Join with me as I embark on a 31-Day Writing Challenge! Inspired by Lisa-Jo and created by the Nester, this exercise takes writers on a journey to write on one topic for 31 days straight.

Me? I’m attempting to go through our journey and countdown 31 things I used to have to do for Danny, that I don’t have to anymore. This exercise has already taken me down roads I haven’t traveled in my mind in quite some time. It has, and will allow me to be reminded just how far we really have come since August 16, 2005.

16. Restraints and Stuffed Animals

He was silent.

Silence all the time.

He might turn his head; might.

But, his right hand worked feverishly.

He would pinch, grasp and pull.

But, he was silent.

I still wonder what thoughts were going through his mind, if any.

Did he understand that he was hurt? Did he know all we did was for his good, for his safety?

Did he ever think heíd have to be restrained to the bed rail? Did it confuse him?

Imagine a small, round pillow; your palm is gently resting on it. And, netting stretches across the top of your hand, and is stitched between your fingers. The whole thing is strapped around your wrist.

Itís like a catís paw, but itís tied to the bed rail. The glove was part of our nightly tucking in routine.

And, by day, there were the stuffed animals.

We would give Danny the tiger, the dog or the Christmas bear and he would keep his fingers busy pulling on them, squeezing their necks or swinging them by the tails.

The tiger and the dog were small enough he could get his fingers around their necks. He choked those poor stuffed animals to death.

I didnít like the thought of having to give him a childís toy, a babyís room decoration. Heís a man!

Was he humiliated? Could he feel embarrassed?

It didnít really matter, I guess. The more important thing was keeping him from pulling out his feeding tube or his catheter, or keeping the lobster claw from our arms.

During the night, we would put the glove on his right hand and then tie it to the bed rail.

He was sneaky though. He figured out a way to turn his hand within the glove to where his palm held the netting. He could grab, pull and grasp things again.

We had some close calls, but thankfully, no emergencies.

Although, time would tell and reveal more pressing needs for restraint; this time, when he hit the agitated stage of emerging.

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