Much love to you all, but I am giving you fair warning. Not only am I going to give you good news of progress and healing, I’m going to write a few editorial paragraphs. I have been plagued lately with rumors concerning my family and I’m taking this opportunity to address them. So, you’ve been warned, with all smiles and love of the Lord.
Loida is doing amazingly well, thank the Lord! She had her first chemo treatment on the 19th and has not felt sick at all. What a blessing! She went last Thursday to the doctor to have her blood checked and all results were in the normal range. She and Hector took this last weekend away with some friends and Loida was able to get some much needed rest and relaxation. She has her next treatment next week, so please keep her in your prayers as she presses on through this therapy.
My baby is now considered a toddler! Corbin turned one year old on the 20th. We celebrated that next Saturday; it was a beautiful day outside. Corbin gradually became more interested in his cake and eventually turned the whole thing upside-down. Not wanting the cake to go to waste, Danny and I began to throw chunks at each other. It was a blast and really got Danny involved which has made a solid memory in Danny’s mind; exactly what I hoped it would do. You’ll see pictures soon! Corbin got more “big boy” toys that he absolutely loves; cars, trucks, blocks and a rocking pony! I think I’m having more fun watching him play with them than he is actually playing!
The standing frame arrived and has been wonderful to have in the home. In addition to the daily range of motion stretches, Danny “stands” in the frame for at least 30 minutes. We’re working our way up to an hour and then twice a day. It’s very important to keep his legs stretched and bones strong. Danny isn’t all that thrilled with it, but I can’t tell you how great it is to look up at my husband.
Last week, we went to see Dr. Kaelin for a follow-up appointment. It was by far the greatest appointment we’ve had with him yet. Danny was able to kick and hold his left leg up on command. He even kicked his right leg up too. Yes, you read that right. Danny’s kicked his right leg. He does this periodically at home, but he was able to do it on command for Dr. Kaelin which was great!
Danny is still complaining that his left shoulder hurts him. Dr. Kaelin believes it to be just from lack of movement more than anything; all those muscles just become rock hard or disappear when not used. He gave Danny a Cortizone shot in the shoulder and is interested in doing some electrical stimulation to the muscles to give them a jump. Danny was able to raise his arm and hand higher than I’ve seen, but it is still seriously difficult for him. Please pray that Danny would begin to quickly gain use and movement in this left arm. I really feel that once he is able to do more for himself, his attitude and perspective will change.
Speaking of attitude and perspective, Dr. Kaelin also changed his medications. We’re now reducing the Ritalin dose and will be able to phase it out over the next week or two. For those of you wondering why an adult is taking Ritalin; it has the adverse reaction in an adult than a child meaning it kicks starts the brain. Danny has been on this drug since he was in Shepherd the first time; a year ago. We’re happy to see Danny still doing well with the reduced dosage. Please pray that Danny continues to stay focused and aware without this in his system.
Dr. Kaelin has also added another drug to help with Danny’s mood and attitude. We’re reducing the one he is on currently and then adding the new medicine. I’m eager to see how much different Danny behaves and approaches life.
The subject of behavior leads me perfectly into my editorial piece of the update. It has come to my attention that some people believe that Danny is verbally and physically abusive. I would encourage everyone to Google the stages of recovery for someone having a traumatic brain injury. Within this information, the consistent message is that patients go through a stage of anger, agitation, and confusion. If you will also research the function of the frontal lobe of the brain, you will find that it controls many things. One of the executive functions of the frontal lobe is inhibition – a filter you might call it. Functioning properly, this filter allows us to not say or do things that are socially or behaviorally inappropriate. It is your conscience, your ability to weigh options and make good decisions. Danny’s frontal lobe was severely injured in his accident. Danny is able to use his “filter,” however he is inconsistently able to do so. He also has trouble reasoning, which means he can’t grasp the concept of why what he is saying or doing is wrong.
Am I concerned that Danny’s bad behavior will influence Corbin? Sure. How could I not be? As I mentioned in my last update, I hate to scold Danny. He is my husband for goodness sake, not my son. However, I respect him when I do have to curb his behavior. I address it like any wife would; with the best of the child at heart. I appeal to the father in Danny and you know what happens more often than not? He apologizes and says that I’m right and promises to try harder. By the grace of God, Corbin is protected from all things that would wish him harm. I pray continuously that God would give Corbin an unconditional love for his father. I don’t have all the answers, but I believe in a God that does!
There is one last rumor that I’d like to address concerning my parents. Not that it is anyone’s business, but they moved to Arizona to be closer to our family there. They are not bankrupt, my dad did not have to sell his business and they did not get upside-down financially from my wedding. My dad’s business put me and my brother through private school and college without us having any school loans. My dad’s business put a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food in our bellies. But what makes me even more proud of my parents is that above all, their faith taught us that it is the Lord that provides no matter the circumstances. My parents have shown me on earth the love of my heavenly Father. With all respect, if you seek explanations and answers for things you do not understand, ask God instead of coming up with your own perception. It distorts the truth.
I don’t want to leave you on such a sour note. I really hate it that I had to address those two rumors, but I felt it best to squash them before they spread even further. Also, if you have questions about Danny or brain injuries or me, whatever; I think you all know me well enough by now to know that I’m pretty transparent and willing to communicate. So, email me! We’ll chat!
Allison “hoping in Him” Diaz