgery and a good shot of his staples.
I was really impressed with how well he received that. He seemed impressed witg the staples!
He is still asking questions such as was anyone else in the car. He is able to retain many things throughout the day, but loses a lot of things still. I'm very impressed with how hard he works. He tells his nurses daily how great they are and how nice it is they work so hard for him. Jimmy is incredibly sweet!
Please continue to send cards. Jimmy is having a great time reading them, as well as your comments here. He wants stories you have. Anything from his life! Or your life. Today he got excited talking about the Orthodox Church we're attending. He also enjoyed talking music with his nurse. Anyone have stories involving Jimmy and music?

July
10
2018

Keep you stories coming

Jimmy is enjoying hearing from all of you. He is happy to have all the currents of positivity. His words!
In the evenings he is exhausted from the day's work. We sit quietly listening to music and chatting. The span of conversation that makes sense is starting to lengthen a little. 
Tonight I asked if he would like to send a response to anyone. He said maybe later.
You might a get to hear from him yourselves soon! Please do send us Jimmy stories. Photos too! It will really help as he is rebuilding his memory and rewiring his brain. 

July
9
2018

My sweet man

Jimmy has a sweetness about him that is childlike, uncorrupted by life. I've always known him to be sweet. Thoughtful, kind, caring, patient. The most gentle man.
He also has a comic side right now I've not known before. He will make jokes all day long, call the nurses funny nicknames and tease everyone he sees. 
I would love to hear stories from those of you who knew hum as a kid or young adult! Please post here.
Misty