Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Easter is very much about renewal, new life, and hope and those lessons have become much more real to us this year. On Friday, April 3rd Victor was released from St. Joseph Hospital after being there for 51 days. Fifty-one. It was a lifetime. No one who loves Victor is the same person today as they were 51 days ago. I hope we will all learn from this to speak softer, forgive faster, laugh longer, and love better.

The physical therapy staff feels that Victor has made sufficient progress to continue treatment as an outpatient. He continues to put on weight, his hair now covers most of the scarring, and he moves about unassisted. His speech, predictably, is lagging behind the rest of his gains. He’s patient and gracious with our efforts to understand him. Today he was finger-spelling. He continues his barrage of physical, occupational, and speech therapies all week. Still, he's happy to be home and working on the new “normal” family routine.

Victor, we love you. To all the family and friends who support Victor and us, we love you too. Happy Easter and God bless you.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Burger King

Victor continues to get stronger and stronger. He is trying to speak now. His voice is very soft and most of his words are not easily recognizable. This distresses him and may be the reason he is reluctant to speak, but we encourage him and are happy that he tries.

His appetite is returning, however he is still on swallow alert. He needs to eat more in order to get stronger. The other night he said "Burger King" (we think) and was treated to a hamburger from Burger King.

His morning and afternoon therapies are going great. They keep him busy with a variety of exercises to keep him interested. The therapists and nurses encouraged him to walk more to strengthen his legs and improve his balance.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Body and Soul

Victor has settled into his new surroundings. The room is larger than before. He's been assigned an occupational therapist, physical therapist, and speech therapist. They meet with him on a regular basis to help him through recovery.

In the past week Victor has progressively improved his depth perception, his eye to hand coordination, sitting and standing balance, and fine motor skills. Watching his body awaken, little by little, forces one to ponder the truly wondrous nature of the body and the drive in every part and particle to live. It's amazing to see it in his eyes and feel the presence of his eternal spirit. He is so alive, willing and eager. The body and spirit together are truly an eternal blessing and gift.

Victor has not spoken yet, but at times seems anxious to speak. He hears adequately and answers simple written yes or no questions. On occasion he responds with head nodding. Falling is still a major concern so we continue to watch him 24/7.

Lately, Victor's curiosity has gotten the better of him and he has been taking wheel chair trips out of his room. We push him around or sometimes he pushes himself. He often points the way he wants to go. He'll even attempt to open doors and go into areas that are "staff and doctor only."

We all Love you Victor!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Move to Rehab

Victor slept pretty well last night. He woke up in the middle of the night to look at himself in the mirror, then immediately returned to his bed and went back to sleep. He woke up at 5 am and was active until about 11 am. He didn't like what he was given for breakfast and slept through lunch. Victor took a walk at about 9 am and then Dr Morgan came to visit him. She observed him and removed the neck collar. She is genuinely happy for him and the progress he has made. She said that it's truly a miracle. We are so appreciative of the hard work and respect shown to Victor and to us from all the doctors and nurses.

At about 3 pm this afternoon the nurse announced that it was time to move Victor to another part of the hospital where he will receive therapy until he is able to function sufficiently. We packed up his stuff, the nurse removed his IV and placed him in a wheel chair, and off we went to his new unit. We are so glad to see him move on to the next step in this journey. His progress has been astounding.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sleepy Time

Today Victor ate his first hospital meal at about noon: mashed potatoes, gravy, applesauce and apple cider. Although he didn't eat much, it must have been very satisfying because he fell asleep in the middle of the meal.

Victor was moved out of the ICU last night and has shown great improvement. He's doing more little things on his own.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Heading the Right Way

Victor's bone flap was reinstalled successfully! This is huge for him. We are all so happy. Keep up the good work Victor.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The GOOD, the BAD and the UGLY

Victor is currently in surgery having his bone flap (the bone that was removed from his skull!) reinstalled. This morning before the surgery he looked good -- really good. The nurse tried to suction out his mouth and he gave her a glare of disdain and growled at her. He really hates that. It was funny and very much our Victor.

The past few days have been a mixture of good and bad. We've watched him rest and shared in his time of pain and restlessness. We've thoroughly enjoyed the moments when he is able to engage us with his eyes and when he touches and holds our hands.

About mid-day yesterday they finally remove the ventilator and feeding tubes in his throat. Some of us had tried to guess what day that would happen but no one guessed Tuesday because of the scheduled Wednesday morning surgery. His mom also had them remove the "other" tubes except for the one in his nose (side bar: I heard a rumor that a tube sticking out of your nose is the newest fashion statement). With the tubes removed we were anxious to hear him speak and of course late last night Victor came through! He said "ahhhuummmvvss." I think that's how you spell that.

Victor - we are all here, your family and friends, with the highest of hopes for you and praying constantly for your health to return and especially for God's blessings upon you. We LOVE you.