This past week has been a complete whirlwind and I’m honestly having to rack my brain with all the things that happened.
Side note: Brain jokes aren’t as funny anymore. Because of Danny’s condition, when I hear someone say that their brain isn’t working, they can’t think or their mind went blank, I chuckle to myself. If only they realized what they were saying. Don’t get me wrong, I do it too, but now I catch myself like my comment above. If we have problems thinking clearly without having a brain injury, I can only imagine the frustration that Danny deals with each moment.
Okay, back to the task at hand. I was thrilled to have my brother, Jonathan in town to visit last week. I had not seen him since the day of the accident when he dropped me off at the gate for my flight back to Atlanta. When Jonathan walked into Danny’s room, Danny said “Hey, Jonathan. How you doing, man?” and stuck out his hand. Jonathan and Danny have been friends longer than me and Danny have been a couple. In fact, I even tease Danny that when we’re all together, I lose a husband and gain another brother. They always tend to gang up on me and my sister-in-law, Kari. We always have fun together and laugh a lot. It was good to see the boys together again, even under the circumstances.
On one of the more beautiful days last week, Danny was able to take a roll outside through the neighborhood with Corbin too. According to his mom, he did really well and seemed to enjoy the fresh air. In fact, when they walked back by the house, Danny wasn’t ready to go back inside so they kept going. Unfortunately, a couple evenings later, Danny started to show symptoms of his normal seasonal allergies. We all seem to be suffering on some level, but we always get concerned when Danny starts coughing. We called Danny’s primary doctor and he started Danny on an antibiotic to ward off any infection. The good news is that Danny’s lungs and trachea are clear, so there is no congestion. He has a sore throat and dry cough. Where you or I would simply pop a cough drop, Danny can’t have anything. It is incredibly frustrating for him and for us since we want to help him, but simply can’t for fear of him choking.
Because he was feeling sick and coughing so much, the speech therapist asked us to stop feeding Danny and revert to only his feeding tube until he is better. Luckily, Danny normally doesn’t have much of an appetite when he is sick, so he didn’t miss the food. His therapist actually came yesterday and started him back on his meals; lunch and dinner. We’re also happy because Danny has started scratching his throat on the inside. This is a noise that used to drive me nuts, but now I get so excited to hear him do this. It is a great sign that things are improving in his throat.
Physically, Danny is still improving, thank the Lord! I have not had to help him support his head with the transfers to and from his chair, he stretches more often when we lay the bed flat and thankfully, he wants us to do his stretches more often. Danny seems to be gaining more movement on the left side of his face; instead of his crooked smile, sometimes, we get the full blessing of seeing his whole face light up.
Speaking of his whole face lighting up, last night, we all laughed so hard. We were watching America’s Funniest Home Videos; three straight hours of it. We laughed so hard with Danny that I think we all peed ourselves. It was so much fun and I can’t wait to have more moments like that. Let me put it this way, we laughed so hard that when I asked Danny how he was doing this morning, he told me that his stomach muscles hurt. Unfortunately, he doesn’t remember laughing last night, but I can’t wait to tell him about it when he gets restored. We’ll all be able to laugh again.
Something else I’ve noticed lately is that Danny knows Corbin more consistently. He is rarely wrong and is showing more of an interest in him. One of my proudest moments came this weekend when Danny asked to feed the baby. So, I plopped Corbin on Danny’s lap and helped him hold Corbin’s bottle. Then, on top of that, Danny told me that he wanted to hold the bottle with his left hand; the hand that he is just beginning to be able to control. So, we switched hands and he did fabulously. Corbin sat there and almost finished his entire bottle while staring up at his Daddy. It was a glorious moment to be a part of.
I have been pondering recently on compliments that I’ve received throughout this ordeal. Many people tell me how much they admire me for doing all that I do or they don’t understand how I’m capable of making it through each day. First and foremost, I make it through the day because the Lord is my strength. Secondly, I walk through this because I’m actually committed to my husband and our family. I love Danny as I’ve been called to love and as I vowed to love him. I am fulfilling the task that the Lord has set before me and I know He would not give me something that He himself would not take on. I am merely trying to say that when you see me and what I’m doing, don’t praise me, praise the God in me for it is through Him that I’m able to face each moment and every difficulty with the grace and strength that you are a witness to. Honestly, it feels odd to be commended for doing something that feels so natural to me. Anyway, thank you for your kind words and please don’t be offended if I’m not exactly sure how to respond.
On Friday, we’re taking Danny to be refitted for his wheelchair. There has been talk about getting an electric chair for him, but at this point, we don’t want to request more equipment if he is going to return to Shepherd. We’ll have different needs at that point anyway and perhaps, we won’t even need a chair! On that walking note, I’ve got no news on the status of the tilt table, so please keep praying for that to go through smoothly. I really want to get Danny on it at least a few times before his next appointment with Dr. Kaelin at Shepherd on March 24th.
Well, that is about all I have to share today. Make sure you check out the Family Album as we’ll be posting some new pictures soon and keep your emails coming. They are very encouraging and will be a great record for Danny to have one day.
All my love and blessings, Allison