Good morning, Web site readers! I’m happy because we had a weekend full of good surprises and it brings me hope to be able to share them with you.
Danny went to the neurologist, Dr. Kaelin on Friday. Dr. K was extremely excited to see Danny’s progress. The first thing Danny said to him after me preparing him all morning was “Hi, Dr. Kaelin. How is your Mom doing?” Good news on Dr. Kaelin’s mother; she suffered just a mild heart attack and is back home and doing well. Thank you for your prayers for her.
As I mentioned in my previous update, Dr. Kaelin wants Danny to have more movement in his legs prior to returning for inpatient therapy at Shepherd which requires more physical therapy at home. Dr. K did write an order for a Tilt Table and so we begin the process of getting insurance to approve it. It may be more beneficial to buy one and then submit the claim rather than wait for the insurance company. The sooner Danny gets it the better, in my opinion.
We also talked to Dr. K about Danny’s cognitive and reasoning abilities or lack thereof. He prescribed a medication called Aricept to help with Danny’s memory. It is usually prescribed for Alzheimer’s patients, but has assisted those with brain injuries too. Since Danny started on it Friday night, I have noticed a couple of positive indicators that the med may be helping, but I don’t want to hope too soon.
While we were at Shepherd, we took Danny up to the ABI Unit to see if we could find any of his previous therapists. We wanted them to see how much he has improved and get them on board to get Danny back in Shepherd. We did find his physical therapist, Ali and the occupational therapist, Allison (Difficult names for Danny to remember, right?). I was really hoping to find Jennifer, his speech therapist because I know it would thrill her to hear his voice and see how well he is communicating. Needless to say, they were all so impressed and excited for us and for Danny. They are eager to get Danny back to help him continue on this road of recovery.
It was humbling to be back there in the unit and actually see how far Danny has come. When we left Shepherd in October, Danny’s tracheotomy had just been removed and he had only spoken in a whisper and very rarely. He was not consistent at all in his hand signals and only moved the right hand. Basically, he was just there. I know that sounds terrible, but it is true. I saw Danny in the other patients struggling through their own journeys. I only hope that they continue to recover as well as Danny has.
On March 24th, we have our next appointment with Dr. Kaelin. With each appointment, I hope Danny has improved enough for him to begin the admission process. Please pray that these next four weeks will first and foremost, go according to God’s plan, and secondly, set the pace for Danny’s physical recovery.
On Sunday morning, we took Danny to church. He looked so handsome! He did pretty well and totally knew where we were and what was happening. When we first got there, he didn’t like people clapping. It scared him, but he got used to it. He was cold throughout the service, but would tell me quietly. At one point, he sighed really loudly and realized it and started laughing. It was so funny and it’s always good to see him laugh.
Lately, Danny has been complaining about being in pain ‘all over.’ His legs are incredibly tense and he suffers from muscle cramps. As terrible as it sounds and I’m sure feels, it is a good thing for him to be able to feel. It’s the same thing when he tells us he is cold. He has feeling! It is encouraging feeling the muscles in his legs and knowing that they are building up and coming back to life. Luckily, we have a medication to help with the muscle cramps; however, it is also sedating and that is the last thing we want for Danny. Please pray that this stage will pass quickly. Danny is more difficult to take care of when he is in pain because it makes him angry; understandably so.
A few tearful moments happened over the weekend. On Saturday morning, we were in the kitchen. I had Corbin on my lap sitting next to Danny and Corbin was playing with Danny’s shirt sleeve. Danny looked down at Corbin and said ‘Hi, Son. I’m sorry I’m in this chair.’ Yes, the tears welled up in my eyes and after a big swallow, I tried to encourage Danny that this was only temporary and that Corbin won’t remember him ever being in a wheelchair.
Danny also asked me to marry him again while we were in church on Sunday morning. I’m not sure what made him think of that, but I agreed, of course. I’d really like to renew our vows when this is all over. I’m hoping to do that when we go to Spain this October (if you don’t remember, Danny’s parents gave us a trip to Spain for Christmas and October is our anniversary month). Wouldn’t that be lovely?
Please continue to pray for Danny’s spirit. He has often commented on his frustration of being stuck in a wheelchair, having to depend on us for his care and he also told me that he hates himself. I can only imagine the emotional rollercoaster that Danny rides every moment; it has to be much more twisted than the one I’m on which is difficult for me to conceive.
The planner in me is incredibly frustrated lately. Those that know me well are aware how much of a planner I really am and right now my hands are tied. I can only plan a half day at a time; forget next week, next month and even next year. However, I cling to the familiar scripture in Jeremiah 29:11;
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I feel like once Danny has completed his next trip to Shepherd that we’ll be free to plan and be together. However, only God knows the plan, so again, I cling to the scripture above and trust in His Word.
Thank you for continuing to fight this battle with us by lifting us up in prayer. I pray for you that the Lord will bless you and that through our journey; you too will grow ever closer to the God of all. I am grateful to those of you who have given in whatever manner the Lord has led. You all have blessed our lives and I will be forever indebted to you.
I’ll be back soon with more good news!