Monday, April 17th, we had our family medical conference with Dr. Kaelin. I think Dr. Kaelin was hoping too that Danny would take large leaps once he returned to the program, but he maintained the attitude that it sometimes takes small steps for people’s recovery. He wouldn’t even touch the subject of where Danny will tap out his recovery. It was the first time I’ve seen him very “doctor-like.” You know what I mean; doctors don’t want to give you a lot of hope, but try not to dash your dreams either. Needless to say, when I left the room, I wasn’t very encouraged.
However, Tuesday, the 18th proved to be an exciting day since Danny had his feeding tube removed! When I found that out, I did a little dance all by myself in my car. I’m sure that everyone passing me on I-285 thought maybe they ought to change lanes. Since he is now able to have thin liquids and real food, he’s been gobbling up all the things he has missed. I can’t tell you how many gallons of chocolate milk he has downed lately. He still tries to stuff his mouth too full, so we have to watch him carefully so he won’t choke; that would not be a happy occasion. He has gained weight; he is up to about 179lbs. His lowest weight was 158lbs, so he is filling out nicely now.
We’re bringing Danny home tomorrow and I’m so excited to have him home. He has been begging for us to take him home for the last couple of weeks and it’s been so hard to try to make him understand how beneficial it is for him to be there. Due to Danny’s brain injury, he has damage to his frontal lobe which controls all of our executive functions; memory, initiation, inhibition, reasoning, etc. So, try as we may, Danny can’t get past the fact that he wants to come home. He can’t move past it to understand the benefit. It’s very frustrating for us and for him too, since he really doesn’t care about the reason, he just wants to go home.
Having Danny at home again is going to prove difficult, yet it will also be so rewarding to have him with us every day. Danny will be going to outpatient therapy five days a week at Shepherd’s Pathways facility in Decatur, GA. The team at Shepherd has emphasized the importance on keeping Danny on a routine and schedule. They’ve also come up with some household activities that Danny can do with minimal supervision or assistance. Loida and I went to family training on Monday and Tuesday to review what new processes they’ve started with Danny while he’s been there. Although Danny’s progress was not as fast as I was hoping it would be, he is coming home better than he was five weeks ago.
Merely the absence of the feeding tube is a huge block of time added back to our day. We’ll actually be able to eat as a family and take Danny out places. Danny doesn’t have to stay sitting up for an hour after meals anymore. This alone is going to add some time to our days to just enjoy spending time together while whatever activity is helping Danny is his progress. The Shepherd team is encouraging us to involve Danny as much as possible in daily living recognizing that he does have limitations and will need rest breaks. Danny seems to be looking forward to getting back involved with “chores” at home. He was particularly excited about organizing our bills and balancing the bank statements. Obviously, he can do that with my assistance and supervision, but Danny took care of that stuff before his accident. It was good to see him take some initiative to start that again.
Again, the neuropsychologist and Dr. Kaelin have not painted a picture of a fully recovered Danny. They point primarily because so much time has passed since his accident. Most leaps are made within the first six months following an injury and we’re approaching nine months. It’s not that I don’t value their opinion or their expertise, I do. However, I also believe that the Lord has the final say in what Danny will end up like. My hope is in the Lord. My hope is in the Lord. My hope is in the Lord.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
On top of everything else, my parents departed for Arizona on Sunday morning. (Mom, you may want to skip this part or at least grab the Kleenex). For those of you who don’t know, my parents had planned to move to Arizona more than a year ago. They were part of the reason why Danny and I decided to move there. Their house there was supposed to be finished in February, but it’s just now been completed. So, I’ve had them longer than I was supposed to and I know that the Lord knows and fulfills my needs, right? It was very bittersweet to see them go. I’m very sad, but am excited for them too.
Of course, I will miss them terribly. It is weird to know that the phone number that I’ve always known as “home” is no longer their number. The house I grew up in already looks like someone else’s. I used to pick up the phone every day at 10am and talk to my mom while she drank her second cup of coffee, but I don’t think she’d appreciate a call at 7am now. The business that my father ran for years and started from our home, the same place that Danny worked isn’t the same without their presence. No more zooming up 400 to grab lunch with them. Life does move on, doesn’t it? I wish I had one, but it’s not time to get into all that right now.
Now, it’s time to put on a happy face and welcome my husband home. We’ll get back to basics, quality time. It’ll be good for everyone to have Danny home, but especially for him.
My heart this week meditates on this verse that was given to me by a dear friend.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.”
Many blessings to you all who keep us in your thoughts and prayers. It is such a blessing to know that the Lord is being bombarded on our behalf. Thank you!
As a reminder, registration for the golf tournament is due June 1st.